Page:Rolland Life of Tolstoy.djvu/122

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page needs to be proofread.


118 TOLSTOY

longer. Angrily and violently he trampled under- foot the religion which the day before he was still persistently practising. In his Criticism of Dogmatic Theology (i 879-1881) he termed it not only an "insanity, but a conscious and interested lie." 1 He contrasted it with the New Testament, in his Concordance and Translation of the Four Gospels (1881-83). Finally, upon the Gospel he built his faith (What my Faith consists in, 1883).

It all resides in these words :

" I believe in the doctrine of the Christ. I believe that happiness is possible on earth only when all men shall accomplish it."

Its corner-stone is the Sermon on the Mount, whose essential teaching Tolstoy expresses in five commandments :

w I. Do not be angry.

" 2. Do not commit adultery.

11 3. Do not take oaths.

" 4. Do not resist evil by evil.

" 5. Be no man's enemy."

This is the negative part of the doctrine ; the positive portion is contained in this single com- mandment :

" Love God, and thy neighbour as thyself."

"Christ has said that he who shall have broken the least of these commandments will hold the lowest place in the kingdom of heaven."

1 " And I am convinced that the teaching of the Church is in theory a crafty and evil lie, and in practice a concoction of gross superstitions and witchcraft, under which the mean- ing of the Christian doctrine absolutely disappears." (Reply to the Holy Synod, April 4-17, 1901.)

�� �