“What Men Live By”:Tolstoy

“I understood that God does not wish men to live apart and therefore he does not reveal to them what each needs for himself; but he wishes them to live united, and therefore reveals to each of them what is necessary for all. I have now understood that though it seems to men that they live by care for themselves, in truth it is love alone by which they live.  He who has love, is in God, and God is in him, for God is love.”

“Remember then: there is only one time that is important– Now! It is the most important time because it is the only time when we have any power.  The most necessary man is he with whom you are, for no man knows whether he will ever have dealings with any one else: and the most important affair is, to do do him good, because for that purpose alone was man sent into this life!”

“All human temples are built on the model of this temple, which is God’s own world.  Every temple has its fonts, its vaulted roof, its lamps, its pictures or sculptures, its inscriptions, its books of the law, its offerings, its altars and its priests.  But in what temple is there such a font as the ocean; such a vault as that of the heavens; such lamps as the sun, moon, and stars; or any figures to be compared with living, loving, mutually-helpful men?  Where are there any records of God’s goodness so easy to understand as the blessings which God has strewn abroad for man’s happiness?  Where is there any book of the law so clear to each man as that written in his heart?  What sacrifices equal the self-denials which loving men and women make for one another?  And what altar can be compared with the heart of a good man, on which God Himself accepts the sacrifice?  The higher a man’s conception of God, the better will he know Him.  And the better he knows God, the nearer will he draw to Him, imitating His goodness, His mercy, and His love of man.  THerefore, let him who sees the sun’s whole light filling the world, refrain from blaming or despising that superstitious man, who in his own idol sees one ray of that same light.  Let him not despise even the unbeliever who is blind and cannot see the sun at all.”

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