A Short Story of Antichrist
by Vladimir Solovyev
. . . There lived at that time a remarkable man—many called him a superman—who was as far from being a child in intellect as in heart. He was young, but his genius made him widely famous as a great thinker, writer and social worker by the time he was thirty-three. Conscious of his own great spiritual power, he had always been a convinced idealist, and his clear intelligence always made clear to him the truth of that which ought to be believed in: the good, God, the Messiah. He believed in all this, but he loved only himself. He believed in God, but at the bottom of his heart unconsciously and instinctively preferred himself to Him.
. . . The inordinate pride of the great idealist seemed justified both by his exceptional genius, beauty and nobility, and his lofty asceticism, disinterestedness and active philanthropy. He was so abundantly blessed with gifts from above that he was scarcely to blame for regarding them as special signs of exceptional divine favour; he considered himself as next to God, as the son of God in a unique kind of way. In short he recognized himself for what Christ really was. But this consciousness of his own higher dignity expressed itself not as a sense of moral obligation to God and the world, but as a conviction that he had rights and privileges over others, especially over Christ. At the beginning he had no hostility against Jesus. He admitted His messianic dignity and significance, but he sincerely saw in Him merely the greatest of his own predecessors; his mind, clouded by pride, could not understand Christ’s moral achievement and His absolute uniqueness. He reasoned thus: “Christ came before me; I come second; but that which in the order of time comes later is essentially prior. I come last, at the end of history, just because I am the perfect and final saviour. The first Christ was my forerunner. His mission was to anticipate and prepare my coming.” With this idea in his mind the great man of the twenty-first century applied to himself all that is said in the Gospel about the second coming, understanding by it, not the return of the same Christ, but the replacement of the preliminary Christ by the final, that is, by himself.
THIS ARTICLE ONLY AVAILABLE TO SUBSCRIBERS.
FOR QUICK ACCESS:
calling all readers
"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand
"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor
• Not a subscriber or wish to renew your subscription? Subscribe to Touchstone today for full online access. Over 30 years of publishing!
Purchase Print &
Get six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for only $39.95. That's only $3.34 per month!
Get a one-year full-access subscription to the Touchstone online archives including pdf downloads for only $19.95. That's only $1.66 per month!
GIVE Print &
Give six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for the reduced rate of $29.95. That's only $2.50 per month!
Transactions will be processed on a secure server.
Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.
OR get a subscription to Touchstone to read on your Kindle for only $1.99 per month! (This option is KINDLE ONLY and does not include either print or online.)
Your subscription goes a long way to ensure that Touchstone is able to continue its mission of publishing quality Christian articles and commentary.
more from the online archives