Monday, December 26, 2011

Lactantius on the Worship of God (DI 5.8)

"But if God only were worshipped, there would not be
dissensions and wars, since men would know that they
are the sons of one God; and, therefore, among those
who were connected by the sacred and inviolable bond
of divine relationship, there would be no plottings,
inasmuch as they would know what kind of punishments
God prepared for the destroyers of souls, who sees
through secret crimes, and even the very thoughts
themselves. There would be no frauds or plunderings if
they had learned, through the instruction of God, to
be content with that which was their own, though
little, so that they might prefer solid and eternal
things to those which are frail and perishable. There
would be no adulteries, and debaucheries, and
prostitution of women, if it were known to all, that
whatever is sought beyond the desire of procreation is
condemned by God" (Divinae institutiones 5.8).

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