Leo Tolstoy, The Kingdom of GOD Is Within You ( Audio Book )

Leo Tolstoy, The Kingdom of GOD Is Within You

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The Kingdom of GOD Is Within You, Leo Tolstoi

PREFACE.

In the year 1884 I wrote a book under the title “What I Believe,”
in which I did in fact make a sincere statement of my beliefs.
In affirming my belief in Christ’s teaching, I could not help
explaining why I do not believe, and consider as mistaken, the
Church’s doctrine, which is usually called Christianity.

Among the many points in which this doctrine falls short of the
doctrine of Christ I pointed out as the principal one the absence
of any commandment of non-resistance to evil by force. The
perversion of Christ’s teaching by the teaching of the Church is
more clearly apparent in this than in any other point of
difference.

I know–as we all do–very little of the practice and the spoken
and written doctrine of former times on the subject of nonresistance
to evil. I knew what had been said on the subject by
the fathers of the Church–Origen, Tertullian, and others–I knew
too of the existence of some so-called sects of Mennonites,
Herrnhuters, and Quakers, who do not allow a Christian the use of
weapons, and do not enter military service; but I knew little of
what had been done. by these so-called sects toward expounding the
question.

My book was, as I had anticipated, suppressed by the Russian
censorship; but partly owing to my literary reputation, partly
because the book had excited people’s curiosity, it circulated in
manuscript and in lithographed copies in Russia and through
translations abroad, and it evolved, on one side, from those who
shared my convictions, a series of essays with a great deal of
information on the subject, on the other side a series of
criticisms on the principles laid down in my book.

A great deal was made clear to me by both hostile and sympathetic
criticism, and also by the historical events of late years; and I
was led to fresh results and conclusions, which I wish now to
expound.

First I will speak of the information I received on the history of
the question of non-resistance to evil; then of the views of this
question maintained by spiritual critics, that is, by professed
believers in the Christian religion, and also by temporal ones,
that is, those who do not profess the Christian religion; and
lastly I will speak of the conclusions to which I have been
brought by all this in the light of the historical events of late
years.

L. TOLSTOI.
YASNAÏA POLIANA,
May 14/26, 1893.

CONTENTS.

I. THE DOCTRINE OF NONRESISTANCE TO EVIL BY FORCE
HAS BEEN PROFESSED BY A MINORITY OF MEN FROM
THE VERY FOUNDATION OF CHRISTIANITY

II. CRITICISMS OF THE DOCTRINE OF NON-RESISTANCE TO
EVIL BY FORCE ON THE PART OF BELIEVERS AND OF UNBELIEVERS

III. CHRISTIANITY MISUNDERSTOOD BY BELIEVERS

IV. CHRISTIANITY MISUNDERSTOOD BY MEN OF SCIENCE

V. CONTRADICTION BETWEEN OUR LIFE AND OUR CHRISTIAN
CONSCIENCE

VI. ATTITUDE OF MEN OF THE PRESENT DAY TO WAR

VII. SIGNIFICANCE OF COMPULSORY SERVICE

VIII. DOCTRINE OF NON-RESISTANCE TO EVIL BY FORCE MUST
INEVITABLY BE ACCEPTED BY MEN OF THE PRESENT DAY

IX. THE ACCEPTANCE OF THE CHRISTIAN CONCEPTION OF
LIFE WILL EMANCIPATE MEN FROM THE MISERIES OF OUR PAGAN
LIFE

X. EVIL CANNOT BE SUPPRESSED BY THE PHYSICAL FORCE OF THE
GOVERNMENT–THE MORAL PROGRESS OF HUMANITY IS BROUGHT ABOUT
NOT ONLY BY INDIVIDUAL RECOGNITION OF THE TRUTH BUT ALSO
THROUGH THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A PUBLIC OPINION

XI. THE CHRISTIAN CONCEPTION OF LIFE HAS ALREADY
ARISEN IN OUR SOCIETY, AND WILL INFALLIBLY PUT
AN END TO THE PRESENT ORGANIZATION OP OUR LIFE
BASED ON FORCE–WHEN THAT WILL BE

XII. CONCLUSION–REPENT YE, FOR THE KINGDOM OF
HEAVEN IS AT HAND

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