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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. II:
City of God: Chapter 25

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter 25.—Concerning the One God Only to Be Worshipped, Who, Although His Name is Unknown, is Yet Deemed to Be the Giver of Felicity.

Having had that reason rendered to us, we shall perhaps much more easily persuade, as we wish, those whose heart has not become too much hardened.  For if now human infirmity has perceived that felicity cannot be given except by some god; if this was perceived by those who worshipped so many gods, at whose head they set Jupiter himself; if, in their ignorance of the name of Him by whom felicity was given, they agreed to call Him by the name of that very thing which they believed He gave;—then it follows that they thought that felicity could not be given even by Jupiter himself, whom they already worshipped, but certainly by him whom they thought fit to worship under the name of Felicity itself.  I thoroughly affirm the statement that they believed felicity to be given by a certain God whom they knew not:  let Him therefore be sought after, let Him be worshipped, and it is enough.  Let the train of innumerable demons be repudiated, and let this God suffice every man whom his gift suffices.  For him, I say, God the giver of felicity will not be enough to worship, for whom felicity itself is not enough to receive.  But let him for whom it suffices (and man has nothing more he ought to wish for) serve the one God, the giver of felicity.  This God is not he whom they call Jupiter.  For if they acknowledged him to be the giver of felicity, they would not seek, under the name of Felicity itself, for another god or goddess by whom felicity might be given; nor could they tolerate that Jupiter himself should be worshipped with such infamous attributes.  For he is said to be the debaucher of the wives of others; he is the shameless lover and ravisher of a beautiful boy.


Next: Chapter 26

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