The City of God vs. the City of Man
In response to a fallen nation who blamed the destruction of the Roman Empire on those who had turned away from the gods to worship Christ, Saint Augustine introduced the world to two cities: The City of God and the city of man. Although both cities thrived from the very beginning of man, they continued, in there growth and conflict with each other, to go unnoticed amongst men. Both very real and still growing almost two thousand years after St. Augustine wrote his books, collectively called The City of God, the City of God and the city of man continue to go unnoticed by the vast majority of the world. Only those with a true acquaintance with the City of God are able to notice the profound differences between the two cities and the danger that lurks in the city of man. Although these differences are innumerable, they can be summed up in the differences found in freedom, the differences found in love, and the difference found in the prospect of eternal life. Although the City of God and the city of man both have a following of men here on earth, the City of God is not of this world. The City of God knows immeasurable freedom and cannot be confined to a fallen, enslaved world; however, as it is governed by an infinitely merciful God, the freedom known only to those who are citizens of the City of God is extended to those enslaved on earth. As St. Augustine states in Book XIV of The City of God, “[The will’s] choice is only free when it is not a slave to sin and vice. God created man with such a free will, but, once that kind of freedom was lost by man’s fall from freedom, it could be given back only by Him who had the power to give it” (291). Thus, those who continue to serve only the city of man will continue on as slaves to sin and wickedness embedded in their nature. Only those who dwell the city of man but ultimately belong to the City of God will know freedom. Just as the city of man knows only slavery, it knows a...
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