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

Early Church Fathers  Index     

p. 306

Chapter 25.—Of the Anger of God, Which Does Not Inflame His Mind, Nor Disturb His Unchangeable Tranquillity.

The anger of God is not a disturbing emotion of His mind, but a judgment by which punishment is inflicted upon sin.  His thought and reconsideration also are the unchangeable reason which changes things; for He does not, like man, repent of anything He has done, because in all matters His decision is as inflexible as His prescience is certain.  But if Scripture were not to use such expressions as the above, it would not familiarly insinuate itself into the minds of all classes of men, whom it seeks access to for their good, that it may alarm the proud, arouse the careless, exercise the inquisitive, and satisfy the intelligent; and this it could not do, did it not first stoop, and in a manner descend, to them where they lie.  But its denouncing death on all the animals of earth and air is a declaration of the vastness of the disaster that was approaching:  not that it threatens destruction to the irrational animals as if they too had incurred it by sin.

Next: Chapter 26

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