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Confessions of Saint Augustine

Confessions of Saint Augustine

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Published by Blair Kasfeldt

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Published by: Blair Kasfeldt on Nov 28, 2012
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  • Book I
  • Chapter V
  • Chapter VI
  • Chapter VII
  • Chapter IX
  • Chapter X
  • Chapter XI
  • Chapter XII
  • Chapter XIII
  • Chapter XIV
  • Chapter XV
  • Chapter XVI
  • Chapter XVII
  • Chapter XVIII
  • Book II
  • Book III
  • Chapter VIII
  • Book IV
  • BookV
  • Book VI
  • Chapter VI—
  • Book VII
  • Chapter I
  • Chapter XIX
  • Chapter XX
  • Chapter XXI
  • Book VIII
  • Book IX
  • Chapter III
  • Chapter IV
  • Book X
  • Chapter XXi
  • Chapter XXII
  • Chapter XXIV
  • Chapter XXV
  • Chapter XXVI
  • Chapter XXVII
  • Chapter XXVIII
  • Chapter XXIX
  • Chapter XXXIII
  • Chapter XXXV
  • Chapter XXXVI
  • Chapter XXXVIII
  • Chapter XXXIX
  • Chapter XL
  • Chapter XLI
  • Chapter XLII
  • Chapter XLIII
  • Book XI
  • Chapter XXXI
  • Book XII
  • Chapter II
  • Chapter Xi
  • Chapter XXIII
  • Chapter XXX
  • Book XIII
  • Chapter XXXII
  • Chapter XXXIV
  • Chapter XXXVII


Table of Contents: Book I Chapter I Chapter II Chapter III Chapter IV Chapter V Chapter VI Chapter VII Chapter VIII Chapter IX Chapter X Chapter XI Chapter XII Chapter XIII Chapter XIV Chapter XV Chapter XVI Chapter XVII Chapter XVIII Book II Chapter I Chapter II Chapter III Chapter IV Chapter V

Chapter VI Chapter VII Chapter VIII Chapter IX Chapter X Book III Chapter I Chapter II Chapter III Chapter IV Chapter V Chapter VI Chapter VII Chapter VIII Chapter IX Chapter X Chapter XI Chapter XII Book IV Chapter I Chapter II Chapter III Chapter IV Chapter V Chapter VI Chapter VII Chapter VIII Chapter IX Chapter X Chapter XI Chapter XII

Chapter XIII Chapter XIV Chapter XV Chapter XVI BookV Chapter I Chapter II Chapter III Chapter IV Chapter V Chapter VI Chapter VII Chapter VIII Chapter IX Chapter X Chapter XI Chapter XII Chapter XIII Chapter XIV Book VI Chapter I Chapter II Chapter III Chapter IV Chapter V Chapter VI— Chapter VII Chapter VIII Chapter IX Chapter X Chapter XI .

Chapter XII Chapter XIII Chapter XIV Chapter XV Chapter XVI Book VII Chapter I Chapter II Chapter III Chapter IV Chapter V Chapter VI Chapter VII Chapter VIII Chapter IX Chapter X Chapter XI Chapter XII Chapter XIII Chapter XIV Chapter XV Chapter XVI Chapter XVII Chapter XVIII Chapter XIX Chapter XX Chapter XXI Book VIII Chapter I Chapter II Chapter III .

Chapter IV Chapter V Chapter VI Chapter VII Chapter VIII Chapter IX Chapter X Chapter XI Chapter XII Book IX Chapter I Chapter II Chapter III Chapter IV Chapter V Chapter VI Chapter VII Chapter VIII Chapter IX Chapter X Chapter XI Chapter XII Chapter XIII Book X Chapter I Chapter II Chapter III Chapter IV Chapter V Chapter VI Chapter VII .

Chapter VIII Chapter IX Chapter X Chapter XI Chapter XII Chapter XIII Chapter XIV Chapter XV Chapter XVI Chapter XVII Chapter XVIII Chapter XIX Chapter XX Chapter XXi Chapter XXII Chapter XXIII Chapter XXIV Chapter XXV Chapter XXVI Chapter XXVII Chapter XXVIII Chapter XXIX Chapter XXX Chapter XXXI Chapter XXXII Chapter XXXIII Chapter XXXIV Chapter XXXV Chapter XXXVI Chapter XXXVII Chapter XXXVIII Chapter XXXIX .

Chapter XL Chapter XLI Chapter XLII Chapter XLIII Book XI Chapter I Chapter II Chapter III Chapter IV Chapter V Chapter VI Chapter VII Chapter VIII Chapter IX Chapter X Chapter XI Chapter XII Chapter XIII Chapter XIV Chapter XV Chapter XVI Chapter XVII Chapter XVIII Chapter XIX Chapter XX Chapter XXI Chapter XXII Chapter XXIII Chapter XXIV Chapter XXV Chapter XXVI .

Chapter XXVII Chapter XXVIII Chapter XXIX Chapter XXX Chapter XXXI Book XII Chapter I Chapter II Chapter III Chapter IV Chapter V Chapter VI Chapter VII Chapter VIII Chapter IX Chapter X Chapter Xi Chapter XII Chapter XIII Chapter XIV Chapter XV Chapter XVI Chapter XVII Chapter XVIII Chapter XIX Chapter XX Chapter XXI Chapter XXII Chapter XXIII Chapter XXIV Chapter XXV .

Chapter XXVI Chapter XXVII Chapter XXVIII Chapter XXIX Chapter XXX Chapter XXXI Chapter XXXII Book XIII Chapter I Chapter II Chapter III Chapter IV Chapter V Chapter VI Chapter VII Chapter VIII Chapter IX Chapter X Chapter XI Chapter XII Chapter XIII Chapter XIV Chapter XV Chapter XVI Chapter XVII Chapter XVIII Chapter XIX Chapter XX Chapter XXI Chapter XXII Chapter XXIII .

Chapter XXIV Chapter XXV Chapter XXVI Chapter XXVII Chapter XXVIII Chapter XXIX Chapter XXX Chapter XXXI Chapter XXXII Chapter XXXIII Chapter XXXIV Chapter XXXV Chapter XXXVI Chapter XXXVII Chapter XXXVIII .

Book I .

again. which Thou hast given me. Or. and greatly to be praised. for Thou madest us for Thyself. that bears about him his mortality. until it repose in Thee. And Thee would man praise. and Thy wisdom infinite. but a particle of Thy creation. and they that find shall praise Him. and our heart is restless. Thou awakest us to delight in Thy praise. to call on Thee or to praise Thee? and. but a particle of Thy creation.Chapter I Great art Thou. to know and understand which is first. the witness that Thou resistest the proud: yet would man praise Thee. My faith. by calling on Thee. Grant me. that we call on Thee that we may know Thee? but how shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? or how shall they believe without a preacher? and they that seek the Lord shall praise Him: for they that seek shall find Him. man. Lord. Lord. through the Incarnation of Thy Son. man. and will call on Thee. the witness of his sin. O Lord. is it rather. wherewith Thou hast inspired me. he. believing in Thee. may call on Thee as other than Thou art. for to us hast Thou been preached. not knowing Thee? for he that knoweth Thee not. shall call on Thee. through the ministry of the Preacher. great is Thy power. Lord. I will seek Thee. to know Thee or to call on Thee? for who can call on Thee. .

by whom are all things. wert Thou not in me. aught in me that can contain Thee? do then heaven and earth. who hath said. wert Thou not in me? Why? because I am not gone down in hell. since. O my God. Lord. because nothing which exists could exist without Thee. and yet Thou art there also. even so. Thou art there. could not be at all. or. contain Thee? or. whither my God can come into me? whither can God come into me. Whither do I call Thee. who were not. I could not be then. then. why do I seek that Thou shouldest enter into me. unless I were in Thee. that thence my God should come into me. since I am in Thee? or whence canst Thou enter into me? for whither can I go beyond heaven and earth. when I call for Him. doth therefore whatever exists contain Thee? Since. which Thou hast made. I fill the heaven and the earth.Chapter II And how shall I call upon my God. O Lord my God. of whom are all things. God who made heaven and earth? is there. and wherein Thou hast made me. indeed. I shall be calling Him to myself? and what room is there within me. in whom are all things? Even so. my God and Lord. . rather. For if I go down into hell. I too exist.

And when Thou art poured out on us. pourest Thou forth the remainder of Thyself? or hast Thou no need that aught contain Thee. but Thou upliftest us. while nothing contains Thee wholly? . since all things cannot contain Thee wholly. since. fillest Thou them with Thy whole self? or. But Thou who fillest all things. Thou art not cast down. though they were broken.Chapter III Do the heaven and earth then contain Thee. another less? or. Thou wert not poured out. one part of Thee greater. the smaller less? And is. since what Thou fillest Thou fillest by containing it? for the vessels which Thou fillest uphold Thee not. who containest all things. Thou art not dissipated. the greater more. since Thou fillest them? or dost Thou fill them and yet overflow. since they do not contain Thee? And whither. do they contain part of Thee? and all at once the same part? or each its own part. but Thou gatherest us. then. art Thou wholly every where. when the heaven and the earth are filled.


Chapter IV What art Thou then. Thou receivest over and above. art angry. most potent. never in need. yet incomprehensible. still gathering. . yet rejoicing in gains. and maturing. and they know it not. receivest again what Thou findest. my God. yet grievest not. art jealous. without anxiety. losing nothing. but the Lord God? For who is Lord but the Lord? or who is God save our God? Most highest. without passion. Thou lovest. never covetous. owing nothing. yet most just. creating. ever working. most good. yet most present. and who hath aught that is not Thine? Thou payest debts. ever at rest. my holy joy? or what saith any man when he speaks of Thee? Yet woe to him that speaketh not. my God? what. yet serene. yet most strong. most hidden. stable. seeking. yet having all things. Thy purpose unchanged. yet exacting usury. supporting. filling. And what had I now said. yet all-changing. my life. never new. repentest. yet nothing lacking. and bringing age upon the proud. most omnipotent. that Thou mayest owe. and overspreading. yet didst never lose. unchangeable. nourishing. changest Thy works. most beautiful. all-renewing. remittest debts. since mute are even the most eloquent. never old. most merciful.

who shall abide it? . my sole good! What art Thou to me? In Thy pity. Narrow is the mansion of my soul. and spare Thy servant from the power of the enemy. So speak. for if Thou. Therefore I contend not in judgment with Thee. Behold. and therefore do I speak. Have I not confessed against myself my transgressions unto Thee. who art the truth. But who shall cleanse it? or to whom should I cry. and embrace Thee.Chapter V Oh! that I might repose on Thee! Oh! that Thou wouldest enter into my heart. that I may hear. Say unto my soul. and. It is ruinous. It has that within which must offend Thine eyes. if I give it not. that I may forget my ills. hast forgiven the iniquity of my heart? I contend not in judgment with Thee. I fear to deceive myself. tell me. Lord. I believe. cleanse me from my secret faults. lest mine iniquity lie unto itself. I am thy salvation. and inebriate it. O Lord my God. open Thou the ears thereof. save Thee? Lord. repair Thou it. I am thy salvation. my God. art wroth with me. that Thou mayest enter in. Or what am I to Thee that Thou demandest my love. Lord. and say unto my soul. shouldest mark iniquities. Lord. O Lord. my heart is before Thee. I confess and know it. and threatenest me with grievous woes? Is it then a slight woe to love Thee not? Oh! for Thy mercies’ sake. Thou knowest. and take hold on Thee. and Thou. what Thou art unto me. enlarge Thou it. Hide not Thy face from me. After this voice let me haste. Let me die—lest I die—only let me see Thy face. teach me to utter it.

did my infancy succeed another age of mine that died before it? was it that which I spent within my mother's womb? for of that I have heard somewhat. and to my nurses willingly to give me what Thou gavest them. and cry at what offended my flesh. O God. and I live. for not serving me. then I was indignant with my elders for not submitting to me. and in whom nothing dies: for before the foundation of the worlds. but that I know not whence I came into this dying life (shall I call it?) or living death. whereby Thou distributest Thy riches through the hidden springs of all things. Yet suffer me to speak. Lord. and have myself . from them was it. and I could not. Thou also gavest me to desire no more than Thou gavest. for the wishes were within me. nor could they by any sense of theirs enter within my spirit. Thou. to me. Thy pitiable one. the springs abide in Thee unchangeable: and in Thee live the eternal reasons of all things unreasoning and temporal. Nor. Say. And. and before all that can be called “before. Thus. all unconscious. Thou too. out of whose substance Thou didst sometime fashion me. I became conscious where I was. since I speak to Thy mercy. and not to scornful man. say. But Thou. For then I knew but to suck. what I wished. who for ever livest. making the few signs I could. with a heaven-taught affection. for we see the like in other infants. for from Thee. dust and ashes.Chapter VI Yet suffer me to speak unto Thy mercy. Such have I learnt infants to be from observing them. And when I was not presently obeyed (my wishes being hurtful or unintelligible).” Thou art. they. nothing more. lo! my infancy died long since. and I believed it. within me and without. the first causes of all things unabiding. and such as I could. and they without. and art God and Lord of all which Thou hast created: in Thee abide. and avenged myself on them by tears. Lord. Then immediately did the comforts of Thy compassion take me up. all-pitying. though in truth very little like. like. and to have a wish to express my wishes to those who could content them. first in sleep. Thus there received me the comforts of woman's milk. O Lord my God. say. was good for them. then waking: for so it was told me of myself. to repose in what pleased. though of myself I remember it not. through these Thy gifts. indeed. are all good things. For they. with those owing me no service. Afterwards I began to smile. to me. and that I was myself such. yet wilt Thou return and have compassion upon me. So I flung about at random limbs and voice. For this my good from them. fixed for ever. have shown me better than my nurses who knew it. despisest me. according to Thine ordinance. little by little. willingly gave me what they abounded with from Thee. me. Thy suppliant. and of all things changeable. proclaiming Thyself unto me. For neither my mother nor my nurses stored their own breasts for me. For what would I say. and from my God is all my health. as I heard (for I remember it not) from the parents of my flesh. This I since learned. perhaps. but Thou didst bestow the food of my infancy through them. but through them.

. O God my joy. and praise Thee for my first rudiments of being. Lord? Shall any be his own artificer? or can there elsewhere be derived any vein. How many of ours and our fathers’ years have flowed away through Thy “to-day. neither father nor mother. for Thou hast appointed that man should from others guess much as to himself. Thou hast done to-day. which may stream essence and life into us. What is it to me. in whom essence and life are one? for Thou Thyself art supremely Essence and Life. save from Thee. nor mine own memory. and art not changed. Even then I had being and life. and all behind it. yet in Thee doth it come to a close. What thing is this? Let him rejoice even thus! and be content rather by not discovering to discover Thee. and all things of tomorrow. But Thou art still the same. though any comprehend not this? Let him also rejoice and say. And since Thy years fail not. and believe much on the strength of weak females. and bid me praise Thee and acknowledge Thee. unless Thou upheldest them. for that I do know? I acknowledge Thee. Thy years are one to-day. and so receive the mould of their degree of being. and (at my infancy's close) I could seek for signs whereby to make known to others my sensations. Dost Thou mock me for asking this. and all beyond. neither in Thee doth to-day come to a close. than by discovering not to discover Thee. and all of yesterday. For they had no way to pass away. was I any where or any body? For this have I none to tell me. Whence could such a being be. O Lord. save from thee.” and from it received the measure and the mould of such being as they had. For Thou art most high. whereof I remember nothing.seen women with child? and what before that life again. because all such things also are in Thee. and still others shall flow away. nor experience of others. Lord of heaven and earth. and my infancy.

if given. Thou. or when. O God. For those habits. not as being no or slight evils. though he prunes. whereof I have no remembrance. where. and in sin did my mother conceive me. for. but sin in him Thou madest not. and Thou pitiest him. obeyed not the nod of its good pleasure? to do its best to strike and hurt. Myself have seen and known even a baby envious. that persons free. yea. But if I was shapen in iniquity. when grown. Alas. implanting in it all vital functions. even for a while. Now no man. which none could do but Thou: whose Unity is the mould of all things.Chapter VII Hear. custom and reason forbade me to be reproved. compacting its limbs. who out of Thy own fairness makest all things fair. and sing unto Thy name. O my God. though tolerated now. would hurt? bitterly to resent. lo! that period I pass by. O Lord my God. Is that too innocence. was I Thy servant guiltless? But. though in extremest need. is it hid from me in the shadows of forgetfulness. and what have I now to do with that. Who remindeth me? doth not each little infant. For no less than that which I spent in my mother's womb. Lord. for its general good and safety. for man's sin! So saith man. of which I can recall no vestige? . What I then did was worthy reproof. true though the guess be. I am yet loth to count in this life of mine which I live in this world. when the fountain of milk is flowing in rich abundance. is its innocence. not even the infant whose life is but a day upon the earth. for Thou madest him. and its own elders. wiser than it. and. Thou most Highest. furnishing thus with senses (as we see) the frame Thou gavest. I beseech Thee. but because they will disappear as years increase. who gavest life to this my infancy. Lord. which had been obeyed to its hurt? The weakness then of infant limbs. Thou commandest me to praise Thee in these things. the very same tempers are utterly intolerable when found in riper years. Who knows not this? Mothers and nurses tell you that they allay these things by I know not what remedies. because commands were not obeyed. This age then. even hadst Thou done nought but only this. wittingly casts away what is good. Or was it then good. served it not? that many besides. yet it turned pale and looked bitterly on its foster-brother. and guess from other infants that I have passed. it could not speak. but since I could not understand reproof. the very authors of its birth. and orderest all things by Thy law. justly should I be laughed at and reproved. ornamenting its proportions. to confess unto Thee. we root out and cast away. For Thou art God. to cry for what. in whom I see what of myself I remember not? What then was my sin? was it that I hung upon the breast and cried? for should I now so do for food suitable to my age. not to endure one to share it. which I take on others’ word. and whose very life as yet depends thereon? We bear gently with all this. not its will. Who remindeth me of the sins of my infancy? for in Thy sight none is pure from sin. then. Almighty and Good. where.


I collected gradually for what they stood. practise the sounds in my memory. of all nations. or shuns. as they occurred in various sentences. longing by cries and broken accents and various motions of my limbs to express my thoughts.Chapter VIII Passing hence from infancy. and yet unable to express all I willed. It was not that my elders taught me words (as. Nor did that depart. gestures of the limbs. and so launched deeper into the stormy intercourse of human life. and as they spoke turned towards it. gavest me. expressed by the countenance. I saw and remembered that they called what they would point out by the name they uttered. And that they meant this thing and no other was plain from the motion of their body.—(for whither went it?)—and yet it was no more. glances of the eye. I thereby gave utterance to my will. For I was no longer a speechless infant. And thus by constantly hearing words. the natural language. or rather it came to me. did myself. soon after. . but I. as it pursues. but a speaking boy. displacing infancy. and have since observed how I learned to speak. my God. This I remember. that so I might have my will. possesses. or to whom I willed. by the understanding which Thou. Thus I exchanged with those about me these current signs of our wills. rejects. and having broken in my mouth to these signs. and tones of the voice. yet depending on parental authority and the beck of elders. other learning) in any set method. indicating the affections of the mind. When they named any thing. as it were. I came to boyhood.

nor prayed we less to Thee to escape them. I made less progress in studies which I was to learn. throughout all lands. is endued with so great a spirit. and many. For will any of sound discretion approve of my being beaten as a boy. as proper in a boy. I was beaten. Next I was put to school to get learning. which should serve to the “praise of men. when obedience to my teachers was proposed to me. who yet wished me no ill. if worsted in some trifling discussion with his fellow-tutor. any of soul so great. and yet. yea my very parents. because. and cleaving to Thee with so intense affection (for a sort of stupidity will in a way do it). if idle in learning. being really the same. I might play more unbeseemingly? and what else did he who beat me? who. to pray to Thee. But elder folks’ idleness is called “business”. who. framed for us weary paths. but is there any one who. what miseries and mockeries did I now experience. And yet we sinned. from cleaving devoutly to Thee. that of boys. But.Chapter IX O God my God. by playing a ball. Lord. and excel in tongue-science. as a boy. praying Thee. couldest hear and help us. in which I (poor wretch) knew not what use there was. in order that in this world I might prosper. is punished by those elders. and we learnt from them to think of Thee (according to our powers) as of some great One. passing the same course before us. men call on Thee with extreme dread). multiplying toil and grief upon the sons of Adam. and for this we were punished by those who yet themselves were doing the like. that I might not be beaten at school. as our parents mocked the torments which we suffered in boyhood from our masters? For we feared not our torments less. and none commiserates either boys or men. in writing or reading or studying less than was exacted of us. we found that men called upon Thee. O Lord. For this was judged right by our forefathers. For we wanted not. whereof Thy will gave enough for our age. For so I began. though hidden from our senses. mocking at those by whom they are feared most bitterly. Is there. my elders. that he can think as lightly of the racks and hooks and other torments (against which. as a man. my then great and grievous ill. memory or capacity.” and to deceitful riches. yet with no small earnestness. only that. Lord. And when Thou heardest me not (not thereby giving me over to folly). was more embittered and jealous than I when beaten at ball by a play-fellow? . mocked my stripes. and broke the fetters of my tongue to call on Thee. but our sole delight was play. though small. through which we were fain to pass. my aid and refuge.

that they may call on Thee. I sinned in transgressing the commands of my parents and those of my masters. whereby they would have them attain to be the givers of them. deliver those too who call not on Thee yet. that they might itch the more. Look with pity. would have me learn. with whatever motive. that almost all wish the same for their children. loving the pride of victory in my contests. Yet those who give these shows are in such esteem. and Thou mayest deliver them. the Creator and Disposer of all things in nature. For what they.Chapter X And yet. the same curiosity flashing from my eyes more and more. O Lord my God. . on these things. but from love of play. for the shows and games of my elders. and to have my ears tickled with lying fables. I might afterwards have put to good use. if those very games detain them from the studies. For I disobeyed. O Lord God. not from a better choice. Lord. of sin the Disposer only. I sinned herein. and yet are very willing that they should be beaten. and deliver us who call upon Thee now.

unless I had suddenly recovered. after that washing.Chapter XI As a boy. my cleansing was deferred. why does it still echo in our ears on all sides. no one says. But how many and great waves of temptation seemed to hang over me after my boyhood! These my mother foresaw. she even more lovingly travailed in birth of my salvation). and in this Thou didst aid her to prevail over her husband. my God (for Thou wert my keeper). whom she. would in eager haste have provided for my consecration and cleansing by the health-giving sacraments. and even from the womb of my mother. for me to sin? or was it not laid loose? If not. and then. had I been at once healed. my God. Thou sawest. the mother of us all. . therein also obeying Thee. I would fain know. for he is not yet baptised?” but as to bodily health. I had already heard of an eternal life. let him do as he will. that as he did not yet believe. I then already believed: and my mother. as it were. Lord. Better truly. than the very cast. my soul's recovered health had been kept safe in Thy keeping who gavest it. promised us through the humility of the Lord our God stooping to our pride. “Let him alone. with what eagerness and what faith I sought. and preferred to expose to them the clay whence I might afterwards be moulded. my God and Lord. I was sealed with the mark of His cross and salted with His salt. for the remission of sins. with a heart pure in Thy faith. from the pious care of my mother and Thy Church. upon me. except my father: yet did not he prevail over the power of my mother's piety in me.” How much better then. how while yet a boy. shouldest be my father. obeyed. And so. Whereupon the mother of my flesh. For it was her earnest care that Thou my God. when made. by my friends’ and my own. the better. the baptism of Thy Christ. as if I must needs be again polluted should I live. because the defilements of sin would. who greatly hoped in Thee. who hast so commanded. so neither should I. for he is not yet healed. rather than he. being seized on a time with sudden oppression of the stomach. I beseech Thee. and the whole household. if so Thou willest. then. bring greater and more perilous guilt. confessing Thee. for what purpose my baptism was then deferred? was it for my good that the rein was laid loose. Lord Jesus. and like near to death—Thou sawest. being much troubled (since. “Let him be worse wounded.

unless forced. But no one doth well against his will. So by those who did not well. and so it is. I had not learnt. Yet neither did they well who forced me. Thou didst well for me. and a shameful glory. and hated to be forced to it. even though what he doth. and this was well done towards me. that every inordinate affection should be its own punishment. . but what was well came to me from Thee. however (so much less dreaded for me than youth). and my own. by whom the very hairs of our head are numbered. didst use for my good the error of all who urged me to learn. who would not learn. For Thou hast commanded. be well. for. but I did not well. I loved not study. For they were regardless how I should employ what they forced me to learn.Chapter XII In boyhood itself. my God. so small a boy and so great a sinner. Yet I was forced. and by my own sin Thou didst justly punish me. But Thou. except to satiate the insatiate desires of a wealthy beggary. Thou didst use for my punishment—a fit penalty for one.

Let not those. by them I obtained. than that by which I learned to read and write. and to weep for dead Dido. because I was flesh. But now. writing and arithmetic. and “Well done! well done!” echoes on till one is ashamed not to be thus a man. the less learned will reply that they know not. and let Thy truth tell me. and still retain. but weeping not his own death for want of love to Thee. who quickenest my thoughts. I thought as great a burden and penalty as any Greek. And yet whence was this too. whereas in the others. Madness like this is thought a higher and a richer learning. my God. the more learned that he never did. Thou Power who givest vigour to my mind. cry Thou aloud in my soul. because more certain. I should ask which might be forgotten with least detriment to the concerns of life. cry out against me. Far better was that first study. and a breath that passeth away and cometh not again? For those first lessons were better certainly. while I confess to Thee. every one who has learnt this will answer me aright. And for all this I wept not. as to the signs which men have conventionally settled. but from the sin and vanity of this life. not what my first masters. but what the so-called grammarians taught me. rather than how to read and write. yet is this not so much an emblem of aught recondite. Thou bread of my inmost soul. then. O God. I was grieved that I might not read what grieved me. with dry eyes. having forsaken Thee.” For.Chapter XIII But why did I so much hate the Greek. I who wept for Dido slain. weeping the death of Dido for love to Aeneas. “Not so. For what more miserable than a miserable being who commiserates not himself. forgetful of my own. not so. and “seeking by the sword a stroke and wound extreme. For those first lessons. reading. and acquiesce in the condemnation of my evil ways. that I may love Thy good ways. and all around me thus fornicating there echoed “Well done! well done!” for the friendship of this world is fornication against Thee. the power of reading what I find written. I was forced to learn the wanderings of one Aeneas. whom I no longer fear. as the poet tells. far from Thee. For the Latin I loved. I endured my miserable self dying among these things. Thou light of my heart. which I studied as a boy? I do not yet fully know. earth passing into the earth.” myself seeking the while a worse extreme. I would readily forget the wanderings of Aeneas and all the rest. when as a boy I preferred those . I loved Thee not. the while. But should I ask with what letters the name “Aeneas” is written. I committed fornication against Thee. Let not either buyers or sellers of grammar-learning cry out against me. lo. If. again. the extremest and lowest of Thy creatures. my God. because she killed herself for love. But over the entrance of the Grammar School is a vail drawn! true. whatever my soul will. For if I question them whether it be true that Aeneas came on a time to Carthage. O God my life. and myself writing what I will. And if forbid to read all this. reading and writing or these poetic fictions? who does not foresee what all must answer who have not wholly forgotten themselves? I sinned. as a cloak of error.

or rather loved the one and hated the other." and "the burning ofTroy." and "Creusa's shade and sad similitude. . this was to me a hateful singsong: "the wooden horse lined with armed men." were the choice spectacle of my vanity.empty to those more profitable studies. "two and two. "One and one. four". two".


that a free curiosity has more force in our learning these things. Time was also (as an infant) I knew no Latin. yet was he bitter to my boyish taste. Only this enforcement restrains the rovings of that freedom. the difficulty of a foreign tongue. which have the like tales? For Homer also curiously wove the like fictions. whatever I conceived. which I could only do by learning words not of those who taught. And so I suppose would Virgil be to Grecian children. in whose ears also I gave birth to the thoughts. dashed. and is most sweetly-vain. and to make me understand I was urged vehemently with cruel threats and punishments. for my heart urged me to give birth to its conceptions. when forced to learn him as I was Homer.Chapter XIV Why then did I hate the Greek classics. This I learned without any pressure of punishment to urge me on. but of those who talked with me. by mere observation. but this I learned without fear or suffering. then. in truth. amid the caresses of my nursery and jests of friends. . recalling us to Thyself from that deadly pleasure which lures us from Thee. For not one word of it did I understand. No doubt. from the master's cane to the martyr's trials. being able to temper for us a wholesome bitter. O my God. as it were. through Thy laws. smiling and sportively encouraging me. than a frightful enforcement. Difficulty. Thy laws. with gall all the sweetness of Grecian fable.

read.Chapter XV Hear. for Thy service be whatever useful thing my childhood learned. whereby Thou hast drawn me out of all my most evil ways. O Lord. while I was learning vanities. For lo. my King and my God. and clasp Thy hand with all my affections. Lord. . and Thou mayest yet rescue me from every temptation. let not my soul faint under Thy discipline. indeed. that I may most entirely love Thee. write. For Thou didst grant me Thy discipline. that I speak. I learnt many a useful word. reckon. In them. that Thou mightest become a delight to me above all the allurements which I once pursued. but these may as well be learned in things not vain. nor let me faint in confessing unto Thee all Thy mercies. even unto the end. and that is the safe path for the steps of youth. my prayer. for Thy service. and my sin of delighting in those vanities Thou hast forgiven.

being. within sight of laws appointing a salary beside the scholar's payments.” As if we should have never known such words as “golden shower. as it were. and have no sober judge to whom we may appeal. “Viewing a picture. for compassing such learning. most necessary to gain your ends. too. and if we. but that wine of error which is drunk to us in them by intoxicated teachers.” And then mark how he excites himself to lust as by celestial authority: “And what God? Great Jove. transferring things human to the gods. choice and precious vessels. and a great solemnity is made of it. into thee are cast the sons of men with rich rewards. would he had brought down things divine to us!” Yet more truly had he said.Chapter XVI But woe is thee. he could not be. . and thou lashest thy rocks and roarest. and for this was pronounced a hopeful boy. we are beaten. where the tale was drawn.” or others in that passage. Of Jove's descending in a golden shower To Danae's lap a woman to beguile. hence eloquence. but the celestial gods. that crimes might be no longer crimes. unless Terence had brought a lewd youth upon the stage. not do the same! I did it.” “lap. but so the feigned thunder might countenance and pander to real adultery. “Hence words are learnt. Who shakes heaven's highest temples with his thunder. “These were Homer's fictions. poor mortal man. all this unhappily I learnt willingly with great delight. or maintain opinions. And now which of our gowned masters lends a sober ear to one who from their own school cries out. and with all my heart I did it. And I. which even they scarcely overpass who climb the cross? Did not I read in thee of Jove the thunderer and the adulterer? both. doubtless. drink not.” And yet. but by their means the vileness is committed with less shame. Yet.” “beguile. O my God (in whose presence I now without hurt may remember this). and whoso commits them might seem to imitate not abandoned men. when this is going on in the forum. “These are indeed his fictions. thou hellish torrent.” “temples of the heavens. but attributing a divine nature to wicked men. Not that I blame the words. setting up Jupiter as his example of seduction.” Not one whit more easily are the words learnt for all this vileness. thou torrent of human custom! Who shall stand against thee? how long shalt thou not be dried up? how long roll the sons of Eve into that huge and hideous ocean.

while I say somewhat of my wit. a defiled prey for the fowls of the air. troublesome enough to my soul. What is it to me. . For in more ways than one do men sacrifice to the rebellious angels. and to say in prose much what he expressed in verse. upon terms of praise or shame.” Which words I had heard that Juno never uttered. O my true life. but we were forced to go astray in the footsteps of these poetic fictions. and on what dotages I wasted it. For a task was set me. my God. as she raged and mourned that she could not “This Trojan prince from Latinum turn. maintaining the dignity of the character. so had it not trailed away amid these empty trifles.Chapter XVII Bear with me. and fear of stripes. in whom the passions of rage and grief were most preeminent. Lord. my God. Thy gift. to speak the words of Juno. And his speaking was most applauded. that my declamation was applauded above so many of my own age and class? is not all this smoke and wind? and was there nothing else whereon to exercise my wit and tongue? Thy praises. and clothed in the most fitting language. Thy praises might have stayed the yet tender shoot of my heart by the prop of Thy Scriptures.

they committed some barbarism or solecism. whose heart saith unto Thee. O Lord God. Before them what more foul than I was already. or ships. lest. my parents. and more loving unto him. This was the world at whose gate unhappy I lay in my boyhood. I have sought Thy face. a man standing before a human judge. wherein I was cast away from Thine eyes. he murder the word “human being”. my masters. this the stage where I had feared more to commit a barbarism. and went out from Thy presence. These things I speak and confess to Thee. will take heed most watchfully. long-suffering. surrounded by a human throng. were abashed. my God. that men leave Thee. if in relating some action of theirs. As if any enemy could be more hurtful than the hatred with which he is incensed against him. behold patiently as Thou art wont how carefully the sons of men observe the covenanted rules of letters and syllables received from those who spake before them. displeasing even such as myself? with innumerable lies deceiving my tutor. For it is not by our feet. Wilt Thou hold Thy peace for ever? and even now Thou drawest out of this horrible gulf the soul that seeketh Thee. Behold. by an error of the tongue. Or did that Thy younger son look out for horses or chariots. is the true distance from Thy face. Insomuch.” in despite of the laws of grammar. yea. Thy face. for which I had praise from them. and plenteous in mercy and truth. of a “uman being. or journey by the motion of his limbs. and holdest Thy peace. So then in lustful. that he might in a far country waste in riotous living all Thou gavest at his departure? a loving Father. when men were set before me as models. a “human being. when Thou gavest. who. eagerness to see vain shows and restlessness to imitate them! Thefts also . that is. from love of play. than if he. than having committed one. Assuredly no science of letters can be so innate as the record of conscience. in darkened affections. In quest of the fame of eloquence. to envy those who had not. that thirsteth for Thy pleasures. O my God. being bepraised. he murder the real human being. that a teacher or learner of the hereditary laws of pronunciation will more offend men by speaking without the aspirate. that sittest silent on high and by an unwearied law dispensing penal blindness to lawless desires.” hate a “human being” in despite of Thine.” How deep are Thy ways. neglecting the eternal covenant of everlasting salvation received from Thee. Lord. in itself not ill. “that he is doing to another what from another he would be loth to suffer. For darkened affections is removal from Thee. will I seek. but when in rich and adomed and well-ordered discourse they related their own disordered life. being censured. they gloried? These things Thou seest. or change of place. For I saw not the abyss of vileness. fly with visible wings. lest. when he returned empty. Lord. through the fury of his spirit. whom I then thought it all virtue to please. but takes no heed. O God. declaiming against his enemy with fiercest hatred. or could wound more deeply him whom he persecutes.Chapter XVIII But what marvel that I was thus carried away to vanities. than he wounds his own soul by his enmity. or return unto Thee. Thou only great.

In this play. which all the while they liked no less than I. For these very sins. I cry Thy mercy. truths. And is this the innocence of boyhood? Not so. or. I was upbraided. and felt. as riper years succeed. the Creator and Governor of the universe. not so. upbraided I so fiercely. had a vigorous memory. For so wilt Thou preserve me. is He that made me. confusions. enslaved by greediness. not admirable? But all are gifts of my God: it was not I who gave them me. to gold and manors and slaves. then. and good these are. thanks be to Thee for Thy gifts. Lord. baseness. from nuts and balls and sparrows. conquered myself meanwhile by vain desire of preeminence. And what could I so ill endure. For even then I was. I chose rather to quarrel than to yield. errors. I guarded by the inward sense the entireness of my senses. I lived. and in my thoughts on things minute. my joy and my glory and my confidence. as that I was doing to others? and for which if. Thanks be to Thee. my God. was soothed by friendship. and I myself shall be with Thee. when Thou saidst. my God. that not in Him. detected. most excellent and most good. avoided pain. For it was my sin. was gifted with speech. Yet.I committed. and had an implanted providence over my well-being—a trace of that mysterious Unity whence I was derived. just as severer punishments displace the cane. . In so small a creature. since even to be Thou hast given me. even hadst Thou destined for me boyhood only. or that I might have to give to boys. to magistrates and kings. when I detected it. these very sins are transferred from tutors and masters. I often sought unfair conquests. It was the low stature then of childhood which Thou our King didst commend as an emblem of lowliness. I hated to be deceived. and those things shall be enlarged and perfected which Thou hast given me. but do Thou preserve them to me. sublimities. and so fell headlong into sorrows. and these together are myself. thanks were due to Thee our God. ignorance. but in His creatures—myself and others—I sought for pleasures. Good. Of such is the kingdom of heaven. who sold me their play. I learnt to delight in truth. to Thee. what was not wonderful. and in these minute pursuits. from my parents’ cellar and table. too. Lord. and before Him will I exult for every good which of a boy I had. and He is my good.

Book II .

to be satiated in things below. not because I love them. the One Good. reviewing my most wicked ways in the very bitterness of my remembrance. while turned from Thee. Thou blissful and assured sweetness). and I dared to grow wild again. O my God. . For I even burnt in my youth heretofore. pleasing myself. For love of Thy love I do it. but that I may love Thee. I lost myself among a multiplicity of things. and I stank in Thine eyes. with these various and shadowy loves: my beauty consumed away. and gathering me again out of that my dissipation.Chapter I I will now call to mind my past foulness. and the carnal corruptions of my soul. and desirous to please in the eyes of men. wherein I was torn piecemeal. that Thou mayest grow sweet unto me (Thou sweetness never failing.

mists fumed up which beclouded and overcast my heart. To these words I should have listened more attentively. Else ought I more watchfully to have heeded the voice from the clouds: Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh. and the bubblings of youth. and besprinkling with most bitter alloy all my unlawful pleasures: that I might seek pleasures without alloy. being able with a gentle hand to blunt the thorns which were excluded from Thy paradise? For Thy omnipotency is not far from us. but I. friendship's bright boundary: but out of the muddy concupiscence of the flesh. and being severed for the kingdom of heaven's sake. and I wandered further and further from Thee. even when we be far from Thee. of mind to mind. Both did confusedly boil in me. For what mortal can? For Thou wert ever with me mercifully rigorous. And it is good for a man not to touch a woman. O Lord. and killest us. and kept within the object of a family. their only care was that I should learn to speak excellently. and be a persuasive orator.Chapter II And what was it that I delighted in. and I knew it not. and a restless weariness. and Thou heldest Thy peace. who teachest by sorrow. Where was I. that so the tides of my youth might have cast themselves upon the marriage shore. And. and woundest us. and I was tossed about. if they could not be calmed. and sunk me in a gulf of flagitiousnesses. and be loved? but I kept not the measure of love. and I strayed further from Thee. and turned to account the fleeting beauties of these. I could not discover. and Thou lettest me alone. as Thy law prescribes. into more and more fruitless seed-plots of sorrows. O Lord: who this way formest the offspring of this our death. but I spare you. how he may please the Lord. yet I escaped not Thy scourges. and dissipated. and exceeded all Thy limits. O Thou my tardy joy! Thou then heldest Thy peace. with a proud dejectedness. he that is unmarried thinketh of the things of the Lord. and wasted. . how he may please his wife. following the rushing of my own tide. and I resigned myself wholly to it? My friends meanwhile took no care by marriage to save my fall. I was grown deaf by the clanking of the chain of my mortality. that I could not discern the clear brightness of love from the fog of lustfulness. and hurried my unstayed youth over the precipice of unholy desires. lest we die from Thee. save in Thee. Oh! that some one had then attempered my disorder. and how far was I exiled from the delights of Thy house. though unlicensed by Thy laws) took the rule over me. the extreme points of Thy creation! had put a bound to their pleasureableness. Thy wrath had gathered over me. the punishment of the pride of my soul. had more happily awaited Thy embraces. and I boiled over in my fornications. But where to find such. foamed like a troubled sea. but to love. poor wretch. to heal. but he that is married careth for the things of this world. in that sixteenth year of the age of my flesh. when the madness of lust (to which human shamelessness giveth free licence. forsaking Thee.

now growing towards manhood. Thy servant. which I should blush to obey. the briers of unclean desires grew rank over my head.” These seemed to me womanish advices. he would furnish his son with all necessaries for a far journey for his studies’ sake? For many far abler citizens did no such thing for their children. Thou sangest in my ears? Nothing whereof sunk into my heart. And to what purpose? that whosoever reads this. whereas my father was as yet but a Catechumen. her son. But yet this same father had no concern how I grew towards Thee. She then was startled with a holy fear and trembling. the son of Thy handmaid. rejoicing in that tumult of the senses wherein the world forgetteth Thee its Creator. O my God. But they were Thine. Thy faithful one. whither I had journeyed to learn grammar and rhetoric). and that rather by the resolution than the means of my father. and though I was not as yet baptised. even to that small portion of mankind as may light upon these writings of mine. and the foundation of Thy holy habitation. my heart. but especially never to defile another man's wife. leaving all school for a while (a season of idleness being interposed through the narrowness of my parents’ fortunes). by whom Thou wert not silent unto me. feared for me those crooked ways in which they walk who turn their back to Thee. who art the only true and good Lord of Thy field. instead of Thyself. or how chaste I were. through the fumes of that invisible wine of its self-will. however barren I were to Thy culture. so as to do it. But while in that my sixteenth year I lived with my parents. when I heard them boast of . and there was no hand to root them out. and that but recently. and a life of faith? Who did not extol my father. that amongst my equals I was ashamed of a less shamelessness. “not to commit fornication. so that I were but copious in speech. and I knew it not: and I thought Thou wert silent and that it was she who spake. and becometh enamoured of Thy creature. my God. may think out of what depths we are to cry unto Thee. he. turning aside and bowing down to the very basest things. while I wandered further from Thee? Didst Thou then indeed hold Thy peace to me? And whose but Thine were these words which by my mother. But I knew it not. who was but a poor freeman of Thagaste. and endued with a restless youthfulness.Chapter III For that year were my studies intermitted: whilst after my return from Madaura (a neighbour city. Woe is me! and dare I say that Thou heldest Thy peace. gladly told it to my mother. When that my father saw me at the baths. for that beyond the ability of his means. but before Thee to mine own kind. O God. and not their face. To whom tell I this? not to Thee. and in her wast despised by me. For she wished. as already hence anticipating his descendants. the expenses for a further journey to Carthage were being provided for me. and I remember in private with great anxiety warned me. But in my mother's breast Thou hadst already begun Thy temple. For what is nearer to Thine ears than a confessing heart. and ran headlong with such blindness.


which both my parents were too desirous I should attain. but in the praise. the disposition of my parents. Neither did the mother of my flesh (who had now fled out of the centre of Babylon. were slackened to me.their flagitiousness. For thus I conjecture. yet went more slowly in the skirts thereof as she advised me to chastity. Behold with what companions I walked the streets of Babylon. as to restrain within the bounds of conjugal affection (if it could not be pared away to the quick) what she felt to be pestilent at present and for the future dangerous. And that I might cleave the faster to its very centre. the brightness of Thy truth. which my mother reposed in Thee. for she feared lest a wife should prove a clog and hindrance to my hopes. intercepting from me. because she accounted that those usual courses of learning would not only be no hindrance. recalling. to spend my time in sport. And in all was a mist. meantime. and wallowed in the mire thereof. O my God. not only in the pleasure of the deed. as if in a bed of spices and precious ointments. the invisible enemy trod me down. What is worthy of dispraise but vice? But I made myself worse than I was. and mine iniquity burst out as from very fatness. my father. that I might not seem contemptible in proportion as I was innocent. beyond all temper of due severity. for that I was easy to be seduced. and seduced me. She heeded not this. so heed what she had heard of me from her husband. as well as I may. . the more they were degraded: and I took pleasure. or of less account. I would say that I had done what I had not done. because he had next to no thought of Thee. even unto dissoluteness in whatsoever I affected. my mother. and when in any thing I had not sinned as the abandoned ones. and the more boasting. but the hope of learning. that I might not be dispraised. and of me but vain conceits. but even some furtherance towards attaining Thee. yea. yea. Not those hopes of the world to come. The reins. the more chaste.

but my fault itself. behold. and took huge loads. It was foul. To shake and rob this. having no temptation to ill. which iniquity itself effaces not. having only tasted them. not for our eating. but through a cloyedness of well-doing. and much better. but to fling to the very hogs. laden with fruit. falling from Thy firmament to utter destruction. which Thou hadst pity upon in the bottom of the bottomless pit. O God. late one night (having according to our pestilent custom prolonged our sports in the streets till then). of which I had enough. Behold my heart. not that for which I was faulty. but the ill itself. compelled by no hunger. Nor cared I to enjoy what I stole. and the law written in the hearts of men. and did it. And this.Chapter IV Theft is punished by Thy law. but joyed in the theft and sin itself. let my heart tell Thee what it sought there. some lewd young fellows of us went. that I should be gratuitously evil. and I loved it. but the shame itself! . Yet I lusted to thieve. not seeking aught through the shame. O Lord. Foul soul. Now. I loved mine own fault. tempting neither for colour nor taste. I loved to perish. and a pamperedness of iniquity. behold my heart. For what thief will abide a thief? not even a rich thief. nor poverty. because it was misliked. A pear tree there was near our vineyard. but to do what we liked only. For I stole that. one stealing through want.

whence springs also the thirst of revenge. But yet. having taken the city. and Thy law. and his embarrassments from domestic needs. and each other sense hath his proper object answerably tempered. and the like. or feared to lose some such things by him. while through an immoderate inclination towards these goods of the lowest order. our Lord God. and He is the joy of the upright in heart. and the power of overcoming. the better and higher are forsaken. in gold and silver. For these lower things have their delights. and all things. through that practice of guilt. of whom it is said that he was gratuitously evil and cruel. was on fire to be revenged. we ask why a crime was done. Thy truth. but something else. then. Wordly honour hath also its grace. and of mastery.Chapter V For there is an attractiveness in beautiful bodies. . and in bodily touch. unless it appear that there might have been some desire of obtaining some of those which we called lower goods. riches. The life also which here we live hath its own enchantment. A man hath murdered another. he might. why? he loved his wife or his estate. for whose sake he did them. So then. nor decline from Thy law. Would any commit murder upon no cause. although compared with those higher and beatific goods. is sin committed. When. or a fear of losing them. and consciousness of villainies.” And to what end? that. and be freed from fear of the laws. O Lord. we believe it not. for in Him doth the righteous delight. by reason of the unity formed of many souls. wronged. yet is the cause assigned. we may not depart from Thee. they be abject and low. “lest” (saith he) “through idleness hand or heart should grow inactive. who made all things. but not like my God. or.—Thou. Human friendship also is endeared with a sweet tie. empire. through a certain proportion of its own. attain to honours. and a correspondence with all things beautiful here below. delighted simply in murdering? who would believe it? for as for that furious and savage man. or would rob for his own livelihood. sympathy hath much influence. Upon occasion of all these. For they are beautiful and comely. not even Catiline himself loved his own villainies. to obtain all these.

and behold it hath no loveliness. because they were Thy creation. and glorious for evermore.Chapter VI What then did wretched I so love in thee. Covetousness would possess many things. Curiosity makes semblance of a desire of knowledge. Fair were those pears. Thou good God. Prodigality presents a shadow of liberality: but Thou art the most overflowing Giver of all good. but who is to be feared but God alone. or by whom? The tendernesses of the wanton would fain be counted love: yet is nothing more tender than Thy charity. seeking without Thee. and animal life of man. nor even that false and shadowy beauty which belongeth to deceiving vices. But even by . but not them did my wretched soul desire. For so doth pride imitate exaltedness. bright and beautiful above all. thou theft of mine. full of embryo-life. nay. or who separateth from Thee what Thou lovest? Or where but with Thee is unshaken safety? Grief pines away for things lost. out of whose power what can be wrested or withdrawn? when. but Thou art the fulness and never-failing plenteousness of incorruptible pleasures. but honours and glory? whereas Thou alone art to be honoured above all. nor yet as the stars are glorious and beautiful in their orbs. but to Thee what unwonted or sudden. sloth would fain be at rest. And now. Yea. For if aught of those pears came within my mouth. when gathered. whereas Thou alone art God exalted over all. and takes forethought for their safety. or where. Creator of all. nor such as is in the mind and memory. replacing by its birth that which decayeth. till she returns to Thee. and senses. and those I gathered. The cruelty of the great would fain be feared. Envy disputes for excellency: what more excellent than Thou? Anger seeks revenge: who revenges more justly than Thou? Fear startles at things unwonted and sudden. nor is aught loved more healthfully than that Thy truth. my only feast therein being my own sin. that thus I speak to thee? Fair were the pears we stole. as nothing can from Thee. thou deed of darkness. since they are his own works which injure the sinner? Yea. what she findeth not pure and untainted. which I was pleased to enjoy. or sea. Ambition. or whither. but what stable rest besides the Lord? Luxury affects to be called plenty and abundance. I enquire what in that theft delighted me. in that sixteenth year of my age? Lovely thou wert not. Thou fairest of all. For. I mean not such loveliness as in justice and wisdom. God. what seeks it. the delight of its desires. which endangers things beloved. Thus doth the soul commit fornication. O Lord my God. because it would have nothing taken from it. when she turns from Thee. ignorance and foolishness itself is cloaked under the name of simplicity and uninjuriousness. Thus all pervertedly imitate Thee. But art thou any thing. I flung them away. the sovereign good and my true good. whereas Thou supremely knowest all. only that I might steal. and lift themselves up against Thee. and Thou possessest all things. who remove far from Thee. because nothing is found more single than Thee: and what less injurious. or the earth. for I had store of better. what sweetened it was the sin. because thou wert theft.

they imply Thee to be the Creator of all nature. I might mimic a maimed liberty by doing with impunity things unpermitted me. whence there is no place whither altogether to retire from Thee. because by power I could not. a darkened likeness of Thy Omnipotency? Behold. O monstrousness of life. O rottenness. so that being a prisoner. and obtaining a shadow. and depth of death! could I like what I might not. What then did I love in that theft? and wherein did I even corruptly and pervertedly imitate my Lord? Did I wish even by stealth to do contrary to Thy law. only because I might not? . fleeing from his Lord. Thy servant.thus imitating Thee.

who being sick. sick: and for this let him love Thee as much. for what might I not have done. all I confess to have been forgiven me. that. that Thou hast melted away my sins as it were ice. yea and more. through whose aid it was that he was not. followed Thy voice. and avoided those things which he reads me recalling and confessing of myself.Chapter VII What shall I render unto the Lord. whilst my memory recalls these things. since by whom he sees me to have been recovered from such deep consumption of sin. or rather was less. To Thy grace I ascribe it. What man is he. as if he had less needed Thy mercy. by Him he sees himself to have been from the like consumption of sin preserved. called by Thee. and to Thy mercy. that so he should love Thee the less. and what by Thy guidance I committed not. weighing his own infirmity. because Thou hast forgiven me these so great and heinous deeds of mine. was cured by that Physician. who. who even loved a sin for its own sake? Yea. both what evils I committed by my own wilfulness. and thank Thee. whereby Thou remittest sins to those that turn to Thee? For whosoever. let him not scorn me. O Lord. my soul is not affrighted at them? I will love Thee. To Thy grace I ascribe also whatsoever I have not done of evil. . dares to ascribe his purity and innocency to his own strength. and confess unto Thy name.


What is. it was in the offence itself. and discuss. in truth? who can teach me. with whom I did it? I did not then love nothing else but the theft. I remember. I might have done it alone. and therefore the more miserable I. and it too was nothing. in that theft which I loved for the theft's sake. alone I had never done it. who loved it. of the remembrance whereof I am now ashamed? Especially. I loved then in it also the company of the accomplices. and wished to enjoy them. Yet alone I had not done it: such was I then. yea rather I did love nothing else. for that circumstance of the company was also nothing. save He that enlighteneth my heart. . But since my pleasure was not in those pears. had the bare commission of the theft sufficed to attain my pleasure. nor needed I have inflamed the itching of my desires by the excitement of accomplices. which the company of fellow-sinners occasioned.Chapter VIII What fruit had I then (wretched man!) in those things. and discovereth its dark corners? What is it which hath come into my mind to enquire. and consider? For had I then loved the pears I stole.

without lust of my own gain or revenge: but when it is said. But yet what was it? Who can understand his errors? It was the sport. thou greediness to do mischief out of mirth and wantonness. who had it. .Chapter IX What then was this feeling? For of a truth it was too foul: and woe was me. which as it were tickled our hearts. that we beguiled those who little thought what we were doing. let's do it. yet laughter sometimes masters men alone and singly when on one whatever is with them. O friendship too unfriendly! thou incomprehensible inveigler of the soul. and much disliked it. the vivid remembrance of my soul. Why then was my delight of such sort that I did it not alone? Because none doth ordinarily laugh alone? ordinarily no one. alone I had never done it. I had never committed that theft wherein what I stole pleased me not. Behold my God. thou thirst of others’ loss. but that I stole.” we are ashamed not to be shameless. if anything very ludicrous presents itself to their senses or mind. alone. nor had it alone liked me to do it. Yet I had not done this alone. nor had I done it. before Thee. “Let's go.

too much astray from Thee my stay. O my God. . to look on it. in these days of my youth. and I became to myself a barren land. Whoso enters into Thee. beautiful and comely to all pure eyes. But Thee I long for. With Thee is rest entire. and of a satisfaction unsating. enters into the joy of his Lord: and shall not fear. O Righteousness and Innocency. and I wandered. and shall do excellently in the All-Excellent. and life imperturbable. I sank away from Thee.Chapter X Who can disentangle that twisted and intricate knottiness? Foul is it: I hate to think on it.

Book III .

the more I loathed it. the spring of friendship with the filth of concupiscence. I loved not yet. I defiled. that I might be scourged with the iron burning rods of jealousy. For within me was a famine of that inward food. when I obtained to enjoy the person I loved. through that famine I was not hungered. where there sang all around me in my ears a cauldron of unholy loves. . I sought what I might love. but the more empty. and quarrels.Chapter I To Carthage I came. but was without all longing for incorruptible sustenance. desiring to be scraped by the touch of objects of sense. and thus foul and unseemly. and angers. therefore. and safety I hated. in love with loving. and suspicions. and I beclouded its brightness with the hell of lustfulness. I hated myself for wanting not. my God. and a way without snares. Yet if these had not a soul. it miserably cast itself forth. I fell headlong then into the love wherein I longed to be ensnared. was sweet to me. and to be beloved. I would fain. To love then. with how much gall didst Thou out of Thy great goodness besprinkle for me that sweetness? For I was both beloved. my Mercy. Thyself. be fine and courtly. and was with joy fettered with sorrow-bringing bonds. but more. yet I loved to love. through exceeding vanity. and fears. they would not be objects of love. My God. yet. not because filled therewith. and secretly arrived at the bond of enjoying. For this cause my soul was sickly and full of sores. and out of a deep-seated want.

and hast more incorruptibly pity on them. I sorrowed with them. but in it grief delights not. beware of uncleanness. being of its own will precipitated and corrupted from its heavenly clearness? Shall compassion then be put away? by no means. then loved to grieve. then may he. yet are wounded with no sorrowfulness. who lovest souls far more purely than we. although this was imaginary only in the play. And if the calamities of those persons (whether of old times. but if he be moved to passion. miserable. who is genuinely compassionate. into which it is wilfully changed and transformed. But beware of uncleanness. but only to grieve: and he applauds the actor of these fictions the more. What is this but a miserable madness? for a man is the more affected with these actions. and sought out what to grieve at. the less free he is from such affections. For I have not now ceased to pity. and weeps for joy. yet had my delight in both. that man desires to be made sad. that acting best pleased me. when in another's and that feigned and personated misery. For if good will be ill willed (which can never be). for this reason alone are passions loved? This also springs from that vein of friendship. as if very compassionate. I became infected with a foul disease? And . Some sorrow may then be allowed. wish there might be some miserable. yet had he. O Lord God. and the loss of some miserable felicity. that he might commiserate. under the guardianship of my God. which drew tears from me. or mere fiction) be so acted. What marvel that an unhappy sheep. when he suffers in his own person. For though he that grieves for the miserable. which yet himself would no means suffer? yet he desires as a spectator to feel sorrow at them. who truly and sincerely commiserates. For thus dost Thou. and attracted me the most vehemently. Why is it. rather there were nothing for him to grieve for. full of images of my miseries. beholding doleful and tragical things. that the spectator is not moved to tears. the more he grieves. Be griefs then sometimes loved. none loved. but then in the theatres I rejoiced with lovers when they wickedly enjoyed one another. straying from Thy flock. than him who is thought to suffer hardship. But whither goes that vein? whither flows it? wherefore runs it into that torrent of pitch bubbling forth those monstrous tides of foul lustfulness.Chapter II Stage-plays also carried me away. But now I much more pity him that rejoiceth in his wickedness. who is to be praised and exalted above all for ever. is he yet pleased to be merciful? which because it cannot be without passion. And when they lost one another. this very sorrow is his pleasure. the God of our fathers. and impatient of Thy keeping. by missing some pernicious pleasure. But what sort of compassion is this for feigned and scenical passions? for the auditor is not called on to relieve. be commended for his office of charity. he goes away disgusted and criticising. O my soul. it uses to be styled misery: when he compassionates others. Or whereas no man likes to be miserable. he stays intent. Are griefs then too loved? Verily all desire joy. This certainly is the truer mercy. Howsoever. and of fuel to my fire. then it is mercy. And who is sufficient for these things? But I.

0 my God? . upon which. not such as should sink deep into me.hence the love of griefs. impostumes. My life being such. as on envenomed nails. what I loved to look on. for I loved not to suffer. was it life. followed inflamed swelling. and a putrefied sore. but such as upon hearing their fictions should lightly scratch the surface.

and I swelled with arrogancy. glorying even in their blindness. feeding thereon their malicious mirth. to desire. And now I was chief in the rhetoric school. loving a vagrant liberty. and not Thine. with a shameless shame that I was not even as they. . which they disturbed by a gratuitous jeering. to whom I sacrificed my evil actions. O Thou my exceeding mercy. for which Thou scourgedst me with grievous punishments.e. though (Lord. Those studies also. Upon how grievous iniquities consumed I myself.. my refuge from those terrible destroyers.” wherewith they wantonly persecuted the modesty of strangers. their “subvertings. the deceiving spirits secretly deriding and seducing them. whereat I joyed proudly. had a view to excelling in the courts of litigation. though nothing to my fault. that having forsaken Thee. the more bepraised. What then could they be more truly called than “Subverters”? themselves subverted and altogether perverted first. while Thy solemnities were celebrated within the walls of Thy Church. the craftier. Nothing can be liker the very actions of devils than these. withdrawing further from Thee. loving mine own ways. wherein themselves delight to jeer at and deceive others. and to compass a business deserving death for its fruits.Chapter III And Thy faithful mercy hovered over me afar. among whom I wandered with a stiff neck. and in all these things Thou didst scourge me! I dared even. my God. it might bring me to the treacherous abyss. Thou knowest) far quieter and altogether removed from the subvertings of those “Subverters” (for this ill-omened and devilish name was the very badge of gallantry) among whom I lived. which were accounted commendable. and the beguiling service of devils. pursuing a sacrilegious curiosity. Such is men's blindness. With them I lived. whose doings I ever did abhor—i. and was sometimes delighted with their friendship.

and whatsoever was without that name. that the name of Christ was not in it. after the rudiments of the world. nor did it infuse into me its style. and began now to arise. my God. . For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. not to sharpen my tongue did I employ that book. whose speech almost all admire. that I was thereby strongly roused. And since at that time (Thou. and turned my prayers to Thyself O Lord. not so his heart. after the tradition of men. but its matter. took not entire hold of me. O light of my heart. devoutly drunk in and deeply treasured. that I might return to Thee. in that unsettled age of mine. under a great. and smooth. I was delighted with that exhortation. had my tender heart. are in that book censured and set forth: there also is made plain that wholesome advice of Thy Spirit. How did I burn then. learned I books of eloquence. I fell upon a certain book of Cicero. though never so learned. and I longed with an incredibly burning desire for an immortality of wisdom. knowest) Apostolic Scripture was not known to me. and obtain. This book of his contains an exhortation to philosophy. according to Thy mercy. so far only.” But this book altered my affections. and made me have other purposes and desires. and seek. But the love of wisdom is in Greek called “philosophy. my father being dead two years before). and this alone checked me thus unkindled. how did I burn to re-mount from earthly things to Thee. and hold. and kindled.Chapter IV Among such as these. and honourable name colouring and disguising their own errors: and almost all who in that and former ages were such. nor knew I what Thou wouldest do with me? For with Thee is wisdom. even with my mother's milk. and embrace not this or that sect. out of a damnable and vainglorious end. but wisdom itself whatever it were.” with which that book inflamed me. Some there be that seduce through philosophy. polished. and inflamed to love. by Thy good and devout servant: Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit. For not to sharpen my tongue (which thing I seemed to be purchasing with my mother's allowances. and not after Christ. in that my nineteenth year. a joy in human vanity. O Lord. this name of my Saviour Thy Son. Every vain hope at once became worthless to me. wherein I desired to be eminent. In the ordinary course of study. or true. For this name. and is called “Hortensius.

Chapter V I resolved then to bend my mind to the holy Scriptures. For not as I now speak. I see a thing not understood by the proud. But I disdained to be a little one. nor could my sharp wit pierce the interior thereof. swollen with pride. took myself to be a great one. that I might see what they were. or stoop my neck to follow its steps. did I feel when I turned to those Scriptures. . and I was not such as could enter into it. and veiled with mysteries. and. Yet were they such as would grow up in a little one. in its recesses lofty. nor laid open to children. but they seemed to me unworthy to he compared to the stateliness of Tully: for my swelling pride shrunk from their lowliness. But behold. lowly in access.

nor those which we see not there.” and spake much thereof to me. though in heaven. Food in sleep shows very like our food awake. Beauty of all things beautiful. how inwardly did even then the marrow of my soul pant after Thee. the Truth. no nor Thy first works. which are. for love of Thee. O Truth. but yet Thy works. better and more certain is the life of the bodies than the bodies. life of my soul. than by them conjecture other vaster and infinite bodies which have no being. and they are more certain than when we fancy them. Truth. are far more certain: these things the beasts and birds discern as well as we. not eagerly. they. for Thou didst not in them taste to me as Thou art. Yet they cried out “Truth. but exhausted rather. in looking for whom I fail. celestial or terrestrial. for Thou wast not these emptinesses. I fed thereon. But I hungered and thirsted not even after those first works of Thine. nor dost Thou account them among the chiefest of Thy works. Thy creatures. which yet Thou art not. having life in Thyself. beautiful works of Thine. But Thou art the life of souls. my soul's Love. and of our Lord Jesus Christ. as Thou hast now spoken to me. though it was but an echo? And these were the dishes wherein to me. the life of lives. For Thy spiritual works are before these corporeal works. for Thou hast created them. for they are asleep. in whom is no variableness. than which the images of those bodies. These names departed not out of their mouth. And I indeed ought to have passed by even philosophers who spake truth concerning them. How far then art Thou from those fantasies of mine. celestial though they be. nor was I nourished by them. no. yet are not those asleep nourished by it. glittering fantasies. limed with the mixture of the syllables of Thy name. in whose mouths were the snares of the Devil. Yet because I thought them to be Thee.Chapter VI Therefore I fell among men proudly doting. we do with more certainty fancy them. art neither those bodies which we see. false bodies. neither shadow of turning: yet they still set before me in those dishes. for the heart was void of truth. Truth. nor yet the soul. are far more certain. than which these true bodies. Such empty husks was I then fed on. not Thyself. which is the life of the bodies. and shining. instead of Thee. But those were not even any way like to Thee. But Thou. than which better were it to love this very sun (which is real to our sight at least). but so far forth as the sound only and the noise of the tongue. but after Thee Thyself. echoed of Thee to me. my Father. and in many and huge books. our Comforter. not of Thee only (who truly art Truth). And again. and changest not. served up the Sun and Moon. So then. supremely good. that I may become strong. . the Paraclete. hungering after Thee. yet it was not in them: but they spake falsehood. than those fantasies which by our eyes deceive our mind. when they often and diversely. exceeding carnal and prating. fantasies of bodies which altogether are not. and more certain still the bodies themselves. which with our fleshly sight we behold. and of the Holy Ghost. for those were corporeal fantasies. but even of those elements of this world. and was not fed.

but according to the sense of the flesh. by what steps was I brought down to the depths of hell! toiling and turmoiling through want of Truth. and how far from me? Far verily was I straying from Thee. barred from the very husks of the swine. wherein Thou willedst that I should excel the beasts. variously disguised. Woe. because she found my soul dwelling abroad in the eye of my flesh.Where then wert Thou then to me. since I sought after Thee. simple and knoweth nothing. though I heard it sung. and “Medea flying. yet slay the believer. not according to the understanding of the mind.” though I did sing. But Thou wert more inward to me than my most inward part.” are more profitable truly than these men's five elements. answering to five dens of darkness. and saying. and ruminating on such food as through it I had devoured. and poems. For verses and poems I can turn to true food. which have no being. I maintained not. I believed not: but those things I did believe. and higher than my highest. shadowed out in Solomon. and drink ye stolen waters which are sweet: she seduced me. who hadst mercy on me. not as yet confessing). For how much better are the fables of poets and grammarians than these snares? For verses. and “Medea flying. . woe. whom with husks I fed. Eat ye bread of secrecies willingly. sitting at the door. my God (to Thee I confess it. I lighted upon that bold woman.

Chapter VII For other than this. as Spirit. but the times. and one house. As if in an armory. the moral habits of the whole human race. for certain temporal respects. but out of the most rightful law of God Almighty. and sacrifice living creatures?” At which I. according to which Abraham. obeying both the same righteousness: whereas they see. “whence is evil?” “is God bounded by a bodily shape. and so is not wholly every where. and might be rightly said to be after the image of God. and of my mind to a phantasm? And I knew not God to be a Spirit. and David. the sight of whose eyes reached only to bodies. in one corner permitted or commanded. than in its infinitude. which they had not exper- . one ignorant of what were adapted to each part should cover his head with greaves. that which really is I knew not. when they asked me. by which we were like to God. and one family. not one thing in one place. persuaded to assent to foolish deceivers. for that by their senses they cannot harmonise the causes of things in former ages and other nations. in one man. judging out of man's judgment. different things to be fit for different members. or that God. was much troubled. or something permitted out of doors. which how should I see. Is justice therefore various or mutable? No. and was. itself meantime being the same always and every where. it must be less in such part as is defined by a certain space. which the butler is not suffered to meddle with. because they are times. seemed to myself to be making towards it. whereby the ways of places and times were disposed according to those times and places. one were angered at not being allowed to keep open shop. and these another. commanded them one thing. after a certain time not so. the same thing is not allotted every where. which is forbidden in the diningroom. and departing from the truth. but were judged unrighteous by silly men. or whose being was bulk. or when in one house he observeth some servant take a thing in his hand. and measuring by their own petty habits. over which it presides. I was altogether ignorant. and all those commended by the mouth of God. in my ignorance. because he had been in the forenoon. which now is not. and did kill men. flow not evenly. were righteous. or seek to be shod with a helmet. not one who hath parts extended in length and breadth. because as yet I knew not that evil was nothing but a privation of good. that in one house. and to all. and complain that they fitted not: or as if on a day when business is publicly stopped in the afternoon. and a thing formerly lawful. But men whose days are few upon the earth. as God. but in another rightly forbidden and punished. and has hairs and nails?” “are they to be esteemed righteous who had many wives at once. and Jacob. And what that should be in us. Nor knew I that true inward righteousness which judgeth not according to custom. and another in another. as it were through sharpness of wit. and should be angry. and Moses. for every bulk is less in a part than in the whole: and if it be infinite. Even such are they who are fretted to hear something to have been lawful for righteous men formerly. and Isaac. until at last a thing ceases altogether to be. and one day.

did far more excellently and sublimely contain in one all those things which God commanded. but apportioned and enjoined what was fit for each. censured the holy Fathers. they struck my sight on all sides. by which I indited. to the one they take exceptions. whereas in one and the same body. . And I in my blindness. or family. which good and holy men obeyed. nor observed. part. with these which they have experience of. but comprised all in one.ience of. and in no part varied. to the other they submit. These things I then knew not. day. they easily see what is fitting for each member. and person. as God was revealing in them. nor even in any one metre the self-same foot in all places. but also wherein they were foretelling things to come. Still I saw not how that righteousness. I indited verses. Yet the art itself. in which I might not place every foot every where. and season. although in varying times it prescribed not every thing at once. had not different principles for these different cases. not only wherein they made use of things present as God commanded and inspired them. and I saw them not. but differently in different metres.

so must God above all. or through envy. may not be violated at the lawless pleasure of any. For any part which harmoniseth not with its whole. as the robber to the traveller. or two combined. and seven. or for some profit belonging to another. they do wickedly against their own souls. as spectators of gladiators. But when God commands a thing to be done. whether by reproach or injury. by corrupting and perverting their nature. to that use which is against nature. for to obey princes is a general compact of human society). or in burning in things unallowed. of the eye. that psaltery of often strings. raging with heart and tongue against Thee. bursting the pale of human society. which Thou hast created and ordained. it were against it if he were not obeyed. either singly. But what foul offences can there be against Thee. These be the heads of iniquity which spring from the lust of the flesh. and confirmed. or for the mere pleasure at another's pain. or when. or by an immoderate use of things allowed. . to command that which no one before him. So in acts of violence. with all his soul. and these either for revenge. in the state which he reigns over. to be every where and at all times detested and punished. But those actions which are offences against the customs of men. kicking against the pricks. which hath not so made men that they should so abuse one another. how much more unhesitatingly ought we to obey God.Chapter VIII Can it at any time or place be unjust to love God with all his heart. or deriders and mockers of others. O God. For even that intercourse which should be between God and us is violated. the Ruler of all His creatures! For as among the powers in man's society. is polluted by perversity of lust. against the customs or compact of any people. of which He is Author. or are found guilty. they should all stand guilty of the same crime. to him whose being on a par with himself he fears. by the law of God. nor he himself heretofore. or to avoid some evil. so that a thing agreed upon. Thy Ten Commandments. or of rule. by custom or law of any city or nation. and so do men live ill against the three. seeing also when they sin against Thee. the greater authority is obeyed in preference to the lesser. such as were those of the men of Sodom: which should all nations commit. whether native or foreigner. most high. though it were never by them done heretofore. is offensive. and to obey him cannot be against the common weal of the state (nay. For lawful if it he for a king. or one well thriven in any thing. and his neighbour as himself? Therefore are those foul offences which be against nature. as towards one who is feared. who canst not be defiled? or what acts of violence against Thee. and most sweet. in all which He commands. or grieves at. it is to be restored. where there is a wish to hurt. had commanded. who canst not be harmed? But Thou avengest what men commit against themselves. and if never ordained. are to be avoided according to the customs severally prevailing. is now to be ordained. and iniquity gives itself the lie. as one enemy against another. it is to be done. and with all his mind. as one less fortunate to one more so. when that same nature. or all together. and if intermitted.


and hearest the groaning of the prisoner. and loosest us from the chains which we made for ourselves. according as they have any object to gain or subject of offence. who art the only and true Creator and Governor of the Universe. and art merciful to their sins who confess. So then by a humble devoutness we return to Thee.they boldly joy in self-willed combinations or divisions. . and by a self-willed pride. the Good of all. through covetousness of more. suffering the loss of all. and Thou cleansest us from our evil habits. And these things are done when Thou art forsaken. if we lift not up against Thee the horns of an unreal liberty. any one false thing is selected therefrom and loved. by loving more our own private good than Thee. O Fountain of Life.

. and still for the time hidest the reason of Thy command. nor human society. and we know not whether out of a lust of hurting. yet the persons commended. are sins of men. or when things are. and the mind of the doer. as in the green blade of growing corn. our Lord God. Many an action then which in men's sight is disapproved. although Thou hast sometime forbidden it. because they offend neither Thee. are. And there are some. namely. for the sake of correction. are (Thou being witness) condemned: because the show of the action. resembling offences of foulness or violence. and so many iniquities. by constituted authority punished. is by Thy testimony approved. But when Thou on a sudden commandest an unwonted and unthought of thing. either to show forth something needful for the present. when. and the unknown exigency of the period. and it be against the ordinance of some society of men. severally vary. who doubts but it is to be done. and we know not whether out of a lust of having. seeing that society of men is just which serves Thee? But blessed are they who know Thy commands! For all things were done by Thy servants. things fitting for a given period are obtained for the service of life. who are on the whole making proficiency. and many. or to foreshow things to come. by men praised. upon hope of future fruit.Chapter IX Amidst these offences of foulness and violence. which yet are no sins. which by those that judge rightly. yea. discommended. after the rule of perfection.

. as to believe that a fig-tree wept when it was plucked. its mother. unless they had been set at liberty by the teeth or belly of some “Elect” saint! And I. For if any one an hungered. believed that more mercy was to be shown to the fruits of the earth than men.Chapter X These things I being ignorant of. for whom they were created. being insensibly and step by step drawn on to those follies. should ask for any. not a Manichaean. guilt) had some Manichaean saint eaten. And what gained I by scoffing at them. not his own. yea. and mingled with his bowels. shed milky tears? Which fig notwithstanding (plucked by some other's. which particles of the most high and true God had remained bound in that fig. at every moan or groan in his prayer. scoffed at those Thy holy servants and prophets. miserable. which should be given him. and the tree. he should breathe out of it angels. that morsel would seem as it were condemned to capital punishment. but to be scoffed at by Thee. there shall burst forth particles of divinity.

my mother. that Thy answer.Chapter XI And Thou sentest Thine hand from above. there he also’?” I confess to Thee. Thy faithful one. ‘where he. and Thou heardest her. as if they were but one! Whence was this also. to be fulfilled so long after. “That she rather should not despair of being one day what I was”. but that Thine ears were towards her heart? O Thou Good omnipotent. For almost nine years passed. yet no whit relaxing in her weeping and mourning. ceased not at all hours of her devotions to bewail my case unto Thee. that to the best of my remembrance (and I have oft spoken of this). more than mothers weep the bodily deaths of their children. in which I wallowed in the mire of that deep pit. and the darkness of falsehood. when streaming down. for the consolation of her present anguish. but ‘where thou. herself grieving. he bade her rest contented. for it was not told me that. cheerful and smiling upon her. so long before foresignified. as if Thou caredst for him only. O Lord. All which time that chaste. as is their wont not to be instructed) enquired of her the causes of her grief and daily tears. But he having (in order to instruct. godly. they watered the ground under her eyes in every place where she prayed. abhorring and detesting the blasphemies of my error? For she saw herself standing on a certain wooden rule. was. she saw me standing by her in the same rule. and so quickly saw what was to be seen. often assaying to rise. and drewest my soul out of that profound darkness. and told her to look and observe. and which I certainly had not perceived before she spake. weeping to Thee for me.” And when she looked. she presently.—that she was not perplexed by the plausibility of my false interpretation. so that she allowed me to live with her. and so for all. which she had begun to shrink from. there was I also. And her prayers entered into Thy presence. replies: “No. . by which a joy to the holy woman. and sober widow (such as Thou lovest). and I would fain bend it to mean.—even then moved me more than the dream itself. there thou also’. through my waking mother. and a shining youth coming towards her. Thou heardest her. For she. Whence was this. For whence was that dream whereby Thou comfortedst her. and to eat at the same table in the house. and despisedst not her tears. and yet Thou sufferedst me to be yet involved and reinvolved in that darkness. and she answering that she was bewailing my perdition. by that faith and spirit which she had from Thee. who so carest for every one of us. “That where she was. yea Thou heardest her. O Lord. without any hesitation. that when she had told me this vision. discerned the death wherein I lay. now more cheered with hope. but dashed down the more grievously. and overwhelmed with grief.

but urged him more. which I call to mind. as she had told him: “but let him alone a while” (saith he). a little displeased at her importunity. and had already perplexed divers unskilful persons with captious questions. “Go thy ways and God bless thee.” At the same time he told her. when a little one. and had not only read. but frequently copied out almost all. For he answered. unteach me ill things. saith. he. that I was yet unteachable. and had (without any argument or proof from any one) seen how much that sect was to be avoided. a certain Bishop brought up in Thy Church. had by his seduced mother been consigned over to the Manichees. when he found persons fitted to receive it). Thou gavest her then another answer. for much I pass by. he will of himself by reading find what that error is. by a Priest of Thine. “only pray God for him.” Which answer she took (as she often mentioned in her conversations with me) as if it had sounded from heaven. . as I afterwards perceived. and much I do not remember. with entreaties and many tears. for it is not possible that the son of these tears should perish. he refused. and had avoided it. their books. hasting to those things which more press me to confess unto Thee. and how great its impiety. how himself. refute my errors. that he would see me and discourse with me. wisely.Chapter XII Thou gavest her meantime another answer. and teach me good things (for this he was wont to do. Which when he had said. Whom when this woman had entreated to vouchsafe to converse with me. being puffed up with the novelty of that heresy. and well studied in Thy books. and she would not be satisfied.

Book IV .

but let us poor and needy confess unto Thee. stricken and cast down by Thee. and to offer unto Thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving. with a false-named religion. For what am I to myself without Thee. There. down even to theatrical applauses. . hunting after the emptiness of popular praise. to their soul's health. by sciences which they call liberal. and feeding upon Thee. and practise with my friends. here proud. the food that perisheth not? But what sort of man is any man. and strifes for grassy garlands. every where vain. and poetic prizes. Here.” out of which. they should forge for us Angels and Gods. but an infant sucking the milk Thou givest. there superstitious. but a guide to mine own downfall? or what am I even at the best. and with me. in the workhouse of their stomachs. openly. Let the arrogant mock me. but I would still confess to Thee mine own shame in Thy praise. in divers lusts. seeing he is but a man? Let now the strong and the mighty laugh at us. O my God. I beseech Thee. by whom we might be cleansed. Suffer me. secretly. deceived and deceiving. deceived by me.Chapter I For this space of nine years (from my nineteenth year to my eight-and-twentieth) we lived seduced and seducing. and such as have not been. by carrying food to those who were called “elect” and “holy. and the follies of shows. desiring to be cleansed from these defilements. These things did I follow. and give me grace to go over in my present remembrance the wanderings of my forepassed time. and the intemperance of desires.

myself their companion. who knew not how to conceive aught beyond a material brightness. overcome by cupidity. Thou knowest) honest scholars (as they are accounted). trust in things unreal. which I showed in that my guidance of such as loved vanity. and by those honours to invite the devils to favour me. yet but one. although. not to be practised against the life of the guiltless.” For he was to kill some living creatures in his sacrifices. and. that is by going astray to become their pleasure and derision? . remaining faithful even to her. not out of a pure love for Thee. void of understanding. But this ill also I rejected. I would not suffer a fly to be killed to gain me it. Yet I preferred (Lord. I remember also. but I. made sale of a loquacity to overcome by. some wizard asked me what I would give him to win. commit fornication against Thee. where children are born against their parents’ will. And Thou. and the bargain of a lustful love. that when I had settled to enter the lists for a theatrical prize. once born. from afar perceivedst me stumbling in that slippery course. without artifice. and amid much smoke sending out some sparks of faithfulness. for I knew not how to love Thee.—not in that which is called lawful marriage. but to feed them. “Though the garland were of imperishable gold.Chapter II In those years I taught rhetoric. and feed the wind? Still I would not forsooth have sacrifices offered to devils for me. taught artifices. to whom I was sacrificing myself by that superstition. detesting and abhorring such foul mysteries. sighing after such fictions. For what else is it to feed the wind. O God of my heart. And doth not a soul. though sometimes for the life of the guilty. in whom I in my own case experienced what difference there is betwixt the self-restraint of the marriage-covenant. In those years I had one. they constrain love. and these I. but whom I had found out in a wayward passion. answered. O God. for the sake of issue. and sought after leasing.

so as to make it the profession whereby he should live. and givest grace to the humble. thou art made whole.” saith he.Chapter III Those impostors then. and renowned therein. it is a good thing to confess unto Thee. who renderest to every man according to his works: and a broken and contrite heart wilt Thou not despise. unconscious what takes place in it. lest a worse thing come unto thee. and to say. might be blameless. so that thou followest this of free choice. if out of the soul of man. nor to pray to any spirit for their divinations: which art. saying. who had with his own proconsular hand put the Agonistic garland upon my distempered head. or Mars”: that man. upon these vanities. who sang and thought of something wholly different. diffused throughout the whole order of things. and taken to physic. For if when a man by haphazard opens the pages of some poet. But didst Thou fail me even by that old man. not by art. I consulted without scruple. lively. by some higher instinct an answer should be given. that he had in his earliest years studied that art. heal my soul. and “This did Venus. not of necessity: the more then oughtest thou to give me credit herein. for no other reason but that he found it utterly false. and that. sin no more. Behold. he kindly and fatherly advised me to cast them away. and proud corruption. There was in those days a wise man. corresponding to the business and actions of the demander. understanding Hippocrates. a grave man. it was vivid. brought this about. and hanging assiduously and fixedly on his speech (for though in simple terms. how then could many true things be foretold by it. by hap. “But thou. or Saturn. Have mercy upon me. “hast rhetoric to maintain thyself by. because they seemed to use no sacrifice. would not get his living by deluding people.” Of whom when I had demanded. forsooth. who laboured to acquire it so perfectly as to get my living by it alone. or forbear to heal my soul? For having become more acquainted with him. he could soon have understood such a study as this. All which wholesome advice they labour to destroy. For. and not to abuse Thy mercy for a licence to sin. very skilful in physic.” . Christian and true piety consistently rejects and condemns. he answered me (as he could) “that the force of chance. while the Creator and Ordainer of heaven and the stars is to bear the blame. and not fruitlessly bestow a care and diligence. whom they style Mathematicians. but to remember the Lord's words. however. And who is He but our God? the very sweetness and well-spring of righteousness. wondrously agreeable to the present business: it were not to be wondered at. when he had gathered by my discourse that I was given to the books of nativity-casters. and earnest). saying. flesh and blood. and yet he had given it over. who resistest the proud. “The cause of thy sin is inevitably determined in heaven”. and he. a verse oftentimes fell out. for I have sinned against Thee. necessary for useful things. but not as a physician: for this disease Thou only curest.

who derided the whole body of divination. the authority of the authors swaying me yet more. not of the art of the star-gazers. . and as yet I had found no certain proof (such as I sought) whereby it might without all doubt appear. that what had been truly foretold by those consulted was the result of haphazard. either from or through him. and tracedst in my memory. what I might hereafter examine for myself. nor my dearest Nebridius. Thou conveyedst to me. a youth singularly good and of a holy fear. could persuade me to cast it aside.And thus much. But at that time neither he.

and how unsearchable is the abyss of Thy judgments? For long. and why she disquieted me sorely: but she knew not what to answer me. from a community of pursuits. nor could they now tell me. But he was not yet my friend as afterwards. sweet to me above all sweetness of that my life. cleaving unto Thee. not what was wrought on his unconscious body. Mine eyes sought him every where. he lay senseless in a death-sweat. that with Thee he might be preserved for my comfort. I became a great riddle to myself. in the first opening flower of youth. “he is coming. Who can recount all Thy praises. But he so shrunk from me.” as when he was alive and absent. why she was so sad. myself meanwhile little regarding. suppressed all my emotions till he should grow well. unknowing. sore sick of a fever. But he was taken away from my frenzy. for that they had not him. Forthwith. when utterly absent in mind and feeling. when he had scarce filled up one whole year of my friendship. Thou tookest that man out of this life. my God. of mine own age. so soon as he was able. ripened by the warmth of kindred studies: for. I. and his health were strong enough for me to deal with him as I would. turning us to Thyself by wonderful means. But behold Thou wert close on the steps of Thy fugitives. He had grown up of a child with me. and whatever I had shared with him. as soon as I could speak with him (and I could. and restored. as true friendship is. Yet was it but too sweet. which he hath felt in his one self? What diddest Thou then. but too dear to me. I had warped him also to those superstitious and pernicious fables. from the true faith (which he as a youth had not soundly and thoroughly imbibed). and my father's house a strange unhappiness. and we had been both school-fellows and play-fellows. and with a wonderful and sudden freedom bade me. and so departed. became a distracting torture. wanting him. and I hated all places. and we hung but too much upon each other). at once God of vengeance. and. And if I said.Chapter IV In those years when I first began to teach rhetoric in my native town. and Fountain of mercies. but he was not granted them. unless in such as Thou cementest together. as myself. by that love which is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost. nor could my soul be without him. and presuming that his soul would retain rather what it had received of me. she very rightly . With me he now erred in mind. I essayed to jest with him. and his recovery being despaired of. for I never left him. for true it cannot be. But it proved far otherwise: for he was refreshed. My native country was a torment to me. which is given unto us. for which my mother bewailed me. Trust in God. he was attacked again by the fever. he was baptised. and whatever I beheld was death. At this grief my heart was utterly darkened. forbear such language to him. a few days after in my absence. as though he would jest with me at that baptism which he had received. as from an enemy. but had now understood that he had received. nor even then. and I asked my soul. I had made one my friend. as I would continue his friend. all astonished and amazed.


both truer and better than that phantasm she was bid to trust in. Only tears were sweet to me. in the dearest of my affections. whom she had lost. because that most dear friend.obeyed me not. was. being man. for they succeeded my friend. .

and approach the ear of my heart unto Thy mouth.Chapter V And now. but I wept only and grieved. when we shrink from them. tears. does it then. please us? . And yet unless we mourned in Thine ears. that Thou mayest tell me why weeping is sweet to the miserable? Hast Thou. cast away our misery far from Thee? And Thou abidest in Thyself. For I was miserable. May I learn from Thee. that we hope Thou hearest? This is true of prayer. and time hath assuaged my wound. and complaints? Doth this sweeten it. from groaning. Or is weeping indeed a bitter thing. Lord. sighs. and for very loathing of the things which we before enjoyed. but we are tossed about in divers trials. these things are passed by. and the sorrow wherewith I was then overwhelmed? For I neither hoped he should return to life nor did I desire this with my tears. although present every where. and had lost my joy. who art Truth. But is it also in grief for a thing lost. Whence then is sweet fruit gathered from the bitterness of life. for therein is a longing to approach unto Thee. we should have no hope left.

who was to him a second self. he is torn asunder when he loses them. and I wondered yet more that myself. for I felt that my soul and his soul were “one soul in two bodies”: and therefore was my life a horror to me. I know not whether I would have parted with it even for him. directing mine eyes towards Thee. the more I loved him. because I would not live halved. “Thou half of my soul”. subject to death. and wretched is every soul bound by the friendship of perishable things. and fear (as a most cruel enemy) death. for well I remember it. could live. For I wondered that others. since it had power over him. too contrary to this. that they would gladly have died for each other or together. Thus was it with me. So was it then with me. for at once I loathed exceedingly to live and feared to die. since he whom I loved. . behold and see into me. Wretched I was. and plucking my feet out of the snare. but to confess unto Thee. was dead. the more did I hate. and that wretched life I held dearer than my friend. as is related (if not feigned) of Pylades and Orestes. Well said one of his friend.Chapter VI But what speak I of these things? for now is no time to question. who cleansest me from the impurity of such affections. And therefore perchance I feared to die. lest he whom I had much loved should die wholly. O my God. which had bereaved me of him: and I imagined it would speedily make an end of all men. he being dead. not to live together being to them worse than death. Behold my heart. as if he should never die. But in me there had arisen some unexplained feeling. and found my repose in bitterness. For though I would willingly have changed it. yea. did live. and then he feels the wretchedness which he had ere yet he lost them. I suppose. O my Hope. Thus was I wretched. I remember. I wept most bitterly. yet was I more unwilling to part with it than with him.

Not in calm groves. it glided through the void. . nor (finally) in books or poesy. impatient of being borne by me. yea. nor be from thence. and came rushing down again on me. But when my soul was withdrawn from them a huge load of misery weighed me down. but a mere phantom. was revolting and hateful. nor in fragrant spots. yet where to repose it. wept. for so should mine eyes less look for him. To Thee. that it might rest. whatsoever was not what he was. enduring impatiently the lot of man! I fretted then. I came to Carthage. it ought to have been raised. For in those alone found I a little refreshment. the very light. nor in curious banquetings. like men! O foolish man that I then was. O Lord. sighed. All things looked ghastly. when I thought of Thee. and my error was my God. Thou wert not to me any solid or substantial thing. not in games and music. and I had remained to myself a hapless spot. I found not. was distracted. except groaning and tears. the more.Chapter VII O madness. for Thee to lighten. nor in the pleasures of the bed and the couch. For I bore about a shattered and bleeding soul. which knowest not how to love men. If I offered to discharge my load thereon. had neither rest nor counsel. where I could neither be. since. I knew it. where they were not wont to see him. For Thou wert not Thyself. For whither should my heart flee from my heart? Whither should I flee from myself? Whither not follow myself? And yet I fled out of my country. found it repose. And thus from Thagaste. but neither could nor would.

to play the fool or be earnest together. was being defiled. Behold. as a man might with his own self. and welcome the coming with joy. yet the causes of other griefs. to dissent at times without discontent. the tongue.Chapter VIII Times lose no time. and out of many make but one. And yet there succeeded. by the countenance. to talk and jest together. what instead of Thee I loved. with whom I did love. There were other things which in them did more take my mind. unto which that my sorrow gave way. These and the like expressions. and a thousand pleasing gestures. long for the absent with impatience. the eyes. they went and came day by day. and by coming and going. and even with the seldomness of these dissentings. by whose adulterous stimulus. and little by little patched me up again with my old kind of delights. to season our more frequent consentings. which lay itching in our ears. to read together honied books. so oft as any of my friends died. were so much fuel to melt our souls together. introduced into my mind other imaginations and other remembrances. through our senses they work strange operations on the mind. our soul. . not indeed other griefs. and sometimes learn. But that fable would not die to me. sometimes to teach. to do kind offices by turns. in loving one that must die. but that I had poured out my soul upon the dust. For whence had that former grief so easily reached my very inmost soul. as if he would never die? For what restored and refreshed me chiefly was the solaces of other friends. and this was a great fable. and protracted lie. proceeding out of the hearts of those that loved and were loved again. nor do they roll idly by.

to whom all are dear in Him who cannot be lost. if one die. and his friend in Thee. and truth Thou. but from Thee well-pleased. all sweetness turned to bitterness. For he alone loses none dear to him. and his enemy for Thee. And who leaveth Thee. and darkenings of sorrows.Chapter IX This is it that is loved in friends. . the God that made heaven and earth. And who is this but our God. that steeping of the heart in tears. because by filling them He created them? Thee none loseth. and upon the loss of life of the dying. Hence that mourning. Blessed whoso loveth Thee. if he love not him that loves him again. and so loved. whither goeth or whither teeth he. to Thee displeased? For where doth he not find Thy law in his own punishment? And Thy law is truth. and filleth them. looking for nothing from his person but indications of his love. that a man's conscience condemns itself. or love not again him that loves him. but who leaveth. the death of the living.

and they rend her with pestilent longings. they abide not. through the senses of the body. it is riveted upon sorrows. show us Thy countenance. unless toward Thee. were not. which exist not all at once. yea though it is riveted on things beautiful. and perfected. Thus much has Thou allotted them. yet let not my soul be riveted unto these things with the glue of love. by which they are created. For in Thy Word. when they are hard by? For the sense of the flesh is slow. and all grow not old. They rise. they wax old and wither. So then when they rise and tend to be. they begin as it were to be. the more quickly they grow that they may be. It sufficeth for that it was made for. that another may succeed. and thereby is it bounded. And even thus is our speech completed by signs giving forth a sound: but this again is not perfected unless one word pass away when it hath sounded its part. they grow. they together complete that universe. so much the more they haste not to be. Out of all these things let my soul praise Thee. they flee. and who can follow them with the senses of the flesh? yea. who can grasp them. unless they were from Thee. O God of Hosts. But in these things is no place of repose. and set.Chapter X Turn us. O God. but by passing away and succeeding. For whithersoever the soul of man turns itself. that they may be perfected. and out of the soul. yet loves to repose in what she loves. Creator of all. “hence and hitherto. but all wither. because she longs to be. but it sufficeth not to stay things running their course from their appointed starting-place to the end appointed. because it is the sense of the flesh. because they are portions of things. and we shall be whole. they hear their decree. And yet they. This is the law of them. For they go whither they were to go. out of Thee. that they might not be.” . whereof they are portions. and by rising.

that others may replace them. O my soul. at least now thou art tired out with vanities. for thy punishment.Chapter XI Be not foolish. nor doth He pass away. whatsoever thou hast from the Truth. . trust there whatsoever thou hast thence. been justly restricted to a part of the whole. But far better than these is He who made all. that others may come. For what we speak also. and not itself also. is in part. whereof these are parts. O my soul. and the whole. and yet they delight thee. But do I depart any whither? saith the Word of God. and all thy diseases be healed. when any one thing is made up of many. and bound around thee: nor shall they lay thee whither themselves descend. should pass away. and He is our God. and abide for ever before God. And so ever. The Word itself calleth thee to return: and there is the place of rest imperturbable. by the same sense of the flesh thou hearest. yet wouldest not thou have the syllables stay. and thy decay shall bloom again. where love is not forsaken. but they shall stand fast with thee. Who abideth and standeth fast for ever. and so this lower universe be completed by all his parts. that so the whole might better please thee. could all be perceived collectively. that whatsoever existeth at this present. Why then be perverted and follow thy flesh? Be it converted and follow thee. But had the sense of thy flesh a capacity for comprehending the whole. if itself forsaketh not. these things pass away. Whatever by her thou hast sense of. Entrust Truth. and thy mortal parts be reformed and renewed. There fix thy dwelling. all collectively would please more than they do severally. but fly away. Behold. Hearken thou too. nor become deaf in the ear of thine heart with the tumult of thy folly. all of which do not exist together. and thou hear the whole. thou knowest not. and thou shalt lose nothing. for neither doth aught succeed Him. thou wouldest.

and so carry them up with thee unto God. Rest in Him. ye transgressors. it is not there. For how should there be a blessed life where life itself is not? “But our true Life came down hither. wherein He espoused the human creation. after the descent of Life to you. be they loved in God: for they too are mutable. Ye seek a blessed life in the land of death. He is here. and to. because out of His spirit thou speakest thus unto them. if He be forsaken for it. and so depart. first into the Virgin's womb. For He departed. because unjustly is any thing loved which is from Him. For ye have fallen. and there find Him. thou displease. See there He is. and cleave fast to Him that made you. for it hath sinned against Him. He would not be long with us. yet hath the heart strayed from Him. and pass away. and ye shall stand fast. out of the abundance of His own life: and He thundered. Him let us love: He made these. life. but ran. and carry unto Him along with thee what souls thou canst. and He healeth it. And in this world He was. and justly shall it be embittered. but it is good and pleasant through reference to Him. calling aloud to us to return hence to Him into that secret place. where truth is loved. Go back into your heart. but they are of Him.” Tell them this. calling aloud by words. but it is not there where ye seek. but in Him are they firmly stablished. crying aloud to us to return unto Him. by ascending against Him. unto whom my soul confesseth. O ye sons of men. and say to them. that they may weep in the valley of tears. will ye not ascend and live? But whither ascend ye. yet left us not. rejoicing as a giant to run his course. Seek what ye seek.Chapter XII If bodies please thee. and thence like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber. that ye may ascend. descent. our mortal flesh. else would they pass. whence He came forth to us. Whither go ye in rough ways? Whither go ye? The good that you love is from Him. and turn back thy love upon their Maker. and ye shall be at rest. and ascend to God. where ye seek it. For He lingered not. deeds. If souls please thee. whence He never parted. when ye are on high. nor is He far off. and in Him. ascension. that it might not be for ever mortal. and bore our death. In Him then be they beloved. if thou speakest. burning with the fire of charity. To what end then would ye still and still walk these difficult and toilsome ways? There is no rest. and set your mouth against the heavens? Descend. “Him let us love. Stand with Him. And He departed from our eyes. and into this world He came to save sinners. and slew him. how long so slow of heart? Even now. For He did not make them. lest in these things which please thee. for He departed thither. praise God on occasion of them. because the world was made by Him. . death. that we might return into our heart. He is within the very heart.

Thou knowest. there was a beauty. another from apt and mutual correspondence. and the like.Chapter XIII These things I then knew not. and I was sinking to the very depths. and again. they could by no means draw us unto them.” I think. for it is gone from me. and to my friends I said. and I loved these lower beauties. and I wrote “on the fair and fit. out of my inmost heart. I know not how. And this consideration sprang up in my mind. from their forming a sort of whole. . but they are strayed from me.” And I marked and perceived that in bodies themselves. two or three books. “Do we love any thing but the beautiful? What then is the beautiful? and what is beauty? What is it that attracts and wins us to the things we love? for unless there were in them a grace and beauty. as of a part of the body with its whole. or a shoe with a foot. for I have them not. O Lord.

And it was to me a great matter. than for the very things for which he was commended? Because. who highly extolled him. that is not yet stayed up by the solidity of truth! Just as the gales of tongues blow from the breast of the opinionative. and. than so loved. do I love in another what. so is it carried this way and that. I were the more kindled. who would not. than so known. whom I knew not by face. But by one who loveth is another kindled. O Lord. should afterwards be formed a wonderful Latin orator. but if he disapproved. O Lord my God. nor he himself other. I should not spurn and cast from myself? For it holds not. driven forward and backward. he is loved: doth this love enter the heart of the hearer from the mouth of the commender? Not so. like those of a famous charioteer. my empty heart. not Thine. it is before us. when the commender is believed to extol him with an unfeigned heart. amazed that out of a Syrian. first instructed in Greek eloquence. and whence do I confidently confess unto Thee. and they fall not to the ground without Thee. void . therefore the same may be said of an actor. when one that loves him. and even hated. but yet was steered by Thee. And whence do I know. O my God. but far otherwise. that my discourse and labours should be known to that man: which should he approve. which pleased me? But more did he please me. for that he pleased others. what I hate to be. praises him. but loved for the fame of his learning which was eminent in him. And to. known far and wide by a vulgar popularity. but had rather be unknown. to dedicate these books unto Hierius. Where now are the impulses to such various and divers kinds of loves laid up in one soul? Why. One is commended. and was tossed about with every wind. See where the impotent soul lies along. and these self-same men had dispraised him. and the light is overclouded to it. that is. whose very hairs Thou numberest. that I had loved him more for the love of his commenders. and with dispraise and contempt told the very same things of him. had he been unpraised. And yet are the hairs of his head easier to be numbered than his feelings. and the beatings of his heart. an orator of Rome. if I did not hate. and one most learned in things pertaining unto philosophy. and so as I would be myself commended? For I would not be commended or loved. since we are equally men. and earnestly. and the truth unseen. and some words of his I had heard. I had never been so kindled and excited to love him. upon the judgment of men. though very secretly. that as a good horse is loved by him. as wishing to be myself such. For hence he is loved who is commended. But that orator was of that sort whom I loved. but only the feelings of the relators. and I erred through a swelling pride. in Whom no man is deceived. be that horse. who am a man? Man himself is a great deep. or fighter with beasts in the theatre. For so did I then love men.Chapter XIV But what moved me. But yet why not for qualities. unseen. though he might. who shares our nature. Do I then love in a man. as actors are (though I myself did commend and love them). And yet the things had not been other.

I dwelt on with pleasure.of Thy solidity. and surveyed it. And yet the "fair and fit." whereon I wrote to him. . had been wounded. and admired it. though none joined therein.

whereon this weighty matter turned in Thy wisdom. who knew not that it must be enlightened by another light. For as deeds of violence arise. who only doest wonders. when that affection of the soul is ungoverned.” whose beauty is in correspondence to some other thing: and this I supported by corporeal examples. than for me with a strange madness to maintain myself to be that by nature which Thou art? For whereas I was subject to change (so much being manifest to me. my very desire to become wise. in deeds of violence. And not being able to see these in the mind. seeing itself is not that nature of truth. and yet not derived from Thee. whereby carnal pleasures are drunk in.Chapter XV But I saw not yet. but by my vanity devised out of things corporeal.” I defined and distinguished what is so in itself. and in viciousness I abhorred discord. and lusts. For I had not known or learned that neither was evil a substance. nor in me. neither shadow of change. O Thou Omnipotent. and colours. myself flesh. O my God. of worse to become better). yet chose I rather to imagine Thee subject to change. but in the other. as it had been a soul without sex. a sort of division. for Thou art the true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world. but the false notion which I had of spiritual things. But what prouder. and. and I turned away my panting soul from incorporeal substance to lineaments. For Thou shalt light my candle. Yet the force of truth did of itself flash into mine eyes. but the latter a Duad. But I pressed towards Thee. and “fair. if that emotion of the soul be corrupted. not knowing whereof I spake. And whereas in virtue I loved peace. of whom are all things. nor in the body. And yet that first I called a Monad. And in that unity I conceived the rational soul. nor our soul that chief and unchangeable good. I thought I could not see my mind. and myself not to be that which Thou art. and “fit. I returned not to Thee. and was thrust from Thee. and the nature of truth and of the chief good to consist. being the wish. O Lord my God. if the reasonable soul itself be corrupted. which should not only be a substance. but in this division I miserably imagined there to be some unknown substance of irrational life. . Neither were they created for me by Thy truth. in the first I observed a unity. Thou shalt enlighten my darkness: and of Thy fulness have we all received. and bulky magnitudes. and in flagitiousness.—anger. Therefore I was repelled by Thee. and my mind ranged through corporeal forms. neither in Thee. lust. And I was wont to ask Thy faithful little ones. and Thou resistedst my vain stiffneckedness. a wind that passeth away. but I passed on and on to things which have no being. and I imagined corporeal forms. stirring itself insolently and unrulily. and. as it was then in me. And I turned to the nature of the mind. for in Thee there is no variableness. that it may be partaker of truth. but real life also. and the nature of the chief evil. I accused flesh. that I might taste of death: for thou resistest the proud. whence vehement action springs. so do errors and false opinions defile the conversation. let me not see the truth.

and now. which I turned.my fellow-citizens (from whom. to thy inward melody. “Why then doth God err?” And I maintained that Thy unchangeable substance did err upon constraint. rather than confess that my changeable substance had gone astray voluntarily. to ask them. prating and foolishly. I stood exiled). For Thou didst not make me to hear joy and gladness. unknown to myself. revolving within me corporeal fictions. and through the weight of my own pride. I was hurried abroad. I was wont. in punishment. meditating on the “fair and fit. buzzing in the ears of my heart. . I was sinking into the lowest pit. but could not. I was then some six or seven and twenty years old when I wrote those volumes. nor did the bones exult which were not yet humbled.” and longing to stand and hearken to Thee. and to rejoice greatly at the Bridegroom's voice. O sweet truth. for by the voices of mine own errors. lay in error. “Why then doth the soul err which God created?” But I would not be asked.

but drawing many things in sand. but knew not whence came all. not truth. but rather to my perdition. And the book appeared to me to speak very clearly of substances. and acuteness in discerning. For I had my back to the light. mouthed it with cheeks bursting with pride). whose brother he is. accounted learned. as on something great and divine. and his relationship. as if Thou also hadst been subjected to Thine own greatness or beauty. so that (as in bodies) they should exist in Thee. they could tell me no more of it than I had learned. seeing it even hindered me? when. reading it by myself. was comprehended under those often Predicaments. who said that they scarcely understood it with very able tutors. but wandered from Thee into a far country. not employed to good uses? For I felt not that those arts were attained with great difficulty. whence my face. O my God. and all the innumerable things which might be ranged under these nine Predicaments. or logic. and it was done in me. so often as my rhetoric master of Carthage. And what did it profit me. falling into my hands (on whose very name I hung. I understood. though it were less great or fair. as their subject: whereas Thou Thyself art Thy greatness and beauty. or be shod or armed. I. Thou knowest. and arithmetic. What did all this further me. it should notwithstanding be a body. either on rhetoric. and my face to the things enlightened. and I kept not my strength for Thee. and understood? And I delighted in them. O Lord my God. itself was not enlightened. or whether he stands or sits. of what sort it is. or does. Thy wonderful and unchangeable Unity also. fictions of my misery.” and of their qualities. . or suffers anything. and stature. of which I have given some specimens. So then it served not to my use. with which I discerned the things enlightened. or where placed. But it was falsehood which of Thee I conceived. because both quickness of understanding. by myself without much difficulty or any instructor. seeing that. read by myself.Chapter XVI And what did it profit me. For what profited me good abilities. how many feet high. or under that chief Predicament of Substance. geometry. music. to spend it upon harlotries. I essayed in such wise to understand. that scarce twenty years old. not the realities of Thy blessedness. since I went about to get so good a portion of my substance into my own keeping. a book of Aristotle. such as “man. that all the books I could procure of the so-called liberal arts. and others. that the earth should bring forth briars and thorns to me. which they call the often Predicaments. I read and understood it unaided? And on my conferring with others. Whatever was written. as the figure of a man. is Thy gift: yet did I not thence sacrifice to Thee. that therein was true or certain. imagining whatever was. For Thou hadst commanded. or when born. and that in the sweat of my brows I should eat my bread. the vile slave of vile affections. but a body is not great or fair in that it is a body. not only orally explaining it.

without aid from human instruction. to confess to Thee Thy mercies towards me. and to call upon Thee. because with Thee our good lives without any decay. and I a fragment of that body? Perverseness too great! But such was I. from which when we turn away. the Truth. But what did this further me. which good art Thou. that in the nest of Thy Church they might securely be fledged. then is it firmness. in the doctrine of piety? Or what hindrance was a far slower wit to Thy little ones. O Lord God. that we may not be overturned. it is infirmity. and carry us. and nourish the wings of charity. but when our own. Let us now. Our good ever lives with Thee. wert a vast and bright body. because we fell from it: for through our absence. Nor do I blush. return. O Lord our God. and even to hoar hairs wilt Thou carry us. . until I attempted to explain them to such. when it is Thou. O my God. under the shadow of Thy wings let us hope. Thou wilt carry us both when little. we are turned aside. who blushed not then to profess to men my blasphemies.even by the studious and talented. seeing I erred so foully. O Lord. for our firmness. lest there be no place whither to return. and to bark against Thee. What profited me then my nimble wit in those sciences and all those most knotty volumes. when he most excelled in them who followed me not altogether slowly. unravelied by me. since they departed not far from Thee. nor need we fear. by the food of a sound faith. protect us. and with such sacrilegious shamefulness. our mansion fell not—Thy eternity. imagining that Thou.

BookV .

But let my soul praise Thee. which Thou hast formed and stirred up to confess unto Thy name. that it may love Thee.Chapter I Accept the sacrifice of my confessions from the ministry of my tongue. and let it confess Thy own mercies to Thee. Heal Thou all my bones. neither the spirit of man with voice directed unto Thee. nor is silent in Thy praises. . by the voice of those who meditate thereon: that so our souls may from their weariness arise towards Thee. and nothing can hide itself from Thy heat. and let them say. Thy whole creation ceaseth not. seeing a closed heart closes not out Thy eye. and passing on to Thyself. O Lord. nor can man's hardheartedness thrust back Thy hand: for Thou dissolvest it at Thy will in pity or in vengeance. and there is refreshment and true strength. nor creation animate or inanimate. that it may praise Thee. who is like unto Thee? For he who confesses to Thee doth not teach Thee what takes place within him. who madest them wonderfully. leaning on those things which Thou hast created.

—not man of flesh and blood. how much less Thee! . nor did I find myself. Let them then be turned. Then dost Thou gently wipe away their tears. that Thou art every where. I say. the godless. after all their rugged ways. and falling upon their own ruggedness.Chapter II Let the restless. might stumble against Thee (because Thou forsakest nothing Thou hast made). when they fled from Thy presence? or where dost not Thou find them? But they fled. blinded. who madest them. re-makest and comfortest them. in the heart of those that confess to Thee. depart and flee from Thee. and. that the unjust. Lord. in truth. And behold. might stumble upon Thee. and seek Thee. and dividest the darkness. Ignorant. even for that Thou. and justly be hurt. But where was I. even to those that remove far from Thee. the universe with them is fair. Thou art there in their heart. that they might not see Thee seeing them. yet Thou seest them. And how have they injured Thee? or how have they disgraced Thy government. and they weep the more. but I had gone away from Thee. when I was seeking Thee? And Thou wert before me. and cast themselves upon Thee. withdrawing themselves from thy gentleness. because not as they have forsaken their Creator. and weep in Thy bosom. and joy in weeping. which. though they are foul. and stumbling at Thy uprightness. Let them be turned and seek Thee. is just and perfect? For whither fled they. Whom no place encompasseth! and Thou alone art near. but—Thou. hast Thou forsaken Thy creation. and behold. Lord. from the heaven to this lowest earth.

Faustus by name. or that of Thy wisdom there is no number. and by an ungodly pride departing from Thee. and what hour of the day. as beasts of the field. that Thou. exult. so long before. and found the former the more probable. But the Only Begotten is Himself made unto us wisdom. nor their own diving curiosities (wherewith. and foretold. not though by curious skill they could number the stars and the sand. they search out these things. but the proud Thou beholdest afar off. wherewith they search out this. There had then come to Carthage a certain Bishop of the Manichees. they give not themselves up to Thee. the sun and moon. and failing of Thy light. and righteousness. nor their own luxuriousness. nor slay their own soaring imaginations. and many were entangled by him through that lure of his smooth language: which though I did commend. the Lord of it they could by no means find out. like the fishes of the seal they wander over the unknown paths of the abyss). a great snare of the Devil. For Thou art great. eclipses of those luminaries. and what part of its light. and hast respect unto the humble. but to the contrite in heart. . which shall be. nor art found by the proud. moon or sun is to be eclipsed.—nor did their calculation fail. and themselves who number. as fowls of the air. no. and the sense whereby they perceive what they number.—what day and hour. they foresee a failure of the sun's light. by Whom Thou madest these things which they number. and they that know it. and what day of the month. many years before. At these things men. Nor dost Thou draw near. and track the courses of the planets. as it is foreshowed.Chapter III I would lay open before my God that nine-and-twentieth year of mine age. and it came to pass as they foretold. out of which they number. and re-create themselves immortally. a consuming fire. Thy Word. which is. For they search not religiously whence they have the wit. And since I had read and well remembered much of the philosophers. mayest burn up those dead cares of theirs. For with their understanding and wit. and these are read at this day. marvel and are astonished. I compared some things of theirs with those long fables of the Manichees. and so it shall be. and much have they found out. so praised among them. nor sacrifice to Thee what they have made themselves. and measure the starry heavens. which Thou bestowedst on them. But they knew not the way. and they wrote down the rules they had found out. that know not this art. And finding that Thou madest them. and exquisitely skilled in the liberal sciences. but see not their own. and are puffed up. Lord. and out of them do others foretell in what year and month of the year. to preserve what Thou madest. even although they could only prevail so far as to make judgment of this lower world. and the understanding. set before me to feed upon. Fame had before bespoken him most knowing in all valuable learning. yet could I separate from the truth of the things which I was earnest to learn: nor did I so much regard the service of oratory as the science which this Faustus. and how many digits. O Lord.

and paid tribute unto Caesar. and therefore find Him not. and worshipping and serving the creature more than the Creator. or equinoxes. and their foolish heart was darkened. and the visible testimonies of the stars. and by Him ascend unto Him. knowing Him to be God. But I was commanded to believe. forging lies of Thee who art the Truth.and sanctification. the succession of times. and deemed themselves exalted amongst the stars and shining. they glorify Him not as God. and thereby with most perverse blindness. Yet many truths concerning the creature retained I from these men. attributing to themselves what is Thine. and compared them with the saying of Manichaeus. Artificer of the creature. and profess themselves to be wise. but Truth. nor whatever of this sort I had learned in the books of secular philosophy. and to birds. They discourse many things truly concerning the creature. but become vain in their imaginations. They knew not this way whereby to descend to Him from themselves. study to impute to Thee what is their own. neither are thankful. which in his frenzy he had written most largely on these subjects. and yet it corresponded not with what had been established by calculations and my own sight. and four-footed beasts. changing Thy truth into a lie. and saw the reason thereof from calculations. or if they find Him. and changing the glory of uncorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man. . They knew not this way. they fell upon the earth. and creeping things. but was quite contrary. and was numbered among us. they seek not piously. and behold. but discovered not any account of the solstices. or the eclipses of the greater lights.


and is thankful. and measure. yet is it folly to doubt but he is in a better state than one who can measure the heavens. and return thanks to Thee for the use thereof. and neither owns it. yet neglecteth Thee who hast made all things in number. and poise the elements. and count all its boughs. and who having nothing. therefore please Thee? Surely unhappy is he who knoweth all these. though he know not these. and becomes not vain in his imaginations. And whoso knoweth both Thee and them is not the happier for them. and knoweth not Thee: but happy whoso knoweth Thee. he glorifies Thee as God. although he know not how many cubits high it is. weight. yet possesseth all things. or how wide it spreads.Chapter IV Doth then. though he know not even the circles of the Great Bear. nor knows or loves its Creator: so a believer. For as he is better off who knows how to possess a tree. knowing Thee. and number the stars. if. whoso knoweth these things. than he that can measure it. by cleaving unto Thee. but for Thee only. whom all things serve. . O Lord God of truth. whose all this world of wealth is.

” When then he was found out to have taught falsely of the heaven and stars. Wherefore this wanderer to this end spake much of these things. so that. that whoso followed him thought that he followed. if he imagine it to pertain to the form of the doctrine of piety. in the infancy of faith. if they by any means might. and of the motions of the sun and moon (although these things pertain not to the doctrine of religion). But it doth injure him. borne by our mother Charity. For when I hear any Christian brother ignorant of these things. guide.Chapter V But yet who bade that Manichaeus write on these things also. For it is vanity to make profession of these worldly things even when known. source. but these things. the Creator of all. though he had perfect knowledge of these things. that convicted by those who had truly learned them. yet his sacrilegious presumption would become evident enough. knowing not. so as not to be carried about with every wind of doctrine. rest my credence upon his authority. but went about to persuade men. was with plenary authority personally within him. But in him who in such wise presumed to be the teacher. skill in which was no element of piety? For Thou hast said to man. since. he most impudently dared to teach. of which he might be ignorant. who would not judge that so great madness. And yet is even such an infirmity. not a mere man. the Comforter and Enricher of Thy faithful ones. on account of his reputed sanctity. “That the Holy Ghost. till the new-born may grow up unto a perfect man. as to a divine person. but I might. so long as he doth not believe any thing unworthy of Thee. I can patiently behold such a man holding his opinion. but confession to Thee is piety. and mistaken on them. might be explained consistently with his sayings. seeing he delivered things which not only he knew not. Behold piety and wisdom. he plainly could have no knowledge of piety. that he sought to ascribe them to himself. O Lord. with the eclipses of the greater lights. and whatever else of the kind I had read of in other books. For he would not have himself meanly thought of. but Thy Holy Spirit. . but which were falsified. were to be detested and utterly rejected? But I had not as yet clearly ascertained whether the vicissitudes of longer and shorter days and nights. nor do I see that any ignorance as to the position or character of the corporeal creation can injure him. chief of all whom he could so persuade. when once convicted of having taught any thing false. it should still remain a question to me whether it were so or no. and will yet affirm that too stiffly whereof he is ignorant. it might be manifest what understanding he had in the other abstruser things. and of day and night itself. with so mad a vanity of pride.

I had longed but too intensely for the coming of this Faustus. wherewith I had of so long time expected that man. I was not allowed to put in and communicate those questions that troubled me. and such few volumes of his own sect as were written in Latin and neatly. hadst already taught me by wonderful and secret ways. with many others and more than they. and adorned or unadorned phrases as courtly or country vessels. For the rest of the sect. that neither ought any thing to seem to be spoken truly. nor therefore true. a very few books of Seneca. O my God. But what availed the utmost neatness of the cup-bearer to my thirst for a more precious draught? Mine ears were already cloyed with the like. because eloquent. and. I found him first utterly ignorant of liberal sciences. because it is truth. but that wisdom and folly are as wholesome and unwholesome food. because eloquently. because the language is rich. and that but in an ordinary way. whom by chance I had lighted upon. Of Thyself therefore had I now learned. that in the assembly of his auditors. because the face was comely. were to be most readily and abundantly cleared. still held out to me the coming of this Faustus. save grammar. because rudely delivered. if I had them. Who didst at that time direct me . Which when I might. But because he had read some of Tully's Orations. either kind of meats may be served up in either kind of dishes. by conference with whom these and greater difficulties. nor. and his choice and readiness of words to clothe his ideas. and refused to assent to it. nor therefore falsely. when unable to solve my objections about these things. But they who held him out to me were no good judges of things. because the utterance of the lips is inharmonious. where or whencesoever it may shine upon us.Chapter VI And for almost all those nine years. nor did they seem to me therefore better. however. It troubled me. nor therefore false. because better said. When then he came. wherein with unsettled mind I had been their disciple. Thou judge of my conscience? before Thee is my heart. did I praise and extol him. nor the soul therefore wise. and was daily practised in speaking. and the language graceful. That greediness then. he acquired a certain eloquence. again. in familiar converse with him. which proved the more pleasing and seductive because under the guidance of a good wit. Is it not thus. I felt however that another sort of people were suspicious even of truth. I was then delighted. was delighted verily with his action and feeling when disputing. because in words pleasing. some things of the poets. But Thou. I found him a man of pleasing discourse. if delivered in a smooth and copious discourse. and who could speak fluently and in better terms. and my remembrance. therefore true. O Lord my God. yet still but the self-same things which they were wont to say. nor is there besides Thee any teacher of truth. and had brought forward such things as moved me. as I recall it. and therefore to them he appeared understanding and wise. and with a kind of natural gracefulness. and with my friends began to engage his ears at such times as it was not unbecoming for him to discuss with me. and therefore I believe that Thou taughtest me.

by the hidden mystery of Thy providence. . and didst set those shameful errors of mine before my face. that I might see and hate them.

he. in the secret purpose of Thy providence. had now neither willing nor witting it. the account given in the books of Manichaeus were preferable. or at least as good. whence he could neither retreat nor extricate himself fairly. O my God. I began to despair of his opening and solving the difficulties which perplexed me (of which indeed however ignorant. many of whom I had endured. and such I found him. and I now no longer thought him able satisfactorily to decide what I much desired. did not forsake my soul.Chapter VII For after it was clear that he was ignorant of those arts in which I thought he excelled. who undertook to teach me these things. or such as I judged fit for his genius. For their books are fraught with prolix fables. to so many a snare of death. so far modestly. and to read with him. and was not ashamed to confess it. but as one finding nothing better. For he was not one of those talking persons. on which he also was much set (and which as rhetoric-reader I was at that time teaching young students at Carthage). Thou didst it. unless by chance something more eligible should dawn upon me. seeing that in divers things which perplexed me. For he was not altogether ignorant of his own ignorance. But this man had a heart. Or how shall we obtain salvation. came utterly to an end. but from Thy hand. though not right towards Thee. re-making what it made? . not that I detached myself from them altogether. either what himself desired to hear. and Thou didst deal with me by wondrous ways. My zeal for the writings of Manichaeus being thus blunted. I began to engage with him in the study of that literature. so renowned among them. and despairing yet more of their other teachers. For fairer is the modesty of a candid mind. and He shall dispose his way. begun to loosen that wherein I was taken. nor would he rashly be entangled in a dispute. Thus. through her tears night and day poured out. he might have held the truths of piety. and out of my mother's heart's blood. was a sacrifice offered for me unto Thee. in all the more difficult and subtile questions. than the knowledge of those things which I desired. For he knew that he knew not these things. whether. he. that Faustus. For Thy hands. I had settled to be content meanwhile with what I had in whatever way fallen upon. But all my efforts whereby I had purposed to advance in that sect. had so turned out. Which when I proposed to he considered and discussed. upon knowledge of that man. yet neither altogether treacherous to himself. and moon. shrunk from the burthen. of the heaven. and said nothing. had he not been a Manichee). O my God: for the steps of a man are ordered by the Lord. on comparison of these things with the calculations I had elsewhere read. Even for this I liked him the better. and stars. sun.

whereas they are punished with the very blindness whereby they do it. who grievously bewailed my journey. yet showedst it neither to me. what I was teaching at Carthage. the one doing frantic. nor were even admitted without his permission. assured me that the like was not done. but my chief and almost only reason was. nor to my mother. and such a mother. with which for me she daily watered the ground under her face. and I feigned that I had a friend whom I could not leave. the streams of my mother's eyes should be dried. that either she might keep me back or go with me. But I deceived her. with a wonderful stolidity. where was an Oratory in memory of the blessed Cyprian. who here detested real misery. and they think they do it unpunished. And yet refusing to return without me. And how I was persuaded to this. to correct my steps. and at Rome didst proffer me allurements. when a student. in that they now do as lawful what by Thy eternal law shall never be lawful. I did not wish therefore to go to Rome. things. and to teach there rather. because higher gains and higher dignities were warranted me by my friends who persuaded me to this (though even these things had at that time an influence over my mind). and went thither. that I heard that young men studied there more peacefully. and followed me as far as the sea. For both they who disturbed my quiet were blinded with a disgraceful frenzy. But Thou. and Thy most present mercy to us. I will not neglect to confess to Thee. by men in love with a dying life. that I might thereby be torn from it. and escaped: for this also hast Thou mercifully forgiven me. petulantly rush into the school of one whose pupils they were not. holding me by force. Divers outrages they commit. I scarcely persuaded her to stay that night in a place hard by our ship. the other promising vain. and. And I lied to my mother. that I should be persuaded to go to Rome. didst secretly use their and my own perverseness. preserving me. at their pleasures. thus full of execrable defilements. must be considered and confessed. I was fain as a teacher to endure in others: and so I was well pleased to go where. and with gestures almost frantic. from the waters of the sea. punishable by law. and were kept quiet under a restraint of more regular discipline.Chapter VIII Thou didst deal with me. and they who invited me elsewhere savoured of earth. But why I went hence. They burst in audaciously. for the water of Thy Grace. and suffer incomparably worse than what they do. The manners then which. whereby I might be drawn thither. Thou knewest. did not custom uphold them. And I. That night . whereby when I was cleansed. all that knew it. that I might change my earthly dwelling for the salvation of my soul. I would not make my own. my refuge and my portion in the land of the living. Whereas at Carthage there reigns among the scholars a most disgraceful and unruly licence. was there seeking unreal happiness. till he had a fair wind to sail. because herein also the deepest recesses of Thy wisdom. that custom evincing them to be the more miserable. at Carthage didst goad me. O God. so that they did not. disturb all order which any one hath established for the good of his scholars.

whilst through my desires. and she on the morrow was there. that Thou mightest make me what she ever asked. O Lord. after accusing my treachery and hardheartedness. For she loved my being with her. and I to Rome. and with complaints and groans filled Thine ears. was she with so many tears asking of Thee. as mothers do. but that Thou wouldest not suffer me to sail? But Thou. went to her wonted place. . and the earthly part of her affection to me was chastened by the allotted scourge of sorrows. but she was not behind in weeping and prayer. Thou wert hurrying me to end all desire. The wind blew and swelled our sails. And yet. and by this agony there appeared in her the inheritance of Eve.I privily departed. with sorrow seeking what in sorrow she had brought forth. and she knew not how great joy Thou wert about to work for her out of my absence. frantic with sorrow. She knew not. therefore did she weep and wail. in the depth of Thy counsels and hearing the main point of her desire. Who didst then disregard them. And what. regardest not what she then asked. and withdrew the shore from our sight. she betook herself again to intercede to Thee for me. but much more than many.

being such. by whose gift she was such? Never. and myself. no day intermitting the oblation at Thine altar. and ever praying. that I should recover the health of my body. nor any mutable or passing good. Thou wert at hand. to die a double death. For Thou. I see not then how she should have been healed. and others. but that she might hear Thee in Thy discourses. then. where I was. both against Thee. But Thou. as I have before recited and confessed. as that of His flesh seemed to me false. as Thine own handwriting. And now the fever heightening. and. some whereof I have. than at her childbearing in the flesh. carrying all the sins which I had committed. yet in absence prayed for me. and Thou her in her prayers. For Thou hadst not forgiven me any of these things in Christ. was the death of my soul. without any intermission. many and grievous. For had I then parted hence. over and above that bond of original sin. and I was better as a boy. vouchsafest to those to whom Thou forgivest all of their debts. everywhere present. whither had I departed. whereby we all die in Adam. Lord. But I had grown up to my own shame. not for idle tattlings and old wives’ fables. but into fire and torments. wherewith she begged of Thee not gold or silver. so full of duty and service to Thy saints. morning and evening. and I was going down to hell. God of mercies. And where would have been those her so strong and unceasing prayers. despise the contrite and humbled heart of that chaste and sober widow. and I madly scoffed at the prescripts of Thy medicine. Yea. which she laid up in her faithful heart. had such a death of mine stricken through the bowels of her love. hadst compassion upon me. and with how much more vehement anguish she was now in labour of me in the spirit. and wert hearing and doing. which I believed Him to be? So true. For I did not in all that danger desire Thy baptism. nor had He abolished by His Cross the enmity which by my sins I had incurred with Thee. I was parting and departing for ever.Chapter IX And lo. Far be it that Thou shouldest deceive her in Thy visions and answers. when I begged it of my mother's piety. For how should He. heardest her where she was. urged upon Thee. For I cannot express the affection she bore to me. but the salvation of her son's soul? Thou. some I have not mentioned. Couldest Thou despise and reject from Thy aid the tears of such an one. . to become also a debtor by Thy promises. who wouldest not suffer me. though frenzied as yet in my sacrilegious heart. With which wound had my mother's heart been pierced. which did not believe it. it could never be healed. twice a day. because Thy mercy endureth for ever. unintermitting to Thee alone? But wouldest Thou. there was I received by the scourge of bodily sickness. so frequent in almsdeeds. so false was the life of my soul. and how true the death of His body. in that order wherein Thou hadst determined before that it should be done. such as my misdeeds deserved in the truth of Thy appointment? And this she knew not. by the crucifixion of a phantasm. coming to Thy church.

I had resolved to rest contented) I now held more laxly and carelessly. and a door of safe keeping around my lips. when I wished to think on my God. this was the greatest. which the books of Manichaeus are full of. from which they had turned me aside. was I still united with their Elect. even those things (with which if I should find no better. that he might live. Yet I lived in more familiar friendship with them. or thin and subtile (like the body of the air). which was with me. which they called earth. creeping through that . than with others who were not of this heresy. and when I had done any evil. For hence I believed Evil also to be some such kind of substance. but that I know not what other nature sinned in us”. and almost only cause of my inevitable error. whereby I did not judge myself a sinner. for Thee to bestow upon him a better and more abiding health. and healedst the son of Thy handmaid. O God Almighty. at Rome. for that they held men ought to doubt everything. But now despairing to make proficiency in that false doctrine. in whose house I had fallen sick and recovered). and to have its own foul and hideous bulk. And because. and to accuse I know not what other thing. Yet did I freely and openly discourage that host of mine from that over-confidence which I perceived him to have in those fables. Creator of all things visible and invisible: and it seemed to me very unseemly to believe Thee to have the shape of human flesh. whom they call Academics. but which I was not. Not as yet then hadst Thou set a watch before my mouth. But in truth it was wholly I. still my intimacy with that sect (Rome secretly harbouring many of them) made me slower to seek any other way: especially since I despaired of finding the truth. which they imagine to be some malignant mind. were wiser than the rest. therefore. to make excuses of sins. Thee. And even then. to be overcome in me to my destruction.Chapter X Thou recoveredst me then of that sickness. and. that Thou mightest heal my soul because it had sinned against Thee: but I loved to excuse it.” For I still thought “that it was not we that sin. I also was clearly convinced that they thought. Nor did I maintain it with my ancient eagerness. that I had rather have Thee. to be free from blame. I joined myself to those deceiving and deceived “holy ones”. with men that work iniquity. not to confess I had done any. for the time in body. and to be bounded by the bodily lineaments of our members. as they are commonly reported. and mine impiety had divided me against myself: and that sin was the more incurable. but a mass of bodies (for what was not such did not seem to me to be anything). I knew not what to think of. whether gross. but also with those whom they call “The Elect. than myself of Thee to salvation. and execrable iniquity it was. O Lord of heaven and earth. that my heart might not turn aside to wicked speeches. and laid down that no truth can be comprehended by man: for so. not with their disciples only (of which number was he. in Thy Church. For there half arose a thought in me that those philosophers. and it delighted my pride. not then understanding even their meaning.


than to believe the nature of evil. although on that one where the mass of evil was opposed to Thee. at least on other sides. and that diffused in definite spaces). than if on all sides I should imagine Thee to be bounded by the form of a human body. And it seemed to me better to believe Thee to have created no evil (which to me ignorant seemed not some only. but the evil narrower. lest I should be forced to believe Him defiled by the flesh. since that was not the Catholic faith which I thought to be so. the good more expansive. being such. . such as it was. His Nature then. out of the mass of Thy most lucid substance. as unbounded. without being mingled with the flesh: and how that which I had so figured to myself could be mingled. Yet such was I. could come from Thee. contrary to one another. I was driven back. but what I could imagine in my vanity. And because a piety. such as I conceived it. and not defiled. if they shall read these my confessions. I feared therefore to believe Him born in the flesh. Thy Only Begotten. because I could not conceive of mind unless as a subtile body. And I seemed to myself more reverential.earth. the other sacrilegious conceits followed on me. so as to believe nothing of Him. my God (to whom Thy mercies confess out of my mouth). I was constrained to confess Thee bounded. Now will Thy spiritual ones mildly and lovingly smile upon me. I conceived two masses. but a bodily substance. if I believed of Thee. And from this pestilent beginning. constrained me to believe that the good God never created any evil nature. For when my mind endeavoured to recur to the Catholic faith. Yea. I believed to have been reached forth (as it were) for our salvation. and our Saviour Himself. I saw not. I thought could not be born of the Virgin Mary. both unbounded.

vehemently oppressed and in a manner suffocated by those “masses”. as he spoke and disputed face to face against the said Manichees. panting under which after the breath of Thy truth. But I. not easily withstood. for the words of one Helpidius. what the Manichees had criticised in Thy Scriptures. conceiving of things corporeal only. and to make trial what he thought thereon. who wished to engraff the law of the Jews upon the Christian faith: yet themselves produced not any uncorrupted copies. I could not breathe it pure and untainted. . but only to us in private. the Manichees’ answer whereto seemed to me weak. yet at times verily I had a wish to confer upon these several points with some one very well skilled in those books.Chapter XI Furthermore. was mainly held down. I thought could not be defended. And this answer they liked not to give publicly. that the Scriptures of the New Testament had been corrupted by I know not whom. It was. had begun to stir me even at Carthage: in that he had produced things out of the Scriptures.

and most pure peace. though I love them if corrigible. and through whom. those “subvertings” by profligate young men were not here practised. loving these fleeting mockeries of things temporal. than liked and wished them good for Thine. hugging the fleeting world. so as to prefer to money the learning which they acquire. to gather some to my house. the truth and fulness of assured good. which fouls the hand that grasps it. I had begun to be known. And now I hate such depraved and crooked persons.—breakers of faith. O God. to whom. and filthy lucre. True. and despising Thee. who for love of money hold justice cheap. to avoid paying their master's stipend. when to. But then I rather for my own sake misliked them evil. as was told me: but on a sudden. Who abidest. I found other offences committed in Rome.Chapter XII I began then diligently to practise that for which I came to Rome. and to learning. and they go a whoring from Thee. Of a truth such are base persons. a number of youths plot together. and forgivest the adulteress soul of man. though not with a perfect hatred: for perchance I hated them more because I was to suffer by them. said they. and recallest. to teach rhetoric. Thee. and remove to another. and first. to which I was not exposed in Africa. when she returns to Thee. . than because they did things utterly unlawful. These also my heart hated.

But salvation is far from sinners. I made application (through those very persons. intoxicated with Manichaean vanities. and so send me. however. and the sober inebriation of Thy wine. there was no comparison. to Ambrose the Bishop. as it were. such as I then stood before him. known to the whole world as among the best of men. and showed me an Episcopal kindness on my coming. That man of God received me as a father. more recondite.Chapter XIII When therefore they of Milan had sent to Rome to the prefect of the city. then prefect of the city. and unconsciously. To him was I unknowing led by Thee. than that of Faustus. whether it answered the fame thereof. Thenceforth I began to love him. and yet was I drawing nearer by little and little. the gladness of Thy oil. trying his eloquence. the other teaching salvation most soundly. and I was delighted with the sweetness of his discourse. would try me by setting me some subject. but. that by him I might knowingly be led to Thee. at first indeed not as a teacher of the truth (which I utterly despaired of in Thy Church). or flowed fuller or lower than was reported. Of the matter. And I listened diligently to him preaching to the people. and I hung on his words attentively. for the one was wandering amid Manichaean delusions. whose eloquent discourse did then plentifully dispense unto Thy people the flour of Thy wheat. To Milan I came. . to be freed wherefrom I was to go. Thy devout servant. not with that intent I ought. neither of us however knowing it) that Symmachus. but as a person kind towards myself. to furnish them with a rhetoric reader for their city. and sent him at the public expense. but of the matter I was as a careless and scornful looker-on. yet in manner less winning and harmonious.

came also into my mind the things which I would refuse. till something certain should dawn upon me. open for man. for I could not separate them. to see if in any way I could by any certain proof convict the Manichees of falsehood. but I could not. who could at large and with some show of reason answer objections. and wavering between all.” there also entered “how truly he spake”. and the whole of nature. I utterly refused to commit the cure of my sick soul. I might not continue in that sect. And while I opened my heart to admit “how eloquently he spake. to which I had been commended by my parents. yet together with the words which I would choose. Very many places then of those books having been explained. judging that. Could I once have conceived a spiritual substance. because both sides could be maintained. . as I more and more considered and compared things. for that they were without the saving Name of Christ. despairing of a way. which the senses of the flesh can reach to. whither I might steer my course. I judged the tenets of most of the philosophers to have been much more probable. but only to hear how he spake (for that empty care alone was left me. in believing that no answer could be given to such as hated and scoffed at the Law and the Prophets. and cast utterly out of my mind. but this by degrees. and the Catholic faith. concerning the frame of this world. Notwithstanding. So then after the manner of the Academics (as they are supposed) doubting of every thing. even while doubting. all their strongholds had been beaten down. that the Manichees were to be abandoned. Yet did I not therefore then see that the Catholic way was to be held. for which I had thought nothing could be said against the Manichees’ objections. as still not as yet to be victorious. because it also could find learned maintainers. For the Catholic cause seemed to me in such sort not vanquished. I was slain spiritually. to which I already preferred some of the philosophers.Chapter XIV For though I took no pains to learn what he spake. these things also had now begun to appear to me capable of defence. to which philosophers notwithstanding. I now blamed my despair. For first. nor that what I held was therefore to be condemned. I settled so far. Hereupon I earnestly bent my mind. and ofttimes “in a figure. to Thee). I now thought might be maintained without shamelessness. I determined therefore so long to be a Catechumen in the Catholic Church.” which when I understood literally. especially after I had heard one or two places of the Old Testament resolved.

Book VI .

though to be reawakened by Thee.” Thus much to me. of a sharper fit. praying for the fountain of that water. I say unto thee. where wert Thou to me. though not yet a Catholic Christian. when she heard that what she daily with tears desired of Thee was already in so great part realised. but. as at something unexpected. poured she forth more copious prayers and tears. she should see me a Catholic believer. and hung upon the lips of Ambrose. and with a heart full of confidence. which springeth up unto life everlasting. Fountain of mercies. most calmly. I was rescued from falsehood. resolute through piety. and whither wert Thou gone? Hadst not Thou created me. and separated me from the beasts of the field. because Thou hadst by a vision assured her thereof.” . yet did I walk in darkness. My mother had now come to me. wouldest one day give the rest. But when I had discovered to her that I was now no longer a Manichee. for which she bewailed me as one dead. and she hastened the more eagerly to the Church. in all perils confiding in Thee. Who hadst promised the whole. and distrusted and despaired of ever finding truth. that Thou wouldest hasten Thy help. But to Thee. that Thou. and found not the God of my heart. she comforted the very mariners (by whom passengers unacquainted with the deep. Arise. use rather to be comforted when troubled). because she knew that by him I had been brought for the present to that doubtful state of faith I now was in. she was not overjoyed. For in perils of the sea. that Thou mightest say to the son of the widow. carrying me forth upon the bier of her thoughts. and begin to speak. after the access. and he should revive. and had come into the depths of the sea. assuring them of a safe arrival. although she was now assured concerning that part of my misery. in that. my hope from my youth. and enlighten my darkness. following me over sea and land. through despair of ever finding truth. which physicians call “the crisis. that before she departed this life. But that man she loved as an angel of God. as being assured. Her heart then was shaken with no tumultuous exultation. Young man. and Thou shouldest deliver him to his mother. and fowls of the air? Thou hadst made me wiser. through which she anticipated most confidently that I should pass from sickness unto health. she replied to me. though I had not yet attained the truth. as it were. and sought Thee abroad out of myself. She found me in grievous peril.Chapter I O Thou. “She believed in Christ. and in slippery places.

as it were. and this. but unpleasantly heated with carrying about. But yet it seems to me. she loved most entirely. never joined therewith more than one small cup of wine. as she found this custom to be forbidden by that famous preacher and most pious prelate. nor did love of wine provoke her to hatred of the truth. not pleasure. she most willingly forbare it: and for a basket filled with fruits of the earth. rather than discuss his prohibition. diluted according to her own abstemious habits. he often burst forth into her praises. as men well-drunk at a draught mingled with water. the martyrs had been sacrificed and crowned. for her most religious conversation. though not only made very watery. And if there were many churches of the departed saints that were to be honoured in that manner. then. that perhaps she would not so readily have yielded to the cutting off of this custom. So soon. and bread and wine. had it been forbidden by another. when he saw me. O Lord my God.Chapter II When then my mother had once. and then given away. so fervent in spirit. and imagined the way to life could not be found out. she so piously and obediently embraced his wishes. and was forbidden by the door-keeper. lest so an occasion of excess might be given to the drunken. she would distribute to those about her by small sips. and for these. congratulating me that I had such a mother. as it doth too many (both men and women). whom. anniversary funeral solemnities did much resemble the superstition of the Gentiles. and he her again. where. that so the communication of the Lord's Body might be there rightly celebrated. whom she loved not as Ambrose. not knowing what a son she had in me. But she. and thus thinks my heart of it in Thy sight. even to those that would use it soberly. for my salvation. so that. certain cakes. . brought to the Churches built in memory of the Saints. which for courtesy she would taste. that I myself wondered how readily she censured her own practice. after the example of His Passion. she was constant at church. to be but tasted by herself. so soon as she knew that the Bishop had forbidden this. as she was wont in Afric. who doubted of all these things. she had learned to bring to the Churches of the martyrs a breast filled with more purified petitions. who revolt at a lesson of sobriety. to be used every where. and to give what she could to the poor. when she had brought her basket with the accustomed festival-food. for she sought there devotion. whereby in good works. For wine-bibbing did not lay siege to her spirit. she still carried round that same one cup.

conjecturing that in the small interval which he obtained. could be unravelled. or the abyss of my danger. we saw him thus reading to himself. And Ambrose himself. what struggles he had against the temptations which beset his very excellencies. being shut out both from his ear and speech by multitudes of busy people. Nor did he know the tides of my feelings. required his full leisure. so that his time being thus spent. whom personages so great held in such honour. But when I understood withal. and I was more and more convinced that all the knots of those crafty calumnies. as the world counts happy. whose weaknesses he served. that “man created by Thee. or his mind with reading. condemning. Most High. he could not turn over so many volumes as he desired. and most near. with joy I blushed at having so many years barked not against the Catholic faith. only his celibacy seemed to me a painful course. unless the thing might be answered briefly. For Thou. most secret. But those tides in me. as though they believed and conceived of Thee as bounded by human shape (although what a spiritual substance should be I had not even a faint or shadowy notion). and his heart searched out the sense. or what comfort in adversities. and perchance he dreaded lest if the author he read should deliver any thing obscurely. he was loth to be taken off. and restless to dispute. for the recruiting of his mind. when chewing the cud thereof. some attentive or perplexed hearer should desire him to expound it. after Thine own image. that Thou wouldest help me. For I could not ask of him. With whom when he was not taken up (which was but a little time). and having long sat silent (for who durst intrude on one so intent?) we were fain to depart. and never otherwise. But what hope he bore within him. But when he was reading. and . I esteemed a happy man. his eye glided over the pages. rightly expounding the Word of truth among the people. but his voice and tongue were at rest. he was either refreshing his body with the sustenance absolutely necessary. and what sweet joys Thy Bread had for the hidden mouth of his spirit. and never found it. which those our deceivers had knit against the Divine Books. certainly in such a man it was good. Ofttimes when we had come (for no man was forbidden to enter. yet. nor was it his wont that any who came should be announced to him). whom of the Catholic Mother Thou hast born again through grace. I had pronounced on. or to discuss some of the harder questions. what I would as I would. but my spirit was wholly intent on learning. nor had experienced.Chapter III Nor did I yet groan in my prayers. For so rash and impious had I been. to be poured out to him. I neither could conjecture. that what I ought by enquiring to have learned. But with what intent soever he did it. I however certainly had no opportunity of enquiring what I wished of that so holy oracle of Thine.” was not so understood by Thy spiritual sons. free from the din of others’ business. although the preserving of his voice (which a very little speaking would weaken) might be the truer reason for his reading to himself. but against the fictions of carnal imaginations. I heard him indeed every Lord's day. his breast.

and behold. some smaller. .most present. and no where in space. yet hast Thou made man after Thine own image. art not of such corporeal shape. but art wholly every where. from head to foot is he contained in space. Who hast not limbs some larger.

which could not be healed but by believing. For I wished to be as assured of the things I saw not. or spiritual. had no taste for infantine conceits. laying open spiritually what. I joyed also that the old Scriptures of the law and the Prophets were laid before me. For that they were falsehoods became clear to me later. that so long deluded and deceived by the promise of certainties. so was it with the health of my soul. which abideth always. fears to trust himself with a good one. which were not present to my senses. teaching herein nothing that offended me. O my God. and in no part faileth. as I was that seven and three are ten. and lest it should believe falsehoods. and given unto them so great authority. but I desired to have other things as clear as this. and converted: and I joyed. Doubt. whereof I knew not how to conceive. For I was not so mad as to think that even this could not be comprehended. when with a blind contentiousness. yet bounded every where by the limits of a human form. except corporeally. the body of Thine Only Son (wherein the name of Christ had been put upon me as an infant). the Creator of all. when I reviled Thy holy ones for so thinking. And by believing might I have been cured. But as it happens that one who has tried a bad physician. whereas indeed they thought not so: and with joy I heard Ambrose in his sermons to the people. what to hold for certain. might in some way be directed to Thy truth. I should have knocked and proposed the doubt. oftentimes most diligently recommend this text for a rule. I had with childish error and vehemence. but at least not to teach that for which I had grievously censured her. refused to be cured. nor in her sound doctrine maintained any tenet which should confine Thee. not now to be perused with that eye to which before they seemed absurd. whether things corporeal. . seemed to teach something unsound. So I was confounded. that the One Only Church. the more ashamed I was. whilst he drew aside the mystic veil. that so the eyesight of my soul being cleared. The letter killeth. according to the letter. prated of so many uncertainties. however great and large. in space. whether it were true. I accused Thy Catholic Church. but the Spirit giveth life. then. Who hast prepared the medicines of faith. not indeed as yet to teach truly. the more sharply gnawed my heart. as if believed. how it was to be believed. However I was certain that they were uncertain. not insultingly opposed it. and that I had formerly accounted them certain. though he taught what I knew not as yet. whom I now discovered. fearing to fall headlong. For I kept my heart from assenting to any thing. but by hanging in suspense I was the worse killed.Chapter IV Ignorant then how this Thy image should subsist. resisting Thy hands. and hast applied them to the diseases of the whole world.

and “That the government of human things belongs to Thee. from this to prefer the Catholic doctrine. and that they were not to be heard. stooping to all in the great plainness of its words and lowliness of its style. though I was ignorant. Since then we were too weak by abstract reasonings to find out truth: and for this very cause needed the authority of Holy Writ. These things I thought on. O Lord. sounding strangely in the Scripture. and more worthy of religious credence. I felt that her proceeding was more unassuming and honest. “That Thou art” whatsoever Thou wert (what I knew not). hadst Thou not willed thereby to be believed in. and hadst a care of us.Chapter V Being led. which I could not know. whereas among the Manichees our credulity was mocked by a promise of certain knowledge. lastly. because they could not be demonstrated. who should say to me. which unless we should believe. “How knowest thou those Scriptures to have been imparted unto mankind by the Spirit of the one true and most true God?” For this very thing was of all most to be believed. as so many things in secular history. had I not believed upon hearsay—considering all this. and then so many most fabulous and absurd things were imposed to be believed. of all that multitude which I had read in the self-contradicting philosophers. so many continually of other men. yet I ever believed both that Thou wert. were to be blamed. yet many more than if it stood not aloft on such a height of authority. so many of friends. little by little with most tender and most merciful hand. in that she required to be believed things not demonstrated (whether it was that they could in themselves be demonstrated but not to certain persons. I had now begun to believe that Thou wouldest never have given such excellency of authority to that Writ in all lands. while it lay open to all to read. and its authority appeared to me the more venerable. with how unshaken an assurance I believed of what parents I was born. nor drew multitudes within its bosom by its holy lowliness. yet calling forth the intensest application of such as are not light of heart. could wring this belief from me. I referred to the depth of the mysteries. didst persuade me—considering what innumerable things I believed. Then Thou. For now what things. in that. Thou didst persuade me.” This I believed. that not they who believed Thy Books (which Thou hast established in so great authority among almost all nations). nor was present while they were done. so many reports of places and of cities. since no contentiousness of blasphemous questionings. we should do nothing at all in this life. sometimes more strongly. touching and composing my heart. thereby sought. were wont to offend me. or could not at all be). and through narrow passages waft over towards Thee some few. it reserved the majesty of its mysteries within its profounder meaning. but they who believed them not. having heard divers of them expounded satisfactorily. both what was to be thought of Thy substance. more weakly otherwhiles. so many of physicians. and what way led or led back to Thee. which I had not seen. however. which I saw not. and . that so it might receive all in its open bosom.

and Thou heardest me. and Thou didst guide me. I wavered. I sighed. I wandered through the broad way of the world. and Thou didst not forsake me.Thou wert with me. .

for that by all such efforts of ours. by dragging. Let my soul cleave unto Thee. For even as his was no true joy. if he asked had I rather be such as he was. and confess to Thee. I disembowelled with cares: but he. augmenting it. under the goading of desire. But “it doth make a difference whence a man's joy is. Lord? That which is not in Thee. but out of wrong judgment. Again. who art above all. and that not to instruct. which was not Thou. we yet looked to arrive only at that very joyousness whither that beggar-man had arrived before us. had gotten . marriage. was it the truth? For I ought not to prefer myself to him. Yea. he void of care. For what he had obtained by means of a few begged pence. by fair wishes. because more learned than he. Away with those then from my soul who say to her. I observed a poor beggar. O Lord. and lying. but sought to please men by it. had I rather be merry or fearful? I would answer merry. but I had slept and risen again with mine. seeing I had no joy therein. How wretched was it! and Thou didst irritate the feeling of its wound. and. and be healed. was to be applauded by those who knew I lied. I anxious. how many days. then. for. Wherefore also Thou didst break my bones with the staff of Thy correction. and again to rise with it. with a full belly. But should any ask me. who wouldest I should remember all this. as those wherein I then toiled dragging along.” What glory. and spoke to the friends around me. For he verily had not the true joy. the burthen of my own wretchedness. that forsaking all else. He that very night should digest his drunkenness. Thou. I full of fears. now that Thou hast freed it from that fast-holding birdlime of death. And certainly he was joyous. Behold my heart. That beggar-man joyed in drunkenness. and so was he then beyond me: for he verily was the happier. but simply to please. the same was I plotting for by many a toilsome turning and winding. of the many sorrows of our frenzies. the joy of a temporary felicity. and was to sleep again. Thou being the more gracious. and the joy of a faithful hope lieth incomparably beyond such vanity. though worn with cares and fears. and boiling with the feverishness of consuming thoughts. Thou desiredst to joy in glory. and Thou deridedst me. so was that no true glory: and it overthrew my soul more. who should never perchance attain it. gains. wherein I was to utter many a lie. or what I then was? I should choose to be myself. knowest. In these desires I underwent most bitter crosses. “It makes a difference whence a man's joy is. to make me feel my misery on that day. I suppose. How miserable was I then. not only for that he was thoroughly drenched in mirth.” I know it.Chapter VI— I panted after honours. and my heart was panting with these anxieties. God. and how didst Thou deal with me. but yet I with those my ambitious designs was seeking one much less true. joking and joyous: and I sighed. For. it might be converted unto Thee. and without whom all things would be nothing. the less Thou sufferedst aught to grow sweet to me. be converted. when I was preparing to recite a panegyric of the Emperor. passing through one of the streets of Milan.

and grieved. for almost before I could grasp it. and if any prosperity smiled on me. Much to this purpose said I then to my friends: and I often marked in them how it fared with me. I was loth to catch at it. I. swelling praise. by lying. and I found it went ill with me.wine. and doubled that very ill. it flew away. was seeking for empty. .

a likeness from the Circensian races occurred to me. and put it into Thy book. But he took it wholly to himself. and so cure it. and he shook his mind . as likely to make what I would convey pleasanter and plainer. professing rhetoric there. But Thou. greeted me. but chiefly and most familiarly did I speak thereof with Alypius and Nebridius. thus languishing. had a public school. and I. laying aside then his father's mind in that matter. didst of my heart and tongue make burning coals. that he should not. undo so good a wit. Thou effectedst it through me. and that his amendment might plainly be attributed to Thyself. nay. I had by chance a passage in hand. by reason of some unkindness risen betwixt his father and me. by which to set on fire the hopeful mind. I had found then how deadly he doted upon the Circus. and loving me more fervently. who were living as friends together. Thou knowest that I then thought not of curing Alypius of that infection. hadst not forgotten him. or the authority of a master. Yet the whirlpool of Carthaginian habits (amongst whom those idle spectacles are hotly followed) had drawn him into the madness of the Circus. he entered. Let him be silent in Thy praises. come sometimes into my lecture room. O Lord. or had thrown away so great promise: yet had I no means of advising or with a sort of constraint reclaiming him. But while he was miserably tossed therein. who considers not Thy mercies. who was one day to be among Thy children. and thought that I said it simply for his sake. who guidest the course of all Thou hast created. which was eminent enough in one of no greater years. through a blind and headlong desire of vain pastimes. that right-minded youth took as a ground of being offended at himself. which confess unto Thee out of my inmost soul. and applied his mind to what I then handled. hear a little. sat down. and I him. unknowingly. but younger than I. And whence another would have taken occasion of offence with me. who employest all. Rebuke a wise man and he will love Thee. but he was not such. and was deeply grieved that he seemed likely. with my scholars before me. I however had forgotten to deal with him. For he had studied under me. of persons of chief rank there. bemoaned together. which while I was explaining. seasoned with biting mockery of those whom that madness had enthralled. and learned. both when I first lectured in our town. as yet he used not my teaching. but Thou. either by the kindness of a friend. and he loved me much. For as one day I sat in my accustomed place. and was blinded with its wretched pastimes. and be gone. But I had not rebuked him. in that order which Thyself knowest (and that order is just). and afterwards at Carthage. wherein he was wilfully plunged. because I seemed to him kind. God.Chapter VII These things we. For I supposed that he thought of me as did his father. he began to greet me. For Thou hadst said it long ago. for his great towardliness to virtue. For he upon that speech burst out of that pit so deep. Priest and Dispenser of Thy Sacrament. of whom Alypius was born in the same town with me. knowing or not knowing.

was involved in the same superstition with me. unable as yet to reach the depth of virtue.with a strong self-command. . Whereas it was a senseless and seducing continency. and gave in. whereupon all the filths of the Circensian pastimes flew off from him. nor came he again thither. Upon this. loving in the Manichees that show of continency which he supposed true and unfeigned. yet readily beguiled with the surface of what was but a shadowy and counterfeit virtue. And Alypius beginning to be my hearer again. He gave way. he prevailed with his unwilling father that he might be my scholar. ensnaring precious souls.


but one of the throng he came unto. and they with a familiar violence haled him. unawares. When they were come thither. was in his body. overcome by curiosity. Nor was he now the man he came. drinking in frenzy. whom he desired to behold. but also before them. he therewith drunk down savageness. and intoxicated with the bloody pastime. hearing this. closing the passage of his eyes. he opened his eyes. and would he had stopped his ears also! For in the fight.” They. which entered through his ears. and as if prepared to despise and be superior to it whatsoever it were. and was stricken with a deeper wound in his soul than the other. into the Amphitheatre. and the weaker. and so shall overcome both you and them. Why say more? He beheld. Yet thence didst Thou with a most strong and most merciful hand pluck him. in that it had presumed on itself. desirous perchance to try that very thing. But he. to make way for the striking and beating down of a soul. and there set me. led him on nevertheless. but fixed his eye. and taughtest him to have confidence not in himself. during these cruel and deadly shows. had gone before me to Rome. can you force me also to turn my mind or my eyes to those shows? I shall then be absent while present. the whole place kindled with that savage pastime. . and there he was carried away incredibly with an incredible eagerness after the shows of gladiators. and had taken their places as they could. which ought to have relied on Thee. he was one day by chance met by divers of his acquaintance and fellow-students coming from dinner. But this was after. a mighty cry of the whole people striking him strongly. when one fell. a true associate of theirs that brought him thither. kindled.Chapter VIII He. vehemently refusing and resisting. to study law. shouted. but in Thee. carried thence with him the madness which should goad him to return not only with them who first drew him thither. and he fell more miserably than he upon whose fall that mighty noise was raised. nor turned away. not forsaking that secular course which his parents had charmed him to pursue. For so soon as he saw that blood. whether he could do as he said. even when seen. and unlocked his eyes. bold rather than resolute. yea and to draw in others. forbade his mind to range abroad after such evil. yea. he thus protesting: “Though you hale my body to that place. and was delighted with that guilty fight. For being utterly averse to and detesting spectacles.

however. and an examiner of many causes in Thy Church. But he. and saw with what speed he made away. the real thief. For as he was being led either to prison or to punishment. heard the whole matter. a lawyer. should already begin to learn that in judging of causes. and began to cut away the lead. not apprehending any harm to his master. O Lord. lo. he who was to be a dispenser of Thy Word. and enquiring the occasion of so great a calamity. and so he was being led away to be taken before the judge.Chapter IX But this was already being laid up in his memory to be a medicine hereafter. a young man. asked him “Whose that was?” “Ours. who had the chief charge of the public buildings. as far as the leaden gratings which fence in the silversmiths’ shops. who had not seen him enter. But thus far was Alypius to be instructed. wondering and considering it. Thou succouredst his innocency. he discovered every thing. took him aside by the hand. There. with his note-book and pen. Whom so soon as Alypius remembered. For no other cause. the noise whereof had startled and brought them thither. and sent to apprehend whomever they should find. I deem. For as he was walking up and down by himself before the judgment-seat. the silversmiths beneath began to make a stir. For he had attended his master to the market-place. had divers times seen Alypius at a certain senator's house. And being desirous to know the matter. But the noise of the hatchet being heard. boast of having taken a notorious thief. leaving his hatchet. before the door. a certain architect met them. to whom he often went to pay his respects. hale him away. when behold. find him alone with the hatchet in his hand. he told the architect: and he showing the hatchet to the boy. those that had been sent. by whom they were wont to be suspected of stealing the goods lost out of the marketplace. where finding the hatchet.” quoth he presently: and being further questioned. that when he was yet studying under me at Carthage. whereof Thou alone wert witness. For forthwith. and gathering the dwellers in the market-place together. privily bringing a hatchet. and bade all present. which had begun to insult over Alypius. unperceived by Alypius. So was that also. was aware of his going. Alypius now. our God. hearing their voices. Glad they were to meet him especially. fearing to be taken with it. didst Thou. entered the place. They seize him. amid much uproar and threats. got in. suffer it. but that he who was hereafter to prove so great a man. to go with him. . and the multitude ashamed. Thou sufferedst him to be apprehended by the officers of the market-place for a thief. went away better experienced and instructed. he was standing. So they came to the house of the young man who had done the deed. Thus the crime being transferred to that house. and was thinking over at midday in the market-place what he was to say by heart (as scholars use to practise). and recognising him immediately. He. was a boy so young as to be likely. man was not readily to be condemned by man out of a rash credulity. ran away. as though to show him at last by whom these thefts were committed. to disclose the whole.

he trampled upon them: all wondering at so unwonted a spirit. yea and Carthage itself. as we looked towards the end. yet did not openly refuse. sighing out their wants one to another.Chapter X Him then I had found at Rome. although also unwilling it should be. and a mother behind. but consulting justice. Like me he sighed. who shall give you that which is your own? He being such. and so saying forsook them not. leaving his excellent family-estate and house. Alypius would have decided otherwise. which proceeded out of the mouth of Thy Truth: If ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous Mammon. Nor can that any how be void. where he had much lived. Alypius resisted it: a bribe was promised. which neither desired the friendship. but with the goad of fear. did at that time cleave to me. whose councillor Alypius was. who will commit to your trust true riches? And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man's. And in all the bitterness which by Thy mercy followed our worldly affairs. had come to Milan. he wondering at others rather who could prefer gold to honesty. not only with the bait of covetousness. And the very judge. to whose favours many stood indebted. but put the matter off upon Alypius. esteeming equity whereby he was hindered more gainful than the power whereby he were allowed. we might embrace. and he clave to me by a most strong tie. At Rome he was Assessor to the count of the Italian Treasury. who was not to follow him. and went with me to Milan. why we should suffer all this. for no other reason but that with me he might live in a most ardent search after truth and wisdom. with all his heart he scorned it: threats were held out. These are slight things. with an uncorruptness much wondered at by others. darkness met us. His character was tried besides. There was at that time a very powerful senator. and we turned away groaning. who having left his native country near Carthage. and a most acute examiner of the most difficult questions. Thus were there the mouths of three indigent persons. and waiting upon Thee that Thou mightest give them their meat in due season. and might practise something of the law he had studied. he altered his deliberation for the better. by his usual power. many much feared. that he might have books copied for him at Praetorian prices. nor feared the enmity of one so great and so mightily renowned for innumerable means of doing good or evil. and saying. He would needs. alleging that he would not allow him to do it: for in truth had the judge done it. have a thing allowed him which by the laws was unallowed. How long shall these things be? This too we often said. There he had thrice sat as Assessor. for as yet there dawned nothing certain. which these forsaken. both that he might not leave me. more to please his parents than himself. and with me wavered in purpose. . an ardent searcher after true life. but he that is faithful in little. like me he wavered. what course of life was to be taken. With this one thing in the way of learning was he well-nigh seduced. Nebridius also. is faithful also in much.

if with the death of the body the life of the soul came to an end. and no small sweetness. sticking in the same mire. most wondered at the length of time from that my nineteenth year. settling when I had found her. I was now in my thirtieth year. I will take my stand. things in the ecclesiastical books are not absurd to us now. in what state shall we depart hence? and where shall we learn what here we have neglected? and shall we not rather suffer the punishment of this negligence? What. and certain hours be ordered for the health of our soul. unbending our minds from this intenseness of care? “Perish every thing. it is no great matter now to obtain some station. whose favour we need? When compose what we may sell to scholars? When refresh ourselves.’ that the rest ‘may be opened’? The forenoons our scholars take up. that she increase not our charges: and this shall be the bound of desire. Faustus the Manichee will come. what do we during the rest? Why not this? But when then pay we court to our great friends. to abandon all the empty hopes and lying frenzies of vain desires. ye Academicians. We must not lightly abandon them.Chapter XI And I. they have some. . which sometimes seemed absurd. “Tomorrow I shall find it. death uncertain. as a child. if nothing else offer. where shall we find even the books? Whence. if it steals upon us on a sudden. Many great men. and most worthy of imitation. have given themselves to the study of wisdom in the state of marriage. or when procure them? from whom borrow them? Let set times be appointed. greedy of enjoying things present. where. for it were a shame to return again to them. And lo. and vainly accused it of. dismiss we these empty vanities. at least a presidentship may be given us: and a wife with some money. and we be in much haste. lo. and in a good sense. But where shall it be sought or when? Ambrose has no leisure. viewing and reviewing things. which passed away and wasted my soul. and despair not. that no certainty can be attained for the ordering of life! Nay. we have no leisure to read. that the excellent dignity of the authority of the Christian Faith hath overspread the whole world. But God forbid this! It is no vain and empty thing. it is true then. let us search the more diligently. until the clear truth be found out. and may be otherwise taken. and clear every thing! O you great men. Wherefore delay then to abandon worldly hopes. See. her instructed members hold it profane to believe God to be bounded by the figure of a human body: and do we doubt to ‘knock. and then what should we more wish for? We have store of powerful friends. it will appear manifestly and I shall grasp it. and betake ourselves to the one search for truth! Life is vain. if death itself cut off and end all care and feeling? Then must this be ascertained. Great hope has dawned. the Catholic Faith teaches not what we thought. wherein I had begun to kindle with the desire of wisdom. Lo. while I said to myself. my parents placed me. and give ourselves wholly to seek after God and the blessed life? But wait! Even those things are pleasant. Never would such and so great things be by God wrought for us.

being so foolish as not to know what is written. time passed on. and sought it. and these winds shifted and drove my heart this way and that. Loving a happy life. I feared it in its own abode. not having tried it. and that Thou wouldest give it. None can be continent unless Thou give it. I thought I should be too miserable. by fleeing from it. . and of the medicine of Thy mercy to cure that infirmity I thought not. As for continency. and with a settled faith did cast my care on Thee. if with inward groanings I did knock at Thine ears. but I delayed to turn to the Lord. and from day to day deferred to live in Thee. unless folded in female arms. and deferred not daily to die in myself. I supposed it to be in our own power (though in myself I did not find that power).While I went over these things.

moved us but slightly. But me for the most part the habit of satisfying an insatiable appetite tormented. while it held me captive. but had not stuck fast therein. as we had long desired. him. and its deadly sweetness. wherein his virtuous and free feet might be entangled. and he that loves danger. Moreover. he said. but out of curiosity. which so he might easily despise. what that should be. to him so pleasing. For himself was even then most pure in this point.Chapter XII Alypius indeed kept me from marrying. and urged in my defence when I saw him wonder. and thence perhaps to sink into that bondage whereat he wondered. without which my life. and that the more. whom he esteemed not slightly. drew along my chain. he ought not to wonder why I could not contemn that course. But I opposed him with the examples of those who as married men had cherished wisdom. an admiring wonder was leading captive. and bound with the disease of the flesh. commiserating us miserable. that there was great difference between his momentary and scarce-remembered knowledge of that life. and through that amazement was going on to a desire of trying it. shall fall into it. and a family. should stick so fast in the birdlime of that pleasure. So were we. since in the outset of his youth he had entered into that course. O Most High. was amazed at my thraldom. by wondrous and secret ways. and loved them faithfully. For he would fain know. rather had he felt remorse and revolting at it. and as if my wound had been fretted. and my continued acquaintance whereto if the honourable name of marriage were added. not as overcome with desire of such pleasure. didst come to our help. would to me seem not life but a punishment. For his mind. thence to the trial itself. dreading to be loosed. For when he wondered that I. he began also to desire to be married. . For whatever honour there be in the office of well-ordering a married life. as it were the hand of one that would unchain me. as to protest (so oft as we discussed it) that I could never lead a single life. by my tongue weaving and laying in his path pleasurable snares. by me did the serpent speak unto Alypius himself. until Thou. living thenceforth until now most continently. and retained their friends. Of whose greatness of spirit I was far short. not forsaking our dust. free from that chain. put back his good persuasions. alleging that so could we by no means with undistracted leisure live together in the love of wisdom. seeing he was willing to make a covenant with death. and served God acceptably. so that it was wonderful.


the health-giving baptism might cleanse me. discern betwixt Thy revelations. brought together. For she could. She saw indeed certain vain and fantastic things. I wooed. which in words she could not express. Thou never wouldest.Chapter XIII Continual effort was made to have me married. both at my request and her own longing. and Thy promises. not with that confidence she was wont. through a certain feeling. with strong cries of heart she daily begged of Thee. chiefly through my mother's pains. At which time verily. she said. and these she told me of. and observed that her prayers. and. that so once married. busied thereon. were being fulfilled in my faith. such as the energy of the human spirit. two years under the fit age. when Thou showedst her any thing. was waited for. I was promised. . and a maiden asked in marriage. Yet the matter was pressed on. and the dreams of her own soul. but slighting them. towards which she rejoiced that I was being daily fitted. that Thou wouldest by a vision discover unto her something concerning my future marriage. as pleasing.

would allow this. fell to pieces in our hands. because his ample estate far exceeded any of the rest. but Thy counsel standeth for ever. so that through the truth of our friendship nothing should belong especially to any. but the whole thus derived from all.Chapter XIV And many of us friends conferring about. But when we began to consider whether the wives. and to fill our souls with blessing. which some of us already had. and groans. should as a whole belong to each. as it were. . and all to all. We thought there might be some often persons in this society. who was the most earnest for this project. and our steps to follow the broad and beaten ways of the world. was utterly dashed and cast aside. which was being so well moulded. and therein was his voice of great weight. others hoped to have. the rest being undisturbed. and this was to be thus obtained. all that plan. especially Romanianus our townsman. for many thoughts were in our heart. and detesting the turbulent turmoils of human life. had debated and now almost resolved on living apart from business and the bustle of men. We had settled also that two annual officers. and make one household of all. some of whom were very rich. Out of which counsel Thou didst deride ours. whom the grievous perplexities of his affairs had brought up to court. and preparedst Thine own. should provide all things necessary. we were to bring whatever we might severally procure. Thence we betook us to sighs. from childhood a very familiar friend of mine. purposing to give us meat in due season.

Nor was that my wound cured. though no wife. procured another. .Chapter XV Meanwhile my sins were being multiplied. which had been made by the cutting away of the former. my heart which clave unto her was torn and wounded and bleeding. into the dominion of marriage. and my pains became less acute. impatient of delay. but more desperate. But unhappy I. or even augmented. the disease of my soul might be kept up and carried on in its vigour. And she returned to Afric. that so by the servitude of an enduring custom. leaving with me my son by her. vowing unto Thee never to know any other man. inasmuch as not till after two years was I to obtain her I sought not being so much a lover of marriage as a slave to lust. it mortified. who could not imitate a very woman. but after inflammation and most acute pain. and my concubine being torn from my side as a hindrance to my marriage.

“were we immortal. there also will I carry you. and I felt that I was beloved of them again for myself only. I was becoming more miserable. and to live in perpetual bodily pleasure. and turned again. Nor did I. Thou art at hand. and places of requital according to men's deserts. foul as they were. and Thou alone rest. which hoped. upon back. by forsaking Thee. nor did anything call me back from a yet deeper gulf of carnal pleasures.” . without fear of losing it. Thy right hand was continually ready to pluck me out of the mire. nor could I. and to wash me thoroughly. yea I will bring you through. And yet these friends I loved for themselves only. why should we not be happy. be happy without friends. and Thou nearer. and of Thy judgment to come. sides. and belly. which the eye of flesh cannot see. to be embraced for its own sake. glory to Thee. that even on these things. I could not discern that light of excellence and beauty.Chapter XVI To Thee be praise. and is seen by the inner man. which Epicurus would not believe. had I not believed that after death there remained a life for the soul. but the fear of death. I with pleasure discoursed with my friends. and placest us in Thy way. Fountain of mercies. never departed from my breast. and I knew it not. I held that Epicurus had in my mind won the palm. and dost comfort us. O crooked paths! Woe to the audacious soul. And in my disputes with my friends Alypius and Nebridius of the nature of good and evil. being thus sunk and blinded. “Run. I will carry you. yet all was painful. or what else should we seek?” not knowing that great misery was involved in this very thing. even according to the notions I then had of happiness. unhappy. which amid all my changes. that. and deliverest us from our wretched wanderings. and say. consider from what source it sprung. And behold. to gain some better thing! Turned it hath. amid what abundance soever of carnal pleasures. And I asked.

Book VII .

as it were a spacious nothing. only as unable to conceive aught . So also did I endeavour to conceive of Thee. Because whatsoever I conceived. air. air and heaven. was not of this sort. through infinite spaces on every side penetrating the whole mass of the universe. and I did in my inmost soul believe that Thou wert incorruptible. nor diffused. and the place should remain empty of any body at all. nor clear even to myself. My heart passionately cried out against all my phantoms. For over such forms as my eyes are wont to range. nor swelled out. of earth and water. so that the earth should have Thee. flew against my face. penetrating it. and was sure. every way. nor condensed. I thought not of Thee. yea altogether nothing. or diffused infinitely without it. because though not knowing whence or how. seemed to me nothing. O God. but by filling it wholly: so I thought the body not of heaven. For that as the body of this air which is above the earth. and unchangeable. sought to conceive of Thee the sovereign. within and without. deprived of this space. but of the earth too. not even a void. it should admit Thy presence. did my heart then range: nor yet did I see that this same notion of the mind. and such a man. and uninjurable. through unmeasurable boundless spaces. being scarce put off. only. who could not imagine any substance. Life of my life. all things have Thee. that that which may be corrupted must be inferior to that which cannot. and beclouded it. had not itself been some great thing. as vast. the heaven have Thee. and Thou bounded nowhere. which I preferred before the corruptible. whatsoever was not extended over certain spaces. I then being thus gross-hearted. and they be bounded in Thee. and sea only. and changeable) as being in space. whether infused into the world. and unchangeable. a man. and with this one blow I sought to beat away from the eye of my mind all that unclean troop which buzzed around it. So I guessed. whereby I formed those very images. I always avoided this. I thought to be altogether nothing. so that though not under the form of the human body. and beyond it. under the figure of a human body. yet was I constrained to conceive of Thee (that incorruptible. And I. directing all things which Thou hast created. or did not or could not receive some of these dimensions. And to. not by bursting or by cutting. and yet it could not have formed them. the greatest as the smallest. in the twinkling of an eye they gathered again thick about me. yet I saw plainly. Thy Catholic Church. what could not be injured I preferred unhesitatingly to what could receive injury. since I began to hear aught of wisdom. the more defiled by vain things as I grew in years. so that in all its parts. and injurable. hindereth not the light of the sun from passing through it. and rejoiced to have found the same in the faith of our spiritual mother. pervious to Thee. the unchangeable to things subject to change.Chapter I Deceased was now that my evil and abominable youth. by a secret inspiration. but such as is wont to be seen with these eyes. as if a body were taken out of its place. true God. yet would it remain a void place. and I was passing into early manhood. uninjurable. But what else to conceive of Thee I knew not.

and takes up more room. But not as yet hadst Thou enlightened my darkness. But such art not Thou. large to the large.else. that the body of an elephant should contain more of Thee. and thus shouldest Thou make the several portions of Thyself present unto the several portions of the world. and a less. petty to the petty. by how much larger it is. a lesser: and all things should in such sort be full of Thee. . in fragments. for it was false. For thus should a greater part of the earth contain a greater portion of Thee. than that of a sparrow.

then were all these sayings false and execrable. and be by them so far corrupted and changed to the worse. should he mingled with opposed powers. thus thinking and speaking of Thee. that is. whereby it might be extricated and purified.’ then shouldest Thou be subject to injury and corruption: but if could do Thee no hurt. since Thy word sounded not out of them. ‘it would have done Thee some hurt. to oppose to those deceived deceivers. So then. Lord. without horrible blasphemy of heart and tongue. to be incorruptible. as to be turned from happiness into misery. whatsoever Thou art. which the Manichees are wont to set as an opposing mass over against Thee. at which all we that heard it were staggered: “That said nation of darkness.—that was enough which long ago.Chapter II It was enough for me. or offspring of Thy very Substance. and that this offspring of Thy Substance was the soul. and fighting in such wise. might relieve. free. while we were yet at Carthage. and natures not created by Thee. . and dumb praters. Nebridius used to propound. corrupted. the very statement showed it to be false and revolting. which being enthralled.’ then was no reason brought for Thy fighting with it. defiled. what could it have done unto Thee. and need assistance. Thy Substance whereby Thou art. Thy Word.” This argument then of Nebridius sufficed against those who deserved wholly to be vomited out of the overcharged stomach. and whole. pure. should they affirm Thee. but if corruptible. as that a certain portion or member of Thee. for they had no escape. hadst Thou refused to fight with it? For. that Word itself being still corruptible because it was of one and the same Substance. if they answered.

whence. however. And I strained to perceive what I now heard. who madest not only our souls. and Thy just judgment of our suffering ill. But I was not able clearly to discern it. I saw that I suffered rather than did. and not only our souls and bodies. Who is not only good. but my punishment. and I judged not to be my fault. as should not constrain me to believe the immutable God to be mutable.Chapter III But I also as yet. and ingrated into me this plant of bitterness. they were filled with evil. than that man doth it. from whom I shrunk with my whole heart: for I saw. I was plunged back as often. thus far free from anxiety. in that they preferred to think that Thy substance did suffer ill than their own did commit it. I sought it out then. that through enquiring the origin of evil. and endeavouring often. but our bodies. But again I said. seeing I was wholly formed by my most sweet God? If the devil were the author. but all beings. But this raised me a little into Thy light. . as that I lived: when then I did will or nill any thing. clearly and without difficulty. that I knew as well that I had a will. came in him that evil will whereby he became a devil. I was most sure that no other than myself did will and nill: and I all but saw that there was the cause of my sin. yet not brought down to that hell of error (where no man confesseth unto Thee). And yet whatever it were. whence is that same devil? And if he also by his own perverse will. although I held and was firmly persuaded that Thou our Lord the true God. and in no degree mutable. I perceived it was in such wise to be sought out. I was again plunged therein. but goodness itself? Whence then came I to will evil and nill good. certain of the untruth of what these held. seeing the whole nature of angels was made by that most good Creator? By these thoughts I was again sunk down and choked. holding Thee to be just. Who made me? Did not my God. yet understood I not. lest I should become that evil I was seeking out. to think rather that Thou dost suffer ill. so that I am thus justly punished? who set this in me. whereby. I speedily confessed myself to be not unjustly punished. of a good angel became a devil. again. But what I did against my will. that free-will was the cause of our doing ill. the cause of evil. and all things. So then endeavouring to draw my soul's vision out of that deep pit. wert undefilable and unalterable.

And what can be unlooked-for by Thee. there ought I to seek for Thee. and there observe “wherein evil itself was”. I could in thought have arrived at something better than my God. as one who had already found that the incorruptible must needs be better than the corruptible: and Thee therefore. and what He wills is good. who art the sovereign and the best good. Who knowest all things? Nor is there any nature in things. For never soul was. For corruption does no ways impair our God. whatsoever Thou wert. the incorruptible is preferable to the corruptible (as I did now prefer it). were Thyself greater than Thyself. wert Thou not incorruptible. by which Thy substance can by no means be impaired. I confessed to be incorruptible. since Thy will is not greater than Thy power. and Himself is that good. “why that substance which God is should not be corruptible. Where then I saw the incorruptible to be preferable to the corruptible. But greater should it be. by no unlooked-for chance: because He is God. but Thou knowest it. Nor art Thou against Thy will constrained to any thing. that is. And what should we more say. it should not be God? . whence corruption comes. nor shall be. then. For the will and power of God is God Himself.Chapter IV For I was in such wise striving to find out the rest. by no will. by no necessity. But since most truly and certainly. able to conceive any thing which may be better than Thou. but to be corrupted is not good.” seeing if it were so.

some. be filled from that unmeasurable sea: so conceived I Thy creation. yea. distinguished as to the kinds of bodies. huge. the Good. some. and ordered it. These thoughts I revolved in my miserable heart. But Thee. sovereign. but bounded. as the firmament of heaven. or else evil is. though every way infinite: as if there were a sea. and what its seed? Or hath it no being? Why then fear we and avoid what is not? Or if we fear it idly. as though they were bodies. Behold God. and it contained within it some sponge. yet was the faith of Thy Christ. then. Therefore either is that evil which we fear. in all its parts. He indeed. all are good. mortal creatures). and see how He environeth and fulfils them. and saw not the evil in my very search.Chapter V And I sought “whence is evil. yea. and I made one great mass of Thy creation. air. and He alone be. every where. and yet do fear. the Good. why would He make any thing at all of it. most mightily and incomparably better than all these: but yet He. and infinite Good.” and sought in an evil way. O Lord. and I said. and whatever in it we do not see. as we have nothing to fear. still both Creator and created. and God is good. and all the spiritual inhabitants thereof. the whole. whatsoever we can see therein (as sea. that we fear. I imagined on every part environing and penetrating it. that this evil matter should not be. and was pleased so long after to make something out of it? Or if He were suddenly pleased now to effect somewhat. Or if it was not good that He who was good should not also frame and create something that were good. professed . and so much a greater evil. through unmeasured space. yet left something in it which He did not convert into good? Why so then? Had He no might to turn and change the whole. But these very beings. not as it was (which I could not know). For He should not be All-mighty. and how crept it in hither? What is its root. and not rather by the same All-mightiness cause it not to be at all? Or. so that no evil should remain in it. but as I thought convenient. and whence. hath created these lesser goods. He might form good matter. I set now before the sight of my spirit the whole creation. trees. could it then be against His will? Or if it were from eternity. our Lord and Saviour. then is that very fear evil. this rather should the All-mighty have effected. real bodies. Whence is evil? Or. and formed. stars. Whence is it then? seeing God. was there some evil matter of which He made. Where is evil then. seeing He is All-mighty? Lastly. lest I should die ere I had found the truth. why suffered He it so to be for infinite spaces of times past. full of Thee. whereof to create all things. the greater and chiefest Good. did my fancy dispose in place. earth. created them good. whereby the soul is thus idly goaded and racked. that evil matter being taken away and brought to nothing. overcharged with most gnawing cares. if He might not create something good without the aid of that matter which Himself had not created. all angels moreover. and on every side. and behold what God hath created. that sponge must needs. true. the Infinite. hath created all these things good. yet every way finite. And this mass I made huge. Yea. one only boundless sea. what myself had feigned for spirits. itself finite.

yet did not my mind utterly leave it. and fluctuating from the rule of doctrine. as yet unformed. firmly fixed in my heart.in the Church Catholic. but rather daily took in more and more of it. . in many points. indeed.

and had messengers ready to send to one another so soon as they had notice of the actual birth. which could not escape her master. whereby the universe is directed. He said then that he had heard of his father. that I was now almost persuaded that these were but empty and ridiculous follies. some actually did. to give instant intelligence. with the most careful observation. and yet knowing something. so that they would observe the moments whereat the very dumb animals. down to the whirling leaves of trees?)—Thou madest provision for my obstinacy wherewith I struggled against Vindicianus. wherein his worldly hopes had risen. reckoning days. I thought on certain affairs of his. nor yet well skilled in those arts. and then observed the relative position of the heavens. even to the minutest points. and the latter often (though with some doubtfulness) saying. who stumbled upon it. each in his own province. which bred about their houses. Thou altogether (for who else calls us back from the death of all errors.” Thou providedst then a friend for me.Chapter VI But this time also had I rejected the lying divinations and impious dotages of the astrologers. he knew not. and had a friend as earnest in them as himself. a young man of admirable talents. hours. they each gave notice to the other what was fallen out in their houses. and the other for his servant. who took care with most exact diligence to know the births of his very puppies. did not altogether refuse to conjecture. “That there was no such art whereby to foresee things to come. and I. he averred. This man then. Firminus by name. through their oft speaking. who had herein now begun to incline towards Nebridius’ opinion. having had a liberal education. nay. O my God. according to his socalled constellations. the first vehemently affirming. For Thou. consulted me. the other for his new-born slave. thereby to make fresh experiments in this so-called art. at such an equal distance . as one very dear to him. And so it was that (the one for his wife. so that both were constrained to allow the same constellations. of which they had easily provided. what. and well taught in Rhetoric. out of my very inmost soul. a woman-servant of that friend of his father's was also with child. the lesser divisions of the hours) both were delivered at the same instant. save the Life which cannot die. Firminus. which how far it went to overthrow the estimation of that art. no negligent consulter of the astrologers. Thereupon he told me that his father had been very curious in such books. and the Wisdom which needing no light enlightens the minds that need it. and Nebridius. and tell him what came into my unresolved mind. that what time his mother was about to give birth to him. but that men's conjectures were a sort of lottery. but added. For so soon as the women began to be in labour. which he said he had heard of his father. the one for his son. Thus then the messengers of the respective parties met. and that out of many things which they said should come to pass. an acute old man. unawares to them who spake it. but (as I said) a curious consulter with them. who with joint study and conference fanned the flame of their affections to these toys. Let Thine own mercies. gave birth. confess unto Thee for this also.

then. then. but the failure of the chance. ran his course through the gilded paths of life. and with derision to confute) might urge against me that Firminus had informed me falsely. But if that servant had consulted me upon the same constellations. most righteous Ruler of the Universe. upon consideration of the constellations. was not out of ignorance in the art. high birth. good education. he must have predicted the same of Esau and Jacob. whereas that slave continued to serve his masters. to have seen in them parents eminent among their neighbours. Whence then. and yet Firminus. liberal learning. or if truly. a noble family in its own city. whereas the same happened not to them. all that my resistance gave way. or any other minutest points. for he is man. but chance. without any relaxation of his yoke. dost by Thy hidden inspiration effect that the consulter should hear what. told by one of such credibility. was spoken not out of art. What is this? Why that? Let him not so say. An opening thus made. he must not give the same answer. while consulters and consulted know it not. according to the hidden deservings of souls. I should. was increased in riches. he ought to hear. ruminating with myself on the like things. since they were his also. told me.from either house that neither of them could make out any difference in the position of the stars. or be at all expressed in those figures which the astrologer is to inspect. I bent my thoughts on those that are born twins. looking into the same figures. speak falsely: thence it followed most certainly that whatever. or his father him. to Whom let no man say. O Lord. . and every thing else utterly at variance with the former. who knew him. I ought if I were to predict truly. Therefore he must speak falsely. Not by art. by telling him that upon inspecting his constellations. speak diversely. that he may pronounce truly. For Thou. that no one of those dotards (who lived by such a trade. if I spake the truth. raised to honours. born in a high estate in his parents’ house. as Firminus. and whatever spoken falsely. Upon hearing and believing these things. or if I spake the same. would he speak truly. and first I endeavoured to reclaim Firminus himself from that curiosity. I ought again (to tell him too truly) to see in them a lineage the most abject. and whom I longed to attack. was spoken truly. from the same constellations. but by chance. Yet they cannot be true: for looking into the same figures. a slavish condition. that the small interval (how much force soever in the nature of things folk may pretend it to have) cannot be noted by human observation. out of the unsearchable depth of Thy just judgment. who for the most part come out of the womb so near one to other.

and that Thou hast a care of. I sought anxiously “whence was evil?” What were the pangs of my teeming heart. and Thy substance to be unchangeable. These things being safe and immovably settled in my mind.Chapter VII Now then. and no man. for Thou “humbledst the proud like one that is wounded. and pressed me down. and the light of mine eyes was not with me: for that was within. unworthy and defiled?” And these things had grown out of my wound. and no where was there respite or space of breathing. and wouldest judge men. but inferior to Thee. rule the body. as if they would say unto me. And this was the true temperament. “It is enough. with the thick bosses of my buckler.” and found no way. and ran against the Lord with my neck. Thou knewest what I suffered. all which I roared out from the groanings of my heart. . But Thou sufferedst me not by any fluctuations of thought to be carried away from the Faith whereby I believed Thee both to be.” “it is well”: nor did they yet suffer me to turn back. But when I rose proudly against Thee. where it might be well enough with me. and my desire was before Thee. my pride-swollen face closed up mine eyes. which the authority of Thy Catholic Church pressed upon me. even these inferior things were set above me. for which neither time nor utterance sufficed. and by serving Thee. and the holy Scriptures. and Thou hadst subjected to me what Thou createdst below me. and in thought the images thereof presented themselves unsought. what was that which was thence through my tongue distilled into the ears of my most familiar friends? Did the whole tumult of my soul. as I would return to Thee. those silent contritions of my soul were strong cries unto Thy mercy. Thou hadst set the way of man's salvation. and when in silence I vehemently sought.” and through my own swelling was I separated from Thee. and Thou art my true joy when subjected to Thee. hadst Thou loosed me from those fetters: and I sought “whence is evil. They met my sight on all sides by heaps and troops. I without: nor was that confined to place. Thy Son. yea. what groans. and middle region of my safety. that I could say. reach them? Yet went up the whole to Thy hearing. For to these things was I superior. but I was intent on things contained in place. and that in Christ. nor did they so receive me. For. but there found I no resting-place. “Whither goest thou. O my Helper. to that life which is to be after this death. to remain in Thy Image. O my God! yet even there were Thine ears open. Our Lord. and I knew it not.

until Thou wert manifested to my inward sight. yet not for ever art Thou angry with us. and the troubled and bedimmed eyesight of my mind. was from day to day healed. and by inward goads didst Thou rouse me. by the smarting anointings of healthful sorrows. abidest for ever. because Thou pitiest our dust and ashes.Chapter VIII But Thou. . that I should be ill at ease. and it was pleasing in Thy sight to reform my deformities. Lord. by the secret hand of Thy medicining was my swelling abated. Thus.

Learn of Me. for that naturally He was the Same Substance. And therein I read. for I am meek and lowly in heart. But that in due time He died for the ungodly. though it bears witness to the light. nor of the will of man. and that of His fulness souls receive. and forgiving all our sins. to them gave He power to become the sons of God. being made in the likeness of men. and the Word was God: the Same was in the beginning with God: all things were made by Him. saying. and the light shineth in the darkness. and the Word was with God. taking the form of a servant. and the world knew Him not. as many as believed in His name. For that before all times and above all times Thy Only-Begotten Son remaineth unchangeable. and He refresh them. those books have not. and dwelt among men:—Thou procuredst for me. because He is meek and lowly in heart. and that by participation of wisdom abiding in them. that He came unto His own. but of God. and ye shall find rest to your souls. beholding our lowliness and trouble. and became obedient unto death. For I traced in those books that it was many and divers ways said. that God the Word was born not of flesh nor of blood. being God. For Thou hiddest these things from the wise. certain books of the Platonists. that at the name of Jesus every knee should how. and by how great an act of Thy mercy Thou hadst traced out to men the way of humility. but the Word of God. and gave Him a name above every name. and the darkness comprehended it not. by means of one puffed up with most unnatural pride. hear not Him. And that the soul of man.Chapter IX And Thou. but as many as received Him. this I read not there. But that He emptied Himself. But that the Word was made flesh. and that every tongue should confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father. translated from Greek into Latin. but to the very same purpose. But such as are lifted up in the lofty walk of some would-be sublimer learning. is that true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world. Again I read there. they are renewed. and that the death of the cross: wherefore God exalted Him from the dead. in that Thy Word was made flesh. of things in heaven. and things in earth. but givest grace unto the humble. that they may be blessed. yet itself is not that light. and His own received Him not. and thought it not robbery to be equal with God. and the life was the light of men. and found in fashion as a man. not indeed in the very words. is there. and dwelt among us. and things under the earth. And that He was in the world. and the world was made by Him. nor of the will of the flesh. that the Son was in the form of the Father. I read not there. and the gentle He teacheth His ways. so as to be wise. willing first to show me how Thou resistest the proud. and revealedst them to babes. and without Him was nothing made: that which was made by Him is life. that they that labour and are heavy laden might come unto Him. and that Thou sparedst not Thine Only Son. but deliveredst Him for us all. Although . and the meek He directeth in judgment. co-eternal with Thee. humbled Himself. enforced by many and divers reasons. But. that In the beginning was the Word. is not there.


professing that they were wise. seeing Thine it was. and have our being. and birds. nor are thankful. and beasts. move. and their foolish heart is darkened. . their own soul. before the image of a calf that eateth hay. and bowing Thy image. and creeping things. to take away the reproach of diminution from Jacob. yet they glorify Him not as God.they knew God. that they had changed the glory of Thy incorruptible nature into idols and divers shapes. they became fools. but I fed not on them. that in Thee we live. namely. and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator. and I set my mind upon the gold which Thou willedst Thy people to take from Egypt. wheresoever it were. And to the Athenians Thou saidst by Thy Apostle. whom they served with Thy gold. But I set not my mind on the idols of Egypt. who changed the truth of God into a lie. These things found I here. into that Egyptian food for which Esau lost his birthright. And verily these books came from thence. as one of their own poets had said. And therefore did I read there also. For it pleased Thee. into the likeness of the image of corruptible man. but wax vain in their thoughts. that the elder should serve the younger: and Thou calledst the Gentiles into Thine inheritance. for that Thy first-born people worshipped the head of a four-footed beast instead of Thee. O Lord. turning in heart back towards Egypt. And I had come to Thee from among the Gentiles.

because It made me. and I below It. since they are from Thee. that Thou for iniquity chastenest man. And I beheld the other things below Thee. He that knows the Truth.” And I learned. yea. and that I was not yet such as to see. Not such was this light. above the same eye of my soul. and I should sooner doubt that I live than that Truth is not. and I trembled with love and awe: and I perceived myself to be far off from Thee. I entered even into my inward self.Chapter X And being thence admonished to return to myself. And I entered and beheld with the eye of my soul (such as it was). but are not. since Thou standest not in need of my goodness. . as oil is above water. knows eternity. like the food of thy flesh into thee. and thou shalt feed upon Me. nor yet as heaven above earth: but above to my soul. Thou liftedst me up. nor as it were a greater of the same kind. streaming forth Thy beams of light upon me most strongly. nor had I room to doubt. that I might see there was what I might see. being understood by those things which are made. as the heart heareth. but He remaining in Himself. Thee when I first knew. And Thou didst beat back the weakness of my sight. and with its greatness take up all space. but other. but thou shalt be converted into Me. grow. for Thou wert become my Helper.” And I heard. nor altogether are not. for they are. far other from these. Thou being my Guide: and able I was. Nor was it above my soul. I cannot in myself. knows what that Light is. and Thou madest my soul to consume away like a spider. Love knoweth it. And Thou art the Lord my God. which is clearly seen. for if I remain not in Him. O Truth Who art Eternity! and Love Who art Truth! and Eternity Who art Love! Thou art my God. “Is Truth therefore nothing because it is not diffused through space finite or infinite?” And Thou criedst to me from afar: “Yet verily. to Thee do I sigh night and day. For that truly is which remains unchangeably. in the region of unlikeness. which all flesh may look upon. And I said. reneweth all things. Not this ordinary light. the Light Unchangeable. nor shalt thou convert Me. because I was made by It. because they are not what Thou art. as though the brightness of this should be manifold brighter. as if I heard this Thy voice from on high: “I am the food of grown men. and he that knows It. I AM that I AM. and I perceived that they neither altogether are. It is good then for me to hold fast unto God. above my mind.

indeed.Chapter XI And I viewed the other things below Thee.2 It is good then.4 And Thou art the Lord my God. for me to cleave unto God. but are not. remaining in Himself. reneweth all things. since Thou standest not in need of my gooodness. For that truly is which remains immutably. because thay are from Thee.5 . nor altogether are not. They are.3 for if I remain not in Him. but He. because they are not what Thou art. and perceived that they neither altogether are. neither shall I in myself.

That evil then which I sought. because our God made all things very good.Chapter XII And it was manifested unto me. which Thou madest not. For either it should be an incorruptible substance. and altogether very good. could not be corrupted. all which is corrupted is deprived of good. because they shall abide incorruptibly. and so a chief good: or a corruptible substance. whence it is. is not any substance: for were it a substance. and it was manifested to me that Thou madest all things good. they were incorruptible. is good. but unless it diminished goodness. or which is most certain. if they shall be deprived of all good. if not good at all. which cannot be. therefore are all things. For if they shall be. and for that Thou madest not all things equal. nor is there any substance at all. that those things be good which yet are corrupted. they are good: therefore whatsoever is. and can now no longer he corrupted. they shall be better than before. And what more monstrous than to affirm things to become better by losing all their good? Therefore. But if they he deprived of all good. nor unless they were good could he corrupted: for if sovereignly good. because each is good. there were nothing in them to be corrupted. For corruption injures. So long therefore as they are. it should be good. which unless it were good. it could not injure. they shall cease to be. Either then corruption injures not. I perceived therefore. . they shall no longer be. which neither were they sovereignly good.

because I conceived of all: and with a sounder judgment I apprehended that the things above were better than these below. fruitful trees. creeping things. and all cattle. I did not now long for things better. ice. are accounted evil: whereas those very things harmonise with others. and stormy wind. I should indeed long for the better. all Thy hosts. beasts. and the waters that be above the heavens. sun and moon. for that Thou art to be praised. And all these things which harmonise not together. and are good. praise Thee. which we call Earth. and all judges of the earth. but altogether better than those above by themselves. do yet with the inferior part. and all deeps. all the stars and light. which may break in. having its own cloudy and windy sky harmonising with it. . because there is nothing without. dragons. But when. fire. hail. and all cedars. our God. old men and young. mountains. but also to Thy creation as a whole. and corrupt that order which Thou hast appointed it. and all hills. young men and maidens. and in themselves are good. kings of the earth. Far be it then that I should say. not only to Thee. praise Thy Name. snow. which fulfil Thy word. But in the parts thereof some things. and all people. princes. and flying fowls. do show from the earth. praise Thy Name. “These things should not be”: for should I see nought but these. because unharmonising with other some. these praise Thee. in the heights all Thy angels. but still must even for these alone praise Thee. from heaven.Chapter XIII And to Thee is nothing whatsoever evil: yea. the Heaven of heavens.

and had no rest. and closed mine eyes that they should not behold vanity. but talked idly.Chapter XIV There is no soundness in them. it had made to itself a God. whom aught of Thy creation displeaseth: as neither in me. But after Thou hadst soothed my head. and I awoke in Thee. it would fain not account that Thine. and placed it in its heart. And returning thence. displeased me. and thought it to be Thee. when much which Thou hast made. and my frenzy was lulled to sleep. and saw Thee infinite. and this sight was not derived from the flesh. unknown to me. Hence it had gone into the opinion of two substances. to Thee abominable. but in another way. And because my soul durst not be displeased at my God. . and had again become the temple of its own idol. through infinite measures of all space. I ceased somewhat of my former self. which displeased it.

didst not begin to work after innumerable spaces of times spent. and all things are true so far as they nor is there any falsehood. And I saw that all things did harmonise. for that all spaces of times. neither go nor come. . And that Thou. and were all bounded in Thee: but in a different way. and which shall pass. which is not. but through Thee. but with their seasons. both which have passed. unless when that is thought to be. not with their places only. not as being in space. and I saw that they owed their being to Thee.Chapter XV And I looked back on other things. working and abiding. who only art Eternal. but because Thou containest all things in Thine hand in Thy Truth.

Chapter XVI And I perceived and found it nothing strange. but the perversion of the will. that bread which is pleasant to a healthy palate is loathsome to one distempered: and to sore eyes light is offensive. fitting in with the inferior portions of Thy Creation. which Thou hast created good. O God. . by how much they become more like to Thee. and found it to be substance. towards these lower things. and puffed up outwardly. And I enquired what iniquity was. And Thy righteousness displeaseth the wicked. and that the more. turned aside from Thee. by how much they be unlike Thee. which to the sound is delightful. much more the viper and reptiles. with which the very wicked also fit in. but with the superior creatures. the Supreme. and casting out its bowels.

And thus by degrees I passed from bodies to the soul. and no phantasm for Thee. withdrawing itself from those troops of contradictory phantasms. This weight was carnal custom. that so it might find what that light was whereby it was bedewed. this not”. but was not yet able to feed on. seeing I did so judge. whence it was that I so judged. And then I saw Thy invisible things understood by the things which are made. examining. and pronouncing. being understood by the things that are made. Yet dwelt there with me a remembrance of Thee. and what aided me in judging soundly on things mutable. and soon borne down from Thee by mine own weight. and my infirmity being struck back.Chapter XVII And I wondered that I now loved Thee. For examining whence it was that I admired the beauty of bodies celestial or terrestrial. I was thrown again on my wonted habits. perceived the odour of. even Thy eternal power and Godhead. and the earthly tabernacle weigheth down the mind that museth upon many things. and drew away my thoughts from the power of habit. and thence to its inward faculty. sinking with sorrow into these inferior things. whitherto reach the faculties of beasts. “That the unchangeable was to be preferred to the changeable”. it cried out. but that I was not yet such as to cleave to Thee: for that the body which is corrupted presseth down the soul. that Thy invisible works from the creation of the world are clearly seen. . whence also it knew That Unchangeable. as it were. “This ought to be thus. but was borne up to Thee by Thy beauty. raised itself up to its own understanding. it had had no sure ground to prefer it to the changeable. carrying along with me only a loving memory thereof. And most certain I was. unless it had in some way known. to which what is received from the senses of the body is referred to be judged. And yet did I not press on to enjoy my God. to which the bodily senses represent things external. and a longing for what I had. without all doubting. And thus with the flash of one trembling glance it arrived at THAT WHICH IS. I say. I had found the unchangeable and true Eternity of Truth above my changeable mind. Which finding itself also to be in me a thing variable. which. nor did I any way doubt that there was One to whom I might cleave. and thence again to the reasoning faculty. But I could not fix my gaze thereon. which through the bodily senses perceives. when.

nor knew I yet whereto His infirmity would guide us. . the Man Christ Jesus. whereby to abase from themselves such as would be subdued. far above the higher parts of Thy Creation. the truth. might cast themselves down upon It. For I did not hold to my Lord Jesus Christ. allaying their swelling. calling unto me. and wearied. seeing before their feet the Divinity weak by taking our coats of skin. might lift them up. but rather consent to become weak.Chapter XVIII Then I sought a way of obtaining strength sufficient to enjoy Thee. to the Humble. with our flesh. and It rising. and saying. might provide milk for our infant state. the Eternal Truth. and mingling that food which I was unable to receive. For Thy Word. whereby Thou createdst all things. raises up the subdued unto Itself: but in this lower world built for Itself a lowly habitation of our clay. to the end they might go on no further in self-confidence. For. and found it not. that Thy wisdom. humbled. and the life. until I embraced that Mediator betwixt God and men. the Word was made flesh. and bring them over to Himself. God blessed for evermore. I am the way. who is over all. I. and tomenting their love.

belong to soul and mind subject to variation.” I could not even imagine. that the approved may be made manifest among the weak. not the body of a man only. but with the human soul and mind. now to move the limbs of the body by will. now to keep silence. whom. But Alypius imagined the Catholics to believe God to be so clothed with flesh. through the Divine care for us. with the body. which I now knew. The Word was made flesh. a sensitive soul without a rational. discoursed. whom no one could be equalled unto. But somewhat later. For the rejection of heretics makes the tenets of Thy Church and sound doctrine to stand out more clearly. conceiving only of my Lord Christ as of a man of excellent wisdom. I judged to be preferred before others. nor did I at all doubt thereof. . there was no soul at all in Christ. that besides God and flesh. to have attained that great eminence of authority. all the rest also would risk the charge. now not. as far as I could. but for a certain great excellence of human nature and a more perfect participation of wisdom. that flesh did not cleave by itself unto Thy Word. And because he was well persuaded that the actions recorded of Him could only be performed by a vital and a rational creature. walk. I confess. the Catholic truth is distinguished from the falsehood of Photinus. But understanding afterwards that this was the error of the Apollinarian heretics. and drink. and did not think that a human mind was ascribed to Him. did I learn how in that saying. And should these things be falsely written of Him. sleep. rejoiced in spirit. now not. Since then they were written truly. in conformity therewith. For there must also be heresies. but very man. He seemed. now to deliver wise sayings through human signs. especially. All know this who know the unchangeableness of Thy Word. Only I had learnt out of what is delivered to us in writing of Him that He did eat. But what mystery there lay in “The Word was made flesh.Chapter XIX But I thought otherwise. For. he moved the more slowly towards the Christian Faith. was sorrowful. he joyed in and was conformed to the Catholic Faith. now to be moved by some affection. nor. for that being wonderfully born of a Virgin. I acknowledged a perfect man to be in Christ. not only as being a form of Truth. nor would there remain in those books any saving faith for mankind. for an ensample of despising things temporal for the obtaining of immortality.

and that all other things are from Thee.” Of these things I was assured. I perceived what that was which through the darkness of my mind I was hindered from contemplating. or. I prated as one well skilled. and had I then fallen upon those other volumes. and my wounds touched by Thy healing fingers. and that afterwards when my spirits were tamed through Thy books. they might perhaps have withdrawn me from the solid ground of piety. I might discern and distinguish between presumption and confession. . and that Thou truly art Who art the same ever. between those who saw whither they were to go. finite or infinite. which is Christ Jesus? or when should these books teach me it? Upon these. For now I had begun to wish to seem wise. in no part nor motion varying. being filled with mine own punishment. and wert infinite. on this most sure ground alone. being assured “That Thou wert. I saw Thy invisible things. not skilled. yet I did not mourn. and though cast back. I had proved to be. puffed up with knowledge. and thence been taught to search for incorporeal truth.Chapter XX But having then read those books of the Platonists. I might have thought that it might have been obtained by the study of those books alone. yet saw not the way. I believe. For where was that charity building upon the foundation of humility. but had I not sought Thy way in Christ our Saviour. that they are. and yet not diffused in space. For had I first been formed in Thy Holy Scriptures. and the way that leadeth not to behold only but to dwell in the beatific country. understood by those things which are made. that it might be imprinted on my memory how I was affected by them. and hadst Thou in the familiar use of them grown sweet unto me. had I continued in that healthful frame which I had thence imbibed. Thou therefore willedst that I should fall. before I studied Thy Scriptures. but rather scorn. but killed. yet too unsure to enjoy Thee.

which was contrary to us. the Bridal City. So I began. a troubled spirit. and trembled exceedingly. in whom the prince of this world found nothing worthy of death. Those pages present not the image of this piety. and we are justly delivered over unto that ancient sinner. and whatsoever truth I had read in those other books. and in vain to essay through ways unpassable. because He is meek and lowly in heart. the tears of confession. all ye that labour. was blotted out? This those writings contain not. Come unto Me. but also that he sees (for what hath he. and behold. and bringeth him into captivity to the law of sin which is in his members? For. under their captain the lion and the dragon: and another to keep on the way that leads thither. and to find no way thither. the king of death. wherein he once seemed to me to contradict himself. yet killed he Him. For. who art ever the same. and that he may be not only admonished to behold Thee. O Lord. and that he who cannot see afar off. through Jesus Christ our Lord. and chiefly the Apostle Paul. I found here amid the praise of Thy Grace. and the handwriting. whereby he may arrive. because he persuaded our will to be like his will whereby he abode not in Thy truth. And the face of that pure word appeared to me one and the same. from the mountain's shaggy top to see the land of peace. No man sings there. to hold Thee. I shall no more be moved. the salvation of the people. guarded by the host of the heavenly General. . a broken and a contrite heart. and Thy hand is grown heavy upon us.Chapter XXI Most eagerly then did I seize that venerable writing of Thy Spirit. for they avoid it. but only Thy Grace. when I read that least of Thy Apostles. but we have sinned and committed iniquity. and hold Thee. No one there hears Him call. These things did wonderfully sink into my bowels. though a man be delighted with the law of God after the inner man. my guardian. that whoso sees. what shall he do with that other law in his members which warreth against the law of his mind. opposed and beset by fugitives and deserters. the earnest of the Holy Ghost. and the text of his discourse not to agree with the testimonies of the Law and the Prophets. for these things hast Thou hid from the wise and prudent. where they spoil not who have deserted the heavenly army. They scorn to learn of Him. and have done wickedly. and I learned to rejoice with trembling. For it is one thing. For He is my God and my salvation. and had meditated upon Thy works. not only what he sees. the Cup of our Redemption. and formedst in the beginning of Thy ways. may not so glory as if he had not received. whom Thou hast begotten co-eternal. Thy sacrifice. which he hath not received?). and hast revealed them unto babes. Thou art righteous. may yet walk on the way. but also healed. Whereupon those difficulties vanished away. Shall not my soul be submitted unto God? for of Him cometh my salvation. as very torment. What shall wretched man do? who shall deliver him from the body of his death.

Book VIII .

I will declare. Yet I had ceased to doubt that there was an incorruptible substance. There is yet another kind of ungodly. though I saw it in a figure and as through a glass. in heaven and in earth. and another that way. Of Thy eternal life I was now certain. with thanksgiving. shall say. The Way. because in other matters I was constrained against my will to conform myself to a married life. “Blessed be the Lord. let him who can receive it. nor did the Apostle forbid me to marry. and let them say unto Thee. to go to Simplicianus. For. by whom Thou createdst all things. and together with Thee one God. who seemed to me a good servant of Thine. Who is like unto Thee. yea now that my desires no longer inflamed me. God with Thee. and could not out of the good things which are seen. he seemed to me likely to have learned much experience. I had heard also that from his very youth he had lived most devoted unto Thee. who knowing God. whence was all other substance. and so he had. and . O Lord? Thou hast broken my bonds in sunder. and Thy grace shone in him. great and wonderful is his name.Chapter I O my God. Let my bones be bedewed with Thy love. was tossed up and down in all beside. but Thy right hand upheld me. as of old. Out of which store I wished that he would tell me (setting before him my anxieties) which were the fittest way for one in my case to walk in Thy paths. “ Thy words had stuck fast in my heart. chose the more indulgent place. Into this also had I fallen. neither were thankful. and confess unto Thee Thy mercies on me. I will offer unto Thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving. glorified Him not as God. remember. and I was hedged round about on all sides by Thee. but more steadfast in Thee. and my heart had to be purged from the old leaven. find out Him who is good. nor did I now desire to be more certain of Thee. I had surmounted it. But still I was enthralled with the love of woman. But I being weak. But for my temporal life. I had heard from the mouth of the Truth. For. although he advised me to something better. But I was displeased that I led a secular life. saith He. with hopes of honour and profit. I saw the church full. And how Thou hast broken them. and it seemed good in my eyes. faint and wasted with withering cares. that there were some eunuchs which had made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake: but. But I was no longer in that vanity. and all who worship Thee. receive it. chiefly wishing that all men were as himself was. but as yet I shrunk from going through its straitness. in comparison of Thy sweetness. and by reason of so great age spent in such zealous following of Thy ways. and one went this way. and took me thence. And Thou didst put into my mind. and because of this alone. well pleased me. a very grievous burden it was to undergo so heavy a bondage. those things delighted me no longer. Now he was grown into years. all was wavering. when they hear this. Surely vain are all men who are ignorant of God. and by the common witness of all Thy creatures had found Thee our Creator. to which I was given up and enthralled. and Thy Word. let me. the Saviour Himself. and the beauty of Thy house which I loved.

But I had now found the goodly pearl.Thou placedst me where I might recover. the fear of the Lord is wisdom. became fools. because they who affirmed themselves to be wise. For Thou hast said unto man. Desire not to seem wise. and I hesitated. . which. and. selling all that I had. I ought to have bought. Behold.

had translated into Latin. and Simplicianus as often made the same answer. Lord. he spoke of Victorinus himself. most learned and skilled in the liberal sciences. but privately and as a friend). after the rudiments of this world. and said to Simplicianus (not openly. sometime Rhetoric Professor of Rome (who had died a Christian. to be confessed unto Thee. and the conceit of the “walls” was by the other as often renewed. proud daemon-worshippers. But after that by reading and earnest thought he had gathered firmness. hidden from the wise. he testified his joy that I had not fallen upon the writings of other philosophers. the father of Ambrose (a Bishop now) in receiving Thy grace. from the height of whose Babylonian dignity. For it contains great praise of Thy grace. that he was already a Christian.” Whereto he answered. and weighed so many works of the philosophers. as from cedars of Libanus. and whom Ambrose truly loved as a father. and Minerva: whom Rome once conquered. nor will I rank you among Christians. and feared to be . as a monument of his excellent discharge of his office. all which the aged Victorinus had with thundering eloquence so many years defended. touched the mountains and they did smoke. most studiously sought and searched into all the Christian writings. as I had heard).Chapter II To Simplicianus then I went.—he now blushed not to be the child of Thy Christ. who fought ‘Gainst Neptune. full of fallacies and deceits. and revealed to little ones. he supposed the weight of enmity would fall upon him. “I will not believe it. and had inspired the people with the love of Anubis. “Understand that I am already a Christian. Then to exhort me to the humility of Christ. O Lord. to that age a worshipper of idols. replied. Venus. and all The monster Gods of every kind. now adored. and a partaker of the sacrilegious rites. barking Deity. how that aged man. unless I see you in the Church of Christ. to which almost all the nobility of Rome were given up. Which hast bowed the heavens and come down. the instructor of so many noble Senators. by what means didst Thou convey Thyself into that breast? He used to read (as Simplicianus said) the holy Scripture.” The other. To him I related the mazes of my wanderings. he. whereas the Platonists many ways led to the belief in God and His Word. which Victorinus. For he feared to offend his friends. and subduing his forehead to the reproach of the Cross. But when I mentioned that I had read certain books of the Platonists. “Do walls then make Christians?” And this he often said. submitting his neck to the yoke of humility. and who had read. had (which men of this world esteem a high honour) both deserved and obtained a statue in the Roman Forum. which the Lord had not yet broken down. whom while at Rome he had most intimately known: and of him he related what I will not conceal. who also. and the new-born babe of Thy fountain. in banter.

and shame-faced towards the truth. not containing himself for joy. he went up to make his profession. in being ashamed of the Sacraments of the humility of Thy Word. To conclude. in the sight of all the faithful. Victorinus! Victorinus! Sudden was the burst of rapture. the Church rejoicing. then. and he regarded not vanities and lying madness. the presbyters. and appeared to himself guilty of a heavy offence. had not feared a mad multitude!” When. and yet that he had publicly professed: how much less then ought he. he became bold-faced against vanity. in a set form of words committed to memory). not long after he further gave in his name. I wish to be made a Christian. suddenly were they hushed that they might hear him. But the Lord God was the hope of Thy servant. such were the hands wherewith they drew him. “Go we to the Church. they gnashed with their teeth. and melted away. went with him. from an elevated place. and were wroth. “For it was not salvation that he taught in rhetoric. whose pride he had imitated and their rites adopted. . and suddenly and unexpectedly said to Simplicianus (as himself told me).denied by Christ before the holy angels. deliver. and not being ashamed of the sacrilegious rites of those proud daemons. The proud saw. when delivering his own words. who are about to approach to Thy grace. should he now be afraid to confess Him before men. when the hour was come for making profession of his faith (which at Rome they. when pronouncing Thy word. as they knew him. And who there knew him not? and there ran a low murmur through all the mouths of the rejoicing multitude. and all wished to draw him into their very heart. that he might be regenerated by baptism. all. to dread Thy meek flock. offered Victorinus (as was done to such as seemed likely through bashfulness to be alarmed) to make his profession more privately: but he chose rather to profess his salvation in the presence of the holy multitude. that they saw him. And having been admitted to the first Sacrament and become a Catechumen. whispered his name one to another with the voice of congratulation.” But he. He pronounced the true faith with an excellent boldness. he said. Rome wondering. who. yea by their love and joy they drew him thither.

when in Thy house it is read of Thy younger son. Eating and drinking have no pleasure. as betrothed. “So is it. A friend is sick. crying out. when it is more delighted at finding or recovering the things it loves. and the more peril there was in the battle. or the danger had been less? For so Thou also. This law holds in foul and accursed joy. to procure a troublesome heat. lest as a husband he should hold cheap whom. unless there precede the pinching of hunger and thirst. He is restored. Thou settest each in its place. For Thou rejoicest in us. yet had he not conquered unless he had fought.Chapter III Good God! what takes place in man. all wax pale at approaching death. given to drink. It is also ordered that the affianced bride should not at once be given. and freed from greater peril. and liveth again. eat certain salt meats. as having been exceeding afraid. and pleasureseeking trouble. had been lost. What then takes place in the soul. every thing good . O Lord my God. The storm tosses the sailors. holy through holy charity. yet there is such joy. merciful Father. dost more rejoice over one penitent than over ninety-nine just persons that need no repentance. threatens shipwreck. whereas from the highest heavens to the lowest earth. and in Thy holy angels. sky and sea are calmed. For Thou art ever the same. What means this. he sighed not after. not those only which fall upon us unlooked for. from the first motion to the last. and is found. that he should more rejoice at the salvation of a soul despaired of. the very pleasures of human life men acquire by difficulties. so much the more joy is there in the triumph. and they are exceeding joyed. and all things are full of witnesses.” The conquering commander triumpheth. though as yet he walks not with his former strength. which the drink allaying. Men. and the groat is restored to Thy treasury. but even by self-chosen. Every where the greater joy is ushered in by the greater pain. the neighbours rejoicing with the woman who found it. when before he walked sound and strong. And with much joyfulness do we hear. and realisest each in their season. from the beginning of the world to the end of ages. so often as we hear with what joy the sheep which had strayed is brought back upon the shepherd's shoulder. this in the very purest perfection of friendship. and other things witness hereunto. causes pleasure. that he was dead. Thou for ever knowest in the same way. this in permitted and lawful joy. than if there had always been hope of him. had been lost and was found. and lived again. as was not. Yea. whereas Thou art everlastingly joy to Thyself. for all things which abide not the same nor for ever. this. and his pulse threatens danger. in him who was dead. all who long for his recovery are sick in mind with him. from the angel to the worm. that this portion of things thus ebbs and flows alternately displeased and reconciled? Is this their allotted measure? Is this all Thou hast assigned to them. and against our wills. and some things around Thee evermore rejoice in Thee? What means this. and the joy of the solemn service of Thy house forceth to tears. than if it had ever had them? yea.

and we scarcely return to Thee.after its kind? Woe is me! how high art Thou in the highest. . and how deep in the deepest! and Thou never departest.

and they saw his vessels taken from him and cleansed. And yet even that least of Thy apostles. kindle and draw us. let us run. unto every good work. For the enemy is more overcome in one. receiving that Light. and do. he also for his former name Saul. return to Thee. Do not many. by whom he hath hold of more. And therefore do they also who preceded them much rejoice in them. receive power from Thee to become Thy sons? But if they be less known to the nations. . and those things which are not. when through his warfare. For far be it. or the noble before the ignoble. out of a deeper hell of blindness than Victorinus. in testimony of so great a victory. and become serviceable for the Lord. which they who receive. For when many joy together. because they rejoice not in them alone. influence the more towards salvation. through their nobility. by whose tongue Thou soundedst forth these words. was pleased to be called Paul. of whom he hath more hold. joy less for them. Lord. each also has more exuberant joy for that they are kindled and inflamed one by the other. and made meet for Thy honour. even they that know them. and recall us. the tongue of Victorinus. and are enlightened. which the devil had held as an impregnable possession. Again. inflame. and by them. that Thou mightest bring to nought things that are. let us now love. of more through their authority. approach. Paulus the Proconsul. for that our King hath bound the strong man. stir us up. grow sweet unto us. with which mighty and keen weapon he had slain many. seeing rather Thou hast chosen the weak things of the world to confound the strong. and the base things of this world. and the things despised hast Thou chosen. his pride conquered.Chapter IV Up. so much the more abundantly ought Thy sons to rejoice. was made to pass under the easy yoke of Thy Christ. But the proud he hath more hold of. and lead the way with many to follow. By how much the more welcome then the heart of Victorinus was esteemed. because those known to many. that in Thy tabernacle the persons of the rich should be accepted before the poor. and became a provincial of the great King.

My will the enemy held. the latter pleased me and held me mastered. Awake. Myself verily either way. whereby Christians were forbidden to teach the liberal sciences or oratory. And when Thou didst on all sides show me that what Thou . one new. joined together (whence I called it a chain) a hard bondage held me enthralled. and how he. Simplicianus. by my own experience. Nor had I any thing to answer Thee calling to me. as we should fear to be encumbered with it. strengthened by age. yet. and to wish to enjoy Thee. And who has any right to speak against it. but though the former course satisfied me and gained the mastery. he seemed to me not more resolute than blessed. for for this very end had he related it. who yet overcome with a heavy drowsiness. yet a man for the most part. than in that which in myself I disapproved. and in all men's sober judgment waking is better. in having thus found opportunity to wait on Thee only. how the flesh lusteth against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh. But that new will which had begun to be in me. became custom. it was now for the more part not myself. was not yet able to overcome my former wilfulness. the other spiritual. than to give myself over to mine own cupidity. because in much I rather endured against my will. refused to fight under Thy banner. as in sleep: and the thoughts wherein I meditated on Thee were like the efforts of such as would awake. and though half displeased. But when he had subjoined also. By which links. and a lust served.Chapter V But when that man of Thine. For in this last. how in the days of the Emperor Julian a law was made. bound as I was. was a lust made. if just punishment follow the sinner? Nor had I now any longer my former plea. Thus with the baggage of this present world was I held down pleasantly. with pleasure yields to it. became necessity. struggle within me. one carnal. are again drenched therein. that I therefore as yet hesitated to be above the world and serve Thee. yet more myself. in that which I approved in myself. obeying this law. chose rather to give over the wordy school than Thy Word. and custom not resisted. but by my own iron will. and by their discord. Thus. Thus did my two wills. feeling a heavy lethargy in all his limbs. for that the truth was not altogether ascertained to me. whither I willed not. And yet it was through me that custom had obtained this power of warring against me. what I had read. For of a forward will. And as no one would sleep for ever. not with another's irons. as it were. I was on fire to imitate him. undid my soul. and arise from the dead. Which thing I was sighing for. related to me this of Victorinus. I understood. thou that sleepest. because I had come willingly. and bound me. defers to shake off sleep. and Christ shall give thee light. and feared as much to be freed of all incumbrances. But I still under service to the earth. even after it is time to rise. by which Thou makest eloquent the tongues of the dumb. than acted willingly. O God. so was I assured that much better were it for me to give myself up to Thy charity. and thence had made a chain for me. freely to serve Thee. and the other old. the only assured pleasantness. for now it too was.

when another law in my members rebelled against the law of my mind. presently. but Thy grace only.” But “presently. convicted by the truth. anon. but only those dull and drowsy words. I. Who then should deliver me thus wretched from the body of this death.saidst was true. and my “little while” went on for a long while.” had no present. For the law of sin is the violence of custom. in vain I delighted in Thy law according to the inner man. and led me captive under the law of sin which was in my members.” “leave me but a little. for that it willingly fell into it. even against its will. “Anon. whereby the mind is drawn and holden. had nothing at all to answer. through Jesus Christ our Lord? . but deservedly.” “presently.

and he. What he would with us. and this only before my eyes. But we stood amazed. and their holy ways. When then I had told him that I bestowed very great pains upon those Scriptures. a conversation arose (suggested by his account) on Antony the Egyptian monk: whose name was in high reputation among Thy servants. opened it. and often bowed himself before Thee our God in the Church. whereof we knew nothing. Nebridius had now. Amid increasing anxiety. hearing Thy wonderful works most fully attested. if indeed teaching can impart it. I know not. a citizen and a grammarian of Milan. in frequent and continued prayers. now after the third sitting released from his law business. and it happened that upon a table for some game. and a very intimate friend of us all. consented to teach under Verecundus. but as a most kind and gentle friend. under the fostering care of Ambrose. to. and daily sighing unto Thee. found it the Apostle Paul. as many hours as might be. and desiring to have it free and at leisure. But he acted herein very discreetly. I was doing my wonted business. informing and wondering at our ignorance of one so eminent. and confess unto Thy name. and baptised. We all wondered. there came to see me and Alypius. and awaiting to whom to sell his counsel.Chapter VI And how Thou didst deliver me out of the bonds of desire. and by the right of friendship challenged from our company. who urgently desired. For he was a Christian. or hear something concerning wisdom. Whereat smiling. in high office in the Emperor's court. before us. he observed a book. Nebridius being absent (I recollect not why). Which when he discovered. Alypius was with me. shunning to become known to personages great according to this world. our countryman so far as being an African. avoiding the distraction of mind thence ensuing. for he thought it some of those books which I was wearing myself in teaching. he dwelt the more upon that subject. in consideration of our friendship. in times so recent. Thence his discourse turned to the flocks in the monasteries. and out of the drudgery of worldly things. a sweet-smelling savour unto Thee. wherewith I was bound most straitly to carnal concupiscence. he expressed his joy and wonder that he had on a sudden found this book. or read. but we sat down to converse. he would not be wanting to a good office. such faithful aid as he greatly needed. without the city walls. as I sold the skill of speaking. O Lord. Upon a day then. full of good brethren. my helper and my redeemer. took. and slight our request. and contrary to his expectation. we. wrought in the true Faith and Church Catholic. And there was a monastery at Milan. that they were so great. that they had not reached us. to seek. whenever free from the business under the burden of which I groaned. though to that hour unknown to us. I will now declare. I attended Thy Church. one Pontitianus. and the fruitful deserts of the wilderness. and looking at me. and we knew it not. and almost in our own. He went on with his dis- . Nebridius then was not drawn to this by any desire of advantage (for he might have made much more of his learning had he so willed).

For as he read. begged them. oppose not. and there as they happened to walk in pairs. and we listened in intent silence. he would cleave to him. I begin upon. who when they heard hereof. lighted upon a certain cottage. he and three others. and now being Thine. And both had affianced brides. went out to walk in gardens near the city walls. his companions. came in search of them to the same place. so glorious a service. “Tell me. and read on. were building the tower at the necessary cost. what would we attain by all these labours of ours? what aim we at? what serve we for? Can our hopes in court rise higher than to be the Emperor's favourites? and in this. and giving over his secular service to serve Thee. with hearts lingering on the earth. and a sober shame. Thus both being now Thine.” The other answered. . and rolled up and down the waves of his heart. the forsaking all that they had. But the other two. also dedicated their virginity unto God. from this hour. in anger with himself cast his eyes upon his friend. admire. and so. to meditate on taking up such a life. inhabited by certain of Thy servants. and piously congratulated them. in their wanderings. what is there not brittle. and as he read. for the day was now far spent. not to molest them. then discerned.” So spake he. he stormed at himself a while. and determined on a better course. though nothing altered from their former selves. and finding them. and kindle at it. recommending themselves to their prayers. one went apart with him. if I wish it. filled with a holy love. did yet bewail themselves (as he affirmed). where Thou sawest. poor in spirit. I become now at once. went away to the palace. when the Emperor was taken up with the Circensian games. of whom is the kingdom of heaven. and how that will was begun and settled in them. and this. and full of perils? and by how many perils arrive we at a greater peril? and when arrive we thither? But a friend of God. “Now have I broken loose from those our hopes. as soon appeared. If thou likest not to imitate me. He told us then how one afternoon at Triers. and these. I pray thee. Then suddenly. and the other two wandered by themselves. Then Pontitianus and the other with him. and following Thee. said to his friend. But they relating their resolution and purpose.course. And in pain with the travail of a new life. saying. to partake so glorious a reward. and his mind was stripped of the world. And these two were of those whom they style agents for the public affairs. he turned his eyes again upon the book. in this place. This one of them began to read. and there they found a little book containing the life of Antony. if they would not join. fixing their heart on heaven. But the others. that had walked in other parts of the garden. and am resolved to serve God. reminded them to return. remained in the cottage. and was changed inwardly.

” Thus was I gnawed within. winked at it. but excused not itself. What said I not against myself? with what scourges of condemnation lashed I not my soul. and exceedingly confounded with a horrible shame. and to the pleasures of the body. went his way. but made as though I saw it not. And he having brought to a close his tale and the business he came for. For many of my years (some twelve) had now run out with me since my nineteenth. taking me from behind my back where I had placed me. but Thou. And now was the day come wherein I was to be laid bare to myself. but the very search. But now. and my conscience was to upbraid me. when compared with them. because there did not appear aught certain. and said.” For I feared lest Thou shouldest hear me soon. most wretched. and hate it. and forgot it. that I might find out mine iniquity. I had known it. now. the more did I abhor myself. and she . bespotted and ulcerous. he went on with his relation. in the very commencement of my early youth. how crooked and defiled. when. and soon cure me of the disease of concupiscence. All arguments were spent and confuted. And I had thought that I therefore deferred from day to day to reject the hopes of this world. the more ardently I loved those whose healthful affections I heard of. O Lord. whither to direct my course. that I might see how foul I was. while he was speaking. and thrustedst me before my eyes. have had their shoulders lightened. and I into myself. had begged chastity of Thee. upon the reading of Cicero's Hortensius. refused. and give myself to search out that. was to be preferred to the treasures and kingdoms of the world. and setting me before my face. I was stirred to an earnest love of wisdom. But I wretched. that it might follow me. my tongue? Thou saidst that for an uncertain truth thou likedst not to cast off the baggage of vanity. rather than extinguished. but as preferring it to the others which I did not seek religiously. there remained a mute shrinking. and follow Thee only. “Give me chastity and continency. which I wished to have satisfied. while Pontitianus was so speaking. that they had resigned themselves wholly to Thee to be cured. whereof not the finding only. while they who neither have so worn themselves out with seeking it. though already found. and still I was deferring to reject mere earthly felicity. unwilling to observe myself. and received wings to fly away. “Where art thou now. it is certain. didst turn me round towards myself. And I had wandered through crooked ways in a sacrilegious superstition. though spread around me at my will. And I beheld and stood aghast. striving to go after Thee! Yet it drew back. and whither to flee from myself I found not. but opposed maliciously. and yet that burden still oppresseth thee.Chapter VII Such was the story of Pontitianus. and Thou again didst set me over against myself. nor for often years and more have been thinking thereon. only not yet. not indeed assured thereof. And if I sought to turn mine eye from off myself.

to be restrained from the flux of that custom. whereby she was wasting to death. . as she would death.feared.

I made with my body many such motions as men sometimes would. no. A little garden there was to our lodging. was not living there.Chapter VIII Then in this great contention of my inward dwelling. tone of voice. not to turn and toss. to live. for the master of the house. when I should will. because others are gone before. For in these things the ability was one with the will. if I tore my hair. and which soon after. a maimed and half-divided will. which we had the use of. where no man might hinder the hot contention wherein I had engaged with myself. in the chamber of my heart. I willed. So many things then I did. which all my bones cried out unto me to enter. For his presence did not lessen my privacy. and we with our learning. For it was not my wonted tone. and to will was to do. when “to will” was not in itself “to be able”. or feet. I should be able to do. if either they have not the limbs. I did it. cheeks. with one part sinking as another rose. on my steps. I turned upon Alypius. . knowing what evil thing I was. and not ashamed not even to follow?” Some such words I uttered. kept silence. Lastly. Only I was healthfully distracted and dying. colour. but to will resolutely and thoroughly. where we wallow in flesh and blood! Are we ashamed to follow. but cannot. Thus. in the very fever of my irresoluteness. For. while he. and I did not what both I longed incomparably more to do. Thither had the tumult of my breast hurried me. and yet was it not done: and more easily did my body obey the weakest willing of my soul. or chariots. our host. until it should end as Thou knewest. when I should will. and Alypius. most vehemently indignant that I entered not into Thy will and covenant. but to go in thither was nothing else but to will to go. and praised it to the skies. troubled in mind and countenance. which I had strongly raised against my soul. this way and that. and without heart. I retired then into the garden. I was troubled in spirit. weakened with infirmity. or any other way hindered. “What ails us?” I exclaim: “what is it? what heardest thou? The unlearned start up and take heaven by force. and my forehead. because soon after. to. if the power of motion in my limbs had not obeyed. gazing on me in astonishment. not to go only. And therein we enter not by ships. and not knowing what good thing I was shortly to become. move not so far as I had come from the house to that place where we were sitting. than the soul obeyed itself to accomplish in the will alone this its momentous will. struggling. if locking my fingers I clasped my knee. I should will thoroughly. or how could he forsake me so disturbed? We sate down as far removed as might be from the house. eyes. O my God. I knew not. or these be bound with bands. as of the whole house. and my fever of mind tore me away from him. and not done it. spake my mind more than the words I uttered. beat my forehead. in moving its limbs at its nod. But I might have willed.

as it willeth not. as it willeth: and. I say. Whence this monstrousness? and to what end? It commands itself. the hand is body. not done. therefore what it commandeth. its own self. But it doth not command entirely. but a disease of the mind. and those darkest pangs of the sons of Adam. and is resisted. that it doth not wholly rise. the mind commands itself. and such readiness is there. For were the will entire. Whence is this monstrousness? and to what end? The mind commands the body. The mind commands the mind. for that one of them is not entire: and what the one lacketh. It is therefore no monstrousness partly to will. Yet the mind is mind. and it obeys instantly. and yet it doth not. For so far forth it commandeth. and would not command. by truth upborne. to will. The mind commands the hand to be moved. it would not even command it to be. is not. But it willeth not entirely: therefore doth it not command entirely. . so far forth is the thing commanded. but itself. the other hath. may perhaps answer me. that command is scarce distinct from obedience. and what it commands is not done. to will. not another. partly to nill. And therefore are there two wills. if so be the secret penalties of men. because it would already be. borne down by custom.Chapter IX Whence is this monstrousness? and to what end? Let Thy mercy gleam that I may ask. For the will commandeth that there be a will. unless it willed.

one soul fluctuates between contrary wills. and the other bad. Themselves are truly evil. But they. What then if one of us should deliberate. For Thou. Therefore was I at strife with myself. dost disprove. or keep his money by covet- . as that which draws back to the theatre. but in themselves. which they say. For if there be so many contrary natures as there be conflicting wills. and amid the strife of his two wills be in a strait. as when. I neither willed entirely. are made more gross darkness through a dreadful arrogancy. draws this way. draws back that way. I myself. that Thy Apostle may say to them. for that they went back farther from Thee. and themselves shall become good when they hold the truth and assent unto the truth. and rent asunder by myself. it was I who willed. imagining the nature of the soul to be that which God is. but now light in the Lord. I. one good. which draws to them. not in the Lord. but the punishment of my own. and blush for shame: draw near unto Him and be enlightened. O God. the other evil. check. If a man deliberate whether he should go to their conventicle or to the theatre. Take heed what you say. whether he should go to the theatre or to our church? would not these Manichees also be in a strait what to answer? For either they must confess (which they fain would not) that the will which leads to our church is good. and yet indicated. For whence else is this hesitation between conflicting wills? But I say that both be bad: that which draws to them. affirm that there are two minds in us of two kinds. Therefore it was no more I that wrought it. one good. and two evil souls conflicting in one man. and convict them. when they perceive two conflicting wills in one man. from two contrary principles. of two contrary substances. And this rent befell me against my will. whether he should seize this or that estate of another's. But they believe not that will to be other than good. Behold. the punishment of a sin more freely committed. Myself when I was deliberating upon serving the Lord my God now. Ye were sometimes darkness. one deliberates whether he should kill a man by poison or by the sword. when he cannot both. and your faces shall not be ashamed. but sin that dwelt in me. that there is one good and another bad. but many. these Manichees cry out. in that I was a son of Adam. the true Light that enlightened every man that cometh into the world. and it will not be true. O true God. when they hold these evil things. as well as theirs. as perish vain talkers and seducers of the soul: who observing that in deliberating there were two wills. another bad. who have received and are held by the mysteries of theirs: or they must suppose two evil natures. and no more deny that where one deliberates. as I had long purposed. that the conflict is between two contrary souls. or they must be converted to the truth. Let them no more say then. whether he should purchase pleasure by luxury. wishing to be light.Chapter X Let them perish from Thy presence. I who nilled. not the presence of another mind. there shall now be not two only. nor nilled entirely. here are two natures: one good. both wills being bad.

but out of habit sets not that aside. above. So also in wills which are good. which before was divided into many. if at the same time he have the means thereof also. to rob another's house. “it is good.ousness. or. while out of truth it sets this first. all these meeting together in the same juncture of time. which cannot at one time be acted: for they rend the mind amid four. and all at once? Do not divers wills distract the mind. or thirdly. if he have the opportunity. to commit adultery. nor do they yet allege that there are so many divers substances. fourthly. and therefore is rent asunder with grievous perplexities.” What then if all give equal pleasure. is it good to take pleasure in reading the Apostle? or good to take pleasure in a sober Psalm? or good to discourse on the Gospel? They will answer to each. Thus also. . while he deliberates which he should rather choose? yet are they all good. conflicting wills. or even (amid the vast variety of things desired) more. whether he go to the circus or the theatre. whither the one entire will may be borne. and the pleasure of temporal good holds us down below. and are at variance till one be chosen. it is the same soul which willeth not this or that with an entire will. and all being equally desired. when. if both be open on one day. For I ask them. eternity delights us.

and whither I trembled to go. lest I should again give way. gay. nor turned me away. whereby I now was but just. there appeared unto me the chaste dignity of Continency. for that I yet heard the muttering of . still held me. and privily plucking me. and bind me the faster.” And as I spake. and will heal thee. nor touched nor laid hold of it. yet not relaxedly. Why standest thou in thyself. “Be it done now. For on that side whither I had set my face. and somewhat less. “this or that. by Thee her Husband. and Continence herself in all. O Lord. and not rather in the Lord their God? The Lord their God gave me unto them. serene. a violent habit saying to me. it should recover strength. but to look back on them. what these maidens can? or can they either in themselves. my ancient mistresses. “Thinkest thou. and all but touched. and vanities of vanities. thou canst live without them?” But now it spake very faintly. the nearer it approached me. held. till that were wholly broken. a multitude of youth and every age. fear not He will not withdraw Himself that thou shouldest fall. And Thou. prevailed more with me than the better whereto I was unused: and the very moment wherein I was to become other than I was. they plucked my fleshy garment. “Dost thou cast us off? and from that moment shall we no more be with thee for ever? and from that moment shall not this or that be lawful for thee for ever?” And what was it which they suggested in that I said. and laid hold of it. and so standest not? cast thyself upon Him. and yet came not at it. He will receive. The very toys of toys. redoubling the lashes of fear and shame. and wanted somewhat less of it. and not bursting that same slight remaining tie. but still was. What defilements did they suggest! what shame! And now I much less than half heard them. Yet they did retard me. For I said with myself. but a fruitful mother of children of joys. and not openly showing themselves and contradicting me. but muttering as it were behind my back. and tormented. and took breath. as I was departing. O my God? Let Thy mercy turn it away from the soul of Thy servant. And I essayed again. And she smiled on me with a persuasive mockery. O Lord. and to spring over whither I was called. her holy hands full of multitudes of good examples: there were so many young men and maidens here. honestly alluring me to come and doubt not. hesitating to die to death and to live to life: and the worse whereto I was inured. but kept my stand hard by.” what did they suggest. but held me in suspense. and did it not: yet sunk not back to my former state. not barren. as would she say. accusing myself much more severely than my wont.Chapter XI Thus soul-sick was I. so that I hesitated to burst and shake myself free from them.” And I blushed exceedingly. grave widows and aged virgins. yet did it not strike me back. be it done now. I all but enacted it: I all but did it. cast thyself fearlessly upon Him. “Canst not thou what these youths. and stretching forth to receive and embrace me. pressedst upon me in my inward parts by a severe mercy. rolling and turning me in my chain. and whispered softly. the greater horror did it strike into me.

but not as doth the law of the Lord thy God. in silence waited the issue of my unwonted emotion.” This controversy in my heart was self against self only. “Stop thine ears against those thy unclean members on the earth.those toys. that they may be mortified. But Alypius sitting close by my side. They tell thee of delights. and hung in suspense. And she again seemed to say. .

in its natural expressions. or some other mark. He then remained where we were sitting. and give to the poor. This followed. how long. opened. under a certain fig-tree. No further would I read. Eagerly then I returned to the place where Alypius was sitting. which he applied to himself. all the darkness of doubt vanished away. yet to this purpose. I cast myself down I know not how. “Take up and read. interpreting it to be no other than a command from God to open the book. not indeed in these words. by a light as it were of serenity infused into my heart. most extremely astonished. which I knew not. Then putting my finger between. for I felt that I was held by them. and the floods of mine eyes gushed out an acceptable sacrifice to Thee. and disclosed to me. and he perceived something of it. O Lord. And what was wrought in him. receive. And by this admonition . when. there arose a mighty storm. nor needed I: for instantly at the end of this sentence. as of boy or girl. that coming in during the reading of the Gospel. wherein the tones of my voice appeared choked with weeping. Take up and read. and he looked even further than I had read. I began to think most intently whether children were wont in any kind of play to sing such words: nor could I remember ever to have heard the like. He asked to see what I had read: I showed him. I rose from Alypius: solitude was suggested to me as fitter for the business of weeping. I sent up these sorrowful words: How long. he thus showed me. I arose. not in chambering and wantonness. and in silence read that section on which my eyes first fell: Not in rioting and drunkenness. in concupiscence. spake I much unto Thee: and Thou. So checking the torrent of my tears. not in strife and envying. and read the first chapter I should find. For I had heard of Antony. and with a calmed countenance made it known to Alypius. Lord. he received the admonition. and so had risen up. and tomorrow?” Why not now? why not is there this hour an end to my uncleanness? So was I speaking and weeping in the most bitter contrition of my heart. my countenance altered.Chapter XII But when a deep consideration had from the secret bottom of my soul drawn together and heaped up all my misery in the sight of my heart. and come and follow me: and by such oracle he was forthwith converted unto Thee. him that is weak in the faith. as if what was being read was spoken to him: Go. And. lo! I heard from a neighbouring house a voice. Which that I might pour forth wholly. “ Instantly. for there had I laid the volume of the Apostle when I arose thence. and I knew not what followed. I shut the volume. so I retired so far that even his presence could not be a burden to me. how long? how long. bringing a mighty shower of tears. sell all that thou hast. I seized. for something I suppose I had spoken. “to-morrow. I know not. chanting. but put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ. and thou shalt have treasure in heaven. giving full vent to my tears. and oft repeating. wilt Thou be angry for ever? Remember not our former iniquities. and make not provision for the flesh. Thus was it then with me.

we tell her. much more plentiful than she had desired. and blesseth Thee. where Thou hadst showed me unto her in a vision. standing in that rule of faith. so that I sought neither wife. she leaps for joy.was he strengthened. by having grandchildren of my body. and most corresponding to his character. without any turbulent delay he joined me. and by a good resolution and purpose. And Thou didst convert her mourning into joy. For thou convertedst me unto Thyself. . she rejoiceth: we relate in order how it took place. Thence we go in to my mother. and triumpheth. Who are able to do above that which we ask or think. for she perceived that Thou hadst given her more for me. than she was wont to beg by her pitiful and most sorrowful groanings. for the better. nor any hope of this world. wherein he did always very far differ from me. so many years before. and in a much more precious and purer way than she erst required.

Book IX .

or if not my deeds. though not to flesh and blood. the Lord my God. sweeter than all pleasure. I am thy salvation. And this Thy whole gift was. and out of what low and deep recess was my free-will called forth in a moment. and from the bottom of my heart emptied that abyss of corruption. I am Thy servant. and my health. my will? But Thou. and the son of Thy handmaid: Thou hast broken my bonds in sunder. are good and merciful. Now was my soul free from the biting cares of canvassing and getting. yea. and weltering in filth. my brightness. O Lord. . or if not my words. Thou true and highest sweetness. and my riches. Thou castest them forth. my Helper and my Redeemer? How sweet did it at once become to me. but not to the high in their own conceits. and answer Thou me. and scratching off the itch of lust. let all my bones say. Who am I. was now a joy to part with. And my infant tongue spake freely to Thee. and what am I? What evil have not been either my deeds. and Thy right hand had respect unto the depth of my death. whereby to submit my neck to Thy easy yoke. For Thou didst cast them forth from me. but more hidden than all depths. to nill what I willed.Chapter I O Lord. and for them enteredst in Thyself. I am Thy servant. and say unto my soul. and to will what Thou willedst. brighter than all light. O Lord. my words. But where through all those years. O Christ Jesus. and my shoulders unto Thy light burden. who is like unto Thee? Let them say. higher than all honour. I will offer to Thee the sacrifice of Let my heart and my tongue praise Thee. to want the sweetnesses of those toys! and what I feared to be parted from.

nor in Thy peace. Full then of such joy. other than our own friends. then in a regular way to take my leave. kindled and burned up that our heavy torpor. being piled together in the receptacle of our thoughts.Chapter II And I resolved in Thy sight. And very seasonably. that all the blasts of subtle tongues from gainsayers might only inflame us the more fiercely. and we carried Thy words as it were fixed in our entrails: and the examples of Thy servants. or. Nevertheless. and they fired us so vehemently. for their sons’ sake. but to men. but in lying dotages and law-skirmishes. and that our good should be evil spoken of. wished me never to have the freedom of Thy sons. And what end had it served me. and observing how near was the time of vintage which I wished to anticipate. Thou hadst pierced our hearts with Thy charity. which was before the eyes of all. whom for black Thou hadst made bright. because for Thy Name's sake which Thou hast hallowed throughout the earth. not extinguish us. I endured till that interval of time were run. my God. would thwart. should no longer buy at my mouth arms for their madness. the service of my tongue from the marts of lip-labour: that the young. arose. it now wanted but very few days unto the Vacation of the Vintage. Moreover. now ascending from the valley of tears. and would out of love devour us. and was fixed. and for dead. but gently to withdraw. and to refuse any full or lengthened speaking. that I might see how that Thou art the Lord. as if I had desired to appear some great one. at least to intermit it. and had been overwhelmed. which might something moderate the offence taken by those who. Our purpose then was known to Thee. would talk much of me. no students in Thy law. I began even to rejoice that I had this secondary. so that all looking on this act of mine. But when the full wish for leisure. and I remained alone. amid too great literary labour. Thou knowest. and I resolved to endure them. alive. in me. it may have been some twenty days. and destroying coals against the subtle tongue. and singing that song of degrees. had not patience taken its . for it almost constrained me of necessity to lay down that burden of teaching. For we had agreed among ourselves not to let it out abroad to any: although to us. that we should not sink down to the abyss. this our vow and purpose might also find some to commend it. excuse. it had at first troubled me that in this very summer my lungs began to give way. which as though advising for us. this had troubled me. and that no feigned. was it not known. Thou hadst given sharp arrows. as it doth its meat. not tumultuously to tear. that people should repute and dispute upon my purpose. for the covetousness which aforetime bore a part of this heavy business. had left me. and by the pain in my chest to show that they were injured. and having been purchased by Thee. it seemed like ostentation not to wait for the vacation now so near. endured. yet they were endured manfully. if I could be cured and recover. and to breathe deeply with difficulty. but to quit beforehand a public profession. no more to return for sale.

with my other most horrible and deadly sins. But hast not Thou. I suffered myself to sit even one hour in the chair of lies. Perchance.place. 0 most merciful Lord. my brethren. Nor would I be contentious. pardoned and remitted this sin also. may say that I sinned in this. that with a heart fully set on Thy service. in the holy water? . some of Thy servants.

he departed this life. more rigidly than by any other chain. for that being held back by bonds. not as yet endued with any Sacraments of Thy Church. For what other place is there for such a soul? There he liveth. being so near. Whom. as to forget me. in our absence. of a married estate. . who sorrowed. his whole house having through him first been made Christian. that mountain which yieldeth milk. yet hadst Thou mercy not on him only. being also a faithful member of the Church Catholic. comforting Verecundus. and therein being made a Christian. adopted of a freed man: there he liveth. and serving Thee in perfect chastity and continence amongst his people in Africa. we are Thine: Thy suggestions and consolations tell us. and now he lives in Abraham's bosom. and Thy child. which is signified by that bosom. Thine own mountain. However. was he let and hindered from the journey which we had now essayed. wisdom in proportion to his thirst. seeing Thou. whereby he was most straitly bound. he was seized with bodily sickness. So were we then. we should be agonised with intolerable sorrow. and exhorting him to become faithful. there lives my Nebridius. in that rich mountain. he said. he believed as we did. O Lord. He then had at that time sorrow. Thou. lo! those days rolled by at length. For although he also. yet unable to number him among Thy flock. but on us also: lest remembering the exceeding kindness of our friend towards us. Lord. with the eternal freshness of Thy Paradise: for that Thou hast forgiven him his sins upon earth. a poor inexperienced man. not long after our conversion and regeneration by Thy Baptism. art mindful of us. and drinketh as much as he can receive. be a Christian on any other terms than on those he could not. that our conversion was of such sort. seeing Thou hast already given him the lot of the righteous. and awaiting Nebridius to follow us. Faithful in promises. namely. Nor do I think that he is so inebriated therewith. our God. he offered us courteously to remain at his country-house so long as we should stay there. but his spiritual mouth unto Thy fountain. which. my sweet friend. as far as friendship permitted. endlessly happy. he saw that he should be severed from us. O Lord. whereof he asked much of me. didst Thou release from the flesh. but Nebridius joy. For he would not. Whom he drinketh. Now lays he not his ear to my mouth. For himself was not yet a Christian. according to his measure. he was all but doing: and so. for long and many they seemed. not being yet a Christian. Whatever that be. For although. and one of the faithful. Thanks unto Thee. but a most ardent searcher out of truth. being now at Rome. believing the flesh of Thy Son to be a phantom: yet emerging thence. Thou now requitest Verecundus for his country-house of Cassiacum. had fallen into the pit of that most pernicious error. his wife one of the faithful. and yet hereby.Chapter III Verecundus was worn down with care about this our blessedness. where from the fever of the world we reposed in Thee. shalt reward him in the resurrection of the just.

that I might sing to Thee.for the love I bare to the easeful liberty. will I seek. from my inmost marrow. Lord. . I have sought Thy face: Thy face. My heart hath said unto Thee.

my God. my Epistles bear witness. lest they should think I spake it for their sakes! Because in truth neither should I speak the same things. How I would they had then been somewhere near me. those medicines. . though still. our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. and without my knowing that they were there. Would that what I uttered on these words. than of the wholesome herbs of the Church. And when shall I have time to rehearse all Thy great benefits towards us at that time. by what inward goads Thou tamedst me. through the whole world. when I read the fourth Psalm in that time of my rest. with Alypius a Catechumen. and how that Psalm wrought upon me: When I called. nor if I spake them would they so receive them. especially when hasting on to yet greater mercies? For my remembrance recalls me. and pleasant is it to me. out of the natural feelings of my soul. What I there did in writing.Chapter IV Now was the day come wherein I was in deed to be freed of my Rhetoric Professorship. with the tranquillity of age. who was absent. which allow of no swelling spirit. O Lord. against the pride of mankind! And yet they are sung through the whole world. and sounds of devotion. the antidote against serpents. For rather would he have them savour of the lofty cedars of the Schools. straightening my crookedness. and a novice in Thy real love. Oh. panting from the school of pride. they could hear. And it was done. the God of my righteousness heard me. in this breathing-time as it were. and how was I by them kindled towards Thee. And I blessed Thee. could have beheld my countenance. and heard my words. O Lord. Thou didst rescue my tongue. when I read the Psalms of David. before Thee: what with Nebridius. Christian piety! Oh. as when I spake by and for myself before Thee. as yet a Catechumen. and on fire to rehearse them. and how Thou hast evened me. whereof in thought I was already freed. With what vehement and bitter sorrow was I angered at the Manichees! and again I pitied them. my mother cleaving to us. in female garb with masculine faith. whence Thou hadst before rescued my heart. my books may witness. and how Thou also subduedst the brother of my heart. Have mercy upon me. to confess to Thee. nor in the same way. and hear my prayer. in tribulation Thou enlargedst me. which he would not at first vouchsafe to have inserted in our writings. and were mad against the antidote which might have recovered them of their madness. as well what I debated with others. if possible. if I perceived that they heard and saw me. as what with myself alone. nor can any hide himself from Thy heat. what accents did I utter unto Thee in those Psalms. and smoothing my rough ways. motherly love. lowering the mountains and hills of my high imaginations. Alypius. resting in that villa. those faithful songs. for they knew not those Sacraments. which was now enlisted in Thy service. retiring with all mine to the villa. which the Lord hath now broken down. without my knowing whether they heard. unto the name of Thy Only Begotten. rejoicing. in what accents spake I unto Thee.

O my God. And I cried out. because it was spoken unto such as I remembered myself to have been. but we are enlightened by Thee. whereas I had in Thy eternal Simple Essence other corn. where I was inwardly pricked. not knowing. as I read this outwardly. in the bitterness of my remembrance. and again kindled with hope. putting my trust in Thee. and treasure up wrath against the day of wrath. I further read. and oil. the Spirit was not yet given. and ascending into heaven. Nor would I be multiplied with worldly goods. and sin not. For we are not that light which enlighteneth every man. for by a true death in the flesh did He die for us. and Thou wouldest hear them when they cried unto Thee. Oh that they could see the eternal Internal. Which would they had heard. for that it was not another nature of a people of darkness which sinned for me. and of the revelation of Thy just judgment. and in their famished thoughts do lick their very shadows. loved vanity. who had now learned to be angry at myself for things past. for they that would have joy from without soon become vain. and all issued forth both by mine eyes and voice. And how was I moved.—there hadst Thou begun to grow sweet unto me. How long. and I spake aloud many things earnestly and forcibly. and waste themselves on the things seen and temporal. hadst already magnified Thy Holy One. He had sent Him. who now intercedeth unto Thee for us. and wine. and with rejoicing in Thy mercy. that having been sometimes darkness. slaying my old man and commencing the purpose of a new life. raising Him from the dead. and said. who yet love vanity and seek after leasing! They would perchance have been troubled. He cries out. The light of Thy countenance is sealed upon us. to be justly angry. And the prophet cries out. said. because He was now magnified. O Lord. and sought after leasing: and therefore I heard and trembled. as they say who are not angry at themselves. For in those phantoms which I had held for truths. where I was angry within myself in my chamber. O Father. Know this: and I so long. and wasted by time. Who will show us good things? And we would say. we may be light in Thee. the Comforter. the Spirit of truth. while they said. and setting Him at Thy right hand. when Thy good Spirit turning unto us. but I knew it not. O ye sons of men. was there vanity and leasing. where I had sacrificed. which having tasted. wasting away time. Be angry. how long slow of heart? why do ye love vanity. and sought after leasing. that the Lord hath magnified His Holy One. Nor were my good things now without. so long as they brought me their heart in their eyes roving abroad from Thee. Who will show us good things? For there.I trembled for fear. For till then. How long? He cries out. And He had already sent Him. finding it inwardly. . because Jesus was not yet glorified. rising again from the dead. and seek after leasing? For I had loved vanity. and they hear. and seek after leasing? Know this. whence from on high He should send His promise. And Thou. nor sought with the eyes of flesh in that earthly sun. and hadst put gladness in my heart. slow of heart? why do ye love vanity. I was grieved that I could not show It them. that I might not sin in time to come! Yea. and have vomited it up. Oh that they were wearied out with their famine.

which were not yet forgiven me by Thy baptism. alone hast made me dwell in hope. that pain went away. Death is swallowed up in victory? And Thou surpassingly art the Self-same. for there is none other with Thee. Thou didst then torment me with pain in my teeth. nor are we to seek those many other things. nor will I pass over the severity of Thy scourge. of whom myself had been. and kindled. when cometh to pass that saying which is written. Presently so soon as with humble devotion we had bowed our knees. and rejoicing in faith. Lord. Who art not changed. a bitter and a blind bawler against those writings. for from infancy I had never experienced the like.And with a loud cry of my heart I cried out in the next verse. which when it had come to such height that I could not speak. my God. O in peace. for who shall hinder us. and lightsome with Thine own light: and I was consumed with zeal at the enemies of this Scripture. and gave it them to read. it came into my heart to desire all my friends present to pray for me to Thee. And that faith suffered me not to be at ease about my past sins. and in Thee is rest which forgetteth all toil. a pestilent person. But what pain? or how went it away? I was affrighted. When shall I recall all which passed in those holy-days? Yet neither have I forgotten. And this I wrote on wax. the God of all manner of health. and the wonderful swiftness of Thy mercy. I read. which are honied with the honey of heaven. nor found I what to do to those deaf and dead. which are not what Thou art: but Thou. . And the power of Thy Nod was deeply conveyed to me. I will lay me down and sleep. O for The Selfsame! O what said he. I praised Thy Name. O my Lord.

begging his advice what of Thy Scriptures I had best read. to become readier and fitter for receiving so great grace. my former errors and present desires. because he above the rest is a more clear foreshower of the Gospel and of the calling of the Gentiles. I gave notice to the Milanese to provide their scholars with another master to sell words to them. to be resumed when better practised in our Lord's own words. not understanding the first lesson in him. He recommended Isaiah the Prophet: I believe. And by letters I signified to Thy Prelate. and imagining the whole to be like it.Chapter V The vintage-vacation ended. But I. the holy man Ambrose. laid it by. for that I had both made choice to serve Thee. and through my difficulty of breathing and pain in my chest was not equal to the Professorship. .

being already clothed with the humility befitting Thy Sacraments. when the time was come wherein I was to give in my name. We joined with us the boy Adeodatus. Excellently hadst Thou made him. That talent struck awe into me. Much besides. to he brought up in Thy discipline: and we were baptised. in Thy Hymns and Canticles. fearing nothing for his childhood or youth. or his whole self. touched to the quick by the voices of Thy sweet-attuned Church! The voices flowed into mine ears. I confess unto Thee Thy gifts. and yet more admirable. so as. O Lord my God. none else. . our contemporary in grace. and a most valiant tamer of the body. and in wit surpassed many grave and learned men. whence the affections of my devotion overflowed. Him we joined with us. It pleased Alypius also to be with me born again in Thee. it was Thou. For that we brought him up in Thy discipline. born after the flesh. He was not quite fifteen. How did I weep. I found in him. to wear the frozen ground of Italy with his bare feet. in his sixteenth year. There is a book of ours entitled The Master. with unwonted venture. had inspired us with it. and abundantly able to reform our deformities: for I had no part in that boy. And who but Thou could be the workmaster of such wonders? Soon didst Thou take his life from the earth: and I now remember him without anxiety. but the sin. and the Truth distilled into my heart. Nor was I sated in those days with the wondrous sweetness of considering the depth of Thy counsels concerning the salvation of mankind. and happy was I therein.Chapter VI Thence. Creator of all. we left the country and returned to Milan. I confess unto Thee Thy gifts. of my sin. and anxiety for our past life vanished from us. it is a dialogue between him and me. and tears ran down. Thou knowest that all there ascribed to the person conversing with me were his ideas.

Led thither. Which when he had done. the brethren zealously joining with harmony of voice and hearts. as far as the breath may enter into this our house of grass. lest the people should wax faint through the tediousness of sorrow: and from that day to this the custom is retained. divers (yea. And yet then. Whence and whither hast Thou thus led my remembrance. lived for prayer. whence Thou mightest seasonably produce them to repress the fury of a woman. a child. did we not run after Thee. still were stirred up by the sight of the amazed and disquieted city. asking and hearing the reason of the people's confused joy. not only they who were vexed with unclean spirits (the devils confessing themselves) were cured. throughout other parts of the world following herein. For when they were discovered and dug up. they were forthwith opened. We. formerly sighing after Thee. Thence did the fame spread. almost all) Thy congregations. and well known to the city. yet unwarmed by the heat of Thy Spirit. was yet turned back from her fury of persecuting. and put to his eyes. persecuted Thy servant Ambrose.Chapter VII Not long had the Church of Milan begun to use this kind of consolation and exhortation. ready to die with their Bishop Thy servant. thence the mind of that enemy. mother to the Emperor Valentinian. and with due honour translated to the Ambrosian Basilica. Then didst Thou by a vision discover to Thy forenamed Bishop where the bodies of Gervasius and Protasius the martyrs lay hid (whom Thou hadst in Thy secret treasury stored uncorrupted so many years). thence Thy praises glowed. that I should confess these things also unto Thee? which great though they be. whose death is precious in Thy sight. I had passed by in forgetfulness. bearing a chief part of those anxieties and watchings. he begged to be allowed to touch with his handkerchief the bier of Thy saints. Hymns and Psalms should be sung. though not turned to the soundness of believing. and at length breathing in Thee. There my mother Thy handmaid. For it was a year. . or not much more. sprang forth desiring his guide to lead him thither. when the odour of Thy ointments was so fragrant. that Justina. O my God. Then it was first instituted that after the manner of the Eastern Churches. The devout people kept watch in the Church. to which she was seduced by the Arians. in favour of her heresy. Thanks to Thee. but an Empress. a citizen. shone. Therefore did I more weep among the singing of Thy Hymns. but a certain man who had for many years been blind.

and the authority she had. And the sceptre of Thy Christ. for innumerable things whereof I am silent. Much I omit. that I might be born to Light eternal. but out of the exuberance of youth. as hastening much. as that of a certain decrepit maid-servant. Not her gifts. nor did her father and mother know what a one should come from them. Whence also the charge of her master's daughters was entrusted to her. didst join with us Euodius also. was bidden by her parents to draw wine out of the hogshed. And yet (as Thy handmaid told me her son) there had crept upon her a love of wine. for more her instinctive feelings refused. because you have not wine in your power. But I will not omit whatsoever my soul would bring forth concerning that Thy handmaid. holding the vessel under the opening. We sought where we might serve Thee most usefully. to which she gave diligent heed. and adding this wholesome advice: “Ye drink water now.” By this method of instruction. and be made mistresses of cellars and cupboards. For this she did. not out of any desire of drink. a good member of Thy Church. both in the flesh. though parched with thirst. Where was then that discreet old woman. restraining them earnestly. and in heart. except at those hours wherein they were most temporately fed at their parents’ table. she refrained the greediness of childhood. For when (as the manner was) she. before she poured the wine into the flagon. she sipped a little with the tip of her lips. whereby it boils over in mirthful freaks. and moulded their very thirst to such an excellent moderation that what they should not. who had carried her father when a child. For which reason. as little ones used to be carried at the backs of elder girls. well respected by its heads. when necessary. girded himself to Thine. she would not suffer them. in a Christian house. was before us converted to Thee and baptised: and quitting his secular warfare. but when you come to be married. but Thine in her. Receive my confessions and thanksgivings. my mother departed this life. but the custom of drinking will abide. We were together. Yet for her good discipline was she wont to commend not so much her mother's diligence. and excellent conversation. would I speak of. you will scorn water. to drink even water. and for her great age. in that Christian family. Thou createdst her. educated her in Thy fear. that I might be born to this temporal light. a young man of our own city. . preventing an evil custom. and were together returning to Africa: whitherward being as far as Ostia. she had fallen into such a habit as greedily to drink off her little cup brim-full almost of wine. as though a sober maiden. who brought me forth. And thus by adding to that little. For. was she. and teaching them with a grave discretion. daily littles (for whoso despiseth little things shall fall by little and little).Chapter VIII Thou that makest men to dwell of one mind in one house. Who being an officer of Court. which in youthful spirits are wont to be kept under by the gravity of their elders. that they would not. for neither did she make nor educate herself. O my God. about to dwell together in our devout purpose. with a holy severity. the discipline of Thine only Son.

and instantly condemned and forsook it. watched not over us? Father. and governors absent. who createdst. lest any. and the ruled turbulence of the tide of times. For she in her anger sought to vex her young mistress. who turnest to Thy purposes the deepest currents.and that her earnest countermanding? Would aught avail against a secret disease. saw the foulness of her fault. taunted her with this fault. if Thy healing hand. either for that the time and place of the quarrel so found them. Governor of all in heaven and earth. mother. falling to words (as it happens) with her little mistress. for discovering it thus late. workest something towards the salvation of our souls. even when another. and did it in private. But Thou. With which taunt she. O Lord. is reformed through words of his. didst by the very unhealthiness of one soul heal another. who callest. and with one touch remove all that foul stuff? For a maidservant with whom she used to go to the cellar. when he observes this. so reproachful enemies mostly correct. O my God? how didst Thou cure her? how heal her? didst Thou not out of another soul bring forth a hard and a sharp taunt. whom he wished to be reformed. like a lancet out of Thy secret store. calling her wine-bibber. Yet not what by them Thou doest. As flattering friends pervert. stung to the quick. or lest herself also should have anger. with most bitter insult. dost Thou repay them. should ascribe it to his own power. when alone with her. but what themselves purposed. Lord. who also by those set over us. Thou present. . what didst Thou then. not to amend her.

earnest advice: “That from the time they heard the marriage writings read to them.Chapter IX Brought up thus modestly and soberly. at first by whisperings of evil servants incensed against her. remembering their condition. and confidentially asking the reason. but not even in word. being bestowed upon a husband. that hearing on both sides most bitter things. yet bore even in their faces marks of shame. so in anger: but she had learnt not to resist an angry husband. they should account them as indentures. should speak ill of her daughter-in-law to her: and none now venturing. and suffered. as in his affections. or that there had been any domestic difference between them. and in a temper to receive it. and made subject rather by Thee to her parents. while many matrons. and returned thanks. that she of her own accord discovered to her son the meddling tongues whereby the domestic peace betwixt her and her daughter-in-law had been disturbed. she served him as her lord. she so overcame by observance and persevering endurance and meekness. Then. giving them. and so. as in jest. and admirable unto her husband. asking him to correct them. knowing what a choleric husband she endured. that believing in Thee. would in familiar talk blame their husbands’ lives. my mercy. Her mother-in-law also. even for one day. and for the well-ordering of the family. but what might tend to their reconcilement. in whose womb Thou createdst me. she would blame their tongues. if haply he had overhastily taken offence. that Patricius had beaten his wife. and did her diligence to win him unto Thee. that between any disagreeing and discordant parties where she was able. did I not to my grief . she showed herself such a peacemaker. when the crudities of enmities are breathed out in sour discourses to a present friend against an absent enemy. Those wives who observed it found the good. upon that good handmaid of Thine. at her will who had discovered them. he might be made chaste. not in deed only. But besides this. nor by any token perceived.” And when they. O my God. she would give an account of her actions. such as swelling and indigested choler uses to break out into. In a word. to please her. preaching Thee unto him by her conversation. he had with stripes corrected those discovered. than by her parents to Thee. they lived together with a remarkable sweetness of mutual kindness. Only when he was smoothed and tranquil. by which Thou ornamentedst her. she never would disclose aught of the one unto the other. who had milder husbands. A small good this might appear to me. those who observed it not. making her reverently amiable. This great gift also thou bestowedst. found no relief. whereby they were made servants. when in compliance with his mother. marvelled that it had never been heard. so soon as she was of marriageable age. she taught them her practice above mentioned. she promised the like reward to any who. For she looked for Thy mercy upon him. ought not to set themselves up against their lords. And she so endured the wronging of her bed as never to have any quarrel with her husband thereon. he was fervid.

who through some horrible and wide-spreading contagion of sin. Such was she. of all of us Thy servants. it ought to seem a light thing not to toment or increase ill will by ill words. as though she had been mother of us all. not only disclose to persons mutually angered things said in anger. so often travailing in birth of them. unless one study withal by good words to quench it. She was also the servant of Thy servants. Lastly. . whosoever of them knew her. had requited her parents. teaching her in the school of the heart. did she gain unto Thee. her most inward Instructor. was well reported of for good works. towards the very end of his earthly life.know numberless persons. For she had been the wife of one man. her own husband. nor had she to complain of that in him as a believer. having received the grace of Thy baptism. did she so take care of. Finally. so served us. as though she had been child to us all. which before he was a believer she had borne from him. as she saw them swerving from Thee. did in her much praise and honour and love Thee. us. had brought up children. who before her sleeping in Thee lived united together. O Lord (whom on occasion of Thy own gift Thou sufferest to speak). Thyself. had govemed her house piously. but add withal things never spoken. for that through the witness of the fruits of a holy conversation they perceived Thy presence in her heart. whereas to humane humanity.

that she and I stood alone. we were recruiting from the fatigues of a long journey. that we might arrive at that region of never-failing plenty. by Thy secret ways so ordering it. and where life is the Wisdom by whom all these things are made. and what have been. which Thou art.Chapter X The day now approaching whereon she was to depart this life (which day Thou well knewest. we might in some sort meditate upon so high a mystery. and went beyond them. in the very purest material light. But yet we gasped with the mouth of our heart. but only “to be. For to “have been. of what sort the eternal life of the saints was to be. to “have been.” and to “be hereafter. And while we were discoursing and panting after her. We made not ourselves.” and “hereafter to be. that being bedewed thence according to our capacity. we knew not). and she is not made. which is with Thee. which looked into the garden of the house where we now lay. every tongue and every sign. and whatsoever exists only in transition. and returned to vocal expressions of our mouth. where removed from the din of men. nor hath it entered into the heart of man. and by not thinking on self surmount self. but He made us that abideth for ever—If then having uttered this. not by them but by Himself. yea. but not even of mention. And when our discourse was brought to that point. leaning in a certain window. after those heavenly streams of Thy fountain. that we may hear His . all these say. where Thou feedest Israel for ever with the food of truth. and so shall she be ever. hushed the images of earth. And what is like unto Thy Word. alone. since if any could hear. and we came to our own minds. they too should be hushed. even the very heaven whence sun and moon and stars shine upon the earth. we raising up ourselves with a more glowing affection towards the “Self-same. not only not worthy of comparison. and air. and what shall be. as I believe.” are not eternal. and we sighed.” are not in her. for the voyage. Thyself. the fountain of life. who endureth in Himself without becoming old. it came to pass. that the very highest delight of the earthly senses. we slightly touched on her with the whole effort of our heart. hushed all dreams and imaginary revelations. and reaching forth unto those things which are before. very sweetly. by inward musing. and waters. We were discoursing then together. and forgetting those things which are behind. nor ear heard.” did by degrees pass through all things bodily. which eye hath not seen. and maketh all things new? We were saying then: If to any the tumult of the flesh were hushed.” seeing she is eternal. we were soaring higher yet. and there we leave bound the first fruits of the Spirit. as she hath been. yea the very soul be hushed to herself. hushed also the pole of heaven. but is. was. yea rather. and admiring of Thy works. in respect of the sweetness of that life. our Lord. where the word spoken has beginning and end. at Ostia. having roused only our ears to Him who made them. we were enquiring between ourselves in the presence of the Truth. and discourse. and He alone speak.

One thing there was for which I desired to linger for a while in this life. and to what I am here. were not this. contemptible to us. despising earthly happiness. and wrap up its beholder amid these inward joys. might hear His Very Self without these (as we two now strained ourselves. nor in the dark riddle of a similitude. “Son. I know not. and in swift thought touched on that Eternal Wisdom which abideth over all). my mother said. My God hath done this for me more abundantly. and even if not in this very manner.Word. as we spake. What I do here any longer. and other visions of kind far unlike be withdrawn. nor sound of thunder. now that my hopes in this world are accomplished. though we shall not all be changed? Such things was I speaking. and this world with all its delights became. and these same words. but might hear Whom in these things we love. Enter into thy Master's joy? And when shall that be? When we shall all rise again. not through any tongue of flesh. Thou knowest that in that day when we were speaking of these things. that I might see thee a Catholic Christian before I died. become His servant: what do I here?” . for mine own part I have no further delight in any thing in this life. yet.—could this be continued on. nor Angel's voice. and absorb. and this one ravish. that I should now see thee withal. so that life might be for ever like that one moment of understanding which now we sighed after. Lord.

and then looking upon me: “Behold. that when we were now at Ostia. and the threeand-thirtieth of mine. which she had provided and prepared for herself by the body of her husband. For scarce five days after. and to have it remembered among men. what was earthly of this united pair had been permitted to be united beneath the same earth. but she was soon brought back to her senses. when I was absent. wishing for her. she held her peace. and in that sickness one day she fell into a swoon. and was for a while withdrawn from these visible things. that you would remember me at the Lord's altar. with grief amazed: “Here.” I held my peace and refrained weeping. I knew not. and rejoiced admiring what she had so disclosed to me. when she said. one day discoursed with certain of my friends about the contempt of this life. she with anxious look. “shall you bury your mother. He should not recognise whence He were to raise me up. “Lay. I remember not. and looking on me and my brother standing by her. she with a mother's confidence. But when this emptiness had through the fulness of Thy goodness begun to cease in her heart. checking him with her eyes. but my brother spake something. was that religious and holy soul freed from the body. “Whether she were not afraid to leave her body so far from her own city?” she replied. for that he still savoured such things. and asked.” saith she. but in her own land. she also wished (so little can the human mind embrace things divine) to have this addition to that happiness. wherever you be. “what he saith”: and soon after to us both. and the fifty-sixth year of her age. did rejoice and give thanks to Thee. being exercised by her growing sickness.” On the ninth day then of her sickness. which Thou instillest into the hearts of Thy faithful ones. not in a strange place.” And having delivered this sentiment in what words she could. how careful and anxious she had ever been as to her place of burial.Chapter XI What answer I made her unto these things.” saith she. or not much more. . “this body any where. she fell sick of a fever. and the blessing of death: and when they were amazed at such courage which Thou hadst given to a woman. “Nothing is far to God. as the happier lot. though indeed in that our discourse also in the window. nor was it to be feared lest at the end of the world. let not the care for that any way disquiet you: this only I request. Whereat. considering Thy gifts. “Where was I?” And then looking fixedly on us. “What do I here any longer?” there appeared no desire of dying in her own country. that she might die. We hastened round her. said to us enquiringly. Thou unseen God. I heard afterwards also.” she saith. that after her pilgrimage beyond the seas. But I. whence wondrous fruits do spring. recalling what I before knew. For because they had lived in great harmony together.

checked by us all. my soul was wounded. or altogether dead. But hearing what we were doing. known to Thee. nor altogether dead. and her slavery for me? Being then forsaken of so great comfort in her. with great affection of love. which was overflowing into tears. and whilst they (whose office it was) made ready for the burial. which in the due order and appointment of our natural condition must needs come to pass. But in Thy ears. And behold. Of this we were assured on good grounds. as the manner . when. finding its vent in weeping. mine eyes at the same time. yet not so as to burst out into tears. For neither in those prayers which we poured forth unto Thee. our whole house answering him. whereas she was neither unhappy in her death. was checked and silenced. when the Sacrifice of our ransom was offered for her. and woe was me in such a strife! But when she breathed her last. when now the corpse was by the grave's side. still I knew what I was keeping down in my heart. and was thus worn by a double sorrow. held his peace.Chapter XII I closed her eyes. drank up their fountain wholly dry. had been made but one. and conceiving me to be without all sense of sorrow. in that her last sickness. as the manner is. which was. through my heart's youthful voice. I blamed the weakness of my feelings. What then was it which did grievously pain me within. what comparison is there betwixt that honour that I paid to her. O Lord. she called me “dutiful. that she never had heard any harsh or reproachful sound uttered by my mouth against her. the corpse was carried to the burial. where none of them heard. by the violent command of my mind. with a new grief I grieved for my grief. the Psalm. which gave way a little unto me. together with those who thought not fit to leave me. I will sing of mercy and judgments to Thee. many brethren and religious women came together. O my God. In like manner also a childish feeling in me. but a fresh wound wrought through the sudden wrench of that most sweet and dear custom of living together? I joyed indeed in her testimony. Euodius took up the Psalter. as though unhappy. which. and there flowed withal a mighty sorrow into my heart. but again came. Who madest us. nor to change of countenance. The boy then being stilled from weeping. discoursed upon something fitting the time. and began to sing. and refrained my flood of grief. But yet. the boy Adeodatus burst out into a loud lament. and groanings. and by this balm of truth assuaged that torment. for thereby do they for the most part express grief for the departed.” and mentioned. mingling her endearments with my acts of duty. I (in a part of the house. the testimony of her good conversation and her faith unfeigned. where I might properly). of hers and mine together. then. we went and returned without tears. And being very much displeased that these human things had such power over me. and that life rent asunder as it were. as with a tide. For we thought it not fitting to solemnise that funeral with tearful lament. they unknowing and listening intently.

yet was I the whole day in secret heavily sad. in writing I confess it unto Thee. And this also I confess unto Thy mercy. I believe. even upon a soul. It seemed also good to me to go and bathe. previous to its being laid therein. reposing my heart upon them. which now feeds upon no deceiving Word. her holy tenderness and observance towards us. For Thou art the “Maker of all. and was the same as before I bathed. whereof I was suddenly deprived: and I was minded to weep in Thy sight. her holy conversation towards Thee. to heal my sorrow. and interpret it. if he be one of large charity. hast poured Soft slumbers o'er the night.there is. in her behalf and in my own. who would have scornfully interpreted my weeping. yet Thou didst not. I remembered those true verses of Thy Ambrose. and as I was alone in my bed. as I could. That to our limbs the power Of toil may be renew'd. Read it. the Father of all the brethren of Thy Christ. but rather. And Ruler of the height. and woke up again. let him weep himself for my sins unto Thee. . for it was in Thy ears. who had for many years wept for me that I might live in Thine eyes). and with troubled mind prayed Thee. And hearts be rais'd that sink and cower. having heard that the bath had its name (balneum) from the Greek Balaneion for that it drives sadness from the mind. did I weep even during those prayers. how he will: and if he finds sin therein. And sorrows be subdu'd. for her and for myself. and found my grief not a little softened. Who. to overflow as much as they desired. who will. the Lord. upon my memory by this one instance. robing day in light. And now. that I bathed. how strong is the bond of all habit. And I gave way to the tears which I before restrained.” And then by little and little I recovered my former thoughts of Thy handmaid. not in those of man. Father of the fatherless. For the bitterness of sorrow could not exude out of my heart. let him not deride me. Lord. that I wept my mother for a small portion of an hour (the mother who for the time was dead to mine eyes. impressing. Then I slept. and it found rest in them.

if. Lord. O Lord. in behalf of that Thy handmaid. our God. or embalmed with spices. enter not into judgment with her. but accept. Thy handmaid bound her soul by the bond of faith. and that he that glorieth would glory in the Lord.Chapter XIII But now. forgive. and so take us from Him? Unto the Sacrament of which our ransom. whatever she may have contracted in so many years. For she. Whosoever shall say unto his brother. a far different kind of tears. with a heart cured of that wound. took no thought to have her body sumptuously wound up. Forgive her. For she will not answer that she owes nothing. Thou fool. But because Thou art not extreme in enquiring after sins. what reckons he up to Thee but Thine own gifts? O that men would know themselves to be men. Who shall restore to Him the innocent blood? Who repay Him the price wherewith He bought us. which she had served without intermission of one day: whence she knew the holy Sacrifice to be dispensed. which Thou gavest them to be. I beseech Thee. the Truth. no word issued from her mouth against Thy Commandment. the free-will offerings of my mouth. or to be buried in her own land. we confidently hope to find some place with Thee. hath said. And although she having been quickened in Christ. do Thou also forgive her debts. And. Let none sever her from Thy protection: let neither the lion nor the dragon interpose himself by force or fraud. Thou shouldest examine it. and Thou hast promised mercy unto the merciful. found nothing in Him. And woe be even unto the commendable life of men. for which I give thanks to Thee with joy. God of my heart. nor desired she a choice monument. by the Medicine of our wounds. even before her release from the flesh. in Whom we conquer. and seeking what to lay to our charge. and wilt have compassion on whom Thou hast had compassion. Who hung upon the tree. These things she enjoined us not. yet dare I not say that from what time Thou regeneratedst her by baptism. wherein it might seem blameworthy for an earthly feeling. who wilt have mercy on whom Thou wilt have mercy. I therefore. I entreat Thee. since the water of salvation. by which the handwriting that was against us is blotted out. and from her heart forgave her debtors their debts. But whosoever reckons up his real merits to Thee. since Thy words are true. Let Thy mercy be exalted above Thy justice. I believe. lest she be convicted and seized by the crafty ac- . shall be in danger of hell fire. had lived to the praise of Thy name for her faith and conversation. flowing from a spirit shaken by the thoughts of the dangers of every soul that dieth in Adam. laying aside for a while her good deeds. and now sitting at Thy right hand maketh intercession to Thee for us. do now beseech Thee for the sins of my mother. I pour out unto Thee. who summing up our offences. but desired only to have her name commemorated at Thy Altar. Thou hast already done what I ask. O my Praise and my Life. the day of her dissolution now at hand. laying aside mercy. I know that she dealt mercifully. through which the enemy was triumphed over. Hearken unto me. Thy Son.

even unto their return thither. That so my mother's last request of me. more than through my prayers. through the prayers of many. paid for us. with patience bringing forth fruit unto Thee. O Lord my God. Who owed nothing. how I know not. Thy sons my masters. that she might win him also unto Thee. be. by whose bodies Thou broughtest me into this life.cuser: but she will answer that her sins are forgiven her by Him. May they with devout affection remember my parents in this transitory light. and my fellow-citizens in that eternal Jerusalem which Thy pilgrim people sigheth after from their Exodus. . that so many as shall read these Confessions. to Whom none can repay that price which He. And inspire. whom she obeyed. more abundantly fulfilled to her. May she rest then in peace with the husband before and after whom she had never any. inspire Thy servants my brethren. may through my confessions. and heart. whom with voice. and pen I serve. my brethren under Thee our Father in our Catholic Mother. her sometimes husband. with Patricius. may at Thy Altar remember Monnica Thy handmaid.

Book X .

therefore do I speak. as I am known. the less men sorrow for them. and the more to be sorrowed for. that Thou mayest have and hold it without spot or wrinkle.Chapter I Let me know Thee. cometh to the light. Other things of this life are the less to be sorrowed for. enter into it. and fit it for Thee. who knowest me: let me know Thee. the more they are sorrowed for. Thou lovest the truth. Power of my soul. . when I rejoice healthfully. This is my hope. and he that doth it. and in this hope do I rejoice. before many witnesses. O Lord. For behold. This would I do in my heart before Thee in confession: and in my writing.

that I may be ashamed of myself. and choose Thee. To Thee therefore. what could be hidden in me though I would not confess it? For I should hide Thee from me. and renounce myself. and art pleasing. O Lord. then to confess to Thee is nothing else than to be displeased with myself. is made silently. but with the words of my soul. and with what fruit I confess unto Thee. Nor do I it with words and sounds of the flesh. For neither do I utter any thing right unto men. But now. . My confession then. O Lord. For in sound. and the cry of the thought which Thy ear knoweth. nothing else than not to ascribe it to myself: because Thou.Chapter II And from Thee. it cries aloud. and longed for. in affection. but in Thee. not me from Thee. unto whose eyes the abyss of man's conscience is naked. in Thy sight. that I am displeased with myself. I have said. and neither please Thee nor myself. whatever I am. which Thou hast not before heard from me. it is silent. blessest the godly. O my God. am I open. Thou shinest out. for that my groaning is witness. O Lord. but when holy. nor dost Thou hear any such thing from me. and beloved. but first Thou justifieth him when ungodly. and not silently. For when I am evil. which Thou hast not first said unto me.


that men may hear.” unless himself lieth? But because charity believeth all things (that is. With what fruit then. trusting more in the hope of Thy mercy than in her own innocency. that it sleep not in despair and say “I cannot. whether I say true. among those whom knitting unto itself it maketh one). that they should hear my confessions—as if they could heal all my infirmities—a race. will in such wise confess unto Thee. when from myself they hear of myself. “It is false. but the spirit of man which is in him? But if they hear from Thee of themselves. to Whom my conscience daily confesseth. stir up the heart. to whom I cannot demonstrate whether I confess truly. when read and heard.” For what is it to hear from Thee of themselves. whatever I am.” but awake in the love of Thy mercy and the sweetness of Thy grace. changing my soul by Faith and Thy Sacrament. make plain unto me what fruit I may reap by doing it. slothful to amend their own? Why seek they to hear from me what I am. that Thou mightest bless me in Thee. but to know themselves? and who knoweth and saith. yet they believe me. not because they are evils. They wish then to hear me confess what I am within.Chapter III What then have I to do with men. “The Lord lieth. who have heard from me or of me. whither neither their eye. divers desire to know. believeth me. they cannot say. whose ears charity openeth unto me. whereby whoso is weak. and she in them. And the good delight to hear of the past evils of such as are now freed from them. I pray. whereby they are good. my inmost Physician. . For the confessions of my past sins. curious to know the lives of others. who have or have not known me. nor understanding can reach. O Lord. I also. O Lord my God. nor ear. when by it he became conscious of his own weakness. but their ear is not at my heart where I am. which Thou hast forgiven and covered. not what I have been? For that other fruit I have seen and spoken of. do I by this book confess to men also in Thy presence what I now am. telleth them that in my confessions I lie not. is strong. who will not hear from Thee what themselves are? And how know they. But what I now am. but because they have been and are not. as ready to believe—but will they know? For charity. with what fruit. at the very time of making these confessions. seeing no man knows what is in man. they wish it. But do Thou.

my masters. my evil ones are my offences. when they shall hear how much I am held back by my own weight? To such will I discover myself For it is no mean fruit. and let hymns and weeping go up into Thy sight. sigh at the other. out of the hearts of my brethren. he pleased with the incense of Thy holy temple. Let a brotherly. but what I now am and what I yet am. companions of my way. but in the ears also of the believing sons of men. For He is the same who begat me. not a stranger. To such then whom Thou commandest me to serve will I discover. before I am with Thee. and their right hand is a right hand of iniquity. But neither do I judge myself. my fellow-citizens. in a secret exultation with trembling. that by many thanks should be given to Thee on our behalf. not that of the strange children. in over great peril. rejoiceth for me. And do Thou. I am a little one. Let the brotherly mind love in me what Thou teachest is to be loved. my brethren. have mercy upon me according to Thy great mercy for Thine own name's sake. and fellow-pilgrims. yea. but that brotherly mind which when it approveth. not of what I have been. of Thee. when they hear how near. My good deeds are Thine appointments. were not my soul subdued unto Thee under Thy wings. is sorry for me. to confess this. O Lord my God. This then I do in deed and word. and a secret sorrow with hope. not what I have been. but my Father ever liveth.Chapter IV But for what fruit would they hear this? Do they desire to joy with me. To such will I discover myself: they will breathe freely at my good deeds. whose mouth talketh of vanity. I approach unto Thee? and to pray for me. and my Guardian is sufficient for me. and no ways forsaking what Thou hast begun. and lament in me what Thou teachest is to be lamented. whom Thou willest to be Thy sons. and Thy gifts. mind. not before Thee only. and my infirmity known unto Thee. perfect my imperfections. Let them breathe freely at the one. and Thou be by many entreated for us. and when it disapproveth me. Thus therefore I would be heard. by Thy gift. But this Thy Word were little did it only command by speaking. and not go before in performing. Who are with me. and partners in my mortality. Almighty. if I would live with Thee. who are gone before. This is the fruit of my confessions of what I am. These are Thy servants. this I do under Thy wings. sigh for my ill. . and defends me: and Thou Thyself art all my good. it loveth me. or are to follow on. and Thy judgments. O Lord. because whether it approveth or disapproveth. Thy censers. Thou. whom Thou commandest me to serve. sharers of my joy.

but I. Lord. Yet I. so long know I not it. which I know not of myself. and account myself dust and ashes. although no man knoweth the things of a man. I will confess also what I know not of myself. Who hast made him. now we see through a glass darkly. I know not. which neither the spirit of man that is in him. what temptations I can resist. I am more present with myself than with Thee. So long therefore as I be absent from Thee. . dost judge me: because. I will confess then what I know of myself. that we may be able to bear it. Lord. yet is there something of man. though in Thy sight I despise myself. And that because what I do know of myself. and yet know I Thee that Thou art in no ways passible. but wilt with the temptation also make a way to escape. Who wilt not suffer us to be tempted above that we are able. what I cannot. yet know I something of Thee. But Thou. and what I know not of myself. And truly. because Thou art faithful. until my darkness be made as the noon-day in Thy countenance. itself knoweth. but the spirit of a man which is in him. knowest all of him. I know by Thy shining upon me.Chapter V For Thou. not face to face as yet. And there is hope.

and meat. and body. and there smelleth what breathing disperseth not. and the living creeping things. and earth. meat. that they may be without excuse. “Who art thou?” And I answered. all the bodily messengers reported the answers of heaven and earth. “Anaximenes was deceived. for to it as presiding and judging. Yea also heaven. being understood by the things that are made. the light. And I turned myself unto myself.” And behold. and I loved Thee. and all that therein is. the mind. But the better is the inner. and ointments. “He made us. “ My questioning them. nor the brightness of the light. but they cannot ask it: because no reason is set over their senses to judge on what they report. not manna and honey. I am not God. Is not this corporeal figure apparent to all whose senses are perfect? why then speaks it not the same to all? Animals small and great see it. and there soundeth what time beareth not away. behold. but He made me. “We are not God. and it answered me. But men can ask. and the whole air with his inhabitants answered. the beams of mine eyes. and embracement when I love my God. when I love Thee? not beauty of bodies. through the senses of my body. the other within. fragrance. This is it which I love when I love my God. I. None of these I love. I asked the whole frame of the world about my God. in me there present themselves to me soul. and whatsoever are in it confessed the same. nor sweet melodies of varied songs. and melody. so far as I could send messengers. but by love of .” And I replied unto all the things which encompass the door of my flesh: “Ye have told me of my God. when I love my God. and it answered me.Chapter VI Not with doubting. “ I asked the heavens. not limbs acceptable to embracements of flesh. and there tasteth what eating diminisheth not. “Nor (say they) are we the God whom thou seekest. embracement of my inner man: where there shineth unto my soul what space cannot contain. moon. By which of these ought I to seek my God? I had sought Him in the body from earth to heaven. “We are not thy God. I asked the sea and the deeps. and there clingeth what satiety divorceth not. tell me something of Him. one without. stars. but with assured consciousness. do I love Thee. and wilt have compassion on whom Thou hast had compassion: else in deaf ears do the heaven and the earth speak Thy praises. seek above us. And what is this? I asked the earth. Lord. and yet I love a kind of light. sun. and spices. nor the fragrant smell of flowers. “I am not He. was my thoughts on them: and their form of beauty gave the answer.” I asked the moving air. who said.” And they cried out with a loud voice. melody. and they answered. and all things therein. that ye are not He. so gladsome to our eyes. But more deeply wilt Thou have mercy on whom Thou wilt have mercy. nor cease to say so unto all. on every side they bid me love Thee. so that the invisible things of God are clearly seen. “A man. “I am not He”. nor the fair harmony of time. But what do I love. but He made us. Thou hast stricken my heart with Thy word.” These things did my inner man know by the ministry of the outer: I the inner knew them. and said to myself. and fragrance.

unless they can judge. giving it life. which no body can give to a body: but thy God is even unto thee the Life of thy life. nor earth. O my soul. speaks to that. they are made subject unto them: and subjects cannot judge. who compare its voice received from without.e.” This. .. with the truth within. their very nature saith to him that seeth them: “They are a mass. so as to appear one way to this man. yea rather it speaks to all. Nor yet do the creatures answer such as ask. another way to that. their appearance). For truth saith unto me. but appearing the same way to both. nor yet do they change their voice (i.” Now to thee I speak. it is dumb to this.them. “Neither heaven. another seeing asks. a mass is less in a part thereof than in the whole. but they only understand. thou art my better part: for thou quickenest the mass of my body. nor any other body is thy God. if one man only sees.

which. Nor can I by that power find my God. and the ear. which the Lord hath framed for me: commanding the eye not to hear. I will pass beyond that power whereby I am united to my body. whereby even their bodies live. I will pass beyond this power of mine also. seeing it is the same power. that through it I should see. for they also perceive through the body. that through it I should hear. and fill its whole frame with life. but the eye. and to the other senses severally. but that too whereby I imbue with sense my flesh. not that only whereby I animate. for this also have the horse. . and the ear not to see. for so horse and mule that have no understanding might find Him. But another power there is. I the one mind. do through them enact. and mule. being divers. what is to each their own peculiar seats and offices. when I love my God? who is He above the head of my soul? By my very soul will I ascend to Him.Chapter VII What then do I love.

by the ears all sorts of sounds. all tastes by the mouth. and discern betwixt black and white. and laid up. nor do those images of colours. as who should say.Chapter VIII I will pass then beyond this power of my nature also. until what I wish for be unveiled. they start forth. and by the sensation of the whole body. what is hard or soft. all smells by the avenue of the nostrils. and I prefer honey to sweet wine. apart. Yea. from the face of my remembrance. and whatever I could think on therein. when another store is called for. which notwithstanding be there. as it were. which I am reviewing. which forgetfulness hath not yet swallowed up and buried. if I will. and whatever else hath been committed and laid up. how they are formed. piled in and up by the other senses. where are the treasures of innumerable images. at the time neither tasting nor handling. only the images of the things perceived are there in readiness. each having entered by its own avenue: as light. And I come to the fields and spacious palaces of my memory. which are fetched. others must be longer sought after. heaven. hot or cold. so can I sing as much as I will. and what others I will: nor yet do sounds break in and disturb the image drawn in by my eyes. There are all things preserved distinctly and under general heads. and all colours and forms of bodies by the eyes. There is stored up. ready to come when I will. though it doth plainly appear by which sense each hath been brought in and stored up? For even while I dwell in darkness and silence. So the other things. and brought out at need. rising by degrees unto Him Who made me. or any other way varying those things which the sense hath come to. Other things come up readily. each entering in by his own gate. for thought to recall. in that vast court of my memory. but remembering only. I discern the breath of lilies from violets. These things do I within. in my memory I can produce colours. which flowed in by the ears. whatsoever besides we think. Which images. they are hidden from sight. out of some inner receptacle. sea. For these too I call for. brought into it from things of all sorts perceived by the senses. “Is it perchance I?” These I drive away with the hand of my heart. and forthwith they appear. When I enter there. though they also are there. Nor yet do the things themselves enter in. to be forthcoming. and while one thing is desired and required. intrude themselves and interrupt. either by enlarging or diminishing. All these doth that great harbour of the memory receive in her numberless secret and inexpressible windings. others rush out in troops. And though my tongue be still. lying dormant. as it were. I require what I will to be brought forth. and my throat mute. smooth before rugged. though smelling nothing. out of its secret place. as they are called for. All which takes place when I repeat a thing by heart. and something instantly comes. and appear in sight. or rugged. heavy or light. in unbroken order. and there laid up. earth. I recall at my pleasure. who can tell. . For there are present with me. those in front making way for the following. besides what I have forgotten. either outwardly or inwardly to the body. and as they make way.

either on my own experience. O my God. and recall myself. rivers. and what I have done. have believed: and thence again infer future actions. events and hopes. “and this or that will follow. nor do I myself comprehend all that I am. and pass themselves by. a large and boundless chamber! who ever sounded the bottom thereof? yet is this a power of mine. in that great receptacle of my mind. stars which I had seen. And where should that be. stored with the images of things so many and so great. or. nor would I speak of any thereof. which it containeth not of itself? Is it without it. and that ocean which I believe to be. and not within? how then doth it not comprehend itself? A wonderful admiration surprises me. the images of all I speak of are present. “I will do this or that. and all these again I reflect on. or other's credit. And men go abroad to admire the heights of mountains. and when. and under what feelings. And I know by what sense of the body each was impressed upon me. when with mine eyes I beheld them. and belongs unto my nature. billows. as if I saw them abroad. as present. the broad tides of rivers. from what I have experienced. where.There also meet I with myself.” say I to myself. the mighty billows of the sea. Yet did not I by seeing draw them into myself. but their images only. Therefore is the mind too strait to contain itself. There be all which I remember. yet could not have spoken of them. nor wonder that when I spake of all these things. Out of the same store do I myself with the past continually combine fresh and fresh likenesses of things which I have experienced. excessive great. inwardly in my memory. Great is this force of memory. I did not see them with mine eyes. nor are they themselves with me. the compass of the ocean. . and the circuits of the stars. were the images wanting. out of the same treasury of memory. and that.” “O that this or that might be!” “God avert this or that!” So speak I to myself: and when I speak. amazement seizes me upon this. with the same vast spaces between. unless I then actually saw the mountains.

and thence wonderfully by the act of remembering. or as any thing which the body by touch perceiveth. and which when removed from us. which verily in the belly hath now no taste. as that I have not taken in the image. For those things are not transmitted into the memory. but the things themselves. what the art of disputing. what is literature. and stored as it were in wondrous cabinets. the memory still conceives. but their images only are with an admirable swiftness caught up. which remembering. or as a smell while it passes and evaporates into air affects the sense of smell. removed as it were to some inner place. . Here also is all. when it no longer sounded. brought forth. whatsoever of these I know.Chapter IX Yet not these alone does the unmeasurable capacity of my memory retain. and left out the thing. whereby it might be recalled. or as meat. how many kinds of questions there be. in such manner exists in my memory. learnt of the liberal sciences and as yet unforgotten. or that it should have sounded and passed away like a voice fixed on the ear by that impress. and yet in the memory still in a manner tasteth. whence it conveys into the memory an image of itself. as if it sounded. For. we renew. which is yet no place: nor are they the images thereof.

nor ever discerned them otherwise than in my mind. I gave not credit to another man's mind. “If it have not size.” The ears say. if I handled it not. yet in my memory have I laid up not their images. for I have gone over all the avenues of my flesh. “Unless they have a savour. they passed by us. but cannot find by which they entered. but so thrown back and buried as it were in deeper recesses.Chapter X But now when I hear that there be three kinds of questions. In my heart then they were. I never reached with any sense of my body. laying them up as it were. I gave no notice of it. But the things themselves which are signified by those sounds. that had not the suggestion of another drawn them forth I had perchance been unable to conceive of them? . “If they sound.” The touch says. Which how they entered into me. “If they smell. and approving them for true. with a noise passed through the air. ask me not. For when I learned them. we gave knowledge of them. and now are not.” unless that they were already in the memory.” The taste says.” Whence and how entered these things into my memory? I know not how. Where then? or wherefore. when they were spoken. whence I might bring them forth when I willed. we reported of them.” The nostrils say. “So is it. let them say if they can. “Whether the thing be? what it is? of what kind it is? I do indeed hold the images of the sounds of which those words be composed. even before I learned them. did I acknowledge them. it is true. I commended them to it. but recognised them in mine. and that those sounds. but in my memory they were not. “If those images were coloured. I handled it not. and said. For the eyes say. but themselves.

But the mind hath appropriated to itself this word (cogitation). is properly said to be cogitated. . not what is “collected” any how. or thought upon. placed as it were at hand. that they may be known. that is to say. in the mind.. which we are said to have learned and come to know which were I for some short space of time to cease to call to mind. that they must again. is nothing else. they are again so buried. but perceive within by themselves. but what is “recollected. as they are. and by marking to take heed that those things which the memory did before contain at random and unarranged. as it were. facio and factito. And how many things of this kind does my memory bear which have been already found out.e. For cogo (collect) and cogito (re-collect) have the same relation to each other as ago and agito. to receive.Chapter XI Wherefore we find. and glide back. they must as it were be collected together from their dispersion: whence the word “cogitation” is derived. so that. that to learn these things whereof we imbibe nor the images by our senses. brought together.” i. without images. but by conception. and as I said. he thought out thence. and so readily occur to the mind familiarised to them. for other abode they have none: but they must be drawn together again. scattered and neglected. be laid up at hand as it were in that same memory where before they lay unknown. into the deeper recesses. as if new.

nor Latin. recognises them within himself. I have heard the sound of the words whereby when discussed they are denoted: but the sounds are other than the things. like a spider's thread. nor touch. and therefore they indeed are. they are not the images of those lines which the eye of flesh showed me: he knoweth them. I have perceived also the numbers of the things with which we number all the senses of my body. I have seen the lines of architects. nor sound. the very finest. Let him who seeth them not. For the sounds are other in Greek than in Latin. nor are they the images of these. nor smell.Chapter XII The memory containeth also reasons and laws innumerable of numbers and dimensions. and I will pity him. deride me for saying these things. but those numbers wherewith we number are different. nor taste. . whosoever without any conception whatsoever of a body. seeing they have neither colour. but those are still different. but the things are neither Greek. nor any other language. none of which hath any bodily sense impressed. while he derides me.

that I have now been able to remember these things. and remember. So then I remember also to have remembered. And I perceive that the present discerning of these things is different from remembering that I oftentimes discerned them. by the force of memory shall I call it to remembrance. and I remember also that I have discerned betwixt those truths and these falsehoods objected to them.Chapter XIII All these things I remember. Many things also most falsely objected against them have I heard. and what I now discern and understand. that hereafter I may remember that I understand it now. when I often thought upon them. yet is it not false that I remember them. as if hereafter I shall call to remembrance. and how I learnt them I remember. I both remember then to have often understood these things. I lay up in my memory. which though they be false. .

we say. and without sorrow do I recollect my past sorrow. which. when committed to the memory.” calling the memory itself the mind). and therefore could they. but notions of the very things themselves which we never received by any avenue of the body. but far otherwise. yea. Perchance. fear. and with sorrow. and thence do I bring it: yet am I not disturbed by any of these perturbations. the memory hath sorrow. it is not so wonderful. or the bitterness of sorrow? Is the comparison unlike in this. but which the mind itself perceiving by the experience of its own passions. the belly of the mind. body another. I remember them. are as it were passed into the belly. but cannot taste. But now seeing this very memory itself is mind (for when we give a thing in charge. this being so. and whatsoever I can dispute thereon. taste in the mouth of his musing the sweetness of joy. . on the contrary. like sweet and bitter food. so by recollection these out of the memory. then. “It did not come to my mind. when by calling them to mind. by recollection. without being committed unto it. by dividing each into its subordinate species. yet the memory upon the sadness which is in it. Ridiculous it is to imagine these to be alike. For without rejoicing I remember myself to have joyed. because not in all respects like? For who would willingly speak thereof. if so oft as we name grief or fear. joy. to be kept in memory. we should be compelled to be sad or fearful? And yet could we not speak of them. Which is not wonderful. the mind upon the joyfulness which is in it. committed to the memory. and by defining it. sorrow.” and. how is it that when with joy I remember my past sorrow. thus recollecting. and before I recalled and brought them back. according to a power of its own. If I therefore with joy remember some past pain of body. they were there. “It slipped out of my mind. and without desire call to mind a past desire.Chapter XIV The same memory contains also the affections of my mind. But. is joyful. did we not find in our memory. joy. for mind is one thing. when it feels them. and yet are they not utterly unlike. thence be brought. when I say there be four perturbations of the mind. we say. Sometimes. desire. as meat is by chewing the cud brought up out of the belly. I review without fear. as it were. and joy and sadness. out of my memory I bring it. in my memory find I what to say. the mind hath joy. And that I once feared. behold. “See that you keep it in mind”. where they may be stowed. with joy do I remember my fore-past sorrow. Why then does not the disputer. not only the sounds of the names according to the images impressed by the senses of the body. and when we forget. or the memory of itself retained. as to the body. not in the same manner that my mind itself contains them. is not sad? Does the memory perchance not belong to the mind? Who will say so? The memory then is.

I name a stone. And where do I recognise it. I name the sun. nor in discoursing discern pain from pleasure. yet it is not present with me. I name numbers whereby we number. I name memory. unless its image also were present in my memory. I could by no means recall what the sound of this name should signify. unless the same image were by the force of memory retained. but themselves are present in my memory. I name the image of the sun. For I recall not the image of its image. I name a bodily pain. when health were named. calling it to mind. but in the memory itself? Is it also present to itself by its image. yet. who can readily say? Thus. and I recognise what I name. I name bodily health. but their images to my memory.Chapter XV But whether by images or no. and that image is present in my memory. the thing itself is present with me. although the thing itself were absent from the body. Nor would the sick. being sound in body. recognise what were spoken. when nothing aches: yet unless its image were present to my memory. I should not know what to say thereof. and not their images. and not by itself? . the things themselves not being present to my senses. but the image itself is present to me.

I might look on and bring back in my mind. although that way be past conceiving and explaining. that we forget not. yea and toil in myself. then forgetfulness is retained by memory. present with itself: but when I remember forgetfulness. we could never at the hearing of the name recognise the thing thereby signified. we forget. it would not cause us to remember. forgetfulness which I remember. my memory received from them images. thus the health or sickness of the body. . when I remember it? How could I say this either. thus all places where I have been. It is I myself who remember. yet. not forgetfulness itself. be far from me. whence that image may be impressed? For thus do I remember Carthage. or enquiring the balancings of the earth. but the privation of memory? How then is it present that I remember it. unless we did remember forgetfulness. that its image might be taken. I. memory itself is. which being present with me. It is to be understood from this that forgetfulness when we remember it. and withal recognise what I name? whence should I recognise it. how did it write its image in the memory. but of the thing which it signifies: which if I had forgotten. and being so. in whatever way. when it is clear to me that I remember forgetfulness? Shall I say that that is not in my memory. memory whereby I remember. that I might not forget? Both were most absurd. For we are not now searching out the regions of heaven. I the mind. through itself. Present then it is. or measuring the distances of the stars. which I remember? or shall I say that forgetfulness is for this purpose in my memory. What third way is there? How can I say that the image of forgetfulness is retained by my memory. but to forget. then plainly itself was once present. For when these things were present. and things reported by the other senses. since when present I cannot remember? But if what we remember we hold it in memory. For what shall I say. But what is nearer to me than myself? And to. If then this forgetfulness is retained in the memory through its image. It is not so wonderful. Who now shall search out this? who shall comprehend how it is? Lord. when I name forgetfulness. the thing itself must needs be first present. When then I remember memory. truly. yet certain am I that I remember forgetfulness itself also. seeing that forgetfulness by its presence effaces even what it finds already noted? And yet. But what is forgetfulness. toil therein. But when it was present. I could not recognise what that sound signifies. thus men's faces whom I have seen. I am become a heavy soil requiring over much sweat of the brow. the force of mine own memory is not understood by me. whereby what we remember is effaced. not through itself. when I remembered them in their absence. seeing that when the image of any thing is impressed on the memory. is not present to the memory by itself but by its image: because if it were present by itself.Chapter XVI What. did I not remember it? I speak not of the sound of the name. there are present both memory and forgetfulness. though I cannot so much as name myself without it. if what I myself am not.

What sayest Thou to me? See. whence Thou mayest be arrived at. and there is no end. O sweet Light. Behold in the plains.Chapter XVII Great is the power of memory. which. O my God? What nature am I? A life various and manifold. as all bodies. and where shall I find Thee. if I remember Thee not? . so great the force of life. the memory retaineth. and to cleave unto Thee. or by actual presence. I am mounting up through my mind towards Thee who abidest above me. desirous to arrive at Thee. while yet whatsoever is in the memory is also in the mind—over all these do I run. and this am I myself. my God? I will pass even beyond this power of mine which is called memory: yea. So great is the force of memory. and caverns of my memory. Thou truly good and certain sweetness? And where shall I find Thee? If I find Thee without my memory. either through images. I fly. Yea. And how shall I find Thee. What shall I do then. that I may arrive at Him who hath separated me from the four-footed beasts and made me wiser than the fowls of the air. or by certain notions or impressions. I will pass then beyond memory also. as far as I can. a fearful thing. even in the mortal life of man. I dive on this side and on that. nor many other things they are used unto: nor indeed could they be used to any thing. I will pass beyond memory also. a deep and boundless manifoldness. O Thou my true life. and caves. and this thing is the mind. but by memory. as the affections of the mind. I now will pass beyond this power of mine which is called memory. that I may approach unto Thee. I will pass beyond it. then do I not retain Thee in my memory. and exceeding immense. For even beasts and birds have memory. O my God. as the arts. even when the mind doth not feel. innumerable and innumerably full of innumerable kinds of things. else could they not return to their dens and nests. What am I then. whence one may cleave unto Thee.

And so it ever is. and this I thereby know. and was asked. .” until that were offered me which I sought. because I could not recognise it. Notwithstanding. yet its image is still retained within. whence should she know whether it were the same.Chapter XVIII For the woman that had lost her groat. and sought it with a light. unless we remember it. unless she remembered it? I remember to have sought and found many a thing. For when it was found. but retained in the memory. “Is this it?” “Is that it?” so long said I “No. that when I was seeking any of them. she had never found it. But this was lost to the eyes. it is recognised by the image which is within: nor do we say that we have found what was lost. unless we recognise it. not from the memory (as any visible body). yet should I not find it. and it is sought until it be restored to sight. when any thing is by chance lost from the sight. when we seek and find any lost thing. nor can we recognise it. unless she had remembered it. Which had I not remembered (whatever it were) though it were offered me. and when it is found.

What then we have utterly forgotten. upon recollection. For we do not believe it as something new. and maimed. we should not remember it. as falls out when we forget and seek that we may recollect? Where in the end do we search. nor recognise it unless we remembered it. For we have not as yet utterly forgotten that. until that present itself. But were it utterly blotted out of the mind. And whence does that present itself. but out of the memory itself? for even when we recognise it. it is thence it comes. until what we seek meets us. whatever else occurs. if one thing be perchance offered instead of another. and therefore is rejected. by the curtailment of its ancient habit. demanded the restoration of what it missed? For instance. Certainly then we had forgotten it.Chapter XIX But what when the memory itself loses any thing. but in the memory itself? and there. even when reminded. was the lost part sought for. which we should not unless we recognised it. we say. if we see or think of some one known to us. in that the memory felt that it did not carry on together all which it was wont. which we remember ourselves to have forgotten. on being reminded by another. allow what was named to be right. and having forgotten his name. had not the whole escaped us. try to recover it. and when it doth. because it was not wont to be thought upon together with him. but. we reject it. . but by the part whereof we had hold. whereon the knowledge reposes equably as its wonted object. though lost. as it were. Or. “This is it”. we cannot even seek after. connects itself not therewith.

yet are they better off than such as are happy neither in deed nor in hope. or in that man who first sinned. because the thing itself is neither Greek nor Latin. what. I know not how. as not even to remember that I had forgotten it? is not a happy life what all will. I will seek Thee. but only. as would he too. either never having known. he is not delighted. my God. until I can say. which that they do will. They have known it then. but we Latins are delighted. did we not know it. seeing I have it not. for they with one voice be asked. if he heard it in Greek. O Lord? For when I seek Thee. whether all severally. and there are. and am perplexed whether it be in the memory. than they who have it in very deed. unless the thing itself whereof it is the name were retained in their memory. there is another way. For when a Greek hears it in Latin. or so forgotten it. which Greeks and Latins. and so have it by some sort of knowledge. Yet even these. I know not. that my soul may live. who are blessed. is most certain. in hope. where I ought to say it. Known therefore it is to all. and from whom we are all born with misery. . had they it not in some sort. For my body liveth by my soul. I know not. then we have been happy once. “would they be happy?” they would answer without doubt. We hear the name. for we are not delighted with the mere sound. I now enquire not.Chapter XX How then do I seek Thee.” And this could not be. which if it be. These have it in a lower kind. in whom also we all died. wherein when one hath it. that they so love it? Truly we have it. desiring to learn it as a thing unknown. and men of all other tongues. that they so will it? where seen it. remembering that I had forgotten it? Or. then is he happy. would not so will to be happy. how. “they would. “It is enough”? How seek I it? By remembrance. and no one altogether wills it not? where have they known it. and my soul by Thee. not knowing what is spoken. as though I had forgotten it. and we all confess that we desire the thing. How then do I seek a happy life. Yea. whether the happy life be in the memory? For neither should we love it. I seek a happy life. long for so earnestly.

unless by some certain knowledge we knew. hear. and the other not. For these. namely. but I experienced it in my mind. both would instantly without any doubting say they would. For even from foul things have I been immersed in a sort of joy. that he would not. and many who desire to be so. although perchance no longer present. whence it appears that it is in their knowledge. but to be happy. according to the nature of the things. taste. as one remembers Carthage who hath seen it? No. because it is not a body. and the knowledge of it clave to my memory. unless they were thus delighted). yet these have by their bodily senses observed others to be eloquent. nor did I ever with bodily sense see. one. Is it perchance that as one looks for his joy in this thing. and yet still desire to attain it. as a happy life. As we remember eloquence then? No. and been delighted. or touch my joy. for my joy I remember. Where then and when did I experience my happy life. and this joy they call a happy life? Although then one obtains this joy by one means. nor wish to be the like. perchance. another in that.Chapter XXi But is it so. and long for it? Nor is it I alone. smell. and recognised whenever the name of a happy life is mentioned. another by another. that I should remember. whereas a happy life. For although upon hearing this name also. the other. But how is this. which I recall with longing. we do by no bodily sense experience in others. joy. we should not with so certain a will desire. at others with longing. that we may be happy. all agree in their desire of being happy. as they would (if they were asked) that they wished to have joy. or some few besides. Which being a thing which all must say they have experienced. seeks not further to attain unto. would answer that he would. when unhappy. when I rejoiced. wherein I remember myself to have joyed. but a happy life we have in our knowledge. all have one end. As we remember numbers then? No. For a happy life is not seen with the eye. and for no other reason would the one go to the wars. who still are not yet eloquent. but if they were asked whether they would be happy. even when sad. I detest and execrate. but we all would fain be happy. As then we remember joy? Perchance. which. . and desire to be the like (though indeed they would not be delighted but for some inward knowledge thereof. it is therefore found in the memory. which they strive to attain. some call to mind the thing. and therefore with sadness I recall former joy. which now recalling. so that I can recall it with disgust sometimes. and therefore love it. otherwhiles in good and honest things. he that hath in his knowledge. and love. that if two men be asked whether they would go to the wars.

And this is the happy life.Chapter XXII Far be it. pursue some other and not the true joy. I should therefore think myself happy. far be it from the heart of Thy servant who here confesseth unto Thee. Yet is not their will turned away from some semblance of joy. Lord. be the joy what it may. this is it. that. far be it. and there is no other. for Thee. whose joy Thou Thyself art. . For there is a joy which is not given to the ungodly. of Thee. to rejoice to Thee. For they who think there is another. but to those who love Thee for Thine own sake.

and the Spirit against the flesh. O God my light. yea thus doth the mind of man. But the contrary is requited it. and would deceive. This is the happy life which all desire. foul and ill-favoured. were there not some notice of it in their memory. they love her when she discovers herself unto them. who would be deceived. wish to be hidden. they do not will so strongly as would suffice to make them able? For I ask any one. health of my countenance. For since they would not be deceived.” for a happy life is joy in the truth: for this is a joying in Thee. that itself should not be hidden from the Truth. no distraction interposing. preaching the truth. had he rather joy in truth. that they who love anything else would gladly have that which they love to be the truth: and because they would not be deceived. inasmuch as they who wish not to joy in Thee. Why then joy they not in it? why are they not happy? because they are more strongly taken up with other things which have more power to make them miserable. it had rather joy in truths than in falsehoods. become an enemy to them? whereas a happy life is loved. do not truly desire the happy life. when. which yet they would not love. she both against their will makes manifest. but the Truth is hid from it. that the darkness overtake them not.” and the man of Thine. For there is yet a little light in men. what they are not able to do. unless that truth is in that kind loved. thus blind and sick. Yet even thus miserable. save where they know the truth also? For they love it also. by Whom all things are true. thus. would not be convinced that they are so? Therefore do they hate the truth for that thing's sake which they loved instead of the truth.” as to say “that they desire to be happy. no one. Who art the Truth. that they who would not be made manifest by her. Whence she shall so repay them. I have met with many that would deceive. it wills not. than that which they so faintly remember to make them happy. it shall joy in that only Truth. to joy in the truth all desire. since they would not be deceived. my God. . because. and herself becometh not manifest unto them. Or do all men desire this.Chapter XXIII It is not certain then that all wish to be happy. But why doth “truth generate hatred. and hate her when she discovers them. Happy then will it be. Where then did they know this happy life. but because the flesh lusteth against the Spirit. but that aught should be hidden from it. they fall upon that which they can. which is nothing else but joying in the truth. which is no other than joying in the truth. They love truth when she enlightens. that they cannot do what they would. all desire. this life which alone is happy. let them walk. and are content therewith. let them walk. or in falsehood? They will as little hesitate to say “in the truth. Thus. then also do they love the truth. which is the only happy life. they hate her when she reproves. And when they love a happy life.

I have not forgotten Thee. which since I learnt. and delight in Thee. without it. having regard to my poverty. . there found I my God. I have not forgotten. Nor have I found any thing concerning Thee. the Truth itself. Since then I learnt Thee. These be my holy delights. O Lord. For since I learnt Thee. which Thou hast given me in Thy mercy. ever since I learnt Thee. and there do I find Thee. Thou residest in my memory.Chapter XXIV See what a space I have gone over in my memory seeking Thee. but what I have kept in memory. For where I found Truth. and I have not found Thee. when I call Thee to remembrance.

for I found Thee not there among the images of corporeal things: and I came to those parts to which I committed the affections of my mind. and all these are changed. when I call Thee to remembrance. or the like). but Thou remainest unchangeable over all. so neither art Thou the mind itself. For in thinking on Thee.Chapter XXV But where in my memory residest Thou. nor found Thee there. to reside in it. fear. where residest Thou there? what manner of lodging hast Thou framed for Thee? what manner of sanctuary hast Thou builded for Thee? Thou hast given this honour to my memory. inasmuch as the mind remembers itself also). I passed beyond such parts of it as the beasts also have. but in what quarter of it Thou residest. because Thou art the Lord God of the mind. remember. . condole. nor the affection of a living being (as when we rejoice. desire. that am I considering. that in it Thou dwellest. since I have remembered Thee ever since I learnt Thee. since I learnt Thee. as if there were places therein? Sure I am. O Lord. And why seek I now in what place thereof Thou dwellest. forget. neither wert Thou there: for as Thou art not a corporeal image. And I entered into the very seat of my mind (which it hath in my memory. and there I find Thee. and yet hast vouchsafed to dwell in my memory.

. and at once answerest all. Clearly dost Thou answer. and there is no place. though all do not clearly hear. we go backward and forward. O Truth. though they hear not always what they will. before I learned Thee. as rather to will that. He is Thy best servant who looks not so much to hear that from Thee which himself willeth. All consult Thee on what they will. but in Thee above me? Place there is none.Chapter XXVI Where then did I find Thee. Where then did I find Thee. though on manifold matters they ask Thy counsel. which from Thee he heareth. that I might learn Thee? For in my memory Thou wert not. Every where. dost Thou give audience to all who ask counsel of Thee. that I might learn Thee.

unless they were in Thee. .Chapter XXVII Too late loved I Thee. were not at all. but I was not with Thee. yet ever new! too late I loved Thee! And behold. Thou wert within. shonest. Thou touchedst me. and I burned for Thy peace. and shoutedst. and I abroad. O Thou Beauty of ancient days. which. and there I searched for Thee. Thou flashedst. and scatteredst my blindness. deformed I. plunging amid those fair forms which Thou hadst made. and hunger and thirst. I tasted. Thou breathedst odours. Thou wert with me. and I drew in breath and panted for Thee. Thou calledst. and burstest my deafness. Things held me far from Thee.

I shall no where have sorrow or labour. I the sick. But now since whom Thou fillest. he had rather there were nothing for him to endure. Thou liftest up. For though he rejoices that he endures. once and again. from the longing for prosperity. What middle place is there betwixt these two. and corruption of joy! Woe to the adversities of the world. and the third time. Woe is me! lo! I hide not my wounds. as wholly full of Thee. because I am not full of Thee I am a burden to myself. I know not. Is not the life of man upon earth all trial: without any interval? . not to be loved. Woe is me! Lord. in prosperity I fear adversity. have pity on me. and my life shall wholly live. In adversity I long for prosperity. I miserable. though he love to endure. and because adversity itself is a hard thing. have pity on me. where the life of man is not all trial? Woe to the prosperities of the world. Lamentable joys strive with joyous sorrows: and on which side is the victory. I know not. Thou merciful. and on which side is the victory. Thou art the Physician. My evil sorrows strive with my good joys. through fear of adversity.Chapter XXVIII When I shall with my whole self cleave to Thee. and lest it shatter endurance. Woe is me! Lord. Is not the life of man upon earth all trial? Who wishes for troubles and difficulties? Thou commandest them to be endured. No man loves what he endures. once and again.

this also was a part of wisdom to know whose gift she is. and enjoin what Thou wilt. Thou enjoinest continency: give me what Thou enjoinest. Give what Thou enjoinest. that no man can be continent. which he loveth not for Thee. For too little doth he love Thee. who ever burnest and never consumest! O charity. and when I knew. kindle me. my God. Thou enjoinest us continency. who loves any thing with Thee. saith one. . O love.Chapter XXIX And all my hope is no where but in Thy exceeding great mercy. By continency verily are we bound up and brought back into One. unless God give it. whence we were dissipated into many. and enjoin what Thou wilt.

so as to heal all the diseases of my soul. Thy gifts more and more in me. disentangled from the birdlime of concupiscence. hoping that Thou wilt perfect Thy mercies in me. Am I not then myself. Thou hast counselled something better than what Thou hast permitted. through images of sense. commit those debasing corruptions. which haunt me. is not hard for the Almighty. what yet we be sorry that in some way it was done in us. not only so as to give pleasure. strengthless when I am awake: but in sleep. Lord. when death shall be swallowed up in victory. rejoicing with trembling. Is it clasped up with the eyes? is it lulled asleep with the senses of the body? And whence is it that often even in sleep we resist. and mindful of our purpose. Yea. have I confessed unto my good Lord. but not even to consent unto them. Art Thou not mighty. even to pollution of the flesh. God Almighty. the true cannot. awake. the very least influence.Chapter XXX Verily Thou enjoinest me continency from the lust of the flesh. even before I became a dispenser of Thy Sacrament. and even in dreams not only not. it was done. O Lord my God? And yet there is so much difference betwixt myself and myself. it remaineth unshaken. and for wedlock itself. but even at my present age. or return from sleeping to waking! Where is reason then. that when it happeneth otherwise.—to work this. so far prevails the illusion of the image. But there yet live in my memory (whereof I have much spoken) the images of such things as my ill custom there fixed. within that moment wherein I pass from waking to sleeping. not even such as a thought would restrain. over the pure affections even of a sleeper. even to perfect peace. But what I yet am in this kind of my evil. that. and bemoaning that wherein I am still imperfect. in my soul and in my flesh. upon waking we return to peace of conscience: and by this very difference discover that we did not. when asleep. not only during life. which. that it rebel not against itself. and by Thy more abundant grace to quench even the impure motions of my sleep! Thou wilt increase. And since Thou gavest it. which my outward and inward man shall have with Thee. Who art able to do above all that we ask or think. that my soul may follow me to Thee. the lust of the eyes. in that which Thou hast given me. false visions persuade to that which when waking. For that nothing of this sort should have. and abiding most chastely in it. resisteth such suggestions? And should the things themselves be urged on it. and what is very like reality. . and the ambition of the world. but even to obtain assent. yield no assent to such enticements? And yet so much difference there is. Thou enjoinest continency from concubinage.

This hast Thou taught me. unless the medicine of nourishments come to our aid. shall we lack. and water. But now the necessity is sweet unto me. praying for them. And health being the cause of eating and drinking. Drunkard was I never. often bringing my body into subjection. nor is there any other way to pass thither. I hear the voice of my God commanding. Thou wilt have mercy. glad that it appeareth not what sufficeth for the moderation of health. against which sweetness I fight. which is to say. in the very passage the snare of concupiscence besets me. there joineth itself as an attendant a dangerous pleasure. that they who have been. neither if we eat. and to Thee do I refer my perplexities. which I would were sufficient for it. For that passing. and air serve our weakness. And oft it is uncertain. and carry on a daily war by fastings. but drunkards have I known made sober by Thee. These temptations I daily endeavour to resist. from Thee we received it. or whether a voluptuous deceivableness of greediness is proffering its services. whither we needs must pass. For by eating and drinking we repair the daily decays of our body. should not ever so be. But while I am passing from the discomfort of emptiness to the content of replenishing. and I call on Thy right hand. and therein prepares an excuse to shield itself. Thou wilt have mercy. yea to the end we might afterwards know this. and what good soever we have received before we prayed. neither if we eat not. that it come not near me. and clothe this incorruptible with an eternal incorruption. I heard another voice of Thine. is too little for pleasure. is pleasure. or wish to do. so that I may for her sake do what I say I do. and from Thee it was. shall we abound. Drunkenness is far from me. and my pains are removed by pleasure. Many things Thou givest us. that I be not taken captive. for I have learned in whatsoever . and from thy pleasure turn away. did we before receive it. nor the other miserable. For hunger and thirst are in a manner pains. that both might know from Whom it was. that they who never were such. when Thou shalt slay my emptiness with a wonderful fulness. that it may be far from me. until Thou destroy both belly and meat. neither shall the one make me plenteous. In this uncertainty the unhappy soul rejoiceth. it may disguise the matter of gratification. which mostly endeavours to go before it. whether it be the necessary care of the body which is yet asking for sustenance. Nor have each the same measure. Which since it is at hand through the consolations of Thy gifts. I heard also another. they burn and kill like a fever. For no one can be continent unless Thou give it. Let not your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness. for what is enough for health. our calamity is termed gratification. Go not after thy lusts. that under the cloak of health. Yea by Thy favour have I heard that which I have much loved. that I should set myself to take food as physic. for health's sake. But full feeding sometimes creepeth upon Thy servant. with which land. because I have as yet no settled counsel herein.Chapter XXXI There is another evil of the day. From Thee then it was. should not so be. as from Thee it was.

good Father. thanks be to Thee. I know also that Esau was deceived by lusting for lentiles. and. Placed then amid these temptations. he is a great one. they murmured against the Lord. because he whom I so loved. . I fear not uncleanness of meat. I know.state I am. was of the same dust. Yet do I too magnify Thy name. let him make Thy Name great. who is not some whit transported beyond the limits of necessity? whoever he is. enlightening my heart. These things have I learned. my God. for I am a sinful man. But I am not such. let him not despise him that eateth not. but the uncleanness of lusting. that endued with an admirable abstinence. and he was lost and is found. Behold a soldier of the heavenly camp. when that is done which Thou commandest to be done. and that meat commendeth us not to God. and enjoin what Thou wilt. whence it appeareth. not the dust which we are. that he which eateth. but because. and. that I can. He confesses to have received. and in Thy book shall all be written. And who is he. but that it is evil unto the man that eateth with offence. as I could of concubinage. Strengthen me. For it is not of such nature that I can settle on cutting it off once for all. all things are pure. in the desire of food. and He maketh intercession to Thee for my sins who hath overcome the world. and. Take from me (saith he) the desires of the belly. Thou hast taught me. I strive daily against concupiscence in eating and drinking. Lord. Give what Thou enjoinest. I know how to abound. judge him that eateth. and let not him that eateth not. but bread. Nor could he of himself do this. numbering me among the weak members of His body. locusts. that every creature of Thine is good. O my holy God. because Thine eyes have seen that of Him which is imperfect. knocking at my ears. that Thou givest. and when he glorieth. that Elijah was fed with flesh. saying this through the in-breathing of Thy inspiration. and that David blamed himself for desiring a draught of water. and never touching it afterward. and how to suffer need. and that our King was tempted. that we are dust. not concerning flesh. and that of dust Thou hast made man. But remember. praise to Thee. my Master. that Noah was permitted to eat all kind of flesh that was good for food. I can do all things (saith he) through Him that strengtheneth me. Another have I heard begging that he might receive. O Lord. not for desiring flesh. that no man should judge us in meat or drink. I can do all things through Christ that strengtheneth me. that to the pure. The bridle of the throat then is to be held attempered between slackness and stiffness. deliver me out of all temptation. which is received with thanksgiving. and nothing to be refused. therewith to be content. was not polluted by feeding on living creatures. in the Lord he glorieth. And therefore the people in the wilderness also deserved to be reproved.

For that also is a mournful darkness whereby my abilities within me are hidden from me. perchance I am deceived. the whole whereof is called a trial. When absent. I do not refuse them. so that my mind making enquiry into herself of her own powers. when present. unless experience reveal it. . Our only hope. I do not miss them. I am not much concerned. ventures not readily to believe herself. yet ever ready to be without them. And no one ought to be secure in that life. only assured promise is Thy mercy. that he who hath been capable of worse to be made better. only confidence. So I seem to myself. may not likewise of better be made worse. because even what is in it is mostly hidden.Chapter XXXII With the allurements of smells.

in whose presence I have become a problem to myself. whoso regulate your feelings within. but Thou didst loosen and free me. feeling our minds to be more holily and fervently raised unto a flame of devotion. to which the soul must not be given over to be enervated. not with the singing. and the Church's too. I confess to have sinned penally. I acknowledge the great use of this institution. but having been admitted merely for her sake. when sung with a sweet and attuned voice. ye. inclined the rather (though not as pronouncing an irrevocable opinion) to approve of the usage of singing in the church. hearken. but afterwards am aware of it. I do a little repose. and that is my infirmity. who made the reader of the psalm utter it with so slight inflection of voice. and sometimes to that degree. the sense not so waiting upon reason as patiently to follow her. See now my state. by a sweet variety. as that good action ensues. which I remember to have been often told me of Athanasius. Bishop of Alexandria. as to wish the whole melody of sweet music which is used to David's Psalter. in the beginning of my recovered faith.Chapter XXXIII The delights of the ear had more firmly entangled and subdued me. . doth oft beguile me. O Lord my God. Thus in these things I unawares sin. when I remember the tears I shed at the Psalmody of Thy Church. banished from my ears. and how at this time I am moved. For you who do not act. Thus I fluctuate between peril of pleasure and approved wholesomeness. and see. in those melodies which Thy words breathe soul into. shunning over-anxiously this very deception. by the holy words themselves when thus sung. But with the words which are their life and whereby they find admission into me. that so by the delight of the ears the weaker minds may rise to the feeling of devotion. Yet again. and then had rather not hear music. Thou. behold. when they are sung with a clear voice and modulation most suitable. and that mode seems to me safer. but with the things sung. At other times. Yet when it befalls me to be more moved with the voice than the words sung. but that I can disengage myself when I will. themselves seek in my affections a place of some estimation. and weep for me. I err in too great strictness. these things touch not you. weep with me. than when not. that it was nearer speaking than singing. by some hidden correspondence wherewith they are stirred up. But this contentment of the flesh. and I can scarcely assign them one suitable. and have mercy and heal me. have their own proper measures in the voice and singing. it strives even to run before her. yet not so as to be held thereby. Now. But Thou. and lead her. and that the several affections of our spirit. For at one time I seem to myself to give them more honour than is seemly.

gliding by me in varied forms. as there is from musical. because those beautiful patterns which through men's souls are conveyed into their cunning hands. it seasoneth the life of this world for her blind lovers. the light. Thou ceasest not to pluck them out. that Thou wouldest pluck my feet out of the snare. mystically crossed. which Tobias saw. outwardly following what themselves make. yet is He my good. and if absent long. when. Let not these occupy my soul. do hence also sing a hymn to Thee. But they who know how to praise Thee for it. The eyes love fair and varied forms. come from that Beauty. with an enticing and dangerous sweetness. and bright and soft colours. blind through great age. in our apparel. inwardly forsaking Him by whom themselves were made. the whole day. in pictures also and divers images. but by blessing to know them. upon his grandchildren by Joseph. lest my feet wherewith I walk upon Thy way be ensnared. But the framers and followers of the outward beauties . These seductions of the eyes I resist. soothes me when engaged on other things. saddeneth the mind. not as their father by his outward eye corrected them. but as himself inwardly discerned. made by divers arts and manufactures. when he also. Thou dost ever and anon pluck them out. in them foresignified. and these far exceeding all necessary and moderate use and all pious meaning. utensils and all sorts of works. very good indeed. he taught his son the way of life. But that corporeal light whereof I spake. For this queen of colours. my God and my Glory. Such would I be. that if it be suddenly withdrawn. groaning earnestly. waking.Chapter XXXIV There remains the pleasure of these eyes of my flesh. and himself went before with the feet of charity. which my soul day and night sigheth after. and not observing it. O Thou Light. and all are one. it is with longing sought for. and are not taken up with it in their sleep. “O all-creating Lord. in the persons of his sons shed light on the different races of the future people. shoes. for they are ensnared. Or which Isaac saw. Or which Jacob saw. have men added to tempt their own eyes withal. let God rather occupy it. who see and love it. when his fleshly eyes being heavy and closed by old age. This is the light. and so to conclude the temptations of the lust of the flesh. from all voices. What innumerable toys. it was vouchsafed him. and do consecrate praise to Him who consecrateth me. on which to make my confessions in the hearing of the ears of Thy temple. not they. who made these things. and I lift up mine invisible eyes to Thee. these eyes closed. with illumined heart. And so strongly doth it entwine itself. never swerving. not knowingly. and laid his hands. and destroying that which themselves have been made! But I. it is one. bathing all which we behold. because Thou that keepest Israel shalt neither slumber nor sleep. and desiring to be clothed upon with my house from heaven. sometimes in silence. while I often entangle myself in the snares on all sides laid. those brotherly and devout ears. which is above our souls. which yet assail me. wherever I am through the day.” take it up in Thy hymns. nor is any rest given me from them. And these affect me. to bless his sons.

And I. For I am taken miserably. O Lord. And He is there. when I had but lightly lighted upon them. otherwhiles with pain. and Thou pluckest me out mercifully. though I speak and see this. but not of using them. but Thou pluckest me out. and not scatter it abroad upon pleasurable weariness. because I had stuck fast in them. but keep their strength for Thee. entangle my steps with these outward beauties. sometimes not perceiving it. . though they perceive Him not.derive thence the rule of judging of them. that so they might not wander. because Thy loving-kindness is before my eyes. Thou pluckest me out.

yet we use this word of the other senses also. the theatres do not now carry me away. to see in a mangled carcase what will make you shudder? and yet if it be lying near. for all these are said to be seen. see how it tasteth. O God of my salvation. see how it soundeth. melodious. And so the general experience of the senses. who go far from Thee. As if when awake. hark how it flashes. it is in Divine language called The lust of the eyes. because the office of seeing. see how hard it is. O Lord my God. when they make search after any knowledge. In this so vast wilderness. For besides that concupiscence of the flesh which consisteth in the delight of all senses and pleasures. see how it shineth. Even in sleep they are afraid to see it. but of making experiments through the flesh. is called The lust of the eyes. The seat whereof being in the appetite of knowledge. as Thou hast given me. From this disease of curiosity are all those strange sights exhibited in the theatre. wherein pleasure and wherein curiosity is the object of the senses. to be made sad. for trial's sake. or causes in me an idle interest? True.Chapter XXXV To this is added another form of temptation more manifoldly dangerous. when signs and wonders are demanded of Him. to whom I owe humble and single-hearted service. for pleasure seeketh objects beautiful. since so many things of this kind buzz on all sides about our daily life—when dare I say that nothing of this sort engages my attention. see how it smelleth. savoury. as was said. and thrust out of my heart. nor care I to know the courses of the stars. fragrant. and to turn pale. From Thee. For. veiled under the title of knowledge and learning. Hence also. the soul hath. For we do not say. but curiosity. which the eyes alone can perceive. which it were long to go through. wherein its slaves. or smell how it glows. to see. full of snares and dangers. a certain vain and curious desire. And yet when dare I say. is God tempted. they flock thither. nor did my soul ever consult ghosts departed. and sight being the sense chiefly used for attaining knowledge. when we employ them in seeking knowledge. if with that same end of perverted knowledge magical arts be enquired by. but merely to make trial of. Hence men go on to search out the hidden powers of nature (which is besides our end). wherein the eyes hold the prerogative. But by this may more evidently be discerned. For what pleasure hath it. and wherein men desire nothing but to know. not desired for any good end. all sacrilegious mysteries I detest. but also. soft. or feel how it gleams. not of delighting in the flesh. not for the sake of suffering annoyance. the other senses by way of similitude take to themselves. which to know profits not. behold many of them I have cut off. And yet we say not only. belongeth properly to the eyes. but out of the lust of making trial and knowing them. the contrary as well. through the same senses of the body. by what artifices and suggestions doth the enemy deal with me to desire some sign! But I beseech Thee by our . or taste how it shines. Hence also in religion itself. any one forced them to see it. waste and perish. or any report of its beauty drew them thither! Thus also in the other senses.


or shall aught bring us back to hope. yet still incline my mind thither.King. I dully stand fixed therein. but in the field. or altogether to despise and pass it by. and how often we give way. oft-times takes my attention? Is the thing different. in how many most petty and contemptible things is our curiosity daily tempted. but this does not first draw my attention. lest we offend the weak. since Thou hast begun to change us? . save Thy complete mercy. then by degrees we take interest therein! I go not now to the circus to see a dog coursing a hare. who can recount? How often do we begin as if we were tolerating people telling vain stories. Notwithstanding. and whilst in Thy presence we direct the voice of our heart to Thine ears. But when I pray Thee for the salvation of any. or a spider entangling them rushing into her nets. that as any consenting thereto is far from me. and draw me after it: not that I turn aside the body of my beast. another not to fall. that coursing peradventure will distract me even from some weighty thought. a lizard catching flies. And unless Thou. doing what Thou wilt. when sitting at home. and is overcharged with throngs of this abundant vanity. Jerusalem. and my one hope is Thy wonderful great mercy. Shall we then account this also among things of slight concernment. this so great concern is broken off by the rushing in of I know not what idle thoughts. For when our heart becomes the receptacle of such things. Thou givest and wilt give me to follow Thee willingly. then are our prayers also thereby often interrupted and distracted. And of such things is my life full. my end and intention is far different. and by our pure and holy country. so may it ever be further and further. It is one thing to rise quickly. having made me see my infirmity didst speedily admonish me either through the sight itself by some contemplation to rise towards Thee. if passing. because they are but small creatures? I go on from them to praise Thee the wonderful Creator and Orderer of all. What.

and hast made it. than of God. and Thy word feared in us. better is he who praised than he who is praised. because Thou art the only true Lord. and let us fly under them. and be pleased at being loved and feared. when I feared to take it. but in Thy stead: and thus having been made like him. stretch Thy wings over us. But. hath this third kind of temptation also ceased from me. Thou thunderest down upon the ambitions of the world. because so hast Thou promised. we may be taken unawares. and sever our joy from Thy truth. and the foundations of the mountains tremble. every where spreading his snares of “welldone. and satisfy my desire with good things: who didst curb my pride with Thy fear. not for Thy sake. and givest grace to the humble: yea. to be feared and loved of men. But we.Chapter XXXVI And Thou knowest how far Thou hast already changed me. for no other end. For the one took pleasure in the gift of God in man. and I knew it not. he may have them for his own. and he rejoices more at the praise for himself than that he hath the gift for which he is praised. he also is praised. let us be loved for Thee. And therefore dost Thou resist the proud. Be Thou our glory. pervertedly and crookedly imitating Thee. but in the bonds of punishment: who purposed to set his throne in the north. who hast no lord. but that we may have a joy therein which is no joy? A miserable life this and a foul boastfulness! Hence especially it comes that men do neither purely love nor fear Thee. . behold we are Thy little flock. namely. but—a man is praised for some gift which Thou hast given him. that greedily catching at them. and crown me with mercy and pity. while Thou dispraisest. and tame my neck to Thy yoke. the other was better pleased with the gift of man. O Lord. the adversary of our true blessedness layeth hard at us. and set it in the deceivingness of men. who first healedst me of the lust of vindicating myself. Thou alone Lord without pride. Who would be praised of men when Thou blamest. or can it cease through this whole life? To wish. O Lord. Because now certain offices of human society make it necessary to be loved and feared of men. that so Thou mightest forgive all the rest of my iniquities. and redeem life from corruption. will not be defended of men when Thou judgest. well-done”. possess us as Thine. and verily so it was. But when—not the sinner is praised in the desires of his soul. that dark and chilled they might serve him. not in the bands of charity. nor he blessed who doth ungodlily. and heal all my infirmities. And now I bear it and it is light unto me. nor delivered when Thou condemnest.

that is. Give what Thou enjoinest. and I much fear my secret sins. in refraining my mind from the pleasures of the flesh and idle curiosity. not as being influenced by concern for him. For then I ask myself how much more or less troublesome it is to me not to have them? Then. that they may serve to some one or two or all of the three concupiscences. or to be grieved for evil in him. if the soul cannot discern whether. And in this way also Thou commandest us continence. but dispraise doth diminish it. in this. Our daily furnace is the tongue of men. must we live ill. O Lord. or being consistent and most settled in the truth be blamed by all. which of what value it is. that so it may prove itself. or is good. that no one should know without detesting us? What greater madness can be said or thought of? But if praise useth and ought to accompany a good life and good works. when I hear him dispraise either what he understands not. and enjoin what Thou wilt. more than with praise? For were it proposed to me. but our neighbour also. please me more when they please another also? For some how I am not praised when my judgment of myself is not praised. And when I am troubled at this my misery. it doth increase it. foregoing. For I cannot learn how far I am more cleansed from this plague. but with truth itself. or even lesser and slight goods are more esteemed than they ought.Chapter XXXVII By these temptations we are assailed daily. they may be cast aside. when pleased with intelligent praise. and the floods of mine eyes. Yet fain would I that the approbation of another should not even increase my joy for any good in me. but that I am delighted with praise. whether I would. Thou knowest on this matter the groans of my heart. when it hath them. I see which I should choose. mine do not. scarce any. For sometimes I am grieved at my own praise. which Thine eyes know. but because those same good things which please me in myself. or not having them. either when those things be praised in me. and hast willed us to love not Thee only. from what things to refrain our love. and therein essay our powers. being frenzied in error on all things. unless it be absent. I seem to myself to be pleased with the proficiency or towardliness of my neighbour. For in other kinds of temptations I have some sort of means of examining myself. often. O Lord? What. be praised by all men. Yet I own. which are desired. in which I mislike myself. it despiseth them. I see how much I have attained to. for it leaves me uncertain. But again how know I whether I am therefore thus affected. as good life itself. What then do I confess unto Thee in this kind of temptation. riches. that is. yea so abandonedly and atrociously. For since Thou hast commanded us not continency alone. but righteousness also. an excuse occurs to me. Yet I know not whether I can well or ill be without anything. whereon to bestow it. without ceasing are we assailed. For. forasmuch as either those . when I do without them. Thou God knowest. we ought as little to forego its company. because I would not have him who praiseth me differ from me about myself. and not so only. But to be without praise.


I see that I ought not to be moved at my own praises. If in my praise I am moved with the good of my neighbour. with the same injustice. O Lord. but for the good of my neighbour. for my own sake. or those more. O Truth. . lest mine own mouth be to me the sinner's oil to make fat my head. which please me less. I am poor and needy. before me? Know I not this also? or is it at last that I deceive myself. For herein I know less of myself than of Thee. O my God. yet best. discover to me myself also. that I may confess unto my brethren. I beseech now.things are praised. which displease me. in Thee. and do not the truth before Thee in my heart and tongue? This madness put far from me. And whether it be so with me. on to that peace which the eye of the proud knoweth not. than at that cast upon another. wherein I find myself maimed. Am I then doubtful of myself in this matter? Behold. why am I less moved if another be unjustly dispraised than if it be myself? Why am I more stung by reproach cast upon myself. while in hidden groanings I displease myself. and seek Thy mercy. Let me examine myself again more diligently. who are to pray for me. until what is lacking in my defective state be renewed and perfected. I know not.

to establish a certain excellency of our own.Chapter XXXVIII Yet the word which cometh out of the mouth. It tempts. whereof it glories. and so it is no longer contempt of vain-glory. for it doth not contemn when it glorieth. bring with them a most dangerous temptation through the love of praise: which. on the very ground that it is reproved. solicits and collects men's suffrages. and deeds known to men. and often glories more vainly of the very contempt of vain-glory. even when it is reproved by myself in myself. .

yet as though for their own merits. yet not with brotherly rejoicing. but envying that grace to others. and I rather feel my wounds to be cured by Thee. not only taking pleasure in things not good. In all these and the like perils and travails. but in Thy good things. as if good. Thou seest the trembling of my heart. pleasing themselves in themselves.Chapter XXXIX Within also. or even if as Thine. they much displease Thee. as though their own. But pleasing themselves. or even if as though from Thy grace. arising out of a like temptation. . or displease or care not to please others. whereby men become vain. though they please not. than not inflicted by me. within is another evil.

as I might.Chapter XL Where hast Thou not walked with me. and consulted Thee? With my outward senses. who went over them all. Here I can stay. those manifold and spacious chambers. and how to be valued. that my power whereby I did it. and what to desire. but cannot. and am swept back by former custom. But through my miserable encumbrances I sink down again into these lower things. for Thou art the abiding light. So much doth the burden of a bad custom weigh us down. and in the large treasure-house of my memory revolving some things. questioning about others which I felt to be mingled with myself. and greatly weep. what they were.. . and am held. and stood aghast. there I would. O Truth. I surveyed the world. which if it were perfected in me. who found out these things. storing up others. this delights me. but in Thee. whither my scattered members may be gathered. teaching me what to beware. whether they were. I know not what in it would not belong to the life to come. unto this pleasure have I recourse. and as far as I may be freed from necessary duties. miserable.e. and I heard Thee directing and commanding me. rising to a strange sweetness. Nor was I myself. and this I often do. very unusual. when I referred to Thee what I could discover here below. both ways. which my body hath from me. in my inmost soul. i. Nor yet was I myself when I did this. drawing out others. Nor in all these which I run over consulting Thee can I find any safe place for my soul. taking some things upon the report of my senses. neither was it Thou. and finding none of them to be Thee. and nothing of me depart from Thee. and I considered. and observed the life. And sometimes Thou admittest me to an affection. numbering and distinguishing the reporters themselves. Thence entered I the recesses of my memory. which I consulted concerning all these. but would not. and these my senses. but am greatly held. being able to discern nothing of these things without Thee. and laboured to distinguish and to value every thing according to its dignity. wonderfully furnished with innumerable stores.

Chapter XLI Thus then have I considered the sicknesses of my sins in that threefold concupiscence. because Thou vouchsafest not to be possessed with a lie. . So then I lost Thee. For with a wounded heart have I beheld Thy brightness. and have called Thy right hand to my help. “Who can attain thither? I am cast away from the sight of Thine eyes. as himself to be ignorant of the truth. but I through my covetousness would not indeed forego Thee. as no man would in such wise speak falsely.” Thou art the Truth who presidest over all. but would with Thee possess a lie. and stricken back I said.

But a mediator between God and man must have something like to God. and not being clothed with the mortality of flesh. as I hear. and fallen into the desire of curious visions. swelling out rather than smiting upon their breasts. by whom in Thy secret judgments pride deserved to be deluded. and without sin. But since the wages of sin is death. . by whom. the fellow-conspirators of their pride. and there was none. And it much enticed proud flesh. too unlike man: and so not be a mediator. and been accounted worthy to be deluded. another he would seem to have in common with God. would vaunt himself to be immortal. art immortal. that with them he should be condemned to death. hath one thing in common with man. being high minded. that he had no body of flesh. and sinners. tried this. to whom they proudly sought to be reconciled. that is sin. through magical influences. but thou. For they. For they were mortal. drew unto themselves the princes of the air. this hath he in common with men. and so by the agreement of their heart. they were deceived. Lord. seeking a mediator. sought Thee by the pride of learning. by whom they might be purged. have.Chapter XLII Whom could I find to reconcile me to Thee? was I to have recourse to Angels? by what prayers? by what sacraments? Many endeavouring to return unto Thee. For the devil it was. transforming himself into an Angel of light. and of themselves unable. something like to men. he should he far from God: or if in both like God. That deceitful mediator then. lest being in both like to man.

and together one God. for us to Thee Priest and Sacrifice. that Thou wilt heal all my infirmities. appeared betwixt mortal sinners and the immortal just One. and power to take it again: for us to Thee both Victor and Victim. Well then is my hope strong in Him. and therefore Victor. that so they. He was a Mediator. but as the Word. and great. of servants. and my infirmities. having power to lay down His life. Let not the proud speak evil of me. and poor. free among the dead. and heal me. Therefore Christ died for all. He alone. Thine only Son. and therefore Priest because the Sacrifice. Hence He was showed forth to holy men of old. . For as Man. saying. and serving us. and despair of ourselves. that I may live. I cast my care upon Thee. and they shall praise the Lord who seek Him. desired to be satisfied from Him. because I meditate on my ransom. See. and God with God. We might imagine that Thy Word was far from any union with man. Whom in Thy secret mercy Thou hast showed to the humble. hath redeemed me with His blood. but unto Him that died for them. that by His example also they might learn that same humility. that they which live may now no longer live unto themselves. might be saved. and eat and drink. by Him Who sitteth at Thy right hand and maketh intercession for us. good Father.Chapter XLIII But the true Mediator. the Man Christ Jesus. and had purposed to flee to the wilderness: but Thou forbadest me. and sentest. sons by being born of Thee. He might by a righteousness conjoined with God make void that death of sinners. amongst those that eat and are satisfied. He. which He willed to have in common with them. How hast Thou loved us. but deliveredst Him up for us ungodly! How hast Thou loved us. Thou knowest my unskilfulness. not in the middle between God and man. else should I despair. because the Victim. unless He had been made flesh and dwelt among us. that Mediator between God and man. Lord. in Whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. For many and great are my infirmities. because equal to God. for whom He that thought it no robbery to be equal with Thee. through faith in His Passion to come. mortal with men. many they are. teach me. just with God: that because the wages of righteousness is life and peace. as we through faith of it passed. now made righteous. making us to Thee. but Thy medicine is mightier. who sparedst not Thine only Son. I had cast in my heart. and communicate it. Affrighted with my sins and the burden of my misery. was made subject even to the death of the cross. and strengthenedst me. and consider wondrous things out of Thy law.

Book XI .

of a truth. and yet Truth hath said. that Thou mayest free us wholly. See. seeing Thou hast called us.Chapter I Lord. what passeth in time? Why then do I lay in order before Thee so many relations? Not. to become poor in spirit. my Lord God. since eternity is Thine. confessing our own miseries. as I could and as I would. For Thou art good. for Thy mercy endureth for ever. and again will say. . and be blessed in Thee. For we pray also. and pure in heart. and Thy mercies upon us. art Thou ignorant of what I say to Thee? or dost Thou see in time. and meek. because Thou first wouldest that I should confess unto Thee. and peace-makers. It is then our affections which we lay open unto Thee. before you ask. and greatly to be praised. and hungering and athirst after righteousness. and merciful. Great is the Lord. and mourners. I have told Thee many things. that Thou mightest learn them through me. Your Father knoweth what you have need of. since Thou hast begun. I have said already. that we may cease to be wretched in ourselves. but to stir up mine own and my readers’ devotions towards Thee. for love of Thy love do I this. that we may all say.

until infirmity be swallowed up by strength. that so it is. Thy voice is my joy. O Lord my God. Father. Circumcise from all rashness and all lying both my inward and outward lips: let Thy Scriptures be my pure delights: let me not be deceived in them. at Thy beck the moments flee by. nor are those forests without their harts which retire therein and range and walk. or gorgeous apparel. or which though we owe not. hearken unto my soul. not of gold and silver. that I may find grace before Thee. or the pleasures of the flesh. and therein to confess to Thee my skill and unskilfulness. and hear it crying out of the depths. give ear unto my prayer. unto the everlasting reigning of Thy holy city with Thee. the drops of time are precious with me. feed. Grant thereof a space for our meditations in the hidden things of Thy law. whereby Thou broughtest me to preach Thy Word. and the remnants of my darkness. Give what I love: for I do love. the daybreak of Thy enlightening. and dispense Thy Sacrament to Thy people? And if I suffice to utter them in order. Behold. of the earth. Lord. and of the service which we owe to men. nor despise Thy green herb that thirsteth. and the night is Thine. and comforts. and let Thy mercy hearken unto my desire: because it is anxious not for myself alone. I would sacrifice to Thee the service of my thought and tongue. and see and approve. O Lord my God. Light of the blind. For I am poor and needy. nor deceive out of them. and precious stones. and long have I burned to meditate in Thy law. and all Thy terrors. behold. Thy voice exceedeth the abundance of pleasures. For it is not. Who. and hear the voice of praise. and ruminate. do Thou give me. The wicked have told me of delights. carest for us. and this hast Thou given: forsake not Thy own gifts. I deem. even from the beginning. wherein Thou madest the heaven and the earth. wherein is my desire. and Strength of the strong. and be it pleasing in the sight of Thy mercy. and reveal them unto me. Behold. and Strength of the weak. Perfect me. have mercy on me. but would serve brotherly charity. lie down. and drink in Thee. hearken and pity. inaccessible to care. we yet pay. yea also Light of those that see. or honours and offices. but not such as Thy law. And I would not have aught besides steal away those hours which I find free from the necessities of refreshing my body and the powers of my mind. and guidances. that the inward . Thou rich to all that call upon Thee. Behold. O Lord.Chapter II But how shall I suffice with the tongue of my pen to utter all Thy exhortations. O Lord my god. For if Thine ears be not with us in the depths also. Behold. whither shall we go? whither cry? The day is Thine. and Thou seest my heart. or necessaries for the body and for this life of our pilgrimage: all which shall be added unto those that seek Thy kingdom and Thy righteousness. O Lord. what I may offer Thee. Let me confess unto Thee whatsoever I shall find in Thy books. wherein is my desire. and meditate on the wonderful things out of Thy law. and close it not against us who knock. and hear my desire. Lord. For not in vain wouldest Thou have the darksome secrets of so many pages written.

These do I seek in Thy books. this saith the Truth. me also.—I beseech Thee by Him. that we might seek Thee. through Whom Thou madest all things. not seeking Thee.—Thy Word. whom Thou hast established for Thyself. through Whom Thou soughtest us. and therein me also.—Thy Only-Begotten. this saith Himself. but soughtest us. in Whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Of Him did Moses write.parts of Thy words be opened to me knocking. . the Man of Thy right hand. and intercedeth with Thee for us. as Thy Mediator and ours. who sitteth at Thy right hand. through Whom Thou calledst to adoption the believing people. the Son of man. and among them. I beseech by our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son.


who gavest him Thy servant to speak these things. “thou sayest truly. give to me also to understand them. For if he were. should I know it from him? Truly within me.Chapter III I would hear and understand. nor barbarian. or sound of syllables. nor Latin. And should he speak Hebrew.” and I forthwith should say confidently to that man of Thine. Thee I beseech. and if I knew this also. and Thou. I should know what he said. Thee. in vain will it strike on my senses. would say. within. But whence should I know. . my God. nor would aught of it touch my mind. O Truth. forgive my sins. without organs of voice or tongue. how “In the Beginning Thou madest the heaven and earth. Thee. and beseech him by Thee to open these things unto me. neither Hebrew.” Whereas then I cannot enquire of him. “It is truth. whether he spake truth? Yea.” Moses wrote this. nor Greek. wrote and departed. but if Latin. Truth. passed hence from Thee to Thee. I beseech. I would hold him and ask him. nor is he now before me. full of Whom he spake truth. in the chamber of my thoughts. and would lay the ears of my body to the sounds bursting out of his mouth.

And our knowledge. for they change and vary. This we know. they proclaim that they were created. before we were. who art. the heavens and the earth are. . nor are they. hath nothing in it. is the voice of the speakers. to change and vary. because we have been made. that they made not themselves. Lord. for they are beautiful. madest them. and yet is. is ignorance. Whereas whatsoever hath not been made.” Now the evidence of the thing. as Thou their Creator art. which before it had not. nor good. compared with Thy knowledge. “therefore we are. so as to make ourselves. who art beautiful. they are neither beautiful. They proclaim also. nor are. for they are. for they are good. and this it is. compared with Whom. thanks be to Thee. Thou therefore. yet are they not beautiful nor good. we were not therefore. who art good.Chapter IV Behold.

which presideth over itself. All these praise Thee. he may from mind to matter. Thou the matter whereof he makes any thing. nor in the whole world didst Thou make the whole world. O God. because there was no place where to make it. whether it be well done or no. nor in the earth. whereby. hadst not Thou appointed them? Thou madest the artificer his body. which can in some way invest with such a form. seeing these also belong to the heaven and the earth. didst Thou make heaven and earth.Chapter V But how didst Thou make the heaven and the earth? and what the engine of Thy so mighty fabric? For it was not as a human artificer. nor in the air. as it seeth in itself by its inward eye. according to the discretion of his mind. and in Thy Word Thou madest them. and they were made. convey that which he doth. neither in the heaven. as by an interpreter. that it might be. as clay. But how dost Thou make them? how. the Creator of all. Nor didst Thou hold any thing in Thy hand. before it was made. didst Thou make heaven and earth? Verily. or wood. unless Thou hadst made that mind? and he invests with a form what already existeth. that it within may consult the truth. . and see within what he doth without. or waters. and report to his mind what is done. or the like. or stone. or gold. Thou the sense of his body. Thou the apprehension whereby to take in his art. forming one body from another. and hath a being. which Thou hadst not made. For whence shouldest Thou have this. Thou the mind commanding the limbs. but because Thou art? Therefore Thou spokest. And whence should he be able to do this. And whence should they be. whereof to make heaven and earth. thereof to make any thing? For what is.

Let the heaven and the earth be made. the third after the second. But there was nought corporeal before heaven and earth. because they flee and pass away. the outward ear reported to the intelligent soul. and silence after the last. whereby these words again might be made? . surely Thou hadst. These words are far beneath me. by which to say. and so madest heaven and earth. without such a passing voice. nor are they.Chapter VI But how didst Thou speak? In the way that the voice came out of the cloud. unless by Thee it were made. This is my beloved Son? For that voice passed by and passed away. whereof such a voice were made. the second after the first. by whose motions in time that voice might take his course in time. For whatsoever that were. serving Thy eternal will. whereof to make this passing voice. but the Word of my Lord abideth above me for ever. the syllables sounded and passed away. far different. saying. created for a time. and so forth in order. By what Word then didst Thou speak. But she compared these words sounding in time.” If then in sounding and passing words Thou saidst that heaven and earth should be made. it could not be at all. until the last after the rest. there was a corporeal creature before heaven and earth. that a body might be made. itself temporal. and said “It is different. with that Thy Eternal Word in silence. or if there were. whose inward ear lay listening to Thy Eternal Word. Whence it is abundantly clear and plain that the motion of a creature expressed it. began and ended. created that. And these Thy words.

I confess to Thee. with Thee God. Which is spoken eternally. Else have we time and change. so far forth it dieth and ariseth. which Thou makest by saying. nor dost Thou make.Chapter VII Thou callest us then to understand the Word. one thing concluded that the next might be spoken. which was not. or everlasting. and whatever Thou sayest shall be made is made. For what was spoken was not spoken successively. . otherwise than by saying. since inasmuch as anything is not which was. O Lord. and yet are not all things made together. and is. I know. and give thanks. whoso is not unthankful to assure Truth. and not a true eternity nor true immortality. This I know. Nothing then of Thy Word doth give place or replace. and with me there knows and blesses Thee. God. but all things together and eternally. Lord. O my God. we know. We know. and by It are all things spoken eternally. because It is truly immortal and eternal. And therefore unto the Word coeternal with Thee Thou dost at once and eternally say all that Thou dost say.

because He speaketh us. And therefore the Beginning. but the unchangeable Truth? for even when we are admonished through a changeable creature. hear I Thy voice speaking unto me. that it might be believed and sought inwardly. and leaves off then. This is Thy Word. but how to express it. and that we may know. where we learn truly. because He is the Beginning. and leaves off to be. He teacheth us. who teacheth us. it is through knowing. But when we return from error. where the good and only Master teacheth all His disciples. I know not. . Lord. which is also “the Beginning. we are but led to the unchangeable Truth. and speaking unto us. when in Thy eternal Reason it is known. there should not. restoring us to Him. because also It speaketh unto us.” Thus in the Gospel He speaketh through the flesh. though He speaketh. and found in the eternal Verity. unless it be. Who now teacheth us. and this sounded outwardly in the ears of men.Chapter VIII Why. from Whom we are. to us He speaketh not. that whatsoever begins to be. and rejoice greatly because of the Bridegroom's voice. O Lord my God? I see it in a way. because unless It abided. while we stand and hear Him. but He that teacheth us not. I beseech Thee. begins then. when we went astray. in which Reason nothing beginneth or leaveth off. There. be whither to return. that it ought to begin or leave off.

shalt heal all my infirmities. hast Thou made heaven and earth. It is Wisdom. and I shudder and kindle? I shudder. and this Wisdom is the Beginning. Who shall comprehend? Who declare it? What is that which gleams through me. fainting from it. hear Thee inwardly discoursing out of Thy oracle: I will boldly cry out. I kindle. and crown me with loving kindness and tender mercies. Who hast been gracious to all mine iniquities. Wisdom's self which gleameth through me. Let him that is able. . till Thou. so that I cannot support my blessings. O Lord. and wondrously making. inasmuch as I unlike it. because my youth shall be renewed like an eagle's. and strikes my heart without hurting it. in Thy Word. For Thou shalt also redeem my life from corruption. and shalt satisfy my desire with good things. in Thy Wisdom. Lord.Chapter IX In this Beginning. inasmuch as I am like it. How wonderful are Thy works. in Thy Truth. in Thy Power. For in hope we are saved. in Thy Son. For my strength is brought down in need. and in that Beginning didst Thou make heaven and earth. through the darkness which for my punishment gathers upon me. in Wisdom hast Thou made them all. wherefore we through patience wait for Thy promises. O God. severing my cloudiness which yet again mantles over me. wondrously speaking.

which before was not. why does He not also henceforth.Chapter X Lo. And if aught have arisen in God's Substance. how then would that be a true eternity. The will of God then belongeth to His very Substance. seeing nothing could be created. who say to us. but before the creature. and a new will to make a creature. But if the will of God has been from eternity that the creature should be. which was not? For the will of God is not a creature. “What was God doing before He made heaven and earth? For if (say they) He were unemployed and wrought not. that Substance cannot be truly called eternal. why was not the creature also from eternity?” . which He had never before made. where there ariseth a will. and for ever. unless the will of the Creator had preceded. as He did heretofore? For did any new motion arise in God. are they not full of their old leaven.

and in Thee are made: yet they strive to comprehend things eternal. or the hand of my mouth by speech bring about a thing so great? . whilst their heart fluttereth between the motions of things past and to come.Chapter XI Who speak thus. do not yet understand Thee. but the whole is present. and fix it. but that in the Eternal nothing passeth. is driven on by time to come. and awhile catch the glory of that everfixed Eternity. understand not yet how the things be made. but out of many motions passing by. uttereth the times past and to come? Can my hand do this. and see how eternity ever stillstanding. O Wisdom of God. and all past and to come. neither past nor to come. that it be settled awhile. Light of souls. which cannot be prolonged altogether. and see that it cannot be compared. is created. Who shall hold it. and is still unstable. and all to come followeth upon the past. and that a long time cannot become long. and compare it with the times which are never fixed. which by Thee. that it may stand still. whereas no time is all at once present: and that all time past. and flows out of that which is ever present? Who shall hold the heart of man.

So I answer not. “He was preparing hell (saith he) for pryers into mysteries. our God. But I say that Thou. art the Creator of every creature: and if by the name “heaven and earth. as I know. .” For if He made.” what I know not. that no creature was made. before there was made any creature. “What did God before He made heaven and earth?” I answer not as one is said to have done merrily (eluding the pressure of the question). than so as to raise a laugh at him who asketh deep things and gain praise for one who answereth false things.” It is one thing to answer enquiries. what did He make but a creature? And would I knew whatsoever I desire to know to my profit. for rather had I answer. He did not make any thing. another to make sport of enquirers. “that before God made heaven and earth. “I know not.” every creature be understood. I answer him that asketh. I boldly say.Chapter XII See.

and Thy day is not daily. didst for innumerable ages forbear from so great a work. precede time: else shouldest Thou not precede all times. let him awake and consider. but Thou art the Same. for neither doth it replace yesterday. which Thou madest not. but To-day. and when they come. what Thou then didst? For there was no “then. seeing Thy To-day gives not place unto to-morrow. Thy years are one day. and surpassest all future because they are future. before Thou madest those times. Nor dost Thou by time. that he wonders at false conceits. which were not made by Thee? or how should they pass by.” when there was no time. But if before heaven and earth there was no time. to whom Thou saidst. but ours shall all be. therefore didst Thou beget The Coeternal. before Thou wouldest make it. if they never were? Seeing then Thou art the Creator of all times. This day have I begotten Thee. and wonder that Thou the God Almighty and All-creating and All-supporting. if any time was before Thou madest heaven and earth. . Thy To-day. Maker of heaven and earth. Thy years stand together.Chapter XIII But if any excursive brain rove over the images of forepassed times. whereas ours both come and go. nor could times pass by. because they do stand. Thy years neither come nor go. that they all may come. For whence could innumerable ages pass by. and before all times Thou art: neither in any time was time not. for they pass not away. is Eternity. they shall be past. But Thou precedest all things past. why say they that Thou didst forego working? For that very time didst Thou make. nor are departing thrust out by coming years. by the sublimity of an ever-present eternity. why is it demanded. when they shall no more be. Thou hast made all things. and Thy years fail not. Thou the Author and Creator of all ages? or what times should there be.

a time to come were not. And no times are coeternal with Thee. time past were not. time present were not. and if nothing were. when we speak of it. how can we say that either this is. but because it is tending not to be? . because Thou abidest. Those two times then. past and to come. and never pass into time past. whose cause of being is. because time itself Thou madest. that it shall not be. and that to come is not yet? But the present. they should not be times. that if nothing passed away. when we hear it spoken of by another. but if they abode. so as to utter a word about it? But what in discourse do we mention more familiarly and knowingly. seeing the past now is not. namely. I know: if I wish to explain it to one that asketh. should it always be present. and if nothing were coming.Chapter XIV At no time then hadst Thou not made any thing. that we cannot truly say that time is. than time? And. but eternity. we understand also. verily it should not be time. so. we understand. because it passeth into time past. For what is time? Who can readily and briefly explain this? Who can even in thought comprehend it. What then is time? If no one asks me. If time present (if it is to be time) only cometh into existence. I know not: yet I say boldly that I know. how are they.

those behind it to come. when there was. but one day only. my Light. is not yet. one is now past. seeing that since it was past. which may be called present. often days hence. so as not to be. if the last. Let us not then say. “it will be long. and if not present as a whole. still. is abridged to the length scarce of one day. it is present. shall not here also Thy Truth mock at man? For that past time which was long. is not now. which alone we found could be called long.Chapter XV And yet we say. For it had not yet passed away. but of the past. “time past hath been long”: for we shall not find. but if the second year be current. we call (suppose) often days since. that one hour passeth away in flying particles. is to come. a long time? See first. and a long time to come. are past. which cannot be divided into the smallest particles of moments. whether present time can be long: for to thee it is given to feel and to measure length of time. Although neither is that current month present. neither is the year now current present. Yea. “a long time” and “a short time”. it is no more. Therefore. then is not the year present. all before it. and the rest are not yet. Let us not then say. is past. the first hath the rest to come. for if the current month be its first. wherefore an hundred years cannot be present. which is not? For the past. but the other ninety and nine are to come. what could be long. which ceased to be. the rest past. But a short time past. itself is present. but when past. What wilt thou answer me? Are an hundred years. whatsoever remaineth.” O my Lord. and a short time to come. the first is already past. or to come. the rest to come. what hath been long. the rest are to come. an hundred years hence. “it is long”. then amid past and to come. all after it. Which yet flies with such speed from future to past. For if the first of these years be now current. because neither is one day present as a whole. But let us examine that also. Whatsoever of it hath flown away. “it hath been long”. For it is made up of four and twenty hours of night and day: of which. which was not at all. to come. if any of the middle. and therefore there was. what could be long. was it long when it was now past. But see at least whether that one which is now current. and therefore are not yet. But in what sense is that long or short. that alone is it. if it be the first. See how the present time. or when it was yet present? For then might it be long. because. but let us say. of which whatever by the current month is present. And so if we assume any middle year of this hundred to be present. another present. when it was present. If an instant of time be conceived. and of the future. For twelve months are a year. wherefore neither could that be long. and the future. as not to . if the second. but after it was past. when present. the last hath them past. “that present time was long”. that ceased also to be long. past. A long time past (for example) we call an hundred years since. it was no longer. Let us see then. and any of the middle hath those before it past. it was long. whether an hundred years can be present. thou soul of man. only of time past or to come. the rest being to come.


.be lengthened out with the least stay. it is divided into past and future. so as to be long. and have become present. that so there should exist what may be long. it shall not be long (because what can be long. because it is not yet. but we say. which we may call long? Is it to come? Of it we do not say. Where then is the time. when from future which as yet is not. it shall begin now to be. then does time present cry out in the words above. as yet is not). For if it be.” When therefore will it be? For if even then. The present hath no space. “it is long”. “it will be long. when it is yet to come. and so it shall then be long. that it cannot be long.

it cannot. or only just so much as that. and we answer. by perceiving them. and say. but past. and that. When then time is passing. and compare them. how much longer or shorter this time is than that. which now are not.” But we measure times as they are passing. it may be perceived and measured. that can be measured. . because it is not. or treble. who can measure? unless a man shall presume to say. and others longer. but once. but when it is past.Chapter XVI And yet. or the future. which is not. some are shorter. Lord. we perceive intervals of times. “This is double. which are not yet. We measure also.

and taught boys).” . Father. Things then past and to come. are. and if they were not. and future. past. “Who will tell me that there are not three times (as we learned when boys. see them. from present it becometh past? For where did they. because those two are not? Or are they also. if as yet they be not? For that which is not. rule and guide me.Chapter XVII I ask. but present only. who foretold things to come. if in mind they did not discern them. could not relate them. cannot be seen. present. doth it come out of some secret place. and so. and when from future it becometh present. And they who relate things past. I affirm not: O my God. when retiring. they could no way be discerned.

it is only as present. when we have set upon. they are not yet there. is foretold. they cannot be seen. but present. and those who foretell those things. I would know where they be. already existing. let not my purpose be confounded. nor that imagination of my mind. that we generally think before on our future actions. For if there also they be future. but their causes perchance or signs are seen. which are to be). then shall that action be. but words which. that the sun. I behold it in the present. . Although when past facts are related. that of things which as yet are not. although it goes before it. I could not foretell it. to seek further. is about to rise. which now is not: but now when I recall its image. I confess. which now is not. I know not. But neither is that day-break which I discern in the sky. from which the future. not the sun. they. Whether there be a like cause of foretelling things to come also. wherever they be. which already is. yet I know. I foreshow. Therefore they are not future but present to those who now see that. but present. but the action whereof we forethink is not yet. they are not there as future. and tell of it. if there also they be past. or past. Future things then are not yet: and if they be not yet. For if times past and to come be. it is not themselves which as yet are not (that is. being foreconceived in the mind. which are already. O my God. I behold the day-break. because it is to come.Chapter XVIII Permit me. which is. what I foresignify. to come. Which yet if I cannot. the images may be perceived before. which is not yet. conceived by the images of the things. which two are seen now present. This indeed I know. and that that forethinking is present. they are not: and if they are not. that the other which is to be may be foretold. yet foretold they may be from things present. But what now is. in passing. Lord. there are drawn out of the memory. that only can be seen. and have begun to do what we were forethinking. Which way soever then this secret fore-perceiving of things to come be. because then it is no longer future. have through the senses left as traces in the mind. but present. because it is still in my memory. What I behold. the sun-rising. not the things themselves which are past. do behold the conceptions present before them. O my hope. Which fore-conceptions again now are. is present. Let now the numerous variety of things furnish me some example. Which. is not future. When then things to come are said to be seen. and are seen. is in time past. but the sunrising. which already are. Wheresoever then is whatsoever is. And yet did I not in my mind imagine the sun-rising itself (as now while I speak of it). they are no longer there. Thus my childhood.

I cannot attain unto it. or rather of the future. to whom nothing is to come. By what way dost Thou.Chapter XIX Thou then. what is not. Too far is this way of my ken: it is too mighty for me. O sweet light of my hidden eyes. . neither can it be taught. by what way dost Thou teach souls things to come? For Thou didst teach Thy Prophets. dost teach things present? For. but from Thee I can. when Thou shalt vouchsafe it. Ruler of Thy creation. teach things to come.

a present of things past. nor gainsay. and I confess there are three. past. Let it be said too. a present of things present. most things improperly. still the things intended are understood. For but few things are there. in the soul. present of things present. If thus we be permitted to speak. See. expectation. I object not. sight. “there be three times.Chapter XX What now is clear and plain is. and to come”: in our incorrect way. present. which we speak properly. that neither things to come nor past are. nor what is past. and a present of things future. I see three times. if what is so said be but understood. present of things past. now is. nor find fault. present. Nor is it properly said. “there be three times.” For these three do exist in some sort. but otherwhere do I not see them. . memory. and to come”: yet perchance it might be properly said. present of things future. past. “there be three times. that neither what is to be.

we measure times as they pass. and things past and to come. In what space then do we measure time passing? In the future. . and whither passes it while it is a measuring? whence. and so of any other parts of time. are not. through that. which now is not. which be measurable. but when it shall have passed. this is just so much as that. but into the past? From that therefore. single. whence it passeth through? But what is not yet.” But time present how do we measure. “I know. And if any should ask me. or any other like way that we speak of time. we measure not.Chapter XXI I said then even now. in order to be able to say. as I said. and double. seeing it hath no space? It is measured while passing. “How knowest thou?” I might answer. nor can we measure things that are not. but through the present? whither. it is not measured. and equal. into that. which is not yet. that we do measure. which now is not. Wherefore. Yet what do we measure. by what way. this time is twice so much as that one. for there will be nothing to be measured. or. to which it passes? But neither do we measure that. we do not measure: or in the past. and triple. if not time in some space? For we do not say. we measure times as they pass. But whence. but from the future? Which way. which hath no space. by which it passes? but no space. Or in the present. except of spaces of times.

and times. and time. that it be hindered from piercing into them. and the discovery of them were new.Chapter XXII My soul is on fire to know this most intricate enigma. Whom shall I enquire of concerning these things? and to whom shall I more fruitfully confess my ignorance. And we talk of time. and “this syllable hath double time to that single short syllable. I know not.” These words we speak. and the self-same things again are but too deeply hidden. Who truly knowest to give good gifts unto Thy children. O Lord. Shut it not up. . “How long time is it since he said this”. but let them dawn through Thy enlightening mercy. For I believed. yet hidden things. do not shut up these usual. through Christ I beseech Thee. and this hast Thou given me. good Father. and trouble is before me until Thou openest it. than to Thee. and understand. in His Name. Give. and times. and “how long time since I saw that”. and how. Thou hast made my days old. Father. for this do I live. This is my hope. Give. let no man disturb me. and therefore do I speak. Most manifest and ordinary they are. Holy of holies. that I may contemplate the delights of the Lord. are not troublesome? Give what I love. and are understood. “how long time since he did this”. and they pass away. to Whom these my studies. because I have taken upon me to know. and these we hear. so vehemently kindled toward Thy Scriptures. By Christ I beseech Thee. O Lord my God. Behold. for I do love. from my desire.

and for years. “there passed so many days. while we were saying this. night another). and for days. I ask. but the sun must go four and twenty times about. and stars. if. otherwhiles quicker. till he could achieve his victorious battle. that it was therefore no time. other shorter? Or. constituted time. should there be no time by which we might measure those whirlings.” the night being included when we say. to complete one day. but because those sounded in a shorter time. that a double time. as one hour comes to. if the lights of heaven should cease. if the sun should run his whole round in the space of one hour. Seeing “day” denotes not the stay only of the sun upon the earth (according to which day is one thing. and a potter's wheel run round. as one hour comes to. . If both. that the going round of that wooden wheel was a day. I perceive time then to be a certain extension.” and the nights not reckoned apart. should call this a single time. then neither could that be called a day. should say that it was finished in half the time it was wont. others long. as the sun usually makes his whole course in. I desire to know the force and nature of time. the sun stood still. what that is which is called day. If the second. The stars and lights of heaven. or seem to perceive it? Thou. grant to men to see in a small thing notices common to things great and small. or the stay in which that motion is completed. or both? For if the first be the day. Let no man then tell me. when at the prayer of one. For I ask. yet neither should I say. measuring the circuit of the sun. although the sun should finish that course in so small a space of time. I will not therefore now ask. so much time should overpass. whereby we. and I assented not. from morning to morning. Light and Truth. should there in our words be some syllables short. should we not also be speaking in time? Or. or if it turned sometimes slower. For in its own allotted space of time was that battle waged and ended. nor that. wilt show me. they are.Chapter XXIII I heard once from a learned man. but also its whole circuit from east to east again. are also for signs. because. and for seasons. that the motions of the sun. that the motions of the heavenly bodies constitute times.—seeing then a day is completed by the motion of the sun and by his circuit from east to east again. that some rounds were longer. what time is. by which we measure the motions of bodies. then should not that make a day. that either it moved with equal pauses. if between one sun-rise and another there were but so short a stay. But do I perceive it. if so be it was finished in so small a space as twelve hours. even supposing the sun to run his round from east to east. moon. nor yet he. sometimes in that double time. and say (for example) this motion is twice as long as that. while the sun stood still. and say. For why should not the motions of all bodies rather be times? Or. does the motion alone make the day. sometimes in that single. then should we have a day. “so many days. but time went on. these in a longer? God. but. the sun had stood still. and comparing both times. according to which we say.

. and it continue to move so that I see not when it ends. if it moved as in a lathe. more or less. was finished. but in time. I cannot measure. or his parts. until I cease to see. And if I look long. who sees not. and we say. in how much time the motion of that body or his part. but not how long. as much as it moved”. that by which we measure how long it is. “it stood still. sometimes stands still. how long it moveth. For that no body is moved. from the time it began to move until it left off? And if I did not see whence it began. then can we say precisely. I by time measure. not his motion only. “this is as long as that.” or the like.” or “twice so long as that. I hear. But when we can mark the distances of the places. I hear not. from this place unto that. save perchance from the time I began. as. as we use to say. then we measure.Chapter XXIV Dost Thou bid me assent. which of the two is rather to be called time? For and if a body be sometimes moved.” we do it by comparison. or “it stood still twice or thrice so long as it moved”. this Thou sayest. if any define time to be “motion of a body?” Thou dost not bid me. but his standing still too by time. I can only pronounce it to be a long time. Seeing therefore the motion of a body is one thing. because when we say “how long. another. Thou sayest it not. For when a body is moved. Time then is not the motion of a body. but that the motion of a body is time. whence and whither goeth the body moved. or guessed. or any other space which our measuring hath either ascertained.

Behold. O Lord my God. . but as I speak. that I yet know not what time is. seeing I know not what time is? or is it perchance that I know not how to express what I know? Woe is me. and that having long spoken of time. that I know that I speak this in time. O my God. before Thee I lie not. that do not even know. and again I confess unto Thee. O Lord. How then know I this. that very “long” is not long. Thou. so is my heart. Thou shalt light my candle. what I know not.Chapter XXV And I confess to Thee. but by the pause of time. O Lord. wilt enlighten my darkness.

because composed of so many verses. . O my God. long verses.” or definitely “this is double that”? That I measure time. pronounced more fully. do I measure. and the spaces of long. by the spaces of the verses. either indefinitely “this is a longer time than that. that I do measure times? Do I then measure. but when we utter the words and they pass by. nor present. Whence it seemed to me. and yet I measure not time to come. for it is not yet. and the spaces of the feet. I know not. But neither do we this way obtain any certain measure of time. because it now is not. by the spaces of the syllables. and to say that this is double the other. pronounced hurriedly. O my God.Chapter XXVI Does not my soul most truly confess unto Thee. the space of a rood? for so indeed we seem by the space of a short syllable. may take up more time than a longer. because it may be. not past? for so I said. that time is nothing else than protraction. And so for a verse. I know. a long syllable because double to a short one. as by the space of a cubit. I beseech Thee. without measuring the time in which it is moved? This same time then. to measure the space of a long syllable. and I marvel. What then do I measure? Times passing. and in how long space it could come from this place to that. not times). long feet. a syllable. a foot. how do I measure? do we by a shorter time measure a longer. because consisting of so many feet. because prolonged by so many syllables. when I say. by the spaces of the feet. and the time itself do I not measure? Or could I indeed measure the motion of a body how long it were. if it be not of the mind itself? For what. that a shorter verse. and know not what I measure? I measure the motion of a body in time. not measuring by pages (for then we measure spaces. and we say “it is a long stanza. Thus measure we the spaces of stanzas. nor past. by the space of short syllables. and the spaces of the verses. but of what. because it is not protracted by any space.

and list. now. unto the end it left in. from some beginning unto some end. and sounds on. because it is no longer. and find it so. nor those which have no bounds.” this verse of eight syllables alternates between short and long syllables. if the former be short. because as yet it was not. as one's plain sense perceives. that I may find this to have twice so much. and yet we do measure times. Press on where truth begins to dawn. or the like. Wherefore. nor those which no longer are. the second. and tell how much it is. And yet I could not do this. report on them. But yet even then it was not at a stay. the latter long. nor present. Could it be measured the rather. Before it sounded. so that it may be said how long. The four short then. or double to a single. passed away. how shall I detain the short one. because there then was what might be measured. are no more. third. for it was passing on. it ceases. it was being extended into some space of time. a voice that is not yet ended.Chapter XXVII Courage. If therefore then it might. that double. it might. to. let us measure it while it sounds. but when one sounds after the other. measuring. it is silence now. seeing when it hath left sounding. “Deus Creator omnium. By plain sense then. nor those which are not lengthened out by some pause. and seventh. For the very space between is the thing we measure. since the present hath no space. or short it is. God is our helper. it was to come. nor passing. and passing away. seeing I measure it not till it be ended? Now his ending is his passing away. hath a double time: I pronounce them. sixth. have flown. it will then be past. and confidently answer (so far as is presumed on a practised sense) that as to space of time this syllable is but single. But it sounds still. Suppose. my mind. namely. cannot be measured. Every one of these to every one of those. and that voice is past. but yet neither those which are not yet. nor can it be called equal to another. It is not then . and eighth. What then is it I measure? where is the short syllable by which I measure? where the long which I measure? Both have sounded. and could not be measured. let us measure it verily. and is no more a voice. for that? For while passing. nor can it be measured but from the instant it began in. We measure neither times to come. and not we ourselves. and still soundeth in one continued tenor without any interruption. fifth. Then therefore while it sounded. He made us. and press on mightily. it no longer is. so that it might be measured. seeing the long does not begin to sound. and I sensibly find it to have twice so much. I measure a long syllable by a short. nor past. are but single. the voice of a body begins to sound. But when ended. and nothing left to be measured. and now it cannot. fourth. and how. unless the short leaves sounding? And that very long one do I measure as present. and yet I measure. unless they were already past and ended. in respect of the four long. then. How may it then be measured? And yet we measure times. and does sound. suppose another voice hath begun to sound. the first. shall I apply it to the long.


yet in thought we go over poems. And thus passeth it on. and will sound. Yea it hath sounded. but something in my memory. remains even when they are gone. . which now are not. until the present intent conveys over the future into the past. which things as they pass by cause in thee. not the things which pass by to make this impression. and verses. the impression. Interrupt me not. and committing it to memory. I measure. and say that this silence hath held as long time as did that voice? do we not stretch out our thought to the measure of a voice. In thee I measure times. that so we may be able to report of the intervals of silence in a given space of time? For though both voice and tongue be still. all is past.themselves. as if it sounded. my mind. interrupt not thyself with the tumults of thy impressions. until it be brought unto the end proposed. when I measure times. This I measure. he hath in silence already gone through a space of time. until by the consumption of the future. and report as to the spaces of times. If a man would utter a lengthened sound. no otherwise than if vocally we did pronounce them. and the rest will sound. that I measure times. and had settled in thought how long it should be. and any other discourse. the past increasing by the diminution of the future. begins to utter that speech. for so much of it as is finished. how much this is in respect of that. hath sounded already. which there remains fixed. It is in thee. or I do not measure times. What when we measure silence. which sounds on. this it is which still present. Either then this is time. that I measure. that is. or dimensions of motions.

And who denieth the present time hath no space. but when I have begun. so much the more the expectation being shortened. whereof this Psalm may be part. so as to become past. shall have passed into memory. the same holds in the whole life of man. which is now no longer. . whereof all the actions of man are parts. that so that which it expecteth. And who denies past things to be now no longer? and yet is there still in the mind a memory of things past. but “consideration” is present with me. Who therefore denieth. the same holds through the whole age of the sons of men. is the memory enlarged: till the whole expectation be at length exhausted. Which the more it is done again and again.” nor is it time past. that is long. passeth into that which it remembereth. save that in the mind which enacteth this. It is not then future time. the same holds in that longer action. there be three things done? For it expects. And this which takes place in the whole Psalm. through that which it considereth. thus the life of this action of mine is divided between my memory as to what I have repeated. which as yet is not? or how that past increased. for as yet it is not: but a long future. my expectation is extended over the whole. whereof all the lives of men are parts.Chapter XXVIII But how is that future diminished or consumed. how much soever of it I shall separate off into the past. is extended along my memory. but a long past. is “a long expectation of the future. because it passeth away in a moment? and yet our consideration continueth. through which that which shall be present proceedeth to become absent. may be conveyed over. which now is not. it remembers. it considers. that things to come are not as yet? and yet. when that whole action being ended. that through it what was future.” I am about to repeat a Psalm that I know. that is long. and each several syllable. and expectation as to what I am about to repeat. Before I begin. is “a long memory of the past. there is in the mind an expectation of things to come. the same takes place in each several portion of it.

until I flow together into Thee. nor to pass away. the Mediator betwixt Thee. purified and molten by the fire of Thy love. that by Him I may apprehend in Whom I have been apprehended. are rent and mangled with tumultuous varieties.Chapter XXIX But because Thy loving-kindness is better than all lives. O Lord. even the inmost bowels of my soul. whose order I know not. many also through our manifold distractions amid many things. but I have been severed amid times. The One. . where I may hear the voice of Thy praise. and us many. neither to come. But now are my years spent in mourning. and my thoughts. art my comfort. forgetting what is behind. and Thy right hand upheld me. and not distended but extended. but to those things which are before. not to things which shall be and shall pass away. behold. my life is but a distraction. and contemplate Thy delights. in my Lord the Son of man. and may be re-collected from my old conversation. my Father everlasting. And Thou. I follow on for the prize of my heavenly calling. not distractedly but intently. to follow The One.

and understand Thee before all times. and say. having never before made any thing?” Give them. that “never” cannot be predicated. “what did God before He made heaven and earth?” Or. “How came it into His mind to make any thing.Chapter XXX And now will I stand. nor will I endure the questions of men. This then that He is said “never to have made”. O Lord. and to find. well to bethink themselves what they say. what else is it to say. the eternal Creator of all times. Thy truth. May they also be extended towards those things which are before. that time cannot be without created being. nor any creature. . and become firm in Thee. than “in ‘no have made?” Let them see therefore. and cease to speak that vanity. who by a penal disease thirst for more than they can contain. when “time” is not. in my mould. even if there be any creature before all times. and that no times be coeternal with Thee.

Like then as Thou in the Beginning knewest the heaven and the earth. what. without any distraction of Thy action. the eternal Creator of minds. what a depth is that recess of Thy mysteries. as I know one well-known Psalm. that is. Whoso understandeth. and whoso understandeth not. and how much of it had passed away from the beginning. whose elevation Thou art. far be it. so madest Thou in the Beginning heaven and earth. as the feelings of one who singeth what he knoweth. . as to know all things past and to come.Chapter XXXI O Lord my God. without any variety of Thy knowledge. dost Thou know them. and how far from it have the consequences of my transgressions cast me! Heal mine eyes. and how much there remained unto the end. and fearfully amazing. and far more mysteriously. is any more hidden from him. the Creator of souls and bodies. that Thou shouldest in such wise know all things past and to come. But far be it that Thou the Creator of the Universe. Oh how high art Thou. for Thou raisest up those that are bowed down. that I may share the joy of Thy light. truly that mind is passing wonderful. let him confess unto Thee. in that nothing past. For not. far more wonderfully. varied. Certainly. or heareth some well-known song. than when I sung that Psalm. was hidden from me what. and yet the humble in heart are Thy dwelling-place. Far. nothing to come in afterages. are through expectation of the words to come.—not so doth any thing happen unto Thee. unchangeably eternal. and they fall not. let him confess unto Thee. and the remembering of those that are past. if there be mind gifted with such vast knowledge and foreknowledge. and his senses divided.

Book XII .

amid this poverty of my life. We hold the promise. knock. and it shall be opened unto you. And therefore most times. and demanding is longer than obtaining. These be Thine own promises: and who need fear to be deceived.Chapter I My heart. and he that seeketh. hath more work to do. and to him that knocketh. because enquiring hath more to say than discovering. For every one that asketh. receiveth. and ye shall have. who can be against us? Ask. findeth. who shall make it null? If God be for us. than our hand that receives. when the Truth promiseth? . touched with the words of Thy Holy Scripture. is much busied. is the poverty of human understanding copious in words. O Lord. and ye shall find. seek. and our hand that knocks. shall it be opened.

to that unknown heaven. this heaven which I see. but to that heaven of heavens. and this earth that I tread upon. but the earth hath He given to the children of men? Where is that heaven which we see not. hath in such wise received its portion of beauty in these lower parts. to which all this which we see is earth? For this corporeal whole. which is the Lord's.Chapter II The lowliness of my tongue confesseth unto Thy Highness. But where is that heaven of heavens. which we hear of in the words of the Psalm. not the sons’ of men. . O Lord. The heaven of heavens are the Lord's. not being wholly every where. is but earth: yea both these great bodies. whereof the lowest is this our earth. Thou madest it. even the heaven of our earth. that Thou madest heaven and earth. whence is this earth that I bear about me. may not absurdly be called earth.

what was the presence of darkness. that darkness was upon the face of the deep. and there was I know not what depth of abyss. aloft. that before Thou formedst and diversifiedst this formless matter. nor spirit? and yet not altogether nothing.Chapter III And now this earth was invisible and without form. there was nothing. Lord. but to have no sound there? Hast not Thou. neither colour. for there was a certain formlessness. because it had no shape. where should it have been but by being over all. nor figure. and enlightening? Where then light was not. Therefore didst Thou command it to be written. O Lord. nor body. . what else than the absence of light? For had there been light. upon which there was no light. And what is it to have silence there. as where sound is not. but the absence of light? Darkness therefore was upon it. because light was not upon it. without any beauty. which confesseth unto Thee? Hast not Thou taught me. there is silence. taught his soul.

Wherefore then may I not conceive the formlessness of matter (which Thou hadst created without beauty. among all parts of the world can be found nearer to an absolute formlessness.Chapter IV How then should it be called. . but by some ordinary word? And what. occupying the lowest stage. that it might be in some measure conveyed to those of duller mind. whereof to make this beautiful world) to be suitably intimated unto men. than earth and deep? For. by the name of earth invisible and without form. they are less beautiful than the other higher parts are. transparent all and shining.

there was in it no object of sight or sense”. or justice. or to be ignorant. by knowing it. and without form. because being invisible.—while man's thought thus saith to itself. “It is no intellectual form. by being ignorant of it. .Chapter V So that when thought seeketh what the sense may conceive under this. nor object of sense. and saith to itself. it may endeavour either to know it. as life. because it is the matter of bodies.

-If then my voice and pen would confess unto Thee the whole. by my tongue and my pen. what is it? Is it soul? Is it body? Is it that which constituteth soul or body? Might one say. nor nothing. as unwonted and jarring. if I would. an “is. is not. not through a mere nothing. yet this I longed to know. and true reason did persuade me. and changing and varying them. And still that which I conceived. “a nothing something”. So my mind gave over to question thereupon with my spirit. what reader would hold out to take in the whole? Nor shall my heart for all this cease to give Thee honour. whatever Thyself hath taught me of that matter. was without form. not as being deprived of all form. I suspected to be through a certain formless state.—the name whereof hearing before. if presented to it. and not understanding. but in comparison of more beautiful forms. by which they cease to be what they have been. not to suspect only. and this same shifting from form to form. for sooner could I imagine that not to be at all. For the changeableness of changeable things. which should be deprived of all form. Lord. this were it: and yet in some way was it even then. but because it had such as my mind would. into which these changeable things are changed. and I bent myself to the bodies themselves. if I would conceive matter absolutely without form. as being capable of receiving these visible and compound figures.” I would say. told me of it.Chapter VI But I. and looked more deeply into their changeableness. turn from. but yet “forms” and I called it without form not that it wanted all form. it being filled with the images of formed bodies. is itself capable of all those forms. my mind tossed up and down foul and horrible “forms” out of all order. so I conceived of it as having innumerable forms and diverse. a formless almost nothing. and therefore did not conceive it at all. And this changeableness. confess unto Thee the whole. and I could not. whatsoever knots Thou didst open for me in this question. for those things which it is not able to express. . and begin to be what they were not. and a song of praise. than conceive a thing betwixt form and nothing. when they who understood it not. as it willed. neither formed. that I must utterly uncase it of all remnants of form whatsoever. and human frailness would be troubled at.

For Thou createdst heaven and earth. whereof Thou mightest create them. Holy. and Trine Unity. even the great heaven. and a small thing. whereas no way were it right that aught should be equal to Thee. create something. one near Thee. Holy. and the Self-same. Lord God Almighty. one to which Thou alone shouldest be superior. for so should they have been equal to Thine Only Begotten Son. Holy. the other near to nothing. so far forth as they are? But so much the further from Thee. not out of Thyself. . for Thou art Almighty and Good. Thou wert. didst in the Beginning. which was born of Thine own Substance. which is of Thee. and the Self-same. a great thing. but the Self-same. out of which Thou createdst heaven and earth. O God. and the petty earth. Lord. One Trinity. Who art not one in one place. to which nothing should be inferior. which was not of Thee. Thou therefore. and nothing was there besides.Chapter VII But whence had it this degree of being. as the unliker Thee. for it is not farness of place. and thereby to Thee also. to make all things good. and that out of nothing. but from Thee. things of two sorts. in Thy Wisdom. the other. and otherwise in another. And aught else besides Thee was there not. and therefore out of nothing didst Thou create heaven and earth. from Whom are all things.

perceivable in whatever degree unto the fishes. of which almost nothing. which out of nothing. to be seen and felt. darkness was above the deep. of which formlessness. and it was made. while the figures. because it was invisible and without form. whose very changeableness appears therein. the heaven. For very wonderful is this corporeal heaven. because hitherto it was altogether without form. For Thou. but that was the heaven of this heaven. but subsists not. more than in the deep. after the creation of light. that times can be observed and numbered in it. without form. but the earth which Thou gavest to the sons of men. and there was a deep.Chapter VIII But that heaven of heavens was for Thyself. But that whole deep was almost nothing. before all days. But this same earth which Thou madest was formless matter. Thou saidst. are varied and turned. or. and creeping things in the bottom of it. upon which there was no light. which Thou madest the third day. by giving a visible figure to the formless matter. that is. Because this deep of waters. that is. which we sons of men wonder at. which Thou madest before all days. Lord. the matter whereof is the invisible earth aforesaid. Let it be made. For it was invisible. the second day. to this earth and sea. of which invisible earth and without form. thereof to make those great things. . visible now. Thou madest next to nothing. a light proper for its nature. For already hadst Thou made both an heaven. madest the world of a matter without form. Which firmament Thou calledst heaven. was not such as we now see and feel. because In the beginning Thou hadst made heaven and earth. For times are made by the alterations of things. O Lord. hath even in his depths. yet there was already that which could be formed. Thou mightest make all these things of which this changeable world consists. of which firmament between water and water. and darkness was upon the deep.

speaks nothing of times. there plainly are no days. although no ways coeternal unto Thee. strongly restrain its own changeableness. nor any vicissitude of spaces of times. and without any fall since its first creation. . nothing of days. and where this is not. is placed beyond all the rolling vicissitude of times. the Teacher of Thy servant. invisible. which. and without form. the Trinity. For verily that heaven of heavens which Thou createdst in the Beginning. yet partaketh of Thy eternity. Yea.Chapter IX And therefore the Spirit. is some intellectual creature. and doth through the sweetness of that most happy contemplation of Thyself. neither is this very formlessness of the earth. when It recounts Thee to have In the Beginning created heaven and earth. For where no figure nor order is. there does nothing come. or go. numbered among the days. cleaving close unto Thee.

I heard Thy voice behind me. behold. not mine own darkness. the Light of my heart. and remembered Thee. the Truth. and their words be most full of mystery. from myself I lived ill. I return in distress and panting after Thy fountain. calling to me to return. Let no man forbid me! of this will I drink. death was I to myself. and I revive in Thee. do Thou discourse unto me. through the tumultuousness of the enemies of peace. and scarcely heard it. . I fell off into that. speak unto me. even thence I loved Thee. I went astray. And now. Let me not be mine own life. I have believed Thy Books. and became darkened. and so live.Chapter X O let the Light. Do Thou speak unto me. but even thence.

and the motion of the will from Thee who art. first or last. Thyself being ever present with it. This is in Thy sight clear unto me. and who shall tell me (unless such a one as through the emptiness of his own . as Thy years which fail not. but Thou? and what Thy days. doth in no place and at no time put forth its natural mutability. and let it be more and more cleared unto me. nor conveying into the past what it remembereth. far above those heavenly places that we see. O blessed creature. yet by continually and unfailingly cleaving unto Thee. whose pilgrimage is made long and far away. I know not what formlessness in those changes of these last and lowest creatures. understand how far Thou art. which is not. in my inner ear. if such there be. O Lord. and let it be more and more cleared to me. by this then may the soul that is able. Where is Thy God? if she now seeks of Thee one thing. unto Whom with its whole affection it keeps itself. and in the manifestation thereof. because such motion is transgression and sin. nor distracted into any times. and that only is not from Thee. by this may she understand. although it be not coeternal with Thee.Chapter Xi Already Thou hast told me with a strong voice. because Thou art ever the same?). By this may the soul. There is. behold. which contemplateth Thy delights without any defection of going forth to another. This is in Thy sight clear unto me. let me with sobriety abide under Thy wings. that Thou hast made all natures and substances. for cleaving unto Thy Blessedness. and in the manifestation thereof. let me with sobriety abide under Thy wings. that she may dwell in Thy house all the days of her life (and what is her life. eternal. This is in Thy sight clear to me. unto that which in a less degree is. and that no man's sin doth either hurt Thee. nor is Thy will altered by times: seeing no will which varies is immortal. the citizens of Thy city in heavenly places. and. above all times. most harmoniously one. Who only hast immortality. but Thy eternity. that neither is that creature coeternal unto Thyself. while they daily say unto her. which are not what Thyself is. by that settled estate of peace of holy spirits. O Lord. I beseech Thee. suffers no changeableness of times. whose happiness Thou only art. I beseech Thee: and in the manifestation thereof. that Thou art eternal. seeing Thy house which at no time went into a far country. drawing its nourishment from Thee. let me with sobriety abide under Thy wings. I beseech Thee. and let it be more and more cleared to me. in my inner ear. Thou hast told me also with a strong voice. if her tears be now become her bread. one pure mind. or disturb the order of Thy government. having neither future to expect. is neither altered by any change. its eternal Inhabitant and its Enlightener! Nor do I find by what name I may the rather call the heaven of heavens which is the Lord's. blest in Thee. since Thou canst not be changed as to figure or motion. and desireth it. if she now thirsts for Thee. and which with a most persevering purity. and yet are. Thou hast told me also with a strong voice. than Thine house. in my inner ear.

through which the thing was changed and turned from one figure to another. that that could exhibit the vicissitudes of times? For plainly it could not. wonders and tosses himself up and down amid his own fancies?). because. there are no times: and no variety.heart. where there is no figure. without the variety of motions. that if all figure be so wasted and consumed away. that there should only remain that formlessness. . who but such a one would tell me.


the two things that I spake of. is the formlessness conveyed unto us (that such capacities may hereby be drawn on by degrees. without any interval of change. out of which another Heaven might be created. created. whether of motion. as are not able to conceive an utter privation of all form. so as to become subject unto time. the other which was so formless. But this Thou didst not leave thus formless. as much as Thou givest. yet not changed. Thou in the Beginning didst create Heaven and Earth. that it had not that. recorded to have been. because before all days.Chapter XII These things considered. But the Earth was invisible and without form. neither of which is coeternal with Thee. which could be changed from one form into another. without yet coming to nothing). not without days. that without any ceasing of contemplation. though changeable. or of repose. as being of such nature. as being subject to appointed alterations of motions and of forms. and darkness was upon the deep. In which words. and that. it may thoroughly enjoy Thy eternity and unchangeableness. and as much as Thou openest to me knocking. that the successive changes of times may take place in them. O my God. two things I find that Thou hast made. not within the compass of time. . One. which is so formed. together with a visible and well-formed earth: and the waters diversly ordered. and whatsoever further is in the formation of the world. as much as Thou stirrest me up to knock.

and that thing anon. heaven but the Heaven of heaven. when I hear Thy Scripture saying. whose Intelligences know all at once. in that the Firmament is recorded to be created the second day. not. without any succession of times. not in part. that because of the Heaven of heavens. . but (as I said) know all at once. and darkness was upon the deep. and not mentioning what day Thou createdst them. but as a whole. a primitive formed. because of these two do I conceive. and a primitive formless. face to face. the other earth but the earth invisible and without form. O my God. without mention of days. in manifestation.—that intellectual Heaven. and called Heaven. In the Beginning God created Heaven and Earth. not darkly. this is what I conceive. then. it conveys to us of which Heaven He before spake. which succession presents “this thing now.—and because of the earth invisible and without form. there is no distinction of things:—it is. that thing anon”. on account of these two. did Thy Scripture say without mention of days. not through a glass. because where is no form. without any succession of times. and also.Chapter XIII This then is what I conceive. In the beginning God made Heaven and Earth: and the Earth was invisible and without form. the one. this thing now. For forthwith it subjoined what earth it spake of.

that they may live unto Thee. yet are they a wondrous depth. The enemies thereof I hate vehemently. a wondrous depth! It is awful to look therein.” say they. . would not have those words thus understood. do I thus answer. being judge.Chapter XIV Wondrous depth of Thy words! whose surface. But behold others not faultfinders. but extollers of the book of Genesis. behold! is before us. that they might no longer be enemies unto it: for so do I love to have them slain unto themselves. O my God. and a trembling of love. as we say. “Who by His servant Moses wrote these things.” Unto Whom Thyself. O Thou God all. inviting to little ones. “The Spirit of God. He would not have it understood. but otherwise. as thou sayest. an awfulness of honour. oh that Thou wouldest slay them with Thy two-edged sword.

but that wisdom which is created. not that Wisdom which is altogether equal and coeternal unto Thee. O God. and is eternal: but our God is eternal. That we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. that although not coeternal with Him. Thou createdst heaven and earth. His Father. For although we find no time before it. “What will ye say then. what before He willed not. so much is there betwixt the Wisdom that createth. and at once.Chapter XV “Will you affirm that to be false. that every nature already formed. He willeth all things that He willeth. because He is supremely?” “Neither do we deny this. nor doth His knowledge admit of any thing transitory. is also called wisdom. the . and is free and eternal in the heavens (in what heavens. as betwixt the Righteousness which justifieth. which with a strong voice Truth tells me in my inner ear. Nor yet is it coeternal with Thee. with so chaste a love cleaving unto the true and truly eternal God. but from Him Who is supremely good. For Thou hast made it fast for ever and ever. concerning the Eternity of the Creator. as the Beginning. For this. the eternal God. “What then? Is it false. not of earthly mould. hath not upon any new will made any creature. when they are come. what before He willed. and always. “What then? do you deny this. that there is a certain sublime creature. unto him that loveth Thee so much as Thou commandest. because without defection for ever. that is. yet is it not detached from Him. nor dissolved into the variety and vicissitude of times. But what difference there is betwixt the Light which enlighteneth. O ye gainsayers? Are these things false?” “No. because such a will is and no mutable thing is eternal: but our God is eternal. Therefore since a certain created wisdom was created before all things. for so saith a certain servant of Thine. which by contemplating the light. For we also are called Thy righteousness. another anon. nor of celestial bulk corporeal but spiritual. and by Whom all things were created. nor willeth afterwards. and sufficest him. and the righteousness which is made by justification. and find that my God. dost show Thyself. the intellectual nature. O God. our God. when they be past. what He tells me in my inner ear. but once. Thou hast given it a law which it shall not pass. the rational and intellectual mind of that chaste city of Thine. Again. nor His will separate from His substance? Wherefore He willeth not one thing now. and which is enlightened. and put together. now that. and this same sight becomes memory. for wisdom was created before all things. though created. This is the house of God. nor now this. is not. not again and again.” they say. the expectation of things to come becomes sight. Now all thought which thus varies is mutable. for it was made. or matter capable of form. and in Whom. that His substance is no ways changed by time. because not without beginning.” These things I infer. but reposeth in the most true contemplation of Him only?” Because Thou. our mother which is above. is light.” say they. nor toward himself. and that created. and therefore doth he not decline from Thee. and partaker of Thy eternity. nor willeth not. if not in those that praise Thee.


when you seek for changes of times in vain. not coeternal indeed with God.—though we find no time before it (because that which hath been created before all things. surpasses all extension. in what degree soever it is. it shineth and gloweth from Thee. when inwardly it heard the voice of His praise. eternal in the heavens. yet is the Eternity of the Creator Himself before it. and the place of the habitation of the glory of my Lord. and I say to Him that made thee. wherefore it is not varied by any change).” say they. not indeed of time (for time itself was not yet). let Him take possession of me also in thee. because you will not find them? For that. whence it would wax dark. there could be no vicissitude of times: and yet this almost nothing. thy builder.” . Let my wayfaring sigh after thee.’ inasmuch as it was not altogether nothing. precedeth also the creature of time). thy builder and possessor. being created. and his books the oracles of the Holy Ghost? Is not this house of God. seeing He hath made me likewise. it took the beginning.” say they. O house most lightsome and delightsome! I have loved thy beauty.Heaven of heavens? Because this is also the Heaven of heavens for the Lord). from Whom. as to be altogether other than Thou. nor even in it (it being meet ever to behold Thy face. hope I to be brought back to thee. but that by a strong affection cleaving unto Thee.” “This also. and not the Selfsame: because though we find time neither before it. “What then of all that which my heart loudly uttered unto my God. to which it is ever good to cleave fast to God. nor is ever drawn away from it. and chill. but of its creation. yet after its measure. I have gone astray like a lost sheep: yet upon the shoulders of my Shepherd. like perpetual noon. yet is there in it a liability to change. Hence it is so of Thee. and all revolving periods of time. “What say ye to me. our God. what part thereof do you affirm to be false? Is it that the matter was without form.” “It is. “do we not deny. there was no order? But where no order was. was from Him certainly. who yet believe Moses to have been the holy servant of God. in which because there was no form. from Whom is whatsoever is. O ye gainsayers that I was speaking unto.

with heart lifted up towards it. and do yet contradict me in some thing. let them bark and deafen themselves as much as they please. Father. and sing there a song of loves unto Thee. O my God. By Thyself judge. which Thy Truth whispers unto my soul. the pure and strong delight. into the peace of that our most dear mother. and to open in them a way for Thy word. Jerusalem my mother. Speak Thou truly in my heart. until Thou gather all that I am. But those who do not affirm all these truths to be false. from this dispersed and disordered estate. O my God. my Mercy. and Thou conform and confirm it for ever. For those who deny these things. because the One Sovereign and true Good. placing it. and solid joy. and remembering Jerusalem. O our God. I answer thus. O my God. as we. But if they refuse. Nor will I be turned away. and repel me. and Thyself that rulest over it.Chapter XVI With these I now parley a little in Thy presence. where the first-fruits of my spirit be already (whence I am ascertained of these things). be not Thou silent to me. I will essay to persuade them to quiet. in my wayfaring. on the summit of authority to be followed. I beseech. the Enlightener. who honour Thy holy Scripture. between my Confessions and these men's contradictions. who grant all these things to be true. groaning with groanings unutterable. Guardian. Jerusalem my country. for only Thou so speakest: and I will let them alone blowing upon the dust without. . and raising it up into their own eyes: and myself will enter my chamber. set forth by holy Moses. yea all at once. and all good things unspeakable. Husband.

and. as the soul and body of man are): therefore the common matter of all things visible and invisible (as yet unformed though capable of form). yet did not Moses intend those two. that formless matter. For such were that rude and carnal people to which he spake. but with this distinction. be understood of this formless first matter. and that darksome deep (out of which it is subsequently shown. that by the earth invisible and without form is understood corporeal matter. In the beginning God made heaven and earth. before it underwent any restraint of its unlimited fluidness. that all these visible things which we all know. visible and invisible. that he thought them fit to be entrusted with the knowledge of such works of God only as were visible.” They agree. this declared he by those words. which is ofttimes called by the name of heaven and earth. but that the yet unformed commencement of things. the invisible and visible creature when formed). spiritual matter. all those things. all . “Though these things be true. out of which was to be created both heaven and earth (i. if he will. antecedent to its being qualified by any form. and so. or be changed.” say they.Chapter XVII For they say. What now if another should say that “this same formlessness and confusedness of matter. whether they abide. were made and arranged during those “days”) may. when.” say they. as it were. nor under the name of earth. which it pleased the Holy Ghost thus to enounce. so as afterwards by the enumeration of the several days. since all things be made not of the substance of God. he said. when we read. in the Beginning. was for this reason first conveyed under the name of heaven and earth. are not signified under the name of heaven and earth.” “What then?” “That man of God. because therein were confusedly contained. to arrange in detail. all this visible world. not as yet distinguished by their qualities and forms.” “What?” “By the name of heaven and earth would he first signify. or received any light from Wisdom?” It yet remains for a man to say. that “the already perfected and formed natures. because out of it was this visible world with all those natures which most manifestly appear in it. signify that spiritual or intellectual creature which always beholds the face of God. however. and by the darkness upon the deep. piece by piece. that the universal creation. that under the words earth invisible and without form. and there is a mutable nature in them all. was comprehended under those two words? Notwithstanding. created and perfected?” What again if another say that “invisible and visible nature is not indeed inappropriately called heaven and earth. by revelation of the Spirit. which God made in His Wisdom. not incongruously. was entitled by the same names given to the earth invisible and without form and the darkness upon the deep. but out of nothing (because they are not the same that God is. was called by these names. He did not under the name of heaven. as doth the eternal house of God. In the beginning God created heaven and earth. the stuff apt to receive form and making. that is. “meant as we say. “universally and compendiously.

those things which being now digested into order. are called Heaven and Earth." . the one being the spiritual. the other the corporeal. creation.

seeing he also understood a Truth.Chapter XVIII All which things being heard and well considered. understood not this. Thou light of my eyes in secret. and faith unfeigned. zealously confessing these things. and seeing we believe him to speak truly. And well did our Master know. And what doth it prejudice me. but the subversion of the hearers. But the law is good to edify. if I think otherwise than another thinketh the writer thought? All we readers verily strive to trace out and to understand his meaning whom we read. the light of all truespeaking minds. I will not strive about words: for that is profitable to nothing. upon which two commandments He hung all the Law and the Prophets. While every man endeavours then to understand in the Holy Scriptures. if a man understand what Thou. since divers things may be understood under these words which yet are all true. what hurt is it. O my God. the same as the writer understood. dost show him to be true. which ourselves either know or think to be false. I say. we dare not imagine him to have said any thing. though not this truth? . if a man use it lawfully: for that the end of it is charity. doth it prejudice me. out of a pure heart and good conscience.—what. although he whom he reads.


of Whom are all things. in Which Thou createst all: and true again. might be called heaven and earth. and it is true too. was unformed before it was formed. that whatsoever is mutable. that that whereof a thing is made. but whatsoever is capable of being created and formed. that whatsoever is formed out of that which had no form. which briefly comprise all made and created natures. that the Beginning is Thy Wisdom. as though subject to change. that not only every created and formed thing. may by a certain mode of speech. It is true. It is true. which so cleaveth to the unchangeable Form. that that is subject to no times. O Lord. that that formlessness which is almost nothing. whereof heaven and earth were made. And true too. or turned. be called by the name of the thing made of it. Thou madest. never to be changed. It is true. or is changed. . gives us to understand a certain want of form. It is true. It is true.Chapter XIX For true it is. cannot be subject to the alteration of times. that of things having form. than the earth and the deep. whence that formlessness. It is true. that this visible world hath for its greater part the heaven and the earth. that Thou madest heaven and earth. there is not any nearer to having no form. whereby it receiveth a form.

that saith.” He another. In the Beginning God made the heaven and the earth. that is. we at this day see in the bulk of this world. confusedly containing in itself both heaven and earth. In the Beginning God made heaven and earth. who saith.” . did God create the formless matter of the creature corporeal. that is. or the spiritual and the corporeal creature. In the Beginning God made heaven and earth. did God make the universal bulk of this corporeal world. he taketh one. that saith.” He another. did God make the formless matter of creatures spiritual and corporeal. with all that is in them. “in His Word coeternal with Himself. being now distinguished and formed. wherein heaven and earth lay as yet confused. and who unshakenly believe Thy servant Moses to have spoken in the Spirit of truth.—of all these then. “in His Word coeternal with Himself. In the Beginning God created heaven and earth. which it containeth. being formed.” He another. “in the very beginning of creating and working. In the Beginning God made heaven and earth. together with all those apparent and known creatures. do they now stand out. of which they doubt not whose inward eye Thou hast enabled to see such things. that is. who saith. “in His Word coeternal with Himself. and are apparent. that is. “in His Word coeternal with Himself. that is. that saith.” He another. God made the intelligible and the sensible.Chapter XX Out of these truths. out of which. which. did God make that formless matter.

that God had made heaven and earth. and darkness was upon the deep. which is called heaven and earth. without order. upper and lower.” Another he who says.” Another he who says. and darkness was upon the deep. that is. of which he had before said. and darkness upon the deep. out of which was to be made. both that intelligible heaven. was still a formless and a darksome matter. that God made heaven and earth. otherwhere called the Heaven of heavens. that is. namely. But the earth was invisible. The earth was invisible and without form. and without form. of which the Scripture said before.” . he chooses one to himself. already was. The earth was invisible and without form. which is called heaven and earth. The earth was invisible and without form. “there already was a certain formless matter. the spiritual and corporeal creature. that is.Chapter XXI And with regard to the understanding of the words following. and darkness was upon the deep. and darkness was upon the deep. “ Another he who says.” Another he who says. of which the corporeal heaven and the corporeal earth were to be made. the whole corporeal bulk of the world. the whole corporeal nature. but that formlessness. “this all. “this all. was as yet a formless matter of corporeal things. which he called the earth invisible without form. and darkness was upon the deep. that is. saith he. with all things in them. without light. which are known to our corporeal senses. was still a formless and darksome matter. “that corporeal thing that God made. out of which every visible and invisible creature was to be created. namely. with all the common and known creatures in them. and the earth. out of all those truths. The earth was invisible and without form. under which name is comprised this corporeal heaven also. who saith. divided into two great parts. in a word. that is. “the Scripture did not call that formlessness by the name of heaven and earth.

nor again will any sober teaching dare to affirm these waters to be coeternal with God. and the earth was invisible and without form (although it pleased Him so to call the formless matter). but when they were created. Ergo. but that which God made. upon which the Spirit of God moved? For if they be comprised in this word earth. that God made this formlessness. which yet that God did make neither sound faith nor well-grounded understanding doubteth. out of which to make heaven and earth. Dominions. Thrones. is most apparent. when God said. for as we affirm that to be a greater good. All which that God made. return for answer. He made heaven and earth. that so the gathering together be itself the forming of them. that God made this matter.” The maintainers of either of those two latter opinions will. and darksome deep) to have been created of God out of nothing. all things be comprehended. why then is it written. and Seraphim. upon hearing this. “we do not deny this formless matter to be indeed created by God. as the Cherubim. unless we understand it to be signified by the name of heaven and earth. In the Beginning God made the heaven and earth. nor is it written. we do not find. that so in what follows. when it is said. when we see the waters so beautiful? Or if it be so taken. and therefore not to be coeternal to Him. the firmament was made. which is created and formed. If then Genesis is silent as to God's making of any thing. what shall we say of the waters. Powers. how then can formless matter be meant in that name of earth. that this formlessness of matter seems to be called by the name of heaven and earth. thus. We say however that Scripture hath not set down. very good. or of earth alone. notwithstanding this history hath omitted to show when it was created?” . whereof is written above. and called heaven. “If you will not allow. that out of the same formlessness. God made heaven and earth. But if they then received that beauty. there was something which God had not made. so we confess that to be a lesser good which is made capable of creation and form. by what word they were formed. and that the waters were made. that God of Whom are all things. why (seeing truth teaches us) should we not understand that formless matter (which this Scripture calls the earth invisible and without form. for neither hath Scripture told us. as also it hath not many others. is not written? For the waters remain not formless and invisible. seeing we behold them flowing in so comely a manner. yet still good. we are to understand no other matter.Chapter XXII For should any attempt to dispute against these two last opinions. what will be said as to those waters above the firmament? Seeing neither if formless would they have been worthy of so honourable a seat. and those which the Apostle distinctly speaks of. Or if in that which is said. Let the waters under the firmament be gathered together. on the ground that we find them to be mentioned in the hook of Genesis. Principalities.

with them that feed on Thy truth. when a thing is in words related by true reporters. concerning the meaning of the relater. would have his reader and hearer understand by those words. concerning the truth of the things. But let me be united in Thee. the other. through the meaning of Thy servant. two sorts of disagreements I see may arise. what is true. O Lord. what is false. and for this other. in the largeness of charity. For the first sort. by whose pen Thou hast dispensed them. one. with those and delight myself in Thee. which imagine Moses to have written things that be false. according to the weakness of my capacity (which I confess unto Thee. that excellent minister of Thy Faith. away with all them too. and let us approach together unto the words of Thy book. away with all those who imagine themselves to know as a truth. O Lord. . what Moses. another way.Chapter XXIII These things then being heard and perceived. and seek in them for Thy meaning. For we enquire one way about the making of the creature. that knowest it).

” whether Moses thought this or that? For behold. that by Thy mercy I may pay my vows unto Thee. I Thy servant. that he thought of this when he wrote these things. among those so many truths. with the same confidence as he would. as to affirm. as they are differently understood. For I perceive. so discover that one meaning. but which of the two he thought of in these words. with the same confidence wherewith I affirm. and expressed it aptly. “this Moses thought. “this is true. I do not so perceive. when he said In the beginning. that Moses meant no other than this. it might have been truly said. but both of them inchoate and as yet formless. who have in this book vowed a sacrifice of confession unto Thee. when he uttered these words. I doubt not but that he saw it truly. and by heaven and earth.” and “this would he have understood in that history”. In the Beginning God made heaven and earth? No.Chapter XXIV But which of us shall. affirm also. For he might have his thoughts upon God's commencement of creating. can I. whether it were either of these. when he wrote. that whichsoever of the two had been said. Because I see not in his mind. and pray. which occur to enquirers in those words. . O my God. that in Thy incommutable world Thou createdst all things visible and invisible. in this place he might intend no formed and perfected nature whether spiritual or corporeal. which this so great man saw in his mind. or any sense beside (that I have not here mentioned). Although. as I do see it in Thy truth to be certain.

“Moses meant not what you say. but because it is true. and would have that his own which belongs to all. who employ Thy law lawfully. if it please Thee. is driven from what is in common to his own. what I shall say to him.” Seeing then we strive not about the very light of the Lord God. life of the poor. that I may patiently bear with such as say this to me. as I love what they say. For whosoever challenges that as proper to himself. are Thy judgements terrible. then is it both theirs. speaketh it of his own. but because it is theirs. we shall make God a liar. “This I meant”. with all our soul. Otherwise they would equally love another true opinion. neither so should we see it. and with all our mind: and our neighbour as ourself. and before my brethren. O Lord. and both see that to be true that I say. may both be true. nor another's. in Whose bosom is no contradiction. not to account it private to ourselves. but both in the unchangeable Truth itself. do we see it? Neither I in thee. Let us not then be puffed up for one against another. to a lie. imagining otherwise of our fellow servant's mind. and mine. and on that very ground not theirs because it is true. than he hath taught . But if they therefore love it. nor his. But when he saith. not because it is truth. yet that their rashness belongs not to knowledge. this I like not. above that which is written: let us love the Lord our God with all our heart. as being in common to all lovers of truth. where. With a view to which two precepts of charity. hearken. and not insight but vanity was its parent. seeing Thy truth is neither mine. not knowing Moses’ opinion. or something more at large. if Moses himself had appeared to us and said.” yet denieth not that what each of us say. hearken to what I shall say to this gainsayer.Chapter XXV Let no man harass me then. pour down a softening dew into my heart. lest we he deprived of it. warning us terribly. for before Thee do I speak. but to overboldness. O God. by saying. For he that speaketh a lie. to the end of charity: hearken and behold. whom Thou callest publicly to partake of it. and have seen in the heart of Thy servant what they speak. not because they have a divine Spirit. as the unchangeable Truth is seen: for that. why strive we about the thoughts of our neighbour which we cannot so see. but as I say: for if he should ask me. but what I say. Moses thought not as you say. And therefore. I pray Thee. Hearken. unless we believe that Moses meant. when they say true: not because it is theirs. nor thou in me. But whereas they contend that Moses did not mean what I say. but what they say. O my God. whatsoever in those books he did mean. which Thou propoundest to all to enjoy. Thou best judge. Truth Itself. and would answer perchance as I have above. love not: for though it were so. because it is true. which is above our souls. For this brotherly and peaceful word do I return unto Him: “If we both see that to be true that Thou sayest. but belonging to us all. but because they be proud. “How know you that Moses thought that which you infer out of his words?” I ought to take it in good part. from truth. that is. but loving their own. if he were unyielding. but should believe it.


in such abundance of most true meanings.us. and with pernicious contentions to offend charity itself. . for whose sake he spake every thing. which of them Moses principally meant. as may be extracted out of those words. whose words we go about to expound. rashly to affirm. Behold now. how foolish it is.

which for so long after were to profit all nations. Thou lifter up of my humility. and hadst Thou set me in that office. and forgivest my sins: seeing Thou commandest me to love my neighbour as myself. were to surmount all sayings of false and proud teachings. had I then been Moses (for we all come from the same lump. and through the whole world from such an eminence of authority. might reject the sayings. O my God.Chapter XXVI And yet I. that by the service of my heart and tongue those books might be dispensed. as beyond their capacity. not passed over in those few words of that Thy servant: and should another man by the light of truth have discovered another. had I been born in the time he was. I should have desired verily. saving that Thou art mindful of him?). I would then. neither should that fail of being discoverable in those same words. had I been then what he was. . and what is man. Who hearest my confessions. that neither they who cannot yet understand how God created. have desired such a power of expression and such a style to be given me. and rest of my labour. and they who had attained thereto. than I would wish or desire Thee to have given me. might find what true opinion soever they had by thought arrived at. and been enjoined by Thee to write the book of Genesis. I cannot believe that Thou gavest a less gift unto Moses Thy faithful servant.

which in admirable variety their eye beholdeth around. men's acquaintance with the material world would suggest. by some new and sudden resolution. and passing away. two great bodies above and below. as too simple. which was commanded so to do. alas. after a wide interval. Let it be made. as in a mother's bosom. carried on. and supplies a tide for more streams over larger spaces. did. they conceive of words begun and ended. And when they hear. till it can fly. one truth. is derived from the same fountain. after whose departure. shall stretch himself beyond the guardian nest. than any one of those streams. God said. if any despising. when they read. wherein all things were to be contained. does out of a narrow scantling of language. whence every man may draw out for himself such truth as he can upon these subjects. and send Thine angel to replace it into the nest. as it were at a certain distance. O Lord God. create heaven and earth. with a proud weakness. that came into being. their faith is wholesomely built up. fall miserably. that it may live. and it was made. being yet little ones and carnal. Have pity. which was to benefit many who were to discourse thereon. he will. that God made all natures. lest they who go by the way trample on the unfledged bird. Which words. while their weakness is by this humble kind of speech. one. is more plentiful. exterior to itself. For some. another. so the relation of that dispenser of Thine.Chapter XXVII For as a fountain within a narrow compass. which. and whatever of the like sort. In whom. whereby they hold assured. or hear these words. by larger circumlocutions of discourse. sounding in time. overflow into streams of clearest truth. another. . conceive that God like a man or some mass endued with unbounded power.

the visible only. not by any change of will. or being in gradation removed in time and place. In the Beginning God made heaven and earth. and might all be made very good. in the little degree they here may. He at first made. that matter out of which both the intelligible and the sensible creature were to be perfected. to be in this place called heaven and earth. and pluck them. under the name Earth. the Beginning because It also speaketh unto us. neither do they understand it in one way. to be there called heaven and earth. and that a spiritual. which should be formed by Thy likeness (recurring to Thy Unity. understand matter as yet formless. in the light of Thy truth. in which we behold this lightsome heaven. and by Beginning understands the commencement of things created. and with cheerful notes seek out.Chapter XXVIII But others. containing in its vast bosom these visible and ordinary natures. and yet that there is no creature formed in time. they see that all times past and to come. understand the same. who believe the creatures already ordered and arranged. not of Thy making. which is the form of all things. another. made or undergo the beautiful variations of the Universe. Whose will. and rejoice. in Thine own likeness. fly joyously around. a formless unlikeness. but deep shady fruit-bowers. out of which heaven and earth were to be formed. Another bends his mind on that which is said. In the beginning He made. both the invisible and visible. as if it were said. but out of nothing. another. unto whom these words are no longer a nest. which before was not. see the fruits concealed therein. a corporeal matter. the other formless. Thou madest all things. Neither do they. but the one. For reading or hearing these words. And among them that understand In the Beginning to mean. . and that these things were not out of Thyself.” one believes the matter out of which the heaven and earth were to be created. and beholdeth therein Wisdom. according to their appointed capacity. They again who by the names heaven and earth. so far as is given to each thing in his kind). nor by a will. with the things in them contained. are surpassed by Thy eternal and stable abiding. natures already formed and distinguished. “In Thy Wisdom Thou createdst heaven and earth. These things they see. because it is the same that Thou art. that only. out of which this sensible corporeal mass was to he made. one formed nature. whether they abide around Thee. the other. another. but the one. under the name Heaven. Another likewise bends his mind on the same words. and darksome earth.

the two middle. but that was without form. of the universal intelligible and corporeal creation. as to be able without great pains to discern. passeth away. And this indeed is formed. but is something corporeal. the first and last mentioned. what by time. At first He made. subjected to the soul which singeth. and a thing not formed. for a sound is no way the workmaster of the tune. whereas in value it is last (because things formed are superior to things without . through any power it hath to make it a tune. an object of sense together with its form. because a tune receives not form to become a sound. Of these four. what made He afterwards?” and after the universe. but a sound receives a form to become a tune. if nothing after?” But when he says. by original. it may be rightly demanded of him. can only truly understand heaven and earth of the matter of heaven and earth. O Lord. then formed. but a beautiful sound. by choice. “How did God make this first. if he be but qualified to discern. because a tune is a formed sound. nor first in choice. which sound of his is his matter. are with extreme difficulty understood. Yet was it not made first in time. that is. And yet nothing can be related of that matter. in time. so soon as made. what precedes by eternity. which is afterwards formed into a chant. that it may be a tune. By eternity. and therefore (as I said) the matter of the sound is before the form of the tune. unchangeably making things changeable. “If God made this first. seeing itself is rather made. For each sound. and subsequently adapt or fashion them into the form of a chant. as the sound before the tune. again. cannot be formed. for a sound is not better than a tune. a tune being not only a sound. what by choice. For a rare and too lofty a vision is it. but in singing it is not so. But it is first in original. but as though prior in time. because heaven and earth were made out of it. whereof a chest or vessel is fashioned. but now is. not before. By this example. God made matter first formless. And who. understand how the matter of things was first made. let him that is able. whereupon must he against his will hear another question. whereof to make a tune. as the flower before the fruit. and what in original. by time. as the fruit before the flower. for when it is sung. its sound is heard. So then the chant is concentrated in its sound. For if he would understand thereby the universe. easily. for we do not first in time utter formless sounds without singing. how the sound is therefore before the tune. to behold Thy Eternity. whereas that which existeth not. and called heaven and earth. as already formed. For such materials do by time also precede the forms of the things made of them. nor is it before by interval of time. as God is before all things. for it is given forth together with the tune.Chapter XXIX But he that no otherwise understands In the Beginning He made. because the forms of things give rise to time. he will find nothing. than if it were said. Nor is it first in time. may exist. for there is not first a formless sound. there is no absurdity. is of so sharpsighted understanding. as wood or silver. nor canst thou find ought to recall and by art to compose. not because it maketh it. Thus is the matter before the thing made. and thereby before them.


form) and is preceded by the Eternity of the Creator: that so there might be out of nothing. whereof somewhat might be created. .

. and fruitfulness of profit. that we may use the law lawfully. pure charity. which among them chiefly excels both for light of truth. of which I have spoken what seemed necessary. this were not the language of my Confessions. yea. And even those hopeful little ones who so think. and jointly love Thee our God. have this benefit. let us so honour this Thy servant. as to believe that. let Truth herself produce concord. the fountain of truth. And all we who. those carnal ones excepted. and not for vanities. should I not confess unto Thee. delivering high things lowlily. that the words of Thy Book affright them not.Chapter XXX In this diversity of the true opinions. see and express the truth delivered in those words. and with few words a copious meaning. “which of these was the meaning of Thy servant Moses”. By this if man demands of me. And our God have mercy upon us. “I know not”. and yet I know that those senses are true. the dispenser of this Scripture. I confess. let us love one another. when by Thy revelation he wrote these things. the end of the commandment. if we are athirst for it. full of Thy Spirit. he intended that.

rather than set down my own meaning so clearly as to exclude the rest. as not to believe. through whom the One God hath tempered the holy Scriptures to the senses of many. when he wrote those words. that whatever truth any could apprehend on those matters. perceived and thought on what truth soever we have been able to find. that were I to indite any thing to have supreme authority. which not being false. “Why not rather as both. that Thou vouchsafedst as much to that great man. could not offend me. yea and whatsoever we have not been able. but which may be found in them. I will not therefore. He without doubt. I should prefer so to write.Chapter XXXI So when one says. or a fourth. but as I do. O my God. yea if any other seeth any other truth in those words. “Moses meant as I do”. . might he conveyed in my words. if both be true?” And if there be a third. and another. “Nay.” I suppose that I speak more reverently. nor yet are. who should see therein things true but divers? For I certainly (and fearlessly I speak it from my heart). why may not he be believed to have seen all these. be so rash.

or some other by occasion of those words. for this should I endeavour. yet Thou mayest feed us. that if I should say that which Thy minister intended. do Thou. which Thou Thyself by those words wert about to reveal to readers in times to come. either reveal that same. as to that Thy servant. although many should occur. who art God and not flesh and blood. yea what ages would suffice for all Thy books in this manner? Permit me then in these more briefly to confess unto Thee. or any other true one which Thou pleasest. if man did see less. thought on some one? which if so it be. O Lord. what It willed. whether Thou discoverest the same to us. that so. where many may occur. which revealed also unto him. not error deceive us. and to choose some one true. that is right and best. and good sense that Thou shalt inspire me. let that which he thought on be of all the highest. O Lord my God. . which Thy Truth willed by his words to tell me. certain. though he through whom they were spoken. how much we have written upon a few words. Behold. this being the law my confession. how much I beseech Thee! What strength of ours. O Lord. which if I should not attain. But to us.Chapter XXXII Lastly. could any thing be concealed from Thy good Spirit (who shall lead me into the land of uprightness). perhaps among many true meanings. yet I should say that.

Book XIII .

For neither hadst Thou need of me. and yet behold. as a land. so as to repay the work of Thy hands wherewith Thou madest me. Thou preparest for Thee. to which Thou mightest grant to be. that I would hear Thee from afar.Chapter I I call upon Thee. . that must remain uncultivated. from whom it comes. that I have a being capable of well-being. by the longing Thyself inspirest into her. as though Thou wouldest tire in working. Thou wert. my Lord and God. nor am I any such good. Forsake me not now calling upon Thee. if lacking my service: nor cultivating Thy service. and whereof Thou hast made me. and urgedst me with much variety of repeated calls. whom Thou preventedst before I called. and Thou hast prevented all my well deservings. O my God. blottedst out all my evil deservings. I am. or lest Thy power might be less. unless I cultivated Thee: but serving and worshipping Thee. and call upon Thee. Who createdst me. I call Thee into my soul which. and forgottest not me. not in serving Thee. because before I was. forgetting Thee. for Thou. wherewith I fell from Thee. as to be helpful unto Thee. nor was I any thing. Lord. out of Thy goodness. my mercy. preventing all this which Thou hast made me. and be converted. that calledst after me. that I might receive a well-being from Thee. so as not to repay into my hands.


which are like the great deep. could not deserve of Thee to be made. though without form. else could it not be deformed. but from Thee? How did corporeal matter deserve of Thee. is not one with being beautiful. . For we ourselves also. and still labour amidst the relics of our darkness. which could no ways profit Thee. but that Thou madest it. and so to depend upon Thy Word. and the corporeal though without form. say wherein they deserved of Thee. For what did heaven and earth. by Whom it was created. who as to the soul are a spiritual creature. unless it had been by the same Word turned to that. until in Thy Only One we become Thy righteousness. might yet be since it could be made of Thee. doth Thy creature subsist. like the mountains of God. superior to the corporeal though formed. But good it is for it always to hold fast to Thee. as formless. indued with form and from Thee the One Sovereign Good were made all very good. it lose by turning from Thee.—the spiritual. else should it be wise unchangeably. unless by the same Word they were brought back to Thy Unity. that so a good. deserve of Thee? Let those spiritual and corporeal natures which Thou madest in Thy Wisdom. and therefore because it was not. Or how could the inchoate spiritual creature deserve of Thee. since they had not been even this. to be.—unlike Thee. though not equally. and relapse into life resembling the darksome deep. and by Him so enlightened. lest what light it hath obtained by turning to Thee. to be even without form. which Thou madest in the Beginning. become light.Chapter II For of the fulness of Thy goodness. turned away from Thee our light. ready to fall away into an immoderate liberty and far-distant unlikeliness unto Thee. better than were it altogether nothing). to be even invisible and without form? seeing it were not even this. were in that life sometimes darkness. nor was of Thee (lest so it should be equal to Thee). How did they deserve of Thee. so likewise to a created spirit to live. to depend thereon (even in that their several inchoate and formless state. whether spiritual or corporeal. For we have been Thy judgments. yet conformably to that Form which is equal unto Thee? For as in a body. is not one with living wisely. even to ebb and flow darksomely like the deep.

and cleaving to it. which could be enlightened. so that. unto Thee it being not one thing to live. it owes to nothing but Thy grace. seeing Thyself art Thine own Blessedness. and lived happily. not unsuitably. and there was light. had it any. which Thou alone art. that it lived. which Thou mightest illuminate. but by beholding the illuminating light. But as it had no claim on Thee for a life. because Thou alone simply art.Chapter III That which Thou saidst in the beginning of the creation. to be enlightened. so neither now that it was. and that not by existing simply. understand of the spiritual creature: because there was already a sort of life. unless it became light. being turned by a better change unto That which cannot be changed into worse or better. . For neither could its formless estate be pleasing unto Thee. another to live blessedly. I do. Let there be light.

and beautified. and to be perfected. For Thy good Spirit indeed was borne over the waters. not as though Thy joy were fulfilled by them? For to Thee being perfect. or remained without form. and please Thee. For those. although these things had either never been. seeing it liveth also. not as wert Thou imperfect. as if He rested upon them. He causes to rest in Himself. which thou madest. and enlightened.Chapter IV What then could he wanting unto Thy good. and in His light to see light. is their imperfection displeasing. was borne upon that life which Thou hadst created. ebbing and flowing in its own darkness: for which it remaineth to be converted unto Him. and by their perfecting wert also to be perfected. living is not one with happy living. restraining them and converting them to form. in itself all-sufficient for itself. to which. not out of any want. and hence were they perfected by Thee. by Whom it was made. but out of the fulness of Thy goodness. and to live more and more by the fountain of life. which Thou Thyself art. But Thy incorruptible and unchangeable will. . on whom Thy good Spirit is said to rest. not borne up by them.

as I did. and under the name of Beginning. unless it had been converted unto Him. which is Thou my God. Much now have we said of the Heaven of heavens. and of the darksome deep. born of Thyself. createdst heaven and earth. from Whom it had its then degree of life. Which is Thy Wisdom. Father. in whom He made these things. because Thou. Behold the Trinity. equal unto Thee and coeternal. O Father. my God.Chapter V Lo. and Son. in Thy Son. and the heaven of that heaven. and Holy Ghost. which was afterwards set between water and water. and to. I searched further in His holy words. And under the name of God. and of the earth invisible and without form. Creator of all creation. in reference to the wandering instability of its spiritual deformity. now the Trinity appears unto me in a glass darkly. and believing. my God as the Trinity. that is. the Son. I now held the Father. in Him Who is the Beginning of our wisdom. Thy Spirit moved upon the waters. . and by His enlightening became a beauteous life. who made these things.

and of the earth invisible and without form. I beseech Thee. Thy Scripture should then at length mention Thy Spirit? Was it because it was meet that the knowledge of Him should be conveyed. nor the Son. and this could not be said. and darkness upon the deep. tell me the reason. O true-speaking Light?—unto Thee lift I up my heart. let it not teach me vanities. I beseech Thee.Chapter VI But what was the cause. if He were borne over nothing. dispel its darkness. and tell me. For neither was He borne above the Father. unless that were first mentioned. First then was that to be spoken of. over which He might be borne. But wherefore was it not meet that the knowledge of Him should be conveyed otherwise. whom it was meet not otherwise to be spoken of than as being borne. as being “borne above”. than as being borne above? . and then He. nor could He rightly be said to be borne above. by our mother charity. why after the mention of heaven. over which Thy Spirit may be understood to have been borne.

when our soul shall have passed through the waters which yield no support. where he thus speaks. downwards to the steep abyss. he teacheth and showeth unto us a more excellent way of charity. and the holiness of Thine raising us upward by love of unanxious repose. And therefore from the beginning. they be loves. and yet what less like? They be affections. the uncleanness of our spirit flowing away downwards with the love of cares. was He borne supereminent above the waters. To whom shall I speak this? how speak of the weight of evil desires. . where Thy Spirit is borne above the waters. and how charity raises up again by Thy Spirit which was borne above the waters? to whom shall I speak it? how speak it? For it is not in space that we are merged and emerge. and where he bows his knee unto Thee for us. follow with his understanding Thy Apostle. and come to that supereminent repose. What can be more. Because Thy love is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us: and where concerning spiritual gifts. that we may know the supereminent knowledge of the love of Christ.Chapter VII Hence let him that is able. that we may lift our hearts unto Thee.

Which is borne unchangeably over every thing changeable. I would love more strongly. when bared of the clothing of Thy light. dost Thou sufficiently reveal how noble Thou madest the reasonable creature. and so not even herself. and if it be too little. . to which nothing will suffice to yield a happy rest. had even the heaven of heavens been in itself a darksome deep. and thereby pointed the abyss in that dark depth. who fell away and discovered their own darkness. nor turn away. how much love there yet lacketh to me. until it be hidden in the hidden place of Thy Presence. that woe is me except in Thee: not only without but within myself also. restore Thyself unto me: behold I love. is emptiness to me. O my God. less than Thee. For even in that miserable restlessness of the spirits. but now it is light in the Lord. shalt lighten our darkness: from Thee riseth our garment of light. This only I know. ere my life may run into Thy embracements. Let there be light. ready for the whole spiritual creation. Otherwise. and all abundance. For Thou. and there had been light. which is not my God. and rested in Thy Spirit. and every obedient intelligence of Thy heavenly City had cleaved to Thee. man's soul fell away. hadst not Thou said from the beginning.Chapter VIII Angels fell away. and then shall our darkness be as the noon day. Give Thyself unto me. I cannot measure so as to know. O our God.

they are restless. and go forwards. Weight makes not downward only. water poured upon oil. Love lifts us up thither. In Thy good pleasure is our peace. We ascend Thy ways that be in our heart. . then were both Father. of Whom only it is written. and are carried upwards. that He is Thy gift? In Thy Gift we rest. My weight. Fire tends upward. borne above the waters? if this means. They are urged by their own weight. they seek their own places. sinks below the oil.Chapter IX But was not either the Father. and we go. then neither was the Holy Spirit. but to abide there for ever. and sing a song of degrees. there we enjoy Thee. or the Son. We are inflamed. whithersoever I am borne. and Holy Ghost borne upon the waters. in space. because we go upwards to the peace of Jerusalem: for gladdened was I in those who said unto me. When out of their order. like a body. we glow inwardly. They are urged by their own weights to seek their own places. and Thy good Spirit lifts up our lowliness from the gates of death. is raised above the water. We will go up to the house of the Lord. why is it said only of Him? As if He had been in place. restored to order. they are at rest. but if the unchangeable supereminence of Divinity above all things changeable. The body by its own weight strives towards its own place. that we may desire nothing else. Who is not in place. Oil poured below water. and Son. thereby am I borne. is my love. a stone downward. Why then is this said of Thy Spirit only. There hath Thy good pleasure placed us. but to his own place. we glow inwardly with Thy fire. by Thy Gift we are kindled. Our rest is our place. with Thy good fire.

it was. Whoso can. and there was light. this is so spoken. as if I could enlighten any man that cometh into this world? . Which is borne above every thing changeable. by Thy Gift. than that. that so the cause whereby it was made otherwise. has known no other condition. namely. without any interval.Chapter X Blessed creature. as if it had been unsettled and darksome before. which being itself other than Thou. might appear. let him understand this. And. Let there be light. borne aloft by that calling whereby Thou saidst. what it would have been. and are made light: but of that is only said. Whereas in us this took place at different times. Why should he trouble me. had it not been enlightened. let him ask of Thee. so soon as it was made. that being turned to the Light unfailing it became light. in that we were darkness.

let him look into himself. and Will: I Am Knowing and Willing: and I Know myself to Be. which while it speaks of It. no man sees that vision. For I Am. and tell me. and Knows unchangeably. and to Will: and I Will to Be. or whether all three be in Each. and see.Chapter XI Which of us comprehendeth the Almighty Trinity? and yet which speaks not of It. and one essence. I would that men would consider these three. let him discern that can. any way. so that the three belong to Each.—who can readily conceive this? who could any ways express it? who would. that are in themselves. knows what it speaks of. yet unbounded. and Wills unchangeably. by the abundant greatness of its Unity. pronounce thereon rashly? . yea lastly how inseparable a distinction there is. and whether because of these three. and yet a distinction. And they contend and strive. simply and yet manifoldly. Itself a bound unto Itself within Itself. These three be indeed far other than the Trinity: I do but tell. unchangeably the Self-same. and to Will. yet. without peace. where they may practise themselves. there is in God also a Trinity. or whether both ways at once. to Know. But when he discovers and can say any thing of these. and there prove and feel how far they be. and to Know. Surely a man hath it before him. and is Known unto Itself and sufficeth to itself. how inseparable a life there is. yea one life. and Know. mind. Now the three I spake of are. In these three then. To Be. which Is unchangeably. wondrously. if indeed it be It? Rare is the soul. whereby It is. let him not therefore think that he has found that which is above these Unchangeable.

Repent ye. was invisible and without form. we were sometimes darkness. and Thou saidst. and that mountain equal unto Thyself. and Holy Ghost. Son. Holy. and Holy Ghost. O Lord my God. the spiritual and carnal people of His Church. For Thou chastenedst man for iniquity. Father. but little for our sakes: and our darkness displeased us. say to the Lord thy God. And. Thy mercy forsook not our misery. but now light in the Lord. O Lord.Chapter XII Proceed in thy confession. from the land of Jordan. Father. Repent ye. we remembered Thee. Yea and our earth. Holy. Son. and Thy judgments were like the great deep unto him. for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. namely. Holy. in Thy Name do we baptise. in Thy Name have we been baptised. and we were covered with the darkness of ignorance. And because our soul was troubled within us. But because Thy Spirit was borne above the waters. in His Christ did God make heaven and earth. O my faith. behold. Let there be light. before it received the form of doctrine. we turned unto Thee and there was light. . because among us also. let there be light.

and calleth upon this lower deep. lest as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty. waiting for the adoption. be not children in understanding. who hath bewitched you? But now no longer in his own voice. not in his own voice.Chapter XIII But as yet by faith and not by sight. and those tears be passed away. Him doth this friend of the Bridegroom sigh after. doth not think himself to have apprehended. I could not speak unto you as unto spiritual. and set open the flood-gates of His gifts. and saith. so their minds should be corrupted from the purity that is in our Bridegroom Thy only Son. but now in the voice of Thy water-spouts. not for himself. as the hart after the water-brooks. but as unto carnal. but in Thine who sentest Thy Spirit from above. is not hope. doth he call to that other depth. as being a friend of the Bridegroom. And. for Him he is jealous. over whom being jealous he feareth. because in the voice of Thy water-spouts. As yet doth deep call unto deep. but hope that is seen. for by hope we are saved. that the force of His streams might make glad the city of God. and forgetteth those things which are behind. whilst they daily say unto me. and his soul thirsteth after the Living God. Where is now Thy God? . to wit. As yet doth he that saith. yet still groaning within himself. Be not conformed to this world. When shall I come? desiring to be clothed upon with his house which is from heaven. a member of the Bride. for Him he is jealous. O what a light of beauty will that be. the redemption of his body. through Him who ascended up on high. even he as yet. having now the first-fruits of the Spirit laid up with Him. which have been my meat day and night. and O foolish Galatians. be ye children. when we shall see Him as He is. and groaneth being burthened. that in understanding ye may be perfect. saying. to Him he sighs. and reacheth forth to those which are before. but in malice. but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.

and contemplate Thee: I shall for ever confess unto Thee. Thou. O my God. I too say. For who discerneth us. and why dost thou trouble me? Hope in the Lord. Why art thou sad. nor of the darkness. but Thou? And what have we. and the children of the day. until the wrath of the Lord. Thou only dividest. because He hath in mercy been borne over our inner darksome and floating deep: from Whom we have in this pilgrimage received an earnest. and becomes a deep. night. the mother of the wicked. and shall see the health of my countenance. Betwixt whom and us. who were sometimes darkness. that we should now be light: whilst we are saved by hope. Unto it speaks my faith which Thou hast kindled to enlighten my feet in the night. be overpast. when I pour out my soul by myself in the voice of joy and praise. until the night. whereof we also were once children. by the Spirit that dwelleth in us. in the morning I shall stand in Thy presence. that we have not received of Thee? out of the same lump vessels are made unto honour. and are the children of light. who also shall quicken our mortal bodies. In the morning I shall stand in Thy presence. Where art Thou? see. and callest the light. And yet again it is sad. until the day break. day. . who provest our hearts. not the children of the night. O my soul. my God. in this uncertainty of human knowledge. where Thou art! in Thee I breathe a little. the sound of him that keeps holy-day.Chapter XIV Behold. His word is a lanthorn unto thy feet: hope and endure. because it relapseth. whereof others also are made unto dishonour. and the darkness. Hope thou in the Lord. dead because of sin. which yet sometimes we were. or rather perceives itself still to be a deep. relics whereof we bear about us in our body. and the shadows fly away.

And Thou knowest. Thy praise out of the mouth of babes and sucklings. who resisteth Thy reconciliation by defending his own sins. Whence Thou hast like a skin stretched out the firmament of Thy book. but Thy words shall not pass away. There is Thy testimony. Let us look. O Lord. underwent mortality. and there read without any syllables in time. that is. who am placed under them: because for those placed under them. which giveth wisdom unto the little ones: perfect. and art eternally. and separated from earthly corruption. which so destroy the enemy and the defender. they read.Chapter XV Or who. and invite me to serve Thee for nought. and that never passes away which they read. more eminently extended over all that be under it. in Thy discourses set forth by them. They are ever reading. which now appeareth . the work of Thy fingers. Let them praise Thy Name. I believe immortal. they love. For Thy mercy. For they always behold Thy face. hast Thou established them. for by choosing. The clouds pass away. Thy harmonizing words. which Thou hast firmly settled over the infirmity of the lower people. For by their very death was that solid firmament of authority. and now is it stretched over us like a skin. and Thy truth reacheth unto the clouds. shall with the goodliness of it pass away. Thou hadst not as yet enlarged in all directions the glory of their deaths. Other waters there be above this firmament. they choose. since those mortals by whom Thou dispensest it unto us. Their book is never closed. let them praise Thee. which so destroy pride. Lord. who have no need to gaze up at this firmament. but the heaven abideth. they read the very unchangeableness of Thy counsel. or by reading to know of Thy Word. The preachers of Thy word pass out of this life into another. good Father: grant this to me. which so persuade me to confess. announcing in time Thee Who madest times. Thou knowest. Yet heaven and earth also shall pass away. but Thy Scripture is spread abroad over the people. but Thy Word remaineth for ever. For Thy Divine Scripture is of more eminent authority. even unto the end of the world. which whilst they lived here. where they might gaze up and learn Thy mercy. was not so eminently extended. made for us that firmament of authority over us in Thy Divine Scripture? as it is said. when they by sin became mortal. O Lord. Lord. and make my neck pliant to Thy yoke. is in the heavens. and by loving. For we know no other books. Thou hadst not as yet spread abroad the heaven like a skin. except Thou. O my God. Let me understand them. the supercelestial people. I know not any other such pure words. For heaven shall be folded up like a scroll. upon the heavens. clear from our eyes that cloud. how Thou with skins didst clothe men. our God. seeing Thou Thyself art this to them. Thine angels. which Thou hast spread under them. which by the ministry of mortal men Thou spreadest over us. Because the scroll shall be rolled together: and the grass over which it was spread. because Thou hast ordained them above this firmament. nor their scroll folded up. what willeth Thy eternal will. I know not.


unto us under the dark image of the clouds. and through the glass of the heavens. But when He shall appear. yet it hath not yet appeared what we shall be. though the well-beloved of Thy Son. . and kindled us. not as it is: because we also. and He spake us tenderly. will our sight be. for we shall see Him as He is. Lord. then shall we be like Him. He looketh through the lattice of our flesh. As He is. and we ran after His odours.

so should it be known by the thing enlightened. so can it not of itself satisfy itself. Nor seemeth it right in Thine eyes. Therefore is my soul like a land where no water is. and changeable. . as Thou art. because as it cannot of itself enlighten itself. that as the Unchangeable Light knoweth Itself. and Willeth unchangeably. and Knoweth unchangeably.Chapter XVI For altogether. Thou only knowest. And Thy Essence Knoweth. Who art unchangeably. and Thy Will Is. and Willeth unchangeably. and Thy Knowledge Is. and willest unchangeably. For so is the fountain of life with Thee. like as in Thy light we shall see light. and knowest unchangeably.

we compassionate so as to relieve the needy. as we would be helped. our soul may bud forth works of mercy according to their kind. but Thou. and that appear before Thee (being by other bounds divided from the society of the sea). if we were in like need. and giving him the shelter of protection. for attaining whereof they do all things. a temporal and earthly felicity. by the mighty strength of just judgment. but the gathering together of the waters. having seed in itself according to its likeness. saidst. loving our neighbour in the relief of his bodily necessities. and Thy hands prepared the dry land. helping them. though they waver up and down with an innumerable variety of cares. Thou waterest by a sweet spring. called sea. so commanding. well-doing in rescuing him that suffers wrong. and Thou hast made it. Lord. Let the waters be gathered together into one place. that their waves may break one against another: and thus makest Thou it a sea. Who. Nor is the bitterness of men's wills. for Thou restrainest the wicked desires of men's souls. which thirsteth after Thee? For the sea also is Thine. as in herb yielding seed. with our best strength. and Thou. from the hand of the powerful. and let the dry land appear. But the souls that thirst after Thee. not only in things easy. but also in the protection of our assistance. Lord God.Chapter XVII Who gathered the embittered together into one society? For they have all one end. and settest them their bounds. how far they may be allowed to pass. that the earth may bring forth her fruit. by the order of Thy dominion over all things. like the tree yielding fruit: that is. when from feeling of our infirmity. .

to divide between the things intellectual. whose harvest shall be in the end. and things of sense. until he be strengthened for solid meat and his eye be enabled to behold the Sun. as it were the lesser light: to another faith. or between souls. to another divers kinds of tongues. and bring the houseless poor to our house. and divide betwixt the day and the night. wherein are contained all Sacraments. as it were the lesser light: to another faith. given either to things intellectual. Let us clothe the naked. arriving at the delightfulness of contemplation. Thus grantest Thou the prayers of him that asketh. as it were a babe in Christ and fed on milk. and be for signs of times. which are reckoned up in order. may give light upon the earth. and in Thy years which fail not. to another the gift of healing. Thou preparest a garner for our passing years. but Thou art the same. and causing stars to appear manifestly. who speaketh wisdom among those that are perfect. For all these worketh the one and self-same spirit. as before the firmament was made. but Thy spiritual children also set and ranked in the same firmament (now that Thy grace is laid open throughout the world). as Thou doest. and that our salvation is nearer than when we believed: and that the night is far spent. to another prophecy. as it were stars. To another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit. inasmuch as they come short of that brightness of wisdom. . obtaining the Word of Life above. that old things are passed away. appear like lights in the world. and. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom. cleaving to the firmament of Thy Scripture. I beseech Thee. And all these as it were stars. let him not dwell in a night forsaken of all light. Lord. to another the gift with the light of perspicuous truth. as Thou givest cheerfulness and ability. which gladdens the forementioned day. as that Thy most prudent servant could not speak unto as unto spiritual. and righteousness look down from heaven. see it is good: and let our temporary light break forth. to another discerning of spirits. and those other notices of gifts. But the natural man. For there Thou instructest us. all things are become new. in sowing whereof. let truth spring out of the earth. others have laboured. sending the labourers of Thy goodness into Thy harvest. For Thou by an eternal counsel dost in their proper seasons bestow heavenly blessings upon the earth. sending also into another field.Chapter XVIII So. or things of sense. behold. as it were for the rule of the day. and ourselves. but as unto carnal. But the word of knowledge. to another the working of miracles. Which fruits having sprung out of the earth. dividing to every man his own as He will. so. are only for the rule of the night. and blessest the years of the just. as betwixt the day and the night. Let us break our bread to the hungry. which are varied in their seasons as it were the moon. For they are necessary to such. and despise not those of our own flesh. let there spring up. from this lower fruitfulness of action. so that now not Thou only in the secret of Thy judgment. to profit withal. and let there be lights in the firmament. even he. dividest between the light and the darkness. and the day is at hand: and that Thou wilt crown Thy year with blessing.

but be content with the light of the moon and the stars. So dost Thou speak to us, our Allwise God, in Thy Book, Thy firmament; that we may discern all things, in an admirable contemplation; though as yet in signs and in times, and in days, and in years.

Chapter XIX But first, wash you, be clean; put away evil from your souls, and from before mine eyes, that the dry land may appear. Learn to do good, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow, that the earth may bring forth the green herb for meat, and the tree bearing fruit; and come, let us reason together, saith the Lord, that there may be lights in the firmament of the heaven, and they may shine upon the earth. That rich man asked of the good Master, what he should do to attain eternal life. Let the good Master tell him (whom he thought no more than man; but He is good because He is God), let Him tell him, if he would enter into life, he must keep the commandments: let him put away from him the bitterness of malice and wickedness; not kill, not commit adultery, not steal, not bear false witness; that the dry land may appear, and bring forth the honouring of father and mother, and the love of our neighbour. All these (saith he) have I kept. Whence then so many thorns, if the earth be fruitful? Go, root up the spreading thickets of covetousness; sell that thou hast, and be filled with fruit, by giving to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven; and follow the Lord if thou wilt be perfect, associated with them, among whom He speaketh wisdom, Who knoweth what to distribute to the day, and to the night, that thou also mayest know it, and for thee there may be lights in the firmament of heaven; which will not be, unless thy heart be there: nor will that either be, unless there thy treasure be; as thou hast heard of the good Master. But that barren earth was grieved; and the thorns choked the word. But you, chosen generation, you weak things of the world, who have forsaken all, that ye may follow the Lord; go after Him, and confound the mighty; go after Him, ye beautiful feet, and shine ye in the firmament, that the heavens may declare His glory, dividing between the light of the perfect, though not as the angels, and the darkness of the little ones, though not despised. Shine over the earth; and let the day, lightened by the sun, utter unto day, speech of wisdom; and night, shining with the moon, show unto night, the word of knowledge. The moon and stars shine for the night; yet doth not the night obscure them, seeing they give it light in its degree. For behold God saying, as it were, Let there be lights in the firmament of heaven; there came suddenly a sound from heaven, as it had been the rushing of a mighty wind, and there appeared cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And there were made lights in the firmament of heaven, having the word of life. Run ye to and fro every where, ye holy fires, ye beauteous fires; for ye are the light of the world, nor are ye put under a bushel; He whom you cleave unto, is exalted, and hath exalted you. Run ye to and fro, and be known unto all nations.

have moved amid the waves of temptations of the world. Let the waters bring forth. in the open firmament of Thy Book. Speak I untruly.Chapter XX Let the sea also conceive and bring forth your works. may. that madest all. why they were sent forth in Thy Word. whithersoever they went. without any increase by generation. it looked forwards to perfection. where their voice is not heard: seeing their sound is gone through all the earth. unless their soul had a spiritual life. and let the waters bring forth the moving creature that hath life. they are multiplied by Thy blessing. but the moving creature having life. For such those moving and flying creatures now seem to me to mean. that so one thing in the understanding of our mind. O God. the human race so profoundly curious. because the waters themselves cast them forth. and the fowls that fly above the earth. and unless after the word of admission. should not further profit. by the motions of the body. For Thy Sacraments. whereby people being initiated and consecrated by corporeal Sacraments. For there is no speech nor language. yet even of them. but in Thy Gospel. The necessities of the people estranged from the eternity of Thy truth. after a corporeal and sensible manner. be many ways set out. by whom He saith. Thyself art unutterably fairer. have brought them forth. or do I mingle and confound. and expressed. and the material works in the wavy sea. because Thou. O God. and then had there been no need of Thy dispensers to work in many waters. not the living creature which the earth brings forth. as their authority under which they were to fly. And amid these things. as it were lights of wisdom and knowledge. For ye. and their words to the end of the world. by the ministry of Thy holy ones. and under the firmament of heaven? For of those things whereof the knowledge is substantial and defined. the material operations are many and divers. separating the precious from the vile. and not distinguish between the lucid knowledge of these things in the firmament of heaven. many great wonders were wrought. are made the mouth of God. and one thing growing out of another. These Sacraments have the waters brought forth. and restlessly tumbling up and down. as it were great whales: and the voices of Thy messengers flying above the earth. who hast refreshed the fastidiousness of mortal senses. mysterious doings and sayings. but behold. . Lord. and tempestuously swelling. from whom had not Adam fallen. multipliedst them by blessing. that is. in Thy Baptism. to hallow the Gentiles in Thy Name. Now are all things fair that Thou hast made. but in Thy word. the brackishness of the sea had never flowed out of him. that being set over them. the diseased bitterness whereof was the cause.

which at Thy word the waters brought forth. (for no other entrance is there into the kingdom of heaven. man's infidelity was the cause. though bred in the sea. For these be the motions of our mind under an allegory. and Sacraments. not the moving creature that hath life.Chapter XXI And hereby. and mystic words. The earth brings it forth. . the serpents. as the heathen have. But the living soul takes his beginning from the earth: for it profits only those already among the Faithful. But—let Thy ministers work now as on the dry land. out of a reverence towards those secret signs. Seek the Lord. although it feeds upon that fish which was taken out of the deep. so as not to hear only. might be intent upon them. Lord. because the earth is the cause that they work this in the soul. and stirring them up to imitation. brings forth. Neither then does that earth which Thou hast founded upon the waters. Send Thou Thy word into it by Thy messengers: for we speak of their working. not to them that believe. separated from the whirlpools of the great deep: and let them be a pattern unto the Faithful. when it was covered with the waters. the sluggish voluptuousness of luxury. and as itself had. of whom the earth hath no need. wherein ignorance. which was dead while it lived in pleasures. need that flying kind. from day to day. but the living soul. and your soul shall live. For of the first preachings of the Evangelists. to contain themselves from the love of this world. is yet multiplied upon the earth. that He might feed the dry land. in death-bringing pleasures. and the fowls that fly under the firmament of heaven. Contain yourselves from the ungoverned wildness of pride. Contain yourselves from it: the soul lives by avoiding what it dies by affecting. for it is not such.—not as upon the waters of infidelity. but the earth separated from the bitterness of the waters. Be not conformed to the world. now that the faithful earth is separated from the waters that were bitter with infidelity. for Thou. in Thy Word. by living before them. For such is the entrance unto the Faith for the sons of Adam forgetful of Thee. and become a darksome deep. upon that table which Thou hast prepared in the presence of them that believe. that the earth may bring forth the living soul. that so their soul may live unto Thee. yet are the faithful also exhorted and blessed by them manifoldly. as the sea was the cause that they wrought upon the moving creatures that have life. not the deepness of the sea. art the life-giving delight of the pure heart. and tongues are for a sign. but to do also. Lord. For now hath it no more need of baptism. but to them that believe not. that unless it sees signs and wonders. it will not believe. the mother of admiration. and the fowl. by preaching and speaking by miracles. yet it is Thou that workest in them that they may work out a living soul in it. since Thou hast appointed that this should be the entrance:) nor does it seek after wonderfulness of miracles to work belief. and the false name of knowledge: that so the wild beasts may be tamed. while they hide themselves from Thy face. For therefore was He taken out of the deep. harmless. the cattle broken to the yoke. For thus do men hear. Now then let Thy ministers work upon the earth.

the delight of lust. which neither if they eat. and only making so much search into this temporal nature. but wise to take heed. and good cattle. is the fountain of life eternal. the haughtiness of pride. nor. in meekness of action (for Thou hast commanded. and passeth not away: wherefore this departure of the soul is restrained by Thy word. being understood by the things that are made. and are good. O God. For this is after his kind. for the soul dies not so as to lose all motion. Be not conformed unto this world. that is. because a man is wont to imitate his friend. that so the earth may in the fountain of life bring forth a living soul. shall they overabound. Be ye (saith he) as I am. so shalt thou be beloved by all men). not dangerous. Go on with thy business in meekness. and good serpents. have any lack.that is to say. when being restrained from deadly prevailing upon us. to do hurt. by Thy Evangelists. by following the followers of Thy Christ. For these creatures are obedient unto reason. they live. because it dies by forsaking the fountain of life. But Thy word. when it is said unto us. Thus in this living soul shall there be good beasts. as may suffice that eternity be clearly seen. are the motions of a dead soul. and the poison of curiosity. and is conformed unto it. and so is taken up by this transitory world. . a soul made continent in Thy Word. if they eat not. for I also am as you are.

Wherefore Thou sayest not. but. not now after your kind. that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Be not conformed to this world: there follows that also. that acceptable. and beholding and understanding Thy truth. But be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind. Thus is man renewed in the knowledge of God. and Thy word which Thou spokest by Thy apostle. “Let man be made. And God made man: and to that said in the plural. is subjoined in the singular. saying. . and cherish as a nurse. that he might not for ever have them babes. after the image of Him that created him: and being made spiritual. “according to his kind”. Let us make man after our own image and similitude). after our image and likeness. nor as living after the example of some better man (for Thou saidst not.” but. After the image of God. whom he must be fain to feed with milk. For to this purpose said that dispenser of Thine (who begat children by the Gospel). through good living. when our affections have been restrained from the love of the world. For man being renewed in his mind. is made good in us. but by Thy direction proveth what is that good. Wherefore to that said in the plural. now made capable. which Thou presently subjoinedst. by which we died through evil-living. be ye transformed (saith he) by the renewing of your mind. and perfect will of Thine: yea. yet himself is judged of no man. as though following your neighbour who went before you. “Let man be made after his kind. our Creator. Thou teachest him. to discern the Trinity of the Unity. and the Unity of the Trinity. Nor saidst Thou. and begun to be a living soul. is yet subjoined in the singular. our God. Let us make man. needs not man as his director. After our likeness. that we might prove what Thy will is. so as to follow after his kind.Chapter XXII For behold. he judgeth all things (all things which are to be judged). O Lord.” but Let us make man.

O our God. and is compared unto the brute beasts. for what hath he to do. expounding. according to the sex of body. and over all cattle. whereby he perceiveth the things of the Spirit of God. is yet rightly and truly spoken. and over all cattle and wild beasts. subject to the authority of Thy Book. or ever the firmament was made. and over the fowls of the air. For so man. flying as it were under the firmament. which Thou calledst before the foundation of the heaven. or such as obey). and over all creeping things which creep upon the earth. by interpreting. because neither Jew nor Grecian. received not dominion over the lights of heaven. this answers to his having dominion over the fish of the sea. judge the unquiet people of this world. and have not as yet discovered themselves unto us by works. Neither doth he judge of that distinction of spiritual and carnal men. that even what is closed to our sight. there is neither male nor female. For He judgeth and approveth what He findeth right. Nor doth he. who are known unto Thine eyes. nor over the gathering together of the waters. and which continue in the perpetual bitterness of ungodliness? Man therefore. whether in the celebration of those Sacraments by which such are initiated. .—for in this way didst Thou make man male and female. not those only who are spiritually set over. as proceed out of the mouth. In Thy Church therefore. nor may they judge of Thy Book itself. though now spiritual and renewed in the knowledge of God after His image that created him. where. consecrating.Chapter XXIII But that he judgeth all things. and hold for certain. knowing not which of them shall hereafter come into the sweetness of Thy grace. man being placed in honour. had no understanding. whom Thou hast made after Thine own image. even though something there shineth not clearly. Lord. to judge them that are without. and is become like unto them. and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. do judge spiritually.—such signs. discoursing disputing. but they also who spiritually are subject to those that are set over them. that by their fruits we might know them: but Thou. neither bond nor free. and hast divided and called them in secret. and over all the earth. as Thy mercy searches out in many waters: or in that. For this he doth by the understanding of his mind. in Thy grace spiritual. which is the sea. ought to be a doer of the law. in which that Fish is set forth. and He disalloweth what He findeth amiss. though spiritual. nor over that hidden heaven itself. or praying unto Thee. but He received dominion over the fishes of the sea. nor over the day and the night. O our God. and over all the earth. not of that spiritual knowledge which shines in the firmament (for they ought not to judge as to so supreme authority). and sound forth. not a judge. the devout earth feedeth upon: or in the expressions and signs of words. dost even now know them. taken out of the deep. so that the people may answer. and the fowls of the air. for we submit our understanding unto it. which.—Spiritual persons (whether such as are set over. whereas otherwise. according to Thy grace which Thou hast bestowed upon it (for we are Thy workmanship created unto good works).

So that there is need to speak aloud into the ears. in holy meditations. in the works and lives of the faithful. in chastity. living by the taming of the affections. which are perceived by the senses of the body. which cannot see thoughts. so that. is occasioned by the deep of this world. and of those things. The spiritual man judgeth also by allowing of what is right. . as it were the earth bringing forth fruit. although flying fowls be multiplied upon the earth. and of the living soul.Amen. in fasting. Upon all these is he now said to judge. and disallowing what he finds amiss. wherein he hath also power of correction. their alms. The vocal pronouncing of all which words. and the blindness of the flesh. yet they derive their beginning from the waters.

do by generation increase and continue their kind. as are bred of their own kind. agree unto all things. what this lesson suggests to me. according as Thou. that Thou spokest not so in vain. but properly. hadst Thou not in like manner blessed the fishes and the whales. nor the stars. What then shall I say. and replenish the waters of the sea. that they should increase and multiply. that I believe. had I found it given to the fruit-trees. by what manifold sacraments. and the voice pronounces one only way. not allegorically. O Truth my Light? “that it was idly said. nor the earth. wherein I confess unto Thee. not through any deceit of error. who created created us after Thine Image. that they may increase and multiply. surely. behold. and without meaning?” Not so. In the Beginning God created heaven and earth. And if I understand not what Thou meanest by that phrase. and in each several language. that come of seed. make better use of it. I might say likewise. let my betters. and plants. it is corporeally expressed. Increase and multiply. O Lord. dost Thou not thereby give us a hint to understand something? why didst Thou not as well bless the light. nor the trees. and beasts of the earth. nor the lights. hast given to each man to understand. what Scripture delivers. notwithstanding all these as well as the fishes. But if we treat of the words as figuratively spoken (which I rather suppose to be the purpose of the Scripture. which doth not. or men. which is understood one way by the mind. and that understood many ways in the mind. the single love of God and our neighbour. I might say. as in heaven and earth. Observe again. nor do I see what should hinder me from thus understanding the figurative sayings of Thy Bible. and what kind of mystery? Behold. Behold. O Father of piety. But let my confession also be pleasing in Thine eyes. If therefore we conceive of the natures of the things themselves. nor serpents is it said. For it is true. that this blessing pertained properly unto such creatures.Chapter XXIV But what is this. that is. far he it from a minister of Thy word to say so. superfluously ascribe this benediction to the offspring of aquatic animals and man only). Thou blessest mankind. is it not understood manifoldly. nor the firmament of heaven. But now neither unto the herbs. Thus do the offspring of the waters increase and multiply. nor the beasts. whosoever readest this. and replenish the earth. and that the fowls should be multiplied upon the earth. O Lord. my God. that it had been Thy good pleasure to bestow this blessing peculiarly upon man. those of more understanding than myself. For I know a thing to be manifoldly signified by corporeal expressions. which Thou calledst day. then do we find “multitude” to belong to creatures spiritual as well as corporeal. fowls. nor will I suppress. in how innumerable modes of speaking. and innumerable languages. but by various kinds of true senses? Thus do man's offspring increase and multiply. O God. and to righteous and unright- . nor the sea? I might say that Thou. then does the phrase increase and multiply. which is signified one way by corporeal expression.

. and in trees bearing fruit. both to express several ways what we understand but one. For in this blessing. and increase. Thus are the waters of the sea replenished. except in signs corporeally expressed. I conceive Thee to have granted us a power and a faculty. but what shall in such wise increase and multiply that one thing may be expressed many ways. and to works of mercy belonging to this present life. abundance. and to understand several ways. and reason ruleth over it. as in the dry land. which are not moved but by several significations: thus with human increase is the earth also replenished. human generations. on account of the fruitfulness of reason. And for this end do we believe Thee. Lord. and to spiritual gifts set forth for edification. and to the society of people yet in the bitterness of infidelity. we find not.eous. and in things mentally conceived. as in the herbs bearing seed. and to the zeal of holy souls. as in light and darkness. as in the sea. necessarily occasioned by the depth of the flesh. and to holy authors who have been the ministers of the Law unto us. as in the living soul. By signs corporeally pronounced we understand the generations of the waters. to have said to these kinds. In all these instances we meet with multitudes. as in the lights of heaven. and one expression understood many ways. whose dryness appeareth in its longing. and to affections formed unto temperance. by things mentally conceived. what we read to be obscurely delivered but in one. Increase and multiply. as in the firmament which is settled betwixt the waters and the waters.

Thou hast given unto us for food every herb bearing seed which is upon all the earth.Chapter XXV I would also say. do I believe myself to speak truth. where he saith. as the living soul. because he often refreshed Thy Paul. At my first answer no man stood by me. and not fear. But by no other inspiration than Thine. that therefore I may speak truth. . who out of Macedonia supplied what was lacking to him. For I will say the truth. in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed. Thyself inspiring me with what Thou willedst me to deliver out of those words. And not to us alone. O Lord my God. and to the beasts of the earth. as flying creatures. and was not ashamed of his chain. which did not afford him the fruit due unto him. yea. Behold. for their blessings which are multiplied upon the earth. and to all creeping things. I will speak of Thine. what the following Scripture minds me of. the works of mercy which are provided for the necessities of this life out of the fruitful earth. Thus did also the brethren. and due unto them also. He therefore that speaketh a lie. which giveth itself as an example. and figured in an allegory. I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge. Now we said that by these fruits of the earth were signified. unto whose house Thou gavest mercy. but unto the fishes and to the great whales. hast Thou not given them. yea and due to them also. seeing Thou art the Truth. But how grieved he for some trees. and such fruit did they bear. but also to all the fowls of the air. as men. because their sound went out into all lands. but all men forsook me. I will say. speaketh of his own. and every tree. Such an earth was the devout Onesiphorus. and they are due to them. in all continency. and every man a liar. For these fruits are due to such as minister the spiritual doctrine unto us out of their understanding of the divine mysteries.

he now rejoiceth that they are returned. what they had sent by Epaphroditus unto him: and yet I perceive why he rejoiced. is the thing itself which he gives. I know both how to be abased. Whereat then rejoicest thou. because he said. So verily shall the one receive the reward of a prophet. hereon feedeth. that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again. of so much continency. but with what mind they yield them. because they had well done. not that I speak in respect of want. For neither in them that yield them. and I rejoice with him. For he had received from the Philippians. Hear we what follows: notwithstanding. drink.) what is it that feeds thee? joy. He that receiveth a prophet. Ye sent unto my necessity? Rejoiceth he for that? Verily not for that. I can do all things through Him which strengtheneth me. my God. that are delighted with them. whose God is their belly. to distinguish betwixt a gift. and to suffer want. These Philippians then had now dried up. Therefore subjoins he. Hereat he rejoiceth. that imparts these necessaries unto us. wherein ye were also careful. renewed in the knowledge of God. both to abound. in Thee Who strengthenest him. not because I desire a gift. that in the beginning of the Gospel. O man. clothing. not for himself. help: but the fruit. for I have learned in whatsoever state I am. no Church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving. but it had become wearisome unto you. thou living soul. I see it. He therefore that served God. and fruit. nor are they delighted with them. every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full. But how know we this? Because himself says immediately. that ye did communicate with my affliction. when I departed from Macedonia. are the things yielded the fruit. and to suffer need. but added. O great Paul? whereat rejoicest thou? whereon feedest thou. for that he knew to abound. Was it for his own necessities. that they flourished again. and to be hungry. for. and he rejoiceth for them. ye have well done. who saith unto Thee. is this food due. and withered as it were as to bearing this fruit of a good work. I rejoiced (saith he) greatly in the Lord. in the name of a righteous man. with a long weariness. shelter. and is gladdened that they flourished again. that they supplied his wants. not because his strait was eased. after the image of Him that created thee. and not his own belly. meat. thou tongue like flying fowls. A gift. speaking in truth. and I know how to abound. the . For whereat he rejoiced upon that he fed. as when a fruitful field resumes its green. therewith to be content. Unto these good works. He that receiveth a righteous man. in the name of a prophet: nor did He only say. For ye Philippians also know (saith he). Thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress.Chapter XXVI But they are fed by these fruits. I have learned of Thee. but added. but ye only. For the Good Master said not only. is the good and right will of the giver. I plainly see why he rejoiced. but I desire fruit. speaking mysteries? (for to such creatures. as money. For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity.

The gift is. in the name of a disciple. but the outer only. With fruit was Elijah fed by the widow that knew she fed a man of God. He that shall give to drink a cup of cold water to one of my little ones. in the name of a righteous man. . but added. he shall not lose his reward. which might also for want of that food have perished. in the name of a disciple: and so concludeth.other. to give a cup of cold water to a disciple: but the fruit. Nor was the inner man of Elijah so fed. the reward of a righteous man: nor saith He only. Verily I say unto you. to do this in the name of a prophet. to receive a righteous man. to receive a prophet. and therefore fed him: but by the raven was he fed with a gift.

Chapter XXVII I will then speak what is true in Thy sight. nor are these fed by them. of which it is glad. For upon that is the mind fed. neither do they feed these. O Lord. and to what end. as the earth brings not forth until after it was separated and divided from the bitterness of the waves of the sea. nor do the other rejoice at their gifts. why this is to be done. or otherwise succour Thy servant with something useful for this present life. that when carnal men and infidels (for the gaining and initiating whom. which we suppose to be signified by the name of fishes and whales) undertake the bodily refreshment. the initiatory Sacraments and the mighty workings of miracles are necessary. because neither do the one do it out of an holy and right intent. And therefore do not the fishes and whales feed upon such meats. whereas they be ignorant. whose fruit they as yet behold not. .

and behold. For severally. Seven times have I counted it to be written. All beautiful bodies express the same. it was not only good. O God. behold. both good. by reason that a body consisting of members all beautiful. as being now altogether.” and they were. notwithstanding that the members severally be also beautiful. sawest every thing that Thou hadst made. . and. behold. but altogether. that Thou sawest every thing that Thou hadst made. Of the several kinds of Thy works. when Thou hadst said “let them be. and.Chapter XXVIII And Thou. Thou sawest each that it was good. it was very good. but also very good. is far more beautiful than the same members by themselves are. and very good. all things are very good. they were only good. Yea we also see the same. that Thou sawest that that which Thou madest was good: and this is the eighth. by whose well-ordered blending the whole is perfected.

but time has no relation to My Word. And I said. I say: and yet doth that speak in time. whether seven.Chapter XXIX And I looked narrowly to find. is not this Thy Scripture true. “Lord. what Thou madest. as when ye speak in time. when they pleased Thee. that what Thou madest each day. that which My Scripture saith. whereby I might understand that Thou sawest so often.” . or eight times Thou sawest that Thy works were good. but in Thy seeing I found no times. “O man. because My Word exists in equal eternity with Myself. whereas this Thy Scripture tells me. breaking through my deafness and crying. And so when ye see those things in time. I speak them not in time. since Thou art true.” Unto this Thou answerest me. hast set it forth? why then dost Thou say unto me. and with a strong voice tellest Thy servant in his inner ear. for Thou art my God. Thou sawest that it was good: and when I counted them. So the things which ye see through My Spirit. I found how often. I see. and being Truth. I speak. like as what ye speak by My Spirit. ‘that in Thy seeing there be no times’. I see them not in time.

such as the fabric of the heavens. and that Thou madest them not of what was Thine. and whatsoever hath its root in the earth. nor recognise Thee in them. did. For other things. and drank up a drop of sweetness out of Thy truth. bound down by the structure. they say Thou neither madest them. nor even compactedst them. might not again be able to rebel against Thee. and understood. for Thee to bring together and compact and combine. beget and frame these things. O Lord my God. because they see not Thy works by Thy Spirit. but that a mind at enmity with Thee. Frenzied are they who say thus. that they. that certain men there be who mislike Thy works. and say.Chapter XXX And I heard. that many of them Thou madest. but that they were otherwhere and from other sources created. . such as all flesh and all very minute creatures. in these lower stages of the world. and harmony of the stars. and contrary unto Thee. compelled by necessity. and another nature not created by Thee. when out of Thy conquered enemies Thou raisedst up the walls of the universe.

“because the things which we know by His Spirit. and whatsoever things for Thy sake please. to Thee). Thou seest that they are good. but by the Holy Ghost which He hath given. ‘It is not ye that see’. that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. that when a man sees a thing that it is good. so whatsoever through the Spirit of God they see to be good. For what man knoweth the things of a man. but what He Is. For as it is rightly said unto those that were to speak by the Spirit of God.” It is one thing then for a man to think that to be ill which is good. ‘It is not ye that know. because they be good. not the spirit of this world. who Himself Is not in degree. that that which is good. . but God that sees that it is good. Now we (saith he) have received. even these no one knoweth. they please Thee in us. Who cannot be loved. For from Him it is. namely. And I am admonished. when they prefer to enjoy them. what things are given us of God?” Answer is made me. but the Spirit of God. it is not ye that speak: so is it rightly said to them that know through the Spirit of God. that He should be loved in that which He made. save the spirit of a man. Because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost. Is. and what through Thy Spirit please us. a man should see that it is good (as Thy creatures be pleasing unto many. and another.’ And no less then is it rightly said to those that see through the Spirit of God.Chapter XXXI But they who by Thy Spirit see these things. Thou seest in them. is good. Thou pleasest in them. Which is given unto us: by Whom we see that whatsoever in any degree is. God should in him see that it is good. but the Spirit of God. it is not they. Therefore when they see that these things are good. as the forenamed do. but the Spirit of God: how then do we also know. which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no one. but the Spirit which is of God. another. whom yet Thou pleasest not in them. “Truly the things of God knoweth no one. so.

or the spiritual and corporeal creature. corporeally also. but in the sex of her body. made a woman. set over all irrational creatures. replenished with fishes. and man. that it might obey. O Lord. whether that primary body of the world. and formed so as to be visible and harmonized. which bears up the flights of birds. even through that Thy very image and likeness (that is the power of reason and understanding). . superior and inferior. between the spiritual upper waters and the inferior corporeal waters. thickeneth itself by the exhalation of the waters. because the grossness of the air. We behold the face of the earth decked out with earthly creatures. and the dry land both void. or rather the universal creation. so was there for the man. created after Thy image and likeness. and in the adorning of these parts. whether the corporeal part. and divided from the darkness. as the appetite of doing is fain to conceive the skill of right-doing from the reason of the mind. doth consist. yea and the matter of herbs and trees. the sun to suffice for the day. should be in like manner subject to the sex of her husband.Chapter XXXII Thanks to Thee. who in the mind of her reasonable understanding should have a parity of nature. we see light made. betwixt those waters which are in vapours borne above them. We behold the lights shining from above. We see the firmament of heaven. And as in his soul there is one power which has dominion by directing. times should be marked and signified. We behold on all sides a moist element. and in clear nights distill down in dew. These things we behold. and altogether very good. and that by all these. We behold the heaven and earth. beasts. another made subject. whereof the universal pile of the world. We behold a face of waters gathered together in the fields of the sea. the moon and the stars to cheer the night. or (since this also is called heaven) this space of air through which wander the fowls of heaven. and they are severally good. and those heavier waters which flow along the earth. and birds.

that Thy works may praise Thee. rising and setting. for they were made of nothing. but of matter concreated (that is. and let us love Thee. so that the form should follow the matter. by Thee. that we may love Thee. form and privation. growth and decay. which from time have beginning and ending. but the form of the world out of the matter without form: yet both together. at the same time created by Thee). or that was before. For seeing the matter of heaven and earth is one thing.Chapter XXXIII Let Thy works praise Thee. Thou madest the matter of merely nothing. They have then their succession of morning and evening. because to its state without form. not of Thee. . not of any matter not Thine. part secretly. without any interval of delay. part apparently. and the form another. Thou without any interval of time didst give form.

both heaven and earth. and dividest them from the wicked. hast Thou renewed after Thy image and likeness. And after this didst Thou kindle certain lights in the firmament. be given by the same faithful. Who hast given unto us Thy Spirit. necessary for the perfecting of the faithful in this life. as the woman to the man. Next didst Thou form the living soul of the faithful. to the end Thou mightest reveal hidden things. through affections well ordered by the vigour of continency: and after that. or the relation of things in such an order. and Thou didst justify the ungodly. . that for their temporal uses. and they are very good. after that again. And we have seen. Thy Holy ones. good things.Chapter XXXIV We have also examined what Thou willedst to be shadowed forth. in Thy Only-Begotten. and they might bring forth works of mercy. to obtain heavenly. whether by the creation. that the zeal of the faithful might appear. and forms of words according to the firmament of Thy Book. in Thy predestination before all times. who were to he docile unto Thee. the Head and the body of the Church. by which the faithful should be blessed and multiplied. for the initiation of the unbelieving Gentiles. But when Thou begannest to execute in time the things predestinated. by which we might see them. and together very good. fruitful to themselves in time to come. All these we see. and to all Offices of Thy Ministry. and those under. didst Thou out of corporeal matter produce the Sacraments. for our sins hung over us. who were to be subject to them: and Thou gatheredst together the society of unbelievers into one conspiracy. and in them love Thee. and visible miracles. in Thy Word. even distributing to the poor their earthly riches. having the word of life. and Thou madest the firmament of authority of Thy Book between those placed above. to help us in due season. and we had sunk into the dark deep. and Thy good Spirit was borne over us. the mind subjected to Thee alone and needing to imitate no human authority. and rectify our disorders. and shining with an eminent authority set on high through spiritual gifts. Thou willedst. that things singly are good. without morning and evening. because Thou seest them in us. and didst subject its rational actions to the excellency of the understanding.

for in them there was morning and evening. is to pass away. give peace unto us: (for Thou hast given us all things. . For all this most goodly array of things very good.) the peace of rest. which hath no evening.Chapter XXXV O Lord God. the peace of the Sabbath. having finished their courses.

. because Thou hast given them us). that that which Thou didst after Thy works which were very good.Chapter XXXVI But the seventh day hath no evening. that we also after our works (therefore very good. resting the seventh day. because Thou hast sanctified it to an everlasting continuance. although Thou madest them in unbroken rest. nor hath it setting. shall rest in Thee also in the Sabbath of eternal life. that may the voice of Thy Book announce beforehand unto us.

and the rest which results from time. as now Thou workest in us. as these are Thy works through us. and art ever at rest. .Chapter XXXVII For then shalt Thou rest in us. But Thou. Lord. and yet Thou makest things seen in time. ever workest. and so shall that be Thy rest through us. nor art moved in time. Nor dost Thou see in time. yea the times themselves. nor restest in a time.

so shall it be found. of Thy gift. And what man can teach man to understand this? or what Angel. because they are: but they are. when made. And we also have some good works. an Angel? or what Angel. but not eternal. Amen. the One.Chapter XXXVIII We therefore see these things which Thou madest. so. yet to be made. the Good God. but in the former time we were moved to do evil. But Thou. after them we trust to rest in Thy great hallowing. and within. so shall it be opened. so shall it be received. didst never cease doing good. And we see without. that they are. forsaking Thee. a man? Let it be asked of Thee. but Thou. knocked for at Thee. being the Good which needeth no good. because Thou seest them. And we were at a later time moved to do well. after our hearts had conceived of Thy Spirit. Gratias Tibi Domine . that they are good. art ever at rest. because Thy rest is Thou Thyself. where Thou sawest them. sought in Thee. but Thou sawest them there.

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