Count Tolstoi to his Foes

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The Berlin Tageblatt publishes a letter received from Count Tolstoi in reply to a request from the editor as to his sentiments toward the action of the Greek Catholic Church in banishing him from the communion of faithful. The great philosopher at the same time speaks of a number of threatening letters which have reached him from all parts of Russia, in which fanatic votaries of the Russian Church call him a Judas, and urge him to take the example of the betrayer of Christ and commit suicide. The sage of Jasnaja Poljana replies in part as follows:—

"The threats which I receive daily by mail demanding that I should make an end to my life because my agitation is alleged to be hurtful to the Christian church make very little impression on me. They fill me with astonishment, since I learn through them that there are men who really hate without a cause.

"Oh, that the world would know that life is vain without faith. It is faith that teaches us the object of our existence. This is the most important question for every individual in the world. The church has ousted me, but not Christ. The church objects because I want every man to probe the word of God individually and to learn the goal of his life. I appeal to the world to take the words of priests and preachers only in so far as they agree with the living word, and I found my assertions on the saying of the Saviour himself, who says: 'Prove my doctrine and you will know whether or not it is of God.'

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A Clock without a Dial
April 25, 1901

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