Page:Popular Works of Johann Gottlieb Fichte (1889) Vol 2.djvu/206

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perfection of all the relations of the Human Race, and in particular through the perfection of that relation which includes within itself all the others, i.e. the State,—all voluntary Sacrifice, all Heroism, all Self-denial, in short, all that we are wont to admire in man, becomes superfluous; and only the Love of Goodness, as the one imperishable Virtue, remains. To this Love man can only raise himself with Freedom; or rather its flame will kindle spontaneously in every soul which has first eradicated from itself the Desire of Evil. The State can, at furthest, facilitate the development of this Love, inasmuch as it scares back the nascent desire of Evil into the secret depths of the breast, accords it no point of vantage, but counts it as mere idle hindrance. He in whose soul this flame of Heavenly Love is kindled, however constrained he may seem to mere outward appearance, yet in inward Freedom and independence rises even superior to the State;—the State does not give a Law to his will, but its Law accidentally accords with his will because it is a perfect Law. This Love, as it is the only imperishable Virtue, and the only Blessedness, so is it also the only True Freedom; and only through it can man rise superior to the bondage of the State, as well as to all other bondage which oppresses and confines him here below. Happy is it for Mankind that they have not to wait for the slowly advancing perfection of the State in order to attain this Love; but that in all Ages, and under all circumstances, every Individual of our Race may freely raise himself to its possession!