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I. A Fifth Century Tract for the Times


II. The Life of Salvian


III. Salvian’s Literary Work


IV. On the Government of God


V. Style and Latinity


VI. The Editions of Salvian ‘s Works


VII. Estimates of Salvian ‘s Work

On the Government of God

Preface, to Salonius.—That the salutary purpose of the present work should atone for its lack of the vain adornments of rhetoric


Book I.—The government of God proved by the general conviction of mankind, and by his judgment recounted in the books of Moses


1. On the general belief in God’s government. 2. That good Christians cannot be wretched. 3. Of the infirmities of the saints. 4. God’s guidance and judgments of the world. 5. On the meaning of prayer. 6. The earliest instances of God’s judgment. 7. God’s judgment shown in the Flood. 8. The examples of Abraham, of Sodom and Gomorrah. 9. The Exodus. 10. Man’s ingratitude for his present blessings. 11. Examples of God’s mercy and of his severity. 12. God’s judgments of the Hebrews.

Book II.—The immediate judgment of God as seen in the history of King David


1. Of the presence of God. 2. God’s watchful care. 3. His vengeance. 4. The punishment of David. 5. David’s exile. 6. The immediacy of God’s judgment.

Book III.—On the obligations of the Christian life


1. Divine authority and human reason. 2. Christian belief. 3. The obligations of the Christian life. 4. The apostle’s imitation of Christ. 5. The services due to God. 6. How men follow Christ’s precepts. 7. The necessity of impartial obedience. 8. The lesser commands of God. 9. The vices of Christians. 10. The guilt of rich men and nobles. 11. Their vain hope of salvation.

Book IV.—On the oppressions wrought by the Roman nobles, and the guilt of Christians as compared with pagans


1. The necessity of faith and good works. 2. Faith without works. 3. The sins of slaves compared with those of their masters. 4. The oppression of the nobles. 5. The enormity of their crimes. 6. The rich compared with their slaves; the burdens of taxation. 7. The penalties of conversion. 8. That men’s crimes are the cause of their misfortunes. 9. The Father’s love for his creatures. 10. The fulness viiiof God’s love. 11. The ingratitude of man. 12. The guilt of Christians. 13. Comparison of Christians with barbarians. 14. The peculiar guilt of Christians. 15. Their oaths. 16. Their transgressions of the divine law. 17. Pagan ideas of the Christians. 18. Blasphemy. 19. The guilt of Christians compared with that of heathen.

Book V.—On heresy, and on the oppression of the poor by the powerful throughout the Roman Empire


1. Men’s opposition to the law. 2. Heresy among the barbarians. 3. Heresy among the Romans. 4. The oppression of the many by the few. 5. The flight of Romans to the barbarians. 6. The revolt of the Bagaudae. 7. The oppression of the poor by the rich. 8. Means of relief. 9. The seeming injustice of God’s mercy. 10. The character of true repentance. 11. The true meaning of power.

Book VI.—On the ruinous influence of circuses and spectacles


1. The infection of evil. 2. The evil influence of the public games. 3. The circuses and theaters. 4. God’s hatred of the theaters. 5. The contrast between the circus and Christ’s precepts. 6. On renunciation of the devil and his pomps. 7. How men desert the churches for the spectacles. 8. On their folly in the midst of ruin. 9. How the disasters of Rome have failed to bring repentance. 10. That no dishonor to God can be trivial. 11. Men’s unworthiness of God’s gifts. 12. The failure of adversity to amend men’s lives. 13. The capture of Trèves. 14. The destruction of other cities. 15. Destruction and the circuses. 16. On the corrective of peace. 17. The gratitude due for peace. 18. The captivity of the Romans.

Book VII.—Wherein Roman vice is contrasted with Vandal virtue


1. On the wretched gayety of Rome. 2. On the corruption of southern Gaul. 3. On the lusts of its men. 4. The corruption of their households. 5. That their vices are increased by their distress. 6. On the chastity of the Goths. 7. The Vandals in Spain. 8. The punishment due to presumption. 9. Humility and pride. 10. God’s judgment in time of battle. 11. The judgment of God shown in the strength of the enemy. 12. On the invasions of the barbarians. 13. The Vandals in Africa. 14. Their devastation of Africa. 15. The wickedness of Africa. 16. Its obscenity. 17. The corruption of the African churches. 18. The continuance of their general guilt. 19. Their prevalent vice of effeminacy. 20. The contrast between the Romans and the Vandals. 21. On the discipline of the Vandals. 22. On the reform of Africa. 23. On the regulation of marriage.

Book VIII.—That the sins of the Romans are alone responsible for their ruin


1. The responsibility for Rome’s misfortunes. 2. The blasphemies of Africa. 31. Of their injury to God. 4. On persecution. 5. On the recompense due.

Bibliography 233
Index 235
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