The City of God, Books I–VII (The Fathers of the Church, Volume 8)
Publication Year: 2010
Published by: The Catholic University of America Press
Title Page, Copyright
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Augustine, it is true, did not pose exactly the same problem; that is why we should not read the City of God in the hope of finding therein the solution. Nevertheless, the problem posed and resolved by Augustine is certainly the origin of ours, and, if we are failing to resolve our problem, it is probably because...
The City of God
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I know, of course, what ingenuity and force of arguments are needed to convince proud men of the power of humility. Its loftiness is above the pinnacles of earthly greatness which are shaken by the shifting winds of time—not by reason of human arrogance, but only by the grace of God. For, in...
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Yet, if we always felt obliged to reply to counterstatements, when would there be an end to the argument or a limit to discussion? For, those who cannot grasp what is said, or, if they understand the truth, are too obdurate to accept it, keep on replying and, according to Holy Writ, 'speak iniquity...
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I must now turn to those calamities which are the only things our accusers have no wish to endure. Such are hunger, disease, war, plunder, imprisonment, massacre, and horrors such as I have mentioned in Book I. Though these do not make men evil, evildoers regard them as the only evil. Yet...
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Among our accusers there is an ignorant rabble, incited by the authority of the learned to cast greater odium upon us. These simple souls imagine that the abnormal calamities that have occurred in our own day were entirely unknown in the past. This foolish opinion is encouraged even by those...
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We must now turn to consider why God, who can give such gifts as can be shared by men who are not good and, therefore, not happy willed that the Roman Empire should spread so widely and endure so long. Certainly, as I have already said and, if need be, shall repeat, this cannot be attributed...
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Those others, however, who reflect on what they read and judge it with little or no obstinacy in their previous error, will easily come to feel that, in the five Books which I have just finished, I have said more, rather than less, than the question in debate required. They will also agree that the ill will against...
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The issue at stake is very great. What I want to bring out is that, although we depend on the true and truly holy Divinity for such things as are needed to support our weakness in this present life, nevertheless, we should not seek and worship God for the sake of the passing cloud of this mortal life, but for...
Appendix: A Letter of St. Augustine Concerning the City of God
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Page Count: 501
Publication Year: 2010