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Righteousness: From “The City of God” by Saint Augustine of Hippo (vegetarian), Part 1 of 2



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Saint Augustine of Hippo was an esteemed late 4th and early 5th century Christian bishop in present-day Algeria. Known as one of the greatest Christian philosophers, St. Augustine was a prolific writer, with about 100 books, 300 letters and 500 sermons on a wide range of subjects from theology and philosophy to sociology, and has had a lasting influence on the Christian world. Among his most significant writings are “The City of God,” “De Doctrina Christiana” and “Confessions.” The respected bishop was also a compassionate vegetarian, and drew attention to the lifestyle of those who “not only abstain from flesh and wine, but also from other viands. …which flatter taste.” Today we will present excerpts from Saint Augustine’s “The City of God,” Book 21, which details the importance of the grace of God as well as walking the virtuous and moral way and avoiding harmful temptations, as the path to the Kingdom of God.

“For ‘the Lord know them that are His;’ and ‘as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are sons of God,’ but by grace, not by nature. For there is but one Son of God by nature, who in His compassion became Son of man for our sakes, that we, by nature sons of men, might by grace become through Him sons of God.”

“Nor ought any one to trust that he has passed from the one man to the other until he shall have reached that place where there is no temptation, and have entered into the peace which he seeks in the many and various conflicts of this war, in which ‘the flesh lust against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh.’ Now, such a war as this would have had no existence if human nature had, in the exercise of free will, continued steadfast in the uprightness in which it was created. But now in its misery it makes war upon itself, because in its blessedness it would not continue at peace with God.”

“But when we reach that age which can now comprehend the commandment, and submit to the dominion of law, we must declare war upon vices, and wage this war keenly, lest we be landed in damnable sins.”

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