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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 .

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Book II .

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Book III .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Book IV .

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

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

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

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

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


obeyed me not. was. because that most dear friend. whom she had lost. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BookV .

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Book VI .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Book VII .

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

than that of a sparrow. But such art not Thou. petty to the petty. . and a less. and takes up more room. But not as yet hadst Thou enlightened my darkness. by how much larger it is. a lesser: and all things should in such sort be full of Thee. for it was false. 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. that the body of an elephant should contain more of Thee. in fragments. large to the large.else.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

from the mountain's shaggy top to see the land of peace. my guardian. which he hath not received?). because He is meek and lowly in heart. the tears of confession. under their captain the lion and the dragon: and another to keep on the way that leads thither. who art ever the same. but also healed. may yet walk on the way. and in vain to essay through ways unpassable. They scorn to learn of Him. the Bridal City.Chapter XXI Most eagerly then did I seize that venerable writing of Thy Spirit. Thy sacrifice. but we have sinned and committed iniquity. guarded by the host of the heavenly General. because he persuaded our will to be like his will whereby he abode not in Thy truth. Thou art righteous. For. the king of death. whereby he may arrive. which was contrary to us. and chiefly the Apostle Paul. the earnest of the Holy Ghost. what shall he do with that other law in his members which warreth against the law of his mind. wherein he once seemed to me to contradict himself. not only what he sees. all ye that labour. I found here amid the praise of Thy Grace. whom Thou hast begotten co-eternal. the salvation of the people. the Cup of our Redemption. O Lord. and bringeth him into captivity to the law of sin which is in his members? For. These things did wonderfully sink into my bowels. and have done wickedly. for these things hast Thou hid from the wise and prudent. when I read that least of Thy Apostles. and Thy hand is grown heavy upon us. may not so glory as if he had not received. yet killed he Him. Those pages present not the image of this piety. No man sings there. What shall wretched man do? who shall deliver him from the body of his death. a troubled spirit. where they spoil not who have deserted the heavenly army. that whoso sees. . and that he who cannot see afar off. and hold Thee. and formedst in the beginning of Thy ways. and the handwriting. and whatsoever truth I had read in those other books. No one there hears Him call. and the text of his discourse not to agree with the testimonies of the Law and the Prophets. opposed and beset by fugitives and deserters. 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. and had meditated upon Thy works. and to find no way thither. but also that he sees (for what hath he. and hast revealed them unto babes. and I learned to rejoice with trembling. through Jesus Christ our Lord. was blotted out? This those writings contain not. and trembled exceedingly. Whereupon those difficulties vanished away. I shall no more be moved. a broken and a contrite heart. Come unto Me. and that he may be not only admonished to behold Thee. to hold Thee. as very torment. Shall not my soul be submitted unto God? for of Him cometh my salvation. though a man be delighted with the law of God after the inner man. but only Thy Grace. For He is my God and my salvation. So I began. and behold. for they avoid it. For it is one thing. and we are justly delivered over unto that ancient sinner.

Book VIII .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Book IX .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Book X .

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Book XI .

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Book XII .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Book XIII .

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

which hath no evening. is to pass away. 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.Chapter XXXV O Lord God.

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. nor hath it setting. . that that which Thou didst after Thy works which were very good. that we also after our works (therefore very good. resting the seventh day. because Thou hast sanctified it to an everlasting continuance. shall rest in Thee also in the Sabbath of eternal life. although Thou madest them in unbroken rest.

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

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

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