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The Law of God. Book 1.
By Seraphim Slobodskoy.

Get the full printed version from the Holy Trinity Monastery, Jordanville, NY 13361-0036 USA.

Basic Concepts.

1. The World.

All that we see: heaven, the sun, the moon, stars, clouds, the earth on which we live, the air we breathe, the earth on which we live, including the grass, trees, mountains, rivers, seas, fish, birds, beasts, animals, and finally people ó God created all of this. Yes indeed, the world is the creation of God! When we see Godís world then we understand how beautifully and wisely it was made.

Here we are in a meadow. Overhead, the blue sky with white clouds is stretched out like a tent, and on the earth there is thick, green grass, sprinkled with flowers. In the grass we can hear the sounds of various insects, butterflies fluttering around the flowers, and bees and gnats of different kinds flying through the air. The whole earth is like a huge, beautiful carpet. But there is no carpet woven by the hand of man that can be compared with the beauty of Godís meadow.

Let us take a walk in the woods. There we can see a multitude of different kinds of trees, the mighty oak, the lordly pine, the spotted birch, the fragrant linden, the maple, the tall fir tree and the thick chestnut tree. There are little clearings with bushes and all kinds of herbs. Everywhere we hear the voices of birds, the buzzing and chirping of insects. Hundreds of different kinds of animals live in the forest. And how many different kinds of berries, mushrooms, and flowers there are! The forest is like a great world unto itself.

And here is the river. It quietly flows, sparkling in the sun, among the forests, fields, and meadows. How much fun it is to go for a swim! All around it is hot, but in the water it is cool and pleasant. How many different kinds of fish, frogs, waterbugs, and other living creatures there are! It has its own life, its own little world.

How magnificent the ocean is, with its huge and rich underwater world of living creatures.

How beautiful the mountains are with their lofty peaks covered with eternal snow and ice, high above the clouds.

The world is marvelous in its beauty, and all that is in it is full of life.

It is impossible to count all the plants and animals that populate the earth, from the very smallest, which are invisible to our eyes, to the very largest. They live everywhere ó on the land, in the water, in the air, in the soil, and even deep beneath the earth. It is God Who gave all this life to the world.

The world of God is rich and varied! At the same time, in all this vast variety there reigns a marvelous and definite order established by God, or, as we often say, the "laws of nature," All the plants and animals are distributed throughout the world in keeping with this order. What each one is supposed to eat, that is what it eats. And there is a definite and logical purpose given to everything. Everything in the world is born, grows, and dies ó one thing is replaced by another. God gave a special time and place and purpose to everything.

Man alone lives everywhere on the earth and has dominion over everything. God granted him reason and an immortal soul. He gave man a special and great purpose: to know God, to be like Him, that is, to become constantly better and inherit eternal life.

In their external appearance people are different, but they all have the same reasonable and immortal soul. Through this soul people are lifted above the animal world and become like God.

Now let us look into the deep, dark night, from earth up to heaven. How many stars we see scattered there. There is an infinite number of them! Many of the stars are just like our star, the sun. There are some that are many times larger than ours, but they are so far away from the earth that they seem to us to be tiny, twinkling pinpoints of light. They are all in motion in an orderly and harmonious manner, according to definite paths and laws. Our earth amid the heavenly vastness seems like a tiny speck of light.

The world of God is vast, uncontainable! We can neither account for nor measure it all, for only ĎGod, Who created everything, knows the measure and weight and number of all things.

God created the entire world for the life and benefit of people, for each of us. Godís love for us is infinite!

If we love God and live according to His law, then much that is unintelligible in the world will become understandable and clear to us. Let us love Godís world and live in friendship, love, and joy with everyone. Then this joy will never end, and no one will take it away from us, for God Himself will be with us.

In order to remember that we belong to God, to be closer to Him and to love Him, that is, to fulfill our purpose on earth and to inherit eternal life, we must know more about God, know His holy will, that is, GODíS LAW.

Questions: Who created the world and gave it life? Who made definite order in the world (or as we often say, established the laws of nature), and what does this consist of? What purpose did God give to man? For whom did God create the world? Why is it necessary for us to know Godís Law?

Published with the kind permission of Bishop Alexander Mileant

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