THE CONFESSIONS OF SAINT

AUGUSTINE
(401 AD)
Translated by Edward Bouverie Pusey
Index
Boo I
Boo II
Boo III
Boo I!
Boo !
Boo !I
Boo !II
Boo !III
Boo I"
Boo "
Boo "I
Boo "II
Boo "III
Sour#e$ %tt&$''www(sa#red)texts(#o*'#%r'au+#on,(%t*
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Boo I
BOO. I
Great art Thou, O Lord, and greatly to be praised; great is Thy power, and Thy
wisdo in!inite" And Thee would an praise; an, but a parti#le o! Thy #reation;
an, that bears about hi his ortality, the witness o! his sin, the witness that Thou
resistest the proud$ yet would an praise Thee; he, but a parti#le o! Thy #reation"
Thou awa%est us to delight in Thy praise; !or Thou adest us !or Thysel!, and our
heart is restless, until it repose in Thee" Grant e, Lord, to %now and understand
whi#h is !irst, to #all on Thee or to praise Thee& and, again, to %now Thee or to #all on
Thee& !or who #an #all on Thee, not %nowing Thee& !or he that %noweth Thee not,
ay #all on Thee as other than Thou art" Or, is it rather, that we #all on Thee that we
ay %now Thee& but how shall they #all on 'i in who they ha(e not belie(ed& or
how shall they belie(e without a prea#her& and they that see% the Lord shall praise
'i$ !or they that see% shall !ind 'i, and they that !ind shall praise 'i" ) will see%
Thee, Lord, by #alling on Thee; and will #all on Thee, belie(ing in Thee; !or to us hast
Thou been prea#hed" *y !aith, Lord, shall #all on Thee, whi#h Thou hast gi(en e,
wherewith Thou hast inspired e, through the )n#arnation o! Thy +on, through the
inistry o! the ,rea#her"
And how shall ) #all upon y God, y God and Lord, sin#e, when ) #all !or 'i, )
shall be #alling 'i to ysel!& and what roo is there within e, whither y God
#an #oe into e& whither #an God #oe into e, God who ade hea(en and earth&
is there, indeed, O Lord y God, aught in e that #an #ontain Thee& do then hea(en
and earth, whi#h Thou hast ade, and wherein Thou hast ade e, #ontain Thee& or,
be#ause nothing whi#h e-ists #ould e-ist without Thee, doth there!ore whate(er e-ists
#ontain Thee& +in#e, then, ) too e-ist, why do ) see% that Thou shouldest enter into
e, who were not, wert Thou not in e& .hy& be#ause ) a not gone down in hell,
and yet Thou art there also" /or i! ) go down into hell, Thou art there" ) #ould not be
then, O y God, #ould not be at all, wert Thou not in e; or, rather, unless ) were in
Thee, o! who are all things, by who are all things, in who are all things& 0(en
so, Lord, e(en so" .hither do ) #all Thee, sin#e ) a in Thee& or when#e #anst Thou
enter into e& !or whither #an ) go beyond hea(en and earth, that then#e y God
should #oe into e, who hath said, ) !ill the hea(en and the earth"
Do the hea(en and earth then #ontain Thee, sin#e Thou !illest the& or dost Thou !ill
the and yet o(er!low, sin#e they do not #ontain Thee& And whither, when the hea(en
and the earth are !illed, pourest Thou !orth the reainder o! Thysel!& or hast Thou no
need that aught #ontain Thee, who #ontainest all things, sin#e what Thou !illest Thou
!illest by #ontaining it& !or the (essels whi#h Thou !illest uphold Thee not, sin#e,
though they were bro%en, Thou wert not poured out" And when Thou art poured out
on us, Thou art not #ast down, but Thou upli!test us; Thou art not dissipated, but Thou
gatherest us" 1ut Thou who !illest all things, !illest Thou the with Thy whole sel!&
or, sin#e all things #annot #ontain Thee wholly, do they #ontain part o! Thee& and all
at on#e the sae part& or ea#h its own part, the greater ore, the saller less& And is,
then one part o! Thee greater, another less& or, art Thou wholly e(ery where, while
nothing #ontains Thee wholly&
Boo I
.hat art Thou then, y God& what, but the Lord God& /or who is Lord but the Lord&
or who is God sa(e our God& *ost highest, ost good, ost potent, ost onipotent;
ost er#i!ul, yet ost 2ust; ost hidden, yet ost present; ost beauti!ul, yet ost
strong, stable, yet in#oprehensible; un#hangeable, yet all3#hanging; ne(er new,
ne(er old; all3renewing, and bringing age upon the proud, and they %now it not; e(er
wor%ing, e(er at rest; still gathering, yet nothing la#%ing; supporting, !illing, and
o(erspreading; #reating, nourishing, and aturing; see%ing, yet ha(ing all things"
Thou lo(est, without passion; art 2ealous, without an-iety; repentest, yet grie(est not;
art angry, yet serene; #hangest Thy wor%s, Thy purpose un#hanged; re#ei(est again
what Thou !indest, yet didst ne(er lose; ne(er in need, yet re2oi#ing in gains; ne(er
#o(etous, yet e-a#ting usury" Thou re#ei(est o(er and abo(e, that Thou ayest owe;
and who hath aught that is not Thine& Thou payest debts, owing nothing; reittest
debts, losing nothing" And what had ) now said, y God, y li!e, y holy 2oy& or
what saith any an when he spea%s o! Thee& 4et woe to hi that spea%eth not, sin#e
ute are e(en the ost elo5uent" Oh6 that ) ight repose on Thee6
Oh6 that Thou wouldest enter into y heart, and inebriate it, that ) ay !orget y ills,
and ebra#e Thee, y sole good6 .hat art Thou to e& )n Thy pity, tea#h e to utter
it" Or what a ) to Thee that Thou deandest y lo(e, and, i! ) gi(e it not, art wroth
with e, and threatenest e with grie(ous woes& )s it then a slight woe to lo(e Thee
not& Oh6 !or Thy er#ies7 sa%e, tell e, O Lord y God, what Thou art unto e" +ay
unto y soul, ) a thy sal(ation" +o spea%, that ) ay hear" 1ehold, Lord, y heart is
be!ore Thee; open Thou the ears thereo!, and say unto y soul, ) a thy sal(ation"
A!ter this (oi#e let e haste, and ta%e hold on Thee" 'ide not Thy !a#e !ro e" Let
e die3 lest ) die3 only let e see Thy !a#e"
8arrow is the ansion o! y soul; enlarge Thou it, that Thou ayest enter in" )t is
ruinous; repair Thou it" )t has that within whi#h ust o!!end Thine eyes; ) #on!ess and
%now it" 1ut who shall #leanse it& or to who should ) #ry, sa(e Thee& Lord, #leanse
e !ro y se#ret !aults, and spare Thy ser(ant !ro the power o! the eney" )
belie(e, and there!ore do ) spea%" Lord, Thou %nowest" 'a(e ) not #on!essed against
ysel! y transgressions unto Thee, and Thou, y God, hast !orgi(en the ini5uity o!
y heart& ) #ontend not in 2udgent with Thee, who art the truth; ) !ear to de#ei(e
ysel!; lest ine ini5uity lie unto itsel!" There!ore ) #ontend not in 2udgent with
Thee; !or i! Thou, Lord, shouldest ar% ini5uities, O Lord, who shall abide it&
4et su!!er e to spea% unto Thy er#y, e, dust and ashes" 4et su!!er e to spea%,
sin#e ) spea% to Thy er#y, and not to s#orn!ul an" Thou too, perhaps, despisest e,
yet wilt Thou return and ha(e #opassion upon e" /or what would ) say, O Lord y
God, but that ) %now not when#e ) #ae into this dying li!e (shall ) #all it&) or li(ing
death" Then iediately did the #o!orts o! Thy #opassion ta%e e up, as ) heard
(!or ) reeber it not) !ro the parents o! y !lesh, out o! whose substan#e Thou
didst soetie !ashion e" Thus there re#ei(ed e the #o!orts o! woan7s il%"
/or neither y other nor y nurses stored their own breasts !or e; but Thou didst
bestow the !ood o! y in!an#y through the, a##ording to Thine ordinan#e, whereby
Thou distributest Thy ri#hes through the hidden springs o! all things" Thou also ga(est
e to desire no ore than Thou ga(est; and to y nurses willingly to gi(e e what
Thou ga(est the" /or they, with a hea(en3taught a!!e#tion, willingly ga(e e what
they abounded with !ro Thee" /or this y good !ro the, was good !or the" 8or,
indeed, !ro the was it, but through the; !or !ro Thee, O God, are all good
Boo I
things, and !ro y God is all y health" This ) sin#e learned, Thou, through these
Thy gi!ts, within e and without, pro#laiing Thysel! unto e" /or then ) %new but
to su#%; to repose in what pleased, and #ry at what o!!ended y !lesh; nothing ore"
A!terwards ) began to sile; !irst in sleep, then wa%ing$ !or so it was told e o!
ysel!, and ) belie(ed it; !or we see the li%e in other in!ants, though o! ysel! )
reeber it not" Thus, little by little, ) be#ae #ons#ious where ) was; and to ha(e a
wish to e-press y wishes to those who #ould #ontent the, and ) #ould not; !or the
wishes were within e, and they without; nor #ould they by any sense o! theirs enter
within y spirit" +o ) !lung about at rando libs and (oi#e, a%ing the !ew signs )
#ould, and su#h as ) #ould, li%e, though in truth (ery little li%e, what ) wished" And
when ) was not presently obeyed (y wishes being hurt!ul or unintelligible), then )
was indignant with y elders !or not subitting to e, with those owing e no
ser(i#e, !or not ser(ing e; and a(enged ysel! on the by tears" +u#h ha(e ) learnt
in!ants to be !ro obser(ing the; and that ) was ysel! su#h, they, all un#ons#ious,
ha(e shown e better than y nurses who %new it"
And, lo6 y in!an#y died long sin#e, and ) li(e" 1ut Thou, Lord, who !or e(er li(est,
and in who nothing dies$ !or be!ore the !oundation o! the worlds, and be!ore all that
#an be #alled 9be!ore,9 Thou art, and art God and Lord o! all whi#h Thou hast #reated$
in Thee abide, !i-ed !or e(er, the !irst #auses o! all things unabiding; and o! all things
#hangeable, the springs abide in Thee un#hangeable$ and in Thee li(e the eternal
reasons o! all things unreasoning and teporal" +ay, Lord, to e, Thy suppliant; say,
all3pitying, to e, Thy pitiable one; say, did y in!an#y su##eed another age o! ine
that died be!ore it& was it that whi#h ) spent within y other7s wob& !or o! that )
ha(e heard soewhat, and ha(e ysel! seen woen with #hild& and what be!ore that
li!e again, O God y 2oy, was ) any where or any body& /or this ha(e ) none to tell
e, neither !ather nor other, nor e-perien#e o! others, nor ine own eory" Dost
Thou o#% e !or as%ing this, and bid e praise Thee and a#%nowledge Thee, !or
that ) do %now&
) a#%nowledge Thee, Lord o! hea(en and earth, and praise Thee !or y !irst rudients
o! being, and y in!an#y, whereo! ) reeber nothing; !or Thou hast appointed that
an should !ro others guess u#h as to hisel!; and belie(e u#h on the strength
o! wea% !eales" 0(en then ) had being and li!e, and (at y in!an#y7s #lose) ) #ould
see% !or signs whereby to a%e %nown to others y sensations" .hen#e #ould su#h a
being be, sa(e !ro Thee, Lord& +hall any be his own arti!i#er& or #an there
elsewhere be deri(ed any (ein, whi#h ay strea essen#e and li!e into us, sa(e !ro
thee, O Lord, in who essen#e and li!e are one& !or Thou Thysel! art supreely
0ssen#e and Li!e" /or Thou art ost high, and art not #hanged, neither in Thee doth
to3day #oe to a #lose; yet in Thee doth it #oe to a #lose; be#ause all su#h things
also are in Thee" /or they had no way to pass away, unless Thou upheldest the" And
sin#e Thy years !ail not, Thy years are one to3day" 'ow any o! ours and our !athers7
years ha(e !lowed away through Thy 9to3day,9 and !ro it re#ei(ed the easure and
the ould o! su#h being as they had; and still others shall !low away, and so re#ei(e
the ould o! their degree o! being" 1ut Thou art still the sae, and all things o!
toorrow, and all beyond, and all o! yesterday, and all behind it, Thou hast done to3
day" .hat is it to e, though any #oprehend not this& Let hi also re2oi#e and say,
.hat thing is this& Let hi re2oi#e e(en thus6 and be #ontent rather by not
dis#o(ering to dis#o(er Thee, than by dis#o(ering not to dis#o(er Thee"
Boo I
'ear, O God" Alas, !or an7s sin6 +o saith an, and Thou pitiest hi; !or Thou
adest hi, but sin in hi Thou adest not" .ho reindeth e o! the sins o! y
in!an#y& !or in Thy sight none is pure !ro sin, not e(en the in!ant whose li!e is but a
day upon the earth" .ho reindeth e& doth not ea#h little in!ant, in who ) see
what o! ysel! ) reeber not& .hat then was y sin& was it that ) hung upon the
breast and #ried& !or should ) now so do !or !ood suitable to y age, 2ustly should ) be
laughed at and repro(ed" .hat ) then did was worthy reproo!; but sin#e ) #ould not
understand reproo!, #usto and reason !orbade e to be repro(ed" /or those habits,
when grown, we root out and #ast away" 8ow no an, though he prunes, wittingly
#asts away what is good" Or was it then good, e(en !or a while, to #ry !or what, i!
gi(en, would hurt& bitterly to resent, that persons !ree, and its own elders, yea, the
(ery authors o! its birth, ser(ed it not& that any besides, wiser than it, obeyed not the
nod o! its good pleasure& to do its best to stri%e and hurt, be#ause #oands were not
obeyed, whi#h had been obeyed to its hurt& The wea%ness then o! in!ant libs, not its
will, is its inno#en#e" *ysel! ha(e seen and %nown e(en a baby en(ious; it #ould not
spea%, yet it turned pale and loo%ed bitterly on its !oster3brother" .ho %nows not this&
*others and nurses tell you that they allay these things by ) %now not what reedies"
)s that too inno#en#e, when the !ountain o! il% is !lowing in ri#h abundan#e, not to
endure one to share it, though in e-treest need, and whose (ery li!e as yet depends
thereon& .e bear gently with all this, not as being no or slight e(ils, but be#ause they
will disappear as years in#rease; !or, though tolerated now, the (ery sae tepers are
utterly intolerable when !ound in riper years"
Thou, then, O Lord y God, who ga(est li!e to this y in!an#y, !urnishing thus with
senses (as we see) the !rae Thou ga(est, #opa#ting its libs, ornaenting its
proportions, and, !or its general good and sa!ety, iplanting in it all (ital !un#tions,
Thou #oandest e to praise Thee in these things, to #on!ess unto Thee, and sing
unto Thy nae, Thou ost 'ighest" /or Thou art God, Alighty and Good, e(en
hadst Thou done nought but only this, whi#h none #ould do but Thou$ whose :nity is
the ould o! all things; who out o! Thy own !airness a%est all things !air; and
orderest all things by Thy law" This age then, Lord, whereo! ) ha(e no reebran#e,
whi#h ) ta%e on others7 word, and guess !ro other in!ants that ) ha(e passed, true
though the guess be, ) a yet loth to #ount in this li!e o! ine whi#h ) li(e in this
world" /or no less than that whi#h ) spent in y other7s wob, is it hid !ro e in
the shadows o! !orget!ulness" 1ut i! ) was shapen in ini5uity, and in sin did y other
#on#ei(e e, where, ) besee#h Thee, O y God, where, Lord, or when, was ) Thy
ser(ant guiltless& 1ut, lo6 that period ) pass by; and what ha(e ) now to do with that,
o! whi#h ) #an re#all no (estige&
,assing hen#e !ro in!an#y, ) #ae to boyhood, or rather it #ae to e, displa#ing
in!an#y" 8or did that depart,3 (!or whither went it&)3 and yet it was no ore" /or ) was
no longer a spee#hless in!ant, but a spea%ing boy" This ) reeber; and ha(e sin#e
obser(ed how ) learned to spea%" )t was not that y elders taught e words (as, soon
a!ter, other learning) in any set ethod; but ), longing by #ries and bro%en a##ents and
(arious otions o! y libs to e-press y thoughts, that so ) ight ha(e y will,
and yet unable to e-press all ) willed, or to who ) willed, did ysel!, by the
understanding whi#h Thou, y God, ga(est e, pra#tise the sounds in y eory"
.hen they naed any thing, and as they spo%e turned towards it, ) saw and
reebered that they #alled what they would point out by the nae they uttered" And
that they eant this thing and no other was plain !ro the otion o! their body, the
Boo I
natural language, as it were, o! all nations, e-pressed by the #ountenan#e, glan#es o!
the eye, gestures o! the libs, and tones o! the (oi#e, indi#ating the a!!e#tions o! the
ind, as it pursues, possesses, re2e#ts, or shuns" And thus by #onstantly hearing
words, as they o##urred in (arious senten#es, ) #olle#ted gradually !or what they
stood; and ha(ing bro%en in y outh to these signs, ) thereby ga(e utteran#e to y
will" Thus ) e-#hanged with those about e these #urrent signs o! our wills, and so
laun#hed deeper into the story inter#ourse o! huan li!e, yet depending on parental
authority and the be#% o! elders"
O God y God, what iseries and o#%eries did ) now e-perien#e, when obedien#e
to y tea#hers was proposed to e, as proper in a boy, in order that in this world )
ight prosper, and e-#el in tongue3s#ien#e, whi#h should ser(e to the 9praise o! en,9
and to de#eit!ul ri#hes" 8e-t ) was put to s#hool to get learning, in whi#h ) (poor
wret#h) %new not what use there was; and yet, i! idle in learning, ) was beaten" /or
this was 2udged right by our !ore!athers; and any, passing the sae #ourse be!ore us,
!raed !or us weary paths, through whi#h we were !ain to pass; ultiplying toil and
grie! upon the sons o! Ada" 1ut, Lord, we !ound that en #alled upon Thee, and we
learnt !ro the to thin% o! Thee (a##ording to our powers) as o! soe great One,
who, though hidden !ro our senses, #ouldest hear and help us" /or so ) began, as a
boy, to pray to Thee, y aid and re!uge; and bro%e the !etters o! y tongue to #all on
Thee, praying Thee, though sall, yet with no sall earnestness, that ) ight not be
beaten at s#hool" And when Thou heardest e not (not thereby gi(ing e o(er to
!olly), y elders, yea y (ery parents, who yet wished e no ill, o#%ed y stripes,
y then great and grie(ous ill"
)s there, Lord, any o! soul so great, and #lea(ing to Thee with so intense a!!e#tion (!or
a sort o! stupidity will in a way do it); but is there any one who, !ro #lea(ing
de(outly to Thee, is endued with so great a spirit, that he #an thin% as lightly o! the
ra#%s and hoo%s and other torents (against whi#h, throughout all lands, en #all on
Thee with e-tree dread), o#%ing at those by who they are !eared ost bitterly, as
our parents o#%ed the torents whi#h we su!!ered in boyhood !ro our asters&
/or we !eared not our torents less; nor prayed we less to Thee to es#ape the" And
yet we sinned, in writing or reading or studying less than was e-a#ted o! us" /or we
wanted not, O Lord, eory or #apa#ity, whereo! Thy will ga(e enough !or our age;
but our sole delight was play; and !or this we were punished by those who yet
thesel(es were doing the li%e" 1ut elder !ol%s7 idleness is #alled 9business9; that o!
boys, being really the sae, is punished by those elders; and none #oiserates
either boys or en" /or will any o! sound dis#retion appro(e o! y being beaten as a
boy, be#ause, by playing a ball, ) ade less progress in studies whi#h ) was to learn,
only that, as a an, ) ight play ore unbeseeingly& and what else did he who beat
e& who, i! worsted in soe tri!ling dis#ussion with his !ellow3tutor, was ore
ebittered and 2ealous than ) when beaten at ball by a play3!ellow&
And yet, ) sinned herein, O Lord God, the ;reator and Disposer o! all things in nature,
o! sin the Disposer only, O Lord y God, ) sinned in transgressing the #oands o!
y parents and those o! y asters" /or what they, with whate(er oti(e, would
ha(e e learn, ) ight a!terwards ha(e put to good use" /or ) disobeyed, not !ro a
better #hoi#e, but !ro lo(e o! play, lo(ing the pride o! (i#tory in y #ontests, and to
ha(e y ears ti#%led with lying !ables, that they ight it#h the ore; the sae
#uriosity !lashing !ro y eyes ore and ore, !or the shows and gaes o! y
Boo I
elders" 4et those who gi(e these shows are in su#h estee, that alost all wish the
sae !or their #hildren, and yet are (ery willing that they should be beaten, i! those
(ery gaes detain the !ro the studies, whereby they would ha(e the attain to be
the gi(ers o! the" Loo% with pity, Lord, on these things, and deli(er us who #all upon
Thee now; deli(er those too who #all not on Thee yet, that they ay #all on Thee, and
Thou ayest deli(er the"
As a boy, then, ) had already heard o! an eternal li!e, proised us through the huility
o! the Lord our God stooping to our pride; and e(en !ro the wob o! y other,
who greatly hoped in Thee, ) was sealed with the ar% o! 'is #ross and salted with
'is salt" Thou sawest, Lord, how while yet a boy, being sei<ed on a tie with sudden
oppression o! the stoa#h, and li%e near to death3 Thou sawest, y God (!or Thou
wert y %eeper), with what eagerness and what !aith ) sought, !ro the pious #are o!
y other and Thy ;hur#h, the other o! us all, the baptis o! Thy ;hrist, y God
and Lord" .hereupon the other y !lesh, being u#h troubled (sin#e, with a heart
pure in Thy !aith, she e(en ore lo(ingly tra(ailed in birth o! y sal(ation), would in
eager haste ha(e pro(ided !or y #onse#ration and #leansing by the health3gi(ing
sa#raents, #on!essing Thee, Lord =esus, !or the reission o! sins, unless ) had
suddenly re#o(ered" And so, as i! ) ust needs be again polluted should ) li(e, y
#leansing was de!erred, be#ause the de!ileents o! sin would, a!ter that washing,
bring greater and ore perilous guilt" ) then already belie(ed$ and y other, and the
whole household, e-#ept y !ather$ yet did not he pre(ail o(er the power o! y
other7s piety in e, that as he did not yet belie(e, so neither should )" /or it was her
earnest #are that Thou y God, rather than he, shouldest be y !ather; and in this
Thou didst aid her to pre(ail o(er her husband, who she, the better, obeyed, therein
also obeying Thee, who hast so #oanded"
) besee#h Thee, y God, ) would !ain %now, i! so Thou willest, !or what purpose y
baptis was then de!erred& was it !or y good that the rein was laid loose, as it were,
upon e, !or e to sin& or was it not laid loose& )! not, why does it still e#ho in our
ears on all sides, 9Let hi alone, let hi do as he will, !or he is not yet baptised&9 but
as to bodily health, no one says, 9Let hi be worse wounded, !or he is not yet
healed"9 'ow u#h better then, had ) been at on#e healed; and then, by y !riends7
and y own, y soul7s re#o(ered health had been %ept sa!e in Thy %eeping who
ga(est it" 1etter truly" 1ut how any and great wa(es o! teptation seeed to hang
o(er e a!ter y boyhood6 These y other !oresaw; and pre!erred to e-pose to
the the #lay when#e ) ight a!terwards be oulded, than the (ery #ast, when ade"
)n boyhood itsel!, howe(er (so u#h less dreaded !or e than youth), ) lo(ed not
study, and hated to be !or#ed to it" 4et ) was !or#ed; and this was well done towards
e, but ) did not well; !or, unless !or#ed, ) had not learnt" 1ut no one doth well
against his will, e(en though what he doth, be well" 4et neither did they well who
!or#ed e, but what was well #ae to e !ro Thee, y God" /or they were
regardless how ) should eploy what they !or#ed e to learn, e-#ept to satiate the
insatiate desires o! a wealthy beggary, and a shae!ul glory" 1ut Thou, by who the
(ery hairs o! our head are nubered, didst use !or y good the error o! all who urged
e to learn; and y own, who would not learn, Thou didst use !or y punishent3 a
!it penalty !or one, so sall a boy and so great a sinner" +o by those who did not well,
Thou didst well !or e; and by y own sin Thou didst 2ustly punish e" /or Thou
Boo I
hast #oanded, and so it is, that e(ery inordinate a!!e#tion should be its own
punishent"
1ut why did ) so u#h hate the Gree%, whi#h ) studied as a boy& ) do not yet !ully
%now" /or the Latin ) lo(ed; not what y !irst asters, but what the so3#alled
graarians taught e" /or those !irst lessons, reading, writing and aritheti#, )
thought as great a burden and penalty as any Gree%" And yet when#e was this too, but
!ro the sin and (anity o! this li!e, be#ause ) was !lesh, and a breath that passeth away
and #oeth not again& /or those !irst lessons were better #ertainly, be#ause ore
#ertain; by the ) obtained, and still retain, the power o! reading what ) !ind written,
and ysel! writing what ) will; whereas in the others, ) was !or#ed to learn the
wanderings o! one Aeneas, !orget!ul o! y own, and to weep !or dead Dido, be#ause
she %illed hersel! !or lo(e; the while, with dry eyes, ) endured y iserable sel! dying
aong these things, !ar !ro Thee, O God y li!e"
/or what ore iserable than a iserable being who #oiserates not hisel!;
weeping the death o! Dido !or lo(e to Aeneas, but weeping not his own death !or want
o! lo(e to Thee, O God" Thou light o! y heart, Thou bread o! y inost soul, Thou
,ower who gi(est (igour to y ind, who 5ui#%enest y thoughts, ) lo(ed Thee not"
) #oitted !orni#ation against Thee, and all around e thus !orni#ating there e#hoed
9.ell done6 well done69 !or the !riendship o! this world is !orni#ation against Thee;
and 9.ell done6 well done69 e#hoes on till one is ashaed not to he thus a an" And
!or all this ) wept not, ) who wept !or Dido slain, and 9see%ing by the sword a stro%e
and wound e-tree,9 ysel! see%ing the while a worse e-tree, the e-treest and
lowest o! Thy #reatures, ha(ing !orsa%en Thee, earth passing into the earth" And i!
!orbid to read all this, ) was grie(ed that ) ight not read what grie(ed e" *adness
li%e this is thought a higher and a ri#her learning, than that by whi#h ) learned to read
and write"
1ut now, y God, #ry Thou aloud in y soul; and let Thy truth tell e, 98ot so, not
so" /ar better was that !irst study"9 /or, lo, ) would readily !orget the wanderings o!
Aeneas and all the rest, rather than how to read and write" 1ut o(er the entran#e o! the
Graar +#hool is a (ail drawn6 true; yet is this not so u#h an eble o! aught
re#ondite, as a #loa% o! error" Let not those, who ) no longer !ear, #ry out against
e, while ) #on!ess to Thee, y God, whate(er y soul will, and a#5uies#e in the
#ondenation o! y e(il ways, that ) ay lo(e Thy good ways" Let not either buyers
or sellers o! graar3learning #ry out against e" /or i! ) 5uestion the whether it be
true that Aeneas #ae on a tie to ;arthage, as the poet tells, the less learned will
reply that they %now not, the ore learned that he ne(er did" 1ut should ) as% with
what letters the nae 9Aeneas9 is written, e(ery one who has learnt this will answer
e aright, as to the signs whi#h en ha(e #on(entionally settled" )!, again, ) should
as% whi#h ight be !orgotten with least detrient to the #on#erns o! li!e, reading and
writing or these poeti# !i#tions& who does not !oresee what all ust answer who ha(e
not wholly !orgotten thesel(es& ) sinned, then, when as a boy ) pre!erred those
epty to those ore pro!itable studies, or rather lo(ed the one and hated the other"
9One and one, two9; 9two and two, !our9; this was to e a hate!ul singsong$ 9the
wooden horse lined with ared en,9 and 9the burning o! Troy,9 and 9;reusa7s shade
and sad siilitude,9 were the #hoi#e spe#ta#le o! y (anity"
Boo I
.hy then did ) hate the Gree% #lassi#s, whi#h ha(e the li%e tales& /or 'oer also
#uriously wo(e the li%e !i#tions, and is ost sweetly (ain, yet was he bitter to y
boyish taste" And so ) suppose would >irgil be to Gre#ian #hildren, when !or#ed to
learn hi as ) was 'oer" Di!!i#ulty, in truth, the di!!i#ulty o! a !oreign tongue,
dashed, as it were, with gall all the sweetness o! Gre#ian !able" /or not one word o! it
did ) understand, and to a%e e understand ) was urged (eheently with #ruel
threats and punishents" Tie was also (as an in!ant) ) %new no Latin; but this )
learned without !ear or su!!ering, by ere obser(ation, aid the #aresses o! y
nursery and 2ests o! !riends, siling and sporti(ely en#ouraging e" This ) learned
without any pressure o! punishent to urge e on, !or y heart urged e to gi(e
birth to its #on#eptions, whi#h ) #ould only do by learning words not o! those who
taught, but o! those who tal%ed with e; in whose ears also ) ga(e birth to the
thoughts, whate(er ) #on#ei(ed" 8o doubt, then, that a !ree #uriosity has ore !or#e in
our learning these things, than a !right!ul en!or#eent" Only this en!or#eent
restrains the ro(ings o! that !reedo, through Thy laws, O y God, Thy laws, !ro
the aster7s #ane to the artyr7s trials, being able to teper !or us a wholesoe bitter,
re#alling us to Thysel! !ro that deadly pleasure whi#h lures us !ro Thee"
'ear, Lord, y prayer; let not y soul !aint under Thy dis#ipline, nor let e !aint in
#on!essing unto Thee all Thy er#ies, whereby Thou hast drawn e out o! all y
ost e(il ways, that Thou ightest be#oe a delight to e abo(e all the allureents
whi#h ) on#e pursued; that ) ay ost entirely lo(e Thee, and #lasp Thy hand with all
y a!!e#tions, and Thou ayest yet res#ue e !ro e(ery teptation, e(en unto the
end" /or lo, O Lord, y ?ing and y God, !or Thy ser(i#e be whate(er use!ul thing
y #hildhood learned; !or Thy ser(i#e, that ) spea%, write, read, re#%on" /or Thou
didst grant e Thy dis#ipline, while ) was learning (anities; and y sin o! delighting
in those (anities Thou hast !orgi(en" )n the, indeed, ) learnt any a use!ul word, but
these ay as well be learned in things not (ain; and that is the sa!e path !or the steps
o! youth"
1ut woe is thee, thou torrent o! huan #usto6 .ho shall stand against thee& how
long shalt thou not be dried up& how long roll the sons o! 0(e into that huge and
hideous o#ean, whi#h e(en they s#ar#ely o(erpass who #lib the #ross& Did not ) read
in thee o! =o(e the thunderer and the adulterer& both, doubtless, he #ould not be; but
so the !eigned thunder ight #ountenan#e and pander to real adultery" And now whi#h
o! our gowned asters lends a sober ear to one who !ro their own s#hool #ries out,
9These were 'oer7s !i#tions, trans!erring things huan to the gods; would he had
brought down things di(ine to us69 4et ore truly had he said, 9These are indeed his
!i#tions; but attributing a di(ine nature to wi#%ed en, that #ries ight be no longer
#ries, and whoso #oits the ight see to iitate not abandoned en, but the
#elestial gods"9
And yet, thou hellish torrent, into thee are #ast the sons o! en with ri#h rewards, !or
#opassing su#h learning; and a great solenity is ade o! it, when this is going on
in the !oru, within sight o! laws appointing a salary beside the s#holar7s payents;
and thou lashest thy ro#%s and roarest, 9'en#e words are learnt; hen#e elo5uen#e;
ost ne#essary to gain your ends, or aintain opinions"9 As i! we should ha(e ne(er
%nown su#h words as 9golden shower,9 9lap,9 9beguile,9 9teples o! the hea(ens,9 or
others in that passage, unless Teren#e had brought a lewd youth upon the stage,
setting up =upiter as his e-aple o! sedu#tion"
Boo I
9>iewing a pi#ture, where the tale was drawn,
O! =o(e7s des#ending in a golden shower
To Danae7s lap a woan to beguile"9
And then ar% how he e-#ites hisel! to lust as by #elestial authority$
9And what God& Great =o(e,
.ho sha%es hea(en7s highest teples with his thunder,
And ), poor ortal an, not do the sae6
) did it, and with all y heart ) did it"9
8ot one whit ore easily are the words learnt !or all this (ileness; but by their eans
the (ileness is #oitted with less shae" 8ot that ) blae the words, being, as it
were, #hoi#e and pre#ious (essels; but that wine o! error whi#h is drun% to us in the
by into-i#ated tea#hers; and i! we, too, drin% not, we are beaten, and ha(e no sober
2udge to who we ay appeal" 4et, O y God (in whose presen#e ) now without hurt
ay reeber this), all this unhappily ) learnt willingly with great delight, and !or
this was pronoun#ed a hope!ul boy"
1ear with e, y God, while ) say soewhat o! y wit, Thy gi!t, and on what
dotages ) wasted it" /or a tas% was set e, troublesoe enough to y soul, upon
ters o! praise or shae, and !ear o! stripes, to spea% the words o! =uno, as she raged
and ourned that she #ould not
9This Tro2an prin#e !ro Latinu turn"9
.hi#h words ) had heard that =uno ne(er uttered; but we were !or#ed to go astray in
the !ootsteps o! these poeti# !i#tions, and to say in prose u#h what he e-pressed in
(erse" And his spea%ing was ost applauded, in who the passions o! rage and grie!
were ost preeinent, and #lothed in the ost !itting language, aintaining the
dignity o! the #hara#ter" .hat is it to e, O y true li!e, y God, that y
de#laation was applauded abo(e so any o! y own age and #lass& is not all this
so%e and wind& and was there nothing else whereon to e-er#ise y wit and tongue&
Thy praises, Lord, Thy praises ight ha(e stayed the yet tender shoot o! y heart by
the prop o! Thy +#riptures; so had it not trailed away aid these epty tri!les, a
de!iled prey !or the !owls o! the air" /or in ore ways than one do en sa#ri!i#e to the
rebellious angels"
1ut what ar(el that ) was thus #arried away to (anities, and went out !ro Thy
presen#e, O y God, when en were set be!ore e as odels, who, i! in relating
soe a#tion o! theirs, in itsel! not ill, they #oitted soe barbaris or sole#is,
being #ensured, were abashed; but when in ri#h and adoed and well3ordered
dis#ourse they related their own disordered li!e, being bepraised, they gloried& These
things Thou seest, Lord, and holdest Thy pea#e; long3su!!ering, and plenteous in
er#y and truth" .ilt Thou hold Thy pea#e !or e(er& and e(en now Thou drawest out
Boo I
o! this horrible gul! the soul that see%eth Thee, that thirsteth !or Thy pleasures, whose
heart saith unto Thee, ) ha(e sought Thy !a#e; Thy !a#e, Lord, will ) see%" /or
dar%ened a!!e#tions is reo(al !ro Thee" /or it is not by our !eet, or #hange o! pla#e,
that en lea(e Thee, or return unto Thee" Or did that Thy younger son loo% out !or
horses or #hariots, or ships, !ly with (isible wings, or 2ourney by the otion o! his
libs, that he ight in a !ar #ountry waste in riotous li(ing all Thou ga(est at his
departure& a lo(ing /ather, when Thou ga(est, and ore lo(ing unto hi, when he
returned epty" +o then in lust!ul, that is, in dar%ened a!!e#tions, is the true distan#e
!ro Thy !a#e"
1ehold, O Lord God, yea, behold patiently as Thou art wont how #are!ully the sons o!
en obser(e the #o(enanted rules o! letters and syllables re#ei(ed !ro those who
spa%e be!ore the, negle#ting the eternal #o(enant o! e(erlasting sal(ation re#ei(ed
!ro Thee" )nsou#h, that a tea#her or learner o! the hereditary laws o! pronun#iation
will ore o!!end en by spea%ing without the aspirate, o! a 9uan being,9 in despite
o! the laws o! graar, than i! he, a 9huan being,9 hate a 9huan being9 in despite
o! Thine" As i! any eney #ould be ore hurt!ul than the hatred with whi#h he is
in#ensed against hi; or #ould wound ore deeply hi who he perse#utes, than he
wounds his own soul by his enity" Assuredly no s#ien#e o! letters #an be so innate as
the re#ord o! #ons#ien#e, 9that he is doing to another what !ro another he would be
loth to su!!er"9 'ow deep are Thy ways, O God, Thou only great, that sittest silent on
high and by an unwearied law dispensing penal blindness to lawless desires" )n 5uest
o! the !ae o! elo5uen#e, a an standing be!ore a huan 2udge, surrounded by a
huan throng, de#laiing against his eney with !ier#est hatred, will ta%e heed ost
wat#h!ully, lest, by an error o! the tongue, he urder the word 9huan being9; but
ta%es no heed, lest, through the !ury o! his spirit, he urder the real huan being"
This was the world at whose gate unhappy ) lay in y boyhood; this the stage where )
had !eared ore to #oit a barbaris, than ha(ing #oitted one, to en(y those
who had not" These things ) spea% and #on!ess to Thee, y God; !or whi#h ) had
praise !ro the, who ) then thought it all (irtue to please" /or ) saw not the abyss
o! (ileness, wherein ) was #ast away !ro Thine eyes" 1e!ore the what ore !oul
than ) was already, displeasing e(en su#h as ysel!& with innuerable lies de#ei(ing
y tutor, y asters, y parents, !ro lo(e o! play, eagerness to see (ain shows and
restlessness to iitate the6 The!ts also ) #oitted, !ro y parents7 #ellar and
table, ensla(ed by greediness, or that ) ight ha(e to gi(e to boys, who sold e their
play, whi#h all the while they li%ed no less than )" )n this play, too, ) o!ten sought
un!air #on5uests, #on5uered ysel! eanwhile by (ain desire o! preeinen#e" And
what #ould ) so ill endure, or, when ) dete#ted it, upbraided ) so !ier#ely, as that ) was
doing to others& and !or whi#h i!, dete#ted, ) was upbraided, ) #hose rather to 5uarrel
than to yield" And is this the inno#en#e o! boyhood& 8ot so, Lord, not so; ) #ry Thy
er#y, y God" /or these (ery sins, as riper years su##eed, these (ery sins are
trans!erred !ro tutors and asters, !ro nuts and balls and sparrows, to agistrates
and %ings, to gold and anors and sla(es, 2ust as se(erer punishents displa#e the
#ane" )t was the low stature then o! #hildhood whi#h Thou our ?ing didst #oend as
an eble o! lowliness, when Thou saidst, O! su#h is the %ingdo o! hea(en"
4et, Lord, to Thee, the ;reator and Go(ernor o! the uni(erse, ost e-#ellent and ost
good, than%s were due to Thee our God, e(en hadst Thou destined !or e boyhood
only" /or e(en then ) was, ) li(ed, and !elt; and had an iplanted pro(iden#e o(er y
Boo I
well3being3 a tra#e o! that ysterious :nity when#e ) was deri(ed; ) guarded by the
inward sense the entireness o! y senses, and in these inute pursuits, and in y
thoughts on things inute, ) learnt to delight in truth, ) hated to be de#ei(ed, had a
(igorous eory, was gi!ted with spee#h, was soothed by !riendship, a(oided pain,
baseness, ignoran#e" )n so sall a #reature, what was not wonder!ul, not adirable&
1ut all are gi!ts o! y God$ it was not ) who ga(e the e; and good these are, and
these together are ysel!" Good, then, is 'e that ade e, and 'e is y good; and
be!ore 'i will ) e-ult !or e(ery good whi#h o! a boy ) had" /or it was y sin, that
not in 'i, but in 'is #reatures3 ysel! and others3 ) sought !or pleasures,
subliities, truths, and so !ell headlong into sorrows, #on!usions, errors" Than%s be to
Thee, y 2oy and y glory and y #on!iden#e, y God, than%s be to Thee !or Thy
gi!ts; but do Thou preser(e the to e" /or so wilt Thou preser(e e, and those
things shall be enlarged and per!e#ted whi#h Thou hast gi(en e, and ) ysel! shall
be with Thee, sin#e e(en to be Thou hast gi(en e"
Boo II
BOO. II
) will now #all to ind y past !oulness, and the #arnal #orruptions o! y soul; not
be#ause ) lo(e the, but that ) ay lo(e Thee, O y God" /or lo(e o! Thy lo(e ) do
it; re(iewing y ost wi#%ed ways in the (ery bitterness o! y reebran#e, that
Thou ayest grow sweet unto e (Thou sweetness ne(er !ailing, Thou bliss!ul and
assured sweetness); and gathering e again out o! that y dissipation, wherein ) was
torn pie#eeal, while turned !ro Thee, the One Good, ) lost ysel! aong a
ultipli#ity o! things" /or ) e(en burnt in y youth hereto!ore, to be satiated in things
below; and ) dared to grow wild again, with these (arious and shadowy lo(es$ y
beauty #onsued away, and ) stan% in Thine eyes; pleasing ysel!, and desirous to
please in the eyes o! en"
And what was it that ) delighted in, but to lo(e, and be lo(ed& but ) %ept not the
easure o! lo(e, o! ind to ind, !riendship7s bright boundary$ but out o! the uddy
#on#upis#en#e o! the !lesh, and the bubblings o! youth, ists !ued up whi#h
be#louded and o(er#ast y heart, that ) #ould not dis#ern the #lear brightness o! lo(e
!ro the !og o! lust!ulness" 1oth did #on!usedly boil in e, and hurried y unstayed
youth o(er the pre#ipi#e o! unholy desires, and sun% e in a gul! o! !lagitiousnesses"
Thy wrath had gathered o(er e, and ) %new it not" ) was grown dea! by the #lan%ing
o! the #hain o! y ortality, the punishent o! the pride o! y soul, and ) strayed
!urther !ro Thee, and Thou lettest e alone, and ) was tossed about, and wasted, and
dissipated, and ) boiled o(er in y !orni#ations, and Thou heldest Thy pea#e, O Thou
y tardy 2oy6 Thou then heldest Thy pea#e, and ) wandered !urther and !urther !ro
Thee, into ore and ore !ruitless seed3plots o! sorrows, with a proud de2e#tedness,
and a restless weariness"
Oh6 that soe one had then attepered y disorder, and turned to a##ount the
!leeting beauties o! these, the e-tree points o! Thy #reation6 had put a bound to their
pleasureableness, that so the tides o! y youth ight ha(e #ast thesel(es upon the
arriage shore, i! they #ould not be #aled, and %ept within the ob2e#t o! a !aily, as
Thy law pres#ribes, O Lord$ who this way !orest the o!!spring o! this our death,
being able with a gentle hand to blunt the thorns whi#h were e-#luded !ro Thy
paradise& /or Thy onipoten#y is not !ar !ro us, e(en when we be !ar !ro Thee"
0lse ought ) ore wat#h!ully to ha(e heeded the (oi#e !ro the #louds$ 8e(ertheless
su#h shall ha(e trouble in the !lesh, but ) spare you" And it is good !or a an not to
tou#h a woan" And, he that is unarried thin%eth o! the things o! the Lord, how he
ay please the Lord; but he that is arried #areth !or the things o! this world, how he
ay please his wi!e"
To these words ) should ha(e listened ore attenti(ely, and being se(ered !or the
%ingdo o! hea(en7s sa%e, had ore happily awaited Thy ebra#es; but ), poor
wret#h, !oaed li%e a troubled sea, !ollowing the rushing o! y own tide, !orsa%ing
Thee, and e-#eeded all Thy liits; yet ) es#aped not Thy s#ourges" /or what ortal
#an& /or Thou wert e(er with e er#i!ully rigorous, and besprin%ling with ost
bitter alloy all y unlaw!ul pleasures$ that ) ight see% pleasures without alloy" 1ut
where to !ind su#h, ) #ould not dis#o(er, sa(e in Thee, O Lord, who tea#hest by
sorrow, and woundest us, to heal; and %illest us, lest we die !ro Thee" .here was ),
Boo II
and how !ar was ) e-iled !ro the delights o! Thy house, in that si-teenth year o! the
age o! y !lesh, when the adness o! lust (to whi#h huan shaelessness gi(eth !ree
li#en#e, though unli#ensed by Thy laws) too% the rule o(er e, and ) resigned ysel!
wholly to it& *y !riends eanwhile too% no #are by arriage to sa(e y !all; their
only #are was that ) should learn to spea% e-#ellently, and be a persuasi(e orator"
/or that year were y studies interitted$ whilst a!ter y return !ro *adaura (a
neighbour #ity, whither ) had 2ourneyed to learn graar and rhetori#), the e-penses
!or a !urther 2ourney to ;arthage were being pro(ided !or e; and that rather by the
resolution than the eans o! y !ather, who was but a poor !reean o! Thagaste" To
who tell ) this& not to Thee, y God; but be!ore Thee to ine own %ind, e(en to that
sall portion o! an%ind as ay light upon these writings o! ine" And to what
purpose& that whosoe(er reads this, ay thin% out o! what depths we are to #ry unto
Thee" /or what is nearer to Thine ears than a #on!essing heart, and a li!e o! !aith&
.ho did not e-tol y !ather, !or that beyond the ability o! his eans, he would
!urnish his son with all ne#essaries !or a !ar 2ourney !or his studies7 sa%e& /or any
!ar abler #iti<ens did no su#h thing !or their #hildren" 1ut yet this sae !ather had no
#on#ern how ) grew towards Thee, or how #haste ) were; so that ) were but #opious in
spee#h, howe(er barren ) were to Thy #ulture, O God, who art the only true and good
Lord o! Thy !ield, y heart"
1ut while in that y si-teenth year ) li(ed with y parents, lea(ing all s#hool !or a
while (a season o! idleness being interposed through the narrowness o! y parents7
!ortunes), the briers o! un#lean desires grew ran% o(er y head, and there was no
hand to root the out" .hen that y !ather saw e at the baths, now growing
towards anhood, and endued with a restless youth!ulness, he, as already hen#e
anti#ipating his des#endants, gladly told it to y other; re2oi#ing in that tuult o!
the senses wherein the world !orgetteth Thee its ;reator, and be#oeth enaoured o!
Thy #reature, instead o! Thysel!, through the !ues o! that in(isible wine o! its sel!3
will, turning aside and bowing down to the (ery basest things" 1ut in y other7s
breast Thou hadst already begun Thy teple, and the !oundation o! Thy holy
habitation, whereas y !ather was as yet but a ;ate#huen, and that but re#ently" +he
then was startled with a holy !ear and trebling; and though ) was not as yet baptised,
!eared !or e those #roo%ed ways in whi#h they wal% who turn their ba#% to Thee,
and not their !a#e"
.oe is e6 and dare ) say that Thou heldest Thy pea#e, O y God, while ) wandered
!urther !ro Thee& Didst Thou then indeed hold Thy pea#e to e& And whose but
Thine were these words whi#h by y other, Thy !aith!ul one, Thou sangest in y
ears& 8othing whereo! sun% into y heart, so as to do it" /or she wished, and )
reeber in pri(ate with great an-iety warned e, 9not to #oit !orni#ation; but
espe#ially ne(er to de!ile another an7s wi!e"9 These seeed to e woanish
ad(i#es, whi#h ) should blush to obey" 1ut they were Thine, and ) %new it not$ and )
thought Thou wert silent and that it was she who spa%e; by who Thou wert not silent
unto e; and in her wast despised by e, her son, the son o! Thy handaid, Thy
ser(ant" 1ut ) %new it not; and ran headlong with su#h blindness, that aongst y
e5uals ) was ashaed o! a less shaelessness, when ) heard the boast o! their
!lagitiousness, yea, and the ore boasting, the ore they were degraded$ and ) too%
pleasure, not only in the pleasure o! the deed, but in the praise" .hat is worthy o!
dispraise but (i#e& 1ut ) ade ysel! worse than ) was, that ) ight not be dispraised;
Boo II
and when in any thing ) had not sinned as the abandoned ones, ) would say that ) had
done what ) had not done, that ) ight not see #onteptible in proportion as ) was
inno#ent; or o! less a##ount, the ore #haste"
1ehold with what #opanions ) wal%ed the streets o! 1abylon, and wallowed in the
ire thereo!, as i! in a bed o! spi#es and pre#ious ointents" And that ) ight #lea(e
the !aster to its (ery #entre, the in(isible eney trod e down, and sedu#ed e, !or
that ) was easy to be sedu#ed" 8either did the other o! y !lesh (who had now !led
out o! the #entre o! 1abylon, yet went ore slowly in the s%irts thereo! as she ad(ised
e to #hastity, so heed what she had heard o! e !ro her husband, as to restrain
within the bounds o! #on2ugal a!!e#tion (i! it #ould not be pared away to the 5ui#%)
what she !elt to be pestilent at present and !or the !uture dangerous" +he heeded not
this, !or she !eared lest a wi!e should pro(e a #log and hindran#e to y hopes" 8ot
those hopes o! the world to #oe, whi#h y other reposed in Thee; but the hope o!
learning, whi#h both y parents were too desirous ) should attain; y !ather, be#ause
he had ne-t to no thought o! Thee, and o! e but (ain #on#eits; y other, be#ause
she a##ounted that those usual #ourses o! learning would not only be no hindran#e,
but e(en soe !urtheran#e towards attaining Thee" /or thus ) #on2e#ture, re#alling, as
well as ) ay, the disposition o! y parents" The reins, eantie, were sla#%ened to
e, beyond all teper o! due se(erity, to spend y tie in sport, yea, e(en unto
dissoluteness in whatsoe(er ) a!!e#ted" And in all was a ist, inter#epting !ro e, O
y God, the brightness o! Thy truth; and ine ini5uity burst out as !ro (ery !atness"
The!t is punished by Thy law, O Lord, and the law written in the hearts o! en, whi#h
ini5uity itsel! e!!a#es not" /or what thie! will abide a thie!& not e(en a ri#h thie!, one
stealing through want" 4et ) lusted to thie(e, and did it, #opelled by no hunger, nor
po(erty, but through a #loyedness o! well3doing, and a paperedness o! ini5uity" /or )
stole that, o! whi#h ) had enough, and u#h better" 8or #ared ) to en2oy what ) stole,
but 2oyed in the the!t and sin itsel!" A pear tree there was near our (ineyard, laden with
!ruit, tepting neither !or #olour nor taste" To sha%e and rob this, soe lewd young
!ellows o! us went, late one night (ha(ing a##ording to our pestilent #usto prolonged
our sports in the streets till then), and too% huge loads, not !or our eating, but to !ling
to the (ery hogs, ha(ing only tasted the" And this, but to do what we li%ed only,
be#ause it was isli%ed" 1ehold y heart, O God, behold y heart, whi#h Thou hadst
pity upon in the botto o! the bottoless pit" 8ow, behold, let y heart tell Thee
what it sought there, that ) should be gratuitously e(il, ha(ing no teptation to ill, but
the ill itsel!" )t was !oul, and ) lo(ed it; ) lo(ed to perish, ) lo(ed ine own !ault, not
that !or whi#h ) was !aulty, but y !ault itsel!" /oul soul, !alling !ro Thy !iraent
to utter destru#tion; not see%ing aught through the shae, but the shae itsel!6
/or there is an attra#ti(eness in beauti!ul bodies, in gold and sil(er, and all things; and
in bodily tou#h, sypathy hath u#h in!luen#e, and ea#h other sense hath his proper
ob2e#t answerably tepered" .ordly honour hath also its gra#e, and the power o!
o(er#oing, and o! astery; when#e springs also the thirst o! re(enge" 1ut yet, to
obtain all these, we ay not depart !ro Thee, O Lord, nor de#line !ro Thy law" The
li!e also whi#h here we li(e hath its own en#hantent, through a #ertain proportion o!
its own, and a #orresponden#e with all things beauti!ul here below" 'uan !riendship
also is endeared with a sweet tie, by reason o! the unity !ored o! any souls" :pon
o##asion o! all these, and the li%e, is sin #oitted, while through an ioderate
in#lination towards these goods o! the lowest order, the better and higher are
Boo II
!orsa%en,3 Thou, our Lord God, Thy truth, and Thy law" /or these lower things ha(e
their delights, but not li%e y God, who ade all things; !or in 'i doth the righteous
delight, and 'e is the 2oy o! the upright in heart"
.hen, then, we as% why a #rie was done, we belie(e it not, unless it appear that
there ight ha(e been soe desire o! obtaining soe o! those whi#h we #alled lower
goods, or a !ear o! losing the" /or they are beauti!ul and #oely; although #opared
with those higher and beati!i# goods, they be ab2e#t and low" A an hath urdered
another; why& he lo(ed his wi!e or his estate; or would rob !or his own li(elihood; or
!eared to lose soe su#h things by hi; or, wronged, was on !ire to be re(enged"
.ould any #oit urder upon no #ause, delighted siply in urdering& who would
belie(e it& !or as !or that !urious and sa(age an, o! who it is said that he was
gratuitously e(il and #ruel, yet is the #ause assigned; 9lest9 (saith he) 9through
idleness hand or heart should grow ina#ti(e"9 And to what end& that, through that
pra#ti#e o! guilt, he ight, ha(ing ta%en the #ity, attain to honours, epire, ri#hes, and
be !reed !ro !ear o! the laws, and his ebarrassents !ro doesti# needs, and
#ons#iousness o! (illainies" +o then, not e(en ;atiline hisel! lo(ed his own
(illainies, but soething else, !or whose sa%e he did the"
.hat then did wret#hed ) so lo(e in thee, thou the!t o! ine, thou deed o! dar%ness, in
that si-teenth year o! y age& Lo(ely thou wert not, be#ause thou wert the!t" 1ut art
thou any thing, that thus ) spea% to thee& /air were the pears we stole, be#ause they
were Thy #reation, Thou !airest o! all, ;reator o! all, Thou good God; God, the
so(ereign good and y true good" /air were those pears, but not the did y
wret#hed soul desire; !or ) had store o! better, and those ) gathered, only that ) ight
steal" /or, when gathered, ) !lung the away, y only !east therein being y own sin,
whi#h ) was pleased to en2oy" /or i! aught o! those pears #ae within y outh, what
sweetened it was the sin" And now, O Lord y God, ) en5uire what in that the!t
delighted e; and behold it hath no lo(eliness; ) ean not su#h lo(eliness as in 2usti#e
and wisdo; nor su#h as is in the ind and eory, and senses, and anial li!e o!
an; nor yet as the stars are glorious and beauti!ul in their orbs; or the earth, or sea,
!ull o! ebryo3li!e, repla#ing by its birth that whi#h de#ayeth; nay, nor e(en that !alse
and shadowy beauty whi#h belongeth to de#ei(ing (i#es"
/or so doth pride iitate e-altedness; whereas Thou alone art God e-alted o(er all"
Abition, what see%s it, but honours and glory& whereas Thou alone art to be
honoured abo(e all, and glorious !or e(erore" The #ruelty o! the great would !ain be
!eared; but who is to be !eared but God alone, out o! whose power what #an be
wrested or withdrawn& when, or where, or whither, or by who& The tendernesses o!
the wanton would !ain be #ounted lo(e$ yet is nothing ore tender than Thy #harity;
nor is aught lo(ed ore health!ully than that Thy truth, bright and beauti!ul abo(e all"
;uriosity a%es seblan#e o! a desire o! %nowledge; whereas Thou supreely
%nowest all" 4ea, ignoran#e and !oolishness itsel! is #loa%ed under the nae o!
sipli#ity and unin2uriousness; be#ause nothing is !ound ore single than Thee$ and
what less in2urious, sin#e they are his own wor%s whi#h in2ure the sinner& 4ea, sloth
would !ain be at rest; but what stable rest besides the Lord& Lu-ury a!!e#ts to be
#alled plenty and abundan#e; but Thou art the !ulness and ne(er3!ailing plenteousness
o! in#orruptible pleasures" ,rodigality presents a shadow o! liberality$ but Thou art the
ost o(er!lowing Gi(er o! all good" ;o(etousness would possess any things; and
Thou possessest all things" 0n(y disputes !or e-#ellen#y$ what ore e-#ellent than
Boo II
Thou& Anger see%s re(enge$ who re(enges ore 2ustly than Thou& /ear startles at
things unwonted and sudden, whi#h endangers things belo(ed, and ta%es !orethought
!or their sa!ety; but to Thee what unwonted or sudden, or who separateth !ro Thee
what Thou lo(est& Or where but with Thee is unsha%en sa!ety& Grie! pines away !or
things lost, the delight o! its desires; be#ause it would ha(e nothing ta%en !ro it, as
nothing #an !ro Thee"
Thus doth the soul #oit !orni#ation, when she turns !ro Thee, see%ing without
Thee, what she !indeth not pure and untainted, till she returns to Thee" Thus all
per(ertedly iitate Thee, who reo(e !ar !ro Thee, and li!t thesel(es up against
Thee" 1ut e(en by thus iitating Thee, they iply Thee to be the ;reator o! all
nature; when#e there is no pla#e whither altogether to retire !ro Thee" .hat then did
) lo(e in that the!t& and wherein did ) e(en #orruptly and per(ertedly iitate y
Lord& Did ) wish e(en by stealth to do #ontrary to Thy law, be#ause by power ) #ould
not, so that being a prisoner, ) ight ii# a aied liberty by doing with ipunity
things unperitted e, a dar%ened li%eness o! Thy Onipoten#y& 1ehold, Thy
ser(ant, !leeing !ro his Lord, and obtaining a shadow" O rottenness, O
onstrousness o! li!e, and depth o! death6 #ould ) li%e what ) ight not, only be#ause
) ight not&
.hat shall ) render unto the Lord, that, whilst y eory re#alls these things, y
soul is not a!!righted at the& ) will lo(e Thee, O Lord, and than% Thee, and #on!ess
unto Thy nae; be#ause Thou hast !orgi(en e these so great and heinous deeds o!
ine" To Thy gra#e ) as#ribe it, and to Thy er#y, that Thou hast elted away y
sins as it were i#e" To Thy gra#e ) as#ribe also whatsoe(er ) ha(e not done o! e(il; !or
what ight ) not ha(e done, who e(en lo(ed a sin !or its own sa%e& 4ea, all ) #on!ess
to ha(e been !orgi(en e; both what e(ils ) #oitted by y own wil!ulness, and
what by Thy guidan#e ) #oitted not" .hat an is he, who, weighing his own
in!irity, dares to as#ribe his purity and inno#en#y to his own strength; that so he
should lo(e Thee the less, as i! he had less needed Thy er#y, whereby Thou reittest
sins to those that turn to Thee& /or whosoe(er, #alled by Thee, !ollowed Thy (oi#e,
and a(oided those things whi#h he reads e re#alling and #on!essing o! ysel!, let
hi not s#orn e, who being si#%, was #ured by that ,hysi#ian, through whose aid it
was that he was not, or rather was less, si#%$ and !or this let hi lo(e Thee as u#h,
yea and ore; sin#e by who he sees e to ha(e been re#o(ered !ro su#h deep
#onsuption o! sin, by 'i he sees hisel! to ha(e been !ro the li%e #onsuption
o! sin preser(ed"
.hat !ruit had ) then (wret#hed an6) in those things, o! the reebran#e whereo! )
a now ashaed& 0spe#ially, in that the!t whi#h ) lo(ed !or the the!t7s sa%e; and it too
was nothing, and there!ore the ore iserable ), who lo(ed it" 4et alone ) had not
done it$ su#h was ) then, ) reeber, alone ) had ne(er done it" ) lo(ed then in it also
the #opany o! the a##opli#es, with who ) did it& ) did not then lo(e nothing else
but the the!t, yea rather ) did lo(e nothing else; !or that #ir#ustan#e o! the #opany
was also nothing" .hat is, in truth& who #an tea#h e, sa(e 'e that enlighteneth y
heart, and dis#o(ereth its dar% #orners& .hat is it whi#h hath #oe into y ind to
en5uire, and dis#uss, and #onsider& /or had ) then lo(ed the pears ) stole, and wished
to en2oy the, ) ight ha(e done it alone, had the bare #oission o! the the!t
su!!i#ed to attain y pleasure; nor needed ) ha(e in!laed the it#hing o! y desires
Boo II
by the e-#iteent o! a##opli#es" 1ut sin#e y pleasure was not in those pears, it
was in the o!!en#e itsel!, whi#h the #opany o! !ellow3sinners o##asioned"
.hat then was this !eeling& /or o! a truth it was too !oul$ and woe was e, who had
it" 1ut yet what was it& .ho #an understand his errors& )t was the sport, whi#h as it
were ti#%led our hearts, that we beguiled those who little thought what we were doing,
and u#h disli%ed it" .hy then was y delight o! su#h sort that ) did it not alone&
1e#ause none doth ordinarily laugh alone& ordinarily no one; yet laughter soeties
asters en alone and singly when on one whate(er is with the, i! anything (ery
ludi#rous presents itsel! to their senses or ind" 4et ) had not done this alone; alone )
had ne(er done it" 1ehold y God, be!ore Thee, the (i(id reebran#e o! y soul;
alone, ) had ne(er #oitted that the!t wherein what ) stole pleased e not, but that )
stole; nor had it alone li%ed e to do it, nor had ) done it" O !riendship too un!riendly6
thou in#oprehensible in(eigler o! the soul, thou greediness to do is#hie! out o!
irth and wantonness, thou thirst o! others7 loss, without lust o! y own gain or
re(enge$ but when it is said, 9Let7s go, let7s do it,9 we are ashaed not to be
shaeless"
.ho #an disentangle that twisted and intri#ate %nottiness& /oul is it$ ) hate to thin% on
it, to loo% on it" 1ut Thee ) long !or, O @ighteousness and )nno#en#y, beauti!ul and
#oely to all pure eyes, and o! a satis!a#tion unsating" .ith Thee is rest entire, and
li!e iperturbable" .hoso enters into Thee, enters into the 2oy o! his Lord$ and shall
not !ear, and shall do e-#ellently in the All30-#ellent" ) san% away !ro Thee, and )
wandered, O y God, too u#h astray !ro Thee y stay, in these days o! y youth,
and ) be#ae to ysel! a barren land"
Boo III
BOO. III
To ;arthage ) #ae, where there sang all around e in y ears a #auldron o! unholy
lo(es" ) lo(ed not yet, yet ) lo(ed to lo(e, and out o! a deep3seated want, ) hated
ysel! !or wanting not" ) sought what ) ight lo(e, in lo(e with lo(ing, and sa!ety )
hated, and a way without snares" /or within e was a !aine o! that inward !ood,
Thysel!, y God; yet, through that !aine ) was not hungered; but was without all
longing !or in#orruptible sustenan#e, not be#ause !illed therewith, but the ore epty,
the ore ) loathed it" /or this #ause y soul was si#%ly and !ull o! sores, it iserably
#ast itsel! !orth, desiring to be s#raped by the tou#h o! ob2e#ts o! sense" 4et i! these
had not a soul, they would not be ob2e#ts o! lo(e" To lo(e then, and to be belo(ed, was
sweet to e; but ore, when ) obtained to en2oy the person ) lo(ed, ) de!iled,
there!ore, the spring o! !riendship with the !ilth o! #on#upis#en#e, and ) be#louded its
brightness with the hell o! lust!ulness; and thus !oul and unseely, ) would !ain,
through e-#eeding (anity, be !ine and #ourtly" ) !ell headlong then into the lo(e
wherein ) longed to be ensnared" *y God, y *er#y, with how u#h gall didst Thou
out o! Thy great goodness besprin%le !or e that sweetness& /or ) was both belo(ed,
and se#retly arri(ed at the bond o! en2oying; and was with 2oy !ettered with sorrow3
bringing bonds, that ) ight be s#ourged with the iron burning rods o! 2ealousy, and
suspi#ions, and !ears, and angers, and 5uarrels"
+tage3plays also #arried e away, !ull o! iages o! y iseries, and o! !uel to y
!ire" .hy is it, that an desires to be ade sad, beholding dole!ul and tragi#al things,
whi#h yet hisel! would no eans su!!er& yet he desires as a spe#tator to !eel sorrow
at the, this (ery sorrow is his pleasure" .hat is this but a iserable adness& !or a
an is the ore a!!e#ted with these a#tions, the less !ree he is !ro su#h a!!e#tions"
'owsoe(er, when he su!!ers in his own person, it uses to be styled isery$ when he
#opassionates others, then it is er#y" 1ut what sort o! #opassion is this !or
!eigned and s#eni#al passions& !or the auditor is not #alled on to relie(e, but only to
grie(e$ and he applauds the a#tor o! these !i#tions the ore, the ore he grie(es" And
i! the #alaities o! those persons (whether o! old ties, or ere !i#tion) be so a#ted,
that the spe#tator is not o(ed to tears, he goes away disgusted and #riti#ising; but i!
he be o(ed to passion, he stays intent, and weeps !or 2oy"
Are grie!s then too lo(ed& >erily all desire 2oy" Or whereas no an li%es to be
iserable, is he yet pleased to be er#i!ul& whi#h be#ause it #annot be without
passion, !or this reason alone are passions lo(ed& This also springs !ro that (ein o!
!riendship" 1ut whither goes that (ein& whither !lows it& where!ore runs it into that
torrent o! pit#h bubbling !orth those onstrous tides o! !oul lust!ulness, into whi#h it
is wil!ully #hanged and trans!ored, being o! its own will pre#ipitated and #orrupted
!ro its hea(enly #learness& +hall #opassion then be put away& by no eans" 1e
grie!s then soeties lo(ed" 1ut beware o! un#leanness, O y soul, under the
guardianship o! y God, the God o! our !athers, who is to be praised and e-alted
abo(e all !or e(er, beware o! un#leanness" /or ) ha(e not now #eased to pity; but then
in the theatres ) re2oi#ed with lo(ers when they wi#%edly en2oyed one another,
although this was iaginary only in the play" And when they lost one another, as i!
(ery #opassionate, ) sorrowed with the, yet had y delight in both" 1ut now )
u#h ore pity hi that re2oi#eth in his wi#%edness, than hi who is thought to
Boo III
su!!er hardship, by issing soe perni#ious pleasure, and the loss o! soe iserable
!eli#ity" This #ertainly is the truer er#y, but in it grie! delights not" /or though he that
grie(es !or the iserable, be #oended !or his o!!i#e o! #harity; yet had he, who is
genuinely #opassionate, rather there were nothing !or hi to grie(e !or" /or i! good
will be ill willed (whi#h #an ne(er be), then ay he, who truly and sin#erely
#oiserates, wish there ight be soe iserable, that he ight #oiserate" +oe
sorrow ay then be allowed, none lo(ed" /or thus dost Thou, O Lord God, who lo(est
souls !ar ore purely than we, and hast ore in#orruptibly pity on the, yet are
wounded with no sorrow!ulness" And who is su!!i#ient !or these things&
1ut ), iserable, then lo(ed to grie(e, and sought out what to grie(e at, when in
another7s and that !eigned and personated isery, that a#ting best pleased e, and
attra#ted e the ost (eheently, whi#h drew tears !ro e" .hat ar(el that an
unhappy sheep, straying !ro Thy !lo#%, and ipatient o! Thy %eeping, ) be#ae
in!e#ted with a !oul disease& And hen#e the lo(e o! grie!s; not su#h as should sin%
deep into e; !or ) lo(ed not to su!!er, what ) lo(ed to loo% on; but su#h as upon
hearing their !i#tions should lightly s#rat#h the sur!a#e; upon whi#h, as on en(enoed
nails, !ollowed in!laed swelling, ipostues, and a putre!ied sore" *y li!e being
su#h, was it li!e, O y God&
And Thy !aith!ul er#y ho(ered o(er e a!ar" :pon how grie(ous ini5uities
#onsued ) ysel!, pursuing a sa#rilegious #uriosity, that ha(ing !orsa%en Thee, it
ight bring e to the trea#herous abyss, and the beguiling ser(i#e o! de(ils, to who
) sa#ri!i#ed y e(il a#tions, and in all these things Thou didst s#ourge e6 ) dared
e(en, while Thy solenities were #elebrated within the walls o! Thy ;hur#h, to
desire, and to #opass a business deser(ing death !or its !ruits, !or whi#h Thou
s#ourgedst e with grie(ous punishents, though nothing to y !ault, O Thou y
e-#eeding er#y, y God, y re!uge !ro those terrible destroyers, aong who )
wandered with a sti!! ne#%, withdrawing !urther !ro Thee, lo(ing ine own ways,
and not Thine; lo(ing a (agrant liberty"
Those studies also, whi#h were a##ounted #oendable, had a (iew to e-#elling in
the #ourts o! litigation; the ore bepraised, the #ra!tier" +u#h is en7s blindness,
glorying e(en in their blindness" And now ) was #hie! in the rhetori# s#hool, whereat )
2oyed proudly, and ) swelled with arrogan#y, though (Lord, Thou %nowest) !ar 5uieter
and altogether reo(ed !ro the sub(ertings o! those 9+ub(erters9 (!or this ill3
oened and de(ilish nae was the (ery badge o! gallantry) aong who ) li(ed,
with a shaeless shae that ) was not e(en as they" .ith the ) li(ed, and was
soeties delighted with their !riendship, whose doings ) e(er did abhor 3i"e", their
9sub(ertings,9 wherewith they wantonly perse#uted the odesty o! strangers, whi#h
they disturbed by a gratuitous 2eering, !eeding thereon their ali#ious birth" 8othing
#an be li%er the (ery a#tions o! de(ils than these" .hat then #ould they be ore truly
#alled than 9+ub(erters9& thesel(es sub(erted and altogether per(erted !irst, the
de#ei(ing spirits se#retly deriding and sedu#ing the, wherein thesel(es delight to
2eer at and de#ei(e others"
Aong su#h as these, in that unsettled age o! ine, learned ) boo%s o! elo5uen#e,
wherein ) desired to be einent, out o! a danable and (ainglorious end, a 2oy in
huan (anity" )n the ordinary #ourse o! study, ) !ell upon a #ertain boo% o! ;i#ero,
whose spee#h alost all adire, not so his heart" This boo% o! his #ontains an
Boo III
e-hortation to philosophy, and is #alled 9'ortensius"9 1ut this boo% altered y
a!!e#tions, and turned y prayers to Thysel! O Lord; and ade e ha(e other
purposes and desires" 0(ery (ain hope at on#e be#ae worthless to e; and ) longed
with an in#redibly burning desire !or an iortality o! wisdo, and began now to
arise, that ) ight return to Thee" /or not to sharpen y tongue (whi#h thing ) seeed
to be pur#hasing with y other7s allowan#es, in that y nineteenth year, y !ather
being dead two years be!ore), not to sharpen y tongue did ) eploy that boo%; nor
did it in!use into e its style, but its atter"
'ow did ) burn then, y God, how did ) burn to re3ount !ro earthly things to
Thee, nor %new ) what Thou wouldest do with e& /or with Thee is wisdo" 1ut the
lo(e o! wisdo is in Gree% #alled 9philosophy,9 with whi#h that boo% in!laed e"
+oe there be that sedu#e through philosophy, under a great, and sooth, and
honourable nae #olouring and disguising their own errors$ and alost all who in that
and !orer ages were su#h, are in that boo% #ensured and set !orth$ there also is ade
plain that wholesoe ad(i#e o! Thy +pirit, by Thy good and de(out ser(ant$ 1eware
lest any an spoil you through philosophy and (ain de#eit, a!ter the tradition o! en,
a!ter the rudients o! the world, and not a!ter ;hrist" /or in 'i dwelleth all the
!ulness o! the Godhead bodily" And sin#e at that tie (Thou, O light o! y heart,
%nowest) Apostoli# +#ripture was not %nown to e, ) was delighted with that
e-hortation, so !ar only, that ) was thereby strongly roused, and %indled, and in!laed
to lo(e, and see%, and obtain, and hold, and ebra#e not this or that se#t, but wisdo
itsel! whate(er it were; and this alone #he#%ed e thus un%indled, that the nae o!
;hrist was not in it" /or this nae, a##ording to Thy er#y, O Lord, this nae o! y
+a(iour Thy +on, had y tender heart, e(en with y other7s il%, de(outly drun% in
and deeply treasured; and whatsoe(er was without that nae, though ne(er so
learned, polished, or true, too% not entire hold o! e"
) resol(ed then to bend y ind to the holy +#riptures, that ) ight see what they
were" 1ut behold, ) see a thing not understood by the proud, nor laid open to #hildren,
lowly in a##ess, in its re#esses lo!ty, and (eiled with ysteries; and ) was not su#h as
#ould enter into it, or stoop y ne#% to !ollow its steps" /or not as ) now spea%, did )
!eel when ) turned to those +#riptures; but they seeed to e unworthy to he
#opared to the stateliness o! Tully$ !or y swelling pride shrun% !ro their
lowliness, nor #ould y sharp wit pier#e the interior thereo!" 4et were they su#h as
would grow up in a little one" 1ut ) disdained to be a little one; and, swollen with
pride, too% ysel! to be a great one"
There!ore ) !ell aong en proudly doting, e-#eeding #arnal and prating, in whose
ouths were the snares o! the De(il, lied with the i-ture o! the syllables o! Thy
nae, and o! our Lord =esus ;hrist, and o! the 'oly Ghost, the ,ara#lete, our
;o!orter" These naes departed not out o! their outh, but so !ar !orth as the sound
only and the noise o! the tongue, !or the heart was (oid o! truth" 4et they #ried out
9Truth, Truth,9 and spa%e u#h thereo! to e, yet it was not in the$ but they spa%e
!alsehood, not o! Thee only (who truly art Truth), but e(en o! those eleents o! this
world, Thy #reatures" And ) indeed ought to ha(e passed by e(en philosophers who
spa%e truth #on#erning the, !or lo(e o! Thee, y /ather, supreely good, 1eauty o!
all things beauti!ul" O Truth, Truth, how inwardly did e(en then the arrow o! y
soul pant a!ter Thee, when they o!ten and di(ersely, and in any and huge boo%s,
e#hoed o! Thee to e, though it was but an e#ho& And these were the dishes wherein
Boo III
to e, hungering a!ter Thee, they, instead o! Thee, ser(ed up the +un and *oon,
beauti!ul wor%s o! Thine, but yet Thy wor%s, not Thysel!, no nor Thy !irst wor%s" /or
Thy spiritual wor%s are be!ore these #orporeal wor%s, #elestial though they be, and
shining" 1ut ) hungered and thirsted not e(en a!ter those !irst wor%s o! Thine, but a!ter
Thee Thysel!, the Truth, in who is no (ariableness, neither shadow o! turning$ yet
they still set be!ore e in those dishes, glittering !antasies, than whi#h better were it
to lo(e this (ery sun (whi#h is real to our sight at least), than those !antasies whi#h by
our eyes de#ei(e our ind" 4et be#ause ) thought the to be Thee, ) !ed thereon; not
eagerly, !or Thou didst not in the taste to e as Thou art; !or Thou wast not these
eptinesses, nor was ) nourished by the, but e-hausted rather" /ood in sleep shows
(ery li%e our !ood awa%e; yet are not those asleep nourished by it, !or they are asleep"
1ut those were not e(en any way li%e to Thee, as Thou hast now spo%en to e; !or
those were #orporeal !antasies, !alse bodies, than whi#h these true bodies, #elestial or
terrestrial, whi#h with our !leshly sight we behold, are !ar ore #ertain$ these things
the beasts and birds dis#ern as well as we, and they are ore #ertain than when we
!an#y the" And again, we do with ore #ertainty !an#y the, than by the
#on2e#ture other (aster and in!inite bodies whi#h ha(e no being" +u#h epty hus%s
was ) then !ed on; and was not !ed" 1ut Thou, y soul7s Lo(e, in loo%ing !or who )
!ail, that ) ay be#oe strong, art neither those bodies whi#h we see, though in
hea(en; nor those whi#h we see not there; !or Thou hast #reated the, nor dost Thou
a##ount the aong the #hie!est o! Thy wor%s" 'ow !ar then art Thou !ro those
!antasies o! ine, !antasies o! bodies whi#h altogether are not, than whi#h the iages
o! those bodies, whi#h are, are !ar ore #ertain, and ore #ertain still the bodies
thesel(es, whi#h yet Thou art not; no, nor yet the soul, whi#h is the li!e o! the
bodies" +o then, better and ore #ertain is the li!e o! the bodies than the bodies" 1ut
Thou art the li!e o! souls, the li!e o! li(es, ha(ing li!e in Thysel!; and #hangest not, li!e
o! y soul"
.here then wert Thou then to e, and how !ar !ro e& /ar (erily was ) straying
!ro Thee, barred !ro the (ery hus%s o! the swine, who with hus%s ) !ed" /or how
u#h better are the !ables o! poets and graarians than these snares& /or (erses,
and poes, and 9*edea !lying,9 are ore pro!itable truly than these en7s !i(e
eleents, (ariously disguised, answering to !i(e dens o! dar%ness, whi#h ha(e no
being, yet slay the belie(er" /or (erses and poes ) #an turn to true !ood, and 9*edea
!lying,9 though ) did sing, ) aintained not; though ) heard it sung, ) belie(ed not$ but
those things ) did belie(e" .oe, woe, by what steps was ) brought down to the depths
o! hell6 toiling and turoiling through want o! Truth, sin#e ) sought a!ter Thee, y
God (to Thee ) #on!ess it, who hadst er#y on e, not as yet #on!essing), not
a##ording to the understanding o! the ind, wherein Thou willedst that ) should e-#el
the beasts, but a##ording to the sense o! the !lesh" 1ut Thou wert ore inward to e
than y ost inward part; and higher than y highest" ) lighted upon that bold
woan, siple and %noweth nothing, shadowed out in +oloon, sitting at the door,
and saying, 0at ye bread o! se#re#ies willingly, and drin% ye stolen waters whi#h are
sweet$ she sedu#ed e, be#ause she !ound y soul dwelling abroad in the eye o! y
!lesh, and ruinating on su#h !ood as through it ) had de(oured"
/or other than this, that whi#h really is ) %new not; and was, as it were through
sharpness o! wit, persuaded to assent to !oolish de#ei(ers, when they as%ed e,
9when#e is e(il&9 9is God bounded by a bodily shape, and has hairs and nails&9 9are
they to be esteeed righteous who had any wi(es at on#e, and did %ill en, and
Boo III
sa#ri!i#e li(ing #reatures&9 At whi#h ), in y ignoran#e, was u#h troubled, and
departing !ro the truth, seeed to ysel! to be a%ing towards it; be#ause as yet )
%new not that e(il was nothing but a pri(ation o! good, until at last a thing #eases
altogether to be; whi#h how should ) see, the sight o! whose eyes rea#hed only to
bodies, and o! y ind to a phantas& And ) %new not God to be a +pirit, not one
who hath parts e-tended in length and breadth, or whose being was bul%; !or e(ery
bul% is less in a part than in the whole$ and i! it be in!inite, it ust be less in su#h part
as is de!ined by a #ertain spa#e, than in its in!initude; and so is not wholly e(ery
where, as +pirit, as God" And what that should be in us, by whi#h we were li%e to
God, and ight be rightly said to be a!ter the iage o! God, ) was altogether ignorant"
8or %new ) that true inward righteousness whi#h 2udgeth not a##ording to #usto, but
out o! the ost right!ul law o! God Alighty, whereby the ways o! pla#es and ties
were disposed a##ording to those ties and pla#es; itsel! eantie being the sae
always and e(ery where, not one thing in one pla#e, and another in another; a##ording
to whi#h Abraha, and )saa#, and =a#ob, and *oses, and Da(id, were righteous, and
all those #oended by the outh o! God; but were 2udged unrighteous by silly en,
2udging out o! an7s 2udgent, and easuring by their own petty habits, the oral
habits o! the whole huan ra#e" As i! in an arory, one ignorant o! what were adapted
to ea#h part should #o(er his head with grea(es, or see% to be shod with a helet, and
#oplain that they !itted not$ or as i! on a day when business is publi#ly stopped in
the a!ternoon, one were angered at not being allowed to %eep open shop, be#ause he
had been in the !orenoon; or when in one house he obser(eth soe ser(ant ta%e a
thing in his hand, whi#h the butler is not su!!ered to eddle with; or soething
peritted out o! doors, whi#h is !orbidden in the dining3roo; and should be angry,
that in one house, and one !aily, the sae thing is not allotted e(ery where, and to
all" 0(en su#h are they who are !retted to hear soething to ha(e been law!ul !or
righteous en !orerly, whi#h now is not; or that God, !or #ertain teporal respe#ts,
#oanded the one thing, and these another, obeying both the sae righteousness$
whereas they see, in one an, and one day, and one house, di!!erent things to be !it !or
di!!erent ebers, and a thing !orerly law!ul, a!ter a #ertain tie not so; in one
#orner peritted or #oanded, but in another rightly !orbidden and punished" )s
2usti#e there!ore (arious or utable& 8o, but the ties, o(er whi#h it presides, !low
not e(enly, be#ause they are ties" 1ut en whose days are !ew upon the earth, !or
that by their senses they #annot haronise the #auses o! things in !orer ages and
other nations, whi#h they had not e-perien#e o!, with these whi#h they ha(e
e-perien#e o!, whereas in one and the sae body, day, or !aily, they easily see what
is !itting !or ea#h eber, and season, part, and person; to the one they ta%e
e-#eptions, to the other they subit"
These things ) then %new not, nor obser(ed; they stru#% y sight on all sides, and )
saw the not" ) indited (erses, in whi#h ) ight not pla#e e(ery !oot e(ery where, but
di!!erently in di!!erent etres; nor e(en in any one etre the sel!3sae !oot in all
pla#es" 4et the art itsel!, by whi#h ) indited, had not di!!erent prin#iples !or these
di!!erent #ases, but #oprised all in one" +till ) saw not how that righteousness, whi#h
good and holy en obeyed, did !ar ore e-#ellently and subliely #ontain in one all
those things whi#h God #oanded, and in no part (aried; although in (arying ties
it pres#ribed not e(ery thing at on#e, but apportioned and en2oined what was !it !or
ea#h" And ) in y blindness, #ensured the holy /athers, not only wherein they ade
Boo III
use o! things present as God #oanded and inspired the, but also wherein they
were !oretelling things to #oe, as God was re(ealing in the"
;an it at any tie or pla#e be un2ust to lo(e God with all his heart, with all his soul,
and with all his ind; and his neighbour as hisel!& There!ore are those !oul o!!en#es
whi#h be against nature, to be e(ery where and at all ties detested and punished;
su#h as were those o! the en o! +odo$ whi#h should all nations #oit, they
should all stand guilty o! the sae #rie, by the law o! God, whi#h hath not so ade
en that they should so abuse one another" /or e(en that inter#ourse whi#h should be
between God and us is (iolated, when that sae nature, o! whi#h 'e is Author, is
polluted by per(ersity o! lust" 1ut those a#tions whi#h are o!!en#es against the
#ustos o! en, are to be a(oided a##ording to the #ustos se(erally pre(ailing; so
that a thing agreed upon, and #on!ired, by #usto or law o! any #ity or nation, ay
not be (iolated at the lawless pleasure o! any, whether nati(e or !oreigner" /or any
part whi#h haroniseth not with its whole, is o!!ensi(e" 1ut when God #oands a
thing to be done, against the #ustos or #opa#t o! any people, though it were ne(er
by the done hereto!ore, it is to be done; and i! interitted, it is to be restored; and i!
ne(er ordained, is now to be ordained" /or law!ul i! it he !or a %ing, in the state whi#h
he reigns o(er, to #oand that whi#h no one be!ore hi, nor he hisel! hereto!ore,
had #oanded, and to obey hi #annot be against the #oon weal o! the state
(nay, it were against it i! he were not obeyed, !or to obey prin#es is a general #opa#t
o! huan so#iety); how u#h ore unhesitatingly ought we to obey God, in all whi#h
'e #oands, the @uler o! all 'is #reatures6 /or as aong the powers in an7s
so#iety, the greater authority is obeyed in pre!eren#e to the lesser, so ust God abo(e
all"
+o in a#ts o! (iolen#e, where there is a wish to hurt, whether by reproa#h or in2ury;
and these either !or re(enge, as one eney against another; or !or soe pro!it
belonging to another, as the robber to the tra(eller; or to a(oid soe e(il, as towards
one who is !eared; or through en(y, as one less !ortunate to one ore so, or one well
thri(en in any thing, to hi whose being on a par with hisel! he !ears, or grie(es at,
or !or the ere pleasure at another7s pain, as spe#tators o! gladiators, or deriders and
o#%ers o! others" These be the heads o! ini5uity whi#h spring !ro the lust o! the
!lesh, o! the eye, or o! rule, either singly, or two #obined, or all together; and so do
en li(e ill against the three, and se(en, that psaltery o! o!ten strings, Thy Ten
;oandents, O God, ost high, and ost sweet" 1ut what !oul o!!en#es #an there
be against Thee, who #anst not be de!iled& or what a#ts o! (iolen#e against Thee, who
#anst not be hared& 1ut Thou a(engest what en #oit against thesel(es, seeing
also when they sin against Thee, they do wi#%edly against their own souls, and
ini5uity gi(es itsel! the lie, by #orrupting and per(erting their nature, whi#h Thou hast
#reated and ordained, or by an ioderate use o! things allowed, or in burning in
things unallowed, to that use whi#h is against nature; or are !ound guilty, raging with
heart and tongue against Thee, %i#%ing against the pri#%s; or when, bursting the pale
o! huan so#iety, they boldly 2oy in sel!3willed #obinations or di(isions, a##ording
as they ha(e any ob2e#t to gain or sub2e#t o! o!!en#e" And these things are done when
Thou art !orsa%en, O /ountain o! Li!e, who art the only and true ;reator and
Go(ernor o! the :ni(erse, and by a sel!3willed pride, any one !alse thing is sele#ted
there!ro and lo(ed" +o then by a huble de(outness we return to Thee; and Thou
#leansest us !ro our e(il habits, and art er#i!ul to their sins who #on!ess, and
hearest the groaning o! the prisoner, and loosest us !ro the #hains whi#h we ade
Boo III
!or oursel(es, i! we li!t not up against Thee the horns o! an unreal liberty, su!!ering the
loss o! all, through #o(etousness o! ore, by lo(ing ore our own pri(ate good than
Thee, the Good o! all"
Aidst these o!!en#es o! !oulness and (iolen#e, and so any ini5uities, are sins o!
en, who are on the whole a%ing pro!i#ien#y; whi#h by those that 2udge rightly, are,
a!ter the rule o! per!e#tion, dis#oended, yet the persons #oended, upon hope o!
!uture !ruit, as in the green blade o! growing #orn" And there are soe, resebling
o!!en#es o! !oulness or (iolen#e, whi#h yet are no sins; be#ause they o!!end neither
Thee, our Lord God, nor huan so#iety; when, naely, things !itting !or a gi(en
period are obtained !or the ser(i#e o! li!e, and we %now not whether out o! a lust o!
ha(ing; or when things are, !or the sa%e o! #orre#tion, by #onstituted authority
punished, and we %now not whether out o! a lust o! hurting" *any an a#tion then
whi#h in en7s sight is disappro(ed, is by Thy testiony appro(ed; and any, by en
praised, are (Thou being witness) #ondened$ be#ause the show o! the a#tion, and the
ind o! the doer, and the un%nown e-igen#y o! the period, se(erally (ary" 1ut when
Thou on a sudden #oandest an unwonted and unthought o! thing, yea, although
Thou hast soetie !orbidden it, and still !or the tie hidest the reason o! Thy
#oand, and it be against the ordinan#e o! soe so#iety o! en, who doubts but it is
to be done, seeing that so#iety o! en is 2ust whi#h ser(es Thee& 1ut blessed are they
who %now Thy #oands6 /or all things were done by Thy ser(ants; either to show
!orth soething need!ul !or the present, or to !oreshow things to #oe"
These things ) being ignorant o!, s#o!!ed at those Thy holy ser(ants and prophets" And
what gained ) by s#o!!ing at the, but to be s#o!!ed at by Thee, being insensibly and
step by step drawn on to those !ollies, as to belie(e that a !ig3tree wept when it was
plu#%ed, and the tree, its other, shed il%y tears& .hi#h !ig notwithstanding
(plu#%ed by soe other7s, not his own, guilt) had soe *ani#haean saint eaten, and
ingled with his bowels, he should breathe out o! it angels, yea, there shall burst !orth
parti#les o! di(inity, at e(ery oan or groan in his prayer, whi#h parti#les o! the ost
high and true God had reained bound in that !ig, unless they had been set at liberty
by the teeth or belly o! soe 90le#t9 saint6 And ), iserable, belie(ed that ore
er#y was to be shown to the !ruits o! the earth than en, !or who they were
#reated" /or i! any one an hungered, not a *ani#haean, should as% !or any, that orsel
would see as it were #ondened to #apital punishent, whi#h should be gi(en hi"
And Thou sentest Thine hand !ro abo(e, and drewest y soul out o! that pro!ound
dar%ness, y other, Thy !aith!ul one, weeping to Thee !or e, ore than others
weep the bodily deaths o! their #hildren" /or she, by that !aith and spirit whi#h she
had !ro Thee, dis#erned the death wherein ) lay, and Thou heardest her, O Lord;
Thou heardest her, and despisedst not her tears, when streaing down, they watered
the ground under her eyes in e(ery pla#e where she prayed; yea Thou heardest her"
/or when#e was that drea whereby Thou #o!ortedst her; so that she allowed e to
li(e with her, and to eat at the sae table in the house, whi#h she had begun to shrin%
!ro, abhorring and detesting the blaspheies o! y error& /or she saw hersel!
standing on a #ertain wooden rule, and a shining youth #oing towards her, #heer!ul
and siling upon her, hersel! grie(ing, and o(erwheled with grie!" 1ut he ha(ing (in
order to instru#t, as is their wont not to be instru#ted) en5uired o! her the #auses o! her
grie! and daily tears, and she answering that she was bewailing y perdition, he bade
her rest #ontented, and told her to loo% and obser(e, 9That where she was, there was )
Boo III
also"9 And when she loo%ed, she saw e standing by her in the sae rule" .hen#e
was this, but that Thine ears were towards her heart& O Thou Good onipotent, who
so #arest !or e(ery one o! us, as i! Thou #aredst !or hi only; and so !or all, as i! they
were but one6
.hen#e was this also, that when she had told e this (ision, and ) would !ain bend it
to ean, 9That she rather should not despair o! being one day what ) was9; she
presently, without any hesitation, replies$ 98o; !or it was not told e that, 7where he,
there thou also7; but 7where thou, there he also7&9 ) #on!ess to Thee, O Lord, that to the
best o! y reebran#e (and ) ha(e o!t spo%en o! this), that Thy answer, through y
wa%ing other, 3that she was not perple-ed by the plausibility o! y !alse
interpretation, and so 5ui#%ly saw what was to be seen, and whi#h ) #ertainly had not
per#ei(ed be!ore she spa%e, 3e(en then o(ed e ore than the drea itsel!, by
whi#h a 2oy to the holy woan, to be !ul!illed so long a!ter, was, !or the #onsolation
o! her present anguish, so long be!ore !oresigni!ied" /or alost nine years passed, in
whi#h ) wallowed in the ire o! that deep pit, and the dar%ness o! !alsehood, o!ten
assaying to rise, but dashed down the ore grie(ously" All whi#h tie that #haste,
godly, and sober widow (su#h as Thou lo(est), now ore #heered with hope, yet no
whit rela-ing in her weeping and ourning, #eased not at all hours o! her de(otions to
bewail y #ase unto Thee" And her prayers entered into Thy presen#e; and yet Thou
su!!eredst e to be yet in(ol(ed and rein(ol(ed in that dar%ness"
Thou ga(est her eantie another answer, whi#h ) #all to ind; !or u#h ) pass by,
hasting to those things whi#h ore press e to #on!ess unto Thee, and u#h ) do not
reeber" Thou ga(est her then another answer, by a ,riest o! Thine, a #ertain 1ishop
brought up in Thy ;hur#h, and well studied in Thy boo%s" .ho when this woan
had entreated to (ou#hsa!e to #on(erse with e, re!ute y errors, untea#h e ill
things, and tea#h e good things (!or this he was wont to do, when he !ound persons
!itted to re#ei(e it), he re!used, wisely, as ) a!terwards per#ei(ed" /or he answered,
that ) was yet untea#hable, being pu!!ed up with the no(elty o! that heresy, and had
already perple-ed di(ers uns%il!ul persons with #aptious 5uestions, as she had told
hi$ 9but let hi alone a while9 (saith he), 9only pray God !or hi, he will o! hisel!
by reading !ind what that error is, and how great its ipiety"9 At the sae tie he told
her, how hisel!, when a little one, had by his sedu#ed other been #onsigned o(er to
the *ani#hees, and had not only read, but !re5uently #opied out alost all, their
boo%s, and had (without any arguent or proo! !ro any one) seen how u#h that
se#t was to be a(oided; and had a(oided it" .hi#h when he had said, and she would
not be satis!ied, but urged hi ore, with entreaties and any tears, that he would see
e and dis#ourse with e; he, a little displeased at her iportunity, saith, 9Go thy
ways and God bless thee, !or it is not possible that the son o! these tears should
perish"9 .hi#h answer she too% (as she o!ten entioned in her #on(ersations with e)
as i! it had sounded !ro hea(en"
Boo I!
BOO. I!
/or this spa#e o! nine years (!ro y nineteenth year to y eight3and3twentieth) we
li(ed sedu#ed and sedu#ing, de#ei(ed and de#ei(ing, in di(ers lusts; openly, by
s#ien#es whi#h they #all liberal; se#retly, with a !alse3naed religion; here proud,
there superstitious, e(ery where (ain" 'ere, hunting a!ter the eptiness o! popular
praise, down e(en to theatri#al applauses, and poeti# pri<es, and stri!es !or grassy
garlands, and the !ollies o! shows, and the inteperan#e o! desires" There, desiring to
be #leansed !ro these de!ileents, by #arrying !ood to those who were #alled 9ele#t9
and 9holy,9 out o! whi#h, in the wor%house o! their stoa#hs, they should !orge !or us
Angels and Gods, by who we ight be #leansed" These things did ) !ollow, and
pra#tise with y !riends, de#ei(ed by e, and with e" Let the arrogant o#% e,
and su#h as ha(e not been, to their soul7s health, stri#%en and #ast down by Thee, O
y God; but ) would still #on!ess to Thee ine own shae in Thy praise" +u!!er e, )
besee#h Thee, and gi(e e gra#e to go o(er in y present reebran#e the
wanderings o! y !orepassed tie, and to o!!er unto Thee the sa#ri!i#e o!
than%sgi(ing" /or what a ) to ysel! without Thee, but a guide to ine own
down!all& or what a ) e(en at the best, but an in!ant su#%ing the il% Thou gi(est,
and !eeding upon Thee, the !ood that perisheth not& 1ut what sort o! an is any an,
seeing he is but a an& Let now the strong and the ighty laugh at us, but let us poor
and needy #on!ess unto Thee"
)n those years ) taught rhetori#, and, o(er#oe by #upidity, ade sale o! a lo5ua#ity to
o(er#oe by" 4et ) pre!erred (Lord, Thou %nowest) honest s#holars (as they are
a##ounted), and these ), without arti!i#e, taught arti!i#es, not to be pra#tised against
the li!e o! the guiltless, though soeties !or the li!e o! the guilty" And Thou, O God,
!ro a!ar per#ei(edst e stubling in that slippery #ourse, and aid u#h so%e
sending out soe spar%s o! !aith!ulness, whi#h ) showed in that y guidan#e o! su#h
as lo(ed (anity, and sought a!ter leasing, ysel! their #opanion" )n those years ) had
one, 3not in that whi#h is #alled law!ul arriage, but who ) had !ound out in a
wayward passion, (oid o! understanding; yet but one, reaining !aith!ul e(en to her;
in who ) in y own #ase e-perien#ed what di!!eren#e there is betwi-t the sel!3
restraint o! the arriage3#o(enant, !or the sa%e o! issue, and the bargain o! a lust!ul
lo(e, where #hildren are born against their parents7 will, although, on#e born, they
#onstrain lo(e"
) reeber also, that when ) had settled to enter the lists !or a theatri#al pri<e, soe
wi<ard as%ed e what ) would gi(e hi to win; but ), detesting and abhorring su#h
!oul ysteries, answered, 9Though the garland were o! iperishable gold, ) would not
su!!er a !ly to be %illed to gain e it" 9 /or he was to %ill soe li(ing #reatures in his
sa#ri!i#es, and by those honours to in(ite the de(ils to !a(our e" 1ut this ill also )
re2e#ted, not out o! a pure lo(e !or Thee, O God o! y heart; !or ) %new not how to
lo(e Thee, who %new not how to #on#ei(e aught beyond a aterial brightness" And
doth not a soul, sighing a!ter su#h !i#tions, #oit !orni#ation against Thee, trust in
things unreal, and !eed the wind& +till ) would not !orsooth ha(e sa#ri!i#es o!!ered to
de(ils !or e, to who ) was sa#ri!i#ing ysel! by that superstition" /or what else is
it to !eed the wind, but to !eed the, that is by going astray to be#oe their pleasure
and derision&
Boo I!
Those ipostors then, who they style *atheati#ians, ) #onsulted without s#ruple;
be#ause they seeed to use no sa#ri!i#e, nor to pray to any spirit !or their di(inations$
whi#h art, howe(er, ;hristian and true piety #onsistently re2e#ts and #ondens" /or, it
is a good thing to #on!ess unto Thee, and to say, 'a(e er#y upon e, heal y soul,
!or ) ha(e sinned against Thee; and not to abuse Thy er#y !or a li#en#e to sin, but to
reeber the Lord7s words, 1ehold, thou art ade whole, sin no ore, lest a worse
thing #oe unto thee" All whi#h wholesoe ad(i#e they labour to destroy, saying,
9The #ause o! thy sin is ine(itably deterined in hea(en9; and 9This did >enus, or
+aturn, or *ars9$ that an, !orsooth, !lesh and blood, and proud #orruption, ight be
blaeless; while the ;reator and Ordainer o! hea(en and the stars is to bear the
blae" And who is 'e but our God& the (ery sweetness and well3spring o!
righteousness, who renderest to e(ery an a##ording to his wor%s$ and a bro%en and
#ontrite heart wilt Thou not despise"
There was in those days a wise an, (ery s%il!ul in physi#, and renowned therein,
who had with his own pro#onsular hand put the Agonisti# garland upon y
distepered head, but not as a physi#ian$ !or this disease Thou only #urest, who
resistest the proud, and gi(est gra#e to the huble" 1ut didst Thou !ail e e(en by
that old an, or !orbear to heal y soul& /or ha(ing be#oe ore a#5uainted with
hi, and hanging assiduously and !i-edly on his spee#h (!or though in siple ters, it
was (i(id, li(ely, and earnest), when he had gathered by y dis#ourse that ) was gi(en
to the boo%s o! nati(ity3#asters, he %indly and !atherly ad(ised e to #ast the away,
and not !ruitlessly bestow a #are and diligen#e, ne#essary !or use!ul things, upon these
(anities; saying, that he had in his earliest years studied that art, so as to a%e it the
pro!ession whereby he should li(e, and that, understanding 'ippo#rates, he #ould
soon ha(e understood su#h a study as this; and yet he had gi(en it o(er, and ta%en to
physi#, !or no other reason but that he !ound it utterly !alse; and he, a gra(e an,
would not get his li(ing by deluding people" 91ut thou,9 saith he, 9hast rhetori# to
aintain thysel! by, so that thou !ollowest this o! !ree #hoi#e, not o! ne#essity$ the
ore then oughtest thou to gi(e e #redit herein, who laboured to a#5uire it so
per!e#tly as to get y li(ing by it alone"9 O! who when ) had deanded, how then
#ould any true things be !oretold by it, he answered e (as he #ould) 9that the !or#e
o! #han#e, di!!used throughout the whole order o! things, brought this about" /or i!
when a an by hapha<ard opens the pages o! soe poet, who sang and thought o!
soething wholly di!!erent, a (erse o!tenties !ell out, wondrously agreeable to the
present business$ it were not to be wondered at, i! out o! the soul o! an, un#ons#ious
what ta%es pla#e in it, by soe higher instin#t an answer should be gi(en, by hap, not
by art, #orresponding to the business and a#tions o! the deander"9
And thus u#h, either !ro or through hi, Thou #on(eyedst to e, and tra#edst in
y eory, what ) ight herea!ter e-aine !or ysel!" 1ut at that tie neither he,
nor y dearest 8ebridius, a youth singularly good and o! a holy !ear, who derided the
whole body o! di(ination, #ould persuade e to #ast it aside, the authority o! the
authors swaying e yet ore, and as yet ) had !ound no #ertain proo! (su#h as )
sought) whereby it ight without all doubt appear, that what had been truly !oretold
by those #onsulted was the result o! hapha<ard, not o! the art o! the star3ga<ers"
)n those years when ) !irst began to tea#h rhetori# in y nati(e town, ) had ade one
y !riend, but too dear to e, !ro a #ounity o! pursuits, o! ine own age, and, as
ysel!, in the !irst opening !lower o! youth" 'e had grown up o! a #hild with e, and
Boo I!
we had been both s#hool3!ellows and play3!ellows" 1ut he was not yet y !riend as
a!terwards, nor e(en then, as true !riendship is; !or true it #annot be, unless in su#h as
Thou #eentest together, #lea(ing unto Thee, by that lo(e whi#h is shed abroad in our
hearts by the 'oly Ghost, whi#h is gi(en unto us" 4et was it but too sweet, ripened by
the warth o! %indred studies$ !or, !ro the true !aith (whi#h he as a youth had not
soundly and thoroughly ibibed), ) had warped hi also to those superstitious and
perni#ious !ables, !or whi#h y other bewailed e" .ith e he now erred in ind,
nor #ould y soul be without hi" 1ut behold Thou wert #lose on the steps o! Thy
!ugiti(es, at on#e God o! (engean#e, and /ountain o! er#ies, turning us to Thysel!
by wonder!ul eans; Thou too%est that an out o! this li!e, when he had s#ar#e !illed
up one whole year o! y !riendship, sweet to e abo(e all sweetness o! that y li!e"
.ho #an re#ount all Thy praises, whi#h he hath !elt in his one sel!& .hat diddest
Thou then, y God, and how unsear#hable is the abyss o! Thy 2udgents& /or long,
sore si#% o! a !e(er, he lay senseless in a death3sweat; and his re#o(ery being
despaired o!, he was baptised, un%nowing; ysel! eanwhile little regarding, and
presuing that his soul would retain rather what it had re#ei(ed o! e, not what was
wrought on his un#ons#ious body" 1ut it pro(ed !ar otherwise$ !or he was re!reshed,
and restored" /orthwith, as soon as ) #ould spea% with hi (and ) #ould, so soon as he
was able, !or ) ne(er le!t hi, and we hung but too u#h upon ea#h other), ) essayed
to 2est with hi, as though he would 2est with e at that baptis whi#h he had
re#ei(ed, when utterly absent in ind and !eeling, but had now understood that he had
re#ei(ed" 1ut he so shrun% !ro e, as !ro an eney; and with a wonder!ul and
sudden !reedo bade e, as ) would #ontinue his !riend, !orbear su#h language to
hi" ), all astonished and aa<ed, suppressed all y eotions till he should grow
well, and his health were strong enough !or e to deal with hi as ) would" 1ut he
was ta%en away !ro y !ren<y, that with Thee he ight be preser(ed !or y
#o!ort; a !ew days a!ter in y absen#e, he was atta#%ed again by the !e(er, and so
departed"
At this grie! y heart was utterly dar%ened; and whate(er ) beheld was death" *y
nati(e #ountry was a torent to e, and y !ather7s house a strange unhappiness; and
whate(er ) had shared with hi, wanting hi, be#ae a distra#ting torture" *ine eyes
sought hi e(ery where, but he was not granted the; and ) hated all pla#es, !or that
they had not hi; nor #ould they now tell e, 9he is #oing,9 as when he was ali(e
and absent" ) be#ae a great riddle to ysel!, and ) as%ed y soul, why she was so
sad, and why she dis5uieted e sorely$ but she %new not what to answer e" And i! )
said, Trust in God, she (ery rightly obeyed e not; be#ause that ost dear !riend,
who she had lost, was, being an, both truer and better than that phantas she was
bid to trust in" Only tears were sweet to e, !or they su##eeded y !riend, in the
dearest o! y a!!e#tions"
And now, Lord, these things are passed by, and tie hath assuaged y wound" *ay )
learn !ro Thee, who art Truth, and approa#h the ear o! y heart unto Thy outh,
that Thou ayest tell e why weeping is sweet to the iserable& 'ast Thou, although
present e(ery where, #ast away our isery !ar !ro Thee& And Thou abidest in
Thysel!, but we are tossed about in di(ers trials" And yet unless we ourned in Thine
ears, we should ha(e no hope le!t" .hen#e then is sweet !ruit gathered !ro the
bitterness o! li!e, !ro groaning, tears, sighs, and #oplaints& Doth this sweeten it,
that we hope Thou hearest& This is true o! prayer, !or therein is a longing to approa#h
Boo I!
unto Thee" 1ut is it also in grie! !or a thing lost, and the sorrow wherewith ) was then
o(erwheled& /or ) neither hoped he should return to li!e nor did ) desire this with
y tears; but ) wept only and grie(ed" /or ) was iserable, and had lost y 2oy" Or is
weeping indeed a bitter thing, and !or (ery loathing o! the things whi#h we be!ore
en2oyed, does it then, when we shrin% !ro the, please us&
1ut what spea% ) o! these things& !or now is no tie to 5uestion, but to #on!ess unto
Thee" .ret#hed ) was; and wret#hed is e(ery soul bound by the !riendship o!
perishable things; he is torn asunder when he loses the, and then he !eels the
wret#hedness whi#h he had ere yet he lost the" +o was it then with e; ) wept ost
bitterly, and !ound y repose in bitterness" Thus was ) wret#hed, and that wret#hed
li!e ) held dearer than y !riend" /or though ) would willingly ha(e #hanged it, yet
was ) ore unwilling to part with it than with hi; yea, ) %now not whether ) would
ha(e parted with it e(en !or hi, as is related (i! not !eigned) o! ,ylades and Orestes,
that they would gladly ha(e died !or ea#h other or together, not to li(e together being
to the worse than death" 1ut in e there had arisen soe une-plained !eeling, too
#ontrary to this, !or at on#e ) loathed e-#eedingly to li(e and !eared to die" ) suppose,
the ore ) lo(ed hi, the ore did ) hate, and !ear (as a ost #ruel eney) death,
whi#h had berea(ed e o! hi$ and ) iagined it would speedily a%e an end o! all
en, sin#e it had power o(er hi" Thus was it with e, ) reeber" 1ehold y heart,
O y God, behold and see into e; !or well ) reeber it, O y 'ope, who #leansest
e !ro the ipurity o! su#h a!!e#tions, dire#ting ine eyes towards Thee, and
plu#%ing y !eet out o! the snare" /or ) wondered that others, sub2e#t to death, did
li(e, sin#e he who ) lo(ed, as i! he should ne(er die, was dead; and ) wondered yet
ore that ysel!, who was to hi a se#ond sel!, #ould li(e, he being dead" .ell said
one o! his !riend, 9Thou hal! o! y soul9; !or ) !elt that y soul and his soul were
9one soul in two bodies9$ and there!ore was y li!e a horror to e, be#ause ) would
not li(e hal(ed" And there!ore per#han#e ) !eared to die, lest he who ) had u#h
lo(ed should die wholly"
O adness, whi#h %nowest not how to lo(e en, li%e en6 O !oolish an that ) then
was, enduring ipatiently the lot o! an6 ) !retted then, sighed, wept, was distra#ted;
had neither rest nor #ounsel" /or ) bore about a shattered and bleeding soul, ipatient
o! being borne by e, yet where to repose it, ) !ound not" 8ot in #al gro(es, not in
gaes and usi#, nor in !ragrant spots, nor in #urious ban5uetings, nor in the
pleasures o! the bed and the #ou#h; nor (!inally) in boo%s or poesy, !ound it repose"
All things loo%ed ghastly, yea, the (ery light; whatsoe(er was not what he was, was
re(olting and hate!ul, e-#ept groaning and tears" /or in those alone !ound ) a little
re!reshent" 1ut when y soul was withdrawn !ro the a huge load o! isery
weighed e down" To Thee, O Lord, it ought to ha(e been raised, !or Thee to lighten;
) %new it; but neither #ould nor would; the ore, sin#e, when ) thought o! Thee, Thou
wert not to e any solid or substantial thing" /or Thou wert not Thysel!, but a ere
phanto, and y error was y God" )! ) o!!ered to dis#harge y load thereon, that it
ight rest, it glided through the (oid, and #ae rushing down again on e; and ) had
reained to ysel! a hapless spot, where ) #ould neither be, nor be !ro then#e" /or
whither should y heart !lee !ro y heart& .hither should ) !lee !ro ysel!&
.hither not !ollow ysel!& And yet ) !led out o! y #ountry; !or so should ine eyes
less loo% !or hi, where they were not wont to see hi" And thus !ro Thagaste, )
#ae to ;arthage"
Boo I!
Ties lose no tie; nor do they roll idly by; through our senses they wor% strange
operations on the ind" 1ehold, they went and #ae day by day, and by #oing and
going, introdu#ed into y ind other iaginations and other reebran#es; and little
by little pat#hed e up again with y old %ind o! delights, unto whi#h that y sorrow
ga(e way" And yet there su##eeded, not indeed other grie!s, yet the #auses o! other
grie!s" /or when#e had that !orer grie! so easily rea#hed y (ery inost soul, but
that ) had poured out y soul upon the dust, in lo(ing one that ust die, as i! he
would ne(er die& /or what restored and re!reshed e #hie!ly was the sola#es o! other
!riends, with who ) did lo(e, what instead o! Thee ) lo(ed; and this was a great
!able, and protra#ted lie, by whose adulterous stiulus, our soul, whi#h lay it#hing in
our ears, was being de!iled" 1ut that !able would not die to e, so o!t as any o! y
!riends died" There were other things whi#h in the did ore ta%e y ind; to tal%
and 2est together, to do %ind o!!i#es by turns; to read together honied boo%s; to play
the !ool or be earnest together; to dissent at ties without dis#ontent, as a an ight
with his own sel!; and e(en with the seldoness o! these dissentings, to season our
ore !re5uent #onsentings; soeties to tea#h, and soeties learn; long !or the
absent with ipatien#e; and wel#oe the #oing with 2oy" These and the li%e
e-pressions, pro#eeding out o! the hearts o! those that lo(ed and were lo(ed again, by
the #ountenan#e, the tongue, the eyes, and a thousand pleasing gestures, were so u#h
!uel to elt our souls together, and out o! any a%e but one"
This is it that is lo(ed in !riends; and so lo(ed, that a an7s #ons#ien#e #ondens
itsel!, i! he lo(e not hi that lo(es hi again, or lo(e not again hi that lo(es hi,
loo%ing !or nothing !ro his person but indi#ations o! his lo(e" 'en#e that ourning,
i! one die, and dar%enings o! sorrows, that steeping o! the heart in tears, all sweetness
turned to bitterness; and upon the loss o! li!e o! the dying, the death o! the li(ing"
1lessed whoso lo(eth Thee, and his !riend in Thee, and his eney !or Thee" /or he
alone loses none dear to hi, to who all are dear in 'i who #annot be lost" And
who is this but our God, the God that ade hea(en and earth, and !illeth the,
be#ause by !illing the 'e #reated the& Thee none loseth, but who lea(eth" And
who lea(eth Thee, whither goeth or whither teeth he, but !ro Thee well3pleased, to
Thee displeased& /or where doth he not !ind Thy law in his own punishent& And
Thy law is truth, and truth Thou"
Turn us, O God o! 'osts, show us Thy #ountenan#e, and we shall be whole" /or
whithersoe(er the soul o! an turns itsel!, unless toward Thee, it is ri(eted upon
sorrows, yea though it is ri(eted on things beauti!ul" And yet they, out o! Thee, and
out o! the soul, were not, unless they were !ro Thee" They rise, and set; and by
rising, they begin as it were to be; they grow, that they ay be per!e#ted; and
per!e#ted, they wa- old and wither; and all grow not old, but all wither" +o then when
they rise and tend to be, the ore 5ui#%ly they grow that they ay be, so u#h the
ore they haste not to be" This is the law o! the" Thus u#h has Thou allotted the,
be#ause they are portions o! things, whi#h e-ist not all at on#e, but by passing away
and su##eeding, they together #oplete that uni(erse, whereo! they are portions" And
e(en thus is our spee#h #opleted by signs gi(ing !orth a sound$ but this again is not
per!e#ted unless one word pass away when it hath sounded its part, that another ay
su##eed" Out o! all these things let y soul praise Thee, O God, ;reator o! all; yet let
not y soul be ri(eted unto these things with the glue o! lo(e, through the senses o!
the body" /or they go whither they were to go, that they ight not be; and they rend
her with pestilent longings, be#ause she longs to be, yet lo(es to repose in what she
Boo I!
lo(es" 1ut in these things is no pla#e o! repose; they abide not, they !lee; and who #an
!ollow the with the senses o! the !lesh& yea, who #an grasp the, when they are
hard by& /or the sense o! the !lesh is slow, be#ause it is the sense o! the !lesh; and
thereby is it bounded" )t su!!i#eth !or that it was ade !or; but it su!!i#eth not to stay
things running their #ourse !ro their appointed starting3pla#e to the end appointed"
/or in Thy .ord, by whi#h they are #reated, they hear their de#ree, 9hen#e and
hitherto"9
1e not !oolish, O y soul, nor be#oe dea! in the ear o! thine heart with the tuult o!
thy !olly" 'ear%en thou too"
The .ord itsel! #alleth thee to return$ and there is the pla#e o! rest iperturbable,
where lo(e is not !orsa%en, i! itsel! !orsa%eth not" 1ehold, these things pass away, that
others ay repla#e the, and so this lower uni(erse be #opleted by all his parts" 1ut
do ) depart any whither& saith the .ord o! God" There !i- thy dwelling, trust there
whatsoe(er thou hast then#e, O y soul, at least now thou art tired out with (anities"
0ntrust Truth, whatsoe(er thou hast !ro the Truth, and thou shalt lose nothing; and
thy de#ay shall bloo again, and all thy diseases be healed, and thy ortal parts be
re!ored and renewed, and bound around thee$ nor shall they lay thee whither
thesel(es des#end; but they shall stand !ast with thee, and abide !or e(er be!ore God,
.ho abideth and standeth !ast !or e(er"
.hy then be per(erted and !ollow thy !lesh& 1e it #on(erted and !ollow thee"
.hate(er by her thou hast sense o!, is in part; and the whole, whereo! these are parts,
thou %nowest not; and yet they delight thee" 1ut had the sense o! thy !lesh a #apa#ity
!or #oprehending the whole, and not itsel! also, !or thy punishent, been 2ustly
restri#ted to a part o! the whole, thou wouldest, that whatsoe(er e-isteth at this
present, should pass away, that so the whole ight better please thee" /or what we
spea% also, by the sae sense o! the !lesh thou hearest; yet wouldest not thou ha(e the
syllables stay, but !ly away, that others ay #oe, and thou hear the whole" And so
e(er, when any one thing is ade up o! any, all o! whi#h do not e-ist together, all
#olle#ti(ely would please ore than they do se(erally, #ould all be per#ei(ed
#olle#ti(ely" 1ut !ar better than these is 'e who ade all; and 'e is our God, nor doth
'e pass away, !or neither doth aught su##eed 'i"
)! bodies please thee, praise God on o##asion o! the, and turn ba#% thy lo(e upon
their *a%er; lest in these things whi#h please thee, thou displease" )! souls please thee,
be they lo(ed in God$ !or they too are utable, but in 'i are they !irly stablished;
else would they pass, and pass away" )n 'i then be they belo(ed; and #arry unto
'i along with thee what souls thou #anst, and say to the, 9'i let us lo(e, 'i let
us lo(e$ 'e ade these, nor is 'e !ar o!!" /or 'e did not a%e the, and so depart,
but they are o! 'i, and in 'i" +ee there 'e is, where truth is lo(ed" 'e is within
the (ery heart, yet hath the heart strayed !ro 'i" Go ba#% into your heart, ye
transgressors, and #lea(e !ast to 'i that ade you" +tand with 'i, and ye shall
stand !ast" @est in 'i, and ye shall be at rest" .hither go ye in rough ways& .hither
go ye& The good that you lo(e is !ro 'i; but it is good and pleasant through
re!eren#e to 'i, and 2ustly shall it be ebittered, be#ause un2ustly is any thing lo(ed
whi#h is !ro 'i, i! 'e be !orsa%en !or it" To what end then would ye still and still
wal% these di!!i#ult and toilsoe ways& There is no rest, where ye see% it" +ee% what
Boo I!
ye see%; but it is not there where ye see%" 4e see% a blessed li!e in the land o! death; it
is not there" /or how should there be a blessed li!e where li!e itsel! is not&
91ut our true Li!e #ae down hither, and bore our death, and slew hi, out o! the
abundan#e o! 'is own li!e$ and 'e thundered, #alling aloud to us to return hen#e to
'i into that se#ret pla#e, when#e 'e #ae !orth to us, !irst into the >irgin7s wob,
wherein 'e espoused the huan #reation, our ortal !lesh, that it ight not be !or
e(er ortal, and then#e li%e a bridegroo #oing out o! his #haber, re2oi#ing as a
giant to run his #ourse" /or 'e lingered not, but ran, #alling aloud by words, deeds,
death, li!e, des#ent, as#ension; #rying aloud to us to return unto 'i" And 'e departed
!ro our eyes, that we ight return into our heart, and there !ind 'i" /or 'e
departed, and to, 'e is here" 'e would not be long with us, yet le!t us not; !or 'e
departed thither, when#e 'e ne(er parted, be#ause the world was ade by 'i" And
in this world 'e was, and into this world 'e #ae to sa(e sinners, unto who y
soul #on!esseth, and 'e healeth it, !or it hath sinned against 'i" O ye sons o! en,
how long so slow o! heart& 0(en now, a!ter the des#ent o! Li!e to you, will ye not
as#end and li(e& 1ut whither as#end ye, when ye are on high, and set your outh
against the hea(ens& Des#end, that ye ay as#end, and as#end to God" /or ye ha(e
!allen, by as#ending against 'i"9 Tell the this, that they ay weep in the (alley o!
tears, and so #arry the up with thee unto God; be#ause out o! 'is spirit thou
spea%est thus unto the, i! thou spea%est, burning with the !ire o! #harity"
These things ) then %new not, and ) lo(ed these lower beauties, and ) was sin%ing to
the (ery depths, and to y !riends ) said, 9Do we lo(e any thing but the beauti!ul&
.hat then is the beauti!ul& and what is beauty& .hat is it that attra#ts and wins us to
the things we lo(e& !or unless there were in the a gra#e and beauty, they #ould by no
eans draw us unto the"9 And ) ar%ed and per#ei(ed that in bodies thesel(es,
there was a beauty, !ro their !oring a sort o! whole, and again, another !ro apt
and utual #orresponden#e, as o! a part o! the body with its whole, or a shoe with a
!oot, and the li%e" And this #onsideration sprang up in y ind, out o! y inost
heart, and ) wrote 9on the !air and !it,9 ) thin%, two or three boo%s" Thou %nowest, O
Lord, !or it is gone !ro e; !or ) ha(e the not, but they are strayed !ro e, )
%now not how"
1ut what o(ed e, O Lord y God, to dedi#ate these boo%s unto 'ierius, an orator
o! @oe, who ) %new not by !a#e, but lo(ed !or the !ae o! his learning whi#h was
einent in hi, and soe words o! his ) had heard, whi#h pleased e& 1ut ore did
he please e, !or that he pleased others, who highly e-tolled hi, aa<ed that out o!
a +yrian, !irst instru#ted in Gree% elo5uen#e, should a!terwards be !ored a
wonder!ul Latin orator, and one ost learned in things pertaining unto philosophy"
One is #oended, and, unseen, he is lo(ed$ doth this lo(e enter the heart o! the
hearer !ro the outh o! the #oender& 8ot so" 1ut by one who lo(eth is another
%indled" /or hen#e he is lo(ed who is #oended, when the #oender is belie(ed
to e-tol hi with an un!eigned heart; that is, when one that lo(es hi, praises hi"
/or so did ) then lo(e en, upon the 2udgent o! en, not Thine, O y God, in
.ho no an is de#ei(ed" 1ut yet why not !or 5ualities, li%e those o! a !aous
#harioteer, or !ighter with beasts in the theatre, %nown !ar and wide by a (ulgar
popularity, but !ar otherwise, and earnestly, and so as ) would be ysel! #oended&
/or ) would not be #oended or lo(ed, as a#tors are (though ) ysel! did #oend
Boo I!
and lo(e the), but had rather be un%nown, than so %nown; and e(en hated, than so
lo(ed" .here now are the ipulses to su#h (arious and di(ers %inds o! lo(es laid up
in one soul& .hy, sin#e we are e5ually en, do ) lo(e in another what, i! ) did not
hate, ) should not spurn and #ast !ro ysel!& /or it holds not, that as a good horse is
lo(ed by hi, who would not, though he ight, be that horse, there!ore the sae ay
be said o! an a#tor, who shares our nature" Do ) then lo(e in a an, what ) hate to be,
who a a an& *an hisel! is a great deep, whose (ery hairs Thou nuberest, O
Lord, and they !all not to the ground without Thee" And yet are the hairs o! his head
easier to be nubered than his !eelings, and the beatings o! his heart"
1ut that orator was o! that sort who ) lo(ed, as wishing to be ysel! su#h; and )
erred through a swelling pride, and was tossed about with e(ery wind, but yet was
steered by Thee, though (ery se#retly" And when#e do ) %now, and when#e do )
#on!idently #on!ess unto Thee, that ) had lo(ed hi ore !or the lo(e o! his
#oenders, than !or the (ery things !or whi#h he was #oended& 1e#ause, had he
been unpraised, and these sel!3sae en had dispraised hi, and with dispraise and
#ontept told the (ery sae things o! hi, ) had ne(er been so %indled and e-#ited to
lo(e hi" And yet the things had not been other, nor he hisel! other; but only the
!eelings o! the relators" +ee where the ipotent soul lies along, that is not yet stayed
up by the solidity o! truth6 =ust as the gales o! tongues blow !ro the breast o! the
opinionati(e, so is it #arried this way and that, dri(en !orward and ba#%ward, and the
light is o(er#louded to it, and the truth unseen" And to, it is be!ore us" And it was to
e a great atter, that y dis#ourse and labours should be %nown to that an$ whi#h
should he appro(e, ) were the ore %indled; but i! he disappro(ed, y epty heart,
(oid o! Thy solidity, had been wounded" And yet the 9!air and !it,9 whereon ) wrote to
hi, ) dwelt on with pleasure, and sur(eyed it, and adired it, though none 2oined
therein"
1ut ) saw not yet, whereon this weighty atter turned in Thy wisdo, O Thou
Onipotent, who only doest wonders; and y ind ranged through #orporeal !ors;
and 9!air,9 ) de!ined and distinguished what is so in itsel!, and 9!it,9 whose beauty is in
#orresponden#e to soe other thing$ and this ) supported by #orporeal e-aples" And
) turned to the nature o! the ind, but the !alse notion whi#h ) had o! spiritual things,
let e not see the truth" 4et the !or#e o! truth did o! itsel! !lash into ine eyes, and )
turned away y panting soul !ro in#orporeal substan#e to lineaents, and #olours,
and bul%y agnitudes" And not being able to see these in the ind, ) thought ) #ould
not see y ind" And whereas in (irtue ) lo(ed pea#e, and in (i#iousness ) abhorred
dis#ord; in the !irst ) obser(ed a unity, but in the other, a sort o! di(ision" And in that
unity ) #on#ei(ed the rational soul, and the nature o! truth and o! the #hie! good to
#onsist; but in this di(ision ) iserably iagined there to be soe un%nown substan#e
o! irrational li!e, and the nature o! the #hie! e(il, whi#h should not only be a
substan#e, but real li!e also, and yet not deri(ed !ro Thee, O y God, o! who are
all things" And yet that !irst ) #alled a *onad, as it had been a soul without se-; but
the latter a Duad; 3anger, in deeds o! (iolen#e, and in !lagitiousness, lust; not %nowing
whereo! ) spa%e" /or ) had not %nown or learned that neither was e(il a substan#e, nor
our soul that #hie! and un#hangeable good"
/or as deeds o! (iolen#e arise, i! that eotion o! the soul be #orrupted, when#e
(eheent a#tion springs, stirring itsel! insolently and unrulily; and lusts, when that
a!!e#tion o! the soul is ungo(erned, whereby #arnal pleasures are drun% in, so do
Boo I!
errors and !alse opinions de!ile the #on(ersation, i! the reasonable soul itsel! be
#orrupted; as it was then in e, who %new not that it ust be enlightened by another
light, that it ay be parta%er o! truth, seeing itsel! is not that nature o! truth" /or Thou
shalt light y #andle, O Lord y God, Thou shalt enlighten y dar%ness$ and o! Thy
!ulness ha(e we all re#ei(ed, !or Thou art the true light that lighteth e(ery an that
#oeth into the world; !or in Thee there is no (ariableness, neither shadow o! #hange"
1ut ) pressed towards Thee, and was thrust !ro Thee, that ) ight taste o! death$ !or
thou resistest the proud" 1ut what prouder, than !or e with a strange adness to
aintain ysel! to be that by nature whi#h Thou art& /or whereas ) was sub2e#t to
#hange (so u#h being ani!est to e, y (ery desire to be#oe wise, being the
wish, o! worse to be#oe better), yet #hose ) rather to iagine Thee sub2e#t to
#hange, and ysel! not to be that whi#h Thou art" There!ore ) was repelled by Thee,
and Thou resistedst y (ain sti!!ne#%edness, and ) iagined #orporeal !ors, and,
ysel! !lesh, ) a##used !lesh; and, a wind that passeth away, ) returned not to Thee,
but ) passed on and on to things whi#h ha(e no being, neither in Thee, nor in e, nor
in the body" 8either were they #reated !or e by Thy truth, but by y (anity de(ised
out o! things #orporeal" And ) was wont to as% Thy !aith!ul little ones, y !ellow3
#iti<ens (!ro who, un%nown to ysel!, ) stood e-iled), ) was wont, prating and
!oolishly, to as% the, 9.hy then doth the soul err whi#h God #reated&9 1ut ) would
not be as%ed, 9.hy then doth God err&9 And ) aintained that Thy un#hangeable
substan#e did err upon #onstraint, rather than #on!ess that y #hangeable substan#e
had gone astray (oluntarily, and now, in punishent, lay in error"
) was then soe si- or se(en and twenty years old when ) wrote those (olues;
re(ol(ing within e #orporeal !i#tions, bu<<ing in the ears o! y heart, whi#h )
turned, O sweet truth, to thy inward elody, editating on the 9!air and !it,9 and
longing to stand and hear%en to Thee, and to re2oi#e greatly at the 1ridegroo7s (oi#e,
but #ould not; !or by the (oi#es o! ine own errors, ) was hurried abroad, and through
the weight o! y own pride, ) was sin%ing into the lowest pit" /or Thou didst not
a%e e to hear 2oy and gladness, nor did the bones e-ult whi#h were not yet
hubled"
And what did it pro!it e, that s#ar#e twenty years old, a boo% o! Aristotle, whi#h
they #all the o!ten ,redi#aents, !alling into y hands (on whose (ery nae ) hung,
as on soething great and di(ine, so o!ten as y rhetori# aster o! ;arthage, and
others, a##ounted learned, outhed it with #hee%s bursting with pride), ) read and
understood it unaided& And on y #on!erring with others, who said that they s#ar#ely
understood it with (ery able tutors, not only orally e-plaining it, but drawing any
things in sand, they #ould tell e no ore o! it than ) had learned, reading it by
ysel!" And the boo% appeared to e to spea% (ery #learly o! substan#es, su#h as
9an,9 and o! their 5ualities, as the !igure o! a an, o! what sort it is; and stature, how
any !eet high; and his relationship, whose brother he is; or where pla#ed; or when
born; or whether he stands or sits; or be shod or ared; or does, or su!!ers anything;
and all the innuerable things whi#h ight be ranged under these nine ,redi#aents,
o! whi#h ) ha(e gi(en soe spe#iens, or under that #hie! ,redi#aent o! +ubstan#e"
.hat did all this !urther e, seeing it e(en hindered e& when, iagining whate(er
was, was #oprehended under those o!ten ,redi#aents, ) essayed in su#h wise to
understand, O y God, Thy wonder!ul and un#hangeable :nity also, as i! Thou also
Boo I!
hadst been sub2e#ted to Thine own greatness or beauty; so that (as in bodies) they
should e-ist in Thee, as their sub2e#t$ whereas Thou Thysel! art Thy greatness and
beauty; but a body is not great or !air in that it is a body, seeing that, though it were
less great or !air, it should notwithstanding be a body" 1ut it was !alsehood whi#h o!
Thee ) #on#ei(ed, not truth, !i#tions o! y isery, not the realities o! Thy blessedness"
/or Thou hadst #oanded, and it was done in e, that the earth should bring !orth
briars and thorns to e, and that in the sweat o! y brows ) should eat y bread"
And what did it pro!it e, that all the boo%s ) #ould pro#ure o! the so3#alled liberal
arts, ), the (ile sla(e o! (ile a!!e#tions, read by ysel!, and understood& And )
delighted in the, but %new not when#e #ae all, that therein was true or #ertain" /or
) had y ba#% to the light, and y !a#e to the things enlightened; when#e y !a#e,
with whi#h ) dis#erned the things enlightened, itsel! was not enlightened" .hate(er
was written, either on rhetori#, or logi#, geoetry, usi#, and aritheti#, by ysel!
without u#h di!!i#ulty or any instru#tor, ) understood, Thou %nowest, O Lord y
God; be#ause both 5ui#%ness o! understanding, and a#uteness in dis#erning, is Thy
gi!t$ yet did ) not then#e sa#ri!i#e to Thee" +o then it ser(ed not to y use, but rather
to y perdition, sin#e ) went about to get so good a portion o! y substan#e into y
own %eeping; and ) %ept not y strength !or Thee, but wandered !ro Thee into a !ar
#ountry, to spend it upon harlotries" /or what pro!ited e good abilities, not eployed
to good uses& /or ) !elt not that those arts were attained with great di!!i#ulty, e(en by
the studious and talented, until ) attepted to e-plain the to su#h; when he ost
e-#elled in the who !ollowed e not altogether slowly"
1ut what did this !urther e, iagining that Thou, O Lord God, the Truth, wert a (ast
and bright body, and ) a !ragent o! that body& ,er(erseness too great6 1ut su#h was
)" 8or do ) blush, O y God, to #on!ess to Thee Thy er#ies towards e, and to #all
upon Thee, who blushed not then to pro!ess to en y blaspheies, and to bar%
against Thee" .hat pro!ited e then y nible wit in those s#ien#es and all those
ost %notty (olues, unra(elied by e, without aid !ro huan instru#tion; seeing )
erred so !oully, and with su#h sa#rilegious shae!ulness, in the do#trine o! piety& Or
what hindran#e was a !ar slower wit to Thy little ones, sin#e they departed not !ar
!ro Thee, that in the nest o! Thy ;hur#h they ight se#urely be !ledged, and nourish
the wings o! #harity, by the !ood o! a sound !aith" O Lord our God, under the shadow
o! Thy wings let us hope; prote#t us, and #arry us" Thou wilt #arry us both when little,
and e(en to hoar hairs wilt Thou #arry us; !or our !irness, when it is Thou, then is it
!irness; but when our own, it is in!irity" Our good e(er li(es with Thee; !ro
whi#h when we turn away, we are turned aside" Let us now, O Lord, return, that we
ay not be o(erturned, be#ause with Thee our good li(es without any de#ay, whi#h
good art Thou; nor need we !ear, lest there be no pla#e whither to return, be#ause we
!ell !ro it$ !or through our absen#e, our ansion !ell not3 Thy eternity"
Boo !
BOO. !
A##ept the sa#ri!i#e o! y #on!essions !ro the inistry o! y tongue, whi#h Thou
hast !ored and stirred up to #on!ess unto Thy nae" 'eal Thou all y bones, and let
the say, O Lord, who is li%e unto Thee& /or he who #on!esses to Thee doth not tea#h
Thee what ta%es pla#e within hi; seeing a #losed heart #loses not out Thy eye, nor
#an an7s hard3heartedness thrust ba#% Thy hand$ !or Thou dissol(est it at Thy will in
pity or in (engean#e, and nothing #an hide itsel! !ro Thy heat" 1ut let y soul praise
Thee, that it ay lo(e Thee; and let it #on!ess Thy own er#ies to Thee, that it ay
praise Thee" Thy whole #reation #easeth not, nor is silent in Thy praises; neither the
spirit o! an with (oi#e dire#ted unto Thee, nor #reation aniate or inaniate, by the
(oi#e o! those who editate thereon$ that so our souls ay !ro their weariness arise
towards Thee, leaning on those things whi#h Thou hast #reated, and passing on to
Thysel!, who adest the wonder!ully; and there is re!reshent and true strength"
Let the restless, the godless, depart and !lee !ro Thee; yet Thou seest the, and
di(idest the dar%ness" And behold, the uni(erse with the is !air, though they are !oul"
And how ha(e they in2ured Thee& or how ha(e they disgra#ed Thy go(ernent,
whi#h, !ro the hea(en to this lowest earth, is 2ust and per!e#t& /or whither !led they,
when they !led !ro Thy presen#e& or where dost not Thou !ind the& 1ut they !led,
that they ight not see Thee seeing the, and, blinded, ight stuble against Thee
(be#ause Thou !orsa%est nothing Thou hast ade); that the un2ust, ) say, ight
stuble upon Thee, and 2ustly be hurt; withdrawing thesel(es !ro thy gentleness,
and stubling at Thy uprightness, and !alling upon their own ruggedness" )gnorant, in
truth, that Thou art e(ery where, .ho no pla#e en#opasseth6 and Thou alone art
near, e(en to those that reo(e !ar !ro Thee" Let the then be turned, and see%
Thee; be#ause not as they ha(e !orsa%en their ;reator, hast Thou !orsa%en Thy
#reation" Let the be turned and see% Thee; and behold, Thou art there in their heart,
in the heart o! those that #on!ess to Thee, and #ast thesel(es upon Thee, and weep in
Thy boso, a!ter all their rugged ways" Then dost Thou gently wipe away their tears,
and they weep the ore, and 2oy in weeping; e(en !or that Thou, Lord, 3not an o!
!lesh and blood, but 3Thou, Lord, who adest the, re3a%est and #o!ortest the"
1ut where was ), when ) was see%ing Thee& And Thou wert be!ore e, but ) had gone
away !ro Thee; nor did ) !ind ysel!, how u#h less Thee6
) would lay open be!ore y God that nine3and3twentieth year o! ine age" There had
then #oe to ;arthage a #ertain 1ishop o! the *ani#hees, /austus by nae, a great
snare o! the De(il, and any were entangled by hi through that lure o! his sooth
language$ whi#h though ) did #oend, yet #ould ) separate !ro the truth o! the
things whi#h ) was earnest to learn$ nor did ) so u#h regard the ser(i#e o! oratory as
the s#ien#e whi#h this /austus, so praised aong the, set be!ore e to !eed upon"
/ae had be!ore bespo%en hi ost %nowing in all (aluable learning, and e-5uisitely
s%illed in the liberal s#ien#es" And sin#e ) had read and well reebered u#h o! the
philosophers, ) #opared soe things o! theirs with those long !ables o! the
*ani#hees, and !ound the !orer the ore probable; e(en although they #ould only
pre(ail so !ar as to a%e 2udgent o! this lower world, the Lord o! it they #ould by no
eans !ind out" /or Thou art great, O Lord, and hast respe#t unto the huble, but the
proud Thou beholdest a!ar o!!" 8or dost Thou draw near, but to the #ontrite in heart,
Boo !
nor art !ound by the proud, no, not though by #urious s%ill they #ould nuber the stars
and the sand, and easure the starry hea(ens, and tra#% the #ourses o! the planets"
/or with their understanding and wit, whi#h Thou bestowedst on the, they sear#h
out these things; and u#h ha(e they !ound out; and !oretold, any years be!ore,
e#lipses o! those luinaries, the sun and oon, 3what day and hour, and how any
digits, 3nor did their #al#ulation !ail; and it #ae to pass as they !oretold; and they
wrote down the rules they had !ound out, and these are read at this day, and out o!
the do others !oretell in what year and onth o! the year, and what day o! the
onth, and what hour o! the day, and what part o! its light, oon or sun is to be
e#lipsed, and so it shall be, as it is !oreshowed" At these things en, that %now not this
art, ar(el and are astonished, and they that %now it, e-ult, and are pu!!ed up; and by
an ungodly pride departing !ro Thee, and !ailing o! Thy light, they !oresee a !ailure
o! the sun7s light, whi#h shall be, so long be!ore, but see not their own, whi#h is" /or
they sear#h not religiously when#e they ha(e the wit, wherewith they sear#h out this"
And !inding that Thou adest the, they gi(e not thesel(es up to Thee, to preser(e
what Thou adest, nor sa#ri!i#e to Thee what they ha(e ade thesel(es; nor slay
their own soaring iaginations, as !owls o! the air, nor their own di(ing #uriosities
(wherewith, li%e the !ishes o! the seal they wander o(er the un%nown paths o! the
abyss), nor their own lu-uriousness, as beasts o! the !ield, that Thou, Lord, a
#onsuing !ire, ayest burn up those dead #ares o! theirs, and re3#reate thesel(es
iortally"
1ut they %new not the way, Thy .ord, by .ho Thou adest these things whi#h
they nuber, and thesel(es who nuber, and the sense whereby they per#ei(e what
they nuber, and the understanding, out o! whi#h they nuber; or that o! Thy wisdo
there is no nuber" 1ut the Only 1egotten is 'isel! ade unto us wisdo, and
righteousness, and san#ti!i#ation, and was nubered aong us, and paid tribute unto
;aesar" They %new not this way whereby to des#end to 'i !ro thesel(es, and by
'i as#end unto 'i" They %new not this way, and deeed thesel(es e-alted
aongst the stars and shining; and behold, they !ell upon the earth, and their !oolish
heart was dar%ened" They dis#ourse any things truly #on#erning the #reature; but
Truth, Arti!i#er o! the #reature, they see% not piously, and there!ore !ind 'i not; or i!
they !ind 'i, %nowing 'i to be God, they glori!y 'i not as God, neither are
than%!ul, but be#oe (ain in their iaginations, and pro!ess thesel(es to be wise,
attributing to thesel(es what is Thine; and thereby with ost per(erse blindness,
study to ipute to Thee what is their own, !orging lies o! Thee who art the Truth, and
#hanging the glory o! un#orruptible God into an iage ade li%e #orruptible an, and
to birds, and !our3!ooted beasts, and #reeping things, #hanging Thy truth into a lie,
and worshipping and ser(ing the #reature ore than the ;reator"
4et any truths #on#erning the #reature retained ) !ro these en, and saw the reason
thereo! !ro #al#ulations, the su##ession o! ties, and the (isible testionies o! the
stars; and #opared the with the saying o! *ani#haeus, whi#h in his !ren<y he had
written ost largely on these sub2e#ts; but dis#o(ered not any a##ount o! the solsti#es,
or e5uino-es, or the e#lipses o! the greater lights, nor whate(er o! this sort ) had
learned in the boo%s o! se#ular philosophy" 1ut ) was #oanded to belie(e; and yet
it #orresponded not with what had been established by #al#ulations and y own sight,
but was 5uite #ontrary"
Boo !
Doth then, O Lord God o! truth, whoso %noweth these things, there!ore please Thee&
+urely unhappy is he who %noweth all these, and %noweth not Thee$ but happy whoso
%noweth Thee, though he %now not these" And whoso %noweth both Thee and the is
not the happier !or the, but !or Thee only, i!, %nowing Thee, he glori!ies Thee as
God, and is than%!ul, and be#oes not (ain in his iaginations" /or as he is better o!!
who %nows how to possess a tree, and return than%s to Thee !or the use thereo!,
although he %now not how any #ubits high it is, or how wide it spreads, than he that
#an easure it, and #ount all its boughs, and neither owns it, nor %nows or lo(es its
;reator$ so a belie(er, whose all this world o! wealth is, and who ha(ing nothing, yet
possesseth all things, by #lea(ing unto Thee, who all things ser(e, though he %now
not e(en the #ir#les o! the Great 1ear, yet is it !olly to doubt but he is in a better state
than one who #an easure the hea(ens, and nuber the stars, and poise the eleents,
yet negle#teth Thee who hast ade all things in nuber, weight, and easure"
1ut yet who bade that *ani#haeus write on these things also, s%ill in whi#h was no
eleent o! piety& /or Thou hast said to an, 1ehold piety and wisdo; o! whi#h he
ight be ignorant, though he had per!e#t %nowledge o! these things; but these things,
sin#e, %nowing not, he ost ipudently dared to tea#h, he plainly #ould ha(e no
%nowledge o! piety" /or it is (anity to a%e pro!ession o! these worldly things e(en
when %nown; but #on!ession to Thee is piety" .here!ore this wanderer to this end
spa%e u#h o! these things, that #on(i#ted by those who had truly learned the, it
ight be ani!est what understanding he had in the other abstruser things" /or he
would not ha(e hisel! eanly thought o!, but went about to persuade en, 9That the
'oly Ghost, the ;o!orter and 0nri#her o! Thy !aith!ul ones, was with plenary
authority personally within hi"9 .hen then he was !ound out to ha(e taught !alsely
o! the hea(en and stars, and o! the otions o! the sun and oon (although these
things pertain not to the do#trine o! religion), yet his sa#rilegious presuption would
be#oe e(ident enough, seeing he deli(ered things whi#h not only he %new not, but
whi#h were !alsi!ied, with so ad a (anity o! pride, that he sought to as#ribe the to
hisel!, as to a di(ine person"
/or when ) hear any ;hristian brother ignorant o! these things, and ista%en on the,
) #an patiently behold su#h a an holding his opinion; nor do ) see that any ignoran#e
as to the position or #hara#ter o! the #orporeal #reation #an in2ure hi, so long as he
doth not belie(e any thing unworthy o! Thee, O Lord, the ;reator o! all" 1ut it doth
in2ure hi, i! he iagine it to pertain to the !or o! the do#trine o! piety, and will yet
a!!ir that too sti!!ly whereo! he is ignorant" And yet is e(en su#h an in!irity, in the
in!an#y o! !aith, borne by our other ;harity, till the new3born ay grow up unto a
per!e#t an, so as not to be #arried about with e(ery wind o! do#trine" 1ut in hi who
in su#h wise presued to be the tea#her, sour#e, guide, #hie! o! all who he #ould so
persuade, that whoso !ollowed hi thought that he !ollowed, not a ere an, but Thy
'oly +pirit; who would not 2udge that so great adness, when on#e #on(i#ted o!
ha(ing taught any thing !alse, were to be detested and utterly re2e#ted& 1ut ) had not
as yet #learly as#ertained whether the (i#issitudes o! longer and shorter days and
nights, and o! day and night itsel!, with the e#lipses o! the greater lights, and whate(er
else o! the %ind ) had read o! in other boo%s, ight be e-plained #onsistently with his
sayings; so that, i! they by any eans ight, it should still reain a 5uestion to e
whether it were so or no; but ) ight, on a##ount o! his reputed san#tity, rest y
#reden#e upon his authority"
Boo !
And !or alost all those nine years, wherein with unsettled ind ) had been their
dis#iple, ) had longed but too intensely !or the #oing o! this /austus" /or the rest o!
the se#t, who by #han#e ) had lighted upon, when unable to sol(e y ob2e#tions
about these things, still held out to e the #oing o! this /austus, by #on!eren#e with
who these and greater di!!i#ulties, i! ) had the, were to be ost readily and
abundantly #leared" .hen then he #ae, ) !ound hi a an o! pleasing dis#ourse, and
who #ould spea% !luently and in better ters, yet still but the sel!3sae things whi#h
they were wont to say" 1ut what a(ailed the utost neatness o! the #up3bearer to y
thirst !or a ore pre#ious draught& *ine ears were already #loyed with the li%e, nor
did they see to e there!ore better, be#ause better said; nor there!ore true, be#ause
elo5uent; nor the soul there!ore wise, be#ause the !a#e was #oely, and the language
gra#e!ul" 1ut they who held hi out to e were no good 2udges o! things; and
there!ore to the he appeared understanding and wise, be#ause in words pleasing" )
!elt howe(er that another sort o! people were suspi#ious e(en o! truth, and re!used to
assent to it, i! deli(ered in a sooth and #opious dis#ourse" 1ut Thou, O y God,
hadst already taught e by wonder!ul and se#ret ways, and there!ore ) belie(e that
Thou taughtest e, be#ause it is truth, nor is there besides Thee any tea#her o! truth,
where or when#esoe(er it ay shine upon us" O! Thysel! there!ore had ) now learned,
that neither ought any thing to see to be spo%en truly, be#ause elo5uently; nor
there!ore !alsely, be#ause the utteran#e o! the lips is inharonious; nor, again,
there!ore true, be#ause rudely deli(ered; nor there!ore !alse, be#ause the language is
ri#h; but that wisdo and !olly are as wholesoe and unwholesoe !ood; and
adorned or unadorned phrases as #ourtly or #ountry (essels; either %ind o! eats ay
be ser(ed up in either %ind o! dishes"
That greediness then, wherewith ) had o! so long tie e-pe#ted that an, was
delighted (erily with his a#tion and !eeling when disputing, and his #hoi#e and
readiness o! words to #lothe his ideas" ) was then delighted, and, with any others and
ore than they, did ) praise and e-tol hi" )t troubled e, howe(er, that in the
assebly o! his auditors, ) was not allowed to put in and #ouni#ate those 5uestions
that troubled e, in !ailiar #on(erse with hi" .hi#h when ) ight, and with y
!riends began to engage his ears at su#h ties as it was not unbe#oing !or hi to
dis#uss with e, and had brought !orward su#h things as o(ed e; ) !ound hi !irst
utterly ignorant o! liberal s#ien#es, sa(e graar, and that but in an ordinary way"
1ut be#ause he had read soe o! Tully7s Orations, a (ery !ew boo%s o! +ene#a, soe
things o! the poets, and su#h !ew (olues o! his own se#t as were written in Latin and
neatly, and was daily pra#tised in spea%ing, he a#5uired a #ertain elo5uen#e, whi#h
pro(ed the ore pleasing and sedu#ti(e be#ause under the guidan#e o! a good wit,
and with a %ind o! natural gra#e!ulness" )s it not thus, as ) re#all it, O Lord y God,
Thou 2udge o! y #ons#ien#e& be!ore Thee is y heart, and y reebran#e, .ho
didst at that tie dire#t e by the hidden ystery o! Thy pro(iden#e, and didst set
those shae!ul errors o! ine be!ore y !a#e, that ) ight see and hate the"
/or a!ter it was #lear that he was ignorant o! those arts in whi#h ) thought he e-#elled,
) began to despair o! his opening and sol(ing the di!!i#ulties whi#h perple-ed e (o!
whi#h indeed howe(er ignorant, he ight ha(e held the truths o! piety, had he not
been a *ani#hee)" /or their boo%s are !raught with proli- !ables, o! the hea(en, and
stars, sun, and oon, and ) now no longer thought hi able satis!a#torily to de#ide
what ) u#h desired, whether, on #oparison o! these things with the #al#ulations )
had elsewhere read, the a##ount gi(en in the boo%s o! *ani#haeus were pre!erable, or
Boo !
at least as good" .hi#h when ) proposed to he #onsidered and dis#ussed, he, so !ar
odestly, shrun% !ro the burthen" /or he %new that he %new not these things, and
was not ashaed to #on!ess it" /or he was not one o! those tal%ing persons, any o!
who ) had endured, who undertoo% to tea#h e these things, and said nothing" 1ut
this an had a heart, though not right towards Thee, yet neither altogether trea#herous
to hisel!" /or he was not altogether ignorant o! his own ignoran#e, nor would he
rashly be entangled in a dispute, when#e he #ould neither retreat nor e-tri#ate hisel!
!airly" 0(en !or this ) li%ed hi the better" /or !airer is the odesty o! a #andid ind,
than the %nowledge o! those things whi#h ) desired; and su#h ) !ound hi, in all the
ore di!!i#ult and subtile 5uestions"
*y <eal !or the writings o! *ani#haeus being thus blunted, and despairing yet ore
o! their other tea#hers, seeing that in di(ers things whi#h perple-ed e, he, so
renowned aong the, had so turned out; ) began to engage with hi in the study o!
that literature, on whi#h he also was u#h set (and whi#h as rhetori#3reader ) was at
that tie tea#hing young students at ;arthage), and to read with hi, either what
hisel! desired to hear, or su#h as ) 2udged !it !or his genius" 1ut all y e!!orts
whereby ) had purposed to ad(an#e in that se#t, upon %nowledge o! that an, #ae
utterly to an end; not that ) deta#hed ysel! !ro the altogether, but as one !inding
nothing better, ) had settled to be #ontent eanwhile with what ) had in whate(er way
!allen upon, unless by #han#e soething ore eligible should dawn upon e" Thus,
that /austus, to so any a snare o! death, had now neither willing nor witting it,
begun to loosen that wherein ) was ta%en" /or Thy hands, O y God, in the se#ret
purpose o! Thy pro(iden#e, did not !orsa%e y soul; and out o! y other7s heart7s
blood, through her tears night and day poured out, was a sa#ri!i#e o!!ered !or e unto
Thee; and Thou didst deal with e by wondrous ways" Thou didst it, O y God$ !or
the steps o! a an are ordered by the Lord, and 'e shall dispose his way" Or how shall
we obtain sal(ation, but !ro Thy hand, re3a%ing what it ade&
Thou didst deal with e, that ) should be persuaded to go to @oe, and to tea#h there
rather, what ) was tea#hing at ;arthage" And how ) was persuaded to this, ) will not
negle#t to #on!ess to Thee; be#ause herein also the deepest re#esses o! Thy wisdo,
and Thy ost present er#y to us, ust be #onsidered and #on!essed" ) did not wish
there!ore to go to @oe, be#ause higher gains and higher dignities were warranted e
by y !riends who persuaded e to this (though e(en these things had at that tie an
in!luen#e o(er y ind), but y #hie! and alost only reason was, that ) heard that
young en studied there ore pea#e!ully, and were %ept 5uiet under a restraint o!
ore regular dis#ipline; so that they did not, at their pleasures, petulantly rush into the
s#hool o! one whose pupils they were not, nor were e(en aditted without his
perission" .hereas at ;arthage there reigns aong the s#holars a ost disgra#e!ul
and unruly li#en#e" They burst in auda#iously, and with gestures alost !ranti#,
disturb all order whi#h any one hath established !or the good o! his s#holars" Di(ers
outrages they #oit, with a wonder!ul stolidity, punishable by law, did not #usto
uphold the; that #usto e(in#ing the to be the ore iserable, in that they now do
as law!ul what by Thy eternal law shall ne(er be law!ul; and they thin% they do it
unpunished, whereas they are punished with the (ery blindness whereby they do it,
and su!!er in#oparably worse than what they do" The anners then whi#h, when a
student, ) would not a%e y own, ) was !ain as a tea#her to endure in others$ and so
) was well pleased to go where, all that %new it, assured e that the li%e was not done"
1ut Thou, y re!uge and y portion in the land o! the li(ing; that ) ight #hange y
Boo !
earthly dwelling !or the sal(ation o! y soul, at ;arthage didst goad e, that ) ight
thereby be torn !ro it; and at @oe didst pro!!er e allureents, whereby ) ight be
drawn thither, by en in lo(e with a dying li!e, the one doing !ranti#, the other
proising (ain, things; and, to #orre#t y steps, didst se#retly use their and y own
per(erseness" /or both they who disturbed y 5uiet were blinded with a disgra#e!ul
!ren<y, and they who in(ited e elsewhere sa(oured o! earth" And ), who here
detested real isery, was there see%ing unreal happiness"
1ut why ) went hen#e, and went thither, Thou %newest, O God, yet showedst it neither
to e, nor to y other, who grie(ously bewailed y 2ourney, and !ollowed e as
!ar as the sea" 1ut ) de#ei(ed her, holding e by !or#e, that either she ight %eep e
ba#% or go with e, and ) !eigned that ) had a !riend who ) #ould not lea(e, till he
had a !air wind to sail" And ) lied to y other, and su#h a other, and es#aped$ !or
this also hast Thou er#i!ully !orgi(en e, preser(ing e, thus !ull o! e-e#rable
de!ileents, !ro the waters o! the sea, !or the water o! Thy Gra#e; whereby when )
was #leansed, the streas o! y other7s eyes should be dried, with whi#h !or e she
daily watered the ground under her !a#e" And yet re!using to return without e, )
s#ar#ely persuaded her to stay that night in a pla#e hard by our ship, where was an
Oratory in eory o! the blessed ;yprian" That night ) pri(ily departed, but she was
not behind in weeping and prayer" And what, O Lord, was she with so any tears
as%ing o! Thee, but that Thou wouldest not su!!er e to sail& 1ut Thou, in the depth
o! Thy #ounsels and hearing the ain point o! her desire, regardest not what she then
as%ed, that Thou ightest a%e e what she e(er as%ed" The wind blew and swelled
our sails, and withdrew the shore !ro our sight; and she on the orrow was there,
!ranti# with sorrow, and with #oplaints and groans !illed Thine ears, .ho didst then
disregard the; whilst through y desires, Thou wert hurrying e to end all desire,
and the earthly part o! her a!!e#tion to e was #hastened by the allotted s#ourge o!
sorrows" /or she lo(ed y being with her, as others do, but u#h ore than any;
and she %new not how great 2oy Thou wert about to wor% !or her out o! y absen#e"
+he %new not; there!ore did she weep and wail, and by this agony there appeared in
her the inheritan#e o! 0(e, with sorrow see%ing what in sorrow she had brought !orth"
And yet, a!ter a##using y trea#hery and hardheartedness, she betoo% hersel! again to
inter#ede to Thee !or e, went to her wonted pla#e, and ) to @oe"
And lo, there was ) re#ei(ed by the s#ourge o! bodily si#%ness, and ) was going down
to hell, #arrying all the sins whi#h ) had #oitted, both against Thee, and ysel!,
and others, any and grie(ous, o(er and abo(e that bond o! original sin, whereby we
all die in Ada" /or Thou hadst not !orgi(en e any o! these things in ;hrist, nor had
'e abolished by 'is ;ross the enity whi#h by y sins ) had in#urred with Thee" /or
how should 'e, by the #ru#i!i-ion o! a phantas, whi#h ) belie(ed 'i to be& +o
true, then, was the death o! y soul, as that o! 'is !lesh seeed to e !alse; and how
true the death o! 'is body, so !alse was the li!e o! y soul, whi#h did not belie(e it"
And now the !e(er heightening, ) was parting and departing !or e(er" /or had ) then
parted hen#e, whither had ) departed, but into !ire and torents, su#h as y isdeeds
deser(ed in the truth o! Thy appointent& And this she %new not, yet in absen#e
prayed !or e" 1ut Thou, e(erywhere present, heardest her where she was, and, where
) was, hadst #opassion upon e; that ) should re#o(er the health o! y body, though
!ren<ied as yet in y sa#rilegious heart" /or ) did not in all that danger desire Thy
baptis; and ) was better as a boy, when ) begged it o! y other7s piety, as ) ha(e
be!ore re#ited and #on!essed" 1ut ) had grown up to y own shae, and ) adly
Boo !
s#o!!ed at the pres#ripts o! Thy edi#ine, who wouldest not su!!er e, being su#h, to
die a double death" .ith whi#h wound had y other7s heart been pier#ed, it #ould
ne(er be healed" /or ) #annot e-press the a!!e#tion she bore to e, and with how
u#h ore (eheent anguish she was now in labour o! e in the spirit, than at her
#hildbearing in the !lesh"
) see not then how she should ha(e been healed, had su#h a death o! ine stri#%en
through the bowels o! her lo(e" And where would ha(e been those her so strong and
un#easing prayers, uninteritting to Thee alone& 1ut wouldest Thou, God o! er#ies,
despise the #ontrite and hubled heart o! that #haste and sober widow, so !re5uent in
alsdeeds, so !ull o! duty and ser(i#e to Thy saints, no day interitting the oblation
at Thine altar, twi#e a day, orning and e(ening, without any interission, #oing to
Thy #hur#h, not !or idle tattlings and old wi(es7 !ables; but that she ight hear Thee in
Thy dis#ourses, and Thou her in her prayers" ;ouldest Thou despise and re2e#t !ro
Thy aid the tears o! su#h an one, wherewith she begged o! Thee not gold or sil(er, nor
any utable or passing good, but the sal(ation o! her son7s soul& Thou, by whose gi!t
she was su#h& 8e(er, Lord" 4ea, Thou wert at hand, and wert hearing and doing, in
that order wherein Thou hadst deterined be!ore that it should be done" /ar be it that
Thou shouldest de#ei(e her in Thy (isions and answers, soe whereo! ) ha(e, soe )
ha(e not entioned, whi#h she laid up in her !aith!ul heart, and e(er praying, urged
upon Thee, as Thine own handwriting" /or Thou, be#ause Thy er#y endureth !or
e(er, (ou#hsa!est to those to who Thou !orgi(est all o! their debts, to be#oe also a
debtor by Thy proises"
Thou re#o(eredst e then o! that si#%ness, and healedst the son o! Thy handaid, !or
the tie in body, that he ight li(e, !or Thee to bestow upon hi a better and ore
abiding health" And e(en then, at @oe, ) 2oined ysel! to those de#ei(ing and
de#ei(ed 9holy ones9; not with their dis#iples only (o! whi#h nuber was he, in
whose house ) had !allen si#% and re#o(ered); but also with those who they #all
9The 0le#t"9 /or ) still thought 9that it was not we that sin, but that ) %now not what
other nature sinned in us9; and it delighted y pride, to be !ree !ro blae; and when
) had done any e(il, not to #on!ess ) had done any, that Thou ightest heal y soul
be#ause it had sinned against Thee$ but ) lo(ed to e-#use it, and to a##use ) %now not
what other thing, whi#h was with e, but whi#h ) was not" 1ut in truth it was wholly
), and ine ipiety had di(ided e against ysel!$ and that sin was the ore
in#urable, whereby ) did not 2udge ysel! a sinner; and e-e#rable ini5uity it was, that
) had rather ha(e Thee, Thee, O God Alighty, to be o(er#oe in e to y
destru#tion, than ysel! o! Thee to sal(ation" 8ot as yet then hadst Thou set a wat#h
be!ore y outh, and a door o! sa!e %eeping around y lips, that y heart ight not
turn aside to wi#%ed spee#hes, to a%e e-#uses o! sins, with en that wor% ini5uity;
and, there!ore, was ) still united with their 0le#t"
1ut now despairing to a%e pro!i#ien#y in that !alse do#trine, e(en those things (with
whi#h i! ) should !ind no better, ) had resol(ed to rest #ontented) ) now held ore
la-ly and #arelessly" /or there hal! arose a thought in e that those philosophers,
who they #all A#adei#s, were wiser than the rest, !or that they held en ought to
doubt e(erything, and laid down that no truth #an be #oprehended by an$ !or so,
not then understanding e(en their eaning, ) also was #learly #on(in#ed that they
thought, as they are #oonly reported" 4et did ) !reely and openly dis#ourage that
host o! ine !ro that o(er3#on!iden#e whi#h ) per#ei(ed hi to ha(e in those !ables,
Boo !
whi#h the boo%s o! *ani#haeus are !ull o!" 4et ) li(ed in ore !ailiar !riendship
with the, than with others who were not o! this heresy" 8or did ) aintain it with y
an#ient eagerness; still y intia#y with that se#t (@oe se#retly harbouring any o!
the) ade e slower to see% any other way$ espe#ially sin#e ) despaired o! !inding
the truth, !ro whi#h they had turned e aside, in Thy ;hur#h, O Lord o! hea(en and
earth, ;reator o! all things (isible and in(isible$ and it seeed to e (ery unseely to
belie(e Thee to ha(e the shape o! huan !lesh, and to be bounded by the bodily
lineaents o! our ebers" And be#ause, when ) wished to thin% on y God, ) %new
not what to thin% o!, but a ass o! bodies (!or what was not su#h did not see to e
to be anything), this was the greatest, and alost only #ause o! y ine(itable error"
/or hen#e ) belie(ed 0(il also to be soe su#h %ind o! substan#e, and to ha(e its own
!oul and hideous bul%; whether gross, whi#h they #alled earth, or thin and subtile (li%e
the body o! the air), whi#h they iagine to be soe alignant ind, #reeping through
that earth" And be#ause a piety, su#h as it was, #onstrained e to belie(e that the good
God ne(er #reated any e(il nature, ) #on#ei(ed two asses, #ontrary to one another,
both unbounded, but the e(il narrower, the good ore e-pansi(e" And !ro this
pestilent beginning, the other sa#rilegious #on#eits !ollowed on e" /or when y
ind endea(oured to re#ur to the ;atholi# !aith, ) was dri(en ba#%, sin#e that was not
the ;atholi# !aith whi#h ) thought to be so" And ) seeed to ysel! ore re(erential,
i! ) belie(ed o! Thee, y God (to who Thy er#ies #on!ess out o! y outh), as
unbounded, at least on other sides, although on that one where the ass o! e(il was
opposed to Thee, ) was #onstrained to #on!ess Thee bounded; than i! on all sides )
should iagine Thee to be bounded by the !or o! a huan body" And it seeed to
e better to belie(e Thee to ha(e #reated no e(il (whi#h to e ignorant seeed not
soe only, but a bodily substan#e, be#ause ) #ould not #on#ei(e o! ind unless as a
subtile body, and that di!!used in de!inite spa#es), than to belie(e the nature o! e(il,
su#h as ) #on#ei(ed it, #ould #oe !ro Thee" 4ea, and our +a(iour 'isel!, Thy
Only 1egotten, ) belie(ed to ha(e been rea#hed !orth (as it were) !or our sal(ation, out
o! the ass o! Thy ost lu#id substan#e, so as to belie(e nothing o! 'i, but what )
#ould iagine in y (anity" 'is 8ature then, being su#h, ) thought #ould not be born
o! the >irgin *ary, without being ingled with the !lesh$ and how that whi#h ) had so
!igured to ysel! #ould be ingled, and not de!iled, ) saw not" ) !eared there!ore to
belie(e 'i born in the !lesh, lest ) should be !or#ed to belie(e 'i de!iled by the
!lesh" 8ow will Thy spiritual ones ildly and lo(ingly sile upon e, i! they shall
read these y #on!essions" 4et su#h was )"
/urtherore, what the *ani#hees had #riti#ised in Thy +#riptures, ) thought #ould not
be de!ended; yet at ties (erily ) had a wish to #on!er upon these se(eral points with
soe one (ery well s%illed in those boo%s, and to a%e trial what he thought thereon;
!or the words o! one 'elpidius, as he spo%e and disputed !a#e to !a#e against the said
*ani#hees, had begun to stir e e(en at ;arthage$ in that he had produ#ed things out
o! the +#riptures, not easily withstood, the *ani#hees7 answer whereto seeed to e
wea%" And this answer they li%ed not to gi(e publi#ly, but only to us in pri(ate" )t was,
that the +#riptures o! the 8ew Testaent had been #orrupted by ) %now not who,
who wished to engra!! the law o! the =ews upon the ;hristian !aith$ yet thesel(es
produ#ed not any un#orrupted #opies" 1ut ), #on#ei(ing o! things #orporeal only, was
ainly held down, (eheently oppressed and in a anner su!!o#ated by those
9asses9; panting under whi#h a!ter the breath o! Thy truth, ) #ould not breathe it
pure and untainted"
Boo !
) began then diligently to pra#tise that !or whi#h ) #ae to @oe, to tea#h rhetori#;
and !irst, to gather soe to y house, to who, and through who, ) had begun to be
%nown; when to, ) !ound other o!!en#es #oitted in @oe, to whi#h ) was not
e-posed in A!ri#a" True, those 9sub(ertings9 by pro!ligate young en were not here
pra#tised, as was told e$ but on a sudden, said they, to a(oid paying their aster7s
stipend, a nuber o! youths plot together, and reo(e to another; 3brea%ers o! !aith,
who !or lo(e o! oney hold 2usti#e #heap" These also y heart hated, though not with
a per!e#t hatred$ !or per#han#e ) hated the ore be#ause ) was to su!!er by the,
than be#ause they did things utterly unlaw!ul" O! a truth su#h are base persons, and
they go a whoring !ro Thee, lo(ing these !leeting o#%eries o! things teporal, and
!ilthy lu#re, whi#h !ouls the hand that grasps it; hugging the !leeting world, and
despising Thee, .ho abidest, and re#allest, and !orgi(est the adulteress soul o! an,
when she returns to Thee" And now ) hate su#h depra(ed and #roo%ed persons, though
) lo(e the i! #orrigible, so as to pre!er to oney the learning whi#h they a#5uire, and
to learning, Thee, O God, the truth and !ulness o! assured good, and ost pure pea#e"
1ut then ) rather !or y own sa%e isli%ed the e(il, than li%ed and wished the
good !or Thine"
.hen there!ore they o! *ilan had sent to @oe to the pre!e#t o! the #ity, to !urnish
the with a rhetori# reader !or their #ity, and sent hi at the publi# e-pense, ) ade
appli#ation (through those (ery persons, into-i#ated with *ani#haean (anities, to be
!reed where!ro ) was to go, neither o! us howe(er %nowing it) that +ya#hus, then
pre!e#t o! the #ity, would try e by setting e soe sub2e#t, and so send e" To
*ilan ) #ae, to Abrose the 1ishop, %nown to the whole world as aong the best o!
en, Thy de(out ser(ant; whose elo5uent dis#ourse did then plenti!ully dispense unto
Thy people the !lour o! Thy wheat, the gladness o! Thy oil, and the sober inebriation
o! Thy wine" To hi was ) un%nowing led by Thee, that by hi ) ight %nowingly be
led to Thee" That an o! God re#ei(ed e as a !ather, and showed e an 0pis#opal
%indness on y #oing" Then#e!orth ) began to lo(e hi, at !irst indeed not as a
tea#her o! the truth (whi#h ) utterly despaired o! in Thy ;hur#h), but as a person %ind
towards ysel!" And ) listened diligently to hi prea#hing to the people, not with that
intent ) ought, but, as it were, trying his elo5uen#e, whether it answered the !ae
thereo!, or !lowed !uller or lower than was reported; and ) hung on his words
attenti(ely; but o! the atter ) was as a #areless and s#orn!ul loo%er3on; and ) was
delighted with the sweetness o! his dis#ourse, ore re#ondite, yet in anner less
winning and haronious, than that o! /austus" O! the atter, howe(er, there was no
#oparison; !or the one was wandering aid *ani#haean delusions, the other
tea#hing sal(ation ost soundly" 1ut sal(ation is !ar !ro sinners, su#h as ) then stood
be!ore hi; and yet was ) drawing nearer by little and little, and un#ons#iously"
/or though ) too% no pains to learn what he spa%e, but only to hear how he spa%e (!or
that epty #are alone was le!t e, despairing o! a way, open !or an, to Thee), yet
together with the words whi#h ) would #hoose, #ae also into y ind the things
whi#h ) would re!use; !or ) #ould not separate the" And while ) opened y heart to
adit 9how elo5uently he spa%e,9 there also entered 9how truly he spa%e9; but this by
degrees" /or !irst, these things also had now begun to appear to e #apable o!
de!en#e; and the ;atholi# !aith, !or whi#h ) had thought nothing #ould be said against
the *ani#hees7 ob2e#tions, ) now thought ight be aintained without shaelessness;
espe#ially a!ter ) had heard one or two pla#es o! the Old Testaent resol(ed, and
o!tties 9in a !igure,9 whi#h when ) understood literally, ) was slain spiritually" >ery
Boo !
any pla#es then o! those boo%s ha(ing been e-plained, ) now blaed y despair, in
belie(ing that no answer #ould be gi(en to su#h as hated and s#o!!ed at the Law and
the ,rophets" 4et did ) not there!ore then see that the ;atholi# way was to be held,
be#ause it also #ould !ind learned aintainers, who #ould at large and with soe show
o! reason answer ob2e#tions; nor that what ) held was there!ore to be #ondened,
be#ause both sides #ould be aintained" /or the ;atholi# #ause seeed to e in su#h
sort not (an5uished, as still not as yet to be (i#torious"
'ereupon ) earnestly bent y ind, to see i! in any way ) #ould by any #ertain proo!
#on(i#t the *ani#hees o! !alsehood" ;ould ) on#e ha(e #on#ei(ed a spiritual
substan#e, all their strongholds had been beaten down, and #ast utterly out o! y
ind; but ) #ould not" 8otwithstanding, #on#erning the !rae o! this world, and the
whole o! nature, whi#h the senses o! the !lesh #an rea#h to, as ) ore and ore
#onsidered and #opared things, ) 2udged the tenets o! ost o! the philosophers to
ha(e been u#h ore probable" +o then a!ter the anner o! the A#adei#s (as they
are supposed) doubting o! e(ery thing, and wa(ering between all, ) settled so !ar, that
the *ani#hees were to be abandoned; 2udging that, e(en while doubting, ) ight not
#ontinue in that se#t, to whi#h ) already pre!erred soe o! the philosophers; to whi#h
philosophers notwithstanding, !or that they were without the sa(ing 8ae o! ;hrist, )
utterly re!used to #oit the #ure o! y si#% soul" ) deterined there!ore so long to
be a ;ate#huen in the ;atholi# ;hur#h, to whi#h ) had been #oended by y
parents, till soething #ertain should dawn upon e, whither ) ight steer y #ourse"
Boo !I
1OO? >)
O Thou, y hope !ro y youth, where wert Thou to e, and whither wert Thou
gone& 'adst not Thou #reated e, and separated e !ro the beasts o! the !ield, and
!owls o! the air& Thou hadst ade e wiser, yet did ) wal% in dar%ness, and in
slippery pla#es, and sought Thee abroad out o! ysel!, and !ound not the God o! y
heart; and had #oe into the depths o! the sea, and distrusted and despaired o! e(er
!inding truth" *y other had now #oe to e, resolute through piety, !ollowing e
o(er sea and land, in all perils #on!iding in Thee" /or in perils o! the sea, she
#o!orted the (ery ariners (by who passengers una#5uainted with the deep, use
rather to be #o!orted when troubled), assuring the o! a sa!e arri(al, be#ause Thou
hadst by a (ision assured her thereo!" +he !ound e in grie(ous peril, through despair
o! e(er !inding truth" 1ut when ) had dis#o(ered to her that ) was now no longer a
*ani#hee, though not yet a ;atholi# ;hristian, she was not o(er2oyed, as at soething
une-pe#ted; although she was now assured #on#erning that part o! y isery, !or
whi#h she bewailed e as one dead, though to be reawa%ened by Thee, #arrying e
!orth upon the bier o! her thoughts, that Thou ightest say to the son o! the widow,
4oung an, ) say unto thee, Arise; and he should re(i(e, and begin to spea%, and
Thou shouldest deli(er hi to his other" 'er heart then was sha%en with no
tuultuous e-ultation, when she heard that what she daily with tears desired o! Thee
was already in so great part realised; in that, though ) had not yet attained the truth, )
was res#ued !ro !alsehood; but, as being assured, that Thou, .ho hadst proised
the whole, wouldest one day gi(e the rest, ost #ally, and with a heart !ull o!
#on!iden#e, she replied to e, 9+he belie(ed in ;hrist, that be!ore she departed this
li!e, she should see e a ;atholi# belie(er"9 Thus u#h to e" 1ut to Thee, /ountain
o! er#ies, poured she !orth ore #opious prayers and tears, that Thou wouldest
hasten Thy help, and enlighten y dar%ness; and she hastened the ore eagerly to the
;hur#h, and hung upon the lips o! Abrose, praying !or the !ountain o! that water,
whi#h springeth up unto li!e e(erlasting" 1ut that an she lo(ed as an angel o! God,
be#ause she %new that by hi ) had been brought !or the present to that doubt!ul state
o! !aith ) now was in, through whi#h she anti#ipated ost #on!idently that ) should
pass !ro si#%ness unto health, a!ter the a##ess, as it were, o! a sharper !it, whi#h
physi#ians #all 9the #risis"9
.hen then y other had on#e, as she was wont in A!ri#, brought to the ;hur#hes
built in eory o! the +aints, #ertain #a%es, and bread and wine, and was !orbidden
by the door3%eeper; so soon as she %new that the 1ishop had !orbidden this, she so
piously and obediently ebra#ed his wishes, that ) ysel! wondered how readily she
#ensured her own pra#ti#e, rather than dis#uss his prohibition" /or wine3bibbing did
not lay siege to her spirit, nor did lo(e o! wine pro(o%e her to hatred o! the truth, as it
doth too any (both en and woen), who re(olt at a lesson o! sobriety, as en
well3drun% at a draught ingled with water" 1ut she, when she had brought her bas%et
with the a##ustoed !esti(al3!ood, to be but tasted by hersel!, and then gi(en away,
ne(er 2oined therewith ore than one sall #up o! wine, diluted a##ording to her own
absteious habits, whi#h !or #ourtesy she would taste" And i! there were any
#hur#hes o! the departed saints that were to be honoured in that anner, she still
#arried round that sae one #up, to be used e(ery where; and this, though not only
ade (ery watery, but unpleasantly heated with #arrying about, she would distribute
Boo !I
to those about her by sall sips; !or she sought there de(otion, not pleasure" +o soon,
then, as she !ound this #usto to be !orbidden by that !aous prea#her and ost pious
prelate, e(en to those that would use it soberly, lest so an o##asion o! e-#ess ight be
gi(en to the drun%en; and !or these, as it were, anni(ersary !uneral solenities did
u#h reseble the superstition o! the Gentiles, she ost willingly !orbare it$ and !or a
bas%et !illed with !ruits o! the earth, she had learned to bring to the ;hur#hes o! the
artyrs a breast !illed with ore puri!ied petitions, and to gi(e what she #ould to the
poor; that so the #ouni#ation o! the Lord7s 1ody ight be there rightly #elebrated,
where, a!ter the e-aple o! 'is ,assion, the artyrs had been sa#ri!i#ed and #rowned"
1ut yet it sees to e, O Lord y God, and thus thin%s y heart o! it in Thy sight,
that perhaps she would not so readily ha(e yielded to the #utting o!! o! this #usto,
had it been !orbidden by another, who she lo(ed not as Abrose, who, !or y
sal(ation, she lo(ed ost entirely; and he her again, !or her ost religious
#on(ersation, whereby in good wor%s, so !er(ent in spirit, she was #onstant at #hur#h;
so that, when he saw e, he o!ten burst !orth into her praises; #ongratulating e that )
had su#h a other; not %nowing what a son she had in e, who doubted o! all these
things, and iagined the way to li!e #ould not be !ound out"
8or did ) yet groan in y prayers, that Thou wouldest help e; but y spirit was
wholly intent on learning, and restless to dispute" And Abrose hisel!, as the world
#ounts happy, ) esteeed a happy an, who personages so great held in su#h
honour; only his #eliba#y seeed to e a pain!ul #ourse" 1ut what hope he bore
within hi, what struggles he had against the teptations whi#h beset his (ery
e-#ellen#ies, or what #o!ort in ad(ersities, and what sweet 2oys Thy 1read had !or
the hidden outh o! his spirit, when #hewing the #ud thereo!, ) neither #ould
#on2e#ture, nor had e-perien#ed" 8or did he %now the tides o! y !eelings, or the
abyss o! y danger" /or ) #ould not as% o! hi, what ) would as ) would, being shut
out both !ro his ear and spee#h by ultitudes o! busy people, whose wea%nesses he
ser(ed" .ith who when he was not ta%en up (whi#h was but a little tie), he was
either re!reshing his body with the sustenan#e absolutely ne#essary, or his ind with
reading" 1ut when he was reading, his eye glided o(er the pages, and his heart
sear#hed out the sense, but his (oi#e and tongue were at rest" O!tties when we had
#oe (!or no an was !orbidden to enter, nor was it his wont that any who #ae
should be announ#ed to hi), we saw hi thus reading to hisel!, and ne(er
otherwise; and ha(ing long sat silent (!or who durst intrude on one so intent&) we
were !ain to depart, #on2e#turing that in the sall inter(al whi#h he obtained, !ree
!ro the din o! others7 business, !or the re#ruiting o! his ind, he was loth to be ta%en
o!!; and per#han#e he dreaded lest i! the author he read should deli(er any thing
obs#urely, soe attenti(e or perple-ed hearer should desire hi to e-pound it, or to
dis#uss soe o! the harder 5uestions; so that his tie being thus spent, he #ould not
turn o(er so any (olues as he desired; although the preser(ing o! his (oi#e (whi#h
a (ery little spea%ing would wea%en) ight be the truer reason !or his reading to
hisel!" 1ut with what intent soe(er he did it, #ertainly in su#h a an it was good"
) howe(er #ertainly had no opportunity o! en5uiring what ) wished o! that so holy
ora#le o! Thine, his breast, unless the thing ight be answered brie!ly" 1ut those tides
in e, to be poured out to hi, re5uired his !ull leisure, and ne(er !ound it" ) heard
hi indeed e(ery Lord7s day, rightly e-pounding the .ord o! truth aong the people;
and ) was ore and ore #on(in#ed that all the %nots o! those #ra!ty #alunies,
whi#h those our de#ei(ers had %nit against the Di(ine 1oo%s, #ould be unra(elled" 1ut
Boo !I
when ) understood withal, that 9an #reated by Thee, a!ter Thine own iage,9 was
not so understood by Thy spiritual sons, who o! the ;atholi# *other Thou hast born
again through gra#e, as though they belie(ed and #on#ei(ed o! Thee as bounded by
huan shape (although what a spiritual substan#e should be ) had not e(en a !aint or
shadowy notion); yet, with 2oy ) blushed at ha(ing so any years bar%ed not against
the ;atholi# !aith, but against the !i#tions o! #arnal iaginations" /or so rash and
ipious had ) been, that what ) ought by en5uiring to ha(e learned, ) had pronoun#ed
on, #ondening" /or Thou, *ost 'igh, and ost near; ost se#ret, and ost present;
.ho hast not libs soe larger, soe saller, but art wholly e(ery where, and no
where in spa#e, art not o! su#h #orporeal shape, yet hast Thou ade an a!ter Thine
own iage; and behold, !ro head to !oot is he #ontained in spa#e"
)gnorant then how this Thy iage should subsist, ) should ha(e %no#%ed and proposed
the doubt, how it was to be belie(ed, not insultingly opposed it, as i! belie(ed" Doubt,
then, what to hold !or #ertain, the ore sharply gnawed y heart, the ore ashaed )
was, that so long deluded and de#ei(ed by the proise o! #ertainties, ) had with
#hildish error and (eheen#e, prated o! so any un#ertainties" /or that they were
!alsehoods be#ae #lear to e later" 'owe(er ) was #ertain that they were un#ertain,
and that ) had !orerly a##ounted the #ertain, when with a blind #ontentiousness, )
a##used Thy ;atholi# ;hur#h, who ) now dis#o(ered, not indeed as yet to tea#h
truly, but at least not to tea#h that !or whi#h ) had grie(ously #ensured her" +o ) was
#on!ounded, and #on(erted$ and ) 2oyed, O y God, that the One Only ;hur#h, the
body o! Thine Only +on (wherein the nae o! ;hrist had been put upon e as an
in!ant), had no taste !or in!antine #on#eits; nor in her sound do#trine aintained any
tenet whi#h should #on!ine Thee, the ;reator o! all, in spa#e, howe(er great and large,
yet bounded e(ery where by the liits o! a huan !or"
) 2oyed also that the old +#riptures o! the law and the ,rophets were laid be!ore e,
not now to be perused with that eye to whi#h be!ore they seeed absurd, when )
re(iled Thy holy ones !or so thin%ing, whereas indeed they thought not so$ and with
2oy ) heard Abrose in his serons to the people, o!tenties ost diligently
re#oend this te-t !or a rule, The letter %illeth, but the +pirit gi(eth li!e; whilst he
drew aside the ysti# (eil, laying open spiritually what, a##ording to the letter,
seeed to tea#h soething unsound; tea#hing herein nothing that o!!ended e,
though he taught what ) %new not as yet, whether it were true" /or ) %ept y heart
!ro assenting to any thing, !earing to !all headlong; but by hanging in suspense ) was
the worse %illed" /or ) wished to be as assured o! the things ) saw not, as ) was that
se(en and three are ten" /or ) was not so ad as to thin% that e(en this #ould not be
#oprehended; but ) desired to ha(e other things as #lear as this, whether things
#orporeal, whi#h were not present to y senses, or spiritual, whereo! ) %new not how
to #on#ei(e, e-#ept #orporeally" And by belie(ing ight ) ha(e been #ured, that so the
eyesight o! y soul being #leared, ight in soe way be dire#ted to Thy truth, whi#h
abideth always, and in no part !aileth" 1ut as it happens that one who has tried a bad
physi#ian, !ears to trust hisel! with a good one, so was it with the health o! y soul,
whi#h #ould not be healed but by belie(ing, and lest it should belie(e !alsehoods,
re!used to be #ured; resisting Thy hands, .ho hast prepared the edi#ines o! !aith,
and hast applied the to the diseases o! the whole world, and gi(en unto the so
great authority"
Boo !I
1eing led, howe(er, !ro this to pre!er the ;atholi# do#trine, ) !elt that her pro#eeding
was ore unassuing and honest, in that she re5uired to be belie(ed things not
deonstrated (whether it was that they #ould in thesel(es be deonstrated but not
to #ertain persons, or #ould not at all be), whereas aong the *ani#hees our #redulity
was o#%ed by a proise o! #ertain %nowledge, and then so any ost !abulous and
absurd things were iposed to be belie(ed, be#ause they #ould not be deonstrated"
Then Thou, O Lord, little by little with ost tender and ost er#i!ul hand, tou#hing
and #oposing y heart, didst persuade e3 #onsidering what innuerable things )
belie(ed, whi#h ) saw not, nor was present while they were done, as so any things in
se#ular history, so any reports o! pla#es and o! #ities, whi#h ) had not seen; so any
o! !riends, so any o! physi#ians, so any #ontinually o! other en, whi#h unless we
should belie(e, we should do nothing at all in this li!e; lastly, with how unsha%en an
assuran#e ) belie(ed o! what parents ) was born, whi#h ) #ould not %now, had ) not
belie(ed upon hearsay 3#onsidering all this, Thou didst persuade e, that not they
who belie(ed Thy 1oo%s (whi#h Thou hast established in so great authority aong
alost all nations), but they who belie(ed the not, were to be blaed; and that they
were not to be heard, who should say to e, 9'ow %nowest thou those +#riptures to
ha(e been iparted unto an%ind by the +pirit o! the one true and ost true God&9
/or this (ery thing was o! all ost to be belie(ed, sin#e no #ontentiousness o!
blaspheous 5uestionings, o! all that ultitude whi#h ) had read in the sel!3
#ontradi#ting philosophers, #ould wring this belie! !ro e, 9That Thou art9
whatsoe(er Thou wert (what ) %new not), and 9That the go(ernent o! huan things
belongs to Thee"9
This ) belie(ed, soeties ore strongly, ore wea%ly otherwhiles; yet ) e(er
belie(ed both that Thou wert, and hadst a #are o! us; though ) was ignorant, both what
was to be thought o! Thy substan#e, and what way led or led ba#% to Thee" +in#e then
we were too wea% by abstra#t reasonings to !ind out truth$ and !or this (ery #ause
needed the authority o! 'oly .rit; ) had now begun to belie(e that Thou wouldest
ne(er ha(e gi(en su#h e-#ellen#y o! authority to that .rit in all lands, hadst Thou not
willed thereby to be belie(ed in, thereby sought" /or now what things, sounding
strangely in the +#ripture, were wont to o!!end e, ha(ing heard di(ers o! the
e-pounded satis!a#torily, ) re!erred to the depth o! the ysteries, and its authority
appeared to e the ore (enerable, and ore worthy o! religious #reden#e, in that,
while it lay open to all to read, it reser(ed the a2esty o! its ysteries within its
pro!ounder eaning, stooping to all in the great plainness o! its words and lowliness
o! its style, yet #alling !orth the intensest appli#ation o! su#h as are not light o! heart;
that so it ight re#ei(e all in its open boso, and through narrow passages wa!t o(er
towards Thee soe !ew, yet any ore than i! it stood not alo!t on su#h a height o!
authority, nor drew ultitudes within its boso by its holy lowliness" These things )
thought on, and Thou wert with e; ) sighed, and Thou heardest e; ) wa(ered, and
Thou didst guide e; ) wandered through the broad way o! the world, and Thou didst
not !orsa%e e"
) panted a!ter honours, gains, arriage; and thou deridedst e" )n these desires )
underwent ost bitter #rosses, Thou being the ore gra#ious, the less Thou su!!eredst
aught to grow sweet to e, whi#h was not Thou" 1ehold y heart, O Lord, who
wouldest ) should reeber all this, and #on!ess to Thee" Let y soul #lea(e unto
Thee, now that Thou hast !reed it !ro that !ast3holding birdlie o! death" 'ow
wret#hed was it6 and Thou didst irritate the !eeling o! its wound, that !orsa%ing all
Boo !I
else, it ight be #on(erted unto Thee, who art abo(e all, and without who all things
would be nothing; be #on(erted, and be healed" 'ow iserable was ) then, and how
didst Thou deal with e, to a%e e !eel y isery on that day, when ) was
preparing to re#ite a panegyri# o! the 0peror, wherein ) was to utter any a lie, and
lying, was to be applauded by those who %new ) lied, and y heart was panting with
these an-ieties, and boiling with the !e(erishness o! #onsuing thoughts" /or, passing
through one o! the streets o! *ilan, ) obser(ed a poor beggar, then, ) suppose, with a
!ull belly, 2o%ing and 2oyous$ and ) sighed, and spo%e to the !riends around e, o! the
any sorrows o! our !ren<ies; !or that by all su#h e!!orts o! ours, as those wherein )
then toiled dragging along, under the goading o! desire, the burthen o! y own
wret#hedness, and, by dragging, augenting it, we yet loo%ed to arri(e only at that
(ery 2oyousness whither that beggar3an had arri(ed be!ore us, who should ne(er
per#han#e attain it" /or what he had obtained by eans o! a !ew begged pen#e, the
sae was ) plotting !or by any a toilsoe turning and winding; the 2oy o! a
teporary !eli#ity" /or he (erily had not the true 2oy; but yet ) with those y
abitious designs was see%ing one u#h less true" And #ertainly he was 2oyous, )
an-ious; he (oid o! #are, ) !ull o! !ears" 1ut should any as% e, had ) rather be erry
or !ear!ul& ) would answer erry" Again, i! he as%ed had ) rather be su#h as he was, or
what ) then was& ) should #hoose to be ysel!, though worn with #ares and !ears; but
out o! wrong 2udgent; !or, was it the truth& /or ) ought not to pre!er ysel! to hi,
be#ause ore learned than he, seeing ) had no 2oy therein, but sought to please en
by it; and that not to instru#t, but siply to please" .here!ore also Thou didst brea%
y bones with the sta!! o! Thy #orre#tion"
Away with those then !ro y soul who say to her, 9)t a%es a di!!eren#e when#e a
an7s 2oy is" That beggar3an 2oyed in drun%enness; Thou desiredst to 2oy in glory"9
.hat glory, Lord& That whi#h is not in Thee" /or e(en as his was no true 2oy, so was
that no true glory$ and it o(erthrew y soul ore" 'e that (ery night should digest his
drun%enness; but ) had slept and risen again with ine, and was to sleep again, and
again to rise with it, how any days, Thou, God, %nowest" 1ut 9it doth a%e a
di!!eren#e when#e a an7s 2oy is"9 ) %now it, and the 2oy o! a !aith!ul hope lieth
in#oparably beyond su#h (anity" 4ea, and so was he then beyond e$ !or he (erily
was the happier; not only !or that he was thoroughly dren#hed in irth, )
disebowelled with #ares$ but he, by !air wishes, had gotten wine; ), by lying, was
see%ing !or epty, swelling praise" *u#h to this purpose said ) then to y !riends$
and ) o!ten ar%ed in the how it !ared with e; and ) !ound it went ill with e, and
grie(ed, and doubled that (ery ill; and i! any prosperity siled on e, ) was loth to
#at#h at it, !or alost be!ore ) #ould grasp it, it !lew away"
These things we, who were li(ing as !riends together, beoaned together, but #hie!ly
and ost !ailiarly did ) spea% thereo! with Alypius and 8ebridius, o! who Alypius
was born in the sae town with e, o! persons o! #hie! ran% there, but younger than )"
/or he had studied under e, both when ) !irst le#tured in our town, and a!terwards at
;arthage, and he lo(ed e u#h, be#ause ) seeed to hi %ind, and learned; and )
hi, !or his great towardliness to (irtue, whi#h was einent enough in one o! no
greater years" 4et the whirlpool o! ;arthaginian habits (aongst who those idle
spe#ta#les are hotly !ollowed) had drawn hi into the adness o! the ;ir#us" 1ut
while he was iserably tossed therein, and ), pro!essing rhetori# there, had a publi#
s#hool, as yet he used not y tea#hing, by reason o! soe un%indness risen betwi-t
his !ather and e" ) had !ound then how deadly he doted upon the ;ir#us, and was
Boo !I
deeply grie(ed that he seeed li%ely, nay, or had thrown away so great proise$ yet
had ) no eans o! ad(ising or with a sort o! #onstraint re#laiing hi, either by the
%indness o! a !riend, or the authority o! a aster" /or ) supposed that he thought o! e
as did his !ather; but he was not su#h; laying aside then his !ather7s ind in that
atter, he began to greet e, #oe soeties into y le#ture roo, hear a little, and
be gone"
) howe(er had !orgotten to deal with hi, that he should not, through a blind and
headlong desire o! (ain pasties, undo so good a wit" 1ut Thou, O Lord, who guidest
the #ourse o! all Thou hast #reated, hadst not !orgotten hi, who was one day to be
aong Thy #hildren, ,riest and Dispenser o! Thy +a#raent; and that his aendent
ight plainly be attributed to Thysel!, Thou e!!e#tedst it through e, un%nowingly"
/or as one day ) sat in y a##ustoed pla#e, with y s#holars be!ore e, he entered,
greeted e, sat down, and applied his ind to what ) then handled" ) had by #han#e a
passage in hand, whi#h while ) was e-plaining, a li%eness !ro the ;ir#ensian ra#es
o##urred to e, as li%ely to a%e what ) would #on(ey pleasanter and plainer,
seasoned with biting o#%ery o! those who that adness had enthralled; God, Thou
%nowest that ) then thought not o! #uring Alypius o! that in!e#tion" 1ut he too% it
wholly to hisel!, and thought that ) said it siply !or his sa%e" And when#e another
would ha(e ta%en o##asion o! o!!en#e with e, that right3inded youth too% as a
ground o! being o!!ended at hisel!, and lo(ing e ore !er(ently" /or Thou hadst
said it long ago, and put it into Thy boo%, @ebu%e a wise an and he will lo(e Thee"
1ut ) had not rebu%ed hi, but Thou, who eployest all, %nowing or not %nowing, in
that order whi#h Thysel! %nowest (and that order is 2ust), didst o! y heart and tongue
a%e burning #oals, by whi#h to set on !ire the hope!ul ind, thus languishing, and so
#ure it" Let hi be silent in Thy praises, who #onsiders not Thy er#ies, whi#h
#on!ess unto Thee out o! y inost soul" /or he upon that spee#h burst out o! that pit
so deep, wherein he was wil!ully plunged, and was blinded with its wret#hed
pasties; and he shoo% his ind with a strong sel!3#oand; whereupon all the !ilths
o! the ;ir#ensian pasties !lew o!! !ro hi, nor #ae he again thither" :pon this, he
pre(ailed with his unwilling !ather that he ight be y s#holar" 'e ga(e way, and
ga(e in" And Alypius beginning to be y hearer again, was in(ol(ed in the sae
superstition with e, lo(ing in the *ani#hees that show o! #ontinen#y whi#h he
supposed true and un!eigned" .hereas it was a senseless and sedu#ing #ontinen#y,
ensnaring pre#ious souls, unable as yet to rea#h the depth o! (irtue, yet readily
beguiled with the sur!a#e o! what was but a shadowy and #ounter!eit (irtue"
'e, not !orsa%ing that se#ular #ourse whi#h his parents had #hared hi to pursue,
had gone be!ore e to @oe, to study law, and there he was #arried away in#redibly
with an in#redible eagerness a!ter the shows o! gladiators" /or being utterly a(erse to
and detesting spe#ta#les, he was one day by #han#e et by di(ers o! his a#5uaintan#e
and !ellow3students #oing !ro dinner, and they with a !ailiar (iolen#e haled hi,
(eheently re!using and resisting, into the Aphitheatre, during these #ruel and
deadly shows, he thus protesting$ 9Though you hale y body to that pla#e, and there
set e, #an you !or#e e also to turn y ind or y eyes to those shows& ) shall then
be absent while present, and so shall o(er#oe both you and the"9 They, hearing
this, led hi on ne(ertheless, desirous per#han#e to try that (ery thing, whether he
#ould do as he said" .hen they were #oe thither, and had ta%en their pla#es as they
#ould, the whole pla#e %indled with that sa(age pastie" 1ut he, #losing the passage
o! his eyes, !orbade his ind to range abroad a!ter su#h e(il; and would he had
Boo !I
stopped his ears also6 /or in the !ight, when one !ell, a ighty #ry o! the whole people
stri%ing hi strongly, o(er#oe by #uriosity, and as i! prepared to despise and be
superior to it whatsoe(er it were, e(en when seen, he opened his eyes, and was
stri#%en with a deeper wound in his soul than the other, who he desired to behold,
was in his body; and he !ell ore iserably than he upon whose !all that ighty noise
was raised, whi#h entered through his ears, and unlo#%ed his eyes, to a%e way !or
the stri%ing and beating down o! a soul, bold rather than resolute, and the wea%er, in
that it had presued on itsel!, whi#h ought to ha(e relied on Thee" /or so soon as he
saw that blood, he therewith drun% down sa(ageness; nor turned away, but !i-ed his
eye, drin%ing in !ren<y, unawares, and was delighted with that guilty !ight, and
into-i#ated with the bloody pastie" 8or was he now the an he #ae, but one o! the
throng he #ae unto, yea, a true asso#iate o! theirs that brought hi thither" .hy say
ore& 'e beheld, shouted, %indled, #arried then#e with hi the adness whi#h
should goad hi to return not only with the who !irst drew hi thither, but also
be!ore the, yea and to draw in others" 4et then#e didst Thou with a ost strong and
ost er#i!ul hand plu#% hi, and taughtest hi to ha(e #on!iden#e not in hisel!,
but in Thee" 1ut this was a!ter"
1ut this was already being laid up in his eory to be a edi#ine herea!ter" +o was
that also, that when he was yet studying under e at ;arthage, and was thin%ing o(er
at id3day in the ar%et3pla#e what he was to say by heart (as s#holars use to
pra#tise), Thou su!!eredst hi to be apprehended by the o!!i#ers o! the ar%et3pla#e
!or a thie!" /or no other #ause, ) dee, didst Thou, our God, su!!er it, but that he who
was herea!ter to pro(e so great a an, should already begin to learn that in 2udging o!
#auses, an was not readily to be #ondened by an out o! a rash #redulity" /or as
he was wal%ing up and down by hisel! be!ore the 2udgent3seat, with his note3boo%
and pen, lo, a young an, a lawyer, the real thie!, pri(ily bringing a hat#het, got in,
unper#ei(ed by Alypius, as !ar as the leaden gratings whi#h !en#e in the sil(ersiths7
shops, and began to #ut away the lead" 1ut the noise o! the hat#het being heard, the
sil(ersiths beneath began to a%e a stir, and sent to apprehend whoe(er they
should !ind" 1ut he, hearing their (oi#es, ran away, lea(ing his hat#het, !earing to be
ta%en with it" Alypius now, who had not seen hi enter, was aware o! his going, and
saw with what speed he ade away" And being desirous to %now the atter, entered
the pla#e; where !inding the hat#het, he was standing, wondering and #onsidering it,
when behold, those that had been sent, !ind hi alone with the hat#het in his hand, the
noise whereo! had startled and brought the thither" They sei<e hi, hale hi away,
and gathering the dwellers in the ar%et3pla#e together, boast o! ha(ing ta%en a
notorious thie!, and so he was being led away to be ta%en be!ore the 2udge"
1ut thus !ar was Alypius to be instru#ted" /or !orthwith, O Lord, Thou su##ouredst his
inno#en#y, whereo! Thou alone wert witness" /or as he was being led either to prison
or to punishent, a #ertain ar#hite#t et the, who had the #hie! #harge o! the publi#
buildings" Glad they were to eet hi espe#ially, by who they were wont to be
suspe#ted o! stealing the goods lost out o! the ar%etpla#e, as though to show hi at
last by who these the!ts were #oitted" 'e, howe(er, had di(ers ties seen
Alypius at a #ertain senator7s house, to who he o!ten went to pay his respe#ts; and
re#ognising hi iediately, too% hi aside by the hand, and en5uiring the o##asion
o! so great a #alaity, heard the whole atter, and bade all present, aid u#h uproar
and threats, to go with hi" +o they #ae to the house o! the young an who had
done the deed" There, be!ore the door, was a boy so young as to be li%ely, not
Boo !I
apprehending any har to his aster, to dis#lose the whole" /or he had attended his
aster to the ar%et3pla#e" .ho so soon as Alypius reebered, he told the
ar#hite#t$ and he showing the hat#het to the boy, as%ed hi 9.hose that was&9
9Ours,9 5uoth he presently$ and being !urther 5uestioned, he dis#o(ered e(ery thing"
Thus the #rie being trans!erred to that house, and the ultitude ashaed, whi#h had
begun to insult o(er Alypius, he who was to be a dispenser o! Thy .ord, and an
e-ainer o! any #auses in Thy ;hur#h, went away better e-perien#ed and
instru#ted"
'i then ) had !ound at @oe, and he #la(e to e by a ost strong tie, and went with
e to *ilan, both that he ight not lea(e e, and ight pra#tise soething o! the law
he had studied, ore to please his parents than hisel!" There he had thri#e sat as
Assessor, with an un#orruptness u#h wondered at by others, he wondering at others
rather who #ould pre!er gold to honesty" 'is #hara#ter was tried besides, not only with
the bait o! #o(etousness, but with the goad o! !ear" At @oe he was Assessor to the
#ount o! the )talian Treasury" There was at that tie a (ery power!ul senator, to whose
!a(ours any stood indebted, any u#h !eared" 'e would needs, by his usual
power, ha(e a thing allowed hi whi#h by the laws was unallowed" Alypius resisted
it$ a bribe was proised; with all his heart he s#orned it$ threats were held out; he
trapled upon the$ all wondering at so unwonted a spirit, whi#h neither desired the
!riendship, nor !eared the enity o! one so great and so ightily renowned !or
innuerable eans o! doing good or e(il" And the (ery 2udge, whose #oun#illor
Alypius was, although also unwilling it should be, yet did not openly re!use, but put
the atter o!! upon Alypius, alleging that he would not allow hi to do it$ !or in truth
had the 2udge done it, Alypius would ha(e de#ided otherwise" .ith this one thing in
the way o! learning was he well3nigh sedu#ed, that he ight ha(e boo%s #opied !or
hi at ,raetorian pri#es, but #onsulting 2usti#e, he altered his deliberation !or the
better; esteeing e5uity whereby he was hindered ore gain!ul than the power
whereby he were allowed" These are slight things, but he that is !aith!ul in little, is
!aith!ul also in u#h" 8or #an that any how be (oid, whi#h pro#eeded out o! the
outh o! Thy Truth$ )! ye ha(e not been !aith!ul in the unrighteous *aon, who
will #oit to your trust true ri#hes& And i! ye ha(e not been !aith!ul in that whi#h is
another an7s, who shall gi(e you that whi#h is your own& 'e being su#h, did at that
tie #lea(e to e, and with e wa(ered in purpose, what #ourse o! li!e was to be
ta%en"
8ebridius also, who ha(ing le!t his nati(e #ountry near ;arthage, yea and ;arthage
itsel!, where he had u#h li(ed, lea(ing his e-#ellent !aily3estate and house, and a
other behind, who was not to !ollow hi, had #oe to *ilan, !or no other reason
but that with e he ight li(e in a ost ardent sear#h a!ter truth and wisdo" Li%e
e he sighed, li%e e he wa(ered, an ardent sear#her a!ter true li!e, and a ost a#ute
e-ainer o! the ost di!!i#ult 5uestions" Thus were there the ouths o! three indigent
persons, sighing out their wants one to another, and waiting upon Thee that Thou
ightest gi(e the their eat in due season" And in all the bitterness whi#h by Thy
er#y !ollowed our worldly a!!airs, as we loo%ed towards the end, why we should
su!!er all this, dar%ness et us; and we turned away groaning, and saying, 'ow long
shall these things be& This too we o!ten said; and so saying !orsoo% the not, !or as
yet there dawned nothing #ertain, whi#h these !orsa%en, we ight ebra#e"
Boo !I
And ), (iewing and re(iewing things, ost wondered at the length o! tie !ro that
y nineteenth year, wherein ) had begun to %indle with the desire o! wisdo, settling
when ) had !ound her, to abandon all the epty hopes and lying !ren<ies o! (ain
desires" And lo, ) was now in y thirtieth year, sti#%ing in the sae ire, greedy o!
en2oying things present, whi#h passed away and wasted y soul; while ) said to
ysel!, 9Toorrow ) shall !ind it; it will appear ani!estly and ) shall grasp it; to,
/austus the *ani#hee will #oe, and #lear e(ery thing6 O you great en, ye
A#adei#ians, it is true then, that no #ertainty #an be attained !or the ordering o! li!e6
8ay, let us sear#h the ore diligently, and despair not" Lo, things in the e##lesiasti#al
boo%s are not absurd to us now, whi#h soeties seeed absurd, and ay be
otherwise ta%en, and in a good sense" ) will ta%e y stand, where, as a #hild, y
parents pla#ed e, until the #lear truth be !ound out" 1ut where shall it be sought or
when& Abrose has no leisure; we ha(e no leisure to read; where shall we !ind e(en
the boo%s& .hen#e, or when pro#ure the& !ro who borrow the& Let set ties
be appointed, and #ertain hours be ordered !or the health o! our soul" Great hope has
dawned; the ;atholi# /aith tea#hes not what we thought, and (ainly a##used it o!; her
instru#ted ebers hold it pro!ane to belie(e God to be bounded by the !igure o! a
huan body$ and do we doubt to 7%no#%,7 that the rest 7ay be opened7& The !orenoons
our s#holars ta%e up; what do we during the rest& .hy not this& 1ut when then pay
we #ourt to our great !riends, whose !a(our we need& .hen #opose what we ay
sell to s#holars& .hen re!resh oursel(es, unbending our inds !ro this intenseness
o! #are&
9,erish e(ery thing, disiss we these epty (anities, and beta%e oursel(es to the one
sear#h !or truth6 Li!e is (ain, death un#ertain; i! it steals upon us on a sudden, in what
state shall we depart hen#e& and where shall we learn what here we ha(e negle#ted&
and shall we not rather su!!er the punishent o! this negligen#e& .hat, i! death itsel!
#ut o!! and end all #are and !eeling& Then ust this be as#ertained" 1ut God !orbid
this6 )t is no (ain and epty thing, that the e-#ellent dignity o! the authority o! the
;hristian /aith hath o(erspread the whole world" 8e(er would su#h and so great
things be by God wrought !or us, i! with the death o! the body the li!e o! the soul
#ae to an end" .here!ore delay then to abandon worldly hopes, and gi(e oursel(es
wholly to see% a!ter God and the blessed li!e& 1ut wait6 0(en those things are
pleasant; they ha(e soe, and no sall sweetness" .e ust not lightly abandon the,
!or it were a shae to return again to the" +ee, it is no great atter now to obtain
soe station, and then what should we ore wish !or& .e ha(e store o! power!ul
!riends; i! nothing else o!!er, and we be in u#h haste, at least a presidentship ay be
gi(en us$ and a wi!e with soe oney, that she in#rease not our #harges$ and this
shall be the bound o! desire" *any great en, and ost worthy o! iitation, ha(e
gi(en thesel(es to the study o! wisdo in the state o! arriage"
.hile ) went o(er these things, and these winds shi!ted and dro(e y heart this way
and that, tie passed on, but ) delayed to turn to the Lord; and !ro day to day
de!erred to li(e in Thee, and de!erred not daily to die in ysel!" Lo(ing a happy li!e, )
!eared it in its own abode, and sought it, by !leeing !ro it" ) thought ) should be too
iserable, unless !olded in !eale ars; and o! the edi#ine o! Thy er#y to #ure
that in!irity ) thought not, not ha(ing tried it" As !or #ontinen#y, ) supposed it to be
in our own power (though in ysel! ) did not !ind that power), being so !oolish as not
to %now what is written, 8one #an be #ontinent unless Thou gi(e it; and that Thou
Boo !I
wouldest gi(e it, i! with inward groanings ) did %no#% at Thine ears, and with a settled
!aith did #ast y #are on Thee"
Alypius indeed %ept e !ro arrying; alleging that so #ould we by no eans with
undistra#ted leisure li(e together in the lo(e o! wisdo, as we had long desired" /or
hisel! was e(en then ost pure in this point, so that it was wonder!ul; and that the
ore, sin#e in the outset o! his youth he had entered into that #ourse, but had not
stu#% !ast therein; rather had he !elt reorse and re(olting at it, li(ing then#e!orth
until now ost #ontinently" 1ut ) opposed hi with the e-aples o! those who as
arried en had #herished wisdo, and ser(ed God a##eptably, and retained their
!riends, and lo(ed the !aith!ully" O! whose greatness o! spirit ) was !ar short; and
bound with the disease o! the !lesh, and its deadly sweetness, drew along y #hain,
dreading to be loosed, and as i! y wound had been !retted, put ba#% his good
persuasions, as it were the hand o! one that would un#hain e" *oreo(er, by e did
the serpent spea% unto Alypius hisel!, by y tongue wea(ing and laying in his path
pleasurable snares, wherein his (irtuous and !ree !eet ight be entangled"
/or when he wondered that ), who he esteeed not slightly, should sti#% so !ast in
the birdlie o! that pleasure, as to protest (so o!t as we dis#ussed it) that ) #ould ne(er
lead a single li!e; and urged in y de!en#e when ) saw hi wonder, that there was
great di!!eren#e between his oentary and s#ar#e3reebered %nowledge o! that
li!e, whi#h so he ight easily despise, and y #ontinued a#5uaintan#e whereto i! the
honourable nae o! arriage were added, he ought not to wonder why ) #ould not
#onten that #ourse; he began also to desire to be arried; not as o(er#oe with
desire o! su#h pleasure, but out o! #uriosity" /or he would !ain %now, he said, what
that should be, without whi#h y li!e, to hi so pleasing, would to e see not li!e
but a punishent" /or his ind, !ree !ro that #hain, was aa<ed at y thraldo; and
through that aa<eent was going on to a desire o! trying it, then#e to the trial itsel!,
and then#e perhaps to sin% into that bondage whereat he wondered, seeing he was
willing to a%e a #o(enant with death; and he that lo(es danger, shall !all into it" /or
whate(er honour there be in the o!!i#e o! well3ordering a arried li!e, and a !aily,
o(ed us but slightly" 1ut e !or the ost part the habit o! satis!ying an insatiable
appetite torented, while it held e #apti(e; hi, an adiring wonder was leading
#apti(e" +o were we, until Thou, O *ost 'igh, not !orsa%ing our dust, #oiserating
us iserable, didst #oe to our help, by wondrous and se#ret ways"
;ontinual e!!ort was ade to ha(e e arried" ) wooed, ) was proised, #hie!ly
through y other7s pains, that so on#e arried, the health3gi(ing baptis ight
#leanse e, towards whi#h she re2oi#ed that ) was being daily !itted, and obser(ed that
her prayers, and Thy proises, were being !ul!illed in y !aith" At whi#h tie (erily,
both at y re5uest and her own longing, with strong #ries o! heart she daily begged o!
Thee, that Thou wouldest by a (ision dis#o(er unto her soething #on#erning y
!uture arriage; Thou ne(er wouldest" +he saw indeed #ertain (ain and !antasti#
things, su#h as the energy o! the huan spirit, busied thereon, brought together; and
these she told e o!, not with that #on!iden#e she was wont, when Thou showedst her
any thing, but slighting the" /or she #ould, she said, through a #ertain !eeling, whi#h
in words she #ould not e-press, dis#ern betwi-t Thy re(elations, and the dreas o! her
own soul" 4et the atter was pressed on, and a aiden as%ed in arriage, two years
under the !it age; and, as pleasing, was waited !or"
Boo !I
And any o! us !riends #on!erring about, and detesting the turbulent turoils o!
huan li!e, had debated and now alost resol(ed on li(ing apart !ro business and
the bustle o! en; and this was to be thus obtained; we were to bring whate(er we
ight se(erally pro#ure, and a%e one household o! all; so that through the truth o!
our !riendship nothing should belong espe#ially to any; but the whole thus deri(ed
!ro all, should as a whole belong to ea#h, and all to all" .e thought there ight be
soe o!ten persons in this so#iety; soe o! who were (ery ri#h, espe#ially
@oanianus our townsan, !ro #hildhood a (ery !ailiar !riend o! ine, who the
grie(ous perple-ities o! his a!!airs had brought up to #ourt; who was the ost earnest
!or this pro2e#t; and therein was his (oi#e o! great weight, be#ause his aple estate !ar
e-#eeded any o! the rest" .e had settled also that two annual o!!i#ers, as it were,
should pro(ide all things ne#essary, the rest being undisturbed" 1ut when we began to
#onsider whether the wi(es, whi#h soe o! us already had, others hoped to ha(e,
would allow this, all that plan, whi#h was being so well oulded, !ell to pie#es in our
hands, was utterly dashed and #ast aside" Then#e we betoo% us to sighs, and groans,
and our steps to !ollow the broad and beaten ways o! the world; !or any thoughts
were in our heart, but Thy #ounsel standeth !or e(er" Out o! whi#h #ounsel Thou didst
deride ours, and preparedst Thine own; purposing to gi(e us eat in due season, and
to !ill our souls with blessing"
*eanwhile y sins were being ultiplied, and y #on#ubine being torn !ro y side
as a hindran#e to y arriage, y heart whi#h #la(e unto her was torn and wounded
and bleeding" And she returned to A!ri#, (owing unto Thee ne(er to %now any other
an, lea(ing with e y son by her" 1ut unhappy ), who #ould not iitate a (ery
woan, ipatient o! delay, inasu#h as not till a!ter two years was ) to obtain her )
sought not being so u#h a lo(er o! arriage as a sla(e to lust, pro#ured another,
though no wi!e, that so by the ser(itude o! an enduring #usto, the disease o! y soul
ight be %ept up and #arried on in its (igour, or e(en augented, into the doinion o!
arriage" 8or was that y wound #ured, whi#h had been ade by the #utting away o!
the !orer, but a!ter in!laation and ost a#ute pain, it orti!ied, and y pains
be#ae less a#ute, but ore desperate"
To Thee be praise, glory to Thee, /ountain o! er#ies" ) was be#oing ore
iserable, and Thou nearer" Thy right hand was #ontinually ready to plu#% e out o!
the ire, and to wash e thoroughly, and ) %new it not; nor did anything #all e ba#%
!ro a yet deeper gul! o! #arnal pleasures, but the !ear o! death, and o! Thy 2udgent
to #oe; whi#h aid all y #hanges, ne(er departed !ro y breast" And in y
disputes with y !riends Alypius and 8ebridius o! the nature o! good and e(il, ) held
that 0pi#urus had in y ind won the pal, had ) not belie(ed that a!ter death there
reained a li!e !or the soul, and pla#es o! re5uital a##ording to en7s deserts, whi#h
0pi#urus would not belie(e" And ) as%ed, 9were we iortal, and to li(e in perpetual
bodily pleasure, without !ear o! losing it, why should we not be happy, or what else
should we see%&9 not %nowing that great isery was in(ol(ed in this (ery thing, that,
being thus sun% and blinded, ) #ould not dis#ern that light o! e-#ellen#e and beauty, to
be ebra#ed !or its own sa%e, whi#h the eye o! !lesh #annot see, and is seen by the
inner an" 8or did ), unhappy, #onsider !ro what sour#e it sprung, that e(en on
these things, !oul as they were, ) with pleasure dis#oursed with y !riends, nor #ould
), e(en a##ording to the notions ) then had o! happiness, be happy without !riends,
aid what abundan#e soe(er o! #arnal pleasures" And yet these !riends ) lo(ed !or
thesel(es only, and ) !elt that ) was belo(ed o! the again !or ysel! only"
Boo !I
O #roo%ed paths6 .oe to the auda#ious soul, whi#h hoped, by !orsa%ing Thee, to gain
soe better thing6 Turned it hath, and turned again, upon ba#%, sides, and belly, yet all
was pain!ul; and Thou alone rest" And behold, Thou art at hand, and deli(erest us
!ro our wret#hed wanderings, and pla#est us in Thy way, and dost #o!ort us, and
say, 9@un; ) will #arry you; yea ) will bring you through; there also will ) #arry you"9
Boo !II
1OO? >))
De#eased was now that y e(il and aboinable youth, and ) was passing into early
anhood; the ore de!iled by (ain things as ) grew in years, who #ould not iagine
any substan#e, but su#h as is wont to be seen with these eyes" ) thought not o! Thee, O
God, under the !igure o! a huan body; sin#e ) began to hear aught o! wisdo, )
always a(oided this; and re2oi#ed to ha(e !ound the sae in the !aith o! our spiritual
other, Thy ;atholi# ;hur#h" 1ut what else to #on#ei(e o! Thee ) %new not" And ), a
an, and su#h a an, sought to #on#ei(e o! Thee the so(ereign, only, true God; and )
did in y inost soul belie(e that Thou wert in#orruptible, and unin2urable, and
un#hangeable; be#ause though not %nowing when#e or how, yet ) saw plainly, and was
sure, that that whi#h ay be #orrupted ust be in!erior to that whi#h #annot; what
#ould not be in2ured ) pre!erred unhesitatingly to what #ould re#ei(e in2ury; the
un#hangeable to things sub2e#t to #hange" *y heart passionately #ried out against all
y phantos, and with this one blow ) sought to beat away !ro the eye o! y ind
all that un#lean troop whi#h bu<<ed around it" And to, being s#ar#e put o!!, in the
twin%ling o! an eye they gathered again thi#% about e, !lew against y !a#e, and
be#louded it; so that though not under the !or o! the huan body, yet was )
#onstrained to #on#ei(e o! Thee (that in#orruptible, unin2urable, and un#hangeable,
whi#h ) pre!erred be!ore the #orruptible, and in2urable, and #hangeable) as being in
spa#e, whether in!used into the world, or di!!used in!initely without it" 1e#ause
whatsoe(er ) #on#ei(ed, depri(ed o! this spa#e, seeed to e nothing, yea altogether
nothing, not e(en a (oid, as i! a body were ta%en out o! its pla#e, and the pla#e should
reain epty o! any body at all, o! earth and water, air and hea(en, yet would it
reain a (oid pla#e, as it were a spa#ious nothing"
) then being thus gross3hearted, nor #lear e(en to ysel!, whatsoe(er was not
e-tended o(er #ertain spa#es, nor di!!used, nor #ondensed, nor swelled out, or did not
or #ould not re#ei(e soe o! these diensions, ) thought to be altogether nothing" /or
o(er su#h !ors as y eyes are wont to range, did y heart then range$ nor yet did )
see that this sae notion o! the ind, whereby ) !ored those (ery iages, was not o!
this sort, and yet it #ould not ha(e !ored the, had not itsel! been soe great thing"
+o also did ) endea(our to #on#ei(e o! Thee, Li!e o! y li!e, as (ast, through in!inite
spa#es on e(ery side penetrating the whole ass o! the uni(erse, and beyond it, e(ery
way, through uneasurable boundless spa#es; so that the earth should ha(e Thee, the
hea(en ha(e Thee, all things ha(e Thee, and they be bounded in Thee, and Thou
bounded nowhere" /or that as the body o! this air whi#h is abo(e the earth, hindereth
not the light o! the sun !ro passing through it, penetrating it, not by bursting or by
#utting, but by !illing it wholly$ so ) thought the body not o! hea(en, air, and sea only,
but o! the earth too, per(ious to Thee, so that in all its parts, the greatest as the
sallest, it should adit Thy presen#e, by a se#ret inspiration, within and without,
dire#ting all things whi#h Thou hast #reated" +o ) guessed, only as unable to #on#ei(e
aught else, !or it was !alse" /or thus should a greater part o! the earth #ontain a greater
portion o! Thee, and a less, a lesser$ and all things should in su#h sort be !ull o! Thee,
that the body o! an elephant should #ontain ore o! Thee, than that o! a sparrow, by
how u#h larger it is, and ta%es up ore roo; and thus shouldest Thou a%e the
se(eral portions o! Thysel! present unto the se(eral portions o! the world, in
Boo !II
!ragents, large to the large, petty to the petty" 1ut su#h art not Thou" 1ut not as yet
hadst Thou enlightened y dar%ness"
)t was enough !or e, Lord, to oppose to those de#ei(ed de#ei(ers, and dub praters,
sin#e Thy word sounded not out o! the; 3that was enough whi#h long ago, while we
were yet at ;arthage, 8ebridius used to propound, at whi#h all we that heard it were
staggered$ 9That said nation o! dar%ness, whi#h the *ani#hees are wont to set as an
opposing ass o(er against Thee, what #ould it ha(e done unto Thee, hadst Thou
re!used to !ight with it& /or, i! they answered, 7it would ha(e done Thee soe hurt,7
then shouldest Thou be sub2e#t to in2ury and #orruption$ but i! #ould do Thee no hurt,7
then was no reason brought !or Thy !ighting with it; and !ighting in su#h wise, as that
a #ertain portion or eber o! Thee, or o!!spring o! Thy (ery +ubstan#e, should he
ingled with opposed powers, and natures not #reated by Thee, and be by the so !ar
#orrupted and #hanged to the worse, as to be turned !ro happiness into isery, and
need assistan#e, whereby it ight be e-tri#ated and puri!ied; and that this o!!spring o!
Thy +ubstan#e was the soul, whi#h being enthralled, de!iled, #orrupted, Thy .ord,
!ree, pure, and whole, ight relie(e; that .ord itsel! being still #orruptible be#ause it
was o! one and the sae +ubstan#e" +o then, should they a!!ir Thee, whatsoe(er
Thou art, that is, Thy +ubstan#e whereby Thou art, to be in#orruptible, then were all
these sayings !alse and e-e#rable; but i! #orruptible, the (ery stateent showed it to
be !alse and re(olting"9 This arguent then o! 8ebridius su!!i#ed against those who
deser(ed wholly to be (oited out o! the o(er#harged stoa#h; !or they had no
es#ape, without horrible blasphey o! heart and tongue, thus thin%ing and spea%ing o!
Thee"
1ut ) also as yet, although ) held and was !irly persuaded that Thou our Lord the
true God, who adest not only our souls, but our bodies, and not only our souls and
bodies, but all beings, and all things, wert unde!ilable and unalterable, and in no
degree utable; yet understood ) not, #learly and without di!!i#ulty, the #ause o! e(il"
And yet whate(er it were, ) per#ei(ed it was in su#h wise to be sought out, as should
not #onstrain e to belie(e the iutable God to be utable, lest ) should be#oe
that e(il ) was see%ing out" ) sought it out then, thus !ar !ree !ro an-iety, #ertain o!
the untruth o! what these held, !ro who ) shrun% with y whole heart$ !or ) saw,
that through en5uiring the origin o! e(il, they were !illed with e(il, in that they
pre!erred to thin% that Thy substan#e did su!!er ill than their own did #oit it"
And ) strained to per#ei(e what ) now heard, that !ree3will was the #ause o! our doing
ill, and Thy 2ust 2udgent o! our su!!ering ill" 1ut ) was not able #learly to dis#ern it"
+o then endea(ouring to draw y soul7s (ision out o! that deep pit, ) was again
plunged therein, and endea(ouring o!ten, ) was plunged ba#% as o!ten" 1ut this raised
e a little into Thy light, that ) %new as well that ) had a will, as that ) li(ed$ when
then ) did will or nill any thing, ) was ost sure that no other than ysel! did will and
nill$ and ) all but saw that there was the #ause o! y sin" 1ut what ) did against y
will, ) saw that ) su!!ered rather than did, and ) 2udged not to be y !ault, but y
punishent; whereby, howe(er, holding Thee to be 2ust, ) speedily #on!essed ysel!
to be not un2ustly punished" 1ut again ) said, .ho ade e& Did not y God, .ho is
not only good, but goodness itsel!& .hen#e then #ae ) to will e(il and nill good, so
that ) a thus 2ustly punished& who set this in e, and ingrated into e this plant o!
bitterness, seeing ) was wholly !ored by y ost sweet God& )! the de(il were the
author, when#e is that sae de(il& And i! he also by his own per(erse will, o! a good
Boo !II
angel be#ae a de(il, when#e, again, #ae in hi that e(il will whereby he be#ae a
de(il, seeing the whole nature o! angels was ade by that ost good ;reator& 1y
these thoughts ) was again sun% down and #ho%ed; yet not brought down to that hell
o! error (where no an #on!esseth unto Thee), to thin% rather that Thou dost su!!er ill,
than that an doth it"
/or ) was in su#h wise stri(ing to !ind out the rest, as one who had already !ound that
the in#orruptible ust needs be better than the #orruptible$ and Thee there!ore,
whatsoe(er Thou wert, ) #on!essed to be in#orruptible" /or ne(er soul was, nor shall
be, able to #on#ei(e any thing whi#h ay be better than Thou, who art the so(ereign
and the best good" 1ut sin#e ost truly and #ertainly, the in#orruptible is pre!erable to
the #orruptible (as ) did now pre!er it), then, wert Thou not in#orruptible, ) #ould in
thought ha(e arri(ed at soething better than y God" .here then ) saw the
in#orruptible to be pre!erable to the #orruptible, there ought ) to see% !or Thee, and
there obser(e 9wherein e(il itsel! was9; that is, when#e #orruption #oes, by whi#h
Thy substan#e #an by no eans be ipaired" /or #orruption does no ways ipair our
God; by no will, by no ne#essity, by no unloo%ed3!or #han#e$ be#ause 'e is God, and
what 'e wills is good, and 'isel! is that good; but to be #orrupted is not good" 8or
art Thou against Thy will #onstrained to any thing, sin#e Thy will is not greater than
Thy power" 1ut greater should it be, were Thysel! greater than Thysel!" /or the will
and power o! God is God 'isel!" And what #an be unloo%ed3!or by Thee, .ho
%nowest all things& 8or is there any nature in things, but Thou %nowest it" And what
should we ore say, 9why that substan#e whi#h God is should not be #orruptible,9
seeing i! it were so, it should not be God&
And ) sought 9when#e is e(il,9 and sought in an e(il way; and saw not the e(il in y
(ery sear#h" ) set now be!ore the sight o! y spirit the whole #reation, whatsoe(er we
#an see therein (as sea, earth, air, stars, trees, ortal #reatures); yea, and whate(er in it
we do not see, as the !iraent o! hea(en, all angels oreo(er, and all the spiritual
inhabitants thereo!" 1ut these (ery beings, as though they were bodies, did y !an#y
dispose in pla#e, and ) ade one great ass o! Thy #reation, distinguished as to the
%inds o! bodies; soe, real bodies, soe, what ysel! had !eigned !or spirits" And this
ass ) ade huge, not as it was (whi#h ) #ould not %now), but as ) thought
#on(enient, yet e(ery way !inite" 1ut Thee, O Lord, ) iagined on e(ery part
en(ironing and penetrating it, though e(ery way in!inite$ as i! there were a sea, e(ery
where, and on e(ery side, through uneasured spa#e, one only boundless sea, and it
#ontained within it soe sponge, huge, but bounded; that sponge ust needs, in all its
parts, be !illed !ro that uneasurable sea$ so #on#ei(ed ) Thy #reation, itsel! !inite,
!ull o! Thee, the )n!inite; and ) said, 1ehold God, and behold what God hath #reated;
and God is good, yea, ost ightily and in#oparably better than all these$ but yet
'e, the Good, #reated the good; and see how 'e en(ironeth and !ul!ils the" .here
is e(il then, and when#e, and how #rept it in hither& .hat is its root, and what its
seed& Or hath it no being& .hy then !ear we and a(oid what is not& Or i! we !ear it
idly, then is that (ery !ear e(il, whereby the soul is thus idly goaded and ra#%ed" 4ea,
and so u#h a greater e(il, as we ha(e nothing to !ear, and yet do !ear" There!ore
either is that e(il whi#h we !ear, or else e(il is, that we !ear" .hen#e is it then& seeing
God, the Good, hath #reated all these things good" 'e indeed, the greater and #hie!est
Good, hath #reated these lesser goods; still both ;reator and #reated, all are good"
.hen#e is e(il& Or, was there soe e(il atter o! whi#h 'e ade, and !ored, and
ordered it, yet le!t soething in it whi#h 'e did not #on(ert into good& .hy so then&
Boo !II
'ad 'e no ight to turn and #hange the whole, so that no e(il should reain in it,
seeing 'e is All3ighty& Lastly, why would 'e a%e any thing at all o! it, and not
rather by the sae All3ightiness #ause it not to be at all& Or, #ould it then be against
'is will& Or i! it were !ro eternity, why su!!ered 'e it so to be !or in!inite spa#es o!
ties past, and was pleased so long a!ter to a%e soething out o! it& Or i! 'e were
suddenly pleased now to e!!e#t soewhat, this rather should the All3ighty ha(e
e!!e#ted, that this e(il atter should not be, and 'e alone be, the whole, true,
so(ereign, and in!inite Good" Or i! it was not good that 'e who was good should not
also !rae and #reate soething that were good, then, that e(il atter being ta%en
away and brought to nothing, 'e ight !or good atter, whereo! to #reate all things"
/or 'e should not be All3ighty, i! 'e ight not #reate soething good without the
aid o! that atter whi#h 'isel! had not #reated" These thoughts ) re(ol(ed in y
iserable heart, o(er#harged with ost gnawing #ares, lest ) should die ere ) had
!ound the truth; yet was the !aith o! Thy ;hrist, our Lord and +a(iour, pro!essed in the
;hur#h ;atholi#, !irly !i-ed in y heart, in any points, indeed, as yet un!ored,
and !lu#tuating !ro the rule o! do#trine; yet did not y ind utterly lea(e it, but
rather daily too% in ore and ore o! it"
1ut this tie also had ) re2e#ted the lying di(inations and ipious dotages o! the
astrologers" Let Thine own er#ies, out o! y (ery inost soul, #on!ess unto Thee !or
this also, O y God" /or Thou, Thou altogether (!or who else #alls us ba#% !ro the
death o! all errors, sa(e the Li!e whi#h #annot die, and the .isdo whi#h needing no
light enlightens the inds that need it, whereby the uni(erse is dire#ted, down to the
whirling lea(es o! trees&) 3Thou adest pro(ision !or y obstina#y wherewith )
struggled against >indi#ianus, an a#ute old an, and 8ebridius, a young an o!
adirable talents; the !irst (eheently a!!iring, and the latter o!ten (though with
soe doubt!ulness) saying, 9That there was no su#h art whereby to !oresee things to
#oe, but that en7s #on2e#tures were a sort o! lottery, and that out o! any things
whi#h they said should #oe to pass, soe a#tually did, unawares to the who spa%e
it, who stubled upon it, through their o!t spea%ing"9 Thou pro(idedst then a !riend
!or e, no negligent #onsulter o! the astrologers; nor yet well s%illed in those arts, but
(as ) said) a #urious #onsulter with the, and yet %nowing soething, whi#h he said
he had heard o! his !ather, whi#h how !ar it went to o(erthrow the estiation o! that
art, he %new not" This an then, /irinus by nae, ha(ing had a liberal edu#ation,
and well taught in @hetori#, #onsulted e, as one (ery dear to hi, what, a##ording to
his so#alled #onstellations, ) thought on #ertain a!!airs o! his, wherein his worldly
hopes had risen, and ), who had herein now begun to in#line towards 8ebridius7
opinion, did not altogether re!use to #on2e#ture, and tell hi what #ae into y
unresol(ed ind; but added, that ) was now alost persuaded that these were but
epty and ridi#ulous !ollies" Thereupon he told e that his !ather had been (ery
#urious in su#h boo%s, and had a !riend as earnest in the as hisel!, who with 2oint
study and #on!eren#e !anned the !lae o! their a!!e#tions to these toys, so that they
would obser(e the oents whereat the (ery dub anials, whi#h bred about their
houses, ga(e birth, and then obser(ed the relati(e position o! the hea(ens, thereby to
a%e !resh e-perients in this so3#alled art" 'e said then that he had heard o! his
!ather, that what tie his other was about to gi(e birth to hi, /irinus, a woan3
ser(ant o! that !riend o! his !ather7s was also with #hild, whi#h #ould not es#ape her
aster, who too% #are with ost e-a#t diligen#e to %now the births o! his (ery
puppies" And so it was that (the one !or his wi!e, and the other !or his ser(ant, with the
ost #are!ul obser(ation, re#%oning days, hours, nay, the lesser di(isions o! the hours)
Boo !II
both were deli(ered at the sae instant; so that both were #onstrained to allow the
sae #onstellations, e(en to the inutest points, the one !or his son, the other !or his
new3born sla(e" /or so soon as the woen began to be in labour, they ea#h ga(e
noti#e to the other what was !allen out in their houses, and had essengers ready to
send to one another so soon as they had noti#e o! the a#tual birth, o! whi#h they had
easily pro(ided, ea#h in his own pro(in#e, to gi(e instant intelligen#e" Thus then the
essengers o! the respe#ti(e parties et, he a(erred, at su#h an e5ual distan#e !ro
either house that neither o! the #ould a%e out any di!!eren#e in the position o! the
stars, or any other inutest points; and yet /irinus, born in a high estate in his
parents7 house, ran his #ourse through the gilded paths o! li!e, was in#reased in ri#hes,
raised to honours; whereas that sla(e #ontinued to ser(e his asters, without any
rela-ation o! his yo%e, as /irinus, who %new hi, told e"
:pon hearing and belie(ing these things, told by one o! su#h #redibility, all that y
resistan#e ga(e way; and !irst ) endea(oured to re#lai /irinus hisel! !ro that
#uriosity, by telling hi that upon inspe#ting his #onstellations, ) ought i! ) were to
predi#t truly, to ha(e seen in the parents einent aong their neighbours, a noble
!aily in its own #ity, high birth, good edu#ation, liberal learning" 1ut i! that ser(ant
had #onsulted e upon the sae #onstellations, sin#e they were his also, ) ought again
(to tell hi too truly) to see in the a lineage the ost ab2e#t, a sla(ish #ondition, and
e(ery thing else utterly at (arian#e with the !orer" .hen#e then, i! ) spa%e the truth, )
should, !ro the sae #onstellations, spea% di(ersely, or i! ) spa%e the sae, spea%
!alsely$ then#e it !ollowed ost #ertainly that whate(er, upon #onsideration o! the
#onstellations, was spo%en truly, was spo%en not out o! art, but #han#e; and whate(er
spo%en !alsely, was not out o! ignoran#e in the art, but the !ailure o! the #han#e"
An opening thus ade, ruinating with ysel! on the li%e things, that no one o! those
dotards (who li(ed by su#h a trade, and who ) longed to atta#%, and with derision to
#on!ute) ight urge against e that /irinus had in!ored e !alsely, or his !ather
hi; ) bent y thoughts on those that are born twins, who !or the ost part #oe out
o! the wob so near one to other, that the sall inter(al (how u#h !or#e soe(er in
the nature o! things !ol% ay pretend it to ha(e) #annot be noted by huan
obser(ation, or be at all e-pressed in those !igures whi#h the astrologer is to inspe#t,
that he ay pronoun#e truly" 4et they #annot be true$ !or loo%ing into the sae
!igures, he ust ha(e predi#ted the sae o! 0sau and =a#ob, whereas the sae
happened not to the" There!ore he ust spea% !alsely; or i! truly, then, loo%ing into
the sae !igures, he ust not gi(e the sae answer" 8ot by art, then, but by #han#e,
would he spea% truly" /or Thou, O Lord, ost righteous @uler o! the :ni(erse, while
#onsulters and #onsulted %now it not, dost by Thy hidden inspiration e!!e#t that the
#onsulter should hear what, a##ording to the hidden deser(ings o! souls, he ought to
hear, out o! the unsear#hable depth o! Thy 2ust 2udgent, to .ho let no an say,
.hat is this& .hy that& Let hi not so say, !or he is an"
8ow then, O y 'elper, hadst Thou loosed e !ro those !etters$ and ) sought
9when#e is e(il,9 and !ound no way" 1ut Thou su!!eredst e not by any !lu#tuations
o! thought to be #arried away !ro the /aith whereby ) belie(ed Thee both to be, and
Thy substan#e to be un#hangeable, and that Thou hast a #are o!, and wouldest 2udge
en, and that in ;hrist, Thy +on, Our Lord, and the holy +#riptures, whi#h the
authority o! Thy ;atholi# ;hur#h pressed upon e, Thou hadst set the way o! an7s
sal(ation, to that li!e whi#h is to be a!ter this death" These things being sa!e and
Boo !II
io(ably settled in y ind, ) sought an-iously 9when#e was e(il&9 .hat were the
pangs o! y teeing heart, what groans, O y God6 yet e(en there were Thine ears
open, and ) %new it not; and when in silen#e ) (eheently sought, those silent
#ontritions o! y soul were strong #ries unto Thy er#y" Thou %newest what )
su!!ered, and no an" /or, what was that whi#h was then#e through y tongue
distilled into the ears o! y ost !ailiar !riends& Did the whole tuult o! y soul,
!or whi#h neither tie nor utteran#e su!!i#ed, rea#h the& 4et went up the whole to
Thy hearing, all whi#h ) roared out !ro the groanings o! y heart; and y desire
was be!ore Thee, and the light o! ine eyes was not with e$ !or that was within, )
without$ nor was that #on!ined to pla#e, but ) was intent on things #ontained in pla#e,
but there !ound ) no resting3pla#e, nor did they so re#ei(e e, that ) #ould say, 9)t is
enough,9 9it is well9$ nor did they yet su!!er e to turn ba#%, where it ight be well
enough with e" /or to these things was ) superior, but in!erior to Thee; and Thou art
y true 2oy when sub2e#ted to Thee, and Thou hadst sub2e#ted to e what Thou
#reatedst below e" And this was the true teperaent, and iddle region o! y
sa!ety, to reain in Thy )age, and by ser(ing Thee, rule the body" 1ut when ) rose
proudly against Thee, and ran against the Lord with y ne#%, with the thi#% bosses o!
y bu#%ler, e(en these in!erior things were set abo(e e, and pressed e down, and
no where was there respite or spa#e o! breathing" They et y sight on all sides by
heaps and troops, and in thought the iages thereo! presented thesel(es unsought,
as ) would return to Thee, as i! they would say unto e, 9.hither goest thou,
unworthy and de!iled&9 And these things had grown out o! y wound; !or Thou
9hubledst the proud li%e one that is wounded,9 and through y own swelling was )
separated !ro Thee; yea, y pride3swollen !a#e #losed up ine eyes"
1ut Thou, Lord, abidest !or e(er, yet not !or e(er art Thou angry with us; be#ause
Thou pitiest our dust and ashes, and it was pleasing in Thy sight to re!or y
de!orities; and by inward goads didst Thou rouse e, that ) should be ill at ease,
until Thou wert ani!ested to y inward sight" Thus, by the se#ret hand o! Thy
edi#ining was y swelling abated, and the troubled and bedied eyesight o! y
ind, by the sarting anointings o! health!ul sorrows, was !ro day to day healed"
And Thou, willing !irst to show e how Thou resistest the proud, but gi(est gra#e
unto the huble, and by how great an a#t o! Thy er#y Thou hadst tra#ed out to en
the way o! huility, in that Thy .ord was ade !lesh, and dwelt aong en$3 Thou
pro#uredst !or e, by eans o! one pu!!ed up with ost unnatural pride, #ertain
boo%s o! the ,latonists, translated !ro Gree% into Latin" And therein ) read, not
indeed in the (ery words, but to the (ery sae purpose, en!or#ed by any and di(ers
reasons, that )n the beginning was the .ord, and the .ord was with God, and the
.ord was God$ the +ae was in the beginning with God$ all things were ade by
'i, and without 'i was nothing ade$ that whi#h was ade by 'i is li!e, and
the li!e was the light o! en, and the light shineth in the dar%ness, and the dar%ness
#oprehended it not" And that the soul o! an, though it bears witness to the light, yet
itsel! is not that light; but the .ord o! God, being God, is that true light that lighteth
e(ery an that #oeth into the world" And that 'e was in the world, and the world
was ade by 'i, and the world %new 'i not" 1ut, that 'e #ae unto 'is own, and
'is own re#ei(ed 'i not; but as any as re#ei(ed 'i, to the ga(e 'e power to
be#oe the sons o! God, as any as belie(ed in 'is nae; this ) read not there"
Boo !II
Again ) read there, that God the .ord was born not o! !lesh nor o! blood, nor o! the
will o! an, nor o! the will o! the !lesh, but o! God" 1ut that the .ord was ade
!lesh, and dwelt aong us, ) read not there" /or ) tra#ed in those boo%s that it was
any and di(ers ways said, that the +on was in the !or o! the /ather, and thought it
not robbery to be e5ual with God, !or that naturally 'e was the +ae +ubstan#e" 1ut
that 'e eptied 'isel!, ta%ing the !or o! a ser(ant, being ade in the li%eness o!
en, and !ound in !ashion as a an, hubled 'isel!, and be#ae obedient unto
death, and that the death o! the #ross$ where!ore God e-alted 'i !ro the dead, and
ga(e 'i a nae abo(e e(ery nae, that at the nae o! =esus e(ery %nee should how,
o! things in hea(en, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that e(ery
tongue should #on!ess that the Lord =esus ;hrist is in the glory o! God the /ather;
those boo%s ha(e not" /or that be!ore all ties and abo(e all ties Thy Only31egotten
+on reaineth un#hangeable, #o3eternal with Thee, and that o! 'is !ulness souls
re#ei(e, that they ay be blessed; and that by parti#ipation o! wisdo abiding in
the, they are renewed, so as to be wise, is there" 1ut that in due tie 'e died !or the
ungodly; and that Thou sparedst not Thine Only +on, but deli(eredst 'i !or us all, is
not there" /or Thou hiddest these things !ro the wise, and re(ealedst the to babes;
that they that labour and are hea(y laden ight #oe unto 'i, and 'e re!resh the,
be#ause 'e is ee% and lowly in heart; and the ee% 'e dire#teth in 2udgent, and
the gentle 'e tea#heth 'is ways, beholding our lowliness and trouble, and !orgi(ing
all our sins" 1ut su#h as are li!ted up in the lo!ty wal% o! soe would3be sublier
learning, hear not 'i, saying, Learn o! *e, !or ) a ee% and lowly in heart, and ye
shall !ind rest to your souls" Although they %new God, yet they glori!y 'i not as
God, nor are than%!ul, but wa- (ain in their thoughts; and their !oolish heart is
dar%ened; pro!essing that they were wise, they be#ae !ools"
And there!ore did ) read there also, that they had #hanged the glory o! Thy
in#orruptible nature into idols and di(ers shapes, into the li%eness o! the iage o!
#orruptible an, and birds, and beasts, and #reeping things; naely, into that 0gyptian
!ood !or whi#h 0sau lost his birthright, !or that Thy !irst3born people worshipped the
head o! a !our3!ooted beast instead o! Thee; turning in heart ba#% towards 0gypt; and
bowing Thy iage, their own soul, be!ore the iage o! a #al! that eateth hay" These
things !ound ) here, but ) !ed not on the" /or it pleased Thee, O Lord, to ta%e away
the reproa#h o! diinution !ro =a#ob, that the elder should ser(e the younger$ and
Thou #alledst the Gentiles into Thine inheritan#e" And ) had #oe to Thee !ro
aong the Gentiles; and ) set y ind upon the gold whi#h Thou willedst Thy people
to ta%e !ro 0gypt, seeing Thine it was, wheresoe(er it were" And to the Athenians
Thou saidst by Thy Apostle, that in Thee we li(e, o(e, and ha(e our being, as one o!
their own poets had said" And (erily these boo%s #ae !ro then#e" 1ut ) set not y
ind on the idols o! 0gypt, who they ser(ed with Thy gold, who #hanged the truth
o! God into a lie, and worshipped and ser(ed the #reature ore than the ;reator"
And being then#e adonished to return to ysel!, ) entered e(en into y inward sel!,
Thou being y Guide$ and able ) was, !or Thou wert be#oe y 'elper" And )
entered and beheld with the eye o! y soul (su#h as it was), abo(e the sae eye o! y
soul, abo(e y ind, the Light :n#hangeable" 8ot this ordinary light, whi#h all !lesh
ay loo% upon, nor as it were a greater o! the sae %ind, as though the brightness o!
this should be ani!old brighter, and with its greatness ta%e up all spa#e" 8ot su#h
was this light, but other, yea, !ar other !ro these" 8or was it abo(e y soul, as oil is
abo(e water, nor yet as hea(en abo(e earth$ but abo(e to y soul, be#ause )t ade
Boo !II
e; and ) below )t, be#ause ) was ade by )t" 'e that %nows the Truth, %nows what
that Light is; and he that %nows )t, %nows eternity" Lo(e %noweth it" O Truth .ho art
0ternity6 and Lo(e .ho art Truth6 and 0ternity .ho art Lo(e6 Thou art y God, to
Thee do ) sigh night and day" Thee when ) !irst %new, Thou li!tedst e up, that ) ight
see there was what ) ight see, and that ) was not yet su#h as to see" And Thou didst
beat ba#% the wea%ness o! y sight, streaing !orth Thy beas o! light upon e ost
strongly, and ) trebled with lo(e and awe$ and ) per#ei(ed ysel! to be !ar o!! !ro
Thee, in the region o! unli%eness, as i! ) heard this Thy (oi#e !ro on high$ 9) a the
!ood o! grown en, grow, and thou shalt !eed upon *e; nor shalt thou #on(ert *e,
li%e the !ood o! thy !lesh into thee, but thou shalt be #on(erted into *e"9 And )
learned, that Thou !or ini5uity #hastenest an, and Thou adest y soul to #onsue
away li%e a spider" And ) said, 9)s Truth there!ore nothing be#ause it is not di!!used
through spa#e !inite or in!inite&9 And Thou #riedst to e !ro a!ar$ 94et (erily, ) A*
that ) A*"9 And ) heard, as the heart heareth, nor had ) roo to doubt, and ) should
sooner doubt that ) li(e than that Truth is not, whi#h is #learly seen, being understood
by those things whi#h are ade" And ) beheld the other things below Thee, and )
per#ei(ed that they neither altogether are, nor altogether are not, !or they are, sin#e
they are !ro Thee, but are not, be#ause they are not what Thou art" /or that truly is
whi#h reains un#hangeably" )t is good then !or e to hold !ast unto God; !or i! )
reain not in 'i, ) #annot in ysel!; but 'e reaining in 'isel!, reneweth all
things" And Thou art the Lord y God, sin#e Thou standest not in need o! y
goodness"
And it was ani!ested unto e, that those things be good whi#h yet are #orrupted;
whi#h neither were they so(ereignly good, nor unless they were good #ould he
#orrupted$ !or i! so(ereignly good, they were in#orruptible, i! not good at all, there
were nothing in the to be #orrupted" /or #orruption in2ures, but unless it diinished
goodness, it #ould not in2ure" 0ither then #orruption in2ures not, whi#h #annot be; or
whi#h is ost #ertain, all whi#h is #orrupted is depri(ed o! good" 1ut i! they he
depri(ed o! all good, they shall #ease to be" /or i! they shall be, and #an now no
longer he #orrupted, they shall be better than be!ore, be#ause they shall abide
in#orruptibly" And what ore onstrous than to a!!ir things to be#oe better by
losing all their good& There!ore, i! they shall be depri(ed o! all good, they shall no
longer be" +o long there!ore as they are, they are good$ there!ore whatsoe(er is, is
good" That e(il then whi#h ) sought, when#e it is, is not any substan#e$ !or were it a
substan#e, it should be good" /or either it should be an in#orruptible substan#e, and so
a #hie! good$ or a #orruptible substan#e; whi#h unless it were good, #ould not be
#orrupted" ) per#ei(ed there!ore, and it was ani!ested to e that Thou adest all
things good, nor is there any substan#e at all, whi#h Thou adest not; and !or that
Thou adest not all things e5ual, there!ore are all things; be#ause ea#h is good, and
altogether (ery good, be#ause our God ade all things (ery good"
And to Thee is nothing whatsoe(er e(il$ yea, not only to Thee, but also to Thy
#reation as a whole, be#ause there is nothing without, whi#h ay brea% in, and
#orrupt that order whi#h Thou hast appointed it" 1ut in the parts thereo! soe things,
be#ause unharonising with other soe, are a##ounted e(il$ whereas those (ery
things haronise with others, and are good; and in thesel(es are good" And all these
things whi#h haronise not together, do yet with the in!erior part, whi#h we #all
0arth, ha(ing its own #loudy and windy s%y haronising with it" /ar be it then that )
should say, 9These things should not be9$ !or should ) see nought but these, ) should
Boo !II
indeed long !or the better; but still ust e(en !or these alone praise Thee; !or that
Thou art to be praised, do show !ro the earth, dragons, and all deeps, !ire, hail,
snow, i#e, and story wind, whi#h !ul!il Thy word; ountains, and all hills, !ruit!ul
trees, and all #edars; beasts, and all #attle, #reeping things, and !lying !owls; %ings o!
the earth, and all people, prin#es, and all 2udges o! the earth; young en and aidens,
old en and young, praise Thy 8ae" 1ut when, !ro hea(en, these praise Thee,
praise Thee, our God, in the heights all Thy angels, all Thy hosts, sun and oon, all
the stars and light, the 'ea(en o! hea(ens, and the waters that be abo(e the hea(ens,
praise Thy 8ae; ) did not now long !or things better, be#ause ) #on#ei(ed o! all$ and
with a sounder 2udgent ) apprehended that the things abo(e were better than these
below, but altogether better than those abo(e by thesel(es"
There is no soundness in the, who aught o! Thy #reation displeaseth$ as neither in
e, when u#h whi#h Thou hast ade, displeased e" And be#ause y soul durst
not be displeased at y God, it would !ain not a##ount that Thine, whi#h displeased it"
'en#e it had gone into the opinion o! two substan#es, and had no rest, but tal%ed idly"
And returning then#e, it had ade to itsel! a God, through in!inite easures o! all
spa#e; and thought it to be Thee, and pla#ed it in its heart; and had again be#oe the
teple o! its own idol, to Thee aboinable" 1ut a!ter Thou hadst soothed y head,
un%nown to e, and #losed ine eyes that they should not behold (anity, ) #eased
soewhat o! y !orer sel!, and y !ren<y was lulled to sleep; and ) awo%e in Thee,
and saw Thee in!inite, but in another way, and this sight was not deri(ed !ro the
!lesh"
And ) loo%ed ba#% on other things; and ) saw that they owed their being to Thee; and
were all bounded in Thee$ but in a di!!erent way; not as being in spa#e; but be#ause
Thou #ontainest all things in Thine hand in Thy Truth; and all things are true so !ar as
they nor is there any !alsehood, unless when that is thought to be, whi#h is not" And )
saw that all things did haronise, not with their pla#es only, but with their seasons"
And that Thou, who only art 0ternal, didst not begin to wor% a!ter innuerable spa#es
o! ties spent; !or that all spa#es o! ties, both whi#h ha(e passed, and whi#h shall
pass, neither go nor #oe, but through Thee, wor%ing and abiding"
And ) per#ei(ed and !ound it nothing strange, that bread whi#h is pleasant to a healthy
palate is loathsoe to one distepered$ and to sore eyes light is o!!ensi(e, whi#h to
the sound is delight!ul" And Thy righteousness displeaseth the wi#%ed; u#h ore the
(iper and reptiles, whi#h Thou hast #reated good, !itting in with the in!erior portions
o! Thy ;reation, with whi#h the (ery wi#%ed also !it in; and that the ore, by how
u#h they be unli%e Thee; but with the superior #reatures, by how u#h they be#oe
ore li%e to Thee" And ) en5uired what ini5uity was, and !ound it to be substan#e, but
the per(ersion o! the will, turned aside !ro Thee, O God, the +upree, towards these
lower things, and #asting out its bowels, and pu!!ed up outwardly"
And ) wondered that ) now lo(ed Thee, and no phantas !or Thee" And yet did ) not
press on to en2oy y God; but was borne up to Thee by Thy beauty, and soon borne
down !ro Thee by ine own weight, sin%ing with sorrow into these in!erior things"
This weight was #arnal #usto" 4et dwelt there with e a reebran#e o! Thee; nor
did ) any way doubt that there was One to who ) ight #lea(e, but that ) was not yet
su#h as to #lea(e to Thee$ !or that the body whi#h is #orrupted presseth down the soul,
and the earthly taberna#le weigheth down the ind that useth upon any things"
Boo !II
And ost #ertain ) was, that Thy in(isible wor%s !ro the #reation o! the world are
#learly seen, being understood by the things that are ade, e(en Thy eternal power
and Godhead" /or e-aining when#e it was that ) adired the beauty o! bodies
#elestial or terrestrial; and what aided e in 2udging soundly on things utable, and
pronoun#ing, 9This ought to be thus, this not9; e-aining, ) say, when#e it was that )
so 2udged, seeing ) did so 2udge, ) had !ound the un#hangeable and true 0ternity o!
Truth abo(e y #hangeable ind" And thus by degrees ) passed !ro bodies to the
soul, whi#h through the bodily senses per#ei(es; and then#e to its inward !a#ulty, to
whi#h the bodily senses represent things e-ternal, whitherto rea#h the !a#ulties o!
beasts; and then#e again to the reasoning !a#ulty, to whi#h what is re#ei(ed !ro the
senses o! the body is re!erred to be 2udged" .hi#h !inding itsel! also to be in e a
thing (ariable, raised itsel! up to its own understanding, and drew away y thoughts
!ro the power o! habit, withdrawing itsel! !ro those troops o! #ontradi#tory
phantass; that so it ight !ind what that light was whereby it was bedewed, when,
without all doubting, it #ried out, 9That the un#hangeable was to be pre!erred to the
#hangeable9; when#e also it %new That :n#hangeable, whi#h, unless it had in soe
way %nown, it had had no sure ground to pre!er it to the #hangeable" And thus with
the !lash o! one trebling glan#e it arri(ed at T'AT .');' )+" And then ) saw Thy
in(isible things understood by the things whi#h are ade" 1ut ) #ould not !i- y ga<e
thereon; and y in!irity being stru#% ba#%, ) was thrown again on y wonted habits,
#arrying along with e only a lo(ing eory thereo!, and a longing !or what ) had,
as it were, per#ei(ed the odour o!, but was not yet able to !eed on"
Then ) sought a way o! obtaining strength su!!i#ient to en2oy Thee; and !ound it not,
until ) ebra#ed that *ediator betwi-t God and en, the *an ;hrist =esus, who is
o(er all, God blessed !or e(erore, #alling unto e, and saying, ) a the way, the
truth, and the li!e, and ingling that !ood whi#h ) was unable to re#ei(e, with our
!lesh" /or, the .ord was ade !lesh, that Thy wisdo, whereby Thou #reatedst all
things, ight pro(ide il% !or our in!ant state" /or ) did not hold to y Lord =esus
;hrist, ), hubled, to the 'uble; nor %new ) yet whereto 'is in!irity would guide
us" /or Thy .ord, the 0ternal Truth, !ar abo(e the higher parts o! Thy ;reation, raises
up the subdued unto )tsel!$ but in this lower world built !or )tsel! a lowly habitation o!
our #lay, whereby to abase !ro thesel(es su#h as would be subdued, and bring
the o(er to 'isel!; allaying their swelling, and toenting their lo(e; to the end
they ight go on no !urther in sel!3#on!iden#e, but rather #onsent to be#oe wea%,
seeing be!ore their !eet the Di(inity wea% by ta%ing our #oats o! s%in; and wearied,
ight #ast thesel(es down upon )t, and )t rising, ight li!t the up"
1ut ) thought otherwise; #on#ei(ing only o! y Lord ;hrist as o! a an o! e-#ellent
wisdo, who no one #ould be e5ualled unto; espe#ially, !or that being wonder!ully
born o! a >irgin, 'e seeed, in #on!ority therewith, through the Di(ine #are !or us,
to ha(e attained that great einen#e o! authority, !or an ensaple o! despising things
teporal !or the obtaining o! iortality" 1ut what ystery there lay in 9The .ord
was ade !lesh,9 ) #ould not e(en iagine" Only ) had learnt out o! what is deli(ered
to us in writing o! 'i that 'e did eat, and drin%, sleep, wal%, re2oi#ed in spirit, was
sorrow!ul, dis#oursed; that !lesh did not #lea(e by itsel! unto Thy .ord, but with the
huan soul and ind" All %now this who %now the un#hangeableness o! Thy .ord,
whi#h ) now %new, as !ar as ) #ould, nor did ) at all doubt thereo!" /or, now to o(e
the libs o! the body by will, now not, now to be o(ed by soe a!!e#tion, now not,
now to deli(er wise sayings through huan signs, now to %eep silen#e, belong to soul
Boo !II
and ind sub2e#t to (ariation" And should these things be !alsely written o! 'i, all
the rest also would ris% the #harge, nor would there reain in those boo%s any sa(ing
!aith !or an%ind" +in#e then they were written truly, ) a#%nowledged a per!e#t an to
be in ;hrist; not the body o! a an only, nor, with the body, a sensiti(e soul without a
rational, but (ery an; who, not only as being a !or o! Truth, but !or a #ertain
great e-#ellen#e o! huan nature and a ore per!e#t parti#ipation o! wisdo, ) 2udged
to be pre!erred be!ore others" 1ut Alypius iagined the ;atholi#s to belie(e God to be
so #lothed with !lesh, that besides God and !lesh, there was no soul at all in ;hrist,
and did not thin% that a huan ind was as#ribed to 'i" And be#ause he was well
persuaded that the a#tions re#orded o! 'i #ould only be per!ored by a (ital and a
rational #reature, he o(ed the ore slowly towards the ;hristian /aith" 1ut
understanding a!terwards that this was the error o! the Apollinarian hereti#s, he 2oyed
in and was #on!ored to the ;atholi# /aith" 1ut soewhat later, ) #on!ess, did ) learn
how in that saying, The .ord was ade !lesh, the ;atholi# truth is distinguished !ro
the !alsehood o! ,hotinus" /or the re2e#tion o! hereti#s a%es the tenets o! Thy
;hur#h and sound do#trine to stand out ore #learly" /or there ust also be heresies,
that the appro(ed ay be ade ani!est aong the wea%"
1ut ha(ing then read those boo%s o! the ,latonists, and then#e been taught to sear#h
!or in#orporeal truth, ) saw Thy in(isible things, understood by those things whi#h are
ade; and though #ast ba#%, ) per#ei(ed what that was whi#h through the dar%ness o!
y ind ) was hindered !ro #onteplating, being assured 9That Thou wert, and
wert in!inite, and yet not di!!used in spa#e, !inite or in!inite; and that Thou truly art
.ho art the sae e(er, in no part nor otion (arying; and that all other things are
!ro Thee, on this ost sure ground alone, that they are"9 O! these things ) was
assured, yet too unsure to en2oy Thee" ) prated as one well s%illed; but had ) not
sought Thy way in ;hrist our +a(iour, ) had pro(ed to be, not s%illed, but %illed" /or
now ) had begun to wish to see wise, being !illed with ine own punishent, yet )
did not ourn, but rather s#orn, pu!!ed up with %nowledge" /or where was that
#harity building upon the !oundation o! huility, whi#h is ;hrist =esus& or when
should these boo%s tea#h e it& :pon these, ) belie(e, Thou there!ore willedst that )
should !all, be!ore ) studied Thy +#riptures, that it ight be iprinted on y eory
how ) was a!!e#ted by the; and that a!terwards when y spirits were taed through
Thy boo%s, and y wounds tou#hed by Thy healing !ingers, ) ight dis#ern and
distinguish between presuption and #on!ession; between those who saw whither
they were to go, yet saw not the way, and the way that leadeth not to behold only but
to dwell in the beati!i# #ountry" /or had ) !irst been !ored in Thy 'oly +#riptures,
and hadst Thou in the !ailiar use o! the grown sweet unto e, and had ) then !allen
upon those other (olues, they ight perhaps ha(e withdrawn e !ro the solid
ground o! piety, or, had ) #ontinued in that health!ul !rae whi#h ) had then#e
ibibed, ) ight ha(e thought that it ight ha(e been obtained by the study o! those
boo%s alone"
*ost eagerly then did ) sei<e that (enerable writing o! Thy +pirit; and #hie!ly the
Apostle ,aul" .hereupon those di!!i#ulties (anished away, wherein he on#e seeed
to e to #ontradi#t hisel!, and the te-t o! his dis#ourse not to agree with the
testionies o! the Law and the ,rophets" And the !a#e o! that pure word appeared to
e one and the sae; and ) learned to re2oi#e with trebling" +o ) began; and
whatsoe(er truth ) had read in those other boo%s, ) !ound here aid the praise o! Thy
Gra#e; that whoso sees, ay not so glory as i! he had not re#ei(ed, not only what he
Boo !II
sees, but also that he sees (!or what hath he, whi#h he hath not re#ei(ed&), and that he
ay be not only adonished to behold Thee, who art e(er the sae, but also healed,
to hold Thee; and that he who #annot see a!ar o!!, ay yet wal% on the way, whereby
he ay arri(e, and behold, and hold Thee" /or, though a an be delighted with the
law o! God a!ter the inner an, what shall he do with that other law in his ebers
whi#h warreth against the law o! his ind, and bringeth hi into #apti(ity to the law
o! sin whi#h is in his ebers& /or, Thou art righteous, O Lord, but we ha(e sinned
and #oitted ini5uity, and ha(e done wi#%edly, and Thy hand is grown hea(y upon
us, and we are 2ustly deli(ered o(er unto that an#ient sinner, the %ing o! death;
be#ause he persuaded our will to be li%e his will whereby he abode not in Thy truth"
.hat shall wret#hed an do& who shall deli(er hi !ro the body o! his death, but
only Thy Gra#e, through =esus ;hrist our Lord, who Thou hast begotten #o3eternal,
and !oredst in the beginning o! Thy ways, in who the prin#e o! this world !ound
nothing worthy o! death, yet %illed he 'i; and the handwriting, whi#h was #ontrary
to us, was blotted out& This those writings #ontain not" Those pages present not the
iage o! this piety, the tears o! #on!ession, Thy sa#ri!i#e, a troubled spirit, a bro%en
and a #ontrite heart, the sal(ation o! the people, the 1ridal ;ity, the earnest o! the
'oly Ghost, the ;up o! our @edeption" 8o an sings there, +hall not y soul be
subitted unto God& !or o! 'i #oeth y sal(ation" /or 'e is y God and y
sal(ation, y guardian, ) shall no ore be o(ed" 8o one there hears 'i #all, ;oe
unto *e, all ye that labour" They s#orn to learn o! 'i, be#ause 'e is ee% and lowly
in heart; !or these things hast Thou hid !ro the wise and prudent, and hast re(ealed
the unto babes" /or it is one thing, !ro the ountain7s shaggy top to see the land o!
pea#e, and to !ind no way thither; and in (ain to essay through ways unpassable,
opposed and beset by !ugiti(es and deserters, under their #aptain the lion and the
dragon$ and another to %eep on the way that leads thither, guarded by the host o! the
hea(enly General; where they spoil not who ha(e deserted the hea(enly ary; !or
they a(oid it, as (ery torent" These things did wonder!ully sin% into y bowels,
when ) read that least o! Thy Apostles, and had editated upon Thy wor%s, and
trebled e-#eedingly"
Boo !III
BOO. !III
O y God, let e, with than%sgi(ing, reeber, and #on!ess unto Thee Thy er#ies
on e" Let y bones be bedewed with Thy lo(e, and let the say unto Thee, .ho is
li%e unto Thee, O Lord& Thou hast bro%en y bonds in sunder, ) will o!!er unto Thee
the sa#ri!i#e o! than%sgi(ing" And how Thou hast bro%en the, ) will de#lare; and all
who worship Thee, when they hear this, shall say, 91lessed be the Lord, in hea(en and
in earth, great and wonder!ul is his nae" 9 Thy words had stu#% !ast in y heart, and
) was hedged round about on all sides by Thee" O! Thy eternal li!e ) was now #ertain,
though ) saw it in a !igure and as through a glass" 4et ) had #eased to doubt that there
was an in#orruptible substan#e, when#e was all other substan#e; nor did ) now desire
to be ore #ertain o! Thee, but ore stead!ast in Thee" 1ut !or y teporal li!e, all
was wa(ering, and y heart had to be purged !ro the old lea(en" The .ay, the
+a(iour 'isel!, well pleased e, but as yet ) shrun% !ro going through its
straitness" And Thou didst put into y ind, and it seeed good in y eyes, to go to
+ipli#ianus, who seeed to e a good ser(ant o! Thine; and Thy gra#e shone in
hi" ) had heard also that !ro his (ery youth he had li(ed ost de(oted unto Thee"
8ow he was grown into years; and by reason o! so great age spent in su#h <ealous
!ollowing o! Thy ways, he seeed to e li%ely to ha(e learned u#h e-perien#e; and
so he had" Out o! whi#h store ) wished that he would tell e (setting be!ore hi y
an-ieties) whi#h were the !ittest way !or one in y #ase to wal% in Thy paths"
/or, ) saw the #hur#h !ull; and one went this way, and another that way" 1ut ) was
displeased that ) led a se#ular li!e; yea now that y desires no longer in!laed e, as
o! old, with hopes o! honour and pro!it, a (ery grie(ous burden it was to undergo so
hea(y a bondage" /or, in #oparison o! Thy sweetness, and the beauty o! Thy house
whi#h ) lo(ed, those things delighted e no longer" 1ut still ) was enthralled with the
lo(e o! woan; nor did the Apostle !orbid e to arry, although he ad(ised e to
soething better, #hie!ly wishing that all en were as hisel! was" 1ut ) being wea%,
#hose the ore indulgent pla#e; and be#ause o! this alone, was tossed up and down in
all beside, !aint and wasted with withering #ares, be#ause in other atters ) was
#onstrained against y will to #on!or ysel! to a arried li!e, to whi#h ) was gi(en
up and enthralled" ) had heard !ro the outh o! the Truth, that there were soe
eunu#hs whi#h had ade thesel(es eunu#hs !or the %ingdo o! hea(en7s sa%e$ but,
saith 'e, let hi who #an re#ei(e it, re#ei(e it" +urely (ain are all en who are
ignorant o! God, and #ould not out o! the good things whi#h are seen, !ind out 'i
who is good" 1ut ) was no longer in that (anity; ) had surounted it; and by the
#oon witness o! all Thy #reatures had !ound Thee our ;reator, and Thy .ord, God
with Thee, and together with Thee one God, by who Thou #reatedst all things" There
is yet another %ind o! ungodly, who %nowing God, glori!ied 'i not as God, neither
were than%!ul" )nto this also had ) !allen, but Thy right hand upheld e, and too% e
then#e, and Thou pla#edst e where ) ight re#o(er" /or Thou hast said unto an,
1ehold, the !ear o! the Lord is wisdo, and, Desire not to see wise; be#ause they
who a!!ired thesel(es to be wise, be#ae !ools" 1ut ) had now !ound the goodly
pearl, whi#h, selling all that ) had, ) ought to ha(e bought, and ) hesitated"
To +ipli#ianus then ) went, the !ather o! Abrose (a 1ishop now) in re#ei(ing Thy
gra#e, and who Abrose truly lo(ed as a !ather" To hi ) related the a<es o! y
Boo !III
wanderings" 1ut when ) entioned that ) had read #ertain boo%s o! the ,latonists,
whi#h >i#torinus, soetie @hetori# ,ro!essor o! @oe (who had died a ;hristian, as
) had heard), had translated into Latin, he testi!ied his 2oy that ) had not !allen upon
the writings o! other philosophers, !ull o! !alla#ies and de#eits, a!ter the rudients o!
this world, whereas the ,latonists any ways led to the belie! in God and 'is .ord"
Then to e-hort e to the huility o! ;hrist, hidden !ro the wise, and re(ealed to
little ones, he spo%e o! >i#torinus hisel!, who while at @oe he had ost
intiately %nown$ and o! hi he related what ) will not #on#eal" /or it #ontains great
praise o! Thy gra#e, to be #on!essed unto Thee, how that aged an, ost learned and
s%illed in the liberal s#ien#es, and who had read, and weighed so any wor%s o! the
philosophers; the instru#tor o! so any noble +enators, who also, as a onuent o!
his e-#ellent dis#harge o! his o!!i#e, had (whi#h en o! this world estee a high
honour) both deser(ed and obtained a statue in the @oan /oru; he, to that age a
worshipper o! idols, and a parta%er o! the sa#rilegious rites, to whi#h alost all the
nobility o! @oe were gi(en up, and had inspired the people with the lo(e o!
Anubis, bar%ing Deity, and all
The onster Gods o! e(ery %ind, who !ought
7Gainst 8eptune, >enus, and *iner(a$
who @oe on#e #on5uered, now adored, all whi#h the aged >i#torinus had with
thundering elo5uen#e so any years de!ended; 3he now blushed not to be the #hild o!
Thy ;hrist, and the new3born babe o! Thy !ountain; subitting his ne#% to the yo%e o!
huility, and subduing his !orehead to the reproa#h o! the ;ross"
O Lord, Lord, .hi#h hast bowed the hea(ens and #oe down, tou#hed the ountains
and they did so%e, by what eans didst Thou #on(ey Thysel! into that breast& 'e
used to read (as +ipli#ianus said) the holy +#ripture, ost studiously sought and
sear#hed into all the ;hristian writings, and said to +ipli#ianus (not openly, but
pri(ately and as a !riend), 9:nderstand that ) a already a ;hristian"9 .hereto he
answered, 9) will not belie(e it, nor will ) ran% you aong ;hristians, unless ) see you
in the ;hur#h o! ;hrist"9 The other, in banter, replied, 9Do walls then a%e
;hristians&9 And this he o!ten said, that he was already a ;hristian; and +ipli#ianus
as o!ten ade the sae answer, and the #on#eit o! the 9walls9 was by the other as
o!ten renewed" /or he !eared to o!!end his !riends, proud daeon3worshippers, !ro
the height o! whose 1abylonian dignity, as !ro #edars o! Libanus, whi#h the Lord
had not yet bro%en down, he supposed the weight o! enity would !all upon hi" 1ut
a!ter that by reading and earnest thought he had gathered !irness, and !eared to be
denied by ;hrist be!ore the holy angels, should he now be a!raid to #on!ess 'i
be!ore en, and appeared to hisel! guilty o! a hea(y o!!en#e, in being ashaed o!
the +a#raents o! the huility o! Thy .ord, and not being ashaed o! the
sa#rilegious rites o! those proud daeons, whose pride he had iitated and their rites
adopted, he be#ae bold3!a#ed against (anity, and shae3!a#ed towards the truth, and
suddenly and une-pe#tedly said to +ipli#ianus (as hisel! told e), 9Go we to the
;hur#h; ) wish to be ade a ;hristian"9 1ut he, not #ontaining hisel! !or 2oy, went
with hi" And ha(ing been aditted to the !irst +a#raent and be#oe a
;ate#huen, not long a!ter he !urther ga(e in his nae, that he ight be regenerated
by baptis, @oe wondering, the ;hur#h re2oi#ing" The proud saw, and were wroth;
they gnashed with their teeth, and elted away" 1ut the Lord God was the hope o!
Thy ser(ant, and he regarded not (anities and lying adness"
Boo !III
To #on#lude, when the hour was #oe !or a%ing pro!ession o! his !aith (whi#h at
@oe they, who are about to approa#h to Thy gra#e, deli(er, !ro an ele(ated pla#e,
in the sight o! all the !aith!ul, in a set !or o! words #oitted to eory), the
presbyters, he said, o!!ered >i#torinus (as was done to su#h as seeed li%ely through
bash!ulness to be alared) to a%e his pro!ession ore pri(ately$ but he #hose rather
to pro!ess his sal(ation in the presen#e o! the holy ultitude" 9/or it was not sal(ation
that he taught in rhetori#, and yet that he had publi#ly pro!essed$ how u#h less then
ought he, when pronoun#ing Thy word, to dread Thy ee% !lo#%, who, when
deli(ering his own words, had not !eared a ad ultitude69 .hen, then, he went up to
a%e his pro!ession, all, as they %new hi, whispered his nae one to another with
the (oi#e o! #ongratulation" And who there %new hi not& and there ran a low
urur through all the ouths o! the re2oi#ing ultitude, >i#torinus6 >i#torinus6
+udden was the burst o! rapture, that they saw hi; suddenly were they hushed that
they ight hear hi" 'e pronoun#ed the true !aith with an e-#ellent boldness, and all
wished to draw hi into their (ery heart; yea by their lo(e and 2oy they drew hi
thither, su#h were the hands wherewith they drew hi"
Good God6 what ta%es pla#e in an, that he should ore re2oi#e at the sal(ation o! a
soul despaired o!, and !reed !ro greater peril, than i! there had always been hope o!
hi, or the danger had been less& /or so Thou also, er#i!ul /ather, dost ore re2oi#e
o(er one penitent than o(er ninety3nine 2ust persons that need no repentan#e" And
with u#h 2oy!ulness do we hear, so o!ten as we hear with what 2oy the sheep whi#h
had strayed is brought ba#% upon the shepherd7s shoulder, and the groat is restored to
Thy treasury, the neighbours re2oi#ing with the woan who !ound it; and the 2oy o!
the solen ser(i#e o! Thy house !or#eth to tears, when in Thy house it is read o! Thy
younger son, that he was dead, and li(eth again; had been lost, and is !ound" /or Thou
re2oi#est in us, and in Thy holy angels, holy through holy #harity" /or Thou art e(er
the sae; !or all things whi#h abide not the sae nor !or e(er, Thou !or e(er %nowest
in the sae way"
.hat then ta%es pla#e in the soul, when it is ore delighted at !inding or re#o(ering
the things it lo(es, than i! it had e(er had the& yea, and other things witness
hereunto; and all things are !ull o! witnesses, #rying out, 9+o is it"9 The #on5uering
#oander triupheth; yet had he not #on5uered unless he had !ought; and the ore
peril there was in the battle, so u#h the ore 2oy is there in the triuph" The stor
tosses the sailors, threatens shipwre#%; all wa- pale at approa#hing death; s%y and sea
are #aled, and they are e-#eeding 2oyed, as ha(ing been e-#eeding a!raid" A !riend is
si#%, and his pulse threatens danger; all who long !or his re#o(ery are si#% in ind
with hi" 'e is restored, though as yet he wal%s not with his !orer strength; yet
there is su#h 2oy, as was not, when be!ore he wal%ed sound and strong" 4ea, the (ery
pleasures o! huan li!e en a#5uire by di!!i#ulties, not those only whi#h !all upon us
unloo%ed !or, and against our wills, but e(en by sel!3#hosen, and pleasure3see%ing
trouble" 0ating and drin%ing ha(e no pleasure, unless there pre#ede the pin#hing o!
hunger and thirst" *en, gi(en to drin%, eat #ertain salt eats, to pro#ure a troublesoe
heat, whi#h the drin% allaying, #auses pleasure" )t is also ordered that the a!!ian#ed
bride should not at on#e be gi(en, lest as a husband he should hold #heap who, as
betrothed, he sighed not a!ter"
This law holds in !oul and a##ursed 2oy; this in peritted and law!ul 2oy; this in the
(ery purest per!e#tion o! !riendship; this, in hi who was dead, and li(ed again; had
Boo !III
been lost and was !ound" 0(ery where the greater 2oy is ushered in by the greater pain"
.hat eans this, O Lord y God, whereas Thou art e(erlastingly 2oy to Thysel!, and
soe things around Thee e(erore re2oi#e in Thee& .hat eans this, that this portion
o! things thus ebbs and !lows alternately displeased and re#on#iled& )s this their
allotted easure& )s this all Thou hast assigned to the, whereas !ro the highest
hea(ens to the lowest earth, !ro the beginning o! the world to the end o! ages, !ro
the angel to the wor, !ro the !irst otion to the last, Thou settest ea#h in its pla#e,
and realisest ea#h in their season, e(ery thing good a!ter its %ind& .oe is e6 how
high art Thou in the highest, and how deep in the deepest6 and Thou ne(er departest,
and we s#ar#ely return to Thee"
:p, Lord, and do; stir us up, and re#all us; %indle and draw us; in!lae, grow sweet
unto us, let us now lo(e, let us run" Do not any, out o! a deeper hell o! blindness
than >i#torinus, return to Thee, approa#h, and are enlightened, re#ei(ing that Light,
whi#h they who re#ei(e, re#ei(e power !ro Thee to be#oe Thy sons& 1ut i! they be
less %nown to the nations, e(en they that %now the, 2oy less !or the" /or when
any 2oy together, ea#h also has ore e-uberant 2oy !or that they are %indled and
in!laed one by the other" Again, be#ause those %nown to any, in!luen#e the ore
towards sal(ation, and lead the way with any to !ollow" And there!ore do they also
who pre#eded the u#h re2oi#e in the, be#ause they re2oi#e not in the alone" /or
!ar be it, that in Thy taberna#le the persons o! the ri#h should be a##epted be!ore the
poor, or the noble be!ore the ignoble; seeing rather Thou hast #hosen the wea% things
o! the world to #on!ound the strong; and the base things o! this world, and the things
despised hast Thou #hosen, and those things whi#h are not, that Thou ightest bring
to nought things that are" And yet e(en that least o! Thy apostles, by whose tongue
Thou soundedst !orth these words, when through his war!are, ,aulus the ,ro#onsul,
his pride #on5uered, was ade to pass under the easy yo%e o! Thy ;hrist, and be#ae
a pro(in#ial o! the great ?ing; he also !or his !orer nae +aul, was pleased to be
#alled ,aul, in testiony o! so great a (i#tory" /or the eney is ore o(er#oe in
one, o! who he hath ore hold; by who he hath hold o! ore" 1ut the proud he
hath ore hold o!, through their nobility; and by the, o! ore through their
authority" 1y how u#h the ore wel#oe then the heart o! >i#torinus was esteeed,
whi#h the de(il had held as an ipregnable possession, the tongue o! >i#torinus, with
whi#h ighty and %een weapon he had slain any; so u#h the ore abundantly
ought Thy sons to re2oi#e, !or that our ?ing hath bound the strong an, and they saw
his (essels ta%en !ro hi and #leansed, and ade eet !or Thy honour; and be#oe
ser(i#eable !or the Lord, unto e(ery good wor%"
1ut when that an o! Thine, +ipli#ianus, related to e this o! >i#torinus, ) was on
!ire to iitate hi; !or !or this (ery end had he related it" 1ut when he had sub2oined
also, how in the days o! the 0peror =ulian a law was ade, whereby ;hristians were
!orbidden to tea#h the liberal s#ien#es or oratory; and how he, obeying this law, #hose
rather to gi(e o(er the wordy s#hool than Thy .ord, by whi#h Thou a%est elo5uent
the tongues o! the dub; he seeed to e not ore resolute than blessed, in ha(ing
thus !ound opportunity to wait on Thee only" .hi#h thing ) was sighing !or, bound as
) was, not with another7s irons, but by y own iron will" *y will the eney held, and
then#e had ade a #hain !or e, and bound e" /or o! a !orward will, was a lust
ade; and a lust ser(ed, be#ae #usto; and #usto not resisted, be#ae ne#essity"
1y whi#h lin%s, as it were, 2oined together (when#e ) #alled it a #hain) a hard bondage
held e enthralled" 1ut that new will whi#h had begun to be in e, !reely to ser(e
Boo !III
Thee, and to wish to en2oy Thee, O God, the only assured pleasantness, was not yet
able to o(er#oe y !orer wil!ulness, strengthened by age" Thus did y two wills,
one new, and the other old, one #arnal, the other spiritual, struggle within e; and by
their dis#ord, undid y soul"
Thus, ) understood, by y own e-perien#e, what ) had read, how the !lesh lusteth
against the spirit and the spirit against the !lesh" *ysel! (erily either way; yet ore
ysel!, in that whi#h ) appro(ed in ysel!, than in that whi#h in ysel! )
disappro(ed" /or in this last, it was now !or the ore part not ysel!, be#ause in
u#h ) rather endured against y will, than a#ted willingly" And yet it was through
e that #usto had obtained this power o! warring against e, be#ause ) had #oe
willingly, whither ) willed not" And who has any right to spea% against it, i! 2ust
punishent !ollow the sinner& 8or had ) now any longer y !orer plea, that )
there!ore as yet hesitated to be abo(e the world and ser(e Thee, !or that the truth was
not altogether as#ertained to e; !or now it too was" 1ut ) still under ser(i#e to the
earth, re!used to !ight under Thy banner, and !eared as u#h to be !reed o! all
in#ubran#es, as we should !ear to be en#ubered with it" Thus with the baggage o!
this present world was ) held down pleasantly, as in sleep$ and the thoughts wherein )
editated on Thee were li%e the e!!orts o! su#h as would awa%e, who yet o(er#oe
with a hea(y drowsiness, are again dren#hed therein" And as no one would sleep !or
e(er, and in all en7s sober 2udgent wa%ing is better, yet a an !or the ost part,
!eeling a hea(y lethargy in all his libs, de!ers to sha%e o!! sleep, and though hal!
displeased, yet, e(en a!ter it is tie to rise, with pleasure yields to it, so was ) assured
that u#h better were it !or e to gi(e ysel! up to Thy #harity, than to gi(e ysel!
o(er to ine own #upidity; but though the !orer #ourse satis!ied e and gained the
astery, the latter pleased e and held e astered" 8or had ) any thing to answer
Thee #alling to e, Awa%e, thou that sleepest, and arise !ro the dead, and ;hrist
shall gi(e thee light" And when Thou didst on all sides show e that what Thou saidst
was true, ), #on(i#ted by the truth, had nothing at all to answer, but only those dull
and drowsy words, 9Anon, anon,9 9presently,9 9lea(e e but a little"9 1ut 9presently,
presently,9 had no present, and y 9little while9 went on !or a long while; in (ain )
delighted in Thy law a##ording to the inner an, when another law in y ebers
rebelled against the law o! y ind, and led e #apti(e under the law o! sin whi#h
was in y ebers" /or the law o! sin is the (iolen#e o! #usto, whereby the ind is
drawn and holden, e(en against its will; but deser(edly, !or that it willingly !ell into it"
.ho then should deli(er e thus wret#hed !ro the body o! this death, but Thy gra#e
only, through =esus ;hrist our Lord&
And how Thou didst deli(er e out o! the bonds o! desire, wherewith ) was bound
ost straitly to #arnal #on#upis#en#e, and out o! the drudgery o! worldly things, ) will
now de#lare, and #on!ess unto Thy nae, O Lord, y helper and y redeeer" Aid
in#reasing an-iety, ) was doing y wonted business, and daily sighing unto Thee" )
attended Thy ;hur#h, whene(er !ree !ro the business under the burden o! whi#h )
groaned" Alypius was with e, now a!ter the third sitting released !ro his law
business, and awaiting to who to sell his #ounsel, as ) sold the s%ill o! spea%ing, i!
indeed tea#hing #an ipart it" 8ebridius had now, in #onsideration o! our !riendship,
#onsented to tea#h under >ere#undus, a #iti<en and a graarian o! *ilan, and a (ery
intiate !riend o! us all; who urgently desired, and by the right o! !riendship
#hallenged !ro our #opany, su#h !aith!ul aid as he greatly needed" 8ebridius then
was not drawn to this by any desire o! ad(antage (!or he ight ha(e ade u#h ore
Boo !III
o! his learning had he so willed), but as a ost %ind and gentle !riend, he would not be
wanting to a good o!!i#e, and slight our re5uest" 1ut he a#ted herein (ery dis#reetly,
shunning to be#oe %nown to personages great a##ording to this world, a(oiding the
distra#tion o! ind then#e ensuing, and desiring to ha(e it !ree and at leisure, as any
hours as ight be, to see%, or read, or hear soething #on#erning wisdo"
:pon a day then, 8ebridius being absent () re#olle#t not why), to, there #ae to see
e and Alypius, one ,ontitianus, our #ountryan so !ar as being an A!ri#an, in high
o!!i#e in the 0peror7s #ourt" .hat he would with us, ) %now not, but we sat down to
#on(erse, and it happened that upon a table !or soe gae, be!ore us, he obser(ed a
boo%, too%, opened it, and #ontrary to his e-pe#tation, !ound it the Apostle ,aul; !or
he thought it soe o! those boo%s whi#h ) was wearing ysel! in tea#hing" .hereat
siling, and loo%ing at e, he e-pressed his 2oy and wonder that he had on a sudden
!ound this boo%, and this only be!ore y eyes" /or he was a ;hristian, and baptised,
and o!ten bowed hisel! be!ore Thee our God in the ;hur#h, in !re5uent and
#ontinued prayers" .hen then ) had told hi that ) bestowed (ery great pains upon
those +#riptures, a #on(ersation arose (suggested by his a##ount) on Antony the
0gyptian on%$ whose nae was in high reputation aong Thy ser(ants, though to
that hour un%nown to us" .hi#h when he dis#o(ered, he dwelt the ore upon that
sub2e#t, in!oring and wondering at our ignoran#e o! one so einent" 1ut we stood
aa<ed, hearing Thy wonder!ul wor%s ost !ully attested, in ties so re#ent, and
alost in our own, wrought in the true /aith and ;hur#h ;atholi#" .e all wondered;
we, that they were so great, and he, that they had not rea#hed us"
Then#e his dis#ourse turned to the !lo#%s in the onasteries, and their holy ways, a
sweet3selling sa(our unto Thee, and the !ruit!ul deserts o! the wilderness, whereo!
we %new nothing" And there was a onastery at *ilan, !ull o! good brethren, without
the #ity walls, under the !ostering #are o! Abrose, and we %new it not" 'e went on
with his dis#ourse, and we listened in intent silen#e" 'e told us then how one
a!ternoon at Triers, when the 0peror was ta%en up with the ;ir#ensian gaes, he
and three others, his #opanions, went out to wal% in gardens near the #ity walls, and
there as they happened to wal% in pairs, one went apart with hi, and the other two
wandered by thesel(es; and these, in their wanderings, lighted upon a #ertain
#ottage, inhabited by #ertain o! Thy ser(ants, poor in spirit, o! who is the %ingdo
o! hea(en, and there they !ound a little boo% #ontaining the li!e o! Antony" This one o!
the began to read, adire, and %indle at it; and as he read, to editate on ta%ing up
su#h a li!e, and gi(ing o(er his se#ular ser(i#e to ser(e Thee" And these two were o!
those who they style agents !or the publi# a!!airs" Then suddenly, !illed with a holy
lo(e, and a sober shae, in anger with hisel! #ast his eyes upon his !riend, saying,
9Tell e, ) pray thee, what would we attain by all these labours o! ours& what ai we
at& what ser(e we !or& ;an our hopes in #ourt rise higher than to be the 0peror7s
!a(ourites& and in this, what is there not brittle, and !ull o! perils& and by how any
perils arri(e we at a greater peril& and when arri(e we thither& 1ut a !riend o! God, i!
) wish it, ) be#oe now at on#e"9 +o spa%e he" And in pain with the tra(ail o! a new
li!e, he turned his eyes again upon the boo%, and read on, and was #hanged inwardly,
where Thou sawest, and his ind was stripped o! the world, as soon appeared" /or as
he read, and rolled up and down the wa(es o! his heart, he stored at hisel! a while,
then dis#erned, and deterined on a better #ourse; and now being Thine, said to his
!riend, 98ow ha(e ) bro%en loose !ro those our hopes, and a resol(ed to ser(e
God; and this, !ro this hour, in this pla#e, ) begin upon" )! thou li%est not to iitate
Boo !III
e, oppose not"9 The other answered, he would #lea(e to hi, to parta%e so glorious a
reward, so glorious a ser(i#e" Thus both being now Thine, were building the tower at
the ne#essary #ost, the !orsa%ing all that they had, and !ollowing Thee" Then
,ontitianus and the other with hi, that had wal%ed in other parts o! the garden, #ae
in sear#h o! the to the sae pla#e; and !inding the, reinded the to return, !or
the day was now !ar spent" 1ut they relating their resolution and purpose, and how
that will was begun and settled in the, begged the, i! they would not 2oin, not to
olest the" 1ut the others, though nothing altered !ro their !orer sel(es, did yet
bewail thesel(es (as he a!!ired), and piously #ongratulated the, re#oending
thesel(es to their prayers; and so, with hearts lingering on the earth, went away to
the pala#e" 1ut the other two, !i-ing their heart on hea(en, reained in the #ottage"
And both had a!!ian#ed brides, who when they heard hereo!, also dedi#ated their
(irginity unto God"
+u#h was the story o! ,ontitianus; but Thou, O Lord, while he was spea%ing, didst
turn e round towards ysel!, ta%ing e !ro behind y ba#% where ) had pla#ed
e, unwilling to obser(e ysel!; and setting e be!ore y !a#e, that ) ight see how
!oul ) was, how #roo%ed and de!iled, bespotted and ul#erous" And ) beheld and stood
aghast; and whither to !lee !ro ysel! ) !ound not" And i! ) sought to turn ine eye
!ro o!! ysel!, he went on with his relation, and Thou again didst set e o(er
against ysel!, and thrustedst e be!ore y eyes, that ) ight !ind out ine ini5uity,
and hate it" ) had %nown it, but ade as though ) saw it not, win%ed at it, and !orgot it"
1ut now, the ore ardently ) lo(ed those whose health!ul a!!e#tions ) heard o!, that
they had resigned thesel(es wholly to Thee to be #ured, the ore did ) abhor
ysel!, when #opared with the" /or any o! y years (soe twel(e) had now run
out with e sin#e y nineteenth, when, upon the reading o! ;i#ero7s 'ortensius, )
was stirred to an earnest lo(e o! wisdo; and still ) was de!erring to re2e#t ere
earthly !eli#ity, and gi(e ysel! to sear#h out that, whereo! not the !inding only, but
the (ery sear#h, was to be pre!erred to the treasures and %ingdos o! the world,
though already !ound, and to the pleasures o! the body, though spread around e at
y will" 1ut ) wret#hed, ost wret#hed, in the (ery #oen#eent o! y early
youth, had begged #hastity o! Thee, and said, 9Gi(e e #hastity and #ontinen#y, only
not yet"9 /or ) !eared lest Thou shouldest hear e soon, and soon #ure e o! the
disease o! #on#upis#en#e, whi#h ) wished to ha(e satis!ied, rather than e-tinguished"
And ) had wandered through #roo%ed ways in a sa#rilegious superstition, not indeed
assured thereo!, but as pre!erring it to the others whi#h ) did not see% religiously, but
opposed ali#iously"
And ) had thought that ) there!ore de!erred !ro day to day to re2e#t the hopes o! this
world, and !ollow Thee only, be#ause there did not appear aught #ertain, whither to
dire#t y #ourse" And now was the day #oe wherein ) was to be laid bare to ysel!,
and y #ons#ien#e was to upbraid e" 9.here art thou now, y tongue& Thou saidst
that !or an un#ertain truth thou li%edst not to #ast o!! the baggage o! (anity; now, it is
#ertain, and yet that burden still oppresseth thee, while they who neither ha(e so worn
thesel(es out with see%ing it, nor !or o!ten years and ore ha(e been thin%ing
thereon, ha(e had their shoulders lightened, and re#ei(ed wings to !ly away"9 Thus
was ) gnawed within, and e-#eedingly #on!ounded with a horrible shae, while
,ontitianus was so spea%ing" And he ha(ing brought to a #lose his tale and the
business he #ae !or, went his way; and ) into ysel!" .hat said ) not against ysel!&
Boo !III
with what s#ourges o! #ondenation lashed ) not y soul, that it ight !ollow e,
stri(ing to go a!ter Thee6 4et it drew ba#%; re!used, but e-#used not itsel!" All
arguents were spent and #on!uted; there reained a ute shrin%ing; and she !eared,
as she would death, to be restrained !ro the !lu- o! that #usto, whereby she was
wasting to death"
Then in this great #ontention o! y inward dwelling, whi#h ) had strongly raised
against y soul, in the #haber o! y heart, troubled in ind and #ountenan#e, )
turned upon Alypius" 9.hat ails us&9 ) e-#lai$ 9what is it& what heardest thou& The
unlearned start up and ta%e hea(en by !or#e, and we with our learning, and without
heart, to, where we wallow in !lesh and blood6 Are we ashaed to !ollow, be#ause
others are gone be!ore, and not ashaed not e(en to !ollow&9 +oe su#h words )
uttered, and y !e(er o! ind tore e away !ro hi, while he, ga<ing on e in
astonishent, %ept silen#e" /or it was not y wonted tone; and y !orehead, #hee%s,
eyes, #olour, tone o! (oi#e, spa%e y ind ore than the words ) uttered" A little
garden there was to our lodging, whi#h we had the use o!, as o! the whole house; !or
the aster o! the house, our host, was not li(ing there" Thither had the tuult o! y
breast hurried e, where no an ight hinder the hot #ontention wherein ) had
engaged with ysel!, until it should end as Thou %newest, ) %new not" Only ) was
health!ully distra#ted and dying, to li(e; %nowing what e(il thing ) was, and not
%nowing what good thing ) was shortly to be#oe" ) retired then into the garden, and
Alypius, on y steps" /or his presen#e did not lessen y pri(a#y; or how #ould he
!orsa%e e so disturbed& .e sate down as !ar reo(ed as ight be !ro the house" )
was troubled in spirit, ost (eheently indignant that ) entered not into Thy will and
#o(enant, O y God, whi#h all y bones #ried out unto e to enter, and praised it to
the s%ies" And therein we enter not by ships, or #hariots, or !eet, no, o(e not so !ar as
) had #oe !ro the house to that pla#e where we were sitting" /or, not to go only, but
to go in thither was nothing else but to will to go, but to will resolutely and
thoroughly; not to turn and toss, this way and that, a aied and hal!3di(ided will,
struggling, with one part sin%ing as another rose"
Lastly, in the (ery !e(er o! y irresoluteness, ) ade with y body any su#h
otions as en soeties would, but #annot, i! either they ha(e not the libs, or
these be bound with bands, wea%ened with in!irity, or any other way hindered" Thus,
i! ) tore y hair, beat y !orehead, i! lo#%ing y !ingers ) #lasped y %nee; ) willed, )
did it" 1ut ) ight ha(e willed, and not done it; i! the power o! otion in y libs
had not obeyed" +o any things then ) did, when 9to will9 was not in itsel! 9to be
able9; and ) did not what both ) longed in#oparably ore to do, and whi#h soon
a!ter, when ) should will, ) should be able to do; be#ause soon a!ter, when ) should
will, ) should will thoroughly" /or in these things the ability was one with the will,
and to will was to do; and yet was it not done$ and ore easily did y body obey the
wea%est willing o! y soul, in o(ing its libs at its nod, than the soul obeyed itsel!
to a##oplish in the will alone this its oentous will"
.hen#e is this onstrousness& and to what end& Let Thy er#y glea that ) ay as%,
i! so be the se#ret penalties o! en, and those dar%est pangs o! the sons o! Ada, ay
perhaps answer e" .hen#e is this onstrousness& and to what end& The ind
#oands the body, and it obeys instantly; the ind #oands itsel!, and is resisted"
The ind #oands the hand to be o(ed; and su#h readiness is there, that
#oand is s#ar#e distin#t !ro obedien#e" 4et the ind is ind, the hand is body"
Boo !III
The ind #oands the ind, its own sel!, to will, and yet it doth not" .hen#e this
onstrousness& and to what end& )t #oands itsel!, ) say, to will, and would not
#oand, unless it willed, and what it #oands is not done" 1ut it willeth not
entirely$ there!ore doth it not #oand entirely" /or so !ar !orth it #oandeth, as it
willeth$ and, so !ar !orth is the thing #oanded, not done, as it willeth not" /or the
will #oandeth that there be a will; not another, but itsel!" 1ut it doth not #oand
entirely, there!ore what it #oandeth, is not" /or were the will entire, it would not
e(en #oand it to be, be#ause it would already be" )t is there!ore no onstrousness
partly to will, partly to nill, but a disease o! the ind, that it doth not wholly rise, by
truth upborne, borne down by #usto" And there!ore are there two wills, !or that one
o! the is not entire$ and what the one la#%eth, the other hath"
Let the perish !ro Thy presen#e, O God, as perish (ain tal%ers and sedu#ers o! the
soul$ who obser(ing that in deliberating there were two wills, a!!ir that there are two
inds in us o! two %inds, one good, the other e(il" Thesel(es are truly e(il, when
they hold these e(il things; and thesel(es shall be#oe good when they hold the
truth and assent unto the truth, that Thy Apostle ay say to the, 4e were soeties
dar%ness, but now light in the Lord" 1ut they, wishing to be light, not in the Lord, but
in thesel(es, iagining the nature o! the soul to be that whi#h God is, are ade
ore gross dar%ness through a dread!ul arrogan#y; !or that they went ba#% !arther
!ro Thee, the true Light that enlightened e(ery an that #oeth into the world" Ta%e
heed what you say, and blush !or shae$ draw near unto 'i and be enlightened, and
your !a#es shall not be ashaed" *ysel! when ) was deliberating upon ser(ing the
Lord y God now, as ) had long purposed, it was ) who willed, ) who nilled, ), )
ysel!" ) neither willed entirely, nor nilled entirely" There!ore was ) at stri!e with
ysel!, and rent asunder by ysel!" And this rent be!ell e against y will, and yet
indi#ated, not the presen#e o! another ind, but the punishent o! y own" There!ore
it was no ore ) that wrought it, but sin that dwelt in e; the punishent o! a sin
ore !reely #oitted, in that ) was a son o! Ada"
/or i! there he so any #ontrary natures as there be #on!li#ting wills, there shall now
be not two only, but any" )! a an deliberate whether he should go to their
#on(enti#le or to the theatre, these *ani#hees #ry out, 1ehold, here are two natures$
one good, draws this way; another bad, draws ba#% that way" /or when#e else is this
hesitation between #on!li#ting wills& 1ut ) say that both be bad$ that whi#h draws to
the, as that whi#h draws ba#% to the theatre" 1ut they belie(e not that will to be
other than good, whi#h draws to the" .hat then i! one o! us should deliberate, and
aid the stri!e o! his two wills be in a strait, whether he should go to the theatre or to
our #hur#h& would not these *ani#hees also be in a strait what to answer& /or either
they ust #on!ess (whi#h they !ain would not) that the will whi#h leads to our #hur#h
is good, as well as theirs, who ha(e re#ei(ed and are held by the ysteries o! theirs$
or they ust suppose two e(il natures, and two e(il souls #on!li#ting in one an, and
it will not be true, whi#h they say, that there is one good and another bad; or they ust
be #on(erted to the truth, and no ore deny that where one deliberates, one soul
!lu#tuates between #ontrary wills"
Let the no ore say then, when they per#ei(e two #on!li#ting wills in one an, that
the #on!li#t is between two #ontrary souls, o! two #ontrary substan#es, !ro two
#ontrary prin#iples, one good, and the other bad" /or Thou, O true God, dost dispro(e,
#he#%, and #on(i#t the; as when, both wills being bad, one deliberates whether he
Boo !III
should %ill a an by poison or by the sword; whether he should sei<e this or that
estate o! another7s, when he #annot both; whether he should pur#hase pleasure by
lu-ury, or %eep his oney by #o(etousness; whether he go to the #ir#us or the theatre,
i! both be open on one day; or thirdly, to rob another7s house, i! he ha(e the
opportunity; or, !ourthly, to #oit adultery, i! at the sae tie he ha(e the eans
thereo! also; all these eeting together in the sae 2un#ture o! tie, and all being
e5ually desired, whi#h #annot at one tie be a#ted$ !or they rend the ind aid !our,
or e(en (aid the (ast (ariety o! things desired) ore, #on!li#ting wills, nor do they
yet allege that there are so any di(ers substan#es" +o also in wills whi#h are good"
/or ) as% the, is it good to ta%e pleasure in reading the Apostle& or good to ta%e
pleasure in a sober ,sal& or good to dis#ourse on the Gospel& They will answer to
ea#h, 9it is good"9 .hat then i! all gi(e e5ual pleasure, and all at on#e& Do not di(ers
wills distra#t the ind, while he deliberates whi#h he should rather #hoose& yet are
they all good, and are at (arian#e till one be #hosen, whither the one entire will ay
be borne, whi#h be!ore was di(ided into any" Thus also, when, abo(e, eternity
delights us, and the pleasure o! teporal good holds us down below, it is the sae
soul whi#h willeth not this or that with an entire will; and there!ore is rent asunder
with grie(ous perple-ities, while out o! truth it sets this !irst, but out o! habit sets not
that aside"
Thus soul3si#% was ), and torented, a##using ysel! u#h ore se(erely than y
wont, rolling and turning e in y #hain, till that were wholly bro%en, whereby ) now
was but 2ust, but still was, held" And Thou, O Lord, pressedst upon e in y inward
parts by a se(ere er#y, redoubling the lashes o! !ear and shae, lest ) should again
gi(e way, and not bursting that sae slight reaining tie, it should re#o(er strength,
and bind e the !aster" /or ) said with ysel!, 91e it done now, be it done now"9 And
as ) spa%e, ) all but ena#ted it$ ) all but did it, and did it not$ yet sun% not ba#% to y
!orer state, but %ept y stand hard by, and too% breath" And ) essayed again, and
wanted soewhat less o! it, and soewhat less, and all but tou#hed, and laid hold o!
it; and yet #ae not at it, nor tou#hed nor laid hold o! it; hesitating to die to death and
to li(e to li!e$ and the worse whereto ) was inured, pre(ailed ore with e than the
better whereto ) was unused$ and the (ery oent wherein ) was to be#oe other
than ) was, the nearer it approa#hed e, the greater horror did it stri%e into e; yet did
it not stri%e e ba#%, nor turned e away, but held e in suspense"
The (ery toys o! toys, and (anities o! (anities, y an#ient istresses, still held e;
they plu#%ed y !leshy garent, and whispered so!tly, 9Dost thou #ast us o!!& and
!ro that oent shall we no ore be with thee !or e(er& and !ro that oent shall
not this or that be law!ul !or thee !or e(er&9 And what was it whi#h they suggested in
that ) said, 9this or that,9 what did they suggest, O y God& Let Thy er#y turn it
away !ro the soul o! Thy ser(ant" .hat de!ileents did they suggest6 what shae6
And now ) u#h less than hal! heard the, and not openly showing thesel(es and
#ontradi#ting e, but uttering as it were behind y ba#%, and pri(ily plu#%ing e,
as ) was departing, but to loo% ba#% on the" 4et they did retard e, so that ) hesitated
to burst and sha%e ysel! !ree !ro the, and to spring o(er whither ) was #alled; a
(iolent habit saying to e, 9Thin%est thou, thou #anst li(e without the&9
1ut now it spa%e (ery !aintly" /or on that side whither ) had set y !a#e, and whither )
trebled to go, there appeared unto e the #haste dignity o! ;ontinen#y, serene, yet
not rela-edly, gay, honestly alluring e to #oe and doubt not; and stret#hing !orth to
Boo !III
re#ei(e and ebra#e e, her holy hands !ull o! ultitudes o! good e-aples$ there
were so any young en and aidens here, a ultitude o! youth and e(ery age,
gra(e widows and aged (irgins; and ;ontinen#e hersel! in all, not barren, but a !ruit!ul
other o! #hildren o! 2oys, by Thee her 'usband, O Lord" And she siled on e with
a persuasi(e o#%ery, as would she say, 9;anst not thou what these youths, what
these aidens #an& or #an they either in thesel(es, and not rather in the Lord their
God& The Lord their God ga(e e unto the" .hy standest thou in thysel!, and so
standest not& #ast thysel! upon 'i, !ear not 'e will not withdraw 'isel! that thou
shouldest !all; #ast thysel! !earlessly upon 'i, 'e will re#ei(e, and will heal thee"9
And ) blushed e-#eedingly, !or that ) yet heard the uttering o! those toys, and hung
in suspense" And she again seeed to say, 9+top thine ears against those thy un#lean
ebers on the earth, that they ay be orti!ied" They tell thee o! delights, but not
as doth the law o! the Lord thy God"9 This #ontro(ersy in y heart was sel! against
sel! only" 1ut Alypius sitting #lose by y side, in silen#e waited the issue o! y
unwonted eotion"
1ut when a deep #onsideration had !ro the se#ret botto o! y soul drawn together
and heaped up all y isery in the sight o! y heart; there arose a ighty stor,
bringing a ighty shower o! tears" .hi#h that ) ight pour !orth wholly, in its natural
e-pressions, ) rose !ro Alypius$ solitude was suggested to e as !itter !or the
business o! weeping; so ) retired so !ar that e(en his presen#e #ould not be a burden to
e" Thus was it then with e, and he per#ei(ed soething o! it; !or soething )
suppose ) had spo%en, wherein the tones o! y (oi#e appeared #ho%ed with weeping,
and so had risen up" 'e then reained where we were sitting, ost e-treely
astonished" ) #ast ysel! down ) %now not how, under a #ertain !ig3tree, gi(ing !ull
(ent to y tears; and the !loods o! ine eyes gushed out an a##eptable sa#ri!i#e to
Thee" And, not indeed in these words, yet to this purpose, spa%e ) u#h unto Thee$
and Thou, O Lord, how long& how long, Lord, wilt Thou be angry !or e(er&
@eeber not our !orer ini5uities, !or ) !elt that ) was held by the" ) sent up these
sorrow!ul words$ 'ow long, how long, 9to3orrow, and toorrow&9 .hy not now&
why not is there this hour an end to y un#leanness&
+o was ) spea%ing and weeping in the ost bitter #ontrition o! y heart, when, lo6 )
heard !ro a neighbouring house a (oi#e, as o! boy or girl, ) %now not, #hanting, and
o!t repeating, 9Ta%e up and read; Ta%e up and read" 9 )nstantly, y #ountenan#e
altered, ) began to thin% ost intently whether #hildren were wont in any %ind o! play
to sing su#h words$ nor #ould ) reeber e(er to ha(e heard the li%e" +o #he#%ing the
torrent o! y tears, ) arose; interpreting it to be no other than a #oand !ro God to
open the boo%, and read the !irst #hapter ) should !ind" /or ) had heard o! Antony, that
#oing in during the reading o! the Gospel, he re#ei(ed the adonition, as i! what
was being read was spo%en to hi$ Go, sell all that thou hast, and gi(e to the poor,
and thou shalt ha(e treasure in hea(en, and #oe and !ollow e$ and by su#h ora#le
he was !orthwith #on(erted unto Thee" 0agerly then ) returned to the pla#e where
Alypius was sitting; !or there had ) laid the (olue o! the Apostle when ) arose
then#e" ) sei<ed, opened, and in silen#e read that se#tion on whi#h y eyes !irst !ell$
8ot in rioting and drun%enness, not in #habering and wantonness, not in stri!e and
en(ying; but put ye on the Lord =esus ;hrist, and a%e not pro(ision !or the !lesh, in
#on#upis#en#e" 8o !urther would ) read; nor needed )$ !or instantly at the end o! this
senten#e, by a light as it were o! serenity in!used into y heart, all the dar%ness o!
doubt (anished away"
Boo !III
Then putting y !inger between, or soe other ar%, ) shut the (olue, and with a
#aled #ountenan#e ade it %nown to Alypius" And what was wrought in hi, whi#h
) %new not, he thus showed e" 'e as%ed to see what ) had read$ ) showed hi; and
he loo%ed e(en !urther than ) had read, and ) %new not what !ollowed" This !ollowed,
hi that is wea% in the !aith, re#ei(e; whi#h he applied to hisel!, and dis#losed to
e" And by this adonition was he strengthened; and by a good resolution and
purpose, and ost #orresponding to his #hara#ter, wherein he did always (ery !ar
di!!er !ro e, !or the better, without any turbulent delay he 2oined e" Then#e we go
in to y other; we tell her; she re2oi#eth$ we relate in order how it too% pla#e; she
leaps !or 2oy, and triupheth, and blesseth Thee, .ho are able to do abo(e that whi#h
we as% or thin%; !or she per#ei(ed that Thou hadst gi(en her ore !or e, than she
was wont to beg by her piti!ul and ost sorrow!ul groanings" /or thou #on(ertedst e
unto Thysel!, so that ) sought neither wi!e, nor any hope o! this world, standing in that
rule o! !aith, where Thou hadst showed e unto her in a (ision, so any years be!ore"
And Thou didst #on(ert her ourning into 2oy, u#h ore plenti!ul than she had
desired, and in a u#h ore pre#ious and purer way than she erst re5uired, by ha(ing
grand#hildren o! y body"
Boo I"
BOO. I"
O Lord, ) a Thy ser(ant; ) a Thy ser(ant, and the son o! Thy handaid$ Thou hast
bro%en y bonds in sunder" ) will o!!er to Thee the sa#ri!i#e o! Let y heart and y
tongue praise Thee; yea, let all y bones say, O Lord, who is li%e unto Thee& Let
the say, and answer Thou e, and say unto y soul, ) a thy sal(ation" .ho a ),
and what a )& .hat e(il ha(e not been either y deeds, or i! not y deeds, y
words, or i! not y words, y will& 1ut Thou, O Lord, are good and er#i!ul, and
Thy right hand had respe#t unto the depth o! y death, and !ro the botto o! y
heart eptied that abyss o! #orruption" And this Thy whole gi!t was, to nill what )
willed, and to will what Thou willedst" 1ut where through all those years, and out o!
what low and deep re#ess was y !ree3will #alled !orth in a oent, whereby to
subit y ne#% to Thy easy yo%e, and y shoulders unto Thy light burden, O ;hrist
=esus, y 'elper and y @edeeer& 'ow sweet did it at on#e be#oe to e, to want
the sweetnesses o! those toys6 and what ) !eared to be parted !ro, was now a 2oy to
part with" /or Thou didst #ast the !orth !ro e, Thou true and highest sweetness"
Thou #astest the !orth, and !or the enteredst in Thysel!, sweeter than all pleasure,
though not to !lesh and blood; brighter than all light, but ore hidden than all depths,
higher than all honour, but not to the high in their own #on#eits" 8ow was y soul
!ree !ro the biting #ares o! #an(assing and getting, and weltering in !ilth, and
s#rat#hing o!! the it#h o! lust" And y in!ant tongue spa%e !reely to Thee, y
brightness, and y ri#hes, and y health, the Lord y God"
And ) resol(ed in Thy sight, not tuultuously to tear, but gently to withdraw, the
ser(i#e o! y tongue !ro the arts o! lip3labour$ that the young, no students in Thy
law, nor in Thy pea#e, but in lying dotages and law3s%irishes, should no longer buy
at y outh ars !or their adness" And (ery seasonably, it now wanted but (ery
!ew days unto the >a#ation o! the >intage, and ) resol(ed to endure the, then in a
regular way to ta%e y lea(e, and ha(ing been pur#hased by Thee, no ore to return
!or sale" Our purpose then was %nown to Thee; but to en, other than our own
!riends, was it not %nown" /or we had agreed aong oursel(es not to let it out abroad
to any$ although to us, now as#ending !ro the (alley o! tears, and singing that song
o! degrees, Thou hadst gi(en sharp arrows, and destroying #oals against the subtle
tongue, whi#h as though ad(ising !or us, would thwart, and would out o! lo(e de(our
us, as it doth its eat"
Thou hadst pier#ed our hearts with Thy #harity, and we #arried Thy words as it were
!i-ed in our entrails$ and the e-aples o! Thy ser(ants, who !or bla#% Thou hadst
ade bright, and !or dead, ali(e, being piled together in the re#epta#le o! our
thoughts, %indled and burned up that our hea(y torpor, that we should not sin% down
to the abyss; and they !ired us so (eheently, that all the blasts o! subtle tongues !ro
gainsayers ight only in!lae us the ore !ier#ely, not e-tinguish us" 8e(ertheless,
be#ause !or Thy 8ae7s sa%e whi#h Thou hast hallowed throughout the earth, this our
(ow and purpose ight also !ind soe to #oend it, it seeed li%e ostentation not
to wait !or the (a#ation now so near, but to 5uit be!orehand a publi# pro!ession, whi#h
was be!ore the eyes o! all; so that all loo%ing on this a#t o! ine, and obser(ing how
near was the tie o! (intage whi#h ) wished to anti#ipate, would tal% u#h o! e, as
i! ) had desired to appear soe great one" And what end had it ser(ed e, that people
Boo I"
should repute and dispute upon y purpose, and that our good should be e(il spo%en
o!"
*oreo(er, it had at !irst troubled e that in this (ery suer y lungs began to gi(e
way, aid too great literary labour, and to breathe deeply with di!!i#ulty, and by the
pain in y #hest to show that they were in2ured, and to re!use any !ull or lengthened
spea%ing; this had troubled e, !or it alost #onstrained e o! ne#essity to lay down
that burden o! tea#hing, or, i! ) #ould be #ured and re#o(er, at least to interit it" 1ut
when the !ull wish !or leisure, that ) ight see how that Thou art the Lord, arose, and
was !i-ed, in e; y God, Thou %nowest, ) began e(en to re2oi#e that ) had this
se#ondary, and that no !eigned, e-#use, whi#h ight soething oderate the o!!en#e
ta%en by those who, !or their sons7 sa%e, wished e ne(er to ha(e the !reedo o! Thy
sons" /ull then o! su#h 2oy, ) endured till that inter(al o! tie were run; it ay ha(e
been soe twenty days, yet they were endured an!ully; endured, !or the
#o(etousness whi#h a!oretie bore a part o! this hea(y business, had le!t e, and )
reained alone, and had been o(erwheled, had not patien#e ta%en its pla#e"
,er#han#e, soe o! Thy ser(ants, y brethren, ay say that ) sinned in this, that with
a heart !ully set on Thy ser(i#e, ) su!!ered ysel! to sit e(en one hour in the #hair o!
lies" 8or would ) be #ontentious" 1ut hast not Thou, O ost er#i!ul Lord, pardoned
and reitted this sin also, with y other ost horrible and deadly sins, in the holy
water&
>ere#undus was worn down with #are about this our blessedness, !or that being held
ba#% by bonds, whereby he was ost straitly bound, he saw that he should be se(ered
!ro us" /or hisel! was not yet a ;hristian, his wi!e one o! the !aith!ul; and yet
hereby, ore rigidly than by any other #hain, was he let and hindered !ro the
2ourney whi#h we had now essayed" /or he would not, he said, be a ;hristian on any
other ters than on those he #ould not" 'owe(er, he o!!ered us #ourteously to reain
at his #ountry3house so long as we should stay there" Thou, O Lord, shalt reward hi
in the resurre#tion o! the 2ust, seeing Thou hast already gi(en hi the lot o! the
righteous" /or although, in our absen#e, being now at @oe, he was sei<ed with
bodily si#%ness, and therein being ade a ;hristian, and one o! the !aith!ul, he
departed this li!e; yet hadst Thou er#y not on hi only, but on us also$ lest
reebering the e-#eeding %indness o! our !riend towards us, yet unable to nuber
hi aong Thy !lo#%, we should be agonised with intolerable sorrow" Than%s unto
Thee, our God, we are Thine$ Thy suggestions and #onsolations tell us, /aith!ul in
proises, Thou now re5uitest >ere#undus !or his #ountry3house o! ;assia#u, where
!ro the !e(er o! the world we reposed in Thee, with the eternal !reshness o! Thy
,aradise$ !or that Thou hast !orgi(en hi his sins upon earth, in that ri#h ountain,
that ountain whi#h yieldeth il%, Thine own ountain"
'e then had at that tie sorrow, but 8ebridius 2oy" /or although he also, not being yet
a ;hristian, had !allen into the pit o! that ost perni#ious error, belie(ing the !lesh o!
Thy +on to be a phanto$ yet eerging then#e, he belie(ed as we did; not as yet
endued with any +a#raents o! Thy ;hur#h, but a ost ardent sear#her out o! truth"
.ho, not long a!ter our #on(ersion and regeneration by Thy 1aptis, being also a
!aith!ul eber o! the ;hur#h ;atholi#, and ser(ing Thee in per!e#t #hastity and
#ontinen#e aongst his people in A!ri#a, his whole house ha(ing through hi !irst
been ade ;hristian, didst Thou release !ro the !lesh; and now he li(es in
Abraha7s boso" .hate(er that be, whi#h is signi!ied by that boso, there li(es y
Boo I"
8ebridius, y sweet !riend, and Thy #hild, O Lord, adopted o! a !reed an$ there he
li(eth" /or what other pla#e is there !or su#h a soul& There he li(eth, whereo! he as%ed
u#h o! e, a poor ine-perien#ed an" 8ow lays he not his ear to y outh, but his
spiritual outh unto Thy !ountain, and drin%eth as u#h as he #an re#ei(e, wisdo in
proportion to his thirst, endlessly happy" 8or do ) thin% that he is so inebriated
therewith, as to !orget e; seeing Thou, Lord, .ho he drin%eth, art ind!ul o! us"
+o were we then, #o!orting >ere#undus, who sorrowed, as !ar as !riendship
peritted, that our #on(ersion was o! su#h sort; and e-horting hi to be#oe !aith!ul,
a##ording to his easure, naely, o! a arried estate; and awaiting 8ebridius to
!ollow us, whi#h, being so near, he was all but doing$ and so, lo6 those days rolled by
at length; !or long and any they seeed, !or the lo(e ) bare to the ease!ul liberty,
that ) ight sing to Thee, !ro y inost arrow, *y heart hath said unto Thee, )
ha(e sought Thy !a#e$ Thy !a#e, Lord, will ) see%"
8ow was the day #oe wherein ) was in deed to be !reed o! y @hetori#
,ro!essorship, whereo! in thought ) was already !reed" And it was done" Thou didst
res#ue y tongue, when#e Thou hadst be!ore res#ued y heart" And ) blessed Thee,
re2oi#ing; retiring with all ine to the (illa" .hat ) there did in writing, whi#h was
now enlisted in Thy ser(i#e, though still, in this breathing3tie as it were, panting
!ro the s#hool o! pride, y boo%s ay witness, as well what ) debated with others,
as what with ysel! alone, be!ore Thee$ what with 8ebridius, who was absent, y
0pistles bear witness" And when shall ) ha(e tie to rehearse all Thy great bene!its
towards us at that tie, espe#ially when hasting on to yet greater er#ies& /or y
reebran#e re#alls e, and pleasant is it to e, O Lord, to #on!ess to Thee, by what
inward goads Thou taedst e; and how Thou hast e(ened e, lowering the
ountains and hills o! y high iaginations, straightening y #roo%edness, and
soothing y rough ways; and how Thou also subduedst the brother o! y heart,
Alypius, unto the nae o! Thy Only 1egotten, our Lord and +a(iour =esus ;hrist,
whi#h he would not at !irst (ou#hsa!e to ha(e inserted in our writings" /or rather
would he ha(e the sa(our o! the lo!ty #edars o! the +#hools, whi#h the Lord hath
now bro%en down, than o! the wholesoe herbs o! the ;hur#h, the antidote against
serpents"
Oh, in what a##ents spa%e ) unto Thee, y God, when ) read the ,sals o! Da(id,
those !aith!ul songs, and sounds o! de(otion, whi#h allow o! no swelling spirit, as yet
a ;ate#huen, and a no(i#e in Thy real lo(e, resting in that (illa, with Alypius a
;ate#huen, y other #lea(ing to us, in !eale garb with as#uline !aith, with the
tran5uillity o! age, otherly lo(e, ;hristian piety6 Oh, what a##ents did ) utter unto
Thee in those ,sals, and how was ) by the %indled towards Thee, and on !ire to
rehearse the, i! possible, through the whole world, against the pride o! an%ind6
And yet they are sung through the whole world, nor #an any hide hisel! !ro Thy
heat" .ith what (eheent and bitter sorrow was ) angered at the *ani#hees6 and
again ) pitied the, !or they %new not those +a#raents, those edi#ines, and were
ad against the antidote whi#h ight ha(e re#o(ered the o! their adness" 'ow )
would they had then been soewhere near e, and without y %nowing that they
were there, #ould ha(e beheld y #ountenan#e, and heard y words, when ) read the
!ourth ,sal in that tie o! y rest, and how that ,sal wrought upon e$ .hen )
#alled, the God o! y righteousness heard e; in tribulation Thou enlargedst e"
'a(e er#y upon e, O Lord, and hear y prayer" .ould that what ) uttered on these
words, they #ould hear, without y %nowing whether they heard, lest they should
Boo I"
thin% ) spa%e it !or their sa%es6 1e#ause in truth neither should ) spea% the sae
things, nor in the sae way, i! ) per#ei(ed that they heard and saw e; nor i! ) spa%e
the would they so re#ei(e the, as when ) spa%e by and !or ysel! be!ore Thee, out
o! the natural !eelings o! y soul"
) trebled !or !ear, and again %indled with hope, and with re2oi#ing in Thy er#y, O
/ather; and all issued !orth both by ine eyes and (oi#e, when Thy good +pirit
turning unto us, said, O ye sons o! en, how long slow o! heart& why do ye lo(e
(anity, and see% a!ter leasing& /or ) had lo(ed (anity, and sought a!ter leasing" And
Thou, O Lord, hadst already agni!ied Thy 'oly One, raising 'i !ro the dead,
and setting 'i at Thy right hand, when#e !ro on high 'e should send 'is proise,
the ;o!orter, the +pirit o! truth" And 'e had already sent 'i, but ) %new it not; 'e
had sent 'i, be#ause 'e was now agni!ied, rising again !ro the dead, and
as#ending into hea(en" /or till then, the +pirit was not yet gi(en, be#ause =esus was
not yet glori!ied" And the prophet #ries out, 'ow long, slow o! heart& why do ye lo(e
(anity, and see% a!ter leasing& ?now this, that the Lord hath agni!ied 'is 'oly One"
'e #ries out, 'ow long& 'e #ries out, ?now this$ and ) so long, not %nowing, lo(ed
(anity, and sought a!ter leasing$ and there!ore ) heard and trebled, be#ause it was
spo%en unto su#h as ) reebered ysel! to ha(e been" /or in those phantos whi#h
) had held !or truths, was there (anity and leasing; and ) spa%e aloud any things
earnestly and !or#ibly, in the bitterness o! y reebran#e" .hi#h would they had
heard, who yet lo(e (anity and see% a!ter leasing6 They would per#han#e ha(e been
troubled, and ha(e (oited it up; and Thou wouldest hear the when they #ried unto
Thee; !or by a true death in the !lesh did 'e die !or us, who now inter#edeth unto
Thee !or us"
) !urther read, 1e angry, and sin not" And how was ) o(ed, O y God, who had now
learned to be angry at ysel! !or things past, that ) ight not sin in tie to #oe6 4ea,
to be 2ustly angry; !or that it was not another nature o! a people o! dar%ness whi#h
sinned !or e, as they say who are not angry at thesel(es, and treasure up wrath
against the day o! wrath, and o! the re(elation o! Thy 2ust 2udgent" 8or were y
good things now without, nor sought with the eyes o! !lesh in that earthly sun; !or
they that would ha(e 2oy !ro without soon be#oe (ain, and waste thesel(es on
the things seen and teporal, and in their !aished thoughts do li#% their (ery
shadows" Oh that they were wearied out with their !aine, and said, .ho will show
us good things& And we would say, and they hear, The light o! Thy #ountenan#e is
sealed upon us" /or we are not that light whi#h enlighteneth e(ery an, but we are
enlightened by Thee; that ha(ing been soeties dar%ness, we ay be light in Thee"
Oh that they #ould see the eternal )nternal, whi#h ha(ing tasted, ) was grie(ed that )
#ould not show )t the, so long as they brought e their heart in their eyes ro(ing
abroad !ro Thee, while they said, .ho will show us good things& /or there, where )
was angry within ysel! in y #haber, where ) was inwardly pri#%ed, where ) had
sa#ri!i#ed, slaying y old an and #oen#ing the purpose o! a new li!e, putting y
trust in Thee,3 there hadst Thou begun to grow sweet unto e, and hadst put gladness
in y heart" And ) #ried out, as ) read this outwardly, !inding it inwardly" 8or would )
be ultiplied with worldly goods; wasting away tie, and wasted by tie; whereas )
had in Thy eternal +iple 0ssen#e other #orn, and wine, and oil"
And with a loud #ry o! y heart ) #ried out in the ne-t (erse, O in pea#e, O !or The
+el!3sae6 O what said he, ) will lay e down and sleep, !or who shall hinder us,
Boo I"
when #oeth to pass that saying whi#h is written, Death is swallowed up in (i#tory&
And Thou surpassingly art the +el!3sae, .ho art not #hanged; and in Thee is rest
whi#h !orgetteth all toil, !or there is none other with Thee, nor are we to see% those
any other things, whi#h are not what Thou art$ but Thou, Lord, alone hast ade e
dwell in hope" ) read, and %indled; nor !ound ) what to do to those dea! and dead, o!
who ysel! had been, a pestilent person, a bitter and a blind bawler against those
writings, whi#h are honied with the honey o! hea(en, and lightsoe with Thine own
light$ and ) was #onsued with <eal at the eneies o! this +#ripture"
.hen shall ) re#all all whi#h passed in those holy3days& 4et neither ha(e ) !orgotten,
nor will ) pass o(er the se(erity o! Thy s#ourge, and the wonder!ul swi!tness o! Thy
er#y" Thou didst then torent e with pain in y teeth; whi#h when it had #oe to
su#h height that ) #ould not spea%, it #ae into y heart to desire all y !riends
present to pray !or e to Thee, the God o! all anner o! health" And this ) wrote on
wa-, and ga(e it the to read" ,resently so soon as with huble de(otion we had
bowed our %nees, that pain went away" 1ut what pain& or how went it away& ) was
a!!righted, O y Lord, y God; !or !ro in!an#y ) had ne(er e-perien#ed the li%e"
And the power o! Thy 8od was deeply #on(eyed to e, and re2oi#ing in !aith, )
praised Thy 8ae" And that !aith su!!ered e not to be at ease about y past sins,
whi#h were not yet !orgi(en e by Thy baptis"
The (intage3(a#ation ended, ) ga(e noti#e to the *ilanese to pro(ide their s#holars
with another aster to sell words to the; !or that ) had both ade #hoi#e to ser(e
Thee, and through y di!!i#ulty o! breathing and pain in y #hest was not e5ual to
the ,ro!essorship" And by letters ) signi!ied to Thy ,relate, the holy an Abrose,
y !orer errors and present desires, begging his ad(i#e what o! Thy +#riptures ) had
best read, to be#oe readier and !itter !or re#ei(ing so great gra#e" 'e re#oended
)saiah the ,rophet$ ) belie(e, be#ause he abo(e the rest is a ore #lear !oreshower o!
the Gospel and o! the #alling o! the Gentiles" 1ut ), not understanding the !irst lesson
in hi, and iagining the whole to be li%e it, laid it by, to be resued when better
pra#tised in our Lord7s own words"
Then#e, when the tie was #oe wherein ) was to gi(e in y nae, we le!t the
#ountry and returned to *ilan" )t pleased Alypius also to be with e born again in
Thee, being already #lothed with the huility be!itting Thy +a#raents; and a ost
(aliant taer o! the body, so as, with unwonted (enture, to wear the !ro<en ground o!
)taly with his bare !eet" .e 2oined with us the boy Adeodatus, born a!ter the !lesh, o!
y sin" 0-#ellently hadst Thou ade hi" 'e was not 5uite !i!teen, and in wit
surpassed any gra(e and learned en" ) #on!ess unto Thee Thy gi!ts, O Lord y
God, ;reator o! all, and abundantly able to re!or our de!orities$ !or ) had no part in
that boy, but the sin" /or that we brought hi up in Thy dis#ipline, it was Thou, none
else, had inspired us with it" ) #on!ess unto Thee Thy gi!ts" There is a boo% o! ours
entitled The *aster; it is a dialogue between hi and e" Thou %nowest that all there
as#ribed to the person #on(ersing with e were his ideas, in his si-teenth year" *u#h
besides, and yet ore adirable, ) !ound in hi" That talent stru#% awe into e" And
who but Thou #ould be the wor%aster o! su#h wonders& +oon didst Thou ta%e his
li!e !ro the earth$ and ) now reeber hi without an-iety, !earing nothing !or his
#hildhood or youth, or his whole sel!" 'i we 2oined with us, our #onteporary in
gra#e, to he brought up in Thy dis#ipline$ and we were baptised, and an-iety !or our
past li!e (anished !ro us" 8or was ) sated in those days with the wondrous sweetness
Boo I"
o! #onsidering the depth o! Thy #ounsels #on#erning the sal(ation o! an%ind" 'ow
did ) weep, in Thy 'yns and ;anti#les, tou#hed to the 5ui#% by the (oi#es o! Thy
sweet3attuned ;hur#h6 The (oi#es !lowed into ine ears, and the Truth distilled into
y heart, when#e the a!!e#tions o! y de(otion o(er!lowed, and tears ran down, and
happy was ) therein"
8ot long had the ;hur#h o! *ilan begun to use this %ind o! #onsolation and
e-hortation, the brethren <ealously 2oining with harony o! (oi#e and hearts" /or it
was a year, or not u#h ore, that =ustina, other to the 0peror >alentinian, a
#hild, perse#uted Thy ser(ant Abrose, in !a(our o! her heresy, to whi#h she was
sedu#ed by the Arians" The de(out people %ept wat#h in the ;hur#h, ready to die with
their 1ishop Thy ser(ant" There y other Thy handaid, bearing a #hie! part o!
those an-ieties and wat#hings, li(ed !or prayer" .e, yet unwared by the heat o! Thy
+pirit, still were stirred up by the sight o! the aa<ed and dis5uieted #ity" Then it was
!irst instituted that a!ter the anner o! the 0astern ;hur#hes, 'yns and ,sals
should be sung, lest the people should wa- !aint through the tediousness o! sorrow$
and !ro that day to this the #usto is retained, di(ers (yea, alost all) Thy
#ongregations, throughout other parts o! the world !ollowing herein"
Then didst Thou by a (ision dis#o(er to Thy !orenaed 1ishop where the bodies o!
Ger(asius and ,rotasius the artyrs lay hid (who Thou hadst in Thy se#ret treasury
stored un#orrupted so any years), when#e Thou ightest seasonably produ#e the
to repress the !ury o! a woan, but an 0press" /or when they were dis#o(ered and
dug up, and with due honour translated to the Abrosian 1asili#a, not only they who
were (e-ed with un#lean spirits (the de(ils #on!essing thesel(es) were #ured, but a
#ertain an who had !or any years been blind, a #iti<en, and well %nown to the #ity,
as%ing and hearing the reason o! the people7s #on!used 2oy, sprang !orth desiring his
guide to lead hi thither" Led thither, he begged to be allowed to tou#h with his
hand%er#hie! the bier o! Thy saints, whose death is pre#ious in Thy sight" .hi#h when
he had done, and put to his eyes, they were !orthwith opened" Then#e did the !ae
spread, then#e Thy praises glowed, shone; then#e the ind o! that eney, though not
turned to the soundness o! belie(ing, was yet turned ba#% !ro her !ury o!
perse#uting" Than%s to Thee, O y God" .hen#e and whither hast Thou thus led y
reebran#e, that ) should #on!ess these things also unto Thee& whi#h great though
they be, ) had passed by in !orget!ulness" And yet then, when the odour o! Thy
ointents was so !ragrant, did we not run a!ter Thee" There!ore did ) ore weep
aong the singing o! Thy 'yns, !orerly sighing a!ter Thee, and at length
breathing in Thee, as !ar as the breath ay enter into this our house o! grass"
Thou that a%est en to dwell o! one ind in one house, didst 2oin with us 0uodius
also, a young an o! our own #ity" .ho being an o!!i#er o! ;ourt, was be!ore us
#on(erted to Thee and baptised$ and 5uitting his se#ular war!are, girded hisel! to
Thine" .e were together, about to dwell together in our de(out purpose" .e sought
where we ight ser(e Thee ost use!ully, and were together returning to A!ri#a$
whitherward being as !ar as Ostia, y other departed this li!e" *u#h ) oit, as
hastening u#h" @e#ei(e y #on!essions and than%sgi(ings, O y God, !or
innuerable things whereo! ) a silent" 1ut ) will not oit whatsoe(er y soul
would bring !orth #on#erning that Thy handaid, who brought e !orth, both in the
!lesh, that ) ight be born to this teporal light, and in heart, that ) ight be born to
Light eternal" 8ot her gi!ts, but Thine in her, would ) spea% o!; !or neither did she
Boo I"
a%e nor edu#ate hersel!" Thou #reatedst her; nor did her !ather and other %now
what a one should #oe !ro the" And the s#eptre o! Thy ;hrist, the dis#ipline o!
Thine only +on, in a ;hristian house, a good eber o! Thy ;hur#h, edu#ated her in
Thy !ear" 4et !or her good dis#ipline was she wont to #oend not so u#h her
other7s diligen#e, as that o! a #ertain de#repit aid3ser(ant, who had #arried her
!ather when a #hild, as little ones used to be #arried at the ba#%s o! elder girls" /or
whi#h reason, and !or her great age, and e-#ellent #on(ersation, was she, in that
;hristian !aily, well respe#ted by its heads" .hen#e also the #harge o! her aster7s
daughters was entrusted to her, to whi#h she ga(e diligent heed, restraining the
earnestly, when ne#essary, with a holy se(erity, and tea#hing the with a gra(e
dis#retion" /or, e-#ept at those hours wherein they were ost teporately !ed at their
parents7 table, she would not su!!er the, though par#hed with thirst, to drin% e(en
water; pre(enting an e(il #usto, and adding this wholesoe ad(i#e$ 94e drin% water
now, be#ause you ha(e not wine in your power; but when you #oe to be arried,
and be ade istresses o! #ellars and #upboards, you will s#orn water, but the #usto
o! drin%ing will abide"9 1y this ethod o! instru#tion, and the authority she had, she
re!rained the greediness o! #hildhood, and oulded their (ery thirst to su#h an
e-#ellent oderation that what they should not, that they would not"
And yet (as Thy handaid told e her son) there had #rept upon her a lo(e o! wine"
/or when (as the anner was) she, as though a sober aiden, was bidden by her
parents to draw wine out o! the hogshed, holding the (essel under the opening, be!ore
she poured the wine into the !lagon, she sipped a little with the tip o! her lips; !or
ore her instin#ti(e !eelings re!used" /or this she did, not out o! any desire o! drin%,
but out o! the e-uberan#e o! youth, whereby it boils o(er in irth!ul !rea%s, whi#h in
youth!ul spirits are wont to be %ept under by the gra(ity o! their elders" And thus by
adding to that little, daily littles (!or whoso despiseth little things shall !all by little
and little), she had !allen into su#h a habit as greedily to drin% o!! her little #up bri3
!ull alost o! wine" .here was then that dis#reet old woan, and that her earnest
#ounteranding& .ould aught a(ail against a se#ret disease, i! Thy healing hand, O
Lord, wat#hed not o(er us& /ather, other, and go(ernors absent, Thou present, who
#reatedst, who #allest, who also by those set o(er us, wor%est soething towards the
sal(ation o! our souls, what didst Thou then, O y God& how didst Thou #ure her&
how heal her& didst Thou not out o! another soul bring !orth a hard and a sharp taunt,
li%e a lan#et out o! Thy se#ret store, and with one tou#h reo(e all that !oul stu!!& /or
a aid3ser(ant with who she used to go to the #ellar, !alling to words (as it happens)
with her little istress, when alone with her, taunted her with this !ault, with ost
bitter insult, #alling her wine3bibber" .ith whi#h taunt she, stung to the 5ui#%, saw the
!oulness o! her !ault, and instantly #ondened and !orsoo% it" As !lattering !riends
per(ert, so reproa#h!ul eneies ostly #orre#t" 4et not what by the Thou doest, but
what thesel(es purposed, dost Thou repay the" /or she in her anger sought to (e-
her young istress, not to aend her; and did it in pri(ate, either !or that the tie and
pla#e o! the 5uarrel so !ound the; or lest hersel! also should ha(e anger, !or
dis#o(ering it thus late" 1ut Thou, Lord, Go(ernor o! all in hea(en and earth, who
turnest to Thy purposes the deepest #urrents, and the ruled turbulen#e o! the tide o!
ties, didst by the (ery unhealthiness o! one soul heal another; lest any, when he
obser(es this, should as#ribe it to his own power, e(en when another, who he
wished to be re!ored, is re!ored through words o! his"
Boo I"
1rought up thus odestly and soberly, and ade sub2e#t rather by Thee to her
parents, than by her parents to Thee, so soon as she was o! arriageable age, being
bestowed upon a husband, she ser(ed hi as her lord; and did her diligen#e to win
hi unto Thee, prea#hing Thee unto hi by her #on(ersation; by whi#h Thou
ornaentedst her, a%ing her re(erently aiable, and adirable unto her husband"
And she so endured the wronging o! her bed as ne(er to ha(e any 5uarrel with her
husband thereon" /or she loo%ed !or Thy er#y upon hi, that belie(ing in Thee, he
ight be ade #haste" 1ut besides this, he was !er(id, as in his a!!e#tions, so in anger$
but she had learnt not to resist an angry husband, not in deed only, but not e(en in
word" Only when he was soothed and tran5uil, and in a teper to re#ei(e it, she
would gi(e an a##ount o! her a#tions, i! haply he had o(erhastily ta%en o!!en#e" )n a
word, while any atrons, who had ilder husbands, yet bore e(en in their !a#es
ar%s o! shae, would in !ailiar tal% blae their husbands7 li(es, she would blae
their tongues, gi(ing the, as in 2est, earnest ad(i#e$ 9That !ro the tie they heard
the arriage writings read to the, they should a##ount the as indentures, whereby
they were ade ser(ants; and so, reebering their #ondition, ought not to set
thesel(es up against their lords"9 And when they, %nowing what a #holeri# husband
she endured, ar(elled that it had ne(er been heard, nor by any to%en per#ei(ed, that
,atri#ius had beaten his wi!e, or that there had been any doesti# di!!eren#e between
the, e(en !or one day, and #on!identially as%ing the reason, she taught the her
pra#ti#e abo(e entioned" Those wi(es who obser(ed it !ound the good, and returned
than%s; those who obser(ed it not, !ound no relie!, and su!!ered"
'er other3in3law also, at !irst by whisperings o! e(il ser(ants in#ensed against her,
she so o(er#ae by obser(an#e and perse(ering enduran#e and ee%ness, that she o!
her own a##ord dis#o(ered to her son the eddling tongues whereby the doesti#
pea#e betwi-t her and her daughter3in3law had been disturbed, as%ing hi to #orre#t
the" Then, when in #oplian#e with his other, and !or the well3ordering o! the
!aily, he had with stripes #orre#ted those dis#o(ered, at her will who had dis#o(ered
the, she proised the li%e reward to any who, to please her, should spea% ill o! her
daughter3in3law to her$ and none now (enturing, they li(ed together with a rear%able
sweetness o! utual %indness"
This great gi!t also thou bestowedst, O y God, y er#y, upon that good handaid
o! Thine, in whose wob Thou #reatedst e, that between any disagreeing and
dis#ordant parties where she was able, she showed hersel! su#h a pea#ea%er, that
hearing on both sides ost bitter things, su#h as swelling and indigested #holer uses
to brea% out into, when the #rudities o! enities are breathed out in sour dis#ourses to
a present !riend against an absent eney, she ne(er would dis#lose aught o! the one
unto the other, but what ight tend to their re#on#ileent" A sall good this ight
appear to e, did ) not to y grie! %now nuberless persons, who through soe
horrible and wide3spreading #ontagion o! sin, not only dis#lose to persons utually
angered things said in anger, but add withal things ne(er spo%en, whereas to huane
huanity, it ought to see a light thing not to toent or in#rease ill will by ill words,
unless one study withal by good words to 5uen#h it" +u#h was she, Thysel!, her ost
inward )nstru#tor, tea#hing her in the s#hool o! the heart"
/inally, her own husband, towards the (ery end o! his earthly li!e, did she gain unto
Thee; nor had she to #oplain o! that in hi as a belie(er, whi#h be!ore he was a
belie(er she had borne !ro hi" +he was also the ser(ant o! Thy ser(ants;
Boo I"
whosoe(er o! the %new her, did in her u#h praise and honour and lo(e Thee; !or
that through the witness o! the !ruits o! a holy #on(ersation they per#ei(ed Thy
presen#e in her heart" /or she had been the wi!e o! one an, had re5uited her parents,
had go(eed her house piously, was well reported o! !or good wor%s, had brought up
#hildren, so o!ten tra(ailing in birth o! the, as she saw the swer(ing !ro Thee"
Lastly, o! all o! us Thy ser(ants, O Lord (who on o##asion o! Thy own gi!t Thou
su!!erest to spea%), us, who be!ore her sleeping in Thee li(ed united together, ha(ing
re#ei(ed the gra#e o! Thy baptis, did she so ta%e #are o!, as though she had been
other o! us all; so ser(ed us, as though she had been #hild to us all"
The day now approa#hing whereon she was to depart this li!e (whi#h day Thou well
%newest, we %new not), it #ae to pass, Thysel!, as ) belie(e, by Thy se#ret ways so
ordering it, that she and ) stood alone, leaning in a #ertain window, whi#h loo%ed into
the garden o! the house where we now lay, at Ostia; where reo(ed !ro the din o!
en, we were re#ruiting !ro the !atigues o! a long 2ourney, !or the (oyage" .e were
dis#oursing then together, alone, (ery sweetly; and !orgetting those things whi#h are
behind, and rea#hing !orth unto those things whi#h are be!ore, we were en5uiring
between oursel(es in the presen#e o! the Truth, whi#h Thou art, o! what sort the
eternal li!e o! the saints was to be, whi#h eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor hath it
entered into the heart o! an" 1ut yet we gasped with the outh o! our heart, a!ter
those hea(enly streas o! Thy !ountain, the !ountain o! li!e, whi#h is with Thee; that
being bedewed then#e a##ording to our #apa#ity, we ight in soe sort editate upon
so high a ystery"
And when our dis#ourse was brought to that point, that the (ery highest delight o! the
earthly senses, in the (ery purest aterial light, was, in respe#t o! the sweetness o!
that li!e, not only not worthy o! #oparison, but not e(en o! ention; we raising up
oursel(es with a ore glowing a!!e#tion towards the 9+el!3sae,9 did by degrees pass
through all things bodily, e(en the (ery hea(en when#e sun and oon and stars shine
upon the earth; yea, we were soaring higher yet, by inward using, and dis#ourse, and
adiring o! Thy wor%s; and we #ae to our own inds, and went beyond the, that
we ight arri(e at that region o! ne(er3!ailing plenty, where Thou !eedest )srael !or
e(er with the !ood o! truth, and where li!e is the .isdo by who all these things are
ade, and what ha(e been, and what shall be, and she is not ade, but is, as she hath
been, and so shall she be e(er; yea rather, to 9ha(e been,9 and 9herea!ter to be,9 are
not in her, but only 9to be,9 seeing she is eternal" /or to 9ha(e been,9 and to 9be
herea!ter,9 are not eternal" And while we were dis#oursing and panting a!ter her, we
slightly tou#hed on her with the whole e!!ort o! our heart; and we sighed, and there
we lea(e bound the !irst !ruits o! the +pirit; and returned to (o#al e-pressions o! our
outh, where the word spo%en has beginning and end" And what is li%e unto Thy
.ord, our Lord, who endureth in 'isel! without be#oing old, and a%eth all
things new&
.e were saying then$ )! to any the tuult o! the !lesh were hushed, hushed the iages
o! earth, and waters, and air, hushed also the pole o! hea(en, yea the (ery soul be
hushed to hersel!, and by not thin%ing on sel! surount sel!, hushed all dreas and
iaginary re(elations, e(ery tongue and e(ery sign, and whatsoe(er e-ists only in
transition, sin#e i! any #ould hear, all these say, .e ade not oursel(es, but 'e ade
us that abideth !or e(er3 )! then ha(ing uttered this, they too should be hushed, ha(ing
roused only our ears to 'i who ade the, and 'e alone spea%, not by the but by
Boo I"
'isel!, that we ay hear 'is .ord, not through any tongue o! !lesh, nor Angel7s
(oi#e, nor sound o! thunder, nor in the dar% riddle o! a siilitude, but ight hear
.ho in these things we lo(e, ight hear 'is >ery +el! without these (as we two
now strained oursel(es, and in swi!t thought tou#hed on that 0ternal .isdo whi#h
abideth o(er all); 3#ould this be #ontinued on, and other (isions o! %ind !ar unli%e be
withdrawn, and this one ra(ish, and absorb, and wrap up its beholder aid these
inward 2oys, so that li!e ight be !or e(er li%e that one oent o! understanding
whi#h now we sighed a!ter; were not this, 0nter into thy *aster7s 2oy& And when shall
that be& .hen we shall all rise again, though we shall not all be #hanged&
+u#h things was ) spea%ing, and e(en i! not in this (ery anner, and these sae
words, yet, Lord, Thou %nowest that in that day when we were spea%ing o! these
things, and this world with all its delights be#ae, as we spa%e, #onteptible to us,
y other said, 9+on, !or ine own part ) ha(e no !urther delight in any thing in this
li!e" .hat ) do here any longer, and to what ) a here, ) %now not, now that y hopes
in this world are a##oplished" One thing there was !or whi#h ) desired to linger !or a
while in this li!e, that ) ight see thee a ;atholi# ;hristian be!ore ) died" *y God hath
done this !or e ore abundantly, that ) should now see thee withal, despising earthly
happiness, be#oe 'is ser(ant$ what do ) here&9
.hat answer ) ade her unto these things, ) reeber not" /or s#ar#e !i(e days a!ter,
or not u#h ore, she !ell si#% o! a !e(er; and in that si#%ness one day she !ell into a
swoon, and was !or a while withdrawn !ro these (isible things" .e hastened round
her; but she was soon brought ba#% to her senses; and loo%ing on e and y brother
standing by her, said to us en5uiringly, 9.here was )&9 And then loo%ing !i-edly on
us, with grie! aa<ed$ 9'ere,9 saith she, 9shall you bury your other"9 ) held y
pea#e and re!rained weeping; but y brother spa%e soething, wishing !or her, as the
happier lot, that she ight die, not in a strange pla#e, but in her own land" .hereat,
she with an-ious loo%, #he#%ing hi with her eyes, !or that he still sa(oured su#h
things, and then loo%ing upon e$ 91ehold,9 saith she, 9what he saith9$ and soon a!ter
to us both, 9Lay,9 she saith, 9this body any where; let not the #are !or that any way
dis5uiet you$ this only ) re5uest, that you would reeber e at the Lord7s altar,
where(er you be"9 And ha(ing deli(ered this sentient in what words she #ould, she
held her pea#e, being e-er#ised by her growing si#%ness"
1ut ), #onsidering Thy gi!ts, Thou unseen God, whi#h Thou instillest into the hearts o!
Thy !aith!ul ones, when#e wondrous !ruits do spring, did re2oi#e and gi(e than%s to
Thee, re#alling what ) be!ore %new, how #are!ul and an-ious she had e(er been as to
her pla#e o! burial, whi#h she had pro(ided and prepared !or hersel! by the body o!
her husband" /or be#ause they had li(ed in great harony together, she also wished
(so little #an the huan ind ebra#e things di(ine) to ha(e this addition to that
happiness, and to ha(e it reebered aong en, that a!ter her pilgriage beyond
the seas, what was earthly o! this united pair had been peritted to be united beneath
the sae earth" 1ut when this eptiness had through the !ulness o! Thy goodness
begun to #ease in her heart, ) %new not, and re2oi#ed adiring what she had so
dis#losed to e; though indeed in that our dis#ourse also in the window, when she
said, 9.hat do ) here any longer&9 there appeared no desire o! dying in her own
#ountry" ) heard a!terwards also, that when we were now at Ostia, she with a other7s
#on!iden#e, when ) was absent, one day dis#oursed with #ertain o! y !riends about
the #ontept o! this li!e, and the blessing o! death$ and when they were aa<ed at
Boo I"
su#h #ourage whi#h Thou hadst gi(en to a woan, and as%ed, 9.hether she were not
a!raid to lea(e her body so !ar !ro her own #ity&9 she replied, 98othing is !ar to
God; nor was it to be !eared lest at the end o! the world, 'e should not re#ognise
when#e 'e were to raise e up"9 On the ninth day then o! her si#%ness, and the !i!ty3
si-th year o! her age, and the three3and3thirtieth o! ine, was that religious and holy
soul !reed !ro the body"
) #losed her eyes; and there !lowed withal a ighty sorrow into y heart, whi#h was
o(er!lowing into tears; ine eyes at the sae tie, by the (iolent #oand o! y
ind, dran% up their !ountain wholly dry; and woe was e in su#h a stri!e6 1ut when
she breathed her last, the boy Adeodatus burst out into a loud laent; then, #he#%ed
by us all, held his pea#e" )n li%e anner also a #hildish !eeling in e, whi#h was,
through y heart7s youth!ul (oi#e, !inding its (ent in weeping, was #he#%ed and
silen#ed" /or we thought it not !itting to solenise that !uneral with tear!ul laent,
and groanings; !or thereby do they !or the ost part e-press grie! !or the departed, as
though unhappy, or altogether dead; whereas she was neither unhappy in her death,
nor altogether dead" O! this we were assured on good grounds, the testiony o! her
good #on(ersation and her !aith un!eigned"
.hat then was it whi#h did grie(ously pain e within, but a !resh wound wrought
through the sudden wren#h o! that ost sweet and dear #usto o! li(ing together& )
2oyed indeed in her testiony, when, in that her last si#%ness, ingling her
endearents with y a#ts o! duty, she #alled e 9duti!ul,9 and entioned, with great
a!!e#tion o! lo(e, that she ne(er had heard any harsh or reproa#h!ul sound uttered by
y outh against her" 1ut yet, O y God, .ho adest us, what #oparison is there
betwi-t that honour that ) paid to her, and her sla(ery !or e& 1eing then !orsa%en o!
so great #o!ort in her, y soul was wounded, and that li!e rent asunder as it were,
whi#h, o! hers and ine together, had been ade but one"
The boy then being stilled !ro weeping, 0uodius too% up the ,salter, and began to
sing, our whole house answering hi, the ,sal, ) will sing o! er#y and 2udgents
to Thee, O Lord" 1ut hearing what we were doing, any brethren and religious
woen #ae together; and whilst they (whose o!!i#e it was) ade ready !or the
burial, as the anner is, ) (in a part o! the house, where ) ight properly), together
with those who thought not !it to lea(e e, dis#oursed upon soething !itting the
tie; and by this bal o! truth assuaged that torent, %nown to Thee, they un%nowing
and listening intently, and #on#ei(ing e to be without all sense o! sorrow" 1ut in Thy
ears, where none o! the heard, ) blaed the wea%ness o! y !eelings, and re!rained
y !lood o! grie!, whi#h ga(e way a little unto e; but again #ae, as with a tide, yet
not so as to burst out into tears, nor to #hange o! #ountenan#e; still ) %new what ) was
%eeping down in y heart" And being (ery u#h displeased that these huan things
had su#h power o(er e, whi#h in the due order and appointent o! our natural
#ondition ust needs #oe to pass, with a new grie! ) grie(ed !or y grie!, and was
thus worn by a double sorrow"
And behold, the #orpse was #arried to the burial; we went and returned without tears"
/or neither in those prayers whi#h we poured !orth unto Thee, when the +a#ri!i#e o!
our ranso was o!!ered !or her, when now the #orpse was by the gra(e7s side, as the
anner there is, pre(ious to its being laid therein, did ) weep e(en during those
prayers; yet was ) the whole day in se#ret hea(ily sad, and with troubled ind prayed
Boo I"
Thee, as ) #ould, to heal y sorrow, yet Thou didst not; ipressing, ) belie(e, upon
y eory by this one instan#e, how strong is the bond o! all habit, e(en upon a
soul, whi#h now !eeds upon no de#ei(ing .ord" )t seeed also good to e to go and
bathe, ha(ing heard that the bath had its nae (balneu) !ro the Gree% 1alaneion
!or that it dri(es sadness !ro the ind" And this also ) #on!ess unto Thy er#y,
/ather o! the !atherless, that ) bathed, and was the sae as be!ore ) bathed" /or the
bitterness o! sorrow #ould not e-ude out o! y heart" Then ) slept, and wo%e up again,
and !ound y grie! not a little so!tened; and as ) was alone in y bed, ) reebered
those true (erses o! Thy Abrose" /or Thou art the
9*a%er o! all, the Lord,
And @uler o! the height,
.ho, robing day in light, hast poured
+o!t slubers o7er the night,
That to our libs the power
O! toil ay be renew7d,
And hearts be rais7d that sin% and #ower,
And sorrows be subdu7d"9
And then by little and little ) re#o(ered y !orer thoughts o! Thy handaid, her
holy #on(ersation towards Thee, her holy tenderness and obser(an#e towards us,
whereo! ) was suddenly depri(ed$ and ) was inded to weep in Thy sight, !or her and
!or ysel!, in her behal! and in y own" And ) ga(e way to the tears whi#h ) be!ore
restrained, to o(er!low as u#h as they desired; reposing y heart upon the; and it
!ound rest in the, !or it was in Thy ears, not in those o! an, who would ha(e
s#orn!ully interpreted y weeping" And now, Lord, in writing ) #on!ess it unto Thee"
@ead it, who will, and interpret it, how he will$ and i! he !inds sin therein, that ) wept
y other !or a sall portion o! an hour (the other who !or the tie was dead to
ine eyes, who had !or any years wept !or e that ) ight li(e in Thine eyes), let
hi not deride e; but rather, i! he be one o! large #harity, let hi weep hisel! !or
y sins unto Thee, the /ather o! all the brethren o! Thy ;hrist"
1ut now, with a heart #ured o! that wound, wherein it ight see blaeworthy !or an
earthly !eeling, ) pour out unto Thee, our God, in behal! o! that Thy handaid, a !ar
di!!erent %ind o! tears, !lowing !ro a spirit sha%en by the thoughts o! the dangers o!
e(ery soul that dieth in Ada" And although she ha(ing been 5ui#%ened in ;hrist,
e(en be!ore her release !ro the !lesh, had li(ed to the praise o! Thy nae !or her
!aith and #on(ersation; yet dare ) not say that !ro what tie Thou regeneratedst her
by baptis, no word issued !ro her outh against Thy ;oandent" Thy +on, the
Truth, hath said, .hosoe(er shall say unto his brother, Thou !ool, shall be in danger
o! hell !ire" And woe be e(en unto the #oendable li!e o! en, i!, laying aside
er#y, Thou shouldest e-aine it" 1ut be#ause Thou art not e-tree in en5uiring
a!ter sins, we #on!idently hope to !ind soe pla#e with Thee" 1ut whosoe(er re#%ons
up his real erits to Thee, what re#%ons he up to Thee but Thine own gi!ts& O that
en would %now thesel(es to be en; and that he that glorieth would glory in the
Lord"
) there!ore, O y ,raise and y Li!e, God o! y heart, laying aside !or a while her
good deeds, !or whi#h ) gi(e than%s to Thee with 2oy, do now besee#h Thee !or the
sins o! y other" 'ear%en unto e, ) entreat Thee, by the *edi#ine o! our wounds,
Boo I"
.ho hung upon the tree, and now sitting at Thy right hand a%eth inter#ession to
Thee !or us" ) %now that she dealt er#i!ully, and !ro her heart !orga(e her debtors
their debts; do Thou also !orgi(e her debts, whate(er she ay ha(e #ontra#ted in so
any years, sin#e the water o! sal(ation" /orgi(e her, Lord, !orgi(e, ) besee#h Thee;
enter not into 2udgent with her" Let Thy er#y be e-alted abo(e Thy 2usti#e, sin#e
Thy words are true, and Thou hast proised er#y unto the er#i!ul; whi#h Thou
ga(est the to be, who wilt ha(e er#y on who Thou wilt ha(e er#y; and wilt
ha(e #opassion on who Thou hast had #opassion"
And, ) belie(e, Thou hast already done what ) as%; but a##ept, O Lord, the !ree3will
o!!erings o! y outh" /or she, the day o! her dissolution now at hand, too% no
thought to ha(e her body suptuously wound up, or ebaled with spi#es; nor
desired she a #hoi#e onuent, or to be buried in her own land" These things she
en2oined us not; but desired only to ha(e her nae #oeorated at Thy Altar,
whi#h she had ser(ed without interission o! one day$ when#e she %new the holy
+a#ri!i#e to be dispensed, by whi#h the hand3writing that was against us is blotted out;
through whi#h the eney was triuphed o(er, who suing up our o!!en#es, and
see%ing what to lay to our #harge, !ound nothing in 'i, in .ho we #on5uer" .ho
shall restore to 'i the inno#ent blood& .ho repay 'i the pri#e wherewith 'e
bought us, and so ta%e us !ro 'i& :nto the +a#raent o! whi#h our ranso, Thy
handaid bound her soul by the bond o! !aith" Let none se(er her !ro Thy
prote#tion$ let neither the lion nor the dragon interpose hisel! by !or#e or !raud" /or
she will not answer that she owes nothing, lest she be #on(i#ted and sei<ed by the
#ra!ty a##user$ but she will answer that her sins are !orgi(en her by 'i, to .ho
none #an repay that pri#e whi#h 'e, .ho owed nothing, paid !or us"
*ay she rest then in pea#e with the husband be!ore and a!ter who she had ne(er
any; who she obeyed, with patien#e bringing !orth !ruit unto Thee, that she ight
win hi also unto Thee" And inspire, O Lord y God, inspire Thy ser(ants y
brethren, Thy sons y asters, who with (oi#e, and heart, and pen ) ser(e, that so
any as shall read these ;on!essions, ay at Thy Altar reeber *onni#a Thy
handaid, with ,atri#ius, her soeties husband, by whose bodies Thou broughtest
e into this li!e, how ) %now not" *ay they with de(out a!!e#tion reeber y
parents in this transitory light, y brethren under Thee our /ather in our ;atholi#
*other, and y !ellow3#iti<ens in that eternal =erusale whi#h Thy pilgri people
sigheth a!ter !ro their 0-odus, e(en unto their return thither" That so y other7s
last re5uest o! e, ay through y #on!essions, ore than through y prayers, be,
through the prayers o! any, ore abundantly !ul!illed to her"
Boo "
BOO. "
Let e %now Thee, O Lord, who %nowest e$ let e %now Thee, as ) a %nown"
,ower o! y soul, enter into it, and !it it !or Thee, that Thou ayest ha(e and hold it
without spot or wrin%le" This is y hope, there!ore do ) spea%; and in this hope do )
re2oi#e, when ) re2oi#e health!ully" Other things o! this li!e are the less to be sorrowed
!or, the ore they are sorrowed !or; and the ore to be sorrowed !or, the less en
sorrow !or the" /or behold, Thou lo(est the truth, and he that doth it, #oeth to the
light" This would ) do in y heart be!ore Thee in #on!ession$ and in y writing,
be!ore any witnesses"
And !ro Thee, O Lord, unto whose eyes the abyss o! an7s #ons#ien#e is na%ed,
what #ould be hidden in e though ) would not #on!ess it& /or ) should hide Thee
!ro e, not e !ro Thee" 1ut now, !or that y groaning is witness, that ) a
displeased with ysel!, Thou shinest out, and art pleasing, and belo(ed, and longed
!or; that ) ay be ashaed o! ysel!, and renoun#e ysel!, and #hoose Thee, and
neither please Thee nor ysel!, but in Thee" To Thee there!ore, O Lord, a ) open,
whate(er ) a; and with what !ruit ) #on!ess unto Thee, ) ha(e said" 8or do ) it with
words and sounds o! the !lesh, but with the words o! y soul, and the #ry o! the
thought whi#h Thy ear %noweth" /or when ) a e(il, then to #on!ess to Thee is
nothing else than to be displeased with ysel!; but when holy, nothing else than not to
as#ribe it to ysel!$ be#ause Thou, O Lord, blessest the godly, but !irst Thou 2usti!ieth
hi when ungodly" *y #on!ession then, O y God, in Thy sight, is ade silently, and
not silently" /or in sound, it is silent; in a!!e#tion, it #ries aloud" /or neither do ) utter
any thing right unto en, whi#h Thou hast not be!ore heard !ro e; nor dost Thou
hear any su#h thing !ro e, whi#h Thou hast not !irst said unto e"
.hat then ha(e ) to do with en, that they should hear y #on!essions3 as i! they
#ould heal all y in!irities3 a ra#e, #urious to %now the li(es o! others, sloth!ul to
aend their own& .hy see% they to hear !ro e what ) a; who will not hear !ro
Thee what thesel(es are& And how %now they, when !ro ysel! they hear o!
ysel!, whether ) say true; seeing no an %nows what is in an, but the spirit o! an
whi#h is in hi& 1ut i! they hear !ro Thee o! thesel(es, they #annot say, 9The
Lord lieth"9 /or what is it to hear !ro Thee o! thesel(es, but to %now thesel(es&
and who %noweth and saith, 9)t is !alse,9 unless hisel! lieth& 1ut be#ause #harity
belie(eth all things (that is, aong those who %nitting unto itsel! it a%eth one), )
also, O Lord, will in su#h wise #on!ess unto Thee, that en ay hear, to who )
#annot deonstrate whether ) #on!ess truly; yet they belie(e e, whose ears #harity
openeth unto e"
1ut do Thou, y inost ,hysi#ian, a%e plain unto e what !ruit ) ay reap by
doing it" /or the #on!essions o! y past sins, whi#h Thou hast !orgi(en and #o(ered,
that Thou ightest bless e in Thee, #hanging y soul by /aith and Thy +a#raent,
when read and heard, stir up the heart, that it sleep not in despair and say 9) #annot,9
but awa%e in the lo(e o! Thy er#y and the sweetness o! Thy gra#e, whereby whoso
is wea%, is strong, when by it he be#ae #ons#ious o! his own wea%ness" And the
good delight to hear o! the past e(ils o! su#h as are now !reed !ro the, not be#ause
they are e(ils, but be#ause they ha(e been and are not" .ith what !ruit then, O Lord
Boo "
y God, to .ho y #ons#ien#e daily #on!esseth, trusting ore in the hope o! Thy
er#y than in her own inno#en#y, with what !ruit, ) pray, do ) by this boo% #on!ess to
en also in Thy presen#e what ) now a, not what ) ha(e been& /or that other !ruit )
ha(e seen and spo%en o!" 1ut what ) now a, at the (ery tie o! a%ing these
#on!essions, di(ers desire to %now, who ha(e or ha(e not %nown e, who ha(e heard
!ro e or o! e; but their ear is not at y heart where ) a, whate(er ) a" They
wish then to hear e #on!ess what ) a within; whither neither their eye, nor ear, nor
understanding #an rea#h; they wish it, as ready to belie(e3 but will they %now& /or
#harity, whereby they are good, telleth the that in y #on!essions ) lie not; and she
in the, belie(eth e"
1ut !or what !ruit would they hear this& Do they desire to 2oy with e, when they hear
how near, by Thy gi!t, ) approa#h unto Thee& and to pray !or e, when they shall hear
how u#h ) a held ba#% by y own weight& To su#h will ) dis#o(er ysel! /or it is
no ean !ruit, O Lord y God, that by any than%s should be gi(en to Thee on our
behal!, and Thou be by any entreated !or us" Let the brotherly ind lo(e in e what
Thou tea#hest is to be lo(ed, and laent in e what Thou tea#hest is to be laented"
Let a brotherly, not a stranger, ind, not that o! the strange #hildren, whose outh
tal%eth o! (anity, and their right hand is a right hand o! ini5uity, but that brotherly
ind whi#h when it appro(eth, re2oi#eth !or e, and when it disappro(eth e, is
sorry !or e; be#ause whether it appro(eth or disappro(eth, it lo(eth e" To su#h will
) dis#o(er ysel!$ they will breathe !reely at y good deeds, sigh !or y ill" *y good
deeds are Thine appointents, and Thy gi!ts; y e(il ones are y o!!en#es, and Thy
2udgents" Let the breathe !reely at the one, sigh at the other; and let hyns and
weeping go up into Thy sight, out o! the hearts o! y brethren, Thy #ensers" And do
Thou, O Lord, he pleased with the in#ense o! Thy holy teple, ha(e er#y upon e
a##ording to Thy great er#y !or Thine own nae7s sa%e; and no ways !orsa%ing what
Thou hast begun, per!e#t y iper!e#tions"
This is the !ruit o! y #on!essions o! what ) a, not o! what ) ha(e been, to #on!ess
this, not be!ore Thee only, in a se#ret e-ultation with trebling, and a se#ret sorrow
with hope; but in the ears also o! the belie(ing sons o! en, sharers o! y 2oy, and
partners in y ortality, y !ellow3#iti<ens, and !ellow3pilgris, who are gone
be!ore, or are to !ollow on, #opanions o! y way" These are Thy ser(ants, y
brethren, who Thou willest to be Thy sons; y asters, who Thou #oandest
e to ser(e, i! ) would li(e with Thee, o! Thee" 1ut this Thy .ord were little did it
only #oand by spea%ing, and not go be!ore in per!oring" This then ) do in deed
and word, this ) do under Thy wings; in o(er great peril, were not y soul subdued
unto Thee under Thy wings, and y in!irity %nown unto Thee" ) a a little one, but
y /ather e(er li(eth, and y Guardian is su!!i#ient !or e" /or 'e is the sae who
begat e, and de!ends e$ and Thou Thysel! art all y good; Thou, Alighty, .ho
are with e, yea, be!ore ) a with Thee" To su#h then who Thou #oandest e to
ser(e will ) dis#o(er, not what ) ha(e been, but what ) now a and what ) yet a" 1ut
neither do ) 2udge ysel!" Thus there!ore ) would be heard"
/or Thou, Lord, dost 2udge e$ be#ause, although no an %noweth the things o! a
an, but the spirit o! a an whi#h is in hi, yet is there soething o! an, whi#h
neither the spirit o! an that is in hi, itsel! %noweth" 1ut Thou, Lord, %nowest all o!
hi, .ho hast ade hi" 4et ), though in Thy sight ) despise ysel!, and a##ount
ysel! dust and ashes; yet %now ) soething o! Thee, whi#h ) %now not o! ysel!"
Boo "
And truly, now we see through a glass dar%ly, not !a#e to !a#e as yet" +o long
there!ore as ) be absent !ro Thee, ) a ore present with ysel! than with Thee;
and yet %now ) Thee that Thou art in no ways passible; but ), what teptations ) #an
resist, what ) #annot, ) %now not" And there is hope, be#ause Thou art !aith!ul, .ho
wilt not su!!er us to be tepted abo(e that we are able; but wilt with the teptation
also a%e a way to es#ape, that we ay be able to bear it" ) will #on!ess then what )
%now o! ysel!, ) will #on!ess also what ) %now not o! ysel!" And that be#ause what
) do %now o! ysel!, ) %now by Thy shining upon e; and what ) %now not o! ysel!,
so long %now ) not it, until y dar%ness be ade as the noon3day in Thy #ountenan#e"
8ot with doubting, but with assured #ons#iousness, do ) lo(e Thee, Lord" Thou hast
stri#%en y heart with Thy word, and ) lo(ed Thee" 4ea also hea(en, and earth, and
all that therein is, behold, on e(ery side they bid e lo(e Thee; nor #ease to say so
unto all, that they ay be without e-#use" 1ut ore deeply wilt Thou ha(e er#y on
who Thou wilt ha(e er#y, and wilt ha(e #opassion on who Thou hast had
#opassion$ else in dea! ears do the hea(en and the earth spea% Thy praises" 1ut what
do ) lo(e, when ) lo(e Thee& not beauty o! bodies, nor the !air harony o! tie, nor
the brightness o! the light, so gladsoe to our eyes, nor sweet elodies o! (aried
songs, nor the !ragrant sell o! !lowers, and ointents, and spi#es, not anna and
honey, not libs a##eptable to ebra#eents o! !lesh" 8one o! these ) lo(e, when )
lo(e y God; and yet ) lo(e a %ind o! light, and elody, and !ragran#e, and eat, and
ebra#eent when ) lo(e y God, the light, elody, !ragran#e, eat, ebra#eent
o! y inner an$ where there shineth unto y soul what spa#e #annot #ontain, and
there soundeth what tie beareth not away, and there selleth what breathing
disperseth not, and there tasteth what eating diinisheth not, and there #lingeth what
satiety di(or#eth not" This is it whi#h ) lo(e when ) lo(e y God"
And what is this& ) as%ed the earth, and it answered e, 9) a not 'e9; and
whatsoe(er are in it #on!essed the sae" ) as%ed the sea and the deeps, and the li(ing
#reeping things, and they answered, 9.e are not thy God, see% abo(e us"9 ) as%ed the
o(ing air; and the whole air with his inhabitants answered, 9Ana-ienes was
de#ei(ed, ) a not God" 9 ) as%ed the hea(ens, sun, oon, stars, 98or (say they) are
we the God who thou see%est"9 And ) replied unto all the things whi#h en#opass
the door o! y !lesh$ 94e ha(e told e o! y God, that ye are not 'e; tell e
soething o! 'i"9 And they #ried out with a loud (oi#e, 9'e ade us" 9 *y
5uestioning the, was y thoughts on the$ and their !or o! beauty ga(e the
answer" And ) turned ysel! unto ysel!, and said to ysel!, 9.ho art thou&9 And )
answered, 9A an"9 And behold, in e there present thesel(es to e soul, and body,
one without, the other within" 1y whi#h o! these ought ) to see% y God& ) had
sought 'i in the body !ro earth to hea(en, so !ar as ) #ould send essengers, the
beas o! ine eyes" 1ut the better is the inner, !or to it as presiding and 2udging, all
the bodily essengers reported the answers o! hea(en and earth, and all things
therein, who said, 9.e are not God, but 'e ade us"9 These things did y inner an
%now by the inistry o! the outer$ ) the inner %new the; ), the ind, through the
senses o! y body" ) as%ed the whole !rae o! the world about y God; and it
answered e, 9) a not 'e, but 'e ade e"
)s not this #orporeal !igure apparent to all whose senses are per!e#t& why then spea%s
it not the sae to all& Anials sall and great see it, but they #annot as% it$ be#ause
no reason is set o(er their senses to 2udge on what they report" 1ut en #an as%, so
Boo "
that the in(isible things o! God are #learly seen, being understood by the things that
are ade; but by lo(e o! the, they are ade sub2e#t unto the$ and sub2e#ts #annot
2udge" 8or yet do the #reatures answer su#h as as%, unless they #an 2udge; nor yet do
they #hange their (oi#e (i"e", their appearan#e), i! one an only sees, another seeing
as%s, so as to appear one way to this an, another way to that, but appearing the sae
way to both, it is dub to this, spea%s to that; yea rather it spea%s to all; but they only
understand, who #opare its (oi#e re#ei(ed !ro without, with the truth within" /or
truth saith unto e, 98either hea(en, nor earth, nor any other body is thy God"9 This,
their (ery nature saith to hi that seeth the$ 9They are a ass; a ass is less in a
part thereo! than in the whole"9 8ow to thee ) spea%, O y soul, thou art y better
part$ !or thou 5ui#%enest the ass o! y body, gi(ing it li!e, whi#h no body #an gi(e
to a body$ but thy God is e(en unto thee the Li!e o! thy li!e"
.hat then do ) lo(e, when ) lo(e y God& who is 'e abo(e the head o! y soul& 1y
y (ery soul will ) as#end to 'i" ) will pass beyond that power whereby ) a united
to y body, and !ill its whole !rae with li!e" 8or #an ) by that power !ind y God;
!or so horse and ule that ha(e no understanding ight !ind 'i; seeing it is the
sae power, whereby e(en their bodies li(e" 1ut another power there is, not that only
whereby ) aniate, but that too whereby ) ibue with sense y !lesh, whi#h the Lord
hath !raed !or e$ #oanding the eye not to hear, and the ear not to see; but the
eye, that through it ) should see, and the ear, that through it ) should hear; and to the
other senses se(erally, what is to ea#h their own pe#uliar seats and o!!i#es; whi#h,
being di(ers, ) the one ind, do through the ena#t" ) will pass beyond this power o!
ine also; !or this also ha(e the horse, and ule, !or they also per#ei(e through the
body"
) will pass then beyond this power o! y nature also, rising by degrees unto 'i .ho
ade e" And ) #oe to the !ields and spa#ious pala#es o! y eory, where are the
treasures o! innuerable iages, brought into it !ro things o! all sorts per#ei(ed by
the senses" There is stored up, whatsoe(er besides we thin%, either by enlarging or
diinishing, or any other way (arying those things whi#h the sense hath #oe to; and
whate(er else hath been #oitted and laid up, whi#h !orget!ulness hath not yet
swallowed up and buried" .hen ) enter there, ) re5uire what ) will to be brought !orth,
and soething instantly #oes; others ust be longer sought a!ter, whi#h are !et#hed,
as it were, out o! soe inner re#epta#le; others rush out in troops, and while one thing
is desired and re5uired, they start !orth, as who should say, 9)s it per#han#e )&9 These )
dri(e away with the hand o! y heart, !ro the !a#e o! y reebran#e; until what )
wish !or be un(eiled, and appear in sight, out o! its se#ret pla#e" Other things #oe up
readily, in unbro%en order, as they are #alled !or; those in !ront a%ing way !or the
!ollowing; and as they a%e way, they are hidden !ro sight, ready to #oe when )
will" All whi#h ta%es pla#e when ) repeat a thing by heart"
There are all things preser(ed distin#tly and under general heads, ea#h ha(ing entered
by its own a(enue$ as light, and all #olours and !ors o! bodies by the eyes; by the
ears all sorts o! sounds; all sells by the a(enue o! the nostrils; all tastes by the
outh; and by the sensation o! the whole body, what is hard or so!t; hot or #old; or
rugged; hea(y or light; either outwardly or inwardly to the body" All these doth that
great harbour o! the eory re#ei(e in her nuberless se#ret and ine-pressible
windings, to be !orth#oing, and brought out at need; ea#h entering in by his own
gate, and there laid up" 8or yet do the things thesel(es enter in; only the iages o!
Boo "
the things per#ei(ed are there in readiness, !or thought to re#all" .hi#h iages, how
they are !ored, who #an tell, though it doth plainly appear by whi#h sense ea#h hath
been brought in and stored up& /or e(en while ) dwell in dar%ness and silen#e, in y
eory ) #an produ#e #olours, i! ) will, and dis#ern betwi-t bla#% and white, and
what others ) will$ nor yet do sounds brea% in and disturb the iage drawn in by y
eyes, whi#h ) a re(iewing, though they also are there, lying dorant, and laid up, as
it were, apart" /or these too ) #all !or, and !orthwith they appear" And though y
tongue be still, and y throat ute, so #an ) sing as u#h as ) will; nor do those
iages o! #olours, whi#h notwithstanding be there, intrude thesel(es and interrupt,
when another store is #alled !or, whi#h !lowed in by the ears" +o the other things,
piled in and up by the other senses, ) re#all at y pleasure" 4ea, ) dis#ern the breath o!
lilies !ro (iolets, though selling nothing; and ) pre!er honey to sweet wine, sooth
be!ore rugged, at the tie neither tasting nor handling, but reebering only"
These things do ) within, in that (ast #ourt o! y eory" /or there are present with
e, hea(en, earth, sea, and whate(er ) #ould thin% on therein, besides what ) ha(e
!orgotten" There also eet ) with ysel!, and re#all ysel!, and when, where, and
what ) ha(e done, and under what !eelings" There be all whi#h ) reeber, either on
y own e-perien#e, or other7s #redit" Out o! the sae store do ) ysel! with the past
#ontinually #obine !resh and !resh li%enesses o! things whi#h ) ha(e e-perien#ed, or,
!ro what ) ha(e e-perien#ed, ha(e belie(ed$ and then#e again in!er !uture a#tions,
e(ents and hopes, and all these again ) re!le#t on, as present" 9) will do this or that,9
say ) to ysel!, in that great re#epta#le o! y ind, stored with the iages o! things
so any and so great, 9and this or that will !ollow"9 9O that this or that ight be69
9God a(ert this or that69 +o spea% ) to ysel!$ and when ) spea%, the iages o! all )
spea% o! are present, out o! the sae treasury o! eory; nor would ) spea% o! any
thereo!, were the iages wanting"
Great is this !or#e o! eory, e-#essi(e great, O y God; a large and boundless
#haber6 who e(er sounded the botto thereo!& yet is this a power o! ine, and
belongs unto y nature; nor do ) ysel! #oprehend all that ) a" There!ore is the
ind too strait to #ontain itsel!" And where should that be, whi#h it #ontaineth not o!
itsel!& )s it without it, and not within& how then doth it not #oprehend itsel!& A
wonder!ul adiration surprises e, aa<eent sei<es e upon this" And en go
abroad to adire the heights o! ountains, the ighty billows o! the sea, the broad
tides o! ri(ers, the #opass o! the o#ean, and the #ir#uits o! the stars, and pass
thesel(es by; nor wonder that when ) spa%e o! all these things, ) did not see the
with ine eyes, yet #ould not ha(e spo%en o! the, unless ) then a#tually saw the
ountains, billows, ri(ers, stars whi#h ) had seen, and that o#ean whi#h ) belie(e to
be, inwardly in y eory, and that, with the sae (ast spa#es between, as i! ) saw
the abroad" 4et did not ) by seeing draw the into ysel!, when with ine eyes )
beheld the; nor are they thesel(es with e, but their iages only" And ) %now by
what sense o! the body ea#h was ipressed upon e"
4et not these alone does the uneasurable #apa#ity o! y eory retain" 'ere also is
all, learnt o! the liberal s#ien#es and as yet un!orgotten; reo(ed as it were to soe
inner pla#e, whi#h is yet no pla#e$ nor are they the iages thereo!, but the things
thesel(es" /or, what is literature, what the art o! disputing, how any %inds o!
5uestions there be, whatsoe(er o! these ) %now, in su#h anner e-ists in y eory,
as that ) ha(e not ta%en in the iage, and le!t out the thing, or that it should ha(e
Boo "
sounded and passed away li%e a (oi#e !i-ed on the ear by that ipress, whereby it
ight be re#alled, as i! it sounded, when it no longer sounded; or as a sell while it
passes and e(aporates into air a!!e#ts the sense o! sell, when#e it #on(eys into the
eory an iage o! itsel!, whi#h reebering, we renew, or as eat, whi#h (erily in
the belly hath now no taste, and yet in the eory still in a anner tasteth; or as any
thing whi#h the body by tou#h per#ei(eth, and whi#h when reo(ed !ro us, the
eory still #on#ei(es" /or those things are not transitted into the eory, but
their iages only are with an adirable swi!tness #aught up, and stored as it were in
wondrous #abinets, and then#e wonder!ully by the a#t o! reebering, brought !orth"
1ut now when ) hear that there be three %inds o! 5uestions, 9.hether the thing be&
what it is& o! what %ind it is& ) do indeed hold the iages o! the sounds o! whi#h
those words be #oposed, and that those sounds, with a noise passed through the air,
and now are not" 1ut the things thesel(es whi#h are signi!ied by those sounds, )
ne(er rea#hed with any sense o! y body, nor e(er dis#erned the otherwise than in
y ind; yet in y eory ha(e ) laid up not their iages, but thesel(es" .hi#h
how they entered into e, let the say i! they #an; !or ) ha(e gone o(er all the
a(enues o! y !lesh, but #annot !ind by whi#h they entered" /or the eyes say, 9)! those
iages were #oloured, we reported o! the"9 The ears say, 9)! they sound, we ga(e
%nowledge o! the"9 The nostrils say, 9)! they sell, they passed by us"9 The taste
says, 9:nless they ha(e a sa(our, as% e not"9 The tou#h says, 9)! it ha(e not si<e, )
handled it not; i! ) handled it not, ) ga(e no noti#e o! it"9 .hen#e and how entered
these things into y eory& ) %now not how" /or when ) learned the, ) ga(e not
#redit to another an7s ind, but re#ognised the in ine; and appro(ing the !or
true, ) #oended the to it, laying the up as it were, when#e ) ight bring the
!orth when ) willed" )n y heart then they were, e(en be!ore ) learned the, but in y
eory they were not" .here then& or where!ore, when they were spo%en, did )
a#%nowledge the, and said, 9+o is it, it is true,9 unless that they were already in the
eory, but so thrown ba#% and buried as it were in deeper re#esses, that had not the
suggestion o! another drawn the !orth ) had per#han#e been unable to #on#ei(e o!
the&
.here!ore we !ind, that to learn these things whereo! we ibibe nor the iages by
our senses, but per#ei(e within by thesel(es, without iages, as they are, is nothing
else, but by #on#eption, to re#ei(e, and by ar%ing to ta%e heed that those things
whi#h the eory did be!ore #ontain at rando and unarranged, be laid up at hand as
it were in that sae eory where be!ore they lay un%nown, s#attered and negle#ted,
and so readily o##ur to the ind !ailiarised to the" And how any things o! this
%ind does y eory bear whi#h ha(e been already !ound out, and as ) said, pla#ed
as it were at hand, whi#h we are said to ha(e learned and #oe to %now whi#h were )
!or soe short spa#e o! tie to #ease to #all to ind, they are again so buried, and
glide ba#%, as it were, into the deeper re#esses, that they ust again, as i! new, he
thought out then#e, !or other abode they ha(e none$ but they ust be drawn together
again, that they ay be %nown; that is to say, they ust as it were be #olle#ted
together !ro their dispersion$ when#e the word 9#ogitation9 is deri(ed" /or #ogo
(#olle#t) and #ogito (re3#olle#t) ha(e the sae relation to ea#h other as ago and agito,
!a#io and !a#tito" 1ut the ind hath appropriated to itsel! this word (#ogitation), so
that, not what is 9#olle#ted9 any how, but what is 9re#olle#ted,9 i"e", brought together,
in the ind, is properly said to be #ogitated, or thought upon"
Boo "
The eory #ontaineth also reasons and laws innuerable o! nubers and
diensions, none o! whi#h hath any bodily sense ipressed; seeing they ha(e neither
#olour, nor sound, nor taste, nor sell, nor tou#h" ) ha(e heard the sound o! the words
whereby when dis#ussed they are denoted$ but the sounds are other than the things"
/or the sounds are other in Gree% than in Latin; but the things are neither Gree%, nor
Latin, nor any other language" ) ha(e seen the lines o! ar#hite#ts, the (ery !inest, li%e a
spider7s thread; but those are still di!!erent, they are not the iages o! those lines
whi#h the eye o! !lesh showed e$ he %noweth the, whosoe(er without any
#on#eption whatsoe(er o! a body, re#ognises the within hisel!" ) ha(e per#ei(ed
also the nubers o! the things with whi#h we nuber all the senses o! y body; but
those nubers wherewith we nuber are di!!erent, nor are they the iages o! these,
and there!ore they indeed are" Let hi who seeth the not, deride e !or saying these
things, and ) will pity hi, while he derides e"
All these things ) reeber, and how ) learnt the ) reeber" *any things also
ost !alsely ob2e#ted against the ha(e ) heard, and reeber; whi#h though they be
!alse, yet is it not !alse that ) reeber the; and ) reeber also that ) ha(e
dis#erned betwi-t those truths and these !alsehoods ob2e#ted to the" And ) per#ei(e
that the present dis#erning o! these things is di!!erent !ro reebering that )
o!tenties dis#erned the, when ) o!ten thought upon the" ) both reeber then to
ha(e o!ten understood these things; and what ) now dis#ern and understand, ) lay up
in y eory, that herea!ter ) ay reeber that ) understand it now" +o then )
reeber also to ha(e reebered; as i! herea!ter ) shall #all to reebran#e, that )
ha(e now been able to reeber these things, by the !or#e o! eory shall ) #all it to
reebran#e"
The sae eory #ontains also the a!!e#tions o! y ind, not in the sae anner
that y ind itsel! #ontains the, when it !eels the; but !ar otherwise, a##ording to
a power o! its own" /or without re2oi#ing ) reeber ysel! to ha(e 2oyed; and
without sorrow do ) re#olle#t y past sorrow" And that ) on#e !eared, ) re(iew without
!ear; and without desire #all to ind a past desire" +oeties, on the #ontrary, with
2oy do ) reeber y !ore3past sorrow, and with sorrow, 2oy" .hi#h is not wonder!ul,
as to the body; !or ind is one thing, body another" )! ) there!ore with 2oy reeber
soe past pain o! body, it is not so wonder!ul" 1ut now seeing this (ery eory itsel!
is ind (!or when we gi(e a thing in #harge, to be %ept in eory, we say, 9+ee that
you %eep it in ind9; and when we !orget, we say, 9)t did not #oe to y ind,9 and,
9)t slipped out o! y ind,9 #alling the eory itsel! the ind); this being so, how is
it that when with 2oy ) reeber y past sorrow, the ind hath 2oy, the eory hath
sorrow; the ind upon the 2oy!ulness whi#h is in it, is 2oy!ul, yet the eory upon
the sadness whi#h is in it, is not sad& Does the eory per#han#e not belong to the
ind& .ho will say so& The eory then is, as it were, the belly o! the ind, and 2oy
and sadness, li%e sweet and bitter !ood; whi#h, when #oitted to the eory, are as
it were passed into the belly, where they ay be stowed, but #annot taste" @idi#ulous
it is to iagine these to be ali%e; and yet are they not utterly unli%e"
1ut, behold, out o! y eory ) bring it, when ) say there be !our perturbations o!
the ind, desire, 2oy, !ear, sorrow; and whatsoe(er ) #an dispute thereon, by di(iding
ea#h into its subordinate spe#ies, and by de!ining it, in y eory !ind ) what to say,
and then#e do ) bring it$ yet a ) not disturbed by any o! these perturbations, when by
#alling the to ind, ) reeber the; yea, and be!ore ) re#alled and brought the
Boo "
ba#%, they were there; and there!ore #ould they, by re#olle#tion, then#e be brought"
,er#han#e, then, as eat is by #hewing the #ud brought up out o! the belly, so by
re#olle#tion these out o! the eory" .hy then does not the disputer, thus
re#olle#ting, taste in the outh o! his using the sweetness o! 2oy, or the bitterness o!
sorrow& )s the #oparison unli%e in this, be#ause not in all respe#ts li%e& /or who
would willingly spea% thereo!, i! so o!t as we nae grie! or !ear, we should be
#opelled to be sad or !ear!ul& And yet #ould we not spea% o! the, did we not !ind
in our eory, not only the sounds o! the naes a##ording to the iages ipressed
by the senses o! the body, but notions o! the (ery things thesel(es whi#h we ne(er
re#ei(ed by any a(enue o! the body, but whi#h the ind itsel! per#ei(ing by the
e-perien#e o! its own passions, #oitted to the eory, or the eory o! itsel!
retained, without being #oitted unto it"
1ut whether by iages or no, who #an readily say& Thus, ) nae a stone, ) nae the
sun, the things thesel(es not being present to y senses, but their iages to y
eory" ) nae a bodily pain, yet it is not present with e, when nothing a#hes$ yet
unless its iage were present to y eory, ) should not %now what to say thereo!,
nor in dis#oursing dis#ern pain !ro pleasure" ) nae bodily health; being sound in
body, the thing itsel! is present with e; yet, unless its iage also were present in y
eory, ) #ould by no eans re#all what the sound o! this nae should signi!y" 8or
would the si#%, when health were naed, re#ognise what were spo%en, unless the
sae iage were by the !or#e o! eory retained, although the thing itsel! were
absent !ro the body" ) nae nubers whereby we nuber; and not their iages, but
thesel(es are present in y eory" ) nae the iage o! the sun, and that iage is
present in y eory" /or ) re#all not the iage o! its iage, but the iage itsel! is
present to e, #alling it to ind" ) nae eory, and ) re#ognise what ) nae" And
where do ) re#ognise it, but in the eory itsel!& )s it also present to itsel! by its
iage, and not by itsel!&
.hat, when ) nae !orget!ulness, and withal re#ognise what ) nae& when#e should )
re#ognise it, did ) not reeber it& ) spea% not o! the sound o! the nae, but o! the
thing whi#h it signi!ies$ whi#h i! ) had !orgotten, ) #ould not re#ognise what that
sound signi!ies" .hen then ) reeber eory, eory itsel! is, through itsel!,
present with itsel!$ but when ) reeber !orget!ulness, there are present both eory
and !orget!ulness; eory whereby ) reeber, !orget!ulness whi#h ) reeber" 1ut
what is !orget!ulness, but the pri(ation o! eory& 'ow then is it present that )
reeber it, sin#e when present ) #annot reeber& 1ut i! what we reeber we
hold it in eory, yet, unless we did reeber !orget!ulness, we #ould ne(er at the
hearing o! the nae re#ognise the thing thereby signi!ied, then !orget!ulness is
retained by eory" ,resent then it is, that we !orget not, and being so, we !orget" )t is
to be understood !ro this that !orget!ulness when we reeber it, is not present to
the eory by itsel! but by its iage$ be#ause i! it were present by itsel!, it would not
#ause us to reeber, but to !orget" .ho now shall sear#h out this& who shall
#oprehend how it is&
Lord, ), truly, toil therein, yea and toil in ysel!; ) a be#oe a hea(y soil re5uiring
o(er u#h sweat o! the brow" /or we are not now sear#hing out the regions o! hea(en,
or easuring the distan#es o! the stars, or en5uiring the balan#ings o! the earth" )t is )
ysel! who reeber, ) the ind" )t is not so wonder!ul, i! what ) ysel! a not, be
!ar !ro e" 1ut what is nearer to e than ysel!& And to, the !or#e o! ine own
Boo "
eory is not understood by e; though ) #annot so u#h as nae ysel! without it"
/or what shall ) say, when it is #lear to e that ) reeber !orget!ulness& +hall ) say
that that is not in y eory, whi#h ) reeber& or shall ) say that !orget!ulness is
!or this purpose in y eory, that ) ight not !orget& 1oth were ost absurd" .hat
third way is there& 'ow #an ) say that the iage o! !orget!ulness is retained by y
eory, not !orget!ulness itsel!, when ) reeber it& 'ow #ould ) say this either,
seeing that when the iage o! any thing is ipressed on the eory, the thing itsel!
ust needs be !irst present, when#e that iage ay be ipressed& /or thus do )
reeber ;arthage, thus all pla#es where ) ha(e been, thus en7s !a#es who ) ha(e
seen, and things reported by the other senses; thus the health or si#%ness o! the body"
/or when these things were present, y eory re#ei(ed !ro the iages, whi#h
being present with e, ) ight loo% on and bring ba#% in y ind, when )
reebered the in their absen#e" )! then this !orget!ulness is retained in the eory
through its iage, not through itsel!, then plainly itsel! was on#e present, that its
iage ight be ta%en" 1ut when it was present, how did it write its iage in the
eory, seeing that !orget!ulness by its presen#e e!!a#es e(en what it !inds already
noted& And yet, in whate(er way, although that way be past #on#ei(ing and
e-plaining, yet #ertain a ) that ) reeber !orget!ulness itsel! also, whereby what
we reeber is e!!a#ed"
Great is the power o! eory, a !ear!ul thing, O y God, a deep and boundless
ani!oldness; and this thing is the ind, and this a ) ysel!" .hat a ) then, O y
God& .hat nature a )& A li!e (arious and ani!old, and e-#eeding iense" 1ehold
in the plains, and #a(es, and #a(erns o! y eory, innuerable and innuerably
!ull o! innuerable %inds o! things, either through iages, as all bodies; or by a#tual
presen#e, as the arts; or by #ertain notions or ipressions, as the a!!e#tions o! the
ind, whi#h, e(en when the ind doth not !eel, the eory retaineth, while yet
whatsoe(er is in the eory is also in the ind3 o(er all these do ) run, ) !ly; ) di(e
on this side and on that, as !ar as ) #an, and there is no end" +o great is the !or#e o!
eory, so great the !or#e o! li!e, e(en in the ortal li!e o! an" .hat shall ) do then,
O Thou y true li!e, y God& ) will pass e(en beyond this power o! ine whi#h is
#alled eory$ yea, ) will pass beyond it, that ) ay approa#h unto Thee, O sweet
Light" .hat sayest Thou to e& +ee, ) a ounting up through y ind towards
Thee who abidest abo(e e" 4ea, ) now will pass beyond this power o! ine whi#h is
#alled eory, desirous to arri(e at Thee, when#e Thou ayest be arri(ed at; and to
#lea(e unto Thee, when#e one ay #lea(e unto Thee" /or e(en beasts and birds ha(e
eory; else #ould they not return to their dens and nests, nor any other things they
are used unto$ nor indeed #ould they be used to any thing, but by eory" ) will pass
then beyond eory also, that ) ay arri(e at 'i who hath separated e !ro the
!our3!ooted beasts and ade e wiser than the !owls o! the air, ) will pass beyond
eory also, and where shall ) !ind Thee, Thou truly good and #ertain sweetness&
And where shall ) !ind Thee& )! ) !ind Thee without y eory, then do ) not retain
Thee in y eory" And how shall ) !ind Thee, i! ) reeber Thee not&
/or the woan that had lost her groat, and sought it with a light; unless she had
reebered it, she had ne(er !ound it" /or when it was !ound, when#e should she
%now whether it were the sae, unless she reebered it& ) reeber to ha(e sought
and !ound any a thing; and this ) thereby %now, that when ) was see%ing any o!
the, and was as%ed, 9)s this it&9 9)s that it&9 so long said ) 98o,9 until that were
o!!ered e whi#h ) sought" .hi#h had ) not reebered (whate(er it were) though it
Boo "
were o!!ered e, yet should ) not !ind it, be#ause ) #ould not re#ognise it" And so it
e(er is, when we see% and !ind any lost thing" 8otwithstanding, when any thing is by
#han#e lost !ro the sight, not !ro the eory (as any (isible body), yet its iage is
still retained within, and it is sought until it be restored to sight; and when it is !ound,
it is re#ognised by the iage whi#h is within$ nor do we say that we ha(e !ound what
was lost, unless we re#ognise it; nor #an we re#ognise it, unless we reeber it" 1ut
this was lost to the eyes, but retained in the eory"
1ut what when the eory itsel! loses any thing, as !alls out when we !orget and
see% that we ay re#olle#t& .here in the end do we sear#h, but in the eory itsel!&
and there, i! one thing be per#han#e o!!ered instead o! another, we re2e#t it, until what
we see% eets us; and when it doth, we say, 9This is it9; whi#h we should not unless
we re#ognised it, nor re#ognise it unless we reebered it" ;ertainly then we had
!orgotten it" Or, had not the whole es#aped us, but by the part whereo! we had hold,
was the lost part sought !or; in that the eory !elt that it did not #arry on together all
whi#h it was wont, and aied, as it were, by the #urtailent o! its an#ient habit,
deanded the restoration o! what it issed& /or instan#e, i! we see or thin% o! soe
one %nown to us, and ha(ing !orgotten his nae, try to re#o(er it; whate(er else
o##urs, #onne#ts itsel! not therewith; be#ause it was not wont to be thought upon
together with hi, and there!ore is re2e#ted, until that present itsel!, whereon the
%nowledge reposes e5uably as its wonted ob2e#t" And when#e does that present itsel!,
but out o! the eory itsel!& !or e(en when we re#ognise it, on being reinded by
another, it is then#e it #oes" /or we do not belie(e it as soething new, but, upon
re#olle#tion, allow what was naed to be right" 1ut were it utterly blotted out o! the
ind, we should not reeber it, e(en when reinded" /or we ha(e not as yet utterly
!orgotten that, whi#h we reeber oursel(es to ha(e !orgotten" .hat then we ha(e
utterly !orgotten, though lost, we #annot e(en see% a!ter"
'ow then do ) see% Thee, O Lord& /or when ) see% Thee, y God, ) see% a happy li!e"
) will see% Thee, that y soul ay li(e" /or y body li(eth by y soul; and y soul
by Thee" 'ow then do ) see% a happy li!e, seeing ) ha(e it not, until ) #an say, where )
ought to say it, 9)t is enough9& 'ow see% ) it& 1y reebran#e, as though ) had
!orgotten it, reebering that ) had !orgotten it& Or, desiring to learn it as a thing
un%nown, either ne(er ha(ing %nown, or so !orgotten it, as not e(en to reeber that
) had !orgotten it& is not a happy li!e what all will, and no one altogether wills it not&
where ha(e they %nown it, that they so will it& where seen it, that they so lo(e it&
Truly we ha(e it, how, ) %now not" 4ea, there is another way, wherein when one hath
it, then is he happy; and there are, who are blessed, in hope" These ha(e it in a lower
%ind, than they who ha(e it in (ery deed; yet are they better o!! than su#h as are happy
neither in deed nor in hope" 4et e(en these, had they it not in soe sort, would not so
will to be happy, whi#h that they do will, is ost #ertain" They ha(e %nown it then, )
%now not how, and so ha(e it by soe sort o! %nowledge, what, ) %now not, and a
perple-ed whether it be in the eory, whi#h i! it be, then we ha(e been happy on#e;
whether all se(erally, or in that an who !irst sinned, in who also we all died, and
!ro who we are all born with isery, ) now en5uire not; but only, whether the
happy li!e be in the eory& /or neither should we lo(e it, did we not %now it" .e
hear the nae, and we all #on!ess that we desire the thing; !or we are not delighted
with the ere sound" /or when a Gree% hears it in Latin, he is not delighted, not
%nowing what is spo%en; but we Latins are delighted, as would he too, i! he heard it in
Gree%; be#ause the thing itsel! is neither Gree% nor Latin, whi#h Gree%s and Latins,
Boo "
and en o! all other tongues, long !or so earnestly" ?nown there!ore it is to all, !or
they with one (oi#e be as%ed, 9would they be happy&9 they would answer without
doubt, 9they would"9 And this #ould not be, unless the thing itsel! whereo! it is the
nae were retained in their eory"
1ut is it so, as one reebers ;arthage who hath seen it& 8o" /or a happy li!e is not
seen with the eye, be#ause it is not a body" As we reeber nubers then& 8o" /or
these, he that hath in his %nowledge, see%s not !urther to attain unto; but a happy li!e
we ha(e in our %nowledge, and there!ore lo(e it, and yet still desire to attain it, that
we ay be happy" As we reeber elo5uen#e then& 8o" /or although upon hearing
this nae also, soe #all to ind the thing, who still are not yet elo5uent, and any
who desire to be so, when#e it appears that it is in their %nowledge; yet these ha(e by
their bodily senses obser(ed others to be elo5uent, and been delighted, and desire to
be the li%e (though indeed they would not be delighted but !or soe inward
%nowledge thereo!, nor wish to be the li%e, unless they were thus delighted); whereas
a happy li!e, we do by no bodily sense e-perien#e in others" As then we reeber
2oy& ,er#han#e; !or y 2oy ) reeber, e(en when sad, as a happy li!e, when
unhappy; nor did ) e(er with bodily sense see, hear, sell, taste, or tou#h y 2oy; but )
e-perien#ed it in y ind, when ) re2oi#ed; and the %nowledge o! it #la(e to y
eory, so that ) #an re#all it with disgust soeties, at others with longing,
a##ording to the nature o! the things, wherein ) reeber ysel! to ha(e 2oyed" /or
e(en !ro !oul things ha(e ) been iersed in a sort o! 2oy; whi#h now re#alling, )
detest and e-e#rate; otherwhiles in good and honest things, whi#h ) re#all with
longing, although per#han#e no longer present; and there!ore with sadness ) re#all
!orer 2oy"
.here then and when did ) e-perien#e y happy li!e, that ) should reeber, and
lo(e, and long !or it& 8or is it ) alone, or soe !ew besides, but we all would !ain be
happy; whi#h, unless by soe #ertain %nowledge we %new, we should not with so
#ertain a will desire" 1ut how is this, that i! two en be as%ed whether they would go
to the wars, one, per#han#e, would answer that he would, the other, that he would not;
but i! they were as%ed whether they would be happy, both would instantly without any
doubting say they would; and !or no other reason would the one go to the wars, and
the other not, but to be happy" )s it per#han#e that as one loo%s !or his 2oy in this thing,
another in that, all agree in their desire o! being happy, as they would (i! they were
as%ed) that they wished to ha(e 2oy, and this 2oy they #all a happy li!e& Although then
one obtains this 2oy by one eans, another by another, all ha(e one end, whi#h they
stri(e to attain, naely, 2oy" .hi#h being a thing whi#h all ust say they ha(e
e-perien#ed, it is there!ore !ound in the eory, and re#ognised whene(er the nae
o! a happy li!e is entioned"
/ar be it, Lord, !ar be it !ro the heart o! Thy ser(ant who here #on!esseth unto Thee,
!ar be it, that, be the 2oy what it ay, ) should there!ore thin% ysel! happy" /or there
is a 2oy whi#h is not gi(en to the ungodly, but to those who lo(e Thee !or Thine own
sa%e, whose 2oy Thou Thysel! art" And this is the happy li!e, to re2oi#e to Thee, o!
Thee, !or Thee; this is it, and there is no other" /or they who thin% there is another,
pursue soe other and not the true 2oy" 4et is not their will turned away !ro soe
seblan#e o! 2oy"
Boo "
)t is not #ertain then that all wish to be happy, inasu#h as they who wish not to 2oy in
Thee, whi#h is the only happy li!e, do not truly desire the happy li!e" Or do all en
desire this, but be#ause the !lesh lusteth against the +pirit, and the +pirit against the
!lesh, that they #annot do what they would, they !all upon that whi#h they #an, and are
#ontent therewith; be#ause, what they are not able to do, they do not will so strongly
as would su!!i#e to a%e the able& /or ) as% any one, had he rather 2oy in truth, or in
!alsehood& They will as little hesitate to say 9in the truth,9 as to say 9that they desire
to be happy,9 !or a happy li!e is 2oy in the truth$ !or this is a 2oying in Thee, .ho art
the Truth, O God y light, health o! y #ountenan#e, y God" This is the happy li!e
whi#h all desire; this li!e whi#h alone is happy, all desire; to 2oy in the truth all desire"
) ha(e et with any that would de#ei(e; who would be de#ei(ed, no one" .here
then did they %now this happy li!e, sa(e where they %now the truth also& /or they lo(e
it also, sin#e they would not be de#ei(ed" And when they lo(e a happy li!e, whi#h is
no other than 2oying in the truth, then also do they lo(e the truth; whi#h yet they
would not lo(e, were there not soe noti#e o! it in their eory" .hy then 2oy they
not in it& why are they not happy& be#ause they are ore strongly ta%en up with other
things whi#h ha(e ore power to a%e the iserable, than that whi#h they so
!aintly reeber to a%e the happy" /or there is yet a little light in en; let the
wal%, let the wal%, that the dar%ness o(erta%e the not"
1ut why doth 9truth generate hatred,9 and the an o! Thine, prea#hing the truth,
be#oe an eney to the& whereas a happy li!e is lo(ed, whi#h is nothing else but
2oying in the truth; unless that truth is in that %ind lo(ed, that they who lo(e anything
else would gladly ha(e that whi#h they lo(e to be the truth$ and be#ause they would
not be de#ei(ed, would not be #on(in#ed that they are so& There!ore do they hate the
truth !or that thing7s sa%e whi#h they lo(ed instead o! the truth" They lo(e truth when
she enlightens, they hate her when she repro(es" /or sin#e they would not be
de#ei(ed, and would de#ei(e, they lo(e her when she dis#o(ers hersel! unto the, and
hate her when she dis#o(ers the" .hen#e she shall so repay the, that they who
would not be ade ani!est by her, she both against their will a%es ani!est, and
hersel! be#oeth not ani!est unto the" Thus, thus, yea thus doth the ind o! an,
thus blind and si#%, !oul and ill3!a(oured, wish to be hidden, but that aught should be
hidden !ro it, it wills not" 1ut the #ontrary is re5uited it, that itsel! should not be
hidden !ro the Truth; but the Truth is hid !ro it" 4et e(en thus iserable, it had
rather 2oy in truths than in !alsehoods" 'appy then will it be, when, no distra#tion
interposing, it shall 2oy in that only Truth, by .ho all things are true"
+ee what a spa#e ) ha(e gone o(er in y eory see%ing Thee, O Lord; and ) ha(e
not !ound Thee, without it" 8or ha(e ) !ound any thing #on#erning Thee, but what )
ha(e %ept in eory, e(er sin#e ) learnt Thee" /or sin#e ) learnt Thee, ) ha(e not
!orgotten Thee" /or where ) !ound Truth, there !ound ) y God, the Truth itsel!; whi#h
sin#e ) learnt, ) ha(e not !orgotten" +in#e then ) learnt Thee, Thou residest in y
eory; and there do ) !ind Thee, when ) #all Thee to reebran#e, and delight in
Thee" These be y holy delights, whi#h Thou hast gi(en e in Thy er#y, ha(ing
regard to y po(erty"
1ut where in y eory residest Thou, O Lord, where residest Thou there& what
anner o! lodging hast Thou !raed !or Thee& what anner o! san#tuary hast Thou
builded !or Thee& Thou hast gi(en this honour to y eory, to reside in it; but in
what 5uarter o! it Thou residest, that a ) #onsidering" /or in thin%ing on Thee, )
Boo "
passed beyond su#h parts o! it as the beasts also ha(e, !or ) !ound Thee not there
aong the iages o! #orporeal things$ and ) #ae to those parts to whi#h ) #oitted
the a!!e#tions o! y ind, nor !ound Thee there" And ) entered into the (ery seat o!
y ind (whi#h it hath in y eory, inasu#h as the ind reebers itsel! also),
neither wert Thou there$ !or as Thou art not a #orporeal iage, nor the a!!e#tion o! a
li(ing being (as when we re2oi#e, #ondole, desire, !ear, reeber, !orget, or the li%e);
so neither art Thou the ind itsel!; be#ause Thou art the Lord God o! the ind; and
all these are #hanged, but Thou reainest un#hangeable o(er all, and yet hast
(ou#hsa!ed to dwell in y eory, sin#e ) learnt Thee" And why see% ) now in what
pla#e thereo! Thou dwellest, as i! there were pla#es therein& +ure ) a, that in it Thou
dwellest, sin#e ) ha(e reebered Thee e(er sin#e ) learnt Thee, and there ) !ind
Thee, when ) #all Thee to reebran#e"
.here then did ) !ind Thee, that ) ight learn Thee& /or in y eory Thou wert
not, be!ore ) learned Thee" .here then did ) !ind Thee, that ) ight learn Thee, but in
Thee abo(e e& ,la#e there is none; we go ba#%ward and !orward, and there is no
pla#e" 0(ery where, O Truth, dost Thou gi(e audien#e to all who as% #ounsel o! Thee,
and at on#e answerest all, though on ani!old atters they as% Thy #ounsel" ;learly
dost Thou answer, though all do not #learly hear" All #onsult Thee on what they will,
though they hear not always what they will" 'e is Thy best ser(ant who loo%s not so
u#h to hear that !ro Thee whi#h hisel! willeth, as rather to will that, whi#h !ro
Thee he heareth"
Too late lo(ed ) Thee, O Thou 1eauty o! an#ient days, yet e(er new6 too late ) lo(ed
Thee6 And behold, Thou wert within, and ) abroad, and there ) sear#hed !or Thee;
de!ored ), plunging aid those !air !ors whi#h Thou hadst ade" Thou wert with
e, but ) was not with Thee" Things held e !ar !ro Thee, whi#h, unless they were
in Thee, were not at all" Thou #alledst, and shoutedst, and burstest y dea!ness" Thou
!lashedst, shonest, and s#atteredst y blindness" Thou breathedst odours, and ) drew
in breath and panted !or Thee" ) tasted, and hunger and thirst" Thou tou#hedst e, and
) burned !or Thy pea#e"
.hen ) shall with y whole sel! #lea(e to Thee, ) shall no where ha(e sorrow or
labour; and y li!e shall wholly li(e, as wholly !ull o! Thee" 1ut now sin#e who
Thou !illest, Thou li!test up, be#ause ) a not !ull o! Thee ) a a burden to ysel!"
Laentable 2oys stri(e with 2oyous sorrows$ and on whi#h side is the (i#tory, ) %now
not" .oe is e6 Lord, ha(e pity on e" *y e(il sorrows stri(e with y good 2oys;
and on whi#h side is the (i#tory, ) %now not" .oe is e6 Lord, ha(e pity on e" .oe
is e6 lo6 ) hide not y wounds; Thou art the ,hysi#ian, ) the si#%; Thou er#i!ul, )
iserable" )s not the li!e o! an upon earth all trial& .ho wishes !or troubles and
di!!i#ulties& Thou #oandest the to be endured, not to be lo(ed" 8o an lo(es
what he endures, though he lo(e to endure" /or though he re2oi#es that he endures, he
had rather there were nothing !or hi to endure" )n ad(ersity ) long !or prosperity, in
prosperity ) !ear ad(ersity" .hat iddle pla#e is there betwi-t these two, where the
li!e o! an is not all trial& .oe to the prosperities o! the world, on#e and again,
through !ear o! ad(ersity, and #orruption o! 2oy6 .oe to the ad(ersities o! the world,
on#e and again, and the third tie, !ro the longing !or prosperity, and be#ause
ad(ersity itsel! is a hard thing, and lest it shatter enduran#e" )s not the li!e o! an
upon earth all trial$ without any inter(al&
Boo "
And all y hope is no where but in Thy e-#eeding great er#y" Gi(e what Thou
en2oinest, and en2oin what Thou wilt" Thou en2oinest us #ontinen#y; and when ) %new,
saith one, that no an #an be #ontinent, unless God gi(e it, this also was a part o!
wisdo to %now whose gi!t she is" 1y #ontinen#y (erily are we bound up and brought
ba#% into One, when#e we were dissipated into any" /or too little doth he lo(e Thee,
who lo(es any thing with Thee, whi#h he lo(eth not !or Thee" O lo(e, who e(er
burnest and ne(er #onsuest6 O #harity, y God, %indle e" Thou en2oinest
#ontinen#y$ gi(e e what Thou en2oinest, and en2oin what Thou wilt"
>erily Thou en2oinest e #ontinen#y !ro the lust o! the !lesh, the lust o! the eyes,
and the abition o! the world" Thou en2oinest #ontinen#y !ro #on#ubinage; and !or
wedlo#% itsel!, Thou hast #ounselled soething better than what Thou hast peritted"
And sin#e Thou ga(est it, it was done, e(en be!ore ) be#ae a dispenser o! Thy
+a#raent" 1ut there yet li(e in y eory (whereo! ) ha(e u#h spo%en) the
iages o! su#h things as y ill #usto there !i-ed; whi#h haunt e, strengthless
when ) a awa%e$ but in sleep, not only so as to gi(e pleasure, but e(en to obtain
assent, and what is (ery li%e reality" 4ea, so !ar pre(ails the illusion o! the iage, in
y soul and in y !lesh, that, when asleep, !alse (isions persuade to that whi#h when
wa%ing, the true #annot" A ) not then ysel!, O Lord y God& And yet there is so
u#h di!!eren#e betwi-t ysel! and ysel!, within that oent wherein ) pass !ro
wa%ing to sleeping, or return !ro sleeping to wa%ing6 .here is reason then, whi#h,
awa%e, resisteth su#h suggestions& And should the things thesel(es be urged on it, it
reaineth unsha%en" )s it #lasped up with the eyes& is it lulled asleep with the senses
o! the body& And when#e is it that o!ten e(en in sleep we resist, and ind!ul o! our
purpose, and abiding ost #hastely in it, yield no assent to su#h enti#eents& And yet
so u#h di!!eren#e there is, that when it happeneth otherwise, upon wa%ing we return
to pea#e o! #ons#ien#e$ and by this (ery di!!eren#e dis#o(er that we did not, what yet
we be sorry that in soe way it was done in us"
Art Thou not ighty, God Alighty, so as to heal all the diseases o! y soul, and by
Thy ore abundant gra#e to 5uen#h e(en the ipure otions o! y sleep6 Thou wilt
in#rease, Lord, Thy gi!ts ore and ore in e, that y soul ay !ollow e to Thee,
disentangled !ro the birdlie o! #on#upis#en#e; that it rebel not against itsel!, and
e(en in dreas not only not, through iages o! sense, #oit those debasing
#orruptions, e(en to pollution o! the !lesh, but not e(en to #onsent unto the" /or that
nothing o! this sort should ha(e, o(er the pure a!!e#tions e(en o! a sleeper, the (ery
least in!luen#e, not e(en su#h as a thought would restrain, 3to wor% this, not only
during li!e, but e(en at y present age, is not hard !or the Alighty, .ho art able to
do abo(e all that we as% or thin%" 1ut what ) yet a in this %ind o! y e(il, ha(e )
#on!essed unto y good Lord; re2oi#ing with trebling, in that whi#h Thou hast gi(en
e, and beoaning that wherein ) a still iper!e#t; hoping that Thou wilt per!e#t
Thy er#ies in e, e(en to per!e#t pea#e, whi#h y outward and inward an shall
ha(e with Thee, when death shall be swallowed up in (i#tory"
There is another e(il o! the day, whi#h ) would were su!!i#ient !or it" /or by eating
and drin%ing we repair the daily de#ays o! our body, until Thou destroy both belly and
eat, when Thou shalt slay y eptiness with a wonder!ul !ulness, and #lothe this
in#orruptible with an eternal in#orruption" 1ut now the ne#essity is sweet unto e,
against whi#h sweetness ) !ight, that ) be not ta%en #apti(e; and #arry on a daily war
by !astings; o!ten bringing y body into sub2e#tion; and y pains are reo(ed by
Boo "
pleasure" /or hunger and thirst are in a anner pains; they burn and %ill li%e a !e(er,
unless the edi#ine o! nourishents #oe to our aid" .hi#h sin#e it is at hand
through the #onsolations o! Thy gi!ts, with whi#h land, and water, and air ser(e our
wea%ness, our #alaity is tered grati!i#ation"
This hast Thou taught e, that ) should set ysel! to ta%e !ood as physi#" 1ut while )
a passing !ro the dis#o!ort o! eptiness to the #ontent o! replenishing, in the
(ery passage the snare o! #on#upis#en#e besets e" /or that passing, is pleasure, nor
is there any other way to pass thither, whither we needs ust pass" And health being
the #ause o! eating and drin%ing, there 2oineth itsel! as an attendant a dangerous
pleasure, whi#h ostly endea(ours to go be!ore it, so that ) ay !or her sa%e do what
) say ) do, or wish to do, !or health7s sa%e" 8or ha(e ea#h the sae easure; !or what
is enough !or health, is too little !or pleasure" And o!t it is un#ertain, whether it be the
ne#essary #are o! the body whi#h is yet as%ing !or sustenan#e, or whether a
(oluptuous de#ei(ableness o! greediness is pro!!ering its ser(i#es" )n this un#ertainty
the unhappy soul re2oi#eth, and therein prepares an e-#use to shield itsel!, glad that it
appeareth not what su!!i#eth !or the oderation o! health, that under the #loa% o!
health, it ay disguise the atter o! grati!i#ation" These teptations ) daily endea(our
to resist, and ) #all on Thy right hand, and to Thee do ) re!er y perple-ities; be#ause
) ha(e as yet no settled #ounsel herein"
) hear the (oi#e o! y God #oanding, Let not your hearts be o(er#harged with
sur!eiting and drun%enness" Drun%enness is !ar !ro e; Thou wilt ha(e er#y, that it
#oe not near e" 1ut !ull !eeding soeties #reepeth upon Thy ser(ant; Thou wilt
ha(e er#y, that it ay be !ar !ro e" /or no one #an be #ontinent unless Thou gi(e
it" *any things Thou gi(est us, praying !or the; and what good soe(er we ha(e
re#ei(ed be!ore we prayed, !ro Thee we re#ei(ed it; yea to the end we ight
a!terwards %now this, did we be!ore re#ei(e it" Drun%ard was ) ne(er, but drun%ards
ha(e ) %nown ade sober by Thee" /ro Thee then it was, that they who ne(er were
su#h, should not so be, as !ro Thee it was, that they who ha(e been, should not e(er
so be; and !ro Thee it was, that both ight %now !ro .ho it was" ) heard another
(oi#e o! Thine, Go not a!ter thy lusts, and !ro thy pleasure turn away" 4ea by Thy
!a(our ha(e ) heard that whi#h ) ha(e u#h lo(ed; neither i! we eat, shall we abound;
neither i! we eat not, shall we la#%; whi#h is to say, neither shall the one a%e e
plenteous, nor the other iserable" ) heard also another, !or ) ha(e learned in
whatsoe(er state ) a, therewith to be #ontent; ) %now how to abound, and how to
su!!er need" ) #an do all things through ;hrist that strengtheneth e" 1ehold a soldier
o! the hea(enly #ap, not the dust whi#h we are" 1ut reeber, Lord, that we are
dust, and that o! dust Thou hast ade an; and he was lost and is !ound" 8or #ould he
o! hisel! do this, be#ause he who ) so lo(ed, saying this through the in3breathing
o! Thy inspiration, was o! the sae dust" ) #an do all things (saith he) through 'i
that strengtheneth e" +trengthen e, that ) #an" Gi(e what Thou en2oinest, and
en2oin what Thou wilt" 'e #on!esses to ha(e re#ei(ed, and when he glorieth, in the
Lord he glorieth" Another ha(e ) heard begging that he ight re#ei(e" Ta%e !ro e
(saith he) the desires o! the belly; when#e it appeareth, O y holy God, that Thou
gi(est, when that is done whi#h Thou #oandest to be done"
Thou hast taught e, good /ather, that to the pure, all things are pure; but that it is
e(il unto the an that eateth with o!!en#e; and, that e(ery #reature o! Thine is good,
and nothing to be re!used, whi#h is re#ei(ed with than%sgi(ing; and that eat
Boo "
#oendeth us not to God; and, that no an should 2udge us in eat or drin%; and,
that he whi#h eateth, let hi not despise hi that eateth not; and let not hi that
eateth not, 2udge hi that eateth" These things ha(e ) learned, than%s be to Thee,
praise to Thee, y God, y *aster, %no#%ing at y ears, enlightening y heart;
deli(er e out o! all teptation" ) !ear not un#leanness o! eat, but the un#leanness o!
lusting" ) %now; that 8oah was peritted to eat all %ind o! !lesh that was good !or
!ood; that 0li2ah was !ed with !lesh; that endued with an adirable abstinen#e, was
not polluted by !eeding on li(ing #reatures, lo#usts" ) %now also that 0sau was
de#ei(ed by lusting !or lentiles; and that Da(id blaed hisel! !or desiring a draught
o! water; and that our ?ing was tepted, not #on#erning !lesh, but bread" And
there!ore the people in the wilderness also deser(ed to be repro(ed, not !or desiring
!lesh, but be#ause, in the desire o! !ood, they urured against the Lord"
,la#ed then aid these teptations, ) stri(e daily against #on#upis#en#e in eating and
drin%ing" /or it is not o! su#h nature that ) #an settle on #utting it o!! on#e !or all, and
ne(er tou#hing it a!terward, as ) #ould o! #on#ubinage" The bridle o! the throat then is
to be held attepered between sla#%ness and sti!!ness" And who is he, O Lord, who is
not soe whit transported beyond the liits o! ne#essity& whoe(er he is, he is a great
one; let hi a%e Thy 8ae great" 1ut ) a not su#h, !or ) a a sin!ul an" 4et do )
too agni!y Thy nae; and 'e a%eth inter#ession to Thee !or y sins who hath
o(er#oe the world; nubering e aong the wea% ebers o! 'is body; be#ause
Thine eyes ha(e seen that o! 'i whi#h is iper!e#t, and in Thy boo% shall all be
written"
.ith the allureents o! sells, ) a not u#h #on#erned" .hen absent, ) do not iss
the; when present, ) do not re!use the; yet e(er ready to be without the" +o )
see to ysel!; per#han#e ) a de#ei(ed" /or that also is a ourn!ul dar%ness
whereby y abilities within e are hidden !ro e; so that y ind a%ing en5uiry
into hersel! o! her own powers, (entures not readily to belie(e hersel!; be#ause e(en
what is in it is ostly hidden, unless e-perien#e re(eal it" And no one ought to be
se#ure in that li!e, the whole whereo! is #alled a trial, that he who hath been #apable
o! worse to be ade better, ay not li%ewise o! better be ade worse" Our only hope,
only #on!iden#e, only assured proise is Thy er#y"
The delights o! the ear had ore !irly entangled and subdued e; but Thou didst
loosen and !ree e" 8ow, in those elodies whi#h Thy words breathe soul into, when
sung with a sweet and attuned (oi#e, ) do a little repose; yet not so as to be held
thereby, but that ) #an disengage ysel! when ) will" 1ut with the words whi#h are
their li!e and whereby they !ind adission into e, thesel(es see% in y a!!e#tions
a pla#e o! soe estiation, and ) #an s#ar#ely assign the one suitable" /or at one
tie ) see to ysel! to gi(e the ore honour than is seely, !eeling our inds to
be ore holily and !er(ently raised unto a !lae o! de(otion, by the holy words
thesel(es when thus sung, than when not; and that the se(eral a!!e#tions o! our
spirit, by a sweet (ariety, ha(e their own proper easures in the (oi#e and singing, by
soe hidden #orresponden#e wherewith they are stirred up" 1ut this #ontentent o!
the !lesh, to whi#h the soul ust not be gi(en o(er to be ener(ated, doth o!t beguile
e, the sense not so waiting upon reason as patiently to !ollow her; but ha(ing been
aditted erely !or her sa%e, it stri(es e(en to run be!ore her, and lead her" Thus in
these things ) unawares sin, but a!terwards a aware o! it"
Boo "
At other ties, shunning o(er3an-iously this (ery de#eption, ) err in too great
stri#tness; and soeties to that degree, as to wish the whole elody o! sweet usi#
whi#h is used to Da(id7s ,salter, banished !ro y ears, and the ;hur#h7s too; and
that ode sees to e sa!er, whi#h ) reeber to ha(e been o!ten told e o!
Athanasius, 1ishop o! Ale-andria, who ade the reader o! the psal utter it with so
slight in!le#tion o! (oi#e, that it was nearer spea%ing than singing" 4et again, when )
reeber the tears ) shed at the ,salody o! Thy ;hur#h, in the beginning o! y
re#o(ered !aith; and how at this tie ) a o(ed, not with the singing, but with the
things sung, when they are sung with a #lear (oi#e and odulation ost suitable, )
a#%nowledge the great use o! this institution" Thus ) !lu#tuate between peril o!
pleasure and appro(ed wholesoeness; in#lined the rather (though not as pronoun#ing
an irre(o#able opinion) to appro(e o! the usage o! singing in the #hur#h; that so by the
delight o! the ears the wea%er inds ay rise to the !eeling o! de(otion" 4et when it
be!alls e to be ore o(ed with the (oi#e than the words sung, ) #on!ess to ha(e
sinned penally, and then had rather not hear usi#" +ee now y state; weep with e,
and weep !or e, ye, whoso regulate your !eelings within, as that good a#tion ensues"
/or you who do not a#t, these things tou#h not you" 1ut Thou, O Lord y God,
hear%en; behold, and see, and ha(e er#y and heal e, Thou, in whose presen#e )
ha(e be#oe a proble to ysel!; and that is y in!irity"
There reains the pleasure o! these eyes o! y !lesh, on whi#h to a%e y
#on!essions in the hearing o! the ears o! Thy teple, those brotherly and de(out ears;
and so to #on#lude the teptations o! the lust o! the !lesh, whi#h yet assail e,
groaning earnestly, and desiring to be #lothed upon with y house !ro hea(en" The
eyes lo(e !air and (aried !ors, and bright and so!t #olours" Let not these o##upy y
soul; let God rather o##upy it, who ade these things, (ery good indeed, yet is 'e y
good, not they" And these a!!e#t e, wa%ing, the whole day, nor is any rest gi(en e
!ro the, as there is !ro usi#al, soeties in silen#e, !ro all (oi#es" /or this
5ueen o! #olours, the light, bathing all whi#h we behold, where(er ) a through the
day, gliding by e in (aried !ors, soothes e when engaged on other things, and not
obser(ing it" And so strongly doth it entwine itsel!, that i! it be suddenly withdrawn, it
is with longing sought !or, and i! absent long, saddeneth the ind"
O Thou Light, whi#h Tobias saw, when, these eyes #losed, he taught his son the way
o! li!e; and hisel! went be!ore with the !eet o! #harity, ne(er swer(ing" Or whi#h
)saa# saw, when his !leshly eyes being hea(y and #losed by old age, it was (ou#hsa!ed
hi, not %nowingly, to bless his sons, but by blessing to %now the" Or whi#h =a#ob
saw, when he also, blind through great age, with illuined heart, in the persons o! his
sons shed light on the di!!erent ra#es o! the !uture people, in the !oresigni!ied; and
laid his hands, ysti#ally #rossed, upon his grand#hildren by =oseph, not as their
!ather by his outward eye #orre#ted the, but as hisel! inwardly dis#erned" This is
the light, it is one, and all are one, who see and lo(e it" 1ut that #orporeal light
whereo! ) spa%e, it seasoneth the li!e o! this world !or her blind lo(ers, with an
enti#ing and dangerous sweetness" 1ut they who %now how to praise Thee !or it, 9O
all3#reating Lord,9 ta%e it up in Thy hyns, and are not ta%en up with it in their sleep"
+u#h would ) be" These sedu#tions o! the eyes ) resist, lest y !eet wherewith ) wal%
upon Thy way be ensnared; and ) li!t up ine in(isible eyes to Thee, that Thou
wouldest plu#% y !eet out o! the snare" Thou dost e(er and anon plu#% the out, !or
they are ensnared" Thou #easest not to plu#% the out, while ) o!ten entangle ysel!
Boo "
in the snares on all sides laid; be#ause Thou that %eepest )srael shalt neither sluber
nor sleep"
.hat innuerable toys, ade by di(ers arts and anu!a#tures, in our apparel, shoes,
utensils and all sorts o! wor%s, in pi#tures also and di(ers iages, and these !ar
e-#eeding all ne#essary and oderate use and all pious eaning, ha(e en added to
tept their own eyes withal; outwardly !ollowing what thesel(es a%e, inwardly
!orsa%ing 'i by who thesel(es were ade, and destroying that whi#h
thesel(es ha(e been ade6 1ut ), y God and y Glory, do hen#e also sing a hyn
to Thee, and do #onse#rate praise to 'i who #onse#rateth e, be#ause those
beauti!ul patterns whi#h through en7s souls are #on(eyed into their #unning hands,
#oe !ro that 1eauty, whi#h is abo(e our souls, whi#h y soul day and night
sigheth a!ter" 1ut the !raers and !ollowers o! the outward beauties deri(e then#e the
rule o! 2udging o! the, but not o! using the" And 'e is there, though they per#ei(e
'i not, that so they ight not wander, but %eep their strength !or Thee, and not
s#atter it abroad upon pleasurable weariness" And ), though ) spea% and see this,
entangle y steps with these outward beauties; but Thou plu#%est e out, O Lord,
Thou plu#%est e out; be#ause Thy lo(ing3%indness is be!ore y eyes" /or ) a ta%en
iserably, and Thou plu#%est e out er#i!ully; soeties not per#ei(ing it, when )
had but lightly lighted upon the; otherwhiles with pain, be#ause ) had stu#% !ast in
the"
To this is added another !or o! teptation ore ani!oldly dangerous" /or besides
that #on#upis#en#e o! the !lesh whi#h #onsisteth in the delight o! all senses and
pleasures, wherein its sla(es, who go !ar !ro Thee, waste and perish, the soul hath,
through the sae senses o! the body, a #ertain (ain and #urious desire, (eiled under
the title o! %nowledge and learning, not o! delighting in the !lesh, but o! a%ing
e-perients through the !lesh" The seat whereo! being in the appetite o! %nowledge,
and sight being the sense #hie!ly used !or attaining %nowledge, it is in Di(ine
language #alled The lust o! the eyes" /or, to see, belongeth properly to the eyes; yet
we use this word o! the other senses also, when we eploy the in see%ing
%nowledge" /or we do not say, har% how it !lashes, or sell how it glows, or taste
how it shines, or !eel how it gleas; !or all these are said to be seen" And yet we say
not only, see how it shineth, whi#h the eyes alone #an per#ei(e; but also, see how it
soundeth, see how it selleth, see how it tasteth, see how hard it is" And so the
general e-perien#e o! the senses, as was said, is #alled The lust o! the eyes, be#ause
the o!!i#e o! seeing, wherein the eyes hold the prerogati(e, the other senses by way o!
siilitude ta%e to thesel(es, when they a%e sear#h a!ter any %nowledge"
1ut by this ay ore e(idently be dis#erned, wherein pleasure and wherein #uriosity
is the ob2e#t o! the senses; !or pleasure see%eth ob2e#ts beauti!ul, elodious, !ragrant,
sa(oury, so!t; but #uriosity, !or trial7s sa%e, the #ontrary as well, not !or the sa%e o!
su!!ering annoyan#e, but out o! the lust o! a%ing trial and %nowing the" /or what
pleasure hath it, to see in a angled #ar#ase what will a%e you shudder& and yet i! it
be lying near, they !lo#% thither, to be ade sad, and to turn pale" 0(en in sleep they
are a!raid to see it" As i! when awa%e, any one !or#ed the to see it, or any report o!
its beauty drew the thither6 Thus also in the other senses, whi#h it were long to go
through" /ro this disease o! #uriosity are all those strange sights e-hibited in the
theatre" 'en#e en go on to sear#h out the hidden powers o! nature (whi#h is besides
our end), whi#h to %now pro!its not, and wherein en desire nothing but to %now"
Boo "
'en#e also, i! with that sae end o! per(erted %nowledge agi#al arts be en5uired by"
'en#e also in religion itsel!, is God tepted, when signs and wonders are deanded
o! 'i, not desired !or any good end, but erely to a%e trial o!"
)n this so (ast wilderness, !ull o! snares and dangers, behold any o! the ) ha(e #ut
o!!, and thrust out o! y heart, as Thou hast gi(en e, O God o! y sal(ation" And
yet when dare ) say, sin#e so any things o! this %ind bu<< on all sides about our daily
li!e3 when dare ) say that nothing o! this sort engages y attention, or #auses in e an
idle interest& True, the theatres do not now #arry e away, nor #are ) to %now the
#ourses o! the stars, nor did y soul e(er #onsult ghosts departed; all sa#rilegious
ysteries ) detest" /ro Thee, O Lord y God, to who ) owe huble and single3
hearted ser(i#e, by what arti!i#es and suggestions doth the eney deal with e to
desire soe sign6 1ut ) besee#h Thee by our ?ing, and by our pure and holy #ountry,
=erusale, that as any #onsenting thereto is !ar !ro e, so ay it e(er be !urther and
!urther" 1ut when ) pray Thee !or the sal(ation o! any, y end and intention is !ar
di!!erent" Thou gi(est and wilt gi(e e to !ollow Thee willingly, doing what Thou
wilt"
8otwithstanding, in how any ost petty and #onteptible things is our #uriosity
daily tepted, and how o!ten we gi(e way, who #an re#ount& 'ow o!ten do we begin
as i! we were tolerating people telling (ain stories, lest we o!!end the wea%; then by
degrees we ta%e interest therein6 ) go not now to the #ir#us to see a dog #oursing a
hare; but in the !ield, i! passing, that #oursing perad(enture will distra#t e e(en !ro
soe weighty thought, and draw e a!ter it$ not that ) turn aside the body o! y
beast, yet still in#line y ind thither" And unless Thou, ha(ing ade e see y
in!irity didst speedily adonish e either through the sight itsel! by soe
#onteplation to rise towards Thee, or altogether to despise and pass it by, ) dully
stand !i-ed therein" .hat, when sitting at hoe, a li<ard #at#hing !lies, or a spider
entangling the rushing into her nets, o!t3ties ta%es y attention& )s the thing
di!!erent, be#ause they are but sall #reatures& ) go on !ro the to praise Thee the
wonder!ul ;reator and Orderer o! all, but this does not !irst draw y attention" )t is
one thing to rise 5ui#%ly, another not to !all" And o! su#h things is y li!e !ull; and y
one hope is Thy wonder!ul great er#y" /or when our heart be#oes the re#epta#le o!
su#h things, and is o(er#harged with throngs o! this abundant (anity, then are our
prayers also thereby o!ten interrupted and distra#ted, and whilst in Thy presen#e we
dire#t the (oi#e o! our heart to Thine ears, this so great #on#ern is bro%en o!! by the
rushing in o! ) %now not what idle thoughts" +hall we then a##ount this also aong
things o! slight #on#ernent, or shall aught bring us ba#% to hope, sa(e Thy #oplete
er#y, sin#e Thou hast begun to #hange us&
And Thou %nowest how !ar Thou hast already #hanged e, who !irst healedst e o!
the lust o! (indi#ating ysel!, that so Thou ightest !orgi(e all the rest o! y
ini5uities, and heal all y in!irities, and redee li!e !ro #orruption, and #rown e
with er#y and pity, and satis!y y desire with good things$ who didst #urb y pride
with Thy !ear, and tae y ne#% to Thy yo%e" And now ) bear it and it is light unto
e, be#ause so hast Thou proised, and hast ade it; and (erily so it was, and ) %new
it not, when ) !eared to ta%e it"
1ut, O Lord, Thou alone Lord without pride, be#ause Thou art the only true Lord,
who hast no lord; hath this third %ind o! teptation also #eased !ro e, or #an it
Boo "
#ease through this whole li!e& To wish, naely, to be !eared and lo(ed o! en, !or no
other end, but that we ay ha(e a 2oy therein whi#h is no 2oy& A iserable li!e this
and a !oul boast!ulness6 'en#e espe#ially it #oes that en do neither purely lo(e nor
!ear Thee" And there!ore dost Thou resist the proud, and gi(est gra#e to the huble$
yea, Thou thunderest down upon the abitions o! the world, and the !oundations o!
the ountains treble" 1e#ause now #ertain o!!i#es o! huan so#iety a%e it
ne#essary to be lo(ed and !eared o! en, the ad(ersary o! our true blessedness layeth
hard at us, e(ery where spreading his snares o! 9well3done, well3done9; that greedily
#at#hing at the, we ay be ta%en unawares, and se(er our 2oy !ro Thy truth, and
set it in the de#ei(ingness o! en; and be pleased at being lo(ed and !eared, not !or
Thy sa%e, but in Thy stead$ and thus ha(ing been ade li%e hi, he ay ha(e the
!or his own, not in the bands o! #harity, but in the bonds o! punishent$ who purposed
to set his throne in the north, that dar% and #hilled they ight ser(e hi, per(ertedly
and #roo%edly iitating Thee" 1ut we, O Lord, behold we are Thy little !lo#%; possess
us as Thine, stret#h Thy wings o(er us, and let us !ly under the" 1e Thou our glory;
let us be lo(ed !or Thee, and Thy word !eared in us" .ho would be praised o! en
when Thou blaest, will not be de!ended o! en when Thou 2udgest; nor deli(ered
when Thou #ondenest" 1ut when3 not the sinner is praised in the desires o! his soul,
nor he blessed who doth ungodlily, but3 a an is praised !or soe gi!t whi#h Thou
hast gi(en hi, and he re2oi#es ore at the praise !or hisel! than that he hath the gi!t
!or whi#h he is praised, he also is praised, while Thou dispraisest; better is he who
praised than he who is praised" /or the one too% pleasure in the gi!t o! God in an;
the other was better pleased with the gi!t o! an, than o! God"
1y these teptations we are assailed daily, O Lord; without #easing are we assailed"
Our daily !urna#e is the tongue o! en" And in this way also Thou #oandest us
#ontinen#e" Gi(e what Thou en2oinest, and en2oin what Thou wilt" Thou %nowest on
this atter the groans o! y heart, and the !loods o! ine eyes" /or ) #annot learn
how !ar ) a ore #leansed !ro this plague, and ) u#h !ear y se#ret sins, whi#h
Thine eyes %now, ine do not" /or in other %inds o! teptations ) ha(e soe sort o!
eans o! e-aining ysel!; in this, s#ar#e any" /or, in re!raining y ind !ro the
pleasures o! the !lesh and idle #uriosity, ) see how u#h ) ha(e attained to, when ) do
without the; !oregoing, or not ha(ing the" /or then ) as% ysel! how u#h ore
or less troublesoe it is to e not to ha(e the& Then, ri#hes, whi#h are desired, that
they ay ser(e to soe one or two or all o! the three #on#upis#en#es, i! the soul
#annot dis#ern whether, when it hath the, it despiseth the, they ay be #ast aside,
that so it ay pro(e itsel!" 1ut to be without praise, and therein essay our powers,
ust we li(e ill, yea so abandonedly and atro#iously, that no one should %now without
detesting us& .hat greater adness #an be said or thought o!& 1ut i! praise useth and
ought to a##opany a good li!e and good wor%s, we ought as little to !orego its
#opany, as good li!e itsel!" 4et ) %now not whether ) #an well or ill be without
anything, unless it be absent"
.hat then do ) #on!ess unto Thee in this %ind o! teptation, O Lord& .hat, but that )
a delighted with praise, but with truth itsel!, ore than with praise& /or were it
proposed to e, whether ) would, being !ren<ied in error on all things, be praised by
all en, or being #onsistent and ost settled in the truth be blaed by all, ) see whi#h
) should #hoose" 4et !ain would ) that the approbation o! another should not e(en
in#rease y 2oy !or any good in e" 4et ) own, it doth in#rease it, and not so only, but
dispraise doth diinish it" And when ) a troubled at this y isery, an e-#use
Boo "
o##urs to e, whi#h o! what (alue it is, Thou God %nowest, !or it lea(es e un#ertain"
/or sin#e Thou hast #oanded us not #ontinen#y alone, that is, !ro what things to
re!rain our lo(e, but righteousness also, that is, whereon to bestow it, and hast willed
us to lo(e not Thee only, but our neighbour also; o!ten, when pleased with intelligent
praise, ) see to ysel! to be pleased with the pro!i#ien#y or towardliness o! y
neighbour, or to be grie(ed !or e(il in hi, when ) hear hi dispraise either what he
understands not, or is good" /or soeties ) a grie(ed at y own praise, either
when those things be praised in e, in whi#h ) isli%e ysel!, or e(en lesser and
slight goods are ore esteeed than they ought" 1ut again how %now ) whether ) a
there!ore thus a!!e#ted, be#ause ) would not ha(e hi who praiseth e di!!er !ro e
about ysel!; not as being in!luen#ed by #on#ern !or hi, but be#ause those sae
good things whi#h please e in ysel!, please e ore when they please another
also& /or soe how ) a not praised when y 2udgent o! ysel! is not praised;
!orasu#h as either those things are praised, whi#h displease e; or those ore,
whi#h please e less" A ) then doubt!ul o! ysel! in this atter&
1ehold, in Thee, O Truth, ) see that ) ought not to be o(ed at y own praises, !or
y own sa%e, but !or the good o! y neighbour" And whether it be so with e, )
%now not" /or herein ) %now less o! ysel! than o! Thee" ) besee#h now, O y God,
dis#o(er to e ysel! also, that ) ay #on!ess unto y brethren, who are to pray !or
e, wherein ) !ind ysel! aied" Let e e-aine ysel! again ore diligently" )!
in y praise ) a o(ed with the good o! y neighbour, why a ) less o(ed i!
another be un2ustly dispraised than i! it be ysel!& .hy a ) ore stung by reproa#h
#ast upon ysel!, than at that #ast upon another, with the sae in2usti#e, be!ore e&
?now ) not this also& or is it at last that ) de#ei(e ysel!, and do not the truth be!ore
Thee in y heart and tongue& This adness put !ar !ro e, O Lord, lest ine own
outh be to e the sinner7s oil to a%e !at y head" ) a poor and needy; yet best,
while in hidden groanings ) displease ysel!, and see% Thy er#y, until what is
la#%ing in y de!e#ti(e state be renewed and per!e#ted, on to that pea#e whi#h the eye
o! the proud %noweth not"
4et the word whi#h #oeth out o! the outh, and deeds %nown to en, bring with
the a ost dangerous teptation through the lo(e o! praise$ whi#h, to establish a
#ertain e-#ellen#y o! our own, soli#its and #olle#ts en7s su!!rages" )t tepts, e(en
when it is repro(ed by ysel! in ysel!, on the (ery ground that it is repro(ed; and
o!ten glories ore (ainly o! the (ery #ontept o! (ain3glory; and so it is no longer
#ontept o! (ain3glory, whereo! it glories; !or it doth not #onten when it glorieth"
.ithin also, within is another e(il, arising out o! a li%e teptation; whereby en
be#oe (ain, pleasing thesel(es in thesel(es, though they please not, or displease
or #are not to please others" 1ut pleasing thesel(es, they u#h displease Thee, not
only ta%ing pleasure in things not good, as i! good, but in Thy good things, as though
their own; or e(en i! as Thine, yet as though !or their own erits; or e(en i! as though
!ro Thy gra#e, yet not with brotherly re2oi#ing, but en(ying that gra#e to others" )n
all these and the li%e perils and tra(ails, Thou seest the trebling o! y heart; and )
rather !eel y wounds to be #ured by Thee, than not in!li#ted by e"
.here hast Thou not wal%ed with e, O Truth, tea#hing e what to beware, and what
to desire; when ) re!erred to Thee what ) #ould dis#o(er here below, and #onsulted
Thee& .ith y outward senses, as ) ight, ) sur(eyed the world, and obser(ed the
Boo "
li!e, whi#h y body hath !ro e, and these y senses" Then#e entered ) the re#esses
o! y eory, those ani!old and spa#ious #habers, wonder!ully !urnished with
innuerable stores; and ) #onsidered, and stood aghast; being able to dis#ern nothing
o! these things without Thee, and !inding none o! the to be Thee" 8or was ) ysel!,
who !ound out these things, who went o(er the all, and laboured to distinguish and
to (alue e(ery thing a##ording to its dignity, ta%ing soe things upon the report o! y
senses, 5uestioning about others whi#h ) !elt to be ingled with ysel!, nubering
and distinguishing the reporters thesel(es, and in the large treasure3house o! y
eory re(ol(ing soe things, storing up others, drawing out others" 8or yet was )
ysel! when ) did this, i"e", that y power whereby ) did it, neither was it Thou, !or
Thou art the abiding light, whi#h ) #onsulted #on#erning all these, whether they were,
what they were, and how to be (alued; and ) heard Thee dire#ting and #oanding
e; and this ) o!ten do, this delights e, and as !ar as ) ay be !reed !ro ne#essary
duties, unto this pleasure ha(e ) re#ourse" 8or in all these whi#h ) run o(er #onsulting
Thee #an ) !ind any sa!e pla#e !or y soul, but in Thee; whither y s#attered
ebers ay be gathered, and nothing o! e depart !ro Thee" And soeties Thou
adittest e to an a!!e#tion, (ery unusual, in y inost soul; rising to a strange
sweetness, whi#h i! it were per!e#ted in e, ) %now not what in it would not belong to
the li!e to #oe" 1ut through y iserable en#ubran#es ) sin% down again into
these lower things, and a swept ba#% by !orer #usto, and a held, and greatly
weep, but a greatly held" +o u#h doth the burden o! a bad #usto weigh us down"
'ere ) #an stay, but would not; there ) would, but #annot; both ways, iserable"
Thus then ha(e ) #onsidered the si#%nesses o! y sins in that three!old #on#upis#en#e,
and ha(e #alled Thy right hand to y help" /or with a wounded heart ha(e ) beheld
Thy brightness, and stri#%en ba#% ) said, 9.ho #an attain thither& ) a #ast away !ro
the sight o! Thine eyes"9 Thou art the Truth who presidest o(er all, but ) through y
#o(etousness would not indeed !orego Thee, but would with Thee possess a lie; as no
an would in su#h wise spea% !alsely, as hisel! to be ignorant o! the truth" +o then )
lost Thee, be#ause Thou (ou#hsa!est not to be possessed with a lie"
.ho #ould ) !ind to re#on#ile e to Thee& was ) to ha(e re#ourse to Angels& by
what prayers& by what sa#raents& *any endea(ouring to return unto Thee, and o!
thesel(es unable, ha(e, as ) hear, tried this, and !allen into the desire o! #urious
(isions, and been a##ounted worthy to be deluded" /or they, being high inded,
sought Thee by the pride o! learning, swelling out rather than siting upon their
breasts, and so by the agreeent o! their heart, drew unto thesel(es the prin#es o!
the air, the !ellow3#onspirators o! their pride, by who, through agi#al in!luen#es,
they were de#ei(ed, see%ing a ediator, by who they ight be purged, and there
was none" /or the de(il it was, trans!oring hisel! into an Angel o! light" And it
u#h enti#ed proud !lesh, that he had no body o! !lesh" /or they were ortal, and
sinners; but thou, Lord, to who they proudly sought to be re#on#iled, art iortal,
and without sin" 1ut a ediator between God and an ust ha(e soething li%e to
God, soething li%e to en; lest being in both li%e to an, he should he !ar !ro
God$ or i! in both li%e God, too unli%e an$ and so not be a ediator" That de#eit!ul
ediator then, by who in Thy se#ret 2udgents pride deser(ed to be deluded, hath
one thing in #oon with an, that is sin; another he would see to ha(e in #oon
with God; and not being #lothed with the ortality o! !lesh, would (aunt hisel! to be
iortal" 1ut sin#e the wages o! sin is death, this hath he in #oon with en, that
with the he should be #ondened to death"
Boo "
1ut the true *ediator, .ho in Thy se#ret er#y Thou hast showed to the huble,
and sentest, that by 'is e-aple also they ight learn that sae huility, that
*ediator between God and an, the *an ;hrist =esus, appeared betwi-t ortal
sinners and the iortal 2ust One; ortal with en, 2ust with God$ that be#ause the
wages o! righteousness is li!e and pea#e, 'e ight by a righteousness #on2oined with
God a%e (oid that death o! sinners, now ade righteous, whi#h 'e willed to ha(e in
#oon with the" 'en#e 'e was showed !orth to holy en o! old; that so they,
through !aith in 'is ,assion to #oe, as we through !aith o! it passed, ight be sa(ed"
/or as *an, 'e was a *ediator; but as the .ord, not in the iddle between God and
an, be#ause e5ual to God, and God with God, and together one God"
'ow hast Thou lo(ed us, good /ather, who sparedst not Thine only +on, but
deli(eredst 'i up !or us ungodly6 'ow hast Thou lo(ed us, !or who 'e that
thought it no robbery to be e5ual with Thee, was ade sub2e#t e(en to the death o! the
#ross, 'e alone, !ree aong the dead, ha(ing power to lay down 'is li!e, and power
to ta%e it again$ !or us to Thee both >i#tor and >i#ti, and there!ore >i#tor, be#ause
the >i#ti; !or us to Thee ,riest and +a#ri!i#e, and there!ore ,riest be#ause the
+a#ri!i#e; a%ing us to Thee, o! ser(ants, sons by being born o! Thee, and ser(ing us"
.ell then is y hope strong in 'i, that Thou wilt heal all y in!irities, by 'i
.ho sitteth at Thy right hand and a%eth inter#ession !or us; else should ) despair"
/or any and great are y in!irities, any they are, and great; but Thy edi#ine is
ightier" .e ight iagine that Thy .ord was !ar !ro any union with an, and
despair o! oursel(es, unless 'e had been ade !lesh and dwelt aong us"
A!!righted with y sins and the burden o! y isery, ) had #ast in y heart, and had
purposed to !lee to the wilderness$ but Thou !orbadest e, and strengthenedst e,
saying, There!ore ;hrist died !or all, that they whi#h li(e ay now no longer li(e unto
thesel(es, but unto 'i that died !or the" +ee, Lord, ) #ast y #are upon Thee,
that ) ay li(e, and #onsider wondrous things out o! Thy law" Thou %nowest y
uns%il!ulness, and y in!irities; tea#h e, and heal e" 'e, Thine only +on, in
.ho are hid all the treasures o! wisdo and %nowledge, hath redeeed e with 'is
blood" Let not the proud spea% e(il o! e; be#ause ) editate on y ranso, and eat
and drin%, and #ouni#ate it; and poor, desired to be satis!ied !ro 'i, aongst
those that eat and are satis!ied, and they shall praise the Lord who see% 'i"
Boo "I
BOO. "I
Lord, sin#e eternity is Thine, art Thou ignorant o! what ) say to Thee& or dost Thou
see in tie, what passeth in tie& .hy then do ) lay in order be!ore Thee so any
relations& 8ot, o! a truth, that Thou ightest learn the through e, but to stir up
ine own and y readers7 de(otions towards Thee, that we ay all say, Great is the
Lord, and greatly to be praised" ) ha(e said already; and again will say, !or lo(e o! Thy
lo(e do ) this" /or we pray also, and yet Truth hath said, 4our /ather %noweth what
you ha(e need o!, be!ore you as%" )t is then our a!!e#tions whi#h we lay open unto
Thee, #on!essing our own iseries, and Thy er#ies upon us, that Thou ayest !ree
us wholly, sin#e Thou hast begun, that we ay #ease to be wret#hed in oursel(es, and
be blessed in Thee; seeing Thou hast #alled us, to be#oe poor in spirit, and ee%,
and ourners, and hungering and athirst a!ter righteousness, and er#i!ul, and pure in
heart, and pea#e3a%ers" +ee, ) ha(e told Thee any things, as ) #ould and as ) would,
be#ause Thou !irst wouldest that ) should #on!ess unto Thee, y Lord God" /or Thou
art good, !or Thy er#y endureth !or e(er"
1ut how shall ) su!!i#e with the tongue o! y pen to utter all Thy e-hortations, and all
Thy terrors, and #o!orts, and guidan#es, whereby Thou broughtest e to prea#h Thy
.ord, and dispense Thy +a#raent to Thy people& And i! ) su!!i#e to utter the in
order, the drops o! tie are pre#ious with e; and long ha(e ) burned to editate in
Thy law, and therein to #on!ess to Thee y s%ill and uns%il!ulness, the daybrea% o!
Thy enlightening, and the renants o! y dar%ness, until in!irity be swallowed up
by strength" And ) would not ha(e aught besides steal away those hours whi#h ) !ind
!ree !ro the ne#essities o! re!reshing y body and the powers o! y ind, and o!
the ser(i#e whi#h we owe to en, or whi#h though we owe not, we yet pay"
O Lord y god, gi(e ear unto y prayer, and let Thy er#y hear%en unto y desire$
be#ause it is an-ious not !or ysel! alone, but would ser(e brotherly #harity; and
Thou seest y heart, that so it is" ) would sa#ri!i#e to Thee the ser(i#e o! y thought
and tongue; do Thou gi(e e, what ) ay o!!er Thee" /or ) a poor and needy, Thou
ri#h to all that #all upon Thee; .ho, ina##essible to #are, #arest !or us" ;ir#u#ise
!ro all rashness and all lying both y inward and outward lips$ let Thy +#riptures be
y pure delights$ let e not be de#ei(ed in the, nor de#ei(e out o! the" Lord,
hear%en and pity, O Lord y God, Light o! the blind, and +trength o! the wea%; yea
also Light o! those that see, and +trength o! the strong; hear%en unto y soul, and
hear it #rying out o! the depths" /or i! Thine ears be not with us in the depths also,
whither shall we go& whither #ry& The day is Thine, and the night is Thine; at Thy
be#% the oents !lee by" Grant thereo! a spa#e !or our editations in the hidden
things o! Thy law, and #lose it not against us who %no#%" /or not in (ain wouldest
Thou ha(e the dar%soe se#rets o! so any pages written; nor are those !orests
without their harts whi#h retire therein and range and wal%; !eed, lie down, and
ruinate" ,er!e#t e, O Lord, and re(eal the unto e" 1ehold, Thy (oi#e is y 2oy;
Thy (oi#e e-#eedeth the abundan#e o! pleasures" Gi(e what ) lo(e$ !or ) do lo(e; and
this hast Thou gi(en$ !orsa%e not Thy own gi!ts, nor despise Thy green herb that
thirsteth" Let e #on!ess unto Thee whatsoe(er ) shall !ind in Thy boo%s, and hear the
(oi#e o! praise, and drin% in Thee, and editate on the wonder!ul things out o! Thy
Boo "I
law; e(en !ro the beginning, wherein Thou adest the hea(en and the earth, unto
the e(erlasting reigning o! Thy holy #ity with Thee"
Lord, ha(e er#y on e, and hear y desire" /or it is not, ) dee, o! the earth, not o!
gold and sil(er, and pre#ious stones, or gorgeous apparel, or honours and o!!i#es, or
the pleasures o! the !lesh, or ne#essaries !or the body and !or this li!e o! our
pilgriage$ all whi#h shall be added unto those that see% Thy %ingdo and Thy
righteousness" 1ehold, O Lord y God, wherein is y desire" The wi#%ed ha(e told
e o! delights, but not su#h as Thy law, O Lord" 1ehold, wherein is y desire"
1ehold, /ather, behold, and see and appro(e; and be it pleasing in the sight o! Thy
er#y, that ) ay !ind gra#e be!ore Thee, that the inward parts o! Thy words be
opened to e %no#%ing" ) besee#h by our Lord =esus ;hrist Thy +on, the *an o! Thy
right hand, the +on o! an, who Thou hast established !or Thysel!, as Thy *ediator
and ours, through .ho Thou soughtest us, not see%ing Thee, but soughtest us, that
we ight see% Thee,3 Thy .ord, through .ho Thou adest all things, and aong
the, e also;3 Thy Only31egotten, through .ho Thou #alledst to adoption the
belie(ing people, and therein e also;3 ) besee#h Thee by 'i, who sitteth at Thy
right hand, and inter#edeth with Thee !or us, in .ho are hidden all the treasures o!
wisdo and %nowledge" These do ) see% in Thy boo%s" O! 'i did *oses write; this
saith 'isel!; this saith the Truth"
) would hear and understand, how 9)n the 1eginning Thou adest the hea(en and
earth"9 *oses wrote this, wrote and departed, passed hen#e !ro Thee to Thee; nor is
he now be!ore e" /or i! he were, ) would hold hi and as% hi, and besee#h hi by
Thee to open these things unto e, and would lay the ears o! y body to the sounds
bursting out o! his outh" And should he spea% 'ebrew, in (ain will it stri%e on y
senses, nor would aught o! it tou#h y ind; but i! Latin, ) should %now what he said"
1ut when#e should ) %now, whether he spa%e truth& 4ea, and i! ) %new this also,
should ) %now it !ro hi& Truly within e, within, in the #haber o! y thoughts,
Truth, neither 'ebrew, nor Gree%, nor Latin, nor barbarian, without organs o! (oi#e or
tongue, or sound o! syllables, would say, 9)t is truth,9 and ) !orthwith should say
#on!idently to that an o! Thine, 9thou sayest truly"9 .hereas then ) #annot en5uire o!
hi, Thee, Thee ) besee#h, O Truth, !ull o! .ho he spa%e truth, Thee, y God, )
besee#h, !orgi(e y sins; and Thou, who ga(est hi Thy ser(ant to spea% these
things, gi(e to e also to understand the"
1ehold, the hea(ens and the earth are; they pro#lai that they were #reated; !or they
#hange and (ary" .hereas whatsoe(er hath not been ade, and yet is, hath nothing in
it, whi#h be!ore it had not; and this it is, to #hange and (ary" They pro#lai also, that
they ade not thesel(es; 9there!ore we are, be#ause we ha(e been ade; we were
not there!ore, be!ore we were, so as to a%e oursel(es"9 8ow the e(iden#e o! the
thing, is the (oi#e o! the spea%ers" Thou there!ore, Lord, adest the; who art
beauti!ul, !or they are beauti!ul; who art good, !or they are good; who art, !or they are;
yet are they not beauti!ul nor good, nor are they, as Thou their ;reator art; #opared
with .ho, they are neither beauti!ul, nor good, nor are" This we %now, than%s be to
Thee" And our %nowledge, #opared with Thy %nowledge, is ignoran#e"
1ut how didst Thou a%e the hea(en and the earth& and what the engine o! Thy so
ighty !abri#& /or it was not as a huan arti!i#er, !oring one body !ro another,
a##ording to the dis#retion o! his ind, whi#h #an in soe way in(est with su#h a
Boo "I
!or, as it seeth in itsel! by its inward eye" And when#e should he be able to do this,
unless Thou hadst ade that ind& and he in(ests with a !or what already e-isteth,
and hath a being, as #lay, or stone, or wood, or gold, or the li%e" And when#e should
they be, hadst not Thou appointed the& Thou adest the arti!i#er his body, Thou the
ind #oanding the libs, Thou the atter whereo! he a%es any thing; Thou the
apprehension whereby to ta%e in his art, and see within what he doth without; Thou
the sense o! his body, whereby, as by an interpreter, he ay !ro ind to atter,
#on(ey that whi#h he doth, and report to his ind what is done; that it within ay
#onsult the truth, whi#h presideth o(er itsel!, whether it be well done or no" All these
praise Thee, the ;reator o! all" 1ut how dost Thou a%e the& how, O God, didst
Thou a%e hea(en and earth& >erily, neither in the hea(en, nor in the earth, didst
Thou a%e hea(en and earth; nor in the air, or waters, seeing these also belong to the
hea(en and the earth; nor in the whole world didst Thou a%e the whole world;
be#ause there was no pla#e where to a%e it, be!ore it was ade, that it ight be" 8or
didst Thou hold any thing in Thy hand, whereo! to a%e hea(en and earth" /or
when#e shouldest Thou ha(e this, whi#h Thou hadst not ade, thereo! to a%e any
thing& /or what is, but be#ause Thou art& There!ore Thou spo%est, and they were
ade, and in Thy .ord Thou adest the"
1ut how didst Thou spea%& )n the way that the (oi#e #ae out o! the #loud, saying,
This is y belo(ed +on& /or that (oi#e passed by and passed away, began and ended;
the syllables sounded and passed away, the se#ond a!ter the !irst, the third a!ter the
se#ond, and so !orth in order, until the last a!ter the rest, and silen#e a!ter the last"
.hen#e it is abundantly #lear and plain that the otion o! a #reature e-pressed it,
itsel! teporal, ser(ing Thy eternal will" And these Thy words, #reated !or a tie, the
outward ear reported to the intelligent soul, whose inward ear lay listening to Thy
0ternal .ord" 1ut she #opared these words sounding in tie, with that Thy 0ternal
.ord in silen#e, and said 9)t is di!!erent, !ar di!!erent" These words are !ar beneath
e, nor are they, be#ause they !lee and pass away; but the .ord o! y Lord abideth
abo(e e !or e(er"9 )! then in sounding and passing words Thou saidst that hea(en
and earth should be ade, and so adest hea(en and earth, there was a #orporeal
#reature be!ore hea(en and earth, by whose otions in tie that (oi#e ight ta%e his
#ourse in tie" 1ut there was nought #orporeal be!ore hea(en and earth; or i! there
were, surely Thou hadst, without su#h a passing (oi#e, #reated that, whereo! to a%e
this passing (oi#e, by whi#h to say, Let the hea(en and the earth be ade" /or
whatsoe(er that were, whereo! su#h a (oi#e were ade, unless by Thee it were ade,
it #ould not be at all" 1y what .ord then didst Thou spea%, that a body ight be
ade, whereby these words again ight be ade&
Thou #allest us then to understand the .ord, God, with Thee God, .hi#h is spo%en
eternally, and by )t are all things spo%en eternally" /or what was spo%en was not
spo%en su##essi(ely, one thing #on#luded that the ne-t ight be spo%en, but all things
together and eternally" 0lse ha(e we tie and #hange; and not a true eternity nor true
iortality" This ) %now, O y God, and gi(e than%s" ) %now, ) #on!ess to Thee, O
Lord, and with e there %nows and blesses Thee, whoso is not unthan%!ul to assure
Truth" .e %now, Lord, we %now; sin#e inasu#h as anything is not whi#h was, and is,
whi#h was not, so !ar !orth it dieth and ariseth" 8othing then o! Thy .ord doth gi(e
pla#e or repla#e, be#ause )t is truly iortal and eternal" And there!ore unto the .ord
#oeternal with Thee Thou dost at on#e and eternally say all that Thou dost say; and
whate(er Thou sayest shall be ade is ade; nor dost Thou a%e, otherwise than by
Boo "I
saying; and yet are not all things ade together, or e(erlasting, whi#h Thou a%est by
saying"
.hy, ) besee#h Thee, O Lord y God& ) see it in a way; but how to e-press it, ) %now
not, unless it be, that whatsoe(er begins to be, and lea(es o!! to be, begins then, and
lea(es o!! then, when in Thy eternal @eason it is %nown, that it ought to begin or lea(e
o!!; in whi#h @eason nothing beginneth or lea(eth o!!" This is Thy .ord, whi#h is
also 9the 1eginning, be#ause also )t spea%eth unto us"9 Thus in the Gospel 'e
spea%eth through the !lesh; and this sounded outwardly in the ears o! en; that it
ight be belie(ed and sought inwardly, and !ound in the eternal >erity; where the
good and only *aster tea#heth all 'is dis#iples" There, Lord, hear ) Thy (oi#e
spea%ing unto e; be#ause 'e spea%eth us, who tea#heth us; but 'e that tea#heth us
not, though 'e spea%eth, to us 'e spea%eth not" .ho now tea#heth us, but the
un#hangeable Truth& !or e(en when we are adonished through a #hangeable
#reature; we are but led to the un#hangeable Truth; where we learn truly, while we
stand and hear 'i, and re2oi#e greatly be#ause o! the 1ridegroo7s (oi#e, restoring
us to 'i, !ro .ho we are" And there!ore the 1eginning, be#ause unless )t abided,
there should not, when we went astray, be whither to return" 1ut when we return !ro
error, it is through %nowing; and that we ay %now, 'e tea#heth us, be#ause 'e is the
1eginning, and spea%ing unto us"
)n this 1eginning, O God, hast Thou ade hea(en and earth, in Thy .ord, in Thy
+on, in Thy ,ower, in Thy .isdo, in Thy Truth; wondrously spea%ing, and
wondrously a%ing" .ho shall #oprehend& .ho de#lare it& .hat is that whi#h
gleas through e, and stri%es y heart without hurting it; and ) shudder and %indle&
) shudder, inasu#h as ) unli%e it; ) %indle, inasu#h as ) a li%e it" )t is .isdo,
.isdo7s sel! whi#h gleaeth through e; se(ering y #loudiness whi#h yet again
antles o(er e, !ainting !ro it, through the dar%ness whi#h !or y punishent
gathers upon e" /or y strength is brought down in need, so that ) #annot support
y blessings, till Thou, Lord, .ho hast been gra#ious to all ine ini5uities, shalt heal
all y in!irities" /or Thou shalt also redee y li!e !ro #orruption, and #rown e
with lo(ing %indness and tender er#ies, and shalt satis!y y desire with good things,
be#ause y youth shall be renewed li%e an eagle7s" /or in hope we are sa(ed,
where!ore we through patien#e wait !or Thy proises" Let hi that is able, hear Thee
inwardly dis#oursing out o! Thy ora#le$ ) will boldly #ry out, 'ow wonder!ul are Thy
wor%s, O Lord, in .isdo hast Thou ade the all; and this .isdo is the
1eginning, and in that 1eginning didst Thou a%e hea(en and earth"
Lo, are they not !ull o! their old lea(en, who say to us, 9.hat was God doing be!ore
'e ade hea(en and earth& /or i! (say they) 'e were uneployed and wrought not,
why does 'e not also hen#e!orth, and !or e(er, as 'e did hereto!ore& /or did any new
otion arise in God, and a new will to a%e a #reature, whi#h 'e had ne(er be!ore
ade, how then would that be a true eternity, where there ariseth a will, whi#h was
not& /or the will o! God is not a #reature, but be!ore the #reature; seeing nothing
#ould be #reated, unless the will o! the ;reator had pre#eded" The will o! God then
belongeth to 'is (ery +ubstan#e" And i! aught ha(e arisen in God7s +ubstan#e, whi#h
be!ore was not, that +ubstan#e #annot be truly #alled eternal" 1ut i! the will o! God
has been !ro eternity that the #reature should be, why was not the #reature also !ro
eternity&9
Boo "I
.ho spea% thus, do not yet understand Thee, O .isdo o! God, Light o! souls,
understand not yet how the things be ade, whi#h by Thee, and in Thee are ade$ yet
they stri(e to #oprehend things eternal, whilst their heart !luttereth between the
otions o! things past and to #oe, and is still unstable" .ho shall hold it, and !i- it,
that it be settled awhile, and awhile #at#h the glory o! that e(er!i-ed 0ternity, and
#opare it with the ties whi#h are ne(er !i-ed, and see that it #annot be #opared;
and that a long tie #annot be#oe long, but out o! any otions passing by, whi#h
#annot be prolonged altogether; but that in the 0ternal nothing passeth, but the whole
is present; whereas no tie is all at on#e present$ and that all tie past, is dri(en on
by tie to #oe, and all to #oe !olloweth upon the past; and all past and to #oe, is
#reated, and !lows out o! that whi#h is e(er present& .ho shall hold the heart o! an,
that it ay stand still, and see how eternity e(er still3standing, neither past nor to
#oe, uttereth the ties past and to #oe& ;an y hand do this, or the hand o! y
outh by spee#h bring about a thing so great&
+ee, ) answer hi that as%eth, 9.hat did God be!ore 'e ade hea(en and earth&9 )
answer not as one is said to ha(e done errily (eluding the pressure o! the 5uestion),
9'e was preparing hell (saith he) !or pryers into ysteries"9 )t is one thing to answer
en5uiries, another to a%e sport o! en5uirers" +o ) answer not; !or rather had ) answer,
9) %now not,9 what ) %now not, than so as to raise a laugh at hi who as%eth deep
things and gain praise !or one who answereth !alse things" 1ut ) say that Thou, our
God, art the ;reator o! e(ery #reature$ and i! by the nae 9hea(en and earth,9 e(ery
#reature be understood; ) boldly say, 9that be!ore God ade hea(en and earth, 'e did
not a%e any thing"9 /or i! 'e ade, what did 'e a%e but a #reature& And would )
%new whatsoe(er ) desire to %now to y pro!it, as ) %now, that no #reature was ade,
be!ore there was ade any #reature"
1ut i! any e-#ursi(e brain ro(e o(er the iages o! !orepassed ties, and wonder that
Thou the God Alighty and All3#reating and All3supporting, *a%er o! hea(en and
earth, didst !or innuerable ages !orbear !ro so great a wor%, be!ore Thou wouldest
a%e it; let hi awa%e and #onsider, that he wonders at !alse #on#eits" /or when#e
#ould innuerable ages pass by, whi#h Thou adest not, Thou the Author and ;reator
o! all ages& or what ties should there be, whi#h were not ade by Thee& or how
should they pass by, i! they ne(er were& +eeing then Thou art the ;reator o! all ties,
i! any tie was be!ore Thou adest hea(en and earth, why say they that Thou didst
!orego wor%ing& /or that (ery tie didst Thou a%e, nor #ould ties pass by, be!ore
Thou adest those ties" 1ut i! be!ore hea(en and earth there was no tie, why is it
deanded, what Thou then didst& /or there was no 9then,9 when there was no tie"
8or dost Thou by tie, pre#ede tie$ else shouldest Thou not pre#ede all ties" 1ut
Thou pre#edest all things past, by the subliity o! an e(er3present eternity; and
surpassest all !uture be#ause they are !uture, and when they #oe, they shall be past;
but Thou art the +ae, and Thy years !ail not" Thy years neither #oe nor go;
whereas ours both #oe and go, that they all ay #oe" Thy years stand together,
be#ause they do stand; nor are departing thrust out by #oing years, !or they pass not
away; but ours shall all be, when they shall no ore be" Thy years are one day; and
Thy day is not daily, but To3day, seeing Thy To3day gi(es not pla#e unto to3orrow,
!or neither doth it repla#e yesterday" Thy To3day, is 0ternity; there!ore didst Thou
beget The ;oeternal, to who Thou saidst, This day ha(e ) begotten Thee" Thou hast
ade all things; and be!ore all ties Thou art$ neither in any tie was tie not"
Boo "I
At no tie then hadst Thou not ade any thing, be#ause tie itsel! Thou adest" And
no ties are #oeternal with Thee, be#ause Thou abidest; but i! they abode, they should
not be ties" /or what is tie& .ho #an readily and brie!ly e-plain this& .ho #an
e(en in thought #oprehend it, so as to utter a word about it& 1ut what in dis#ourse
do we ention ore !ailiarly and %nowingly, than tie& And, we understand, when
we spea% o! it; we understand also, when we hear it spo%en o! by another" .hat then
is tie& )! no one as%s e, ) %now$ i! ) wish to e-plain it to one that as%eth, ) %now
not$ yet ) say boldly that ) %now, that i! nothing passed away, tie past were not; and
i! nothing were #oing, a tie to #oe were not; and i! nothing were, tie present
were not" Those two ties then, past and to #oe, how are they, seeing the past now
is not, and that to #oe is not yet& 1ut the present, should it always be present, and
ne(er pass into tie past, (erily it should not be tie, but eternity" )! tie present (i! it
is to be tie) only #oeth into e-isten#e, be#ause it passeth into tie past, how #an
we say that either this is, whose #ause o! being is, that it shall not be; so, naely, that
we #annot truly say that tie is, but be#ause it is tending not to be&
And yet we say, 9a long tie9 and 9a short tie9; still, only o! tie past or to #oe" A
long tie past (!or e-aple) we #all an hundred years sin#e; and a long tie to #oe,
an hundred years hen#e" 1ut a short tie past, we #all (suppose) o!ten days sin#e; and
a short tie to #oe, o!ten days hen#e" 1ut in what sense is that long or short, whi#h
is not& /or the past, is not now; and the !uture, is not yet" Let us not then say, 9it is
long9; but o! the past, 9it hath been long9; and o! the !uture, 9it will be long"9 O y
Lord, y Light, shall not here also Thy Truth o#% at an& /or that past tie whi#h
was long, was it long when it was now past, or when it was yet present& /or then
ight it be long, when there was, what #ould be long; but when past, it was no longer;
where!ore neither #ould that be long, whi#h was not at all" Let us not then say, 9tie
past hath been long9$ !or we shall not !ind, what hath been long, seeing that sin#e it
was past, it is no ore, but let us say, 9that present tie was long9; be#ause, when it
was present, it was long" /or it had not yet passed away, so as not to be; and there!ore
there was, what #ould be long; but a!ter it was past, that #eased also to be long, whi#h
#eased to be"
Let us see then, thou soul o! an, whether present tie #an be long$ !or to thee it is
gi(en to !eel and to easure length o! tie" .hat wilt thou answer e& Are an
hundred years, when present, a long tie& +ee !irst, whether an hundred years #an be
present" /or i! the !irst o! these years be now #urrent, it is present, but the other ninety
and nine are to #oe, and there!ore are not yet, but i! the se#ond year be #urrent, one
is now past, another present, the rest to #oe" And so i! we assue any iddle year o!
this hundred to be present, all be!ore it, are past; all a!ter it, to #oe; where!ore an
hundred years #annot be present" 1ut see at least whether that one whi#h is now
#urrent, itsel! is present; !or i! the #urrent onth be its !irst, the rest are to #oe; i! the
se#ond, the !irst is already past, and the rest are not yet" There!ore, neither is the year
now #urrent present; and i! not present as a whole, then is not the year present" /or
twel(e onths are a year; o! whi#h whate(er by the #urrent onth is present; the rest
past, or to #oe" Although neither is that #urrent onth present; but one day only; the
rest being to #oe, i! it be the !irst; past, i! the last; i! any o! the iddle, then aid
past and to #oe"
+ee how the present tie, whi#h alone we !ound #ould be #alled long, is abridged to
the length s#ar#e o! one day" 1ut let us e-aine that also; be#ause neither is one day
Boo "I
present as a whole" /or it is ade up o! !our and twenty hours o! night and day$ o!
whi#h, the !irst hath the rest to #oe; the last hath the past; and any o! the iddle
hath those be!ore it past, those behind it to #oe" 4ea, that one hour passeth away in
!lying parti#les" .hatsoe(er o! it hath !lown away, is past; whatsoe(er reaineth, is to
#oe" )! an instant o! tie be #on#ei(ed, whi#h #annot be di(ided into the sallest
parti#les o! oents, that alone is it, whi#h ay be #alled present" .hi#h yet !lies
with su#h speed !ro !uture to past, as not to be lengthened out with the least stay"
/or i! it be, it is di(ided into past and !uture" The present hath no spa#e" .here then is
the tie, whi#h we ay #all long& )s it to #oe& O! it we do not say, 9it is long9;
be#ause it is not yet, so as to be long; but we say, 9it will be long"9 .hen there!ore
will it be& /or i! e(en then, when it is yet to #oe, it shall not be long (be#ause what
#an be long, as yet is not), and so it shall then be long, when !ro !uture whi#h as yet
is not, it shall begin now to be, and ha(e be#oe present, that so there should e-ist
what ay be long; then does tie present #ry out in the words abo(e, that it #annot be
long"
And yet, Lord, we per#ei(e inter(als o! ties, and #opare the, and say, soe are
shorter, and others longer" .e easure also, how u#h longer or shorter this tie is
than that; and we answer, 9This is double, or treble; and that, but on#e, or only 2ust so
u#h as that"9 1ut we easure ties as they are passing, by per#ei(ing the; but
past, whi#h now are not, or the !uture, whi#h are not yet, who #an easure& unless a
an shall presue to say, that #an be easured, whi#h is not" .hen then tie is
passing, it ay be per#ei(ed and easured; but when it is past, it #annot, be#ause it is
not"
) as%, /ather, ) a!!ir not$ O y God, rule and guide e" 9.ho will tell e that there
are not three ties (as we learned when boys, and taught boys), past, present, and
!uture; but present only, be#ause those two are not& Or are they also; and when !ro
!uture it be#oeth present, doth it #oe out o! soe se#ret pla#e; and so, when
retiring, !ro present it be#oeth past& /or where did they, who !oretold things to
#oe, see the, i! as yet they be not& /or that whi#h is not, #annot be seen" And they
who relate things past, #ould not relate the, i! in ind they did not dis#ern the, and
i! they were not, they #ould no way be dis#erned" Things then past and to #oe, are"9
,erit e, Lord, to see% !urther" O y hope, let not y purpose be #on!ounded" /or
i! ties past and to #oe be, ) would %now where they be" .hi#h yet i! ) #annot, yet )
%now, where(er they be, they are not there as !uture, or past, but present" /or i! there
also they be !uture, they are not yet there; i! there also they be past, they are no longer
there" .heresoe(er then is whatsoe(er is, it is only as present" Although when past
!a#ts are related, there are drawn out o! the eory, not the things thesel(es whi#h
are past, but words whi#h, #on#ei(ed by the iages o! the things, they, in passing,
ha(e through the senses le!t as tra#es in the ind" Thus y #hildhood, whi#h now is
not, is in tie past, whi#h now is not$ but now when ) re#all its iage, and tell o! it, )
behold it in the present, be#ause it is still in y eory" .hether there be a li%e
#ause o! !oretelling things to #oe also; that o! things whi#h as yet are not, the iages
ay be per#ei(ed be!ore, already e-isting, ) #on!ess, O y God, ) %now not" This
indeed ) %now, that we generally thin% be!ore on our !uture a#tions, and that that
!orethin%ing is present, but the a#tion whereo! we !orethin% is not yet, be#ause it is to
#oe" .hi#h, when we ha(e set upon, and ha(e begun to do what we were
!orethin%ing, then shall that a#tion be; be#ause then it is no longer !uture, but present"
Boo "I
.hi#h way soe(er then this se#ret !ore3per#ei(ing o! things to #oe be; that only #an
be seen, whi#h is" 1ut what now is, is not !uture, but present" .hen then things to
#oe are said to be seen, it is not thesel(es whi#h as yet are not (that is, whi#h are
to be), but their #auses per#han#e or signs are seen, whi#h already are" There!ore they
are not !uture but present to those who now see that, !ro whi#h the !uture, being
!ore#on#ei(ed in the ind, is !oretold" .hi#h !ore3#on#eptions again now are; and
those who !oretell those things, do behold the #on#eptions present be!ore the" Let
now the nuerous (ariety o! things !urnish e soe e-aple" ) behold the day3brea%,
) !oreshow, that the sun, is about to rise" .hat ) behold, is present; what ) !oresigni!y,
to #oe; not the sun, whi#h already is; but the sun3rising, whi#h is not yet" And yet
did ) not in y ind iagine the sun3rising itsel! (as now while ) spea% o! it), ) #ould
not !oretell it" 1ut neither is that day3brea% whi#h ) dis#ern in the s%y, the sun3rising,
although it goes be!ore it; nor that iagination o! y ind; whi#h two are seen now
present, that the other whi#h is to be ay be !oretold" /uture things then are not yet$
and i! they be not yet, they are not$ and i! they are not, they #annot be seen; yet
!oretold they ay be !ro things present, whi#h are already, and are seen"
Thou then, @uler o! Thy #reation, by what way dost Thou tea#h souls things to #oe&
/or Thou didst tea#h Thy ,rophets" 1y what way dost Thou, to who nothing is to
#oe, tea#h things to #oe; or rather o! the !uture, dost tea#h things present& /or,
what is not, neither #an it be taught" Too !ar is this way o! y %en$ it is too ighty !or
e, ) #annot attain unto it; but !ro Thee ) #an, when Thou shalt (ou#hsa!e it, O
sweet light o! y hidden eyes"
.hat now is #lear and plain is, that neither things to #oe nor past are" 8or is it
properly said, 9there be three ties, past, present, and to #oe9$ yet per#han#e it
ight be properly said, 9there be three ties; a present o! things past, a present o!
things present, and a present o! things !uture"9 /or these three do e-ist in soe sort, in
the soul, but otherwhere do ) not see the; present o! things past, eory; present o!
things present, sight; present o! things !uture, e-pe#tation" )! thus we be peritted to
spea%, ) see three ties, and ) #on!ess there are three" Let it be said too, 9there be
three ties, past, present, and to #oe9$ in our in#orre#t way" +ee, ) ob2e#t not, nor
gainsay, nor !ind !ault, i! what is so said be but understood, that neither what is to be,
now is, nor what is past" /or but !ew things are there, whi#h we spea% properly, ost
things iproperly; still the things intended are understood"
) said then e(en now, we easure ties as they pass, in order to be able to say, this
tie is twi#e so u#h as that one; or, this is 2ust so u#h as that; and so o! any other
parts o! tie, whi#h be easurable" .here!ore, as ) said, we easure ties as they
pass" And i! any should as% e, 9'ow %nowest thou&9 ) ight answer, 9) %now, that
we do easure, nor #an we easure things that are not; and things past and to #oe,
are not"9 1ut tie present how do we easure, seeing it hath no spa#e& )t is easured
while passing, but when it shall ha(e passed, it is not easured; !or there will be
nothing to be easured" 1ut when#e, by what way, and whither passes it while it is a
easuring& when#e, but !ro the !uture& .hi#h way, but through the present&
whither, but into the past& /ro that there!ore, whi#h is not yet, through that, whi#h
hath no spa#e, into that, whi#h now is not" 4et what do we easure, i! not tie in
soe spa#e& /or we do not say, single, and double, and triple, and e5ual, or any other
li%e way that we spea% o! tie, e-#ept o! spa#es o! ties" )n what spa#e then do we
easure tie passing& )n the !uture, when#e it passeth through& 1ut what is not yet,
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we easure not" Or in the present, by whi#h it passes& but no spa#e, we do not
easure$ or in the past, to whi#h it passes& 1ut neither do we easure that, whi#h
now is not"
*y soul is on !ire to %now this ost intri#ate eniga" +hut it not up, O Lord y God,
good /ather; through ;hrist ) besee#h Thee, do not shut up these usual, yet hidden
things, !ro y desire, that it be hindered !ro pier#ing into the; but let the dawn
through Thy enlightening er#y, O Lord" .ho shall ) en5uire o! #on#erning these
things& and to who shall ) ore !ruit!ully #on!ess y ignoran#e, than to Thee, to
.ho these y studies, so (eheently %indled toward Thy +#riptures, are not
troublesoe& Gi(e what ) lo(e; !or ) do lo(e, and this hast Thou gi(en e" Gi(e,
/ather, .ho truly %nowest to gi(e good gi!ts unto Thy #hildren" Gi(e, be#ause ) ha(e
ta%en upon e to %now, and trouble is be!ore e until Thou openest it" 1y ;hrist )
besee#h Thee, in 'is 8ae, 'oly o! holies, let no an disturb e" /or ) belie(ed, and
there!ore do ) spea%" This is y hope, !or this do ) li(e, that ) ay #onteplate the
delights o! the Lord" 1ehold, Thou hast ade y days old, and they pass away, and
how, ) %now not" And we tal% o! tie, and tie, and ties, and ties, 9'ow long tie
is it sin#e he said this9; 9how long tie sin#e he did this9; and 9how long tie sin#e )
saw that9; and 9this syllable hath double tie to that single short syllable"9 These
words we spea%, and these we hear, and are understood, and understand" *ost
ani!est and ordinary they are, and the sel!3sae things again are but too deeply
hidden, and the dis#o(ery o! the were new"
) heard on#e !ro a learned an, that the otions o! the sun, oon, and stars,
#onstituted tie, and ) assented not" /or why should not the otions o! all bodies
rather be ties& Or, i! the lights o! hea(en should #ease, and a potter7s wheel run
round, should there be no tie by whi#h we ight easure those whirlings, and say,
that either it o(ed with e5ual pauses, or i! it turned soeties slower, otherwhiles
5ui#%er, that soe rounds were longer, other shorter& Or, while we were saying this,
should we not also be spea%ing in tie& Or, should there in our words be soe
syllables short, others long, but be#ause those sounded in a shorter tie, these in a
longer& God, grant to en to see in a sall thing noti#es #oon to things great and
sall" The stars and lights o! hea(en, are also !or signs, and !or seasons, and !or years,
and !or days; they are; yet neither should ) say, that the going round o! that wooden
wheel was a day, nor yet he, that it was there!ore no tie"
) desire to %now the !or#e and nature o! tie, by whi#h we easure the otions o!
bodies, and say (!or e-aple) this otion is twi#e as long as that" /or ) as%, +eeing
9day9 denotes not the stay only o! the sun upon the earth (a##ording to whi#h day is
one thing, night another); but also its whole #ir#uit !ro east to east again; a##ording
to whi#h we say, 9there passed so any days,9 the night being in#luded when we say,
9so any days,9 and the nights not re#%oned apart;3 seeing then a day is #opleted by
the otion o! the sun and by his #ir#uit !ro east to east again, ) as%, does the otion
alone a%e the day, or the stay in whi#h that otion is #opleted, or both& /or i! the
!irst be the day; then should we ha(e a day, although the sun should !inish that #ourse
in so sall a spa#e o! tie, as one hour #oes to" )! the se#ond, then should not that
a%e a day, i! between one sun3rise and another there were but so short a stay, as one
hour #oes to; but the sun ust go !our and twenty ties about, to #oplete one day"
)! both, then neither #ould that be #alled a day; i! the sun should run his whole round
in the spa#e o! one hour; nor that, i!, while the sun stood still, so u#h tie should
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o(erpass, as the sun usually a%es his whole #ourse in, !ro orning to orning" )
will not there!ore now as%, what that is whi#h is #alled day; but, what tie is,
whereby we, easuring the #ir#uit o! the sun, should say that it was !inished in hal!
the tie it was wont, i! so be it was !inished in so sall a spa#e as twel(e hours; and
#oparing both ties, should #all this a single tie, that a double tie; e(en
supposing the sun to run his round !ro east to east, soeties in that single,
soeties in that double tie" Let no an then tell e, that the otions o! the
hea(enly bodies #onstitute ties, be#ause, when at the prayer o! one, the sun had
stood still, till he #ould a#hie(e his (i#torious battle, the sun stood still, but tie went
on" /or in its own allotted spa#e o! tie was that battle waged and ended" ) per#ei(e
tie then to be a #ertain e-tension" 1ut do ) per#ei(e it, or see to per#ei(e it& Thou,
Light and Truth, wilt show e"
Dost Thou bid e assent, i! any de!ine tie to be 9otion o! a body&9 Thou dost not
bid e" /or that no body is o(ed, but in tie, ) hear; this Thou sayest; but that the
otion o! a body is tie, ) hear not; Thou sayest it not" /or when a body is o(ed, )
by tie easure, how long it o(eth, !ro the tie it began to o(e until it le!t o!!&
And i! ) did not see when#e it began; and it #ontinue to o(e so that ) see not when it
ends, ) #annot easure, sa(e per#han#e !ro the tie ) began, until ) #ease to see"
And i! ) loo% long, ) #an only pronoun#e it to be a long tie, but not how long;
be#ause when we say 9how long,9 we do it by #oparison; as, 9this is as long as that,9
or 9twi#e so long as that,9 or the li%e" 1ut when we #an ar% the distan#es o! the
pla#es, when#e and whither goeth the body o(ed, or his parts, i! it o(ed as in a
lathe, then #an we say pre#isely, in how u#h tie the otion o! that body or his part,
!ro this pla#e unto that, was !inished" +eeing there!ore the otion o! a body is one
thing, that by whi#h we easure how long it is, another; who sees not, whi#h o! the
two is rather to be #alled tie& /or and i! a body be soeties o(ed, soeties
stands still, then we easure, not his otion only, but his standing still too by tie;
and we say, 9it stood still, as u#h as it o(ed9; or 9it stood still twi#e or thri#e so
long as it o(ed9; or any other spa#e whi#h our easuring hath either as#ertained, or
guessed; ore or less, as we use to say" Tie then is not the otion o! a body"
And ) #on!ess to Thee, O Lord, that ) yet %now not what tie is, and again ) #on!ess
unto Thee, O Lord, that ) %now that ) spea% this in tie, and that ha(ing long spo%en
o! tie, that (ery 9long9 is not long, but by the pause o! tie" 'ow then %now ) this,
seeing ) %now not what tie is& or is it per#han#e that ) %now not how to e-press what
) %now& .oe is e, that do not e(en %now, what ) %now not" 1ehold, O y God,
be!ore Thee ) lie not; but as ) spea%, so is y heart" Thou shalt light y #andle; Thou,
O Lord y God, wilt enlighten y dar%ness"
Does not y soul ost truly #on!ess unto Thee, that ) do easure ties& Do ) then
easure, O y God, and %now not what ) easure& ) easure the otion o! a body in
tie; and the tie itsel! do ) not easure& Or #ould ) indeed easure the otion o! a
body how long it were, and in how long spa#e it #ould #oe !ro this pla#e to that,
without easuring the tie in whi#h it is o(ed& This sae tie then, how do )
easure& do we by a shorter tie easure a longer, as by the spa#e o! a #ubit, the
spa#e o! a rood& !or so indeed we see by the spa#e o! a short syllable, to easure
the spa#e o! a long syllable, and to say that this is double the other" Thus easure we
the spa#es o! stan<as, by the spa#es o! the (erses, and the spa#es o! the (erses, by the
spa#es o! the !eet, and the spa#es o! the !eet, by the spa#es o! the syllables, and the
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spa#es o! long, by the spa#e o! short syllables; not easuring by pages (!or then we
easure spa#es, not ties); but when we utter the words and they pass by, and we say
9it is a long stan<a, be#ause #oposed o! so any (erses; long (erses, be#ause
#onsisting o! so any !eet; long !eet, be#ause prolonged by so any syllables; a long
syllable be#ause double to a short one" 1ut neither do we this way obtain any #ertain
easure o! tie; be#ause it ay be, that a shorter (erse, pronoun#ed ore !ully, ay
ta%e up ore tie than a longer, pronoun#ed hurriedly" And so !or a (erse, a !oot, a
syllable" .hen#e it seeed to e, that tie is nothing else than protra#tion; but o!
what, ) %now not; and ) ar(el, i! it be not o! the ind itsel!& /or what, ) besee#h
Thee, O y God, do ) easure, when ) say, either inde!initely 9this is a longer tie
than that,9 or de!initely 9this is double that9& That ) easure tie, ) %now; and yet )
easure not tie to #oe, !or it is not yet; nor present, be#ause it is not protra#ted by
any spa#e; nor past, be#ause it now is not" .hat then do ) easure& Ties passing,
not past& !or so ) said"
;ourage, y ind, and press on ightily" God is our helper, 'e ade us, and not we
oursel(es" ,ress on where truth begins to dawn" +uppose, now, the (oi#e o! a body
begins to sound, and does sound, and sounds on, and list, it #eases; it is silen#e now,
and that (oi#e is past, and is no ore a (oi#e" 1e!ore it sounded, it was to #oe, and
#ould not be easured, be#ause as yet it was not, and now it #annot, be#ause it is no
longer" Then there!ore while it sounded, it ight; be#ause there then was what ight
be easured" 1ut yet e(en then it was not at a stay; !or it was passing on, and passing
away" ;ould it be easured the rather, !or that& /or while passing, it was being
e-tended into soe spa#e o! tie, so that it ight be easured, sin#e the present hath
no spa#e" )! there!ore then it ight, then, to, suppose another (oi#e hath begun to
sound, and still soundeth in one #ontinued tenor without any interruption; let us
easure it while it sounds; seeing when it hath le!t sounding, it will then be past, and
nothing le!t to be easured; let us easure it (erily, and tell how u#h it is" 1ut it
sounds still, nor #an it be easured but !ro the instant it began in, unto the end it le!t
in" /or the (ery spa#e between is the thing we easure, naely, !ro soe beginning
unto soe end" .here!ore, a (oi#e that is not yet ended, #annot be easured, so that
it ay be said how long, or short it is; nor #an it be #alled e5ual to another, or double
to a single, or the li%e" 1ut when ended, it no longer is" 'ow ay it then be easured&
And yet we easure ties; but yet neither those whi#h are not yet, nor those whi#h no
longer are, nor those whi#h are not lengthened out by soe pause, nor those whi#h
ha(e no bounds" .e easure neither ties to #oe, nor past, nor present, nor passing;
and yet we do easure ties"
9Deus ;reator oniu,9 this (erse o! eight syllables alternates between short and
long syllables" The !our short then, the !irst, third, !i!th, and se(enth, are but single, in
respe#t o! the !our long, the se#ond, !ourth, si-th, and eighth" 0(ery one o! these to
e(ery one o! those, hath a double tie$ ) pronoun#e the, report on the, and !ind it
so, as one7s plain sense per#ei(es" 1y plain sense then, ) easure a long syllable by a
short, and ) sensibly !ind it to ha(e twi#e so u#h; but when one sounds a!ter the
other, i! the !orer be short, the latter long, how shall ) detain the short one, and how,
easuring, shall ) apply it to the long, that ) ay !ind this to ha(e twi#e so u#h;
seeing the long does not begin to sound, unless the short lea(es sounding& And that
(ery long one do ) easure as present, seeing ) easure it not till it be ended& 8ow
his ending is his passing away" .hat then is it ) easure& where is the short syllable
by whi#h ) easure& where the long whi#h ) easure& 1oth ha(e sounded, ha(e
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!lown, passed away, are no ore; and yet ) easure, and #on!idently answer (so !ar as
is presued on a pra#tised sense) that as to spa#e o! tie this syllable is but single,
that double" And yet ) #ould not do this, unless they were already past and ended" )t is
not then thesel(es, whi#h now are not, that ) easure, but soething in y eory,
whi#h there reains !i-ed"
)t is in thee, y ind, that ) easure ties" )nterrupt e not, that is, interrupt not
thysel! with the tuults o! thy ipressions" )n thee ) easure ties; the ipression,
whi#h things as they pass by #ause in thee, reains e(en when they are gone; this it is
whi#h still present, ) easure, not the things whi#h pass by to a%e this ipression"
This ) easure, when ) easure ties" 0ither then this is tie, or ) do not easure
ties" .hat when we easure silen#e, and say that this silen#e hath held as long tie
as did that (oi#e& do we not stret#h out our thought to the easure o! a (oi#e, as i! it
sounded, that so we ay be able to report o! the inter(als o! silen#e in a gi(en spa#e
o! tie& /or though both (oi#e and tongue be still, yet in thought we go o(er poes,
and (erses, and any other dis#ourse, or diensions o! otions, and report as to the
spa#es o! ties, how u#h this is in respe#t o! that, no otherwise than i! (o#ally we
did pronoun#e the" )! a an would utter a lengthened sound, and had settled in
thought how long it should be, he hath in silen#e already gone through a spa#e o!
tie, and #oitting it to eory, begins to utter that spee#h, whi#h sounds on, until
it be brought unto the end proposed" 4ea it hath sounded, and will sound; !or so u#h
o! it as is !inished, hath sounded already, and the rest will sound" And thus passeth it
on, until the present intent #on(eys o(er the !uture into the past; the past in#reasing by
the diinution o! the !uture, until by the #onsuption o! the !uture, all is past"
1ut how is that !uture diinished or #onsued, whi#h as yet is not& or how that past
in#reased, whi#h is now no longer, sa(e that in the ind whi#h ena#teth this, there be
three things done& /or it e-pe#ts, it #onsiders, it reebers; that so that whi#h it
e-pe#teth, through that whi#h it #onsidereth, passeth into that whi#h it reebereth"
.ho there!ore denieth, that things to #oe are not as yet& and yet, there is in the ind
an e-pe#tation o! things to #oe" And who denies past things to be now no longer&
and yet is there still in the ind a eory o! things past" And who denieth the present
tie hath no spa#e, be#ause it passeth away in a oent& and yet our #onsideration
#ontinueth, through whi#h that whi#h shall be present pro#eedeth to be#oe absent" )t
is not then !uture tie, that is long, !or as yet it is not$ but a long !uture, is 9a long
e-pe#tation o! the !uture,9 nor is it tie past, whi#h now is not, that is long; but a long
past, is 9a long eory o! the past"9
) a about to repeat a ,sal that ) %now" 1e!ore ) begin, y e-pe#tation is e-tended
o(er the whole; but when ) ha(e begun, how u#h soe(er o! it ) shall separate o!! into
the past, is e-tended along y eory; thus the li!e o! this a#tion o! ine is di(ided
between y eory as to what ) ha(e repeated, and e-pe#tation as to what ) a
about to repeat; but 9#onsideration9 is present with e, that through it what was
!uture, ay be #on(eyed o(er, so as to be#oe past" .hi#h the ore it is done again
and again, so u#h the ore the e-pe#tation being shortened, is the eory enlarged$
till the whole e-pe#tation be at length e-hausted, when that whole a#tion being ended,
shall ha(e passed into eory" And this whi#h ta%es pla#e in the whole ,sal, the
sae ta%es pla#e in ea#h se(eral portion o! it, and ea#h se(eral syllable; the sae
holds in that longer a#tion, whereo! this ,sal ay be part; the sae holds in the
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whole li!e o! an, whereo! all the a#tions o! an are parts; the sae holds through
the whole age o! the sons o! en, whereo! all the li(es o! en are parts"
1ut be#ause Thy lo(ing3%indness is better than all li(es, behold, y li!e is but a
distra#tion, and Thy right hand upheld e, in y Lord the +on o! an, the *ediator
betwi-t Thee, The One, and us any, any also through our ani!old distra#tions
aid any things, that by 'i ) ay apprehend in .ho ) ha(e been apprehended,
and ay be re3#olle#ted !ro y old #on(ersation, to !ollow The One, !orgetting
what is behind, and not distended but e-tended, not to things whi#h shall be and shall
pass away, but to those things whi#h are be!ore, not distra#tedly but intently, ) !ollow
on !or the pri<e o! y hea(enly #alling, where ) ay hear the (oi#e o! Thy praise, and
#onteplate Thy delights, neither to #oe, nor to pass away" 1ut now are y years
spent in ourning" And Thou, O Lord, art y #o!ort, y /ather e(erlasting, but )
ha(e been se(ered aid ties, whose order ) %now not; and y thoughts, e(en the
inost bowels o! y soul, are rent and angled with tuultuous (arieties, until )
!low together into Thee, puri!ied and olten by the !ire o! Thy lo(e"
And now will ) stand, and be#oe !ir in Thee, in y ould, Thy truth; nor will )
endure the 5uestions o! en, who by a penal disease thirst !or ore than they #an
#ontain, and say, 9what did God be!ore 'e ade hea(en and earth&9 Or, 9'ow #ae it
into 'is ind to a%e any thing, ha(ing ne(er be!ore ade any thing&9 Gi(e the, O
Lord, well to bethin% thesel(es what they say, and to !ind, that 9ne(er9 #annot be
predi#ated, when 9tie9 is not" This then that 'e is said 9ne(er to ha(e ade9; what
else is it to say, than 9in 7no ha(e ade&9 Let the see there!ore, that tie #annot be
without #reated being, and #ease to spea% that (anity" *ay they also be e-tended
towards those things whi#h are be!ore; and understand Thee be!ore all ties, the
eternal ;reator o! all ties, and that no ties be #oeternal with Thee, nor any
#reature, e(en i! there be any #reature be!ore all ties"
O Lord y God, what a depth is that re#ess o! Thy ysteries, and how !ar !ro it
ha(e the #onse5uen#es o! y transgressions #ast e6 'eal ine eyes, that ) ay share
the 2oy o! Thy light" ;ertainly, i! there be ind gi!ted with su#h (ast %nowledge and
!ore%nowledge, as to %now all things past and to #oe, as ) %now one well3%nown
,sal, truly that ind is passing wonder!ul, and !ear!ully aa<ing; in that nothing
past, nothing to #oe in a!ter3ages, is any ore hidden !ro hi, than when ) sung
that ,sal, was hidden !ro e what, and how u#h o! it had passed away !ro the
beginning, what, and how u#h there reained unto the end" 1ut !ar be it that Thou
the ;reator o! the :ni(erse, the ;reator o! souls and bodies, !ar be it, that Thou
shouldest in su#h wise %now all things past and to #oe" /ar, !ar ore wonder!ully,
and !ar ore ysteriously, dost Thou %now the" /or not, as the !eelings o! one who
singeth what he %noweth, or heareth soe well3%nown song, are through e-pe#tation
o! the words to #oe, and the reebering o! those that are past, (aried, and his
senses di(ided, 3not so doth any thing happen unto Thee, un#hangeably eternal, that
is, the eternal ;reator o! inds" Li%e then as Thou in the 1eginning %newest the
hea(en and the earth, without any (ariety o! Thy %nowledge, so adest Thou in the
1eginning hea(en and earth, without any distra#tion o! Thy a#tion" .hoso
understandeth, let hi #on!ess unto Thee; and whoso understandeth not, let hi
#on!ess unto Thee" Oh how high art Thou, and yet the huble in heart are Thy
dwelling3pla#e; !or Thou raisest up those that are bowed down, and they !all not,
whose ele(ation Thou art"
Boo "II
1OO? A))
*y heart, O Lord, tou#hed with the words o! Thy 'oly +#ripture, is u#h busied,
aid this po(erty o! y li!e" And there!ore ost ties, is the po(erty o! huan
understanding #opious in words, be#ause en5uiring hath ore to say than dis#o(ering,
and deanding is longer than obtaining, and our hand that %no#%s, hath ore wor% to
do, than our hand that re#ei(es" .e hold the proise, who shall a%e it null& )! God
be !or us, who #an be against us& As%, and ye shall ha(e; see%, and ye shall !ind;
%no#%, and it shall be opened unto you" /or e(ery one that as%eth, re#ei(eth; and he
that see%eth, !indeth; and to hi that %no#%eth, shall it be opened" These be Thine
own proises$ and who need !ear to be de#ei(ed, when the Truth proiseth&
The lowliness o! y tongue #on!esseth unto Thy 'ighness, that Thou adest hea(en
and earth; this hea(en whi#h ) see, and this earth that ) tread upon, when#e is this
earth that ) bear about e; Thou adest it" 1ut where is that hea(en o! hea(ens, O
Lord, whi#h we hear o! in the words o! the ,sal" The hea(en o! hea(ens are the
Lord7s; but the earth hath 'e gi(en to the #hildren o! en& .here is that hea(en
whi#h we see not, to whi#h all this whi#h we see is earth& /or this #orporeal whole,
not being wholly e(ery where, hath in su#h wise re#ei(ed its portion o! beauty in
these lower parts, whereo! the lowest is this our earth; but to that hea(en o! hea(ens,
e(en the hea(en o! our earth, is but earth$ yea both these great bodies, ay not
absurdly be #alled earth, to that un%nown hea(en, whi#h is the Lord7s, not the sons7 o!
en"
And now this earth was in(isible and without !or, and there was ) %now not what
depth o! abyss, upon whi#h there was no light, be#ause it had no shape" There!ore
didst Thou #oand it to be written, that dar%ness was upon the !a#e o! the deep;
what else than the absen#e o! light& /or had there been light, where should it ha(e
been but by being o(er all, alo!t, and enlightening& .here then light was not, what
was the presen#e o! dar%ness, but the absen#e o! light& Dar%ness there!ore was upon
it, be#ause light was not upon it; as where sound is not, there is silen#e" And what is it
to ha(e silen#e there, but to ha(e no sound there& 'ast not Thou, O Lord, taught his
soul, whi#h #on!esseth unto Thee& 'ast not Thou taught e, Lord, that be!ore Thou
!oredst and di(ersi!iedst this !orless atter, there was nothing, neither #olour, nor
!igure, nor body, nor spirit& and yet not altogether nothing; !or there was a #ertain
!orlessness, without any beauty"
'ow then should it be #alled, that it ight be in soe easure #on(eyed to those o!
duller ind, but by soe ordinary word& And what, aong all parts o! the world #an
be !ound nearer to an absolute !orlessness, than earth and deep& /or, o##upying the
lowest stage, they are less beauti!ul than the other higher parts are, transparent all and
shining" .here!ore then ay ) not #on#ei(e the !orlessness o! atter (whi#h Thou
hadst #reated without beauty, whereo! to a%e this beauti!ul world) to be suitably
intiated unto en, by the nae o! earth in(isible and without !or"
Boo "II
+o that when thought see%eth what the sense ay #on#ei(e under this, and saith to
itsel!, 9)t is no intelle#tual !or, as li!e, or 2usti#e; be#ause it is the atter o! bodies;
nor ob2e#t o! sense, be#ause being in(isible, and without !or, there was in it no
ob2e#t o! sight or sense9;3 while an7s thought thus saith to itsel!, it ay endea(our
either to %now it, by being ignorant o! it; or to be ignorant, by %nowing it"
1ut ), Lord, i! ) would, by y tongue and y pen, #on!ess unto Thee the whole,
whate(er Thysel! hath taught e o! that atter, 3the nae whereo! hearing be!ore,
and not understanding, when they who understood it not, told e o! it, so ) #on#ei(ed
o! it as ha(ing innuerable !ors and di(erse, and there!ore did not #on#ei(e it at all,
y ind tossed up and down !oul and horrible 9!ors9 out o! all order, but yet
9!ors9 and ) #alled it without !or not that it wanted all !or, but be#ause it had
su#h as y ind would, i! presented to it, turn !ro, as unwonted and 2arring, and
huan !railness would be troubled at" And still that whi#h ) #on#ei(ed, was without
!or, not as being depri(ed o! all !or, but in #oparison o! ore beauti!ul !ors;
and true reason did persuade e, that ) ust utterly un#ase it o! all renants o! !or
whatsoe(er, i! ) would #on#ei(e atter absolutely without !or; and ) #ould not; !or
sooner #ould ) iagine that not to be at all, whi#h should be depri(ed o! all !or, than
#on#ei(e a thing betwi-t !or and nothing, neither !ored, nor nothing, a !orless
alost nothing" +o y ind ga(e o(er to 5uestion thereupon with y spirit, it being
!illed with the iages o! !ored bodies, and #hanging and (arying the, as it willed;
and ) bent ysel! to the bodies thesel(es, and loo%ed ore deeply into their
#hangeableness, by whi#h they #ease to be what they ha(e been, and begin to be what
they were not; and this sae shi!ting !ro !or to !or, ) suspe#ted to be through a
#ertain !orless state, not through a ere nothing; yet this ) longed to %now, not to
suspe#t only"3)! then y (oi#e and pen would #on!ess unto Thee the whole,
whatsoe(er %nots Thou didst open !or e in this 5uestion, what reader would hold out
to ta%e in the whole& 8or shall y heart !or all this #ease to gi(e Thee honour, and a
song o! praise, !or those things whi#h it is not able to e-press" /or the #hangeableness
o! #hangeable things, is itsel! #apable o! all those !ors, into whi#h these #hangeable
things are #hanged" And this #hangeableness, what is it& )s it soul& )s it body& )s it that
whi#h #onstituteth soul or body& *ight one say, 9a nothing soething9, an 9is, is not,9
) would say, this were it$ and yet in soe way was it e(en then, as being #apable o!
re#ei(ing these (isible and #opound !igures"
1ut when#e had it this degree o! being, but !ro Thee, !ro .ho are all things, so
!ar !orth as they are& 1ut so u#h the !urther !ro Thee, as the unli%er Thee; !or it is
not !arness o! pla#e" Thou there!ore, Lord, .ho art not one in one pla#e, and
otherwise in another, but the +el!3sae, and the +el!3sae, and the +el!3sae, 'oly,
'oly, 'oly, Lord God Alighty, didst in the 1eginning, whi#h is o! Thee, in Thy
.isdo, whi#h was born o! Thine own +ubstan#e, #reate soething, and that out o!
nothing" /or Thou #reatedst hea(en and earth; not out o! Thysel!, !or so should they
ha(e been e5ual to Thine Only 1egotten +on, and thereby to Thee also; whereas no
way were it right that aught should be e5ual to Thee, whi#h was not o! Thee" And
aught else besides Thee was there not, whereo! Thou ightest #reate the, O God,
One Trinity, and Trine :nity; and there!ore out o! nothing didst Thou #reate hea(en
and earth; a great thing, and a sall thing; !or Thou art Alighty and Good, to a%e
all things good, e(en the great hea(en, and the petty earth" Thou wert, and nothing
was there besides, out o! whi#h Thou #reatedst hea(en and earth; things o! two sorts;
Boo "II
one near Thee, the other near to nothing; one to whi#h Thou alone shouldest be
superior; the other, to whi#h nothing should be in!erior"
1ut that hea(en o! hea(ens was !or Thysel!, O Lord; but the earth whi#h Thou ga(est
to the sons o! en, to be seen and !elt, was not su#h as we now see and !eel" /or it
was in(isible, without !or, and there was a deep, upon whi#h there was no light; or,
dar%ness was abo(e the deep, that is, ore than in the deep" 1e#ause this deep o!
waters, (isible now, hath e(en in his depths, a light proper !or its nature; per#ei(able
in whate(er degree unto the !ishes, and #reeping things in the botto o! it" 1ut that
whole deep was alost nothing, be#ause hitherto it was altogether without !or; yet
there was already that whi#h #ould be !ored" /or Thou, Lord, adest the world o! a
atter without !or, whi#h out o! nothing, Thou adest ne-t to nothing, thereo! to
a%e those great things, whi#h we sons o! en wonder at" /or (ery wonder!ul is this
#orporeal hea(en; o! whi#h !iraent between water and water, the se#ond day, a!ter
the #reation o! light, Thou saidst, Let it be ade, and it was ade" .hi#h !iraent
Thou #alledst hea(en; the hea(en, that is, to this earth and sea, whi#h Thou adest the
third day, by gi(ing a (isible !igure to the !orless atter, whi#h Thou adest be!ore
all days" /or already hadst Thou ade both an hea(en, be!ore all days; but that was
the hea(en o! this hea(en; be#ause )n the beginning Thou hadst ade hea(en and
earth" 1ut this sae earth whi#h Thou adest was !orless atter, be#ause it was
in(isible and without !or, and dar%ness was upon the deep, o! whi#h in(isible earth
and without !or, o! whi#h !orlessness, o! whi#h alost nothing, Thou ightest
a%e all these things o! whi#h this #hangeable world #onsists, but subsists not; whose
(ery #hangeableness appears therein, that ties #an be obser(ed and nubered in it"
/or ties are ade by the alterations o! things, while the !igures, the atter whereo!
is the in(isible earth a!oresaid, are (aried and turned"
And there!ore the +pirit, the Tea#her o! Thy ser(ant, when )t re#ounts Thee to ha(e )n
the 1eginning #reated hea(en and earth, spea%s nothing o! ties, nothing o! days" /or
(erily that hea(en o! hea(ens whi#h Thou #reatedst in the 1eginning, is soe
intelle#tual #reature, whi#h, although no ways #oeternal unto Thee, the Trinity, yet
parta%eth o! Thy eternity, and doth through the sweetness o! that ost happy
#onteplation o! Thysel!, strongly restrain its own #hangeableness; and without any
!all sin#e its !irst #reation, #lea(ing #lose unto Thee, is pla#ed beyond all the rolling
(i#issitude o! ties" 4ea, neither is this (ery !orlessness o! the earth, in(isible, and
without !or, nubered aong the days" /or where no !igure nor order is, there does
nothing #oe, or go; and where this is not, there plainly are no days, nor any
(i#issitude o! spa#es o! ties"
O let the Light, the Truth, the Light o! y heart, not ine own dar%ness, spea% unto
e" ) !ell o!! into that, and be#ae dar%ened; but e(en then#e, e(en then#e ) lo(ed
Thee" ) went astray, and reebered Thee" ) heard Thy (oi#e behind e, #alling to
e to return, and s#ar#ely heard it, through the tuultuousness o! the eneies o!
pea#e" And now, behold, ) return in distress and panting a!ter Thy !ountain" Let no
an !orbid e6 o! this will ) drin%, and so li(e" Let e not be ine own li!e; !ro
ysel! ) li(ed ill, death was ) to ysel!; and ) re(i(e in Thee" Do Thou spea% unto e,
do Thou dis#ourse unto e" ) ha(e belie(ed Thy 1oo%s, and their words be ost !ull
o! ystery"
Boo "II
Already Thou hast told e with a strong (oi#e, O Lord, in y inner ear, that Thou art
eternal, .ho only hast iortality; sin#e Thou #anst not be #hanged as to !igure or
otion, nor is Thy will altered by ties$ seeing no will whi#h (aries is iortal" This
is in Thy sight #lear to e, and let it be ore and ore #leared to e, ) besee#h Thee;
and in the ani!estation thereo!, let e with sobriety abide under Thy wings" Thou
hast told e also with a strong (oi#e, O Lord, in y inner ear, that Thou hast ade all
natures and substan#es, whi#h are not what Thysel! is, and yet are; and that only is not
!ro Thee, whi#h is not, and the otion o! the will !ro Thee who art, unto that
whi#h in a less degree is, be#ause su#h otion is transgression and sin; and that no
an7s sin doth either hurt Thee, or disturb the order o! Thy go(ernent, !irst or last"
This is in Thy sight #lear unto e, and let it be ore and ore #leared to e, )
besee#h Thee$ and in the ani!estation thereo!, let e with sobriety abide under Thy
wings"
Thou hast told e also with a strong (oi#e, in y inner ear, that neither is that
#reature #oeternal unto Thysel!, whose happiness Thou only art, and whi#h with a
ost perse(ering purity, drawing its nourishent !ro Thee, doth in no pla#e and at
no tie put !orth its natural utability; and, Thysel! being e(er present with it, unto
.ho with its whole a!!e#tion it %eeps itsel!, ha(ing neither !uture to e-pe#t, nor
#on(eying into the past what it reebereth, is neither altered by any #hange, nor
distra#ted into any ties" O blessed #reature, i! su#h there be, !or #lea(ing unto Thy
1lessedness; blest in Thee, its eternal )nhabitant and its 0nlightener6 8or do ) !ind by
what nae ) ay the rather #all the hea(en o! hea(ens whi#h is the Lord7s, than Thine
house, whi#h #onteplateth Thy delights without any de!e#tion o! going !orth to
another; one pure ind, ost haroniously one, by that settled estate o! pea#e o! holy
spirits, the #iti<ens o! Thy #ity in hea(enly pla#es; !ar abo(e those hea(enly pla#es
that we see"
1y this ay the soul, whose pilgriage is ade long and !ar away, by this ay she
understand, i! she now thirsts !or Thee, i! her tears be now be#oe her bread, while
they daily say unto her, .here is Thy God& i! she now see%s o! Thee one thing, and
desireth it, that she ay dwell in Thy house all the days o! her li!e (and what is her
li!e, but Thou& and what Thy days, but Thy eternity, as Thy years whi#h !ail not,
be#ause Thou art e(er the sae&); by this then ay the soul that is able, understand
how !ar Thou art, abo(e all ties, eternal; seeing Thy house whi#h at no tie went
into a !ar #ountry, although it be not #oeternal with Thee, yet by #ontinually and
un!ailingly #lea(ing unto Thee, su!!ers no #hangeableness o! ties" This is in Thy
sight #lear unto e, and let it be ore and ore #leared unto e, ) besee#h Thee, and
in the ani!estation thereo!, let e with sobriety abide under Thy wings"
There is, behold, ) %now not what !orlessness in those #hanges o! these last and
lowest #reatures; and who shall tell e (unless su#h a one as through the eptiness o!
his own heart, wonders and tosses hisel! up and down aid his own !an#ies&), who
but su#h a one would tell e, that i! all !igure be so wasted and #onsued away, that
there should only reain that !orlessness, through whi#h the thing was #hanged and
turned !ro one !igure to another, that that #ould e-hibit the (i#issitudes o! ties& /or
plainly it #ould not, be#ause, without the (ariety o! otions, there are no ties$ and
no (ariety, where there is no !igure"
Boo "II
These things #onsidered, as u#h as Thou gi(est, O y God, as u#h as Thou stirrest
e up to %no#%, and as u#h as Thou openest to e %no#%ing, two things ) !ind that
Thou hast ade, not within the #opass o! tie, neither o! whi#h is #oeternal with
Thee" One, whi#h is so !ored, that without any #easing o! #onteplation, without
any inter(al o! #hange, though #hangeable, yet not #hanged, it ay thoroughly en2oy
Thy eternity and un#hangeableness; the other whi#h was so !orless, that it had not
that, whi#h #ould be #hanged !ro one !or into another, whether o! otion, or o!
repose, so as to be#oe sub2e#t unto tie" 1ut this Thou didst not lea(e thus !orless,
be#ause be!ore all days, Thou in the 1eginning didst #reate 'ea(en and 0arth; the two
things that ) spa%e o!" 1ut the 0arth was in(isible and without !or, and dar%ness was
upon the deep" )n whi#h words, is the !orlessness #on(eyed unto us (that su#h
#apa#ities ay hereby be drawn on by degrees, as are not able to #on#ei(e an utter
pri(ation o! all !or, without yet #oing to nothing), out o! whi#h another 'ea(en
ight be #reated, together with a (isible and well3!ored earth$ and the waters
di(ersly ordered, and whatsoe(er !urther is in the !oration o! the world, re#orded to
ha(e been, not without days, #reated; and that, as being o! su#h nature, that the
su##essi(e #hanges o! ties ay ta%e pla#e in the, as being sub2e#t to appointed
alterations o! otions and o! !ors"
This then is what ) #on#ei(e, O y God, when ) hear Thy +#ripture saying, )n the
beginning God ade 'ea(en and 0arth$ and the 0arth was in(isible and without !or,
and dar%ness was upon the deep, and not entioning what day Thou #reatedst the;
this is what ) #on#ei(e, that be#ause o! the 'ea(en o! hea(ens, 3that intelle#tual
'ea(en, whose )ntelligen#es %now all at on#e, not in part, not dar%ly, not through a
glass, but as a whole, in ani!estation, !a#e to !a#e; not, this thing now, and that thing
anon; but (as ) said) %now all at on#e, without any su##ession o! ties; 3and be#ause
o! the earth in(isible and without !or, without any su##ession o! ties, whi#h
su##ession presents 9this thing now, that thing anon9; be#ause where is no !or, there
is no distin#tion o! things$ 3it is, then, on a##ount o! these two, a priiti(e !ored,
and a priiti(e !orless; the one, hea(en but the 'ea(en o! hea(en, the other earth
but the earth in(isible and without !or; be#ause o! these two do ) #on#ei(e, did Thy
+#ripture say without ention o! days, )n the 1eginning God #reated 'ea(en and
0arth" /or !orthwith it sub2oined what earth it spa%e o!; and also, in that the
/iraent is re#orded to be #reated the se#ond day, and #alled 'ea(en, it #on(eys to
us o! whi#h 'ea(en 'e be!ore spa%e, without ention o! days"
.ondrous depth o! Thy words6 whose sur!a#e, behold6 is be!ore us, in(iting to little
ones; yet are they a wondrous depth" O y God, a wondrous depth6 )t is aw!ul to loo%
therein; an aw!ulness o! honour, and a trebling o! lo(e" The eneies thereo! ) hate
(eheently; oh that Thou wouldest slay the with Thy two3edged sword, that they
ight no longer be eneies unto it$ !or so do ) lo(e to ha(e the slain unto
thesel(es, that they ay li(e unto Thee" 1ut behold others not !ault!inders, but
e-tollers o! the boo% o! Genesis; 9The +pirit o! God,9 say they, 9.ho by 'is ser(ant
*oses wrote these things, would not ha(e those words thus understood; 'e would not
ha(e it understood, as thou sayest, but otherwise, as we say"9 :nto .ho Thysel!, O
Thou God all, being 2udge, do ) thus answer"
9.ill you a!!ir that to be !alse, whi#h with a strong (oi#e Truth tells e in y inner
ear, #on#erning the 0ternity o! the ;reator, that 'is substan#e is no ways #hanged by
tie, nor 'is will separate !ro 'is substan#e& .here!ore 'e willeth not one thing
Boo "II
now, another anon, but on#e, and at on#e, and always, 'e willeth all things that 'e
willeth; not again and again, nor now this, now that; nor willeth a!terwards, what
be!ore 'e willed not, nor willeth not, what be!ore 'e willed; be#ause su#h a will is
and no utable thing is eternal$ but our God is eternal" Again, what 'e tells e in y
inner ear, the e-pe#tation o! things to #oe be#oes sight, when they are #oe, and
this sae sight be#oes eory, when they be past" 8ow all thought whi#h thus
(aries is utable; and is eternal$ but our God is eternal"9 These things ) in!er, and put
together, and !ind that y God, the eternal God, hath not upon any new will ade any
#reature, nor doth 'is %nowledge adit o! any thing transitory" 9.hat will ye say
then, O ye gainsayers& Are these things !alse&9 98o,9 they say; 9.hat then& )s it !alse,
that e(ery nature already !ored, or atter #apable o! !or, is not, but !ro 'i
.ho is supreely good, be#ause 'e is supreely&9 98either do we deny this,9 say
they" 9.hat then& do you deny this, that there is a #ertain sublie #reature, with so
#haste a lo(e #lea(ing unto the true and truly eternal God, that although not #oeternal
with 'i, yet is it not deta#hed !ro 'i, nor dissol(ed into the (ariety and
(i#issitude o! ties, but reposeth in the ost true #onteplation o! 'i only&9
1e#ause Thou, O God, unto hi that lo(eth Thee so u#h as Thou #oandest, dost
show Thysel!, and su!!i#est hi; and there!ore doth he not de#line !ro Thee, nor
toward hisel!" This is the house o! God, not o! earthly ould, nor o! #elestial bul%
#orporeal but spiritual, and parta%er o! Thy eternity, be#ause without de!e#tion !or
e(er" /or Thou hast ade it !ast !or e(er and e(er, Thou hast gi(en it a law whi#h it
shall not pass" 8or yet is it #oeternal with Thee, O God, be#ause not without
beginning; !or it was ade"
/or although we !ind no tie be!ore it, !or wisdo was #reated be!ore all things; not
that .isdo whi#h is altogether e5ual and #oeternal unto Thee, our God, 'is /ather,
and by .ho all things were #reated, and in .ho, as the 1eginning, Thou #reatedst
hea(en and earth; but that wisdo whi#h is #reated, that is, the intelle#tual nature,
whi#h by #onteplating the light, is light" /or this, though #reated, is also #alled
wisdo" 1ut what di!!eren#e there is betwi-t the Light whi#h enlighteneth, and whi#h
is enlightened, so u#h is there betwi-t the .isdo that #reateth, and that #reated; as
betwi-t the @ighteousness whi#h 2usti!ieth, and the righteousness whi#h is ade by
2usti!i#ation" /or we also are #alled Thy righteousness; !or so saith a #ertain ser(ant o!
Thine, That we ight be ade the righteousness o! God in 'i" There!ore sin#e a
#ertain #reated wisdo was #reated be!ore all things, the rational and intelle#tual
ind o! that #haste #ity o! Thine, our other whi#h is abo(e, and is !ree and eternal in
the hea(ens (in what hea(ens, i! not in those that praise Thee, the 'ea(en o! hea(ens&
1e#ause this is also the 'ea(en o! hea(ens !or the Lord); 3though we !ind no tie
be!ore it (be#ause that whi#h hath been #reated be!ore all things, pre#edeth also the
#reature o! tie), yet is the 0ternity o! the ;reator 'isel! be!ore it, !ro .ho,
being #reated, it too% the beginning, not indeed o! tie (!or tie itsel! was not yet),
but o! its #reation"
'en#e it is so o! Thee, our God, as to be altogether other than Thou, and not the +el!3
sae$ be#ause though we !ind tie neither be!ore it, nor e(en in it (it being eet e(er
to behold Thy !a#e, nor is e(er drawn away !ro it, where!ore it is not (aried by any
#hange), yet is there in it a liability to #hange, when#e it would wa- dar%, and #hill,
but that by a strong a!!e#tion #lea(ing unto Thee, li%e perpetual noon, it shineth and
gloweth !ro Thee" O house ost lightsoe and delightsoe6 ) ha(e lo(ed thy
beauty, and the pla#e o! the habitation o! the glory o! y Lord, thy builder and
Boo "II
possessor" Let y way!aring sigh a!ter thee, and ) say to 'i that ade thee, let 'i
ta%e possession o! e also in thee, seeing 'e hath ade e li%ewise" ) ha(e gone
astray li%e a lost sheep$ yet upon the shoulders o! y +hepherd, thy builder, hope ) to
be brought ba#% to thee"
9.hat say ye to e, O ye gainsayers that ) was spea%ing unto, who yet belie(e *oses
to ha(e been the holy ser(ant o! God, and his boo%s the ora#les o! the 'oly Ghost& )s
not this house o! God, not #oeternal indeed with God, yet a!ter its easure, eternal in
the hea(ens, when you see% !or #hanges o! ties in (ain, be#ause you will not !ind
the& /or that, to whi#h it is e(er good to #lea(e !ast to God, surpasses all e-tension,
and all re(ol(ing periods o! tie"9 9)t is,9 say they" 9.hat then o! all that whi#h y
heart loudly uttered unto y God, when inwardly it heard the (oi#e o! 'is praise,
what part thereo! do you a!!ir to be !alse& )s it that the atter was without !or, in
whi#h be#ause there was no !or, there was no order& 1ut where no order was, there
#ould be no (i#issitude o! ties$ and yet this alost nothing,7 inasu#h as it was not
altogether nothing, was !ro 'i #ertainly, !ro .ho is whatsoe(er is, in what
degree soe(er it is"9 9This also,9 say they, 9do we not deny"9
.ith these ) now parley a little in Thy presen#e, O y God, who grant all these things
to be true, whi#h Thy Truth whispers unto y soul" /or those who deny these things,
let the bar% and dea!en thesel(es as u#h as they please; ) will essay to persuade
the to 5uiet, and to open in the a way !or Thy word" 1ut i! they re!use, and repel
e; ) besee#h, O y God, be not Thou silent to e" +pea% Thou truly in y heart; !or
only Thou so spea%est$ and ) will let the alone blowing upon the dust without, and
raising it up into their own eyes$ and ysel! will enter y #haber, and sing there a
song o! lo(es unto Thee; groaning with groanings unutterable, in y way!aring, and
reebering =erusale, with heart li!ted up towards it, =erusale y #ountry,
=erusale y other, and Thysel! that rulest o(er it, the 0nlightener, /ather,
Guardian, 'usband, the pure and strong delight, and solid 2oy, and all good things
unspea%able, yea all at on#e, be#ause the One +o(ereign and true Good" 8or will ) be
turned away, until Thou gather all that ) a, !ro this dispersed and disordered estate,
into the pea#e o! that our ost dear other, where the !irst3!ruits o! y spirit be
already (when#e ) a as#ertained o! these things), and Thou #on!or and #on!ir it
!or e(er, O y God, y *er#y" 1ut those who do not a!!ir all these truths to be
!alse, who honour Thy holy +#ripture, set !orth by holy *oses, pla#ing it, as we, on
the suit o! authority to be !ollowed, and do yet #ontradi#t e in soe thing, )
answer thus; 1y Thysel! 2udge, O our God, between y ;on!essions and these en7s
#ontradi#tions"
/or they say, 9Though these things be true, yet did not *oses intend those two, when,
by re(elation o! the +pirit, he said, )n the beginning God #reated hea(en and earth" 'e
did not under the nae o! hea(en, signi!y that spiritual or intelle#tual #reature whi#h
always beholds the !a#e o! God; nor under the nae o! earth, that !orless atter"9
9.hat then&9 9That an o! God,9 say they, 9eant as we say, this de#lared he by
those words"9 9.hat&9 91y the nae o! hea(en and earth would he !irst signi!y,9 say
they, 9uni(ersally and #opendiously, all this (isible world; so as a!terwards by the
enueration o! the se(eral days, to arrange in detail, and, as it were, pie#e by pie#e,
all those things, whi#h it pleased the 'oly Ghost thus to enoun#e" /or su#h were that
rude and #arnal people to whi#h he spa%e, that he thought the !it to be entrusted with
the %nowledge o! su#h wor%s o! God only as were (isible"9 They agree, howe(er, that
Boo "II
under the words earth in(isible and without !or, and that dar%soe deep (out o!
whi#h it is subse5uently shown, that all these (isible things whi#h we all %now, were
ade and arranged during those 9days9) ay, not in#ongruously, be understood o! this
!orless !irst atter"
.hat now i! another should say that 9this sae !orlessness and #on!usedness o!
atter, was !or this reason !irst #on(eyed under the nae o! hea(en and earth,
be#ause out o! it was this (isible world with all those natures whi#h ost ani!estly
appear in it, whi#h is o!tties #alled by the nae o! hea(en and earth, #reated and
per!e#ted&9 .hat again i! another say that 9in(isible and (isible nature is not indeed
inappropriately #alled hea(en and earth; and so, that the uni(ersal #reation, whi#h
God ade in 'is .isdo, that is, in the 1eginning, was #oprehended under those
two words& 8otwithstanding, sin#e all things be ade not o! the substan#e o! God,
but out o! nothing (be#ause they are not the sae that God is, and there is a utable
nature in the all, whether they abide, as doth the eternal house o! God, or be
#hanged, as the soul and body o! an are)$ there!ore the #oon atter o! all things
(isible and in(isible (as yet un!ored though #apable o! !or), out o! whi#h was to be
#reated both hea(en and earth (i" the in(isible and (isible #reature when !ored), was
entitled by the sae naes gi(en to the earth in(isible and without !or and the
dar%ness upon the deep, but with this distin#tion, that by the earth in(isible and
without !or is understood #orporeal atter, ante#edent to its being 5uali!ied by any
!or; and by the dar%ness upon the deep, spiritual atter, be!ore it underwent any
restraint o! its unliited !luidness, or re#ei(ed any light !ro .isdo&9
)t yet reains !or a an to say, i! he will, that 9the already per!e#ted and !ored
natures, (isible and in(isible, are not signi!ied under the nae o! hea(en and earth,
when we read, )n the beginning God ade hea(en and earth, but that the yet
un!ored #oen#eent o! things, the stu!! apt to re#ei(e !or and a%ing, was
#alled by these naes, be#ause therein were #on!usedly #ontained, not as yet
distinguished by their 5ualities and !ors, all those things whi#h being now digested
into order, are #alled 'ea(en and 0arth, the one being the spiritual, the other the
#orporeal, #reation"9
All whi#h things being heard and well #onsidered, ) will not stri(e about words$ !or
that is pro!itable to nothing, but the sub(ersion o! the hearers" 1ut the law is good to
edi!y, i! a an use it law!ully$ !or that the end o! it is #harity, out o! a pure heart and
good #ons#ien#e, and !aith un!eigned" And well did our *aster %now, upon whi#h two
#oandents 'e hung all the Law and the ,rophets" And what doth it pre2udi#e e,
O y God, Thou light o! y eyes in se#ret, <ealously #on!essing these things, sin#e
di(ers things ay be understood under these words whi#h yet are all true, 3what, ) say,
doth it pre2udi#e e, i! ) thin% otherwise than another thin%eth the writer thought& All
we readers (erily stri(e to tra#e out and to understand his eaning who we read;
and seeing we belie(e hi to spea% truly, we dare not iagine hi to ha(e said any
thing, whi#h oursel(es either %now or thin% to be !alse" .hile e(ery an endea(ours
then to understand in the 'oly +#riptures, the sae as the writer understood, what
hurt is it, i! a an understand what Thou, the light o! all true3spea%ing inds, dost
show hi to be true, although he who he reads, understood not this, seeing he also
understood a Truth, though not this truth&
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/or true it is, O Lord, that Thou adest hea(en and earth; and it is true too, that the
1eginning is Thy .isdo, in .hi#h Thou #reatest all$ and true again, that this (isible
world hath !or its greater part the hea(en and the earth, whi#h brie!ly #oprise all
ade and #reated natures" And true too, that whatsoe(er is utable, gi(es us to
understand a #ertain want o! !or, whereby it re#ei(eth a !or, or is #hanged, or
turned" )t is true, that that is sub2e#t to no ties, whi#h so #lea(eth to the
un#hangeable /or, as though sub2e#t to #hange, ne(er to be #hanged" )t is true, that
that !orlessness whi#h is alost nothing, #annot be sub2e#t to the alteration o! ties"
)t is true, that that whereo! a thing is ade, ay by a #ertain ode o! spee#h, be
#alled by the nae o! the thing ade o! it; when#e that !orlessness, whereo! hea(en
and earth were ade, ight be #alled hea(en and earth" )t is true, that o! things ha(ing
!or, there is not any nearer to ha(ing no !or, than the earth and the deep" )t is true,
that not only e(ery #reated and !ored thing, but whatsoe(er is #apable o! being
#reated and !ored, Thou adest, o! .ho are all things" )t is true, that whatsoe(er
is !ored out o! that whi#h had no !or, was un!ored be!ore it was !ored"
Out o! these truths, o! whi#h they doubt not whose inward eye Thou hast enabled to
see su#h things, and who unsha%enly belie(e Thy ser(ant *oses to ha(e spo%en in the
+pirit o! truth; 3o! all these then, he ta%eth one, who saith, )n the 1eginning God ade
the hea(en and the earth; that is, 9in 'is .ord #oeternal with 'isel!, God ade the
intelligible and the sensible, or the spiritual and the #orporeal #reature"9 'e another,
that saith, )n the 1eginning God ade hea(en and earth; that is, 9in 'is .ord
#oeternal with 'isel!, did God a%e the uni(ersal bul% o! this #orporeal world,
together with all those apparent and %nown #reatures, whi#h it #ontaineth"9 'e
another, that saith, )n the 1eginning God ade hea(en and earth; that is, 9in 'is .ord
#oeternal with 'isel!, did God a%e the !orless atter o! #reatures spiritual and
#orporeal"9 'e another, that saith, )n the 1eginning God #reated hea(en and earth; that
is, 9in 'is .ord #oeternal with 'isel!, did God #reate the !orless atter o! the
#reature #orporeal, wherein hea(en and earth lay as yet #on!used, whi#h, being now
distinguished and !ored, we at this day see in the bul% o! this world"9 'e another,
who saith, )n the 1eginning God ade hea(en and earth; that is, 9in the (ery
beginning o! #reating and wor%ing, did God a%e that !orless atter, #on!usedly
#ontaining in itsel! both hea(en and earth; out o! whi#h, being !ored, do they now
stand out, and are apparent, with all that is in the"9
And with regard to the understanding o! the words !ollowing, out o! all those truths,
he #hooses one to hisel!, who saith, 1ut the earth was in(isible, and without !or,
and dar%ness was upon the deep; that is, 9that #orporeal thing that God ade, was as
yet a !orless atter o! #orporeal things, without order, without light" 9 Another he
who says, The earth was in(isible and without !or, and dar%ness was upon the deep;
that is, 9this all, whi#h is #alled hea(en and earth, was still a !orless and dar%soe
atter, o! whi#h the #orporeal hea(en and the #orporeal earth were to be ade, with
all things in the, whi#h are %nown to our #orporeal senses"9 Another he who says,
The earth was in(isible and without !or, and dar%ness was upon the deep; that is,
9this all, whi#h is #alled hea(en and earth, was still a !orless and a dar%soe atter;
out o! whi#h was to be ade, both that intelligible hea(en, otherwhere #alled the
'ea(en o! hea(ens, and the earth, that is, the whole #orporeal nature, under whi#h
nae is #oprised this #orporeal hea(en also; in a word, out o! whi#h e(ery (isible
and in(isible #reature was to be #reated"9 Another he who says, The earth was
in(isible and without !or, and dar%ness was upon the deep, 9the +#ripture did not
Boo "II
#all that !orlessness by the nae o! hea(en and earth; but that !orlessness, saith
he, already was, whi#h he #alled the earth in(isible without !or, and dar%ness upon
the deep; o! whi#h he had be!ore said, that God had ade hea(en and earth, naely,
the spiritual and #orporeal #reature"9 Another he who says, The earth was in(isible
and without !or, and dar%ness was upon the deep; that is, 9there already was a
#ertain !orless atter, o! whi#h the +#ripture said be!ore, that God ade hea(en and
earth; naely, the whole #orporeal bul% o! the world, di(ided into two great parts,
upper and lower, with all the #oon and %nown #reatures in the"9
/or should any attept to dispute against these two last opinions, thus, 9)! you will
not allow, that this !orlessness o! atter sees to be #alled by the nae o! hea(en
and earth; 0rgo, there was soething whi#h God had not ade, out o! whi#h to a%e
hea(en and earth; !or neither hath +#ripture told us, that God ade this atter, unless
we understand it to be signi!ied by the nae o! hea(en and earth, or o! earth alone,
when it is said, )n the 1eginning God ade the hea(en and earth; that so in what
!ollows, and the earth was in(isible and without !or (although it pleased 'i so to
#all the !orless atter), we are to understand no other atter, but that whi#h God
ade, whereo! is written abo(e, God ade hea(en and earth"9 The aintainers o!
either o! those two latter opinions will, upon hearing this, return !or answer, 9we do
not deny this !orless atter to be indeed #reated by God, that God o! .ho are all
things, (ery good; !or as we a!!ir that to be a greater good, whi#h is #reated and
!ored, so we #on!ess that to be a lesser good whi#h is ade #apable o! #reation and
!or, yet still good" .e say howe(er that +#ripture hath not set down, that God ade
this !orlessness, as also it hath not any others; as the ;herubi, and +eraphi, and
those whi#h the Apostle distin#tly spea%s o!, Thrones, Doinions, ,rin#ipalities,
,owers" All whi#h that God ade, is ost apparent" Or i! in that whi#h is said, 'e
ade hea(en and earth, all things be #oprehended, what shall we say o! the waters,
upon whi#h the +pirit o! God o(ed& /or i! they be #oprised in this word earth;
how then #an !orless atter be eant in that nae o! earth, when we see the waters
so beauti!ul& Or i! it be so ta%en; why then is it written, that out o! the sae
!orlessness, the !iraent was ade, and #alled hea(en; and that the waters were
ade, is not written& /or the waters reain not !orless and in(isible, seeing we
behold the !lowing in so #oely a anner" 1ut i! they then re#ei(ed that beauty,
when God said, Let the waters under the !iraent be gathered together, that so the
gathering together be itsel! the !oring o! the; what will be said as to those waters
abo(e the !iraent& +eeing neither i! !orless would they ha(e been worthy o! so
honourable a seat, nor is it written, by what word they were !ored" )! then Genesis is
silent as to God7s a%ing o! any thing, whi#h yet that God did a%e neither sound
!aith nor well3grounded understanding doubteth, nor again will any sober tea#hing
dare to a!!ir these waters to be #oeternal with God, on the ground that we !ind the
to be entioned in the hoo% o! Genesis, but when they were #reated, we do not !ind;
why (seeing truth tea#hes us) should we not understand that !orless atter (whi#h
this +#ripture #alls the earth in(isible and without !or, and dar%soe deep) to ha(e
been #reated o! God out o! nothing, and there!ore not to be #oeternal to 'i;
notwithstanding this history hath oitted to show when it was #reated&9
These things then being heard and per#ei(ed, a##ording to the wea%ness o! y
#apa#ity (whi#h ) #on!ess unto Thee, O Lord, that %nowest it), two sorts o!
disagreeents ) see ay arise, when a thing is in words related by true reporters; one,
#on#erning the truth o! the things, the other, #on#erning the eaning o! the relater" /or
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we en5uire one way about the a%ing o! the #reature, what is true; another way, what
*oses, that e-#ellent inister o! Thy /aith, would ha(e his reader and hearer
understand by those words" /or the !irst sort, away with all those who iagine
thesel(es to %now as a truth, what is !alse; and !or this other, away with all the
too, whi#h iagine *oses to ha(e written things that be !alse" 1ut let e be united in
Thee, O Lord, with those and delight ysel! in Thee, with the that !eed on Thy
truth, in the largeness o! #harity, and let us approa#h together unto the words o! Thy
boo%, and see% in the !or Thy eaning, through the eaning o! Thy ser(ant, by
whose pen Thou hast dispensed the"
1ut whi#h o! us shall, aong those so any truths, whi#h o##ur to en5uirers in those
words, as they are di!!erently understood, so dis#o(er that one eaning, as to a!!ir,
9this *oses thought,9 and 9this would he ha(e understood in that history9; with the
sae #on!iden#e as he would, 9this is true,9 whether *oses thought this or that& /or
behold, O y God, ) Thy ser(ant, who ha(e in this boo% (owed a sa#ri!i#e o!
#on!ession unto Thee, and pray, that by Thy er#y ) ay pay y (ows unto Thee, #an
), with the sae #on!iden#e wherewith ) a!!ir, that in Thy in#outable world Thou
#reatedst all things (isible and in(isible, a!!ir also, that *oses eant no other than
this, when he wrote, )n the 1eginning God ade hea(en and earth& 8o" 1e#ause ) see
not in his ind, that he thought o! this when he wrote these things, as ) do see it in
Thy truth to be #ertain" /or he ight ha(e his thoughts upon God7s #oen#eent o!
#reating, when he said )n the beginning; and by hea(en and earth, in this pla#e he
ight intend no !ored and per!e#ted nature whether spiritual or #orporeal, but both
o! the in#hoate and as yet !orless" /or ) per#ei(e, that whi#hsoe(er o! the two had
been said, it ight ha(e been truly said; but whi#h o! the two he thought o! in these
words, ) do not so per#ei(e" Although, whether it were either o! these, or any sense
beside (that ) ha(e not here entioned), whi#h this so great an saw in his ind,
when he uttered these words, ) doubt not but that he saw it truly, and e-pressed it
aptly"
Let no an harass e then, by saying, *oses thought not as you say, but as ) say$ !or
i! he should as% e, 9'ow %now you that *oses thought that whi#h you in!er out o!
his words&9 ) ought to ta%e it in good part, and would answer per#han#e as ) ha(e
abo(e, or soething ore at large, i! he were unyielding" 1ut when he saith, 9*oses
eant not what you say, but what ) say,9 yet denieth not that what ea#h o! us say, ay
both be true, O y God, li!e o! the poor, in .hose boso is no #ontradi#tion, pour
down a so!tening dew into y heart, that ) ay patiently bear with su#h as say this to
e, not be#ause they ha(e a di(ine +pirit, and ha(e seen in the heart o! Thy ser(ant
what they spea%, but be#ause they be proud; not %nowing *oses7 opinion, but lo(ing
their own, not be#ause it is truth, but be#ause it is theirs" Otherwise they would
e5ually lo(e another true opinion, as ) lo(e what they say, when they say true$ not
be#ause it is theirs, but be#ause it is true; and on that (ery ground not theirs be#ause it
is true" 1ut i! they there!ore lo(e it, be#ause it is true, then is it both theirs, and ine;
as being in #oon to all lo(ers o! truth" 1ut whereas they #ontend that *oses did
not ean what ) say, but what they say, this ) li%e not, lo(e not$ !or though it were so,
yet that their rashness belongs not to %nowledge, but to o(erboldness, and not insight
but (anity was its parent" And there!ore, O Lord, are Thy 2udgeents terrible; seeing
Thy truth is neither ine, nor his, nor another7s; but belonging to us all, who Thou
#allest publi#ly to parta%e o! it, warning us terribly, not to a##ount it pri(ate to
oursel(es, lest we he depri(ed o! it" /or whosoe(er #hallenges that as proper to
Boo "II
hisel!, whi#h Thou propoundest to all to en2oy, and would ha(e that his own whi#h
belongs to all, is dri(en !ro what is in #oon to his own; that is, !ro truth, to a
lie" /or he that spea%eth a lie, spea%eth it o! his own"
'ear%en, O God, Thou best 2udge; Truth )tsel!, hear%en to what ) shall say to this
gainsayer, hear%en, !or be!ore Thee do ) spea%, and be!ore y brethren, who eploy
Thy law law!ully, to the end o! #harity$ hear%en and behold, i! it please Thee, what )
shall say to hi" /or this brotherly and pea#e!ul word do ) return unto 'i$ 9)! we
both see that to be true that Thou sayest, and both see that to be true that ) say, where,
) pray Thee, do we see it& 8either ) in thee, nor thou in e; but both in the
un#hangeable Truth itsel!, whi#h is abo(e our souls"9 +eeing then we stri(e not about
the (ery light o! the Lord God, why stri(e we about the thoughts o! our neighbour
whi#h we #annot so see, as the un#hangeable Truth is seen$ !or that, i! *oses hisel!
had appeared to us and said, 9This ) eant9; neither so should we see it, but should
belie(e it" Let us not then be pu!!ed up !or one against another, abo(e that whi#h is
written$ let us lo(e the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all
our ind$ and our neighbour as oursel!" .ith a (iew to whi#h two pre#epts o! #harity,
unless we belie(e that *oses eant, whatsoe(er in those boo%s he did ean, we shall
a%e God a liar, iagining otherwise o! our !ellow ser(ant7s ind, than he hath
taught us" 1ehold now, how !oolish it is, in su#h abundan#e o! ost true eanings, as
ay be e-tra#ted out o! those words, rashly to a!!ir, whi#h o! the *oses
prin#ipally eant; and with perni#ious #ontentions to o!!end #harity itsel!, !or whose
sa%e he spa%e e(ery thing, whose words we go about to e-pound"
And yet ), O y God, Thou li!ter up o! y huility, and rest o! y labour, .ho
hearest y #on!essions, and !orgi(est y sins$ seeing Thou #oandest e to lo(e
y neighbour as ysel!, ) #annot belie(e that Thou ga(est a less gi!t unto *oses Thy
!aith!ul ser(ant, than ) would wish or desire Thee to ha(e gi(en e, had ) been born
in the tie he was, and hadst Thou set e in that o!!i#e, that by the ser(i#e o! y
heart and tongue those boo%s ight be dispensed, whi#h !or so long a!ter were to
pro!it all nations, and through the whole world !ro su#h an einen#e o! authority,
were to surount all sayings o! !alse and proud tea#hings" ) should ha(e desired
(erily, had ) then been *oses (!or we all #oe !ro the sae lup, and what is an,
sa(ing that Thou art ind!ul o! hi&), ) would then, had ) been then what he was, and
been en2oined by Thee to write the boo% o! Genesis, ha(e desired su#h a power o!
e-pression and su#h a style to be gi(en e, that neither they who #annot yet
understand how God #reated, ight re2e#t the sayings, as beyond their #apa#ity; and
they who had attained thereto, ight !ind what true opinion soe(er they had by
thought arri(ed at, not passed o(er in those !ew words o! that Thy ser(ant$ and should
another an by the light o! truth ha(e dis#o(ered another, neither should that !ail o!
being dis#o(erable in those sae words"
/or as a !ountain within a narrow #opass, is ore plenti!ul, and supplies a tide !or
ore streas o(er larger spa#es, than any one o! those streas, whi#h, a!ter a wide
inter(al, is deri(ed !ro the sae !ountain; so the relation o! that dispenser o! Thine,
whi#h was to bene!it any who were to dis#ourse thereon, does out o! a narrow
s#antling o! language, o(er!low into streas o! #learest truth, when#e e(ery an ay
draw out !or hisel! su#h truth as he #an upon these sub2e#ts, one, one truth, another,
another, by larger #ir#ulo#utions o! dis#ourse" /or soe, when they read, or hear
these words, #on#ei(e that God li%e a an or soe ass endued with unbounded
Boo "II
power, by soe new and sudden resolution, did, e-terior to itsel!, as it were at a
#ertain distan#e, #reate hea(en and earth, two great bodies abo(e and below, wherein
all things were to be #ontained" And when they hear, God said, Let it be ade, and it
was ade; they #on#ei(e o! words begun and ended, sounding in tie, and passing
away; a!ter whose departure, that #ae into being, whi#h was #oanded so to do;
and whate(er o! the li%e sort, en7s a#5uaintan#e with the aterial world would
suggest" )n who, being yet little ones and #arnal, while their wea%ness is by this
huble %ind o! spee#h, #arried on, as in a other7s boso, their !aith is wholesoely
built up, whereby they hold assured, that God ade all natures, whi#h in adirable
(ariety their eye beholdeth around" .hi#h words, i! any despising, as too siple, with
a proud wea%ness, shall stret#h hisel! beyond the guardian nest; he will, alas, !all
iserably" 'a(e pity, O Lord God, lest they who go by the way traple on the
un!ledged bird, and send Thine angel to repla#e it into the nest, that it ay li(e, till it
#an !ly"
1ut others, unto who these words are no longer a nest, but deep shady !ruit3bowers,
see the !ruits #on#ealed therein, !ly 2oyously around, and with #heer!ul notes see% out,
and plu#% the" /or reading or hearing these words, they see that all ties past and to
#oe, are surpassed by Thy eternal and stable abiding; and yet that there is no
#reature !ored in tie, not o! Thy a%ing" .hose will, be#ause it is the sae that
Thou art, Thou adest all things, not by any #hange o! will, nor by a will, whi#h
be!ore was not, and that these things were not out o! Thysel!, in Thine own li%eness,
whi#h is the !or o! all things; but out o! nothing, a !orless unli%eness, whi#h
should be !ored by Thy li%eness (re#urring to Thy :nity, a##ording to their
appointed #apa#ity, so !ar as is gi(en to ea#h thing in his %ind), and ight all be ade
(ery good; whether they abide around Thee, or being in gradation reo(ed in tie
and pla#e, ade or undergo the beauti!ul (ariations o! the :ni(erse" These things they
see, and re2oi#e, in the little degree they here ay, in the light o! Thy truth"
Another bends his ind on that whi#h is said, )n the 1eginning God ade hea(en and
earth; and beholdeth therein .isdo, the 1eginning be#ause )t also spea%eth unto us"
Another li%ewise bends his ind on the sae words, and by 1eginning understands
the #oen#eent o! things #reated; )n the beginning 'e ade, as i! it were said, 'e
at !irst ade" And aong the that understand )n the 1eginning to ean, 9)n Thy
.isdo Thou #reatedst hea(en and earth,9 one belie(es the atter out o! whi#h the
hea(en and earth were to be #reated, to be there #alled hea(en and earth; another,
natures already !ored and distinguished; another, one !ored nature, and that a
spiritual, under the nae 'ea(en, the other !orless, a #orporeal atter, under the
nae 0arth" They again who by the naes hea(en and earth, understand atter as yet
!orless, out o! whi#h hea(en and earth were to be !ored, neither do they
understand it in one way; but the one, that atter out o! whi#h both the intelligible
and the sensible #reature were to be per!e#ted; another, that only, out o! whi#h this
sensible #orporeal ass was to he ade, #ontaining in its (ast boso these (isible and
ordinary natures" 8either do they, who belie(e the #reatures already ordered and
arranged, to be in this pla#e #alled hea(en and earth, understand the sae; but the one,
both the in(isible and (isible, the other, the (isible only, in whi#h we behold this
lightsoe hea(en, and dar%soe earth, with the things in the #ontained"
1ut he that no otherwise understands )n the 1eginning 'e ade, than i! it were said,
At !irst 'e ade, #an only truly understand hea(en and earth o! the atter o! hea(en
Boo "II
and earth, that is, o! the uni(ersal intelligible and #orporeal #reation" /or i! he would
understand thereby the uni(erse, as already !ored, it ay be rightly deanded o!
hi, 9)! God ade this !irst, what ade 'e a!terwards&9 and a!ter the uni(erse, he
will !ind nothing; whereupon ust he against his will hear another 5uestion; 9'ow
did God a%e this !irst, i! nothing a!ter&9 1ut when he says, God ade atter !irst
!orless, then !ored, there is no absurdity, i! he be but 5uali!ied to dis#ern, what
pre#edes by eternity, what by tie, what by #hoi#e, and what in original" 1y eternity,
as God is be!ore all things; by tie, as the !lower be!ore the !ruit; by #hoi#e, as the
!ruit be!ore the !lower; by original, as the sound be!ore the tune" O! these !our, the
!irst and last entioned, are with e-tree di!!i#ulty understood, the two iddle,
easily" /or a rare and too lo!ty a (ision is it, to behold Thy 0ternity, O Lord,
un#hangeably a%ing things #hangeable; and thereby be!ore the" And who, again, is
o! so sharpsighted understanding, as to be able without great pains to dis#ern, how the
sound is there!ore be!ore the tune; be#ause a tune is a !ored sound; and a thing not
!ored, ay e-ist; whereas that whi#h e-isteth not, #annot be !ored" Thus is the
atter be!ore the thing ade; not be#ause it a%eth it, seeing itsel! is rather ade;
nor is it be!ore by inter(al o! tie; !or we do not !irst in tie utter !orless sounds
without singing, and subse5uently adapt or !ashion the into the !or o! a #hant, as
wood or sil(er, whereo! a #hest or (essel is !ashioned" /or su#h aterials do by tie
also pre#ede the !ors o! the things ade o! the, but in singing it is not so; !or when
it is sung, its sound is heard; !or there is not !irst a !orless sound, whi#h is
a!terwards !ored into a #hant" /or ea#h sound, so soon as ade, passeth away, nor
#anst thou !ind ought to re#all and by art to #opose" +o then the #hant is
#on#entrated in its sound, whi#h sound o! his is his atter" And this indeed is !ored,
that it ay be a tune; and there!ore (as ) said) the atter o! the sound is be!ore the
!or o! the tune; not be!ore, through any power it hath to a%e it a tune; !or a sound
is no way the wor%aster o! the tune; but is soething #orporeal, sub2e#ted to the
soul whi#h singeth, whereo! to a%e a tune" 8or is it !irst in tie; !or it is gi(en !orth
together with the tune; nor !irst in #hoi#e, !or a sound is not better than a tune, a tune
being not only a sound, but a beauti!ul sound" 1ut it is !irst in original, be#ause a tune
re#ei(es not !or to be#oe a sound, but a sound re#ei(es a !or to be#oe a tune"
1y this e-aple, let hi that is able, understand how the atter o! things was !irst
ade, and #alled hea(en and earth, be#ause hea(en and earth were ade out o! it" 4et
was it not ade !irst in tie; be#ause the !ors o! things gi(e rise to tie; but that
was without !or, but now is, in tie, an ob2e#t o! sense together with its !or" And
yet nothing #an be related o! that atter, but as though prior in tie, whereas in (alue
it is last (be#ause things !ored are superior to things without !or) and is pre#eded
by the 0ternity o! the ;reator$ that so there ight be out o! nothing, whereo!
soewhat ight be #reated"
)n this di(ersity o! the true opinions, let Truth hersel! produ#e #on#ord" And our God
ha(e er#y upon us, that we ay use the law law!ully, the end o! the #oandent,
pure #harity" 1y this i! an deands o! e, 9whi#h o! these was the eaning o! Thy
ser(ant *oses9; this were not the language o! y ;on!essions, should ) not #on!ess
unto Thee, 9) %now not9; and yet ) %now that those senses are true, those #arnal ones
e-#epted, o! whi#h ) ha(e spo%en what seeed ne#essary" And e(en those hope!ul
little ones who so thin%, ha(e this bene!it, that the words o! Thy 1oo% a!!right the
not, deli(ering high things lowlily, and with !ew words a #opious eaning" And all we
who, ) #on!ess, see and e-press the truth deli(ered in those words, let us lo(e one
another, and 2ointly lo(e Thee our God, the !ountain o! truth, i! we are athirst !or it,
Boo "II
and not !or (anities; yea, let us so honour this Thy ser(ant, the dispenser o! this
+#ripture, !ull o! Thy +pirit, as to belie(e that, when by Thy re(elation he wrote these
things, he intended that, whi#h aong the #hie!ly e-#els both !or light o! truth, and
!ruit!ulness o! pro!it"
+o when one says, 9*oses eant as ) do9; and another, 98ay, but as ) do,9 ) suppose
that ) spea% ore re(erently, 9.hy not rather as both, i! both be true&9 And i! there be
a third, or a !ourth, yea i! any other seeth any other truth in those words, why ay not
he be belie(ed to ha(e seen all these, through who the One God hath tepered the
holy +#riptures to the senses o! any, who should see therein things true but di(ers&
/or ) #ertainly (and !earlessly ) spea% it !ro y heart), that were ) to indite any thing
to ha(e supree authority, ) should pre!er so to write, that whate(er truth any #ould
apprehend on those atters, ight he #on(eyed in y words, rather than set down y
own eaning so #learly as to e-#lude the rest, whi#h not being !alse, #ould not o!!end
e" ) will not there!ore, O y God, be so rash, as not to belie(e, that Thou
(ou#hsa!edst as u#h to that great an" 'e without doubt, when he wrote those
words, per#ei(ed and thought on what truth soe(er we ha(e been able to !ind, yea and
whatsoe(er we ha(e not been able, nor yet are, but whi#h ay be !ound in the"
Lastly, O Lord, who art God and not !lesh and blood, i! an did see less, #ould any
thing be #on#ealed !ro Thy good +pirit (who shall lead e into the land o!
uprightness), whi#h Thou Thysel! by those words wert about to re(eal to readers in
ties to #oe, though he through who they were spo%en, perhaps aong any true
eanings, thought on soe one& whi#h i! so it be, let that whi#h he thought on be o!
all the highest" 1ut to us, O Lord, do Thou, either re(eal that sae, or any other true
one whi#h Thou pleasest; that so, whether Thou dis#o(erest the sae to us, as to that
Thy ser(ant, or soe other by o##asion o! those words, yet Thou ayest !eed us, not
error de#ei(e us" 1ehold, O Lord y God, how u#h we ha(e written upon a !ew
words, how u#h ) besee#h Thee6 .hat strength o! ours, yea what ages would su!!i#e
!or all Thy boo%s in this anner& ,erit e then in these ore brie!ly to #on!ess unto
Thee, and to #hoose soe one true, #ertain, and good sense that Thou shalt inspire e,
although any should o##ur, where any ay o##ur; this being the law y
#on!ession, that i! ) should say that whi#h Thy inister intended, that is right and
best; !or this should ) endea(our, whi#h i! ) should not attain, yet ) should say that,
whi#h Thy Truth willed by his words to tell e, whi#h re(ealed also unto hi, what )t
willed"
Boo "III
BOO. "III
) #all upon Thee, O y God, y er#y, .ho #reatedst e, and !orgottest not e,
!orgetting Thee" ) #all Thee into y soul whi#h, by the longing Thysel! inspirest into
her, Thou preparest !or Thee" /orsa%e e not now #alling upon Thee, who Thou
pre(entedst be!ore ) #alled, and urgedst e with u#h (ariety o! repeated #alls, that )
would hear Thee !ro a!ar, and be #on(erted, and #all upon Thee, that #alledst a!ter
e; !or Thou, Lord, blottedst out all y e(il deser(ings, so as not to repay into y
hands, wherewith ) !ell !ro Thee; and Thou hast pre(ented all y well deser(ings,
so as to repay the wor% o! Thy hands wherewith Thou adest e; be#ause be!ore )
was, Thou wert; nor was ) any thing, to whi#h Thou ightest grant to be; and yet
behold, ) a, out o! Thy goodness, pre(enting all this whi#h Thou hast ade e, and
whereo! Thou hast ade e" /or neither hadst Thou need o! e, nor a ) any su#h
good, as to be help!ul unto Thee, y Lord and God; not in ser(ing Thee, as though
Thou wouldest tire in wor%ing; or lest Thy power ight be less, i! la#%ing y ser(i#e$
nor #ulti(ating Thy ser(i#e, as a land, that ust reain un#ulti(ated, unless )
#ulti(ated Thee$ but ser(ing and worshipping Thee, that ) ight re#ei(e a well3being
!ro Thee, !ro who it #oes, that ) ha(e a being #apable o! well3being"
/or o! the !ulness o! Thy goodness, doth Thy #reature subsist, that so a good, whi#h
#ould no ways pro!it Thee, nor was o! Thee (lest so it should be e5ual to Thee), ight
yet be sin#e it #ould be ade o! Thee" /or what did hea(en and earth, whi#h Thou
adest in the 1eginning, deser(e o! Thee& Let those spiritual and #orporeal natures
whi#h Thou adest in Thy .isdo, say wherein they deser(ed o! Thee, to depend
thereon (e(en in that their se(eral in#hoate and !orless state, whether spiritual or
#orporeal, ready to !all away into an ioderate liberty and !ar3distant unli%eliness
unto Thee; 3the spiritual, though without !or, superior to the #orporeal though
!ored, and the #orporeal though without !or, better than were it altogether
nothing), and so to depend upon Thy .ord, as !orless, unless by the sae .ord they
were brought ba#% to Thy :nity, indued with !or and !ro Thee the One +o(ereign
Good were ade all (ery good" 'ow did they deser(e o! Thee, to be e(en without
!or, sin#e they had not been e(en this, but !ro Thee&
'ow did #orporeal atter deser(e o! Thee, to be e(en in(isible and without !or&
seeing it were not e(en this, but that Thou adest it, and there!ore be#ause it was not,
#ould not deser(e o! Thee to be ade" Or how #ould the in#hoate spiritual #reature
deser(e o! Thee, e(en to ebb and !low dar%soely li%e the deep, 3unli%e Thee, unless
it had been by the sae .ord turned to that, by .ho it was #reated, and by 'i so
enlightened, be#oe light; though not e5ually, yet #on!orably to that /or whi#h is
e5ual unto Thee& /or as in a body, to be, is not one with being beauti!ul, else #ould it
not be de!ored; so li%ewise to a #reated spirit to li(e, is not one with li(ing wisely;
else should it be wise un#hangeably" 1ut good it is !or it always to hold !ast to Thee;
lest what light it hath obtained by turning to Thee, it lose by turning !ro Thee, and
relapse into li!e resebling the dar%soe deep" /or we oursel(es also, who as to the
soul are a spiritual #reature, turned away !ro Thee our light, were in that li!e
soeties dar%ness; and still labour aidst the reli#s o! our dar%ness, until in Thy
Only One we be#oe Thy righteousness, li%e the ountains o! God" /or we ha(e
been Thy 2udgents, whi#h are li%e the great deep"
Boo "III
That whi#h Thou saidst in the beginning o! the #reation, Let there be light, and there
was light; ) do, not unsuitably, understand o! the spiritual #reature$ be#ause there was
already a sort o! li!e, whi#h Thou ightest illuinate" 1ut as it had no #lai on Thee
!or a li!e, whi#h #ould be enlightened, so neither now that it was, had it any, to be
enlightened" /or neither #ould its !orless estate be pleasing unto Thee, unless it
be#ae light, and that not by e-isting siply, but by beholding the illuinating light,
and #lea(ing to it; so that, that it li(ed, and li(ed happily, it owes to nothing but Thy
gra#e, being turned by a better #hange unto That whi#h #annot be #hanged into worse
or better; whi#h Thou alone art, be#ause Thou alone siply art; unto Thee it being not
one thing to li(e, another to li(e blessedly, seeing Thysel! art Thine own 1lessedness"
.hat then #ould he wanting unto Thy good, whi#h Thou Thysel! art, although these
things had either ne(er been, or reained without !or; whi#h thou adest, not out o!
any want, but out o! the !ulness o! Thy goodness, restraining the and #on(erting
the to !or, not as though Thy 2oy were !ul!illed by the& /or to Thee being
per!e#t, is their iper!e#tion displeasing, and hen#e were they per!e#ted by Thee, and
please Thee; not as wert Thou iper!e#t, and by their per!e#ting wert also to be
per!e#ted" /or Thy good +pirit indeed was borne o(er the waters, not borne up by
the, as i! 'e rested upon the" /or those, on who Thy good +pirit is said to rest,
'e #auses to rest in 'isel!" 1ut Thy in#orruptible and un#hangeable will, in itsel!
all3su!!i#ient !or itsel!, was borne upon that li!e whi#h Thou hadst #reated; to whi#h,
li(ing is not one with happy li(ing, seeing it li(eth also, ebbing and !lowing in its own
dar%ness$ !or whi#h it reaineth to be #on(erted unto 'i, by .ho it was ade,
and to li(e ore and ore by the !ountain o! li!e, and in 'is light to see light, and to
be per!e#ted, and enlightened, and beauti!ied"
Lo, now the Trinity appears unto e in a glass dar%ly, whi#h is Thou y God,
be#ause Thou, O /ather, in 'i .ho is the 1eginning o! our wisdo, .hi#h is Thy
.isdo, born o! Thysel!, e5ual unto Thee and #oeternal, that is, in Thy +on, #reatedst
hea(en and earth" *u#h now ha(e we said o! the 'ea(en o! hea(ens, and o! the earth
in(isible and without !or, and o! the dar%soe deep, in re!eren#e to the wandering
instability o! its spiritual de!ority, unless it had been #on(erted unto 'i, !ro
.ho it had its then degree o! li!e, and by 'is enlightening be#ae a beauteous li!e,
and the hea(en o! that hea(en, whi#h was a!terwards set between water and water"
And under the nae o! God, ) now held the /ather, who ade these things, and under
the nae o! 1eginning, the +on, in who 'e ade these things; and belie(ing, as )
did, y God as the Trinity, ) sear#hed !urther in 'is holy words, and to, Thy +pirit
o(ed upon the waters" 1ehold the Trinity, y God, /ather, and +on, and 'oly
Ghost, ;reator o! all #reation"
1ut what was the #ause, O true3spea%ing Light& 3unto Thee li!t ) up y heart, let it
not tea#h e (anities, dispel its dar%ness; and tell e, ) besee#h Thee, by our other
#harity, tell e the reason, ) besee#h Thee, why a!ter the ention o! hea(en, and o!
the earth in(isible and without !or, and dar%ness upon the deep, Thy +#ripture
should then at length ention Thy +pirit& .as it be#ause it was eet that the
%nowledge o! 'i should be #on(eyed, as being 9borne abo(e9; and this #ould not be
said, unless that were !irst entioned, o(er whi#h Thy +pirit ay be understood to
ha(e been borne" /or neither was 'e borne abo(e the /ather, nor the +on, nor #ould
'e rightly be said to be borne abo(e, i! 'e were borne o(er nothing" /irst then was
that to be spo%en o!, o(er whi#h 'e ight be borne; and then 'e, who it was eet
Boo "III
not otherwise to be spo%en o! than as being borne" 1ut where!ore was it not eet that
the %nowledge o! 'i should be #on(eyed otherwise, than as being borne abo(e&
'en#e let hi that is able, !ollow with his understanding Thy Apostle, where he thus
spea%s, 1e#ause Thy lo(e is shed abroad in our hearts by the 'oly Ghost whi#h is
gi(en unto us$ and where #on#erning spiritual gi!ts, he tea#heth and showeth unto us a
ore e-#ellent way o! #harity; and where he bows his %nee unto Thee !or us, that we
ay %now the supereinent %nowledge o! the lo(e o! ;hrist" And there!ore !ro the
beginning, was 'e borne supereinent abo(e the waters" To who shall ) spea% this&
how spea% o! the weight o! e(il desires, downwards to the steep abyss; and how
#harity raises up again by Thy +pirit whi#h was borne abo(e the waters& to who
shall ) spea% it& how spea% it& /or it is not in spa#e that we are erged and eerge"
.hat #an be ore, and yet what less li%e& They be a!!e#tions, they be lo(es; the
un#leanness o! our spirit !lowing away downwards with the lo(e o! #ares, and the
holiness o! Thine raising us upward by lo(e o! unan-ious repose; that we ay li!t our
hearts unto Thee, where Thy +pirit is borne abo(e the waters; and #oe to that
supereinent repose, when our soul shall ha(e passed through the waters whi#h yield
no support"
Angels !ell away, an7s soul !ell away, and thereby pointed the abyss in that dar%
depth, ready !or the whole spiritual #reation, hadst not Thou said !ro the beginning,
Let there be light, and there had been light, and e(ery obedient intelligen#e o! Thy
hea(enly ;ity had #lea(ed to Thee, and rested in Thy +pirit, .hi#h is borne
un#hangeably o(er e(ery thing #hangeable" Otherwise, had e(en the hea(en o!
hea(ens been in itsel! a dar%soe deep; but now it is light in the Lord" /or e(en in
that iserable restlessness o! the spirits, who !ell away and dis#o(ered their own
dar%ness, when bared o! the #lothing o! Thy light, dost Thou su!!i#iently re(eal how
noble Thou adest the reasonable #reature; to whi#h nothing will su!!i#e to yield a
happy rest, less than Thee; and so not e(en hersel!" /or Thou, O our God, shalt lighten
our dar%ness$ !ro Thee riseth our garent o! light; and then shall our dar%ness be as
the noon day" Gi(e Thysel! unto e, O y God, restore Thysel! unto e$ behold )
lo(e, and i! it be too little, ) would lo(e ore strongly" ) #annot easure so as to
%now, how u#h lo(e there yet la#%eth to e, ere y li!e ay run into Thy
ebra#eents, nor turn away, until it be hidden in the hidden pla#e o! Thy ,resen#e"
This only ) %now, that woe is e e-#ept in Thee$ not only without but within ysel!
also; and all abundan#e, whi#h is not y God, is eptiness to e"
1ut was not either the /ather, or the +on, borne abo(e the waters& i! this eans, in
spa#e, li%e a body, then neither was the 'oly +pirit; but i! the un#hangeable
supereinen#e o! Di(inity abo(e all things #hangeable, then were both /ather, and
+on, and 'oly Ghost borne upon the waters" .hy then is this said o! Thy +pirit only,
why is it said only o! 'i& As i! 'e had been in pla#e, .ho is not in pla#e, o! .ho
only it is written, that 'e is Thy gi!t& )n Thy Gi!t we rest; there we en2oy Thee" Our
rest is our pla#e" Lo(e li!ts us up thither, and Thy good +pirit li!ts up our lowliness
!ro the gates o! death" )n Thy good pleasure is our pea#e" The body by its own
weight stri(es towards its own pla#e" .eight a%es not downward only, but to his
own pla#e" /ire tends upward, a stone downward" They are urged by their own
weight, they see% their own pla#es" Oil poured below water, is raised abo(e the water;
water poured upon oil, sin%s below the oil" They are urged by their own weights to
see% their own pla#es" .hen out o! their order, they are restless; restored to order,
Boo "III
they are at rest" *y weight, is y lo(e; thereby a ) borne, whithersoe(er ) a borne"
.e are in!laed, by Thy Gi!t we are %indled; and are #arried upwards; we glow
inwardly, and go !orwards" .e as#end Thy ways that be in our heart, and sing a song
o! degrees; we glow inwardly with Thy !ire, with Thy good !ire, and we go; be#ause
we go upwards to the pea#e o! =erusale$ !or gladdened was ) in those who said unto
e, .e will go up to the house o! the Lord" There hath Thy good pleasure pla#ed us,
that we ay desire nothing else, but to abide there !or e(er"
1lessed #reature, whi#h being itsel! other than Thou, has %nown no other #ondition,
than that, so soon as it was ade, it was, without any inter(al, by Thy Gi!t, .hi#h is
borne abo(e e(ery thing #hangeable, borne alo!t by that #alling whereby Thou saidst,
Let there be light, and there was light" .hereas in us this too% pla#e at di!!erent ties,
in that we were dar%ness, and are ade light$ but o! that is only said, what it would
ha(e been, had it not been enlightened" And, this is so spo%en, as i! it had been
unsettled and dar%soe be!ore; that so the #ause whereby it was ade otherwise,
ight appear, naely, that being turned to the Light un!ailing it be#ae light" .hoso
#an, let hi understand this; let hi as% o! Thee" .hy should he trouble e, as i! )
#ould enlighten any an that #oeth into this world&
.hi#h o! us #oprehendeth the Alighty Trinity& and yet whi#h spea%s not o! )t, i!
indeed it be )t& @are is the soul, whi#h while it spea%s o! )t, %nows what it spea%s o!"
And they #ontend and stri(e, yet, without pea#e, no an sees that (ision" ) would that
en would #onsider these three, that are in thesel(es" These three be indeed !ar
other than the Trinity$ ) do but tell, where they ay pra#tise thesel(es, and there
pro(e and !eel how !ar they be" 8ow the three ) spa%e o! are, To 1e, to ?now, and to
.ill" /or ) A, and ?now, and .ill$ ) A ?nowing and .illing$ and ) ?now ysel!
to 1e, and to .ill$ and ) .ill to 1e, and to ?now" )n these three then, let hi dis#ern
that #an, how inseparable a li!e there is, yea one li!e, ind, and one essen#e, yea lastly
how inseparable a distin#tion there is, and yet a distin#tion" +urely a an hath it
be!ore hi; let hi loo% into hisel!, and see, and tell e" 1ut when he dis#o(ers and
#an say any thing o! these, let hi not there!ore thin% that he has !ound that whi#h is
abo(e these :n#hangeable, whi#h )s un#hangeably, and ?nows un#hangeably, and
.ills un#hangeably; and whether be#ause o! these three, there is in God also a Trinity,
or whether all three be in 0a#h, so that the three belong to 0a#h; or whether both ways
at on#e, wondrously, siply and yet ani!oldly, )tsel! a bound unto )tsel! within
)tsel!, yet unbounded; whereby )t is, and is ?nown unto )tsel! and su!!i#eth to itsel!,
un#hangeably the +el!3sae, by the abundant greatness o! its :nity, 3who #an readily
#on#ei(e this& who #ould any ways e-press it& who would, any way, pronoun#e
thereon rashly&
,ro#eed in thy #on!ession, say to the Lord thy God, O y !aith, 'oly, 'oly, 'oly, O
Lord y God, in Thy 8ae ha(e we been baptised, /ather, +on, and 'oly Ghost; in
Thy 8ae do we baptise, /ather, +on, and 'oly Ghost, be#ause aong us also, in 'is
;hrist did God a%e hea(en and earth, naely, the spiritual and #arnal people o! 'is
;hur#h" 4ea and our earth, be!ore it re#ei(ed the !or o! do#trine, was in(isible and
without !or; and we were #o(ered with the dar%ness o! ignoran#e" /or Thou
#hastenedst an !or ini5uity, and Thy 2udgents were li%e the great deep unto hi"
1ut be#ause Thy +pirit was borne abo(e the waters, Thy er#y !orsoo% not our
isery, and Thou saidst, Let there be light, @epent ye, !or the %ingdo o! hea(en is at
hand" @epent ye, let there be light" And be#ause our soul was troubled within us, we
Boo "III
reebered Thee, O Lord, !ro the land o! =ordan, and that ountain e5ual unto
Thysel!, but little !or our sa%es$ and our dar%ness displeased us, we turned unto Thee
and there was light" And, behold, we were soeties dar%ness, but now light in the
Lord"
1ut as yet by !aith and not by sight, !or by hope we are sa(ed; but hope that is seen, is
not hope" As yet doth deep #all unto deep, but now in the (oi#e o! Thy water3spouts"
As yet doth he that saith, ) #ould not spea% unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto
#arnal, e(en he as yet, doth not thin% hisel! to ha(e apprehended, and !orgetteth
those things whi#h are behind, and rea#heth !orth to those whi#h are be!ore, and
groaneth being burthened, and his soul thirsteth a!ter the Li(ing God, as the hart a!ter
the water3broo%s, and saith, .hen shall ) #oe& desiring to be #lothed upon with his
house whi#h is !ro hea(en, and #alleth upon this lower deep, saying, 1e not
#on!ored to this world, but be ye trans!ored by the renewing o! your ind" And,
be not #hildren in understanding, but in ali#e, be ye #hildren, that in understanding
ye ay be per!e#t; and O !oolish Galatians, who hath bewit#hed you& 1ut now no
longer in his own (oi#e; but in Thine who sentest Thy +pirit !ro abo(e; through 'i
who as#ended up on high, and set open the !lood3gates o! 'is gi!ts, that the !or#e o!
'is streas ight a%e glad the #ity o! God" 'i doth this !riend o! the 1ridegroo
sigh a!ter, ha(ing now the !irst3!ruits o! the +pirit laid up with 'i, yet still groaning
within hisel!, waiting !or the adoption, to wit, the redeption o! his body; to 'i he
sighs, a eber o! the 1ride; !or 'i he is 2ealous, as being a !riend o! the
1ridegroo; !or 'i he is 2ealous, not !or hisel!; be#ause in the (oi#e o! Thy water3
spouts, not in his own (oi#e, doth he #all to that other depth, o(er who being 2ealous
he !eareth, lest as the serpent beguiled 0(e through his subtilty, so their inds should
be #orrupted !ro the purity that is in our 1ridegroo Thy only +on" O what a light
o! beauty will that be, when we shall see 'i as 'e is, and those tears be passed
away, whi#h ha(e been y eat day and night, whilst they daily say unto e, .here
is now Thy God&
1ehold, ) too say, O y God, .here art Thou& see, where Thou art6 in Thee ) breathe
a little, when ) pour out y soul by ysel! in the (oi#e o! 2oy and praise, the sound o!
hi that %eeps holy3day" And yet again it is sad, be#ause it relapseth, and be#oes a
deep, or rather per#ei(es itsel! still to be a deep" :nto it spea%s y !aith whi#h Thou
hast %indled to enlighten y !eet in the night, .hy art thou sad, O y soul, and why
dost thou trouble e& 'ope in the Lord; 'is word is a lanthorn unto thy !eet$ hope
and endure, until the night, the other o! the wi#%ed, until the wrath o! the Lord, be
o(erpast, whereo! we also were on#e #hildren, who were soeties dar%ness, reli#s
whereo! we bear about us in our body, dead be#ause o! sin; until the day brea%, and
the shadows !ly away" 'ope thou in the Lord; in the orning ) shall stand in Thy
presen#e, and #onteplate Thee$ ) shall !or e(er #on!ess unto Thee" )n the orning )
shall stand in Thy presen#e, and shall see the health o! y #ountenan#e, y God, who
also shall 5ui#%en our ortal bodies, by the +pirit that dwelleth in us, be#ause 'e hath
in er#y been borne o(er our inner dar%soe and !loating deep$ !ro .ho we ha(e
in this pilgriage re#ei(ed an earnest, that we should now be light$ whilst we are
sa(ed by hope, and are the #hildren o! light, and the #hildren o! the day, not the
#hildren o! the night, nor o! the dar%ness, whi#h yet soeties we were" 1etwi-t
who and us, in this un#ertainty o! huan %nowledge, Thou only di(idest; Thou,
who pro(est our hearts, and #allest the light, day, and the dar%ness, night" /or who
dis#erneth us, but Thou& And what ha(e we, that we ha(e not re#ei(ed o! Thee& out o!
Boo "III
the sae lup (essels are ade unto honour, whereo! others also are ade unto
dishonour"
Or who, e-#ept Thou, our God, ade !or us that !iraent o! authority o(er us in
Thy Di(ine +#ripture& as it is said, /or hea(en shall be !olded up li%e a s#roll; and
now is it stret#hed o(er us li%e a s%in" /or Thy Di(ine +#ripture is o! ore einent
authority, sin#e those ortals by who Thou dispensest it unto us, underwent
ortality" And Thou %nowest, Lord, Thou %nowest, how Thou with s%ins didst #lothe
en, when they by sin be#ae ortal" .hen#e Thou hast li%e a s%in stret#hed out the
!iraent o! Thy boo%, that is, Thy haroni<ing words, whi#h by the inistry o!
ortal en Thou spreadest o(er us" /or by their (ery death was that solid !iraent
o! authority, in Thy dis#ourses set !orth by the, ore einently e-tended o(er all
that be under it; whi#h whilst they li(ed here, was not so einently e-tended" Thou
hadst not as yet spread abroad the hea(en li%e a s%in; Thou hadst not as yet enlarged
in all dire#tions the glory o! their deaths"
Let us loo%, O Lord, upon the hea(ens, the wor% o! Thy !ingers; #lear !ro our eyes
that #loud, whi#h Thou hast spread under the" There is Thy testiony, whi#h gi(eth
wisdo unto the little ones$ per!e#t, O y God, Thy praise out o! the outh o! babes
and su#%lings" /or we %now no other boo%s, whi#h so destroy pride, whi#h so destroy
the eney and the de!ender, who resisteth Thy re#on#iliation by de!ending his own
sins" ) %now not, Lord, ) %now not any other su#h pure words, whi#h so persuade e
to #on!ess, and a%e y ne#% pliant to Thy yo%e, and in(ite e to ser(e Thee !or
nought" Let e understand the, good /ather$ grant this to e, who a pla#ed under
the$ be#ause !or those pla#ed under the, hast Thou established the"
Other waters there be abo(e this !iraent, ) belie(e iortal, and separated !ro
earthly #orruption" Let the praise Thy 8ae, let the praise Thee, the super#elestial
people, Thine angels, who ha(e no need to ga<e up at this !iraent, or by reading to
%now o! Thy .ord" /or they always behold Thy !a#e, and there read without any
syllables in tie, what willeth Thy eternal will; they read, they #hoose, they lo(e"
They are e(er reading; and that ne(er passes away whi#h they read; !or by #hoosing,
and by lo(ing, they read the (ery un#hangeableness o! Thy #ounsel" Their boo% is
ne(er #losed, nor their s#roll !olded up; seeing Thou Thysel! art this to the, and art
eternally; be#ause Thou hast ordained the abo(e this !iraent, whi#h Thou hast
!irly settled o(er the in!irity o! the lower people, where they ight ga<e up and
learn Thy er#y, announ#ing in tie Thee .ho adest ties" /or Thy er#y, O
Lord, is in the hea(ens, and Thy truth rea#heth unto the #louds" The #louds pass away,
but the hea(en abideth" The prea#hers o! Thy word pass out o! this li!e into another;
but Thy +#ripture is spread abroad o(er the people, e(en unto the end o! the world"
4et hea(en and earth also shall pass away, but Thy words shall not pass away"
1e#ause the s#roll shall be rolled together$ and the grass o(er whi#h it was spread,
shall with the goodliness o! it pass away; but Thy .ord reaineth !or e(er, whi#h
now appeareth unto us under the dar% iage o! the #louds, and through the glass o!
the hea(ens, not as it is$ be#ause we also, though the well3belo(ed o! Thy +on, yet it
hath not yet appeared what we shall be" 'e loo%eth through the latti#e o! our !lesh,
and 'e spa%e us tenderly, and %indled us, and we ran a!ter 'is odours" 1ut when 'e
shall appear, then shall we be li%e 'i, !or we shall see 'i as 'e is" As 'e is, Lord,
will our sight be"
Boo "III
/or altogether, as Thou art, Thou only %nowest; .ho art un#hangeably, and %nowest
un#hangeably, and willest un#hangeably" And Thy 0ssen#e ?noweth, and .illeth
un#hangeably; and Thy ?nowledge )s, and .illeth un#hangeably; and Thy .ill )s,
and ?noweth un#hangeably" 8or seeeth it right in Thine eyes, that as the
:n#hangeable Light %noweth )tsel!, so should it be %nown by the thing enlightened,
and #hangeable" There!ore is y soul li%e a land where no water is, be#ause as it
#annot o! itsel! enlighten itsel!, so #an it not o! itsel! satis!y itsel!" /or so is the
!ountain o! li!e with Thee, li%e as in Thy light we shall see light"
.ho gathered the ebittered together into one so#iety& /or they ha(e all one end, a
teporal and earthly !eli#ity, !or attaining whereo! they do all things, though they
wa(er up and down with an innuerable (ariety o! #ares" .ho, Lord, but Thou,
saidst, Let the waters be gathered together into one pla#e, and let the dry land appear,
whi#h thirsteth a!ter Thee& /or the sea also is Thine, and Thou hast ade it, and Thy
hands prepared the dry land" 8or is the bitterness o! en7s wills, but the gathering
together o! the waters, #alled sea; !or Thou restrainest the wi#%ed desires o! en7s
souls, and settest the their bounds, how !ar they ay be allowed to pass, that their
wa(es ay brea% one against another$ and thus a%est Thou it a sea, by the order o!
Thy doinion o(er all things"
1ut the souls that thirst a!ter Thee, and that appear be!ore Thee (being by other
bounds di(ided !ro the so#iety o! the sea), Thou waterest by a sweet spring, that the
earth ay bring !orth her !ruit, and Thou, Lord God, so #oanding, our soul ay
bud !orth wor%s o! er#y a##ording to their %ind, lo(ing our neighbour in the relie! o!
his bodily ne#essities, ha(ing seed in itsel! a##ording to its li%eness, when !ro
!eeling o! our in!irity, we #opassionate so as to relie(e the needy; helping the, as
we would be helped; i! we were in li%e need; not only in things easy, as in herb
yielding seed, but also in the prote#tion o! our assistan#e, with our best strength, li%e
the tree yielding !ruit$ that is, well3doing in res#uing hi that su!!ers wrong, !ro the
hand o! the power!ul, and gi(ing hi the shelter o! prote#tion, by the ighty strength
o! 2ust 2udgent"
+o, Lord, so, ) besee#h Thee, let there spring up, as Thou doest, as Thou gi(est
#heer!ulness and ability, let truth spring out o! the earth, and righteousness loo% down
!ro hea(en, and let there be lights in the !iraent" Let us brea% our bread to the
hungry, and bring the houseless poor to our house" Let us #lothe the na%ed, and
despise not those o! our own !lesh" .hi#h !ruits ha(ing sprung out o! the earth, see it
is good$ and let our teporary light brea% !orth; and oursel(es, !ro this lower
!ruit!ulness o! a#tion, arri(ing at the delight!ulness o! #onteplation, obtaining the
.ord o! Li!e abo(e, appear li%e lights in the world, #lea(ing to the !iraent o! Thy
+#ripture" /or there Thou instru#test us, to di(ide between the things intelle#tual, and
things o! sense, as betwi-t the day and the night; or between souls, gi(en either to
things intelle#tual, or things o! sense, so that now not Thou only in the se#ret o! Thy
2udgent, as be!ore the !iraent was ade, di(idest between the light and the
dar%ness, but Thy spiritual #hildren also set and ran%ed in the sae !iraent (now
that Thy gra#e is laid open throughout the world), ay gi(e light upon the earth, and
di(ide betwi-t the day and the night, and be !or signs o! ties, that old things are
passed away, and, behold, all things are be#oe new; and that our sal(ation is nearer
than when we belie(ed$ and that the night is !ar spent, and the day is at hand$ and that
Thou wilt #rown Thy year with blessing, sending the labourers o! Thy goodness into
Boo "III
Thy har(est, in sowing whereo!, others ha(e laboured, sending also into another !ield,
whose har(est shall be in the end" Thus grantest Thou the prayers o! hi that as%eth,
and blessest the years o! the 2ust; but Thou art the sae, and in Thy years whi#h !ail
not, Thou preparest a garner !or our passing years" /or Thou by an eternal #ounsel
dost in their proper seasons bestow hea(enly blessings upon the earth" /or to one is
gi(en by the +pirit the word o! wisdo, as it were the lesser light$ to another !aith; to
another the gi!t with the light o! perspi#uous truth, as it were !or the rule o! the day"
To another the word o! %nowledge by the sae +pirit, as it were the lesser light$ to
another !aith; to another the gi!t o! healing; to another the wor%ing o! ira#les; to
another prophe#y; to another dis#erning o! spirits; to another di(ers %inds o! tongues"
And all these as it were stars" /or all these wor%eth the one and sel!3sae spirit,
di(iding to e(ery an his own as 'e will; and #ausing stars to appear ani!estly, to
pro!it withal" 1ut the word o! %nowledge, wherein are #ontained all +a#raents,
whi#h are (aried in their seasons as it were the oon, and those other noti#es o! gi!ts,
whi#h are re#%oned up in order, as it were stars, inasu#h as they #oe short o! that
brightness o! wisdo, whi#h gladdens the !oreentioned day, are only !or the rule o!
the night" /or they are ne#essary to su#h, as that Thy ost prudent ser(ant #ould not
spea% unto as unto spiritual, but as unto #arnal; e(en he, who spea%eth wisdo aong
those that are per!e#t" 1ut the natural an, as it were a babe in ;hrist and !ed on il%,
until he be strengthened !or solid eat and his eye be enabled to behold the +un, let
hi not dwell in a night !orsa%en o! all light, but be #ontent with the light o! the oon
and the stars" +o dost Thou spea% to us, our All3wise God, in Thy 1oo%, Thy
!iraent; that we ay dis#ern all things, in an adirable #onteplation; though as
yet in signs and in ties, and in days, and in years"
1ut !irst, wash you, be #lean; put away e(il !ro your souls, and !ro be!ore ine
eyes, that the dry land ay appear" Learn to do good, 2udge the !atherless, plead !or
the widow, that the earth ay bring !orth the green herb !or eat, and the tree bearing
!ruit; and #oe, let us reason together, saith the Lord, that there ay be lights in the
!iraent o! the hea(en, and they ay shine upon the earth" That ri#h an as%ed o!
the good *aster, what he should do to attain eternal li!e" Let the good *aster tell hi
(who he thought no ore than an; but 'e is good be#ause 'e is God), let 'i tell
hi, i! he would enter into li!e, he ust %eep the #oandents$ let hi put away
!ro hi the bitterness o! ali#e and wi#%edness; not %ill, not #oit adultery, not
steal, not bear !alse witness; that the dry land ay appear, and bring !orth the
honouring o! !ather and other, and the lo(e o! our neighbour" All these (saith he)
ha(e ) %ept" .hen#e then so any thorns, i! the earth be !ruit!ul& Go, root up the
spreading thi#%ets o! #o(etousness; sell that thou hast, and be !illed with !ruit, by
gi(ing to the poor, and thou shalt ha(e treasure in hea(en; and !ollow the Lord i! thou
wilt be per!e#t, asso#iated with the, aong who 'e spea%eth wisdo, .ho
%noweth what to distribute to the day, and to the night, that thou also ayest %now it,
and !or thee there ay be lights in the !iraent o! hea(en; whi#h will not be, unless
thy heart be there$ nor will that either be, unless there thy treasure be; as thou hast
heard o! the good *aster" 1ut that barren earth was grie(ed; and the thorns #ho%ed the
word"
1ut you, #hosen generation, you wea% things o! the world, who ha(e !orsa%en all, that
ye ay !ollow the Lord; go a!ter 'i, and #on!ound the ighty; go a!ter 'i, ye
beauti!ul !eet, and shine ye in the !iraent, that the hea(ens ay de#lare 'is glory,
di(iding between the light o! the per!e#t, though not as the angels, and the dar%ness o!
Boo "III
the little ones, though not despised" +hine o(er the earth; and let the day, lightened by
the sun, utter unto day, spee#h o! wisdo; and night, shining with the oon, show
unto night, the word o! %nowledge" The oon and stars shine !or the night; yet doth
not the night obs#ure the, seeing they gi(e it light in its degree" /or behold God
saying, as it were, Let there be lights in the !iraent o! hea(en; there #ae suddenly
a sound !ro hea(en, as it had been the rushing o! a ighty wind, and there appeared
#lo(en tongues li%e as o! !ire, and it sat upon ea#h o! the" And there were ade
lights in the !iraent o! hea(en, ha(ing the word o! li!e" @un ye to and !ro e(ery
where, ye holy !ires, ye beauteous !ires; !or ye are the light o! the world, nor are ye
put under a bushel; 'e who you #lea(e unto, is e-alted, and hath e-alted you" @un
ye to and !ro, and be %nown unto all nations"
Let the sea also #on#ei(e and bring !orth your wor%s; and let the waters bring !orth the
o(ing #reature that hath li!e" /or ye, separating the pre#ious !ro the (ile, are ade
the outh o! God, by who 'e saith, Let the waters bring !orth, not the li(ing
#reature whi#h the earth brings !orth, but the o(ing #reature ha(ing li!e, and the
!owls that !ly abo(e the earth" /or Thy +a#raents, O God, by the inistry o! Thy
holy ones, ha(e o(ed aid the wa(es o! teptations o! the world, to hallow the
Gentiles in Thy 8ae, in Thy 1aptis" And aid these things, any great wonders
were wrought, as it were great whales$ and the (oi#es o! Thy essengers !lying abo(e
the earth, in the open !iraent o! Thy 1oo%; that being set o(er the, as their
authority under whi#h they were to !ly, whithersoe(er they went" /or there is no
spee#h nor language, where their (oi#e is not heard$ seeing their sound is gone
through all the earth, and their words to the end o! the world, be#ause Thou, Lord,
ultipliedst the by blessing"
+pea% ) untruly, or do ) ingle and #on!ound, and not distinguish between the lu#id
%nowledge o! these things in the !iraent o! hea(en, and the aterial wor%s in the
wa(y sea, and under the !iraent o! hea(en& /or o! those things whereo! the
%nowledge is substantial and de!ined, without any in#rease by generation, as it were
lights o! wisdo and %nowledge, yet e(en o! the, the aterial operations are any
and di(ers; and one thing growing out o! another, they are ultiplied by Thy blessing,
O God, who hast re!reshed the !astidiousness o! ortal senses; that so one thing in the
understanding o! our ind, ay, by the otions o! the body, be any ways set out,
and e-pressed" These +a#raents ha(e the waters brought !orth; but in Thy word" The
ne#essities o! the people estranged !ro the eternity o! Thy truth, ha(e brought the
!orth, but in Thy Gospel; be#ause the waters thesel(es #ast the !orth, the diseased
bitterness whereo! was the #ause, why they were sent !orth in Thy .ord"
8ow are all things !air that Thou hast ade; but behold, Thysel! art unutterably !airer,
that adest all; !ro who had not Ada !allen, the bra#%ishness o! the sea had
ne(er !lowed out o! hi, that is, the huan ra#e so pro!oundly #urious, and
tepestuously swelling, and restlessly tubling up and down; and then had there
been no need o! Thy dispensers to wor% in any waters, a!ter a #orporeal and sensible
anner, ysterious doings and sayings" /or su#h those o(ing and !lying #reatures
now see to e to ean, whereby people being initiated and #onse#rated by
#orporeal +a#raents, should not !urther pro!it, unless their soul had a spiritual li!e,
and unless a!ter the word o! adission, it loo%ed !orwards to per!e#tion"
Boo "III
And hereby, in Thy .ord, not the deepness o! the sea, but the earth separated !ro the
bitterness o! the waters, brings !orth, not the o(ing #reature that hath li!e, but the
li(ing soul" /or now hath it no ore need o! baptis, as the heathen ha(e, and as
itsel! had, when it was #o(ered with the waters; (!or no other entran#e is there into the
%ingdo o! hea(en, sin#e Thou hast appointed that this should be the entran#e$) nor
does it see% a!ter wonder!ulness o! ira#les to wor% belie!; !or it is not su#h, that
unless it sees signs and wonders, it will not belie(e, now that the !aith!ul earth is
separated !ro the waters that were bitter with in!idelity; and tongues are !or a sign,
not to the that belie(e, but to the that belie(e not" 8either then does that earth
whi#h Thou hast !ounded upon the waters, need that !lying %ind, whi#h at Thy word
the waters brought !orth" +end Thou Thy word into it by Thy essengers$ !or we
spea% o! their wor%ing, yet it is Thou that wor%est in the that they ay wor% out a
li(ing soul in it" The earth brings it !orth, be#ause the earth is the #ause that they wor%
this in the soul; as the sea was the #ause that they wrought upon the o(ing #reatures
that ha(e li!e, and the !owls that !ly under the !iraent o! hea(en, o! who the earth
hath no need; although it !eeds upon that !ish whi#h was ta%en out o! the deep, upon
that table whi#h Thou hast prepared in the presen#e o! the that belie(e" /or there!ore
was 'e ta%en out o! the deep, that 'e ight !eed the dry land; and the !owl, though
bred in the sea, is yet ultiplied upon the earth" /or o! the !irst prea#hings o! the
0(angelists, an7s in!idelity was the #ause; yet are the !aith!ul also e-horted and
blessed by the ani!oldly, !ro day to day" 1ut the li(ing soul ta%es his beginning
!ro the earth$ !or it pro!its only those already aong the /aith!ul, to #ontain
thesel(es !ro the lo(e o! this world, that so their soul ay li(e unto Thee, whi#h
was dead while it li(ed in pleasures; in death3bringing pleasures, Lord, !or Thou,
Lord, art the li!e3gi(ing delight o! the pure heart"
8ow then let Thy inisters wor% upon the earth, 3not as upon the waters o! in!idelity,
by prea#hing and spea%ing by ira#les, and +a#raents, and ysti# words; wherein
ignoran#e, the other o! adiration, ight be intent upon the, out o! a re(eren#e
towards those se#ret signs" /or su#h is the entran#e unto the /aith !or the sons o!
Ada !orget!ul o! Thee, while they hide thesel(es !ro Thy !a#e, and be#oe a
dar%soe deep" 1ut3 let Thy inisters wor% now as on the dry land, separated !ro
the whirlpools o! the great deep$ and let the be a pattern unto the /aith!ul, by li(ing
be!ore the, and stirring the up to iitation" /or thus do en hear, so as not to hear
only, but to do also" +ee% the Lord, and your soul shall li(e, that the earth ay bring
!orth the li(ing soul" 1e not #on!ored to the world" ;ontain yoursel(es !ro it$ the
soul li(es by a(oiding what it dies by a!!e#ting" ;ontain yoursel(es !ro the
ungo(erned wildness o! pride, the sluggish (oluptuousness o! lu-ury, and the !alse
nae o! %nowledge$ that so the wild beasts ay be taed, the #attle bro%en to the
yo%e, the serpents, harless" /or these be the otions o! our ind under an allegory;
that is to say, the haughtiness o! pride, the delight o! lust, and the poison o! #uriosity,
are the otions o! a dead soul; !or the soul dies not so as to lose all otion; be#ause it
dies by !orsa%ing the !ountain o! li!e, and so is ta%en up by this transitory world, and
is #on!ored unto it"
1ut Thy word, O God, is the !ountain o! li!e eternal; and passeth not away$ where!ore
this departure o! the soul is restrained by Thy word, when it is said unto us, 1e not
#on!ored unto this world; that so the earth ay in the !ountain o! li!e bring !orth a
li(ing soul; that is, a soul ade #ontinent in Thy .ord, by Thy 0(angelists, by
!ollowing the !ollowers o! Thy ;hrist" /or this is a!ter his %ind; be#ause a an is wont
Boo "III
to iitate his !riend" 1e ye (saith he) as ) a, !or ) also a as you are" Thus in this
li(ing soul shall there be good beasts, in ee%ness o! a#tion (!or Thou hast
#oanded, Go on with thy business in ee%ness, so shalt thou be belo(ed by all
en); and good #attle, whi#h neither i! they eat, shall they o(er3abound, nor, i! they
eat not, ha(e any la#%; and good serpents, not dangerous, to do hurt, but wise to ta%e
heed; and only a%ing so u#h sear#h into this teporal nature, as ay su!!i#e that
eternity be #learly seen, being understood by the things that are ade" /or these
#reatures are obedient unto reason, when being restrained !ro deadly pre(ailing
upon us, they li(e, and are good"
/or behold, O Lord, our God, our ;reator, when our a!!e#tions ha(e been restrained
!ro the lo(e o! the world, by whi#h we died through e(il3li(ing; and begun to be a
li(ing soul, through good li(ing; and Thy word whi#h Thou spo%est by Thy apostle, is
ade good in us, 1e not #on!ored to this world$ there !ollows that also, whi#h Thou
presently sub2oinedst, saying, 1ut be ye trans!ored by the renewing o! your ind;
not now a!ter your %ind, as though !ollowing your neighbour who went be!ore you,
nor as li(ing a!ter the e-aple o! soe better an (!or Thou saidst not, 9Let an be
ade a!ter his %ind,9 but, Let us a%e an a!ter our own iage and siilitude), that
we ight pro(e what Thy will is" /or to this purpose said that dispenser o! Thine
(who begat #hildren by the Gospel), that he ight not !or e(er ha(e the babes,
who he ust be !ain to !eed with il%, and #herish as a nurse; be ye trans!ored
(saith he) by the renewing o! your ind, that ye ay pro(e what is that good and
a##eptable and per!e#t will o! God" .here!ore Thou sayest not, 9Let an be ade,9
but Let us a%e an" 8or saidst Thou, 9a##ording to his %ind9; but, a!ter our iage
and li%eness" /or an being renewed in his ind, and beholding and understanding
Thy truth, needs not an as his dire#tor, so as to !ollow a!ter his %ind; but by Thy
dire#tion pro(eth what is that good, that a##eptable, and per!e#t will o! Thine$ yea,
Thou tea#hest hi, now ade #apable, to dis#ern the Trinity o! the :nity, and the
:nity o! the Trinity" .here!ore to that said in the plural" Let us a%e an, is yet
sub2oined in the singular, And God ade an$ and to that said in the plural" A!ter our
li%eness, is sub2oined in the singular, A!ter the iage o! God" Thus is an renewed in
the %nowledge o! God, a!ter the iage o! 'i that #reated hi$ and being ade
spiritual, he 2udgeth all things (all things whi#h are to be 2udged), yet hisel! is
2udged o! no an"
1ut that he 2udgeth all things, this answers to his ha(ing doinion o(er the !ish o! the
sea, and o(er the !owls o! the air, and o(er all #attle and wild beasts, and o(er all the
earth, and o(er e(ery #reeping thing that #reepeth upon the earth" /or this he doth by
the understanding o! his ind, whereby he per#ei(eth the things o! the +pirit o! God;
whereas otherwise, an being pla#ed in honour, had no understanding, and is
#opared unto the brute beasts, and is be#oe li%e unto the" )n Thy ;hur#h
there!ore, O our God, a##ording to Thy gra#e whi#h Thou hast bestowed upon it (!or
we are Thy wor%anship #reated unto good wor%s), not those only who are spiritually
set o(er, but they also who spiritually are sub2e#t to those that are set o(er the, 3!or
in this way didst Thou a%e an ale and !eale, in Thy gra#e spiritual, where,
a##ording to the se- o! body, there is neither ale nor !eale, be#ause neither =ew nor
Gre#ian, neither bond nor !ree" 3+piritual persons (whether su#h as are set o(er, or
su#h as obey); do 2udge spiritually; not o! that spiritual %nowledge whi#h shines in the
!iraent (!or they ought not to 2udge as to so supree authority), nor ay they
2udge o! Thy 1oo% itsel!, e(en though soething there shineth not #learly; !or we
Boo "III
subit our understanding unto it, and hold !or #ertain, that e(en what is #losed to our
sight, is yet rightly and truly spo%en" /or so an, though now spiritual and renewed in
the %nowledge o! God a!ter 'is iage that #reated hi, ought to be a doer o! the law,
not a 2udge" 8either doth he 2udge o! that distin#tion o! spiritual and #arnal en, who
are %nown unto Thine eyes, O our God, and ha(e not as yet dis#o(ered thesel(es
unto us by wor%s, that by their !ruits we ight %now the$ but Thou, Lord, dost e(en
now %now the, and hast di(ided and #alled the in se#ret, or e(er the !iraent
was ade" 8or doth he, though spiritual, 2udge the un5uiet people o! this world; !or
what hath he to do, to 2udge the that are without, %nowing not whi#h o! the shall
herea!ter #oe into the sweetness o! Thy gra#e; and whi#h #ontinue in the perpetual
bitterness o! ungodliness&
*an there!ore, who Thou hast ade a!ter Thine own iage, re#ei(ed not doinion
o(er the lights o! hea(en, nor o(er that hidden hea(en itsel!, nor o(er the day and the
night, whi#h Thou #alledst be!ore the !oundation o! the hea(en, nor o(er the gathering
together o! the waters, whi#h is the sea; but 'e re#ei(ed doinion o(er the !ishes o!
the sea, and the !owls o! the air, and o(er all #attle, and o(er all the earth, and o(er all
#reeping things whi#h #reep upon the earth" /or 'e 2udgeth and appro(eth what 'e
!indeth right, and 'e disalloweth what 'e !indeth aiss, whether in the #elebration o!
those +a#raents by whi#h su#h are initiated, as Thy er#y sear#hes out in any
waters$ or in that, in whi#h that /ish is set !orth, whi#h, ta%en out o! the deep, the
de(out earth !eedeth upon$ or in the e-pressions and signs o! words, sub2e#t to the
authority o! Thy 1oo%, 3su#h signs, as pro#eed out o! the outh, and sound !orth,
!lying as it were under the !iraent, by interpreting, e-pounding, dis#oursing
disputing, #onse#rating, or praying unto Thee, so that the people ay answer, Aen"
The (o#al pronoun#ing o! all whi#h words, is o##asioned by the deep o! this world,
and the blindness o! the !lesh, whi#h #annot see thoughts; +o that there is need to
spea% aloud into the ears; so that, although !lying !owls be ultiplied upon the earth,
yet they deri(e their beginning !ro the waters" The spiritual an 2udgeth also by
allowing o! what is right, and disallowing what he !inds aiss, in the wor%s and li(es
o! the !aith!ul; their als, as it were the earth bringing !orth !ruit, and o! the li(ing
soul, li(ing by the taing o! the a!!e#tions, in #hastity, in !asting, in holy editations;
and o! those things, whi#h are per#ei(ed by the senses o! the body" :pon all these is
he now said to 2udge, wherein he hath also power o! #orre#tion"
1ut what is this, and what %ind o! ystery& 1ehold, Thou blessest an%ind, O Lord,
that they ay in#rease and ultiply, and replenish the earth; dost Thou not thereby
gi(e us a hint to understand soething& why didst Thou not as well bless the light,
whi#h Thou #alledst day; nor the !iraent o! hea(en, nor the lights, nor the stars,
nor the earth, nor the sea& ) ight say that Thou, O God, who #reated #reated us a!ter
Thine )age, ) ight say, that it had been Thy good pleasure to bestow this blessing
pe#uliarly upon an; hadst Thou not in li%e anner blessed the !ishes and the whales,
that they should in#rease and ultiply, and replenish the waters o! the sea, and that
the !owls should be ultiplied upon the earth" ) ight say li%ewise, that this blessing
pertained properly unto su#h #reatures, as are bred o! their own %ind, had ) !ound it
gi(en to the !ruit3trees, and plants, and beasts o! the earth" 1ut now neither unto the
herbs, nor the trees, nor the beasts, nor serpents is it said, )n#rease and ultiply;
notwithstanding all these as well as the !ishes, !owls, or en, do by generation
in#rease and #ontinue their %ind"
Boo "III
.hat then shall ) say, O Truth y Light& 9that it was idly said, and without
eaning&9 8ot so, O /ather o! piety, !ar he it !ro a inister o! Thy word to say so"
And i! ) understand not what Thou eanest by that phrase, let y betters, that is,
those o! ore understanding than ysel!, a%e better use o! it, a##ording as Thou,
y God, hast gi(en to ea#h an to understand" 1ut let y #on!ession also be pleasing
in Thine eyes, wherein ) #on!ess unto Thee, that ) belie(e, O Lord, that Thou spo%est
not so in (ain; nor will ) suppress, what this lesson suggests to e" /or it is true, nor
do ) see what should hinder e !ro thus understanding the !igurati(e sayings o! Thy
1ible" /or ) %now a thing to be ani!oldly signi!ied by #orporeal e-pressions, whi#h
is understood one way by the ind; and that understood any ways in the ind,
whi#h is signi!ied one way by #orporeal e-pression" 1ehold, the single lo(e o! God
and our neighbour, by what ani!old sa#raents, and innuerable languages, and in
ea#h se(eral language, in how innuerable odes o! spea%ing, it is #orporeally
e-pressed" Thus do the o!!spring o! the waters in#rease and ultiply" Obser(e again,
whosoe(er readest this; behold, what +#ripture deli(ers, and the (oi#e pronoun#es one
only way, )n the 1eginning God #reated hea(en and earth; is it not understood
ani!oldly, not through any de#eit o! error, but by (arious %inds o! true senses& Thus
do an7s o!!spring in#rease and ultiply"
)! there!ore we #on#ei(e o! the natures o! the things thesel(es, not allegori#ally, but
properly, then does the phrase in#rease and ultiply, agree unto all things, that #oe
o! seed" 1ut i! we treat o! the words as !igurati(ely spo%en (whi#h ) rather suppose to
be the purpose o! the +#ripture, whi#h doth not, surely, super!luously as#ribe this
benedi#tion to the o!!spring o! a5uati# anials and an only); then do we !ind
9ultitude9 to belong to #reatures spiritual as well as #orporeal, as in hea(en and
earth, and to righteous and unrighteous, as in light and dar%ness; and to holy authors
who ha(e been the inisters o! the Law unto us, as in the !iraent whi#h is settled
betwi-t the waters and the waters; and to the so#iety o! people yet in the bitterness o!
in!idelity, as in the sea; and to the <eal o! holy souls, as in the dry land; and to wor%s
o! er#y belonging to this present li!e, as in the herbs bearing seed, and in trees
bearing !ruit; and to spiritual gi!ts set !orth !or edi!i#ation, as in the lights o! hea(en;
and to a!!e#tions !ored unto teperan#e, as in the li(ing soul" )n all these instan#es
we eet with ultitudes, abundan#e, and in#rease; but what shall in su#h wise
in#rease and ultiply that one thing ay be e-pressed any ways, and one
e-pression understood any ways; we !ind not, e-#ept in signs #orporeally e-pressed,
and in things entally #on#ei(ed" 1y signs #orporeally pronoun#ed we understand the
generations o! the waters, ne#essarily o##asioned by the depth o! the !lesh; by things
entally #on#ei(ed, huan generations, on a##ount o! the !ruit!ulness o! reason" And
!or this end do we belie(e Thee, Lord, to ha(e said to these %inds, )n#rease and
ultiply" /or in this blessing, ) #on#ei(e Thee to ha(e granted us a power and a
!a#ulty, both to e-press se(eral ways what we understand but one; and to understand
se(eral ways, what we read to be obs#urely deli(ered but in one" Thus are the waters
o! the sea replenished, whi#h are not o(ed but by se(eral signi!i#ations$ thus with
huan in#rease is the earth also replenished, whose dryness appeareth in its longing,
and reason ruleth o(er it"
) would also say, O Lord y God, what the !ollowing +#ripture inds e o!; yea, )
will say, and not !ear" /or ) will say the truth, Thysel! inspiring e with what Thou
willedst e to deli(er out o! those words" 1ut by no other inspiration than Thine, do )
belie(e ysel! to spea% truth, seeing Thou art the Truth, and e(ery an a liar" 'e
Boo "III
there!ore that spea%eth a lie, spea%eth o! his own; that there!ore ) ay spea% truth, )
will spea% o! Thine" 1ehold, Thou hast gi(en unto us !or !ood e(ery herb bearing seed
whi#h is upon all the earth; and e(ery tree, in whi#h is the !ruit o! a tree yielding seed"
And not to us alone, but also to all the !owls o! the air, and to the beasts o! the earth,
and to all #reeping things; but unto the !ishes and to the great whales, hast Thou not
gi(en the" 8ow we said that by these !ruits o! the earth were signi!ied, and !igured
in an allegory, the wor%s o! er#y whi#h are pro(ided !or the ne#essities o! this li!e
out o! the !ruit!ul earth" +u#h an earth was the de(out Onesiphorus, unto whose house
Thou ga(est er#y, be#ause he o!ten re!reshed Thy ,aul, and was not ashaed o! his
#hain" Thus did also the brethren, and su#h !ruit did they bear, who out o! *a#edonia
supplied what was la#%ing to hi" 1ut how grie(ed he !or soe trees, whi#h did not
a!!ord hi the !ruit due unto hi, where he saith, At y !irst answer no an stood by
e, but all en !orsoo% e" ) pray God that it ay not be laid to their #harge" /or
these !ruits are due to su#h as inister the spiritual do#trine unto us out o! their
understanding o! the di(ine ysteries; and they are due to the, as en; yea and due
to the also, as the li(ing soul, whi#h gi(eth itsel! as an e-aple, in all #ontinen#y;
and due unto the also, as !lying #reatures, !or their blessings whi#h are ultiplied
upon the earth, be#ause their sound went out into all lands"
1ut they are !ed by these !ruits, that are delighted with the; nor are they delighted
with the, whose God is their belly" /or neither in the that yield the, are the things
yielded the !ruit, but with what ind they yield the" 'e there!ore that ser(ed God,
and not his own belly, ) plainly see why he re2oi#ed; ) see it, and ) re2oi#e with hi"
/or he had re#ei(ed !ro the ,hilippians, what they had sent by 0paphroditus unto
hi$ and yet ) per#ei(e why he re2oi#ed" /or whereat he re2oi#ed upon that he !ed; !or,
spea%ing in truth, ) re2oi#ed (saith he) greatly in the Lord, that now at the last your
#are o! e hath !lourished again, wherein ye were also #are!ul, but it had be#oe
wearisoe unto you" These ,hilippians then had now dried up, with a long weariness,
and withered as it were as to bearing this !ruit o! a good wor%; and he re2oi#eth !or
the, that they !lourished again, not !or hisel!, that they supplied his wants"
There!ore sub2oins he, not that ) spea% in respe#t o! want, !or ) ha(e learned in
whatsoe(er state ) a, therewith to be #ontent" ) %now both how to be abased, and )
%now how to abound; e(ery where and in all things ) a instru#ted both to be !ull, and
to be hungry; both to abound, and to su!!er need" ) #an do all things through 'i
whi#h strengtheneth e"
.hereat then re2oi#est thou, O great ,aul& whereat re2oi#est thou& whereon !eedest
thou, O an, renewed in the %nowledge o! God, a!ter the iage o! 'i that #reated
thee, thou li(ing soul, o! so u#h #ontinen#y, thou tongue li%e !lying !owls, spea%ing
ysteries& (!or to su#h #reatures, is this !ood due;) what is it that !eeds thee& 2oy" 'ear
we what !ollows$ notwithstanding, ye ha(e well done, that ye did #ouni#ate with
y a!!li#tion" 'ereat he re2oi#eth, hereon !eedeth; be#ause they had well done, not
be#ause his strait was eased, who saith unto Thee, Thou hast enlarged e when ) was
in distress; !or that he %new to abound, and to su!!er want, in Thee .ho strengthenest
hi" /or ye ,hilippians also %now (saith he), that in the beginning o! the Gospel,
when ) departed !ro *a#edonia, no ;hur#h #ouni#ated with e as #on#erning
gi(ing and re#ei(ing, but ye only" /or e(en in Thessaloni#a ye sent on#e and again
unto y ne#essity" :nto these good wor%s, he now re2oi#eth that they are returned;
and is gladdened that they !lourished again, as when a !ruit!ul !ield resues its green"
Boo "III
.as it !or his own ne#essities, be#ause he said, 4e sent unto y ne#essity& @e2oi#eth
he !or that& >erily not !or that" 1ut how %now we this& 1e#ause hisel! says
iediately, not be#ause ) desire a gi!t, but ) desire !ruit" ) ha(e learned o! Thee, y
God, to distinguish betwi-t a gi!t, and !ruit" A gi!t, is the thing itsel! whi#h he gi(es,
that iparts these ne#essaries unto us; as oney, eat, drin%, #lothing, shelter, help$
but the !ruit, is the good and right will o! the gi(er" /or the Good *aster said not only,
'e that re#ei(eth a prophet, but added, in the nae o! a prophet$ nor did 'e only say,
'e that re#ei(eth a righteous an, but added, in the nae o! a righteous an" +o
(erily shall the one re#ei(e the reward o! a prophet, the other, the reward o! a
righteous an$ nor saith 'e only, 'e that shall gi(e to drin% a #up o! #old water to
one o! y little ones; but added, in the nae o! a dis#iple$ and so #on#ludeth, >erily )
say unto you, he shall not lose his reward" The gi!t is, to re#ei(e a prophet, to re#ei(e
a righteous an, to gi(e a #up o! #old water to a dis#iple$ but the !ruit, to do this in the
nae o! a prophet, in the nae o! a righteous an, in the nae o! a dis#iple" .ith
!ruit was 0li2ah !ed by the widow that %new she !ed a an o! God, and there!ore !ed
hi$ but by the ra(en was he !ed with a gi!t" 8or was the inner an o! 0li2ah so !ed,
but the outer only; whi#h ight also !or want o! that !ood ha(e perished"
) will then spea% what is true in Thy sight, O Lord, that when #arnal en and in!idels
(!or the gaining and initiating who, the initiatory +a#raents and the ighty
wor%ings o! ira#les are ne#essary, whi#h we suppose to be signi!ied by the nae o!
!ishes and whales) underta%e the bodily re!reshent, or otherwise su##our Thy
ser(ant with soething use!ul !or this present li!e; whereas they be ignorant, why this
is to be done, and to what end; neither do they !eed these, nor are these !ed by the;
be#ause neither do the one do it out o! an holy and right intent; nor do the other
re2oi#e at their gi!ts, whose !ruit they as yet behold not" /or upon that is the ind !ed,
o! whi#h it is glad" And there!ore do not the !ishes and whales !eed upon su#h eats,
as the earth brings not !orth until a!ter it was separated and di(ided !ro the bitterness
o! the wa(es o! the sea"
And Thou, O God, sawest e(ery thing that Thou hadst ade, and, behold, it was (ery
good" 4ea we also see the sae, and behold, all things are (ery good" O! the se(eral
%inds o! Thy wor%s, when Thou hadst said 9let the be,9 and they were, Thou sawest
ea#h that it was good" +e(en ties ha(e ) #ounted it to be written, that Thou sawest
that that whi#h Thou adest was good$ and this is the eighth, that Thou sawest e(ery
thing that Thou hadst ade, and, behold, it was not only good, but also (ery good, as
being now altogether" /or se(erally, they were only good; but altogether, both good,
and (ery good" All beauti!ul bodies e-press the sae; by reason that a body #onsisting
o! ebers all beauti!ul, is !ar ore beauti!ul than the sae ebers by thesel(es
are, by whose well3ordered blending the whole is per!e#ted; notwithstanding that the
ebers se(erally be also beauti!ul"
And ) loo%ed narrowly to !ind, whether se(en, or eight ties Thou sawest that Thy
wor%s were good, when they pleased Thee; but in Thy seeing ) !ound no ties,
whereby ) ight understand that Thou sawest so o!ten, what Thou adest" And ) said,
9Lord, is not this Thy +#ripture true, sin#e Thou art true, and being Truth, hast set it
!orth& why then dost Thou say unto e, 7that in Thy seeing there be no ties7;
whereas this Thy +#ripture tells e, that what Thou adest ea#h day, Thou sawest
that it was good$ and when ) #ounted the, ) !ound how o!ten"9 :nto this Thou
answerest e, !or Thou art y God, and with a strong (oi#e tellest Thy ser(ant in his
Boo "III
inner ear, brea%ing through y dea!ness and #rying, 9O an, that whi#h *y +#ripture
saith, ) say$ and yet doth that spea% in tie; but tie has no relation to *y .ord;
be#ause *y .ord e-ists in e5ual eternity with *ysel!" +o the things whi#h ye see
through *y +pirit, ) see; li%e as what ye spea% by *y +pirit, ) spea%" And so when ye
see those things in tie, ) see the not in tie; as when ye spea% in tie, ) spea%
the not in tie"9
And ) heard, O Lord y God, and dran% up a drop o! sweetness out o! Thy truth, and
understood, that #ertain en there be who isli%e Thy wor%s; and say, that any o!
the Thou adest, #opelled by ne#essity; su#h as the !abri# o! the hea(ens, and
harony o! the stars; and that Thou adest the not o! what was Thine, but that they
were otherwhere and !ro other sour#es #reated, !or Thee to bring together and
#opa#t and #obine, when out o! Thy #on5uered eneies Thou raisedst up the walls
o! the uni(erse; that they, bound down by the stru#ture, ight not again be able to
rebel against Thee" /or other things, they say Thou neither adest the, nor e(en
#opa#tedst the, su#h as all !lesh and all (ery inute #reatures, and whatsoe(er
hath its root in the earth; but that a ind at enity with Thee, and another nature not
#reated by Thee, and #ontrary unto Thee, did, in these lower stages o! the world, beget
and !rae these things" /ren<ied are they who say thus, be#ause they see not Thy
wor%s by Thy +pirit, nor re#ognise Thee in the"
1ut they who by Thy +pirit see these things, Thou seest in the" There!ore when they
see that these things are good, Thou seest that they are good; and whatsoe(er things
!or Thy sa%e please, Thou pleasest in the, and what through Thy +pirit please us,
they please Thee in us" /or what an %noweth the things o! a an, sa(e the spirit o! a
an, whi#h is in hi& e(en so the things o! God %noweth no one, but the +pirit o!
God" 8ow we (saith he) ha(e re#ei(ed, not the spirit o! this world, but the +pirit
whi#h is o! God, that we ight %now the things that are !reely gi(en to us o! God"
And ) a adonished, 9Truly the things o! God %noweth no one, but the +pirit o!
God$ how then do we also %now, what things are gi(en us o! God&9 Answer is ade
e; 9be#ause the things whi#h we %now by 'is +pirit, e(en these no one %noweth, but
the +pirit o! God" /or as it is rightly said unto those that were to spea% by the +pirit o!
God, it is not ye that spea%$ so is it rightly said to the that %now through the +pirit o!
God, 7)t is not ye that %now"7 And no less then is it rightly said to those that see
through the +pirit o! God, 7)t is not ye that see7; so whatsoe(er through the +pirit o!
God they see to be good, it is not they, but God that sees that it is good"9 )t is one
thing then !or a an to thin% that to be ill whi#h is good, as the !orenaed do;
another, that that whi#h is good, a an should see that it is good (as Thy #reatures be
pleasing unto any, be#ause they be good, who yet Thou pleasest not in the, when
they pre!er to en2oy the, to Thee); and another, that when a an sees a thing that it is
good, God should in hi see that it is good, so, naely, that 'e should be lo(ed in
that whi#h 'e ade, .ho #annot be lo(ed, but by the 'oly Ghost whi#h 'e hath
gi(en" 1e#ause the lo(e o! God is shed abroad in our hearts by the 'oly Ghost, .hi#h
is gi(en unto us$ by .ho we see that whatsoe(er in any degree is, is good" /or !ro
'i it is, who 'isel! )s not in degree, but what 'e )s, )s"
Than%s to Thee, O Lord" .e behold the hea(en and earth, whether the #orporeal part,
superior and in!erior, or the spiritual and #orporeal #reature; and in the adorning o!
these parts, whereo! the uni(ersal pile o! the world, or rather the uni(ersal #reation,
doth #onsist, we see light ade, and di(ided !ro the dar%ness" .e see the !iraent
Boo "III
o! hea(en, whether that priary body o! the world, between the spiritual upper waters
and the in!erior #orporeal waters, or (sin#e this also is #alled hea(en) this spa#e o! air
through whi#h wander the !owls o! hea(en, betwi-t those waters whi#h are in (apours
borne abo(e the, and in #lear nights distill down in dew; and those hea(ier waters
whi#h !low along the earth" .e behold a !a#e o! waters gathered together in the !ields
o! the sea; and the dry land both (oid, and !ored so as to be (isible and haroni<ed,
yea and the atter o! herbs and trees" .e behold the lights shining !ro abo(e, the
sun to su!!i#e !or the day, the oon and the stars to #heer the night; and that by all
these, ties should be ar%ed and signi!ied" .e behold on all sides a oist eleent,
replenished with !ishes, beasts, and birds; be#ause the grossness o! the air, whi#h
bears up the !lights o! birds, thi#%eneth itsel! by the e-halation o! the waters" .e
behold the !a#e o! the earth de#%ed out with earthly #reatures, and an, #reated a!ter
Thy iage and li%eness, e(en through that Thy (ery iage and li%eness (that is the
power o! reason and understanding), set o(er all irrational #reatures" And as in his
soul there is one power whi#h has doinion by dire#ting, another ade sub2e#t, that it
ight obey; so was there !or the an, #orporeally also, ade a woan, who in the
ind o! her reasonable understanding should ha(e a parity o! nature, but in the se- o!
her body, should be in li%e anner sub2e#t to the se- o! her husband, as the appetite o!
doing is !ain to #on#ei(e the s%ill o! right3doing !ro the reason o! the ind" These
things we behold, and they are se(erally good, and altogether (ery good"
Let Thy wor%s praise Thee, that we ay lo(e Thee; and let us lo(e Thee, that Thy
wor%s ay praise Thee, whi#h !ro tie ha(e beginning and ending, rising and
setting, growth and de#ay, !or and pri(ation" They ha(e then their su##ession o!
orning and e(ening, part se#retly, part apparently; !or they were ade o! nothing, by
Thee, not o! Thee; not o! any atter not Thine, or that was be!ore, but o! atter
#on#reated (that is, at the sae tie #reated by Thee), be#ause to its state without
!or, Thou without any inter(al o! tie didst gi(e !or" /or seeing the atter o!
hea(en and earth is one thing, and the !or another, Thou adest the atter o! erely
nothing, but the !or o! the world out o! the atter without !or$ yet both together,
so that the !or should !ollow the atter, without any inter(al o! delay"
.e ha(e also e-ained what Thou willedst to be shadowed !orth, whether by the
#reation, or the relation o! things in su#h an order" And we ha(e seen, that things
singly are good, and together (ery good, in Thy .ord, in Thy Only31egotten, both
hea(en and earth, the 'ead and the body o! the ;hur#h, in Thy predestination be!ore
all ties, without orning and e(ening" 1ut when Thou begannest to e-e#ute in tie
the things predestinated, to the end Thou ightest re(eal hidden things, and re#ti!y
our disorders; !or our sins hung o(er us, and we had sun% into the dar% deep; and Thy
good +pirit was borne o(er us, to help us in due season; and Thou didst 2usti!y the
ungodly, and di(idest the !ro the wi#%ed; and Thou adest the !iraent o!
authority o! Thy 1oo% between those pla#ed abo(e, who were to he do#ile unto Thee,
and those under, who were to be sub2e#t to the$ and Thou gatheredst together the
so#iety o! unbelie(ers into one #onspira#y, that the <eal o! the !aith!ul ight appear,
and they ight bring !orth wor%s o! er#y, e(en distributing to the poor their earthly
ri#hes, to obtain hea(enly" And a!ter this didst Thou %indle #ertain lights in the
!iraent, Thy 'oly ones, ha(ing the word o! li!e; and shining with an einent
authority set on high through spiritual gi!ts; a!ter that again, !or the initiation o! the
unbelie(ing Gentiles, didst Thou out o! #orporeal atter produ#e the +a#raents, and
(isible ira#les, and !ors o! words a##ording to the !iraent o! Thy 1oo%, by
Boo "III
whi#h the !aith!ul should be blessed and ultiplied" 8e-t didst Thou !or the li(ing
soul o! the !aith!ul, through a!!e#tions well ordered by the (igour o! #ontinen#y$ and
a!ter that, the ind sub2e#ted to Thee alone and needing to iitate no huan
authority, hast Thou renewed a!ter Thy iage and li%eness; and didst sub2e#t its
rational a#tions to the e-#ellen#y o! the understanding, as the woan to the an; and
to all O!!i#es o! Thy *inistry, ne#essary !or the per!e#ting o! the !aith!ul in this li!e,
Thou willedst, that !or their teporal uses, good things, !ruit!ul to thesel(es in tie
to #oe, be gi(en by the sae !aith!ul" All these we see, and they are (ery good,
be#ause Thou seest the in us, .ho hast gi(en unto us Thy +pirit, by whi#h we ight
see the, and in the lo(e Thee"
O Lord God, gi(e pea#e unto us$ (!or Thou hast gi(en us all things;) the pea#e o! rest,
the pea#e o! the +abbath, whi#h hath no e(ening" /or all this ost goodly array o!
things (ery good, ha(ing !inished their #ourses, is to pass away, !or in the there was
orning and e(ening"
1ut the se(enth day hath no e(ening, nor hath it setting; be#ause Thou hast san#ti!ied
it to an e(erlasting #ontinuan#e; that that whi#h Thou didst a!ter Thy wor%s whi#h
were (ery good, resting the se(enth day, although Thou adest the in unbro%en rest,
that ay the (oi#e o! Thy 1oo% announ#e be!orehand unto us, that we also a!ter our
wor%s (there!ore (ery good, be#ause Thou hast gi(en the us), shall rest in Thee also
in the +abbath o! eternal li!e"
/or then shalt Thou rest in us, as now Thou wor%est in us; and so shall that be Thy
rest through us, as these are Thy wor%s through us" 1ut Thou, Lord, e(er wor%est, and
art e(er at rest" 8or dost Thou see in tie, nor art o(ed in tie, nor restest in a tie;
and yet Thou a%est things seen in tie, yea the ties thesel(es, and the rest whi#h
results !ro tie"
.e there!ore see these things whi#h Thou adest, be#ause they are$ but they are,
be#ause Thou seest the" And we see without, that they are, and within, that they are
good, but Thou sawest the there, when ade, where Thou sawest the, yet to be
ade" And we were at a later tie o(ed to do well, a!ter our hearts had #on#ei(ed o!
Thy +pirit; but in the !orer tie we were o(ed to do e(il, !orsa%ing Thee; but
Thou, the One, the Good God, didst ne(er #ease doing good" And we also ha(e soe
good wor%s, o! Thy gi!t, but not eternal; a!ter the we trust to rest in Thy great
hallowing" 1ut Thou, being the Good whi#h needeth no good, art e(er at rest, be#ause
Thy rest is Thou Thysel!" And what an #an tea#h an to understand this& or what
Angel, an Angel& or what Angel, a an& Let it be as%ed o! Thee, sought in Thee,
%no#%ed !or at Thee; so, so shall it be re#ei(ed, so shall it be !ound, so shall it be
opened" Aen"
G@AT)A+ T)1) DO*)80

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