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around me were Russians, and I addressed myself to them for the meaning which they give to life. Their meaning was the following: 'Man is created by God, and made in such a way that he can save or lose his soul. The problem for every man is to save his soul. To save his soul he must live according to God's will, and in order to live according to God's will he must renounce all the pleasures of life; he must labour, be humble, patient, and merciful.' The people gather this meaning of life from their religion, transmitted to them by their pastors, and preserved among them by tradition. This conception is clear to me, and near to my heart."

But this peaceful haven was only a stage on the road to his religious development. The form of the popular religion being the Greek Orthodox Church and its creed, Tolstoy, adopting it, came soon in direct collision with the established Church. For him, faith meant salvation from death. The Church creed, however, at its best was only serving the interest of the State. Soon Tolstoy recognised that his faith, purified by reason, had nothing in common with the Church creed but a, few religious terms. In order to have the right to assert this, he submitted the dogma of the Orthodox Church to severe examination.