The First is Still the Best

I am a little late getting this out in honor of George Washington’s birthday, but I thought this quote by Augustine in City of God a fitting tribute to our greatest President. Enjoy!

We Christians call rulers happy, if they rule with justice; if amid the voices of exalted praise and the reverent salutations of humility, they are not inflated with pride, but remember that they are but men; if they put their power at the service of God’s majesty, to extend His worship far and wide; if they fear God, love Him and worship Him; if, more than their earthly kingdom, they love that realm where they do not fear to share the kingship; if they are slow to punish, but ready to pardon; if they take vengeance on wrong because of the necessity to direct and protect the state, and not to satisfy their personal animosity; if they grant pardon not to allow impunity to wrong-doing but in hope of amendment of the wrong-doer; if, when they are obliged to take severe decisions, as must often happen, they compensate this with the gentleness of their mercy and the generosity of their benefits; if they restrain their self-indulgent appetites all the more because they are more free to gratify them, and prefer to have command over their lower desires than over any number of subject peoples; and if they do all this not for a burning desire for empty glory, but for the love of eternal blessedness; and if they do not fail to offer to their true God, as a sacrifice for their sins, the oblation of humility, compassion, and prayer.


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