On the Government of God: A Treatise Wherein Are Shown by Argument and by Examples Drawn from the Abandoned Society of the Times the Ways of God toward His Creatures

On the Government of God: A Treatise Wherein Are Shown by Argument and by Examples Drawn from the Abandoned Society of the Times the Ways of God toward His Creatures

On the Government of God: A Treatise Wherein Are Shown by Argument and by Examples Drawn from the Abandoned Society of the Times the Ways of God toward His Creatures

On the Government of God: A Treatise Wherein Are Shown by Argument and by Examples Drawn from the Abandoned Society of the Times the Ways of God toward His Creatures

Excerpt

TO THE HOLY BISHOP SALONIUS, SALVIAN SENDS GREETINGS IN THE LORD.

Practically all men who have chosen some form of literary composition as a fitting expression of their native genius have taken especial pains, whether they were writing of useful and worthy matters, or of useless and unworthy, to lighten the order of their discourse by the brilliance of their language and to illumine by their style the questions under discussion. It is to style therefore that the majority of writers on secular topics, whether in prose or. verse, have paid most attention, not considering sufficiently the necessity of choosing subjects worthy of approbation, provided that whatever they said was either chanted in smooth and elegant verse, or narrated in distinguished prose.

These authors have sought their own ends, and looking toward their individual praise rather than the benefit of others have not tried to be considered salutary and helpful, but rhetorical and eloquent. Therefore their writings are swollen with vanity, infamous for their 'falsehood, smeared with filth, or vicious because of their obscene subjects. Trafficking in such unworthy fashion to purchase praise for ingenuity seems to me less a glorification than a condemnation of one's genius. Since we, on the other hand, are lovers of deeds rather than words, we seek utility rather than applause.

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