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Title: The Confessions of Saint Augustine Author: Saint Augustine Release Date: June, 2002 [Etext #3296] [Yes, we are over one year ahead of schedule] [The actual date this file first posted = 03/19/01] Edition: 10 Language: English The Project Gutenberg Etext the The Confessions of Saint Augustine *******This file should be named tcosa10.txt or tcosa10.zip******* Corrected EDITIONS of our etexts get a new NUMBER, tcosa11.txt VERSIONS based on separate sources get new LETTER, tcosa10a.txt This etext was prepared by Robert S. Munday, e-mail rmunday@att.net from the 1921 Chatto & Windus edition. Project Gutenberg Etexts are usually created from multiple editions, all of which are in the Public Domain in the United States, unless a copyright notice is included. Therefore, we usually do NOT keep any of these books in compliance with any particular paper edition. We are now trying to release all our books one year in advance of the official release dates, leaving time for better editing. Please be encouraged to send us error messages even years after the official publication date. Please note: neither this list nor its contents are final till midnight of the last day of the month of any such announcement. The official release date of all Project Gutenberg Etexts is at Midnight, Central Time, of the last day of the stated month. A preliminary version may often be posted for suggestion, comment and editing by those who wish to do so. Most people start at our sites at: http://gutenberg.net http://promo.net/pg Those of you who want to download any Etext before announcement can surf to them as follows, and just download by date; this is also a good way to get them instantly upon announcement, as the indexes our cataloguers produce obviously take a while after an announcement goes out in the Project Gutenberg Newsletter. http://www.ibiblio.org/gutenberg/etext02 or ftp://ftp.ibiblio.org/pub/docs/books/gutenberg/etext02

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Whither do I call Thee. and wherein Thou hast made me. then. and Thy wisdom infinite. believing in Thee. I fill the heaven and the earth. because nothing which exists could exist without Thee. . may call on Thee as other than Thou art. my God and Lord. unless I were in Thee. again. doth therefore whatever exists contain Thee? Since. O Lord. could not be at all. pourest Thou forth the remainder of Thyself? or hast Thou no need that aught contain Thee. the witness of his sin. to know and understand which is first. and greatly to be praised. and will call on Thee. since I am in Thee? or whence canst Thou enter into me? for whither can I go beyond heaven and earth. O Lord my God. wherewith Thou hast inspired me. Lord. man. shall call on Thee. My faith. through the Incarnation of Thy Son. when I call for Him. And how shall I call upon my God. Thou wert not poured out. by calling on Thee. who hath said. Thou art not dissipated. by whom are all things. that thence my God should come into me.THE CONFESSIONS OF SAINT AUGUSTINE Translated by Edward Bouverie Pusey BOOK I Great art Thou. indeed. to know Thee or to call on Thee? for who can call on Thee. since they do not contain Thee? And whither. and our heart is restless. Lord. in whom are all things? Even so. Thou art not cast down. which Thou hast given me. I will seek Thee. that bears about him his mortality. that we call on Thee that we may know Thee? but how shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? or how shall they believe without a preacher? and they that seek the Lord shall praise Him: for they that seek shall find Him. I could not be then. Thou awakest us to delight in Thy praise. but Thou upliftest us. And Thee would man praise. not knowing Thee? for he that knoweth Thee not. man. For if I go down into hell. since. wert Thou not in me? Why? because I am not gone down in hell. rather. though they were broken. why do I seek that Thou shouldest enter into me. until it repose in Thee. but a particle of Thy creation. great is Thy power. is it rather. and yet Thou art there also. when the heaven and the earth are filled. I too exist. of whom are all things. since. Lord. who containest all things. since Thou fillest them? or dost Thou fill them and yet overflow. the witness that Thou resistest the proud: yet would man praise Thee. which Thou hast made. O my God. God who made heaven and earth? is there. for Thou madest us for Thyself. And when Thou art poured out on us. aught in me that can contain Thee? do then heaven and earth. but Thou gatherest us. to call on Thee or to praise Thee? and. contain Thee? or. Or. Grant me. since what Thou fillest Thou fillest by containing it? for the vessels which Thou fillest uphold Thee not. and they that find shall praise Him. whither my God can come into me? whither can God come into me. Thou art there. he. or. I shall be calling Him to myself? and what room is there within me. through the ministry of the Preacher. for to us hast Thou been preached. Lord. even so. who were not. wert Thou not in me. but a particle of Thy creation. Do the heaven and earth then contain Thee.

that I may forget my ills. creating. unchangeable. but the Lord God? For who is Lord but the Lord? or who is God save our God? Most highest. and Thou. open Thou the ears thereof. nourishing. and spare Thy servant from the power of the enemy. allrenewing. changest Thy works. despisest me. After this voice let me haste. and. while nothing contains Thee wholly? What art Thou then. Thou knowest. as I heard (for I remember . most good. seeking. yet grievest not. Yet suffer me to speak. my God. filling. art wroth with me. ever working. without passion.lest I die. my life. without anxiety. since I speak to Thy mercy. I confess and know it. art angry. repentest. my holy joy? or what saith any man when he speaks of Thee? Yet woe to him that speaketh not. stable. my God.only let me see Thy face. Therefore I contend not in judgment with Thee. losing nothing. and embrace Thee. save Thee? Lord. O Lord my God. Hide not Thy face from me. who art the truth.But Thou who fillest all things. Oh! that I might repose on Thee! Oh! that Thou wouldest enter into my heart. Lord. that Thou mayest enter in. never new. then one part of Thee greater. yet nothing lacking. but that I know not whence I came into this dying life (shall I call it?) or living death. art jealous. the greater more. yet most strong. yet all-changing. and they know it not. remittest debts. Thou lovest. cleanse me from my secret faults. since all things cannot contain Thee wholly. for if Thou. Lord. most merciful. never in need. my sole good! What art Thou to me? In Thy pity. So speak. me. Thou too. Say unto my soul. yet exacting usury. Thou receivest over and above. perhaps. yet didst never lose. enlarge Thou it. Behold. and who hath aught that is not Thine? Thou payest debts. and say unto my soul. Then immediately did the comforts of Thy compassion take me up. I believe. what Thou art unto me. I am thy salvation. hast forgiven the iniquity of my heart? I contend not in judgment with Thee. Narrow is the mansion of my soul. It has that within which must offend Thine eyes. lest mine iniquity lie unto itself. I am thy salvation. that Thou mayest owe. never covetous. I fear to deceive myself. And what had I now said. do they contain part of Thee? and all at once the same part? or each its own part. Let me die. my heart is before Thee. most potent. most hidden. most beautiful. yet serene. yet most just. and inebriate it. if I give it not. dust and ashes. supporting. that I may hear. repair Thou it. yet most present. Lord. most omnipotent. the smaller less? And is. never old. and take hold on Thee. But who shall cleanse it? or to whom should I cry. Thy purpose unchanged. and bringing age upon the proud. another less? or. fillest Thou them with Thy whole self? or. tell me. and not to scornful man. It is ruinous. For what would I say. and maturing. still gathering. my God? what. owing nothing. yet wilt Thou return and have compassion upon me. receivest again what Thou findest. and threatenest me with grievous woes? Is it then a slight woe to love Thee not? Oh! for Thy mercies' sake. shouldest mark iniquities. and overspreading. yet rejoicing in gains. Or what am I to Thee that Thou demandest my love. O Lord. yet incomprehensible. ever at rest. Have I not confessed against myself my transgressions unto Thee. and therefore do I speak. O Lord my God. art Thou wholly every where. teach me to utter it. yet having all things. who shall abide it? Yet suffer me to speak unto Thy mercy. since mute are even the most eloquent.

from them was it. did my infancy succeed another age of mine that died before it? was it that which I spent within my mother's womb? for of that I have heard somewhat. Whence could such a being be. Thy pitiable one. like. and of all things changeable. Lord. For neither my mother nor my nurses stored their own breasts for me. whereof I remember nothing. the first causes of all things unabiding. And when I was not presently obeyed (my wishes being hurtful or unintelligible). have shown me better than my nurses who knew it. save from thee. who for ever livest. For this my good from them. Afterwards I began to smile. and (at my infancy's close) I could seek for signs whereby to make known to others my sensations. So I flung about at random limbs and voice. and avenged myself on them by tears. was good for them. out of whose substance Thou didst sometime fashion me. through these Thy gifts. nor could they by any sense of theirs enter within my spirit. for from Thee. For then I knew but to suck. and such as I could. This I since learned. are all good things. but Thou didst bestow the food of my infancy through them. in whom . within me and without.it not) from the parents of my flesh. and have myself seen women with child? and what before that life again. all unconscious." Thou art. but through them. was I any where or any body? For this have I none to tell me. save from Thee. though of myself I remember it not. Thou also gavest me to desire no more than Thou gavest. Thou. and they without. for Thou hast appointed that man should from others guess much as to himself. though in truth very little like. and bid me praise Thee and acknowledge Thee. nothing more. O God my joy. and that I was myself such. Nor. O Lord. But Thou. then I was indignant with my elders for not submitting to me. according to Thine ordinance. For they. and cry at what offended my flesh. say. proclaiming Thyself unto me. then waking: for so it was told me of myself. and to my nurses willingly to give me what Thou gavest them. Thus. and I believed it. say. for the wishes were within me. O God. which may stream essence and life into us. what I wished. nor mine own memory. Such have I learnt infants to be from observing them. Even then I had being and life. making the few signs I could. Lord. And. indeed. Thy suppliant. nor experience of others. and in whom nothing dies: for before the foundation of the worlds. to me. with those owing me no service. Say. to me. lo! my infancy died long since. little by little. for not serving me. Lord? Shall any be his own artificer? or can there elsewhere be derived any vein. and believe much on the strength of weak females. to repose in what pleased. the springs abide in Thee unchangeable: and in Thee live the eternal reasons of all things unreasoning and temporal. and I live. and from my God is all my health. willingly gave me what they abounded with from Thee. and praise Thee for my first rudiments of being. Thus there received me the comforts of woman's milk. fixed for ever. with a heaven-taught affection. and I could not. first in sleep. whereby Thou distributest Thy riches through the hidden springs of all things. Dost Thou mock me for asking this. and to have a wish to express my wishes to those who could content them. and before all that can be called "before. for that I do know? I acknowledge Thee. neither father nor mother. I became conscious where I was. for we see the like in other infants. and my infancy. they. and art God and Lord of all which Thou hast created: in Thee abide. all-pitying. Lord of heaven and earth.

it could not speak. where. But if I was shapen in iniquity. and sing unto Thy name. and so receive the mould of their degree of being. But Thou art still the same. served it not? that many besides. when the fountain of milk is flowing in rich abundance. obeyed not the nod of its good pleasure? to do its best to strike and hurt. This age then. and art not changed. For Thou art most high. O God. neither in Thee doth to-day come to a close. and all behind it. but because they will disappear as years increase. and whose very life as yet depends thereon? We bear gently with all this. Who remindeth me? doth not each little infant. Myself have seen and known even a baby envious. even hadst Thou done nought but only this. How many of ours and our fathers' years have flowed away through Thy "to-day. even for a while. for Thou madest him. wittingly casts away what is good. not even the infant whose life is but a day upon the earth. and still others shall flow away. and all of yesterday. Thou hast done to-day. not to endure one to share it. is it hid from me in the shadows of forgetfulness. What I then did was worthy reproof. custom and reason forbade me to be reproved. and in sin did my mother conceive me. and all things of tomorrow. which had been obeyed to its hurt? The weakness then of infant limbs. Is that too innocence. for its general good and safety. the very authors of its birth. than by discovering not to discover Thee. yea. Hear. and its own elders. Thou. but sin in him Thou madest not. compacting its limbs. though any comprehend not this? Let him also rejoice and say. . for man's sin! So saith man. true though the guess be. Who remindeth me of the sins of my infancy? for in Thy sight none is pure from sin. Thou commandest me to praise Thee in these things. and all beyond. O my God. furnishing thus with senses (as we see) the frame Thou gavest. O Lord my God. Who knows not this? Mothers and nurses tell you that they allay these things by I know not what remedies. and Thou pitiest him. and orderest all things by Thy law. Thou most Highest. is its innocence. For Thou art God. but since I could not understand reproof. if given. Thy years are one to-day. Alas. For they had no way to pass away. I am yet loth to count in this life of mine which I live in this world. And since Thy years fail not. unless Thou upheldest them. though in extremest need. because all such things also are in Thee. which none could do but Thou: whose Unity is the mould of all things. For no less than that which I spent in my mother's womb. not as being no or slight evils. not its will. in whom I see what of myself I remember not? What then was my sin? was it that I hung upon the breast and cried? for should I now so do for food suitable to my age. Almighty and Good. then. though he prunes. I beseech Thee. who gavest life to this my infancy. would hurt? bitterly to resent. which I take on others' word. for. ornamenting its proportions. we root out and cast away. justly should I be laughed at and reproved. For those habits. who out of Thy own fairness makest all things fair. because commands were not obeyed. that persons free. Now no man. and. to cry for what. to confess unto Thee. yet it turned pale and looked bitterly on its fosterbrother. What thing is this? Let him rejoice even thus! and be content rather by not discovering to discover Thee." and from it received the measure and the mould of such being as they had.essence and life are one? for Thou Thyself art supremely Essence and Life. though tolerated now. wiser than it. Lord. What is it to me. and guess from other infants that I have passed. Or was it then good. whereof I have no remembrance. when grown. implanting in it all vital functions. the very same tempers are utterly intolerable when found in riper years. yet in Thee doth it come to a close.

of which I can recall no vestige? Passing hence from infancy. rejects. which should serve to the "praise of men. though small. soon after. or rather it came to me. or shuns. Lord. and having broken in my mouth to these signs. as it pursues. my elders. memory or capacity. And when Thou heardest me not (not thereby giving me over to folly). or when. I was beaten. the natural language. mocking at those by whom they are feared most bitterly. that I might not be beaten at school. gavest me. but our sole delight was play. my God. expressed by the countenance. and tones of the voice. yea my very parents. I collected gradually for what they stood. Thus I exchanged with those about me these current signs of our wills. was I Thy servant guiltless? But. and as they spoke turned towards it. and yet unable to express all I willed. I saw and remembered that they called what they would point out by the name they uttered. For I was no longer a speechless infant. and broke the fetters of my tongue to call on Thee. of all nations. from cleaving devoutly to Thee. in which I (poor wretch) knew not what use there was. if idle in learning.where. mocked my stripes. in order that in this world I might prosper. It was not that my elders taught me words (as. though hidden from our senses. and cleaving to Thee with so intense affection (for a sort of stupidity will in a way do it). glances of the eye. For we wanted not. I came to boyhood. And yet we sinned. to pray to Thee. that so I might have my will. Is there. O Lord. and many. and yet. men call on Thee with extreme dread). indicating the affections of the mind. nor prayed we less to Thee to escape them. whereof Thy will gave enough for our age. other learning) in any set method. possesses. what miseries and mockeries did I now experience. is endued with so great a spirit. Lord. And thus by constantly hearing words. or to whom I willed. yet with no small earnestness. as it were." and to deceitful riches.and yet it was no more. Next I was put to school to get learning. we found that men called upon Thee. passing the same course before us. in writing or reading or studying less than was exacted of us. as they occurred in various sentences. and have since observed how I learned to speak. practise the sounds in my memory. that he can think as lightly of the racks and hooks and other torments (against which. by the understanding which Thou. When they named any thing. through which we were fain to pass. For this was judged right by our forefathers. my then great and grievous ill. multiplying toil and grief upon the sons of Adam. but I. who yet wished me no ill. as a boy.(for whither went it?). but is there any one who. and . lo! that period I pass by. yet depending on parental authority and the beck of elders. I thereby gave utterance to my will. But. as proper in a boy. any of soul so great.. when obedience to my teachers was proposed to me. displacing infancy. and so launched deeper into the stormy intercourse of human life. O God my God. longing by cries and broken accents and various motions of my limbs to express my thoughts. and excel in tongue-science. framed for us weary paths. Lord. praying Thee. and what have I now to do with that. gestures of the limbs. throughout all lands. For so I began. as our parents mocked the torments which we suffered in boyhood from our masters? For we feared not our torments less. who. Nor did that depart. my aid and refuge. And that they meant this thing and no other was plain from the motion of their body. did myself. This I remember. couldest hear and help us. but a speaking boy. and we learnt from them to think of Thee (according to our powers) as of some great One.

if worsted in some trifling discussion with his fellow-tutor. she even more lovingly travailed in birth of my salvation). only that." How . being really the same. that almost all wish the same for their children. for the shows and games of my elders. for me to sin? or was it not laid loose? If not. unless I had suddenly recovered. and to have my ears tickled with lying fables. I was sealed with the mark of His cross and salted with His salt. and deliver us who call upon Thee now. therein also obeying Thee. would have me learn. and like near to death. I would fain know. as it were. whom she. confessing Thee. the mother of us all. O Lord my God. I made less progress in studies which I was to learn. the same curiosity flashing from my eyes more and more. for he is not yet healed. because the defilements of sin would. after that washing. that they may call on Thee.for this we were punished by those who yet themselves were doing the like. I had already heard of an eternal life. For I disobeyed. but from love of play. O Lord God. why does it still echo in our ears on all sides. obeyed. as if I must needs be again polluted should I live. For will any of sound discretion approve of my being beaten as a boy. and Thou mayest deliver them. with what eagerness and what faith I sought. and yet are very willing that they should be beaten. But elder folks' idleness is called "business". shouldest be my father. "Let him alone. For what they. how while yet a boy. then. "Let him be worse wounded. let him do as he will. was more embittered and jealous than I when beaten at ball by a playfellow? And yet. being seized on a time with sudden oppression of the stomach. and in this Thou didst aid her to prevail over her husband. my God. Lord. of sin the Disposer only. being much troubled (since. from the pious care of my mother and Thy Church. As a boy. and the whole household. whereby they would have them attain to be the givers of them. the Creator and Disposer of all things in nature. as a man. not from a better choice. loving the pride of victory in my contests. so neither should I. by playing a ball. Lord. Yet those who give these shows are in such esteem. Thou sawest. Whereupon the mother my flesh. I sinned in transgressing the commands of my parents and those of my masters. rather than he. that of boys. I then already believed: and my mother. no one says. I might afterwards have put to good use. I sinned herein. upon me. bring greater and more perilous guilt. and none commiserates either boys or men. except my father: yet did not he prevail over the power of my mother's piety in me. if those very games detain them from the studies. that as he did not yet believe. the baptism of Thy Christ. my cleansing was deferred. on these things. For it was her earnest care that Thou my God. promised us through the humility of the Lord our God stooping to our pride. who greatly hoped in Thee. for the remission of sins. And so. for what purpose my baptism was then deferred? was it for my good that the rein was laid loose. because. my God and Lord. Lord Jesus. with a heart pure in Thy faith. with whatever motive. that they might itch the more. is punished by those elders. I might play more unbeseemingly? and what else did he who beat me? who. if so Thou willest.Thou sawest. and even from the womb of my mother. would in eager haste have provided for my consecration and cleansing by the health-giving sacraments. for he is not yet baptised?" but as to bodily health. who hast so commanded. I beseech Thee. Look with pity. the better. my God (for Thou wert my keeper). deliver those too who call not on Thee yet.

and preferred to expose to them the clay whence I might afterwards be moulded. far from Thee. Thou light of my heart. Thou didst well for me. the extremest and lowest of Thy creatures. And if forbid to read all this. and a breath that passeth away and cometh not again? For those first lessons were better certainly. O God my life. and then. by them I obtained. even though what he doth. and "Well done! well done!" echoes on till one is ashamed not to he thus a man. because more certain. I would readily forget the wanderings of Aeneas . but I did not well. having forsaken Thee. had I been at once healed. and a shameful glory. For those first lessons. I endured my miserable self dying among these things." myself seeking the while a worse extreme. because she killed herself for love. For they were regardless how I should employ what they forced me to learn. I was forced to learn the wanderings of one Aeneas. forgetful of my own. O God. Far better was that first study. and my own. And yet whence was this too. the while. and so it is. and hated to be forced to it. writing and arithmetic. my God. and still retain. by my friends' and my own. Thou bread of my inmost soul. For the Latin I loved. however (so much less dreaded for me than youth). and myself writing what I will. I thought as great a burden and penalty as any Greek. and this was well done towards me. "Not so.a fit penalty for one. which I studied as a boy? I do not yet fully know. I who wept for Dido slain. than that by which I learned to read and write. I was grieved that I might not read what grieved me. with dry eyes. For what more miserable than a miserable being who commiserates not himself. whereas in the others. unless forced. not so. I committed fornication against Thee. the power of reading what I find written. but from the sin and vanity of this life. I loved Thee not. that every inordinate affection should be its own punishment. Yet I was forced.much better then. reading. so small a boy and so great a sinner. But why did I so much hate the Greek. But Thou. but what was well came to me from Thee. Thou didst use for my punishment. I loved not study. In boyhood itself. But now. didst use for my good the error of all who urged me to learn. by whom the very hairs of our head are numbered. but weeping not his own death for want of love to Thee. cry Thou aloud in my soul. Yet neither did they well who forced me. lo. And for all this I wept not. and let Thy truth tell me. not what my first masters. when made. but what the so-called grammarians taught me. earth passing into the earth." For. who would not learn. because I was flesh. my soul's recovered health had been kept safe in Thy keeping who gavest it. and by my own sin Thou didst justly punish me. Thou Power who givest vigour to my mind. except to satiate the insatiate desires of a wealthy beggary. weeping the death of Dido for love to Aeneas. But how many and great waves of temptation seemed to hang over me after my boyhood! These my mother foresaw. and all around me thus fornicating there echoed "Well done! well done!" for the friendship of this world is fornication against Thee. So by those who did not well. and to weep for dead Dido. Madness like this is thought a higher and a richer learning. Better truly. who quickenest my thoughts. But no one doth well against his will. For Thou hast commanded. I had not learnt. and "seeking by the sword a stroke and wound extreme. than the very cast. for. be well. my God.

my King and my God. and clasp Thy hand with all my affections. which have the like tales? For Homer also curiously wove the like fictions. from the master's cane to the martyr's trials. "two and two. write. For not one word of it did I understand. in truth. Difficulty. that Thou mightest become a delight to me above all the allurements which I once pursued. For Thou didst grant me Thy discipline. for Thy service. but this I learned without fear or suffering. by mere observation. smiling and sportively encouraging me. For if I question them whether it be true that Aeneas came on a time to Carthage. and Thou mayest yet rescue me from every temptation. with gall all the sweetness of Grecian fable. whatever my soul will. . let not my soul faint under Thy discipline. when as a boy I preferred those empty to those more profitable studies. rather than how to read and write. being able to temper for us a wholesome bitter. amid the caresses of my nursery and jests of friends. Let not either buyers or sellers of grammarlearning cry out against me. I should ask which might be forgotten with least detriment to the concerns of life. while I was learning vanities. and acquiesce in the condemnation of my evil ways. O Lord. Why then did I hate the Greek classics. and my sin of delighting in those vanities Thou hast forgiven. the difficulty of a foreign tongue. Thy laws. For lo. than a frightful enforcement. In them.and all the rest. reckon. while I confess to Thee. four". And so I suppose would Virgil be to Grecian children. whereby Thou hast drawn me out of all my most evil ways. for Thy service be whatever useful thing my childhood learned. that I may love Thy good ways. read. I learnt many a useful word. through Thy laws. But over the entrance of the Grammar School is a vail drawn! true. as the poet tells. yet was he bitter to my boyish taste. that a free curiosity has more force in our learning these things. when forced to learn him as I was Homer. reading and writing or these poetic fictions? who does not foresee what all must answer who have not wholly forgotten themselves? I sinned. as to the signs which men have conventionally settled. my prayer. again. No doubt. But should I ask with what letters the name "Aeneas" is written. then. then. that I speak. the less learned will reply that they know not. or rather loved the one and hated the other. Lord. cry out against me. O my God. This I learned without any pressure of punishment to urge me on. but of those who talked with me." and "Creusa's shade and sad similitude. Let not those. but these may as well be learned in things not vain. "One and one. and to make me understand I was urged vehemently with cruel threats and punishments. as it were. as a cloak of error." were the choice spectacle of my vanity. every one who has learnt this will answer me aright. and is most sweetlyvain. that I may most entirely love Thee. which I could only do by learning words not of those who taught. whatever I conceived. yet is this not so much an emblem of aught recondite. Hear. recalling us to Thyself from that deadly pleasure which lures us from Thee. my God. dashed. two". If. Time was also (as an infant) I knew no Latin. the more learned that he never did. in whose ears also I gave birth to the thoughts. for my heart urged me to give birth to its conceptions. nor let me faint in confessing unto Thee all Thy mercies. Only this enforcement restrains the rovings of that freedom." and "the burning of Troy. whom I no longer fear. indeed. this was to me a hateful singsong: "the wooden horse lined with armed men. and that is the safe path for the steps of youth. even unto the end.

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

O my true life. who. will I seek. Lord. than he wounds his own soul by his enmity. this the stage where I had feared more to commit a barbarism. Thou only great. Thy face. when he returned empty. As if any enemy could be more hurtful than the hatred with which he is incensed against him. but we were forced to go astray in the footsteps of these poetic fictions. so had it not trailed away amid these empty trifles. long-suffering. lest." How deep are Thy ways. or ships. being censured. he murder the real human being. by an error of the tongue. Thy praises might have stayed the yet tender shoot of my heart by the prop of Thy Scriptures. Behold. that he might in a far country waste in riotous living all Thou gavest at his departure? a loving Father. neglecting the eternal covenant of everlasting salvation received from Thee. For it is not by our feet. "that he is doing to another what from another he would be loth to suffer. and went out from Thy presence. that thirsteth for Thy pleasures. of a "uman being. Wilt Thou hold Thy peace for ever? and even now Thou drawest out of this horrible gulf the soul that seeketh Thee. when Thou gavest. Or did that Thy younger son look out for horses or chariots. that a teacher or learner of the hereditary laws of pronunciation will more offend men by speaking without the aspirate. So then in lustful. What is it to me. lest. or journey by the motion of his limbs. Assuredly no science of letters can be so innate as the record of conscience. In quest of the fame of eloquence. that is. in whom the passions of rage and grief were most preeminent. maintaining the dignity of the character. declaiming against his enemy with fiercest hatred. and to say in prose much what he expressed in verse. Insomuch. whose heart saith unto Thee. my God. a "human being. and more loving unto him. but takes no heed. were abashed. O my God. a man standing before a human judge. will take heed most watchfully. or return unto Thee. in itself not ill. And his speaking was most applauded. Lord. he murder the word "human being". I have sought Thy face. being bepraised. fly with visible wings. For in more ways than one do men sacrifice to the rebellious angels. yea. in darkened affections. that men leave Thee. behold patiently as Thou art wont how carefully the sons of men observe the covenanted rules of letters and syllables received from those who spake before them. that my declamation was applauded above so many of my own age and class? is not all this smoke and wind? and was there nothing else whereon to exercise my wit and tongue? Thy praises. through the fury of his spirit. and plenteous in mercy and truth. to envy those who . that sittest silent on high and by an unwearied law dispensing penal blindness to lawless desires. but when in rich and adomed and well-ordered discourse they related their own disordered life. than having committed one. they gloried? These things Thou seest. or change of place. is the true distance from Thy face. Lord. For darkened affections is removal from Thee." in despite of the laws of grammar. they committed some barbarism or solecism. O Lord God. if in relating some action of theirs. This was the world at whose gate unhappy I lay in my boyhood. when men were set before me as models. than if he. and clothed in the most fitting language.Which words I had heard that Juno never uttered. But what marvel that I was thus carried away to vanities. or could wound more deeply him whom he persecutes. and holdest Thy peace." hate a "human being" in despite of Thine. O God. a defiled prey for the fowls of the air. surrounded by a human throng.

detected. as riper years succeed. I cry Thy mercy. then. Thanks be to Thee. to magistrates and kings. but that I may love Thee. In so small a creature. when Thou saidst. confusions. is He that made me. and in my thoughts on things minute. just as severer punishments displace the cane. but in His creatures. thanks be to Thee for Thy gifts. my God. And is this the innocence of boyhood? Not so.a trace of that mysterious Unity whence I was derived. that not in Him. these very sins are transferred from tutors and masters. when I detected it. and the carnal corruptions of my soul. and those things shall be enlarged and perfected which Thou hast given me. was gifted with speech. For it was my sin. not so. For I saw not the abyss of vileness. I often sought unfair conquests. conquered myself meanwhile by vain desire of preeminence. baseness. errors. sublimities. upbraided I so fiercely. from my parents' cellar and table. to gold and manors and slaves. and good these are. and felt. whom I then thought it all virtue to please. It was the low stature then of childhood which Thou our King didst commend as an emblem of lowliness. my God. Good. the Creator and Governor of the universe. In this play. and had an implanted providence over my wellbeing. I chose rather to quarrel than to yield. I hated to be deceived. I guarded by the inward sense the entireness of my senses. and in these minute pursuits. who sold me their play. that Thou mayest grow sweet unto me (Thou sweetness never failing. even hadst Thou destined for me boyhood only. from love of play. and I myself shall be with Thee. reviewing my most wicked ways in the very bitterness of my remembrance. BOOK II I will now call to mind my past foulness. and before Him will I exult for every good which of a boy I had. And what could I so ill endure. and He is my good. Yet. since even to be Thou hast given me.I sought for pleasures. For these very sins. not admirable? But all are gifts of my God: it was not I who gave them me. I lived. Before them what more foul than I was already. I learnt to delight in truth. which all the while they liked no less than I. or. most excellent and most good. but do Thou preserve them to me. my masters. from nuts and balls and sparrows. For even then I was. for which I had praise from them.myself and others. and these together are myself. Lord. These things I speak and confess to Thee. enslaved by greediness. was soothed by friendship. eagerness to see vain shows and restlessness to imitate them! Thefts also I committed. For so wilt Thou preserve me. not because I love them. I was upbraided. ignorance. too. thanks were due to Thee our God. avoided pain. had a vigorous memory. my joy and my glory and my confidence. wherein I was cast away from Thine eyes. O my God. Of such is the kingdom of heaven.had not. or that I might have to give to boys. Thou blissful and assured . Lord. my parents. to Thee. my God. what was not wonderful. truths. as that I was doing to others? and for which if. For love of Thy love I do it. and so fell headlong into sorrows. displeasing even such as myself? with innumerable lies deceiving my tutor.

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

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

which my mother reposed in Thee. which iniquity itself effaces not. through a certain proportion of its own. nor decline from Thy law. For what thief will abide a thief? not even a rich thief. Not those hopes of the world to come. the better and higher are forsaken. Behold my heart. A pear tree there was near our vineyard. and a correspondence with all things beautiful here below. Theft is punished by Thy law. so heed what she had heard of me from her husband. having only tasted them. And that I might cleave the faster to its very centre. and the like. and in bodily touch. some lewd young fellows of us went. Wordly honour hath also its grace. whence springs also the thirst of revenge. not seeking aught through the shame. compelled by no hunger. The reins. and of mastery. not that for which I was faulty. Now. even unto dissoluteness in whatsoever I affected. She heeded not this. the disposition of my parents. I loved mine own fault. And this. Thy . Neither did the mother of my flesh (who had now fled out of the centre of Babylon. and did it. of which I had enough. and much better. Human friendship also is endeared with a sweet tie. in gold and silver. because it was misliked. for that I was easy to be seduced. but the ill itself.Behold with what companions I walked the streets of Babylon. For I stole that. and a pamperedness of iniquity. yet went more slowly in the skirts thereof as she advised me to chastity.. behold. falling from Thy firmament to utter destruction. and each other sense hath his proper object answerably tempered. And in all was a mist. not for our eating. The life also which here we live hath its own enchantment. meantime. but through a cloyedness of well-doing. the brightness of Thy truth. But yet. and of me but vain conceits. Yet I lusted to thieve. which both my parents were too desirous I should attain. as well as I may. by reason of the unity formed of many souls. O my God. but to do what we liked only. but my fault itself. recalling. and mine iniquity burst out as from very fatness. I loved to perish. but joyed in the theft and sin itself. for she feared lest a wife should prove a clog and hindrance to my hopes. because he had next to no thought of Thee. while through an immoderate inclination towards these goods of the lowest order. It was foul. and all things. laden with fruit. to obtain all these. which Thou hadst pity upon in the bottom of the bottomless pit. having no temptation to ill. and the law written in the hearts of men. Foul soul. my mother. let my heart tell Thee what it sought there. were slackened to me. late one night (having according to our pestilent custom prolonged our sports in the streets till then). the invisible enemy trod me down. sympathy hath much influence. O God. and took huge loads. but the shame itself! For there is an attractiveness in beautiful bodies. yea. nor poverty. one stealing through want. we may not depart from Thee. as to restrain within the bounds of conjugal affection (if it could not be pared away to the quick) what she felt to be pestilent at present and for the future dangerous. but to fling to the very hogs. tempting neither for colour nor taste. is sin committed. and the power of overcoming. To shake and rob this. behold my heart. and seduced me. our Lord God. and I loved it. Nor cared I to enjoy what I stole. O Lord. my father. to spend my time in sport. as if in a bed of spices and precious ointments. For thus I conjecture. Upon occasion of all these. because she accounted that those usual courses of learning would not only be no hindrance. but the hope of learning. but even some furtherance towards attaining Thee. and wallowed in the mire thereof.Thou. O Lord. that I should be gratuitously evil. intercepting from me. beyond all temper of due severity.

and He is the joy of the upright in heart. for I had store of better. Fair were those pears. riches. through that practice of guilt. For if aught of those pears came within my mouth. The cruelty of the great would fain be feared. For they are beautiful and comely. whereas Thou supremely knowest all. which I was pleased to enjoy. when gathered. delighted simply in murdering? who would believe it? for as for that furious and savage man.truth. unless it appear that there might have been some desire of obtaining some of those which we called lower goods. what seeks it. Thou good God. but Thou art the fulness and never-failing plenteousness of incorruptible pleasures. nor such as is in the mind and memory. we ask why a crime was done. but not them did my wretched soul desire. Ambition. O Lord my God. or. because they were Thy creation. but who is to be feared but God alone. I flung them away. and animal life of man. or sea. although compared with those higher and beatific goods. but honours and glory? whereas Thou alone art to be honoured above all. . and Thy law. and senses. and consciousness of villainies. "lest" (saith he) "through idleness hand or heart should grow inactive. I mean not such loveliness as in justice and wisdom. what sweetened it was the sin. replacing by its birth that which decayeth. or feared to lose some such things by him. wronged. but what stable rest besides the Lord? Luxury affects to be called plenty and abundance. A man hath murdered another. having taken the city. or a fear of losing them. for whose sake he did them. empire. or by whom? The tendernesses of the wanton would fain be counted love: yet is nothing more tender than Thy charity. ignorance and foolishness itself is cloaked under the name of simplicity and uninjuriousness. the sovereign good and my true good. then. was on fire to be revenged. yet is the cause assigned. Curiosity makes semblance of a desire of knowledge. Thou fairest of all. and his embarrassments from domestic needs. For. because thou wert theft. thou theft of mine. but something else. out of whose power what can be wrested or withdrawn? when. For these lower things have their delights. why? he loved his wife or his estate. my only feast therein being my own sin. sloth would fain be at rest. because nothing is found more single than Thee: and what less injurious. or the earth. God. in that sixteenth year of my age? Lovely thou wert not. not even Catiline himself loved his own villainies. since they are his own works which injure the sinner? Yea. And now. only that I might steal. of whom it is said that he was gratuitously evil and cruel. and glorious for evermore. or where. For so doth pride imitate exaltedness. they be abject and low. and be freed from fear of the laws. nor is aught loved more healthfully than that Thy truth. Yea. or whither. nor even that false and shadowy beauty which belongeth to deceiving vices. I enquire what in that theft delighted me. full of embryo-life. When. thou deed of darkness. bright and beautiful above all. that thus I speak to thee? Fair were the pears we stole. who made all things. nay. and behold it hath no loveliness. What then did wretched I so love in thee. Creator of all. Would any commit murder upon no cause. whereas Thou alone art God exalted over all." And to what end? that. attain to honours. But art thou any thing. for in Him doth the righteous delight. and those I gathered. So then. we believe it not. nor yet as the stars are glorious and beautiful in their orbs. or would rob for his own livelihood. he might. but not like my God.

yea rather I did love nothing else. sick: and for this let him love Thee as much. as if he had less needed Thy mercy. called by Thee. the delight of its desires. a darkened likeness of Thy Omnipotency? Behold. they imply Thee to be the Creator of all nature. O monstrousness of life. and thank Thee. and to Thy mercy. as nothing can from Thee. O Lord. in that theft which I loved for the theft's sake. only because I might not? What shall I render unto the Lord. save He that enlighteneth my heart. What then did I love in that theft? and wherein did I even corruptly and pervertedly imitate my Lord? Did I wish even by stealth to do contrary to Thy law. in truth? who can teach me. and discovereth its dark corners? What is it which hath come into my mind to enquire. since by whom he sees me to have been recovered from such deep consumption of sin. that so he should love Thee the less. who remove far from Thee. O rottenness. To Thy grace I ascribe it. who. with whom I did it? I did not then love nothing else but the theft. Thus doth the soul commit fornication. fleeing from his Lord. for what might I not have done. because Thou hast forgiven me these so great and heinous deeds of mine. by Him he sees himself to have been from the like consumption of sin preserved. of the remembrance whereof I am now ashamed? Especially. because it would have nothing taken from it. What man is he. and lift themselves up against Thee. yea and more. dares to ascribe his purity and innocency to his own strength. To Thy grace I ascribe also whatsoever I have not done of evil. What is. or who separateth from Thee what Thou lovest? Or where but with Thee is unshaken safety? Grief pines away for things lost. and confess unto Thy name. and therefore the more miserable I. I loved then in it also the company of the accomplices. I remember. weighing his own infirmity. when she turns from Thee. or rather was less. followed Thy voice. and what by Thy guidance I committed not. through whose aid it was that he was not. that. seeking without Thee. Thy servant. Covetousness would possess many things. but to Thee what unwonted or sudden. alone I had never done it. because by power I could not. my soul is not affrighted at them? I will love Thee. Thus all pervertedly imitate Thee. and obtaining a shadow. for that circumstance of the company was also nothing. was cured by that Physician. what she findeth not pure and untainted. that Thou hast melted away my sins as it were ice. Yet alone I had not done it: such was I then.Prodigality presents a shadow of liberality: but Thou art the most overflowing Giver of all good. and . both what evils I committed by my own wilfulness. What fruit had I then (wretched man!) in those things. whereby Thou remittest sins to those that turn to Thee? For whosoever. and avoided those things which he reads me recalling and confessing of myself. who loved it. till she returns to Thee. so that being a prisoner. and it too was nothing. and depth of death! could I like what I might not. and takes forethought for their safety. which endangers things beloved. I might mimic a maimed liberty by doing with impunity things unpermitted me. But even by thus imitating Thee. all I confess to have been forgiven me. who being sick. and Thou possessest all things. Envy disputes for excellency: what more excellent than Thou? Anger seeks revenge: who revenges more justly than Thou? Fear startles at things unwonted and sudden. let him not scorn me. whence there is no place whither altogether to retire from Thee. who even loved a sin for its own sake? Yea. whilst my memory recalls these things.

who had it. but more. where there sang all around me in my ears a cauldron of unholy loves. I loved not yet. BOOK III To Carthage I came. my Mercy. and consider? For had I then loved the pears I stole. the vivid remembrance of my soul. nor had I done it. Whoso enters into Thee. I sank away from Thee. to look on it. Yet if these had not a soul. therefore. was sweet to me. I defiled. it miserably cast itself forth. it was in the offence itself. and life imperturbable. and safety I hated. before Thee. nor needed I have inflamed the itching of my desires by the excitement of accomplices. and a way without snares. which as it were tickled our hearts. I sought what I might love. thou thirst of others' loss. the more I loathed it. desiring to be scraped by the touch of objects of sense. But since my pleasure was not in those pears. alone. they would not be objects of love. For within me was a famine of that inward food. O Righteousness and Innocency. But yet what was it? Who can understand his errors? It was the sport. Behold my God. enters into the joy of his Lord: and shall not fear. alone I had never done it. I might have done it alone. be fine and courtly. in love with loving. with . and out of a deep-seated want. and of a satisfaction unsating. had the bare commission of the theft sufficed to attain my pleasure. yet laughter sometimes masters men alone and singly when on one whatever is with them. What then was this feeling? For of a truth it was too foul: and woe was me. but that I stole. and I beclouded its brightness with the hell of lustfulness. I hated myself for wanting not. and much disliked it. and I wandered. but was without all longing for incorruptible sustenance. Who can disentangle that twisted and intricate knottiness? Foul is it: I hate to think on it. but the more empty. yet I loved to love. without lust of my own gain or revenge: but when it is said. in these days of my youth. and shall do excellently in the All-Excellent. and I became to myself a barren land. beautiful and comely to all pure eyes. my God. I would fain.discuss. To love then. through that famine I was not hungered. and to be beloved. the spring of friendship with the filth of concupiscence. yet. that we beguiled those who little thought what we were doing. which the company of fellow-sinners occasioned. I fell headlong then into the love wherein I longed to be ensnared. I had never committed that theft wherein what I stole pleased me not. if anything very ludicrous presents itself to their senses or mind. Yet I had not done this alone. through exceeding vanity. For this cause my soul was sickly and full of sores. and thus foul and unseemly. nor had it alone liked me to do it. and wished to enjoy them. My God. "Let's go. when I obtained to enjoy the person I loved. With Thee is rest entire. not because filled therewith. too much astray from Thee my stay. Why then was my delight of such sort that I did it not alone? Because none doth ordinarily laugh alone? ordinarily no one. But Thee I long for. O friendship too unfriendly! thou incomprehensible inveigler of the soul. let's do it. thou greediness to do mischief out of mirth and wantonness. O my God." we are ashamed not to be shameless. Thyself.

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

my God. among whom I wandered with a stiff neck. O Thou my exceeding mercy. for which Thou scourgedst me with grievous punishments. and I longed with an incredibly burning desire for an immortality of wisdom. it might bring me to the treacherous abyss.not to suffer. in that unsettled age of mine. the craftier. my father being dead two years before). out of a damnable and vainglorious end. and turned my prayers to Thyself O Lord. what I loved to look on. and to compass a business deserving death for its fruits. that I might return to Thee. though nothing to my fault. was it life. whose speech almost all admire. my refuge from those terrible destroyers. and smooth. as on envenomed nails. O my God? And Thy faithful mercy hovered over me afar. How did I burn then. while Thy solemnities were celebrated within the walls of Thy Church. my God. and was sometimes delighted with their friendship. wherein I desired to be eminent. had a view to excelling in the courts of litigation. under a great." with which that book inflamed me. not so his heart. impostumes.. and made me have other purposes and desires. in that my nineteenth year. For not to sharpen my tongue (which thing I seemed to be purchasing with my mother's allowances. with a shameless shame that I was not even as they. This book of his contains an exhortation to philosophy. What then could they be more truly called than "Subverters"? themselves subverted and altogether perverted first. feeding thereon their malicious birth. pursuing a sacrilegious curiosity. My life being such. a joy in human vanity. to desire. Upon how grievous iniquities consumed I myself. though (Lord. not to sharpen my tongue did I employ that book. In the ordinary course of study. that having forsaken Thee. whose doings I ever did abhor -i. But the love of wisdom is in Greek called "philosophy. but such as upon hearing their fictions should lightly scratch the surface. their "subvertings. and the beguiling service of devils. and is called "Hortensius. glorying even in their blindness. followed inflamed swelling. Those studies also. to whom I sacrificed my evil actions.e. how did I burn to re-mount from earthly things to Thee. loving a vagrant liberty." But this book altered my affections. Such is men's blindness. and I swelled with arrogancy. whereat I joyed proudly. learned I books of eloquence. which they disturbed by a gratuitous jeering. withdrawing further from Thee. Some there be that seduce through philosophy. upon which. and in all these things Thou didst scourge me! I dared even. Among such as these. And now I was chief in the rhetoric school." wherewith they wantonly persecuted the modesty of strangers. the deceiving spirits secretly deriding and seducing them. nor did it infuse into me its style. and honourable name colouring and disguising their own errors: and almost all who in that and former ages . Thou knowest) far quieter and altogether removed from the subvertings of those "Subverters" (for this ill-omened and devilish name was the very badge of gallantry) among whom I lived. and not Thine. I fell upon a certain book of Cicero. the more bepraised. nor knew I what Thou wouldest do with me? For with Thee is wisdom. Every vain hope at once became worthless to me. wherein themselves delight to jeer at and deceive others. With them I lived. but its matter. and began now to arise. which were accounted commendable. Nothing can be liker the very actions of devils than these. and a putrefied sore. loving mine own ways.

swollen with pride. for they are asleep. O Truth. But behold. Beauty of all things beautiful. polished. Yet because I thought them to be Thee." and spake much thereof to me. had my tender heart. nor could my sharp wit pierce the interior thereof. but wisdom itself whatever it were. that I might see what they were. as Thou hast now spoken to me. but they seemed to me unworthy to he compared to the stateliness of Tully: for my swelling pride shrunk from their lowliness. though never so learned. hungering after Thee. These names departed not out of their mouth. Thy creatures. after the tradition of men. And I indeed ought to have passed by even philosophers who spake truth concerning them. and kindled. and this alone checked me thus unkindled. though it was but an echo? And these were the dishes wherein to me. not of Thee only (who truly art Truth). limed with the mixture of the syllables of Thy name. yet it was not in them: but they spake falsehood. Food in sleep shows very like our food awake. But I disdained to be a little one. and whatsoever was without that name. this name of my Saviour Thy Son. instead of Thee. and of our Lord Jesus Christ. nor laid open to children. But those were not even any way like to Thee. yet are not those asleep nourished by it. I was delighted with that exhortation. For this name. for Thou wast not these emptinesses. took myself to be a great one. and of the Holy Ghost. no nor Thy first works. but exhausted rather. but so far forth as the sound only and the noise of the tongue. and obtain. I fed thereon. and shining. and I was not such as could enter into it. but even of those elements of this world. our Comforter. they. for those were corporeal fantasies. O Lord. for love of Thee. For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. when they often and diversely. devoutly drunk in and deeply treasured. the Paraclete. Yet they cried out "Truth. by Thy good and devout servant: Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit. Therefore I fell among men proudly doting. and inflamed to love. and veiled with mysteries. but yet Thy works. not eagerly. and hold. in its recesses lofty. false bodies. knowest) Apostolic Scripture was not known to me. that the name of Christ was not in it. the Truth. than those fantasies which by our eyes deceive our mind. And since at that time (Thou. did I feel when I turned to those Scriptures. supremely good. Yet were they such as would grow up in a little one. and seek. after the rudiments of the world. For not as I now speak. than which these true . in whose mouths were the snares of the Devil. celestial though they be. and not after Christ. so far only. Truth. that I was thereby strongly roused. according to Thy mercy. for the heart was void of truth. echoed of Thee to me. in whom is no variableness. not Thyself. Truth. and. exceeding carnal and prating. or true. But I hungered and thirsted not even after those first works of Thine. served up the Sun and Moon. than which better were it to love this very sun (which is real to our sight at least). I see a thing not understood by the proud. how inwardly did even then the marrow of my soul pant after Thee. for Thou didst not in them taste to me as Thou art. lowly in access. or stoop my neck to follow its steps. glittering fantasies. beautiful works of Thine. took not entire hold of me. even with my mother's milk. are in that book censured and set forth: there also is made plain that wholesome advice of Thy Spirit. neither shadow of turning: yet they still set before me in those dishes. nor was I nourished by them. but after Thee Thyself. I resolved then to bend my mind to the holy Scriptures. and in many and huge books. For Thy spiritual works are before these corporeal works. O light of my heart.were such. and embrace not this or that sect. my Father.

life of my soul. Woe. nor those which we see not there. not according to the understanding of the mind." though I did sing. wherein Thou willedst that I should excel the beasts. and sacrifice living creatures?" At which I. but according to the sense of the flesh. And what that should be in us. and they are more certain than when we fancy them. Where then wert Thou then to me. woe. I maintained not. So then. by what steps was I brought down to the depths of hell! toiling and turmoiling through want of Truth. and how far from me? Far verily was I straying from Thee. and has hairs and nails?" "are they to be esteemed righteous who had many wives at once. answering to five dens of darkness. though in heaven. . are far more certain: these things the beasts and birds discern as well as we. and changest not. For verses and poems I can turn to true food. and ruminating on such food as through it I had devoured. and was not fed. persuaded to assent to foolish deceivers. How far then art Thou from those fantasies of mine. as God. I lighted upon that bold woman. by which we were like to God. that I may become strong. and so is not wholly every where. which with our fleshly sight we behold. shadowed out in Solomon. For how much better are the fables of poets and grammarians than these snares? For verses. when they asked me. I was altogether ignorant. since I sought after Thee. and higher than my highest. though I heard it sung. Eat ye bread of secrecies willingly. Such empty husks was I then fed on. But Thou wert more inward to me than my most inward part. variously disguised. which have no being. which how should I see. and saying.bodies. as Spirit. for every bulk is less in a part than in the whole: and if it be infinite. not as yet confessing). or whose being was bulk. barred from the very husks of the swine." are more profitable truly than these men's five elements. than which the images of those bodies. and of my mind to a phantasm? And I knew not God to be a Spirit. and poems. celestial or terrestrial. And again. than in its infinitude. for Thou hast created them. and "Medea flying. not one who hath parts extended in length and breadth. For other than this. I believed not: but those things I did believe. and more certain still the bodies themselves. nor dost Thou account them among the chiefest of Thy works. and departing from the truth. "whence is evil?" "is God bounded by a bodily shape. we do with more certainty fancy them. than by them conjecture other vaster and infinite bodies which have no being. which yet Thou art not. who hadst mercy on me. nor yet the soul. and might be rightly said to be after the image of God. it must be less in such part as is defined by a certain space. until at last a thing ceases altogether to be. fantasies of bodies which altogether are not. in my ignorance. and "Medea flying. which are. that which really is I knew not. because as yet I knew not that evil was nothing but a privation of good. and did kill men. my soul's Love. having life in Thyself. no. are far more certain. the life of lives. sitting at the door. in looking for whom I fail. seemed to myself to be making towards it. which is the life of the bodies. was much troubled. But Thou art the life of souls. art neither those bodies which we see. the sight of whose eyes reached only to bodies. yet slay the believer. and was. because she found my soul dwelling abroad in the eye of my flesh. whom with husks I fed. simple and knoweth nothing. and drink ye stolen waters which are sweet: she seduced me. But Thou. better and more certain is the life of the bodies than the bodies. my God (to Thee I confess it. as it were through sharpness of wit.

judging out of man's judgment. and person. which now is not. censured the holy Fathers. because he had been in the forenoon. Yet the art itself. Even such are they who are fretted to hear something to have been lawful for righteous men formerly. These things I then knew not. and complain that they fitted not: or as if on a day when business is publicly stopped in the afternoon. they should all stand guilty of the same crime. and one day. were righteous. such as were those of the men of Sodom: which should all nations commit. they struck my sight on all sides. whereas in one and the same body. and I saw them not. flow not evenly. had not different principles for these different cases. commanded them one thing. in which I might not place every foot every where. or family. but out of the most rightful law of God Almighty. and season. or that God. but the times. or seek to be shod with a helmet. and with all his mind. As if in an armory. and measuring by their own petty habits. and one family. did far more excellently and sublimely contain in one all those things which God commanded. the same thing is not allotted every where. or when in one house he observeth some servant take a thing in his hand.Nor knew I that true inward righteousness which judgeth not according to custom. that in one house. itself meantime being the same always and every where. because they are times. different things to be fit for different members. Is justice therefore various or mutable? No. for certain temporal respects. and a thing formerly lawful. for that by their senses they cannot harmonise the causes of things in former ages and other nations. day. and these another. and David. and should be angry. which good and holy men obeyed. one were angered at not being allowed to keep open shop. one ignorant of what were adapted to each part should cover his head with greaves. according to which Abraham. and to all. part. and in no part varied. over which it presides. nor observed. although in varying times it prescribed not every thing at once. with these which they have experience of. but were judged unrighteous by silly men. For even that intercourse which should be between God and us is . Still I saw not how that righteousness. with all his soul. after a certain time not so. as God was revealing in them. to be every where and at all times detested and punished. but also wherein they were foretelling things to come. and Jacob. by which I indited. which hath not so made men that they should so abuse one another. whereby the ways of places and times were disposed according to those times and places. to the one they take exceptions. But men whose days are few upon the earth. and another in another. and Isaac. they easily see what is fitting for each member. but in another rightly forbidden and punished. I indited verses. Can it at any time or place be unjust to love God with all his heart. to the other they submit. and Moses. but apportioned and enjoined what was fit for each. and one house. but comprised all in one. which they had not experience of. and all those commended by the mouth of God. in one corner permitted or commanded. in one man. the moral habits of the whole human race. by the law of God. which the butler is not suffered to meddle with. nor even in any one metre the self-same foot in all places. and his neighbour as himself? Therefore are those foul offences which be against nature. And I in my blindness. which is forbidden in the dining-room. obeying both the same righteousness: whereas they see. but differently in different metres. not one thing in one place. or something permitted out of doors. not only wherein they made use of things present as God commanded and inspired them.

so must God above all. These be the heads of iniquity which spring from the lust of the flesh. seeing also when they sin against Thee. is polluted by perversity of lust. to him whose being on a par with himself he fears. the Ruler of all His creatures! For as among the powers in man's society. or for some profit belonging to another. the greater authority is obeyed in preference to the lesser. as one enemy against another. For any part which harmoniseth not with its whole. raging with heart and tongue against Thee. according as they have any object to gain or subject of offence. so that a thing agreed upon. though it were never by them done heretofore. and if intermitted. or to avoid some evil. So in acts of violence. of which He is Author. are sins of men. whether by reproach or injury. and these either for revenge. For lawful if it he for a king. through covetousness of more. who are on the whole making proficiency. by loving more our own private good than Thee. in all which He commands. and if never ordained. after the rule of perfection. where there is a wish to hurt. or deriders and mockers of others. and to obey him cannot be against the common weal of the state (nay. kicking against the pricks. or grieves at.violated. or are found guilty. as one less fortunate to one more so. Amidst these offences of foulness and violence. O Fountain of Life. they boldly joy in self-willed combinations or divisions. any one false thing is selected therefrom and loved. And these things are done when Thou art forsaken. had commanded. bursting the pale of human society. of the eye. most high. as the robber to the traveller. and so many iniquities. which Thou hast created and ordained. and seven. which by those that judge rightly. as spectators of gladiators. are to be avoided according to the customs severally prevailing. as towards one who is feared. Thy Ten Commandments. or of rule. and Thou cleansest us from our evil habits. yet the persons commended. that psaltery of often strings. and art merciful to their sins who confess. whether native or foreigner. or when. and iniquity gives itself the lie. and so do men live ill against the three. But those actions which are offences against the customs of men. it is to be done. . either singly. are. how much more unhesitatingly ought we to obey God. nor he himself heretofore. the Good of all. and loosest us from the chains which we made for ourselves. may not be violated at the lawless pleasure of any. and by a self-willed pride. or two combined. or by an immoderate use of things allowed. in the state which he reigns over. is now to be ordained. by custom or law of any city or nation. But when God commands a thing to be done. who canst not be harmed? But Thou avengest what men commit against themselves. upon hope of future fruit. it were against it if he were not obeyed. if we lift not up against Thee the horns of an unreal liberty. they do wickedly against their own souls. So then by a humble devoutness we return to Thee. or for the mere pleasure at another's pain. discommended. against the customs or compact of any people. or through envy. is offensive. or in burning in things unallowed. or all together. O God. by corrupting and perverting their nature. to command that which no one before him. and hearest the groaning of the prisoner. and confirmed. who canst not be defiled? or what acts of violence against Thee. who art the only and true Creator and Governor of the Universe. or one well thriven in any thing. when that same nature. it is to be restored. and most sweet. for to obey princes is a general compact of human society). suffering the loss of all. to that use which is against nature. But what foul offences can there be against Thee.

And Thou sentest Thine hand from above. herself grieving. resembling offences of foulness or violence. namely. when. shed milky tears? Which fig notwithstanding (plucked by some other's. when streaming down. and drewest my soul out of that profound darkness. by that faith and spirit which she had from Thee. and to eat at the same table in the house. abhorring and detesting the blasphemies of my error? For she saw herself standing on a certain wooden rule. my mother. and overwhelmed with grief." And when she looked. yea. cheerful and smiling upon her. which she had begun to shrink from. miserable. yea Thou heardest her. by constituted authority punished. and told her to look and observe. are (Thou being witness) condemned: because the show of the action. should ask for any. and the tree. and mingled with his bowels. Thou heardest her. But he having (in order to instruct. he should breathe out of it angels. Many an action then which in men's sight is disapproved. at every moan or groan in his prayer. and the mind of the doer. But when Thou on a sudden commandest an unwonted and unthought of thing. and Thou heardest her.as in the green blade of growing corn. our Lord God. And there are some. they watered the ground under her eyes in every place where she prayed. is by Thy testimony approved. there was I also. not a Manichaean. O Lord. severally vary. which should be given him. and the unknown exigency of the period. discerned the death wherein I lay. weeping to Thee for me. but that Thine ears were towards her heart? O Thou Good omnipotent. unless they had been set at liberty by the teeth or belly of some "Elect" saint! And I. who doubts but it is to be done. which particles of the most high and true God had remained bound in that fig. and she answering that she was bewailing my perdition. although Thou hast sometime forbidden it. and a shining youth coming towards her. and many. And what gained I by scoffing at them. its mother. and we know not whether out of a lust of hurting. things fitting for a given period are obtained for the service of life. being insensibly and step by step drawn on to those follies. Thy faithful one. yea. not his own. by men praised. "That where she was. so that she allowed me to live with her. either to show forth something needful for the present. nor human society. For whence was that dream whereby Thou comfortedst her. as if Thou caredst for him only. seeing that society of men is just which serves Thee? But blessed are they who know Thy commands! For all things were done by Thy servants. and we know not whether out of a lust of having. for whom they were created. which yet are no sins. and so for all. as if they were but one! . as to believe that a fig-tree wept when it was plucked. who so carest for every one of us. but to be scoffed at by Thee. and despisedst not her tears. Whence was this. for the sake of correction. These things I being ignorant of. that morsel would seem as it were condemned to capital punishment. and still for the time hidest the reason of Thy command. For she. scoffed at those Thy holy servants and prophets. and it be against the ordinance of some society of men. For if any one an hungered. or when things are. he bade her rest contented. believed that more mercy was to be shown to the fruits of the earth than men. there shall burst forth particles of divinity. because they offend neither Thee. as is their wont not to be instructed) enquired of her the causes of her grief and daily tears. she saw me standing by her in the same rule. guilt) had some Manichaean saint eaten. or to foreshow things to come. more than mothers weep the bodily deaths of their children.

was. often assaying to rise. but dashed down the more grievously. and I would fain bend it to mean. and how great its impiety. BOOK IV For this space of nine years (from my nineteenth year to my eight-and-twentieth) we lived seduced and seducing. Here. through my waking mother. with a false-named religion.Whence was this also. being puffed up with the novelty of that heresy. All which time that chaste. in divers lusts. but 'where thou. he refused. Thou gavest her meantime another answer. and well studied in Thy books. as I afterwards perceived. he. that when she had told me this vision. that Thy answer. and which I certainly had not perceived before she spake. how himself. Which when he had said. openly. and much I do not remember. which I call to mind. that I was yet unteachable. and had (without any argument or proof from any one) seen how much that sect was to be avoided. 'where he. when a little one. and had not only read." Which answer she took (as she often mentioned in her conversations with me) as if it had sounded from heaven. that to the best of my remembrance (and I have oft spoken of this). Thou gavest her then another answer. a little displeased at her importunity. wisely. with entreaties and many tears. and teach me good things (for this he was wont to do. by sciences which they call liberal. deceived and deceiving. refute my errors. when he found persons fitted to receive it). for it was not told me that. "Go thy ways and God bless thee. their books. and the darkness of falsehood. "only pray God for him. -even then moved me more than the dream itself. without any hesitation. godly. unteach me ill things. so long before foresignified. she presently. to be fulfilled so long after." At the same time he told her. yet no whit relaxing in her weeping and mourning. for it is not possible that the son of these tears should perish. and had already perplexed divers unskilful persons with captious questions. in which I wallowed in the mire of that deep pit. now more cheered with hope. Whom when this woman had entreated to vouchsafe to converse with me. there superstitious. and had avoided it. for the consolation of her present anguish. as she had told him: "but let him alone a while" (saith he). every where vain. and so quickly saw what was to be seen. he will of himself by reading find what that error is. secretly. For he answered. hunting after the emptiness of popular praise. by which a joy to the holy woman. there thou also'. for much I pass by. that he would see me and discourse with me. here proud. -that she was not perplexed by the plausibility of my false interpretation. saith. and she would not be satisfied. O Lord. but urged him more. replies: "No. by a Priest of Thine. ceased not at all hours of her devotions to bewail my case unto Thee. there he also'?" I confess to Thee. And her prayers entered into Thy presence. a certain Bishop brought up in Thy Church. had by his seduced mother been consigned over to the Manichees. but frequently copied out almost all. and sober widow (such as Thou lovest). hasting to those things which more press me to confess unto Thee. For almost nine years passed. "That she rather should not despair of being one day what I was". down . and yet Thou sufferedst me to be yet involved and reinvolved in that darkness.

Let the arrogant mock me. but to remember the Lord's words. for I knew not how to love Thee. "Though the garland were of imperishable gold. in whom I in my own case experienced what difference there is betwixt the self-restraint of the marriage-covenant. and practise with my friends. But this ill also I rejected. and strifes for grassy garlands. and give me grace to go over in my present remembrance the wanderings of my forepassed time. but a guide to mine own downfall? or what am I even at the best. some wizard asked me what I would give him to win. but I. sighing after such fictions. for the sake of issue. Thou knowest) honest scholars (as they are accounted). I beseech Thee. and by those honours to invite the devils to favour me." out of which. nor to pray to any spirit for their divinations: which art. thou art made whole. which I showed in that my guidance of such as loved vanity. and. and not to abuse Thy mercy for a licence to sin. but to feed them. void of understanding. For. they should forge for us Angels and Gods. myself their companion. but whom I had found out in a wayward passion. stricken and cast down by Thee. they constrain love. O God. by carrying food to those who were called "elect" and "holy. for I have sinned against Thee. not out of a pure love for Thee. it is a good thing to confess unto Thee. For what else is it to feed the wind.even to theatrical applauses. and the intemperance of desires. and poetic prizes. and the follies of shows. Have mercy upon me. who knew not how to conceive aught beyond a material brightness. In those years I had one. lest a worse thing . desiring to be cleansed from these defilements. that when I had settled to enter the lists for a theatrical prize. although. but an infant sucking the milk Thou givest. and with me. Behold. O God of my heart. answered. Christian and true piety consistently rejects and condemns. and to say. because they seemed to use no sacrifice. to whom I was sacrificing myself by that superstition. the food that perisheth not? But what sort of man is any man. and feeding upon Thee. seeing he is but a man? Let now the strong and the mighty laugh at us. I consulted without scruple. in the workhouse of their stomachs. trust in things unreal. yet but one. heal my soul. where children are born against their parents' will. I would not suffer a fly to be killed to gain me it. once born. but I would still confess to Thee mine own shame in Thy praise. and such as have not been. and these I. and feed the wind? Still I would not forsooth have sacrifices offered to devils for me. In those years I taught rhetoric. though sometimes for the life of the guilty. without artifice. by whom we might be cleansed. Suffer me. from afar perceivedst me stumbling in that slippery course. and amid much smoke sending out some sparks of faithfulness. and sought after leasing. made sale of a loquacity to overcome by. and to offer unto Thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving. There. sin no more. And doth not a soul. For what am I to myself without Thee. remaining faithful even to her. commit fornication against Thee. And Thou. and the bargain of a lustful love. not to be practised against the life of the guiltless. I remember also. " For he was to kill some living creatures in his sacrifices. Yet I preferred (Lord. detesting and abhorring such foul mysteries. -not in that which is called lawful marriage. O my God. to their soul's health. taught artifices. deceived by me. These things did I follow. overcome by cupidity. however. whom they style Mathematicians. but let us poor and needy confess unto Thee. that is by going astray to become their pleasure and derision? Those impostors then.

forsooth. who sang and thought of something wholly different. of mine own age. In those years when I first began to teach rhetoric in my native town. either from or through him. if out of the soul of man. Thou conveyedst to me. by hap. who laboured to acquire it so perfectly as to get my living by it alone. "The cause of thy sin is inevitably determined in heaven". who resistest the proud. All which wholesome advice they labour to destroy. "hast rhetoric to maintain thyself by. which is given unto us. not by art. Yet was it but too sweet. and. "But thou. or forbear to heal my soul? For having become more acquainted with him. when he had gathered by my discourse that I was given to the books of nativity-casters. I had made one my friend. so as to make it the profession whereby he should live. would not get his living by deluding people. he kindly and fatherly advised me to cast them away. unconscious what takes place in it. saying. necessary for useful things. and "This did Venus. while the Creator and Ordainer of heaven and the stars is to bear the blame. ripened by the . and he. nor my dearest Nebridius. But at that time neither he. or Saturn. for true it cannot be. and renowned therein. as myself. by some higher instinct an answer should be given. and givest grace to the humble. who derided the whole body of divination. the authority of the authors swaying me yet more. corresponding to the business and actions of the demander. in the first opening flower of youth. a verse oftentimes fell out. unless in such as Thou cementest together. and earnest). who renderest to every man according to his works: and a broken and contrite heart wilt Thou not despise. from a community of pursuits. and hanging assiduously and fixedly on his speech (for though in simple terms. but not as a physician: for this disease Thou only curest. by that love which is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost. saying. he could soon have understood such a study as this. a grave man. so that thou followest this of free choice. a youth singularly good and of a holy fear. and not fruitlessly bestow a care and diligence. very skilful in physic. or Mars": that man. not of the art of the star-gazers. And who is He but our God? the very sweetness and well-spring of righteousness. But he was not yet my friend as afterwards. nor even then. lively. who had with his own proconsular hand put the Agonistic garland upon my distempered head. and that. for no other reason but that he found it utterly false." Of whom when I had demanded. he answered me (as he could) "that the force of chance. cleaving unto Thee. what I might hereafter examine for myself. But didst Thou fail me even by that old man." And thus much. that he had in his earliest years studied that art. understanding Hippocrates. not of necessity: the more then oughtest thou to give me credit herein. but too dear to me. flesh and blood. wondrously agreeable to the present business: it were not to be wondered at. For if when a man by haphazard opens the pages of some poet. and as yet I had found no certain proof (such as I sought) whereby it might without all doubt appear. might be blameless." saith he. could persuade me to cast it aside. upon these vanities. and yet he had given it over.come unto thee. it was vivid. as true friendship is. diffused throughout the whole order of things. how then could many true things be foretold by it. and we had been both school-fellows and play-fellows. There was in those days a wise man. that what had been truly foretold by those consulted was the result of haphazard. and taken to physic. and tracedst in my memory. He had grown up of a child with me. brought this about. and proud corruption.

that Thou mayest tell me why weeping is sweet to the miserable? Hast Thou. who art Truth. as though he would jest with me at that baptism which he had received. May I learn from Thee. and time hath assuaged my wound. forbear such language to him. as I would continue his friend. these things are passed by. for therein is a longing to approach unto Thee. and approach the ear of my heart unto Thy mouth. not what was wrought on his unconscious body. she very rightly obeyed me not. which he hath felt in his one self? What diddest Thou then. But it proved far otherwise: for he was refreshed. for that they had not him. both truer and better than that phantasm she was bid to trust in. why she was so sad. Who can recount all Thy praises. "he is coming. And yet unless we mourned in Thine ears. Thou tookest that man out of this life. as from an enemy. but had now understood that he had received. I had warped him also to those superstitious and pernicious fables. when utterly absent in mind and feeling. and whatever I beheld was death. I. my God. and complaints? Doth this sweeten it. At this grief my heart was utterly darkened. and presuming that his soul would retain rather what it had received of me. Lord. But is it also in grief for a thing lost. But he was taken away from my frenzy. And if I said. Only tears were sweet to me. a few days after in my absence. all astonished and amazed. and whatever I had shared with him. but we are tossed about in divers trials. that we hope Thou hearest? This is true of prayer. myself meanwhile little regarding. he was baptised. when he had scarce filled up one whole year of my friendship. sweet to me above all sweetness of that my life. and his recovery being despaired of. But he so shrunk from me. he lay senseless in a death-sweat. and with a wonderful and sudden freedom bade me. Forthwith. whom she had lost. but I wept only and grieved. so soon as he was able. at once God of vengeance. for they succeeded my friend. being man. Trust in God. for which my mother bewailed me. but he was not granted them. unknowing. And now. and we hung but too much upon each other). suppressed all my emotions till he should grow well. although present every where. Whence then is sweet fruit gathered from the bitterness of life. from groaning. was. that with Thee he might be preserved for my comfort. nor could they now tell me. as soon as I could speak with him (and I could. and how unsearchable is the abyss of Thy judgments? For long. he was attacked again by the fever. I essayed to jest with him. for I never left him. turning us to Thyself by wonderful means. nor could my soul be without him. we should have no hope left." as when he was alive and absent. and so departed. and restored. in the dearest of my affections. because that most dear friend. and I hated all places. sighs. tears. . from the true faith (which he as a youth had not soundly and thoroughly imbibed). I became a great riddle to myself. But behold Thou wert close on the steps of Thy fugitives.warmth of kindred studies: for. and the sorrow wherewith I was then overwhelmed? For I neither hoped he should return to life nor did I desire this with my tears. became a distracting torture. sore sick of a fever. and his health were strong enough for me to deal with him as I would. and why she disquieted me sorely: but she knew not what to answer me. and my father's house a strange unhappiness. cast away our misery far from Thee? And Thou abidest in Thyself. and Fountain of mercies. With me he now erred in mind. My native country was a torment to me. and I asked my soul. wanting him. Mine eyes sought him every where.

For Thou wert not Thyself. behold and see into me. Not in calm groves. nor in curious banquetings. whatsoever was not what he was. For in those alone found I a little refreshment. it glided through the void. when we shrink from them. where I could neither be. and I wondered yet more that myself. and for very loathing of the things which we before enjoyed. and had lost my joy. does it then. O my God. the more I loved him. and I had remained to myself a hapless spot. Thus was it with me. yea. the very light. Wretched I was. subject to death. nor in fragrant spots. when I thought of Thee. the more. Well said one of his friend. since it had power over him. Behold my heart. and fear (as a most cruel enemy) death. since. O madness. that it might rest. was revolting and hateful. and came rushing down again on me. for so should mine eyes less look for him. which knowest not how to love men. So was it then with me. Or is weeping indeed a bitter thing. it ought to have been raised. for Thee to lighten. I knew it. that they would gladly have died for each other or together. but to confess unto Thee. nor be from thence. To Thee. where they were not wont to see him. But in me there had arisen some unexplained feeling. O Lord. lest he whom I had much loved should die wholly. which had bereaved me of him: and I imagined it would speedily make an end of all men. for well I remember it. I remember. except groaning and tears. I suppose. he being dead. please us? But what speak I of these things? for now is no time to question. nor in the pleasures of the bed and the couch. yet where to repose it. I came to Carthage. who was to him a second self. For I bore about a shattered and bleeding soul. I wept most bitterly. for I felt that my soul and his soul were "one soul in two bodies": and therefore was my life a horror to me. did live. since he whom I loved. because I would not live halved. I found not. But when my soul was withdrawn from them a huge load of misery weighed me down. not in games and music. directing mine eyes towards Thee. and then he feels the wretchedness which he had ere yet he lost them. wept. but neither could nor would. like men! O foolish man that I then was. and found my repose in bitterness. and wretched is every soul bound by the friendship of perishable things. For I wondered that others. was dead. If I offered to discharge my load thereon. . yet was I more unwilling to part with it than with him. For whither should my heart flee from my heart? Whither should I flee from myself? Whither not follow myself? And yet I fled out of my country. Thou wert not to me any solid or substantial thing. he is torn asunder when he loses them. And therefore perchance I feared to die. enduring impatiently the lot of man! I fretted then. for at once I loathed exceedingly to live and feared to die. too contrary to this. was distracted. but a mere phantom. sighed. could live. And thus from Thagaste. Thus was I wretched. O my Hope. For though I would willingly have changed it. I know not whether I would have parted with it even for him.For I was miserable. nor (finally) in books or poesy. who cleansest me from the impurity of such affections. "Thou half of my soul". yea. not to live together being to them worse than death. had neither rest nor counsel. as if he should never die. found it repose. impatient of being borne by me. and my error was my God. All things looked ghastly. and that wretched life I held dearer than my friend. and plucking my feet out of the snare. the more did I hate. as is related (if not feigned) of Pylades and Orestes.

and this was a great fable. And yet they. Blessed whoso loveth Thee. to whom all are dear in Him who cannot be lost. and sometimes learn. and out of many make but one. but all wither. nor do they roll idly by. long for the absent with impatience. and his enemy for Thee. For whence had that former grief so easily reached my very inmost soul. There were other things which in them did more take my mind. to dissent at times without discontent. as a man might with his own self. unto which that my sorrow gave way. and by rising. the eyes. and out of the soul. They rise. they grow. and so loved. And yet there succeeded. they begin as it were to be. that another may succeed. the death of the living. or love not again him that loves him. and protracted lie. to Thee displeased? For where doth he not find Thy law in his own punishment? And Thy law is truth. And who leaveth Thee. with whom I did love. they together complete that universe. O God of Hosts. sometimes to teach. that they may be perfected. the God that made heaven and earth. through the senses of the body. our soul. and set. that a man's conscience condemns itself. but by passing away and succeeding. and upon the loss of life of the dying. as if he would never die? For what restored and refreshed me chiefly was the solaces of other friends. they went and came day by day. by the countenance. were so much fuel to melt our souls together. so oft as any of my friends died. out of Thee. yet let not my soul be riveted unto these things with the glue of love. not indeed other griefs. This is it that is loved in friends. Creator of all. introduced into my mind other imaginations and other remembrances. unless toward Thee. all sweetness turned to bitterness. because by filling them He created them? Thee none loseth. and truth Thou. and even with the seldomness of these dissentings. through our senses they work strange operations on the mind. what instead of Thee I loved. to do kind offices by turns. if he love not him that loves him again. and welcome the coming with joy. and we shall be whole. and perfected. because they are portions of things. to talk and jest together. the more quickly they grow that they may be. So then when they rise and tend to be. they wax old and wither. And even thus is our speech completed by signs giving forth a sound: but this again is not perfected unless one word pass away when it hath sounded its part. if one die. Out of all these things let my soul praise Thee. and all grow not old. yea though it is riveted on things beautiful. and little by little patched me up again with my old kind of delights. and darkenings of sorrows. For whithersoever the soul of man turns itself. unless they were from Thee. and by coming and going. which lay itching in our ears. For they go whither they were to go. but from Thee well-pleased. Behold. to play the fool or be earnest together. that they . But that fable would not die to me. so much the more they haste not to be. but that I had poured out my soul upon the dust.Times lose no time. show us Thy countenance. that steeping of the heart in tears. and his friend in Thee. by whose adulterous stimulus. the tongue. For he alone loses none dear to him. was being defiled. were not. O God. These and the like expressions. Thus much has Thou allotted them. looking for nothing from his person but indications of his love. to season our more frequent consentings. which exist not all at once. whither goeth or whither teeth he. but who leaveth. whereof they are portions. to read together honied books. yet the causes of other griefs. proceeding out of the hearts of those that loved and were loved again. This is the law of them. and a thousand pleasing gestures. and filleth them. Turn us. in loving one that must die. And who is this but our God. it is riveted upon sorrows. Hence that mourning.

for neither doth aught succeed Him. thou wouldest. but fly away. thou knowest not. If souls please thee. And so ever. that so the whole might better please thee. they abide not. yet wouldest not thou have the syllables stay. and ye shall be at rest. and so depart. and so this lower universe be completed by all his parts. He is within the very heart. "hence and hitherto. is in part. and they rend her with pestilent longings. and justly shall it be embittered. could all be perceived collectively. lest in these things which please thee. Whither go ye in rough ways? Whither go ye? The good that you love is from Him. Go back into your heart. nor become deaf in the ear of thine heart with the tumult of thy folly. and say to them. be they loved in God: for they too are mutable. If bodies please thee." Be not foolish. Hearken thou too. that whatsoever existeth at this present. . But far better than these is He who made all. For what we speak also. "Him let us love. for thy punishment.might not be. by which they are created. Who abideth and standeth fast for ever. It sufficeth for that it was made for. and bound around thee: nor shall they lay thee whither themselves descend. and abide for ever before God. been justly restricted to a part of the whole. O my soul. and in Him. thou displease. all collectively would please more than they do severally. where truth is loved. should pass away. but they are of Him. yet loves to repose in what she loves. and turn back thy love upon their Maker. at least now thou art tired out with vanities. But in these things is no place of repose. The Word itself calleth thee to return: and there is the place of rest imperturbable. and yet they delight thee. because she longs to be. and He is our God. these things pass away. Entrust Truth. else would they pass. when any one thing is made up of many. But had the sense of thy flesh a capacity for comprehending the whole. by the same sense of the flesh thou hearest. whereof these are parts. Rest in Him. and not itself also. and ye shall stand fast. they hear their decree. if itself forsaketh not. For in Thy Word. O my soul. and cleave fast to Him that made you. and the whole. In Him then be they beloved. and pass away. and thy decay shall bloom again. There fix thy dwelling. and thy mortal parts be reformed and renewed. that others may replace them. all of which do not exist together. yet hath the heart strayed from Him. and who can follow them with the senses of the flesh? yea. For He did not make them. they flee. See there He is. but they shall stand fast with thee. nor doth He pass away. and all thy diseases be healed. but it is good and pleasant through reference to Him. when they are hard by? For the sense of the flesh is slow. but it sufficeth not to stay things running their course from their appointed starting-place to the end appointed. whatsoever thou hast from the Truth. that others may come. But do I depart any whither? saith the Word of God. Why then be perverted and follow thy flesh? Be it converted and follow thee. Him let us love: He made these. trust there whatsoever thou hast thence. and thou shalt lose nothing. Behold. Stand with Him. Whatever by her thou hast sense of. where love is not forsaken. because it is the sense of the flesh. and thou hear the whole. but in Him are they firmly stablished. and thereby is it bounded. nor is He far off. ye transgressors. who can grasp them. and carry unto Him along with thee what souls thou canst. praise God on occasion of them.

first instructed in Greek eloquence. there was a beauty. To what end then would ye still and still walk these difficult and toilsome ways? There is no rest. One is commended. whence He came forth to us. crying aloud to us to return unto Him. where ye seek it. but it is not there where ye seek. These things I then knew not. how long so slow of heart? Even now." I think. He would not be long with us. and one most learned in things pertaining unto philosophy. two or three books. and to. but ran. which pleased me? But more did he please me. for He departed thither. death. burning with the fire of charity. yet left us not. wherein He espoused the human creation. but they are strayed from me. when the commender is believed to extol him with an unfeigned heart. who highly extolled him. ascension. from their forming a sort of whole. and I wrote "on the fair and fit. For He departed. that we might return into our heart. out of the abundance of His own life: and He thundered. an orator of Rome. and to my friends I said. because out of His spirit thou speakest thus unto them. out of my inmost heart. and the like. our mortal flesh. to dedicate these books unto Hierius. for it is gone from me. O Lord my God. he is loved: doth this love enter the heart of the hearer from the mouth of the commender? Not so. calling aloud by words. and I loved these lower beauties. for that he pleased others. Ye seek a blessed life in the land of death. it is not there. descent. and some words of his I had heard. whom I knew not by face. will ye not ascend and live? But whither ascend ye. and set your mouth against the heavens? Descend. and ascend to God. after the descent of Life to you. I know not how. that it might not be for ever mortal. calling aloud to us to return hence to Him into that secret place. and there find Him. and thence like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber. But what moved me. He is here. and into this world He came to save sinners. because the world was made by Him. O ye sons of men. rejoicing as a giant to run his course. or a shoe with a foot. "Do we love any thing but the beautiful? What then is the beautiful? and what is beauty? What is it that attracts and wins us to the things we love? for unless there were in them a grace and beauty. For He lingered not. but loved for the fame of his learning which was eminent in him." Tell them this. Seek what ye seek. life. when one that loves him. that is. For how should there be a blessed life where life itself is not? "But our true Life came down hither. . first into the Virgin's womb. unseen. by ascending against Him. amazed that out of a Syrian. for I have them not. and I was sinking to the very depths. they could by no means draw us unto them. as of a part of the body with its whole. O Lord. whence He never parted. For hence he is loved who is commended. praises him.because unjustly is any thing loved which is from Him. And in this world He was. if He be forsaken for it. and bore our death. another from apt and mutual correspondence. that ye may ascend. and slew him. deeds. that they may weep in the valley of tears. But by one who loveth is another kindled. unto whom my soul confesseth. and again. And this consideration sprang up in my mind. For ye have fallen. and He healeth it." And I marked and perceived that in bodies themselves. if thou speakest. for it hath sinned against Him. should afterwards be formed a wonderful Latin orator. and so carry them up with thee unto God. And He departed from our eyes. and. Thou knowest. when ye are on high.

But I saw not yet. And it was to me a great matter." whereon I wrote to him. O my God. as wishing to be myself such. had he been unpraised. it is before us. and even hated. if I did not hate. O Thou Omnipotent. and with dispraise and contempt told the very same things of him. Where now are the impulses to such various and divers kinds of loves laid up in one soul? Why. O my God. and the light is overclouded to it. and bulky magnitudes. than so known. But yet why not for qualities. but in the other. whereon this weighty matter turned in Thy wisdom. or fighter with beasts in the theatre." I defined and distinguished what is so in itself. than so loved. And yet are the hairs of his head easier to be numbered than his feelings. do I love in another what. who would not. and surveyed it. upon the judgment of men. and was tossed about with every wind. Do I then love in a man. And yet the "fair and fit. in Whom no man is deceived. not Thine. and these selfsame men had dispraised him. And I turned to the nature of the mind. a sort of division. in the first I observed a unity. and I turned away my panting soul from incorporeal substance to lineaments. and in viciousness I abhorred discord. I thought I could not see my mind. of whom are all things. which should not only be a substance. than for the very things for which he was commended? Because. I had never been so kindled and excited to love him. and the beatings of his heart. though very secretly. and "fair. and they fall not to the ground without Thee. but yet was steered by Thee. I should not spurn and cast from myself? For it holds not. that is not yet stayed up by the solidity of truth! Just as the gales of tongues blow from the breast of the opinionative. like those of a famous charioteer. since we are equally men. but the false notion which I had of spiritual things. And to.For so did I then love men. had been wounded. but had rather be unknown. known far and wide by a vulgar popularity. and colours. who only doest wonders. And not being able to see these in the mind. and the nature of truth and of the chief good to consist. that I had loved him more for the love of his commenders. void of Thy solidity. and admired it. O Lord. I were the more kindled. But that orator was of that sort whom I loved. that as a good horse is loved by him. and whence do I confidently confess unto Thee. but if he disapproved. and so as I would be myself commended? For I would not be commended or loved. and earnestly. and my mind ranged through corporeal forms. but in this division I miserably imagined there to be some unknown substance of irrational life. and I erred through a swelling pride. and "fit. though he might. so is it carried this way and that. but far otherwise. nor he himself other. and the truth unseen. be that horse. but only the feelings of the relators. who shares our nature. that my discourse and labours should be known to that man: which should he approve." whose beauty is in correspondence to some other thing: and this I supported by corporeal examples. And whereas in virtue I loved peace. And in that unity I conceived the rational soul. as actors are (though I myself did commend and love them). though none joined therein. therefore the same may be said of an actor. And yet the things had not been other. And yet that first I called a . what I hate to be. let me not see the truth. and the nature of the chief evil. whose very hairs Thou numberest. driven forward and backward. And whence do I know. I dwelt on with pleasure. my empty heart. Yet the force of truth did of itself flash into mine eyes. See where the impotent soul lies along. and yet not derived from Thee. but real life also. who am a man? Man himself is a great deep.

Therefore I was repelled by Thee. I accused flesh. meditating on the "fair and fit. in deeds of violence. I was wont. than for me with a strange madness to maintain myself to be that by nature which Thou art? For whereas I was subject to change (so much being manifest to me. and was thrust from Thee. nor in the body. Thou shalt enlighten my darkness: and of Thy fulness have we all received. so often as my rhetoric master of Carthage. and in flagitiousness. not only orally explaining it. so do errors and false opinions defile the conversation. And what did it profit me. accounted learned. in punishment. For Thou didst not make me to hear joy and gladness. lay in error. if that emotion of the soul be corrupted. but I passed on and on to things which have no being. mouthed it with cheeks bursting with pride). stirring itself insolently and unrulily. myself flesh. I returned not to Thee. if the reasonable soul itself be corrupted. But I pressed towards Thee. I was hurried abroad. my very desire to become wise." and longing to stand and hearken to Thee. nor did the bones exult which were not yet humbled. For I had not known or learned that neither was evil a substance. lust. revolving within me corporeal fictions. and I imagined corporeal forms. which they call the often Predicaments. and. seeing itself is not that nature of truth. that it may be partaker of truth. as on something great and divine. and now. prating and foolishly. as it had been a soul without sex. and to rejoice greatly at the Bridegroom's voice. Neither were they created for me by Thy truth. to ask them. but the latter a Duad. "Why then doth the soul err which God created?" But I would not be asked. For as deeds of violence arise. as it was then in me. unknown to myself. being the wish. when that affection of the soul is ungoverned. who said that they scarcely understood it with very able tutors." and of their qualities. and. a wind that passeth away. to thy inward melody. I read and understood it unaided? And on my conferring with others. who knew not that it must be enlightened by another light. a book of Aristotle. I was then some six or seven and twenty years old when I wrote those volumes.Monad. but by my vanity devised out of things corporeal. for by the voices of mine own errors. whereby carnal pleasures are drunk in. which I turned. whence vehement action springs. of worse to become better). not knowing whereof I spake. O sweet truth. I stood exiled). and lusts. and myself not to be that which Thou art. But what prouder. I was sinking into the lowest pit. but could not. neither in Thee. my fellow-citizens (from whom. O Lord my God. yet chose I rather to imagine Thee subject to change. reading it by myself. for in Thee there is no variableness. and others. nor our soul that chief and unchangeable good. and Thou resistedst my vain stiffneckedness. neither shadow of change. but drawing many things in sand. for Thou art the true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world. buzzing in the ears of my heart. they could tell me no more of it than I had learned. "Why then doth God err?" And I maintained that Thy unchangeable substance did err upon constraint. And the book appeared to me to speak very clearly of substances. such as "man. that scarce twenty years old. that I might taste of death: for thou resistest the proud. and through the weight of my own pride. rather than confess that my changeable substance had gone astray voluntarily. -anger. falling into my hands (on whose very name I hung. For Thou shalt light my candle. nor in me. . And I was wont to ask Thy faithful little ones.

though it were less great or fair. itself was not enlightened. or whether he stands or sits. under the shadow of Thy wings let us hope. but wandered from Thee into a far country. even by the studious and talented. But what did this further me. or logic. seeing I erred so foully. O Lord our God. But it was falsehood which of Thee I conceived. of what sort it is. when he most excelled in them who followed me not altogether slowly. as if Thou also hadst been subjected to Thine own greatness or beauty. but knew not whence came all. we are . and that in the sweat of my brows I should eat my bread. was comprehended under those often Predicaments. or when born. For I had my back to the light. and arithmetic. the vile slave of vile affections. from which when we turn away. Whatever was written. it is infirmity. read by myself. O Lord God. protect us. how many feet high. I essayed in such wise to understand. or suffers anything. What profited me then my nimble wit in those sciences and all those most knotty volumes. Thou wilt carry us both when little. and nourish the wings of charity. imagining that Thou. the Truth. And what did it profit me. since they departed not far from Thee. seeing it even hindered me? when. and carry us. by the food of a sound faith. or does. either on rhetoric. So then it served not to my use. to confess to Thee Thy mercies towards me. For what profited me good abilities. Thy wonderful and unchangeable Unity also. fictions of my misery. or be shod or armed. and understood? And I delighted in them. with which I discerned the things enlightened. but a body is not great or fair in that it is a body. imagining whatever was. and acuteness in discerning. then is it firmness. and with such sacrilegious shamefulness. whence my face. for our firmness. Thou knowest. because both quickness of understanding. O Lord my God. and to bark against Thee. What did all this further me. and stature. seeing that. Our good ever lives with Thee. but rather to my perdition. to spend it upon harlotries. and I a fragment of that body? Perverseness too great! But such was I. that in the nest of Thy Church they might securely be fledged. since I went about to get so good a portion of my substance into my own keeping. not the realities of Thy blessedness. by myself without much difficulty or any instructor. it should notwithstanding be a body. that all the books I could procure of the so-called liberal arts. as their subject: whereas Thou Thyself art Thy greatness and beauty. and to call upon Thee. wert a vast and bright body. and my face to the things enlightened. is Thy gift: yet did I not thence sacrifice to Thee. not employed to good uses? For I felt not that those arts were attained with great difficulty. and even to hoar hairs wilt Thou carry us. I. O my God. I understood. in the doctrine of piety? Or what hindrance was a far slower wit to Thy little ones. and it was done in me. but when our own. when it is Thou. For Thou hadst commanded. so that (as in bodies) they should exist in Thee. Nor do I blush. that the earth should bring forth briars and thorns to me. without aid from human instruction. not truth.as the figure of a man. unravelied by me. who blushed not then to profess to men my blasphemies. of which I have given some specimens. that therein was true or certain. and his relationship. or under that chief Predicament of Substance. or where placed. and all the innumerable things which might be ranged under these nine Predicaments. until I attempted to explain them to such. geometry. and I kept not my strength for Thee. whose brother he is. music. O my God.

turned aside. in the heart of those that confess to Thee. and justly be hurt. that they might not see Thee seeing them. our mansion fell not. and passing on to Thyself. yet could I separate from the truth of the things which I . Then dost Thou gently wipe away their tears. which good art Thou. is just and perfect? For whither fled they. but -Thou.Thy eternity. blinded. which Thou hast formed and stirred up to confess unto Thy name. and many were entangled by him through that lure of his smooth language: which though I did commend. O Lord. and nothing can hide itself from Thy heat. and let it confess Thy own mercies to Thee. Let them be turned and seek Thee. But let my soul praise Thee. Lord. and there is refreshment and true strength. and seek Thee. the universe with them is fair. nor creation animate or inanimate. seeing a closed heart closes not out Thy eye. that it may love Thee. in truth. but I had gone away from Thee. and stumbling at Thy uprightness. and they weep the more. the godless. who is like unto Thee? For he who confesses to Thee doth not teach Thee what takes place within him. when they fled from Thy presence? or where dost not Thou find them? But they fled. because not as they have forsaken their Creator. when I was seeking Thee? And Thou wert before me. nor did I find myself. a great snare of the Devil. And behold. after all their rugged ways. BOOK V Accept the sacrifice of my confessions from the ministry of my tongue. withdrawing themselves from thy gentleness. But where was I. lest there be no place whither to return. though they are foul. from the heaven to this lowest earth. by the voice of those who meditate thereon: that so our souls may from their weariness arise towards Thee. Let the restless. that it may praise Thee. return. that we may not be overturned. Thy whole creation ceaseth not. and. neither the spirit of man with voice directed unto Thee. Whom no place encompasseth! and Thou alone art near. might stumble upon Thee. and behold. and cast themselves upon Thee. and let them say. O Lord. There had then come to Carthage a certain Bishop of the Manichees. Let them then be turned. Let us now. and dividest the darkness. nor can man's hard-heartedness thrust back Thy hand: for Thou dissolvest it at Thy will in pity or in vengeance. -not man of flesh and blood. might stumble against Thee (because Thou forsakest nothing Thou hast made). I say. leaning on those things which Thou hast created. hast Thou forsaken Thy creation. and weep in Thy bosom. depart and flee from Thee. because with Thee our good lives without any decay. that Thou art every where. and joy in weeping. and falling upon their own ruggedness. that the unjust. who madest them wonderfully. Thou art there in their heart. Faustus by name. yet Thou seest them. which. even to those that remove far from Thee. how much less Thee! I would lay open before my God that nine-and-twentieth year of mine age. who madest them. even for that Thou. because we fell from it: for through our absence. Ignorant. Lord. nor need we fear. Heal Thou all my bones. nor is silent in Thy praises. And how have they injured Thee? or how have they disgraced Thy government. remakest and comfortest them.

and it came to pass as they foretold. and by Him ascend unto Him. -what day and hour. out of which they number. knowing Him to be God. and they wrote down the rules they had found out. and paid tribute unto Caesar. For with their understanding and wit. and behold. but become vain in their imaginations. nor sacrifice to Thee what they have made themselves. that know not this art. to preserve what Thou madest. not though by curious skill they could number the stars and the sand. nor their own luxuriousness. they glorify Him not as God. For Thou art great. Thy Word. no. and so it shall be. they seek not piously. and out of them do others foretell in what year and month of the year. or if they find Him. and hast respect unto the humble. and measure the starry heavens. and sanctification. and themselves who number. and therefore find Him not. neither are thankful. and track the courses of the planets. but to the contrite in heart. and righteousness. O Lord. For they search not religiously whence they have the wit. set before me to feed upon. they foresee a failure of the sun's light. that Thou. like the fishes of the seal they wander over the unknown paths of the abyss). as beasts of the field. They knew not this way. or that of Thy wisdom there is no number. and how many digits. and are puffed up. moon or sun is to be eclipsed. they give not themselves up to Thee. At these things men. as it is foreshowed. nor their own diving curiosities (wherewith. and what part of its light. and by an ungodly pride departing from Thee. Fame had before bespoken him most knowing in all valuable learning. And finding that Thou madest them. They discourse many things truly concerning the creature. so long before. even although they could only prevail so far as to make judgment of this lower world. the sun and moon. and exquisitely skilled in the liberal sciences. which is. and their foolish heart was darkened. and was numbered among us. They knew not this way whereby to descend to Him from themselves. and profess themselves to be wise. exult. which Thou bestowedst on them. the Lord of it they could by no means find out. But they knew not the way. mayest burn up those dead cares of theirs. and thereby with most perverse blindness. so praised among them. and what day of the month. forging lies of Thee who art the Truth. and failing of Thy light. nor slay their own soaring imaginations. by Whom Thou madest these things which they number. which shall be. they fell upon the earth. and what hour of the day. and these are read at this day. marvel and are astonished. Artificer of the creature. but see not their own.was earnest to learn: nor did I so much regard the service of oratory as the science which this Faustus. and the understanding. and found the former the more probable. but the proud Thou beholdest afar off. eclipses of those luminaries. And since I had read and well remembered much of the philosophers. and deemed themselves exalted amongst the stars and shining. they search out these things. -nor did their calculation fail. many years before. nor art found by the proud. wherewith they search out this. study to impute to Thee what is their own. But the Only Begotten is Himself made unto us wisdom. and much have they found out. I compared some things of theirs with those long fables of the Manichees. attributing to themselves what is Thine. Lord. and the sense whereby they perceive what they number. and foretold. a consuming fire. and changing the glory of uncorruptible God into an image made . and re-create themselves immortally. but Truth. and they that know it. Nor dost Thou draw near. as fowls of the air.

nor do I see that any ignorance as to the position or character of the corporeal creation can injure him. which in his frenzy he had written most largely on these subjects. and who having nothing. or equinoxes. and return thanks to Thee for the use thereof. For when I hear any Christian brother ignorant of these things. it might be manifest what understanding he had in the other abstruser things. whoso knoweth these things. And whoso knoweth both Thee and them is not the happier for them. but went about to persuade men. was with plenary authority personally within him. Behold piety and wisdom. and number the stars. For as he is better off who knows how to possess a tree. therefore please Thee? Surely unhappy is he who knoweth all these. For it is vanity to make profession of these worldly things even when known. by cleaving unto Thee. Yet many truths concerning the creature retained I from these men. whom all things serve. But I was commanded to believe. I can patiently behold such a man holding his opinion. but these things. since. he glorifies Thee as God. if. knowing Thee. changing Thy truth into a lie. although he know not how many cubits high it is. knowing not. Wherefore this wanderer to this end spake much of these things. yet neglecteth Thee who hast made all things in number. the Creator of all. but confession to Thee is piety. O Lord God of truth. O Lord. than he that can measure it. that he sought to ascribe them to himself. nor knows or loves its Creator: so a believer. and four-footed beasts. For he would not have himself meanly thought of. though he know not these. if . but discovered not any account of the solstices. But yet who bade that Manichaeus write on these things also. of which he might be ignorant. yet possesseth all things. and yet it corresponded not with what had been established by calculations and my own sight. yet is it folly to doubt but he is in a better state than one who can measure the heavens. though he had perfect knowledge of these things. nor whatever of this sort I had learned in the books of secular philosophy." When then he was found out to have taught falsely of the heaven and stars. he most impudently dared to teach. so long as he doth not believe any thing unworthy of Thee. and poise the elements. weight. he plainly could have no knowledge of piety. yet his sacrilegious presumption would become evident enough. skill in which was no element of piety? For Thou hast said to man. seeing he delivered things which not only he knew not. and worshipping and serving the creature more than the Creator. and creeping things. and saw the reason thereof from calculations. the succession of times. or how wide it spreads. "That the Holy Ghost.like corruptible man. and is thankful. and of the motions of the sun and moon (although these things pertain not to the doctrine of religion). the Comforter and Enricher of Thy faithful ones. and compared them with the saying of Manichaeus. but for Thee only. as to a divine person. Doth then. and neither owns it. and count all its boughs. but was quite contrary. whose all this world of wealth is. that convicted by those who had truly learned them. or the eclipses of the greater lights. and measure. and knoweth not Thee: but happy whoso knoweth Thee. and becomes not vain in his imaginations. But it doth injure him. and to birds. though he know not even the circles of the Great Bear. with so mad a vanity of pride. and the visible testimonies of the stars. but which were falsified. and mistaken on them.

For the rest of the sect. and whatever else of the kind I had read of in other books. I was not allowed to put in and communicate those questions that troubled me. on account of his reputed sanctity. might be explained consistently with his sayings. nor. But Thou. wherein with unsettled mind I had been their disciple. and. because the language is rich. But in him who in such wise presumed to be the teacher. and of day and night itself. and had brought forward such things as moved me. But they who held him out to me were no good judges of things. yet still but the self-same things which they were wont to say. when unable to solve my objections about these things. source. nor therefore falsely. because it is truth. that neither ought any thing to seem to be spoken truly. And for almost all those nine years. guide. and will yet affirm that too stiffly whereof he is ignorant. save . and the language graceful. because better said. were to be detested and utterly rejected? But I had not as yet clearly ascertained whether the vicissitudes of longer and shorter days and nights. O my God. and with my friends began to engage his ears at such times as it was not unbecoming for him to discuss with me. Which when I might. nor did they seem to me therefore better. and refused to assent to it. and therefore I believe that Thou taughtest me. because the utterance of the lips is inharmonious. if they by any means might. because rudely delivered. nor the soul therefore wise. And yet is even such an infirmity. That greediness then. because the face was comely. that whoso followed him thought that he followed. so that. borne by our mother Charity. was delighted verily with his action and feeling when disputing. When then he came. it should still remain a question to me whether it were so or no. who would not judge that so great madness. still held out to me the coming of this Faustus. so as not to be carried about with every wind of doctrine. again. and who could speak fluently and in better terms. whom by chance I had lighted upon. I felt however that another sort of people were suspicious even of truth. not a mere man. were to be most readily and abundantly cleared. I was then delighted.he imagine it to pertain to the form of the doctrine of piety. nor therefore true. if I had them. It troubled me. when once convicted of having taught any thing false. if delivered in a smooth and copious discourse. rest my credence upon his authority. in familiar converse with him. but that wisdom and folly are as wholesome and unwholesome food. did I praise and extol him. chief of all whom he could so persuade. because eloquently. Of Thyself therefore had I now learned. because in words pleasing. nor is there besides Thee any teacher of truth. with the eclipses of the greater lights. by conference with whom these and greater difficulties. therefore true. because eloquent. with many others and more than they. nor therefore false. however. where or whencesoever it may shine upon us. till the new-born may grow up unto a perfect man. that in the assembly of his auditors. hadst already taught me by wonderful and secret ways. but Thy Holy Spirit. I found him a man of pleasing discourse. and his choice and readiness of words to clothe his ideas. But what availed the utmost neatness of the cup-bearer to my thirst for a more precious draught? Mine ears were already cloyed with the like. I had longed but too intensely for the coming of this Faustus. I found him first utterly ignorant of liberal sciences. in the infancy of faith. but I might. and therefore to them he appeared understanding and wise. either kind of meats may be served up in either kind of dishes. and adorned or unadorned phrases as courtly or country vessels. wherewith I had of so long time expected that man.

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

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

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

health. And even then, at Rome, I joined myself to those deceiving and deceived "holy ones"; not with their disciples only (of which number was he, in whose house I had fallen sick and recovered); but also with those whom they call "The Elect." For I still thought "that it was not we that sin, but that I know not what other nature sinned in us"; and it delighted my pride, to be free from blame; and when I had done any evil, not to confess I had done any, that Thou mightest heal my soul because it had sinned against Thee: but I loved to excuse it, and to accuse I know not what other thing, which was with me, but which I was not. But in truth it was wholly I, and mine impiety had divided me against myself: and that sin was the more incurable, whereby I did not judge myself a sinner; and execrable iniquity it was, that I had rather have Thee, Thee, O God Almighty, to be overcome in me to my destruction, than myself of Thee to salvation. Not as yet then hadst Thou set a watch before my mouth, and a door of safe keeping around my lips, that my heart might not turn aside to wicked speeches, to make excuses of sins, with men that work iniquity; and, therefore, was I still united with their Elect. But now despairing to make proficiency in that false doctrine, even those things (with which if I should find no better, I had resolved to rest contented) I now held more laxly and carelessly. For there half arose a thought in me that those philosophers, whom they call Academics, were wiser than the rest, for that they held men ought to doubt everything, and laid down that no truth can be comprehended by man: for so, not then understanding even their meaning, I also was clearly convinced that they thought, as they are commonly reported. Yet did I freely and openly discourage that host of mine from that over-confidence which I perceived him to have in those fables, which the books of Manichaeus are full of. Yet I lived in more familiar friendship with them, than with others who were not of this heresy. Nor did I maintain it with my ancient eagerness; still my intimacy with that sect (Rome secretly harbouring many of them) made me slower to seek any other way: especially since I despaired of finding the truth, from which they had turned me aside, in Thy Church, O Lord of heaven and earth, Creator of all things visible and invisible: and it seemed to me very unseemly to believe Thee to have the shape of human flesh, and to be bounded by the bodily lineaments of our members. And because, when I wished to think on my God, I knew not what to think of, but a mass of bodies (for what was not such did not seem to me to be anything), this was the greatest, and almost only cause of my inevitable error. For hence I believed Evil also to be some such kind of substance, and to have its own foul and hideous bulk; whether gross, which they called earth, or thin and subtile (like the body of the air), which they imagine to be some malignant mind, creeping through that earth. And because a piety, such as it was, constrained me to believe that the good God never created any evil nature, I conceived two masses, contrary to one another, both unbounded, but the evil narrower, the good more expansive. And from this pestilent beginning, the other sacrilegious conceits followed on me. For when my mind endeavoured to recur to the Catholic faith, I was driven back, since that was not the Catholic faith which I thought to be so. And I seemed to myself more reverential, if I believed of Thee, my God (to whom Thy mercies confess out of my mouth), as unbounded, at least on other sides, although on that one where the mass of evil was opposed to Thee, I was constrained to confess Thee bounded; than if on all sides I should

imagine Thee to be bounded by the form of a human body. And it seemed to me better to believe Thee to have created no evil (which to me ignorant seemed not some only, but a bodily substance, because I could not conceive of mind unless as a subtile body, and that diffused in definite spaces), than to believe the nature of evil, such as I conceived it, could come from Thee. Yea, and our Saviour Himself, Thy Only Begotten, I believed to have been reached forth (as it were) for our salvation, out of the mass of Thy most lucid substance, so as to believe nothing of Him, but what I could imagine in my vanity. His Nature then, being such, I thought could not be born of the Virgin Mary, without being mingled with the flesh: and how that which I had so figured to myself could be mingled, and not defiled, I saw not. I feared therefore to believe Him born in the flesh, lest I should be forced to believe Him defiled by the flesh. Now will Thy spiritual ones mildly and lovingly smile upon me, if they shall read these my confessions. Yet such was I. Furthermore, what the Manichees had criticised in Thy Scriptures, I thought could not be defended; yet at times verily I had a wish to confer upon these several points with some one very well skilled in those books, and to make trial what he thought thereon; for the words of one Helpidius, as he spoke and disputed face to face against the said Manichees, had begun to stir me even at Carthage: in that he had produced things out of the Scriptures, not easily withstood, the Manichees' answer whereto seemed to me weak. And this answer they liked not to give publicly, but only to us in private. It was, that the Scriptures of the New Testament had been corrupted by I know not whom, who wished to engraff the law of the Jews upon the Christian faith: yet themselves produced not any uncorrupted copies. But I, conceiving of things corporeal only, was mainly held down, vehemently oppressed and in a manner suffocated by those "masses"; panting under which after the breath of Thy truth, I could not breathe it pure and untainted. I began then diligently to practise that for which I came to Rome, to teach rhetoric; and first, to gather some to my house, to whom, and through whom, I had begun to be known; when to, I found other offences committed in Rome, to which I was not exposed in Africa. True, those "subvertings" by profligate young men were not here practised, as was told me: but on a sudden, said they, to avoid paying their master's stipend, a number of youths plot together, and remove to another; -breakers of faith, who for love of money hold justice cheap. These also my heart hated, though not with a perfect hatred: for perchance I hated them more because I was to suffer by them, than because they did things utterly unlawful. Of a truth such are base persons, and they go a whoring from Thee, loving these fleeting mockeries of things temporal, and filthy lucre, which fouls the hand that grasps it; hugging the fleeting world, and despising Thee, Who abidest, and recallest, and forgivest the adulteress soul of man, when she returns to Thee. And now I hate such depraved and crooked persons, though I love them if corrigible, so as to prefer to money the learning which they acquire, and to learning, Thee, O God, the truth and fulness of assured good, and most pure peace. But then I rather for my own sake misliked them evil, than liked and wished them good for Thine. When therefore they of Milan had sent to Rome to the prefect of the city, to furnish them with a rhetoric reader for their city, and sent him at the public expense, I made application (through those very persons, intoxicated with Manichaean vanities, to be

for which I had thought nothing could be said against the Manichees' objections. as I more and more considered and compared things. I might not continue in that sect. I judged the tenets of most of the philosophers to have been much more probable. To him was I unknowing led by Thee. but of the matter I was as a careless and scornful looker-on. more recondite.freed wherefrom I was to go. neither of us however knowing it) that Symmachus. to Thee). Thy devout servant. came also into my mind the things which I would refuse. the other teaching salvation most soundly. because both sides could be maintained. for the one was wandering amid Manichaean delusions. such as I then stood before him. For the Catholic cause seemed to me in such sort not vanquished. whether it answered the fame thereof. and so send me. then prefect of the city. these things also had now begun to appear to me capable of defence. yet together with the words which I would choose. and yet was I drawing nearer by little and little. and the sober inebriation of Thy wine. Notwithstanding. So then after the manner of the Academics (as they are supposed) doubting of every thing. judging that. which the senses of the flesh can reach to. but as a person kind towards myself. that by him I might knowingly be led to Thee." which when I understood literally. all their strongholds had been beaten down. yet in manner less winning and harmonious. Yet did I not therefore then see that the Catholic way was to be held. and I was delighted with the sweetness of his discourse. as it were. nor that what I held was therefore to be condemned." there also entered "how truly he spake". especially after I had heard one or two places of the Old Testament resolved. even while doubting. but. For first. That man of God received me as a father. to Ambrose the Bishop. and unconsciously. at first indeed not as a teacher of the truth (which I utterly despaired of in Thy Church). Thenceforth I began to love him. and cast utterly out of my mind. but I could not. there was no comparison. open for man. trying his eloquence. and ofttimes "in a figure. and wavering between all. but only to hear how he spake (for that empty care alone was left me. to which I already preferred . Could I once have conceived a spiritual substance. for I could not separate them. I was slain spiritually. however. I now thought might be maintained without shamelessness. the gladness of Thy oil. who could at large and with some show of reason answer objections. but this by degrees. than that of Faustus. would try me by setting me some subject. and I hung on his words attentively. that the Manichees were to be abandoned. But salvation is far from sinners. And I listened diligently to him preaching to the people. because it also could find learned maintainers. not with that intent I ought. or flowed fuller or lower than was reported. and the whole of nature. to see if in any way I could by any certain proof convict the Manichees of falsehood. For though I took no pains to learn what he spake. I settled so far. To Milan I came. despairing of a way. I now blamed my despair. And while I opened my heart to admit "how eloquently he spake. and the Catholic faith. known to the whole world as among the best of men. Of the matter. and showed me an Episcopal kindness on my coming. whose eloquent discourse did then plentifully dispense unto Thy people the flour of Thy wheat. Very many places then of those books having been explained. in believing that no answer could be given to such as hated and scoffed at the Law and the Prophets. Hereupon I earnestly bent my mind. concerning the frame of this world. as still not as yet to be victorious.

and in slippery places. and found not the God of my heart. rather than discuss his prohibition. Who hadst promised the whole. She found me in grievous peril. my hope from my youth. which physicians call "the crisis. that Thou mightest say to the son of the widow. Young man. "She believed in Christ. and distrusted and despaired of ever finding truth. yet did I walk in darkness. For wine-bibbing did not lay siege to . though to be reawakened by Thee. following me over sea and land. assuring them of a safe arrival. use rather to be comforted when troubled). I determined therefore so long to be a Catechumen in the Catholic Church. carrying me forth upon the bier of her thoughts. I utterly refused to commit the cure of my sick soul. as she was wont in Afric. to which philosophers notwithstanding. and she hastened the more eagerly to the Church. she so piously and obediently embraced his wishes. she comforted the very mariners (by whom passengers unacquainted with the deep. Her heart then was shaken with no tumultuous exultation. that I myself wondered how readily she censured her own practice. and sought Thee abroad out of myself. till something certain should dawn upon me. and begin to speak. praying for the fountain of that water. and separated me from the beasts of the field." Thus much to me. that Thou. where wert Thou to me. through which she anticipated most confidently that I should pass from sickness unto health. and bread and wine. because she knew that by him I had been brought for the present to that doubtful state of faith I now was in. most calmly. because Thou hadst by a vision assured her thereof. and hung upon the lips of Ambrose. whither I might steer my course. and was forbidden by the door-keeper. brought to the Churches built in memory of the Saints. wouldest one day give the rest. though I had not yet attained the truth. of a sharper fit. for which she bewailed me as one dead. although she was now assured concerning that part of my misery. and enlighten my darkness. and with a heart full of confidence. and he should revive. Fountain of mercies. poured she forth more copious prayers and tears. after the access. though not yet a Catholic Christian. I say unto thee. that Thou wouldest hasten Thy help. My mother had now come to me. which springeth up unto life everlasting. in all perils confiding in Thee. For in perils of the sea. as it were. and had come into the depths of the sea." When then my mother had once. But that man she loved as an angel of God. But when I had discovered to her that I was now no longer a Manichee. she should see me a Catholic believer. and whither wert Thou gone? Hadst not Thou created me. that before she departed this life. resolute through piety. as at something unexpected. but. so soon as she knew that the Bishop had forbidden this. I was rescued from falsehood. for that they were without the saving Name of Christ. as being assured. and Thou shouldest deliver him to his mother.some of the philosophers. in that. Arise. through despair of ever finding truth. when she heard that what she daily with tears desired of Thee was already in so great part realised. and fowls of the air? Thou hadst made me wiser. certain cakes. But to Thee. she was not overjoyed. to which I had been commended by my parents. she replied to me. BOOK VI O Thou.

Ofttimes when we had come (for no man was forbidden to enter. had it been forbidden by another. and perchance he dreaded lest if the author he read should deliver any thing obscurely. and he her again. which for courtesy she would taste. never joined therewith more than one small cup of wine. she would distribute to those about her by small sips. whom she loved not as Ambrose. congratulating me that I had such a mother. and thus thinks my heart of it in Thy sight. she had learned to bring to the Churches of the martyrs a breast filled with more purified petitions. and having long sat silent (for who durst intrude on one so intent?) we were fain to depart. but my spirit was wholly intent on learning. I esteemed a happy man. when she had brought her basket with the accustomed festival-food. and then given away. for she sought there devotion. But when he was reading. I neither could conjecture. or the abyss of my danger. whom. who revolt at a lesson of sobriety. nor did love of wine provoke her to hatred of the truth. whereby in good works. or his mind with reading. being shut out both from his ear and speech by multitudes of busy people. With whom when he was not taken up (which was but a little time). so fervent in spirit. or to . then. though not only made very watery. and his heart searched out the sense. as she found this custom to be forbidden by that famous preacher and most pious prelate. as it were. as it doth too many (both men and women). his eye glided over the pages. that so the communication of the Lord's Body might be there rightly celebrated. nor had experienced. and this. But yet it seems to me. he was either refreshing his body with the sustenance absolutely necessary. as men well-drunk at a draught mingled with water. or what comfort in adversities. not pleasure. the martyrs had been sacrificed and crowned. nor was it his wont that any who came should be announced to him). for my salvation. after the example of His Passion. not knowing what a son she had in me. we saw him thus reading to himself. And Ambrose himself. and imagined the way to life could not be found out.her spirit. as the world counts happy. And if there were many churches of the departed saints that were to be honoured in that manner. so that. even to those that would use it soberly. For I could not ask of him. and never otherwise. but his voice and tongue were at rest. where. what I would as I would. lest so an occasion of excess might be given to the drunken. conjecturing that in the small interval which he obtained. that perhaps she would not so readily have yielded to the cutting off of this custom. diluted according to her own abstemious habits. anniversary funeral solemnities did much resemble the superstition of the Gentiles. she still carried round that same one cup. So soon. who doubted of all these things. when he saw me. to be used every where. O Lord my God. Nor did I yet groan in my prayers. and to give what she could to the poor. Nor did he know the tides of my feelings. she was constant at church. she loved most entirely. what struggles he had against the temptations which beset his very excellencies. only his celibacy seemed to me a painful course. and restless to dispute. for her most religious conversation. she most willingly forbare it: and for a basket filled with fruits of the earth. to be but tasted by herself. he was loth to be taken off. that Thou wouldest help me. some attentive or perplexed hearer should desire him to expound it. but unpleasantly heated with carrying about. and what sweet joys Thy Bread had for the hidden mouth of his spirit. for the recruiting of his mind. whose weaknesses he served. But what hope he bore within him. and for these. he often burst forth into her praises. But she. whom personages so great held in such honour. free from the din of others' business. when chewing the cud thereof.

unless the thing might be answered briefly. For I kept my heart from assenting to any thing. that what I ought by enquiring to have learned. the body of Thine Only Son (wherein the name of Christ had been put upon me as an infant). how it was to be believed. But those tides in me. I accused Thy Catholic Church. but at least not to teach that for which I had grievously censured her. that so long deluded and deceived by the promise of certainties. which those our deceivers had knit against the Divine Books. yet hast Thou made man after Thine own image. Who hast not limbs some larger. Ignorant then how this Thy image should subsist. what to hold for certain. when with a blind contentiousness. the Creator of all. But with what intent soever he did it. yet bounded every where by the limits of a human form. most secret. whom I now discovered. art not of such corporeal shape. whilst he drew aside the mystic veil. For so rash and impious had I been. oftentimes most diligently recommend this text for a rule. For that they were falsehoods became clear to me later. the more ashamed I was. So I was confounded. teaching herein nothing that offended me.discuss some of the harder questions. I had with childish error and vehemence. could be unravelled. seemed to teach something unsound. O my God. and never found it. but art wholly every where. some smaller. in space. I should have knocked and proposed the doubt. then. The letter killeth. Most High." was not so understood by Thy spiritual sons. from head to foot is he contained in space. the more sharply gnawed my heart. required his full leisure. I joyed also that the old Scriptures of the law and the Prophets were laid before me. according to the letter. For Thou. But when I understood withal. to be poured out to him. and most present. whereas indeed they thought not so: and with joy I heard Ambrose in his sermons to the people. so that his time being thus spent. yet. and no where in space. but the Spirit giveth life. and most near. as if believed. certainly in such a man it was good. not insultingly opposed it. with joy I blushed at having so many years barked not against the Catholic faith. I heard him indeed every Lord's day. though he taught what I knew not as yet. However I was certain that they were uncertain. that the One Only Church. when I reviled Thy holy ones for so thinking. after Thine own image. and converted: and I joyed. whom of the Catholic Mother Thou hast born again through grace. I had pronounced on. however great and large. whether it were true. he could not turn over so many volumes as he desired. laying open spiritually what. as though they believed and conceived of Thee as bounded by human shape (although what a spiritual substance should be I had not even a faint or shadowy notion). that "man created by Thee. not now to be perused with that eye to which before they seemed absurd. prated of so many uncertainties. although the preserving of his voice (which a very little speaking would weaken) might be the truer reason for his reading to himself. nor in her sound doctrine maintained any tenet which should confine Thee. his breast. and I was more and more convinced that all the knots of those crafty calumnies. had no taste for infantine conceits. fearing to fall . but against the fictions of carnal imaginations. Doubt. and behold. I however certainly had no opportunity of enquiring what I wished of that so holy oracle of Thine. condemning. and that I had formerly accounted them certain. not indeed as yet to teach truly. rightly expounding the Word of truth among the people.

however. whereof I knew not how to conceive. because they could not be demonstrated. whereas among the Manichees our credulity was mocked by a promise of certain knowledge. lastly. we should do nothing at all in this life. having heard divers of them expounded satisfactorily. refused to be cured. could wring this belief from me. both what was to be thought of Thy substance. more weakly otherwhiles. and lest it should believe falsehoods. and "That the government of human things belongs to Thee. and more worthy of religious credence. since no contentiousness of blasphemous questionings. or spiritual. and that they were not to be heard. But as it happens that one who has tried a bad physician. yet I ever believed both that Thou wert. touching and composing my heart.headlong. and given unto them so great authority. resisting Thy hands. of all that multitude which I had read in the self-contradicting philosophers. didst persuade me. so many reports of places and of cities. hadst Thou not willed thereby to be believed in. that not they who believed Thy Books (which Thou hast established in so great authority among almost all nations). sounding strangely in the Scripture. and hast applied them to the diseases of the whole world. from this to prefer the Catholic doctrine.considering what innumerable things I believed. except corporeally. fears to trust himself with a good one. Thou didst persuade me. as I was that seven and three are ten. but I desired to have other things as clear as this. which could not be healed but by believing. nor was present while they were done. For I was not so mad as to think that even this could not be comprehended." This I believed. and hadst a care of us. whether things corporeal. or could not at all be). though I was ignorant. I felt that her proceeding was more unassuming and honest. Who hast prepared the medicines of faith. in that. thereby sought. which I had not seen. so many of physicians. while it lay open to all to read. which I could not know. that so the eyesight of my soul being cleared. For I wished to be as assured of the things I saw not. which I saw not. "That Thou art" whatsoever Thou wert (what I knew not). little by little with most tender and most merciful hand. might in some way be directed to Thy truth. with how unshaken an assurance I believed of what parents I was born. and in no part faileth. I had now begun to believe that Thou wouldest never have given such excellency of authority to that Writ in all lands. which abideth always. For now what things. but they who believed them not. in that she required to be believed things not demonstrated (whether it was that they could in themselves be demonstrated but not to certain persons. as so many things in secular history. O Lord. Then Thou. but by hanging in suspense I was the worse killed. Since then we were too weak by abstract reasonings to find out truth: and for this very cause needed the authority of Holy Writ. and what way led or led back to Thee. were to be blamed. had I not believed upon hearsay -considering all this. and its authority appeared to me the more venerable. so many continually of other men. were wont to offend me. so was it with the health of my soul. so many of friends. it reserved the . which unless we should believe. And by believing might I have been cured. and then so many most fabulous and absurd things were imposed to be believed. I referred to the depth of the mysteries. Being led. sometimes more strongly. "How knowest thou those Scriptures to have been imparted unto mankind by the Spirit of the one true and most true God?" For this very thing was of all most to be believed. which were not present to my senses. who should say to me.

I suppose. "It makes a difference whence a man's joy is. In these desires I underwent most bitter crosses. was to be applauded by those who knew I lied. how many days. Let my soul cleave unto Thee. for. But "it doth make a difference whence a man's joy is. and so was he then beyond me: for he verily was the happier. And certainly he was joyous. and Thou didst not forsake me. I full of fears. I panted after honours. and be healed. of the many sorrows of our frenzies." What glory. Behold my heart. Thou desiredst to joy in glory. and the joy of a faithful hope lieth incomparably beyond such vanity. now that Thou hast freed it from that fast-holding birdlime of death. For he verily had not the true joy. He that very night should digest his drunkenness. and without whom all things would be nothing. and Thou heardest me. the less Thou sufferedst aught to grow sweet to me. That beggar-man joyed in drunkenness. it might be converted unto Thee. who should never perchance attain it. I wandered through the broad way of the world. joking and joyous: and I sighed. and through narrow passages waft over towards Thee some few. was it the truth? For I ought not to prefer myself to him.majesty of its mysteries within its profounder meaning. For what he had obtained by means of a few begged pence. and thou deridedst me. gains. because more learned than he. and. he void of care. the burthen of my own wretchedness. if he asked had I rather be such as he was. but out of wrong judgment. Wherefore also Thou didst break my bones with the staff of Thy correction. but I had slept and risen again with mine. stooping to all in the great plainness of its words and lowliness of its style. O Lord. had I rather be merry or fearful? I would answer merry. to make me feel my misery on that day. How miserable was I then. and how didst Thou deal with me. and Thou didst guide me. that so it might receive all in its open bosom. and that not to instruct. nor drew multitudes within its bosom by its holy lowliness. but sought to please men by it. seeing I had no joy therein. which was not Thou. marriage. be converted. augmenting it. we yet looked to arrive only at that very joyousness whither that beggar-man had arrived before us. as those wherein I then toiled dragging along. God. and my heart was panting with these anxieties. though worn with cares and fears. under the goading of desire. I sighed. that forsaking all else. For even as his was no true joy. by dragging. but simply to please. and spoke to the friends around me. But should any ask me. yet calling forth the intensest application of such as are not light of heart. who art above all. I wavered. with a full belly. Thou. These things I thought on. Lord? That which is not in Thee. and was to sleep again. I anxious. Yea. yet many more than if it stood not aloft on such a height of authority. for that by all such efforts of ours. and confess to Thee. Away with those then from my soul who say to her. then. the joy of a temporary felicity. passing through one of the streets of Milan. wherein I was to utter many a lie. and lying. who wouldest I should remember all this. but yet I with those my ambitious designs was seeking one much less true. or what I then was? I should choose to be myself. and boiling with the feverishness of consuming thoughts. when I was preparing to recite a panegyric of the Emperor. . knowest. Again. and again to rise with it. the same was I plotting for by many a toilsome turning and winding. Thou being the more gracious. How wretched was it! and Thou didst irritate the feeling of its wound. For. so was that no true glory: and it overthrew my soul more." I know it. I observed a poor beggar. and Thou wert with me.

For he upon that speech burst out of that pit so deep. that he should not. and afterwards at Carthage. hear a little. of persons of chief rank there. or had thrown away so great promise: yet had I no means of advising or with a sort of constraint reclaiming him. that right-minded youth took as a ground of being offended at himself. had a public school. and that his amendment might plainly be attributed to Thyself. unknowingly. by fair wishes. and I. and thought that I said it simply for his sake. And whence another would have taken occasion of offence with me. But Thou. These things we. but chiefly and most familiarly did I speak thereof with Alypius and Nebridius. a likeness from the Circensian races occurred to me. Priest and Dispenser of Thy Sacrament. both when I first lectured in our town. undo so good a wit. was seeking for empty. and be gone. as likely to make what I would convey pleasanter and plainer. for almost before I could grasp it. hadst not forgotten him. Yet the whirlpool of Carthaginian habits (amongst whom those idle spectacles are hotly followed) had drawn him into the madness of the Circus. I had found then how deadly he doted upon the Circus. sat down. because I seemed to him kind. thus languishing. for his great towardliness to virtue. through a blind and headlong desire of vain pastimes. wherein he was wilfully plunged. and was deeply grieved that he seemed likely. greeted me. and I found it went ill with me. by which to set on fire the hopeful mind. God. I however had forgotten to deal with him. who guidest the course of all Thou hast created. Rebuke a wise man and he will love Thee. But he took it wholly to himself. as yet he used not my teaching. O Lord. knowing or not knowing. but younger than I. come sometimes into my lecture room. who considers not Thy mercies. professing rhetoric there. Let him be silent in Thy praises. who was one day to be among Thy children. But while he was miserably tossed therein. which while I was explaining. For Thou hadst said it long ago. nay. I was loth to catch at it. which was eminent enough in one of no greater years. didst of my heart and tongue make burning coals. who employest all. either by the kindness of a friend. laying aside then his father's mind in that matter. in that order which Thyself knowest (and that order is just). and I him. I disembowelled with cares: but he. and learned. Upon . it flew away. he began to greet me. seasoned with biting mockery of those whom that madness had enthralled. or the authority of a master. For he had studied under me. and he shook his mind with a strong self-command. and so cure it. but Thou. by reason of some unkindness risen betwixt his father and me. of whom Alypius was born in the same town with me. and he loved me much. Thou effectedst it through me. and if any prosperity smiled on me.not only for that he was thoroughly drenched in mirth. Thou knowest that I then thought not of curing Alypius of that infection. whereupon all the filths of the Circensian pastimes flew off from him. and loving me more fervently. with my scholars before me. nor came he again thither. and doubled that very ill. For I supposed that he thought of me as did his father. he entered. and grieved. swelling praise. and applied his mind to what I then handled. and put it into Thy book. Much to this purpose said I then to my friends: and I often marked in them how it fared with me. which confess unto Thee out of my inmost soul. But I had not rebuked him. but he was not such. who were living as friends together. I had by chance a passage in hand. had gotten wine. bemoaned together. I. For as one day I sat in my accustomed place. by lying. and was blinded with its wretched pastimes.

and was thinking over at midday in the market-place what he was to say by heart (as scholars use to practise). but in Thee. he was one day by chance met by divers of his acquaintance and fellow-students coming from dinner. But this was already being laid up in his memory to be a medicine hereafter. but also before them. a lawyer. a mighty cry of the whole people striking him strongly. during these cruel and deadly shows. yea and to draw in others. had gone before me to Rome. whom he desired to behold. Whereas it was a senseless and seducing continency. got in. and had taken their places as they could. vehemently refusing and resisting. he therewith drunk down savageness. he opened his eyes. suffer it. shouted. and so shall overcome both you and them. Nor was he now the man he came. our God. loving in the Manichees that show of continency which he supposed true and unfeigned. a true associate of theirs that brought him thither. to make way for the striking and beating down of a soul. For as he was walking up and down by himself before the judgment-seat. and taughtest him to have confidence not in himself. Thou sufferedst him to be apprehended by the officers of the market-place for a thief. For being utterly averse to and detesting spectacles. whether he could do as he said. which ought to have relied on Thee. man was not readily to be condemned by man out of a rash credulity." They. So was that also. Yet thence didst Thou with a most strong and most merciful hand pluck him. and there set me. and would he had stopped his ears also! For in the fight. a young man. hearing this. he prevailed with his unwilling father that he might be my scholar. unable as yet to reach the depth of virtue. forbade his mind to range abroad after such evil. But he. in that it had presumed on itself. kindled. He gave way. and as if prepared to despise and be superior to it whatsoever it were. should already begin to learn that in judging of causes. Why say more? He beheld. into the Amphitheatre. I deem. he thus protesting: "Though you hale my body to that place. For no other cause. but fixed his eye. closing the passage of his eyes. and they with a familiar violence haled him. drinking in frenzy. can you force me also to turn my mind or my eyes to those shows? I shall then be absent while present. which entered through his ears. ensnaring precious souls. And Alypius beginning to be my hearer again. bold rather than resolute. and gave in. that when he was yet studying under me at Carthage. and was delighted with that guilty fight. privily bringing a hatchet. and unlocked his eyes. yea. with his note-book and pen. as far . to study law. carried thence with him the madness which should goad him to return not only with them who first drew him thither. and intoxicated with the bloody pastime. and was stricken with a deeper wound in his soul than the other. unperceived by Alypius. lo. didst Thou. overcome by curiosity. yet readily beguiled with the surface of what was but a shadowy and counterfeit virtue. unawares. desirous perchance to try that very thing.this. and the weaker. not forsaking that secular course which his parents had charmed him to pursue. and there he was carried away incredibly with an incredible eagerness after the shows of gladiators. nor turned away. but one of the throng he came unto. He. led him on nevertheless. when one fell. But this was after. was in his body. even when seen. but that he who was hereafter to prove so great a man. the whole place kindled with that savage pastime. was involved in the same superstition with me. When they were come thither. and he fell more miserably than he upon whose fall that mighty noise was raised. For so soon as he saw that blood. the real thief.

There he had thrice sat as Assessor.as the leaden gratings which fence in the silversmiths' shops. but put the matter off upon Alypius. he discovered every thing. Thou succouredst his innocency. whose councillor Alypius was. many much feared. There. who had not seen him enter. to whose favours many stood indebted. before the door. whereof Thou alone wert witness. which neither desired the friendship. when behold. yet did not openly refuse. Thus the crime being transferred to that house. He. as though to show him at last by whom these thefts were committed. asked him "Whose that was?" "Ours. with all his heart he scorned it: threats were held out. not apprehending any harm to his master. although also unwilling it should be. a certain architect met them. and saw with what speed he made away. where finding the hatchet. but with the goad of fear. Alypius would have . he who was to be a dispenser of Thy Word. and an examiner of many causes in Thy Church. to go with him. however. And the very judge. For forthwith. entered the place. and he clave to me by a most strong tie. fearing to be taken with it. His character was tried besides. went away better experienced and instructed. was aware of his going. At Rome he was Assessor to the count of the Italian Treasury. by whom they were wont to be suspected of stealing the goods lost out of the marketplace. which had begun to insult over Alypius. the silversmiths beneath began to make a stir. For as he was being led either to prison or to punishment. and bade all present. and might practise something of the law he had studied. But thus far was Alypius to be instructed. They seize him. And being desirous to know the matter. to whom he often went to pay his respects. Him then I had found at Rome. with an uncorruptness much wondered at by others. Alypius resisted it: a bribe was promised. was a boy so young as to be likely. he trampled upon them: all wondering at so unwonted a spirit. O Lord. wondering and considering it. So they came to the house of the young man who had done the deed. who had the chief charge of the public buildings. leaving his hatchet. took him aside by the hand. He would needs." quoth he presently: and being further questioned. But the noise of the hatchet being heard. Alypius now. hearing their voices. find him alone with the hatchet in his hand. had divers times seen Alypius at a certain senator's house. and enquiring the occasion of so great a calamity. But he. to disclose the whole. have a thing allowed him which by the laws was unallowed. heard the whole matter. not only with the bait of covetousness. alleging that he would not allow him to do it: for in truth had the judge done it. and gathering the dwellers in the market-place together. by his usual power. and recognising him immediately. hale him away. For he had attended his master to the market-place. nor feared the enmity of one so great and so mightily renowned for innumerable means of doing good or evil. he wondering at others rather who could prefer gold to honesty. and sent to apprehend whomever they should find. boast of having taken a notorious thief. those that had been sent. he told the architect: and he showing the hatchet to the boy. There was at that time a very powerful senator. more to please his parents than himself. and began to cut away the lead. ran away. Glad they were to meet him especially. and the multitude ashamed. and so he was being led away to be taken before the judge. the noise whereof had startled and brought them thither. both that he might not leave me. he was standing. Whom so soon as Alypius remembered. amid much uproar and threats. and went with me to Milan.

and waiting upon Thee that Thou mightest give them their meat in due season. Lo. until the clear truth be found out. sticking in the same mire. he altered his deliberation for the better. And I. wherein I had begun to kindle with the desire of wisdom. let us search the more diligently. why we should suffer all this. ye Academicians. as a child. Nor can that any how be void. and saying. sighing out their wants one to another. or when procure them? from whom borrow them? Let set times be appointed. that no certainty can be attained for the ordering of life! Nay. Faustus the Manichee will come. And in all the bitterness which by Thy mercy followed our worldly affairs. her instructed members hold it profane to believe God to be bounded by the figure of a human body: and do we doubt to 'knock. we have no leisure to read.decided otherwise. but consulting justice. where he had much lived. esteeming equity whereby he was hindered more gainful than the power whereby he were allowed. yea and Carthage itself. while I said to myself. How long shall these things be? This too we often said. Nebridius also. where. is faithful also in much. and a most acute examiner of the most difficult questions. like me he wavered. darkness met us. and we turned away groaning. my parents placed me. and clear every thing! O you great men. leaving his excellent family-estate and house. settling when I had found her. and a mother behind. what course of life was to be taken. but he that is faithful in little. which these forsaken. whose favour we need? When compose what we may sell to scholars? When refresh ourselves. most wondered at the length of time from that my nineteenth year. where shall we find even the books? Whence. which sometimes seemed absurd. who will commit to your trust true riches? And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man's. and in a good sense. that he might have books copied for him at Praetorian prices. to abandon all the empty hopes and lying frenzies of vain desires. and despair not. it will appear manifestly and I shall grasp it. viewing and reviewing things. the Catholic Faith teaches not what we thought. Thus were there the mouths of three indigent persons. But where shall it be sought or when? Ambrose has no leisure. had come to Milan. an ardent searcher after true life. Great hope has dawned. unbending our minds from this intenseness of care? . and with me wavered in purpose. for no other reason but that with me he might live in a most ardent search after truth and wisdom. things in the ecclesiastical books are not absurd to us now. who shall give you that which is your own? He being such. which proceeded out of the mouth of Thy Truth: If ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous Mammon. to. These are slight things. and certain hours be ordered for the health of our soul. greedy of enjoying things present. and may be otherwise taken. for as yet there dawned nothing certain. which passed away and wasted my soul. and so saying forsook them not. And lo. we might embrace. "Tomorrow I shall find it. what do we during the rest? Why not this? But when then pay we court to our great friends. who was not to follow him. I will take my stand. who having left his native country near Carthage. Like me he sighed. With this one thing in the way of learning was he well-nigh seduced. and vainly accused it of. did at that time cleave to me.' that the rest 'may be opened'? The forenoons our scholars take up. as we looked towards the end. I was now in my thirtieth year. it is true then.

Alypius indeed kept me from marrying. and most worthy of imitation. and from day to day deferred to live in Thee. dreading to be loosed. by my tongue weaving and laying in his path pleasurable snares. at least a presidentship may be given us: and a wife with some money. if nothing else offer. But I opposed him with the examples of those who as married men had cherished wisdom. and of the medicine of Thy mercy to cure that infirmity I thought not. See. and that Thou wouldest give it. for it were a shame to return again to them. We must not lightly abandon them."Perish every thing. it is no great matter now to obtain some station. I thought I should be too miserable. For himself was even then most pure in this point. For when he wondered that I. as it were the hand of one that would unchain me. so that it was wonderful. While I went over these things. by fleeing from it. if it steals upon us on a sudden. if with inward groanings I did knock at Thine ears. and served God acceptably. Wherefore delay then to abandon worldly hopes. rather had he felt remorse and revolting at it. death uncertain. Loving a happy life. should stick so fast in the birdlime of that pleasure. and deferred not daily to die in myself. have given themselves to the study of wisdom in the state of marriage. living thenceforth until now most continently. and bound with the disease of the flesh. that there was great difference between his momentary and scarce-remembered knowledge of that life. which . and then what should we more wish for? We have store of powerful friends. Many great men. and that the more. if with the death of the body the life of the soul came to an end. drew along my chain. alleging that so could we by no means with undistracted leisure live together in the love of wisdom. they have some. in what state shall we depart hence? and where shall we learn what here we have neglected? and shall we not rather suffer the punishment of this negligence? What. being so foolish as not to know what is written. whom he esteemed not slightly. and as if my wound had been fretted. put back his good persuasions. wherein his virtuous and free feet might be entangled. Never would such and so great things be by God wrought for us. and we be in much haste. that she increase not our charges: and this shall be the bound of desire. as to protest (so oft as we discussed it) that I could never lead a single life. time passed on. by me did the serpent speak unto Alypius himself. and no small sweetness. not having tried it. and give ourselves wholly to seek after God and the blessed life? But wait! Even those things are pleasant. as we had long desired. I supposed it to be in our own power (though in myself I did not find that power). and with a settled faith did cast my care on Thee. but I delayed to turn to the Lord. if death itself cut off and end all care and feeling? Then must this be ascertained. and betake ourselves to the one search for truth! Life is vain. and these winds shifted and drove my heart this way and that. and its deadly sweetness. and sought it. and urged in my defence when I saw him wonder. since in the outset of his youth he had entered into that course. dismiss we these empty vanities. Of whose greatness of spirit I was far short. that the excellent dignity of the authority of the Christian Faith hath overspread the whole world. As for continency. and loved them faithfully. None can be continent unless Thou give it. But God forbid this! It is no vain and empty thing. I feared it in its own abode. unless folded in female arms. and retained their friends. but had not stuck fast therein. Moreover.

for many thoughts were in our heart. what that should be. moved us but slightly. was utterly dashed and cast aside. some of whom were very rich. who was the most earnest for this project. Continual effort was made to have me married. and therein was his voice of great weight. and detesting the turbulent turmoils of human life. didst come to our help. from childhood a very familiar friend of mine. But when we began to consider whether the wives. At which time verily. and all to all. would to me seem not life but a punishment. and a family. but slighting them. but Thy counsel standeth for ever. should as a whole belong to each. fell to pieces in our hands. not with that confidence she was wont. when Thou showedst her any thing. to him so pleasing. and these she told me of. had debated and now almost resolved on living apart from business and the bustle of men. was waited for. which some of us already had. I was promised. as pleasing. others hoped to have. I wooed. that so once married. were being fulfilled in my faith. he ought not to wonder why I could not contemn that course. was amazed at my thraldom. through a certain feeling. not as overcome with desire of such pleasure. so that through the truth of our friendship nothing should belong especially to any. thence to the trial itself. discern betwixt Thy revelations. and through that amazement was going on to a desire of trying it. but out of curiosity. We had settled also that two annual officers. We thought there might be some often persons in this society. by wondrous and secret ways. and he that loves danger. and thence perhaps to sink into that bondage whereat he wondered. shall fall into it. So were we. two years under the fit age. and Thy promises. O Most High. and. and a maiden asked in marriage. such as the energy of the human spirit. commiserating us miserable. an admiring wonder was leading captive. while it held me captive. that Thou wouldest by a vision discover unto her something concerning my future marriage. Thence we betook us to sighs. For his mind. and observed that her prayers. without which my life. we were to bring whatever we might severally procure. busied thereon. which in words she could not express. chiefly through my mother's pains. seeing he was willing to make a covenant with death. with strong cries of heart she daily begged of Thee. She saw indeed certain vain and fantastic things. Yet the matter was pressed on. as it were. not forsaking our dust.so he might easily despise. brought together. both at my request and her own longing. especially Romanianus our townsman. and our steps to follow the broad and beaten ways of the world. but the whole thus derived from all. and this was to be thus obtained. should provide all things necessary. him. whom the grievous perplexities of his affairs had brought up to court. But me for the most part the habit of satisfying an insatiable appetite tormented. all that plan. Out of . which was being so well moulded. the health-giving baptism might cleanse me. and my continued acquaintance whereto if the honourable name of marriage were added. he began also to desire to be married. For whatever honour there be in the office of well-ordering a married life. would allow this. because his ample estate far exceeded any of the rest. the rest being undisturbed. and make one household of all. For she could. And many of us friends conferring about. she said. towards which she rejoiced that I was being daily fitted. and groans. Thou never wouldest. he said. and the dreams of her own soul. until Thou. For he would fain know. free from that chain.

and Thou alone rest. even according to the notions I then had of happiness. which amid all my changes. I was becoming more miserable. Thy right hand was continually ready to pluck me out of the mire. and of Thy judgment to come. and Thou nearer. I could not discern that light of excellence and beauty. O crooked paths! Woe to the audacious soul. that so by the servitude of an enduring custom. Nor did I. be happy without friends. amid what abundance soever of carnal pleasures. though no wife. nor could I. and to fill our souls with blessing. had I not believed that after death there remained a life for the soul.which counsel Thou didst deride ours. upon back. the disease of my soul might be kept up and carried on in its vigour. and I knew it not. And she returned to Afric. and dost comfort us. which Epicurus would not believe. which hoped. yea I will bring you through. or even augmented. into the dominion of marriage. I with pleasure discoursed with my friends. and is seen by the inner man. but the fear of death. procured another. that. and belly. "Run. why should we not be happy. that even on these things." BOOK VII . vowing unto Thee never to know any other man. or what else should we seek?" not knowing that great misery was involved in this very thing. which the eye of flesh cannot see. and I felt that I was beloved of them again for myself only. and to live in perpetual bodily pleasure. unhappy. to gain some better thing! Turned it hath. and preparedst Thine own. And behold. and my pains became less acute. which had been made by the cutting away of the former. there also will I carry you. being thus sunk and blinded. by forsaking Thee. and places of requital according to men's deserts. leaving with me my son by her. Nor was that my wound cured. to be embraced for its own sake. consider from what source it sprung. inasmuch as not till after two years was I to obtain her I sought not being so much a lover of marriage as a slave to lust. nor did anything call me back from a yet deeper gulf of carnal pleasures. Meanwhile my sins were being multiplied. who could not imitate a very woman. And I asked. without fear of losing it. but more desperate. I held that Epicurus had in my mind won the palm. sides. But unhappy I. And in my disputes with my friends Alypius and Nebridius of the nature of good and evil. I will carry you. And yet these friends I loved for themselves only. yet all was painful. glory to Thee. foul as they were. and placest us in Thy way. but after inflammation and most acute pain. and say. and to wash me thoroughly. and deliverest us from our wretched wanderings. "were we immortal. Thou art at hand. and my concubine being torn from my side as a hindrance to my marriage. purposing to give us meat in due season. it mortified. my heart which clave unto her was torn and wounded and bleeding. impatient of delay. never departed from my breast. To Thee be praise. and turned again. Fountain of mercies.

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

so that I am thus justly punished? who set this in me. and that this offspring of Thy Substance was the soul. then were all these sayings false and execrable. and in no degree mutable. But what I did against my will. I was most sure that no other than myself did will and nill: and I all but saw that there was the cause of my sin. might relieve. whence. should he mingled with opposed powers. I was plunged back as often. hadst Thou refused to fight with it? For. corrupted.It was enough for me. or offspring of Thy very Substance. and whole. came in him that evil . but our bodies. and I judged not to be my fault. seeing I was wholly formed by my most sweet God? If the devil were the author. which being enthralled. certain of the untruth of what these held. and fighting in such wise. however. but all beings. should they affirm Thee. wert undefilable and unalterable. I perceived it was in such wise to be sought out. -that was enough which long ago. to oppose to those deceived deceivers. holding Thee to be just. and dumb praters." This argument then of Nebridius sufficed against those who deserved wholly to be vomited out of the overcharged stomach. again. that through enquiring the origin of evil. what could it have done unto Thee. Thy Substance whereby Thou art. So then. I speedily confessed myself to be not unjustly punished. pure. whence is that same devil? And if he also by his own perverse will. that is. I sought it out then. And I strained to perceive what I now heard. as should not constrain me to believe the immutable God to be mutable. for they had no escape. free. and endeavouring often. who madest not only our souls. Who is not only good. but if corruptible. I was again plunged therein. to be incorruptible. as that a certain portion or member of Thee. thus thinking and speaking of Thee. and Thy just judgment of our suffering ill. And yet whatever it were. yet understood I not. and be by them so far corrupted and changed to the worse. But this raised me a little into Thy light. that I knew as well that I had a will. at which all we that heard it were staggered: "That said nation of darkness. if they answered. as to be turned from happiness into misery. thus far free from anxiety. that free-will was the cause of our doing ill. without horrible blasphemy of heart and tongue. 'it would have done Thee some hurt. the cause of evil. they were filled with evil. Lord. So then endeavouring to draw my soul's vision out of that deep pit. Who made me? Did not my God. of a good angel became a devil. and natures not created by Thee. although I held and was firmly persuaded that Thou our Lord the true God. defiled. the very statement showed it to be false and revolting. and all things. and ingrated into me this plant of bitterness. while we were yet at Carthage. and need assistance. as that I lived: when then I did will or nill any thing.' then was no reason brought for Thy fighting with it. and not only our souls and bodies. that Word itself being still corruptible because it was of one and the same Substance.' then shouldest Thou be subject to injury and corruption: but if could do Thee no hurt. since Thy word sounded not out of them. whereby. whatsoever Thou art. Nebridius used to propound. But I was not able clearly to discern it. But again I said. lest I should become that evil I was seeking out. from whom I shrunk with my whole heart: for I saw. But I also as yet. I saw that I suffered rather than did. whereby it might be extricated and purified. but goodness itself? Whence then came I to will evil and nill good. which the Manichees are wont to set as an opposing mass over against Thee. clearly and without difficulty. but my punishment. Thy Word. in that they preferred to think that Thy substance did suffer ill than their own did commit it.

For never soul was. For the will and power of God is God Himself. I set now before the sight of my spirit the whole creation. was there some evil matter of which He made. and God is good. by no unlooked-for chance: because He is God. yet every way finite. some. yet not brought down to that hell of error (where no man confesseth unto Thee). O Lord. wert Thou not incorruptible. and all the spiritual inhabitants thereof. the Infinite. yea. as we have nothing to fear. that we fear. earth. then is that very fear evil. Therefore either is that evil which we fear. But since most truly and certainly. seeing the whole nature of angels was made by that most good Creator? By these thoughts I was again sunk down and choked. whatsoever we can see therein (as sea. and behold what God hath created. and I made one great mass of Thy creation. Whence is it then? seeing God. I could in thought have arrived at something better than my God. by no will. For I was in such wise striving to find out the rest. that is. the Good.will whereby he became a devil. For corruption does no ways impair our God. to think rather that Thou dost suffer ill. as one who had already found that the incorruptible must needs be better than the corruptible: and Thee therefore. and so much a greater evil. the Good. did my fancy dispose in place. than that man doth it. and yet do fear. and see how He environeth and fulfils them. Behold God. as the firmament of heaven. and saw not the evil in my very search. all angels moreover. and what He wills is good. all are good. the incorruptible is preferable to the corruptible (as I did now prefer it). And what should we more say. yea. I confessed to be incorruptible. and Himself is that good. but bounded. through unmeasured space. created them good. since Thy will is not greater than Thy power. and it contained within it some sponge. . the greater and chiefest Good. "why that substance which God is should not be corruptible. but Thou knowest it. huge. He indeed. full of Thee. and how crept it in hither? What is its root. that sponge must needs. every where. or else evil is. by which Thy substance can by no means be impaired. be filled from that unmeasurable sea: so conceived I Thy creation. able to conceive any thing which may be better than Thou. what myself had feigned for spirits. And what can be unlooked-for by Thee. stars. But Thee. itself finite. real bodies. whence corruption comes. who art the sovereign and the best good. some. still both Creator and created. whatsoever Thou wert. but to be corrupted is not good. And this mass I made huge. Where is evil then. whereby the soul is thus idly goaded and racked. as though they were bodies. but as I thought convenient. and whatever in it we do not see. trees. by no necessity. not as it was (which I could not know). it should not be God? And I sought "whence is evil. Yea. But these very beings. and there observe "wherein evil itself was". nor shall be. most mightily and incomparably better than all these: but yet He. in all its parts. I imagined on every part environing and penetrating it. and what its seed? Or hath it no being? Why then fear we and avoid what is not? Or if we fear it idly. Whence is evil? Or. Where then I saw the incorruptible to be preferable to the corruptible. air." seeing if it were so. one only boundless sea. and I said. hath created all these things good. were Thyself greater than Thyself. and on every side. But greater should it be. though every way infinite: as if there were a sea. and whence." and sought in an evil way. Who knowest all things? Nor is there any nature in things. then. there ought I to seek for Thee. distinguished as to the kinds of bodies. mortal creatures). hath created these lesser goods. Nor art Thou against Thy will constrained to any thing.

our Lord and Saviour. and then observed the relative position of the heavens. but (as I said) a curious consulter with them. and the Wisdom which needing no light enlightens the minds that need it. "That there was no such art whereby to foresee things to come. But this time also had I rejected the lying divinations and impious dotages of the astrologers. thereby to make fresh experiments in this so-called art. Let Thine own mercies. what. and not rather by the same All-mightiness cause it not to be at all? Or. wherein his worldly hopes had risen. but that men's conjectures were a sort of lottery. For He should not be All-mighty. then. Firminus. and well taught in Rhetoric. Thereupon he told me that his father had been very curious in such books. down to the whirling leaves of trees?) -Thou madest provision for my obstinacy wherewith I struggled against Vindicianus. in many points. and was pleased so long after to make something out of it? Or if He were suddenly pleased now to effect somewhat. Or if it was not good that He who was good should not also frame and create something that were good. and the latter often (though with some doubtfulness) saying. nor yet well skilled in those arts. as yet unformed. no negligent consulter of the astrologers. This man then. which bred about their houses. These thoughts I revolved in my miserable heart. that this evil matter should not be. I thought on certain affairs of his. did not altogether refuse to conjecture. professed in the Church Catholic. true. which he said he had heard of his father. but added. some actually did. and Nebridius. For Thou. and infinite Good. could it then be against His will? Or if it were from eternity. so that they would observe the moments whereat the very dumb animals. yet did not my mind utterly leave it. so that no evil should remain in it. and He alone be. confess unto Thee for this also. according to his socalled constellations. whereby the universe is directed. indeed. save the Life which cannot die. why suffered He it so to be for infinite spaces of times past. why would He make any thing at all of it. sovereign. consulted me.and formed. gave birth." Thou providedst then a friend for me. through their oft speaking. Thou altogether (for who else calls us back from the death of all errors. who with joint study and conference fanned the flame of their affections to these toys. an acute old man. which could not escape her master. who had herein now begun to incline towards Nebridius' opinion. whereof to create all things. that I was now almost persuaded that these were but empty and ridiculous follies. and had a friend as earnest in them as himself. yet left something in it which He did not convert into good? Why so then? Had He no might to turn and change the whole. he knew not. firmly fixed in my heart. having had a liberal education. overcharged with most gnawing cares. Firminus by name. out of my very inmost soul. a young man of admirable talents. if He might not create something good without the aid of that matter which Himself had not created. that evil matter being taken away and brought to nothing. who stumbled upon it. seeing He is All-mighty? Lastly. unawares to them who spake it. O my God. and I. but rather daily took in more and more of it. He said then that he had heard of his father. the whole. who . that what time his mother was about to give birth to him. the first vehemently affirming. and that out of many things which they said should come to pass. a woman-servant of that friend of his father's was also with child. and yet knowing something. and tell him what came into my unresolved mind. lest I should die ere I had found the truth. which how far it went to overthrow the estimation of that art. as one very dear to him. He might form good matter. and fluctuating from the rule of doctrine. and ordered it. yet was the faith of Thy Christ. this rather should the All-mighty have effected.

as Firminus. ran his course through the gilded paths of life. to give instant intelligence. according to the hidden deservings of souls. the one for his son. or be at all expressed in those figures which the astrologer is to inspect. a noble family in its own city. and with derision to confute) might urge against me that Firminus had informed me falsely. ruminating with myself on the like things. and every thing else utterly at variance with the former. with the most careful observation. was increased in riches. then. But if that servant had consulted me upon the same constellations. and the other for his servant. raised to honours. Thus then the messengers of the respective parties met. and whom I longed to attack. Therefore he must speak falsely. and yet Firminus. the lesser divisions of the hours) both were delivered at the same instant. For so soon as the women began to be in labour. that he may pronounce truly. hours. he ought to hear. that the small interval (how much force soever in the nature of things folk may pretend it to have) cannot be noted by human observation. told me. the other for his new-born slave. I ought if I were to predict truly. hadst Thou loosed me from those fetters: and I sought "whence is evil. while consulters and consulted know it not. for he is man. liberal learning. upon consideration of the constellations. high birth. I ought again (to tell him too truly) to see in them a lineage the most abject. but by chance. a slavish condition. that no one of those dotards (who lived by such a trade. from the same constellations. whereas that slave continued to serve his masters. But Thou sufferedst me not by any fluctuations of thought to . since they were his also. without any relaxation of his yoke. or if I spake the same. speak diversely. And so it was that (the one for his wife. reckoning days. would he speak truly. and had messengers ready to send to one another so soon as they had notice of the actual birth. and first I endeavoured to reclaim Firminus himself from that curiosity. so that both were constrained to allow the same constellations. born in a high estate in his parents' house. he must not give the same answer. An opening thus made. or any other minutest points. speak falsely: thence it followed most certainly that whatever. told by one of such credibility. was spoken not out of art. or his father him. What is this? Why that? Let him not so say. Not by art. Yet they cannot be true: for looking into the same figures. even to the minutest points. and whatever spoken falsely." and found no way. nay. O my Helper. out of the unsearchable depth of Thy just judgment. who knew him. was spoken truly. O Lord. I should. if I spake the truth. but chance. good education. all that my resistance gave way. looking into the same figures. was not out of ignorance in the art. Now then. at such an equal distance from either house that neither of them could make out any difference in the position of the stars. of which they had easily provided. For Thou. he averred. he must have predicted the same of Esau and Jacob. they each gave notice to the other what was fallen out in their houses. to Whom let no man say. or if truly. Whence then. each in his own province.took care with most exact diligence to know the births of his very puppies. Upon hearing and believing these things. then. to have seen in them parents eminent among their neighbours. by telling him that upon inspecting his constellations. but the failure of the chance. dost by Thy hidden inspiration effect that the consulter should hear what. most righteous Ruler of the Universe. whereas the same happened not to them. I bent my thoughts on those that are born twins. who for the most part come out of the womb so near one to other.

all which I roared out from the groanings of my heart. and my desire was before Thee. and the Word was God: the Same was in the beginning with God: all things were made by Him. those silent contritions of my soul were strong cries unto Thy mercy. and wouldest judge men. but givest grace unto the humble. for Thou "humbledst the proud like one that is wounded. nor did they so receive me. what groans. but I was intent on things contained in place. O my God! yet even there were Thine ears open. that I could say. not indeed in the very words. unworthy and defiled?" And these things had grown out of my wound. These things being safe and immovably settled in my mind. Our Lord. by means of one puffed up with most unnatural pride. and by serving Thee. and by inward goads didst Thou rouse me. in that Thy Word was made flesh. and without Him was nothing made: that which was made by Him is life. which the authority of Thy Catholic Church pressed upon me. and the Word was with God. "Whither goest thou. and the troubled and bedimmed eyesight of my mind. enforced by many and divers reasons. and middle region of my safety. Thou knewest what I suffered. but inferior to Thee. and the darkness comprehended it not. and it was pleasing in Thy sight to reform my deformities. Thus. and Thou art my true joy when subjected to Thee. what was that which was thence through my tongue distilled into the ears of my most familiar friends? Did the whole tumult of my soul. and the light shineth in the darkness. For to these things was I superior. "It is enough. yet not for ever art Thou angry with us. and pressed me down. to that life which is to be after this death. and no where was there respite or space of breathing. rule the body. Thy Son. that In the beginning was the Word. by the smarting anointings of healthful sorrows. translated from Greek into Latin. But Thou. and by how great an act of Thy mercy Thou hadst traced out to men the way of humility. Lord. yea. and Thy substance to be unchangeable. as if they would say unto me. because Thou pitiest our dust and ashes. willing first to show me how Thou resistest the proud. reach them? Yet went up the whole to Thy hearing. and that in Christ. where it might be well enough with me.Thou procuredst for me. They met my sight on all sides by heaps and troops. but there found I no resting-place. and when in silence I vehemently sought. even these inferior things were set above me. as I would return to Thee. was from day to day healed. my pride-swollen face closed up mine eyes. and the light of mine eyes was not with me: for that was within. For. and ran against the Lord with my neck. I without: nor was that confined to place. I sought anxiously "whence was evil?" What were the pangs of my teeming heart. And this was the true temperament. But when I rose proudly against Thee. abidest for ever. And Thou. by the secret hand of Thy medicining was my swelling abated. and the holy Scriptures. to remain in Thy Image. and dwelt among men:." and through my own swelling was I separated from Thee. with the thick bosses of my buckler. until Thou wert manifested to my inward sight. and no man. certain books of the Platonists. for which neither time nor utterance sufficed. And that the soul . and I knew it not. Thou hadst set the way of man's salvation.be carried away from the Faith whereby I believed Thee both to be. and the life was the light of men. and Thou hadst subjected to me what Thou createdst below me. and that Thou hast a care of. and in thought the images thereof presented themselves unsought. that I should be ill at ease. but to the very same purpose." "it is well": nor did they yet suffer me to turn back. And therein I read.

whom they served . And to the Athenians Thou saidst by Thy Apostle. nor of the will of the flesh.of man. and I set my mind upon the gold which Thou willedst Thy people to take from Egypt. this I read not there. seeing Thine it was. is that true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world. and have our being. and that Thou sparedst not Thine Only Son. and bowing Thy image. and birds. and that the death of the cross: wherefore God exalted Him from the dead. they are renewed. and the world knew Him not. For Thou hiddest these things from the wise. yet they glorify Him not as God. Learn of Me. but I fed not on them. professing that they were wise. into the likeness of the image of corruptible man. namely. of things in heaven. before the image of a calf that eateth hay. and the gentle He teacheth His ways. And I had come to Thee from among the Gentiles. And therefore did I read there also. These things found I here. turning in heart back towards Egypt. For that before all times and above all times Thy Only-Begotten Son remaineth unchangeable. and He refresh them. O Lord. because He is meek and lowly in heart. and their foolish heart is darkened. that the Son was in the form of the Father. and that every tongue should confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father. Although they knew God. but of God. And that He was in the world. wheresoever it were. But. though it bears witness to the light. that at the name of Jesus every knee should how. But such as are lifted up in the lofty walk of some would-be sublimer learning. Again I read there. for that Thy first-born people worshipped the head of a four-footed beast instead of Thee. and thought it not robbery to be equal with God. and gave Him a name above every name. that they had changed the glory of Thy incorruptible nature into idols and divers shapes. is there. that He came unto His own. saying. and His own received Him not. as many as believed in His name. and that of His fulness souls receive. being made in the likeness of men. and revealedst them to babes. and found in fashion as a man. so as to be wise. But that the Word was made flesh. they became fools. nor are thankful. for I am meek and lowly in heart. beholding our lowliness and trouble. and things under the earth. and forgiving all our sins. but the Word of God. But that He emptied Himself. but as many as received Him. and things in earth. those books have not. as one of their own poets had said. hear not Him. and became obedient unto death. but deliveredst Him for us all. But I set not my mind on the idols of Egypt. humbled Himself. to take away the reproach of diminution from Jacob. that they that labour and are heavy laden might come unto Him. that they may be blessed. that God the Word was born not of flesh nor of blood. and dwelt among us. and that by participation of wisdom abiding in them. For I traced in those books that it was many and divers ways said. being God. And verily these books came from thence. co-eternal with Thee. But that in due time He died for the ungodly. their own soul. and creeping things. move. but wax vain in their thoughts. nor of the will of man. and ye shall find rest to your souls. that the elder should serve the younger: and Thou calledst the Gentiles into Thine inheritance. that in Thee we live. I read not there. taking the form of a servant. is not there. for that naturally He was the Same Substance. into that Egyptian food for which Esau lost his birthright. For it pleased Thee. and the world was made by Him. yet itself is not that light. to them gave He power to become the sons of God. and beasts. and the meek He directeth in judgment.

with Thy gold, who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator. And being thence admonished to return to myself, I entered even into my inward self, Thou being my Guide: and able I was, for Thou wert become my Helper. And I entered and beheld with the eye of my soul (such as it was), above the same eye of my soul, above my mind, the Light Unchangeable. Not this ordinary light, which all flesh may look upon, nor as it were a greater of the same kind, as though the brightness of this should be manifold brighter, and with its greatness take up all space. Not such was this light, but other, yea, far other from these. Nor was it above my soul, as oil is above water, nor yet as heaven above earth: but above to my soul, because It made me; and I below It, because I was made by It. He that knows the Truth, knows what that Light is; and he that knows It, knows eternity. Love knoweth it. O Truth Who art Eternity! and Love Who art Truth! and Eternity Who art Love! Thou art my God, to Thee do I sigh night and day. Thee when I first knew, Thou liftedst me up, that I might see there was what I might see, and that I was not yet such as to see. And Thou didst beat back the weakness of my sight, streaming forth Thy beams of light upon me most strongly, and I trembled with love and awe: and I perceived myself to be far off from Thee, in the region of unlikeness, as if I heard this Thy voice from on high: "I am the food of grown men, grow, and thou shalt feed upon Me; nor shalt thou convert Me, like the food of thy flesh into thee, but thou shalt be converted into Me." And I learned, that Thou for iniquity chastenest man, and Thou madest my soul to consume away like a spider. And I said, "Is Truth therefore nothing because it is not diffused through space finite or infinite?" And Thou criedst to me from afar: "Yet verily, I AM that I AM." And I heard, as the heart heareth, nor had I room to doubt, and I should sooner doubt that I live than that Truth is not, which is clearly seen, being understood by those things which are made. And I beheld the other things below Thee, and I perceived that they neither altogether are, nor altogether are not, for they are, since they are from Thee, but are not, because they are not what Thou art. For that truly is which remains unchangeably. It is good then for me to hold fast unto God; for if I remain not in Him, I cannot in myself; but He remaining in Himself, reneweth all things. And Thou art the Lord my God, since Thou standest not in need of my goodness. And it was manifested unto me, that those things be good which yet are corrupted; which neither were they sovereignly good, nor unless they were good could he corrupted: for if sovereignly good, they were incorruptible, if not good at all, there were nothing in them to be corrupted. For corruption injures, but unless it diminished goodness, it could not injure. Either then corruption injures not, which cannot be; or which is most certain, all which is corrupted is deprived of good. But if they he deprived of all good, they shall cease to be. For if they shall be, and can now no longer he corrupted, they shall be better than before, because they shall abide incorruptibly. And what more monstrous than to affirm things to become better by losing all their good? Therefore, if they shall be deprived of all good, they shall no longer be. So long therefore as they are, they are good: therefore whatsoever is, is good. That evil then which I sought, whence it is, is not any substance: for were it a substance, it should be good. For either it should be an incorruptible substance, and so a chief good: or a corruptible substance; which unless it

were good, could not be corrupted. I perceived therefore, and it was manifested to me that Thou madest all things good, nor is there any substance at all, which Thou madest not; and for that Thou madest not all things equal, therefore are all things; because each is good, and altogether very good, because our God made all things very good. And to Thee is nothing whatsoever evil: yea, not only to Thee, but also to Thy creation as a whole, because there is nothing without, which may break in, and corrupt that order which Thou hast appointed it. But in the parts thereof some things, because unharmonising with other some, are accounted evil: whereas those very things harmonise with others, and are good; and in themselves are good. And all these things which harmonise not together, do yet with the inferior part, which we call Earth, having its own cloudy and windy sky harmonising with it. Far be it then that I should say, "These things should not be": for should I see nought but these, I should indeed long for the better; but still must even for these alone praise Thee; for that Thou art to be praised, do show from the earth, dragons, and all deeps, fire, hail, snow, ice, and stormy wind, which fulfil Thy word; mountains, and all hills, fruitful trees, and all cedars; beasts, and all cattle, creeping things, and flying fowls; kings of the earth, and all people, princes, and all judges of the earth; young men and maidens, old men and young, praise Thy Name. But when, from heaven, these praise Thee, praise Thee, our God, in the heights all Thy angels, all Thy hosts, sun and moon, all the stars and light, the Heaven of heavens, and the waters that be above the heavens, praise Thy Name; I did not now long for things better, because I conceived of all: and with a sounder judgment I apprehended that the things above were better than these below, but altogether better than those above by themselves. There is no soundness in them, whom aught of Thy creation displeaseth: as neither in me, when much which Thou hast made, displeased me. And because my soul durst not be displeased at my God, it would fain not account that Thine, which displeased it. Hence it had gone into the opinion of two substances, and had no rest, but talked idly. And returning thence, it had made to itself a God, through infinite measures of all space; and thought it to be Thee, and placed it in its heart; and had again become the temple of its own idol, to Thee abominable. But after Thou hadst soothed my head, unknown to me, and closed mine eyes that they should not behold vanity, I ceased somewhat of my former self, and my frenzy was lulled to sleep; and I awoke in Thee, and saw Thee infinite, but in another way, and this sight was not derived from the flesh. And I looked back on other things; and I saw that they owed their being to Thee; and were all bounded in Thee: but in a different way; not as being in space; but because Thou containest all things in Thine hand in Thy Truth; and all things are true so far as they nor is there any falsehood, unless when that is thought to be, which is not. And I saw that all things did harmonise, not with their places only, but with their seasons. And that Thou, who only art Eternal, didst not begin to work after innumerable spaces of times spent; for that all spaces of times, both which have passed, and which shall pass, neither go nor come, but through Thee, working and abiding. And I perceived and found it nothing strange, that bread which is pleasant to a healthy palate is loathsome to one distempered: and to sore eyes light is offensive, which to the

sound is delightful. And Thy righteousness displeaseth the wicked; much more the viper and reptiles, which Thou hast created good, fitting in with the inferior portions of Thy Creation, with which the very wicked also fit in; and that the more, by how much they be unlike Thee; but with the superior creatures, by how much they become more like to Thee. And I enquired what iniquity was, and found it to be substance, but the perversion of the will, turned aside from Thee, O God, the Supreme, towards these lower things, and casting out its bowels, and puffed up outwardly. And I wondered that I now loved Thee, and no phantasm for Thee. And yet did I not press on to enjoy my God; but was borne up to Thee by Thy beauty, and soon borne down from Thee by mine own weight, sinking with sorrow into these inferior things. This weight was carnal custom. Yet dwelt there with me a remembrance of Thee; nor did I any way doubt that there was One to whom I might cleave, but that I was not yet such as to cleave to Thee: for that the body which is corrupted presseth down the soul, and the earthly tabernacle weigheth down the mind that museth upon many things. And most certain I was, that Thy invisible works from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even Thy eternal power and Godhead. For examining whence it was that I admired the beauty of bodies celestial or terrestrial; and what aided me in judging soundly on things mutable, and pronouncing, "This ought to be thus, this not"; examining, I say, whence it was that I so judged, seeing I did so judge, I had found the unchangeable and true Eternity of Truth above my changeable mind. And thus by degrees I passed from bodies to the soul, which through the bodily senses perceives; and thence to its inward faculty, to which the bodily senses represent things external, whitherto reach the faculties of beasts; and thence again to the reasoning faculty, to which what is received from the senses of the body is referred to be judged. Which finding itself also to be in me a thing variable, raised itself up to its own understanding, and drew away my thoughts from the power of habit, withdrawing itself from those troops of contradictory phantasms; that so it might find what that light was whereby it was bedewed, when, without all doubting, it cried out, "That the unchangeable was to be preferred to the changeable"; whence also it knew That Unchangeable, which, unless it had in some way known, it had had no sure ground to prefer it to the changeable. And thus with the flash of one trembling glance it arrived at THAT WHICH IS. And then I saw Thy invisible things understood by the things which are made. But I could not fix my gaze thereon; and my infirmity being struck back, I was thrown again on my wonted habits, carrying along with me only a loving memory thereof, and a longing for what I had, as it were, perceived the odour of, but was not yet able to feed on. Then I sought a way of obtaining strength sufficient to enjoy Thee; and found it not, until I embraced that Mediator betwixt God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who is over all, God blessed for evermore, calling unto me, and saying, I am the way, the truth, and the life, and mingling that food which I was unable to receive, with our flesh. For, the Word was made flesh, that Thy wisdom, whereby Thou createdst all things, might provide milk for our infant state. For I did not hold to my Lord Jesus Christ, I, humbled, to the Humble; nor knew I yet whereto His infirmity would guide us. For Thy Word, the Eternal Truth, far above the higher parts of Thy Creation, raises up the subdued unto Itself: but in this lower world built for Itself a lowly habitation of our clay, whereby to abase from

themselves such as would be subdued. might cast themselves down upon It. I perceived what that was which through the darkness of my mind I was hindered from contemplating. but very man. yet too unsure to enjoy Thee. not the body of a man only. especially." Of these things I was assured. discoursed. and wearied. seeing before their feet the Divinity weak by taking our coats of skin. now not. But Alypius imagined the Catholics to believe God to be so clothed with flesh. and It rising. was sorrowful. being filled with mine own punishment. nor did I at all doubt thereof. and bring them over to Himself. all the rest also would risk the charge. understood by those things which are made. The Word was made flesh. puffed up with . whom no one could be equalled unto. nor would there remain in those books any saving faith for mankind. but rather consent to become weak. I prated as one well skilled. whom. which I now knew. to the end they might go on no further in selfconfidence. now to be moved by some affection. and wert infinite. but rather scorn. sleep. I had proved to be. that the approved may be made manifest among the weak. But somewhat later. But I thought otherwise. and drink. might lift them up. All know this who know the unchangeableness of Thy Word. I saw Thy invisible things. But having then read those books of the Platonists. now to keep silence. But understanding afterwards that this was the error of the Apollinarian heretics. for an ensample of despising things temporal for the obtaining of immortality. to have attained that great eminence of authority. that flesh did not cleave by itself unto Thy Word. But what mystery there lay in "The Word was made flesh. as far as I could." I could not even imagine. a sensitive soul without a rational. rejoiced in spirit. I acknowledged a perfect man to be in Christ. did I learn how in that saying. For there must also be heresies. nor. and thence been taught to search for incorporeal truth. now to deliver wise sayings through human signs. but killed. and did not think that a human mind was ascribed to Him. finite or infinite. not skilled. but for a certain great excellence of human nature and a more perfect participation of wisdom. And because he was well persuaded that the actions recorded of Him could only be performed by a vital and a rational creature. For. and that Thou truly art Who art the same ever. He seemed. For now I had begun to wish to seem wise. I confess. I judged to be preferred before others. For the rejection of heretics makes the tenets of Thy Church and sound doctrine to stand out more clearly. yet I did not mourn. and that all other things are from Thee. through the Divine care for us. on this most sure ground alone. that they are. but with the human soul and mind. And should these things be falsely written of Him. the Catholic truth is distinguished from the falsehood of Photinus. not only as being a form of Truth. Since then they were written truly. and tomenting their love. Only I had learnt out of what is delivered to us in writing of Him that He did eat. in conformity therewith. that besides God and flesh. now not. but had I not sought Thy way in Christ our Saviour. belong to soul and mind subject to variation. and though cast back. for that being wonderfully born of a Virgin. in no part nor motion varying. he moved the more slowly towards the Christian Faith. being assured "That Thou wert. allaying their swelling. he joyed in and was conformed to the Catholic Faith. there was no soul at all in Christ. and yet not diffused in space. with the body. conceiving only of my Lord Christ as of a man of excellent wisdom. walk. now to move the limbs of the body by will.

all ye that labour. had I continued in that healthful frame which I had thence imbibed. whom Thou hast begotten co-eternal. I might have thought that it might have been obtained by the study of those books alone. they might perhaps have withdrawn me from the solid ground of piety. And the face of that pure word appeared to me one and the same. No man sings there. They scorn to learn of Him. and Thy hand is grown heavy upon us. that whoso sees. the tears of confession. O Lord. was blotted out? This those writings contain not. So I began. and to find no way thither. and whatsoever truth I had read in those other books. and the handwriting. Most eagerly then did I seize that venerable writing of Thy Spirit. which was contrary to us. For He is my God and my salvation. and we are justly delivered over unto that ancient sinner. Shall not my soul be submitted unto God? for of Him cometh my salvation. yet killed he Him. because He is meek and lowly in heart. where . wherein he once seemed to me to contradict himself. but only Thy Grace. in whom the prince of this world found nothing worthy of death. the Cup of our Redemption. or. Thou art righteous. and hast revealed them unto babes. through Jesus Christ our Lord. For. the earnest of the Holy Ghost. though a man be delighted with the law of God after the inner man.knowledge. whereby he may arrive. and the text of his discourse not to agree with the testimonies of the Law and the Prophets. and formedst in the beginning of Thy ways. may yet walk on the way. because he persuaded our will to be like his will whereby he abode not in Thy truth. the king of death. and behold. and hadst Thou in the familiar use of them grown sweet unto me. my guardian. For it is one thing. may not so glory as if he had not received. not only what he sees. and that he who cannot see afar off. opposed and beset by fugitives and deserters. from the mountain's shaggy top to see the land of peace. For had I first been formed in Thy Holy Scriptures. Thy sacrifice. I shall no more be moved. I might discern and distinguish between presumption and confession. and hold Thee. and I learned to rejoice with trembling. Thou therefore willedst that I should fall. and bringeth him into captivity to the law of sin which is in his members? For. Come unto Me. to hold Thee. before I studied Thy Scriptures. and the way that leadeth not to behold only but to dwell in the beatific country. I found here amid the praise of Thy Grace. guarded by the host of the heavenly General. but also that he sees (for what hath he. Whereupon those difficulties vanished away. a broken and a contrite heart. and had I then fallen upon those other volumes. What shall wretched man do? who shall deliver him from the body of his death. for these things hast Thou hid from the wise and prudent. under their captain the lion and the dragon: and another to keep on the way that leads thither. and my wounds touched by Thy healing fingers. yet saw not the way. that it might be imprinted on my memory how I was affected by them. and in vain to essay through ways unpassable. and that afterwards when my spirits were tamed through Thy books. and have done wickedly. For where was that charity building upon the foundation of humility. and that he may be not only admonished to behold Thee. which he hath not received?). between those who saw whither they were to go. but also healed. which is Christ Jesus? or when should these books teach me it? Upon these. the Bridal City. and chiefly the Apostle Paul. who art ever the same. Those pages present not the image of this piety. a troubled spirit. I believe. what shall he do with that other law in his members which warreth against the law of his mind. No one there hears Him call. the salvation of the people. but we have sinned and committed iniquity.

they spoil not who have deserted the heavenly army. But I was displeased that I led a secular life. and confess unto Thee Thy mercies on me. let him who can receive it. to go to Simplicianus. I had heard also that from his very youth he had lived most devoted unto Thee. and trembled exceedingly. receive it. to which I was given up and enthralled. but more steadfast in Thee. I had heard from the mouth of the Truth. And how Thou hast broken them. I saw the church full. BOOK VIII O my God. he seemed to me likely to have learned much experience. and all who worship Thee. Surely vain are all men who are ignorant of God. Yet I had ceased to doubt that there was an incorruptible substance. those things delighted me no longer. and together with Thee one God. God with Thee. as of old. whence was all other substance. who seemed to me a good servant of Thine. Let my bones be bedewed with Thy love. "Blessed be the Lord. in heaven and in earth. in comparison of Thy sweetness. But for my temporal life. For. and Thy Word. nor did the Apostle forbid me to marry. all was wavering. . when they hear this. I will offer unto Thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving. and by the common witness of all Thy creatures had found Thee our Creator. Of Thy eternal life I was now certain. The Way. and could not out of the good things which are seen. although he advised me to something better. O Lord? Thou hast broken my bonds in sunder. with hopes of honour and profit. and by reason of so great age spent in such zealous following of Thy ways. And Thou didst put into my mind. But still I was enthralled with the love of woman. for they avoid it. Who is like unto Thee. yea now that my desires no longer inflamed me. with thanksgiving. when I read that least of Thy Apostles. that there were some eunuchs which had made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake: but. Now he was grown into years. and let them say unto Thee. saith He. I had surmounted it. and another that way. and the beauty of Thy house which I loved. shall say. But I being weak. faint and wasted with withering cares. and so he had. and because of this alone. and I was hedged round about on all sides by Thee. who knowing God. a very grievous burden it was to undergo so heavy a bondage. nor did I now desire to be more certain of Thee. chose the more indulgent place. find out Him who is good. by whom Thou createdst all things. as very torment. chiefly wishing that all men were as himself was. Out of which store I wished that he would tell me (setting before him my anxieties) which were the fittest way for one in my case to walk in Thy paths. and it seemed good in my eyes. and Thy grace shone in him. " Thy words had stuck fast in my heart. and had meditated upon Thy works. though I saw it in a figure and as through a glass. great and wonderful is his name. let me. There is yet another kind of ungodly. well pleased me. remember. and one went this way. the Saviour Himself. because in other matters I was constrained against my will to conform myself to a married life. was tossed up and down in all beside. For. and my heart had to be purged from the old leaven. But I was no longer in that vanity. but as yet I shrunk from going through its straitness. I will declare. These things did wonderfully sink into my bowels.

whom while at Rome he had most intimately known: and of him he related what I will not conceal. and revealed to little ones. To him I related the mazes of my wanderings. Behold. and the new-born babe of Thy fountain. neither were thankful. O Lord. by what means didst Thou convey Thyself into that breast? He used to read (as Simplicianus said) the holy Scripture. had translated into Latin. hidden from the wise. "Do walls then make Christians?" And this he often said. as I had heard). as a monument of his excellent discharge of his office. For he feared to offend his friends." The other. who fought 'Gainst Neptune." Whereto he answered. Lord. in banter. Then to exhort me to the humility of Christ. "Understand that I am already a Christian. most studiously sought and searched into all the Christian writings. and took me thence. and a partaker of the sacrilegious rites. and subduing his forehead to the reproach of the Cross. but Thy right hand upheld me. Which hast bowed the heavens and come down. whereas the Platonists many ways led to the belief in God and His Word. because they who affirmed themselves to be wise. and whom Ambrose truly loved as a father. and Minerva: whom Rome once conquered. from the height of whose Babylonian dignity. -he now blushed not to be the child of Thy Christ. the father of Ambrose (a Bishop now) in receiving Thy grace. that he was already a Christian. most learned and skilled in the liberal sciences. which the Lord had not yet broken down. submitting his neck to the yoke of humility. and all The monster Gods of every kind. selling all that I had. But after that by reading and earnest thought he had . and. Desire not to seem wise. the instructor of so many noble Senators. and the conceit of the "walls" was by the other as often renewed. nor will I rank you among Christians. and had inspired the people with the love of Anubis. he testified his joy that I had not fallen upon the writings of other philosophers. sometime Rhetoric Professor of Rome (who had died a Christian. replied. For it contains great praise of Thy grace. touched the mountains and they did smoke. but privately and as a friend).glorified Him not as God. unless I see you in the Church of Christ. Into this also had I fallen. barking Deity. which Victorinus. he. "I will not believe it. to be confessed unto Thee. he supposed the weight of enmity would fall upon him. Venus. as from cedars of Libanus. the fear of the Lord is wisdom. To Simplicianus then I went. had (which men of this world esteem a high honour) both deserved and obtained a statue in the Roman Forum. after the rudiments of this world. and I hesitated. For Thou hast said unto man. But when I mentioned that I had read certain books of the Platonists. he spoke of Victorinus himself. I ought to have bought. and Simplicianus as often made the same answer. which. and said to Simplicianus (not openly. and weighed so many works of the philosophers. who also. became fools. to which almost all the nobility of Rome were given up. now adored. full of fallacies and deceits. all which the aged Victorinus had with thundering eloquence so many years defended. and who had read. to that age a worshipper of idols. how that aged man. proud daemon-worshippers. and Thou placedst me where I might recover. But I had now found the goodly pearl.

he became bold-faced against vanity. such were the hands wherewith they drew him. when delivering his own words. dost more rejoice over one penitent than over ninety-nine just persons that need no repentance. and were wroth. who. . The storm tosses the sailors. when it is more delighted at finding or recovering the things it loves. What then takes place in the soul. deliver. crying out. "Go we to the Church. that he should more rejoice at the salvation of a soul despaired of. For Thou art ever the same. then. in a set form of words committed to memory). who are about to approach to Thy grace. that he might be regenerated by baptism. and the more peril there was in the battle. should he now be afraid to confess Him before men. for all things which abide not the same nor for ever. He pronounced the true faith with an excellent boldness." The conquering commander triumpheth. in the sight of all the faithful. And with much joyfulness do we hear. and suddenly and unexpectedly said to Simplicianus (as himself told me). than if there had always been hope of him. and other things witness hereunto. when pronouncing Thy word. and yet that he had publicly professed: how much less then ought he. from an elevated place. Rome wondering. had been lost. in being ashamed of the Sacraments of the humility of Thy Word. he went up to make his profession.gathered firmness. than if it had ever had them? yea. and is found. The proud saw. And who there knew him not? and there ran a low murmur through all the mouths of the rejoicing multitude. and appeared to himself guilty of a heavy offence. "For it was not salvation that he taught in rhetoric. Victorinus! Victorinus! Sudden was the burst of rapture. But the Lord God was the hope of Thy servant. not containing himself for joy. when the hour was come for making profession of his faith (which at Rome they. and feared to be denied by Christ before the holy angels. yet had he not conquered unless he had fought. they gnashed with their teeth. offered Victorinus (as was done to such as seemed likely through bashfulness to be alarmed) to make his profession more privately: but he chose rather to profess his salvation in the presence of the holy multitude. whispered his name one to another with the voice of congratulation. and all wished to draw him into their very heart. he said. the Church rejoicing. the presbyters. when in Thy house it is read of Thy younger son. To conclude. went with him. and he regarded not vanities and lying madness. all. suddenly were they hushed that they might hear him. "So is it." But he. holy through holy charity. and not being ashamed of the sacrilegious rites of those proud daemons. whose pride he had imitated and their rites adopted. merciful Father. and all things are full of witnesses. For Thou rejoicest in us. to dread Thy meek flock. not long after he further gave in his name. And having been admitted to the first Sacrament and become a Catechumen. that they saw him. or the danger had been less? For so Thou also. and the joy of the solemn service of Thy house forceth to tears. and the groat is restored to Thy treasury. Good God! what takes place in man. and freed from greater peril. I wish to be made a Christian. the neighbours rejoicing with the woman who found it. had not feared a mad multitude!" When. and shame-faced towards the truth. so much the more joy is there in the triumph. so often as we hear with what joy the sheep which had strayed is brought back upon the shepherd's shoulder. that he was dead. as they knew him. and melted away. Thou for ever knowest in the same way. yea by their love and joy they drew him thither. and in Thy holy angels. and liveth again.

and pleasure-seeking trouble. and lead the way with many to follow. lest as a husband he should hold cheap whom. kindle and draw us. He is restored. because those known to many. For the enemy is more overcome in one. every thing good after its kind? Woe is me! how high art Thou in the highest. and became a provincial of the great King. grow sweet unto us. and his pulse threatens danger. and some things around Thee evermore rejoice in Thee? What means this. For when many joy together. the very pleasures of human life men acquire by difficulties. each also has more exuberant joy for that they are kindled and inflamed one by the other. This law holds in foul and accursed joy. A friend is sick. whereas Thou art everlastingly joy to Thyself. that this portion of things thus ebbs and flows alternately displeased and reconciled? Is this their allotted measure? Is this all Thou hast assigned to them. was made to pass under the easy yoke of Thy Christ. seeing rather Thou hast chosen the weak things of the world to confound the strong. joy less for them. Lord. all who long for his recovery are sick in mind with him. And yet even that least of Thy apostles. yet there is such joy. causes pleasure. in testimony of so great a victory. For far be it. from the first motion to the last. whereas from the highest heavens to the lowest earth. when before he walked sound and strong. receiving that Light. sky and sea are calmed. Do not many. which they who receive. from the beginning of the world to the end of ages. he also for his former name Saul. It is also ordered that the affianced bride should not at once be given.threatens shipwreck. this in permitted and lawful joy. and are enlightened. and against our wills. and realisest each in their season. receive power from Thee to become Thy sons? But if they be less known to the nations. And therefore do they also who preceded them much rejoice in them. so much the more . as having been exceeding afraid. given to drink. stir us up. let us now love. by whose tongue Thou soundedst forth these words. even they that know them. eat certain salt meats. when through his warfare. though as yet he walks not with his former strength. he sighed not after. with which mighty and keen weapon he had slain many. or the noble before the ignoble. which the devil had held as an impregnable possession. Eating and drinking have no pleasure. had been lost and was found. out of a deeper hell of blindness than Victorinus. and do. as was not. of more through their authority. Thou settest each in its place. as betrothed. Up. because they rejoice not in them alone. and we scarcely return to Thee. and how deep in the deepest! and Thou never departest. let us run. to procure a troublesome heat. O Lord my God. and the base things of this world. through their nobility. and they are exceeding joyed. but even by self-chosen. which the drink allaying. inflame. was pleased to be called Paul. that in Thy tabernacle the persons of the rich should be accepted before the poor. this. Paulus the Proconsul. that Thou mightest bring to nought things that are. his pride conquered. But the proud he hath more hold of. What means this. and the things despised hast Thou chosen. by whom he hath hold of more. unless there precede the pinching of hunger and thirst. return to Thee. Every where the greater joy is ushered in by the greater pain. Again. By how much the more welcome then the heart of Victorinus was esteemed. from the angel to the worm. not those only which fall upon us unlooked for. the tongue of Victorinus. all wax pale at approaching death. and lived again. and those things which are not. approach. Men. Yea. influence the more towards salvation. of whom he hath more hold. and by them. in him who was dead. this in the very purest perfection of friendship. and recall us.

for that our King hath bound the strong man. that I therefore as yet hesitated to be above the world and serve Thee. Thus. Simplicianus. Nor had I any thing to answer Thee calling to me. unto every good work. for now it too was. Thus did my two wills. was a lust made. and in all men's sober judgment waking is better. and how he. freely to serve Thee. because I had come willingly. defers to shake off sleep. My will the enemy held. But that new will which had begun to be in me. and Christ shall give thee light. and arise from the dead. whereby Christians were forbidden to teach the liberal sciences or oratory. undid my soul. as in sleep: and the thoughts wherein I meditated on Thee were like the efforts of such as would awake. one carnal. anon." "leave me but a little. Thus with the baggage of this present world was I held down pleasantly. But when that man of Thine. and become serviceable for the Lord. as we should fear to be encumbered with it. in having thus found opportunity to wait on Thee only. so was I assured that much better were it for me to give myself up to Thy charity. whither I willed not. But I still under service to the earth.abundantly ought Thy sons to rejoice. when another law in my members rebelled against the law of my mind. because in much I rather endured against my will. and custom not resisted. strengthened by age." "presently. and they saw his vessels taken from him and cleansed. than in that which in myself I disapproved. if just punishment follow the sinner? Nor had I now any longer my former plea. thou that sleepest. but though the former course satisfied me and gained the mastery. he seemed to me not more resolute than blessed. I understood. yet more myself. struggle within me. for for this very end had he related it. than to give myself over to mine own cupidity. Myself verily either way. than acted willingly. and the other old. By which links. But when he had subjoined also. how in the days of the Emperor Julian a law was made. related to me this of Victorinus. the only assured pleasantness." But "presently." had no present. even after it is time to rise. presently. in that which I approved in myself. O God. and a lust served. And as no one would sleep for ever. And when Thou didst on all sides show me that what Thou saidst was true. the other spiritual. For in this last. convicted by the truth. but only those dull and drowsy words. by which Thou makest eloquent the tongues of the dumb. And who has any right to speak against it. "Anon. refused to fight under Thy banner. for that the truth was not altogether ascertained to me. had nothing at all to answer. joined together (whence I called it a chain) a hard bondage held me enthralled. and . Awake. and made meet for Thy honour. became necessity. and my "little while" went on for a long while. not with another's irons. obeying this law. and though half displeased. who yet overcome with a heavy drowsiness. I. and feared as much to be freed of all incumbrances. and bound me. And yet it was through me that custom had obtained this power of warring against me. with pleasure yields to it. but by my own iron will. are again drenched therein. chose rather to give over the wordy school than Thy Word. as it were. For of a forward will. it was now for the more part not myself. and thence had made a chain for me. one new. the latter pleased me and held me mastered. Which thing I was sighing for. yet. by my own experience. what I had read. became custom. how the flesh lusteth against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh. bound as I was. was not yet able to overcome my former wilfulness. and to wish to enjoy Thee. in vain I delighted in Thy law according to the inner man. yet a man for the most part. and by their discord. I was on fire to imitate him. feeling a heavy lethargy in all his limbs.

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

unwilling to observe myself. saying. remained in the cottage. but Thou. came in search of them to the same place. and the other two wandered by themselves. upon the reading of Cicero's Hortensius. and these. of whom is the kingdom of heaven. if I wish it. to meditate on taking up such a life. that had walked in other parts of the garden. But the others. filled with a holy love. when. and forgot it. and full of perils? and by how many perils arrive we at a greater peril? and when arrive we thither? But a friend of God. for the day was now far spent. went out to walk in gardens near the city walls. and a sober shame. "Now have I broken loose from those our hopes. reminded them to return. And if I sought to turn mine eye from off myself. I pray thee. recommending themselves to their prayers. and am resolved to serve God. that I might see how foul I was. and this. he stormed at himself a while. O Lord. from this hour. And I beheld and stood aghast. And in pain with the travail of a new life. And these two were of those whom they style agents for the public affairs." So spake he. while he was speaking. But now. winked at it. and finding them. and his mind was stripped of the world. and whither to flee from myself I found not. but made as though I saw it not. fixing their heart on heaven. if they would not join. and setting me before my face. said to his friend. though nothing altered from their former selves. he would cleave to him. and Thou again didst set me over against myself. he and three others. and was changed inwardly. For as he read. and read on. when compared with them. But they relating their resolution and purpose. where Thou sawest. I had known it. Thus both being now Thine. and following Thee. he went on with his relation. also dedicated their virginity unto God. that I might find out mine iniquity. one went apart with him. with hearts lingering on the earth. And both had affianced brides. so glorious a service. "Tell me. as soon appeared. in their wanderings. and thrustedst me before my eyes.when the Emperor was taken up with the Circensian games. didst turn me round towards myself. poor in spirit. in anger with himself cast his eyes upon his friend. and kindle at it. the more ardently I loved those whose healthful affections I heard of. If thou likest not to imitate me. I was stirred to an . what would we attain by all these labours of ours? what aim we at? what serve we for? Can our hopes in court rise higher than to be the Emperor's favourites? and in this. begged them. how crooked and defiled. and determined on a better course. were building the tower at the necessary cost. did yet bewail themselves (as he affirmed). Then Pontitianus and the other with him. in this place. and hate it. the more did I abhor myself. then discerned. and piously congratulated them. and how that will was begun and settled in them. and as he read. and there they found a little book containing the life of Antony. Such was the story of Pontitianus. I become now at once. and giving over his secular service to serve Thee. and now being Thine." The other answered. lighted upon a certain cottage. bespotted and ulcerous. his companions. Then suddenly. what is there not brittle. went away to the palace. taking me from behind my back where I had placed me. inhabited by certain of Thy servants. For many of my years (some twelve) had now run out with me since my nineteenth. he turned his eyes again upon the book. that they had resigned themselves wholly to Thee to be cured. This one of them began to read. and there as they happened to walk in pairs. But the other two. oppose not. the forsaking all that they had. and so. and rolled up and down the waves of his heart. who when they heard hereof. I begin upon. to partake so glorious a reward. not to molest them. admire.

where no man might hinder the hot contention wherein I had engaged with myself. Thither had the tumult of my breast hurried me. but as preferring it to the others which I did not seek religiously. which I had strongly raised against my soul. Then in this great contention of my inward dwelling. refused. because others are gone before. because there did not appear aught certain. only not yet. and said. as of the whole house. A little garden there was to our lodging. nor for often years and more have been thinking thereon. For his presence did not lessen my privacy. I retired then into the garden.earnest love of wisdom. until it should end as Thou knewest. and follow Thee only. and my conscience was to upbraid me. which all my bones cried out unto me to enter. What said I not against myself? with what scourges of condemnation lashed I not my soul. or feet. or how could he forsake me so disturbed? We sate down as far removed as might be from the house. and yet that burden still oppresseth thee. cheeks. but opposed maliciously. "Give me chastity and continency. gazing on me in astonishment. "What ails us?" I exclaim: "what is it? what heardest thou? The unlearned start up and take heaven by force. which I wished to have satisfied. though spread around me at my will. and exceedingly confounded with a horrible shame. and praised it to the skies. have had their shoulders lightened. rather than extinguished. O my God. and received wings to fly away. For it was not my wonted tone. and my forehead. I knew not. on my steps." For I feared lest Thou shouldest hear me soon. was not living there. And I had thought that I therefore deferred from day to day to reject the hopes of this world. to. move not so far as I . and my fever of mind tore me away from him. though already found. and not ashamed not even to follow?" Some such words I uttered. for the master of the house. most wretched. knowing what evil thing I was. I was troubled in spirit. while they who neither have so worn themselves out with seeking it. had begged chastity of Thee. where we wallow in flesh and blood! Are we ashamed to follow. and not knowing what good thing I was shortly to become. Only I was healthfully distracted and dying. but excused not itself. whither to direct my course." Thus was I gnawed within. to be restrained from the flux of that custom. which we had the use of. most vehemently indignant that I entered not into Thy will and covenant. not indeed assured thereof. while Pontitianus was so speaking. and I into myself. tone of voice. while he. that it might follow me. colour. as she would death. And therein we enter not by ships. and Alypius. "Where art thou now. no. troubled in mind and countenance. was to be preferred to the treasures and kingdoms of the world. to live. And I had wandered through crooked ways in a sacrilegious superstition. and she feared. And now was the day come wherein I was to be laid bare to myself. and without heart. But I wretched. there remained a mute shrinking. and we with our learning. All arguments were spent and confuted. went his way. whereby she was wasting to death. but the very search. eyes. striving to go after Thee! Yet it drew back. whereof not the finding only. in the chamber of my heart. I turned upon Alypius. and give myself to search out that. my tongue? Thou saidst that for an uncertain truth thou likedst not to cast off the baggage of vanity. or chariots. spake my mind more than the words I uttered. and to the pleasures of the body. it is certain. and soon cure me of the disease of concupiscence. now. kept silence. our host. And he having brought to a close his tale and the business he came for. and still I was deferring to reject mere earthly felicity. in the very commencement of my early youth.

I made with my body many such motions as men sometimes would. but to go in thither was nothing else but to will to go. and your faces shall . wishing to be light. but to will resolutely and thoroughly. but in themselves. For were the will entire. and yet it doth not. O God. that it doth not wholly rise. when they hold these evil things. the other hath. this way and that. one good. and those darkest pangs of the sons of Adam. that command is scarce distinct from obedience. Take heed what you say. struggling. But I might have willed. but now light in the Lord. For in these things the ability was one with the will. to will. in moving its limbs at its nod. imagining the nature of the soul to be that which God is. I willed. because it would already be. and it obeys instantly. And therefore are there two wills. and not done it. Themselves are truly evil. But it willeth not entirely: therefore doth it not command entirely. Whence this monstrousness? and to what end? It commands itself. the hand is body. by truth upborne. not in the Lord. and to will was to do. and themselves shall become good when they hold the truth and assent unto the truth. with one part sinking as another rose. I did it. but itself. For the will commandeth that there be a will. are made more gross darkness through a dreadful arrogancy. not to go only. if the power of motion in my limbs had not obeyed. for that they went back farther from Thee. for that one of them is not entire: and what the one lacketh. unless it willed. if locking my fingers I clasped my knee. when "to will" was not in itself "to be able". it would not even command it to be. if either they have not the limbs. But it doth not command entirely. may perhaps answer me. and yet was it not done: and more easily did my body obey the weakest willing of my soul. partly to nill. but a disease of the mind. Whence is this monstrousness? and to what end? Let Thy mercy gleam that I may ask. than the soul obeyed itself to accomplish in the will alone this its momentous will. and what it commands is not done. or these be bound with bands. borne down by custom. Yet the mind is mind. It is therefore no monstrousness partly to will. The mind commands the mind. as it willeth: and. beat my forehead. So many things then I did. For so far forth it commandeth. in the very fever of my irresoluteness. Thus. so far forth is the thing commanded. when I should will. the other evil. because soon after. that Thy Apostle may say to them. the mind commands itself. is not. For. and such readiness is there. as perish vain talkers and seducers of the soul: who observing that in deliberating there were two wills. The mind commands the hand to be moved. not another. and would not command. if so be the secret penalties of men. to will. Ye were sometimes darkness. its own self. not done. But they. I should will thoroughly. affirm that there are two minds in us of two kinds. weakened with infirmity. Let them perish from Thy presence. Whence is this monstrousness? and to what end? The mind commands the body. and I did not what both I longed incomparably more to do. I say. and blush for shame: draw near unto Him and be enlightened. not to turn and toss. the true Light that enlightened every man that cometh into the world. and which soon after. as it willeth not. or any other way hindered. a maimed and half-divided will. I should be able to do. when I should will. if I tore my hair. Lastly. and is resisted. therefore what it commandeth.had come from the house to that place where we were sitting. but cannot.

eternity delights us. "it is good. another bad. and therefore is rent asunder with grievous perplexities. but many. the punishment of a sin more freely committed. and all at once? Do not divers wills distract the mind. and it will not be true. when. if both be open on one day. For if there he so many contrary natures as there be conflicting wills. Myself when I was deliberating upon serving the Lord my God now. whether he should go to the theatre or to our church? would not these Manichees also be in a strait what to answer? For either they must confess (which they fain would not) that the will which leads to our church is good. and no more deny that where one deliberates. when they perceive two conflicting wills in one man. while out of truth it sets this first. which cannot at one time be acted: for they rend the mind amid four. O true God. these Manichees cry out. fourthly. as when. above. here are two natures: one good. of two contrary substances. that the conflict is between two contrary souls. while he deliberates which he should rather choose? yet are they all good. draws back that way. or thirdly. who have received and are held by the mysteries of theirs: or they must suppose two evil natures. or even (amid the vast variety of things desired) more. it was I who willed. all these meeting together in the same juncture of time. when he cannot both. nor do they yet allege that there are so many divers substances. that there is one good and another bad. and rent asunder by myself. and amid the strife of his two wills be in a strait. So also in wills which are good. if at the same time he have the means thereof also. draws this way. whether he should seize this or that estate of another's. as well as theirs. For whence else is this hesitation between conflicting wills? But I say that both be bad: that which draws to them. and convict them. one soul fluctuates between contrary wills. if he have the opportunity. to commit adultery. or they must be converted to the truth. and the pleasure of temporal good holds us down below. whither the one entire will may be borne. Therefore was I at strife with myself. . I who nilled. one good." What then if all give equal pleasure. But they believe not that will to be other than good. both wills being bad. whether he should purchase pleasure by luxury. which draws to them. whether he go to the circus or the theatre. I neither willed entirely. one deliberates whether he should kill a man by poison or by the sword. And this rent befell me against my will. or keep his money by covetousness. Thus also. but out of habit sets not that aside. it is the same soul which willeth not this or that with an entire will. there shall now be not two only. or. but the punishment of my own. If a man deliberate whether he should go to their conventicle or to the theatre. to rob another's house. Let them no more say then. I. dost disprove. not the presence of another mind. For Thou. nor nilled entirely. which before was divided into many. Therefore it was no more I that wrought it. For I ask them. I myself. which they say. is it good to take pleasure in reading the Apostle? or good to take pleasure in a sober Psalm? or good to discourse on the Gospel? They will answer to each. and are at variance till one be chosen. conflicting wills. in that I was a son of Adam. as I had long purposed. What then if one of us should deliberate. as that which draws back to the theatre. and yet indicated.not be ashamed. Behold. but sin that dwelt in me. and all being equally desired. from two contrary principles. and the other bad. check. and two evil souls conflicting in one man.

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

he thus showed me. as of boy or girl. in concupiscence. which I knew not. For I had heard of Antony. I shut the volume. for something I suppose I had spoken. wherein the tones of my voice appeared choked with weeping. I sent up these sorrowful words: How long. and he looked even further than I had read. interpreting it to be no other than a command from God to open the book. and the floods of mine eyes gushed out an acceptable sacrifice to Thee. and so had risen up. " Instantly. and read the first chapter I should find. Thus was it then with me. as if what was being read was spoken to him: Go. Who are able to do above that which we ask or think. "Take up and read. So checking the torrent of my tears.But when a deep consideration had from the secret bottom of my soul drawn together and heaped up all my misery in the sight of my heart. and oft repeating. "to-morrow. sell all that thou hast. and make not provision for the flesh. And by this admonition was he strengthened. I arose. and triumpheth. so I retired so far that even his presence could not be a burden to me. how long. standing in that rule of faith. For thou convertedst me unto Thyself. for there had I laid the volume of the Apostle when I arose thence. not in strife and envying. where Thou hadst . yet to this purpose. Lord. that coming in during the reading of the Gospel. and in silence read that section on which my eyes first fell: Not in rioting and drunkenness. Thence we go in to my mother. she rejoiceth: we relate in order how it took place. spake I much unto Thee: and Thou. Then putting my finger between. and give to the poor. and tomorrow?" Why not now? why not is there this hour an end to my uncleanness? So was I speaking and weeping in the most bitter contrition of my heart. giving full vent to my tears. chanting. and blesseth Thee. in its natural expressions. she leaps for joy. for she perceived that Thou hadst given her more for me. bringing a mighty shower of tears. And what was wrought in him. and come and follow me: and by such oracle he was forthwith converted unto Thee. or some other mark. I know not. but put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ. lo! I heard from a neighbouring house a voice. how long? how long. and with a calmed countenance made it known to Alypius. This followed. there arose a mighty storm. Eagerly then I returned to the place where Alypius was sitting. and disclosed to me. opened. without any turbulent delay he joined me. He asked to see what I had read: I showed him. I cast myself down I know not how. and by a good resolution and purpose. Which that I might pour forth wholly. him that is weak in the faith. I rose from Alypius: solitude was suggested to me as fitter for the business of weeping. He then remained where we were sitting. he received the admonition. we tell her. wherein he did always very far differ from me. I seized. Take up and read. all the darkness of doubt vanished away. for the better. most extremely astonished. and most corresponding to his character. O Lord. under a certain fig-tree. for I felt that I was held by them. not in chambering and wantonness. nor any hope of this world. wilt Thou be angry for ever? Remember not our former iniquities. which he applied to himself. than she was wont to beg by her pitiful and most sorrowful groanings. not indeed in these words. I began to think most intently whether children were wont in any kind of play to sing such words: nor could I remember ever to have heard the like. No further would I read. and thou shalt have treasure in heaven. and I knew not what followed. by a light as it were of serenity infused into my heart. my countenance altered. so that I sought neither wife. And. when. receive. and he perceived something of it. nor needed I: for instantly at the end of this sentence.

and in a much more precious and purer way than she erst required. that all the blasts of subtle tongues from gainsayers might only . the Lord my God. For we had agreed among ourselves not to let it out abroad to any: although to us. though not to flesh and blood. and my riches. Who am I. Thou hadst given sharp arrows. being piled together in the receptacle of our thoughts. to nill what I willed. but more hidden than all depths. I am thy salvation. and for dead. I am Thy servant. I am Thy servant. are good and merciful. sweeter than all pleasure. should no longer buy at my mouth arms for their madness. much more plentiful than she had desired. O Lord. let all my bones say. and the son of Thy handmaid: Thou hast broken my bonds in sunder. Now was my soul free from the biting cares of canvassing and getting. For Thou didst cast them forth from me. was now a joy to part with. and Thy right hand had respect unto the depth of my death. And this Thy whole gift was. I will offer to Thee the sacrifice of Let my heart and my tongue praise Thee. other than our own friends. would thwart. Thou true and highest sweetness. the service of my tongue from the marts of lip-labour: that the young. which as though advising for us. to want the sweetnesses of those toys! and what I feared to be parted from. higher than all honour. who is like unto Thee? Let them say. whereby to submit my neck to Thy easy yoke. no students in Thy law. BOOK IX O Lord. and for them enteredst in Thyself. as it doth its meat. and I resolved to endure them. by having grandchildren of my body. And Thou didst convert her mourning into joy. and what am I? What evil have not been either my deeds. it now wanted but very few days unto the Vacation of the Vintage. but not to the high in their own conceits. now ascending from the valley of tears. And very seasonably. but in lying dotages and law-skirmishes. And my infant tongue spake freely to Thee. nor in Thy peace. alive. so many years before. my will? But Thou. or if not my deeds. and my health. and weltering in filth. that we should not sink down to the abyss. kindled and burned up that our heavy torpor. and we carried Thy words as it were fixed in our entrails: and the examples of Thy servants. my words. and having been purchased by Thee. but to men. but gently to withdraw. or if not my words. and would out of love devour us. and from the bottom of my heart emptied that abyss of corruption. and destroying coals against the subtle tongue. was it not known. and scratching off the itch of lust. and singing that song of degrees. and out of what low and deep recess was my free-will called forth in a moment. whom for black Thou hadst made bright. and to will what Thou willedst. and answer Thou me. And I resolved in Thy sight.showed me unto her in a vision. Thou hadst pierced our hearts with Thy charity. yea. and they fired us so vehemently. O Christ Jesus. and my shoulders unto Thy light burden. my brightness. brighter than all light. then in a regular way to take my leave. Thou castest them forth. my Helper and my Redeemer? How sweet did it at once become to me. and say unto my soul. But where through all those years. Our purpose then was known to Thee. O Lord. not tumultuously to tear. no more to return for sale.

inflame us the more fiercely, not extinguish us. Nevertheless, because for Thy Name's sake which Thou hast hallowed throughout the earth, this our vow and purpose might also find some to commend it, it seemed like ostentation not to wait for the vacation now so near, but to quit beforehand a public profession, which was before the eyes of all; so that all looking on this act of mine, and observing how near was the time of vintage which I wished to anticipate, would talk much of me, as if I had desired to appear some great one. And what end had it served me, that people should repute and dispute upon my purpose, and that our good should be evil spoken of. Moreover, it had at first troubled me that in this very summer my lungs began to give way, amid too great literary labour, and to breathe deeply with difficulty, and by the pain in my chest to show that they were injured, and to refuse any full or lengthened speaking; this had troubled me, for it almost constrained me of necessity to lay down that burden of teaching, or, if I could be cured and recover, at least to intermit it. But when the full wish for leisure, that I might see how that Thou art the Lord, arose, and was fixed, in me; my God, Thou knowest, I began even to rejoice that I had this secondary, and that no feigned, excuse, which might something moderate the offence taken by those who, for their sons' sake, wished me never to have the freedom of Thy sons. Full then of such joy, I endured till that interval of time were run; it may have been some twenty days, yet they were endured manfully; endured, for the covetousness which aforetime bore a part of this heavy business, had left me, and I remained alone, and had been overwhelmed, had not patience taken its place. Perchance, some of Thy servants, my brethren, may say that I sinned in this, that with a heart fully set on Thy service, I suffered myself to sit even one hour in the chair of lies. Nor would I be contentious. But hast not Thou, O most merciful Lord, pardoned and remitted this sin also, with my other most horrible and deadly sins, in the holy water? Verecundus was worn down with care about this our blessedness, for that being held back by bonds, whereby he was most straitly bound, he saw that he should be severed from us. For himself was not yet a Christian, his wife one of the faithful; and yet hereby, more rigidly than by any other chain, was he let and hindered from the journey which we had now essayed. For he would not, he said, be a Christian on any other terms than on those he could not. However, he offered us courteously to remain at his country-house so long as we should stay there. Thou, O Lord, shalt reward him in the resurrection of the just, seeing Thou hast already given him the lot of the righteous. For although, in our absence, being now at Rome, he was seized with bodily sickness, and therein being made a Christian, and one of the faithful, he departed this life; yet hadst Thou mercy not on him only, but on us also: lest remembering the exceeding kindness of our friend towards us, yet unable to number him among Thy flock, we should be agonised with intolerable sorrow. Thanks unto Thee, our God, we are Thine: Thy suggestions and consolations tell us, Faithful in promises, Thou now requitest Verecundus for his country-house of Cassiacum, where from the fever of the world we reposed in Thee, with the eternal freshness of Thy Paradise: for that Thou hast forgiven him his sins upon earth, in that rich mountain, that mountain which yieldeth milk, Thine own mountain.

He then had at that time sorrow, but Nebridius joy. For although he also, not being yet a Christian, had fallen into the pit of that most pernicious error, believing the flesh of Thy Son to be a phantom: yet emerging thence, he believed as we did; not as yet endued with any Sacraments of Thy Church, but a most ardent searcher out of truth. Whom, not long after our conversion and regeneration by Thy Baptism, being also a faithful member of the Church Catholic, and serving Thee in perfect chastity and continence amongst his people in Africa, his whole house having through him first been made Christian, didst Thou release from the flesh; and now he lives in Abraham's bosom. Whatever that be, which is signified by that bosom, there lives my Nebridius, my sweet friend, and Thy child, O Lord, adopted of a freed man: there he liveth. For what other place is there for such a soul? There he liveth, whereof he asked much of me, a poor inexperienced man. Now lays he not his ear to my mouth, but his spiritual mouth unto Thy fountain, and drinketh as much as he can receive, wisdom in proportion to his thirst, endlessly happy. Nor do I think that he is so inebriated therewith, as to forget me; seeing Thou, Lord, Whom he drinketh, art mindful of us. So were we then, comforting Verecundus, who sorrowed, as far as friendship permitted, that our conversion was of such sort; and exhorting him to become faithful, according to his measure, namely, of a married estate; and awaiting Nebridius to follow us, which, being so near, he was all but doing: and so, lo! those days rolled by at length; for long and many they seemed, for the love I bare to the easeful liberty, that I might sing to Thee, from my inmost marrow, My heart hath said unto Thee, I have sought Thy face: Thy face, Lord, will I seek. Now was the day come wherein I was in deed to be freed of my Rhetoric Professorship, whereof in thought I was already freed. And it was done. Thou didst rescue my tongue, whence Thou hadst before rescued my heart. And I blessed Thee, rejoicing; retiring with all mine to the villa. What I there did in writing, which was now enlisted in Thy service, though still, in this breathing-time as it were, panting from the school of pride, my books may witness, as well what I debated with others, as what with myself alone, before Thee: what with Nebridius, who was absent, my Epistles bear witness. And when shall I have time to rehearse all Thy great benefits towards us at that time, especially when hasting on to yet greater mercies? For my remembrance recalls me, and pleasant is it to me, O Lord, to confess to Thee, by what inward goads Thou tamedst me; and how Thou hast evened me, lowering the mountains and hills of my high imaginations, straightening my crookedness, and smoothing my rough ways; and how Thou also subduedst the brother of my heart, Alypius, unto the name of Thy Only Begotten, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, which he would not at first vouchsafe to have inserted in our writings. For rather would he have them savour of the lofty cedars of the Schools, which the Lord hath now broken down, than of the wholesome herbs of the Church, the antidote against serpents. Oh, in what accents spake I unto Thee, my God, when I read the Psalms of David, those faithful songs, and sounds of devotion, which allow of no swelling spirit, as yet a Catechumen, and a novice in Thy real love, resting in that villa, with Alypius a Catechumen, my mother cleaving to us, in female garb with masculine faith, with the tranquillity of age, motherly love, Christian piety! Oh, what accents did I utter unto Thee in those Psalms, and how was I by them kindled towards Thee, and on fire to rehearse them, if possible, through the whole world, against the pride of mankind! And yet they

are sung through the whole world, nor can any hide himself from Thy heat. With what vehement and bitter sorrow was I angered at the Manichees! and again I pitied them, for they knew not those Sacraments, those medicines, and were mad against the antidote which might have recovered them of their madness. How I would they had then been somewhere near me, and without my knowing that they were there, could have beheld my countenance, and heard my words, when I read the fourth Psalm in that time of my rest, and how that Psalm wrought upon me: When I called, the God of my righteousness heard me; in tribulation Thou enlargedst me. Have mercy upon me, O Lord, and hear my prayer. Would that what I uttered on these words, they could hear, without my knowing whether they heard, lest they should think I spake it for their sakes! Because in truth neither should I speak the same things, nor in the same way, if I perceived that they heard and saw me; nor if I spake them would they so receive them, as when I spake by and for myself before Thee, out of the natural feelings of my soul. I trembled for fear, and again kindled with hope, and with rejoicing in Thy mercy, O Father; and all issued forth both by mine eyes and voice, when Thy good Spirit turning unto us, said, O ye sons of men, how long slow of heart? why do ye love vanity, and seek after leasing? For I had loved vanity, and sought after leasing. And Thou, O Lord, hadst already magnified Thy Holy One, raising Him from the dead, and setting Him at Thy right hand, whence from on high He should send His promise, the Comforter, the Spirit of truth. And He had already sent Him, but I knew it not; He had sent Him, because He was now magnified, rising again from the dead, and ascending into heaven. For till then, the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. And the prophet cries out, How long, slow of heart? why do ye love vanity, and seek after leasing? Know this, that the Lord hath magnified His Holy One. He cries out, How long? He cries out, Know this: and I so long, not knowing, loved vanity, and sought after leasing: and therefore I heard and trembled, because it was spoken unto such as I remembered myself to have been. For in those phantoms which I had held for truths, was there vanity and leasing; and I spake aloud many things earnestly and forcibly, in the bitterness of my remembrance. Which would they had heard, who yet love vanity and seek after leasing! They would perchance have been troubled, and have vomited it up; and Thou wouldest hear them when they cried unto Thee; for by a true death in the flesh did He die for us, who now intercedeth unto Thee for us. I further read, Be angry, and sin not. And how was I moved, O my God, who had now learned to be angry at myself for things past, that I might not sin in time to come! Yea, to be justly angry; for that it was not another nature of a people of darkness which sinned for me, as they say who are not angry at themselves, and treasure up wrath against the day of wrath, and of the revelation of Thy just judgment. Nor were my good things now without, nor sought with the eyes of flesh in that earthly sun; for they that would have joy from without soon become vain, and waste themselves on the things seen and temporal, and in their famished thoughts do lick their very shadows. Oh that they were wearied out with their famine, and said, Who will show us good things? And we would say, and they hear, The light of Thy countenance is sealed upon us. For we are not that light which enlighteneth every man, but we are enlightened by Thee; that having been sometimes darkness, we may be light in Thee. Oh that they could see the eternal Internal, which

I was grieved that I could not show It them. because he above the rest is a more clear foreshower of the Gospel and of the calling of the Gentiles. O for The Selfsame! O what said he. where I had sacrificed. of whom myself had been. which are not what Thou art: but Thou. Thence. And this I wrote on wax. and wasted by time. whereas I had in Thy eternal Simple Essence other corn. to become readier and fitter for receiving so great grace. Who will show us good things? For there. it came into my heart to desire all my friends present to pray for me to Thee. for who shall hinder us. and rejoicing in faith. a bitter and a blind bawler against those writings. finding it inwardly. that pain went away. It pleased Alypius also to be with me born again in Thee. Nor would I be multiplied with worldly goods. where I was angry within myself in my chamber. and lightsome with Thine own light: and I was consumed with zeal at the enemies of this Scripture. not understanding the first lesson in him. and the wonderful swiftness of Thy mercy. nor found I what to do to those deaf and dead. putting my trust in Thee. And with a loud cry of my heart I cried out in the next verse. alone hast made me dwell in hope. where I was inwardly pricked. And that faith suffered me not to be at ease about my past sins.. When shall I recall all which passed in those holy-days? Yet neither have I forgotten. Presently so soon as with humble devotion we had bowed our knees. as I read this outwardly. so long as they brought me their heart in their eyes roving abroad from Thee. I gave notice to the Milanese to provide their scholars with another master to sell words to them. for from infancy I had never experienced the like. which when it had come to such height that I could not speak. But what pain? or how went it away? I was affrighted. He recommended Isaiah the Prophet: I believe. Thou didst then torment me with pain in my teeth. which were not yet forgiven me by Thy baptism. I read. I will lay me down and sleep. and kindled. when the time was come wherein I was to give in my name. nor are we to seek those many other things. wasting away time. and oil. for there is none other with Thee. my former errors and present desires. But I. nor will I pass over the severity of Thy scourge. Who art not changed. Death is swallowed up in victory? And Thou surpassingly art the Self-same. And I cried out. my God.there hadst Thou begun to grow sweet unto me. The vintage-vacation ended. O my Lord. we left the country and returned to Milan. while they said. to be resumed when better practised in our Lord's own words. begging his advice what of Thy Scriptures I had best read. and through my difficulty of breathing and pain in my chest was not equal to the Professorship.having tasted. and wine. Lord. a pestilent person. when cometh to pass that saying which is written. and imagining the whole to be like it. And by letters I signified to Thy Prelate. being . and gave it them to read. the God of all manner of health. and hadst put gladness in my heart. the holy man Ambrose. slaying my old man and commencing the purpose of a new life. I praised Thy Name. which are honied with the honey of heaven. laid it by. O in peace. for that I had both made choice to serve Thee. And the power of Thy Nod was deeply conveyed to me. and in Thee is rest which forgetteth all toil.

thence the mind of that enemy. fearing nothing for his childhood or youth. O Lord my God. but the sin. There my mother Thy handmaid. The devout people kept watch in the Church. Hymns and Psalms should be sung. lived for prayer. had inspired us with it. or his whole self. persecuted Thy servant Ambrose. and well known to the city. For it was a year. We joined with us the boy Adeodatus. to he brought up in Thy discipline: and we were baptised. our contemporary in grace. not only they who were vexed with unclean spirits (the devils confessing themselves) were cured. in Thy Hymns and Canticles. touched to the quick by the voices of Thy sweet-attuned Church! The voices flowed into mine ears. almost all) Thy congregations. but an Empress. whence Thou mightest seasonably produce them to repress the fury of a woman. For when they were discovered and dug up. asking and hearing the reason of the people's confused joy. lest the people should wax faint through the tediousness of sorrow: and from that day to this the custom is retained. and anxiety for our past life vanished from us. bearing a chief part of those anxieties and watchings. and a most valiant tamer of the body. Thence did the fame spread. I confess unto Thee Thy gifts. For that we brought him up in Thy discipline. whence the affections of my devotion overflowed. and happy was I therein.already clothed with the humility befitting Thy Sacraments. and the Truth distilled into my heart. Then it was first instituted that after the manner of the Eastern Churches. We. Not long had the Church of Milan begun to use this kind of consolation and exhortation. and tears ran down. they were forthwith opened. He was not quite fifteen. born after the flesh. though not turned to the soundness of . of my sin. Excellently hadst Thou made him. I confess unto Thee Thy gifts. and put to his eyes. whose death is precious in Thy sight. none else. in favour of her heresy. Thou knowest that all there ascribed to the person conversing with me were his ideas. to which she was seduced by the Arians. Him we joined with us. or not much more. still were stirred up by the sight of the amazed and disquieted city. and in wit surpassed many grave and learned men. and abundantly able to reform our deformities: for I had no part in that boy. shone. the brethren zealously joining with harmony of voice and hearts. yet unwarmed by the heat of Thy Spirit. thence Thy praises glowed. Led thither. Which when he had done. and yet more admirable. And who but Thou could be the workmaster of such wonders? Soon didst Thou take his life from the earth: and I now remember him without anxiety. Then didst Thou by a vision discover to Thy forenamed Bishop where the bodies of Gervasius and Protasius the martyrs lay hid (whom Thou hadst in Thy secret treasury stored uncorrupted so many years). ready to die with their Bishop Thy servant. throughout other parts of the world following herein. he begged to be allowed to touch with his handkerchief the bier of Thy saints. a child. that Justina. Nor was I sated in those days with the wondrous sweetness of considering the depth of Thy counsels concerning the salvation of mankind. Creator of all. There is a book of ours entitled The Master. a citizen. it was Thou. sprang forth desiring his guide to lead him thither. it is a dialogue between him and me. Much besides. mother to the Emperor Valentinian. divers (yea. so as. in his sixteenth year. and with due honour translated to the Ambrosian Basilica. I found in him. to wear the frozen ground of Italy with his bare feet. That talent struck awe into me. but a certain man who had for many years been blind. with unwonted venture. How did I weep.

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

giving them. that she of her own accord discovered to her son the meddling tongues whereby the domestic peace betwixt her and her daughter-in-law had been disturbed. while many matrons. who turnest to Thy purposes the deepest currents. marvelled that it had never been heard. who callest. and instantly condemned and forsook it. that believing in Thee. workest something towards the salvation of our souls. as in jest. he was fervid. falling to words (as it happens) with her little mistress. preaching Thee unto him by her conversation. lest any. when he observes this. For she looked for Thy mercy upon him. she would give an account of her actions. who also by those set over us. As flattering friends pervert. so in anger: but she had learnt not to resist an angry husband. and returned thanks. and did it in private. With which taunt she. Brought up thus modestly and soberly. Lord. and admirable unto her husband.was then that discreet old woman. what didst Thou then. so soon as she was of marriageable age. he might be made chaste. knowing what a choleric husband she endured. and suffered. and the ruled turbulence of the tide of times. even for one day. O my God? how didst Thou cure her? how heal her? didst Thou not out of another soul bring forth a hard and a sharp taunt. if Thy healing hand. than by her parents to Thee. and made subject rather by Thee to her parents. yet bore even in their faces marks of shame. when . Only when he was smoothed and tranquil. either for that the time and place of the quarrel so found them. who createdst. but what themselves purposed. for discovering it thus late. Yet not what by them Thou doest. whom he wished to be reformed. Her mother-in-law also. she would blame their tongues. But Thou. O Lord. mother. those who observed it not. remembering their condition. not in deed only." And when they. should ascribe it to his own power. earnest advice: "That from the time they heard the marriage writings read to them. calling her wine-bibber. would in familiar talk blame their husbands' lives. and that her earnest countermanding? Would aught avail against a secret disease. nor by any token perceived. as in his affections. being bestowed upon a husband. taunted her with this fault. so reproachful enemies mostly correct. and with one touch remove all that foul stuff? For a maid-servant with whom she used to go to the cellar. didst by the very unhealthiness of one soul heal another. Then. Thou present. dost Thou repay them. they should account them as indentures. who had milder husbands. ought not to set themselves up against their lords. at first by whisperings of evil servants incensed against her. watched not over us? Father. or that there had been any domestic difference between them. and governors absent. that Patricius had beaten his wife. and did her diligence to win him unto Thee. with most bitter insult. In a word. and in a temper to receive it. whereby they were made servants. asking him to correct them. Governor of all in heaven and earth. and confidentially asking the reason. if haply he had overhastily taken offence. Those wives who observed it found the good. is reformed through words of his. she so overcame by observance and persevering endurance and meekness. found no relief. But besides this. by which Thou ornamentedst her. like a lancet out of Thy secret store. she taught them her practice above mentioned. For she in her anger sought to vex her young mistress. making her reverently amiable. she served him as her lord. even when another. stung to the quick. or lest herself also should have anger. And she so endured the wronging of her bed as never to have any quarrel with her husband thereon. but not even in word. saw the foulness of her fault. and so. when alone with her. not to amend her.

had brought up children. but what might tend to their reconcilement. but add withal things never spoken. at her will who had discovered them. A small good this might appear to me. by Thy secret ways so ordering it. not only disclose to persons mutually angered things said in anger. her most inward Instructor. for the voyage. so often travailing in birth of them. which eye hath not seen. as I believe. did in her much praise and honour and love Thee. Finally. and for the well-ordering of the family. whereas to humane humanity. such as swelling and indigested choler uses to break out into. she promised the like reward to any who. who through some horrible and wide-spreading contagion of sin. she showed herself such a peacemaker. was well reported of for good works. should speak ill of her daughter-in-law to her: and none now venturing. my mercy. her own husband. we might in some sort meditate upon so high a mystery. had govemed her house piously. did I not to my grief know numberless persons. did she so take care of. Lastly. Thyself. teaching her in the school of the heart. that being bedewed thence according to our capacity. of what sort the eternal life of the saints was to be. We were discoursing then together. it ought to seem a light thing not to toment or increase ill will by ill words. and reaching forth unto those things which are before. we were recruiting from the fatigues of a long journey. which before he was a believer she had borne from him. as though she had been child to us all. upon that good handmaid of Thine. where removed from the din of men. alone. . did she gain unto Thee. that she and I stood alone. it came to pass. he had with stripes corrected those discovered. But yet we gasped with the mouth of our heart. as though she had been mother of us all. the fountain of life. had requited her parents. having received the grace of Thy baptism. who before her sleeping in Thee lived united together. which looked into the garden of the house where we now lay. very sweetly. towards the very end of his earthly life. and forgetting those things which are behind. at Ostia. O my God. to please her.in compliance with his mother. which Thou art. so served us. She was also the servant of Thy servants. they lived together with a remarkable sweetness of mutual kindness. Thyself. in whose womb Thou createdst me. nor ear heard. that hearing on both sides most bitter things. O Lord (whom on occasion of Thy own gift Thou sufferest to speak). unless one study withal by good words to quench it. Such was she. she never would disclose aught of the one unto the other. For she had been the wife of one man. for that through the witness of the fruits of a holy conversation they perceived Thy presence in her heart. that between any disagreeing and discordant parties where she was able. This great gift also thou bestowedst. which is with Thee. whosoever of them knew her. us. nor had she to complain of that in him as a believer. when the crudities of enmities are breathed out in sour discourses to a present friend against an absent enemy. we were enquiring between ourselves in the presence of the Truth. as she saw them swerving from Thee. after those heavenly streams of Thy fountain. we knew not). nor hath it entered into the heart of man. The day now approaching whereon she was to depart this life (which day Thou well knewest. of all of us Thy servants. leaning in a certain window.

but not even of mention. we were soaring higher yet. that I should now see thee withal.And when our discourse was brought to that point. One thing there was for which I desired to linger for a while in this life. not by them but by Himself. hushed also the pole of heaven. and these same words. and absorb. to "have been. and we came to our own minds. not through any tongue of flesh." did by degrees pass through all things bodily. and discourse. -could this be continued on. Lord. My God hath done this for me more abundantly. hushed the images of earth. What I do here any longer. even the very heaven whence sun and moon and stars shine upon the earth. where the word spoken has beginning and end. I know not. and this one ravish. might hear His Very Self without these (as we two now strained ourselves. though we shall not all be changed? Such things was I speaking. that the very highest delight of the earthly senses. and returned to vocal expressions of our mouth. and where life is the Wisdom by whom all these things are made." are not eternal. And what is like unto Thy Word. and this world with all its delights became. and other visions of kind far unlike be withdrawn. but is." and to "be hereafter. we slightly touched on her with the whole effort of our heart. yet. and waters. For to "have been. now that my hopes in this world are accomplished. hushed all dreams and imaginary revelations. they too should be hushed. and whatsoever exists only in transition. and wrap up its beholder amid these inward joys. where Thou feedest Israel for ever with the food of truth. my mother said. were not this. and air. in the very purest material light. And while we were discoursing and panting after her. that I might see thee a Catholic Christian before I died. that we might arrive at that region of never-failing plenty. and went beyond them. and in swift thought touched on that Eternal Wisdom which abideth over all). nor sound of thunder. We made not ourselves. but He made us that abideth for ever. and she is not made. not only not worthy of comparison. nor Angel's voice.If then having uttered this. and to what I am here. Thou knowest that in that day when we were speaking of these things. become His servant: what do I here?" . and what have been. as we spake. for mine own part I have no further delight in any thing in this life. but only "to be. and so shall she be ever. contemptible to us. as she hath been. Enter into thy Master's joy? And when shall that be? When we shall all rise again. and He alone speak. every tongue and every sign." are not in her. and maketh all things new? We were saying then: If to any the tumult of the flesh were hushed. despising earthly happiness. and there we leave bound the first fruits of the Spirit. and by not thinking on self surmount self. our Lord. nor in the dark riddle of a similitude. since if any could hear. yea rather. that we may hear His Word. was. "Son. who endureth in Himself without becoming old. yea the very soul be hushed to herself. and even if not in this very manner. all these say. and admiring of Thy works. we raising up ourselves with a more glowing affection towards the "Self-same. and what shall be." seeing she is eternal. by inward musing. in respect of the sweetness of that life." and "hereafter to be. having roused only our ears to Him who made them. yea. but might hear Whom in these things we love. so that life might be for ever like that one moment of understanding which now we sighed after. and we sighed.

she also wished (so little can the human mind embrace things divine) to have this addition to that happiness. wherever you be." she saith. checking him with her eyes. and the fifty-sixth year of her age. that when we were now at Ostia." saith she. and rejoiced admiring what she had so disclosed to me. For because they had lived in great harmony together. then. and looking on me and my brother standing by her. "this body any where. she with anxious look. nor altogether dead. and was for a while withdrawn from these visible things. whereas she was neither unhappy in her death. He should not recognise whence He were to raise me up. considering Thy gifts. Whereat. "what he saith": and soon after to us both. Thou unseen God. which was overflowing into tears. I heard afterwards also. checked by us all. which Thou instillest into the hearts of Thy faithful ones. how careful and anxious she had ever been as to her place of burial. as the happier lot. for thereby do they for the most part express grief for the departed." saith she. when I was absent. for that he still savoured such things. I remember not. For we thought it not fitting to solemnise that funeral with tearful lament. when she said. "Lay. and groanings. wishing for her. and the blessing of death: and when they were amazed at such courage which Thou hadst given to a woman. whence wondrous fruits do spring. was checked and silenced. and then looking upon me: "Behold. did rejoice and give thanks to Thee. or altogether dead. nor was it to be feared lest at the end of the world. In like manner also a childish feeling in me. not in a strange place. I closed her eyes. and in that sickness one day she fell into a swoon. We hastened round her. recalling what I before knew. she fell sick of a fever." I held my peace and refrained weeping. she held her peace. finding its vent in weeping. and asked. but in her own land. But when this emptiness had through the fulness of Thy goodness begun to cease in her heart. which was. by the violent command of my mind. though indeed in that our discourse also in the window." And having delivered this sentiment in what words she could. "What do I here any longer?" there appeared no desire of dying in her own country. I knew not. let not the care for that any way disquiet you: this only I request. that she might die." On the ninth day then of her sickness. but she was soon brought back to her senses. was that religious and holy soul freed from the body. But I. the boy Adeodatus burst out into a loud lament. "shall you bury your mother. that you would remember me at the Lord's altar. and to have it remembered among men. that after her pilgrimage beyond the seas. through my heart's youthful voice. she with a mother's confidence. held his peace. "Whether she were not afraid to leave her body so far from her own city?" she replied. with grief amazed: "Here. "Nothing is far to God. "Where was I?" And then looking fixedly on us. or not much more. one day discoursed with certain of my friends about the contempt of this life. For scarce five days after. drank up their fountain wholly dry.What answer I made her unto these things. mine eyes at the same time. as though unhappy. being exercised by her growing sickness. Of . and the three-and-thirtieth of mine. and there flowed withal a mighty sorrow into my heart. said to us enquiringly. what was earthly of this united pair had been permitted to be united beneath the same earth. but my brother spake something. and woe was me in such a strife! But when she breathed her last. which she had provided and prepared for herself by the body of her husband.

known to Thee. with a new grief I grieved for my grief. Then I slept. Father of the fatherless. where none of them heard. to heal my sorrow. the corpse was carried to the burial. as with a tide. but again came. and that life rent asunder as it were. For Thou art the "Maker of all. what comparison is there betwixt that honour that I paid to her. that she never had heard any harsh or reproachful sound uttered by my mouth against her. For the bitterness of sorrow could not exude out of my heart. But yet. many brethren and religious women came together. and was the same as before I bathed. and found my grief not a little softened. I remembered those true verses of Thy Ambrose. . having heard that the bath had its name (balneum) from the Greek Balaneion for that it drives sadness from the mind. that I bathed. which. together with those who thought not fit to leave me. as the manner is. Euodius took up the Psalter. and as I was alone in my bed. I will sing of mercy and judgments to Thee. she called me "dutiful. and refrained my flood of grief. previous to its being laid therein. It seemed also good to me to go and bathe. And Ruler of the height. the testimony of her good conversation and her faith unfeigned. I believe. Who madest us. we went and returned without tears. yet Thou didst not. nor to change of countenance. even upon a soul. when now the corpse was by the grave's side. mingling her endearments with my acts of duty. upon my memory by this one instance. which in the due order and appointment of our natural condition must needs come to pass. my soul was wounded. and began to sing. I blamed the weakness of my feelings. they unknowing and listening intently. yet was I the whole day in secret heavily sad. O my God. The boy then being stilled from weeping. For neither in those prayers which we poured forth unto Thee. I (in a part of the house. as the manner there is. Who. And this also I confess unto Thy mercy. and conceiving me to be without all sense of sorrow. and by this balm of truth assuaged that torment. What then was it which did grievously pain me within. And being very much displeased that these human things had such power over me.this we were assured on good grounds. how strong is the bond of all habit. our whole house answering him. yet not so as to burst out into tears. as I could. which gave way a little unto me. when the Sacrifice of our ransom was offered for her. when. did I weep even during those prayers. which now feeds upon no deceiving Word. and her slavery for me? Being then forsaken of so great comfort in her. and was thus worn by a double sorrow. the Lord. And behold. where I might properly). O Lord. But in Thy ears. impressing. hast poured Soft slumbers o'er the night. discoursed upon something fitting the time. had been made but one. in that her last sickness. still I knew what I was keeping down in my heart. and woke up again. the Psalm. of hers and mine together. but a fresh wound wrought through the sudden wrench of that most sweet and dear custom of living together? I joyed indeed in her testimony. and with troubled mind prayed Thee." and mentioned. robing day in light. with great affection of love. But hearing what we were doing. and whilst they (whose office it was) made ready for the burial.

the Father of all the brethren of Thy Christ. had lived to the praise of Thy name for her faith and conversation. forgive. But because Thou art not extreme in enquiring after sins. who would have scornfully interpreted my weeping. since the water of salvation. I beseech Thee. who wilt have mercy on whom Thou wilt have mercy. O my Praise and my Life. and that he that glorieth would glory in the Lord. for her and for myself. For she. her holy tenderness and observance towards us. by the Medicine of our wounds. which Thou gavest them to be. And sorrows be subdu'd. Whosoever shall say unto his brother. I believe. And hearts be rais'd that sink and cower. for it was in Thy ears. I therefore. let him not deride me. and wilt have compassion on whom Thou hast had compassion. if. her holy conversation towards Thee. and now sitting at Thy right hand maketh intercession to Thee for us.That to our limbs the power Of toil may be renew'd. no word issued from her mouth against Thy Commandment. Who hung upon the tree. we confidently hope to find some place with Thee. Lord. the Truth. hath said. and it found rest in them. our God. And now. But whosoever reckons up his real merits to Thee. I pour out unto Thee. whatever she may have contracted in so many years. who will. whereof I was suddenly deprived: and I was minded to weep in Thy sight. let him weep himself for my sins unto Thee. the free-will offerings of my mouth. But now. do now beseech Thee for the sins of my mother. laying aside mercy. to overflow as much as they desired. And. I entreat Thee. for which I give thanks to Thee with joy. and Thou hast promised mercy unto the merciful. God of my heart. Read it. And woe be even unto the commendable life of men." And then by little and little I recovered my former thoughts of Thy handmaid. yet dare I not say that from what time Thou regeneratedst her by baptism. Forgive her. And I gave way to the tears which I before restrained. O Lord. Thou shouldest examine it. who had for many years wept for me that I might live in Thine eyes). took no thought . Thou fool. a far different kind of tears. laying aside for a while her good deeds. Let Thy mercy be exalted above Thy justice. but accept. I know that she dealt mercifully. Hearken unto me. Lord. do Thou also forgive her debts. enter not into judgment with her. how he will: and if he finds sin therein. what reckons he up to Thee but Thine own gifts? O that men would know themselves to be men. since Thy words are true. in behalf of that Thy handmaid. and interpret it. but rather. in writing I confess it unto Thee. Thou hast already done what I ask. with a heart cured of that wound. and from her heart forgave her debtors their debts. shall be in danger of hell fire. the day of her dissolution now at hand. in her behalf and in my own. if he be one of large charity. flowing from a spirit shaken by the thoughts of the dangers of every soul that dieth in Adam. Thy Son. wherein it might seem blameworthy for an earthly feeling. And although she having been quickened in Christ. even before her release from the flesh. not in those of man. reposing my heart upon them. that I wept my mother for a small portion of an hour (the mother who for the time was dead to mine eyes.

nor desired she a choice monument. Thou lovest the truth. and pen I serve. and seeking what to lay to our charge. Who shall restore to Him the innocent blood? Who repay Him the price wherewith He bought us. lest she be convicted and seized by the crafty accuser: but she will answer that her sins are forgiven her by Him. May they with devout affection remember my parents in this transitory light. by which the hand-writing that was against us is blotted out. through the prayers of many. by whose bodies Thou broughtest me into this life. May she rest then in peace with the husband before and after whom she had never any. That so my mother's last request of me. unto whose eyes the abyss of man's conscience is naked. and fit it for Thee. Let none sever her from Thy protection: let neither the lion nor the dragon interpose himself by force or fraud. And inspire. O Lord my God. but desired only to have her name commemorated at Thy Altar. And from Thee. more than through my prayers.to have her body sumptuously wound up. inspire Thy servants my brethren. and he that doth it. and longed for. These things she enjoined us not. This would I do in my heart before Thee in confession: and in my writing. who summing up our offences. with Patricius. that she might win him also unto Thee. and my fellow-citizens in that eternal Jerusalem which Thy pilgrim people sigheth after from their Exodus. that I am displeased with myself. therefore do I speak. the less men sorrow for them. O Lord. that so many as shall read these Confessions. found nothing in Him. when I rejoice healthfully. how I know not. BOOK X Let me know Thee. may through my confessions. and choose Thee. that I may be ashamed of myself. with patience bringing forth fruit unto Thee. not me from Thee. Thy sons my masters. for that my groaning is witness. cometh to the light. as I am known. and neither please Thee nor . her sometimes husband. Thy handmaid bound her soul by the bond of faith. and in this hope do I rejoice. to Whom none can repay that price which He. and heart. Power of my soul. This is my hope. Thou shinest out. and so take us from Him? Unto the Sacrament of which our ransom. my brethren under Thee our Father in our Catholic Mother. Other things of this life are the less to be sorrowed for. what could be hidden in me though I would not confess it? For I should hide Thee from me. before many witnesses. through which the enemy was triumphed over. But now. or embalmed with spices. be. whom with voice. paid for us. and art pleasing. may at Thy Altar remember Monnica Thy handmaid. and renounce myself. Who owed nothing. even unto their return thither. more abundantly fulfilled to her. who knowest me: let me know Thee. in Whom we conquer. enter into it. For she will not answer that she owes nothing. O Lord. the more they are sorrowed for. whom she obeyed. which she had served without intermission of one day: whence she knew the holy Sacrifice to be dispensed. and beloved. For behold. and the more to be sorrowed for. or to be buried in her own land. that Thou mayest have and hold it without spot or wrinkle.

But do Thou. blessest the godly. that by many thanks should be given to Thee on our behalf. and the cry of the thought which Thy ear knoweth. make plain unto me what fruit I may reap by doing it. is made silently. and she in them. it is silent. O Lord my God. And the good delight to hear of the past evils of such as are now freed from them.myself. They wish then to hear me confess what I am within. but because they have been and are not. among those whom knitting unto itself it maketh one). O my God. my inmost Physician. which Thou hast not first said unto me." For what is it to hear from Thee of themselves.a race. For the confessions of my past sins. But what I now am. nor understanding can reach. but the spirit of man which is in him? But if they hear from Thee of themselves. I pray. but to know themselves? and who knoweth and saith. when they hear how near. whereby they are good. when from myself they hear of myself. not because they are evils. who have or have not known me. believeth me. Let the brotherly mind love in me what Thou . and with what fruit I confess unto Thee. as ready to believe. they wish it. am I open. nothing else than not to ascribe it to myself: because Thou. nor ear. telleth them that in my confessions I lie not. when by it he became conscious of his own weakness. stir up the heart. With what fruit then. O Lord my God. is strong. whither neither their eye. whatever I am. nor dost Thou hear any such thing from me. it cries aloud. but when holy.but will they know? For charity. when they shall hear how much I am held back by my own weight? To such will I discover myself For it is no mean fruit. to whom I cannot demonstrate whether I confess truly. who have heard from me or of me. "It is false. slothful to amend their own? Why seek they to hear from me what I am. but their ear is not at my heart where I am. at the very time of making these confessions. To Thee therefore. yet they believe me. that men may hear. divers desire to know." unless himself lieth? But because charity believeth all things (that is. who will not hear from Thee what themselves are? And how know they. but in Thee. that it sleep not in despair and say "I cannot. when read and heard. For in sound. Nor do I it with words and sounds of the flesh. whose ears charity openeth unto me. by Thy gift. whereby whoso is weak. do I by this book confess to men also in Thy presence what I now am. I approach unto Thee? and to pray for me. not what I have been? For that other fruit I have seen and spoken of. but first Thou justifieth him when ungodly. which Thou hast forgiven and covered. will in such wise confess unto Thee. changing my soul by Faith and Thy Sacrament. then to confess to Thee is nothing else than to be displeased with myself. My confession then. I have said. which Thou hast not before heard from me. with what fruit. and Thou be by many entreated for us. What then have I to do with men. whether I say true. in Thy sight. O Lord. For when I am evil. that Thou mightest bless me in Thee. O Lord. that they should hear my confessions. For neither do I utter any thing right unto men. But for what fruit would they hear this? Do they desire to joy with me. "The Lord lieth. I also. but with the words of my soul. curious to know the lives of others. in affection. they cannot say. and not silently. to Whom my conscience daily confesseth." but awake in the love of Thy mercy and the sweetness of Thy grace.as if they could heal all my infirmities. trusting more in the hope of Thy mercy than in her own innocency. O Lord. seeing no man knows what is in man. whatever I am.

or are to follow on. Thou hast stricken my heart with Thy word. but with assured consciousness. in a secret exultation with trembling. And truly. whom Thou commandest me to serve. but that brotherly mind which when it approveth. and a secret sorrow with hope. that we may be able to bear it. sigh at the other. not before Thee only. which neither the spirit of man that is in him. My good deeds are Thine appointments. Lord. rejoiceth for me. To such then whom Thou commandest me to serve will I discover. out of the hearts of my brethren. and account myself dust and ashes. mind. For Thou. though in Thy sight I despise myself. itself knoweth. it loveth me. who are gone before. yet know I something of Thee. but in the ears also of the believing sons of men. not a stranger. These are Thy servants. but my Father ever liveth. Yet I. I am more present with myself than with Thee. and let hymns and weeping go up into Thy sight. not of what I have been. and lament in me what Thou teachest is to be lamented. not what I have been. I will confess also what I know not of myself. companions of my way. do I love Thee. because Thou art faithful. O Lord. So long therefore as I be absent from Thee. and my Guardian is sufficient for me. and not go before in performing. Who wilt not suffer us to be tempted above that we are able. and when it disapproveth me. and what I know not of myself. so long know I not it. perfect my imperfections. if I would live with Thee. Not with doubting. not that of the strange children. And that because what I do know of myself. But Thou. not face to face as yet. but what I now am and what I yet am. And there is hope. have mercy upon me according to Thy great mercy for Thine own name's sake. This is the fruit of my confessions of what I am. but wilt with the temptation also make a way to escape. yea. what I cannot. and yet know I Thee that Thou art in no ways passible. dost judge me: because. were not my soul subdued unto Thee under Thy wings. of Thee. my brethren. To such will I discover myself: they will breathe freely at my good deeds. Lord. and Thy judgments. and defends me: and Thou Thyself art all my good. I am a little one. Let them breathe freely at the one. I know by Thy shining upon me. now we see through a glass darkly. Yea also heaven. but the spirit of a man which is in him. and my infirmity known unto Thee. my evil ones are my offences. Thus therefore I would be heard. I know not. and I loved Thee. yet is there something of man. and all . Lord. But this Thy Word were little did it only command by speaking. until my darkness be made as the noonday in Thy countenance. For He is the same who begat me. This then I do in deed and word. Who are with me. and earth.teachest is to be loved. whom Thou willest to be Thy sons. and no ways forsaking what Thou hast begun. because whether it approveth or disapproveth. Almighty. which I know not of myself. to confess this. Who hast made him. and fellow-pilgrims. Thy censers. But neither do I judge myself. and Thy gifts. in over great peril. is sorry for me. whose mouth talketh of vanity. before I am with Thee. sigh for my ill. Let a brotherly. and their right hand is a right hand of iniquity. and partners in my mortality. And do Thou. he pleased with the incense of Thy holy temple. Thou. this I do under Thy wings. what temptations I can resist. knowest all of him. my fellow-citizens. although no man knoweth the things of a man. but I. sharers of my joy. my masters. I will confess then what I know of myself.

they are made subject unto them: and subjects cannot judge. and there tasteth what eating diminisheth not. who said. This is it which I love when I love my God. "We are not God. But more deeply wilt Thou have mercy on whom Thou wilt have mercy. not manna and honey. it is dumb to this. the other within. and meat. By which of these ought I to seek my God? I had sought Him in the body from earth to heaven. "Nor (say they) are we the God whom thou seekest. through the senses of my body. that ye are not He. their very nature saith to him that seeth them: "They are a mass. but appearing the same way to both. their appearance). the mind.that therein is. " I asked the heavens. I am not God. nor the fragrant smell of flowers. and it answered me. the beams of mine eyes. and they answered. None of these I love. so far as I could send messengers. and spices. "Neither heaven." Now to . "Who art thou?" And I answered. and wilt have compassion on whom Thou hast had compassion: else in deaf ears do the heaven and the earth speak Thy praises. nor the fair harmony of time.. I asked the sea and the deeps. "Anaximenes was deceived. so as to appear one way to this man. tell me something of Him. another way to that. and the whole air with his inhabitants answered. nor the brightness of the light. I. "A man. on every side they bid me love Thee. and all things therein. "I am not He. stars. " My questioning them." And they cried out with a loud voice. one without. Is not this corporeal figure apparent to all whose senses are perfect? why then speaks it not the same to all? Animals small and great see it. and there soundeth what time beareth not away. and fragrance. and embracement when I love my God. Nor yet do the creatures answer such as ask. but He made me. that they may be without excuse. when I love Thee? not beauty of bodies. when I love my God. all the bodily messengers reported the answers of heaven and earth. being understood by the things that are made." I asked the moving air. but by love of them." And I replied unto all the things which encompass the door of my flesh: "Ye have told me of my God. "We are not thy God. was my thoughts on them: and their form of beauty gave the answer. so gladsome to our eyes. and whatsoever are in it confessed the same. and there clingeth what satiety divorceth not. and it answered me. a mass is less in a part thereof than in the whole. and there smelleth what breathing disperseth not. unless they can judge. embracement of my inner man: where there shineth unto my soul what space cannot contain. and the living creeping things. seek above us. nor earth. who compare its voice received from without. yea rather it speaks to all. But the better is the inner. and said to myself. But men can ask. And what is this? I asked the earth. and body. melody." These things did my inner man know by the ministry of the outer: I the inner knew them. And I turned myself unto myself. But what do I love. nor sweet melodies of varied songs. nor any other body is thy God. and yet I love a kind of light. nor yet do they change their voice (i. sun. the light. if one man only sees. meat. with the truth within. For truth saith unto me. but they only understand. fragrance. "I am not He".e. moon. I asked the whole frame of the world about my God." And behold. not limbs acceptable to embracements of flesh. behold. another seeing asks. nor cease to say so unto all. but He made us." This. "He made us. so that the invisible things of God are clearly seen. and melody. but they cannot ask it: because no reason is set over their senses to judge on what they report. for to it as presiding and judging. speaks to that. in me there present themselves to me soul. and ointments.

I will pass then beyond this power of my nature also. All these doth that great harbour of the memory receive in her numberless secret and inexpressible windings. brought into it from things of all sorts perceived by the senses. There is stored up. When I enter there. all tastes by the mouth. each entering in by his own gate. or any other way varying those things which the sense hath come to. heavy or light. which the Lord hath framed for me: commanding the eye not to hear. Nor yet do the things themselves enter in. But another power there is. from the face of my remembrance. apart. not that only whereby I animate. for this also have the horse. in my memory I can produce colours. but that too whereby I imbue with sense my flesh. which forgetfulness hath not yet swallowed up and buried. by the ears all sorts of sounds. hot or cold. which no body can give to a body: but thy God is even unto thee the Life of thy life. I require what I will to be brought forth. whatsoever besides we think. for they also perceive through the body. those in front making way for the following. Nor can I by that power find my God. giving it life. What then do I love. and all colours and forms of bodies by the eyes. if I will. or rugged. and the ear. others rush out in troops. that through it I should hear. and while one thing is desired and required. when I love my God? who is He above the head of my soul? By my very soul will I ascend to Him. others must be longer sought after. they start forth. who can tell. And I come to the fields and spacious palaces of my memory. whereby even their bodies live. but the eye. and as they make way. and fill its whole frame with life. either outwardly or inwardly to the body. in unbroken order. out of its secret place. for thought to recall. each having entered by its own avenue: as light. and whatever else hath been committed and laid up. and the ear not to see. and discern betwixt black and white. what is hard or soft. as it were. "Is it perchance I?" These I drive away with the hand of my heart. There are all things preserved distinctly and under general heads. I will pass beyond this power of mine also. and what others I will: nor yet do sounds break in and disturb the image drawn in by my eyes. which are fetched. I the one mind. and appear in sight. I will pass beyond that power whereby I am united to my body.thee I speak. all smells by the avenue of the nostrils. O my soul. seeing it is the same power. what is to each their own peculiar seats and offices. though they also are there. only the images of the things perceived are there in readiness. and by the sensation of the whole body. where are the treasures of innumerable images. and something instantly comes. ready to come when I will. lying dormant. either by enlarging or diminishing. do through them enact. being divers. as who should say. for so horse and mule that have no understanding might find Him. they are hidden from sight. until what I wish for be unveiled. out of some inner receptacle. All which takes place when I repeat a thing by heart. rising by degrees unto Him Who made me. and mule. and to the other senses severally. For these too I call for. Which images. and forthwith they . that through it I should see. and brought out at need. and laid up. how they are formed. thou art my better part: for thou quickenest the mass of my body. as it were. though it doth plainly appear by which sense each hath been brought in and stored up? For even while I dwell in darkness and silence. which. which I am reviewing. and there laid up. to be forthcoming. as they are called for. Other things come up readily.

whatsoever of these I know. and my throat mute. or as meat. sea. which flowed in by the ears. nor would I speak of any thereof. when it no longer sounded. intrude themselves and interrupt. and whatever I could think on therein. and left out the thing. in that great receptacle of my mind. and the circuits of the stars. and pass themselves by." "O that this or that might be!" "God avert this or that!" So speak I to myself: and when I speak. either on my own experience. what is literature. the broad tides of rivers. Yet not these alone does the unmeasurable capacity of my memory retain. "and this or that will follow. There also meet I with myself. what the art of disputing. I recall at my pleasure. Here also is all. which remembering. and I prefer honey to sweet wine. nor do those images of colours. nor wonder that when I spake of all these things. And men go abroad to admire the heights of mountains. learnt of the liberal sciences and as yet unforgotten. removed as it were to some inner place. and when. stored with the images of things so many and so great. so can I sing as much as I will. but their images only. how many kinds of questions there be. but remembering only. the mighty billows of the sea. or other's credit. with the same vast spaces between. nor are they themselves with me. and that ocean which I believe to be. Out of the same store do I myself with the past continually combine fresh and fresh likenesses of things which I have experienced. at the time neither tasting nor handling. and recall myself. or as any thing which the body by touch . So the other things. and belongs unto my nature. For. the compass of the ocean. when another store is called for. Great is this force of memory. we renew. O my God. as that I have not taken in the image. besides what I have forgotten. I did not see them with mine eyes. nor do I myself comprehend all that I am.appear. as if it sounded. a large and boundless chamber! who ever sounded the bottom thereof? yet is this a power of mine. earth. and yet in the memory still in a manner tasteth. which is yet no place: nor are they the images thereof. For there are present with me. These things do I within. out of the same treasury of memory. and under what feelings. though smelling nothing. heaven. excessive great. There be all which I remember. Therefore is the mind too strait to contain itself. and that. events and hopes. Yea. Yet did not I by seeing draw them into myself." say I to myself. where. And I know by what sense of the body each was impressed upon me. I discern the breath of lilies from violets. from what I have experienced. whence it conveys into the memory an image of itself. or as a smell while it passes and evaporates into air affects the sense of smell. rivers. stars which I had seen. but the things themselves. which it containeth not of itself? Is it without it. unless I then actually saw the mountains. And where should that be. as present. when with mine eyes I beheld them. in such manner exists in my memory. the images of all I speak of are present. And though my tongue be still. piled in and up by the other senses. inwardly in my memory. smooth before rugged. "I will do this or that. and not within? how then doth it not comprehend itself? A wonderful admiration surprises me. were the images wanting. and what I have done. whereby it might be recalled. amazement seizes me upon this. or. which notwithstanding be there. in that vast court of my memory. as if I saw them abroad. which verily in the belly hath now no taste. billows. have believed: and thence again infer future actions. and all these again I reflect on. yet could not have spoken of them. or that it should have sounded and passed away like a voice fixed on the ear by that impress.

I gave not credit to another man's mind. is nothing else. But now when I hear that there be three kinds of questions. as if new. scattered and neglected. which we are said to have learned and come to know which were I for some short space of time to cease to call to mind. as it were. "If they sound. when they were spoken. we reported of them." The taste says. In my heart then they were. I gave no notice of it. did I acknowledge them.e. brought forth. laying them up as it were. and by marking to take heed that those things which the memory did before contain at random and unarranged." The nostrils say. for other abode they have none: but they must be drawn together again. not what is "collected" any how. and which when removed from us.perceiveth. as they are." i. For when I learned them. and so readily occur to the mind familiarised to them. and now are not. be laid up at hand as it were in that same memory where before they lay unknown. but in my memory they were not. whence I might bring them forth when I willed. that to learn these things whereof we imbibe nor the images by our senses. he thought out thence. but themselves. or thought upon. But the things themselves which are signified by those sounds. it is true." Whence and how entered these things into my memory? I know not how. the memory still conceives. I commended them to it. that had not the suggestion of another drawn them forth I had perchance been unable to conceive of them? Wherefore we find. with a noise passed through the air. but by conception. "If they smell. and stored as it were in wondrous cabinets. into the deeper recesses. but cannot find by which they entered. they must as it were be collected together from their dispersion: whence the word "cogitation" is derived. to receive. "So is it. seeing they have neither colour. But the mind hath appropriated to itself this word (cogitation). facio and factito. without images." The touch says. let them say if they can. "If those images were coloured. For the eyes say." The ears say. The memory containeth also reasons and laws innumerable of numbers and dimensions. that they may be known. even before I learned them. For cogo (collect) and cogito (re-collect) have the same relation to each other as ago and agito. and approving them for true. and that those sounds. in the mind. they passed by us. "Unless they have a savour. and glide back. nor . so that. "Whether the thing be? what it is? of what kind it is? I do indeed hold the images of the sounds of which those words be composed. that is to say. For those things are not transmitted into the memory. yet in my memory have I laid up not their images. if I handled it not. nor ever discerned them otherwise than in my mind." unless that they were already in the memory. Which how they entered into me.. but so thrown back and buried as it were in deeper recesses. and thence wonderfully by the act of remembering. but perceive within by themselves. placed as it were at hand. they are again so buried. but their images only are with an admirable swiftness caught up. And how many things of this kind does my memory bear which have been already found out. that they must again. and said. but what is "recollected. I never reached with any sense of my body. Where then? or wherefore. none of which hath any bodily sense impressed. is properly said to be cogitated. but recognised them in mine. we gave knowledge of them. "If it have not size. for I have gone over all the avenues of my flesh. and as I said. ask me not. brought together. I handled it not.

" calling the memory itself the mind). out of my memory I bring it. when it feels them. whosoever without any conception whatsoever of a body. I have perceived also the numbers of the things with which we number all the senses of my body. nor touch. for mind is one thing. Let him who seeth them not. and what I now discern and understand. the very finest. like sweet and bitter food. But now seeing this very memory itself is mind (for when we give a thing in charge. "See that you keep it in mind". nor any other language. behold. yet the memory upon the sadness which is in it. and when we forget. and by defining it. when by calling . but those are still different. nor are they the images of these. are as it were passed into the belly. it is not so wonderful. and I remember also that I have discerned betwixt those truths and these falsehoods objected to them. when I say there be four perturbations of the mind. and without desire call to mind a past desire. If I therefore with joy remember some past pain of body. and joy and sadness. we say. joy. "It did not come to my mind. nor taste. But. that I have now been able to remember these things. which though they be false. by dividing each into its subordinate species. joy. how is it that when with joy I remember my past sorrow. I have seen the lines of architects. nor Latin. they are not the images of those lines which the eye of flesh showed me: he knoweth them. And that I once feared. and thence do I bring it: yet am I not disturbed by any of these perturbations. yet is it not false that I remember them. but cannot taste. while he derides me. where they may be stowed. is not sad? Does the memory perchance not belong to the mind? Who will say so? The memory then is. the belly of the mind. body another. and I will pity him. the memory hath sorrow. and without sorrow do I recollect my past sorrow. Sometimes. and how I learnt them I remember. I both remember then to have often understood these things. And I perceive that the present discerning of these things is different from remembering that I oftentimes discerned them. but the things are neither Greek. to be kept in memory. this being so. that hereafter I may remember that I understand it now. in my memory find I what to say. For the sounds are other in Greek than in Latin. and therefore they indeed are. "It slipped out of my mind. the mind upon the joyfulness which is in it. So then I remember also to have remembered. when committed to the memory. fear. which. as it were. and with sorrow. deride me for saying these things. as to the body. The same memory contains also the affections of my mind. sorrow. recognises them within himself. and yet are they not utterly unlike.sound. as if hereafter I shall call to remembrance. by the force of memory shall I call it to remembrance. on the contrary. desire. like a spider's thread." and. I review without fear. I lay up in my memory. and remember. not in the same manner that my mind itself contains them. we say. For without rejoicing I remember myself to have joyed. and whatsoever I can dispute thereon. but those numbers wherewith we number are different. All these things I remember. Ridiculous it is to imagine these to be alike. I have heard the sound of the words whereby when discussed they are denoted: but the sounds are other than the things. according to a power of its own. with joy do I remember my fore-past sorrow. Which is not wonderful. nor smell. Many things also most falsely objected against them have I heard. but far otherwise. is joyful. when I often thought upon them. the mind hath joy.

For I recall not the image of its image. I name numbers whereby we number. recognise what were spoken. And where do I recognise it. then. committed to the memory. It is I myself . without being committed unto it. yet. but notions of the very things themselves which we never received by any avenue of the body. through itself. But whether by images or no. when health were named. or measuring the distances of the stars. but the image itself is present to me. we could never at the hearing of the name recognise the thing thereby signified. but to forget. but of the thing which it signifies: which if I had forgotten. Nor would the sick. nor in discoursing discern pain from pleasure. toil therein. For we are not now searching out the regions of heaven. by recollection. I name the sun. Present then it is. thus recollecting. I am become a heavy soil requiring over much sweat of the brow. if so oft as we name grief or fear. did we not find in our memory. present with itself: but when I remember forgetfulness. I. because not in all respects like? For who would willingly speak thereof. and being so. I should not know what to say thereof.them to mind. memory whereby I remember. did I not remember it? I speak not of the sound of the name. when I name forgetfulness. I could not recognise what that sound signifies. yea. they were there. then forgetfulness is retained by memory. I name bodily health. and that image is present in my memory. I name memory. as meat is by chewing the cud brought up out of the belly. calling it to mind. and therefore could they. that we forget not. but their images to my memory. and I recognise what I name. Why then does not the disputer. I name the image of the sun. yet it is not present with me. but the privation of memory? How then is it present that I remember it. Who now shall search out this? who shall comprehend how it is? Lord. who can readily say? Thus. or the memory of itself retained. I could by no means recall what the sound of this name should signify. but themselves are present in my memory. truly. we should be compelled to be sad or fearful? And yet could we not speak of them. so by recollection these out of the memory. taste in the mouth of his musing the sweetness of joy. unless its image also were present in my memory. memory itself is. since when present I cannot remember? But if what we remember we hold it in memory. but which the mind itself perceiving by the experience of its own passions. it would not cause us to remember. unless we did remember forgetfulness. the things themselves not being present to my senses. not only the sounds of the names according to the images impressed by the senses of the body. forgetfulness which I remember. I remember them. But what is forgetfulness. when nothing aches: yet unless its image were present to my memory. When then I remember memory. or enquiring the balancings of the earth. but in the memory itself? Is it also present to itself by its image. and withal recognise what I name? whence should I recognise it. I name a stone. yet. and before I recalled and brought them back. Perchance. is not present to the memory by itself but by its image: because if it were present by itself. I name a bodily pain. there are present both memory and forgetfulness. yea and toil in myself. being sound in body. thence be brought. It is to be understood from this that forgetfulness when we remember it. unless the same image were by the force of memory retained. and not their images. and not by itself? What. the thing itself is present with me. we forget. or the bitterness of sorrow? Is the comparison unlike in this. although the thing itself were absent from the body.

or by certain notions or impressions. which I remember? or shall I say that forgetfulness is for this purpose in my memory. Thou truly good and certain sweetness? And where shall I find Thee? If I find Thee without my memory. my memory received from them images. even when the mind doth not feel. not forgetfulness itself. whence that image may be impressed? For thus do I remember Carthage. if I remember Thee not? For the woman that had lost her groat. she had never found it. seeing that when the image of any thing is impressed on the memory. not through itself. that I may approach unto Thee. as far as I can. If then this forgetfulness is retained in the memory through its image. so great the force of life. whence should she know . as all bodies. and things reported by the other senses. then plainly itself was once present. What am I then. and where shall I find Thee. when it is clear to me that I remember forgetfulness? Shall I say that that is not in my memory. I will pass beyond it. nor many other things they are used unto: nor indeed could they be used to any thing. O sweet Light. or by actual presence. seeing that forgetfulness by its presence effaces even what it finds already noted? And yet. a fearful thing. and there is no end. I will pass then beyond memory also. I fly. But when it was present. yet certain am I that I remember forgetfulness itself also. Yea. else could they not return to their dens and nests. What shall I do then. as the affections of the mind. as the arts. how did it write its image in the memory. when I remembered them in their absence. a deep and boundless manifoldness. thus all places where I have been. unless she had remembered it. which being present with me. O my God? What nature am I? A life various and manifold. then do I not retain Thee in my memory. that I may arrive at Him who hath separated me from the four-footed beasts and made me wiser than the fowls of the air. For when it was found. whereby what we remember is effaced. thus the health or sickness of the body. that I might not forget? Both were most absurd. For when these things were present. and this am I myself. I dive on this side and on that. Behold in the plains. either through images. What sayest Thou to me? See. whence Thou mayest be arrived at. I now will pass beyond this power of mine which is called memory. What third way is there? How can I say that the image of forgetfulness is retained by my memory. in whatever way. O my God. whence one may cleave unto Thee. and caves. and this thing is the mind. For what shall I say. be far from me. and sought it with a light. though I cannot so much as name myself without it. which. And how shall I find Thee. thus men's faces whom I have seen. that its image might be taken. when I remember it? How could I say this either. So great is the force of memory. Great is the power of memory. innumerable and innumerably full of innumerable kinds of things.who remember. the thing itself must needs be first present. I might look on and bring back in my mind. I am mounting up through my mind towards Thee who abidest above me.over all these do I run. O Thou my true life. For even beasts and birds have memory. the force of mine own memory is not understood by me. I will pass beyond memory also. desirous to arrive at Thee. if what I myself am not. even in the mortal life of man. and to cleave unto Thee. and caverns of my memory. the memory retaineth. and exceeding immense. It is not so wonderful. but by memory. my God? I will pass even beyond this power of mine which is called memory: yea. although that way be past conceiving and explaining. I the mind. while yet whatsoever is in the memory is also in the mind. But what is nearer to me than myself? And to.

and my soul by Thee." until that were offered me which I sought. which if it . and maimed. Notwithstanding. Yet even these. Or. unless she remembered it? I remember to have sought and found many a thing. and when it is found. in hope. Which had I not remembered (whatever it were) though it were offered me. and there are. because it was not wont to be thought upon together with him. But this was lost to the eyes. But what when the memory itself loses any thing. as falls out when we forget and seek that we may recollect? Where in the end do we search. For we do not believe it as something new. and so have it by some sort of knowledge. yet are they better off than such as are happy neither in deed nor in hope. even when reminded. remembering that I had forgotten it? Or. unless we remember it. we cannot even seek after. I know not how. demanded the restoration of what it missed? For instance. whereon the knowledge reposes equably as its wonted object. that when I was seeking any of them. wherein when one hath it. that they so will it? where seen it. and no one altogether wills it not? where have they known it. I seek a happy life. because I could not recognise it. but by the part whereof we had hold. my God. O Lord? For when I seek Thee. And so it ever is. upon recollection. How then do I seek a happy life. we reject it. yet should I not find it. then is he happy. yet its image is still retained within. where I ought to say it. connects itself not therewith. as not even to remember that I had forgotten it? is not a happy life what all will. when any thing is by chance lost from the sight. "Is this it?" "Is that it?" so long said I "No. and having forgotten his name. allow what was named to be right. and therefore is rejected. it is thence it comes. They have known it then. who are blessed. on being reminded by another. For my body liveth by my soul. we say. as it were. These have it in a lower kind. until that present itself. "This is it". what. until I can say. How then do I seek Thee. whatever else occurs. how. had they it not in some sort. if we see or think of some one known to us.whether it were the same. than they who have it in very deed. if one thing be perchance offered instead of another. until what we seek meets us. but in the memory itself? and there. we should not remember it. is most certain. which we remember ourselves to have forgotten. try to recover it. unless we recognise it. not from the memory (as any visible body). though lost. and am perplexed whether it be in the memory. either never having known. but out of the memory itself? for even when we recognise it. nor recognise it unless we remembered it. seeing I have it not. was the lost part sought for. as though I had forgotten it. which we should not unless we recognised it. or so forgotten it. I will seek Thee. that they so love it? Truly we have it. Yea. desiring to learn it as a thing unknown. it is recognised by the image which is within: nor do we say that we have found what was lost. and was asked. but. by the curtailment of its ancient habit. I know not. and when it doth. Certainly then we had forgotten it. and this I thereby know. I know not. there is another way. And whence does that present itself. What then we have utterly forgotten. in that the memory felt that it did not carry on together all which it was wont. nor can we recognise it. and it is sought until it be restored to sight. would not so will to be happy. but retained in the memory. But were it utterly blotted out of the mind. which that they do will. For we have not as yet utterly forgotten that. had not the whole escaped us. "It is enough"? How seek I it? By remembrance. that my soul may live. when we seek and find any lost thing.

when I rejoiced. and this joy they call a happy life? Although then one obtains this joy by one means. some call to mind the thing. at others with longing. We hear the name. and the knowledge of it clave to my memory. that he would not. which. and recognised whenever the name of a happy life is mentioned. whence it appears that it is in their knowledge. As we remember eloquence then? No. in whom also we all died. for they with one voice be asked. all have one end." And this could not be. so that I can recall it with disgust sometimes. I detest and execrate. smell. and yet still desire to attain it. or some few besides. and long for it? Nor is it I alone. and love. both would instantly without any doubting say they would. As we remember numbers then? No. and from whom we are all born with misery. then we have been happy once. hear. yet these have by their bodily senses observed others to be eloquent. whether the happy life be in the memory? For neither should we love it. one. we do by no bodily sense experience in others. for my joy I remember. but if they were asked whether they would be happy. and for no other reason would the one go to the wars. seeks not further to attain unto. but we all would fain be happy. Known therefore it is to all. otherwhiles in good and honest things. and therefore with sadness I recall former joy. For although upon hearing this name also.be. and the other not. "would they be happy?" they would answer without doubt. because it is not a body. but only. which they strive to attain. I now enquire not. according to the nature of the things. for we are not delighted with the mere sound. nor did I ever with bodily sense see. long for so earnestly. unless by some certain knowledge we knew. another by another. as one remembers Carthage who hath seen it? No. and men of all other tongues. although perchance no longer present. and we all confess that we desire the thing. did we not know it. not knowing what is spoken. But is it so. taste. that if two men be asked whether they would go to the wars. he that hath in his knowledge. namely. joy. Which being a thing which all must say they have experienced. "they would. as they would (if they were asked) that they wished to have joy. or touch my joy. and been delighted. all agree in their desire of being happy. which Greeks and Latins. would answer that he would. another in that. perchance. Where then and when did I experience my happy life. and many who desire to be so. because the thing itself is neither Greek nor Latin. the other. we should not with so certain a will desire. whether all severally. but I experienced it in my mind. it is therefore found in the memory. as a happy life. nor wish to be the like. . and desire to be the like (though indeed they would not be delighted but for some inward knowledge thereof. he is not delighted. who still are not yet eloquent. but to be happy. whereas a happy life. that I should remember. For a happy life is not seen with the eye. unless the thing itself whereof it is the name were retained in their memory. when unhappy. unless they were thus delighted). even when sad. or in that man who first sinned. but a happy life we have in our knowledge. if he heard it in Greek. But how is this. For these. Is it perchance that as one looks for his joy in this thing. that we may be happy. as would he too. For even from foul things have I been immersed in a sort of joy. which now recalling. but we Latins are delighted. As then we remember joy? Perchance. wherein I remember myself to have joyed. and therefore love it. which I recall with longing. For when a Greek hears it in Latin.

would not be convinced that they are so? Therefore do they hate the truth for that thing's sake which they loved instead of the truth. inasmuch as they who wish not to joy in Thee. but the Truth is hid from it. O God my light. let them walk. were there not some notice of it in their memory. Where then did they know this happy life. far be it. wish to be hidden. For since I learnt Thee. This is the happy life which all desire." for a happy life is joy in the truth: for this is a joying in Thee. Happy then will it be.Far be it. But why doth "truth generate hatred. and are content therewith. no one. that itself should not be hidden from the Truth. For there is a joy which is not given to the ungodly. she both against their will makes manifest. to rejoice to Thee. And when they love a happy life. or in falsehood? They will as little hesitate to say "in the truth. then also do they love the truth. let them walk. which is the only happy life. thus blind and sick. Why then joy they not in it? why are they not happy? because they are more strongly taken up with other things which have more power to make them miserable. but to those who love Thee for Thine own sake. it shall joy in that only Truth. do not truly desire the happy life. preaching the truth. this life which alone is happy. who would be deceived. I have not forgotten Thee. since they would not be deceived. thus. Who art the Truth. that they who love anything else would gladly have that which they love to be the truth: and because they would not be deceived. become an enemy to them? whereas a happy life is loved. See what a space I have gone over in my memory seeking Thee. when. of Thee. Yet is not their will turned away from some semblance of joy. far be it from the heart of Thy servant who here confesseth unto Thee. save where they know the truth also? For they love it also. . they fall upon that which they can." as to say "that they desire to be happy. no distraction interposing. that. be the joy what it may. which is no other than joying in the truth. for Thee. but what I have kept in memory. yea thus doth the mind of man. But the contrary is requited it. ever since I learnt Thee. It is not certain then that all wish to be happy. that they cannot do what they would. and would deceive. For they who think there is another. Yet even thus miserable. foul and ill-favoured. what they are not able to do. O Lord. and hate her when she discovers them. it had rather joy in truths than in falsehoods. but because the flesh lusteth against the Spirit. it wills not. to joy in the truth all desire. because. they do not will so strongly as would suffice to make them able? For I ask any one. Or do all men desire this. Thus. whose joy Thou Thyself art. and the Spirit against the flesh. and there is no other. For since they would not be deceived. all desire. And this is the happy life. For there is yet a little light in men. this is it. health of my countenance. which is nothing else but joying in the truth. they love her when she discovers herself unto them. had he rather joy in truth. and herself becometh not manifest unto them. that they who would not be made manifest by her." and the man of Thine. without it. my God. Nor have I found any thing concerning Thee. They love truth when she enlightens. Whence she shall so repay them. and I have not found Thee. that the darkness overtake them not. I have met with many that would deceive. but that aught should be hidden from it. unless that truth is in that kind loved. pursue some other and not the true joy. than that which they so faintly remember to make them happy. Lord. by Whom all things are true. they hate her when she reproves. I should therefore think myself happy. which yet they would not love.

Every where. as wholly full of Thee. which. And why seek I now in what place thereof Thou dwellest. Thou merciful. but Thou remainest unchangeable over all. desire. Thou liftest up. having regard to my poverty. neither wert Thou there: for as Thou art not a corporeal image. I have not forgotten. Thou flashedst. so neither art Thou the mind itself. I know not. which from Thee he heareth. deformed I. My evil sorrows strive with my good joys. Lamentable joys strive with joyous sorrows: and on which side is the victory. For in thinking on Thee. Where then did I find Thee. before I learned Thee. He is Thy best servant who looks not so much to hear that from Thee which himself willeth. and there I searched for Thee. we go backward and forward. condole. O Truth. I the sick. Thou residest in my memory. and I abroad. and I drew in breath and panted for Thee. have pity on me. and hunger and thirst. that in it Thou dwellest. as rather to will that. Since then I learnt Thee. Thou wert with me. and at once answerest all. and there do I find Thee. yet ever new! too late I loved Thee! And behold. Thou breathedst odours. forget. Woe is me! Lord. unless they were in Thee. but in Thee above me? Place there is none. All consult Thee on what they will. inasmuch as the mind remembers itself also). O Thou Beauty of ancient days. when I call Thee to remembrance. though they hear not always what they will. were not at all. since I have remembered Thee ever since I learnt Thee. but in what quarter of it Thou residest. I tasted. But now since whom Thou fillest. the Truth itself. and scatteredst my blindness. and my life shall wholly live. Woe is me! Lord. and burstest my deafness. and yet hast vouchsafed to dwell in my memory. remember. When I shall with my whole self cleave to Thee. and all these are changed. but I was not with Thee. when I call Thee to remembrance. and I burned for Thy peace. O Lord. shonest. as if there were places therein? Sure I am. Thou calledst. Thou art the Physician. because Thou art the Lord God of the mind. Thou touchedst me. And I entered into the very seat of my mind (which it hath in my memory. Is not the life of . which Thou hast given me in Thy mercy. I shall no where have sorrow or labour. Too late loved I Thee. which since I learnt. and on which side is the victory. there found I my God. because I am not full of Thee I am a burden to myself. nor the affection of a living being (as when we rejoice. fear.For where I found Truth. that I might learn Thee? For in my memory Thou wert not. though all do not clearly hear. Clearly dost Thou answer. Things held me far from Thee. and delight in Thee. Where then did I find Thee. that am I considering. But where in my memory residest Thou. for I found Thee not there among the images of corporeal things: and I came to those parts to which I committed the affections of my mind. These be my holy delights. dost Thou give audience to all who ask counsel of Thee. and shoutedst. and there is no place. nor found Thee there. where residest Thou there? what manner of lodging hast Thou framed for Thee? what manner of sanctuary hast Thou builded for Thee? Thou hast given this honour to my memory. I miserable. Thou wert within. to reside in it. that I might learn Thee. plunging amid those fair forms which Thou hadst made. though on manifold matters they ask Thy counsel. and there I find Thee. I know not. I passed beyond such parts of it as the beasts also have. or the like). since I learnt Thee. Woe is me! lo! I hide not my wounds. have pity on me.

or return from sleeping to waking! Where is reason then. is . but even at my present age. strengthless when I am awake: but in sleep. disentangled from the birdlime of concupiscence. Verily Thou enjoinest me continency from the lust of the flesh. the true cannot. Yea. not only so as to give pleasure. Am I not then myself. and lest it shatter endurance. and because adversity itself is a hard thing. unless God give it. commit those debasing corruptions. and mindful of our purpose. But there yet live in my memory (whereof I have much spoken) the images of such things as my ill custom there fixed. once and again. And since Thou gavest it. it remaineth unshaken. and what is very like reality. saith one. from the longing for prosperity. not only during life. where the life of man is not all trial? Woe to the prosperities of the world. Lord. once and again. that no man can be continent. over the pure affections even of a sleeper. and enjoin what Thou wilt. who ever burnest and never consumest! O charity. and the ambition of the world. it was done. that my soul may follow me to Thee. that. For though he rejoices that he endures. though he love to endure. upon waking we return to peace of conscience: and by this very difference discover that we did not. the very least influence. he had rather there were nothing for him to endure. and when I knew. which he loveth not for Thee. By continency verily are we bound up and brought back into One. that it rebel not against itself.man upon earth all trial? Who wishes for troubles and difficulties? Thou commandest them to be endured. For that nothing of this sort should have. and corruption of joy! Woe to the adversities of the world. Is not the life of man upon earth all trial: without any interval? And all my hope is no where but in Thy exceeding great mercy. -to work this. in my soul and in my flesh. Thou hast counselled something better than what Thou hast permitted. but not even to consent unto them. through images of sense. even before I became a dispenser of Thy Sacrament. this also was a part of wisdom to know whose gift she is. through fear of adversity. in prosperity I fear adversity. when asleep. the lust of the eyes. Is it clasped up with the eyes? is it lulled asleep with the senses of the body? And whence is it that often even in sleep we resist. so far prevails the illusion of the image. Thy gifts more and more in me. my God. O Lord my God? And yet there is so much difference betwixt myself and myself. which haunt me. but even to obtain assent. In adversity I long for prosperity. not even such as a thought would restrain. whence we were dissipated into many. so as to heal all the diseases of my soul. God Almighty. within that moment wherein I pass from waking to sleeping. even to pollution of the flesh. No man loves what he endures. and by Thy more abundant grace to quench even the impure motions of my sleep! Thou wilt increase. yield no assent to such enticements? And yet so much difference there is. and enjoin what Thou wilt. and abiding most chastely in it. Thou enjoinest continency: give me what Thou enjoinest. false visions persuade to that which when waking. O love. Thou enjoinest continency from concubinage. Art Thou not mighty. that when it happeneth otherwise. resisteth such suggestions? And should the things themselves be urged on it. and the third time. Thou enjoinest us continency. and for wedlock itself. What middle place is there betwixt these two. not to be loved. kindle me. who loves any thing with Thee. what yet we be sorry that in some way it was done in us. awake. and even in dreams not only not. which. For too little doth he love Thee. Give what Thou enjoinest.

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

in the desire of food. that no man should judge us in meat or drink. and. that Noah was permitted to eat all kind of flesh that was good for food. He confesses to have received. that to the pure. And no one ought to be secure in that life. numbering me among the weak members of His body. and He maketh intercession to Thee for my sins who hath overcome the world. let him not despise him that eateth not. he is a great one. that Thou givest. when present. The bridle of the throat then is to be held attempered between slackness and stiffness. therewith to be content. And therefore the people in the wilderness also deserved to be reproved. not the dust which we are. Take from me (saith he) the desires of the belly. my Master. O my holy God. unless experience reveal it. all things are pure. not for desiring flesh. I know how to abound. and that our King was tempted. and let not him that eateth not. Behold a soldier of the heavenly camp. locusts. But I am not such. I am not much concerned. I can do all things (saith he) through Him that strengtheneth me. that endued with an admirable abstinence. Placed then amid these temptations. When absent. but bread. With the allurements of smells. perchance I am deceived. and never touching it afterward. and that David blamed himself for desiring a draught of water. I fear not uncleanness of meat. the whole whereof is called a trial. deliver me out of all temptation.another. and. but because. I know also that Esau was deceived by lusting for lentiles. And who is he. ventures not readily to believe herself. let him make Thy Name great. knocking at my ears. judge him that eateth. and nothing to be refused. Strengthen me. because Thine eyes have seen that of Him which is imperfect. . because he whom I so loved. Give what Thou enjoinest. so that my mind making enquiry into herself of her own powers. that he which eateth. and enjoin what Thou wilt. Another have I heard begging that he might receive. yet ever ready to be without them. and when he glorieth. saying this through the in-breathing of Thy inspiration. I know. but the uncleanness of lusting. for I am a sinful man. good Father. that we are dust. but that it is evil unto the man that eateth with offence. O Lord. which is received with thanksgiving. because even what is in it is mostly hidden. These things have I learned. praise to Thee. thanks be to Thee. Thou hast taught me. and that of dust Thou hast made man. So I seem to myself. Yet do I too magnify Thy name. But remember. was of the same dust. Lord. that he who hath been capable of worse to be made better. For it is not of such nature that I can settle on cutting it off once for all. I can do all things through Christ that strengtheneth me. that Elijah was fed with flesh. not concerning flesh. that every creature of Thine is good. enlightening my heart. for I have learned in whatsoever state I am. as I could of concubinage. For that also is a mournful darkness whereby my abilities within me are hidden from me. they murmured against the Lord. I do not refuse them. that I can. Nor could he of himself do this. in the Lord he glorieth. and in Thy book shall all be written. my God. I strive daily against concupiscence in eating and drinking. and he was lost and is found. and how to suffer need. who is not some whit transported beyond the limits of necessity? whoever he is. when that is done which Thou commandest to be done. I do not miss them. whence it appeareth. was not polluted by feeding on living creatures. and. and that meat commendeth us not to God.

who made the reader of the psalm utter it with so slight inflection of voice. . behold. those brotherly and devout ears. weep with me. Yet again. who made these things. which I remember to have been often told me of Athanasius. not they. waking. in whose presence I have become a problem to myself. See now my state. and have mercy and heal me. very good indeed. Thus in these things I unawares sin. banished from my ears. from all voices. I do a little repose. and I can scarcely assign them one suitable. by some hidden correspondence wherewith they are stirred up. but that I can disengage myself when I will. Now. Bishop of Alexandria. But this contentment of the flesh. the light. I err in too great strictness. when sung with a sweet and attuned voice. it strives even to run before her. let God rather occupy it. to which the soul must not be given over to be enervated. themselves seek in my affections a place of some estimation. but with the things sung. not with the singing. in the beginning of my recovered faith. groaning earnestly. The eyes love fair and varied forms. and weep for me. as to wish the whole melody of sweet music which is used to David's Psalter. and that the several affections of our spirit. by a sweet variety. and desiring to be clothed upon with my house from heaven. the whole day. O Lord my God. yet not so as to be held thereby. that it was nearer speaking than singing. and so to conclude the temptations of the lust of the flesh. and that is my infirmity. But with the words which are their life and whereby they find admission into me. ye. as that good action ensues. and sometimes to that degree. and bright and soft colours. but afterwards am aware of it. Thou. and that mode seems to me safer. the sense not so waiting upon reason as patiently to follow her. shunning over-anxiously this very deception. that so by the delight of the ears the weaker minds may rise to the feeling of devotion. doth oft beguile me. Let not these occupy my soul. There remains the pleasure of these eyes of my flesh. sometimes in silence. For you who do not act. Thus I fluctuate between peril of pleasure and approved wholesomeness. which yet assail me. And these affect me. and then had rather not hear music. when they are sung with a clear voice and modulation most suitable. than when not. in those melodies which Thy words breathe soul into. by the holy words themselves when thus sung. but having been admitted merely for her sake. inclined the rather (though not as pronouncing an irrevocable opinion) to approve of the usage of singing in the church. For this queen of colours.may not likewise of better be made worse. feeling our minds to be more holily and fervently raised unto a flame of devotion. nor is any rest given me from them. on which to make my confessions in the hearing of the ears of Thy temple. these things touch not you. and the Church's too. At other times. Yet when it befalls me to be more moved with the voice than the words sung. only confidence. and see. I confess to have sinned penally. The delights of the ear had more firmly entangled and subdued me. but Thou didst loosen and free me. I acknowledge the great use of this institution. But Thou. have their own proper measures in the voice and singing. For at one time I seem to myself to give them more honour than is seemly. yet is He my good. hearken. whoso regulate your feelings within. and how at this time I am moved. only assured promise is Thy mercy. as there is from musical. and lead her. when I remember the tears I shed at the Psalmody of Thy Church. Our only hope.

the soul hath. have men added to tempt their own eyes withal. because I had stuck fast in them. with illumined heart. which is above our souls. mystically crossed. soothes me when engaged on other things. it is one. and not scatter it abroad upon pleasurable weariness. And so strongly doth it entwine itself. because Thy loving-kindness is before my eyes. lest my feet wherewith I walk upon Thy way be ensnared. Thou pluckest me out. "O all-creating Lord. But they who know how to praise Thee for it. do hence also sing a hymn to Thee. which Tobias saw. What innumerable toys. with an enticing and dangerous sweetness. but keep their strength for Thee. a certain vain and curious desire. And He is there. upon his grandchildren by Joseph. wherever I am through the day. because those beautiful patterns which through men's souls are conveyed into their cunning hands. it seasoneth the life of this world for her blind lovers. when I had but lightly lighted upon them. and these far exceeding all necessary and moderate use and all pious meaning. shoes. but not of using them." take it up in Thy hymns. blind through great age. who go far from Thee. not of delighting in the flesh. and laid his hands. But the framers and followers of the outward beauties derive thence the rule of judging of them. though I speak and see this. when his fleshly eyes being heavy and closed by old age. because Thou that keepest Israel shalt neither slumber nor sleep. and destroying that which themselves have been made! But I. gliding by me in varied forms. my God and my Glory. when he also. Such would I be. outwardly following what themselves make. for they are ensnared. O Thou Light. and I lift up mine invisible eyes to Thee. but by blessing to know them. in the persons of his sons shed light on the different races of the future people. though they perceive Him not. that Thou wouldest pluck my feet out of the snare. and Thou pluckest me out mercifully. and do consecrate praise to Him who consecrateth me. to bless his sons. who see and love it. To this is added another form of temptation more manifoldly dangerous. through the same senses of the body. waste and perish. it is with longing sought for. O Lord. when. This is the light. in them foresignified. and not observing it. made by divers arts and manufactures. inwardly forsaking Him by whom themselves were made. in our apparel.bathing all which we behold. wherein its slaves. not as their father by his outward eye corrected them. in pictures also and divers images. utensils and all sorts of works. while I often entangle myself in the snares on all sides laid. that if it be suddenly withdrawn. And I. veiled under the title of knowledge and learning. but as himself inwardly discerned. Or which Isaac saw. Thou ceasest not to pluck them out. otherwhiles with pain. Thou dost ever and anon pluck them out. but of making experiments . and if absent long. Or which Jacob saw. But that corporeal light whereof I spake. but Thou pluckest me out. saddeneth the mind. and are not taken up with it in their sleep. he taught his son the way of life. and himself went before with the feet of charity. never swerving. come from that Beauty. not knowingly. which my soul day and night sigheth after. that so they might not wander. these eyes closed. and all are one. entangle my steps with these outward beauties. For I am taken miserably. it was vouchsafed him. sometimes not perceiving it. For besides that concupiscence of the flesh which consisteth in the delight of all senses and pleasures. These seductions of the eyes I resist.

then by degrees we take interest therein! I go not now to the circus to see a dog coursing a hare. to see. the other senses by way of similitude take to themselves. by what artifices and suggestions doth the enemy deal with me to desire some sign! But I beseech Thee by our King. lest we offend the weak. as Thou hast given me. Even in sleep they are afraid to see it. when they make search after any knowledge. any one forced them to see it. Jerusalem. doing what Thou wilt. O Lord my God. Thou givest and wilt give me to follow Thee willingly. yet still incline . O God of my salvation. but merely to make trial of. since so many things of this kind buzz on all sides about our daily life. nor did my soul ever consult ghosts departed. see how hard it is. they flock thither. and draw me after it: not that I turn aside the body of my beast. and to turn pale. or feel how it gleams. see how it shineth. my end and intention is far different. wherein pleasure and wherein curiosity is the object of the senses. From this disease of curiosity are all those strange sights exhibited in the theatre. to see in a mangled carcase what will make you shudder? and yet if it be lying near. The seat whereof being in the appetite of knowledge. fragrant. And yet when dare I say. if with that same end of perverted knowledge magical arts be enquired by. belongeth properly to the eyes. For what pleasure hath it. and thrust out of my heart. in how many most petty and contemptible things is our curiosity daily tempted. not desired for any good end. full of snares and dangers. the theatres do not now carry me away. And so the general experience of the senses. for all these are said to be seen. or causes in me an idle interest? True. But by this may more evidently be discerned. hark how it flashes. As if when awake. savoury. or any report of its beauty drew them thither! Thus also in the other senses. and how often we give way. is called The lust of the eyes. which to know profits not. soft. but out of the lust of making trial and knowing them. melodious. For we do not say. that as any consenting thereto is far from me. but also. In this so vast wilderness. see how it tasteth. as was said. or taste how it shines. when signs and wonders are demanded of Him. and sight being the sense chiefly used for attaining knowledge. see how it soundeth.through the flesh.when dare I say that nothing of this sort engages my attention. Hence also. From Thee. For. Notwithstanding. Hence also in religion itself. the contrary as well. to whom I owe humble and single-hearted service. or smell how it glows. that coursing peradventure will distract me even from some weighty thought. see how it smelleth. for trial's sake. and wherein men desire nothing but to know. it is in Divine language called The lust of the eyes. so may it ever be further and further. but in the field. for pleasure seeketh objects beautiful. But when I pray Thee for the salvation of any. but curiosity. all sacrilegious mysteries I detest. yet we use this word of the other senses also. to be made sad. and by our pure and holy country. Hence men go on to search out the hidden powers of nature (which is besides our end). if passing. which the eyes alone can perceive. because the office of seeing. wherein the eyes hold the prerogative. And yet we say not only. not for the sake of suffering annoyance. behold many of them I have cut off. when we employ them in seeking knowledge. which it were long to go through. nor care I to know the courses of the stars. is God tempted. who can recount? How often do we begin as if we were tolerating people telling vain stories.

who hast no lord. another not to fall. but in the bonds of punishment: who purposed to set his throne in the north. but. well-done". Because now certain offices of human society make it necessary to be loved and feared of men. and set it in the deceivingness of men. and tame my neck to Thy yoke. oft-times takes my attention? Is the thing different. O Lord. What. . that dark and chilled they might serve him. and my one hope is Thy wonderful great mercy. and let us fly under them. It is one thing to rise quickly. O Lord. hath this third kind of temptation also ceased from me. nor he blessed who doth ungodlily. Thou thunderest down upon the ambitions of the world. and givest grace to the humble: yea. we may be taken unawares. because so hast Thou promised. or can it cease through this whole life? To wish. he also is praised. the adversary of our true blessedness layeth hard at us. and redeem life from corruption. who first healedst me of the lust of vindicating myself. and verily so it was. because they are but small creatures? I go on from them to praise Thee the wonderful Creator and Orderer of all. he may have them for his own. and crown me with mercy and pity. and whilst in Thy presence we direct the voice of our heart to Thine ears. that so Thou mightest forgive all the rest of my iniquities. and he rejoices more at the praise for himself than that he hath the gift for which he is praised. behold we are Thy little flock. when I feared to take it. And unless Thou. nor delivered when Thou condemnest. and sever our joy from Thy truth. when sitting at home. But. and hast made it. but this does not first draw my attention. possess us as Thine. this so great concern is broken off by the rushing in of I know not what idle thoughts. a lizard catching flies. Who would be praised of men when Thou blamest. every where spreading his snares of "well-done. then are our prayers also thereby often interrupted and distracted. and satisfy my desire with good things: who didst curb my pride with Thy fear. And of such things is my life full. Shall we then account this also among things of slight concernment. stretch Thy wings over us.my mind thither. But when. having made me see my infirmity didst speedily admonish me either through the sight itself by some contemplation to rise towards Thee. and the foundations of the mountains tremble. For when our heart becomes the receptacle of such things. Thou alone Lord without pride. since Thou hast begun to change us? And Thou knowest how far Thou hast already changed me. not for Thy sake. but in Thy stead: and thus having been made like him. or shall aught bring us back to hope. or a spider entangling them rushing into her nets. pervertedly and crookedly imitating Thee. and be pleased at being loved and feared. and Thy word feared in us. for no other end. while Thou dispraisest. namely. or altogether to despise and pass it by. And therefore dost Thou resist the proud.not the sinner is praised in the desires of his soul. and I knew it not.a man is praised for some gift which Thou hast given him. and heal all my infirmities. to be feared and loved of men. because Thou art the only true Lord. will not be defended of men when Thou judgest. but that we may have a joy therein which is no joy? A miserable life this and a foul boastfulness! Hence especially it comes that men do neither purely love nor fear Thee. that greedily catching at them. And now I bear it and it is light unto me. save Thy complete mercy. not in the bands of charity. let us be loved for Thee. But we. and is overcharged with throngs of this abundant vanity. I dully stand fixed therein. Be Thou our glory.

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

taking some things upon the report of my senses. being able to discern nothing of these things without Thee. on the very ground that it is reproved. which my body hath from me. within is another evil. they much displease Thee. O Lord. and so it is no longer contempt of vainglory. that my power whereby I did it. i. before me? Know I not this also? or is it at last that I deceive myself. what they were.. to establish a certain excellency of our own. this delights me. but in Thy good things. when I referred to Thee what I could discover here below. and what to desire. why am I less moved if another be unjustly dispraised than if it be myself? Why am I more stung by reproach cast upon myself. who went over them all. If in my praise I am moved with the good of my neighbour. solicits and collects men's suffrages. yet as though for their own merits. Within also. on to that peace which the eye of the proud knoweth not. numbering and distinguishing the reporters themselves. those manifold and spacious chambers. than at that cast upon another. neither was it Thou. and consulted Thee? With my outward senses. storing up others. whether they were. but envying that grace to others. Yet the word which cometh out of the mouth. Thence entered I the recesses of my memory. and I heard Thee directing and commanding me. and stood aghast. or even if as Thine. or displease or care not to please others. yet best. that I may confess unto my brethren. though they please not. than not inflicted by me. Thou seest the trembling of my heart. pleasing themselves in themselves. Where hast Thou not walked with me. for Thou art the abiding light. In all these and the like perils and travails. not only taking pleasure in things not good. with the same injustice. even when it is reproved by myself in myself. who are to pray for me. in my . O Truth. But pleasing themselves. and laboured to distinguish and to value every thing according to its dignity. arising out of a like temptation. whereby men become vain. It tempts. as if good. bring with them a most dangerous temptation through the love of praise: which. and nothing of me depart from Thee. Nor yet was I myself when I did this. very unusual. unto this pleasure have I recourse. and as far as I may be freed from necessary duties. drawing out others. and this I often do. Nor in all these which I run over consulting Thee can I find any safe place for my soul. and these my senses. who found out these things. wherein I find myself maimed. Let me examine myself again more diligently. which I consulted concerning all these. for it doth not contemn when it glorieth. and in the large treasure-house of my memory revolving some things. and do not the truth before Thee in my heart and tongue? This madness put far from me. And sometimes Thou admittest me to an affection. whereof it glories. Nor was I myself. whither my scattered members may be gathered. as though their own. wonderfully furnished with innumerable stores. and I rather feel my wounds to be cured by Thee. teaching me what to beware. or even if as though from Thy grace. and deeds known to men. and I considered. but in Thee. and seek Thy mercy. and observed the life. while in hidden groanings I displease myself. and often glories more vainly of the very contempt of vain-glory. yet not with brotherly rejoicing.myself also. as I might. lest mine own mouth be to me the sinner's oil to make fat my head. I am poor and needy. until what is lacking in my defective state be renewed and perfected. I surveyed the world.e. and finding none of them to be Thee. questioning about others which I felt to be mingled with myself. and how to be valued.

and so by the agreement of their heart. and have called Thy right hand to my help. That deceitful mediator then. mortal with men. this hath he in common with men. I know not what in it would not belong to the life to come. For as Man. by whom. and together one God. might be saved. too unlike man: and so not be a mediator. So then I lost Thee. and of themselves unable. which He willed to have in common with them. as I hear. tried this. because Thou vouchsafest not to be possessed with a lie. and not being clothed with the mortality of flesh. So much doth the burden of a bad custom weigh us down. For the devil it was. Lord. he should he far from God: or if in both like God. the Man Christ Jesus. For with a wounded heart have I beheld Thy brightness. but cannot. something like to men. transforming himself into an Angel of light. drew unto themselves the princes of the air. but am greatly held. another he would seem to have in common with God. But a mediator between God and man must have something like to God. He was a Mediator. not in the middle between God and man. as we through faith of it passed. they were deceived. and greatly weep. that by His example also they might learn that same humility. Thus then have I considered the sicknesses of my sins in that threefold concupiscence. that Mediator between God and man. and am swept back by former custom. art immortal. and God with God. Whom in Thy secret mercy Thou hast showed to the humble. to whom they proudly sought to be reconciled. But through my miserable encumbrances I sink down again into these lower things. miserable. and am held. but thou. both ways. rising to a strange sweetness. but I through my covetousness would not indeed forego Thee. being high minded. through magical influences. swelling out rather than smiting upon their breasts. and there was none. . and stricken back I said. which if it were perfected in me. have. Whom could I find to reconcile me to Thee? was I to have recourse to Angels? by what prayers? by what sacraments? Many endeavouring to return unto Thee. and been accounted worthy to be deluded. just with God: that because the wages of righteousness is life and peace. and sinners. as no man would in such wise speak falsely. through faith in His Passion to come. seeking a mediator. and sentest. sought Thee by the pride of learning. and without sin. "Who can attain thither? I am cast away from the sight of Thine eyes. appeared betwixt mortal sinners and the immortal just One. by whom they might be purged. hath one thing in common with man. because equal to God. but would not. that he had no body of flesh. For they were mortal. that so they. For they. the fellow-conspirators of their pride. as himself to be ignorant of the truth.inmost soul. now made righteous. But since the wages of sin is death. there I would. but as the Word. by whom in Thy secret judgments pride deserved to be deluded. lest being in both like to man. But the true Mediator. and fallen into the desire of curious visions. And it much enticed proud flesh. would vaunt himself to be immortal. Here I can stay. that is sin. Hence He was showed forth to holy men of old. He might by a righteousness conjoined with God make void that death of sinners." Thou art the Truth who presidest over all. but would with Thee possess a lie. that with them he should be condemned to death.

For Thou art good. Your Father knoweth what you have need of. Let not the proud speak evil of me. and hungering and athirst after righteousness. and communicate it. that they which live may now no longer live unto themselves. that we may cease to be wretched in ourselves. for love of Thy love do I this. and consider wondrous things out of Thy law. I have said already. else should I despair. and great. and peace-makers. teach me. and again will say. and comforts. making us to Thee. but Thy medicine is mightier. We might imagine that Thy Word was far from any union with man. that Thou wilt heal all my infirmities. and power to take it again: for us to Thee both Victor and Victim. because the Victim. for Thy mercy endureth for ever. whereby Thou broughtest me to preach Thy . Affrighted with my sins and the burden of my misery. and Thy mercies upon us. Therefore Christ died for all. what passeth in time? Why then do I lay in order before Thee so many relations? Not. amongst those that eat and are satisfied. to become poor in spirit. I had cast in my heart. and pure in heart. because I meditate on my ransom. as I could and as I would. but deliveredst Him up for us ungodly! How hast Thou loved us. Thou knowest my unskilfulness. and heal me. For many and great are my infirmities. but to stir up mine own and my readers' devotions towards Thee. and meek. of a truth. having power to lay down His life. hath redeemed me with His blood. and therefore Victor. and strengthenedst me.How hast Thou loved us. and yet Truth hath said. Thine only Son. that we may all say. art Thou ignorant of what I say to Thee? or dost Thou see in time. and poor. and merciful. was made subject even to the death of the cross. confessing our own miseries. It is then our affections which we lay open unto Thee. since Thou hast begun. and despair of ourselves. since eternity is Thine. but unto Him that died for them. before you ask. For we pray also. good Father. But how shall I suffice with the tongue of my pen to utter all Thy exhortations. sons by being born of Thee. because Thou first wouldest that I should confess unto Thee. and serving us. and all Thy terrors. that Thou mightest learn them through me. seeing Thou hast called us. and eat and drink. Well then is my hope strong in Him. and be blessed in Thee. saying. unless He had been made flesh and dwelt among us. many they are. free among the dead. He. and mourners. for whom He that thought it no robbery to be equal with Thee. who sparedst not Thine only Son. BOOK XI Lord. and therefore Priest because the Sacrifice. in Whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. that Thou mayest free us wholly. I cast my care upon Thee. my Lord God. Great is the Lord. See. See. I have told Thee many things. and they shall praise the Lord who seek Him. by Him Who sitteth at Thy right hand and maketh intercession for us. for us to Thee Priest and Sacrifice. Lord. He alone. desired to be satisfied from Him. that I may live. of servants. and had purposed to flee to the wilderness: but Thou forbadest me. and my infirmities. and greatly to be praised. and guidances.

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

passed hence from Thee to Thee. Thou the apprehension whereby to take in his art. but because Thou art? Therefore Thou spokest. nor in the earth. Thou therefore. that it might be. for they are beautiful. that they made not themselves. Thou the sense of his body. All these praise Thee. should I know it from him? Truly within me. and see within what he doth without. which can in some way invest with such a form." Moses wrote this. Thee. and they were made. as by an interpreter. who art good. O God. or gold. forming one body from another. and this it is. whether he spake truth? Yea. I should know what he said. thanks be to Thee. wrote and departed. "It is truth. Thee. Behold. give to me also to understand them. nor barbarian. nor are they. hath nothing in it. compared with Whom. and would lay the ears of my body to the sounds bursting out of his mouth. And should he speak Hebrew. unless Thou hadst made that mind? and he invests with a form what already existeth. or wood. Whereas whatsoever hath not been made. hadst not Thou appointed them? Thou madest the artificer his body. nor good. But how dost Thou make them? how. as Thou their Creator art. and beseech him by Thee to open these things unto me. so as to make ourselves. and yet is. Thou the mind commanding the limbs. Lord. who art. didst Thou make heaven and earth? Verily. yet are they not beautiful nor good. nor Latin. would say. and report to his mind what is done. that it within may consult the truth. as it seeth in itself by its inward eye.I would hear and understand. to change and vary. nor are. convey that which he doth. which before it had not. in the chamber of my thoughts. for they change and vary. Nor didst Thou hold any thing in Thy hand. who art beautiful." Now the evidence of the thing. which presideth over itself. before we were. But how didst Thou make the heaven and the earth? and what the engine of Thy so mighty fabric? For it was not as a human artificer. or waters. Thou the matter whereof he makes any thing. but if Latin. they proclaim that they were created. or the like. within. who gavest him Thy servant to speak these things. madest them. without organs of voice or tongue. didst Thou make heaven and earth. which Thou hadst not made. O Truth." and I forthwith should say confidently to that man of Thine. And our knowledge. nor in the whole world didst Thou make the whole world. before it was made. the heavens and the earth are. for they are good. nor Greek. whereof to make heaven and earth. and hath a being. whereby. and in Thy Word Thou madest them. neither in the heaven. neither Hebrew. as clay. nor in the air. thereof to make any thing? For what is. is ignorance. because we have been made. they are neither beautiful. I beseech. For whence shouldest Thou have this. I would hold him and ask him. and Thou. And whence should he be able to do this. according to the discretion of his mind. For if he were. compared with Thy knowledge. "thou sayest truly. Thee I beseech. . This we know. nor would aught of it touch my mind. because there was no place where to make it. in vain will it strike on my senses. he may from mind to matter. and if I knew this also. or sound of syllables. And whence should they be. we were not therefore. nor is he now before me." Whereas then I cannot enquire of him. for they are. full of Whom he spake truth. forgive my sins. is the voice of the speakers. seeing these also belong to the heaven and the earth. or stone. They proclaim also. how "In the Beginning Thou madest the heaven and earth. Truth. the Creator of all. "therefore we are. my God. whether it be well done or no. But whence should I know.

hear I Thy voice speaking unto me. and yet are not all things made together. because It is truly immortal and eternal. I beseech Thee. Else have we time and change. And therefore unto the Word coeternal with Thee Thou dost at once and eternally say all that Thou dost say. the third after the second. to us He speaketh not. but He that teacheth us not. Lord. Which is spoken eternally. it could not be at all. and said "It is different. Why. and leaves off then. and rejoice greatly because of the Bridegroom's voice. which was not. began and ended. that it ought to begin or leave off. and not a true eternity nor true immortality. or everlasting. unless it be. and so forth in order. For whatsoever that were. and silence after the last. by whose motions in time that voice might take his course in time." If then in sounding and passing words Thou saidst that heaven and earth should be made. be whither to . nor dost Thou make. we are but led to the unchangeable Truth." Thus in the Gospel He speaketh through the flesh. whereof such a voice were made. Let the heaven and the earth be made. But there was nought corporeal before heaven and earth. Nothing then of Thy Word doth give place or replace. By what Word then didst Thou speak. This is Thy Word. O Lord. which is also "the Beginning. And therefore the Beginning. one thing concluded that the next might be spoken. without such a passing voice. but all things together and eternally. God. and so madest heaven and earth. the outward ear reported to the intelligent soul. or if there were. created for a time. unless by Thee it were made. and with me there knows and blesses Thee. with Thee God. with that Thy Eternal Word in silence. and give thanks. And these Thy words. when we went astray. so far forth it dieth and ariseth. I know not. there was a corporeal creature before heaven and earth. but how to express it. but the unchangeable Truth? for even when we are admonished through a changeable creature. and this sounded outwardly in the ears of men. whoso is not unthankful to assure Truth. by which to say. where the good and only Master teacheth all His disciples. that a body might be made. in which Reason nothing beginneth or leaveth off. created that. though He speaketh. surely Thou hadst. We know. that whatsoever begins to be. whereby these words again might be made? Thou callest us then to understand the Word. which Thou makest by saying. until the last after the rest. But she compared these words sounding in time. I know. This is my beloved Son? For that voice passed by and passed away. who teacheth us. there should not. serving Thy eternal will. and is. Lord. the second after the first. O my God. and by It are all things spoken eternally. and found in the eternal Verity.But how didst Thou speak? In the way that the voice came out of the cloud. because they flee and pass away. because He speaketh us. saying. from Whom we are. There. since inasmuch as anything is not which was. we know. that it might be believed and sought inwardly. Whence it is abundantly clear and plain that the motion of a creature expressed it. otherwise than by saying. while we stand and hear Him. O Lord my God? I see it in a way. I confess to Thee. when in Thy eternal Reason it is known. whereof to make this passing voice. and whatever Thou sayest shall be made is made. far different. begins then. where we learn truly. Who now teacheth us. whose inward ear lay listening to Thy Eternal Word. This I know. nor are they. and leaves off to be. For what was spoken was not spoken successively. because also It speaketh unto us. These words are far beneath me. itself temporal. the syllables sounded and passed away. because unless It abided. but the Word of my Lord abideth above me for ever. restoring us to Him.

and speaking unto us. hear Thee inwardly discoursing out of Thy oracle: I will boldly cry out. as He did heretofore? For did any new motion arise in God. How wonderful are Thy works. and in that Beginning didst Thou make heaven and earth. I kindle. Who shall hold it. in Thy Word. inasmuch as I am like it. and awhile catch the glory of that everfixed Eternity. in Thy Son. In this Beginning. For Thou shalt also redeem my life from corruption. and all past and to come. and flows out of that which is ever present? Who shall hold the heart of man. whereas no time is all at once present: and that all time past. and this Wisdom is the Beginning. and strikes my heart without hurting it. Let him that is able. which before was not. and that we may know. it is through knowing. whilst their heart fluttereth between the motions of things past and to come. And if aught have arisen in God's Substance. that it may stand still. but that in the Eternal nothing passeth. who say to us. and all to come followeth upon the past. and I shudder and kindle? I shudder. and is still unstable. is driven on by time to come. seeing nothing could be created. and in Thee are made: yet they strive to comprehend things eternal. "What was God doing before He made heaven and earth? For if (say they) He were unemployed and wrought not. are they not full of their old leaven. inasmuch as I unlike it. Who shall comprehend? Who declare it? What is that which gleams through me. in Thy Truth. how then would that be a true eternity. and shalt satisfy my desire with good things. which cannot be prolonged altogether. but out of many motions passing by. But if the will of God has been from eternity that the creature should be. and fix it. why does He not also henceforth. and compare it with the times which are never fixed. which was not? For the will of God is not a creature. is created. fainting from it. and that a long time cannot become long. O God. and for ever. unless the will of the Creator had preceded. but the whole is present. wondrously speaking. uttereth the times past and to come? Can my hand do this. understand not yet how the things be made. But when we return from error. Wisdom's self which gleameth through me. do not yet understand Thee. till Thou. where there ariseth a will. because He is the Beginning. The will of God then belongeth to His very Substance. O Lord. severing my cloudiness which yet again mantles over me. in Wisdom hast Thou made them all. or the hand of my mouth by speech bring about a thing so great? . and wondrously making. but before the creature. neither past nor to come. hast Thou made heaven and earth. Who hast been gracious to all mine iniquities. and crown me with loving kindness and tender mercies. Lord. shalt heal all my infirmities. that it be settled awhile. Lo. so that I cannot support my blessings. and see that it cannot be compared.return. and a new will to make a creature. Light of souls. why was not the creature also from eternity?" Who speak thus. O Wisdom of God. in Thy Power. that Substance cannot be truly called eternal. and see how eternity ever still-standing. He teacheth us. For my strength is brought down in need. wherefore we through patience wait for Thy promises. which He had never before made. in Thy Wisdom. It is Wisdom. which by Thee. through the darkness which for my punishment gathers upon me. because my youth shall be renewed like an eagle's. For in hope we are saved.

another to make sport of enquirers. But I say that Thou. And no times are coeternal with Thee." what I know not. but if they abode. Thy To-day. art the Creator of every creature: and if by the name "heaven and earth. So I answer not. because they do stand. they shall be past. for neither doth it replace yesterday. past and to come. and before all times Thou art: neither in any time was time not. therefore didst Thou beget The Coeternal. But if any excursive brain rove over the images of forepassed times. and if nothing were coming. but Thou art the Same. and surpassest all future because they are future. because time itself Thou madest. "He was preparing hell (saith he) for pryers into mysteries. Thou hast made all things. if any time was before Thou madest heaven and earth. What then is time? If no one asks me. as I know. that no creature was made. so as to utter a word about it? But what in discourse do we mention more familiarly and knowingly. time past were not.See. and Thy years fail not. what did He make but a creature? And would I knew whatsoever I desire to know to my profit. and that to come is not . He did not make any thing. by the sublimity of an ever-present eternity. that he wonders at false conceits. whereas ours both come and go. a time to come were not. they should not be times. I know not: yet I say boldly that I know. is Eternity. precede time: else shouldest Thou not precede all times. our God. But Thou precedest all things past. what Thou then didst? For there was no "then. why say they that Thou didst forego working? For that very time didst Thou make. we understand also. didst for innumerable ages forbear from so great a work. and if nothing were. when we speak of it. nor could times pass by. which were not made by Thee? or how should they pass by. For whence could innumerable ages pass by. At no time then hadst Thou not made any thing. which Thou madest not. and Thy day is not daily. Thy years are one day." For if He made. and wonder that Thou the God Almighty and All-creating and All-supporting. if they never were? Seeing then Thou art the Creator of all times. but ours shall all be. for they pass not away. Thy years neither come nor go. for rather had I answer. when we hear it spoken of by another. I know: if I wish to explain it to one that asketh. and when they come. seeing the past now is not. "that before God made heaven and earth. I boldly say." It is one thing to answer enquiries. but To-day. nor are departing thrust out by coming years. when they shall no more be." every creature be understood. I answer him that asketh. that they all may come. than so as to raise a laugh at him who asketh deep things and gain praise for one who answereth false things. Maker of heaven and earth." when there was no time. Thy years stand together. because Thou abidest. than time? And. let him awake and consider. "I know not. "What did God before He made heaven and earth?" I answer not as one is said to have done merrily (eluding the pressure of the question). before Thou madest those times. we understand. time present were not. Thou the Author and Creator of all ages? or what times should there be. For what is time? Who can readily and briefly explain this? Who can even in thought comprehend it. why is it demanded. before Thou wouldest make it. But if before heaven and earth there was no time. This day have I begotten Thee. before there was made any creature. Nor dost Thou by time. that if nothing passed away. to whom Thou saidst. how are they. Those two times then. seeing Thy To-day gives not place unto to-morrow.

what could be long. Yea. which may be called present. but when past. shall not here also Thy Truth mock at man? For that past time which was long. is not now. which cannot be divided into the smallest particles of moments. it is present. and therefore are not yet. what could be long. And so if we assume any middle year of this hundred to be present. or when it was yet present? For then might it be long. and never pass into time past. Whatsoever of it hath flown away. verily it should not be time. For twelve months are a year. For if it be. so as not to be. it was no longer. because. and therefore there was. Where then is the time. what hath been long. a long time? See first. is to come. See how the present time. it is divided into past and future. the rest to come. that we cannot truly say that time is. is abridged to the length scarce of one day. But see at least whether that one which is now current. whose cause of being is. if the second. because it passeth into time past. past. another present. an hundred years hence. then is not the year present. and the rest are not yet. so. namely. "it is long"." O my Lord. But in what sense is that long or short. which alone we found could be called long. and if not present as a whole. it is no more. the rest being to come. but because it is tending not to be? And yet we say. one is now past. as not to be lengthened out with the least stay. was it long when it was now past. my Light. are past. if it be the first. For it had not yet passed away.yet? But the present. that it shall not be. whether an hundred years can be present. all after it. because neither is one day present as a whole. is not yet. but the other ninety and nine are to come. to come. "a long time" and "a short time". and of the future. but eternity. but of the past. the rest are to come. "it hath been long". but if the second year be current. wherefore an hundred years cannot be present. "it will be long. those behind it to come. and any of the middle hath those before it past. which was not at all. still. Let us not then say. the last hath them past. for if the current month be its first. which we . which ceased to be. For it is made up of four and twenty hours of night and day: of which. A long time past (for example) we call an hundred years since. whether present time can be long: for to thee it is given to feel and to measure length of time. the first is already past. whatsoever remaineth. but after it was past. Although neither is that current month present. For if the first of these years be now current. when present. and a short time to come. the first hath the rest to come. and a long time to come. If an instant of time be conceived. should it always be present. if any of the middle. which is not? For the past. The present hath no space. we call (suppose) often days since. that ceased also to be long. Let us not then say. seeing that since it was past. of which whatever by the current month is present. the rest past. only of time past or to come. often days hence. "time past hath been long": for we shall not find. but one day only. when there was. when it was present. thou soul of man. it was long. all before it. neither is the year now current present. Therefore. or to come. Which yet flies with such speed from future to past. how can we say that either this is. If time present (if it is to be time) only cometh into existence. But let us examine that also. itself is present. then amid past and to come. wherefore neither could that be long. but let us say. But a short time past. "that present time was long". Let us see then. is past. that alone is it. What wilt thou answer me? Are an hundred years. that one hour passeth away in flying particles. and the future. if the last.

and that. For if there also they be future. "it will be long. past. or treble. if as yet they be not? For that which is not." But we measure times as they are passing. yet I know. they are not yet there. O my God. then shall that action be. I affirm not: O my God. or past. when it is yet to come. which is not. because it is not. and future. it cannot. because it is to come. it may be perceived and measured. This indeed I know. Wheresoever then is whatsoever is." Permit me. Which. and if they were not. in passing. if there also they be past. who foretold things to come. because it is not yet. which now is not: but now when I recall its image. but present only. is in time past. and say. that only can be seen. from present it becometh past? For where did they. already existing. because then it is no longer future. so as to be long. see them. but once. And they who relate things past. that it cannot be long. have through the senses left as traces in the mind. And yet. it is not themselves which as yet are not (that is. which already are. but present. and compare them. they. we perceive intervals of times. they could no way be discerned. then does time present cry out in the words above. is not future. Father. to seek further. O my hope. Therefore they are not future but present to those who now see that. could not relate them. as yet is not). I ask. and have become present. but past. how much longer or shorter this time is than that. who can measure? unless a man shall presume to say. I confess. but present. I know not. are. We measure also. For if times past and to come be. and when from future it becometh present. it is only as present. they are no longer there. doth it come out of some secret place. they are not there as future. when from future which as yet is not. there are drawn out of the memory. it shall begin now to be. if in mind they did not discern them. that can be measured. Thus my childhood. and that that forethinking is present. and taught boys). and others longer. Whether there be a like cause of foretelling things to come also. and so it shall then be long. When then time is passing. but we say. which now are not. when we have set upon. conceived by the images of the things.may call long? Is it to come? Of it we do not say. and so. which is. I behold it in the present. Although when past facts are related. Which way soever then this secret fore-perceiving of things to come be. but when it is past. let not my purpose be confounded. being foreconceived in the . and we answer. present. cannot be seen. from which the future. the images may be perceived before. "Who will tell me that there are not three times (as we learned when boys. not the things themselves which are past. but present. but the action whereof we forethink is not yet. Lord. wherever they be. Things then past and to come. because those two are not? Or are they also. and have begun to do what we were forethinking. but words which. but their causes perchance or signs are seen. When then things to come are said to be seen. some are shorter. Lord. rule and guide me. when retiring. because it is still in my memory. it shall not be long (because what can be long. which are to be). "it is long". I would know where they be. or only just so much as that. that so there should exist what may be long. and tell of it." When therefore will it be? For if even then. or the future. by perceiving them. But what now is. that we generally think before on our future actions. Which yet if I cannot. which are not yet. "This is double. which now is not. that of things which as yet are not.

that neither what is to be. we measure times as they pass. but when it shall have passed. For but few things are there. By what way dost Thou. Or in the present. if not time in some space? For we do not say. this is just so much as that. past. in the soul. is foretold. And if any should ask me. or any other like way that we speak of time. do behold the conceptions present before them. if what is so said be but understood. into that. which already is. If thus we be permitted to speak. Too far is this way of my ken: it is too mighty for me." But time present how do we measure. a present of things present. O sweet light of my hidden eyes. seeing it hath no space? It is measured while passing. still the things intended are understood. "I know. neither can it be taught. when Thou shalt vouchsafe it. we measure not. Wherefore. a present of things past. What now is clear and plain is. memory.mind. nor find fault. and equal. and I confess there are three. by what way. is present. whence it passeth through? But what is not yet. and to come": yet perchance it might be properly said. Thou then. and whither passes it while it is a measuring? whence. I cannot attain unto it. And yet did I not in my mind imagine the sun-rising itself (as now while I speak of it). Nor is it properly said. that the sun. "there be three times. What I behold. that neither things to come nor past are. Let now the numerous variety of things furnish me some example. present. what is not. nor can we measure things that are not. is about to rise. I see three times. by which it . that we do measure. although it goes before it. which we speak properly. and so of any other parts of time. and things past and to come. which is not yet. Let it be said too. Ruler of Thy creation. and triple. for there will be nothing to be measured. I foreshow. present of things present. But neither is that daybreak which I discern in the sky. See. In what space then do we measure time passing? In the future. present of things past. which are already. now is. or rather of the future. "there be three times. but the sun-rising. not the sun." For these three do exist in some sort. what I foresignify. we measure times as they pass. are not. and those who foretell those things. Future things then are not yet: and if they be not yet. which now is not. they cannot be seen. "there be three times. and double. nor what is past. which be measurable. sight. except of spaces of times. present of things future. but from Thee I can. to whom nothing is to come. Yet what do we measure. or. which is not yet. single. they are not: and if they are not. Which fore-conceptions again now are. most things improperly. teach things to come. yet foretold they may be from things present. as I said. I object not. which hath no space. "How knowest thou?" I might answer. but into the past? From that therefore. past. but otherwhere do I not see them. to come. but through the present? whither. that the other which is to be may be foretold. nor gainsay. through that. it is not measured. but from the future? Which way. I said then even now. which two are seen now present. nor that imagination of my mind. present. But whence. and are seen. this time is twice so much as that one. in order to be able to say. dost teach things present? For. expectation. by what way dost Thou teach souls things to come? For Thou didst teach Thy Prophets. and a present of things future. I behold the day-break. I could not foretell it. the sun-rising. and to come": in our incorrect way.

then neither could that . O Lord. and say (for example) this motion is twice as long as that. as one hour comes to. if between one sun-rise and another there were but so short a stay. others long. Shut it not up. than to Thee. Seeing "day" denotes not the stay only of the sun upon the earth (according to which day is one thing. Behold. For I ask. by which we measure the motions of bodies. that the motions of the sun. if the lights of heaven should cease. should there be no time by which we might measure those whirlings. By Christ I beseech Thee. Whom shall I enquire of concerning these things? and to whom shall I more fruitfully confess my ignorance. should there in our words be some syllables short. that it was therefore no time. "so many days. they are. If both. and for seasons. that I may contemplate the delights of the Lord. and therefore do I speak. and the self-same things again are but too deeply hidden. we do not measure: or in the past.seeing then a day is completed by the motion of the sun and by his circuit from east to east again. that the going round of that wooden wheel was a day. Give. I desire to know the force and nature of time. and for years. grant to men to see in a small thing notices common to things great and small. constituted time. or if it turned sometimes slower. for this do I live. through Christ I beseech Thee. other shorter? Or. which now is not. and these we hear. I ask. My soul is on fire to know this most intricate enigma. This is my hope. to which it passes? But neither do we measure that. that some rounds were longer. Holy of holies. and understand. and they pass away. For I believed.passes? but no space. in His Name. should we not also be speaking in time? Or. these in a longer? God. Most manifest and ordinary they are. If the second. otherwhiles quicker. moon. I know not. and stars. but the sun must go four and twenty times about. and times. let no man disturb me. because I have taken upon me to know. or both? For if the first be the day. and this hast Thou given me. Thou hast made my days old. Father. The stars and lights of heaven." These words we speak. I heard once from a learned man. and say." the night being included when we say. that it be hindered from piercing into them. good Father. night another). to Whom these my studies. and for days. then should not that make a day. but because those sounded in a shorter time. to complete one day. from my desire. are not troublesome? Give what I love. "how long time since he did this".. yet hidden things. according to which we say. so vehemently kindled toward Thy Scriptures. For why should not the motions of all bodies rather be times? Or. nor yet he. and are understood. and the discovery of them were new. Who truly knowest to give good gifts unto Thy children. and time. Give. and times. O Lord my God. then should we have a day. or the stay in which that motion is completed. "there passed so many days. yet neither should I say. are also for signs. although the sun should finish that course in so small a space of time. and "this syllable hath double time to that single short syllable. "How long time is it since he said this". that either it moved with equal pauses." and the nights not reckoned apart. and how. and a potter's wheel run round. does the motion alone make the day. and I assented not. but also its whole circuit from east to east again. and trouble is before me until Thou openest it. And we talk of time. do not shut up these usual. for I do love. and "how long time since I saw that". but let them dawn through Thy enlightening mercy. while we were saying this. as one hour comes to.

and in how long space it could come from this place to that. until I cease to see. wilt show me. what that is which is called day. so is my heart." we do it by comparison. should say that it was finished in half the time it was wont. sometimes stands still. whereby we. Seeing therefore the motion of a body is one thing. the sun had stood still. seeing I know not what time is? or is it perchance that I know not how to express what I know? Woe is me. And if I look long. not his motion only. For when a body is moved. save perchance from the time I began. then we measure." or the like. O my God. O Lord. but that the motion of a body is time. when at the prayer of one. Light and Truth. Behold. from morning to morning. "it stood still. if so be it was finished in so small a space as twelve hours. if the sun should run his whole round in the space of one hour. that I do measure times? Do I then measure. that a double time. and it continue to move so that I see not when it ends. who sees not. measuring the circuit of the sun. that by which we measure how long it is. another. from the time it began to move until it left off? And if I did not see whence it began. as much as it moved". and know not what I measure? I measure the motion of a body in time. as we use to say. I by time measure. Thou. or his parts.be called a day. how long it moveth. I cannot measure. but in time. I hear not. O Lord my God. nor that. what I know not. in how much time the motion of that body or his part. what time is. more or less. was finished. without measuring the time in which it is moved? This same time then. or any other space which our measuring hath either ascertained. that very "long" is not long. I hear. and comparing both times. before Thee I lie not. then can we say precisely. or guessed. O Lord. as. but. which of the two is rather to be called time? For and if a body be sometimes moved. that the motions of the heavenly bodies constitute times. but as I speak. And I confess to Thee. and we say. because. I can only pronounce it to be a long time. wilt enlighten my darkness. sometimes in that double time. and the time itself do I not measure? Or could I indeed measure the motion of a body how long it were. Thou shalt light my candle. "this is as long as that. the sun stood still. but time went on. O my God. or "it stood still twice or thrice so long as it moved". but by the pause of time. Let no man then tell me. For in its own allotted space of time was that battle waged and ended. but not how long. if any define time to be "motion of a body?" Thou dost not bid me. while the sun stood still. Time then is not the motion of a body. that do not even know. For that no body is moved. How then know I this. Does not my soul most truly confess unto Thee. as the sun usually makes his whole course in. But do I perceive it." or "twice so long as that. how do I . and again I confess unto Thee. that I yet know not what time is. sometimes in that single. should call this a single time. Dost Thou bid me assent. or seem to perceive it? Thou. I perceive time then to be a certain extension. if. but his standing still too by time. this Thou sayest. I will not therefore now ask. Thou sayest it not. till he could achieve his victorious battle. so much time should overpass. even supposing the sun to run his round from east to east. that I know that I speak this in time. and that having long spoken of time. whence and whither goeth the body moved. because when we say "how long. if it moved as in a lathe. But when we can mark the distances of the places. from this place unto that.

sixth. and the spaces of long. I know not. Whence it seemed to me. But neither do we this way obtain any certain measure of time. it is silence now. and that voice is past. then. cannot be measured. in respect of the four long. nor present. by the spaces of the syllables. and tell how much it is. by the spaces of the feet. the voice of a body begins to sound. Wherefore. a syllable. the first. What then do I measure? Times passing. nor passing. nor present. it no longer is. Could it be measured the rather. because prolonged by so many syllables. nor those which no longer are. a voice that is not yet ended. or the like. We measure neither times to come. because consisting of so many feet. because it is no longer. because it may be. nor past. How may it then be measured? And yet we measure times. not past? for so I said. and passing away." or definitely "this is double that"? That I measure time. but when we utter the words and they pass by. By plain sense then. and find it so. and list. now. but yet neither those which are not yet. fourth. Suppose. the second. the space of a rood? for so indeed we seem by the space of a short syllable. because it is not protracted by any space. and does sound. a long syllable because double to a short one. that time is nothing else than protraction. by the spaces of the verses. or short it is. nor past. Thus measure we the spaces of stanzas. let us measure it while it sounds. pronounced more fully. long feet. and not we ourselves. "Deus Creator omnium. But it sounds still. hath a double time: I pronounce them. and still soundeth in one continued tenor without any interruption. third. long verses. my mind. Then therefore while it sounded. from some beginning unto some end. and could not be measured. and I marvel. it ceases. it was being extended into some space of time. and sounds on. For the very space between is the thing we measure. let us measure it verily. and the spaces of the feet. nor can it be called equal to another. since the present hath no space. are but single. it was to come. and nothing left to be measured. for it is not yet. not measuring by pages (for then we measure spaces. so that it may be said how long.measure? do we by a shorter time measure a longer. and eighth. pronounced hurriedly. unto the end it left in. I measure a long syllable by a short. I know. as by the space of a cubit. nor can it be measured but from the instant it began in. to measure the space of a long syllable. report on them. because it now is not. do I measure. and is no more a voice. The four short then. and seventh. that a shorter verse. by the space of short syllables. I beseech Thee. But when ended. because there then was what might be measured. O my God. nor those which are not lengthened out by some pause. Before it sounded. may take up more time than a longer. and yet I measure not time to come. and I sensibly . if it be not of the mind itself? For what. namely. seeing when it hath left sounding. to. suppose another voice hath begun to sound. and yet we do measure times. a foot. Courage. not times). because as yet it was not. If therefore then it might. either indefinitely "this is a longer time than that. as one's plain sense perceives. for it was passing on. Every one of these to every one of those. and to say that this is double the other. nor those which have no bounds. and press on mightily. and the spaces of the verses." this verse of eight syllables alternates between short and long syllables. And so for a verse. and we say "it is a long stanza. for that? For while passing. God is our helper. He made us. it will then be past. fifth. it might. and now it cannot. when I say. Press on where truth begins to dawn. because composed of so many verses. But yet even then it was not at a stay. but of what. or double to a single. so that it might be measured.

but something in my memory. the impression. unless they were already past and ended. and confidently answer (so far as is presumed on a practised sense) that as to space of time this syllable is but single. he hath in silence already gone through a space of time. through which that which shall be present proceedeth to become absent. is "a long expectation of the future. which sounds on. hath sounded already. And who denieth the present time hath no space. that I measure. for as yet it is not: but a long future. this it is which still present. If a man would utter a lengthened sound. Who therefore denieth. and the rest will sound. that so that which it expecteth. have flown. until the present intent conveys over the future into the past. my expectation is extended over the whole. interrupt not thyself with the tumults of thy impressions. shall I apply it to the long. and committing it to memory. And yet I could not do this. seeing the long does not begin to sound. that I may find this to have twice so much. until by the consumption of the future. it considers. no otherwise than if vocally we did pronounce them. And thus passeth it on. are no more. seeing I measure it not till it be ended? Now his ending is his passing away. until it be brought unto the end proposed. I measure. when I measure times. and report as to the spaces of times. Yea it hath sounded. In thee I measure times. and verses. because it passeth away in a moment? and yet our consideration continueth. Either then this is time. for so much of it as is finished. passed away. as if it sounded. yet in thought we go over poems. the past increasing by the diminution of the future. Interrupt me not. What when we measure silence. through that which it considereth. which as yet is not? or how that past increased. how much this is in respect of that. it remembers. measuring. and how. and any other discourse.find it to have twice so much. how much soever of it I shall separate off into the . and had settled in thought how long it should be. It is not then themselves. how shall I detain the short one. is "a long memory of the past. save that in the mind which enacteth this. unless the short leaves sounding? And that very long one do I measure as present. remains even when they are gone. It is not then future time. there is in the mind an expectation of things to come. if the former be short. that is. all is past. and say that this silence hath held as long time as did that voice? do we not stretch out our thought to the measure of a voice. which there remains fixed. which now is not. and yet I measure." nor is it time past. that I measure times. but when one sounds after the other. But how is that future diminished or consumed. What then is it I measure? where is the short syllable by which I measure? where the long which I measure? Both have sounded. that is long. Before I begin. And who denies past things to be now no longer? and yet is there still in the mind a memory of things past. but a long past. the latter long. and will sound. which things as they pass by cause in thee." I am about to repeat a Psalm that I know. my mind. there be three things done? For it expects. This I measure. which is now no longer. that is long. passeth into that which it remembereth. that so we may be able to report of the intervals of silence in a given space of time? For though both voice and tongue be still. but when I have begun. begins to utter that speech. not the things which pass by to make this impression. that double. or I do not measure times. that things to come are not as yet? and yet. which now are not. or dimensions of motions. It is in thee.

even if there be any creature before all times. "what did God before He made heaven and earth?" Or. so as to become past. May they also be extended towards those things which are before. and to find. nor any creature. the same holds through the whole age of the sons of men. and not distended but extended. truly that mind is passing wonderful. that I may share the joy of Thy light. what else is it to say. when that whole action being ended. nor to pass away. and contemplate Thy delights. O Lord. but I have been severed amid times. art my comfort. in my mould. behold. Certainly. as I know one well-known Psalm. and how much of it had passed away from the beginning. many also through our manifold distractions amid many things. that by Him I may apprehend in Whom I have been apprehended. and may be re-collected from my old conversation. is the memory enlarged: till the whole expectation be at length exhausted. and Thy right hand upheld me. But because Thy loving-kindness is better than all lives. that "never" cannot be predicated. what a depth is that recess of Thy mysteries. is extended along my memory. purified and molten by the fire of Thy love. even the inmost bowels of my soul. but "consideration" is present with me. whereof all the actions of man are parts. in my Lord the Son of man. But far be it that Thou the Creator of the . And this which takes place in the whole Psalm. not to things which shall be and shall pass away. to follow The One. my life is but a distraction. "How came it into His mind to make any thing. nor will I endure the questions of men. O Lord my God. and cease to speak that vanity. where I may hear the voice of Thy praise. Thy truth. And Thou. And now will I stand. whose order I know not. is any more hidden from him. what. Which the more it is done again and again.past. This then that He is said "never to have made". nothing to come in after-ages. than when I sung that Psalm. I follow on for the prize of my heavenly calling. and understand Thee before all times. having never before made any thing?" Give them. are rent and mangled with tumultuous varieties. and us many. in that nothing past. the same holds in the whole life of man. The One. well to bethink themselves what they say. and each several syllable. as to know all things past and to come. and my thoughts. thus the life of this action of mine is divided between my memory as to what I have repeated. not distractedly but intently. and how far from it have the consequences of my transgressions cast me! Heal mine eyes. whereof all the lives of men are parts. the eternal Creator of all times. than "in 'no have made?" Let them see therefore. until I flow together into Thee. and fearfully amazing. neither to come. so much the more the expectation being shortened. my Father everlasting. and expectation as to what I am about to repeat. was hidden from me what. but to those things which are before. the same holds in that longer action. if there be mind gifted with such vast knowledge and foreknowledge. that time cannot be without created being. shall have passed into memory. and how much there remained unto the end. when "time" is not. O Lord. forgetting what is behind. may be conveyed over. the same takes place in each several portion of it. and become firm in Thee. the Mediator betwixt Thee. whereof this Psalm may be part. and say. that through it what was future. But now are my years spent in mourning. who by a penal disease thirst for more than they can contain. and that no times be coeternal with Thee.

And what is it to have silence there. is the poverty of human understanding copious in words. to that unknown heaven. Like then as Thou in the Beginning knewest the heaven and the earth. O Lord. whereof the lowest is this our earth. touched with the words of Thy Holy Scripture. and yet the humble in heart are Thy dwelling-place. Thou madest it. and the remembering of those that are past. and they fall not. and there was I know not what depth of abyss. but the earth hath He given to the children of men? Where is that heaven which we see not. because it had no shape. that Thou shouldest in such wise know all things past and to come. where should it have been but by being over all. even the heaven of our earth. as the feelings of one who singeth what he knoweth. to which all this which we see is earth? For this corporeal whole. We hold the promise. and ye shall find. that darkness was upon the face of the deep. dost Thou know them. not the sons' of men. may not absurdly be called earth. Oh how high art Thou. is but earth: yea both these great bodies. and his senses divided. without any variety of Thy knowledge. For every one that asketh. for Thou raisest up those that are bowed down. what else than the absence of light? For had there been light. BOOK XII My heart. so madest Thou in the Beginning heaven and earth. upon which there was no light. because enquiring hath more to say than discovering. far be it. hath in such wise received its portion of beauty in these lower parts. shall it be opened. hath more work to do. when the Truth promiseth? The lowliness of my tongue confesseth unto Thy Highness. that Thou madest heaven and earth. For not. and our hand that knocks. And therefore most times. who shall make it null? If God be for us. The heaven of heavens are the Lord's. far more wonderfully. and far more mysteriously. which is the Lord's. not being wholly every where. and this earth that I tread upon. let him confess unto Thee. and it shall be opened unto you. whose elevation Thou art. and ye shall have. let him confess unto Thee. which we hear of in the words of the Psalm. findeth. aloft. the eternal Creator of minds. Whoso understandeth. and demanding is longer than obtaining. and enlightening? Where then light was not. varied. who can be against us? Ask. whence is this earth that I bear about me. But where is that heaven of heavens. seek. Far. that is. but to have no . -not so doth any thing happen unto Thee. than our hand that receives.Universe. receiveth. what was the presence of darkness. knock. but to that heaven of heavens. is much busied. O Lord. Therefore didst Thou command it to be written. And now this earth was invisible and without form. but the absence of light? Darkness therefore was upon it. or heareth some well-known song. without any distraction of Thy action. unchangeably eternal. the Creator of souls and bodies. as where sound is not. because light was not upon it. and to him that knocketh. are through expectation of the words to come. and he that seeketh. there is silence. this heaven which I see. These be Thine own promises: and who need fear to be deceived. amid this poverty of my life. and whoso understandeth not.

neither colour. O Lord. there was in it no object of sight or sense". by knowing it. an "is. occupying the lowest stage. not to suspect only. that before Thou formedst and diversifiedst this formless matter. as life. by being ignorant of it. as being capable of receiving these visible and compound figures. transparent all and shining. but in comparison of more beautiful forms. is itself capable of all those forms.-If then my voice and pen would confess unto Thee the whole. is not. "It is no intellectual form. taught his soul. told me of it. they are less beautiful than the other higher parts are. because it is the matter of bodies. Lord. whatever Thyself hath taught me of that matter. For the changeableness of changeable things. by which they cease to be what they have been. which confesseth unto Thee? Hast not Thou taught me. than conceive a thing betwixt form and nothing.sound there? Hast not Thou. was without form. "a nothing something". nor spirit? and yet not altogether nothing.. and therefore did not conceive it at all. How then should it be called. that I must utterly uncase it of all remnants of form whatsoever. neither formed. yet this I longed to know. So that when thought seeketh what the sense may conceive under this. than earth and deep? For. and a song of praise. among all parts of the world can be found nearer to an absolute formlessness. what is it? Is it soul? Is it body? Is it that which constituteth soul or body? Might one say. -the name whereof hearing before. and not understanding. or to be ignorant. Wherefore then may I not conceive the formlessness of matter (which Thou hadst created without beauty. and I could not. without any beauty. what reader would hold out to take in the whole? Nor shall my heart for all this cease to give Thee honour. it may endeavour either to know it. nor figure. by my tongue and my pen. I suspected to be through a certain formless state. if I would. and begin to be what they were not. my mind tossed up and down foul and horrible "forms" out of all order. whatsoever knots Thou didst open for me in this question. and this same shifting from form to form. nor object of sense. into which these changeable things are changed. a formless almost nothing. And still that which I conceived. So my mind gave over to question thereupon with my spirit.while man's thought thus saith to itself. this were it: and yet in some way was it even then. if presented to it. and human frailness would be troubled at. but yet "forms" and I called it without form not that it wanted all form. it being filled with the images of formed bodies. not as being deprived of all form. as it willed. and saith to itself. but because it had such as my mind would. but by some ordinary word? And what. And this changeableness. because being invisible. and without form. if I would conceive matter absolutely without form. for sooner could I imagine that not to be at all. nor nothing. not through a mere nothing. . nor body. and looked more deeply into their changeableness. or justice. as unwonted and jarring. turn from. when they who understood it not. and changing and varying them. and true reason did persuade me. by the name of earth invisible and without form. that it might be in some measure conveyed to those of duller mind. there was nothing. for those things which it is not able to express. and I bent myself to the bodies themselves. But I. for there was a certain formlessness. whereof to make this beautiful world) to be suitably intimated unto men. confess unto Thee the whole." I would say. so I conceived of it as having innumerable forms and diverse. which should be deprived of all form. Lord.

and it was made. for so should they have been equal to Thine Only Begotten Son. without form. while the figures. when It recounts Thee to have In the Beginning created heaven and earth. the heaven. whereas no way were it right that aught should be equal to Thee. are varied and turned. And therefore the Spirit. more than in the deep. Who art not one in one place. and doth through the sweetness of that most happy contemplation of Thyself. But that whole deep was almost nothing. Yea. that times can be observed and numbered in it. Which firmament Thou calledst heaven. Lord God Almighty. and the Self-same. Thou mightest make all these things of which this changeable world consists. Holy. For it was invisible. the second day. cleaving close unto Thee. and a small thing. whose very changeableness appears therein. darkness was above the deep. for Thou art Almighty and Good. For verily that heaven of heavens which Thou createdst in the Beginning. which out of nothing. is some intellectual creature. but that was the heaven of this heaven. which. things of two sorts. hath even in his depths. which Thou madest before all days. upon which there was no light. and without any fall since its first creation. one to which Thou alone shouldest be superior. was not such as we now see and feel. create something. strongly restrain its own changeableness. and the petty earth. to this earth and sea. nothing of days. which Thou madest the third day. out of which Thou createdst heaven and earth. . Lord. or. Holy. and darkness was upon the deep. But this same earth which Thou madest was formless matter. is placed beyond all the rolling vicissitude of times. a light proper for its nature. But that heaven of heavens was for Thyself. Holy. and that out of nothing. Because this deep of waters. didst in the Beginning. from Whom are all things. for it is not farness of place. Lord. after the creation of light. and thereby to Thee also. because In the beginning Thou hadst made heaven and earth. of which firmament between water and water. and creeping things in the bottom of it. but the Self-same. of which formlessness. but the earth which Thou gavest to the sons of men. speaks nothing of times. the other near to nothing. yet there was already that which could be formed. which we sons of men wonder at. the Trinity. of which almost nothing. O God. that is. as the unliker Thee. of which invisible earth and without form. to which nothing should be inferior. to make all things good. which is of Thee. One Trinity. Thou wert. and otherwise in another. O Lord. madest the world of a matter without form. in Thy Wisdom. and there was a deep. one near Thee. because hitherto it was altogether without form. For times are made by the alterations of things. before all days. a great thing. but from Thee. because it was invisible and without form. whereof Thou mightest create them. visible now. although no ways coeternal unto Thee. so far forth as they are? But so much the further from Thee. not out of Thyself. by giving a visible figure to the formless matter. For very wonderful is this corporeal heaven. which was not of Thee. and the Self-same. and Trine Unity. that is. the Teacher of Thy servant. and nothing was there besides. and therefore out of nothing didst Thou create heaven and earth. Thou therefore. even the great heaven.But whence had it this degree of being. For Thou createdst heaven and earth. to be seen and felt. Thou saidst. perceivable in whatever degree unto the fishes. yet partaketh of Thy eternity. the other. but subsists not. which was born of Thine own Substance. And aught else besides Thee was there not. Let it be made. Thou madest next to nothing. thereof to make those great things. the matter whereof is the invisible earth aforesaid. For already hadst Thou made both an heaven. For Thou.

that she may dwell in Thy house all the days of her life (and what is her life. For where no figure nor order is. and let it be more and more cleared to me. from myself I lived ill. speak unto me. and where this is not. and which with a most persevering purity. Thyself being ever present with it. the Light of my heart. And now. I have believed Thy Books. and so live. eternal. in my inner ear. and in the manifestation thereof. do Thou discourse unto me. than Thine house. first or last. let me with sobriety abide under Thy wings. which contemplateth Thy delights without any defection of going forth to another. I went astray. blest in Thee. but even thence. I beseech Thee: and in the manifestation thereof. and yet are. as Thy years which fail not. O Lord. which are not what Thyself is. although it be . calling to me to return.neither is this very formlessness of the earth. Let me not be mine own life. I return in distress and panting after Thy fountain. since Thou canst not be changed as to figure or motion. that neither is that creature coeternal unto Thyself. because such motion is transgression and sin. even thence I loved Thee. far above those heavenly places that we see. O Lord. Let no man forbid me! of this will I drink. whose pilgrimage is made long and far away. Already Thou hast told me with a strong voice. but Thou? and what Thy days. numbered among the days. Do Thou speak unto me. This is in Thy sight clear unto me. nor distracted into any times. I heard Thy voice behind me. and the motion of the will from Thee who art. and became darkened. that Thou hast made all natures and substances. and that no man's sin doth either hurt Thee. unto that which in a less degree is. there does nothing come. I fell off into that. whose happiness Thou only art. through the tumultuousness of the enemies of peace. by that settled estate of peace of holy spirits. its eternal Inhabitant and its Enlightener! Nor do I find by what name I may the rather call the heaven of heavens which is the Lord's. because Thou art ever the same?). By this may the soul. Thou hast told me also with a strong voice. and scarcely heard it. in my inner ear. and their words be most full of mystery. the Truth. nor is Thy will altered by times: seeing no will which varies is immortal. while they daily say unto her. and. let me with sobriety abide under Thy wings. and without form. having neither future to expect. or go. by this may she understand. behold. or disturb the order of Thy government. seeing Thy house which at no time went into a far country. that Thou art eternal. the citizens of Thy city in heavenly places. one pure mind. O let the Light. unto Whom with its whole affection it keeps itself. I beseech Thee. above all times. and desireth it. drawing its nourishment from Thee. is neither altered by any change. Where is Thy God? if she now seeks of Thee one thing. nor any vicissitude of spaces of times. and remembered Thee. invisible. which is not. most harmoniously one. and that only is not from Thee. doth in no place and at no time put forth its natural mutability. if she now thirsts for Thee. and let it be more and more cleared to me. in my inner ear. for cleaving unto Thy Blessedness. O blessed creature. there plainly are no days. if her tears be now become her bread. by this then may the soul that is able. nor conveying into the past what it remembereth. understand how far Thou art. not mine own darkness. Who only hast immortality. death was I to myself. and I revive in Thee. but Thy eternity. This is in Thy sight clear to me. Thou hast told me also with a strong voice. if such there be.

through which the thing was changed and turned from one figure to another. recorded to have been. and who shall tell me (unless such a one as through the emptiness of his own heart. the other which was so formless. though changeable. it may thoroughly enjoy Thy eternity and unchangeableness. that there should only remain that formlessness. These things considered. because of these two do I conceive. and let it be more and more cleared unto me. without yet coming to nothing). the one. or of repose. whose Intelligences know all at once. neither of which is coeternal with Thee. and as much as Thou openest to me knocking. For forthwith it subjoined what earth it spake of. not through a glass. that without any ceasing of contemplation. This is in Thy sight clear unto me. together with a visible and well-formed earth: and the waters diversly ordered. without any interval of change. But the Earth was invisible and without form. that because of the Heaven of heavens. let me with sobriety abide under Thy wings. but as a whole. I beseech Thee. as are not able to conceive an utter privation of all form. and not mentioning what day Thou createdst them. O my God. and whatsoever further is in the formation of the world. But this Thou didst not leave thus formless. without any succession of times. not within the compass of time. not without days. and darkness was upon the deep. and also. two things I find that Thou hast made. and that thing anon. I know not what formlessness in those changes of these last and lowest creatures. when I hear Thy Scripture saying. then. because. which is so formed. and darkness was upon the deep. suffers no changeableness of times. did Thy Scripture say without mention of days. without the variety of motions. because where is no form. -that intellectual Heaven. and in the manifestation thereof. in that the Firmament is recorded to be created the second day. One. that thing anon". out of which another Heaven might be created. who but such a one would tell me. a primitive formed. this is what I conceive. and that. in manifestation. there are no times: and no variety. . created. yet not changed. there is no distinction of things: -it is. In which words. without any succession of times. behold. This then is what I conceive. that that could exhibit the vicissitudes of times? For plainly it could not. that if all figure be so wasted and consumed away. that the successive changes of times may take place in them. which could be changed from one form into another.not coeternal with Thee. whether of motion. where there is no figure. on account of these two. the two things that I spake of. but (as I said) know all at once. as being subject to appointed alterations of motions and of forms. as much as Thou givest. because before all days. -and because of the earth invisible and without form. that it had not that. face to face. yet by continually and unfailingly cleaving unto Thee. the other earth but the earth invisible and without form. There is. so as to become subject unto time. In the Beginning God created Heaven and Earth. not in part. heaven but the Heaven of heaven. is the formlessness conveyed unto us (that such capacities may hereby be drawn on by degrees. as being of such nature. not. Thou in the Beginning didst create Heaven and Earth. In the beginning God made Heaven and Earth: and the Earth was invisible and without form. which succession presents "this thing now. and a primitive formless. O my God. not darkly. this thing now. wonders and tosses himself up and down amid his own fancies?). as much as Thou stirrest me up to knock.

our God. and always. concerning the Eternity of the Creator. unto him that loveth Thee so much as Thou commandest. what before He willed not. it conveys to us of which Heaven He before spake. that His substance is no ways changed by time. Wondrous depth of Thy words! whose surface. now that.and called Heaven. an awfulness of honour. "What then? Is it false. For this. but once. and by Whom all things were created. Thou createdst heaven and earth. O Thou God all. not of earthly mould. would not have those words thus understood. nor His will separate from His substance? Wherefore He willeth not one thing now. which by contemplating the light. for wisdom was created before all things. "What then? do you deny this. "What will ye say then. so . "The Spirit of God. This is the house of God. but reposeth in the most true contemplation of Him only?" Because Thou. when they are come. nor willeth not. and put together. nor willeth afterwards. dost show Thyself. Thou hast given it a law which it shall not pass. He willeth all things that He willeth. For Thou hast made it fast for ever and ever. as we say. not again and again. with so chaste a love cleaving unto the true and truly eternal God. because not without beginning. behold! is before us. But what difference there is betwixt the Light which enlighteneth. For although we find no time before it." These things I infer. nor of celestial bulk corporeal but spiritual. nor now this. O my God. the eternal God. for it was made. that there is a certain sublime creature." they say. O ye gainsayers? Are these things false?" "No. but extollers of the book of Genesis. inviting to little ones. what before He willed. and in Whom. because He is supremely?" "Neither do we deny this. because such a will is and no mutable thing is eternal: but our God is eternal. not that Wisdom which is altogether equal and coeternal unto Thee. He would not have it understood. and this same sight becomes memory. which with a strong voice Truth tells me in my inner ear. hath not upon any new will made any creature. that although not coeternal with Him. "Who by His servant Moses wrote these things. His Father. the expectation of things to come becomes sight." Unto Whom Thyself. being judge. is also called wisdom. and which is enlightened. do I thus answer. or matter capable of form. nor doth His knowledge admit of any thing transitory. but that wisdom which is created. as thou sayest. what He tells me in my inner ear. a wondrous depth! It is awful to look therein. and a trembling of love. when they be past. The enemies thereof I hate vehemently. Nor yet is it coeternal with Thee. and partaker of Thy eternity. because without defection for ever. and therefore doth he not decline from Thee. O God. but otherwise. O God. yet is it not detached from Him. Now all thought which thus varies is mutable. and at once. though created. but from Him Who is supremely good. that they may live unto Thee. and sufficest him. and find that my God." say they. as the Beginning. "Will you affirm that to be false. and is eternal: but our God is eternal. Again. But behold others not faultfinders. nor dissolved into the variety and vicissitude of times. is light. yet are they a wondrous depth." say they. is not. oh that Thou wouldest slay them with Thy two-edged sword. another anon. that they might no longer be enemies unto it: for so do I love to have them slain unto themselves. nor toward himself. that is. that every nature already formed. the intellectual nature. without mention of days.

and all revolving periods of time. Speak Thou truly in my heart." With these I now parley a little in Thy presence. as to be altogether other than Thou. in my wayfaring. yet after its measure. nor is ever drawn away from it. not indeed of time (for time itself was not yet). "What then of all that which my heart loudly uttered unto my God. seeing He hath made me likewise. the rational and intellectual mind of that chaste city of Thine. Let my wayfaring sigh after thee." say they. Hence it is so of Thee. and his books the oracles of the Holy Ghost? Is not this house of God. Father. Jerusalem my mother. O my God. in which because there was no form. from Whom.' inasmuch as it was not altogether nothing. hope I to be brought back to thee. what part thereof do you affirm to be false? Is it that the matter was without form. and sing there a song of loves unto Thee. yet is the Eternity of the Creator Himself before it. and that created. because you will not find them? For that. "do we not deny. nor even in it (it being meet ever to behold Thy face. I beseech. Husband. with heart lifted up towards it. not coeternal indeed with God. and raising it up into their own eyes: and myself will enter my chamber. when you seek for changes of times in vain. and is free and eternal in the heavens (in what heavens. the Heaven of heavens? Because this is also the Heaven of heavens for the Lord). groaning with groanings unutterable. who yet believe Moses to have been the holy servant of God. being created. it took the beginning. O ye gainsayers that I was speaking unto. and repel me. when inwardly it heard the voice of His praise. thy builder and possessor. which Thy Truth whispers unto my soul. be not Thou silent to me. and remembering Jerusalem. For those who deny these things.much is there betwixt the Wisdom that createth. our God. from Whom is whatsoever is. I have gone astray like a lost sheep: yet upon the shoulders of my Shepherd. the Enlightener. and chill. O house most lightsome and delightsome! I have loved thy beauty. whence it would wax dark. for only Thou so speakest: and I will let them alone blowing upon the dust without. Therefore since a certain created wisdom was created before all things. That we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. if not in those that praise Thee. in what degree soever it is. eternal in the heavens. I will essay to persuade them to quiet. "What say ye to me. but of its creation. and the righteousness which is made by justification. but that by a strong affection cleaving unto Thee. there was no order? But where no order was. precedeth also the creature of time). let them bark and deafen themselves as much as they please. who grant all these things to be true. surpasses all extension. and not the Selfsame: because though we find time neither before it. yet is there in it a liability to change. Guardian." say they. thy builder. -though we find no time before it (because that which hath been created before all things. the pure and ." "It is. let Him take possession of me also in thee. as betwixt the Righteousness which justifieth. there could be no vicissitude of times: and yet this almost nothing. Jerusalem my country. to which it is ever good to cleave fast to God. O my God." "This also. and the place of the habitation of the glory of my Lord. and Thyself that rulest over it. For we also are called Thy righteousness. for so saith a certain servant of Thine. it shineth and gloweth from Thee. was from Him certainly. wherefore it is not varied by any change). our mother which is above. and to open in them a way for Thy word. like perpetual noon. and I say to Him that made thee. But if they refuse.

but that the yet unformed commencement . this declared he by those words. and all good things unspeakable. yet did not Moses intend those two. on the summit of authority to be followed. by revelation of the Spirit. as it were. What now if another should say that "this same formlessness and confusedness of matter. yea all at once. as we. which is ofttimes called by the name of heaven and earth." say they. out of which was to be created both heaven and earth (i. was comprehended under those two words? Notwithstanding. He did not under the name of heaven. and so. was entitled by the same names given to the earth invisible and without form and the darkness upon the deep. in the Beginning. For they say. if he will. antecedent to its being qualified by any form. be understood of this formless first matter. until Thou gather all that I am. and solid joy. before it underwent any restraint of its unlimited fluidness. or be changed. nor under the name of earth. all those things. "universally and compendiously. and do yet contradict me in some thing. Nor will I be turned away. I answer thus. signify that spiritual or intellectual creature which always beholds the face of God. was for this reason first conveyed under the name of heaven and earth. set forth by holy Moses. were made and arranged during those "days") may. because out of it was this visible world with all those natures which most manifestly appear in it. because the One Sovereign and true Good. But those who do not affirm all these truths to be false. O my God. that by the earth invisible and without form is understood corporeal matter. "Though these things be true. as doth the eternal house of God. "meant as we say. that formless matter. from this dispersed and disordered estate. In the beginning God created heaven and earth. created and perfected?" What again if another say that "invisible and visible nature is not indeed inappropriately called heaven and earth. For such were that rude and carnal people to which he spake." say they. who honour Thy holy Scripture." "What then?" "That man of God. when." "What?" "By the name of heaven and earth would he first signify. to arrange in detail." They agree. that all these visible things which we all know. but out of nothing (because they are not the same that God is. so as afterwards by the enumeration of the several days. as the soul and body of man are): therefore the common matter of all things visible and invisible (as yet unformed though capable of form). are not signified under the name of heaven and earth. between my Confessions and these men's contradictions. since all things be made not of the substance of God. however. and. In the beginning God made heaven and earth. and that darksome deep (out of which it is subsequently shown. all this visible world. that under the words earth invisible and without form. and by the darkness upon the deep. into the peace of that our most dear mother. my Mercy.strong delight. whether they abide. piece by piece. or received any light from Wisdom?" It yet remains for a man to say. placing it. that the universal creation. when we read. visible and invisible. spiritual matter. which it pleased the Holy Ghost thus to enounce. that "the already perfected and formed natures. not incongruously. but with this distinction. that he thought them fit to be entrusted with the knowledge of such works of God only as were visible. he said. and there is a mutable nature in them all. and Thou conform and confirm it for ever. where the first-fruits of my spirit be already (whence I am ascertained of these things). the invisible and visible creature when formed). that is. O our God. which God made in His Wisdom. By Thyself judge.

did God make the universal bulk of this corporeal world. Out of these truths. who saith. did . but the subversion of the hearers. or the spiritual and the corporeal creature. the light of all true-speaking minds.of things. the one being the spiritual. though not this truth? For true it is. of Whom are all things. and seeing we believe him to speak truly. which it containeth. It is true. if I think otherwise than another thinketh the writer thought? All we readers verily strive to trace out and to understand his meaning whom we read. that Thou madest heaven and earth. But the law is good to edify. that of things having form. "in His Word coeternal with Himself. and who unshakenly believe Thy servant Moses to have spoken in the Spirit of truth. but whatsoever is capable of being created and formed. whereof heaven and earth were made. whence that formlessness. O Lord. zealously confessing these things. if a man understand what Thou." He another. not as yet distinguished by their qualities and forms. we dare not imagine him to have said any thing. upon which two commandments He hung all the Law and the Prophets. In the Beginning God made heaven and earth. Thou madest. I will not strive about words: for that is profitable to nothing. It is true. of which they doubt not whose inward eye Thou hast enabled to see such things. -of all these then." He another. O my God. out of a pure heart and good conscience. the same as the writer understood. which so cleaveth to the unchangeable Form. "in His Word coeternal with Himself. And true too. in Which Thou createst all: and true again. that is. together with all those apparent and known creatures. he taketh one. that is. or turned. understood not this. that that formlessness which is almost nothing. and it is true too. was unformed before it was formed. may by a certain mode of speech. creation. because therein were confusedly contained. which briefly comprise all made and created natures. It is true. doth it prejudice me. that the Beginning is Thy Wisdom. that whatsoever is formed out of that which had no form. what hurt is it. It is true. since divers things may be understood under these words which yet are all true. cannot be subject to the alteration of times. dost show him to be true. that not only every created and formed thing. In the Beginning God made the heaven and the earth. I say. that whatsoever is mutable. that is. there is not any nearer to having no form. although he whom he reads. that saith. which ourselves either know or think to be false. never to be changed. that this visible world hath for its greater part the heaven and the earth. -what. and faith unfeigned. Thou light of my eyes in secret. that that is subject to no times. In the Beginning God made heaven and earth. as though subject to change. It is true. seeing he also understood a Truth. It is true. if a man use it lawfully: for that the end of it is charity. that that whereof a thing is made. whereby it receiveth a form. the stuff apt to receive form and making. are called Heaven and Earth. or is changed. God made the intelligible and the sensible. While every man endeavours then to understand in the Holy Scriptures. gives us to understand a certain want of form. "in His Word coeternal with Himself." All which things being heard and well considered. all those things which being now digested into order. than the earth and the deep. And what doth it prejudice me. that saith. might be called heaven and earth. the other the corporeal. be called by the name of the thing made of it. was called by these names. And well did our Master know.

namely. that is. that God made this formlessness. that this formlessness of matter seems to be called by the name of heaven and earth. that God had made heaven and earth. that so in what follows. that saith. which he called the earth invisible without form.God make the formless matter of creatures spiritual and corporeal. unless we understand it to be signified by the name of heaven and earth. was still a formless and darksome matter. the whole corporeal nature. out of which to make heaven and earth. " Another he who says. The earth was invisible and without form. We say however that Scripture hath not set down. out of which was to be made. that is. of which the Scripture said before. being formed. "that corporeal thing that God made. yet still good. The earth was invisible and without form." The maintainers of either of those two latter opinions will." He another." Another he who says. already was. so we confess that to be a lesser good which is made capable of creation and form. there was something which God had not made. namely. "this all. when it is said. in a word. God made heaven and earth. "this all. "we do not deny this formless matter to be indeed created by God. and without form. which. that is. did God make that formless matter. out of all those truths. of which he had before said. who saith. otherwhere called the Heaven of heavens." He another. and darkness was upon the deep. upper and lower. and the earth was invisible and without form (although it pleased Him so to call the formless matter). which is called heaven and earth. with all things in them. In the Beginning God made the heaven and earth. and darkness was upon the deep. with all the common and known creatures in them. that God made this matter. divided into two great parts. return for answer. was still a formless and a darksome matter. Ergo. which is created and formed. thus. wherein heaven and earth lay as yet confused. upon hearing this. or of earth alone. whereof is written above. with all that is in them. saith he. we at this day see in the bulk of this world. The earth was invisible and without form." Another he who says. and darkness upon the deep. "If you will not allow. he chooses one to himself. under which name is comprised this corporeal heaven also. The earth was invisible and without form. that is. In the Beginning God created heaven and earth. we are to understand no other matter. for neither hath Scripture told us. which is called heaven and earth. that God of Whom are all things. very good. of which the corporeal heaven and the corporeal earth were to be made. "in the very beginning of creating and working. and darkness was upon the deep. that God made heaven and earth. "there already was a certain formless matter. as also it hath not . out of which every visible and invisible creature was to be created. out of which. and are apparent. who saith. and darkness was upon the deep. and the earth. confusedly containing in itself both heaven and earth. did God create the formless matter of the creature corporeal. without order." And with regard to the understanding of the words following. the whole corporeal bulk of the world. which are known to our corporeal senses. do they now stand out. that is." For should any attempt to dispute against these two last opinions. In the Beginning God made heaven and earth. the spiritual and corporeal creature. But the earth was invisible. that is. but that formlessness. "in His Word coeternal with Himself. both that intelligible heaven. was as yet a formless matter of corporeal things." Another he who says. and darkness was upon the deep. for as we affirm that to be a greater good. "the Scripture did not call that formlessness by the name of heaven and earth. without light. that is. being now distinguished and formed. but that which God made.

that excellent minister of Thy Faith. away with all them too. that knowest it). concerning the truth of the things. when he wrote. what is true. and pray. how then can formless matter be meant in that name of earth. in the largeness of charity. when he said In the . which imagine Moses to have written things that be false. and seek in them for Thy meaning. "this is true. another way. as to affirm. away with all those who imagine themselves to know as a truth. that out of the same formlessness. upon which the Spirit of God moved? For if they be comprised in this word earth. that so the gathering together be itself the forming of them. All which that God made.many others. and Seraphim. He made heaven and earth. the other. two sorts of disagreements I see may arise. what Moses. notwithstanding this history hath omitted to show when it was created?" These things then being heard and perceived. Thrones." whether Moses thought this or that? For behold. nor again will any sober teaching dare to affirm these waters to be coeternal with God. with the same confidence as he would. why (seeing truth teaches us) should we not understand that formless matter (which this Scripture calls the earth invisible and without form. Or if in that which is said. when a thing is in words related by true reporters. but when they were created. Let the waters under the firmament be gathered together. and darksome deep) to have been created of God out of nothing. O my God. one. as the Cherubim. when God said. seeing we behold them flowing in so comely a manner. the firmament was made. and for this other. If then Genesis is silent as to God's making of any thing. as I do see it in Thy truth to be certain. according to the weakness of my capacity (which I confess unto Thee. what is false. that in Thy incommutable world Thou createdst all things visible and invisible. what shall we say of the waters. nor is it written. Powers. Because I see not in his mind. Dominions. For he might have his thoughts upon God's commencement of creating. and that the waters were made. on the ground that we find them to be mentioned in the hook of Genesis. as they are differently understood. which yet that God did make neither sound faith nor well-grounded understanding doubteth. would have his reader and hearer understand by those words. can I. what will be said as to those waters above the firmament? Seeing neither if formless would they have been worthy of so honourable a seat. so discover that one meaning. among those so many truths. and those which the Apostle distinctly speaks of. through the meaning of Thy servant. is most apparent. For the first sort. all things be comprehended. that Moses meant no other than this. I Thy servant. and called heaven. concerning the meaning of the relater. is not written? For the waters remain not formless and invisible. when we see the waters so beautiful? Or if it be so taken. which occur to enquirers in those words. we do not find. affirm also. O Lord. by what word they were formed." and "this would he have understood in that history". But if they then received that beauty. But which of us shall. why then is it written. who have in this book vowed a sacrifice of confession unto Thee. by whose pen Thou hast dispensed them. and therefore not to be coeternal to Him. with them that feed on Thy truth. For we enquire one way about the making of the creature. that by Thy mercy I may pay my vows unto Thee. and let us approach together unto the words of Thy book. But let me be united in Thee. "this Moses thought. with the same confidence wherewith I affirm. In the Beginning God made heaven and earth? No. O Lord. with those and delight myself in Thee. Principalities. that he thought of this when he wrote these things.

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

of most true meanings. had I been born in the time he was. which of them Moses principally meant. and through the whole world from such an eminence of authority. till it can fly. another. which was commanded so to do. than I would wish or desire Thee to have given me. might find what true opinion soever they had by thought arrived at. and hadst Thou set me in that office. as may be extracted out of those words. and they who had attained thereto. shall stretch himself beyond the guardian nest. have desired such a power of expression and such a style to be given me. I should have desired verily. God said. for whose sake he spake every thing. which in admirable variety their eye beholdeth around. which. had I then been Moses (for we all come from the same lump. carried on. O my God. might reject the sayings. fall miserably. after whose departure. and what is man. is derived from the same fountain. does out of a narrow scantling of language. but deep shady fruit-bowers. whereby they hold assured. that by the service of my heart and tongue those books might be dispensed. rashly to affirm. so the relation of that dispenser of Thine. see the fruits concealed therein. and it was made. which was to benefit many who were to discourse thereon. as too simple. as beyond their capacity. another. alas. And when they hear. lest they who go by the way trample on the unfledged bird. and whatever of the like sort. as in a mother's bosom. two great bodies above and below. by some new and sudden resolution. he will. and with cheerful notes seek out. when they read. For reading or hearing these words. I cannot believe that Thou gavest a less gift unto Moses Thy faithful servant. had I been then what he was. which for so long after were to profit all nations. and passing away. and send Thine angel to replace it into the nest. fly joyously around. Which words. were to surmount all sayings of false and proud teachings. being yet little ones and carnal. In whom. one truth. neither should that fail of being discoverable in those same words. that God made all natures. create heaven and earth. sounding in time. I would then. that came into being. and forgivest my sins: seeing Thou commandest me to love my neighbour as myself. unto whom these words are no longer a nest. their faith is wholesomely built up. And yet I. or hear these words. whose words we go about to expound. they see that all times past and to come. Who hearest my confessions. as it were at a certain distance. by larger circumlocutions of discourse. not passed over in those few words of that Thy servant: and should another man by the light of truth have discovered another. and supplies a tide for more streams over larger spaces. whence every man may draw out for himself such truth as he can upon these subjects. O Lord God. . Let it be made. than any one of those streams. For as a fountain within a narrow compass. while their weakness is by this humble kind of speech. is more plentiful. if any despising. Thou lifter up of my humility. and rest of my labour. and with pernicious contentions to offend charity itself. and been enjoined by Thee to write the book of Genesis. that neither they who cannot yet understand how God created. Have pity. wherein all things were to be contained. For some. after a wide interval. one. and pluck them. with a proud weakness. conceive that God like a man or some mass endued with unbounded power. that it may live. overflow into streams of clearest truth. saving that Thou art mindful of him?). exterior to itself. men's acquaintance with the material world would suggest. But others. they conceive of words begun and ended. did.

it may be rightly demanded of him. but the one. By eternity. then formed. as God is before all things. that only. and rejoice. and might all be made very good. and by Beginning understands the commencement of things created. another. a corporeal matter. as if it were said. a formless unlikeness. in the little degree they here may. he will find nothing. out of which this sensible corporeal mass was to he made. whereas that which existeth not. the other. than if it were said. as the fruit before the flower. the two middle. easily. in the light of Thy truth. what by choice. Another bends his mind on that which is said. is of so sharpsighted understanding. and what in original. of the universal intelligible and corporeal creation. are with extreme difficulty understood. nor by a will. what made He afterwards?" and after the universe. the visible only. Another likewise bends his mind on the same words. These things they see. but the one. in Thine own likeness. For a rare and too lofty a vision is it. what precedes by eternity. and yet that there is no creature formed in time. what by time. as to be able without great pains to discern. Thou madest all things. "If God made this first. the other formless. one formed nature. can only truly understand heaven and earth of the matter of heaven and earth. by time. In the Beginning God made heaven and earth. may exist. made or undergo the beautiful variations of the Universe. not of Thy making. who believe the creatures already ordered and arranged. In the beginning He made. and that a spiritual. or being in gradation removed in time and place. by original. God made matter first formless. And among them that understand In the Beginning to mean. because it is the same that Thou art. another. if he be but qualified to discern. because a tune is a formed sound. "In Thy Wisdom Thou createdst heaven and earth. again. "How did God make this first. that is. another. whereupon must he against his will hear another question. Of these four. according to their appointed capacity. which before was not. with the things in them contained. They again who by the names heaven and earth. And who. but out of nothing. and that these things were not out of Thyself. O Lord. if nothing after?" But when he says. in which we behold this lightsome heaven. the first and last mentioned. For if he would understand thereby the universe. the Beginning because It also speaketh unto us. and darksome earth. natures already formed and distinguished. so far as is given to each thing in his kind). as already formed. and beholdeth therein Wisdom. which is the form of all things." one believes the matter out of which the heaven and earth were to be created. by choice. and a thing not formed. to be in this place called heaven and earth. not by any change of will. as the sound before the tune. and thereby before them. as the flower before the fruit. neither do they understand it in one way. whether they abide around Thee. that matter out of which both the intelligible and the sensible creature were to be perfected. Whose will. to be there called heaven and earth. unchangeably making things changeable. out of which heaven and earth were to be formed. there is no absurdity. which should be formed by Thy likeness (recurring to Thy Unity. He at first made. But he that no otherwise understands In the Beginning He made. At first He made. under the name Heaven. containing in its vast bosom these visible and ordinary natures. to behold Thy Eternity. how the sound is therefore before the tune. Neither do they. cannot . understand the same.are surpassed by Thy eternal and stable abiding. understand matter as yet formless. under the name Earth. both the invisible and visible.

its sound is heard. pure charity. because heaven and earth were made out of it. delivering high things lowlily. this were not the language of my Confessions. and yet I know that those senses are true. and subsequently adapt or fashion them into the form of a chant. whereas in value it is last (because things formed are superior to things without form) and is preceded by the Eternity of the Creator: that so there might be out of nothing. Nor is it first in time. yea. For each sound. And our God have mercy upon us. should I not confess unto Thee. that whatever truth any could apprehend on those matters. but as though prior in time. an object of sense together with its form. full of Thy Spirit. And all we who. let Truth herself produce concord. that we may use the law lawfully. the end of the commandment. passeth away. not because it maketh it. why may not he be believed to have seen all these. for a sound is not better than a tune. nor canst thou find ought to recall and by art to compose. when by Thy revelation he wrote these things. and another. and not for vanities. might he conveyed in my words. whereof to make a tune. and with few words a copious meaning. for a sound is no way the workmaster of the tune. if both be true?" And if there be a third. but a beautiful sound. which among them chiefly excels both for light of truth. And yet nothing can be related of that matter. nor is it before by interval of time.be formed. whereof a chest or vessel is fashioned. "which of these was the meaning of Thy servant Moses". I should prefer so to write. he intended that. "Nay. for we do not first in time utter formless sounds without singing. So when one says. but is something corporeal. let us love one another. but as I do. and therefore (as I said) the matter of the sound is before the form of the tune. the dispenser of this Scripture. which sound of his is his matter. for it is given forth together with the tune. and fruitfulness of profit. as to believe that. but that was without form. through any power it hath to make it a tune. In this diversity of the true opinions. "I know not". that it may be a tune. or a fourth. as wood or silver. "Moses meant as I do". And even those hopeful little ones who so think. but in singing it is not so. a tune being not only a sound. for when it is sung. because the forms of things give rise to time. subjected to the soul which singeth. nor first in choice. who should see therein things true but divers? For I certainly (and fearlessly I speak it from my heart). if we are athirst for it. that were I to indite any thing to have supreme authority. Thus is the matter before the thing made. so soon as made. seeing itself is rather made. but a sound receives a form to become a tune. yea if any other seeth any other truth in those words. And this indeed is formed. but now is. not before. But it is first in original. of which I have spoken what seemed necessary. those carnal ones excepted. By this if man demands of me. that the words of Thy Book affright them not. because a tune receives not form to become a sound. and jointly love Thee our God. For such materials do by time also precede the forms of the things made of them. "Why not rather as both. understand how the matter of things was first made. see and express the truth delivered in those words. have this benefit. I confess. By this example. through whom the One God hath tempered the holy Scriptures to the senses of many. for there is not first a formless sound. rather than set down my own meaning so . the fountain of truth. in time. which is afterwards formed into a chant. Yet was it not made first in time. let us so honour this Thy servant. and called heaven and earth. let him that is able. So then the chant is concentrated in its sound. whereof somewhat might be created." I suppose that I speak more reverently.

whether Thou discoverest the same to us. Who createdst me. and call upon Thee. perhaps among many true meanings. not error deceive us. that is right and best. by the longing Thyself inspirest into her. so as to repay the work of Thy hands wherewith Thou madest me. certain. although many should occur. blottedst out all my evil deservings.clearly as to exclude the rest. or lest Thy power might be less. But to us. as to be helpful unto Thee. which Thy Truth willed by his words to tell me. so as not to repay into my hands. though he through whom they were spoken. which if I should not attain. that I might receive a well-being from Thee. Behold. because before I was. as a land. thought on some one? which if so it be. O Lord my God. where many may occur. that I would hear Thee from afar. I am. and forgottest not me. and be converted. as to that Thy servant. how much we have written upon a few words. for this should I endeavour. unless I cultivated Thee: but serving and worshipping Thee. either reveal that same. nor am I any such good. do Thou. what It willed. but which may be found in them. BOOK XIII I call upon Thee. as not to believe. O my God. yea what ages would suffice for all Thy books in this manner? Permit me then in these more briefly to confess unto Thee. for Thou. that must remain uncultivated. that calledst after me. whom Thou preventedst before I called. O Lord. Thou preparest for Thee. which revealed also unto him. and Thou hast prevented all my well deservings. wherewith I fell from Thee. and good sense that Thou shalt inspire me. which not being false. forgetting Thee. O Lord. could any thing be concealed from Thy good Spirit (who shall lead me into the land of uprightness). my Lord and God. and urgedst me with much variety of repeated calls. I will not therefore. preventing all this which Thou hast made me. yet I should say that. that I have a being capable of well-being. out of Thy goodness. let that which he thought on be of all the highest. I call Thee into my soul which. to which Thou mightest grant to be. Forsake me not now calling upon Thee. how much I beseech Thee! What strength of ours. as though Thou wouldest tire in working. O my God. or some other by occasion of those words. . perceived and thought on what truth soever we have been able to find. He without doubt. Lastly. Lord. who art God and not flesh and blood. when he wrote those words. which Thou Thyself by those words wert about to reveal to readers in times to come. and to choose some one true. this being the law my confession. and whereof Thou hast made me. yea and whatsoever we have not been able. that so. nor was I any thing. Thou wert. could not offend me. or any other true one which Thou pleasest. be so rash. yet Thou mayest feed us. my mercy. that if I should say that which Thy minister intended. that Thou vouchsafedst as much to that great man. nor yet are. from whom it comes. if man did see less. For neither hadst Thou need of me. and yet behold. not in serving Thee. if lacking my service: nor cultivating Thy service.

and please Thee. indued with form and from Thee the One Sovereign Good were made all very good. yet conformably to that Form which is equal unto Thee? For as in a body. though without form. else could it not be deformed. by Whom it was created. not as . though not equally. and hence were they perfected by Thee. since they had not been even this. and so to depend upon Thy Word. until in Thy Only One we become Thy righteousness. not as though Thy joy were fulfilled by them? For to Thee being perfect. is their imperfection displeasing. that so a good. not unsuitably. although these things had either never been. and cleaving to it. to be even without form. That which Thou saidst in the beginning of the creation. so likewise to a created spirit to live. but that Thou madest it. were in that life sometimes darkness. unless it had been by the same Word turned to that. had it any. and that not by existing simply. -unlike Thee. Or how could the inchoate spiritual creature deserve of Thee. seeing Thyself art Thine own Blessedness. For neither could its formless estate be pleasing unto Thee. I do. and the corporeal though without form. -the spiritual. and still labour amidst the relics of our darkness. or remained without form. restraining them and converting them to form. which Thou Thyself art. but from Thee? How did corporeal matter deserve of Thee. But as it had no claim on Thee for a life. For we ourselves also. even to ebb and flow darksomely like the deep. turned away from Thee our light. which Thou madest in the Beginning. like the mountains of God. which could be enlightened. ready to fall away into an immoderate liberty and far-distant unlikeliness unto Thee. nor was of Thee (lest so it should be equal to Thee). because Thou alone simply art. For we have been Thy judgments. not out of any want. become light. to depend thereon (even in that their several inchoate and formless state. that it lived. who as to the soul are a spiritual creature. which Thou alone art. which thou madest. it lose by turning from Thee. as formless. to be. else should it be wise unchangeably. whether spiritual or corporeal. doth Thy creature subsist. better than were it altogether nothing). superior to the corporeal though formed. which could no ways profit Thee. lest what light it hath obtained by turning to Thee. could not deserve of Thee to be made. How did they deserve of Thee. it owes to nothing but Thy grace. For what did heaven and earth. but out of the fulness of Thy goodness. understand of the spiritual creature: because there was already a sort of life. Let there be light. and relapse into life resembling the darksome deep. But good it is for it always to hold fast to Thee. but by beholding the illuminating light. and therefore because it was not. unto Thee it being not one thing to live. is not one with being beautiful. What then could he wanting unto Thy good. is not one with living wisely. and by Him so enlightened. which are like the great deep. might yet be since it could be made of Thee. another to live blessedly. to be even invisible and without form? seeing it were not even this.For of the fulness of Thy goodness. being turned by a better change unto That which cannot be changed into worse or better. so neither now that it was. and lived happily. so that. and there was light. deserve of Thee? Let those spiritual and corporeal natures which Thou madest in Thy Wisdom. unless it became light. unless by the same Word they were brought back to Thy Unity. which Thou mightest illuminate. to be enlightened. say wherein they deserved of Thee.

than as being borne above? Hence let him that is able. by our mother charity. and tell me. and then He. he teacheth and showeth unto us a more excellent way of charity. and of the earth invisible and without form. Lo. and under the name of Beginning. and in His light to see light. and by His enlightening became a beauteous life. where he thus speaks. To whom shall I speak this? how speak of the weight of evil desires. living is not one with happy living. Father. Behold the Trinity. Creator of all creation. and to live more and more by the fountain of life. I beseech Thee. and of the darksome deep. in itself all-sufficient for itself. tell me the reason. because Thou. equal unto Thee and coeternal. why after the mention of heaven. in whom He made these things. which is Thou my God. and beautified. on whom Thy good Spirit is said to rest. let it not teach me vanities. And therefore from the beginning. if He were borne over nothing. and how charity raises up again by Thy Spirit which was borne above the waters? to whom shall I speak it? how speak it? For it is not in space that we are merged and emerge. was borne upon that life which Thou hadst created. they be loves. and where he bows his knee unto Thee for us. that we may know the supereminent knowledge of the love of Christ. by Whom it was made. nor the Son. O Father. and yet what less like? They be affections. over which Thy Spirit may be understood to have been borne. and Holy Ghost. First then was that to be spoken of. and enlightened. whom it was meet not otherwise to be spoken of than as being borne. which was afterwards set between water and water. and by their perfecting wert also to be perfected. And under the name of God. the Son. I beseech Thee. was He borne supereminent above the waters. my God. and darkness upon the deep. unless it had been converted unto Him. and to be perfected. and Son. Thy Spirit moved upon the waters. and the holiness of Thine raising us . as I did. and to. nor could He rightly be said to be borne above. downwards to the steep abyss.wert Thou imperfect. ebbing and flowing in its own darkness: for which it remaineth to be converted unto Him. not borne up by them. to which. from Whom it had its then degree of life. createdst heaven and earth. over which He might be borne. I searched further in His holy words. seeing it liveth also. But what was the cause. For those. that is. in Him Who is the Beginning of our wisdom. and of the earth invisible and without form. who made these things. For neither was He borne above the Father. and the heaven of that heaven. as if He rested upon them. Thy Scripture should then at length mention Thy Spirit? Was it because it was meet that the knowledge of Him should be conveyed. in reference to the wandering instability of its spiritual deformity. Much now have we said of the Heaven of heavens. in Thy Son. But Thy incorruptible and unchangeable will. born of Thyself. the uncleanness of our spirit flowing away downwards with the love of cares. Because Thy love is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us: and where concerning spiritual gifts. as being "borne above". I now held the Father. follow with his understanding Thy Apostle. dispel its darkness. unless that were first mentioned. Which is Thy Wisdom. my God as the Trinity. For Thy good Spirit indeed was borne over the waters. What can be more. and believing. But wherefore was it not meet that the knowledge of Him should be conveyed otherwise. and this could not be said. now the Trinity appears unto me in a glass darkly. He causes to rest in Himself. O true-speaking Light? -unto Thee lift I up my heart.

which is not my God. Blessed creature. Give Thyself unto me. had . and are made light: but of that is only said. and sing a song of degrees. They are urged by their own weights to seek their own places. had even the heaven of heavens been in itself a darksome deep. without any interval. I would love more strongly. Which is borne above every thing changeable. then neither was the Holy Spirit. which being itself other than Thou. and go forwards. why is it said only of Him? As if He had been in place. For even in that miserable restlessness of the spirits. of Whom only it is written. and rested in Thy Spirit. and come to that supereminent repose. But was not either the Father. Let there be light. that woe is me except in Thee: not only without but within myself also. Love lifts us up thither. by Thy Gift. Fire tends upward. There hath Thy good pleasure placed us. and Holy Ghost borne upon the waters. than that. but to abide there for ever. like a body. it was. less than Thee. they are restless. Who is not in place. by Thy Gift we are kindled. Let there be light. they seek their own places. in that we were darkness. and there was light. until it be hidden in the hidden place of Thy Presence. that we may lift our hearts unto Thee. The body by its own weight strives towards its own place. we glow inwardly with Thy fire. borne aloft by that calling whereby Thou saidst. and are carried upwards. dost Thou sufficiently reveal how noble Thou madest the reasonable creature. so soon as it was made. a stone downward. they are at rest. in space. For Thou. and if it be too little. In Thy good pleasure is our peace. where Thy Spirit is borne above the waters. This only I know. O our God. and Thy good Spirit lifts up our lowliness from the gates of death. Angels fell away. When out of their order. and then shall our darkness be as the noon day. nor turn away. then were both Father. or the Son. and every obedient intelligence of Thy heavenly City had cleaved to Thee. I cannot measure so as to know. but if the unchangeable supereminence of Divinity above all things changeable. shalt lighten our darkness: from Thee riseth our garment of light. We ascend Thy ways that be in our heart. but now it is light in the Lord. thereby am I borne. what it would have been. and so not even herself. ready for the whole spiritual creation. because we go upwards to the peace of Jerusalem: for gladdened was I in those who said unto me. there we enjoy Thee. to which nothing will suffice to yield a happy rest. we glow inwardly. when bared of the clothing of Thy light. water poured upon oil. ere my life may run into Thy embracements. man's soul fell away. We will go up to the house of the Lord. and thereby pointed the abyss in that dark depth. with Thy good fire. and Son. Which is borne unchangeably over every thing changeable. is emptiness to me.upward by love of unanxious repose. is my love. Weight makes not downward only. Otherwise. O my God. They are urged by their own weight. We are inflamed. when our soul shall have passed through the waters which yield no support. hadst not Thou said from the beginning. My weight. Our rest is our place. Oil poured below water. whithersoever I am borne. how much love there yet lacketh to me. borne above the waters? if this means. and we go. but to his own place. restored to order. has known no other condition. sinks below the oil. Why then is this said of Thy Spirit only. Whereas in us this took place at different times. is raised above the water. restore Thyself unto me: behold I love. who fell away and discovered their own darkness. that we may desire nothing else. and there had been light. and all abundance. that He is Thy gift? In Thy Gift we rest.

and Will: I Am Knowing and Willing: and I Know myself to Be. I would that men would consider these three. and Thou saidst. Now the three I spake of are. and to Know. and we were covered with the darkness of ignorance. and tell me. even he as yet. In these three then. for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. -who can readily conceive this? who could any ways express it? who would. but now light in the Lord. as the hart after the water-brooks. as if it had been unsettled and darksome before. we were sometimes darkness. Why should he trouble me. how inseparable a life there is. For Thou chastenedst man for iniquity. yet. or whether both ways at once. knows what it speaks of. where they may practise themselves. is not hope. And because our soul was troubled within us. because among us also. any way. and Holy Ghost. Son. As yet doth he that saith. and Know. And they contend and strive. and one essence. namely. that are in themselves. in Thy Name have we been baptised. behold. for by hope we are saved. from the land of Jordan. And. Son. and saith. and to Will: and I Will to Be. to Know. Itself a bound unto Itself within Itself. as if I could enlighten any man that cometh into this world? Which of us comprehendeth the Almighty Trinity? and yet which speaks not of It. For I Am. and whether because of these three. Repent ye. which Is unchangeably. O my faith. yet unbounded. let him not therefore think that he has found that which is above these Unchangeable. might appear. Holy. unchangeably the Self-same. and Thy judgments were like the great deep unto him. if indeed it be It? Rare is the soul. there is in God also a Trinity. the spiritual and carnal people of His Church. and reacheth forth to those which are before. we remembered Thee. and groaneth being burthened. Surely a man hath it before him. and to Will. Let there be light. Whoso can. but little for our sakes: and our darkness displeased us. yea lastly how inseparable a distinction there is. let him look into himself. but as unto carnal. yea one life.it not been enlightened. These three be indeed far other than the Trinity: I do but tell. and forgetteth those things which are behind. so that the three belong to Each. namely. in Thy Name do we baptise. As yet doth deep call unto deep. let him understand this. by the abundant greatness of its Unity. doth not think himself to have apprehended. I could not speak unto you as unto spiritual. we turned unto Thee and there was light. before it received the form of doctrine. but hope that is seen. O Lord my God. that being turned to the Light unfailing it became light. whereby It is. which while it speaks of It. Holy. But because Thy Spirit was borne above the waters. pronounce thereon rashly? Proceed in thy confession. When . and yet a distinction. To Be. without peace. simply and yet manifoldly. and see. But when he discovers and can say any thing of these. mind. Holy. But as yet by faith and not by sight. let him discern that can. that so the cause whereby it was made otherwise. and Holy Ghost. Yea and our earth. let him ask of Thee. Father. wondrously. or whether all three be in Each. was invisible and without form. and Knows unchangeably. and is Known unto Itself and sufficeth to itself. And. Repent ye. and Wills unchangeably. say to the Lord thy God. and there prove and feel how far they be. in His Christ did God make heaven and earth. Father. let there be light. this is so spoken. but now in the voice of Thy water-spouts. and that mountain equal unto Thyself. Thy mercy forsook not our misery. O Lord. and his soul thirsteth after the Living God. no man sees that vision.

be ye children. how Thou with skins didst clothe men. be not children in understanding. whereof others also are made unto dishonour. until the wrath of the Lord. but in malice. and shall see the health of my countenance. O my God. to Him he sighs. but in Thine who sentest Thy Spirit from above. until the night. and becomes a deep. For heaven shall be folded up like a scroll. underwent mortality. my God. yet still groaning within himself. not for himself. the redemption of his body. and O foolish Galatians. and callest the light. because in the voice of Thy water-spouts. having now the first-fruits of the Spirit laid up with Him. O what a light of beauty will that be. when we shall see Him as He is. And. so their minds should be corrupted from the purity that is in our Bridegroom Thy only Son. that in understanding ye may be perfect. and those tears be passed away. Thou knowest. made for us that firmament of authority over us in Thy Divine Scripture? as it is said. lest as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty. and the children of the day. . I too say. For who discerneth us. O my soul. Or who. waiting for the adoption. Lord. and are the children of light. and set open the floodgates of His gifts. a member of the Bride. where Thou art! in Thee I breathe a little. or rather perceives itself still to be a deep. that we should now be light: whilst we are saved by hope. and why dost thou trouble me? Hope in the Lord. which yet sometimes we were. night. which have been my meat day and night. the mother of the wicked. through Him who ascended up on high. by the Spirit that dwelleth in us. saying. and the darkness. because it relapseth. Thou only dividest. who hath bewitched you? But now no longer in his own voice. that we have not received of Thee? out of the same lump vessels are made unto honour. over whom being jealous he feareth. the sound of him that keeps holy-day. our God. For Thy Divine Scripture is of more eminent authority. for Him he is jealous. and now is it stretched over us like a skin. who provest our hearts. not the children of the night. but Thou? And what have we. Hope thou in the Lord. who also shall quicken our mortal bodies. Unto it speaks my faith which Thou hast kindled to enlighten my feet in the night. And Thou knowest. for Him he is jealous. and contemplate Thee: I shall for ever confess unto Thee. Betwixt whom and us. be overpast. doth he call to that other depth. Him doth this friend of the Bridegroom sigh after. And yet again it is sad. since those mortals by whom Thou dispensest it unto us. until the day break. nor of the darkness. to wit. and calleth upon this lower deep. when I pour out my soul by myself in the voice of joy and praise. that the force of His streams might make glad the city of God. relics whereof we bear about us in our body. Where is now Thy God? Behold. in this uncertainty of human knowledge. who were sometimes darkness. His word is a lanthorn unto thy feet: hope and endure. and the shadows fly away. except Thou. in the morning I shall stand in Thy presence. whilst they daily say unto me. because He hath in mercy been borne over our inner darksome and floating deep: from Whom we have in this pilgrimage received an earnest. as being a friend of the Bridegroom. In the morning I shall stand in Thy presence. but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind. whereof we also were once children. not in his own voice.shall I come? desiring to be clothed upon with his house which is from heaven. Whence Thou hast like a skin stretched out the firmament of Thy book. Where art Thou? see. dead because of sin. Be not conformed to this world. Why art thou sad. day. when they by sin became mortal. Thou.

Thou hadst not as yet spread abroad the heaven like a skin. or by reading to know of Thy Word. and separated from earthly corruption. Because the scroll shall be rolled together: and the grass over which it was spread. where they might gaze up and learn Thy mercy. and make my neck pliant to Thy yoke. O my God. and Willeth unchangeably. and Knoweth unchangeably. O Lord. which now appeareth unto us under the dark image of the clouds. I know not any other such pure words. upon the heavens.that is. For altogether. so should it be known by the thing enlightened. and there read without any syllables in time. they read. and Thy Knowledge Is. is in the heavens. but Thy Scripture is spread abroad over the people. which whilst they lived here. but Thy words shall not pass away. for by choosing. Other waters there be above this firmament. Their book is never closed. Thy praise out of the mouth of babes and sucklings. For Thy mercy. Yet heaven and earth also shall pass away. which so persuade me to confess. which giveth wisdom unto the little ones: perfect. The clouds pass away. and that never passes away which they read. O Lord. for we shall see Him as He is. but Thy Word remaineth for ever. the work of Thy fingers. Thou hadst not as yet enlarged in all directions the glory of their deaths. which by the ministry of mortal men Thou spreadest over us. what willeth Thy eternal will. Let us look. who am placed under them: because for those placed under them. who have no need to gaze up at this firmament. Who art unchangeably. Thou only knowest. The preachers of Thy word pass out of this life into another. because as it cannot of itself enlighten . as Thou art. hast Thou established them. was not so eminently extended. they read the very unchangeableness of Thy counsel. Let them praise Thy Name. and kindled us. and art eternally. Let me understand them. good Father: grant this to me. And Thy Essence Knoweth. For they always behold Thy face. I know not. announcing in time Thee Who madest times. and Willeth unchangeably. clear from our eyes that cloud. There is Thy testimony. and Thy truth reacheth unto the clouds. who resisteth Thy reconciliation by defending his own sins. For by their very death was that solid firmament of authority. but the heaven abideth. yet it hath not yet appeared what we shall be. and by loving. and changeable. and through the glass of the heavens. which Thou hast firmly settled over the infirmity of the lower people. and invite me to serve Thee for nought. they choose. and willest unchangeably. shall with the goodliness of it pass away. the supercelestial people. in Thy discourses set forth by them. nor their scroll folded up. They are ever reading. Lord. which so destroy the enemy and the defender. For we know no other books. Therefore is my soul like a land where no water is. will our sight be. though the well-beloved of Thy Son. and He spake us tenderly. I believe immortal. But when He shall appear. because Thou hast ordained them above this firmament. and we ran after His odours. seeing Thou Thyself art this to them. that as the Unchangeable Light knoweth Itself. which Thou hast spread under them. Thine angels. not as it is: because we also. which so destroy pride. more eminently extended over all that be under it. and Thy Will Is. and knowest unchangeably. He looketh through the lattice of our flesh. then shall we be like Him. As He is. let them praise Thee. Thy harmonizing words. they love. Nor seemeth it right in Thine eyes. even unto the end of the world. Lord.

behold. a temporal and earthly felicity. and righteousness look down from heaven. Let us clothe the naked. and things of sense. and Thou. we compassionate so as to relieve the needy. others have laboured. Thou waterest by a sweet spring. that their waves may break one against another: and thus makest Thou it a sea. to divide between the things intellectual. in sowing whereof. and. for Thou restrainest the wicked desires of men's souls. but Thy spiritual children also set and ranked in the same firmament (now that Thy grace is laid open throughout the world). and be for signs of times. Thus grantest Thou the prayers of him that asketh. so can it not of itself satisfy itself. and Thou hast made it. with our best strength. when from feeling of our infirmity. and ourselves. for attaining whereof they do all things. that the earth may bring forth her fruit. but the gathering together of the waters. Let the waters be gathered together into one place. and bring the houseless poor to our house. and settest them their bounds. or between souls. how far they may be allowed to pass. dividest between the light and the darkness. having seed in itself according to its likeness. For to one . let truth spring out of the earth. our soul may bud forth works of mercy according to their kind. and the day is at hand: and that Thou wilt crown Thy year with blessing. Who gathered the embittered together into one society? For they have all one end. For there Thou instructest us. For so is the fountain of life with Thee. and let there be lights in the firmament.itself. and giving him the shelter of protection. as betwixt the day and the night. and Thy hands prepared the dry land. and let the dry land appear. Lord. but Thou. like the tree yielding fruit: that is. or things of sense. and divide betwixt the day and the night. and despise not those of our own flesh. arriving at the delightfulness of contemplation. not only in things easy. and that our salvation is nearer than when we believed: and that the night is far spent. so commanding. from the hand of the powerful. by the order of Thy dominion over all things. saidst. For Thou by an eternal counsel dost in their proper seasons bestow heavenly blessings upon the earth. Lord God. and in Thy years which fail not. Which fruits having sprung out of the earth. Lord. all things are become new. Thou preparest a garner for our passing years. but also in the protection of our assistance. Who. obtaining the Word of Life above. by the mighty strength of just judgment. like as in Thy light we shall see light. let there spring up. from this lower fruitfulness of action. well-doing in rescuing him that suffers wrong. as Thou doest. So. as in herb yielding seed. loving our neighbour in the relief of his bodily necessities. called sea. I beseech Thee. and blessest the years of the just. given either to things intellectual. sending also into another field. which thirsteth after Thee? For the sea also is Thine. may give light upon the earth. see it is good: and let our temporary light break forth. appear like lights in the world. Nor is the bitterness of men's wills. helping them. so. so that now not Thou only in the secret of Thy judgment. and that appear before Thee (being by other bounds divided from the society of the sea). whose harvest shall be in the end. that old things are passed away. But the souls that thirst after Thee. as Thou givest cheerfulness and ability. but Thou art the same. as before the firmament was made. if we were in like need. sending the labourers of Thy goodness into Thy harvest. cleaving to the firmament of Thy Scripture. Let us break our bread to the hungry. as we would be helped. though they waver up and down with an innumerable variety of cares.

and come. and let the day. not bear false witness. and for thee there may be lights in the firmament of heaven. until he be strengthened for solid meat and his eye be enabled to behold the Sun. ye beautiful feet. which are reckoned up in order. though as yet in signs and in times. you weak things of the world. go after Him. and night. and from before mine eyes. to profit withal. All these (saith he) have I kept. saith the Lord. that the dry land may appear. That rich man asked of the good Master. and confound the mighty. So dost Thou speak to us. that ye may follow the Lord. yet doth not the night . that thou also mayest know it. but He is good because He is God). But first. and follow the Lord if thou wilt be perfect. by giving to the poor. For all these worketh the one and self-same spirit. that we may discern all things. lightened by the sun. and the tree bearing fruit. not kill. root up the spreading thickets of covetousness. shining with the moon. and those other notices of gifts. if he would enter into life. as it were a babe in Christ and fed on milk. and bring forth the honouring of father and mother. be clean. are only for the rule of the night. that the earth may bring forth the green herb for meat. let him not dwell in a night forsaken of all light. the word of knowledge. who speaketh wisdom among those that are perfect. as thou hast heard of the good Master. To another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit. and the darkness of the little ones. though not as the angels.is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom. and shine ye in the firmament. which will not be. what he should do to attain eternal life. show unto night. unless there thy treasure be. wash you. in Thy Book. and thou shalt have treasure in heaven. plead for the widow. to another the gift with the light of perspicuous truth. But that barren earth was grieved. even he. which gladdens the forementioned day. as it were for the rule of the day. as it were the lesser light: to another faith. associated with them. and in years. let Him tell him. Who knoweth what to distribute to the day. to another prophecy. speech of wisdom. chosen generation. dividing to every man his own as He will. Learn to do good. The moon and stars shine for the night. as that Thy most prudent servant could not speak unto as unto spiritual. But the word of knowledge. And all these as it were stars. wherein are contained all Sacraments. our All-wise God. Thy firmament. and the love of our neighbour. to another the working of miracles. that the heavens may declare His glory. inasmuch as they come short of that brightness of wisdom. not commit adultery. if the earth be fruitful? Go. not steal. and in days. though not despised. Whence then so many thorns. But you. put away evil from your souls. But the natural man. that there may be lights in the firmament of the heaven. Shine over the earth. Let the good Master tell him (whom he thought no more than man. but as unto carnal. go after Him. to another divers kinds of tongues. unless thy heart be there: nor will that either be. and to the night. sell that thou hast. and they may shine upon the earth. in an admirable contemplation. and causing stars to appear manifestly. dividing between the light of the perfect. judge the fatherless. but be content with the light of the moon and the stars. as it were the lesser light: to another faith. utter unto day. as it were stars. to another discerning of spirits. For they are necessary to such. and the thorns choked the word. that the dry land may appear. which are varied in their seasons as it were the moon. he must keep the commandments: let him put away from him the bitterness of malice and wickedness. to another the gift of healing. and be filled with fruit. among whom He speaketh wisdom. let us reason together. who have forsaken all.

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

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

. so as to follow after his kind. Thou teachest him. when our affections have been restrained from the love of the world." but. not now after your kind. -Spiritual persons (whether such as are set over. "Let man be made. For this he doth by the understanding of his mind. and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. our Creator. Let us make man. after our image and likeness. to discern the Trinity of the Unity. But be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind. as may suffice that eternity be clearly seen. Wherefore Thou sayest not. not dangerous. by which we died through evil-living. for I also am as you are. by Thy Evangelists. And God made man: and to that said in the plural. -for in this way didst Thou make man male and female. Thus is man renewed in the knowledge of God. and cherish as a nurse. be ye transformed (saith he) by the renewing of your mind. where. For to this purpose said that dispenser of Thine (who begat children by the Gospel). neither bond nor free. have any lack. and good cattle. a soul made continent in Thy Word. and perfect will of Thine: yea. do judge spiritually. Nor saidst Thou. In Thy Church therefore. so shalt thou be beloved by all men). shall they over-abound. saying. that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. whom he must be fain to feed with milk. needs not man as his director. O Lord. After the image of God. which neither if they eat. to do hurt. For man being renewed in his mind. and is compared unto the brute beasts. according to the sex of body. O our God." but Let us make man. is yet subjoined in the singular. that he might not for ever have them babes. by following the followers of Thy Christ. but wise to take heed. which Thou presently subjoinedst. nor as living after the example of some better man (for Thou saidst not. yet himself is judged of no man. and Thy word which Thou spokest by Thy apostle. had no understanding. Wherefore to that said in the plural. that acceptable. now made capable. our God. being understood by the things that are made. because neither Jew nor Grecian. after the image of Him that created him: and being made spiritual. through good living. man being placed in honour. when being restrained from deadly prevailing upon us. and over the fowls of the air. because a man is wont to imitate his friend. and good serpents. "according to his kind". they live. there is neither male nor female. but. For this is after his kind. whereas otherwise. For behold. Be ye (saith he) as I am. this answers to his having dominion over the fish of the sea. After our likeness. Let us make man after our own image and similitude). But that he judgeth all things. Go on with thy business in meekness. or such as obey). and begun to be a living soul. whereby he perceiveth the things of the Spirit of God. "Let man be made after his kind. but they also who spiritually are subject to those that are set over them. and over all cattle and wild beasts. that we might prove what Thy will is. Thus in this living soul shall there be good beasts. is made good in us. in Thy grace spiritual. not those only who are spiritually set over. and the Unity of the Trinity. and are good. he judgeth all things (all things which are to be judged). is subjoined in the singular. but by Thy direction proveth what is that good. nor. if they eat not. and is become like unto them.is. in meekness of action (for Thou hast commanded. and beholding and understanding Thy truth. and only making so much search into this temporal nature. according to Thy grace which Thou hast bestowed upon it (for we are Thy workmanship created unto good works). Be not conformed to this world: there follows that also. as though following your neighbour who went before you. For these creatures are obedient unto reason. and over all the earth.

and of those things. So that there is need to speak aloud into the ears. Thou blessest mankind. so that the people may answer. though now spiritual and renewed in the knowledge of God after His image that created him. and over all creeping things which creep upon the earth. and replenish the waters of the sea. or ever the firmament was made. that even what is closed to our sight. I might say likewise. and have not as yet discovered themselves unto us by works. received not dominion over the lights of heaven. as Thy mercy searches out in many waters: or in that. is yet rightly and truly spoken. O God. that by their fruits we might know them: but Thou. O our God. The spiritual man judgeth also by allowing of what is right. in holy meditations. nor over that hidden heaven itself. and over all the earth. Nor doth he. knowing not which of them shall hereafter come into the sweetness of Thy grace. who created created us after Thine Image. is occasioned by the deep of this world. as proceed out of the mouth. as it were the earth bringing forth fruit. nor the stars. Upon all these is he now said to judge. expounding. whom Thou hast made after Thine own image. that they may increase and multiply. for what hath he to do. and replenish the earth. -such signs. nor over the day and the night. Lord. to judge them that are without. Neither doth he judge of that distinction of spiritual and carnal men. which is the sea. and what kind of mystery? Behold. or praying unto Thee. and the fowls of the air. even though something there shineth not clearly. and the blindness of the flesh. nor the earth. their alms. subject to the authority of Thy Book. though spiritual. flying as it were under the firmament. for we submit our understanding unto it. nor over the gathering together of the waters. whether in the celebration of those Sacraments by which such are initiated. and He disalloweth what He findeth amiss. For so man. the devout earth feedeth upon: or in the expressions and signs of words. in chastity. Amen. that this blessing pertained properly unto such . so that. in fasting. that it had been Thy good pleasure to bestow this blessing peculiarly upon man. which Thou calledst day. which. in which that Fish is set forth. in the works and lives of the faithful. For He judgeth and approveth what He findeth right. dost even now know them. The vocal pronouncing of all which words. that they should increase and multiply. consecrating. yet they derive their beginning from the waters. which cannot see thoughts. which are perceived by the senses of the body. judge the unquiet people of this world. nor the firmament of heaven. and hold for certain. living by the taming of the affections. and which continue in the perpetual bitterness of ungodliness? Man therefore. and disallowing what he finds amiss. discoursing disputing. which Thou calledst before the foundation of the heaven. dost Thou not thereby give us a hint to understand something? why didst Thou not as well bless the light. although flying fowls be multiplied upon the earth. and of the living soul. hadst Thou not in like manner blessed the fishes and the whales. wherein he hath also power of correction. taken out of the deep. but He received dominion over the fishes of the sea. who are known unto Thine eyes. nor the sea? I might say that Thou. nor the lights. and sound forth. and hast divided and called them in secret. and over all cattle. ought to be a doer of the law. not a judge. O Lord. by interpreting. I might say. and that the fowls should be multiplied upon the earth. But what is this.not of that spiritual knowledge which shines in the firmament (for they ought not to judge as to so supreme authority). nor may they judge of Thy Book itself.

and plants. Behold. but by various kinds of true senses? Thus do man's offspring increase and multiply. we find not. and one expression understood many ways. If therefore we conceive of the natures of the things themselves. except in signs corporeally expressed. wherein I confess unto Thee. nor serpents is it said. Increase and multiply. the single love of God and our neighbour. as in heaven and earth. and without meaning?" Not so. and that understood many ways in the mind. and to spiritual gifts set forth for edification. notwithstanding all these as well as the fishes. is it not understood manifoldly. far he it from a minister of Thy word to say so.creatures. not allegorically. human generations. Increase and multiply. nor the beasts. hast given to each man to understand. And if I understand not what Thou meanest by that phrase. make better use of it. as in the living soul. what this lesson suggests to me. as in the lights of heaven. as in the herbs bearing seed. that come of seed. abundance. But if we treat of the words as figuratively spoken (which I rather suppose to be the purpose of the Scripture. and in trees bearing fruit. in how innumerable modes of speaking. let my betters. But now neither unto the herbs. and in each several language. behold. my God. surely. and to the society of people yet in the bitterness of infidelity. what Scripture delivers. do by generation increase and continue their kind. but what shall in such wise increase and multiply that one thing may be expressed many ways. what we read to be obscurely delivered but in one. and innumerable languages. as in light and darkness. nor the trees. which is signified one way by corporeal expression. by things mentally conceived. as are bred of their own kind. and in things mentally conceived. that is. and to righteous and unrighteous. Observe again. For in this blessing. What then shall I say. nor will I suppress. and to the zeal of holy souls. In all these instances we meet with multitudes. had I found it given to the fruit-trees. it is corporeally expressed. Thus are the waters of the sea replenished. which doth not. then does the phrase increase and multiply. necessarily occasioned by the depth of the flesh. that Thou spokest not so in vain. which is understood one way by the mind. or men. and to holy authors who have been the ministers of the Law unto us. those of more understanding than myself. By signs corporeally pronounced we understand the generations of the waters. not through any deceit of error. O Father of piety. For I know a thing to be manifoldly signified by corporeal expressions. and the voice pronounces one only way. But let my confession also be pleasing in Thine eyes. nor do I see what should hinder me from thus understanding the figurative sayings of Thy Bible. and to works of mercy belonging to this present life. that I believe. as in the dry land. both to express several ways what we understand but one. as in the sea. O Truth my Light? "that it was idly said. and increase. For it is true. fowls. and beasts of the earth. according as Thou. by what manifold sacraments. but properly. O Lord. I conceive Thee to have granted us a power and a faculty. to have said to these kinds. and to understand several ways. superfluously ascribe this benediction to the offspring of aquatic animals and man only). And for this end do we believe Thee. as in the firmament which is settled betwixt the waters and the waters. whosoever readest this. which are not moved but by several significations: thus . and to affections formed unto temperance. then do we find "multitude" to belong to creatures spiritual as well as corporeal. In the Beginning God created heaven and earth. Lord. Thus do the offspring of the waters increase and multiply. on account of the fruitfulness of reason. agree unto all things.

with human increase is the earth also replenished, whose dryness appeareth in its longing, and reason ruleth over it. I would also say, O Lord my God, what the following Scripture minds me of; yea, I will say, and not fear. For I will say the truth, Thyself inspiring me with what Thou willedst me to deliver out of those words. But by no other inspiration than Thine, do I believe myself to speak truth, seeing Thou art the Truth, and every man a liar. He therefore that speaketh a lie, speaketh of his own; that therefore I may speak truth, I will speak of Thine. Behold, Thou hast given unto us for food every herb bearing seed which is upon all the earth; and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed. And not to us alone, but also to all the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the earth, and to all creeping things; but unto the fishes and to the great whales, hast Thou not given them. Now we said that by these fruits of the earth were signified, and figured in an allegory, the works of mercy which are provided for the necessities of this life out of the fruitful earth. Such an earth was the devout Onesiphorus, unto whose house Thou gavest mercy, because he often refreshed Thy Paul, and was not ashamed of his chain. Thus did also the brethren, and such fruit did they bear, who out of Macedonia supplied what was lacking to him. But how grieved he for some trees, which did not afford him the fruit due unto him, where he saith, At my first answer no man stood by me, but all men forsook me. I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge. For these fruits are due to such as minister the spiritual doctrine unto us out of their understanding of the divine mysteries; and they are due to them, as men; yea and due to them also, as the living soul, which giveth itself as an example, in all continency; and due unto them also, as flying creatures, for their blessings which are multiplied upon the earth, because their sound went out into all lands. But they are fed by these fruits, that are delighted with them; nor are they delighted with them, whose God is their belly. For neither in them that yield them, are the things yielded the fruit, but with what mind they yield them. He therefore that served God, and not his own belly, I plainly see why he rejoiced; I see it, and I rejoice with him. For he had received from the Philippians, what they had sent by Epaphroditus unto him: and yet I perceive why he rejoiced. For whereat he rejoiced upon that he fed; for, speaking in truth, I rejoiced (saith he) greatly in the Lord, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again, wherein ye were also careful, but it had become wearisome unto you. These Philippians then had now dried up, with a long weariness, and withered as it were as to bearing this fruit of a good work; and he rejoiceth for them, that they flourished again, not for himself, that they supplied his wants. Therefore subjoins he, not that I speak in respect of want, for I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound; every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full, and to be hungry; both to abound, and to suffer need. I can do all things through Him which strengtheneth me. Whereat then rejoicest thou, O great Paul? whereat rejoicest thou? whereon feedest thou, O man, renewed in the knowledge of God, after the image of Him that created thee, thou living soul, of so much continency, thou tongue like flying fowls, speaking mysteries? (for to such creatures, is this food due;) what is it that feeds thee? joy. Hear we what follows: notwithstanding, ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction.

Hereat he rejoiceth, hereon feedeth; because they had well done, not because his strait was eased, who saith unto Thee, Thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; for that he knew to abound, and to suffer want, in Thee Who strengthenest him. For ye Philippians also know (saith he), that in the beginning of the Gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no Church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only. For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity. Unto these good works, he now rejoiceth that they are returned; and is gladdened that they flourished again, as when a fruitful field resumes its green. Was it for his own necessities, because he said, Ye sent unto my necessity? Rejoiceth he for that? Verily not for that. But how know we this? Because himself says immediately, not because I desire a gift, but I desire fruit. I have learned of Thee, my God, to distinguish betwixt a gift, and fruit. A gift, is the thing itself which he gives, that imparts these necessaries unto us; as money, meat, drink, clothing, shelter, help: but the fruit, is the good and right will of the giver. For the Good Master said not only, He that receiveth a prophet, but added, in the name of a prophet: nor did He only say, He that receiveth a righteous man, but added, in the name of a righteous man. So verily shall the one receive the reward of a prophet, the other, the reward of a righteous man: nor saith He only, He that shall give to drink a cup of cold water to one of my little ones; but added, in the name of a disciple: and so concludeth, Verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward. The gift is, to receive a prophet, to receive a righteous man, to give a cup of cold water to a disciple: but the fruit, to do this in the name of a prophet, in the name of a righteous man, in the name of a disciple. With fruit was Elijah fed by the widow that knew she fed a man of God, and therefore fed him: but by the raven was he fed with a gift. Nor was the inner man of Elijah so fed, but the outer only; which might also for want of that food have perished. I will then speak what is true in Thy sight, O Lord, that when carnal men and infidels (for the gaining and initiating whom, the initiatory Sacraments and the mighty workings of miracles are necessary, which we suppose to be signified by the name of fishes and whales) undertake the bodily refreshment, or otherwise succour Thy servant with something useful for this present life; whereas they be ignorant, why this is to be done, and to what end; neither do they feed these, nor are these fed by them; because neither do the one do it out of an holy and right intent; nor do the other rejoice at their gifts, whose fruit they as yet behold not. For upon that is the mind fed, of which it is glad. And therefore do not the fishes and whales feed upon such meats, as the earth brings not forth until after it was separated and divided from the bitterness of the waves of the sea. And Thou, O God, sawest every thing that Thou hadst made, and, behold, it was very good. Yea we also see the same, and behold, all things are very good. Of the several kinds of Thy works, when Thou hadst said "let them be," and they were, Thou sawest each that it was good. Seven times have I counted it to be written, that Thou sawest that that which Thou madest was good: and this is the eighth, that Thou sawest every thing that Thou hadst made, and, behold, it was not only good, but also very good, as being now altogether. For severally, they were only good; but altogether, both good, and very good. All beautiful bodies express the same; by reason that a body consisting of members

all beautiful, is far more beautiful than the same members by themselves are, by whose well-ordered blending the whole is perfected; notwithstanding that the members severally be also beautiful. And I looked narrowly to find, whether seven, or eight times Thou sawest that Thy works were good, when they pleased Thee; but in Thy seeing I found no times, whereby I might understand that Thou sawest so often, what Thou madest. And I said, "Lord, is not this Thy Scripture true, since Thou art true, and being Truth, hast set it forth? why then dost Thou say unto me, 'that in Thy seeing there be no times'; whereas this Thy Scripture tells me, that what Thou madest each day, Thou sawest that it was good: and when I counted them, I found how often." Unto this Thou answerest me, for Thou art my God, and with a strong voice tellest Thy servant in his inner ear, breaking through my deafness and crying, "O man, that which My Scripture saith, I say: and yet doth that speak in time; but time has no relation to My Word; because My Word exists in equal eternity with Myself. So the things which ye see through My Spirit, I see; like as what ye speak by My Spirit, I speak. And so when ye see those things in time, I see them not in time; as when ye speak in time, I speak them not in time." And I heard, O Lord my God, and drank up a drop of sweetness out of Thy truth, and understood, that certain men there be who mislike Thy works; and say, that many of them Thou madest, compelled by necessity; such as the fabric of the heavens, and harmony of the stars; and that Thou madest them not of what was Thine, but that they were otherwhere and from other sources created, for Thee to bring together and compact and combine, when out of Thy conquered enemies Thou raisedst up the walls of the universe; that they, bound down by the structure, might not again be able to rebel against Thee. For other things, they say Thou neither madest them, nor even compactedst them, such as all flesh and all very minute creatures, and whatsoever hath its root in the earth; but that a mind at enmity with Thee, and another nature not created by Thee, and contrary unto Thee, did, in these lower stages of the world, beget and frame these things. Frenzied are they who say thus, because they see not Thy works by Thy Spirit, nor recognise Thee in them. But they who by Thy Spirit see these things, Thou seest in them. Therefore when they see that these things are good, Thou seest that they are good; and whatsoever things for Thy sake please, Thou pleasest in them, and what through Thy Spirit please us, they please Thee in us. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of a man, which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no one, but the Spirit of God. Now we (saith he) have received, not the spirit of this world, but the Spirit which is of God, that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. And I am admonished, "Truly the things of God knoweth no one, but the Spirit of God: how then do we also know, what things are given us of God?" Answer is made me; "because the things which we know by His Spirit, even these no one knoweth, but the Spirit of God. For as it is rightly said unto those that were to speak by the Spirit of God, it is not ye that speak: so is it rightly said to them that know through the Spirit of God, 'It is not ye that know.' And no less then is it rightly said to those that see through the Spirit of God, 'It is not ye that see'; so whatsoever through the Spirit of God they see to be good, it is not they, but God that

These things we behold. we see light made. God should in him see that it is good. We behold a face of waters gathered together in the fields of the sea. and they are severally good. rising and setting.sees that it is good. that it might obey. and that by all these." It is one thing then for a man to think that to be ill which is good. should be in like manner subject to the sex of her husband. the sun to suffice for the day. and formed so as to be visible and harmonized. We behold on all sides a moist element. not of Thee. but in the sex of her body. and the dry land both void. beasts. as the forenamed do. or the spiritual and corporeal creature. even through that Thy very image and likeness (that is the power of reason and understanding). And as in his soul there is one power which has dominion by directing. a man should see that it is good (as Thy creatures be pleasing unto many. Thou without any interval of time didst give form. or (since this also is called heaven) this space of air through which wander the fowls of heaven. another. as the appetite of doing is fain to conceive the skill of right-doing from the reason of the mind. not of any matter not Thine. and man. We behold the lights shining from above. whether the corporeal part. at the same time created by Thee). Let Thy works praise Thee. when they prefer to enjoy them. between the spiritual upper waters and the inferior corporeal waters. For seeing the matter of heaven and earth is one thing. thickeneth itself by the exhalation of the waters. because to its state without form. that He should be loved in that which He made. by Thee. Which is given unto us: by Whom we see that whatsoever in any degree is. We see the firmament of heaven. made a woman. whether that primary body of the world. for they were made of nothing. Who cannot be loved. to Thee). Thou madest the matter of merely nothing. O Lord. but the form of the world out of the matter without form: yet both together. that we may love Thee. or that was before. Is. so. and the form another. We behold the heaven and earth. because they be good. times should be marked and signified. created after Thy image and likeness. because the grossness of the air. set over all irrational creatures. yea and the matter of herbs and trees. that that which is good. form and privation. growth and decay. betwixt those waters which are in vapours borne above them. so that the form should follow the matter. or rather the universal creation. that Thy works may praise Thee. and in the adorning of these parts. Because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost. Thanks to Thee. doth consist. namely. part secretly. so was there for the man. whom yet Thou pleasest not in them. who Himself Is not in degree. another made subject. and let us love Thee. is good. the moon and the stars to cheer the night. who in the mind of her reasonable understanding should have a parity of nature. and birds. superior and inferior. whereof the universal pile of the world. and in clear nights distill down in dew. part apparently. For from Him it is. but by the Holy Ghost which He hath given. which bears up the flights of birds. corporeally also. and divided from the darkness. We behold the face of the earth decked out with earthly creatures. but what He Is. . They have then their succession of morning and evening. that when a man sees a thing that it is good. and those heavier waters which flow along the earth. but of matter concreated (that is. and altogether very good. replenished with fishes. without any interval of delay. and another. which from time have beginning and ending.

without morning and evening. didst Thou out of corporeal matter produce the Sacraments. Lord. in Thy Word. resting the seventh day. and forms of words according to the firmament of Thy Book. that that which Thou didst after Thy works which were very good. and in them love Thee. Thou willedst. even distributing to the poor their earthly riches. or the relation of things in such an order. the Head and the body of the Church. by which we might see them. shall rest in Thee also in the Sabbath of eternal life. and together very good. hast Thou renewed after Thy image and likeness. that we also after our works (therefore very good. Thy Holy ones. All these we see. fruitful to themselves in time to come. whether by the creation. the peace of the Sabbath. and Thy good Spirit was borne over us. to help us in due season. as the woman to the man. having finished their courses. because Thou seest them in us. although Thou madest them in unbroken rest. Nor dost Thou see in time. yea the times themselves. because Thou hast sanctified it to an everlasting continuance. And we have seen. by which the faithful should be blessed and multiplied. to the end Thou mightest reveal hidden things. And after this didst Thou kindle certain lights in the firmament. and yet Thou makest things seen in time. that the zeal of the faithful might appear. and to all Offices of Thy Ministry. and the rest which results from time. through affections well ordered by the vigour of continency: and after that. because Thou hast given them us). and didst subject its rational actions to the excellency of the understanding. and Thou didst justify the ungodly. to obtain heavenly. good things. and those under. and shining with an eminent authority set on high through spiritual gifts. and so shall that be Thy rest through us. give peace unto us: (for Thou hast given us all things. nor restest in a time. as now Thou workest in us. But Thou. the mind subjected to Thee alone and needing to imitate no human authority. But the seventh day hath no evening. and rectify our disorders. who were to he docile unto Thee. for our sins hung over us. For then shalt Thou rest in us. which hath no evening. that things singly are good. as these are Thy works through us. for the initiation of the unbelieving Gentiles. for in them there was morning and evening.We have also examined what Thou willedst to be shadowed forth. and they might bring forth works of mercy. and art ever at rest.) the peace of rest. after that again. that may the voice of Thy Book announce beforehand unto us. be given by the same faithful. and Thou madest the firmament of authority of Thy Book between those placed above. O Lord God. and dividest them from the wicked. in Thy Only-Begotten. nor hath it setting. For all this most goodly array of things very good. Next didst Thou form the living soul of the faithful. and we had sunk into the dark deep. that for their temporal uses. is to pass away. Who hast given unto us Thy Spirit. and visible miracles. having the word of life. ever workest. But when Thou begannest to execute in time the things predestinated. nor art moved in time. . who were to be subject to them: and Thou gatheredst together the society of unbelievers into one conspiracy. both heaven and earth. and they are very good. in Thy predestination before all times. necessary for the perfecting of the faithful in this life.

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

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