City of God by St. Augustine

(New York: Penguin, 426/2003), 1184

For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the one that is to come.

Glorious things are said of you, O City of God!


Summary (from 2023-03-31-Christianity and Politics):

  • This work revolutionized the relationship between Christianity and Politics
  • Parts 1-2 (Books 1-10): the pagan God's never brought Rome health or happiness and were logically incapable of doing so
  • Parts 3-5 (Books 11-22): only the Christian God can save Rome

Part One

Book I

The gods did not protect Rome. The Christians suffered with others, but disasters overtake both good and bad, and the loss of worldly goods is not always a disaster. The violation of chastity does not harm the unwilling soul. Suicide is not permissible to avoid this.

Preface: The purpose and argument of this work.

Book I, Chapter 1:

Book I, Chapter 2:

Book I, Chapter 3:

Book I, Chapter 4:

Book I, Chapter 5:

Book I, Chapter 6:

Book I, Chapter 7:

Book I, Chapter 8:

What matters is the nature of the sufferer, not the nature of the sufferings. (14)

Book I, Chapter 9:

  • Failure to admonish the sinner bestows culpability (15)
  • Can't avoid admonishment out of fear of giving offense or to preserve one's own temporal pleasure, but reasonable to look for a prudent occasion (15)

Book I, Chapter 10:

Book I, Chapter 11:

  • Death: "Those who must inevitably die ought not to worry overmuch about what accident will cause their death, but about their destination after dying." (20)

Book I, Chapter 12:

Book I, Chapter 13:

Book I, Chapter 14:

  • Buying the dead: " concerned with the bodies of the dead, so as to promote faith in the resurrection." (23)

Book I, Chapter 15:

Book I, Chapter 16:

  • "Virtue, the condition of right living, holds command over the parts of the body from her throne in the mind, and the consecrated body is the instrument of the consecrated will." (26)

Book I, Chapter 17:

Book I, Chapter 18:

  • "Purity is a virtue of the mind." (27)

Book I, Chapter 19:

Book I, Chapter 20:

Book I, Chapter 21:

Book I, Chapter 22:

Book I, Chapter 23:

Book I, Chapter 24:

Book I, Chapter 25:

Book I, Chapter 26:

Book I, Chapter 27:

Book I, Chapter 28:

  • "If you have not consented in the sin, divine aid has been added to divine grace." (39)

Book I, Chapter 29:

Book I, Chapter 30:

Book I, Chapter 31:

Book I, Chapter 32:

Book I, Chapter 33:

Book I, Chapter 34:

Book I, Chapter 35:

Book I, Chapter 36:

Book II

The pagan gods had no moral teaching to give. Examples of the obscenity of pagan rites drawn from Augustine's experience, The gods not only tolerated but even demanded obscenity on the stage. Sallust gave a picture of Rome's decadence. First appearance of Scripio's definition of a state. Cicero's judgement. Further account of obscenities in public worship.

Book II, Chapter 1:

Book II, Chapter 2: Summary of matters treated in Book I

For in the ruin of the city it was stone and timber which fell to the ground; but in the lives of those Romans we saw the collapse not of material but of moral defences, not of material but of spiritual grandeur. The lust that burned in their hearts was more deadly than the flame which consumed their dwellings. (49)

Book II, Chapter 3:

Book II, Chapter 4:

Book II, Chapter 5:

Book II, Chapter 6:

Book II, Chapter 7:

Book II, Chapter 8:

Book II, Chapter 9:

Book II, Chapter 10:

Book II, Chapter 11:

Book II, Chapter 12:

Book II, Chapter 13:

Book II, Chapter 14:

Book II, Chapter 15:

Book II, Chapter 16:

Book II, Chapter 17:

Book II, Chapter 18:

Book II, Chapter 19:

Book II, Chapter 20:

Book II, Chapter 21:

  • "Complete Justice is the supreme essential for government...a commonwealth (i.e. 'the wealth of the community') only exists where there is a sound and just government." (73)

Book II, Chapter 22:

  • "True Justice is found only in that commonwealth whose founder and ruler is Christ." (75)
  • "Glorious things are said about you, City of God." (Ps-87, 75, 381)

Book II, Chapter 23:

Book II, Chapter 24:

Book II, Chapter 25:

Book II, Chapter 26:

Book II, Chapter 27:

Book II, Chapter 28:

Book II, Chapter 29:

  • "The admirable and excellent qualities which nature has bestowed on you can only come to purity and perfection through true godliness." (86)
  • "The Heavenly City outshines Rome, beyond comparison. There, instead of victory, is truth; instead of high rank, holiness; instead of peace, felicity; instead of life, eternity." (87)

Book III

The gods failed to protect Ilium or to save Rome. Rome was morally firm in Numa's day. The subsequent religious depravity.

Book III, Chapter 1:

  • "The only things which evil men count as evil are those which do not make men evil." (89)

Book III, Chapter 2:

Book III, Chapter 3:

Book III, Chapter 4:

Book III, Chapter 5:

Book III, Chapter 6:

Book III, Chapter 7:

Book III, Chapter 8:

Book III, Chapter 9:

Book III, Chapter 10:

Book III, Chapter 11:

Book III, Chapter 12:

Book III, Chapter 13:

Book III, Chapter 14:

Book III, Chapter 15:

Book III, Chapter 16:

Book III, Chapter 17:

Book III, Chapter 18:

Book III, Chapter 19:

Book III, Chapter 20:

Book III, Chapter 21:

Book III, Chapter 22:

Book III, Chapter 23:

Book III, Chapter 24:

Book III, Chapter 25:

Book III, Chapter 26:

Book III, Chapter 27:

Book III, Chapter 28:

Book III, Chapter 29:

Book III, Chapter 30:

Book III, Chapter 31:

Book IV

The number and futility of Roman gods, Praise of Varro.

Book IV, Chapter 1:

Book IV, Chapter 2:

Book IV, Chapter 3:

  • "The individual man is, like a single letter in a statement, an element, as it were, out of which a community or a realm is built up." (138)
  • "The reign of the wicked is more harmful to those who wield the power...for the evils inflicted on the righteous by their wicket masters are not punishments for crime but tests of virtue" (139)

Book IV, Chapter 4:

Book IV, Chapter 5:

Book IV, Chapter 6:

Book IV, Chapter 7:

Book IV, Chapter 8:

Book IV, Chapter 9:

Book IV, Chapter 10:

Book IV, Chapter 11:

Book IV, Chapter 12:

Book IV, Chapter 13:

Book IV, Chapter 14:

Book IV, Chapter 15:

Book IV, Chapter 16:

Book IV, Chapter 17:

Book IV, Chapter 18:

Book IV, Chapter 19:

Book IV, Chapter 20:

Book IV, Chapter 21:

Book IV, Chapter 22:

Book IV, Chapter 23:

Book IV, Chapter 24:

Book IV, Chapter 25:

Book IV, Chapter 26:

Book IV, Chapter 27:

Book IV, Chapter 28:

Book IV, Chapter 29:

Book IV, Chapter 30:

Book IV, Chapter 31:

Book IV, Chapter 32:

Book IV, Chapter 33:

Book IV, Chapter 34:

Book V

The falsity of astrology. God is neither Fate nor Destiny. Roman virtue is responsible for Roman worldly success. A summary of Roman history: ambition for glory; ambition for dominion, God helps the Christian emperors.

Book V, Chapter 1:

Book V, Chapter 2:

Book V, Chapter 3:

Book V, Chapter 4:

Book V, Chapter 5:

Book V, Chapter 6:

Book V, Chapter 7:

Book V, Chapter 8:

Book V, Chapter 9:

Book V, Chapter 10:

Book V, Chapter 11:

Book V, Chapter 12:

Book V, Chapter 13:

Book V, Chapter 14:

Book V, Chapter 15:

Book V, Chapter 16:

Book V, Chapter 17:

Book V, Chapter 18:

Book V, Chapter 19:

Book V, Chapter 20:

Book V, Chapter 21:

Book V, Chapter 22:

Book V, Chapter 23:

Book V, Chapter 24:

Book V, Chapter 25:

Book V, Chapter 26:

Part Two

Book VI

Gods are not worshipped for their gift of eternal life. Varro and 'mythical' and 'civil' deities. 'M. Varro, you are the shrewdest of men and without doubt the most erudite' (Bk VI, 6,). The absurd small gods. They do not even help temporal life.

Book VI, Preface

  • "Stupidity glories in never yielding to the force of truth." (224)

Book VI, Chapter 1:

Book VI, Chapter 2:

Book VI, Chapter 3:

Book VI, Chapter 4:

Book VI, Chapter 5:

Book VI, Chapter 6:

Book VI, Chapter 7:

Book VI, Chapter 8:

Book VI, Chapter 9:

Book VI, Chapter 10:

Book VI, Chapter 11:

Book VI, Chapter 12:

Book VII

The 'select gods. Who are they? How chosen? Is Jupiter supreme? Is a deity the soul of the world?

Book VII, Chapter 1:

Book VII, Chapter 2:

Book VII, Chapter 3:

Book VII, Chapter 4:

Book VII, Chapter 5:

Book VII, Chapter 6:

Book VII, Chapter 7:

Book VII, Chapter 8:

Book VII, Chapter 9:

Book VII, Chapter 10:

Book VII, Chapter 11:

Book VII, Chapter 12:

Book VII, Chapter 13:

Book VII, Chapter 14:

Book VII, Chapter 15:

Book VII, Chapter 16:

Book VII, Chapter 17:

Book VII, Chapter 18:

Book VII, Chapter 19:

Book VII, Chapter 20:

Book VII, Chapter 21:

Book VII, Chapter 22:

Book VII, Chapter 23:

Book VII, Chapter 24:

Book VII, Chapter 25:

Book VII, Chapter 26:

Book VII, Chapter 27:

Book VII, Chapter 28:

Book VII, Chapter 29:

Book VII, Chapter 30:

Book VII, Chapter 31:

Book VII, Chapter 32:

Book VII, Chapter 33:

Book VII, Chapter 34:

Book VII, Chapter 35:

Book VIlI

'Natural' theology. A short history of Greek philosophy. The Platonists, 'raised above the rest by the glorious reputation they so thoroughly deserve'. Platonists are near-Christians. The worship of 'demons' rejected (Apuleius - Hermes Trismegistus). The pagan cult of the dead and the Christian cult of martyrs. Pagan sacrifice and the one and only true Christian victim.

Book VIII, Chapter 1:

  • "God's City lives in this world's city, as far as its human element is concerned; but it lives there as an alien sojourner." (761)

Book VIII, Chapter 2:

Book VIII, Chapter 3:

Book VIII, Chapter 4:

Book VIII, Chapter 5:

Book VIII, Chapter 6:

Book VIII, Chapter 7:

Book VIII, Chapter 8:

Book VIII, Chapter 9:

Book VIII, Chapter 10:

  • "The aim of Philosophy is happiness, and he who has set his heart on God will be happy in the enjoyment of him." (311)

Book VIII, Chapter 11:

Book VIII, Chapter 12:

Book VIII, Chapter 13:

Book VIII, Chapter 14:

Book VIII, Chapter 15:

Book VIII, Chapter 16:

Book VIII, Chapter 17:

Book VIII, Chapter 18:

Book VIII, Chapter 19:

Book VIII, Chapter 20:

Book VIII, Chapter 21:

Book VIII, Chapter 22:

Book VIII, Chapter 23:

Book VIII, Chapter 24:

Book VIII, Chapter 25:

Book VIII, Chapter 26:

Book VIII, Chapter 27:

Book IX

More about demons. Apuleius and the Neoplatonists.

Book IX, Chapter 1:

Book IX, Chapter 2:

Book IX, Chapter 3:

Book IX, Chapter 4:

Book IX, Chapter 5:

Book IX, Chapter 6:

Book IX, Chapter 7:

Book IX, Chapter 8:

Book IX, Chapter 9:

Book IX, Chapter 10:

Book IX, Chapter 11:

Book IX, Chapter 12:

Book IX, Chapter 13:

Book IX, Chapter 14:

Book IX, Chapter 15:

Book IX, Chapter 16:

Book IX, Chapter 17:

Book IX, Chapter 18:

Book IX, Chapter 19:

Book IX, Chapter 20:

  • "Against this arrogance of the demons, to which mankind was enslaved as a deserved punishment, is set the humility of God, revealed in Christ. But the power of humility is unknown to men whose souls are inflated with the impurity of inflated pride. They resemble the demons in arrogance, but not in knowledge." (366)

Book IX, Chapter 21:

Book IX, Chapter 22:

Book IX, Chapter 23:

Book X

The true worship of God. Porphyry and the false claims of theurgy. The angels. The Christian sacrifice. Platonists refuse to acknowledge Christ, the universal way of salvation.

Book X, Chapter 1:

Book X, Chapter 2:

Book X, Chapter 3:

Book X, Chapter 4:

Book X, Chapter 5:

Book X, Chapter 6:

Book X, Chapter 7:

Book X, Chapter 8:

Book X, Chapter 9:

Book X, Chapter 10:

Book X, Chapter 11:

Book X, Chapter 12:

And whatever miracle happens in this world, it is certainly a lesser marvel than the whole world, that is to say, the heavens and the earth and all that is in them, which God undoubtedly made. But the manner of its making is as hidden from man and as incomprehensible to man as is he who made it. And so although the miracles of the visible world of nature have lost their value for us because we see them continually, still, if we observe them wisely they will be found to be greater miracles than the most extraordinary and unusual events. For man is a greater miracle than any miracle effected by man's agency. (390)

(G.K. Chesterton says something similar in Orthodoxy)

Book X, Chapter 13:

Book X, Chapter 14:

Book X, Chapter 15:

Book X, Chapter 16:

Book X, Chapter 17:

Book X, Chapter 18:

Book X, Chapter 19:

Book X, Chapter 20:

Book X, Chapter 21:

Thus he is both the priest, himself making the offering, and the oblation. This is the reality, and he intended the daily sacrifice of the Church to be the sacramental symbol of this; for the Church, being the body of which he is the head, learns to offer itself through him. This is the true sacrifice (401)

Book X, Chapter 22:

  • "For it is only sins that separate man from God." (403)

Book X, Chapter 23:

Book X, Chapter 24:

Book X, Chapter 25:

Book X, Chapter 26:

Book X, Chapter 27:

Book X, Chapter 28:

Book X, Chapter 29:

Book X, Chapter 30:

Book X, Chapter 31:

Book X, Chapter 32:

Part Three

Book XI

The Truth of the Scriptures. Creation. Time. Angels, good and apostate. Wickedness is not natural; nothing created' is in itself evil. How are we sure of our own existence?

Book XI, Chapter 1:

Book XI, Chapter 2: Of the knowledge of God, attainable only through the one Mediator

  • Science/Physics: "It is a great achievement, and no everyday matter, that man in his speculation should go beyond the created universe, having examined it, both in its material and immaterial aspects, and found it mutable, and arrive at the immutable being of God; and then should learn from him that everything which exists, apart from God himself, is the creation of God, and of him alone." (430)

Book XI, Chapter 3:

Book XI, Chapter 4:

Book XI, Chapter 5:

Book XI, Chapter 6:

Book XI, Chapter 7:

Book XI, Chapter 8:

Book XI, Chapter 9:

Book XI, Chapter 10:

Book XI, Chapter 11:

Book XI, Chapter 12:

Book XI, Chapter 13:

Book XI, Chapter 14:

Book XI, Chapter 15:

Book XI, Chapter 16:

Book XI, Chapter 17:

Book XI, Chapter 18:

Book XI, Chapter 19:

Book XI, Chapter 20:

Book XI, Chapter 21:

Book XI, Chapter 22: The apparent evil in the universe

  • "Things which give pleasure, like food and drink, and even light itself, are experienced as harmful when used without restraint and in improper ways." (453)

Book XI, Chapter 23:

Book XI, Chapter 24:

Book XI, Chapter 25:

Book XI, Chapter 26:

Book XI, Chapter 27:

Book XI, Chapter 28:

Book XI, Chapter 29:

Book XI, Chapter 30:

Book XI, Chapter 31:

Book XI, Chapter 32:

Book XI, Chapter 33:

Book XI, Chapter 34:

Book XII

Evil is non existent. Evil has no cause - it is the turning of a limited creature from God to itself. Creation took place long ago. The Cyclic idea of history is false. The world is not eternal.

cf Progress & History

Book XII, Chapter 1:

Book XII, Chapter 2:

Book XII, Chapter 3:

Book XII, Chapter 4:

  • "We must not, in the rashness of human folly, allow ourselves to find fault, in any particular, with the work of that great Artificer who created all things." (475)

Book XII, Chapter 5:

Book XII, Chapter 6:

Book XII, Chapter 7:

Book XII, Chapter 8:

  • "Lust is not something wrong in a beautiful and attractive body; the fault is in a soul which perversely delights in sensual pleasures, to the neglect of that self-control by which we are made fit for spiritual realities far more beautiful, with a loveliness which cannot fade. Boasting is not something wrong with the praise of men; the fault is in a soul which perversely loves the praise of others and cares nothing for the 'witness of conscience. Pride is not something wrong in the one who loves power, or in the power itself; the fault is in the soul which perversely loves its own power, and has no thought for the justice of the Omnipotent." (481)

Book XII, Chapter 9:

Book XII, Chapter 10:

Book XII, Chapter 11:

Book XII, Chapter 12:

Book XII, Chapter 13: The reply to the argument against the recent creation of man (cf. Evolution)

Book XII, Chapter 14:

Book XII, Chapter 15:

Book XII, Chapter 16:

Book XII, Chapter 17:

Book XII, Chapter 18:

Book XII, Chapter 19:

Book XII, Chapter 20:

Book XII, Chapter 21:

Book XII, Chapter 22: The creation of man

  • "But he created man's nature as a kind of mean between angels and beasts, so that if he submitted to his Creator, as to his true sovereign Lord, and observed his instructions with dutiful obedience, he should pass over into the fellowship of the angels, attaining an immortality of endless felicity, without an intervening death; but if he used his free will in arrogance and disobedience, and thus offended God, his Lord, he should live like the beasts, under sentence of death, should be the slave of his desires, and destined after death for eternal punishment." (502)

Book XII, Chapter 23:

Book XII, Chapter 24:

  • Sacraments: "God achieves even visible results by invisible means." (504)

Book XII, Chapter 25:

Book XII, Chapter 26:

Book XII, Chapter 27:

Book XII, Chapter 28:


The creation of man and its problems. Death and resurrection.

Book XIII, Chapter 1:

Book XIII, Chapter 2:

Book XIII, Chapter 3:

Book XIII, Chapter 4:

Book XIII, Chapter 5:

Book XIII, Chapter 6:

Book XIII, Chapter 7:

Book XIII, Chapter 8:

Book XIII, Chapter 9:

Book XIII, Chapter 10: The life of mortals: should it be called death? (cf. Book XII, Chapter 10)

Book XIII, Chapter 11:

Book XIII, Chapter 12:

Book XIII, Chapter 13:

Book XIII, Chapter 14:

Book XIII, Chapter 15:

Book XIII, Chapter 16:

Book XIII, Chapter 17:

Book XIII, Chapter 18:

Book XIII, Chapter 19:

Book XIII, Chapter 20:

Book XIII, Chapter 21:

Book XIII, Chapter 22:

Book XIII, Chapter 23:

Book XIII, Chapter 24:

Book XIV

The life of the spirit and the life of the flesh. Stoic apathy' (not human). Only the Creator can undo the results of sin. Two cities.

Book XIV, Chapter 1:

Book XIV, Chapter 2: The carnal life depends on defects of the mind as much as of the body

Book XIV, Chapter 3:

  • "It was not the corruptible flesh that made the soul sinful; it was the sinful soul that made the flesh corruptible." (551)
  • "the fountainhead of all these evils is Pride" (552)

Book XIV, Chapter 4:

Book XIV, Chapter 5:

Book XIV, Chapter 6:

Book XIV, Chapter 7:

Book XIV, Chapter 8: The three emotions of the wise, according to the Stoics

Book XIV, Chapter 9:

Book XIV, Chapter 10:

Book XIV, Chapter 11:

Book XIV, Chapter 12:

Book XIV, Chapter 13:

Book XIV, Chapter 14:

Book XIV, Chapter 15:

Book XIV, Chapter 16:

Book XIV, Chapter 17:

Book XIV, Chapter 18:

Book XIV, Chapter 19:

Book XIV, Chapter 20:

Book XIV, Chapter 21:

Book XIV, Chapter 22:

Book XIV, Chapter 23:

Book XIV, Chapter 24:

Book XIV, Chapter 25:

Book XIV, Chapter 26:

Book XIV, Chapter 27:

Book XIV, Chapter 28: The character of the two cities

  • "We see then that the two cities were created by two kinds of love: the earthly city was created by self-love reaching the point of contempt for God, the heavenly City by the love of God carried as far as contempt of self." (593)

Part Four

Book XV

Early man. Abel, Cain and the patriarchs. Who were the "giants'? Beginning of two cities. Noah and the ark.

Book XV, Chapter 1:

  • Two types of people... "I classify the human race into two branches: the one consists of those who live by human standards, the other of those who live according to God's will." (595)

Book XV, Chapter 2:

  • Predestination
  • "It is not the case that every bad man will become good, but no one will be good who was not bad originally." (596)

Book XV, Chapter 3:

Book XV, Chapter 4:

Book XV, Chapter 5:

Book XV, Chapter 6:

Book XV, Chapter 7:

  • "A man will have mastery over his sin if he does not put it in command of himself by defending it, but subjects it to himself by repenting of it." (605)

Book XV, Chapter 8:

  • "Man, in ruling his wife, should resemble the mind which rules the flesh." (606)

Book XV, Chapter 9:

Book XV, Chapter 10:

Book XV, Chapter 11:

Book XV, Chapter 12:

Book XV, Chapter 13:

Book XV, Chapter 14:

Book XV, Chapter 15:

Book XV, Chapter 16:

Book XV, Chapter 17:

Book XV, Chapter 18:

Book XV, Chapter 19:

Book XV, Chapter 20:

Book XV, Chapter 21:

Book XV, Chapter 22:

Book XV, Chapter 23:

Book XV, Chapter 24:

Book XV, Chapter 25:

Book XV, Chapter 26:

Book XV, Chapter 27:

Book XVI

Noah to Judah. How do we explain human monsters? There are no antipodes.

Book XVI, Chapter 1:

Book XVI, Chapter 2:

Book XVI, Chapter 3:

Book XVI, Chapter 4:

Book XVI, Chapter 5:

  • "Now God is present everywhere in his entirety, and so does not move from one place to another; but he is said to 'come down' when he performs an action which is miraculous in being contrary to the ordinary course of nature, and thus in some way points to his presence." (658)

Book XVI, Chapter 6:

  • Gn-01: "There is another passage which might have been interpreted with reference to the angels; it is the place where, at the creation of man, God said, 'Let us make man',*" instead of 'Let me make man.' However, since this is followed by 'in our image', and since it is unthinkable that we should believe man to have been made in the image of the angels, or that the angels and God have the same image, the plural here is correctly understood to refer to the Trinity. Nevertheless, the Trinity is one God, and therefore even after the words 'Let us make' the narrative proceeds: 'And God made man in the image of God' It does not say, 'The gods made' or, 'in the image of the gods'." (659)

Book XVI, Chapter 7:

Book XVI, Chapter 8:

Book XVI, Chapter 9:

Book XVI, Chapter 10:

Book XVI, Chapter 11:

Book XVI, Chapter 12:

Book XVI, Chapter 13:

Book XVI, Chapter 14:

Book XVI, Chapter 15:

Book XVI, Chapter 16:

Book XVI, Chapter 17:

Book XVI, Chapter 18:

Book XVI, Chapter 19:

Book XVI, Chapter 20:

Book XVI, Chapter 21:

Book XVI, Chapter 22:

Book XVI, Chapter 23:

Book XVI, Chapter 24:

Book XVI, Chapter 25:

Book XVI, Chapter 26:

Book XVI, Chapter 27:

Book XVI, Chapter 28:

Book XVI, Chapter 29:

Book XVI, Chapter 30:

Book XVI, Chapter 31:

Book XVI, Chapter 32:

Book XVI, Chapter 33:

Book XVI, Chapter 34:

Book XVI, Chapter 35:

Book XVI, Chapter 36:

Book XVI, Chapter 37:

Book XVI, Chapter 38:

Book XVI, Chapter 39:

Book XVI, Chapter 40:

Book XVI, Chapter 41:

Book XVI, Chapter 42:

Book XVI, Chapter 43:

Book XVIl

A detailed account of the preparation for Christ by prophecies throughout Scripture.

Book XVII, Chapter 1:

Book XVII, Chapter 2:

Book XVII, Chapter 3:

Book XVII, Chapter 4:

Book XVII, Chapter 5:

Book XVII, Chapter 6:

Book XVII, Chapter 7:

Book XVII, Chapter 8:

Book XVII, Chapter 9:

Book XVII, Chapter 10:

Book XVII, Chapter 11:

Book XVII, Chapter 12:

Book XVII, Chapter 13:

Book XVII, Chapter 14:

Book XVII, Chapter 15:

Book XVII, Chapter 16:

Book XVII, Chapter 17:

Book XVII, Chapter 18:

Book XVII, Chapter 19:

Book XVII, Chapter 20:

Book XVII, Chapter 21:

Book XVII, Chapter 22:

Book XVII, Chapter 23:

Book XVII, Chapter 24:


The earthly city and the city of God down to Christ. There are two sorts of men in the Church, the predestined and the others who will be condemned. There are others besides Jews in the City of God. Job is a supreme example.

Book XVIII, Chapter 1:

Book XVIII, Chapter 2:

Book XVIII, Chapter 3:

Book XVIII, Chapter 4:

Book XVIII, Chapter 5:

Book XVIII, Chapter 6:

Book XVIII, Chapter 7:

Book XVIII, Chapter 8:

Book XVIII, Chapter 9:

Book XVIII, Chapter 10:

Book XVIII, Chapter 11:

Book XVIII, Chapter 12:

Book XVIII, Chapter 13:

Book XVIII, Chapter 14:

Book XVIII, Chapter 15:

Book XVIII, Chapter 16:

Book XVIII, Chapter 17:

Book XVIII, Chapter 18:

Book XVIII, Chapter 19:

Book XVIII, Chapter 20:

Book XVIII, Chapter 21:

Book XVIII, Chapter 22:

Book XVIII, Chapter 23:

Book XVIII, Chapter 24:

Book XVIII, Chapter 25:

Book XVIII, Chapter 26:

Book XVIII, Chapter 27:

Book XVIII, Chapter 28:

Book XVIII, Chapter 29:

Book XVIII, Chapter 30:

Book XVIII, Chapter 31:

Book XVIII, Chapter 32:

Book XVIII, Chapter 33:

Book XVIII, Chapter 34:

Book XVIII, Chapter 35:

Book XVIII, Chapter 36: Esdras and the Books of the Maccabees

  • "The reckoning of their dates is not to be found in the sacred writings which are called 'canonical', but in other documents, which include the books of the Maccabees. These are regarded as canonical by the Church (though not by the Jews) because of the savage, the amazing sufferings endured by some of the martyrs who, before Christ's coming in his human body, contended even unto death for the cause of God's Law, and held firm under the most appalling agonies." (810-811)

Book XVIII, Chapter 37: The prophetic authority antedates the beginnings of pagan philosophy

  • Moses: "our true theologian, who truthfully proclaimed the one true God, and whose writings now have the first place in our authorized canon." (812)

Book XVIII, Chapter 38: Some writings not admitted into the canon because of their great antiquity and doubtful authenticity

  • Enoch: "...on account of their remoteness in time it seemed advisable to hold them suspect, for fear of advancing false claims to authenticity. For there are some writings put forward as genuine works of those authors by those who without discrimination believe what they want to believe, as suits their inclination...they are of no value even as adding to our supply of knowledge since it is uncertain whether they are authentic works of the authors to whom they are ascribed." (812-813) ^e16d1c

Book XVIII, Chapter 39:

Book XVIII, Chapter 40:

Book XVIII, Chapter 41:

Book XVIII, Chapter 42:

Book XVIII, Chapter 43:

Book XVIII, Chapter 44:

Book XVIII, Chapter 45:

Book XVIII, Chapter 46:

Book XVIII, Chapter 47:

Book XVIII, Chapter 48:

Book XVIII, Chapter 49:

Book XVIII, Chapter 50:

Book XVIII, Chapter 51:

Book XVIII, Chapter 52:

Book XVIII, Chapter 53:

Book XVIII, Chapter 54:

Part Five

Book XIX

What is man's supreme Good? Peace. Everything is
directed towards peace, even war.

Book XIX, Chapter 1:

Book XIX, Chapter 2:

  • Two types of people...: "Then there are the three kinds of life: the first, without being slothful, is still a life of leisure passed in the consideration of truth or the quest for it; the second is busily engaged in the world's affairs; the third is a balanced combination of the other two." (847)

Book XIX, Chapter 3:

Book XIX, Chapter 4:

  • "Eternal life is the Supreme Good, and eternal death the Supreme Evil." (852)
  • Discussion of Prudence and Justice (854)
  • "So great is the stupefying arrogance of those people who imagine that they find the Ultimate Good in this life and that they can attain happiness by their own efforts." (855)

Book XIX, Chapter 5:

Book XIX, Chapter 6:

  • "Those who pronounce judgement cannot see into the consciences of those on whom they pronounce it." (859)

Book XIX, Chapter 7:

Book XIX, Chapter 8:

Book XIX, Chapter 9:

Book XIX, Chapter 10:

Book XIX, Chapter 11:

Book XIX, Chapter 12:

Book XIX, Chapter 13:

Book XIX, Chapter 14:

Book XIX, Chapter 15:

Book XIX, Chapter 16:

Book XIX, Chapter 17:

Book XIX, Chapter 18:

Book XIX, Chapter 19:

Book XIX, Chapter 20:

Book XIX, Chapter 21:

Book XIX, Chapter 22:

Book XIX, Chapter 23:

Book XIX, Chapter 24:

Book XIX, Chapter 25:

Book XIX, Chapter 26:

Book XIX, Chapter 27:

Book XIX, Chapter 28:

Book XX

The last judgement. Law and order. Scipio's republic again.

Book XX, Chapter 1:

Book XX, Chapter 2:

Book XX, Chapter 3:

Book XX, Chapter 4:

Book XX, Chapter 5:

Book XX, Chapter 6:

Book XX, Chapter 7:

Book XX, Chapter 8:

Book XX, Chapter 9:

Book XX, Chapter 10:

Book XX, Chapter 11:

Book XX, Chapter 12:

Book XX, Chapter 13:

Book XX, Chapter 14:

Book XX, Chapter 15:

Book XX, Chapter 16:

Book XX, Chapter 17:

Book XX, Chapter 18:

Book XX, Chapter 19:

Book XX, Chapter 20:

Book XX, Chapter 21:

Book XX, Chapter 22:

Book XX, Chapter 23:

Book XX, Chapter 24:

Book XX, Chapter 25:

Book XX, Chapter 26:

Book XX, Chapter 27:

Book XX, Chapter 28:

Book XX, Chapter 29:

Book XX, Chapter 30:

  • "Who would have expected that the nations would put their hope in the name of Christ, at the time when he was arrested, bound, scourged, ridiculed, crucified; when even his disciples had lost the hope in him which they had by then begun to have? The hope that was then held scarcely by the one thief on the cross is now held by nations scattered far and wide, who are signed with the sign of that very cross on which he died, so that they may not die for ever." (963)

Book XXI

How is eternal punishment possible? Pain of soul or body?
Does temporal punishment exist after death for some?

Book XXI, Chapter 1:

Book XXI, Chapter 2:

Book XXI, Chapter 3:

Book XXI, Chapter 4:

Book XXI, Chapter 5:

Book XXI, Chapter 6:

Book XXI, Chapter 7:

Book XXI, Chapter 8:

Book XXI, Chapter 9:

Book XXI, Chapter 10:

Book XXI, Chapter 11:

Book XXI, Chapter 12:

Book XXI, Chapter 13:

Book XXI, Chapter 14:

Book XXI, Chapter 15:

Book XXI, Chapter 16:

Book XXI, Chapter 17:

Book XXI, Chapter 18:

Book XXI, Chapter 19:

Book XXI, Chapter 20:

Book XXI, Chapter 21:

Book XXI, Chapter 22:

Book XXI, Chapter 23:

Book XXI, Chapter 24:

Book XXI, Chapter 25:

Book XXI, Chapter 26: The meaning of having Christ as the foundation, and of 'saved by fire'

  • "Now we shall discover who can be saved 'through fire', if we start by discovering what it means to have Christ as one's foundation. To get at the meaning as quickly as possible from the metaphor itself: the foundation precedes any of the building; and so if anyone has Christ in his heart in the sense that he puts no earthly and temporal thing before Christ - not even those which are lawful and permitted - that man has Christ as his foundation. If he does put such things before Christ, then even if he appears to hold the Christian faith, Christ is not the foundation in him, since for him Christ takes second place. And if he thinks nothing of the saving commandments and acts unlawfully, he is all the more convicted of putting Christ last instead of first, when he has relegated him to secondary importance as a source of command or permission, and has slighted his commands or his permission in choosing to gratify his sensuality by immoral acts. And so, if a Christian loves a harlot and becomes one body with her by linking himself to her', he no longer has Christ for his foundation, whereas if a man loves his wife, assuming that he loves her according to Christ's standards, then who can doubt that he has Christ as his foundation? But if he loves her in the way of the world, with a sensual love, with an unhealthy lust, in the manner of 'the pagans who are ignorant of God', even this the Apostle allows by way of indulgence, or rather Christ does so through his apostle, It is possible, then, for such a man to have Christ as his foundation. For provided that he does not put any such sensual pleasure before the claims of Christ, then although he builds in wood, hay, and straw', Christ is the foundation, and for that reason he will be saved 'through fire'. For pleasures of this kind and the earthly sort of love, which because of the bond of marriage do not incur damnation, will nevertheless be burnt up by the fire of tribulation; and bereavement and any other calamities which put an end to such pleasures are all connected with this "fire. And in this way the building will bring loss to the builder in that he will not keep what he has built on the foundation and he will be tormented by the loss of the enjoyment that certainly gave him delight. Yet he will be saved 'through fire' in virtue of that foundation, because if a persecutor had given him the choice between having that enjoyment and having Christ, he would have chosen Christ in preference to those delights. Now listen to the Apostle describing a man who builds gold, silver, precious stones, on this foundation. The unmarried man', he says, gives his thoughts to the Lord's affairs; his aim is to please the Lord'; and then describing the builder in wood, hay and straw, The married man, in contrast, concentrates on worldly matters; his concern is how to please his will test the quality of each man's work" (1010-1012)
  • "But anyone who puts any loved objects before Christ does not have Christ for his foundation, am not speaking only of a man's wife, when he treats her as a means of sensual pleasure in carnal copulation; I am referring also to those relationships of natural affection where there is no question of such sensual indulgence. If a man loves any member of his family, with a human being's instinctive affection, in such a way as to put Christ second, then Christ is not his foundation, and for that reason such a man will not be 'saved by fire', because it will be impossible for him to be with the Saviour. Indeed Christ made a most explicit statement on this point when he said, 'Anyone who loves his father or his mother more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who loves a son or a daughter more than me is not worthy of me.'o On the other hand, anyone who loves those close relations in this instinctive way, without putting them in front of the Lord Christ, anyone who would prefer to be deprived of them rather than to lose Christ, if he were brought to the test of this dilemma, such a man will be 'saved through fire', because the loss of those loved ones will cause him burning pain in proportion to the closeness of his attachment to them. But we may add that anyone who loves father or mother, sons or daughters according to the standards of Christ, so that he is concerned that they may inherit Christ's kingdom and be united to Christ, or anyone who loves them for the fact that they are members of Christ; it is impossible that such affection should prove to be something that has to be destroyed along with the 'wood, hay and straw. This will, beyond dispute, be reckoned as part of the structure of 'gold, silver, and precious stone. For if a man loves others entirely for Christ's sake, how can he love them more than Christ?" (1014)

Book XXI, Chapter 27:

  • "Anyone who loves Christ in a Christian gives help to that Christian with the intention of coming closer to Christ, not of escaping from Christ unpunished." (1017)


The creation and resurrection. Miracles still occur in the
Christian Church. The Vision of God.

Book XXII, Chapter 1:

Book XXII, Chapter 2:

Book XXII, Chapter 3:

Book XXII, Chapter 4:

Book XXII, Chapter 5:

Book XXII, Chapter 6:

Book XXII, Chapter 7:

Book XXII, Chapter 8:

  • ha! "To cut a long story short..." (1036)

Book XXII, Chapter 9:

Book XXII, Chapter 10:

Book XXII, Chapter 11:

Book XXII, Chapter 12:

Book XXII, Chapter 13:

Book XXII, Chapter 14:

Book XXII, Chapter 15:

Book XXII, Chapter 16:

Book XXII, Chapter 17:

Book XXII, Chapter 18:

Book XXII, Chapter 19:

Book XXII, Chapter 20:

Book XXII, Chapter 21:

  • "We cannot keep silent about the joy of our Hope" (1064)

Book XXII, Chapter 22:

Book XXII, Chapter 23:

  • "As long as we are in this body we shall always have reason to say to God, 'Forgive us our debts.'" (1069)

Book XXII, Chapter 24:

  • Virtues: "given solely by the grace of God in Christ to the children of the promise and of the kingdom." (1072)
  • "A time will come when we shall enjoy one another's beauty for itself alone, without any Lust" (1074, cf. Ps-104)
  • Our life is a "compressed pile of blessings" (1075)

Book XXII, Chapter 25:

Book XXII, Chapter 26:

Book XXII, Chapter 27:

Book XXII, Chapter 28:

Book XXII, Chapter 29:

  • "In the future life, wherever we turn the spiritual eyes of our bodies we shall discern, by means of our bodies, the incorporeal God directing the whole universe." (1086-1087)
  • "The reward of Virtue will be God himself." (1088)
  • "The last gift was the inability to sin." (1089)

Book XXII, Chapter 30:

  • "This we shall then know perfectly, when we are perfectly at rest, and in stillness see perfectly that he is God." (1091, cf. Ps-46)
  • References
    • Strangers in a Strange Land by Chaput, 12-16
      • Prepare for reading:
      • >Read the first book of Livy's History of Rome. Or read Gerard O'Daly's Readers Guide to City of God. Or just get a head start! (Twitter)
  • Book I
    • 9 talks about how good and bad are punished together because good loves the world and is afraid to admonish bad. This reminded me of the priest in Arizona who preached against voting for Democrats who support abortion. How are we called in family life to love in this culture without giving into its vices and make sure we admonish sin when we confront it?
      • "For man is a greater miracle than any miracle effected by man's agency." #CivDei 10.12
      • The scientists I most admire embody the first sentence of #CivDei 11.2
      • >It is a great achievement, and no everyday matter, that man in his speculation should go beyond the created universe, having examined it, both in its material and immaterial aspects, and fount it mutable, and arrive at the immutable being of God; and then should learn from him that everything which exists, apart from God himself, is the creation of God, and of him alone.
      • "To cut a long story short"...ironic that this appears on page 1036 #CivDei 22.8

**Source**: [#CivDei](

Created: 2017-01-03
Updated: 2023-12-24-Sun