The City of God, Books VIII–XVI (The Fathers of the Church, Volume 14)

The City of God, Books VIII–XVI (The Fathers of the Church, Volume 14)

Copyright Date: 1952
Pages: 575
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    The City of God, Books VIII–XVI (The Fathers of the Church, Volume 14)
    Book Description:

    No description available

    eISBN: 978-0-8132-1114-5
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. [i]-[viii])
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. 1-20)
    (pp. 21-76)

    I must now turn to a matter which calls for much deeper thought than was needed to resolve the issues raised in the previous Books. I mean natural theology. Unlike the poetical theology of the stage which flaunts the crimes of the gods and the political theology of the city which publicizes their evil desires, and both of which reveal them as dangerous demons rather than deities, natural theology cannot be discussed with men in the street but only with philosophers, that is, as the name implies, with lovers of wisdom.¹

    I may add that, since divine truth and scripture...

    (pp. 77-114)

    Some philosophers have held that there are both good and evil gods. Others, with more respect for the deities, honored and praised them to the point of believing that no god could be bad. The former (who divided the gods into good and bad) often called demons by the name of ‘gods,’ and sometimes, though more rarely, gods by the name of ‘demons.’ Thus, they acknowledge that Jupiter himself, supreme ruler of all divinities, was referred to by Homer as a ‘demon.’¹

    The latter (who assert that all gods must be good and with a goodness superior to any known...

    (pp. 115-186)

    That all men wish to be happy is a certitude for anyone who can think. But, so long as human intelligence remains incapable of deciding which men are happy and how they become so, endless controversies arise in which philosophers waste their time and toil. But it would be tedious and futile to recall and examine these battles here. The reader will remember what I said in Book VIII,¹ when making a choice of philosophers with whom to discuss the question of beatitude after death and whether it is to be attained by serving the one true God and Creator...

    (pp. 187-244)

    The expression, ‘City of God,’ which I have been using is justified by that Scripture whose divine authority puts is above the literature of all other people and brings under its sway every type of human genius—and that, not by some casual intellectual reaction, but by a disposition of Divine Providence. For, in this Scripture, we read: ‘Glorious things are said of thee, O city of God’;¹ and, in another psalm: ‘Great is the Lord, and exceedingly to be praised in the city of our God, in His holy mountain, increasing the joy of the whole earth’; and, a...

    (pp. 245-298)

    In the previous book¹ we saw something of the beginning of the two cities, so far as angels are concerned. In the same way, we must now proceed to the creation of men and see the beginning of the cities so far as it concerns the kind of rational creatures who are mortal. First, however, a few remarks about the angels must be made in order to make it as clear as I can how there is no real difficulty or impropriety in speaking of a single society composed of both men and angels; and why, therefore, it is right...

    (pp. 299-346)

    Now that I have discussed the intricate problem about the origin of the world and the beginning of the human race, a proper order calls for a study of the fall of the first man, in fact, of the first parents, and of the origin and transmission of human mortality. It is true that God did not endow man with the same nature that He gave to the angels—who could not possibly die even if they sinned—yet, had our first parents complied with the obligations of obedience, they, too, would have attained, without interruption of death, an immortality...

    (pp. 347-412)

    I have already said, in previous Books, that God had two purposes in deriving all men from one man. His first purpose was to give unity to the human race by the likeness of nature. His second purpose was to bind mankind by the bond of peace, through blood relationship, into one harmonious whole. I have said further that no member of this race would ever have died had not the first two—one created from nothing and the second from the first—merited this death by disobedience. The sin which they committed was so great that it impaired all...

    (pp. 413-484)

    Regarding the Garden of Eden, the happiness that was possible there, the life of our first parents, their sin and their punishment, a great deal has been thought, said, and written. In the foregoing Books I myself have said something on these subjects, setting forth what can be found in the text of Scripture and adding only such reflections as seemed in harmony with its authority. The discussion could be pursued in greater detail, but it would raise so many and such varied problems that I would need for their solution more books than our present purpose calls for; nor...

    (pp. 485-567)

    After the flood, do the traces of the holy City continue unbroken, or were they so interrupted by periods of unholiness that not a single worshiper of the true God remained? It is difficult to discover any clear answer to this question in the revelations of Holy Scripture. The fact is that in the canonical books, for the period from Noe (who was saved in the ark from the waste of waters, along with his wife, their three sons, and their wives) to Abraham, there is only one clearly revealed testimony of religious virtue. This one exception is that Noe...

  12. Back Matter
    (pp. 568-568)