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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database

Augustine, The City Of God, 21.24

nanAnd this reasoning is equally conclusive against those who, in their own interest, but under the guise of a greater tenderness of spirit, attempt to invalidate the words of God, and who assert that these words are true, not because men shall suffer those things which are threatened by God, but because they deserve to suffer them. For God, they say, will yield them to the prayers of His saints, who will then the more earnestly pray for their enemies, as they shall be more perfect in holiness, and whose prayers will be the more efficacious and the more worthy of God's ear, because now purged from all sin whatsoever. Why, then, if in that perfected holiness their prayers be so pure and all-availing, will they not use them in behalf of the angels for whom eternal fire is prepared, that God may mitigate His sentence and alter it, and extricate them from that fire? Or will there, perhaps, be some one hardy enough to affirm that even the holy angels will make common cause with holy men (then become the equals of God's angels), and will intercede for the guilty, both men and angels, that mercy may spare them the punishment which truth has pronounced them to deserve? But this has been asserted by no one sound in the faith; nor will be. Otherwise there is no reason why the Church should not even now pray for the devil and his angels, since God her Master has ordered her to pray for her enemies. The reason, then, which prevents the Church from now praying for the wicked angels, whom she knows to be her enemies, is the identical reason which shall prevent her, however perfected in holiness, from praying at the last judgment for those men who are to be punished in eternal fire. At present she prays for her enemies among men, because they have yet opportunity for fruitful repentance. For what does she especially beg for them but that God would grant them repentance, as the apostle says, that they may return to soberness out of the snare of the devil, by whom they are held captive according to his will? 2 Timothy 2:25-26 But if the Church were certified who those are, who, though they are still abiding in this life, are yet predestinated to go with the devil into eternal fire, then for them she could no more pray than for him. But since she has this certainty regarding no man, she prays for all her enemies who yet live in this world; and yet she is not heard in behalf of all. But she is heard in the case of those only who, though they oppose the Church, are yet predestinated to become her sons through her intercession. But if any retain an impenitent heart until death, and are not converted from enemies into sons, does the Church continue to pray for them, for the spirits, i.e., of such persons deceased? And why does she cease to pray for them, unless because the man who was not translated into Christ's kingdom while he was in the body, is now judged to be of Satan's following? It is then, I say, the same reason which prevents the Church at any time from praying for the wicked angels, which prevents her from praying hereafter for those men who are to be punished in eternal fire; and this also is the reason why, though she prays even for the wicked so long as they live, she yet does not even in this world pray for the unbelieving and godless who are dead. For some of the dead, indeed, the prayer of the Church or of pious individuals is heard; but it is for those who, having been regenerated in Christ, did not spend their life so wickedly that they can be judged unworthy of such compassion, nor so well that they can be considered to have no need of it. As also, after the resurrection, there will be some of the dead to whom, after they have endured the pains proper to the spirits of the dead, mercy shall be accorded, and acquittal from the punishment of the eternal fire. For were there not some whose sins, though not remitted in this life, shall be remitted in that which is to come, it could not be truly said, They shall not be forgiven, neither in this world, neither in that which is to come. Matthew 12:32 But when the Judge of quick and dead has said, Come, you blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world, and to those on the other side, Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire, which is prepared for the devil and his angels, and These shall go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life, it were excessively presumptuous to say that the punishment of any of those whom God has said shall go away into eternal punishment shall not be eternal, and so bring either despair or doubt upon the corresponding promise of life eternal. Let no man then so understand the words of the Psalmist, Shall God forget to be gracious? Shall He shut up in His anger His tender mercies as if the sentence of God were true of good men, false of bad men, or true of good men and wicked angels, but false of bad men. For the Psalmist's words refer to the vessels of mercy and the children of the promise, of whom the prophet himself was one; for when he had said, Shall God forget to be gracious? Shall He shut up in His anger His tender mercies? and then immediately subjoins, And I said, Now I begin: this is the change wrought by the right hand of the Most High, he manifestly explained what he meant by the words, Shall he shut up in His anger His tender mercies? For God's anger is this mortal life, in which man is made like to vanity, and his days pass as a shadow. Yet in this anger God does not forget to be gracious, causing His sun to shine and His rain to descend on the just and the unjust; Matthew 5:45 and thus He does not in His anger cut short His tender mercies, and especially in what the Psalmist speaks of in the words, Now I begin: this change is from the right hand of the Most High; for He changes for the better the vessels of mercy, even while they are still in this most wretched life, which is God's anger, and even while His anger is manifesting itself in this miserable corruption; for in His anger He does not shut up His tender mercies. And since the truth of this divine canticle is quite satisfied by this application of it, there is no need to give it a reference to that place in which those who do not belong to the city of God are punished in eternal fire. But if any persist in extending its application to the torments of the wicked, let them at least understand it so that the anger of God, which has threatened the wicked with eternal punishment, shall abide, but shall be mixed with mercy to the extent of alleviating the torments which might justly be inflicted; so that the wicked shall neither wholly escape, nor only for a time endure these threatened pains, but that they shall be less severe and more endurable than they deserve. Thus the anger of God shall continue, and at the same time He will not in this anger shut up His tender mercies. But even this hypothesis I am not to be supposed to affirm because I do not positively oppose it. As for those who find an empty threat rather than a truth in such passages as these: Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire; and These shall go away into eternal punishment; Matthew 25:41, 46 and They shall be tormented for ever and ever; Revelation 20:10 and Their worm shall not die, and their fire shall not be quenched, Isaiah 66:24 - such persons, I say, are most emphatically and abundantly refuted, not by me so much as by the divine Scripture itself. For the men of Nineveh repented in this life, and therefore their repentance was fruitful, inasmuch as they sowed in that field which the Lord meant to be sown in tears that it might afterwards be reaped in joy. And yet who will deny that God's prediction was fulfilled in their case, if at least he observes that God destroys sinners not only in anger but also in compassion? For sinners are destroyed in two ways - either, like the Sodomites, the men themselves are punished for their sins, or, like the Ninevites, the men's sins are destroyed by repentance. God's prediction, therefore, was fulfilled - the wicked Nineveh was overthrown, and a good Nineveh built up. For its walls and houses remained standing; the city was overthrown in its depraved manners. And thus, though the prophet was provoked that the destruction which the inhabitants dreaded, because of his prediction, did not take place, yet that which God's foreknowledge had predicted did take place, for He who foretold the destruction knew how it should be fulfilled in a less calamitous sense. But that these perversely compassionate persons may see what is the purport of these words, How great is the abundance of Your sweetness, Lord, which You have hidden for them that fear You, let them read what follows: And You have perfected it for them that hope in You. For what means, You have hidden it for them that fear You, You have perfected it for them that hope in You, unless this, that to those who through fear of punishment seek to establish their own righteousness by the law, the righteousness of God is not sweet, because they are ignorant of it? They have not tasted it. For they hope in themselves, not in Him; and therefore God's abundant sweetness is hidden from them. They fear God, indeed, but it is with that servile fear which is not in love; for perfect love casts out fear. 1 John 4:18 Therefore to them that hope in Him He perfects His sweetness, inspiring them with His own love, so that with a holy fear, which love does not cast out, but which endures for ever, they may, when they glory, glory in the Lord. For the righteousness of God is Christ, who is of God made unto us, as the apostle says, wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: as it is written, He that glories, let him glory in the Lord. 1 Corinthians 1:30-31 This righteousness of God, which is the gift of grace without merits, is not known by those who go about to establish their own righteousness, and are therefore not subject to the righteousness of God, which is Christ. Romans 10:3 But it is in this righteousness that we find the great abundance of God's sweetness, of which the psalm says, Taste and see how sweet the Lord is. And this we rather taste than partake of to satiety in this our pilgrimage. We hunger and thirst for it now, that hereafter we may be satisfied with it when we see Him as He is, and that is fulfilled which is written, I shall be satisfied when Your glory shall be manifested. It is thus that Christ perfects the great abundance of His sweetness to them that hope in Him. But if God conceals His sweetness from them that fear Him in the sense that these our objectors fancy, so that men's ignorance of His purpose of mercy towards the wicked may lead them to fear Him and live better, and so that there may be prayer made for those who are not living as they ought, how then does He perfect His sweetness to them that hope in Him, since, if their dreams be true, it is this very sweetness which will prevent Him from punishing those who do not hope in Him? Let us then seek that sweetness of His, which He perfects to them that hope in Him, not that which He is supposed to perfect to those who despise and blaspheme Him; for in vain, after this life, does a man seek for what he has neglected to provide while in this life. Then, as to that saying of the apostle, For God has concluded all in unbelief, that He may have mercy upon all, Romans 11:32 it does not mean that He will condemn no one; but the foregoing context shows what is meant. The apostle composed the epistle for the Gentiles who were already believers; and when he was speaking to them of the Jews who were yet to believe, he says, For as you in times past believed not God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief; even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. Then he added the words in question with which these persons beguile themselves: For God concluded all in unbelief, that He might have mercy upon all. All whom, if not all those of whom he was speaking, just as if he had said, Both you and them? God then concluded all those in unbelief, both Jews and Gentiles, whom He foreknew and predestinated to be conformed to the image of His Son, in order that they might be confounded by the bitterness of unbelief, and might repent and believingly turn to the sweetness of God's mercy, and might take up that exclamation of the psalm, How great is the abundance of Your sweetness, O Lord, which You have hidden for them that fear You, but have perfected to them that hope, not in themselves, but in You. He has mercy, then, on all the vessels of mercy. And what means all? Both those of the Gentiles and those of the Jews whom He predestinated, called, justified, glorified: none of these will be condemned by Him; but we cannot say none of all men whatever.

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1. Hebrew Bible, Isaiah, 66.24 (8th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

66.24. וְיָצְאוּ וְרָאוּ בְּפִגְרֵי הָאֲנָשִׁים הַפֹּשְׁעִים בִּי כִּי תוֹלַעְתָּם לֹא תָמוּת וְאִשָּׁם לֹא תִכְבֶּה וְהָיוּ דֵרָאוֹן לְכָל־בָּשָׂר׃ 66.24. And they shall go forth, and look Upon the carcasses of the men that have rebelled against Me; For their worm shall not die, Neither shall their fire be quenched; And they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh. "
2. New Testament, 1 Timothy, 2.4 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

2.4. who desires all people to be saved and come to full knowledge of the truth.
3. New Testament, 2 Peter, 2.4 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

2.4. For if God didn't spare angels when they sinned, but cast them down to Tartarus, and committed them to pits of darkness, to be reserved to judgment;
4. New Testament, Romans, 5.5, 5.12, 9.7 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

5.5. and hope doesn't disappoint us, because God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. 5.12. Therefore, as sin entered into the world through one man, and death through sin; and so death passed to all men, because all sinned. 9.7. Neither, because they are Abraham's seed, are they all children. But, "In Isaac will your seed be called.
5. New Testament, Titus, 2.11 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

2.11. For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men
6. New Testament, Matthew, 25.41, 25.46 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

25.41. Then he will say also to those on the left hand, 'Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire which is prepared for the devil and his angels; 25.46. These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.
7. Augustine, De Libero Arbitrio, 2.9.27 (4th cent. CE - 5th cent. CE)

8. Augustine, The City of God, 9.21, 10.16, 12.6, 13.23, 14.1, 14.13, 14.16, 14.26, 14.28, 15.1, 15.7, 18.32, 21.17, 22.24, 22.30 (4th cent. CE - 5th cent. CE)

9.21. The devils themselves knew this manifestation of God so well, that they said to the Lord though clothed with the infirmity of flesh, What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us before the time? Mark 1:24 From these words, it is clear that they had great knowledge, and no charity. They feared His power to punish, and did not love His righteousness. He made known to them so much as He pleased, and He was pleased to make known so much as was needful. But He made Himself known not as to the holy angels, who know Him as the Word of God, and rejoice in His eternity, which they partake, but as was requisite to strike with terror the beings from whose tyranny He was going to free those who were predestined to His kingdom and the glory of it, eternally true and truly eternal. He made Himself known, therefore, to the demons, not by that which is life eternal, and the unchangeable light which illumines the pious, whose souls are cleansed by the faith that is in Him, but by some temporal effects of His power, and evidences of His mysterious presence, which were more easily discerned by the angelic senses even of wicked spirits than by human infirmity. But when He judged it advisable gradually to suppress these signs, and to retire into deeper obscurity, the prince of the demons doubted whether He were the Christ, and endeavored to ascertain this by tempting Him, in so far as He permitted Himself to be tempted, that He might adapt the manhood He wore to be an example for our imitation. But after that temptation, when, as Scripture says, He was ministered to Matthew 4:3-11 by the angels who are good and holy, and therefore objects of terror to the impure spirits, He revealed more and more distinctly to the demons how great He was, so that, even though the infirmity of His flesh might seem contemptible, none dared to resist His authority. 10.16. What angels, then, are we to believe in this matter of blessed and eternal life?- those who wish to be worshipped with religious rites and observances, and require that men sacrifice to them; or those who say that all this worship is due to one God, the Creator, and teach us to render it with true piety to Him, by the vision of whom they are themselves already blessed, and in whom they promise that we shall be so? For that vision of God is the beauty of a vision so great, and is so infinitely desirable, that Plotinus does not hesitate to say that he who enjoys all other blessings in abundance, and has not this, is supremely miserable. Since, therefore, miracles are wrought by some angels to induce us to worship this God, by others, to induce us to worship themselves; and since the former forbid us to worship these, while the latter dare not forbid us to worship God, which are we to listen to? Let the Platonists reply, or any philosophers, or the theurgists, or rather, periurgists, - for this name is good enough for those who practise such arts. In short, let all men answer - if, at least, there survives in them any spark of that natural perception which, as rational beings, they possess when created, - let them, I say, tell us whether we should sacrifice to the gods or angels who order us to sacrifice to them, or to that One to whom we are ordered to sacrifice by those who forbid us to worship either themselves or these others. If neither the one party nor the other had wrought miracles, but had merely uttered commands, the one to sacrifice to themselves, the other forbidding that, and ordering us to sacrifice to God, a godly mind would have been at no loss to discern which command proceeded from proud arrogance, and which from true religion. I will say more. If miracles had been wrought only by those who demand sacrifice for themselves, while those who forbade this, and enjoined sacrificing to the one God only, thought fit entirely to forego the use of visible miracles, the authority of the latter was to be preferred by all who would use, not their eyes only, but their reason. But since God, for the sake of commending to us the oracles of His truth, has, by means of these immortal messengers, who proclaim His majesty and not their own pride, wrought miracles of surpassing grandeur, certainty, and distinctness, in order that the weak among the godly might not be drawn away to false religion by those who require us to sacrifice to them and endeavor to convince us by stupendous appeals to our senses, who is so utterly unreasonable as not to choose and follow the truth, when he finds that it is heralded by even more striking evidences than falsehood? As for those miracles which history ascribes to the gods of the heathen - I do not refer to those prodigies which at intervals happen from some unknown physical causes, and which are arranged and appointed by Divine Providence, such as monstrous births, and unusual meteorological phenomena, whether startling only, or also injurious, and which are said to be brought about and removed by communication with demons, and by their most deceitful craft - but I refer to these prodigies which manifestly enough are wrought by their power and force, as, that the household gods which Æneas carried from Troy in his flight moved from place to place; that Tarquin cut a whetstone with a razor; that the Epidaurian serpent attached himself as a companion to Æsculapius on his voyage to Rome; that the ship in which the image of the Phrygian mother stood, and which could not be moved by a host of men and oxen, was moved by one weak woman, who attached her girdle to the vessel and drew it, as proof of her chastity; that a vestal, whose virginity was questioned, removed the suspicion by carrying from the Tiber a sieve full of water without any of it dropping: these, then, and the like, are by no means to be compared for greatness and virtue to those which, we read, were wrought among God's people. How much less can we compare those marvels, which even the laws of heathen nations prohibit and punish - I mean the magical and theurgic marvels, of which the great part are merely illusions practised upon the senses, as the drawing down of the moon, that, as Lucan says, it may shed a stronger influence on the plants? And if some of these do seem to equal those which are wrought by the godly, the end for which they are wrought distinguishes the two, and shows that ours are incomparably the more excellent. For those miracles commend the worship of a plurality of gods, who deserve worship the less the more they demand it; but these of ours commend the worship of the one God, who, both by the testimony of His own Scriptures, and by the eventual abolition of sacrifices, proves that He needs no such offerings. If, therefore, any angels demand sacrifice for themselves, we must prefer those who demand it, not for themselves, but for God, the Creator of all, whom they serve. For thus they prove how sincerely they love us, since they wish by sacrifice to subject us, not to themselves, but to Him by the contemplation of whom they themselves are blessed, and to bring us to Him from whom they themselves have never strayed. If, on the other hand, any angels wish us to sacrifice, not to one, but to many, not, indeed, to themselves, but to the gods whose angels they are, we must in this case also prefer those who are the angels of the one God of gods, and who so bid us to worship Him as to preclude our worshipping any other. But, further, if it be the case, as their pride and deceitfulness rather indicate, that they are neither good angels nor the angels of good gods, but wicked demons, who wish sacrifice to be paid, not to the one only and supreme God, but to themselves, what better protection against them can we choose than that of the one God whom the good angels serve, the angels who bid us sacrifice, not to themselves, but to Him whose sacrifice we ourselves ought to be? 12.6. Thus the true cause of the blessedness of the good angels is found to be this, that they cleave to Him who supremely is. And if we ask the cause of the misery of the bad, it occurs to us, and not unreasonably, that they are miserable because they have forsaken Him who supremely is, and have turned to themselves who have no such essence. And this vice, what else is it called than pride? For pride is the beginning of sin. Ecclesiastes 10:13 They were unwilling, then, to preserve their strength for God; and as adherence to God was the condition of their enjoying an ampler being, they diminished it by preferring themselves to Him. This was the first defect, and the first impoverishment, and the first flaw of their nature, which was created, not indeed supremely existent, but finding its blessedness in the enjoyment of the Supreme Being; while by abandoning Him it should become, not indeed no nature at all, but a nature with a less ample existence, and therefore wretched. If the further question be asked, What was the efficient cause of their evil will? There is none. For what is it which makes the will bad, when it is the will itself which makes the action bad? And consequently the bad will is the cause of the bad action, but nothing is the efficient cause of the bad will. For if anything is the cause, this thing either has or has not a will. If it has, the will is either good or bad. If good, who is so left to himself as to say that a good will makes a will bad? For in this case a good will would be the cause of sin; a most absurd supposition. On the other hand, if this hypothetical thing has a bad will, I wish to know what made it so; and that we may not go on forever, I ask at once, what made the first evil will bad? For that is not the first which was itself corrupted by an evil will, but that is the first which was made evil by no other will. For if it were preceded by that which made it evil, that will was first which made the other evil. But if it is replied, Nothing made it evil; it always was evil, I ask if it has been existing in some nature. For if not, then it did not exist at all; and if it did exist in some nature, then it vitiated and corrupted it, and injured it, and consequently deprived it of good. And therefore the evil will could not exist in an evil nature, but in a nature at once good and mutable, which this vice could injure. For if it did no injury, it was no vice; and consequently the will in which it was, could not be called evil. But if it did injury, it did it by taking away or diminishing good. And therefore there could not be from eternity, as was suggested, an evil will in that thing in which there had been previously a natural good, which the evil will was able to diminish by corrupting it. If, then, it was not from eternity, who, I ask, made it? The only thing that can be suggested in reply is, that something which itself had no will, made the will evil. I ask, then, whether this thing was superior, inferior, or equal to it? If superior, then it is better. How, then, has it no will, and not rather a good will? The same reasoning applies if it was equal; for so long as two things have equally a good will, the one cannot produce in the other an evil will. Then remains the supposition that that which corrupted the will of the angelic nature which first sinned, was itself an inferior thing without a will. But that thing, be it of the lowest and most earthly kind, is certainly itself good, since it is a nature and being, with a form and rank of its own in its own kind and order. How, then, can a good thing be the efficient cause of an evil will? How, I say, can good be the cause of evil? For when the will abandons what is above itself, and turns to what is lower, it becomes evil- not because that is evil to which it turns, but because the turning itself is wicked. Therefore it is not an inferior thing which has made the will evil, but it is itself which has become so by wickedly and inordinately desiring an inferior thing. For if two men, alike in physical and moral constitution, see the same corporal beauty, and one of them is excited by the sight to desire an illicit enjoyment while the other steadfastly maintains a modest restraint of his will, what do we suppose brings it about, that there is an evil will in the one and not in the other? What produces it in the man in whom it exists? Not the bodily beauty, for that was presented equally to the gaze of both, and yet did not produce in both an evil will. Did the flesh of the one cause the desire as he looked? But why did not the flesh of the other? Or was it the disposition? But why not the disposition of both? For we are supposing that both were of a like temperament of body and soul. Must we, then, say that the one was tempted by a secret suggestion of the evil spirit? As if it was not by his own will that he consented to this suggestion and to any inducement whatever! This consent, then, this evil will which he presented to the evil suasive influence - what was the cause of it, we ask? For, not to delay on such a difficulty as this, if both are tempted equally and one yields and consents to the temptation while the other remains unmoved by it, what other account can we give of the matter than this, that the one is willing, the other unwilling, to fall away from chastity? And what causes this but their own wills, in cases at least such as we are supposing, where the temperament is identical? The same beauty was equally obvious to the eyes of both; the same secret temptation pressed on both with equal violence. However minutely we examine the case, therefore, we can discern nothing which caused the will of the one to be evil. For if we say that the man himself made his will evil, what was the man himself before his will was evil but a good nature created by God, the unchangeable good? Here are two men who, before the temptation, were alike in body and soul, and of whom one yielded to the tempter who persuaded him, while the other could not be persuaded to desire that lovely body which was equally before the eyes of both. Shall we say of the successfully tempted man that he corrupted his own will, since he was certainly good before his will became bad? Then, why did he do so? Was it because his will was a nature, or because it was made of nothing? We shall find that the latter is the case. For if a nature is the cause of an evil will, what else can we say than that evil arises from good or that good is the cause of evil? And how can it come to pass that a nature, good though mutable, should produce any evil- that is to say, should make the will itself wicked? 14.1. We have already stated in the preceding books that God, desiring not only that the human race might be able by their similarity of nature to associate with one another, but also that they might be bound together in harmony and peace by the ties of relationship, was pleased to derive all men from one individual, and created man with such a nature that the members of the race should not have died, had not the two first (of whom the one was created out of nothing, and the other out of him) merited this by their disobedience; for by them so great a sin was committed, that by it the human nature was altered for the worse, and was transmitted also to their posterity, liable to sin and subject to death. And the kingdom of death so reigned over men, that the deserved penalty of sin would have hurled all headlong even into the second death, of which there is no end, had not the undeserved grace of God saved some therefrom. And thus it has come to pass, that though there are very many and great nations all over the earth, whose rites and customs, speech, arms, and dress, are distinguished by marked differences, yet there are no more than two kinds of human society, which we may justly call two cities, according to the language of our Scriptures. The one consists of those who wish to live after the flesh, the other of those who wish to live after the spirit; and when they severally achieve what they wish, they live in peace, each after their kind. 14.13. Our first parents fell into open disobedience because already they were secretly corrupted; for the evil act had never been done had not an evil will preceded it. And what is the origin of our evil will but pride? For pride is the beginning of sin. Sirach 10:13 And what is pride but the craving for undue exaltation? And this is undue exaltation, when the soul abandons Him to whom it ought to cleave as its end, and becomes a kind of end to itself. This happens when it becomes its own satisfaction. And it does so when it falls away from that unchangeable good which ought to satisfy it more than itself. This falling away is spontaneous; for if the will had remained steadfast in the love of that higher and changeless good by which it was illumined to intelligence and kindled into love, it would not have turned away to find satisfaction in itself, and so become frigid and benighted; the woman would not have believed the serpent spoke the truth, nor would the man have preferred the request of his wife to the command of God, nor have supposed that it was a venial trangression to cleave to the partner of his life even in a partnership of sin. The wicked deed, then - that is to say, the trangression of eating the forbidden fruit - was committed by persons who were already wicked. That evil fruit Matthew 7:18 could be brought forth only by a corrupt tree. But that the tree was evil was not the result of nature; for certainly it could become so only by the vice of the will, and vice is contrary to nature. Now, nature could not have been depraved by vice had it not been made out of nothing. Consequently, that it is a nature, this is because it is made by God; but that it falls away from Him, this is because it is made out of nothing. But man did not so fall away as to become absolutely nothing; but being turned towards himself, his being became more contracted than it was when he clave to Him who supremely is. Accordingly, to exist in himself, that is, to be his own satisfaction after abandoning God, is not quite to become a nonentity, but to approximate to that. And therefore the holy Scriptures designate the proud by another name, self-pleasers. For it is good to have the heart lifted up, yet not to one's self, for this is proud, but to the Lord, for this is obedient, and can be the act only of the humble. There is, therefore, something in humility which, strangely enough, exalts the heart, and something in pride which debases it. This seems, indeed, to be contradictory, that loftiness should debase and lowliness exalt. But pious humility enables us to submit to what is above us; and nothing is more exalted above us than God; and therefore humility, by making us subject to God, exalts us. But pride, being a defect of nature, by the very act of refusing subjection and revolting from Him who is supreme, falls to a low condition; and then comes to pass what is written: You cast them down when they lifted up themselves. For he does not say, when they had been lifted up, as if first they were exalted, and then afterwards cast down; but when they lifted up themselves even then they were cast down - that is to say, the very lifting up was already a fall. And therefore it is that humility is specially recommended to the city of God as it sojourns in this world, and is specially exhibited in the city of God, and in the person of Christ its King; while the contrary vice of pride, according to the testimony of the sacred writings, specially rules his adversary the devil. And certainly this is the great difference which distinguishes the two cities of which we speak, the one being the society of the godly men, the other of the ungodly, each associated with the angels that adhere to their party, and the one guided and fashioned by love of self, the other by love of God. The devil, then, would not have ensnared man in the open and manifest sin of doing what God had forbidden, had man not already begun to live for himself. It was this that made him listen with pleasure to the words, You shall be as gods, Genesis 3:5 which they would much more readily have accomplished by obediently adhering to their supreme and true end than by proudly living to themselves. For created gods are gods not by virtue of what is in themselves, but by a participation of the true God. By craving to be more, man becomes less; and by aspiring to be self-sufficing, he fell away from Him who truly suffices him. Accordingly, this wicked desire which prompts man to please himself as if he were himself light, and which thus turns him away from that light by which, had he followed it, he would himself have become light - this wicked desire, I say, already secretly existed in him, and the open sin was but its consequence. For that is true which is written, Pride goes before destruction, and before honor is humility; Proverbs 18:12 that is to say, secret ruin precedes open ruin, while the former is not counted ruin. For who counts exaltation ruin, though no sooner is the Highest forsaken than a fall is begun? But who does not recognize it as ruin, when there occurs an evident and indubitable transgression of the commandment? And consequently, God's prohibition had reference to such an act as, when committed, could not be defended on any pretense of doing what was righteous. And I make bold to say that it is useful for the proud to fall into an open and indisputable transgression, and so displease themselves, as already, by pleasing themselves, they had fallen. For Peter was in a healthier condition when he wept and was dissatisfied with himself, than when he boldly presumed and satisfied himself. And this is averred by the sacred Psalmist when he says, Fill their faces with shame, that they may seek Your name, O Lord; that is, that they who have pleased themselves in seeking their own glory may be pleased and satisfied with You in seeking Your glory. 14.16. Although, therefore, lust may have many objects, yet when no object is specified, the word lust usually suggests to the mind the lustful excitement of the organs of generation. And this lust not only takes possession of the whole body and outward members, but also makes itself felt within, and moves the whole man with a passion in which mental emotion is mingled with bodily appetite, so that the pleasure which results is the greatest of all bodily pleasures. So possessing indeed is this pleasure, that at the moment of time in which it is consummated, all mental activity is suspended. What friend of wisdom and holy joys, who, being married, but knowing, as the apostle says, how to possess his vessel in santification and honor, not in the disease of desire, as the Gentiles who know not God, 1 Thessalonians 4:4 would not prefer, if this were possible, to beget children without this lust, so that in this function of begetting offspring the members created for this purpose should not be stimulated by the heat of lust, but should be actuated by his volition, in the same way as his other members serve him for their respective ends? But even those who delight in this pleasure are not moved to it at their own will, whether they confine themselves to lawful or transgress to unlawful pleasures; but sometimes this lust importunes them in spite of themselves, and sometimes fails them when they desire to feel it, so that though lust rages in the mind, it stirs not in the body. Thus, strangely enough, this emotion not only fails to obey the legitimate desire to beget offspring, but also refuses to serve lascivious lust; and though it often opposes its whole combined energy to the soul that resists it, sometimes also it is divided against itself, and while it moves the soul, leaves the body unmoved. 14.26. In Paradise, then, man lived as he desired so long as he desired what God had commanded. He lived in the enjoyment of God, and was good by God's goodness; he lived without any want, and had it in his power so to live eternally. He had food that he might not hunger, drink that he might not thirst, the tree of life that old age might not waste him. There was in his body no corruption, nor seed of corruption, which could produce in him any unpleasant sensation. He feared no inward disease, no outward accident. Soundest health blessed his body, absolute tranquillity his soul. As in Paradise there was no excessive heat or cold, so its inhabitants were exempt from the vicissitudes of fear and desire. No sadness of any kind was there, nor any foolish joy; true gladness ceaselessly flowed from the presence of God, who was loved out of a pure heart, and a good conscience, and faith unfeigned. 1 Timothy 1:5 The honest love of husband and wife made a sure harmony between them. Body and spirit worked harmoniously together, and the commandment was kept without labor. No languor made their leisure wearisome; no sleepiness interrupted their desire to labor. In tanta facilitate rerum et felicitate hominum, absit ut suspicemur, non potuisse prolem seri sine libidinis morbo: sed eo voluntatis nutu moverentur illa membra qua c tera, et sine ardoris illecebroso stimulo cum tranquillitate animi et corporis nulla corruptione integritatis infunderetur gremio maritus uxoris. Neque enim quia experientia probari non potest, ideo credendum non est; quando illas corporis partes non ageret turbidus calor, sed spontanea potestas, sicut opus esset, adhiberet; ita tunc potuisse utero conjugis salva integritate feminei genitalis virile semen immitti, sicut nunc potest eadem integritate salva ex utero virginis fluxus menstrui cruoris emitti. Eadem quippe via posset illud injici, qua hoc potest ejici. Ut enim ad pariendum non doloris gemitus, sed maturitatis impulsus feminea viscera relaxaret: sic ad fœtandum et concipiendum non libidinis appetitus, sed voluntarius usus naturam utramque conjungeret. We speak of things which are now shameful, and although we try, as well as we are able, to conceive them as they were before they became shameful, yet necessity compels us rather to limit our discussion to the bounds set by modesty than to extend it as our moderate faculty of discourse might suggest. For since that which I have been speaking of was not experienced even by those who might have experienced it - I mean our first parents (for sin and its merited banishment from Paradise anticipated this passionless generation on their part) - when sexual intercourse is spoken of now, it suggests to men's thoughts not such a placid obedience to the will as is conceivable in our first parents, but such violent acting of lust as they themselves have experienced. And therefore modesty shuts my mouth, although my mind conceives the matter clearly. But Almighty God, the supreme and supremely good Creator of all natures, who aids and rewards good wills, while He abandons and condemns the bad, and rules both, was not destitute of a plan by which He might people His city with the fixed number of citizens which His wisdom had foreordained even out of the condemned human race, discriminating them not now by merits, since the whole mass was condemned as if in a vitiated root, but by grace, and showing, not only in the case of the redeemed, but also in those who were not delivered, how much grace He has bestowed upon them. For every one acknowledges that he has been rescued from evil, not by deserved, but by gratuitous goodness, when he is singled out from the company of those with whom he might justly have borne a common punishment, and is allowed to go scathless. Why, then, should God not have created those whom He foresaw would sin, since He was able to show in and by them both what their guilt merited, and what His grace bestowed, and since, under His creating and disposing hand, even the perverse disorder of the wicked could not pervert the right order of things? 14.28. Accordingly, two cities have been formed by two loves: the earthly by the love of self, even to the contempt of God; the heavenly by the love of God, even to the contempt of self. The former, in a word, glories in itself, the latter in the Lord. For the one seeks glory from men; but the greatest glory of the other is God, the witness of conscience. The one lifts up its head in its own glory; the other says to its God, You are my glory, and the lifter up of mine head. In the one, the princes and the nations it subdues are ruled by the love of ruling; in the other, the princes and the subjects serve one another in love, the latter obeying, while the former take thought for all. The one delights in its own strength, represented in the persons of its rulers; the other says to its God, I will love You, O Lord, my strength. And therefore the wise men of the one city, living according to man, have sought for profit to their own bodies or souls, or both, and those who have known God glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful, but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened; professing themselves to be wise,- that is, glorying in their own wisdom, and being possessed by pride -they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things. For they were either leaders or followers of the people in adoring images, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Romans 1:21-25 But in the other city there is no human wisdom, but only godliness, which offers due worship to the true God, and looks for its reward in the society of the saints, of holy angels as well as holy men, that God may be all in all. 1 Corinthians 15:28 15.1. of the bliss of Paradise, of Paradise itself, and of the life of our first parents there, and of their sin and punishment, many have thought much, spoken much, written much. We ourselves, too, have spoken of these things in the foregoing books, and have written either what we read in the Holy Scriptures, or what we could reasonably deduce from them. And were we to enter into a more detailed investigation of these matters, an endless number of endless questions would arise, which would involve us in a larger work than the present occasion admits. We cannot be expected to find room for replying to every question that may be started by unoccupied and captious men, who are ever more ready to ask questions than capable of understanding the answer. Yet I trust we have already done justice to these great and difficult questions regarding the beginning of the world, or of the soul, or of the human race itself. This race we have distributed into two parts, the one consisting of those who live according to man, the other of those who live according to God. And these we also mystically call the two cities, or the two communities of men, of which the one is predestined to reign eternally with God, and the other to suffer eternal punishment with the devil. This, however, is their end, and of it we are to speak afterwards. At present, as we have said enough about their origin, whether among the angels, whose numbers we know not, or in the two first human beings, it seems suitable to attempt an account of their career, from the time when our two first parents began to propagate the race until all human generation shall cease. For this whole time or world-age, in which the dying give place and those who are born succeed, is the career of these two cities concerning which we treat. of these two first parents of the human race, then, Cain was the first-born, and he belonged to the city of men; after him was born Abel, who belonged to the city of God. For as in the individual the truth of the apostle's statement is discerned, that is not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural, and afterward that which is spiritual, 1 Corinthians 15:46 whence it comes to pass that each man, being derived from a condemned stock, is first of all born of Adam evil and carnal, and becomes good and spiritual only afterwards, when he is grafted into Christ by regeneration: so was it in the human race as a whole. When these two cities began to run their course by a series of deaths and births, the citizen of this world was the first-born, and after him the stranger in this world, the citizen of the city of God, predestinated by grace, elected by grace, by grace a stranger below, and by grace a citizen above. By grace - for so far as regards himself he is sprung from the same mass, all of which is condemned in its origin; but God, like a potter (for this comparison is introduced by the apostle judiciously, and not without thought), of the same lump made one vessel to honor, another to dishonor. Romans 9:21 But first the vessel to dishonor was made, and after it another to honor. For in each individual, as I have already said, there is first of all that which is reprobate, that from which we must begin, but in which we need not necessarily remain; afterwards is that which is well-approved, to which we may by advancing attain, and in which, when we have reached it we may abide. Not, indeed, that every wicked man shall be good, but that no one will be good who was not first of all wicked; but the sooner any one becomes a good man, the more speedily does he receive this title, and abolish the old name in the new. Accordingly, it is recorded of Cain that he built a city, Genesis 4:17 but Abel, being a sojourner, built none. For the city of the saints is above, although here below it begets citizens, in whom it sojourns till the time of its reign arrives, when it shall gather together all in the day of the resurrection; and then shall the promised kingdom be given to them, in which they shall reign with their Prince, the King of the ages, time without end. 15.7. But though God made use of this very mode of address which we have been endeavoring to explain, and spoke to Cain in that form by which He was wont to accommodate Himself to our first parents and converse with them as a companion, what good influence had it on Cain? Did he not fulfill his wicked intention of killing his brother even after he was warned by God's voice? For when God had made a distinction between their sacrifices, neglecting Cain's, regarding Abel's, which was doubtless intimated by some visible sign to that effect; and when God had done so because the works of the one were evil but those of his brother good, Cain was very angry, and his countece fell. For thus it is written: And the Lord said to Cain, Why are you angry, and why is your countece fallen? If you offer rightly, but do not rightly distinguish, have you not sinned? Fret not yourself, for unto you shall be his turning, and you shall rule over him. Genesis 4:6-7 In this admonition administered by God to Cain, that clause indeed, If you offer rightly, but do not rightly distinguish, have you not sinned? is obscure, inasmuch as it is not apparent for what reason or purpose it was spoken, and many meanings have been put upon it, as each one who discusses it attempts to interpret it according to the rule of faith. The truth is, that a sacrifice is rightly offered when it is offered to the true God, to whom alone we must sacrifice. And it is not rightly distinguished when we do not rightly distinguish the places or seasons or materials of the offering, or the person offering, or the person to whom it is presented, or those to whom it is distributed for food after the oblation. Distinguishing is here used for discriminating - whether when an offering is made in a place where it ought not or of a material which ought to be offered not there but elsewhere; or when an offering is made at a wrong time, or of a material suitable not then but at some other time; or when that is offered which in no place nor any time ought to be offered; or when a man keeps to himself choicer specimens of the same kind than he offers to God; or when he or any other who may not lawfully partake profanely eats of the oblation. In which of these particulars Cain displeased God, it is difficult to determine. But the Apostle John, speaking of these brothers, says, Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous. 1 John 3:12 He thus gives us to understand that God did not respect his offering because it was not rightly distinguished in this, that he gave to God something of his own but kept himself to himself. For this all do who follow not God's will but their own, who live not with an upright but a crooked heart, and yet offer to God such gifts as they suppose will procure from Him that He aid them not by healing but by gratifying their evil passions. And this is the characteristic of the earthly city, that it worships God or gods who may aid it in reigning victoriously and peacefully on earth not through love of doing good, but through lust of rule. The good use the world that they may enjoy God: the wicked, on the contrary, that they may enjoy the world would fain use God - those of them, at least, who have attained to the belief that He is and takes an interest in human affairs. For they who have not yet attained even to this belief are still at a much lower level. Cain, then, when he saw that God had respect to his brother's sacrifice, but not to his own, should have humbly chosen his good brother as his example, and not proudly counted him his rival. But he was angry, and his countece fell. This angry regret for another person's goodness, even his brother's, was charged upon him by God as a great sin. And He accused him of it in the interrogation, Why are you angry, and why is your countece fallen? For God saw that he envied his brother, and of this He accused him. For to men, from whom the heart of their fellow is hid, it might be doubtful and quite uncertain whether that sadness bewailed his own wickedness by which, as he had learned, he had displeased God, or his brother's goodness, which had pleased God, and won His favorable regard to his sacrifice. But God, in giving the reason why He refused to accept Cain's offering and why Cain should rather have been displeased at himself than at his brother, shows him that though he was unjust in not rightly distinguishing, that is, not rightly living and being unworthy to have his offering received, he was more unjust by far in hating his just brother without a cause. Yet He does not dismiss him without counsel, holy, just, and good. Fret not yourself, He says, for unto you shall be his turning, and you shall rule over him. Over his brother, does He mean? Most certainly not. Over what, then, but sin? For He had said, You have sinned, and then He added, Fret not yourself, for to you shall be its turning, and you shall rule over it. And the turning of sin to the man can be understood of his conviction that the guilt of sin can be laid at no other man's door but his own. For this is the health-giving medicine of penitence, and the fit plea for pardon; so that, when it is said, To you its turning, we must not supply shall be, but we must read, To you let its turning be, understanding it as a command, not as a prediction. For then shall a man rule over his sin when he does not prefer it to himself and defend it, but subjects it by repentance; otherwise he that becomes protector of it shall surely become its prisoner. But if we understand this sin to be that carnal concupiscence of which the apostle says, The flesh lusts against the spirit, Galatians 5:17 among the fruits of which lust he names envy, by which assuredly Cain was stung and excited to destroy his brother, then we may properly supply the words shall be, and read, To you shall be its turning, and you shall rule over it. For when the carnal part which the apostle calls sin, in that place where he says, It is not I who do it, but sin that dwells in me, Romans 7:17 that part which the philosophers also call vicious, and which ought not to lead the mind, but which the mind ought to rule and restrain by reason from illicit motions - when, then, this part has been moved to perpetrate any wickedness, if it be curbed and if it obey the word of the apostle, Yield not your members instruments of unrighteousness unto sin, Romans 6:13 it is turned towards the mind and subdued and conquered by it, so that reason rules over it as a subject. It was this which God enjoined on him who was kindled with the fire of envy against his brother, so that he sought to put out of the way him whom he should have set as an example. Fret not yourself, or compose yourself, He says: withhold your hand from crime; let not sin reign in your mortal body to fulfill it in the lusts thereof, nor yield your members instruments of unrighteousness unto sin. For to you shall be its turning, so long as you do not encourage it by giving it the rein, but bridle it by quenching its fire. And you shall rule over it; for when it is not allowed any external actings, it yields itself to the rule of the governing mind and righteous will, and ceases from even internal motions. There is something similar said in the same divine book of the woman, when God questioned and judged them after their sin, and pronounced sentence on them all - the devil in the form of the serpent, the woman and her husband in their own persons. For when He had said to her, I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; in sorrow shall you bring forth children, then He added, and your turning shall be to your husband, and he shall rule over you. Genesis 3:16 What is said to Cain about his sin, or about the vicious concupiscence of his flesh, is here said of the woman who had sinned; and we are to understand that the husband is to rule his wife as the soul rules the flesh. And therefore, says the apostle, He that loves his wife, loves himself; for no man ever yet hated his own flesh. Ephesians 5:28-29 This flesh, then, is to be healed, because it belongs to ourselves: is not to be abandoned to destruction as if it were alien to our nature. But Cain received that counsel of God in the spirit of one who did not wish to amend. In fact, the vice of envy grew stronger in him; and, having entrapped his brother, he slew him. Such was the founder of the earthly city. He was also a figure of the Jews who slew Christ the Shepherd of the flock of men, prefigured by Abel the shepherd of sheep: but as this is an allegorical and prophetical matter, I forbear to explain it now; besides, I remember that I have made some remarks upon it in writing against Faustus the Manich an. 18.32. In his prayer, with a song, to whom but the Lord Christ does he say, O Lord, I have heard Your hearing, and was afraid: O Lord, I have considered Your works, and was greatly afraid? Habakkuk 3:2 What is this but the inexpressible admiration of the foreknown, new, and sudden salvation of men? In the midst of two living creatures you shall be recognized. What is this but either between the two testaments, or between the two thieves, or between Moses and Elias talking with Him on the mount? While the years draw near, You will be recognized; at the coming of the time You will be shown, does not even need exposition. While my soul shall be troubled at Him, in wrath You will be mindful of mercy. What is this but that He puts Himself for the Jews, of whose nation He was, who were troubled with great anger and crucified Christ, when He, mindful of mercy, said, Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do? Luke 23:34 God shall come from Teman, and the Holy One from the shady and close mountain. Habakkuk 3:3 What is said here, He shall come from Teman, some interpret from the south, or from the southwest, by which is signified the noonday, that is, the fervor of charity and the splendor of truth. The shady and close mountain might be understood in many ways, yet I prefer to take it as meaning the depth of the divine Scriptures, in which Christ is prophesied: for in the Scriptures there are many things shady and close which exercise the mind of the reader; and Christ comes thence when he who has understanding finds Him there. His power covers up the heavens, and the earth is full of His praise. What is this but what is also said in the psalm, Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; and Your glory above all the earth? His splendor shall be as the light. What is it but that the fame of Him shall illuminate believers? Horns are in His hands. What is this but the trophy of the cross? And He has placed the firm charity of His strength Habakkuk 3:4 needs no exposition. Before His face shall go the word, and it shall go forth into the field after His feet. What is this but that He should both be announced before His coming hither and after His return hence? He stood, and the earth was moved. What is this but that He stood for succor, and the earth was moved to believe? He regarded, and the nations melted; that is, He had compassion, and made the people penitent. The mountains are broken with violence; that is, through the power of those who work miracles the pride of the haughty is broken. The everlasting hills flowed down; that is, they are humbled in time that they may be lifted up for eternity. I saw His goings [made] eternal for his labors; that is, I beheld His labor of love not left without the reward of eternity. The tents of Ethiopia shall be greatly afraid, and the tents of the land of Midian; that is, even those nations which are not under the Roman authority, being suddenly terrified by the news of Your wonderful works, shall become a Christian people. Were You angry at the rivers, O Lord? Or was Your fury against the rivers? Or was Your rage against the sea? This is said because He does not now come to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. John 3:17 For You shall mount upon Your horses, and Your riding shall be salvation; that is, Your evangelists shall carry You, for they are guided by You, and Your gospel is salvation to them that believe in You. Bending, You will bend Your bow against the sceptres, says the Lord; that is, You will threaten even the kings of the earth with Your judgment. The earth shall be cleft with rivers; that is, by the sermons of those who preach You flowing in upon them, men's hearts shall be opened to make confession, to whom it is said, Rend your hearts and not your garments. Joel 2:13 What does The people shall see You and grieve mean, but that in mourning they shall be blessed? Matthew 5:4 What is Scattering the waters in marching, but that by walking in those who everywhere proclaim You, You will scatter here and there the streams of Your doctrine? What is The abyss uttered its voice? Is it not that the depth of the human heart expressed what it perceived? The words, The depth of its phantasy, are an explanation of the previous verse, for the depth is the abyss; and Uttered its voice is to be understood before them, that is, as we have said, it expressed what it perceived. Now the phantasy is the vision, which it did not hold or conceal, but poured forth in confession. The sun was raised up, and the moon stood still in her course; that is, Christ ascended into heaven, and the Church was established under her King. Your darts shall go in the light; that is, Your words shall not be sent in secret, but openly. For He had said to His own disciples, What I tell you in darkness, speak in the light. Matthew 10:27 By threatening you shall diminish the earth; that is, by that threatening You shall humble men. And in fury You shall cast down the nations; for in punishing those who exalt themselves You dash them one against another. You went forth for the salvation of Your people, that You might save Your Christ; You have sent death on the heads of the wicked. None of these words require exposition. You have lifted up the bonds, even to the neck. This may be understood even of the good bonds of wisdom, that the feet may be put into its fetters, and the neck into its collar. You have struck off in amazement of mind the bonds must be understood for, He lifts up the good and strikes off the bad, about which it is said to Him, You have broken asunder my bonds, and that in amazement of mind, that is, wonderfully. The heads of the mighty shall be moved in it; to wit, in that wonder. They shall open their teeth like a poor man eating secretly. For some of the mighty among the Jews shall come to the Lord, admiring His works and words, and shall greedily eat the bread of His doctrine in secret for fear of the Jews, just as the Gospel has shown they did. And You have sent into the sea Your horses, troubling many waters, which are nothing else than many people; for unless all were troubled, some would not be converted with fear, others pursued with fury. I gave heed, and my belly trembled at the voice of the prayer of my lips; and trembling entered into my bones, and my habit of body was troubled under me. He gave heed to those things which he said, and was himself terrified at his own prayer, which he had poured forth prophetically, and in which he discerned things to come. For when many people are troubled, he saw the threatening tribulation of the Church, and at once acknowledged himself a member of it, and said, I shall rest in the day of tribulation, as being one of those who are rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation. Romans 12:12 That I may ascend, he says, among the people of my pilgrimage, departing quite from the wicked people of his carnal kinship, who are not pilgrims in this earth, and do not seek the country above. Although the fig-tree, he says, shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labor of the olive shall lie, and the fields shall yield no meat; the sheep shall be cut off from the meat, and there shall be no oxen in the stalls. He sees that nation which was to slay Christ about to lose the abundance of spiritual supplies, which, in prophetic fashion, he has set forth by the figure of earthly plenty. And because that nation was to suffer such wrath of God, because, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, it wished to establish its own, Romans 10:3 he immediately says, Yet will I rejoice in the Lord; I will joy in God my salvation. The Lord God is my strength, and He will set my feet in completion; He will place me above the heights, that I may conquer in His song, to wit, in that song of which something similar is said in the psalm, He set my feet upon a rock, and directed my goings, and put in my mouth a new song, a hymn to our God. He therefore conquers in the song of the Lord, who takes pleasure in His praise, not in his own; that He that glories, let him glory in the Lord. But some copies have, I will joy in God my Jesus, which seems to me better than the version of those who, wishing to put it in Latin, have not set down that very name which for us it is dearer and sweeter to name. 22.30. How great shall be that felicity, which shall be tainted with no evil, which shall lack no good, and which shall afford leisure for the praises of God, who shall be all in all! For I know not what other employment there can be where no lassitude shall slacken activity, nor any want stimulate to labor. I am admonished also by the sacred song, in which I read or hear the words, Blessed are they that dwell in Your house, O Lord; they will be still praising You. All the members and organs of the incorruptible body, which now we see to be suited to various necessary uses, shall contribute to the praises of God; for in that life necessity shall have no place, but full, certain, secure, everlasting felicity. For all those parts of the bodily harmony, which are distributed through the whole body, within and without, and of which I have just been saying that they at present elude our observation, shall then be discerned; and, along with the other great and marvellous discoveries which shall then kindle rational minds in praise of the great Artificer, there shall be the enjoyment of a beauty which appeals to the reason. What power of movement such bodies shall possess, I have not the audacity rashly to define, as I have not the ability to conceive. Nevertheless I will say that in any case, both in motion and at rest, they shall be, as in their appearance, seemly; for into that state nothing which is unseemly shall be admitted. One thing is certain, the body shall immediately be wherever the spirit wills, and the spirit shall will nothing which is unbecoming either to the spirit or to the body. True honor shall be there, for it shall be denied to none who is worthy, nor yielded to any unworthy; neither shall any unworthy person so much as sue for it, for none but the worthy shall be there. True peace shall be there, where no one shall suffer opposition either from himself or any other. God Himself, who is the Author of virtue, shall there be its reward; for, as there is nothing greater or better, He has promised Himself. What else was meant by His word through the prophet, I will be your God, and you shall be my people, Leviticus 26:12 than, I shall be their satisfaction, I shall be all that men honorably desire - life, and health, and nourishment, and plenty, and glory, and honor, and peace, and all good things? This, too, is the right interpretation of the saying of the apostle, That God may be all in all. 1 Corinthians 15:28 He shall be the end of our desires who shall be seen without end, loved without cloy, praised without weariness. This outgoing of affection, this employment, shall certainly be, like eternal life itself, common to all. But who can conceive, not to say describe, what degrees of honor and glory shall be awarded to the various degrees of merit? Yet it cannot be doubted that there shall be degrees. And in that blessed city there shall be this great blessing, that no inferior shall envy any superior, as now the archangels are not envied by the angels, because no one will wish to be what he has not received, though bound in strictest concord with him who has received; as in the body the finger does not seek to be the eye, though both members are harmoniously included in the complete structure of the body. And thus, along with his gift, greater or less, each shall receive this further gift of contentment to desire no more than he has. Neither are we to suppose that because sin shall have no power to delight them, free will must be withdrawn. It will, on the contrary, be all the more truly free, because set free from delight in sinning to take unfailing delight in not sinning. For the first freedom of will which man received when he was created upright consisted in an ability not to sin, but also in an ability to sin; whereas this last freedom of will shall be superior, inasmuch as it shall not be able to sin. This, indeed, shall not be a natural ability, but the gift of God. For it is one thing to be God, another thing to be a partaker of God. God by nature cannot sin, but the partaker of God receives this inability from God. And in this divine gift there was to be observed this gradation, that man should first receive a free will by which he was able not to sin, and at last a free will by which he was not able to sin - the former being adapted to the acquiring of merit, the latter to the enjoying of the reward. But the nature thus constituted, having sinned when it had the ability to do so, it is by a more abundant grace that it is delivered so as to reach that freedom in which it cannot sin. For as the first immortality which Adam lost by sinning consisted in his being able not to die, while the last shall consist in his not being able to die; so the first free will consisted in his being able not to sin, the last in his not being able to sin. And thus piety and justice shall be as indefeasible as happiness. For certainly by sinning we lost both piety and happiness; but when we lost happiness, we did not lose the love of it. Are we to say that God Himself is not free because He cannot sin? In that city, then, there shall be free will, one in all the citizens, and indivisible in each, delivered from all ill, filled with all good, enjoying indefeasibly the delights of eternal joys, oblivious of sins, oblivious of sufferings, and yet not so oblivious of its deliverance as to be ungrateful to its Deliverer. The soul, then, shall have an intellectual remembrance of its past ills; but, so far as regards sensible experience, they shall be quite forgotten. For a skillful physician knows, indeed, professionally almost all diseases; but experimentally he is ignorant of a great number which he himself has never suffered from. As, therefore, there are two ways of knowing evil things - one by mental insight, the other by sensible experience, for it is one thing to understand all vices by the wisdom of a cultivated mind, another to understand them by the foolishness of an abandoned life - so also there are two ways of forgetting evils. For a well-instructed and learned man forgets them one way, and he who has experimentally suffered from them forgets them another - the former by neglecting what he has learned, the latter by escaping what he has suffered. And in this latter way the saints shall forget their past ills, for they shall have so thoroughly escaped them all, that they shall be quite blotted out of their experience. But their intellectual knowledge, which shall be great, shall keep them acquainted not only with their own past woes, but with the eternal sufferings of the lost. For if they were not to know that they had been miserable, how could they, as the Psalmist says, for ever sing the mercies of God? Certainly that city shall have no greater joy than the celebration of the grace of Christ, who redeemed us by His blood. There shall be accomplished the words of the psalm, Be still, and know that I am God. There shall be the great Sabbath which has no evening, which God celebrated among His first works, as it is written, And God rested on the seventh day from all His works which He had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it; because that in it He had rested from all His work which God began to make. Genesis 2:2-3 For we shall ourselves be the seventh day, when we shall be filled and replenished with God's blessing and sanctification. There shall we be still, and know that He is God; that He is that which we ourselves aspired to be when we fell away from Him, and listened to the voice of the seducer, You shall be as gods, Genesis 3:5 and so abandoned God, who would have made us as gods, not by deserting Him, but by participating in Him. For without Him what have we accomplished, save to perish in His anger? But when we are restored by Him, and perfected with greater grace, we shall have eternal leisure to see that He is God, for we shall be full of Him when He shall be all in all. For even our good works, when they are understood to be rather His than ours, are imputed to us that we may enjoy this Sabbath rest. For if we attribute them to ourselves, they shall be servile; for it is said of the Sabbath, You shall do no servile work in it. Deuteronomy 5:14 Wherefore also it is said by Ezekiel the prophet, And I gave them my Sabbaths to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord who sanctify them. Ezekiel 20:12 This knowledge shall be perfected when we shall be perfectly at rest, and shall perfectly know that He is God. This Sabbath shall appear still more clearly if we count the ages as days, in accordance with the periods of time defined in Scripture, for that period will be found to be the seventh. The first age, as the first day, extends from Adam to the deluge; the second from the deluge to Abraham, equalling the first, not in length of time, but in the number of generations, there being ten in each. From Abraham to the advent of Christ there are, as the evangelist Matthew calculates, three periods, in each of which are fourteen generations - one period from Abraham to David, a second from David to the captivity, a third from the captivity to the birth of Christ in the flesh. There are thus five ages in all. The sixth is now passing, and cannot be measured by any number of generations, as it has been said, It is not for you to know the times, which the Father has put in His own power. Acts 1:7 After this period God shall rest as on the seventh day, when He shall give us (who shall be the seventh day) rest in Himself. But there is not now space to treat of these ages; suffice it to say that the seventh shall be our Sabbath, which shall be brought to a close, not by an evening, but by the Lord's day, as an eighth and eternal day, consecrated by the resurrection of Christ, and prefiguring the eternal repose not only of the spirit, but also of the body. There we shall rest and see, see and love, love and praise. This is what shall be in the end without end. For what other end do we propose to ourselves than to attain to the kingdom of which there is no end? I think I have now, by God's help, discharged my obligation in writing this large work. Let those who think I have said too little, or those who think I have said too much, forgive me; and let those who think I have said just enough join me in giving thanks to God. Amen.

Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
adam Karfíková, Grace and the Will According to Augustine (2012) 277
adam and eve Wiebe, Fallen Angels in the Theology of St Augustine (2021) 63
amor Karfíková, Grace and the Will According to Augustine (2012) 277
angel, ἀποκατάστασις\u200e Wiebe, Fallen Angels in the Theology of St Augustine (2021) 62, 63
angels Karfíková, Grace and the Will According to Augustine (2012) 277
anima/soul Wilson, Augustine's Conversion from Traditional Free Choice to "Non-free Free Will": A Comprehensive Methodology (2018) 269
augustine Neusner Green and Avery-Peck, Judaism from Moses to Muhammad: An Interpretation: Turning Points and Focal Points (2022) 254
augustines works, c. faust. Wilson, Augustine's Conversion from Traditional Free Choice to "Non-free Free Will": A Comprehensive Methodology (2018) 269
augustines works, civ. Wilson, Augustine's Conversion from Traditional Free Choice to "Non-free Free Will": A Comprehensive Methodology (2018) 196, 269
augustines works, enar. ps. Wilson, Augustine's Conversion from Traditional Free Choice to "Non-free Free Will": A Comprehensive Methodology (2018) 269
augustines works, enchir. Wilson, Augustine's Conversion from Traditional Free Choice to "Non-free Free Will": A Comprehensive Methodology (2018) 269
augustines works, gen. litt. Wilson, Augustine's Conversion from Traditional Free Choice to "Non-free Free Will": A Comprehensive Methodology (2018) 196
augustines works, nat. orig. Wilson, Augustine's Conversion from Traditional Free Choice to "Non-free Free Will": A Comprehensive Methodology (2018) 269
augustines works, s. Wilson, Augustine's Conversion from Traditional Free Choice to "Non-free Free Will": A Comprehensive Methodology (2018) 269
augustines works, tract. ep. jo. Wilson, Augustine's Conversion from Traditional Free Choice to "Non-free Free Will": A Comprehensive Methodology (2018) 269
augustines works, tract. ev. jo. Wilson, Augustine's Conversion from Traditional Free Choice to "Non-free Free Will": A Comprehensive Methodology (2018) 269
carroll, james Neusner Green and Avery-Peck, Judaism from Moses to Muhammad: An Interpretation: Turning Points and Focal Points (2022) 254
christianity, augustine on Neusner Green and Avery-Peck, Judaism from Moses to Muhammad: An Interpretation: Turning Points and Focal Points (2022) 254
church Karfíková, Grace and the Will According to Augustine (2012) 277
cicero Wilson, Augustine's Conversion from Traditional Free Choice to "Non-free Free Will": A Comprehensive Methodology (2018) 196
compatibilism Wilson, Augustine's Conversion from Traditional Free Choice to "Non-free Free Will": A Comprehensive Methodology (2018) 269
compulsion vs. freedom Wilson, Augustine's Conversion from Traditional Free Choice to "Non-free Free Will": A Comprehensive Methodology (2018) 269
condemnation Karfíková, Grace and the Will According to Augustine (2012) 277
constantines sword, the church and the jews (carroll) Neusner Green and Avery-Peck, Judaism from Moses to Muhammad: An Interpretation: Turning Points and Focal Points (2022) 254
damnation, eternal Wilson, Augustine's Conversion from Traditional Free Choice to "Non-free Free Will": A Comprehensive Methodology (2018) 196, 269
demons, eternal punishment of Wiebe, Fallen Angels in the Theology of St Augustine (2021) 62, 63
devil, the, fall of Wiebe, Fallen Angels in the Theology of St Augustine (2021) 62, 63
devil Karfíková, Grace and the Will According to Augustine (2012) 277
dupied Wilson, Augustine's Conversion from Traditional Free Choice to "Non-free Free Will": A Comprehensive Methodology (2018) 269
election/elect Wilson, Augustine's Conversion from Traditional Free Choice to "Non-free Free Will": A Comprehensive Methodology (2018) 196, 269
embodiment Wiebe, Fallen Angels in the Theology of St Augustine (2021) 86
evil will, stoic non-free free will Wilson, Augustine's Conversion from Traditional Free Choice to "Non-free Free Will": A Comprehensive Methodology (2018) 269
faith/belief, as gods gift Wilson, Augustine's Conversion from Traditional Free Choice to "Non-free Free Will": A Comprehensive Methodology (2018) 196
faith/belief, initial faith Wilson, Augustine's Conversion from Traditional Free Choice to "Non-free Free Will": A Comprehensive Methodology (2018) 196
faith/belief Wilson, Augustine's Conversion from Traditional Free Choice to "Non-free Free Will": A Comprehensive Methodology (2018) 196
fall, humans vs demons Wiebe, Fallen Angels in the Theology of St Augustine (2021) 63, 86
final judgement Wiebe, Fallen Angels in the Theology of St Augustine (2021) 62, 63, 86
foreknowledge Wilson, Augustine's Conversion from Traditional Free Choice to "Non-free Free Will": A Comprehensive Methodology (2018) 269
free choice/free will Wilson, Augustine's Conversion from Traditional Free Choice to "Non-free Free Will": A Comprehensive Methodology (2018) 269
gnosticism/gnostics Wilson, Augustine's Conversion from Traditional Free Choice to "Non-free Free Will": A Comprehensive Methodology (2018) 269
grace, discriminatory grace/salvation Wilson, Augustine's Conversion from Traditional Free Choice to "Non-free Free Will": A Comprehensive Methodology (2018) 196, 269
grace Wilson, Augustine's Conversion from Traditional Free Choice to "Non-free Free Will": A Comprehensive Methodology (2018) 196, 269
holy spirit Wilson, Augustine's Conversion from Traditional Free Choice to "Non-free Free Will": A Comprehensive Methodology (2018) 196, 269
jacob and/or esau Wilson, Augustine's Conversion from Traditional Free Choice to "Non-free Free Will": A Comprehensive Methodology (2018) 196
love Karfíková, Grace and the Will According to Augustine (2012) 277
love , of self Karfíková, Grace and the Will According to Augustine (2012) 277
manichaeism Wilson, Augustine's Conversion from Traditional Free Choice to "Non-free Free Will": A Comprehensive Methodology (2018) 269
nihil, nothingness Karfíková, Grace and the Will According to Augustine (2012) 277
origen Karfíková, Grace and the Will According to Augustine (2012) 277
original sin, augustinian Wilson, Augustine's Conversion from Traditional Free Choice to "Non-free Free Will": A Comprehensive Methodology (2018) 269
original sin, inherited/original guilt Wilson, Augustine's Conversion from Traditional Free Choice to "Non-free Free Will": A Comprehensive Methodology (2018) 269
original sin, pre-augustinian traditional Wilson, Augustine's Conversion from Traditional Free Choice to "Non-free Free Will": A Comprehensive Methodology (2018) 269
original sin Wilson, Augustine's Conversion from Traditional Free Choice to "Non-free Free Will": A Comprehensive Methodology (2018) 269
pelagians/pelagianism Wilson, Augustine's Conversion from Traditional Free Choice to "Non-free Free Will": A Comprehensive Methodology (2018) 269
perdition Karfíková, Grace and the Will According to Augustine (2012) 277
plotinus Wilson, Augustine's Conversion from Traditional Free Choice to "Non-free Free Will": A Comprehensive Methodology (2018) 196
predestination Wiebe, Fallen Angels in the Theology of St Augustine (2021) 86; Wilson, Augustine's Conversion from Traditional Free Choice to "Non-free Free Will": A Comprehensive Methodology (2018) 196, 269
predetermination Wilson, Augustine's Conversion from Traditional Free Choice to "Non-free Free Will": A Comprehensive Methodology (2018) 269
providence, stoic type Wilson, Augustine's Conversion from Traditional Free Choice to "Non-free Free Will": A Comprehensive Methodology (2018) 196
punishment Karfíková, Grace and the Will According to Augustine (2012) 277
reatus Wilson, Augustine's Conversion from Traditional Free Choice to "Non-free Free Will": A Comprehensive Methodology (2018) 269
salvation, discriminatory salvation/grace Wilson, Augustine's Conversion from Traditional Free Choice to "Non-free Free Will": A Comprehensive Methodology (2018) 196, 269
salvation Karfíková, Grace and the Will According to Augustine (2012) 277; Wilson, Augustine's Conversion from Traditional Free Choice to "Non-free Free Will": A Comprehensive Methodology (2018) 196, 269
supplicium Karfíková, Grace and the Will According to Augustine (2012) 277
theodicy Wilson, Augustine's Conversion from Traditional Free Choice to "Non-free Free Will": A Comprehensive Methodology (2018) 269
total depravity/incapacity Wilson, Augustine's Conversion from Traditional Free Choice to "Non-free Free Will": A Comprehensive Methodology (2018) 269
two cities Wiebe, Fallen Angels in the Theology of St Augustine (2021) 86
voluntas, will' Karfíková, Grace and the Will According to Augustine (2012) 277
will, and embodiment Wiebe, Fallen Angels in the Theology of St Augustine (2021) 86
will, as locus of evil Wiebe, Fallen Angels in the Theology of St Augustine (2021) 63
will, voluntas Wiebe, Fallen Angels in the Theology of St Augustine (2021) 62