My Confession; And, the Spirit of Christ's Teaching
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This historic book may have numerous typos, missing text, images, or index. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. 1887. Not illustrated. Excerpt: ... X. I Understood what I have just stated, but my heart was none the lighter for it. I was now ready to accept any faith that did not require of me a direct denial of reason, for that would be to act a lie; and I studied the books of the Buddhists and the Mahometans, and especially also Christianity, both in its writings and in the lives of its professors around me. I naturally turned my attention at first to the believers in my own immediate circle, to learned men, to orthodox divines, to the elders among the monks, to the teachers of a new shade of doctrine, the so-called New Christians, who preach salvation through faith in a Redeemer. I seized upon these believers, and demanded from them what they believed in, and what for them gave a meaning to life. Notwithstanding that I made every possible concession, that I avoided all disputes, I could not accept the faith of these men. I saw that what they called their faith did not explain but obscured the meaning of life, and that they professed it, not in order to answer the question as to life which had attracted me towards faith, but for some other purpose to which I was a stranger. I remember how terribly I felt the return of the old feeling of despair, after the hopes with which my connection with these people had from time to time inspired me. The more minutely they laid their doctrines before me, the more clearly I perceived their error, the more I lost all hope of finding in their faith an explanation of the meaning of life. I was not so much alienated by the unnecessary and unreasonable doctrines which they had mingled with the Christian truths always so dear to me, as by the fact that their lives were like my own, the only difference being that they did not live according to the doctrines which they...
Tolstoy, Leo Nikolayevich