"Now then, leave the children to themselves to get things alone
and make their crockery, get the milk from the cows, and so on.
Would they be naughty then? Why, they'd die of hunger! Well,
then, leave us with our passions and thoughts, without any idea
of the one God, of the Creator, or without any idea of what is
right, without any idea of moral evil.
"Just try and build up anything without those ideas!
"We only try to destroy them, because we're spiritually provided
for. Exactly like the children!
"Whence have I that joyful knowledge, shared with the peasant,
that alone gives peace to my soul? Whence did I get it?
"Brought up with an idea of God, a Christian, my whole life
filled with the spiritual blessings Christianity has given me,
full of them, and living on those blessings, like the children I
did not understand them, and destroy, that is try to destroy,
what I live by. And as soon as an important moment of life
comes, like the children when they are cold and hungry, I turn to
Him, and even less than the children when their mother scolds
them for their childish mischief, do I feel that my childish
efforts at wanton madness are reckoned against me.
"Yes, what I know, I know not by reason, but it has been given to
me, revealed to me, and I know it with my heart, by faith in the
chief thing taught by the church.
"The church! the church!" Levin repeated to himself. He turned
over on the other side, and leaning on his elbow, fell to gazing
into the distance at a herd of cattle crossing over to the river.
"But can I believe in all the church teaches?" he thought, trying
himself, and thinking of everything that could destroy his
present peace of mind. Itentionally he recalled all those
doctrines of the church which had always seemed most strange and
had always been a stumbling block to him.
"The Creation? But how did I explain existence? By existence?
By nothing? The devil and sin. But how do I explain evil?...