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Chapter X.—Sin the Cause of Suffering.

“But when men, leading a life void of distress, began to think that the continuance of good things was granted them not by the divine bounty, but by the chance of things, and to accept as a debt of nature, not as a gift of God’s goodness, their enjoyment without any exertion of the delights of the divine complaisance,—men, being led by these things into contrary and impious thoughts, came at last, at the instigation of idleness, to think that the life of gods was theirs by nature, without any labours or merits on their part.  Hence they go from bad to worse, to believe that neither is the world governed by the providence of God, nor is there any place for virtues, since they knew that they themselves possessed the fulness of ease and delights, without the assignment of any works previously, and without any labours were treated as the friends of God.

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