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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 .

to know Thee or to call on Thee? for who can call on Thee. to call on Thee or to praise Thee? and. he. and our heart is restless. but a particle of Thy creation. man. to know and understand which is first. man. Grant me. may call on Thee as other than Thou art. Thou awakest us to delight in Thy praise. by calling on Thee. 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.Chapter I Great art Thou. Or. for Thou madest us for Thyself. And Thee would man praise. O Lord. the witness of his sin. Lord. the witness that Thou resistest the proud: yet would man praise Thee. which Thou hast given me. shall call on Thee. I will seek Thee. great is Thy power. . wherewith Thou hast inspired me. Lord. not knowing Thee? for he that knoweth Thee not. through the Incarnation of Thy Son. is it rather. and greatly to be praised. and they that find shall praise Him. Lord. and will call on Thee. but a particle of Thy creation. through the ministry of the Preacher. My faith. again. for to us hast Thou been preached. until it repose in Thee. believing in Thee. that bears about him his mortality. and Thy wisdom infinite.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

maintaining the dignity of the character. Thy gift. Thy praises might have stayed the yet tender shoot of my heart by the prop of Thy Scriptures. my God. . so had it not trailed away amid these empty trifles. O my true life. while I say somewhat of my wit. and on what dotages I wasted it. 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. as she raged and mourned that she could not “This Trojan prince from Latinum turn. and to say in prose much what he expressed in verse. and clothed in the most fitting language. in whom the passions of rage and grief were most preeminent. For a task was set me. upon terms of praise or shame. For in more ways than one do men sacrifice to the rebellious angels.” Which words I had heard that Juno never uttered.Chapter XVII Bear with me. troublesome enough to my soul. to speak the words of Juno. and fear of stripes. And his speaking was most applauded. a defiled prey for the fowls of the air. What is it to me. my God. but we were forced to go astray in the footsteps of these poetic fictions. Lord.

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

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

Book II .

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

I might mimic a maimed liberty by doing with impunity things unpermitted me. O monstrousness of life. so that being a prisoner. they imply Thee to be the Creator of all nature. O rottenness.thus imitating Thee. only because I might not? . fleeing from his Lord. because by power I could 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. and depth of death! could I like what I might not. a darkened likeness of Thy Omnipotency? Behold. whence there is no place whither altogether to retire from Thee. and obtaining a shadow. Thy servant.

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


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

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

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

Book III .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Book IV .

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

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

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

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

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


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

these things are passed by. who art Truth. although present every where. that Thou mayest tell me why weeping is sweet to the miserable? Hast Thou. Whence then is sweet fruit gathered from the bitterness of life. For I was miserable. and complaints? Doth this sweeten it. does it then. please us? . that we hope Thou hearest? This is true of prayer. 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. but I wept only and grieved. And yet unless we mourned in Thine ears. Or is weeping indeed a bitter thing. Lord. cast away our misery far from Thee? And Thou abidest in Thyself. we should have no hope left. and time hath assuaged my wound. for therein is a longing to approach unto Thee.Chapter V And now. and had lost my joy. from groaning. but we are tossed about in divers trials. But is it also in grief for a thing lost. sighs. when we shrink from them. and for very loathing of the things which we before enjoyed. and approach the ear of my heart unto Thy mouth. tears. May I learn from Thee.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BookV .

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Book VI .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Book VII .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Book VIII .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yet they did retard me. cast thyself fearlessly upon Him. “Thinkest thou. For I said with myself. thou canst live without them?” But now it spake very faintly. “this or that. as I was departing. redoubling the lashes of fear and shame. they plucked my fleshy garment. for that I yet heard the muttering of . and will heal thee. O Lord. accusing myself much more severely than my wont. by Thee her Husband.” And I blushed exceedingly. nor turned me away. grave widows and aged virgins. the greater horror did it strike into me. till that were wholly broken. there appeared unto me the chaste dignity of Continency. and yet came not at it. a multitude of youth and every age. and stretching forth to receive and embrace me. it should recover strength. as would she say. not barren. be it done now. and so standest not? cast thyself upon Him. gay. “Canst not thou what these youths. her holy hands full of multitudes of good examples: there were so many young men and maidens here. and whispered softly. and all but touched. honestly alluring me to come and doubt not. lest I should again give way. For on that side whither I had set my face. but held me in suspense. and wanted somewhat less of it. and bind me the faster. I all but enacted it: I all but did it. pressedst upon me in my inward parts by a severe mercy. but still was. serene. and did it not: yet sunk not back to my former state. “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. He will receive. rolling and turning me in my chain.” And as I spake. and laid hold of it. and vanities of vanities. and tormented. yet did it not strike me back. O my God? Let Thy mercy turn it away from the soul of Thy servant. and took breath. O Lord. And she smiled on me with a persuasive mockery. and not openly showing themselves and contradicting me. whereby I now was but just. and Continence herself in all. held. and not bursting that same slight remaining tie.Chapter XI Thus soul-sick was I. And I essayed again. “Be it done now. And Thou. Why standest thou in thyself. but to look back on them. fear not He will not withdraw Himself that thou shouldest fall. and whither I trembled to go. so that I hesitated to burst and shake myself free from them. What defilements did they suggest! what shame! And now I much less than half heard them. yet not relaxedly. but a fruitful mother of children of joys. my ancient mistresses. the nearer it approached me. but muttering as it were behind my back. and somewhat less. The very toys of toys. and not rather in the Lord their God? The Lord their God gave me unto them. but kept my stand hard by. a violent habit saying to me.” what did they suggest. and privily plucking me. what these maidens can? or can they either in themselves. prevailed more with me than the better whereto I was unused: and the very moment wherein I was to become other than I was. hesitating to die to death and to live to life: and the worse whereto I was inured. and to spring over whither I was called. still held me. nor touched nor laid hold of it.

those toys. and hung in suspense. They tell thee of delights. 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. And she again seemed to say. that they may be mortified. But Alypius sitting close by my side. “Stop thine ears against those thy unclean members on the earth.

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

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

Book IX .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

and in wit surpassed many grave and learned men. but the sin. We joined with us the boy Adeodatus. none else. in his sixteenth year. when the time was come wherein I was to give in my name. Much besides. to he brought up in Thy discipline: and we were baptised. born after the flesh. . in Thy Hymns and Canticles. 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.Chapter VI Thence. of my sin. I found in him. Nor was I sated in those days with the wondrous sweetness of considering the depth of Thy counsels concerning the salvation of mankind. our contemporary in grace. and yet more admirable. and the Truth distilled into my heart. Excellently hadst Thou made him. so as. had inspired us with it. it is a dialogue between him and me. He was not quite fifteen. Him we joined with us. and happy was I therein. touched to the quick by the voices of Thy sweet-attuned Church! The voices flowed into mine ears. and anxiety for our past life vanished from us. we left the country and returned to Milan. to wear the frozen ground of Italy with his bare feet. That talent struck awe into me. being already clothed with the humility befitting Thy Sacraments. How did I weep. and tears ran down. with unwonted venture. There is a book of ours entitled The Master. I confess unto Thee Thy gifts. or his whole self. It pleased Alypius also to be with me born again in Thee. and abundantly able to reform our deformities: for I had no part in that boy. fearing nothing for his childhood or youth. O Lord my God. it was Thou. Creator of all. For that we brought him up in Thy discipline. whence the affections of my devotion overflowed. and a most valiant tamer of the body. I confess unto Thee Thy gifts. Thou knowest that all there ascribed to the person conversing with me were his ideas.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Book X .

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

and be pleased at being loved and feared. and let us fly under them. and crown me with mercy and pity. the adversary of our true blessedness layeth hard at us. every where spreading his snares of “welldone. O Lord. because so hast Thou promised. But we. but—a man is praised for some gift which Thou hast given him. will not be defended of men when Thou judgest. and verily so it was. when I feared to take it. and hast made it. . stretch Thy wings over us. and heal all my infirmities. or can it cease through this whole life? To wish. that greedily catching at them. 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. and I knew it not. namely. let us be loved for Thee. and Thy word feared in us.Chapter XXXVI And Thou knowest how far Thou hast already changed me. Who would be praised of men when Thou blamest. who first healedst me of the lust of vindicating myself. better is he who praised than he who is praised. Because now certain offices of human society make it necessary to be loved and feared of men. than of God. and redeem life from corruption. he may have them for his own. and satisfy my desire with good things: who didst curb my pride with Thy fear. hath this third kind of temptation also ceased from me. And therefore dost Thou resist the proud. nor he blessed who doth ungodlily. But when—not the sinner is praised in the desires of his soul. that so Thou mightest forgive all the rest of my iniquities. behold we are Thy little flock. Thou thunderest down upon the ambitions of the world. and tame my neck to Thy yoke. while Thou dispraisest. not in the bands of charity. And now I bear it and it is light unto me. possess us as Thine. Be Thou our glory. and set it in the deceivingness of men. to be feared and loved of men. For the one took pleasure in the gift of God in man. nor delivered when Thou condemnest. for no other end. pervertedly and crookedly imitating Thee. and givest grace to the humble: yea. we may be taken unawares. but in the bonds of punishment: who purposed to set his throne in the north. because Thou art the only true Lord. and sever our joy from Thy truth. well-done”. but in Thy stead: and thus having been made like him. not for Thy sake. who hast no lord. that dark and chilled they might serve him. O Lord. and the foundations of the mountains tremble. But. he also is praised. the other was better pleased with the gift of man. Thou alone Lord without pride. and he rejoices more at the praise for himself than that he hath the gift for which he is praised.

or is good. Give what Thou enjoinest. For in other kinds of temptations I have some sort of means of examining myself. in refraining my mind from the pleasures of the flesh and idle curiosity. as good life itself. but righteousness also. riches. What then do I confess unto Thee in this kind of temptation. but dispraise doth diminish it. that is. yea so abandonedly and atrociously. Yet I own. mine do not. or not having them. when I do without them. and therein essay our powers.Chapter XXXVII By these temptations we are assailed daily. but our neighbour also. in which I mislike myself. For sometimes I am grieved at my own praise. For since Thou hast commanded us not continency alone. when pleased with intelligent praise. we ought as little to forego its company. and enjoin what Thou wilt. without ceasing are we assailed. I see how much I have attained to. and the floods of mine eyes. and hast willed us to love not Thee only. or to be grieved for evil in him. that they may serve to some one or two or all of the three concupiscences. that so it may prove itself. from what things to refrain our love. or even lesser and slight goods are more esteemed than they ought. I seem to myself to be pleased with the proficiency or towardliness of my neighbour. when it hath them. and I much fear my secret sins. they may be cast aside. But again how know I whether I am therefore thus affected. O Lord. and not so only. not as being influenced by concern for him. or being consistent and most settled in the truth be blamed by all. must we live ill. which Thine eyes know. being frenzied in error on all things. please me more when they please another also? For some how I am not praised when my judgment of myself is not praised. that is. either when those things be praised in me. because I would not have him who praiseth me differ from me about myself. For I cannot learn how far I am more cleansed from this plague. whereon to bestow it. in this. it doth increase it. Thou God knowest. Thou knowest on this matter the groans of my heart. For. an excuse occurs to me. if the soul cannot discern whether. But to be without praise. O Lord? What. For then I ask myself how much more or less troublesome it is to me not to have them? Then. when I hear him dispraise either what he understands not. Yet fain would I that the approbation of another should not even increase my joy for any good in me. but with truth itself. for it leaves me uncertain. And when I am troubled at this my misery. Our daily furnace is the tongue of men. scarce any. it despiseth them. 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. which of what value it is. more than with praise? For were it proposed to me. forasmuch as either those . foregoing. And in this way also Thou commandest us continence. unless it be absent. whether I would. be praised by all men. which are desired. but that I am delighted with praise. Yet I know not whether I can well or ill be without anything. I see which I should choose. often. but because those same good things which please me in myself.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Book XI .

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Book XII .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Book XIII .

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


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

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

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

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

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

when our soul shall have passed through the waters which yield no support. . he teacheth and showeth unto us a more excellent way of charity. where he thus speaks. What can be more. follow with his understanding Thy Apostle. To whom shall I speak this? how speak of the weight of evil desires.Chapter VII Hence let him that is able. And therefore from the beginning. 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. the uncleanness of our spirit flowing away downwards with the love of cares. and where he bows his knee unto Thee for us. and yet what less like? They be affections. that we may lift our hearts unto Thee. and the holiness of Thine raising us upward by love of unanxious repose. was He borne supereminent above the waters. where Thy Spirit is borne above the waters. and come to that supereminent repose. downwards to the steep abyss. 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. they be loves.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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