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that all this machinery, with a State Church and thousands of spiritual‑worldly councillors of chancery, etc., is a stupendous delusion which will not be of the least help to us in the life everlasting but, on the contrary, will be turned into an accusation against us He is the most ridiculous being that ever existed, His Word is the most ridiculous book which has ever appeared; for to move heaven and earth, as He does in his Word, and to threaten with hell and everlasting damnationwell, now, has anything so ridiculous ever been seen before?Imagine that a fellow with a loaded pistol in his hand held up a person and said to him, "I shall shoot you"; or imagine, what is still more terrible, that he said, "I shall seize you and torture you to death in the most horrible manner, if""if you do not render your life here on earth as profitable and as enjoyable as you can": would not that be utterly ridiculous?So one ventures the opinion that if we could but have a new hymn‑book; and another, if we could but have a new service‑book; and a third, if we could but have a musical service, etc., air in it has developed a taint.And therefore religious life has become diseased or has died out; alas, for precisely that which the worldly mind regards as health is, in a Christian sense, disease Then let the ramshackle pile collapse, get it out of the way, close all these shops and booths which are the only ones which are excepted from the strict Sunday regulations, forbid this official double‑dealing, put them out of commission, and provide for them, for all these quacks: even though it is true that the royally attested physician is the acceptable one, and he who is not so attested is a quack: in Christianity it is just the reverse; that is, the royally attested teacher is the quack, is a quack by the very fact that he is royally attestedand let us worship God again in simplicity, instead of making a fool of him in splendid edifices; let us be in earnest again and stop playing; for a Christianity preached by royal officials who are payed and insured by the state and who use the police against the others, such a Christianity bears about the same relation to the Christianity of the New Testament as swimming with the help of a cork‑belt or a bladder does to swimming alone‑it is mere play. The state does only mischief in averting persecution and surely is not the medium through which God's protection can be conducted. "No, sure enough," says the doctor, "that is not the trouble.In fact, I may venture still further I venture to assert that the average Jew living among us is, to a certain degree, a Christian just as well as we others: to such an extent are we all Christians, and to such an extent is the New Testament no longer true.: whether there are not present among our domestic animals, or at any rate the nobler ones, such as the horse, the dog, and the cow, indications of a Christian spirit. Consider what it means to live in a Christian state, among a Christian people, where everything is Christian and everybody is a Christian and where one, turn where one may, sees nothing but Christians and Christianity, truth and martyrs for the truthan influence on their progeny.
To be sure, as the proverb has it: "where there is a will there is a way"; but true seriousness appears only when a man fully equal to his task is forced, against his will, to undertake itagainst his will, but fully equal to the task.Just because one lives in a delusion (not to speak even of being interested in keeping up the delusion), one is bound to desire that which will feed the maladythe whole building is tainted.The patients are put down as having died, the one of this, the other of that, disease, but strictly speaking this is not true; for they all died from the taint which is in the building. That religious conditions are wretched, and that people in respect of their religion are in a wretched condition, nothing is more certain.In the New Testament the Savior of the World, our Lord Jesus Christ, represents the matter in this way: "Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.now, however, just to confine ourselves to Denmark, the way is as broad as a road can possibly be; in fact, the broadest in Denmark, for it is the road we all travel.At the same time it is in all respects a comfortable way, and the gate as wide as it is possible for a gate to be; for certainly a gate cannot be wider than to let all men pass through en masse: All credit is due to the human race!