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The Instructions Of Commodianus by Commodianus

XXIX.--To the Wicked and Unbelieving Rich Man.

Thou wilt, O rich man, by insatiably looking too much to all thy wealth, squander those things to which thou art still seeking to cling. Thou sayest, I do not hope when dead to live after such things as these. O ungrateful to the great God, who thus judgest thyself to be a god; to Him who, when thou knewest nothing of it, brought thee forth, and then nourished thee. He governs thy meadows; He, thy vineyards; He, thy herd of cattle; and He, whatever thou possessest. Nor dost thou give heed to these things; or thou, perchance, rulest all things. He who made the sky, and the earth, and the salt seas, decreed to give us back again ourselves in a golden age. And only if thou believest, thou livest in the secret of God. Learn God, O foolish man, who wishes thee to be immortal, that thou mayest give Him eternal thanks in thy struggle. His own law teaches thee; but since thou seekest to wander, thou disbelievest all things, and thence thou shalt go into hell. By and by thou givest up thy life; thou shalt be taken where it grieveth thee to be: there the spiritual punishment, which is eternal, is undergone; there are always wailings: nor dost thou absolutely die therein -- there at length too late proclaiming the omnipotent God.
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