Table of Contents
Augustin censures the pagans, who attributed the calamities of the world, and especially the recent sack of Rome by the Goths, to the Christian religion, and its prohibition of the worship of the gods.
That the Suggestions of Philosophers are Precluded from Having Any Moral Effect, Because They Have Not the Authority Which Belongs to Divine Instruction, and Because Man’s Natural Bias to Evil Induces Him Rather to Follow the Examples of the Gods Than to Obey the Precepts of Men.
That the Romans, by Refusing to the Poets the Same License in Respect of Men Which They Allowed Them in the Case of the Gods, Showed a More Delicate Sensitiveness Regarding Themselves than Regarding the Gods.
Which of the Gods Can the Romans Suppose Presided Over the Increase and Preservation of Their Empire, When They Have Believed that Even the Care of Single Things Could Scarcely Be Committed to Single Gods.
Concerning Virtue and Faith, Which the Pagans Have Honored with Temples and Sacred Rites, Passing by Other Good Qualities, Which Ought Likewise to Have Been Worshipped, If Deity Was Rightly Attributed to These.
What We are to Believe that Varro Thought Concerning the Gods of the Nations, Whose Various Kinds and Sacred Rites He Has Shown to Be Such that He Would Have Acted More Reverently Towards Them Had He Been Altogether Silent Concerning Them.
That When Once the Vanity of the Gods of the Nations Has Been Exposed, It Cannot Be Doubted that They are Unable to Bestow Eternal Life on Any One, When They Cannot Afford Help Even with Respect to the Things Of this Temporal Life.
That the Platonists Themselves Have Determined that God Alone Can Confer Happiness Either on Angels or Men, But that It Yet Remains a Question Whether Those Spirits Whom They Direct Us to Worship, that We May Obtain Happiness, Wish Sacrifice to Be Offered to Themselves, or to the One God Only.
Whether All the Angels Were So Created in One Common State of Felicity, that Those Who Fell Were Not Aware that They Would Fall, and that Those Who Stood Received Assurance of Their Own Perseverance After the Ruin of the Fallen.
Of Those Who Suppose that This World Indeed is Not Eternal, But that Either There are Numberless Worlds, or that One and the Same World is Perpetually Resolved into Its Elements, and Renewed at the Conclusion of Fixed Cycles.
Whether We are to Believe that God, as He Has Always Been Sovereign Lord, Has Always Had Creatures Over Whom He Exercised His Sovereignty; And in What Sense We Can Say that the Creature Has Always Been, and Yet Cannot Say It is Co-Eternal.
What Defence is Made by Sound Faith Regarding God’s Unchangeable Counsel and Will, Against the Reasonings of Those Who Hold that the Works of God are Eternally Repeated in Revolving Cycles that Restore All Things as They Were.
That the Whole Plenitude of the Human Race Was Embraced in the First Man, and that God There Saw the Portion of It Which Was to Be Honored and Rewarded, and that Which Was to Be Condemned and Punished.
Concerning the Philosophers Who Think that the Separation of Soul and Body is Not Penal, Though Plato Represents the Supreme Deity as Promising to the Inferior Gods that They Shall Never Be Dismissed from Their Bodies.
How We Must Understand that Breathing of God by Which ‘The First Man Was Made a Living Soul,’ And that Also by Which the Lord Conveyed His Spirit to His Disciples When He Said, ‘Receive Ye the Holy Ghost.’
That the Opinion of the Platonists Regarding the Nature of Body and Soul is Not So Censurable as that of the Manichæans, But that Even It is Objectionable, Because It Ascribes the Origin of Vices to the Nature of The Flesh.
Why It is That, as Soon as Cain’s Son Enoch Has Been Named, the Genealogy is Forthwith Continued as Far as the Deluge, While After the Mention of Enos, Seth’s Son, the Narrative Returns Again to the Creation of Man.
Of the Ark and the Deluge, and that We Cannot Agree with Those Who Receive the Bare History, But Reject the Allegorical Interpretation, Nor with Those Who Maintain the Figurative and Not the Historical Meaning.
Of the Word of the Lord to Abraham, by Which It Was Promised to Him that His Posterity Should Be Multiplied According to the Multitude of the Stars; On Believing Which He Was Declared Justified While Yet in Uncircumcision.
Of God’s Attestation to Abraham, by Which He Assures Him, When Now Old, of a Son by the Barren Sarah, and Appoints Him the Father of the Nations, and Seals His Faith in the Promise by the Sacrament of Circumcision.
How Different the Acts in the Kingdom of the Earthly Jerusalem are from Those Which God Had Promised, So that the Truth of the Promise Should Be Understood to Pertain to the Glory of the Other King and Kingdom.
Of David’s Reign and Merit; And of His Son Solomon, and that Prophecy Relating to Christ Which is Found Either in Those Books Which are Joined to Those Written by Him, or in Those Which are Indubitably His.
Of the Varying Condition of Both the Hebrew Kingdoms, Until the People of Both Were at Different Times Led into Captivity, Judah Being Afterwards Recalled into His Kingdom, Which Finally Passed into the Power of the Romans.
What Kings Reigned in Assyria and Sicyon When, According to the Promise, Isaac Was Born to Abraham in His Hundredth Year, and When the Twins Esau and Jacob Were Born of Rebecca to Isaac in His Sixtieth Year.
That the Seven Sages Flourished in the Reign of Romulus, When the Ten Tribes Which Were Called Israel Were Led into Captivity by the Chaldeans, and Romulus, When Dead, Had Divine Honors Conferred on Him.
That the Jews Ceased to Have Prophets After the Rebuilding of the Temple, and from that Time Until the Birth of Christ Were Afflicted with Continual Adversity, to Prove that the Building of Another Temple Had Been Promised by Prophetic Voices.
That Haggai’s Prophecy, in Which He Said that the Glory of the House of God Would Be Greater Than that of the First Had Been, Was Really Fulfilled, Not in the Rebuilding of the Temple, But in the Church of Christ.
Whether We Should Believe What Some Think, That, as the Ten Persecutions Which are Past Have Been Fulfilled, There Remains No Other Beyond the Eleventh, Which Must Happen in the Very Time of Antichrist.
Of the Liberty Proper to Man’s Nature, and the Servitude Introduced by Sin,—A Servitude in Which the Man Whose Will is Wicked is the Slave of His Own Lust, Though He is Free So Far as Regards Other Men.
That in the Books of the Old Testament, Where It is Said that God Shall Judge the World, the Person of Christ is Not Explicitly Indicated, But It Plainly Appears from Some Passages in Which the Lord God Speaks that Christ is Meant.
Whether Those Who Received Heretical Baptism, and Have Afterwards Fallen Away to Wickedness of Life; Or Those Who Have Received Catholic Baptism, But Have Afterwards Passed Over to Heresy and Schism; Or Those Who Have Remained in the Catholic Church in Which They Were Baptized, But Have Continued to Live Immorally,—May Hope Through the Virtue of the Sacraments for the Remission of Eternal Punishment.
That the Martyrs Who Obtain Many Miracles in Order that the True God May Be Worshipped, are Worthy of Much Greater Honor Than the Demons, Who Do Some Marvels that They Themselves May Be Supposed to Be God.
That All Bodily Blemishes Which Mar Human Beauty in This Life Shall Be Removed in the Resurrection, the Natural Substance of the Body Remaining, But the Quality and Quantity of It Being Altered So as to Produce Beauty.
That the Opinion of Porphyry, that the Soul, in Order to Be Blessed, Must Be Separated from Every Kind of Body, is Demolished by Plato, Who Says that the Supreme God Promised the Gods that They Should Never Be Ousted from Their Bodies.