CHRISTIAN BESTSELLER: THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS WITHIN YOU (Special Nook Edition) by LEO TOLSTOY [Author of War and Peace Anna Karenina] Masterpiece of Christian Though at Christianity Influence on NOBEL PRIZE WINNER Martin Luther King and Gandhi [Nook] [NOOK Book]
CHRISTIAN BESTSELLER: THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS WITHIN YOU: CHRISTIANITY NOT AS A MYSTIC RELIGION BUT AS A NEW THEORY OF LIFE
(Special Nook Edition)
by LEO TOLSTOY [Author of War and Peace | Anna Karenina]
The Kingdom of God Is Within You is the non-fiction Christian masterpiece of Leo Tolstoy and was first published in Germany in 1894, after being banned in his home country of Russia. It is the culmination of thirty years of Tolstoy's Christian thinking, and lays out a new organization for society based on a literal Christian interpretation.
This book inspired numerous Nobel Peace Prize Winners such as Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi wrote in his autobiography The Story of My Experiments with Truth (Part II, Chapter 15) that this book "overwhelmed" him and "left an abiding impression." Gandhi listed Tolstoy's book, as well as John Ruskin's Unto This Last and the poet Shrimad Rajchandra (Raychandbhai), as the three most important modern influences in his life. Reading this book opened up the mind of the world-famous Tolstoy to Gandhi, who was still a young protester living in South Africa at the time.
"Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. "--John viii. 32.
"Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul;
but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."--MATT. x. 28.
"Ye have been bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men."--I COR. vii. 23.
"People talk about the liberty of the Christian Church, about giving or not giving freedom to Christians. Underlying all these ideas and expressions there is some strange misconception. Freedom cannot be bestowed on or taken from a Christian or Christians. Freedom is an inalienable possession of the Christian.
If we talk of bestowing freedom on Christians or withholding it from them, we are obviously talking not of real Christians but of people who only call themselves Christians. A Christian cannot fail to be free, because the attainment of the aim he sets before himself cannot be prevented or even hindered by anyone or anything.
Let a man only understand his life as Christianity teaches him to understand it, let him understand, that is, that his life belongs not to him--not to his own individuality, nor to his family, nor to the state--but to him who has sent him into the world, and let him once understand that he must therefore fulfill not the law of his own individuality, nor his family, nor of the state, but the infinite law of him from whom he has come; and he will not only feel himself absolutely free from every human power, but will even cease to regard such power as at all able to hamper anyone.
Let a man but realize that the aim of his life is the fulfillment of God's law, and that law will replace all other laws for him, and he will give it his sole allegiance, so that by that very allegiance every human law will lose all binding and controlling power in his eyes.
The Christian is independent of every human authority by the fact that he regards the divine law of love, implanted in the soul of every man, and brought before his consciousness by Christ, as the sole guide of his life and other men's also.
The Christian may be subjected to external violence, he may be deprived of bodily freedom, he may be in bondage to his passions (he who commits sin is the slave of sin), but he cannot be in bondage in the sense of being forced by any danger or by any threat of external harm to perform an act which is against his conscience.
He cannot be compelled to do this, because the deprivations and sufferings which form such a powerful weapon against men of the state conception of life, have not the least power to compel him.
Deprivations and sufferings take from them the happiness for which they live; but far from disturbing the happiness of the Christian, which consists in the consciousness of fulfilling the will of God, they may even intensify it, when they are inflicted on him for fulfilling his will.
And therefore the Christian, who is subject only to the inner divine law, not only cannot carry out the enactments of the external law, when they are not in agreement with the divine law of love which he acknowledges (as is usually the case with state obligations), he cannot even recognize the duty of obedience to anyone or anything whatever, he cannot recognize the duty of what is called allegiance."
Leo Nikolayevich Tolstoy (September 9, 1828 – November 20, 1910) was a fervently Christian Russian writer who primarily wrote novels and short stories. Later in life, he also wrote plays and essays. His two most famous works, the novels War and Peace and Anna Karenina, are acknowledged as two of the greatest novels of all time and a pinnacle of realist fiction. Tolstoy is equally known for his complicated and paradoxical persona and for his extreme moralistic and ascetic views, which he adopted after a moral crisis and spiritual awakening in the 1870s, after which he also became noted as a moral thinker and social reformer.
His literal interpretation of the ethical teachings of Jesus, centering on the Sermon on the Mount, caused him in later life to become a fervent Christian. His ideas, expressed in such works as The Kingdom of God Is Within You, were to have a profound impact on such pivotal twentieth-century figures as Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. Many consider Tolstoy to have been one of the world's greatest religious novelists and spiritual thinkers.