On Crime & Punishment

'They do this for their Christian faith and for the saving of souls' – as Russians travelled west, they began to notice moral divides between the countries they visited and their own society.

In Captain John Perry's State of Russia under the Present Czar (London, 1716), the English naval engineer and canal builder echoed old themes when he discoursed upon the rampant immorality of the Russians. Their clergy, he reported, could not and did not preach sermons, could not debate theology, and more important, the pardons they granted to the sinful seldom had the effect of correcting even the most outrageous misbehaviour:
They accept into this hospital the sick of every rank without cost, and only enquire whether the sick person has no means of his own... When they are completely healthy, then they are free to go wherever they wish without paying; ...they do this because of their Christian faith and for the saving of souls.

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