Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Good and the WIcked

Augustine's City of God examines the concept of "the city," in two respects: the earthly city and the Heavenly city. As he explains, the two cities are allegories of the two types of human beings: those wo live according to man, and those who live in accordance with God. We can continue to break those terms down and say that the two types of people that ere in the world may be classified as ether wicked or good. "...though not every bad man will become good, it is nonetheless true that no one will be good wo was not origionally bad." What does this mean? ALthough God is omnipotent, he has given us human beings a power so wonderful, that I am sure at times we still amaze him. We have the power of free will. What we make of ourselves is completely in our hands.
The city of Jerusalem, for example, is a city which exemplifies this. Its existance is that of futility, as it is an earthly city that is meant to represent a Heavenly city, which to us humans is a mystery. "We fine, therefore, that the earthly city has two aspects. Under the one, it displays its own presence; under the other, it serves to point towards the Heavenly city." So, can the earthly city ever create its own identity if it constatntly serves to point to the Heavenly city? Perhaps. The earthly city is finite withle the Heavenly city is everlasting. In an earthly city, many battles are waged: the wicked against the wicked; the wicked against the good; the good against the wicked, however the good never battle the good. Only in a Heavenly city can peace exist.
Augustine's image of human beings as pilgrims is truly something to think about. "It is in this way that the citizens of the City of God are healed while they are pilgrims on this earth, as they sigh for pease if their heavenly country." Are the citizens od the City of God ever citizens of the earth, or anre they transitory beings, nomads, while on the earth? We can assume that all of the pilgrims who have devoted themselves to what is good, and to God, will then become citizens of the Heavenly city, while those wo have not will be doomed forever.