Mazzini an essay on the duties of man
Mazzini an essay on the duties of man
The strongest menace, if indeed there be those for whom threats are necessary, will be the firmness, not the irritation, of your speech. The first atheist was surely one who had concealed some crime from his fellow-men, and who sought by denying God to free himself from the sole witness from whom concealment was impossible, and thus 22 to stifle the remorse by which he was tormented. God created us not to contemplate, but to act. Materialists, or Spiritualists, whichsoever you be, do you believe in the liberty and equality of mankind 7 do you desire the well-being of the majority I do you believe in universal suffrage I Unite together to obtain these things ; in order to obtain these, you will have no occasion to come to a common understanding about heavenly things. What right have you to punish him should he violate those laws? Now, to do this is the work of Faith; of faith in the mission which God has given to his human creat ure here on earth; in the' responsibility which weighs upon all those who fail to fulfill that mission; and in the Duty imposed upon all, of continual endeavour and sacrifice in the cause of truth. Petty tyrants would arise among yourselves by thousands, so long as you should merely strive to advance in the name of material interests or a special social organization. And the common work of Humanity, of general amelioration, and the gradual discovery and application of its Law of life, being distributed according to local and general capacities, will be wrought out in peaceful and progressive development and advance. Good men can work good even out of an evil organization, and evil men can work evil out of good organizations. Leave all heavenly things to the spiritual authorities, whatever they may be, reserving to yourself the right of refusing them your belief if they appear to you to betray their mission.
When the Christians declared to the world that all ' men were the sons of God, and brethren in His name, all the doctrines of the legislators and philosophers of antiquity, tending to establish the existence of two races of men, availed not to prevent the abolition of j slavery, and a consequent radical reorganization of ; Society.
He who can deny God either in the face of a starlight night, or when standing beside the tomb of those dearest to him, or in the presence of mar tyrdom, is either greatly unhappy, or greatly guilty.
Your first duties - first as regards importance - are, as I have already told you, towards Humanity. Let each man 24 believe in his own way j the only thing about which you are bound to concern yourselves in common are the things of this ivorId.
Each of them has its post assigned to it, and its special operation to execute; and the common victory depends upon the exactitude with which those distinct operations are fulfilled.
Each stage must be made a preparation for the next; every temporary advance must aid the gradual ascending progress of that im mortal life breathed into us all by God Himself, as well as the progress of the great EntityHumanity which is developed through the labour of each and every individual.
Where the activity of a portion of the powers and faculties of the individual is either cancelled or dormant; where there is not a common Principle, recognized, accepted, and developed by all, there is no true Nation, no People; but only a multitude, a fortuitous agglomeration of men whom circumstances have called together and whom circumstances may again divide.
The life of a soul is sacred in every stage of its existence; as sacred in the earthly stage as in those which are to follow. Leave all heavenly things to the spiritual authorities, whatever they may be, reserving to yourself the right of refusing them your belief if they appear to you to betray their mission.
Politics are one thing, Religion another.
The sufferings of the poor are partially known to the wealthier classes ; knoivn j but not felt. They oppressed you precisely because they only sought happiness, enjoyment, and power. God created it as the medium through which we may ascend to Him. Your poverty frequently involves the impossibility of your obtaining justice like the other classes: how are you to learn to love and respect justice? These governments did not, and do not, recognize [Page 59] any country save their own families or dynasty, the egoism of caste. Our Country is our common workshop, whence the products of our activity are sent forth for the benefit of the whole world; wherein the tools and implements of labour we can most usefully [Page 60] employ are gathered together; nor may we reject them without disobeying the plan of the Almighty, and diminishing our own strength. The true Country is the Idea to which it gives birth; it is the Thought of love, the sense of communion which unites in one all the sons of that territory. Let each man 24 believe in his own way j the only thing about which you are bound to concern yourselves in common are the things of this ivorId. Our country is the fulcrum of the lever we have to wield for the common good. The faculties and forces of all her sons should be associated in the accomplishment of that mission. Your country is the sign of the Mission God has given you to fulfill towards Humanity. They have disfigured it by their conquests, their greed, and their jealousy even of the righteous power of others; disfigured it so far that, if we except England and France, there is not perhaps a single country whose present boundaries correspond to that design. Politics are one thing, Religion another. Before men can associate with the nations of which Humanity is composed, they must have a national existence. In labouring for our own country on the right principle, we labour for Humanity.
God lives in our conscience, in the conscience of Humanity. Tell us not that the earth is of clay. I do not therefore speak to you of God in order to demonstrate to you His existence, or to tell you that you are bound to worship Him ; you do worship Him whensoever you deeply feel your own life, and that of the fellow-beings by whom you are surrounded ; but in order to tell you how to worship Him, and to ad monish you of an error that predominates in the classes by whom you are governed, and through their example influences too many of yourselves, an error as grave and fatal as atheism itself.
Mazzini and garibaldi
You tell us to despise all worldly things, to trample under foot our terrestrial life, in order to concern ourselves solely with the Celestial; but what is our terrestrial life save a prelude to the Celestiala step towards it? Say not I, but We. See you not that while sanctifying the last step of the ladder by which we must all ascend, by thus declaring the first accursed you arrest us on the way? At the present day there are many men who abhor all religion because they see the corruption of the actual creeds, and have no conception of the purity of the Religion of the Future ; but none of these ven ture to declare themselves atheists. We seek a common education. Social organizations are like certain plants which yield either poison or medicine according to the mode in which they are administered. What right have you to punish him should he violate those laws?
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