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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. II:
City of God: Chapter 22

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter 22.—That God Foreknew that the First Man Would Sin, and that He at the Same Time Foresaw How Large a Multitude of Godly Persons Would by His Grace Be Translated to the Fellowship of the Angels.

And God was not ignorant that man would sin, and that, being himself made subject now to death, he would propagate men doomed to die, and that these mortals would run to such enormities in sin, that even the beasts devoid of rational will, and who were created in numbers from the waters and the earth, would live more securely and peaceably with their own kind than men, who had been propagated from one individual for the very purpose of commending concord.  For not even lions or dragons have ever waged with their kind such wars as men have waged with one another. 566   But God foresaw also that by His grace a people would be called to adoption, and that they, being justified by the remission of their sins, would be united by the Holy Ghost to the holy angels in eternal peace, the last enemy, death, being destroyed; and He knew that this people would derive profit from the consideration that God had caused all men to be derived from one, for the sake of showing how highly He prizes unity in a multitude.


Footnotes

241:566

                “Quando leoni

Fortior eripuit vitam leo? quo nemore unquam

Exspiravit aper majoris dentibus apri?

Indica tigris agit rabida cum tigride pacem

Perpetuam; sævis inter se convenit ursis.

Ast homini,”etc.

Juvenal, Sat. xv. 160—5.

—See also the very striking lines which precede these.


Next: Chapter 23

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