MOSCOW, MARCH 20 -- A Soviet journal defied a 25-year ban on the works of Alexander Solzhenitsyn by publishing an appeal to his countrymen that he wrote shortly before he was forced into exile in 1974. Entitled "Live Not by Lies," the 1,200-word appeal appeared in the latest edition of the monthly journal of the Soviet Peace Committee, 20th Century and Peace. It was accompanied by a commentary praising the 1970 Nobel Prize laureate in literature for displaying the "highest spiritual and official courage" in the face of governmental harassment. The same essay -- an appeal to Soviet intellectuals to keep silent rather than lend their names to official campaigns they disapproved of -- was first published last October in an obscure newspaper for railway workers in the Ukraine, Rabochee Slovo. The past two years have seen repeated calls for official exoneration of Solzhenitsyn, who is widely regarded, both within and outside the Soviet Union, as the greatest living Russian writer. Now living in seclusion in the small American town of Cavendish, Vt., Solzhenitsyn is one of a handful of exiled writers whose works remain on an official blacklist here despite the campaign for greater openness in Soviet society. The publication of "Live Not by Lies" falls well short of the literary rehabilitation his supporters have sought. 20th Century and Peace, whose Russian language circulation of 85,000 is small by Soviet standards, is designed in large part for western rather than Soviet readers. Moreover, "Live Not by Lies" is couched in much more general terms than Solzhenitsyn's great novels and avoids any reference to Soviet state founder Lenin. At a news conference last November, Kremlin ideologist Vadim Medvedev cited Solzhenitsyn's "negative attitude" toward Lenin as a principal reason for the continuing ban on such Solzhenitsyn works as "Lenin in Zurich" and "Gulag Archipelago." In the essay, already widely circulated here in typewritten copies, Solzhenitsyn appealed to his countrymen to resist the "lie" of communist ideology. It has sometimes been referred to as his "moral testament." Acknowledging that it was unrealistic to ask Soviet citizens "to march into squares and shout the truth out loud," Solzhenitsyn went on: "Let us refuse to say what we do not think. . . . Once we realize where the perimeters of falsehood are (everyone sees them in his own way), our path is to walk away from this gangrenous boundary." The choice for Soviet citizens, according to Solzhenitsyn, is simple -- "either truth or falsehood. Toward spiritual independence or toward spiritual servitude." In an accompanying commentary in the peace committee journal, author Igor Vinogradov describes Solzhenitsyn's arrest and expulsion from the country in 1974 as "a shameful act" and suggests that Solzhenitsyn's bravery in speaking out against abuses may have helped pave the way for the current reform movement under Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev. "We should ask ourselves: Would those changes that began in our country three years ago have been possible if general contempt and aversion for those who personified the reigning evil and violence . . . had not matured during all these years?" Vinogradov writes. Over the past two years, Soviet literary magazines have sought to rehabilitate several leading writers who were stripped of their citizenship during the 1970s under Leonid Brezhnev's now-discredited rule. Fragments of works by Vassily Aksyonov, who now lives in Washington, and Vladimir Voinovich have appeared in the Soviet press. Voinovich, known for brilliant satires on Soviet society such as "The Anti-Soviet Soviet Union" and "The Adventures of Private Chomkin," returned to Moscow on a brief visit last weekend. The rehabilitation process has also extended to prominent theatrical and musical figures such as National Symphony Orchestra director Mstislav Rostropovich and his wife, singer Galina Vishnevskaya. A television documentary last week lavished praise on both, presenting them as great artists who had the courage to stand up for what they believed. Friends of Rostropovich say they expect him to visit the Soviet Union this spring for the first time since his exile nearly 15 years ago.