Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) | Works

Chapter 5 Everything tended to convince me that I had now found the true interpretation of Christ’s doctrine. But it was a long while before I could get used to the strange thought that after so many men had professed the doctrine of Christ during 1,800 years, and had devoted their lives to the study of His teachings, it was

Chapter 6 Now it has grown clear to me that Christ’s law is truly His law, and not the mixed Law of Moses and Christ. The claim of His doctrine distinctly repudiates the claim of the Mosaic Law; and, consequently, instead of the obscurity, diffuseness, and inconsistency that I had previously found in the gospels, they now combine to form

Chapter 7 Why does man not do the things that Christ enjoins and that can give him the highest earthly felicity – the felicity he has ever longed to attain? The answer as usually given, with slight variations of expression, is that the doctrine of Christ is indeed sublime, and its fulfilment would establish the kingdom of God on earth,

Chapter 8 Granting, then, that the doctrine of Christ gives bliss to the world; granting that it is rational; and that man, as a rational being, has no right to renounce it; what can one man do alone, amidst a world of men who do not fulfil the law of Christ? If all would agree to practice the doctrine of

Chapter 9 Were all to fulfil Christ’s doctrine, the kingdom of God would be on earth. If I fulfil it, I do what is best for all mankind and myself. I should be helping that kingdom to come. But where shall I find the faith that will enable me to obey Christ’s teaching, to practice it, and never to swerve

Chapter 10 We say that it is hard to live in accordance with Christ’s precepts! How can it be otherwise than hard while we conceal our state from ourselves and earnestly try to maintain the trust that our state is not what it really is? Calling that trust ‘faith’ we exalt it into something sacred, and either by violence, by

Chapter 11 The doctrine of Christ establishes the kingdom of God on earth. To think that it is difficult to fulfil His doctrine is an error. It is not difficult: indeed, he who has once clearly understood it cannot do otherwise than fulfil it, and the fulfilling of Christ’s doctrine does not involve us in suffering; it really saves us

Chapter 12 I believe in the doctrine of Christ, and the articles of my belief are as follows: I believe that true happiness will only be possible when all men begin to follow Christ’s doctrine. I believe that the fulfilment of this doctrine is easy, possible, and conducive to happiness. I believe that, even if it is left unfulfilled by

Russian writer Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoy was born on his family’s estate of Yasnaia Poliana (Bright Meadow), in Tula Province. In 1855 he wanted to found a new religion, free of dogma and mysticism. Happiness would be achieved on earth, by following the voice of one’s conscience. Beginning in the early 1870s, Tolstoy engaged in a moral and religious quest that