Augustine's City of God, books 4 through 7

 From Gutenberg BOOK FOURTH. [155] ARGUMENT. IN THIS BOOK IT IS PROVED THAT THE EXTENT AND LONG DURATION OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE IS TO BE ASCRIBED, NOT TO JOVE OR THE GODS OF THE HEATHEN, TO WHOM INDIVIDUALLY SCARCE EVEN SINGLE THINGS AND THE VERY BASEST FUNCTIONS WERE BELIEVED TO BE ENTRUSTED, BUT TO THE ONE TRUE GOD, THE AUTHOR OF FELICITY, BY WHOSE POWER AND JUDGMENT EARTHLY KINGDOMS ARE FOUNDED AND MAINTAINED. 1.  Of the things which have been discussed in the first book. Having begun to speak of the city of God, I have thought it necessary first of all to reply to its enemies, who, eagerly pursuing earthly joys, and gaping after transitory things, throw the blame of all the sorrow they suffer in them—rather through the compassion of God in admonishing, than His severity in punishing—on the Christian religion, which is the one salutary and true religion. And since there is among them also an unlearned rabble, they are stirred up as by the authority of the learned to hate us more bitter