Thursday, May 21, 2009

Was he a Christian?

"What shall I do? Shall I live as all do, or live according to Christ's doctrine? I understand His commandments, and I see that the fulfilling of them will lead me, and all men, to perfect happiness. I understand that it is the will of the Author of all things, the will of Him from whom I have life, that these commandments should be fulfilled.

"I understand that, whatever I may do, I shall inevitably perish, as will all those around me, after a senseless life and death, if I do not fulfill the will of the Father; and that the only possibility of salvation lies in fulfilling it.

"By acting as others do, I act against the good of all men, I act contrary to the will of the Father of life, and I deprive myself of the only possibility of bettering my hopeless state. By doing what Christ teaches me I shall ensure the good of all men; of those who live at present, and of those who are to live after me. I do what He that gave me life desires me to do. I do what can alone save me."

(Leo Tolstoy, 1884 from What I Believe, page 150)

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