Another kind of salvation is offered.

It is not to flee our land by sea, saving our despicable worldly goods, but, saving our souls, not going out of the state, each of us ought to save himself in the very heart of the state. It is on the ship of his position and service that each of us ought now escape the whirlpool, our eyes fixed on the Divine pilot. Even he who is not in the service now ought to join the service and grasp his position as a drowning man grasps his plank, without which no one will be saved. Each of us ought now to serve, not as he would have served in old Russia, but as he would in the celestial state, the head of which is Christ himself, and this is why we ought to fulfill all our obligations in the same way as Christ and no other has commanded, whoever may be the authorities over us, those equal to and surrounding us, as well as those below and under us. And certainly this is not the moment to pay attention to any slights to our vanity and self-love which may be inflicted on us by whomsoever it might be—let us remember only that our obligations are undertaken by the grace of Christ, and this is why they ought to be fulfilled as Christ and no other has commanded. Only by this means can each of us now be saved. And ill luck will befall him who does not reflect on this now. His intelligence will be dimmed, his thoughts will become clouded, he will find no corner where he may hide from his fears. Remember the darkness of Egypt, produced with so much strength by King Solomon when the Lord, wishing to punish only the Egyptians, sent mysterious and incomprehensible fears upon them. Blind night enveloped them suddenly in broad daylight; frightful forms were raised up before them on all sides; sinister scarecrows with dismal faces came before their fascinated eyes; a dread which had no need or iron chains locked them all and deprived them of all sense, all movement, they lost all their strength, only fear remained. This happened only to those whom the Lord had punished. The others, during this time, saw no terrors; for them it was day and light.

See that the same thing does not happen to you. Rather, pray and implore God that He make you understand that you ought to be in your position and in it accomplish everything in accordance with the law of Christ. This is now no joke. Before becoming confused because of the disorders surrounding us, it would be well for each of us to look into his own soul. Do you look into yours. God knows, perhaps there you will see the same disorder for which you abuse others; perhaps there dwells a troubled, disordered anger, capable at any moment of possessing your soul, to the greater glory of the enemy of Christ; perhaps there lodges a cowardly ability for falling into dejection at every step—pitiful daughter of lack of faith in God; perhaps, again, there is hidden a vain desire to chase after what glitters and to profit from worldly reputation; perhaps there dwells a pride in the personal qualities of your soul, capable of reducing to nothing all the good that we have in us. God knows what there can be in our souls. It is better and more worthwhile to be troubled by what is inside us than by what is beside and around us.
Nikolai Gogol


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