`But can I believe in all the Church teaches?' he thought, putting himself to the test, and thinking of everything that could destroy his present peace of mind. Intentionally 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?... The Redeemer?...

`But I know nothing, nothing, and I can know nothing but what has been told to me and all men.'

And it seemed to him now that there was not a single article of faith of the Church which could destroy the chief thing - faith in God, in goodness, as the one goal of man's destiny.

Under every article of faith of the Church could be put the faith in the service of truth instead of one's wants. And each doctrine did not simply leave that faith unshaken - each doctrine seemed essential to complete that great miracle, continually manifest upon earth, that made it possible for each man, and millions of different sorts of men - wise men and imbeciles, old men and children - all men, peasants, Lvov, Kitty, beggars and kings, to understand perfectly the same one thing, and to build up thereby that life of the soul which alone is worth living, and which alone is precious to us.

Lying on his back, he gazed up now into the high, cloudless sky. `Do I not know that that is infinite space, and that it is not a round arch? But, however I screw up my eyes and strain my sight, I cannot see it as not round and not bounded, and, in spite of my knowing about infinite space, I am incontestably right when I see a solid blue dome, and more right than when I strain my eyes to see beyond it.'

Levin ceased thinking, and only, as it were, listened to mysterious voices that seemed talking joyfully and earnestly with each other.

`Can this be faith?' he thought, afraid to believe in his happiness. `My God, I thank Thee!' he said, gulping down his sobs, and with both hands brushing away the tears that filled his eyes.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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