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On Christian Doctrine In Four Books by St. Augustine

Chapter 16. When, then, this rustic, or quondam rustic prophetà

16. When, then, this rustic, or quondam rustic prophet, was denouncing the godless, the proud, the luxurious, and therefore the most neglectful of brotherly love, he called aloud, saying: |Woe to you who are at ease in Zion, and trust in the mountain of Samaria, who are heads and chiefs of the people, entering with pomp into the house of Israel! Pass ye unto Calneh, and see; and from thence go ye to Hamath the great; then go down to Gath of the Philistines, and to all the best kingdoms of these: is their border greater than your border? Ye that are set apart for the day of evil, and that come near to the seat of oppression; that lie upon beds of ivory, and stretch yourselves upon couches; that eat the lamb of the flock, and the calves out of the midst of the herd; that chant to the sound of the viol. They thought that they had instruments of music like David; drinking wine in bowls, and anointing themselves with the costliest ointment: and they were not grieved for the affliction of Joseph.| Suppose those men who, assuming to be themselves learned and eloquent, despise our prophets as untaught and unskilful of speech, had been obliged to deliver a message like this, and to men such as these, would they have chosen to express themselves in any respect differently -- those of them, at least, who would have shrunk from raving like madmen?

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