WAR, PROGRESS, AND THE END OF HISTORY, INCLUDING A SHORT STO

That's French for "the ancient system," as in the ancient system of feudal privileges and the exercise of autocratic power over the peasants. The ancien regime never goes away, like vampires and dinosaur bones they are always hidden in the earth, exercising a mysterious influence. It is not paranoia to believe that the elites scheme against the common man. Inform yourself about their schemes here.

Re: WAR, PROGRESS, AND THE END OF HISTORY, INCLUDING A SHORT

Postby admin » Thu Jul 16, 2015 8:48 am

PART 1 OF 2

A SHORT STORY OF THE ANTI-CHRIST.

Pan-Mongolim! The name is savage,
But it pleases my ear immensely,
As if it were full of forebodings
Of the great destiny appointed by God....


LADY. Where is this motto taken from?

MR. Z. I think it is the work of the author himself.

LADY. Well, we are listening.

MR. Z (reads). The twentieth century A.D. was the epoch of the last great wars and revolutions. The greatest of those wars had its remote cause in the movement of Pan- Mongolism, which originated in Japan as far back as the end of the nineteenth century. The imitative Japanese, who showed such a wonderful cleverness in copying the external forms of European culture, also assimilated certain European ideas of the baser sort. Having learned from the papers and textbooks on history that there were in the West such movements as Pan-Hellenism, Pan-Germanism, Pan-Slavism, Pan-Islamism, they proclaimed to the world the great idea of Pan-Mongolism; that is, the unification under their leadership of all the races of Eastern Asia, with the object of conducting a determined warfare against the foreign intruders, that is the Europeans. As in the beginning of the twentieth century Europe was engaged in a final struggle against the Moslem world, they seized the opportunity to attempt the realisation of their great plan -- first, by occupying Korea, then Peking, where, assisted by the revolutionary party in China, they deposed the old Manchu dynasty and put in its place a Japanese one. In this the Chinese Conservatives soon acquiesced, as they understood that of two evils the less is the better, and that "family ties make all brothers, whether they wish it or not." The state independence of old China already proved unable to maintain itself, and subjection to the Europeans or the Japanese became inevitable. It seemed clear, however, that the dominance of the Japanese, though it abolished the external forms of the Chinese state organisation (which besides became palpably worthless), did not interfere with the main foundations of the national life, whereas the dominance of the European Powers, which for political reasons supported Christian missionaries, would have threatened the very spiritual basis of China. The national hatred in which the Japanese were formerly held by the Chinese developed at a time when neither one nor the other knew the Europeans, and in consequence this enmity of two kindred nations acquired the character of a family feud and was as unreasonable as it was ridiculous. The Europeans were unreservedly alien, nothing but enemies, and their predominance promised nothing that could flatter the national ambition, whilst in the hands of Japan the Chinese saw the tempting bait of Pan- Mongolism, which at the same time made more acceptable to their mind the painful necessity of assimilating the external forms of the European culture. "Will you understand, you obstinate brothers," the Japanese urged them repeatedly, "that we take from the Western dogs their weapons, not because we like them, but so as to beat them with their own devices? If you come out to join us and accept our practical guidance, we shall soon be able not only to drive out all the white devils from our Asia, but also to conquer their own lands and establish the true Middle Empire all the world over. You are right in your national pride and your contempt for the Europeans, but you should keep these feelings alive not only by dreams, but by sensible actions as well. In these latter we are far in advance of you and have to show you the ways of mutual benefit. If you look around you will see yourselves what little gains you have obtained by your policy of confidence in yourselves and mistrust of us -- your natural friends and protectors. You have seen how Russia and England, Germany and France nearly divided you up amongst themselves, and how all your tigerish schemes could show only the harmless end of the serpent's tail." The sensible Chinese found this reasonable, and the Japanese dynasty became firmly established. Its first care was, of course, to create a powerful army and fleet. The greater part of the Japanese troops were brought over to China and served as a nucleus for the new colossal army. The Japanese officers who could speak Chinese proved much more successful instructors than the dismissed Europeans, whilst the immense population of China, with Manchuria, Mongolia, and Tibet, provided a sufficient supply of good fighting material. It was already possible for the first Emperor of the Japanese dynasty to make a successful test of the power of the new Empire by driving out the French from Tonkin and Siam, and the English from Burma, and by adding to the Middle Empire the whole of Indo-China. His successor, Chinese on his mother's side, combined in himself Chinese cunning and tenacity with Japanese energy, agility, and enterprise. He mobilised a four-million army in the Chinese Turkestan, and whilst Tsun-li-Yamin, his Prime Minister, was confidentially informing the Russian Ambassador that this army was intended for the invasion of India, the Emperor with his immense forces suddenly invaded Russian Central Asia, and having here raised against us all the population, rapidly crossed the Ural Mountains and overran Eastern and Central Russia with his troops, whilst the Russian armies, mobilised in all haste, were hurrying to meet them from Poland and Lithuania, Kiev and Volhyn, St. Petersburg, and Finland. Having no ready plan of campaign, and being faced with an immense superiority in numbers, the fighting qualities of the Russian armies were sufficient only to allow them honourable defeat. The swiftness of the invasion left them no time for a proper concentration, and corps were annihilated one after another in desperate and hopeless battles. The victories of the Mongols also involved tremendous losses, but these were easily made good with the help of all the Asiatic railways, while the Russian Army, two hundred thousand strong, and for some time concentrated on the Manchurian frontier, made an abortive attempt to invade well-defended China. After leaving a portion of his forces in Russia, so that no new armies could be formed in the country, and also to fight the numerous bodies of franc-tireurs, the Emperor with three armies crossed the frontiers of Germany. Here the country had had sufficient time to prepare itself, and one of the Mongolian armies met with a crushing defeat. At this time, however, in France the party of belated revanche acquired the power, and soon the Germans found in their rear an army of a million bayonets. Finding itself between the hammer and the anvil, the German Army was compelled to accept the honourable terms of peace offered to it by the Chinese Emperor. The exultant Frenchmen, fraternising with the yellow men, scattered over Germany and soon lost all notion of military discipline. The Emperor ordered his army to cut up allies who were no longer useful, and with Chinese punctiliousness the order was exactly carried out. Simultaneously in Paris workmen sans patrie organised a rising, and the capital of Western culture joyfully opened its gates to the Lord of the East. His curiosity satisfied, the Emperor set off to Boulogne, where, protected by the fleet that had come round from the Pacific, transports were speedily prepared for ferrying his army over to England. He was short of money, however, and so the English succeeded in buying him off with a sum of one milliard pounds. In a year's time all the European States submitted as vassals to the domination of the Chinese Emperor, who, having left sufficient troops in Europe, returned to the East in order to organise naval expeditions against America and Australia.

The new Mongolian yoke over Europe lasted for half a century. In the inner forms of life this epoch was marked by a general confusion and deep mutual permeation of European and Eastern ideas, providing a repetition on a grand scale of the ancient Alexandrian syncretism. The most characteristic facts in the practical walks of life were three: the great influx into Europe of Chinese and Japanese workmen and the consequent acuteness of social and economic problems; the continued activity of the ruling classes in the way of palliative attempts in order to solve those problems; and, lastly, the increased activity of secret international societies, organising a great European conspiracy for expelling the Mongols and re-establishing the independence of Europe. This colossal conspiracy, which was supported by the local national governments, in so far as they could evade the control of the Emperor's legates, was organised in masterly fashion and was crowned with most brilliant success. An appointed hour saw the beginning of a massacre of the Mongolian soldiers, and of annihilation and expulsion of the Asiatic workmen. Secret bodies of European troops were suddenly revealed in various places, and a general mobilisation was carried out according to plans previously prepared. The new Emperor, who was a grandson of the great conqueror, hurried from China to Russia, but his innumerable hordes suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of the All-European Army. Their scattered remnants returned to the interior of Asia, and Europe breathed freely again. The long submission to the Asiatic barbarians due to the disunity of the States, which troubled themselves only about their own national interests, was now over, brought to an end by an international organisation of the whole of the European population. As a natural consequence of this fact, the old traditional organisation of individual States was everywhere deprived of its former importance, and the last traces of ancient monarchical institutions gradually disappeared. Europe in the twenty-first century represented an alliance of more or less democratic nations -- the United States of Europe. The progress of material culture, somewhat interrupted by the Mongolian yoke and the war of liberation, now burst forth with a greater force. The problems of inner consciousness, however, such as the questions of life and death, the ultimate destiny of the world and mankind, made more complicated and involved by the latest researches and discoveries in the fields of psychology and physiology -- these as before remained unsolved. Only one important, though negative, result made itself apparent: it was the final bankruptcy of the materialistic theory. The notion of the universe as a system of dancing atoms, and of life as the result of mechanical accumulation of the slightest changes in materia, no longer satisfied a single reasoning intellect. Mankind had outgrown that stage of philosophical infancy. On the other side, it became equally evident that it had also outgrown the infantile capacity for a naive, unconscious faith. Such ideas as God, creating the universe out of nothing, were no longer taught even at elementary schools. A certain high level of ideas concerning such subjects had been evolved, and no dogmatism could risk a descent below it. And though the majority of thinking people had remained faithless, the few believers had of necessity become thinking, thus fulfilling the commandment of the Apostle: "Be infants in your hearts, but not in your reason."

At that time there was among the few believing spiritualists a remarkable man -- many called him a superman -- who was equally far both from infantile intellect and infantile heart. He was still young, but owing to his great genius, at the age of thirty-three he already became famous as a great thinker, writer, and politician. Conscious of the great power of spirit in himself, he was always a confirmed spiritualist, and his clear intellect always showed him the truth of what one should believe in: good, God, Messiah. In this he believed, but he loved only himself. He believed in God, but at the bottom of his heart he involuntarily and unconsciously preferred himself to Him. He believed in good, but the all-seeing eye of the Eternal knew that this man would bow down before Evil as soon as it bribed him -- not by a deception of senses and base passions, not even by the bait of power, but only by his own unutterable self-love. This self-love was neither an unconscious instinct nor an insane ambition. Apart from his exceptional genius, beauty, and nobility of character, the reserve, disinterestedness, and active sympathy with those in need, which he evinced to such a great extent, seemed abundantly to justify the immense self-love of this great spiritualist, ascetic, and philanthropist. Did he deserve blame because, being, as he was, so generously supplied with the gifts of God, he saw in them the signs of Heaven's special benevolence to him, and thought himself to be second only to God himself? In a word, he considered himself to be what Christ in reality was. But this conception of his higher value showed itself in practice not in the exercise of his moral duty to God and the world, but in seizing his privilege and advantage at the expense of others, and of Christ in particular.

At first he had no ill-feeling towards Christ. He recognised His Messianic importance and value, but he was sincere in seeing in Him only his own greatest precursor -- the moral achievement of Christ and His uniqueness were beyond an intellect so completely clouded by self-love as his. He reasoned thus: "Christ came before me. I come second. But what in order of time appears later is in its essence of greater importance. I come last at the end of history for the very reason that I am most perfect. I am the final saviour of the world, and Christ -- is my precursor. His mission was to precede and prepare for my coming." So thinking, the superman of the twenty-first century applied to himself everything that was said in the Gospels about the second advent, explaining the latter not as a return of the same Christ, but as a replacing of the preliminary Christ by the final one -- that is, by himself.

At this stage the coming man presented few characteristic or original features. His attitude to Christ resembled, for instance, that of Mahomed, a truthful man, against whom no charge of harbouring evil designs can be brought.

Yet in another way this man justified his selfish preference of himself before Christ. "Christ," he said, "preaching and practising in life moral good, was a reformer of mankind, whereas I am called to be the benefactor of that same mankind, partly reformed and partly incapable of being reformed. I will give all men what they require. As a moralist, Christ divided men by the notion of good and evil. I shall unite them by benefits which are as much needed by good as by evil people. I shall be the true representative of that God who maketh His sun to shine upon the good and the evil, and who maketh the rain fall upon the just and upon the unjust. Christ brought the sword; I shall bring peace. He threatened the earth with the Day of Judgment. But the last judge will be myself, and my judgment will be not only that of justice, but also that of mercy. The justice that will be meted out in my sentences will not be a retributive justice, however, but a distributive one. I shall judge every man according to his deserts, and shall give everybody what he needs."

In this magnificent spirit he now waited for God to call him in some unmistakable fashion to take upon himself the work of saving mankind; for some obvious and striking testimony that he was the elder son, the beloved first-born child of God. He waited and sustained himself by the consciousness of his superhuman virtues and gifts, for he, as was said, was a man of irreproachable morals and exceptional genius.

Thus this just but proud man waited for the sanction of the Most High to begin his saving of mankind; but he could see no signs of it. He had passed the age of thirty. Three more years passed by. A thought suddenly leaps into his mind and thrilled him to the core. "What," thought he, "what if by some accident it is not I, but the other one ... the Galilean. If He is not my annunciator but the true deliverer, the first and the last one? But in that case He must be alive.... Where is He, then? What if He suddenly comes to me ... here, presently? What shall I tell Him? Shall I not be compelled to kneel down before Him as the very last silly Christian, as some Russian peasant who mutters without understanding: 'Lord, Jesus Christ, forgive me, a sinful man!' And it will be I, the serene genius, the superman! It cannot be!" And here, instead of his former reasoning and cold reverence to God and Christ, a sudden fear was born and grew in his heart, next followed by a burning envy, consuming all his being, and by an ardent hatred that takes the very breath away. "It is I, it is I, and not He! He is dead, is and will ever be! He did not -- no, did not rise! His body saw corruption in the grave as that of the very last...." And, his mouth foaming, he rushed in convulsive movements out of the house, through the garden, and ran along a rocky path covered by the dark gloomy night.

His rage calmed down and gave place to a despair, dry and heavy as the rocks, sombre as the night. He stopped in front of a sharp precipice, from the bottom of which he could hear the faint sounds of the stream running over the stones. An unbearable anguish pressed upon his heart. Suddenly a thought flashed across his mind. "Shall I call Him? Shall I ask Him what to do?" And in the midst of darkness he could see a pale and grief-stained image. "He pities me... Oh, no, never! He did not rise! He did not! He did not!" And he leapt from the precipice. But here something firm like a column of water held him up in the air. He felt a shock as if of electricity, and some unknown force hurled him back. For a moment he became unconscious. When he came to his senses he found himself kneeling down a few paces from the brow of the precipice. A strange figure gleaming with a dim phosphorescent light loomed up before him, and its two eyes pierced his soul with their painful penetrating glitter. He saw these two piercing eyes and heard some unfamiliar voice coming from the inside or the outside of him -- he could not tell which -- a dull, muffled voice, yet distinct, metallic and expressionless as from a gramophone. And the voice said to him: "Oh, my beloved son! Let all my benevolence rest on thee! Why didst not thou seek for me? Why hast thou stooped to worship that other, the bad one, and his father? I am thy god and father. And that crucified mendicant -- he is a stranger both to me and to thee. I have no other son but thee. Thou art the sole, the only one Begotten, the equal of myself. I love thee, and ask for nothing from thee. Thou art already beautiful, great, and mighty. Do thy work in thine own name, not mine. I harbour no envy of thee. I love thee. I require nothing of thee. He whom thou regardest as a God, demanded from His son an absolute obedience -- even to death on a cross -- and even there He did not help Him. I demand from thee nothing, and I will help thee. For the sake of thyself, for the sake of thine own dignity and excellency, and for the sake of my own disinterested love of thee, I will help thee! Receive thou my spirit! As before my spirit gave birth to thee in beauty, so now it gives birth to thee in power." With these words of the stranger, the mouth of the superman involuntarily opened, two piercing eyes came close up to his face, and he felt an icy breath which pervaded the whole of his being. At the same time he felt in himself such strength, vigour, lightness, and joy as he had never before experienced. At the same moment the luminous image and the two eyes suddenly disappeared, something lifted the man up in the air, and brought him down in his own garden, before the very doors of his house.

Next day the visitors of the great man, and even his servants, were startled by his inspired air. They would have been even more startled could they have seen with what supernatural quickness and facility he was writing, locked up in his study, his famous work entitled, "The Open Way to the Universal Peace and Well-being."

The previous books and the public activity of the superman had always met with severe criticisms, though these came chiefly from men of exceptionally deep religious convictions, who for that very reason possessed no authority, and were hardly listened to when they tried to point out in everything that the "Coming Man" wrote or said the signs of quite an exceptional and excessive self-love, and a complete absence of true simplicity, frankness, and sincerity.

But now with his new book he brought over to his side even some of his former critics and adversaries. This book, composed after the incident at the precipice, evinced a greater power of genius than he had ever shown before. It was a work that embraced everything and solved every problem. The noble respect of the ancient traditions and symbols stood in it side by side with a bold and thorough radicalism in the sphere of social and political problems, an unlimited freedom of thought with the most profound appreciation of everything mystic, the absolute individualism with an ardent fidelity to the common weal, the most lofty idealism of the guiding principles with the perfect definiteness in practical necessities of life. And all this was blended and cemented with such artistic genius that every thinker and every man of action, however one-sided he may have been, could easily view and accept the whole from his particular individual standpoint without sacrificing anything to the truth itself, without actually rising above his Ego, without in reality renouncing his one-sidedness, without correcting the inadequacy of his views and wishes, without making up their deficiencies. This wonderful book was immediately translated into the languages of all the civilised nations, and many of the uncivilised ones as well. During the whole year thousands of papers in all parts of the world were filled with the publishers' advertisements and the eulogies of the critics. Cheap editions with portraits of the author were sold in millions of copies, and all the civilised world -- and now it stood for nearly all the globe -- resounded with the glory of the incomparable, the great, the only one! Nobody raised his voice against the book. On every side it was accepted as the revelation of the all-complete truth. In it all the past was given its full and due justice, all the present was appraised with such impartiality and catholicity, and the happiest future was brought near in such a convincing and practical manner that everybody could not help saying: "Here at last we have what we need. Here is the ideal, which is not an Utopia. Here is a scheme which is not a dream." And the wonderful author not only impressed all, but he was agreeable to everybody, so that the word of Christ was fulfilled: "I have come in the name of the Father, and you accept me not. Another will come in his own name -- him you will accept." For it is necessary to be agreeable to be accepted.

It is true some pious men, whilst praising the book whole-heartedly, had been asking why the name of Christ was never mentioned in it; but other Christians had rejoined: "So much the better. Everything sacred has already been stained enough in the past ages to make a deeply religious author extremely careful in these matters. Then the book is imbued with the true Christian spirit of active love and all-embracing goodwill. And what more do you want?" And everybody agreed.

Soon after the publication of "The Open Way," which made its author the most popular man that had ever lived on earth, an international constitutional congress of the United States of Europe was to be held in Berlin. This Union, founded after a series of international and civil wars which had been brought about by the liberation from the Mongolian yoke, and had resulted in considerable alteration in the map of Europe, was now menaced with peril, not through conflicts of nations, but through the internal strife between various political and social parties. The heads of general European politics, who belonged to the powerful brotherhood of Freemasons, experienced certain insufficiency of executive power. The European unity obtained at such a great cost was every moment threatening to fall to pieces. There was no unanimity in the Union Council or "Comite permanent universel" as not all the seats were in the hands of true masons. The independent members of the Council were entering into separate agreements, and things seemed to be drifting to another war. The "initiated" then decided to establish a personal executive power endowed with some considerable authority. The principal candidate was the secret member of the Order -- "the Coming Man." He was the only man with a great world-wide fame. Being by profession learned artilleryman, and by his source of income rich capitalist, he was on friendly terms with many financier and military man. In another, less enlightened time, there might have been put against him the fact of his extremely obscure origin. His mother, a lady of doubtful reputation, was very well known in both hemispheres, but the number of people who had grounds to consider him as their son was rather too great. These circumstances, however, could not carry any weight with the age which was so advanced as to be actually the last one. "The Coming Man" was almost unanimously elected president of the United States of Europe for life. And when he appeared on the platform in all the glamour of young super-human beauty and power, and with inspired eloquence expounded his universal programme, the assembly was carried away by the spell of his personality, and in an outburst of enthusiasm decided, even without voting, to give him the highest honour, and to elect him Roman Emperor.

The congress closed amidst general rejoicing, and the great elector published a manifesto, which began with the words: "Nations of the World! I give you my peace," and concluded, "Nations of the World! The promises have been fulfilled! An eternal universal peace has been secured. Every attempt to destroy it will meet with a determined and irresistible opposition, since a Power is now established on earth which is stronger than all the other Powers, separately or conjointly. This inconquerable, all surmountable power belongs to me, the authorised elector of Europe, the Emperor of all its forces. International law has at last secured the sanction which was so long missing. Henceforth no Power will dare to say 'War' when I say 'Peace!' Peoples of the world, peace to you! This manifesto had the desired effect. Everywhere outside Europe, particularly in America, powerful imperialist parties were formed which compelled their Governments to join the United States of Europe under the supreme authority of the Roman Emperor. There still remained a few independent tribes and little States in remote parts of Asia and Africa, but with a small but chosen army of Russian, German, Polish, Hungarian, and Turkish regiments the Emperor set out for a military march from the Eastern Asia to Morocco, and without much bloodshed brought under subjection all the insubordinate States. In all the countries of the two hemispheres he installed his viceroys, choosing them from among the native nobles who had been educated in European fashion and were faithful to him. In all the heathen countries the native population, greatly impressed and charmed by his personality, proclaimed him as their supreme god. In a single year a real universal monarchy in the true and proper sense of the word was established. The germs of wars were radically destroyed. The Universal League of Peace met for the last time, and having delivered an exalted panegyric to the Great Peacemaker, dissolved itself as being no longer necessary. On the eve of the second year of his reign the World's Emperor published a new manifesto: "Nations of the World! I have promised you peace, and I have given it you. But peace is joyful only through prosperity. Who in peace-time is threatened with poverty has no pleasure in peace. I call, therefore, all the cold and hungry ones to come to me, and I will give them food and warmth!" Here he announced a simple and comprehensive social reform which had already been enunciated in his book, and which then captured all the noble and sound minds. Now, owing to the concentration in his hands of the money resources of the world and of the colossal land properties, he could carry into effect that reform in accordance with the wishes of the poor and without causing much pain to the rich. Everybody now received according to his talents, and every talent according to its work and merit.

The new lord of the world before everything else was a kind-hearted philanthropist, and not only a philanthropist, but even a philozoist. He was a vegetarian himself, prohibited vivisection, and instituted a strict supervision over slaughter-houses; whilst societies for protecting animals received from him every encouragement. But what was more important than these details, the most fundamental form of equality was firmly established among mankind, the equality of universal satiety. This took place in the second year of his reign. Social and economic problems had been finally settled. But if satisfaction is a question of primary importance for the hungry, the satisfied ones crave for something else. Even satiated animals usually want not only to sleep, but also to play. The more so with mankind which has always post panem craved for circenses.

"The Emperor-superman understood what his mob wanted. At that time a great magician, enwrapped in a dense cloud of strange facts and wild stories, came to him in Rome from the Far East. The rumour spread amongst the neo-Buddhists credited him with a divine origin from the god of Sun Suria and some river nymph.

This magician, Apollonius by name, was doubtless a man of genius. A semi-Asiatic and a semi-European, a catholic bishop in partibus infidelium, he combined in himself in a most striking manner the knowledge of the latest conclusions and applications of Western science with the art of utilising all that was really sound and important in the traditional mysticism of the East. The results of this combination were startling. Apollonius learned amongst other things the semi-scientific and semi-mystic art of attracting and directing at will the atmospheric electricity, and the people said of him that he could bring down fire from heaven. However, though startling the imagination of the crowd by various unheard of phenomena, for some time he did not abuse his power for any special selfish ends.

It was this man who came to the great Emperor, saluted him as the true son of God, declared that he had discovered in the secret books of the East certain unmistakable prophecies pointing to the Emperor as the last saviour and judge of the Universe, and offered him his services and all his art. The Emperor, completely charmed by the man, accepted him as a gift from above, decorated him with all kinds of gorgeous titles and made him his constant companion. So the nations of the world, after they had received from their lord universal peace and universal abolition of hunger, were now given the possibility of never-ending enjoyment of most diverse and extraordinary miracles. Thus came to end the third year of the reign of the superman.

After the happy solution of political and social problems, the religious question was brought to the front. This was raised by the Emperor himself, and in the first place in its application to Christianity. At the time the position of Christianity was as follows: Its followers had greatly diminished in numbers and barely included forty-five million men in the whole world; but morally it made a marked progress, and gained in quality what it lost in numbers. Men who were not bound up with Christianity by any spiritual tie were no longer recorded amongst the Christians. Various Christian persuasions fairly equally diminished in their numbers, so that the proportional relationship amongst them was maintained almost unchanged. As to mutual feelings, hostility did not entirely give place to amity, but considerably softened down, and points of disagreement lost much of their former acuteness. The Papacy had been long before expelled from Rome, and after long wanderings had found refuge in St. Petersburg on condition that it refrained from propaganda there, and in the country. In Russia it soon became greatly simplified. Leaving practically unchanged the number of its colleges and offices, it was obliged to infuse into their work a more fervent spirit, and to cut down to the smallest limits its pompous ritual and ceremonial. Many strange and seductive customs, though not formally abolished, fell of themselves into disuse. In all the other countries, particularly in North America, the Catholic priesthood still had a good many representatives, possessed of strong will, inexhaustible energy and independent character, who welded together the Catholic Church into a closer unity than it had ever been before, and who preserved for it its international, cosmopolitan importance. As to Protestantism, which was still led by Germany, especially since the union of the greater part of the Anglican church with the Catholic one -- this had freed itself from its extreme negative tendencies, the followers of which openly went over to the camp of religious apathy and unbelief. The Evangelical church now contained only the sincerely religious, headed by men who combined a vast learning with a deep religious feeling, and an ever-growing desire to bring to life again in their own persons the living spirit of the true ancient Christianity. Russian orthodoxy, after political events had altered the official position of the Church, lost many millions of its sham nominal members; but it won the joy of unification with the best part of the "old believers," and even many of the positively religious sectarians. This renovated Church, though not increasing in numbers, began to grow in strength of spirit, which it particularly revealed in its struggle with the numerous sects, not entirely devoid of the demoniacal and satanic element, which found root among the people and in society.
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Re: WAR, PROGRESS, AND THE END OF HISTORY, INCLUDING A SHORT

Postby admin » Thu Jul 16, 2015 8:48 am

PART 2 OF 2

During the first two years of the new reign, all Christians, frightened at, and weary of, the number of preceding revolutions and wars, looked upon their new lord and his peaceful reforms partly with a benevolent expectation, and partly with an unreserved, sympathetic, and even a fervent enthusiasm. But in the third year, after the great magician had made his appearance, serious fears and antipathy began to grow in the minds of many an orthodox Catholic and Protestant. The Gospel and Apostolic texts speaking of the Prince of this Age and of Anti-Christ were now read more carefully and led to lively comments. The Emperor soon perceived from certain signs that a storm was brewing, and resolved to bring the matter to a head without any further delay. In the beginning of the fourth year of his reign he published a manifesto to all his true Christians, without distinction of churches, inviting them to elect or appoint authoritative representatives for the World's Congress to be held under his presidency. At that time the imperial residence was transferred from Rome to Jerusalem. Palestine was already an autonomous province, inhabited and governed mainly by the Jews. Jerusalem was a free and now an imperial city. The Christian shrines remained unmolested, but over the whole of the large platform of Haram-esh-Sheriff, extending from Birket-Israin and the barracks right to the mosque of El-Ax and the "Solomon's Stables," there was erected an immense building, which incorporated in itself, besides the two small ancient mosques, a huge "Empire" temple for the unification of all cults, and two luxurious imperial palaces, with libraries, museums, and special apartments for magic experiments and exercises. It was in this half-temple, half-palace that the World's Congress was to meet on September 14th. As the evangelical church has no hierarchy in the proper sense of the word, the Catholic and orthodox hierarchs, in compliance with the express wish of the Emperor, and in order that a greater uniformity of representation should obtain, decided to admit to the proceedings of the congress a certain number of lay members. Once, however, these were admitted, it seemed impossible to exclude from the congress the clergy, both of the monastic and secular order. In this way the total number of members at the congress exceeded three thousand, whilst about half a million Christian pilgrims flooded Jerusalem and all Palestine. Amongst the members present three men were particularly conspicuous. The first was Pope Peter II., who in true right led the Catholic part of the congress. His predecessor died on the way to the congress, and a conclave met in Damascus, which unanimously elected Cardinal Simone Barionini, who took the name of Peter. He came of plebeian stock, from the province of Naples, and became famous as a preacher of the Carmelite Order, having earned great successes in fighting a certain Satanic sect which was spreading in St. Petersburg and its environments, and seducing not only the orthodox, but the Catholic men as well. Raised to the archbishopric of Magilov and next to the Cardinal's chair, he was all along marked for the tiara. He was a man of fifty, of middle stature and strongly built, had a red face, a crooked nose, and thick eyebrows. He had an impulsive and ardent temperament, spoke with fervour and with sweeping gesticulations, and enthused more than convinced his audience. The new Pope had no trust in the Emperor, and looked at him with a disapproving eye, particularly since the deceased Pope, yielding to the Emperor's pressure, made a cardinal of the Imperial Chancellor and great magician of the world, the exotic Bishop Apollonius, whom Peter regarded as a doubtful Catholic and a doubtless fraud. The actual, though not official, leader of the orthodox members was Elder John, extremely well known amongst the Russian people. Officially he was considered a bishop "in retirement," but he did not live in any monastery, being always engaged in travelling all over the world. Many legendary stories were circulated about him. Some people believed that he was Feodor Kusmich, that is, Emperor Alexander I., who had died three centuries back and was now raised to life. Others went further and maintained that he was the true Elder John, that is, John the Apostle, who had never died and openly reappeared in the later times. He himself said nothing about his origin and younger days. Now he was a very old but vigorous man, with white hair and beard tinged with a yellowish and even greenish colour, tall in stature, and thin in the body, but with full and slightly rosy cheeks, vivid sparkling eyes and a tender and kind expression in his face and speech. He was always dressed in a white cassock and mantle. At the head of the evangelical members of the congress was the most learned German theologian, Professor Ernst Pauli. He was a short, wizened, little old man, with a huge forehead, sharp nose, and cleanly-shaven chin. His eyes were distinguished by their peculiarly ferocious and yet at one and the same time kindly gaze. He incessantly rubbed his hands, shook his head, sternly knitted his brows and pursed up his lips; whilst with eyes all flashing he sternly ejaculated: "So! Nun! Ja! So also!" His dress bore all the appearance of solemnity -- a white tie and long pastoral frock-coat decorated with signs of his order.

The opening of the congress was very imposing. Two-thirds of the immense temple, devoted to the "unification of all the cults," were covered with benches and other sitting accommodation for members of the congress. The remaining third was taken by the high platform, on which were placed the Emperor's throne, another a little below it intended for the great magician -- also the cardinal-imperial chancellor; and behind them rows of armchairs for the ministers, courtiers, and State officials, whilst along the side there were the still longer rows of armchairs, the intended occupants of which remained undisclosed. The gallery was taken by the orchestra, whilst in the adjoining square there were installed two regiments of the Guards and a battery for triumphal salutes. The members of the congress had already attended their services in their various churches, and the opening of the congress was to be entirely civil. When the Emperor, accompanied by the great magician and his suite, made his entrance, the band began to play the "March of Unified Mankind," which was the international hymn of the Empire, and all the members rose to their feet, and waving their hats, gave three enthusiastic cheers: "Vivat! Hurrah! Hoch!" The Emperor, standing by the throne and stretching forward his hand with the air of majestic benevolence, said in a sonorous and pleasing voice: "Christians of all sects! My beloved subjects and brothers! From the beginning of my reign, which the Most High blessed with such wonderful and glorious deeds, I have never had any cause to be dissatisfied with you. You have always performed your duties true to your faith and conscience. But this is not sufficient for me. My sincere love to you, my beloved brothers, thirsts for reciprocation. I wish you to recognise me your true leader in every enterprise undertaken for the well-being of mankind, not merely out of your sense of duty to me, but mainly out of your heartfelt love for me. So now, besides what I generally do for all, I am about to show you my special benevolence. Christians! What can I bestow upon you? What can I give you, not as my subjects, but as my co-religionists, my brothers! Christians! Tell me what is the most precious thing for you in Christianity, so that I may direct my efforts to that end?" He stopped for a time, waiting for an answer. The hall was filled with reverberating muffled sounds. The members of the congress were consulting each other Pope Peter, with fervent gesticulations, was explaining something to his followers. Professor Pauli was shaking his head and ferociously smacking with his lips. Elder John bending over an Eastern bishop and a Capucin quietly tried to impress something upon them. After he had waited a few minutes, the Emperor again addressed the congress in the same kind tone, in which, however, there could be sounded a scarcely perceptible note of irony: "My kind Christians," said he, "I understand how difficult it is for you to give me a direct answer. I will help you also in this. From time immemorial, unfortunately, you have been broken up into various confessions and sects, so that you perhaps have scarcely one common object of desire. But if you cannot agree amongst yourselves, I hope I shall be able to show agreement with you all by bestowing upon all your sections the same love and the same readiness to satisfy the true desire of each one of them. Kind Christians! I know that to many, and not the last ones amongst you, the most precious thing in Christianity is the spiritual authority with which it endows its legal representatives -- of course, not for their personal benefit, but for the common weal, since on this authority the right spiritual order and moral discipline so necessary for everybody, firmly rest. Kind brothers-Catholic! How well do I understand your view, and how much would I like to base my imperial power on the authority of your spiritual chief! Lest you should think that this is a mere flattery and windy words we most solemnly declare: by virtue of our autocratic power the Supreme Bishop of all the Catholics, the Pope of Rome, is henceforth restored to his throne in Rome, with all the former rights and privileges belonging to this title and chair, given at any time by our predecessors, from Constantine the Great onwards. For this, brothers-Catholic, I wish to receive from you only your inner heart-felt recognition of myself as your sole protector and patron. Whoever of those present here does recognise me as such in his heart and conscience, let him come up here to this side!" Here he pointed to the empty seats on the platform. And instantly, nearly all the princes of the Catholic Church, cardinals and bishops, the greater part of the laymen and over a half of the monks, shouting in exultation: "Gratias agimus! Domine! Salvum fac magnum imperatorem!" rose to the platform and, humbly bowing their heads to the Emperor, took their seats. Below, however, in the middle of the hall, straight and immovable, like a marble statue, sat in his seat Pope Peter II. All those who had surrounded him were now on the platform. But the diminished crowd of monks and laymen who remained below moved nearer and closed in a dense crowd around him. And one could hear the subdued mutter issuing from them: "Non praevalebunt, non praevalebunt portae inferni."

With a startled look cast at the immovable Pope, the Emperor again raised his voice: "Kind brothers! I know that there are amongst you many for whom the most precious thing in Christianity is its sacred tradition -- the old symbols, the old hymns and prayers, the ikons and the old ritual. Indeed, what can be more precious for a religious soul? Know, then, my beloved ones, that to-day I have signed the decree and have set aside vast sums of money for the establishment in our glorious Empire city, Constantinople, of a world's museum of Christian archaeology, with the object of collecting, studying, and saving all the monuments of church antiquity, more particularly of the Eastern one; and I ask you to select from your midst a committee for working out with me the measures which are to be carried out, so that the modern life, morals, and customs may be organised as nearly as possible in accordance with the traditions and institutions of the Holy Orthodox Church. My orthodox brothers! Those of you who view with favour this will of mine, who can in their inner consciousness call me their true leader and lord -- let those come up here." Here the greater part of the hierarchs of the East and North, and more than a half of the orthodox clergymen, monks, and laymen, rose with joyful exclamation to the platform, casting suspicious eyes at the Catholics, who were already proudly occupying their seats. But Elder John remained in his place, and sighed loudly. And when the crowd round him became greatly thinned, he left his bench and went over to Pope Peter and his group. He was followed by the other orthodox members who did not go to the platform. Then the Emperor spoke again: "I am aware, kind Christians, that there are amongst you also such who place the greatest value upon the personal confidence in truth and the free examination of the Scriptures. How I view this, there is no need for me to enlarge upon at the moment. You are perhaps aware that even in my youth I wrote a big book on the Higher Criticism, which at that time excited much comment and laid the foundation of my popularity. In memory of this, I presume, the University of Tubingen only the other day requested me to accept the degree of a Doctor of Theology honoris causa. I have replied that I accept it with pleasure and gratitude. And today, simultaneously with the decree of the Museum of Christian Archaeology, I signed another decree establishing a world's institute for free examination of the Scriptures from all sides and in all directions, and for study of all subsidiary sciences, to which an annual sum of one and a half million marks is granted. I call those of you who look with sincere favour at this my act of goodwill, and are able in their true feeling to recognise me their sovereign leader, to come up here to the new Doctor of Theology." A strange but hardly perceptible smile changed the beautiful mouth of the great man when he concluded this speech. More than half of the learned theologians were moving to the platforms, though somewhat slowly and hesitatingly. Everybody looked at Professor Pauli, who seemed to be rooted to his seat. He dropped his head, bent down and shrank. The learned theologians who had already managed to get on the platform seemed to feel very awkward, and one of them even suddenly dropped his hand in renunciation, and, having jumped right down past the stairs, ran hobbling to Professor Pauli and the members who remained with him. At this the Professor raised his head, got up on his feet as if without a definite object in view, and then walked past the empty benches, accompanied by his co-religionists who withstood the temptation, and took his seat near Elder John and Pope Peter with their followers. The greater part of the members, including nearly all the hierarchs of the East and West, were now on the platform. Below there remained only the three groups of members now more closely brought together, who clung around to Elder John, Pope Peter, and Professor Pauli.

In a grieved voice the Emperor addressed them: "What else can I do for you, you strange people? What do you want from me? I cannot understand. Tell me yourselves, you Christians, deserted by the majority of your brothers and leaders, condemned by popular sentiment: what is it that you value most in Christianity?" At this Elder John rose up like a white candle, and said in a quiet voice: "Great sovereign! The thing we value most in Christianity is Christ Himself -- He in His person. All the rest cometh from Him, for we know that in Him dwelleth bodily the whole fulness of Divinity. But we are ready, sire, to accept any gift from you as well, if only we recognise the holy hand of Christ in your generosity. Our candid answer to your question, what you can do for us, is this: Here, now and before us, name the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who came in the flesh, rose, and is coming again -- name His name, and we will accept you with love as the true forerunner of His second glorious coming." He finished his speech and fixed his eyes on the face of the Emperor. A terrible change had come over it. A hellish storm was raging within him, like the one he experienced on that fateful night. He had entirely lost his mental balance, and was concentrating all his thoughts on preserving control over his appearance, so that he should not betray himself before the time. He was making superhuman efforts not to throw himself, yelling wildly, on Elder John and begin tearing him with his teeth. Suddenly he heard a familiar, unearthly voice: "Keep silent and fear nothing!" He remained silent. Only his face, livid like death, looked distorted and his eyes flashed. In the meantime, while Elder John was still making his speech, the great magician, wrapped in his ample tri-coloured mantle, which concealed nearly the whole of his cardinal purple, could be noticed to be busy doing something underneath it. His eyes were fixed and flashing, and his lips slightly moving. It could be seen through the open windows of the temple that an immense black cloud was covering the sky, and soon a complete darkness set in. Elder John, startled and frightened, stared at the face of the silent Emperor, when he suddenly sprang back, and turning to his followers shouted in a stifled voice: "My dearest ones, it is Anti-Christ!" At this moment, followed by a deafening thunderclap, a great thunderbolt flashed into the temple and struck Elder John. Everyone was stupefied for a second, and when the deafened Christians came to their senses, Elder John was seen lying dead on the floor.

The Emperor, pale but calm, spoke to the assembly: "You have witnessed the judgment of God. I had no wish to take any man's life, but thus my Heavenly Father avenges His beloved son. It is finished. Who will oppose the will of the Most High? Secretaries, write down: The Oecumenical Council of All Christians, after an insensate opponent of the Divine Majesty had been struck by fire from heaven, recognised unanimously the sovereign Emperor of Rome and all the Universe its supreme leader and lord." Suddenly a word, loudly distinct, passed throughout the temple: "Contradicatur!" Pope Peter II rose, and with face empurpled and his body trembling with indignation, lifted up his stick in the direction of the Emperor. "Our only Lord," shouted he, "is Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God! And who thou art, thou heardest just now. Away! thou Cain, thou murderer! Get thee gone, thou incarnation of the Devil! By the authority of Christ, I, the servant of God's servants, for ever expel thee, thou foul dog, from the precincts of God, and cast thee out to thy father Satan! Anathema! Anathema! Anathema!" While he was so speaking, the great magician was moving restlessly under his mantle, and louder than the last "Anathema!" the thunder rumbled, and the last Pope fell lifeless on the floor." So die all my enemies by the arm of my Father!" said the Emperor. "Pereant, pereant!" exclaimed the trembling princes of the Church. The Emperor turned round, and, supported by the great magician and accompanied by all his crowd, slowly walked out to the door at the back of the platform. There remained in the temple only the corpses and a little knot of Christians half-dead from fear. The only person who did not lose control over himself was Professor Pauli. The general horror seemed to have raised in him all the powers of his spirit. He even changed in appearance; his countenance became noble and inspired. With determined steps he walked up on to the platform, took one of the seats previously occupied by some State official, and began to write on a sheet of paper. When he had finished he got up and read out in a loud voice: "In the glory of our only saviour, Jesus Christ! The Ecumenical Council of our Lord's churches, which met at Jerusalem after our most blessed brother John, the representative of Christianity of the East, had exposed the arch-deceiver and the enemy of God as the true Anti-Christ, foretold in the word of God, and after our most blessed father Peter, the representative of Christianity of the West, had lawfully and justly expelled him for ever from the Church of God, now in the face of the corpses of these two witnesses of Christ, murdered for the truth, resolves: To cease any communion with the excommunicated one and with his foul crowd, and to go to the desert and to wait for the inevitable coming of our true Lord, Jesus Christ." The crowd was seized with enthusiasm, and loud exclamations could be heard on all sides. "Adveniat! Adveniat cito! Komm, Herr Jesu, komm! Come, Lord Jesus Christ!"

Professor Pauli wrote again and read: "Accepting unanimously this first and last deed of the last Oecumenical Council, we sign our names" -- and here he invited those present to do so. All hurried to the platform and signed their names. And last in the list stood in big Gothic characters the signature: "Duorum defunctorum testium locum tenens Ernst Pauli." "Now let us go with our ark of the last covenant," said he, pointing to the two deceased. The corpses were put on stretchers. Slowly, singing Latin, German and Church-slavonic hymns, the Christians walked to the gate leading out from Haram-esh-Sheriff. Here the procession was stopped by one of the Emperor's officials, who was accompanied by a squad of the Guards. The soldiers remained at the entrance whilst the official read: "By order of his Divine Majesty. For the enlightenment of the Christian people and for its safety from wicked men spreading unrest and temptations, we deem necessary to resolve that the corpses of the two agitators, killed by the heavenly fire, be publicly exhibited in the street of the Christians (Haret-en-Nasara), at the entrance into the principal temple of this religion, called the Temple of our Lord's Sepulchre, also that of the Resurrection, so that everybody may convince himself that they are really dead. Their obstinate followers, who wrathfully reject all our benefits and insanely shut their eyes to the patent signs of Deity itself -- are by our mercy and presentations before our Heavenly Father, relieved from a much-deserved death by the heavenly fire, and are left at their free will with the sole prohibition necessary for the common good, of living in towns and other places of residence, lest they disturb and tempt innocent, simple-minded folk with their malicious fancies." When he had finished reading, eight soldiers, at the sign of the officer, came up with stretchers to the bodies.

"Let the written word be fulfilled," said Professor Pauli. And the Christians who were holding the stretchers silently passed them to the soldiers, who went away with them through the northwestern gate, whilst the Christians, having gone out through the north eastern gate, hurriedly walked from the city past the Mount of Olives to Jericho, along the road which had previously been cleared of other people by the gendarmes and two cavalry regiments. It was decided to wait a few days on the desert hills near Jericho. Next morning, friendly Christian pilgrims came from Jerusalem and told what had been going on in Sion. After the dinner at the Court all the members of the congress were invited to a vast throne hall (near the supposed site of Solomon's throne), and the Emperor, addressing the representatives of the Catholic hierarchy, told them that the well-being of their Church clearly demanded from them the immediate election of a worthy successor to the apostate Peter, that in the circumstances of the time the election must needs be a summary one, that his the Emperor's presence as that of the leader and representative of the whole Christian world, would amply make up for the inevitable omissions in the ritual, and that he on behalf of all the Christians suggested that the Holy College elect his beloved friend and brother Apollonius, so that their close friendship could firmly and indissolubly unite Church and State for their mutual benefit. The Holy College retired to a separate room for a conclave, and in an hour and a half it returned with its new Pope Apollonius. In the meantime, while the election was being carried out, the Emperor was meekly, sagaciously, and eloquently persuading the Orthodox and Evangelical representatives, in view of the new great era in Christian history, to put an end to their old dissensions, giving his word that Apollonius would be able to abolish all the abuses of the Papal authority known to history. Persuaded by this speech, the Orthodox and Protestant representatives drafted a deed of the unification of all the churches, and when Apollonius with the cardinals appeared in the hall, met by shouts of joy from all those present, a Greek bishop and an evangelical pastor presented to him their document. "Accipio et approbo et laetificatur cor meum," said Apollonius, signing it. "I am as much a true Orthodox and a Protestant as I am a true Catholic," added he, and exchanged friendly kisses with the Greek and the German. Then he came up to the Emperor, who embraced him and long held him in his arms. At this time tongues of flame began to dart about in the palace and the temple. They grew and became transformed into luminous shapes of strange beings, and flowers never seen before came down from above, filling the air with unknown aroma. Enchanting sounds of music, stirring the very depths of the soul, produced by unfamiliar instruments, were heard, while angelic voices of unseen singers sang the glory of the new lords of heaven and earth. Suddenly a terrific subterranean noise was heard in the northwestern corner of the palace under "Kubbet-el-Aruah," that is "the dome of souls," where, according to the Moslem belief, the entrance to the hell was hidden. When the assembly invited by the Emperor went to that end all could clearly hear innumerable voices, thin and penetrating -- either childish or devilish -- which were exclaiming: "The time has come, do let us out, dear saviours, dear saviours!" But when Apollonius, kneeling on the ground, shouted something down in an unknown language three times, the voices died down and the subterranean noise subsided. Meanwhile a vast crowd of people surrounded Haram-esh- Sheriff on all sides. Darkness set in and the Emperor, with the new Pope, came out upon the eastern terrace -- the signal for a storm of rejoicings. The Emperor bowed affably to the people around, whilst Apollonius, taking from the huge baskets brought up by the cardinal-deacons, incessantly threw into the air, making them burn by mere touch of his hand, magnificent fireworks, rockets, and fountains, that now glimmered like phosphorescent pearls, and now sparkled with all the tints of a rainbow. On reaching the ground all the sparkles transformed into numberless variously coloured sheets containing complete and absolute indulgences of all sins past, present, and future. [1] The popular exultation overflowed all limits. True, there were some who stated that they had seen with their own eyes the indulgences turn into hideous frogs and snakes. But the vast majority of the people were pleased immensely, and the popular festivities continued a few days longer. The prodigies of the new Pope now surpassed all imagination, so that it would be a hopeless task even to attempt a description of them. In the meantime among the desert hills of Jericho the Christians were devoting themselves to fasting and prayers. On the night of the fourth day Professor Pauli, with nine comrades riding on asses and having a cart with them, succeeded in getting inside Jerusalem and passing through side-streets by Haram-esh-Sheriff to Haret-en-Nasara, came to the entrance to the Temple of Resurrection, in front of which, on the pavement, the bodies of Pope Peter and Elder John were lying. The street was deserted at that time of night, as all the people had gone to Hasam-esh-Sheriff. The sentries were fast asleep. The party that came for the bodies found them quite untouched by decomposition, not even stiff or heavy. They put them on the stretchers covered with the cloaks they had brought with them, and by the same circuitous road went back to their followers. They had hardly lowered the stretchers to the ground when suddenly the spirit of life could be seen re-entering the deceased bodies. They moved slightly as if they were trying to throw off the cloaks in which they were wrapped. With shouts of joy everyone lent them aid, and soon both the revived men rose to their feet safe and sound. Then said Elder John: "Ah, my dear ones, we have not parted after all! I will tell you this: it is time that we carry out the last prayer of Christ about His disciples -- that they should be all one, even as He Himself is one with the Father. For this unity in Christ let us honour our beloved brother Peter. Let him at last pasture the flocks of Christ. There it is, brother!" And he put his arms round Peter. Here Professor Pauli came nearer. 'Tu es Petrus!" said he to the Pope, "jetzt ist es ja grundlich erwiesen und ausser jedem Zweifel gesetzt." And he shook Peter's hand firmly with his own right hand, whilst his left hand he stretched out to John, saying: "So also Vaterchennun sind wir ja Eins in Christo." In this manner the unification of churches took place in the midst of a dark night, on a high and deserted spot. But the night darkness was suddenly illuminated with brilliant light and a great sign appeared in the heavens; it was -- a woman, clothed in the sun with the moon beneath her feet, and a wreath of twelve stars on her head. The apparition remained immovable for some time, and then began slowly to move in a southerly direction. Pope Peter raised his stick and exclaimed: "Here is our sign! Let us follow it!" And he walked after the apparition, accompanied by both old men and the whole crowd of the Christians, to God's mountain, to Sinai....

(Here the reader stopped.)

LADY. Well, why don't you go on?

MR. Z. The manuscript stops here. Father Pansophius could not finish his story. He told me when he was already ill that he thought of completing it "as soon as I get better," he said. But he did not get better, and the end of his story is buried with him in the graveyard of the Daniel Monastery.

LADY. But you remember what he told you, don't you? Please tell us.

MR. Z. I remember it only in the main outlines. After the spiritual leaders and representatives of Christianity had departed to the Arabian desert, whither crowds of faithful zealots of truth were streaming from all countries, the new Pope was able to corrupt unimpededly with his miracles and prodigies all the remaining superficial Christians who were not yet disappointed with the Anti-Christ. He declared that by the power of his keys he could open the gates to other worlds. Communion of the living with the dead, and also of men with demons, became a matter of everyday occurrence, and new unheard-of forms of mystic lust and demonology began to spread amongst the people. However, the Emperor scarcely began to feel himself firmly established on religious grounds, and, yielding to the persistent suggestions of the seductive voice of the "father," had hardly declared himself the sole true incarnation of the supreme Deity of the Universe, when a new trouble came upon him from a side from which nobody expected it: the Jews rose against him. This nation, which at that time reached thirty millions, was not altogether unfamiliar with the paving of the way for the world's successes of the superman. When this latter transferred his residence to Jerusalem, secretly spreading amongst the Jews the rumour that his main object was to bring about a domination of Israel over the whole of the world, the Jews proclaimed him as their Messiah, and their exultation and devotion to him knew no bounds. And now they suddenly rose, full of wrath and thirsting for vengeance. This turn of events, doubtless foretold both in the Gospel and in the church tradition, was pictured by Father Pansophius, perhaps, with too great a simplicity and realism. You see, the Jews, who regarded the Emperor a true and perfect Israelite by blood, unexpectedly discovered that he was not even circumcised. The same day all Jerusalem, and next day all Palestine, were up in arms against him. The boundless and fervent devotion to the saviour of Israel, the promised Messiah, gave place to as boundless and as fervent a hatred of the wily deceiver, the impudent impostor. The whole of the Jewish nation rose as one man, and its enemies were surprised to see that the soul of Israel at bottom lived not by calculations and aspirations of Mammon but by the power of an all-absorbing sentiment -- the hope and strength of its eternal faith in the Messiah. The Emperor, taken by surprise at the sudden outburst, lost all self-control, and issued a decree sentencing to death all the insubordinate Jews and Christians. Many thousands and tens of thousands who could not arm themselves in time were ruthlessly massacred. But an army of Jews, a million strong, soon took Jerusalem, and locked up Anti-Christ in Haram-esh-Sheriff. His only support was a portion of the Guards, who were not strong enough to overwhelm the masses of the enemy. Assisted by the magic art of his Pope, the Emperor succeeded in finding his way through the besieging army, and soon appeared again in Syria at the head of an innumerable army of pagans. The Jews advanced to meet him, with little chance of gaining success. But no sooner had the outposts of the armies come in contact with each other than a terrific earthquake broke out, the crater of a tremendous volcano rose from the bottom of the Dead Sea, on the shores of which the Emperor's army had built their camp, and fiery streams mingling in a single lake of fire swallowed up the Emperor, all his innumerable troops, and his constant companion, Pope Apollonius, to whom even his magic art proved of no help. At the same time the Jews were running to Jerusalem in fear and horror, praying to the God of Israel to deliver them from peril. When the Holy City was already in sight, a great lightning cut the sky open from east to west, and they saw Christ descending to them clad in kingly apparel, and with the wounds from the nails on His outstretched hands. At the same time a crowd of Christians, led by Peter, John, and Paul, were moving from Sinai to Sion, and other crowds, all seized with enthusiasm, came flocking from all sides. These were all the Jews and Christians executed by the Anti-Christ. They rose to life, and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

At this point Father Pansophius thought to finish his story, which was to picture not the final catastrophe of the Universe, but only the conclusion of our historical process. This end is the coming, the glorification, and the destruction of Anti-Christ.

POLITICIAN. And do you think that the catastrophe is very near?

MR. Z. Well, there will still be a good deal of rattling and bustling on the stage, but the drama has been all written long ago, and neither the audience nor the actors are allowed to alter anything in it.

LADY. What is, however, the ultimate meaning of this drama? I cannot understand, moreover, why your Anti-Christ hates God so much whilst in essence he is really kind and not wicked at all.

MR. Z. No. Not "in essence." That is just the point. That is the whole matter. I will withdraw the words I said before that "you cannot explain Anti-Christ only by proverbs." In point of fact, he is completely explained by a single and extremely simple proverb: "All is not gold that glitters." Of sham glitter he indeed has more than enough; but of the essential force nothing.

GENERAL. I beg to call your attention to yet another thing. Note at what moment the curtain drops over this historical drama: it is war, a conflict between two armies. So the end of our discussion comes again back to its beginning. How do you like it, Prince? Good heavens, but where is the Prince?

POLITICIAN. Didn't you observe? He quietly left us at that pathetic scene when Elder John drove the Anti-Christ into a corner. I did not want to interrupt the reading at that time, and afterwards I forgot.

GENERAL. I bet he ran away: ran away for the second time! And didn't he try to master himself? But this was too much for the poor fellow: he could not stand it for anything. Oh, dear me! dear me!

THE END

_______________

Notes:

1. With reference to the above, see Preface. -- Author.
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