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Chapter 59.—133.  Petilianus said:  "It is written, ‘Thou shalt not covet anything that is thy neighbor’s.’21522152     Ex. xx. 13-17.   You plunder what is ours, that you may have it for your own."

134.  Augustin answered:  All things of which unity was in possession belong to none other than ourselves, who remain in unity, not in accordance with the calumnies of men, but with the words of Christ, in whom all the nations of the whole earth are blessed.  Nor do we separate ourselves from the society of the wheat, on account of the unrighteous men whom we cannot separate from the wheat of the Lord before the winnowing at the judgment; and if there are any things which you who are cut off begin already to possess, we do not, because the Lord has given to us what has been taken away from you, therefore covet our neighbors’ goods, seeing that they have been made ours by the authority of Him to whom all things belong; and they are rightly ours, for you were wont to use them for purposes of schism, but we use them for the promotion of unity.  Otherwise your party might reproach even the first people of God with coveting their neighbors’ goods, seeing that they were driven forth before their face by the power of God, because they used the land amiss; and the Jews in turn themselves, from whom the kingdom was taken away, according to the words of the Lord, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof,21532153     Matt. xxi. 43. may bring a charge against that nation, of coveting their neighbors’ goods, because the Church of Christ is in possession where the persecutors of Christ were wont to reign.  And, after all, when it has been said to yourselves, You are coveting the goods of other men, because you have driven out from the basilicas the followers of Maximianus, you are at a loss to find any answer that you can make.


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