This chapter introduces Augustine's Books III and IV of The City of God. It discusses how Augustine countered ideas that gods must be worshipped in order to ensure prosperity in the present life and criticized beliefs that the hindrance of prosperity is hostile to the Christian name. It also looks at Augustine's books that refute claims on the preservation of earthly life and temporal happiness in human affairs. The chapter analyzes the significance of the recent fall of Rome to the Goths due to the imperial proscription of pagan ritual and the destruction of pagan temples. It examines how Augustine offers guidance to his Christian flock, who had suffered harsh tribulations, by reminding them that their true happiness lay not in the blessedness of the world to come.
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