Page:Chertkov - Christian Martyrdom.djvu/123

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By Leo Tolstoy—continued.

In Preparation.']




IX. Temptations.

X. Wrestling with Temptations.

XI. What we Learn from the Life of Jesus.

XII. Victory of the Spirit.

This great work, written eighteen years ago, did not see the light in print until the appearance of the first Russian edition at Geneva, last year. Probably it was the faultiness of that edition, in addition to previous incorrect and mutilated versions of his works, which caused Count Tolstoy to announce that in future he would give his written sanction to all editions and translations which he considered faithful to the originals written by him. That sanction is accorded to the present translation of "The Four Gospels," as will be seen from the facsimile of the author's letter appearing in Part I.

The Works of Tolstoy, "What I Believe," "My Confession," "The Kingdom of God is within You," "Life," and others, it is already evident, mark an epoch in religious thought, and a aew departure in, or rather reversion to, the Christian life. Those works are based upon the free and profound study of the Gospels, the results of which we are now enabled to give to the English-speaking public. Strauss himself was not more drastic in his historical criticism of the Gospels than Tolstoy; yet no writer could transcend Tolstoy in his submission to the simple doctrines as to the conduct of life, taught by Jesus. It is not too much to say that this book is essential to those who earnestly desire true light on the Christian Gospel, and who are concerned to know how the Gospel stands in relation to the world in our own times.