Augustine on Two Cities
"It is that humility is
specially recommended to the city of God as it sojourns in this
world, and is specially exhibited in the city of God, and in the
person of Christ the King; while the contrary vice of pride,
according to the testimony of the sacred writings, specially rules
his adversary the devil. And certainly this is the great difference
which distinguishes the two cities of which we speak, the one being
the society of the godly men, the other of the ungodly, each
associated with the angels that adhere to their party, and the one
guided and fashioned by love of self, the other by love of God.
"The devil, then, would not have ensnared man
in the open and manifest sin of doing what God had forbidden, had
man not already begun to live for himself. It was this that made him
listen with pleasure to the words, 'Ye shall be as gods' [Gen3:5],
which they would much more readily have accomplished by obediently
adhering to their supreme and true end than by proudly living to
"Accordingly, two cities have been formed by
two loves: the earthly by the love of self, even to the contempt of
God,; the heavenly by the love of God, even to the contempt of self.
The former, in a word, glories in itself, the latter in the Lord.
For the one seeks glory from men; but the greatest glory of the
other is God, the witness of conscience." (chapter 13, 28)
"Where there is no true right-dealing, there
may be no gathering united by consent to right, and so no people and
no people's wealth, merely an indeterminate multitude unworthy of
the name of 'people.' The argument, then, runs as follows: a
commonwealth is a people's wealth, and there exists no right where
there is no rightness, so the conclusion is irresistible that
without right-dealing there is commonwealth. But right-dealing, or
justice, is the virtue of giving each his own. What 'human
rightness' can there be in taking man himself away from God and
subjecting him to unclean demons? is that giving each his own? To
take an estate from its purchaser and to give it to someone with no
title to it, is not right. Is it right to take ourselves back from
our owner, God who made us, and to serve evil spirits?"
Augustine: The City of God in A
Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Father of the Christian
Church, Vol 2, pp 411, 498.