Writings of Augustine. The Confessions of St. Augustin
The Confessions of St. Augustin
St. Aurelius Augustin, Bishop of Hippo
In Thirteen Books
Translated and Annotated by J.G. Pilkington, M.A.,
Vicar of St. Mark's, West Hackney; And Sometime
Clerical Secretary of the Bishop of London's Fund.
Published in 1886 by Philip Schaff,
New York: Christian Literature Publishing Co.
He speaks of his design of forsaking the profession of rhetoric; of
the death of his friends, Nebridius and Verecundus; of having received
baptism in the thirty-third year of his age; and of the virtues and
death of his mother, Monica.
Chapter I.--He Praises God, the Author of Safety, and Jesus Christ,
the Redeemer, Acknowledging His Own Wickedness.
1. "O Lord, truly I am Thy servant; I am Thy servant, and the son of
Thine handmaid: Thou hast loosed my bonds. I will offer to Thee the
sacrifice of thanksgiving."  Let my heart and my tongue praise
Thee, and let all my bones say, "Lord, who is like unto Thee?" 
Let them so say, and answer Thou me, and "say unto my soul, I am Thy
salvation."  Who am I, and what is my nature? How evil have not
my deeds been; or if not my deeds, my words; or if not my words, my
will? But Thou, O Lord, art good and merciful, and Thy right hand had
respect unto the profoundness of my death, and removed from the bottom
of my heart that abyss of corruption. And this was the result, that I
willed not to do what I willed, and willed to do what thou willedst.
 But where, during all those years, and out of what deep and
secret retreat was my free will summoned forth in a moment, whereby I
gave my neck to Thy "easy yoke," and my shoulders to Thy "light
burden,"  O Christ Jesus, "my strength and my Redeemer"? 
How sweet did it suddenly become to me to be without the delights of
trifles! And what at one time I feared to lose, it was now a joy to me
to put away.  For Thou didst cast them away from me, Thou true
and highest sweetness. Thou didst cast them away, and instead of them
didst enter in Thyself,  --sweeter than all pleasure, though not
to flesh and blood; brighter than all light, but more veiled than all
mysteries; more exalted than all honour, but not to the exalted in
their own conceits. Now was my soul free from the gnawing cares of
seeking and getting, and of wallowing and exciting the itch of lust.
And I babbled unto Thee my brightness, my riches, and my health, the
Lord my God.
 Ps. cxvi. 16, 17.
 Ibid. xxxv. 10.
 Ibid. xxxv. 3.
 Volebas, though a few mss. have nolebas; and Watts accordingly
 Matt. xi. 30.
 Ps. xix. 14.
 Archbishop Trench, in his exposition of the parable of the Hid
Treasure, which the man who found sold all that he had to buy, remarks
on this passage of the Confessions: "Augustin excellently illustrates
from his own experience this part of the parable. Describing the
crisis of his own conversion, and how easy he found it, through this
joy, to give up all those pleasures of sin that he had long dreaded to
be obliged to renounce, which had long held him fast bound in the
chains of evil custom, and which if he renounced, it had seemed to him
as though life itself would not be worth the living, he exclaims, `How
sweet did it suddenly become to me,'" etc.
 His love of earthly things was expelled by the indwelling love
of God, "for," as he says in his De Musica, vi. 52, "the love of the
things of time could only be expelled by some sweetness of things
eternal." Compare also Dr. Chalmers' sermon on The Expulsive Power of
a New Affection (the ninth of his "Commercial Discourses"), where this
idea is expanded.
Chapter II.--As His Lungs Were Affected, He Meditates Withdrawing
Himself from Public Favour.
2. And it seemed good to me, as before Thee, not tumultuously to
snatch away, but gently to withdraw the service of my tongue from the
talker's trade; that the young, who thought not on Thy law, nor on Thy
peace, but on mendacious follies and forensic strifes, might no longer
purchase at my mouth equipments for their vehemence. And opportunely
there wanted but a few days unto the Vacation of the Vintage; 
and I determined to endure them, in order to leave in the usual way,
and, being redeemed by Thee, no more to return for sale. Our intention
then was known to Thee; but to men--excepting our own friends--was it
not known. For we had determined among ourselves not to let it get
abroad to any; although Thou hadst given to us, ascending from the
valley of tears,  and singing the song of degrees, "sharp
arrows," and destroying coals, against the "deceitful tongue," 
which in giving counsel opposes, and in showing love consumes, as it
is wont to do with its food.
3. Thou hadst penetrated our hearts with Thy charity, and we carried
Thy words fixed, as it were, in our bowels; and the examples of Thy
servant, whom of black Thou hadst made bright, and of dead, alive,
crowded in the bosom of our thoughts, burned and consumed our heavy
torpor, that we might not topple into the abyss; and they enkindled us
exceedingly, that every breath of the deceitful tongue of the
gainsayer might inflame us the more, not extinguish us. Nevertheless,
because for Thy name's sake which Thou hast sanctified throughout the
earth, this, our vow and purpose, might also find commenders, it
looked like a vaunting of oneself not to wait for the vacation, now so
near, but to leave beforehand a public profession, and one, too, under
general observation; so that all who looked on this act of mine, and
saw how near was the vintage-time I desired to anticipate, would talk
of me a great deal as if I were trying to appear to be a great person.
And what purpose would it serve that people should consider and
dispute about my intention, and that our good should be evil spoken
4. Furthermore, this very summer, from too great literary labour, my
lungs  began to be weak, and with difficulty to draw deep
breaths; showing by the pains in my chest that they were affected, and
refusing too loud or prolonged speaking. This had at first been a
trial to me, for it compelled me almost of necessity to lay down that
burden of teaching; or, if I could be cured and become strong again,
at least to leave it off for a while. But when the full desire for
leisure, that I might see that Thou art the Lord,  arose, and was
confirmed in me, my God, Thou knowest I even began to rejoice that I
had this excuse ready,--and that not a feigned one,--which might
somewhat temper the offence taken by those who for their sons' good
wished me never to have the freedom of sons. Full, therefore, with
such joy, I bore it till that period of time had passed,--perhaps it
was some twenty days,--yet they were bravely borne; for the cupidity
which was wont to sustain part of this weighty business had departed,
and I had remained overwhelmed had not its place been supplied by
patience. Some of Thy servants, my brethren, may perchance say that I
sinned in this, in that having once fully, and from my heart, entered
on Thy warfare, I permitted myself to sit a single hour in the seat of
falsehood. I will not contend. But hast not Thou, O most merciful
Lord, pardoned and remitted this sin also, with my others, so horrible
and deadly, in the holy water?
 "In harvest and vintage time had the lawyers their vacation. So
Minutius Felix. Scholars, their Non Terminus, as here; yea, divinity
lectures and catechizings then ceased. So Cyprian, Ep. 2. The law
terms gave way also to the great festivals of the Church. Theodosius
forbade any process to go out from fifteen days before Easter till the
Sunday after. For the four Terms, see Caroli Calvi, Capitula, Act
viii. p. 90."--W. W.
 Ps. lxxxiv. 6.
 Ps. cxx. 3, 4, according to the Old Ver. This passage has many
difficulties we need not enter into. The Vulgate, however, we may say,
renders verse 3: "Quid detur tibi aut quid apponatur tibi ad linguam
dolosam,"--that is, shall be given as a defence against the tongues of
evil speakers. In this way Augustin understands it, and in his
commentary on this place makes the fourth verse give the answer to the
third. Thus, "sharp arrows" he interprets to be the word of God, and
"destroying coals" those who, being converted to Him, have become
examples to the ungodly.
 Rom. xiv. 16.
 In his De Vita Beata, sec. 4, and Con. Acad. i. 3, he also
alludes to this weakness of his chest. He was therefore led to give up
his professorship, partly from this cause, and partly from a desire to
devote himself more entirely to God's service. See also p. 115, note.
 Ps. xlvi. 10.
Chapter III.--He Retires to the Villa of His Friend Verecundus, Who
Was Not Yet a Christian, and Refers to His Conversion and Death, as
Well as that of Nebridius.
5. Verecundus was wasted with anxiety at that our happiness, since he,
being most firmly held by his bonds, saw that he would lose our
fellowship. For he was not yet a Christian, though his wife was one of
the faithful;  and yet hereby, being more firmly enchained than
by anything else, was he held back from that journey which we had
commenced. Nor, he declared, did he wish to be a Christian on any
other terms than those that were impossible. However, he invited us
most courteously to make use of his country house so long as we should
stay there. Thou, O Lord, wilt "recompense" him for this "at the
resurrection of the just,"  seeing that Thou hast already given
him "the lot of the righteous."  For although, when we were
absent at Rome, he, being overtaken with bodily sickness, and therein
being made a Christian, and one of the faithful, departed this life,
yet hadst Thou mercy on him, and not on him only, but on us also;
 lest, thinking on the exceeding kindness of our friend to us,
and unable to count him in Thy flock, we should be tortured with
intolerable grief. Thanks be unto Thee, our God, we are Thine. Thy
exhortations, consolations, and faithful promises assure us that Thou
now repayest Verecundus for that country house at Cassiacum, where
from the fever of the world we found rest in Thee, with the perpetual
freshness of Thy Paradise, in that Thou hast forgiven him his earthly
sins, in that mountain flowing with milk,  that fruitful
6. He then was at that time full of grief; but Nebridius was joyous.
Although he also, not being yet a Christian, had fallen into the pit
of that most pernicious error of believing Thy Son to be a phantasm,
 yet, coming out thence, he held the same belief that we did; not
as yet initiated in any of the sacraments of Thy Church, but a most
earnest inquirer after truth.  Whom, not long after our
conversion and regeneration by Thy baptism, he being also a faithful
member of the Catholic Church, and serving Thee in perfect chastity
and continency amongst his own people in Africa, when his whole
household had been brought to Christianity through him, didst Thou
release from the flesh; and now he lives in Abraham's bosom. Whatever
that may be which is signified by that bosom,  there lives my
Nebridius, my sweet friend, Thy son, O Lord, adopted of a freedman;
there he liveth. For what other place could there be for such a soul?
There liveth he, concerning which he used to ask me much,--me, an
inexperienced, feeble one. Now he puts not his ear unto my mouth, but
his spiritual mouth unto Thy fountain, and drinketh as much as he is
able, wisdom according to his desire,--happy without end. Nor do I
believe that he is so inebriated with it as to forget me,  seeing
Thou, O Lord, whom he drinketh, art mindful of us. Thus, then, were we
comforting the sorrowing Verecundus (our friendship being untouched)
concerning our conversion, and exhorting him to a faith according to
his condition, I mean, his married state. And tarrying for Nebridius
to follow us, which being so near, he was just about to do, when,
behold, those days passed over at last; for long and many they seemed,
on account of my love of easeful liberty, that I might sing unto Thee
from my very marrow. My heart said unto Thee,--I have sought Thy face;
"Thy face, Lord, will I seek." 
 See vi. sec. 1, note, above.
 Luke xiv. 14.
 Ps. cxxv. 2.
 Phil. ii. 27.
 Literally, In monte incaseato, "the mountain of curds," from the
Old Ver. of Ps. lxviii. 16. The Vulgate renders coagulatus. But the
Authorized Version is nearer the true meaning, when it renders
G+uaB+°N+»N+iJ+M%, hunched, as "high." The LXX. renders it
teturomenos, condensed, as if from G+u°B+iJ+N+oH+, cheese. This
divergence arises from the unused root G+uoB+aN%, to be curved, having
derivatives meaning (1) "hunch-backed," when applied to the body, and
(2) "cheese" or "curds," when applied to milk. Augustin, in his
exposition of this place, makes the "mountain" to be Christ, and
parallels it with Isa. ii. 2; and the "milk" he interprets of the
grace that comes from Him for Christ's little ones: Ipse est mons
incaseatus, propter parvulos gratia tanquam lacte nutriendos.
 See. v. 16, note, above.
 See vi. 17, note 6, above.
 Though Augustin, in his Quæst. Evang. ii. qu. 38, makes
Abraham's bosom to represent the rest into which the Gentiles entered
after the Jews had put it from them, yet he, for the most part, in
common with the early Church (see Serm. xiv. 3; Con. Faust. xxxiii. 5;
and Eps. clxiv. 7, and clxxxvii. Compare also Tertullian, De Anima,
lviii), takes it to mean the resting-place of the souls of the
righteous after death. Abraham's bosom, indeed, is the same as the
"Paradise" of Luke xxiii. 43. The souls of the faithful after they are
delivered from the flesh are in "joy and felicity" (De Civ. Dei, i.
13, and xiii. 19); but they will not have "their perfect consummation
and bliss both in body and soul" until the morning of the
resurrection, when they shall be endowed with "spiritual bodies." See
note p. 111; and for the difference between the ades of Luke xvi. 23,
that is, the place of departed spirits,--into which it is said in the
Apostles' Creed Christ descended,--and geenna, or Hell, see Campbell
on The Gospels, i. 253. In the A.V. both Greek words are rendered
 See sec. 37, note, below.
 Ps. xxvii. 8.
Chapter IV.--In the Country He Gives His Attention to Literature, and
Explains the Fourth Psalm in Connection with the Happy Conversion of
Alypius. He is Troubled with Toothache.
7. And the day arrived on which, in very deed, I was to be released
from the Professorship of Rhetoric, from which in intention I had been
already released. And done it was; and Thou didst deliver my tongue
whence Thou hadst already delivered my heart; and full of joy I
blessed Thee for it, and retired with all mine to the villa. 
What I accomplished here in writing, which was now wholly devoted to
Thy service, though still, in this pause as it were, panting from the
school of pride, my books testify,  --those in which I disputed
with my friends, and those with myself alone  before Thee; and
what with the absent Nebridius, my letters  testify. And when can
I find time to recount all Thy great benefits which Thou bestowedst
upon us at that time, especially as I am hasting on to still greater
mercies? For my memory calls upon me, and pleasant it is to me, O
Lord, to confess unto Thee, by what inward goads Thou didst subdue me,
and how Thou didst make me low, bringing down the mountains and hills
of my imaginations, and didst straighten my crookedness, and smooth my
rough ways;  and by what means Thou also didst subdue that
brother of my heart, Alypius, unto the name of Thy only-begotten, our
Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, which he at first refused to have
inserted in our writings. For he rather desired that they should
savour of the "cedars" of the schools, which the Lord hath now broken
down,  than of the wholesome herbs of the Church, hostile to
8. What utterances sent I up unto Thee, my God, when I read the Psalms
of David,  those faithful songs and sounds of devotion which
exclude all swelling of spirit, when new to Thy true love, at rest in
the villa with Alypius, a catechumen like myself, my mother cleaving
unto us,--in woman's garb truly, but with a man's faith, with the
peacefulness of age, full of motherly love and Christian piety! What
utterances used I to send up unto Thee in those Psalms, and how was I
inflamed towards Thee by them, and burned to rehearse them, if it were
possible, throughout the whole world, against the pride of the human
race! And yet they are sung throughout the whole world, and none can
hide himself from Thy heat.  With what vehement and bitter sorrow
was I indignant at the Manichæans; whom yet again I pitied, for that
they were ignorant of those sacraments, those medicaments, and were
mad against the antidote which might have made them sane! I wished
that they had been somewhere near me then, and, without my being aware
of their presence, could have beheld my face, and heard my words, when
I read the fourth Psalm in that time of my leisure,--how that Psalm
wrought upon me. When I called upon Thee, Thou didst hear me, O God of
my righteousness; Thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have
mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.  Oh that they might have heard
what I uttered on these words, without my knowing whether they heard
or no, lest they should think that I spake it because of them! For, of
a truth, neither should I have said the same things, nor in the way I
said them, if I had perceived that I was heard and seen by them; and
had I spoken them, they would not so have received them as when I
spake by and for myself before Thee, out of the private feelings of my
9. I alternately quaked with fear, and warmed with hope, and with
rejoicing in Thy mercy, O Father. And all these passed forth, both by
mine eyes and voice, when Thy good Spirit, turning unto us, said, O ye
sons of men, how long will ye be slow of heart? "How long will 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
Paraclete, "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 Holy Ghost was not yet given, because that Jesus was
not yet glorified."  And the prophet cries out, How long will ye
be slow of heart? How long will 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
ignorant, "loved vanity, and sought after leasing." And therefore I
heard and trembled, because these words were spoken unto such as I
remembered that I myself had been. For in those phantasms which I once
held for truths was there "vanity" and "leasing." And I spake many
things loudly and earnestly, in the sorrow of my remembrance, which,
would that they who yet "love vanity and seek after leasing" had
heard! They would perchance have been troubled, and have vomited it
forth, and Thou wouldest hear them when they cried unto Thee; 
for by a true  death in the flesh He died for us, who now maketh
intercession for us  with Thee.
10. I read further, "Be ye angry, and sin not."  And how was I
moved, O my God, who had now learned to "be angry" with myself for the
things past, so that in the future I might not sin! Yea, to be justly
angry; for that it was not another nature of the race of darkness
 which sinned for me, as they affirm it to be who are not angry
with themselves, and who treasure up to themselves wrath against the
day of wrath, and of the revelation of Thy righteous judgment. 
Nor were my good things  now without, nor were they sought after
with eyes of flesh in that sun;  for they that would have joy
from without easily sink into oblivion, and are wasted upon those
things which are seen and temporal, and in their starving thoughts do
lick their very shadows. Oh, if only they were wearied out with their
fasting, and said, "Who will show us any good?"  And we would
answer, and they hear, O Lord. The light of Thy countenance is lifted
up upon us.  For we are not that Light, which lighteth every man,
 but we are enlightened by Thee, that we, who were sometimes
darkness, may be light in Thee.  Oh that they could behold the
internal Eternal,  which having tasted I gnashed my teeth that I
could not show It to them, while they brought me their heart in their
eyes, roaming abroad from Thee, and said, "Who will show us any good?"
But there, where I was angry with myself in my chamber, where I was
inwardly pricked, where I had offered my "sacrifice," slaying my old
man, and beginning the resolution of a new life, putting my trust in
Thee,  --there hadst Thou begun to grow sweet unto me, and to
"put gladness in my heart."  And I cried out as I read this
outwardly, and felt it inwardly. Nor would I be increased  with
worldly goods, wasting time and being wasted by time; whereas I
possessed in Thy eternal simplicity other corn, and wine, and oil.
11. And with a loud cry from my heart, I called out in the following
verse, "Oh, in peace!" and "the self-same!"  Oh, what said he, "I
will lay me down and sleep!"  For who shall hinder us, when
"shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is
swallowed up in victory?"  And Thou art in the highest degree
"the self-same," who changest not; and in Thee is the rest which
forgetteth all labour, for there is no other beside Thee, nor ought we
to seek after those many other things which are not what Thou art; but
Thou, Lord, only makest me to dwell in hope.  These things I
read, and was inflamed; but discovered not what to do with those deaf
and dead, of whom I had been a pestilent member,--a bitter and a blind
declaimer against the writings be-honied with the honey of heaven and
luminous with Thine own light; and I was consumed on account of the
enemies of this Scripture.
12. When shall I call to mind all that took place in those holidays?
Yet neither have I forgotten, nor will I be silent about the severity
of Thy scourge, and the amazing quickness of Thy mercy.  Thou
didst at that time torture me with toothache;  and when it had
become so exceeding great that I was not able to speak, it came into
my heart to urge all my friends who were present to pray for me to
Thee, the God of all manner of health. And I wrote it down on wax,
 and gave it to them to read. Presently, as with submissive
desire we bowed our knees, that pain departed. But what pain? Or how
did it depart? I confess to being much afraid, my Lord my God, seeing
that from my earliest years I had not experienced such pain. And Thy
purposes were profoundly impressed upon me; and, rejoicing in faith, I
praised Thy name. And that faith suffered me not to be at rest in
regard to my past sins, which were not yet forgiven me by Thy baptism.
 As Christ went into the wilderness after His baptism (Matt. iv.
1), and Paul into Arabia after his conversion (Gal. i. 17), so did
Augustin here find in his retirement a preparation for his future
work. He tells us of this time of his life (De Ordin. i. 6) that his
habit was to spend the beginning or end, and often almost half the
night, in watching and searching for truth, and says further (ibid.
29), that "he almost daily asked God with tears that his wounds might
be healed, and often proved to himself that he was unworthy to be
healed as soon as he wished."
 These books are (Con. Acad. i. 4) his three disputations Against
the Academics, his De Vita Beata, begun (ibid. 6) "Idibus Novembris
die ejus natali;" and (Retract. i. 3) his two books De Ordine.
 That is, his two books of Soliloquies. In his Retractations, i.
4, sec 1, he tells us that in these books he held an argument,--me
interrogans, mihique respondens, tanquam duo essemus, ratio et ego.
 Several of these letters to Nebridius will be found in the two
vols. of Letters in this series.
 Luke iii. 5.
 Ps. xxix. 5.
 Reference may with advantage be made to Archbishop Trench's
Hulsean Lectures (1845), who in his third lect., on "The Manifoldness
of Scripture," adverts to this very passage, and shows in an
interesting way how the Psalms have ever been to the saints of God, as
Luther said, "a Bible in little," affording satisfaction to their
needs in every kind of trial, emergency, and experience.
 Ps. xix. 6.
 Ps. iv. 1.
 Ibid. ver. 23.
 Eph. i. 20.
 Luke xxiv. 49.
 John xiv. 16, 17.
 Acts ii. 1-4.
 John vii. 39.
 Ps. iv. 1.
 See v. 16, note, above.
 Rom. viii. 34.
 Eph. iv. 26.
 See iv. 26, note, above.
 Rom. ii. 5.
 Ps. iv. 6.
 See v. 12, note, above.
 Ps. iv. 6.
 John i. 9.
 Eph. v. 8.
 Internum æternum, but some mss. read internum lumen æternum.
 Ps. iv. 5.
 Ps. iv. 7.
 That is, lest they should distract him from the true riches.
For, as he says in his exposition of the fourth Psalm, "Cum dedita
temporalibus voluptatibus anima semper exardescit cupiditate, nec
satiari potest." He knew that the prosperity of the soul (3 John 2)
might be injuriously affected by the prosperity of the body; and
disregarding the lower life (bios) and its "worldly goods," he pressed
on to increase the treasure he had within,--the true life (zoe) which
he had received from God. See also Enarr. in Ps. xxxviii. 6.
 Ps. iv. 7.
 Ibid. ver. 8, Vulg.
 Ps. iv. 8; in his comment whereon, Augustin applies this passage
 1 Cor. xv. 54.
 Ps. iv. 9, Vulg.
 Compare the beautiful Talmudical legend quoted by Jeremy Taylor
(Works, viii. 397, Eden's ed.), that of the two archangels, Gabriel
and Michael, Gabriel has two wings that he may "fly swiftly" (Dan. ix.
21) to bring the message of peace, while Michael has but one, that he
may labour in his flight when he comes forth on his ministries of
 In his Soliloquies (see note, sec. 7, above), he refers in i. 21
to this period. He there tells us that his pain was so great that it
prevented his learning anything afresh, and only permitted him to
revolve in his mind what he had already learnt. Compare De Quincey's
description of the agonies he had to endure from tooth ache in his
Confessions of an Opium Eater.
 That is, on the waxen tablet used by the ancients. The iron
stilus, or pencil, used for writing, was pointed at one end and
flattened at the other--the flattened circular end being used to erase
the writing by smoothing down the wax. Hence vertere stilum signifies
to put out or correct. See sec. 19, below.
Chapter V.--At the Recommendation of Ambrose, He Reads the Prophecies
of Isaiah, But Does Not Understand Them.
13. The vintage vacation being ended, I gave the citizens of Milan
notice that they might provide their scholars with another seller of
words; because both of my election to serve Thee, and my inability, by
reason of the difficulty of breathing and the pain in my chest, to
continue the Professorship. And by letters I notified to Thy bishop,
 the holy man Ambrose, my former errors and present resolutions,
with a view to his advising me which of Thy books it was best for me
to read, so that I might be readier and fitter for the reception of
such great grace. He recommended Isaiah the Prophet;  I believe,
because he foreshows more clearly than others the gospel, and the
calling of the Gentiles. But I, not understanding the first portion of
the book, and imagining the whole to be like it, laid it aside,
intending to take it up hereafter, when better practised in our Lord's
 In his De Civ. Dei, xviii. 29, he likewise alludes to the
evangelical character of the writings of Isaiah.
Chapter VI.--He is Baptized at Milan with Alypius and His Son
Adeodatus. The Book "De Magistro."
14. Thence, when the time had arrived at which I was to give in my
name,  having left the country, we returned to Milan. Alypius
also was pleased to be born again with me in Thee, being now clothed
with the humility appropriate to Thy sacraments, and being so brave a
tamer of the body, as with unusual fortitude to tread the frozen soil
of Italy with his naked feet. We took into our company the boy
Adeodatus, born of me carnally, of my sin. Well hadst Thou made him.
He was barely fifteen years, yet in wit excelled many grave and
learned men.  I confess unto Thee Thy gifts, O Lord my God,
Creator of all, and of exceeding power to reform our deformities; for
of me was there naught in that boy but the sin. For that we fostered
him in Thy discipline, Thou inspiredst us, none other,--Thy gifts I
confess unto Thee. There is a book of ours, which is entitled The
Master.  It is a dialogue between him and me. Thou knowest that
all things there put into the mouth of the person in argument with me
were his thoughts in his sixteenth year. Many others more wonderful
did I find in him. That talent was a source of awe to me. And who but
Thou could be the worker of such marvels? Quickly didst Thou remove
his life from the earth; and now I recall him to mind with a sense of
security, in that I fear nothing for his childhood or youth, or for
his whole self. We took him coeval with us in Thy grace, to be
educated in Thy discipline; and we were baptized,  and solicitude
about our past life left us. Nor was I satiated in those days with the
wondrous sweetness of considering the depth of Thy counsels concerning
the salvation of the human race. How greatly did I weep in Thy hymns
and canticles, deeply moved by the voices of Thy sweet-speaking
Church! The voices flowed into mine ears, and the truth was poured
forth into my heart, whence the agitation of my piety overflowed, and
my tears ran over, and blessed was I therein.
 "They were baptized at Easter, and gave up their names before
the second Sunday in Lent, the rest of which they were to spend in
fasting, humility, prayer, and being examined in the scrutinies
(Tertull. Lib. de Bapt. c. 20). Therefore went they to Milan, that the
bishop might see their preparation. Adjoining to the cathedrals were
there certain lower houses for them to lodge and be exercised in, till
the day of baptism" (Euseb. x. 4).--W. W. See also Bingham, x. 2, sec.
6; and above, note 4, p. 89; note 4, p. 118, and note 8, p. 118.
 In his De Vita Beata, sec. 6, he makes a similar illusion to the
genius of Adeodatus.
 This book, in which he and his son are the interlocutors, will
be found in vol. i. of the Benedictine edition, and is by the editors
assumed to be written about A.D. 389. Augustin briefly gives its
argument in his Retractations, i. 12. He says: "There it is disputed,
sought, and discovered that there is no master who teaches man
knowledge save God, as it is written in the gospel (Matt. xxiii. 10),
`One is your Master, even Christ.'"
 He was baptized by Ambrose, and tradition says, as he came out
of the water, they sang alternate verses of the Te Deum (ascribed by
some to Ambrose), which, in the old offices of the English Church is
called "The Song of Ambrose and Augustin." In his Con. Julian. Pelag.
i. 10, he speaks of Ambrose as being one whose devoted labours and
perils were known throughout the whole Roman world, and says: "In
Christo enim Jesu per evangelium ipse me genuit, et eo Christi
ministro lavacrum regenerationis accepti." See also the last sec. of
his De Nupt. et Concup., and Ep. cxlvii. 23. In notes 3, p. 50, and 4,
p. 89, will be found references to the usages of the early Church as
Chapter VII.--Of the Church Hymns Instituted at Milan; Of the
Ambrosian Persecution Raised by Justina; And of the Discovery of the
Bodies of Two Martyrs.
15. Not long had the Church of Milan begun to employ this kind of
consolation and exhortation, the brethren singing together with great
earnestness of voice and heart. For it was about a year, or not much
more, since Justina, the mother of the boy-Emperor Valentinian,
persecuted  Thy servant Ambrose in the interest of her heresy, to
which she had been seduced by the Arians. The pious people kept guard
in the church, prepared to die with their bishop, Thy servant. There
my mother, Thy handmaid, bearing a chief part of those cares and
watchings, lived in prayer. We, still unmelted by the heat of Thy
Spirit, were yet moved by the astonished and disturbed city. At this
time it was instituted that, after the manner of the Eastern Church,
hymns and psalms should be sung, lest the people should pine away in
the tediousness of sorrow; which custom, retained from then till now,
is imitated by many, yea, by almost all of Thy congregations
throughout the rest of the world.
16. Then didst Thou by a vision make known to Thy renowned bishop
 the spot where lay the bodies of Gervasius and Protasius, the
martyrs (whom Thou hadst in Thy secret storehouse preserved
uncorrupted for so many years), whence Thou mightest at the fitting
time produce them to repress the feminine but royal fury. For when
they were revealed and dug up and with due honour transferred to the
Ambrosian Basilica, not only they who were troubled with unclean
spirits (the devils confessing themselves) were healed, but a certain
man also, who had been blind  many years, a well-known citizen of
that city, having asked and been told the reason of the people's
tumultuous joy, rushed forth, asking his guide to lead him thither.
Arrived there, he begged to be permitted to touch with his
handkerchief the bier of Thy saints, whose death is precious in Thy
sight.  When he had done this, and put it to his eyes, they were
forthwith opened. Thence did the fame spread; thence did Thy praises
burn,--shine; thence was the mind of that enemy, though not yet
enlarged to the wholeness of believing, restrained from the fury of
persecuting. Thanks be to Thee, O my God. Whence and whither hast Thou
thus led my remembrance, that I should confess these things also unto
Thee,--great, though I, forgetful, had passed them over? And yet then,
when the "savour" of Thy "ointments" was so fragrant, did we not "run
after Thee."  And so I did the more abundantly weep at the
singing of Thy hymns, formerly panting for Thee, and at last breathing
in Thee, as far as the air can play in this house of grass.
 The Bishop of Milan who preceded Ambrose was an Arian, and
though Valentinian the First approved the choice of Ambrose as bishop,
Justina, on his death, greatly troubled the Church. Ambrose
subsequently had great influence over both Valentinian the Second and
his brother Gratian. The persecution referred to above, says Pusey,
was "to induce him to give up to the Arians a church,--the Portian
Basilica without the walls; afterwards she asked for the new Basilica
within the walls, which was larger." See Ambrose, Epp. 20-22; Serm. c.
Auxentium de Basilicis Tradendis, pp. 852-880, ed. Bened.; cf.
Tillemont, Hist. Eccl. St. Ambroise, art. 44-48, pp. 76-82.
Valentinian was then at Milan. See next sec., the beginning of note.
 Augustin alludes to this, amongst other supposed miracles, in
his De Civ. Dei, xxii. 8; and again in Serm. cclxxxvi. sec. 4, where
he tells us that the man, after being cured, made a vow that he would
for the remainder of his life serve in that Basilica where the bodies
of the martyrs lay. St. Ambrose also examines the miracle at great
length in one of his sermons. We have already referred in note 5, p.
69 to the origin of these false miracles in the early Church. Lecture
vi. series 2, of Blunt's Lectures on the Right Use of the Early
Fathers, is devoted to an examination of the various passages in the
Ante-Nicene Fathers where the continuance of miracles in the Church is
either expressed or implied. The reader should also refer to the note
on p. 485 of vol. ii. of the City of God, in this series.
 Ps. cxvi. 15.
 Cant. i. 3, 4.
Chapter VIII.--Of the Conversion of Evodius, and the Death of His
Mother When Returning with Him to Africa; And Whose Education He
17. Thou, who makest men to dwell of one mind in a house,  didst
associate with us Evodius also, a young man of our city, who, when
serving as an agent for Public Affairs,  was converted unto Thee
and baptized prior to us; and relinquishing his secular service,
prepared himself for Thine. We were together,  and together were
we about to dwell with a holy purpose. We sought for some place where
we might be most useful in our service to Thee, and were going back
together to Africa. And when we were at the Tiberine Ostia my mother
died. Much I omit, having much to hasten. Receive my confessions and
thanksgivings, O my God, for innumerable things concerning which I am
silent. But I will not omit aught that my soul has brought forth as to
that Thy handmaid who brought me forth,--in her flesh, that I might be
born to this temporal light, and in her heart, that I might be born to
life eternal.  I will speak not of her gifts, but Thine in her;
for she neither made herself nor educated herself. Thou createdst her,
nor did her father nor her mother know what a being was to proceed
from them. And it was the rod of Thy Christ, the discipline of Thine
only Son, that trained her in Thy fear, in the house of one of Thy
faithful ones, who was a sound member of Thy Church. Yet this good
discipline did she not so much attribute to the diligence of her
mother, as that of a certain decrepid maid-servant, who had carried
about her father when an infant, as little ones are wont to be carried
on the backs of elder girls. For which reason, and on account of her
extreme age and very good character, was she much respected by the
heads of that Christian house. Whence also was committed to her the
care of her master's daughters, which she with diligence performed,
and was earnest in restraining them when necessary, with a holy
severity, and instructing them with a sober sagacity. For, excepting
at the hours in which they were very temperately fed at their parents'
table, she used not to permit them, though parched with thirst, to
drink even water; thereby taking precautions against an evil custom,
and adding the wholesome advice, "You drink water only because you
have not control of wine; but when you have come to be married, and
made mistresses of storeroom and cellar, you will despise water, but
the habit of drinking will remain." By this method of instruction, and
power of command, she restrained the longing of their tender age, and
regulated the very thirst of the girls to such a becoming limit, as
that what was not seemly they did not long for.
18. And yet--as Thine handmaid related to me, her son--there had
stolen upon her a love of wine. For when she, as being a sober maiden,
was as usual bidden by her parents to draw wine from the cask, the
vessel being held under the opening, before she poured the wine into
the bottle, she would wet the tips of her lips with a little, for more
than that her inclination refused. For this she did not from any
craving for drink, but out of the overflowing buoyancy of her time of
life, which bubbles up with sportiveness, and is, in youthful spirits,
wont to be repressed by the gravity of elders. And so unto that
little, adding daily littles (for "he that contemneth small things
shall fall by little and little"),  she contracted such a habit
as, to drink off eagerly her little cup nearly full of wine. Where,
then, was the sagacious old woman with her earnest restraint? Could
anything prevail against a secret disease if Thy medicine, O Lord, did
not watch over us? Father, mother, and nurturers absent, Thou present,
who hast created, who callest, who also by those who are set over us
workest some good for the salvation of our souls, what didst Thou at
that time, O my God? How didst Thou heal her? How didst Thou make her
whole? Didst Thou not out of another woman's soul evoke a hard and
bitter insult, as a surgeon's knife from Thy secret store, and with
one thrust remove all that putrefaction?  For the maidservant who
used to accompany her to the cellar, falling out, as it happens, with
her little mistress, when she was alone with her, cast in her teeth
this vice, with very bitter insult, calling her a "wine-bibber." Stung
by this taunt, she perceived her foulness, and immediately condemned
and renounced it. Even as friends by their flattery pervert, so do
enemies by their taunts often correct us. Yet Thou renderest not unto
them what Thou dost by them, but what was proposed by them. For she,
being angry, desired to irritate her young mistress, not to cure her;
and did it in secret, either because the time and place of the dispute
found them thus, or perhaps lest she herself should be exposed to
danger for disclosing it so late. But Thou, Lord, Governor of heavenly
and earthly things, who convertest to Thy purposes the deepest
torrents, and disposest the turbulent current of the ages, 
healest one soul by the unsoundness of another; lest any man, when he
remarks this, should attribute it unto his own power if another, whom
he wishes to be reformed, is so through a word of his.
 Ps. lxviii. 6.
 See viii. sec. 15, note, above.
 We find from his Retractations (i. 7, sec. 1), that at this time
he wrote his De Moribus Ecclesiæ Catholicæ and his De Moribus
Manichæorum. He also wrote (ibid. 8, sec. I) his De Animæ Quantitate,
and (ibid. 9, sec. I) his three books De Libero Arbitrio.
 In his De Vita Beata and in his De Dono Persev. he attributes
all that he was to his mother's tears and prayers.
 Ecclus. xix. 1. Augustin frequently alludes to the subtle power
of little things. As when he says,--illustrating (Serm. cclxxviii.) by
the plagues of Egypt,--tiny insects, if they be numerous enough, will
be as harmful as the bite of great beasts; and (Serm. lvi.) a hill of
sand, though composed of tiny grains, will crush a man as surely as
the same weight of lead. Little drops (Serm. lviii.) make the river,
and little leaks sink the ship; wherefore, he urges, little things
must not be despised. "Men have usually," says Sedgwick in his Anatomy
of Secret Sins, "been first wading in lesser sins who are now swimming
in great transgressions." It is in the little things of evil that
temptation has its greatest strength. The snowflake is little and not
to be accounted of, but from its multitudinous accumulation results
the dread power of the avalanche. Satan often seems to act as it is
said Pompey did, when he could not gain entrance to a city. He
persuaded the citizens to admit a few of his weak and wounded
soldiers, who, when they had become strong, opened the gates to his
whole army. But if little things have such subtlety in temptation,
they have likewise higher ministries. The Jews, in their Talmudical
writings, have many parables illustrating how God by little things
tries and proves men to see if they are fitted for greater things.
They say, for example, that He tried David when keeping sheep in the
wilderness, to see whether he would be worthy to rule over Israel, the
sheep of his inheritance. See Ch. Schoettgen, Hor. Heb. et Talmud, i.
 "`Animam oportet assiduis saliri tentationibus,' says St.
Ambrose. Some errors and offences do rub salt upon a good man's
integrity, that it may not putrefy with presumption."--Bishop Hacket's
Sermons, p 210.
 Not only is this true in private, but in public concerns. Even
in the crucifixion of our Lord, the wicked rulers did (Acts. iv. 26)
what God's hand and God's counsel had before determined to be done.
Perhaps by reason of His infinite knowledge it is that God, who knows
our thoughts long before (Ps. cxxxix. 2, 4), weaves man's self-willed
purposes into the pattern which His inscrutable providence has before
ordained. Or, to use Augustin's own words (De Civ. Dei, xxii. 2), "It
is true that wicked men do many things contrary to God's will; but so
great is His wisdom and power, that all things which seem adverse to
His purpose do still tend towards those just and good ends and issues
which He Himself has foreknown."
Chapter IX.--He Describes the Praiseworthy Habits of His Mother; Her
Kindness Towards Her Husband and Her Sons.
19. Being thus modestly and soberly trained, and rather made subject
by Thee to her parents, than by her parents to Thee, when she had
arrived at a marriageable age, she was given to a husband whom she
served as her lord. And she busied herself to gain him to Thee,
preaching Thee unto him by her behaviour; by which Thou madest her
fair, and reverently amiable, and admirable unto her husband. For she
so bore the wronging of her bed as never to have any dissension with
her husband on account of it. For she waited for Thy mercy upon him,
that by believing in Thee he might become chaste. And besides this, as
he was earnest in friendship, so was he violent in anger; but she had
learned that an angry husband should not be resisted, neither in deed,
nor even in word. But so soon as he was grown calm and tranquil, and
she saw a fitting moment, she would give him a reason for her conduct,
should he have been excited without cause. In short, while many
matrons, whose husbands were more gentle, carried the marks of blows
on their dishonoured faces, and would in private conversation blame
the lives of their husbands, she would blame their tongues, monishing
them gravely, as if in jest: "That from the hour they heard what are
called the matrimonial tablets  read to them, they should think
of them as instruments whereby they were made servants; so, being
always mindful of their condition, they ought not to set themselves in
opposition to their lords." And when they, knowing what a furious
husband she endured, marvelled that it had never been reported, nor
appeared by any indication, that Patricius had beaten his wife, or
that there had been any domestic strife between them, even for a day,
and asked her in confidence the reason of this, she taught them her
rule, which I have mentioned above. They who observed it experienced
the wisdom of it, and rejoiced; those who observed it not were kept in
subjection, and suffered.
20. Her mother-in-law, also, being at first prejudiced against her by
the whisperings of evil-disposed servants, she so conquered by
submission, persevering in it with patience and meekness, that she
voluntarily disclosed to her son the tongues of the meddling servants,
whereby the domestic peace between herself and her daughter-in-law had
been agitated, begging him to punish them for it. When, therefore, he
had--in conformity with his mother's wish, and with a view to the
discipline of his family, and to ensure the future harmony of its
members--corrected with stripes those discovered, according to the
will of her who had discovered them, she promised a similar reward to
any who, to please her, should say anything evil to her of her
daughter-in-law. And, none now daring to do so, they lived together
with a wonderful sweetness of mutual good-will.
21. This great gift Thou bestowedst also, my God, my mercy, upon that
good handmaid of Thine, out of whose womb Thou createdst me, even
that, whenever she could, she showed herself such a peacemaker between
any differing and discordant spirits, that when she had heard on both
sides most bitter things, such as swelling and undigested discord is
wont to give vent to, when the crudities of enmities are breathed out
in bitter speeches to a present friend against an absent enemy, she
would disclose nothing about the one unto the other, save what might
avail to their reconcilement. A small good this might seem to me, did
I not know to my sorrow countless persons, who, through some horrible
and far-spreading infection of sin, not only disclose to enemies
mutually enraged the things said in passion against each other, but
add some things that were never spoken at all; whereas, to a generous
man, it ought to seem a small thing not to incite or increase the
enmities of men by ill-speaking, unless he endeavour likewise by kind
words to extinguish them. Such a one was she,--Thou, her most intimate
Instructor, teaching her in the school of her heart.
22. Finally, her own husband, now towards the end of his earthly
existence, did she gain over unto Thee; and she had not to complain of
that in him, as one of the faithful, which, before he became so, she
had endured. She was also the servant of Thy servants. Whosoever of
them knew her, did in her much magnify, honour, and love Thee; for
that through the testimony of the fruits of a holy conversation, they
perceived Thee to be present in her heart. For she had "been the wife
of one man," had requited her parents, had guided her house piously,
was "well-reported of for good works," had "brought up children,"
 as often travailing in birth of them  as she saw them
swerving from Thee. Lastly, to all of us, O Lord (since of Thy favour
Thou sufferest Thy servants to speak), who, before her sleeping in
Thee,  lived associated together, having received the grace of
Thy baptism, did she devote, care such as she might if she had been
mother of us all; served us as if she had been child of all.
 That is, not only from the time of actual marriage, but from the
time of betrothal, when the contract was written upon tablets (see
note 10, p. 133), and signed by the contracting parties. The future
wife was then called sponsa sperata or pacta. Augustin alludes to this
above (vii. sec. 7), when he says, "It is also the custom that the
affianced bride (pactæ sponsæ) should not immediately be given up,
that the husband may not less esteem her whom, as betrothed, he longed
not for" (non suspiraverit sponsus). It should be remembered, in
reading this section, that women amongst the Romans were not confined
after the Eastern fashion of the Greeks to separate apartments, but
had charge of the domestic arrangements and the training of the
 1 Tim. v. 4, 9, 10, 14.
 Gal. iv. 19.
 1 Thess. iv. 14.
Chapter X.--A Conversation He Had with His Mother Concerning the
Kingdom of Heaven.
23. As the day now approached on which she was to depart this life
(which day Thou knewest, we did not), it fell out--Thou, as I believe,
by Thy secret ways arranging it--that she and I stood alone, leaning
in a certain window, from which the garden of the house we occupied at
Ostia could be seen; at which place, removed from the crowd, we were
resting ourselves for the voyage, after the fatigues of a long
journey. We then were conversing alone very pleasantly; and,
"forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto
those things which are before,"  we were seeking between
ourselves in the presence of the Truth, which Thou art, of what nature
the eternal life of the saints would be, which eye hath not seen, nor
ear heard, neither hath entered into the heart of man.  But yet
we opened wide the mouth of our heart, after those supernal streams of
Thy fountain, "the fountain of life," which is "with Thee;"  that
being sprinkled with it according to our capacity, we might in some
measure weigh so high a mystery.
24. And when our conversation had arrived at that point, that the very
highest pleasure of the carnal senses, and that in the very brightest
material light, seemed by reason of the sweetness of that life not
only not worthy of comparison, but not even of mention, we, lifting
ourselves with a more ardent affection towards "the Selfsame," 
did gradually pass through all corporeal things, and even the heaven
itself, whence sun, and moon, and stars shine upon the earth; yea, we
soared higher yet by inward musing, and discoursing, and admiring Thy
works; and we came to our own minds, and went beyond them, that we
might advance as high as that region of unfailing plenty, where Thou
feedest Israel  for ever with the food of truth, and where life
is that Wisdom by whom all these things are made, both which have
been, and which are to come; and she is not made, but is as she hath
been, and so shall ever be; yea, rather, to "have been," and "to be
hereafter," are not in her, but only "to be," seeing she is eternal,
for to "have been" and "to be hereafter" are not eternal. And while we
were thus speaking, and straining after her, we slightly touched her
with the whole effort of our heart; and we sighed, and there left
bound "the first-fruits of the Spirit;"  and returned to the
noise of our own mouth, where the word uttered has both beginning and
end. And what is like unto Thy Word, our Lord, who remaineth in
Himself without becoming old, and "maketh all things new"? 
25. We were saying, then, If to any man the tumult of the flesh were
silenced,--silenced the phantasies of earth, waters, and
air,--silenced, too, the poles; yea, the very soul be silenced to
herself, and go beyond herself by not thinking of herself,--silenced
fancies and imaginary revelations, every tongue, and every sign, and
whatsoever exists by passing away, since, if any could hearken, all
these say, "We created not ourselves, but were created by Him who
abideth for ever:" If, having uttered this, they now should be
silenced, having only quickened our ears to Him who created them, and
He alone speak not by them, but by Himself, that we may hear His word,
not by fleshly tongue, nor angelic voice, nor sound of thunder, nor
the obscurity of a similitude, but might hear Him--Him whom in these
we love--without these, like as we two now strained ourselves, and
with rapid thought touched on that Eternal Wisdom which remaineth over
all. If this could be sustained, and other visions of a far different
kind be withdrawn, and this one ravish, and absorb, and envelope its
beholder amid these inward joys, so that his life might be eternally
like that one moment of knowledge which we now sighed after, were not
this "Enter thou into the joy of Thy Lord"?  And when shall that
be? When we shall all rise again; but all shall not be changed. 
26. Such things was I saying; and if not after this manner, and in
these words, yet, Lord, Thou knowest, that in that day when we were
talking thus, this world with all its delights grew contemptible to
us, even while we spake. Then said my mother, "Son, for myself, I have
no longer any pleasure in aught in this life. What I want here
further, and why I am here, I know not, now that my hopes in this
world are satisfied. There was indeed one thing for which I wished to
tarry a little in this life, and that was that I might see thee a
Catholic Christian before I died.  My God has exceeded this
abundantly, so that I see thee despising all earthly felicity, made
His servant,--what do I here?"
 Phil. iii. 13.
 1 Cor. ii. 9.; Isa. lxiv. 4.
 Ps. xxxvi. 9.
 Ps. iv. 8, Vulg.
 Ps. lxxx. 5.
 Rom. viii. 23.
 Wisd. vii. 27.
 Matt. xxv. 21.
 1 Cor. xv. 51, however, is, "we shall all be changed."
 Dean Stanley (Canterbury Sermons, serm. 10) draws the following,
amongst other lessons, from God's dealings with Augustin. "It is an
example," he says, "like the conversion of St. Paul, of the fact that
from time to time God calls His servants not by gradual, but by sudden
changes. These conversions are, it is true, the exceptions and not the
rule of Providence, but such examples as Augustin show us that we must
acknowledge the truth of the exceptions when they do occur. It is also
an instance how, even in such sudden conversions, previous good
influences have their weight. The prayers of his mother, the silent
influence of his friend, the high character of Ambrose, the
preparation for Christian truth in the writings of heathen
philosophers, were all laid up, as it were, waiting for the spark,
and, when it came, the fire flashed at once through every corner of
Chapter XI.--His Mother, Attacked by Fever, Dies at Ostia.
27. What reply I made unto her to these things I do not well remember.
However, scarcely five days after, or not much more, she was
prostrated by fever; and while she was sick, she one day sank into a
swoon, and was for a short time unconscious of visible things. We
hurried up to her; but she soon regained her senses, and gazing on me
and my brother as we stood by her, she said to us inquiringly, "Where
was I?" Then looking intently at us stupefied with grief, "Here,"
saith she, "shall you bury your mother." I was silent, and refrained
from weeping; but my brother said something, wishing her, as the
happier lot, to die in her own country and not abroad. She, when she
heard this, with anxious countenance arrested him with her eye, as
savouring of such things, and then gazing at me, "Behold," saith she,
"what he saith;" and soon after to us both she saith, "Lay this body
anywhere, let not the care for it trouble you at all. This only I ask,
that you will remember me at the Lord's altar, wherever you be." And
when she had given forth this opinion in such words as she could, she
was silent, being in pain with her increasing sickness.
28. But, as I reflected on Thy gifts, O thou invisible God, which Thou
instillest into the hearts of Thy faithful ones, whence such
marvellous fruits do spring, I did rejoice and give thanks unto Thee,
calling to mind what I knew before, how she had ever burned with
anxiety respecting her burial-place, which she had provided and
prepared for herself by the body of her husband. For as they had lived
very peacefully together, her desire had also been (so little is the
human mind capable of grasping things divine) that this should be
added to that happiness, and be talked of among men, that after her
wandering beyond the sea, it had been granted her that they both, so
united on earth, should lie in the same grave. But when this
uselessness had, through the bounty of Thy goodness, begun to be no
longer in her heart, I knew not, and I was full of joy admiring what
she had thus disclosed to me; though indeed in that our conversation
in the window also, when she said, "What do I here any longer?" she
appeared not to desire to die in her own country. I heard afterwards,
too, that at the time we were at Ostia, with a maternal confidence she
one day, when I was absent, was speaking with certain of my friends on
the contemning of this life, and the blessing of death; and when
they--amazed at the courage which Thou hadst given to her, a
woman--asked her whether she did not dread leaving her body at such a
distance from her own city, she replied, "Nothing is far to God; nor
need I fear lest He should be ignorant at the end of the world of the
place whence He is to raise me up." On the ninth day, then, of her
sickness, the fifty-sixth year of her age, and the thirty-third of
mine, was that religious and devout soul set free from the body.
Chapter XII.--How He Mourned His Dead Mother.
29. I closed her eyes; and there flowed a great sadness into my heart,
and it was passing into tears, when mine eyes at the same time, by the
violent control of my mind, sucked back the fountain dry, and woe was
me in such a struggle! But, as soon as she breathed her last the boy
Adeodatus burst out into wailing, but, being checked by us all, he
became quiet. In like manner also my own childish feeling, which was,
through the youthful voice of my heart, finding escape in tears, was
restrained and silenced. For we did not consider it fitting to
celebrate that funeral with tearful plaints and groanings;  for
on such wise are they who die unhappy, or are altogether dead, wont to
be mourned. But she neither died unhappy, nor did she altogether die.
For of this were we assured by the witness of her good conversation,
her "faith unfeigned,"  and other sufficient grounds.
30. What, then, was that which did grievously pain me within, but the
newly-made wound, from having that most sweet and dear habit of living
together suddenly broken off? I was full of joy indeed in her
testimony, when, in that her last illness, flattering my dutifulness,
she called me "kind," and recalled, with great affection of love, that
she had never heard any harsh or reproachful sound come out of my
mouth against her. But yet, O my God, who madest us, how can the
honour which I paid to her be compared with her slavery for me? As,
then, I was left destitute of so great comfort in her, my soul was
stricken, and that life torn apart as it were, which, of hers and mine
together, had been made but one.
31. The boy then being restrained from weeping, Evodius took up the
Psalter, and began to sing--the whole house responding--the Psalm, "I
will sing of mercy and judgment: unto Thee, O Lord."  But when
they heard what we were doing, many brethren and religious women came
together; and whilst they whose office it was were, according to
custom, making ready for the funeral, I, in a part of the house where
I conveniently could, together with those who thought that I ought not
to be left alone, discoursed on what was suited to the occasion; and
by this alleviation of truth mitigated the anguish known unto
Thee--they being unconscious of it, listened intently, and thought me
to be devoid of any sense of sorrow. But in Thine ears, where none of
them heard, did I blame the softness of my feelings, and restrained
the flow of my grief, which yielded a little unto me; but the paroxysm
returned again, though not so as to burst forth into tears, nor to a
change of countenance, though I knew what I repressed in my heart. And
as I was exceedingly annoyed that these human things had such power
over me,  which in the due order and destiny of our natural
condition must of necessity come to pass, with a new sorrow I sorrowed
for my sorrow, and was wasted by a twofold sadness.
32. So, when the body was carried forth, we both went and returned
without tears. For neither in those prayers which we poured forth unto
Thee when the sacrifice of our redemption  was offered up unto
Thee for her,--the dead body being now placed by the side of the
grave, as the custom there is, prior to its being laid
therein,--neither in their prayers did I shed tears; yet was I most
grievously sad in secret all the day, and with a troubled mind
entreated Thee, as I was able, to heal my sorrow, but Thou didst not;
fixing, I believe, in my memory by this one lesson the power of the
bonds of all habit, even upon a mind which now feeds not upon a
fallacious word. It appeared to me also a good thing to go and bathe,
I having heard that the bath [balneum] took its name from the Greek
balaneion, because it drives trouble from the mind. Lo, this also I
confess unto Thy mercy, "Father of the fatherless,"  that I
bathed, and felt the same as before I had done so. For the bitterness
of my grief exuded not from my heart. Then I slept, and on awaking
found my grief not a little mitigated; and as I lay alone upon my bed,
there came into my mind those true verses of Thy Ambrose, for Thou
"Deus creator omnium,
Polique rector, vestiens
Diem decora lumine,
Noctem sopora gratia;
Artus solutos ut quies
Reddat laboris usui,
Mentesque fessas allevet,
Luctusque solvat anxios." 
33. And then little by little did I bring back my former thoughts of
Thine handmaid, her devout conversation towards Thee, her holy
tenderness and attentiveness towards us, which was suddenly taken away
from me; and it was pleasant to me to weep in Thy sight, for her and
for me, concerning her and concerning myself. And I set free the tears
which before I repressed, that they might flow at their will,
spreading them beneath my heart; and it rested in them, for Thy ears
were nigh me,--not those of man, who would have put a scornful
interpretation on my weeping. But now in writing I confess it unto
Thee, O Lord! Read it who will, and interpret how he will; and if he
finds me to have sinned in weeping for my mother during so small a
part of an hour,--that mother who was for a while dead to mine eyes,
who had for many years wept for me, that I might live in Thine
eyes,--let him not laugh at me, but rather, if he be a man of a noble
charity, let him weep for my sins against Thee, the Father of all the
brethren of Thy Christ.
 For this would be to sorrow as those that have no hope.
Chrysostom accordingly frequently rebukes the Roman custom of hiring
persons to wail for the dead (see e.g. Hom. xxxii. in Matt.); and
Augustin in Serm. 2 of his De Consol. Mor. makes the same objection,
and also reproves those Christians who imitated the Romans in wearing
black as the sign of mourning. But still (as in his own case on the
death of his mother) he admits that there is a grief at the departure
of friends that is both natural and seemly. In a beautiful passage in
his De Civ. Dei (xix. 8), he says: "That he who will have none of this
sadness must, if possible, have no friendly intercourse....Let him
burst with ruthless insensibility the bonds of every human
relationship;" and he continues: "Though the cure is effected all the
more easily and rapidly the better condition the soul is in, we must
not on this account suppose that there is nothing at all to heal." See
p. 140, note 2, below.
 1 Tim. i. 5.
 Ps. ci. 1. "I suppose they continued to the end of Psalm cii.
This was the primitive fashion; Nazianzen says that his speechless
sister Gorgonia's lips muttered the fourth Psalm: `I will lie down in
peace and sleep.' As St. Austen lay a dying, the company prayed
(Possid.). That they had prayers between the departure and burial, see
Tertull. De Anima, c. 51. They used to sing both at the departure and
burial. Nazianzen, Orat. 10, says, the dead Cæsarius was carried from
hymns to hymns. The priests were called to sing (Chrysost. Hom. 70, ad
Antioch). They sang the 116th Psalm usually (see Chrysost. Hom. 4, in
c. 2, ad Hebræos)."--W. W. See also note 13, p. 141, below.
 In addition to the remarks quoted in note 1, see Augustin's
recognition of the naturalness and necessity of exercising human
affections, such as sorrow, in his De Civ. Dei, xiv. 9.
 "Here my Popish translator says, that the sacrifice of the mass
was offered for the dead. That the ancients had communion with their
burials, I confess. But for what? (1) To testify their dying in the
communion of the Church. (2) To give thanks for their departure. (3)
To Pray God to give them place in His Paradise, (4) and a part in the
first resurrection; but not as a propitiatory sacrifice to deliver
them out of purgatory, which the mass is now only meant for."--W. W.
See also note 13, p. 141.
 Ps. lxviii. 5.
 Rendered as follows in a translation of the first ten books of
the Confessions, described on the title-page as "Printed by J. C., for
John Crook, and are to be sold at the sign of the `Ship,' in St.
Paul's Churchyard. 1660":-- "O God, the world's great Architect, Who
dost heaven's rowling orbs direct; Cloathing the day with beauteous
light, And with sweet slumbers silent night; When wearied limbs new
vigour gain From rest, new labours to sustain, When hearts oppressed
do meet relief, And anxious minds forget their grief." See x. sec. 52,
below, where this hymn is referred to.
Chapter XIII.--He Entreats God for Her Sins, and Admonishes His
Readers to Remember Her Piously.
34. But,--my heart being now healed of that wound, in so far as it
could be convicted of a carnal  affection,--I pour out unto Thee,
O our God, on behalf of that Thine handmaid, tears of a far different
sort, even that which flows from a spirit broken by the thoughts of
the dangers of every soul that dieth in Adam. And although she, having
been "made alive" in Christ  even before she was freed from the
flesh had so lived as to praise Thy name both by her faith and
conversation, yet dare I not say  that from the time Thou didst
regenerate her by baptism, no word went forth from her mouth against
Thy precepts.  And it hath been declared by Thy Son, the Truth,
that "Whosoever shall say to his brother, Thou fool, shall be in
danger of hell fire."  And woe even unto the praiseworthy life of
man, if, putting away mercy, Thou shouldest investigate it. But
because Thou dost not narrowly inquire after sins, we hope with
confidence to find some place of indulgence with Thee. But whosoever
recounts his true merits  to Thee, what is it that he recounts to
Thee but Thine own gifts? Oh, if men would know themselves to be men;
and that "he that glorieth" would "glory in the Lord!" 
35. I then, O my Praise and my Life, Thou God of my heart, putting
aside for a little her good deeds, for which I joyfully give thanks to
Thee, do now beseech Thee for the sins of my mother. Hearken unto me,
through that Medicine of our wounds who hung upon the tree, and who,
sitting at Thy right hand, "maketh intercession for us."  I know
that she acted mercifully, and from the heart  forgave her
debtors their debts; do Thou also forgive her debts,  whatever
she contracted during so many years since the water of salvation.
Forgive her, O Lord, forgive her, I beseech Thee; "enter not into
judgment" with her.  Let Thy mercy be exalted above Thy justice,
 because Thy words are true, and Thou hast promised mercy unto
"the merciful;"  which Thou gavest them to be who wilt "have
mercy" on whom Thou wilt "have mercy," and wilt "have compassion" on
whom Thou hast had compassion. 
36. And I believe Thou hast already done that which I ask Thee; but
"accept the free-will offerings of my mouth, O Lord."  For she,
when the day of her dissolution was near at hand, took no thought to
have her body sumptuously covered, or embalmed with spices; nor did
she covet a choice monument, or desire her paternal burial-place.
These things she entrusted not to us, but only desired to have her
name remembered at Thy altar, which she had served without the
omission of a single day;  whence she knew that the holy
sacrifice was dispensed, by which the handwriting that was against us
is blotted out;  by which the enemy was triumphed over, 
who, summing up our offences, and searching for something to bring
against us, found nothing in Him  in whom we conquer. Who will
restore to Him the innocent blood? Who will repay Him the price with
which He bought us, so as to take us from Him? Unto the sacrament of
which our ransom did Thy handmaid bind her soul by the bond of faith.
Let none separate her from Thy protection. Let not the "lion" and the
"dragon"  introduce himself by force or fraud. For she will not
reply that she owes nothing, lest she be convicted and got the better
of by the wily deceiver; but she will answer that her "sins are
forgiven"  by Him to whom no one is able to repay that price
which He, owing nothing, laid down for us.
37. May she therefore rest in peace with her husband, before or after
whom she married none; whom she obeyed, with patience bringing forth
fruit  unto Thee, that she might gain him also for Thee. And
inspire, O my Lord my God, inspire Thy servants my brethren, Thy sons
my masters, who with voice and heart and writings I serve, that so
many of them as shall read these confessions may at Thy altar remember
Monica, Thy handmaid, together with Patricius, her sometime husband,
by whose flesh Thou introducedst me into this life, in what manner I
know not. May they with pious affection be mindful of my parents in
this transitory light, of my brethren that are under Thee our Father
in our Catholic mother, and of my fellow-citizens in the eternal
Jerusalem, which the wandering of Thy people sigheth for from their
departure until their return. That so my mother's last entreaty to me
may, through my confessions more than through my prayers, be more
abundantly fulfilled to her through the prayers of many. 
 Rom. viii. 7.
 1 Cor. xv. 22. The universalists of every age have interpreted
the word "all" here so as to make salvation by Christ Jesus extend to
every child of Adam. If their interpretation were true, Monica's
spirit need not have been troubled at the thought of the danger of
unregenerate souls. But Augustin in his De Civ. Dei, xiii. 23, gives
the import of the word: "Not that all who die in Adam shall be members
of Christ--for the great majority shall be punished in eternal
death,--but he uses the word `all' in both clauses because, as no one
dies in an animal body except in Adam, so no one is quickened a
spiritual body save in Christ." See x. sec. 68, note 1, below.
 For to have done so would have been to go perilously near to the
heresy of the Pelagians, who laid claim to the possibility of
attaining perfection in this life by the power of free-will, and
without the assistance of divine grace; and went even so far, he tells
us (Ep. clxxvi. 2), as to say that those who had so attained need not
utter the petition for forgiveness in the Lord's Prayer,--ut ei non
sit jam necessarium dicere "Dimitte nobis debita nostra." Those in our
own day who enunciate perfectionist theories,-- though, it is true,
not denying the grace of God as did these,--may well ponder Augustin's
forcible words in his De Pecc. Mer. et Rem. iii. 13: "Optandum est ut
fiat, conandum est ut fiat, supplicandum est ut fiat; non tamen quasi
factum fuerit, confitendum." We are indeed commanded to be perfect
(Matt. v. 48); and the philosophy underlying the command is embalmed
in the words of the proverb, "Aim high, and you will strike high." But
he who lives nearest to God will have the humility of heart which will
make him ready to confess that in His sight he is a "miserable
sinner." Some interesting remarks on this subject will be found in
Augustin's De Civ. Dei, xiv. 9, on the text, "If we say we have no
sin," etc. (1 John i. 8.) On sins after baptism, see note on next
 Matt. xii. 36.
 Matt. v. 22.
 There is a passage parallel to this in his Ep. to Sextus (cxciv.
19). "Merits" therefore would appear to be used simply in the sense of
good actions. Compare sec. 17, above, xiii. sec. 1, below, and Ep. cv.
That righteousness is not by merit, appears from Ep. cxciv.; Ep.
clxxvii., to Innocent; and Serm.ccxciii.
 2 Cor. x. 17.
 Rom. viii. 34.
 Matt. xviii. 35.
 Matt. vi. 12. Augustin here as elsewhere applies this petition
in the Lord's Prayer to the forgiveness of sins after baptism. He does
so constantly. For example, in his Ep. cclxv. he says: "We do not ask
for those to be forgiven which we doubt not were forgiven in baptism;
but those which, though small, are frequent, and spring from the
frailty of human nature." Again, in his Con Ep. Parmen. ii. 10, after
using almost the same words, he points out that it is a prayer against
daily sins; and in his De Civ. Dei, xxi. 27, where he examines the
passage in relation to various erroneous beliefs, he says it "was a
daily prayer He [Christ] was teaching, and it was certainly to
disciples already justified He was speaking. What, then, does He mean
by `your sins' (Matt. vi. 14), but those sins from which not even you
who are justified and sanctified can be free?" See note on the
previous section; and also for the feeling in the early Church as to
sins after baptism, the note on i. sec. 17, above.
 Ps. cxliii. 2.
 Jas. ii. 13.
 Matt. v. 7.
 Rom. ix. 15.
 Ps. cxix. 108.
 See v. sec. 17, above.
 Col. ii. 14.
 See his De Trin. xiii. 18, the passage beginning, "What then is
the righteousness by which the devil was conquered?"
 John xiv. 30.
 Ps. xci. 13.
 Matt. ix. 2.
 Luke viii. 15.
 The origin of prayers for the dead dates back probably to the
close of the second century. In note 1, p. 90, we have quoted from
Tertullian's De Corona Militis, where he says "Oblationes pro
defunctis pro natalitiis annua die facimus." In his De Monogamia, he
speaks of a widow praying for her departed husband, that "he might
have rest, and be a partaker in the first resurrection." From this
time a catena of quotations from the Fathers might be given, if space
permitted, showing how, beginning with early expressions of hope for
the dead, there, in process of time, arose prayers even for the
unregenerate, until at last there was developed purgatory on the one
side, and creature-worship on the other. That Augustin did not
entertain the idea of creature-worship will be seen from his Ep. to
Maximus, xvii. 5. In his De Dulcit. Quæst. 2 (where he discusses the
whole question), he concludes that prayer must not be made for all,
because all have not led the same life in the flesh. Still, in his
Enarr. in Ps. cviii. 17, he argues from the case of the rich man in
the parable, that the departed do certainly "have a care for us."
Aërius, towards the close of the fourth century, objected to prayers
for the dead, chiefly on the ground (see Usher's Answer to a Jesuit,
iii. 258) of their uselessness. In the Church of England, as will be
seen by reference to Keeling's Liturgicæ Britannicæ, pp. 210, 335,
339, and 341, prayers for the dead were eliminated from the second
Prayer Book; and to the prudence of this step Palmer bears testimony
in his Origines Liturgicæ, iv. 10, justifying it on the ground that
the retaining of these prayers implied a belief in her holding the
doctrine of purgatory. Reference may be made to Epiphanius, Adv. Hær.
75; Bishop Bull, Sermon 3; and Bingham, xv. 3, secs. 15, 16, and
xxiii. 3, sec. 13.
Having manifested what he was and what he is, he shows the great fruit
of his confession; and being about to examine by what method God and
the happy life may be found, he enlarges on the nature and power of
memory. Then he examines his own acts, thoughts and affections, viewed
under the threefold division of temptation; and commemorates the Lord,
the one mediator of God and men.
Chapter I.--In God Alone is the Hope and Joy of Man.
1. Let me know Thee, O Thou who knowest me; let me know Thee, as I am
known.  O Thou strength of my soul, enter into it, and prepare it
for Thyself, that Thou mayest have and hold it without "spot or
wrinkle."  This is my hope, "therefore have I spoken;"  and
in this hope do I rejoice, when I rejoice soberly. Other things of
this life ought the less to be sorrowed for, the more they are
sorrowed for; and ought the more to be sorrowed for, the less men do
sorrow for them. For behold, "Thou desirest truth,"  seeing that
he who does it "cometh to the light."  This wish I to do in
confession in my heart before Thee, and in my writing before many
 1 Cor. xiii. 12.
 Eph. v. 27.
 Ps. cxvi. 10.
 Ps. 1i. 6.
 John iii. 20.
Chapter II.--That All Things are Manifest to God. That Confession Unto
Him is Not Made by the Words of the Flesh, But of the Soul, and the
Cry of Reflection.
2. And from Thee, O Lord, unto whose eyes the depths of man's
conscience are naked,  what in me could be hidden though I were
unwilling to confess to Thee? For so should I hide Thee from myself,
not myself from Thee. But now, because my groaning witnesseth that I
am dissatisfied with myself, Thou shinest forth, and satisfiest, and
art beloved and desired; that I may blush for myself, and renounce
myself, and choose Thee, and may neither please Thee nor myself,
except in Thee. To Thee, then, O Lord, am I manifest, whatever I am,
and with what fruit I may confess unto Thee I have spoken. Nor do I it
with words and sounds of the flesh, but with the words of the soul,
and that cry of reflection which Thine ear knoweth. For when I am
wicked, to confess to Thee is naught but to be dissatisfied with
myself; but when I am truly devout, it is naught but not to attribute
it to myself, because Thou, O Lord, dost "bless the righteous;" 
but first Thou justifiest him "ungodly."  My confession,
therefore, O my God, in Thy sight, is made unto Thee silently, and yet
not silently. For in noise it is silent, in affection it cries aloud.
For neither do I give utterance to anything that is right unto men
which Thou hast not heard from me before, nor dost Thou hear anything
of the kind from me which Thyself saidst not first unto me.
 Heb. iv. 13.
 Ps. v. 12.
 Rom. iv. 5.
Chapter III.--He Who Confesseth Rightly Unto God Best Knoweth Himself.
3. What then have I to do with men, that they should hear my
confessions, as if they were going to cure all my diseases?  A
people curious to know the lives of others, but slow to correct their
own. Why do they desire to hear from me what I am, who are unwilling
to hear from Thee what they are? And how can they tell, when they hear
from me of myself, whether I speak the truth, seeing that no man
knoweth what is in man, "save the spirit of man which is in him "?
 But if they hear from Thee aught concerning themselves, they
will not be able to say, "The Lord lieth." For what is it to hear from
Thee of themselves, but to know themselves? And who is he that knoweth
himself and saith, "It is false," unless he himself lieth? But because
"charity believeth all things"  (amongst those at all events whom
by union with itself it maketh one), I too, O Lord, also so confess
unto Thee that men may hear, to whom I cannot prove whether I confess
the truth, yet do they believe me whose ears charity openeth unto me.
4. But yet do Thou, my most secret Physician, make clear to me what
fruit I may reap by doing it. For the confessions of my past
sins,--which Thou hast "forgiven" and "covered,"  that Thou
mightest make me happy in Thee, changing my soul by faith and Thy
sacrament,--when they are read and heard, stir up the heart, that it
sleep not in despair and say, "I cannot;" but that it may awake in the
love of Thy mercy and the sweetness of Thy grace, by which he that is
weak is strong,  if by it he is made conscious of his own
weakness. As for the good, they take delight in hearing of the past
errors of such as are now freed from them; and they delight, not
because they are errors, but because they have been and are so no
longer. For what fruit, then, O Lord my God, to whom my conscience
maketh her daily confession, more confident in the hope of Thy mercy
than in her own innocency,--for what fruit, I beseech Thee, do I
confess even to men in Thy presence by this book what I am at this
time, not what I have been? For that fruit I have both seen and spoken
of, but what I am at this time, at the very moment of making my
confessions, divers people desire to know, both who knew me and who
knew me not,--who have heard of or from me,--but their ear is not at
my heart, where I am whatsoever I am. They are desirous, then, of
hearing me confess what I am within, where they can neither stretch
eye, nor ear, nor mind; they desire it as those willing to
believe,--but will they understand? For charity, by which they are
good, says unto them that I do not lie in my confessions, and she in
them believes me.
 Ps. ciii. 3.
 1 Cor. ii. 11.
 1 Cor. xiii. 7.
 Ps. xxxii. 1.
 2 Cor. xii. 10.
Chapter IV.--That in His Confessions He May Do Good, He Considers
5. But for what fruit do they desire this? Do they wish me happiness
when they learn how near, by Thy gift, I come unto Thee; and to pray
for me, when they learn how much I am kept back by my own weight? To
such will I declare myself. For it is no small fruit, O Lord my God,
that by many thanks should be given to Thee on our behalf,  and
that by many Thou shouldest be entreated for us. Let the fraternal
soul love that in me which Thou teachest should be loved, and lament
that in me which Thou teachest should be lamented. Let a fraternal and
not an alien soul do this, nor that "of strange children, whose mouth
speaketh vanity, and their right hand is a right hand of falsehood,"
 but that fraternal one which, when it approves me, rejoices for
me, but when it disapproves me, is sorry for me; because whether it
approves or disapproves it loves me. To such will I declare myself;
let them breathe freely at my good deeds, and sigh over my evil ones.
My good deeds are Thy institutions and Thy gifts, my evil ones are my
delinquencies and Thy judgments.  Let them breathe freely at the
one, and sigh over the other; and let hymns and tears ascend into Thy
sight out of the fraternal hearts--Thy censers.  And do Thou, O
Lord, who takest delight in the incense of Thy holy temple, have mercy
upon me according to Thy great mercy,  "for Thy name's sake;"
 and on no account leaving what Thou hast begun in me, do Thou
complete what is imperfect in me.
6. This is the fruit of my confessions, not of what I was, but of what
I am, that I may confess this not before Thee only, in a secret
exultation with trembling,  and a secret sorrow with hope, but in
the ears also of the believing sons of men,--partakers of my joy, and
sharers of my mortality, my fellow-citizens and the companions of my
pilgrimage, those who are gone before, and those that are to follow
after, and the comrades of my way. These are Thy servants, my
brethren, those whom Thou wishest to be Thy sons; my masters, whom
Thou hast commanded me to serve, if I desire to live with and of Thee.
But this Thy word were little to me did it command in speaking,
without going before in acting. This then do I both in deed and word,
this I do under Thy wings, in too great danger, were it not that my
soul, under Thy wings, is subject unto Thee, and my weakness known
unto Thee. I am a little one, but my Father liveth for ever, and my
Defender is "sufficient"  for me. For He is the same who begat me
and who defends me; and Thou Thyself art all my good; even Thou, the
Omnipotent, who art with me, and that before I am with Thee. To such,
therefore, whom Thou commandest me to serve will I declare, not what I
was, but what I now am, and what I still am. But neither do I judge
myself.  Thus then I would be heard.
 2 Cor. i. 11.
 Ps. cxliv. 11.
 In note 9, p. 79, we have seen how God makes man's sin its own
punishment. Reference may also be made to Augustin's Con. Advers. Leg.
et Proph. i. 14, where he argues that "the punishment of a man's
disobedience is found in himself, when he in his turn cannot get
obedience even from himself." And again, in his De Lib. Arb. v. 18, he
says, God punishes by taking from him that which he does not use well,
"et qui recte facere cum possit noluit amittat posse cum velit." See
also Serm. clxxi. 4, and Ep. cliii.
 Rev. viii. 3.
 Ps. li. l.
 Ps. xxv. 11.
 Ps. ii. 11.
 2 Cor. xii. 9.
 1 Cor. iv. 3.
Chapter V.--That Man Knoweth Not Himself Wholly.
7. For it is Thou, Lord, that judgest me;  for although no "man
knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him,"
 yet is there something of man which "the spirit of man which is
in him" itself knoweth not. But Thou, Lord, who hast made him, knowest
him wholly. I indeed, though in Thy sight I despise myself, and reckon
"myself but dust and ashes,"  yet know something concerning Thee,
which I know not concerning myself. And assuredly "now we see through
a glass darkly," not yet "face to face."  So long, therefore, as
I be "absent" from Thee, I am more "present" with myself than with
Thee;  and yet know I that Thou canst not suffer violence; 
but for myself I know not what temptations I am able to resist, and
what I am not able.  But there is hope, because Thou art
faithful, who wilt not suffer us to be tempted above that we are able,
but wilt with the temptation also make a way to escape, that we may be
able to bear it.  I would therefore confess what I know
concerning myself; I will confess also what I know not concerning
myself. And because what I do know of myself, I know by Thee
enlightening me; and what I know not of myself, so long I know not
until the time when my "darkness be as the noonday"  in Thy
 1 Cor. iv. 4.
 1 Cor. ii. 11.
 Gen. xviii. 27.
 1 Cor. xiii. 12.
 2 Cor. v. 6.
 See Nebridius' argument against the Manichæans, as to God's not
being violable, in vii. sec. 3, above, and the note thereon.
 See his Enarr. in Ps. lv. 8 and xciii. 19, where he beautifully
describes how the winds and waves of temptation will be stilled if
Christ be present in the ship. See also Serm. lxiii.; and Eps. cxxx.
22, and clxxvii. 4.
 1 Cor. x. 13.
 Isa. lviii. 10.
Chapter VI.--The Love of God, in His Nature Superior to All Creatures,
is Acquired by the Knowledge of the Senses and the Exercise of Reason.
8. Not with uncertain, but with assured consciousness do I love Thee,
O Lord. Thou hast stricken my heart with Thy word, and I loved Thee.
And also the heaven, and earth, and all that is therein, behold, on
every side they say that I should love Thee; nor do they cease to
speak unto all, "so that they are without excuse."  But more
profoundly wilt Thou have mercy on whom Thou wilt have mercy, and
compassion on whom Thou wilt have compassion,  otherwise do both
heaven and earth tell forth Thy praises to deaf ears. But what is it
that I love in loving Thee? Not corporeal beauty, nor the splendour of
time, nor the radiance of the light, so pleasant to our eyes, nor the
sweet melodies of songs of all kinds, nor the fragrant smell of
flowers, and ointments, and spices, not manna and honey, not limbs
pleasant to the embracements of flesh. I love not these things when I
love my God; and yet I love a certain kind of light, and sound, and
fragrance, and food, and embracement in loving my God, who is the
light, sound, fragrance, food, and embracement of my inner man--where
that light shineth unto my soul which no place can contain, where that
soundeth which time snatcheth not away, where there is a fragrance
which no breeze disperseth, where there is a food which no eating can
diminish, and where that clingeth which no satiety can sunder. This is
what I love, when I love my God.
9. And what is this? I asked the earth; and it answered, "I am not
He;" and whatsoever are therein made the same confession. I asked the
sea and the deeps, and the creeping things that lived, and they
replied, "We are not thy God, seek higher than we." I asked the breezy
air, and the universal air with its inhabitants answered, "Anaximenes
 was deceived, I am not God." I asked the heavens, the sun, moon,
and stars: "Neither," say they, "are we the God whom thou seekest."
And I answered unto all these things which stand about the door of my
flesh, "Ye have told me concerning my God, that ye are not He; tell me
something about Him." And with a loud voice they exclaimed, "He made
us." My questioning was my observing of them; and their beauty was
their reply.  And I directed my thoughts to myself, and said,
"Who art thou?" And I answered, "A man." And lo, in me there appear
both body and soul, the one without, the other within. By which of
these should I seek my God, whom I had sought through the body from
earth to heaven, as far as I was able to send messengers--the beams of
mine eyes? But the better part is that which is inner; for to it, as
both president and judge, did all these my corporeal messengers render
the answers of heaven and earth and all things therein, who said, "We
are not God, but He made us." These things was my inner man cognizant
of by the ministry of the outer; I, the inner man, knew all this--I,
the soul, through the senses of my body. I asked the vast bulk of the
earth of my God, and it answered me, "I am not He, but He made me."
10. Is not this beauty visible to all whose senses are unimpaired? Why
then doth it not speak the same things unto all? Animals, the very
small and the great, see it, but they are unable to question it,
because their senses are not endowed with reason to enable them to
judge on what they report. But men can question it, so that "the
invisible things of Him . . . are clearly seen, being understood by
the things that are made;"  but by loving them, they are brought
into subjection to them; and subjects are not able to judge. Neither
do the creatures reply to such as question them, unless they can
judge; nor will they alter their voice (that is, their beauty), 
if so be one man only sees, another both sees and questions, so as to
appear one way to this man, and another to that; but appearing the
same way to both, it is mute to this, it speaks to that--yea, verily,
it speaks unto all but they only understand it who compare that voice
received from without with the truth within. For the truth declareth
unto me, "Neither heaven, nor earth, nor any body is thy God." This,
their nature declareth unto him that beholdeth them. "They are a mass;
a mass is less in part than in the whole." Now, O my soul, thou art my
better part, unto thee I speak; for thou animatest the mass of thy
body, giving it life, which no body furnishes to a body but thy God is
even unto thee the Life of life.
 Rom. i. 20.
 Rom. ix. 15.
 Anaximenes of Miletus was born about 520 B.C. According to his
philosophy the air was animate, and from it, as from a first
principle, all things in heaven, earth, and sea sprung, first by
condensation (puknosis), and after that by a process of rarefaction
(araiosis). See Ep. cxviii. 23; and Aristotle, Phys. iii. 4. Compare
this theory and that of Epicurus (p. 100, above) with those of modern
physicists; and see thereon The Unseen Universe, arts. 85, etc., and
 In Ps. cxliv. 13, the earth he describes as "dumb," but as
speaking to us while we meditate upon its beauty--Ipsa inquisitio
 Rom. i. 20.
 See note 2 to previous section.
Chapter VII.--That God is to Be Found Neither from the Powers of the
Body Nor of the Soul.
11. What then is it that I love when I love my God? Who is He that is
above the head of my soul? By my soul itself will I mount up unto Him.
I will soar beyond that power of mine whereby I cling to the body, and
fill the whole structure of it with life. Not by that power do I find
my God; for then the horse and the mule, "which have no
understanding,"  might find Him, since it is the same power by
which their bodies also live. But there is another power, not that
only by which I quicken, but that also by which I endow with sense my
flesh, which the Lord hath made for me; bidding the eye not to hear,
and the ear not to see; but that, for me to see by, and this, for me
to hear by; and to each of the other senses its own proper seat and
office, which being different, I, the single mind, do through them
govern. I will soar also beyond this power of mine; for this the horse
and mule possess, for they too discern through the body.
 Ps. xxxii. 9.
Chapter VIII.----Of the Nature and the Amazing Power of Memory.
12. I will soar, then, beyond this power of my nature also, ascending
by degrees unto Him who made me. And I enter the fields and roomy
chambers of memory, where are the treasures of countless images,
imported into it from all manner of things by the senses. There is
treasured up whatsoever likewise we think, either by enlarging or
diminishing, or by varying in any way whatever those things which the
sense hath arrived at; yea, and whatever else hath been entrusted to
it and stored up, which oblivion hath not yet engulfed and buried.
When I am in this storehouse, I demand that what I wish should be
brought forth, and some things immediately appear; others require to
be longer sought after, and are dragged, as it were, out of some
hidden receptacle; others, again, hurry forth in crowds, and while
another thing is sought and inquired for, they leap into view, as if
to say, "Is it not we, perchance?" These I drive away with the hand of
my heart from before the face of my remembrance, until what I wish be
discovered making its appearance out of its secret cell. Other things
suggest themselves without effort, and in continuous order, just as
they are called for,--those in front giving place to those that
follow, and in giving place are treasured up again to be forthcoming
when I wish it. All of which takes place when I repeat a thing from
13. All these things, each of which entered by its own avenue, are
distinctly and under general heads there laid up: as, for example,
light, and all colours and forms of bodies, by the eyes; sounds of all
kinds by the ears; all smells by the passage of the nostrils; all
flavours by that of the mouth; and by the sensation of the whole body
is brought in what is hard or soft, hot or cold, smooth or rough,
heavy or light, whether external or internal to the body. All these
doth that great receptacle of memory, with its many and indescribable
departments, receive, to be recalled and brought forth when required;
each, entering by its own door, is hid up in it. And yet the things
themselves do not enter it, but only the images of the things
perceived are there ready at hand for thought to recall. And who can
tell how these images are formed, notwithstanding that it is evident
by which of the senses each has been fetched in and treasured up? For
even while I live in darkness and silence, I can bring out colours in
memory if I wish, and discern between black and white, and what others
I wish; nor yet do sounds break in and disturb what is drawn in by
mine eyes, and which I am considering, seeing that they also are
there, and are concealed, laid up, as it were, apart. For these too I
can summon if I please, and immediately they appear. And though my
tongue be at rest, and my throat silent, yet can I sing as much as I
will; and those images of colours, which notwithstanding are there, do
not interpose themselves and interrupt when another treasure is under
consideration which flowed in through the ears. So the remaining
things carried in and heaped up by the other senses, I recall at my
pleasure. And I discern the scent of lilies from that of violets while
smelling nothing; and I prefer honey to grape-syrup, a smooth thing to
a rough, though then I neither taste nor handle, but only remember.
14. These things do I within, in that vast chamber of my memory. For
there are nigh me heaven, earth, sea, and whatever I can think upon in
them, besides those which I have forgotten. There also do I meet with
myself, and recall myself,--what, when, or where I did a thing, and
how I was affected when I did it. There are all which I remember,
either by personal experience or on the faith of others. Out of the
same supply do I myself with the past construct now this, now that
likeness of things, which either I have experienced, or, from having
experienced, have believed; and thence again future actions, events,
and hopes, and upon all these again do I meditate as if they were
present. "I will do this or that," say I to myself in that vast womb
of my mind, filled with the images of things so many and so great,
"and this or that shall follow upon it." "Oh that this or that might
come to pass!" "God avert this or that!" Thus speak I to myself; and
when I speak, the images of all I speak about are present, out of the
same treasury of memory; nor could I say anything at all about them
were the images absent.
15. Great is this power of memory, exceeding great, O my God,--an
inner chamber large and boundless! Who has plumbed the depths thereof?
Yet it is a power of mine, and appertains unto my nature; nor do I
myself grasp all that I am. Therefore is the mind too narrow to
contain itself. And where should that be which it doth not contain of
itself? Is it outside and not in itself? How is it, then, that it doth
not grasp itself? A great admiration rises upon me; astonishment
seizes me. And men go forth to wonder at the heights of mountains, the
huge waves of the sea, the broad flow of the rivers, the extent of the
ocean, and the courses of the stars, and omit to wonder at themselves;
nor do they marvel that when I spoke of all these things, I was not
looking on them with my eyes, and yet could not speak of them unless
those mountains, and waves, and rivers, and stars which I saw, and
that ocean which I believe in, I saw inwardly in my memory, and with
the same vast spaces between as when I saw them abroad. But I did not
by seeing appropriate them when I looked on them with my eyes; nor are
the things themselves with me, but their images. And I knew by what
corporeal sense each made impression on me.
Chapter IX.--Not Only Things, But Also Literature and Images, are
Taken from the Memory, and are Brought Forth by the Act of
16. And yet are not these all that the illimitable capacity of my
memory retains. Here also is all that is apprehended of the liberal
sciences, and not yet forgotten--removed as it were into an inner
place, which is not a place; nor are they the images which are
retained, but the things themselves. For what is literature, what
skill in disputation, whatsoever I know of all the many kinds of
questions there are, is so in my memory, as that I have not taken in
the image and left the thing without, or that it should have sounded
and passed away like a voice imprinted on the ear by that trace,
whereby it might be recorded, as though it sounded when it no longer
did so; or as an odour while it passes away, and vanishes into wind,
affects the sense of smell, whence it conveys the image of itself into
the memory, which we realize in recollecting; or like food, which
assuredly in the belly hath now no taste, and yet hath a kind of taste
in the memory, or like anything that is by touching felt by the body,
and which even when removed from us is imagined by the memory. For
these things themselves are not put into it, but the images of them
only are caught up, with a marvellous quickness, and laid up, as it
were, in most wonderful garners, and wonderfully brought forth when we
Chapter X.--Literature is Not Introduced to the Memory Through the
Senses, But is Brought Forth from Its More Secret Places.
17. But truly when I hear that there are three kinds of questions,
"Whether a thing is?--what it is?--of what kind it is?" I do indeed
hold fast the images of the sounds of which these words are composed,
and I know that those sounds passed through the air with a noise, and
now are not. But the things themselves which are signified by these
sounds I never arrived at by any sense of the body, nor ever perceived
them otherwise than by my mind; and in my memory have I laid up not
their images, but themselves, which, how they entered into me, let
them tell if they are able. For I examine all the gates of my flesh,
but find not by which of them they entered. For the eyes say, "If they
were coloured, we announced them." The ears say, "If they sounded, we
gave notice of them." The nostrils say, "If they smell, they passed in
by us." The sense of taste says, "If they have no flavour, ask not
me." The touch says, "If it have not body, I handled it not, and if I
never handled it, I gave no notice of it." Whence and how did these
things enter into my memory? I know not how. For when I learned them,
I gave not credit to the heart of another man, but perceived them in
my own; and I approved them as true, and committed them to it, laying
them up, as it were, whence I might fetch them when I willed. There,
then, they were, even before I learned them, but were not in my
memory. Where were they, then, or wherefore, when they were spoken,
did I acknowledge them, and say, "So it is, it is true," unless as
being already in the memory, though so put back and concealed, as it
were, in more secret caverns, that had they not been drawn forth by
the advice of another I would not, perchance, have been able to
conceive of them?
Chapter XI.--What It is to Learn and to Think.
18. Wherefore we find that to learn these things, whose images we
drink not in by our senses, but perceive within as they are by
themselves, without images, is nothing else but by meditation as it
were to concentrate, and by observing to take care that those notions
which the memory did before contain scattered and confused, be laid up
at hand, as it were, in that same memory, where before they lay
concealed, scattered and neglected, and so the more easily present
themselves to the mind well accustomed to observe them. And how many
things of this sort does my memory retain which have been found out
already, and, as I said, are, as it were, laid up ready to hand, which
we are said to have learned and to have known; which, should we for
small intervals of time cease to recall, they are again so submerged
and slide back, as it were, into the more remote chambers, that they
must be evolved thence again as if new (for other sphere they have
none), and must be marshalled [cogenda] again that they may become
known; that is to say, they must be collected [colligenda], as it
were, from their dispersion; whence we have the word cogitare. For
cogo [I collect] and cogito [I recollect] have the same relation to
each other as ago and agito, facio and factito. But the mind has
appropriated to itself this word [cogitation], so that not that which
is collected anywhere, but what is collected,  that is
marshalled,  in the mind, is properly said to be "cogitated."
Chapter XII.--On the Recollection of Things Mathematical.
19. The memory containeth also the reasons and innumerable laws of
numbers and dimensions, none of which hath any sense of the body
impressed, seeing they have neither colour, nor sound, nor taste, nor
smell, nor sense of touch. I have heard the sound of the words by
which these things are signified when they are discussed; but the
sounds are one thing, the things another. For the sounds are one thing
in Greek, another in Latin; but the things themselves are neither
Greek, nor Latin, nor any other language. I have seen the lines of the
craftsmen, even the finest, like a spider's web; but these are of
another kind, they are not the images of those which the eye of my
flesh showed me; he knoweth them who, without any idea whatsoever of a
body, perceives them within himself. I have also observed the numbers
of the things with which we number all the senses of the body; but
those by which we number are of another kind, nor are they the images
of these, and therefore they certainly are. Let him who sees not these
things mock me for saying them; and I will pity him, whilst he mocks
Chapter XIII.--Memory Retains All Things.
20. All these things I retain in my memory, and how I learnt them I
retain. I retain also many things which I have heard most falsely
objected against them, which though they be false, yet is it not false
that I have remembered them; and I remember, too, that I have
distinguished between those truths and these falsehoods uttered
against them; and I now see that it is one thing to distinguish these
things, another to remember that I often distinguished them, when I
often reflected upon them. I both remember, then, that I have often
understood these things, and what I now distinguish and comprehend I
store away in my memory, that hereafter I may remember that I
understood it now. Therefore also I remember that I have remembered;
so that if afterwards I shall call to mind that I have been able to
remember these things, it will be through the power of memory that I
shall call it to mind.
Chapter XIV.--Concerning the Manner in Which Joy and Sadness May Be
Brought Back to the Mind and Memory.
21. This same memory contains also the affections of my mind; not in
the manner in which the mind itself contains them when it suffers
them, but very differently according to a power peculiar to memory.
For without being joyous, I remember myself to have had joy; and
without being sad, I call to mind my past sadness; and that of which I
was once afraid, I remember without fear; and without desire recall a
former desire. Again, on the contrary, I at times remember when joyous
my past sadness, and when sad my joy. Which is not to be wondered at
as regards the body; for the mind is one thing, the body another. If
I, therefore, when happy, recall some past bodily pain, it is not so
strange a thing. But now, as this very memory itself is mind (for when
we give orders to have a thing kept in memory, we say, "See that you
bear this in mind;" and when we forget a thing, we say, "It did not
enter my mind," and, "It slipped from my mind," thus calling the
memory itself mind), as this is so, how comes it to pass that when
being joyful I remember my past sorrow, the mind has joy, the memory
sorrow,--the mind, from the joy than is in it, is joyful, yet the
memory, from the sadness that is in it, is not sad? Does not the
memory perchance belong unto the mind? Who will say so? The memory
doubtless is, so to say, the belly of the mind, and joy and sadness
like sweet and bitter food, which, when entrusted to the memory, are,
as it were, passed into the belly, where they can be reposited, but
cannot taste. It is ridiculous to imagine these to be alike; and yet
they are not utterly unlike.
22. But behold, out of my memory I educe it, when I affirm that there
be four perturbations of the mind,--desire, joy, fear, sorrow; and
whatsoever I shall be able to dispute on these, by dividing each into
its peculiar species, and by defining it, there I find what I may say,
and thence I educe it; yet am I not disturbed by any of these
perturbations when by remembering them I call them to mind; and before
I recollected and reviewed them, they were there; wherefore by
remembrance could they be brought thence. Perchance, then, even as
meat is in ruminating brought up out of the belly, so by calling to
mind are these educed from the memory. Why, then, does not the
disputant, thus recollecting, perceive in the mouth of his meditation
the sweetness of joy or the bitterness of sorrow? Is the comparison
unlike in this because not like in all points? For who would willingly
discourse on these subjects, if, as often as we name sorrow or fear,
we should be compelled to be sorrowful or fearful? And yet we could
never speak of them, did we not find in our memory not merely the
sounds of the names, according to the images imprinted on it by the
senses of the body, but the notions of the things themselves, which we
never received by any door of the flesh, but which the mind itself,
recognising by the experience of its own passions, entrusted to the
memory, or else which the memory itself retained without their being
entrusted to it.
Chapter XV.--In Memory There are Also Images of Things Which are
23. But whether by images or no, who can well affirm? For I name a
stone, I name the sun, and the things themselves are not present to my
senses, but their images are near to my memory. I name some pain of
the body, yet it is not present when there is no pain; yet if its
image were not in my memory, I should be ignorant what to say
concerning it, nor in arguing be able to distinguish it from pleasure.
I name bodily health when sound in body; the thing itself is indeed
present with me, but unless its image also were in my memory, I could
by no means call to mind what the sound of this name signified. Nor
would sick people know, when health was named, what was said, unless
the same image were retained by the power of memory, although the
thing itself were absent from the body. I name numbers whereby we
enumerate; and not their images, but they themselves are in my memory.
I name the image of the sun, and this, too, is in my memory. For I do
not recall the image of that image, but itself, for the image itself
is present when I remember it. I name memory, and I know what I name.
But where do I know it, except in the memory itself? Is it also
present to itself by its image, and not by itself?
Chapter XVI.--The Privation of Memory is Forgetfulness.
24. When I name forgetfulness, and know, too, what I name, whence
should I know it if I did not remember it? I do not say the sound of
the name, but the thing which it signifies which, had I forgotten, I
could not know what that sound signified. When, therefore, I remember
memory, then is memory present with itself, through itself. But when I
remember forgetfulness, there are present both memory and
forgetfulness,--memory, whereby I remember, forgetfulness, which I
remember. But what is forgetfulness but the privation of memory? How,
then, is that present for me to remember, since, when it is so, I
cannot remember? But if what we remember we retain in memory, yet,
unless we remembered forgetfulness, we could never at the hearing of
the name know the thing meant by it, then is forgetfulness retained by
memory. Present, therefore, it is, lest we should forget it; and being
so, we do forget. Is it to be inferred from this that forgetfulness,
when we remember it, is not present to the memory through itself, but
through its image; because, were forgetfulness present through itself,
it would not lead us to remember, but to forget? Who will now
investigate this? Who shall understand how it is?
25. Truly, O Lord, I labour therein, and labour in myself. I am become
a troublesome soil that requires overmuch labour. For we are not now
searching out the tracts of heaven, or measuring the distances of the
stars, or inquiring about the weight of the earth. It is I myself--I,
the mind--who remember. It is not much to be wondered at, if what I
myself am not be far from me. But what is nearer to me than myself?
And, behold, I am not able to comprehend the force of my own memory,
though I cannot name myself without it. For what shall I say when it
is plain to me that I remember forgetfulness? Shall I affirm that
which I remember is not in my memory? Or shall I say that
forgetfulness is in my memory with the view of my not forgetting? Both
of these are most absurd. What third view is there? How can I assert
that the image of forgetfulness is retained by my memory, and not
forgetfulness itself, when I remember it? And how can I assert this,
seeing that when the image of anything is imprinted on the memory, the
thing itself must of necessity be present first by which that image
may be imprinted? For thus do I remember Carthage; thus, all the
places to which I have been; thus, the faces of men whom I have seen,
and things reported by the other senses; thus, the health or sickness
of the body. For when these objects were present, my memory received
images from them, which, when they were present, I might gaze on and
reconsider in my mind, as I remembered them when they were absent. If,
therefore, forgetfulness is retained in the memory through its image,
and not through itself, then itself was once present, that its image
might be taken. But when it was present, how did it write its image on
the memory, seeing that forgetfulness by its presence blots out even
what it finds already noted? And yet, in whatever way, though it be
incomprehensible and inexplicable, yet most certain I am that I
remember also forgetfulness itself, whereby what we do remember is
Chapter XVII.--God Cannot Be Attained Unto by the Power of Memory,
Which Beasts and Birds Possess.
26. Great is the power of memory; very wonderful is it, O my God, a
profound and infinite manifoldness; and this thing is the mind, and
this I myself am. What then am I, O my God? Of what nature am I? A
life various and manifold, and exceeding vast. Behold, in the
numberless fields, and caves, and caverns of my memory, full without
number of numberless kinds of things, either through images, as all
bodies are; or by the presence of the things themselves, as are the
arts; or by some notion or observation, as the affections of the mind
are, which, even though the mind doth not suffer, the memory retains,
while whatsoever is in the memory is also in the mind: through all
these do I run to and fro, and fly; I penetrate on this side and that,
as far as I am able, and nowhere is there an end. So great is the
power of memory, so great the power of life in man, whose life is
mortal. What then shall I do, O Thou my true life, my God? I will pass
even beyond this power of mine which is called memory--I will pass
beyond it, that I may proceed to Thee, O Thou sweet Light. What sayest
Thou to me? Behold, I am soaring by my mind towards Thee who remainest
above me. I will also pass beyond this power of mine which is called
memory, wishful to reach Thee whence Thou canst be reached, and to
cleave unto Thee whence it is possible to cleave unto Thee. For even
beasts and birds possess memory, else could they never find their
lairs and nests again, nor many other things to which they are used;
neither indeed could they become used to anything, but by their
memory. I will pass, then, beyond memory also, that I may reach Him
who has separated me from the four-footed beasts and the fowls of the
air, making me wiser than they. I will pass beyond memory also, but
where shall I find Thee, O Thou truly good and assured sweetness? But
where shall I find Thee? If I find Thee without memory, then am I
unmindful of Thee. And how now shall I find Thee, if I do not remember
Chapter XVIII.--A Thing When Lost Could Not Be Found Unless It Were
Retained in the Memory.
27. For the woman who lost her drachma, and searched for it with a
lamp,  unless she had remembered it, would never have found it.
For when it was found, whence could she know whether it were the same,
had she not remembered it? I remember to have lost and found many
things; and this I know thereby, that when I was searching for any of
them, and was asked, "Is this it?" "Is that it?" I answered "No,"
until such time as that which I sought were offered to me. Which had I
not remembered,--whatever it were,--though it were offered me, yet
would I not find it, because I could not recognise it. And thus it is
always, when we search for and find anything that is lost.
Notwithstanding, if anything be by accident lost from the sight, not
from the memory,--as any visible body,--the image of it is retained
within, and is searched for until it be restored to sight; and when it
is found, it is recognised by the image which is within. Nor do we say
that we have found what we had lost unless we recognise it; nor can we
recognise it unless we remember it. But this, though lost to the
sight, was retained in the memory.
 Luke xv. 8.
Chapter XIX.--What It is to Remember.
28. But how is it when the memory itself loses anything, as it happens
when we forget anything and try to recall it? Where finally do we
search, but in the memory itself? And there, if perchance one thing be
offered for another, we refuse it, until we meet with what we seek;
and when we do, we exclaim, "This is it!" which we should not do
unless we knew it again, nor should we recognise it unless we
remembered it. Assuredly, therefore, we had forgotten it. Or, had not
the whole of it slipped our memory, but by the part by which we had
hold was the other part sought for; since the memory perceived that it
did not revolve together as much as it was accustomed to do, and
halting, as if from the mutilation of its old habit, demanded the
restoration of that which was wanting. For example, if we see or think
of some man known to us, and, having forgotten his name, endeavour to
recover it, whatsoever other thing presents itself is not connected
with it; because it was not used to be thought of in connection with
him, and is consequently rejected, until that is present whereon the
knowledge reposes fittingly as its accustomed object. And whence, save
from the memory itself, does that present itself? For even when we
recognise it as put in mind of it by another, it is thence it comes.
For we do not believe it as something new, but, as we recall it, admit
what was said to be correct. But if it were entirely blotted out of
the mind, we should not, even when put in mind of it, recollect it.
For we have not as yet entirely forgotten what we remember that we
have forgotten. A lost notion, then, which we have entirely forgotten,
we cannot even search for.
Chapter XX.--We Should Not Seek for God and the Happy Life Unless We
Had Known It.
29. How, then, do I seek Thee, O Lord? For when I seek Thee, my God, I
seek a happy life.  I will seek Thee, that my soul may live.
 For my body liveth by my soul, and my soul liveth by Thee. How,
then, do I seek a happy life, seeing that it is not mine till I can
say, "It is enough!" in that place where I ought to say it? How do I
seek it? Is it by remembrance, as though I had forgotten it, knowing
too that I had forgotten it? or, longing to learn it as a thing
unknown, which either I had never known, or had so forgotten it as not
even to remember that I had forgotten it? Is not a happy life the
thing that all desire, and is there any one who altogether desires it
not? But where did they acquire the knowledge of it, that they so
desire it? Where have they seen it, that they so love it? Truly we
have it, but how I know not. Yea, there is another way in which, when
any one hath it, he is happy; and some there be that are happy in
hope. These have it in an inferior kind to those that are happy in
fact; and yet are they better off than they who are happy neither in
fact nor in hope. And even these, had they it not in some way, would
not so much desire to be happy, which that they do desire is most
certain. How they come to know it, I cannot tell, but they have it by
some kind of knowledge unknown to me, who am in much doubt as to
whether it be in the memory; for if it be there, then have we been
happy once; whether all individually, or as in that man who first
sinned, in whom also we all died,  and from whom we are all born
with misery, I do not now ask; but I ask whether the happy life be in
the memory? For did we not know it, we should not love it. We hear the
name, and we all acknowledge that we desire the thing; for we are not
delighted with the sound only. For when a Greek hears it spoken in
Latin, he does not feel delighted, for he knows not what is spoken;
but we are delighted,  as he too would be if he heard it in
Greek; because the thing itself is neither Greek nor Latin, which
Greeks and Latins, and men of all other tongues, long so earnestly to
obtain. It is then known unto all, and could they with one voice be
asked whether they wished to be happy, without doubt they would all
answer that they would. And this could not be unless the thing itself,
of which it is the name, were retained in their memory.
 See note, p. 75, above.
 Amos v. 4.
 1 Cor. xv. 22; see p. 140, note 3, and note p. 73, above.
 That is, as knowing Latin.
Chapter XXI.--How a Happy Life May Be Retained in the Memory.
30. But is it so as one who has seen Carthage remembers it? No. For a
happy life is not visible to the eye, because it is not a body. Is it,
then, as we remember numbers? No. For he that hath these in his
knowledge strives not to attain further; but a happy life we have in
our knowledge, and, therefore, do we love it, while yet we wish
further to attain it that we may be happy. Is it, then, as we remember
eloquence? No. For although some, when they hear this name, call the
thing to mind, who, indeed, are not yet eloquent, and many who wish to
be so, whence it appears to be in their knowledge; yet have these by
their bodily perceptions noticed that others are eloquent, and been
delighted with it, and long to be so,--although they would not be
delighted save for some interior knowledge, nor desire to be so unless
they were delighted,--but a happy life we can by no bodily perception
make experience of in others. Is it, then, as we remember joy? It may
be so; for my joy I remember, even when sad, like as I do a happy life
when I am miserable. Nor did I ever with perception of the body either
see, hear, smell, taste, or touch my joy; but I experienced it in my
mind when I rejoiced; and the knowledge of it clung to my memory, so
that I can call it to mind sometimes with disdain and at others with
desire, according to the difference of the things wherein I now
remember that I rejoiced. For even from unclean things have I been
bathed with a certain joy, which now calling to mind, I detest and
execrate; at other times, from good and honest things, which, with
longing, I call to mind, though perchance they be not nigh at hand,
and then with sadness do I call to mind a former joy.
31. Where and when, then, did I experience my happy life, that I
should call it to mind, and love and long for it? Nor is it I alone or
a few others who wish to be happy, but truly all; which, unless by
certain knowledge we knew, we should not wish with so certain a will.
But how is this, that if two men be asked whether they would wish to
serve as soldiers one, it may be, would reply that he would, the other
that he would not; but if they were asked whether they would wish to
be happy, both of them would unhesitatingly say that they would; and
this one would wish to serve, and the other not, from no other motive
but to be happy? Is it, perchance, that as one joys in this, and
another in that, so do all men agree in their wish for happiness, as
they would agree, were they asked, in wishing to have joy,--and this
joy they call a happy life? Although, then, one pursues joy in this
way, and another in that, all have one goal, which they strive to
attain, namely, to have joy. This life, being a thing which no one can
say he has not experienced, it is on that account found in the memory,
and recognised whenever the name of a happy life is heard.
Chapter XXII.--A Happy Life is to Rejoice in God, and for God.
32. Let it be far, O Lord,--let it be far from the heart of Thy
servant who confesseth unto Thee; let it be far from me to think
myself happy, be the joy what it may. For there is a joy which is not
granted to the "wicked,"  but to those who worship Thee
thankfully, whose joy Thou Thyself art. And the happy life is
this,--to rejoice unto Thee, in Thee, and for Thee; this it is, and
there is no other.  But those who think there is another follow
after another joy, and that not the true one. Their will, however, is
not turned away from some shadow of joy.
 Isa. xlviii. 22.
 Since "life eternal is the supreme good," as he remarks in his
De Civ. Dei, xix. 4. Compare also ibid. viii. sec. 8, where he argues
that the highest good is God, and that he who loves Him is in the
enjoyment of that good. See also note on the chief good, p. 75, above.
Chapter XXIII.--All Wish to Rejoice in the Truth.
33. It is not, then, certain that all men wish to be happy, since
those who wish not to rejoice in Thee, which is the only happy life,
do not verily desire the happy life. Or do all desire this, but
because "the flesh lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit against
the flesh," so that they "cannot do the things that they would," 
they fall upon that which they are able to do, and with that are
content; because that which they are not able to do, they do not so
will as to make them able?  For I ask of every man, whether he
would rather rejoice in truth or in falsehood. They will no more
hesitate to say, "in truth," than to say, "that they wish to be
happy." For a happy life is joy in the truth. For this is joy in Thee,
who art "the truth,"  O God, "my light,"  "the health of my
countenance, and my God."  All wish for this happy life; this
life do all wish for, which is the only happy one; joy in the truth do
all wish for.  I have had experience of many who wished to
deceive, but not one who wished to be deceived. Where, then, did they
know this happy life, save where they knew also the truth? For they
love it, too, since they would not be deceived. And when they love a
happy life, which is naught else but joy in the truth, assuredly they
love also the truth; which yet they would not love were there not some
knowledge of it in the memory. Wherefore, then, do they not rejoice in
it? Why are they not happy? Because they are more entirely occupied
with other things which rather make them miserable, than that which
would make them happy, which they remember so little of. For there is
yet a little light in men; let them walk--let them "walk," that the
"darkness" seize them not. 
34. Why, then, doth truth beget hatred  and that man of thine,
 preaching the truth become an enemy unto them, whereas a happy
life is loved, which is naught else but joy in the truth; unless that
truth is loved in such a sort as that those who love aught else wish
that to be the truth which they love, and, as they are willing to be
deceived, are unwilling to be convinced that they are so? Therefore do
they hate the truth for the sake of that thing which they love instead
of the truth. They love truth when she shines on them, and hate her
when she rebukes them. For, because they are not willing to be
deceived, and wish to deceive, they love her when she reveals herself,
and hate her when she reveals them. On that account shall she so
requite them, that those who were unwilling to be discovered by her
she both discovers against their will, and discovers not herself unto
them. Thus, thus, truly thus doth the human mind, so blind and sick,
so base and unseemly, desire to lie concealed, but wishes not that
anything should be concealed from it. But the opposite is rendered
unto it,--that itself is not concealed from the truth, but the truth
is concealed from it. Yet, even while thus wretched, it prefers to
rejoice in truth rather than in falsehood. Happy then will it be,
when, no trouble intervening, it shall rejoice in that only truth by
whom all things else are true.
 Gal. v. 17.
 See viii. sec. 20, above.
 John xiv. 6.
 Ps. xxvii. 1.
 Ps. xlii. 11.
 See sec. 29, above.
 John xii. 35.
 "Veritas parit odium." Compare Terence, Andria, i. 1, 41:
"Obsequiam amicos, veritas odium parit."
 John viii. 40.
Chapter XXIV.--He Who Finds Truth, Finds God.
35. Behold how I have enlarged in my memory seeking Thee, O Lord; and
out of it have I not found Thee. Nor have I found aught concerning
Thee, but what I have retained in memory from the time I learned Thee.
For from the time I learned Thee have I never forgotten Thee. For
where I found truth, there found I my God, who is the Truth itself,
 which from the time I learned it have I not forgotten. And thus
since the time I learned Thee, Thou abidest in my memory; and there do
I find Thee whensoever I call Thee to remembrance, and delight in
Thee. These are my holy delights, which Thou hast bestowed upon me in
Thy mercy, having respect unto my poverty.
 See iv. c. 12, and vii. c. 10, above.
Chapter XXV.--He is Glad that God Dwells in His Memory.
36. But where in my memory abidest Thou, O Lord, where dost Thou there
abide? What manner of chamber hast Thou there formed for Thyself? What
sort of sanctuary hast Thou erected for Thyself? Thou hast granted
this honour to my memory, to take up Thy abode in it; but in what
quarter of it Thou abidest, I am considering. For in calling Thee to
mind,  I soared beyond those parts of it which the beasts also
possess, since I found Thee not there amongst the images of corporeal
things; and I arrived at those parts where I had committed the
affections of my mind, nor there did I find Thee. And I entered into
the very seat of my mind, which it has in my memory, since the mind
remembers itself also--nor wert Thou there. For as Thou art not a
bodily image, nor the affection of a living creature, as when we
rejoice, condole, desire, fear, remember, forget, or aught of the
kind; so neither art Thou the mind itself, because Thou art the Lord
God of the mind; and all these things are changed, but Thou remainest
unchangeable over all, yet vouchsafest to dwell in my memory, from the
time I learned Thee. But why do I now seek in what part of it Thou
dwellest, as if truly there were places in it? Thou dost dwell in it
assuredly, since I have remembered Thee from the time I learned Thee,
and I find Thee in it when I call Thee to mind.
 In connection with Augustin's views as to memory, Locke's Essay
on the Human Understanding, ii. 10, and Stewart's Philosophy of the
Human Mind, c. 6, may be profitably consulted.
Chapter XXVI.--God Everywhere Answers Those Who Take Counsel of Him.
37. Where, then, did I find Thee, so as to be able to learn Thee? For
Thou wert not in my memory before I learned Thee. Where, then, did I
find Thee, so as to be able to learn Thee, but in Thee above me? Place
there is none; we go both "backward" and "forward,"  and there is
no place. Everywhere, O Truth, dost Thou direct all who consult Thee,
and dost at once answer all, though they consult Thee on divers
things. Clearly dost Thou answer, though all do not with clearness
hear. All consult Thee upon whatever they wish, though they hear not
always that which they wish. He is Thy best servant who does not so
much look to hear that from Thee which he himself wisheth, as to wish
that which he heareth from Thee.
 Job xxiii. 8.
Chapter XXVII.--He Grieves that He Was So Long Without God.
38. Too late did I love Thee, O Fairness, so ancient, and yet so new!
Too late did I love Thee! For behold, Thou wert within, and I without,
and there did I seek Thee; I, unlovely, rushed heedlessly among the
things of beauty Thou madest.  Thou wert with me, but I was not
with Thee. Those things kept me far from Thee, which, unless they were
in Thee, were not. Thou calledst, and criedst aloud, and forcedst open
my deafness. Thou didst gleam and shine, and chase away my blindness.
Thou didst exhale odours, and I drew in my breath and do pant after
Thee. I tasted, and do hunger and thirst. Thou didst touch me, and I
burned for Thy peace.
 See p. 74, note 1, above.
Chapter XXVIII.--On the Misery of Human Life.
39. When I shall cleave unto Thee with all my being, then shall I in
nothing have pain and labour; and my life shall be a real life, being
wholly full of Thee. But now since he whom Thou fillest is the one
Thou liftest up, I am a burden to myself, as not being full of Thee.
Joys of sorrow contend with sorrows of joy; and on which side the
victory may be I know not. Woe is me! Lord, have pity on me. My evil
sorrows contend with my good joys; and on which side the victory may
be I know not. Woe is me! Lord, have pity on me. Woe is me! Lo, I hide
not my wounds; Thou art the Physician, I the sick; Thou merciful, I
miserable. Is not the life of man upon earth a temptation?  Who
is he that wishes for vexations and difficulties? Thou commandest them
to be endured, not to be loved. For no man loves what he endures,
though he may love to endure. For notwithstanding he rejoices to
endure, he would rather there were naught for him to endure.  In
adversity, I desire prosperity; in prosperity, I fear adversity. What
middle place, then, is there between these, where human life is not a
temptation? Woe unto the prosperity of this world, once and again,
from fear of misfortune and a corruption of joy! Woe unto the
adversities of this world, once and again, and for the third time,
from the desire of prosperity; and because adversity itself is a hard
thing, and makes shipwreck of endurance! Is not the life of man upon
earth a temptation, and that without intermission? 
 Job vii. 1. The Old Ver. rendering ZJoB+o# by tentatio, after
the LXX. peiraterion. The Vulg. has militia, which ="warfare" in
margin of A.V.
 "It will not be safe," says Anthony Farindon (vol. iv. Christ's
Temptation, serm. 107), "for us to challenge and provoke a temptation,
but to arm and prepare ourselves against it; to stand upon our guard,
and neither to offer battle nor yet refuse it. Sapiens feret ista, non
eliget: `It is the part of a wise man not to seek for evil, but to
endure it.' And to this end it concerneth every man to exercise ten
pneumatiken sunesin, `his spiritual wisdom,' that he may discover
Spiritus ductiones et diaboli seductiones, `the Spirit's leadings and
the devil's seducements.'" See also Augustin's Serm. lxxvi. 4, and p.
79, note 9, above.
 We have ever to endure temptation, either in the sense of a
testing, as when it is said, "God did tempt Abraham" (Gen. xxii. 1);
or with the additional idea of yielding to the temptation, and so
committing sin, as in the use of the word in the Lord's Prayer (Matt.
vi. 13); for, as Dyke says in his Michael and the Dragon (Works, i.
203, 204): "No sooner have we bathed and washed our souls in the
waters of Repentance, but we must presently expect the fiery darts of
Satan's temptations to be driving at us. What we get and gain from
Satan by Repentance, he seeks to regain and recover by his
Temptations. We must not think to pass quietly out of Egypt without
Pharaoh's pursuit, nor to travel the wilderness of this world without
the opposition of the Amalekites." Compare Augustin, In Ev. Joann.
Tract. xliii. 6, and Serm. lvii. 9. See also p. 79, note 3, above.
Chapter XXIX.--All Hope is in the Mercy of God.
40. And my whole hope is only in Thy exceeding great mercy. Give what
Thou commandest, and command what Thou wilt. Thou imposest continency
upon us,  "nevertheless, when I perceived," saith one, "that I
could not otherwise obtain her, except God gave her me; . . . that was
a point of wisdom also to know whose gift she was."  For by
continency are we bound up and brought into one, whence we were
scattered abroad into many. For he loves Thee too little who loves
aught with Thee, which he loves not for Thee,  O love, who ever
burnest, and art never quenched! O charity, my God, kindle me! Thou
commandest continency; give what Thou commandest, and command what
 In his 38th Sermon, he distinguishes between continentia and
sustinentia; the first guarding us from the allurements of worldliness
and sin, while the second enables us to endure the troubles of life.
 Wisd. viii. 21.
 In his De Trin. ix. 13 ("In what desire and love differ"), he
says, that when the creature is loved for itself, and the love of it
is not referred to its Creator, it is desire (cupiditas) and not true
love. See also p. 129, note 8, above.
Chapter XXX.--Of the Perverse Images of Dreams, Which He Wishes to
Have Taken Away.
41. Verily, Thou commandest that I should be continent from the "lust
of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life." 
Thou hast commanded me to abstain from concubinage; and as to marriage
itself, Thou hast advised something better than Thou hast allowed. And
because Thou didst give it, it was done; and that before I became a
dispenser of Thy sacrament. But there still exist in my memory--of
which I have spoken much--the images of such things as my habits had
fixed there; and these rush into my thoughts, though strengthless,
when I am awake; but in sleep they do so not only so as to give
pleasure, but even to obtain consent, and what very nearly resembles
reality.  Yea, to such an extent prevails the illusion of the
image, both in my soul and in my flesh, that the false persuade me,
when sleeping, unto that which the true are not able when waking. Am I
not myself at that time, O Lord my God? And there is yet so much
difference between myself and myself, in that instant wherein I pass
back from waking to sleeping, or return from sleeping to waking!
Where, then, is the reason which when waking resists such suggestions?
And if the things themselves be forced on it, I remain unmoved. Is it
shut up with the eyes? Or is it put to sleep with the bodily senses?
But whence, then, comes it to pass, that even in slumber we often
resist, and, bearing our purpose in mind, and continuing most chastely
in it, yield no assent to such allurements? And there is yet so much
difference that, when it happeneth otherwise, upon awaking we return
to peace of conscience; and by this same diversity do we discover that
it was not we that did it, while we still feel sorry that in some way
it was done in us.
42. Is not Thy hand able, O Almighty God, to heal all the diseases of
my soul,  and by Thy more abundant grace to quench even the
lascivious motions of my sleep? Thou wilt increase in me, O Lord, Thy
gifts more and more, that my soul may follow me to Thee, disengaged
from the bird-lime of concupiscence; that it may not be in rebellion
against itself, and even in dreams not simply not, through sensual
images, commit those deformities of corruption, even to the pollution
of the flesh, but that it may not even consent unto them. For it is no
great thing for the Almighty, who is "able to do . . . above all that
we ask or think,"  to bring it about that no such influence--not
even so slight a one as a sign might restrain--should afford
gratification to the chaste affection even of one sleeping; and that
not only in this life, but at my present age. But what I still am in
this species of my ill, have I confessed unto my good Lord; rejoicing
with trembling  in that which Thou hast given me, and bewailing
myself for that wherein I am still imperfect; trusting that Thou wilt
perfect Thy mercies in me, even to the fulness of peace, which both
that which is within and that which is without  shall have with
Thee, when death is swallowed up in victory. 
 1 John ii. 16. Dilating on Ps. viii. he makes these three roots
of sin to correspond to the threefold nature of our Lord's temptation
in the wilderness. See also p. 80, note 5, above.
 In Augustin's view, then, dreams appear to result from our
thoughts and feelings when awake. In this he has the support of
Aristotle (Ethics, i. 13), as also that of Solomon, who says (Eccles.
v. 3), "A dream cometh through the multitude of business." An apt
illustration of this is found in the life of the great Danish
sculptor, Thorwaldsen. It is said that he could not satisfy himself
with his models for The Christ, in the Frauenkirche at Copenhagen,--as
Da Vinci before him was never able to paint the face of the Christ in
His noble fresco of the Last Supper,--and that it was only in
consequence of a dream (that dream doubtless the result of his
stedfast search for an ideal) that this great work was accomplished.
But see Ep. clix.
 Ps. ciii. 3.
 Eph. iii. 20.
 Ps. ii. 11.
 See note 4, p. 140, above.
 1 Cor. xv. 54.
Chapter XXXI.--About to Speak of the Temptations of the Lust of the
Flesh, He First Complains of the Lust of Eating and Drinking.
43. There is another evil of the day that I would were "sufficient"
unto it.  For by eating and drinking we repair the daily decays
of the body, until Thou destroyest both food and stomach, when Thou
shall destroy my want with an amazing satiety, and shalt clothe this
corruptible with an eternal incorruption.  But now is necessity
sweet unto me, and against this sweetness do I fight, lest I be
enthralled; and I carry on a daily war by fasting,  oftentimes
"bringing my body into subjection,"  and my pains are expelled by
pleasure. For hunger and thirst are in some sort pains; they consume
and destroy like unto a fever, unless the medicine of nourishment
relieve us. The which, since it is at hand through the comfort we
receive of Thy gifts, with which land and water and air serve our
infirmity, our calamity is called pleasure.
44. This much hast Thou taught me, that I should bring myself to take
food as medicine. But during the time that I am passing from the
uneasiness of want to the calmness of satiety, even in the very
passage doth that snare of concupiscence lie in wait for me. For the
passage itself is pleasure, nor is there any other way of passing
thither, whither necessity compels us to pass. And whereas health is
the reason of eating and drinking, there joineth itself as an
hand-maid a perilous delight, which mostly tries to precede it, in
order that I may do for her sake what I say I do, or desire to do, for
health's sake. Nor have both the same limit; for what is sufficient
for health is too little for pleasure. And oftentimes it is doubtful
whether it be the necessary care of the body which still asks
nourishment, or whether a sensual snare of desire offers its ministry.
In this uncertainty does my unhappy soul rejoice, and therein prepares
an excuse as a defence, glad that it doth not appear what may be
Sufficient for the moderation of health, that so under the pretence of
health it may conceal the business of pleasure. These temptations do I
daily endeavour to resist, and I summon Thy right hand to my help, and
refer my excitements to Thee, because as yet I have no resolve in this
45. I hear the voice of my God commanding, let not "your hearts be
overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness."  "Drunkenness," it
is far from me; Thou wilt have mercy, that it approach not near unto
me. But "surfeiting" sometimes creepeth upon Thy servant; Thou wilt
have mercy, that it may be far from me. For no man can be continent
unless Thou give it.  Many things which we pray for dost Thou
give us; and what good soever we receive before we prayed for it, do
we receive from Thee, and that we might afterwards know this did we
receive it from Thee. Drunkard was I never, but I have known drunkards
to be made sober men by Thee. Thy doing, then, was it, that they who
never were such might not be so, as from Thee it was that they who
have been so heretofore might not remain so always; and from Thee, too
was it, that both might know from whom it was. I heard another voice
of Thine, "Go not after thy lusts, but refrain thyself from thine
appetites."  And by Thy favour have I heard this saying likewise,
which I have much delighted in, "Neither if we eat, are we the better;
neither if we eat not, are we the worse;"  which is to say, that
neither shall the one make me to abound, nor the other to be wretched.
I heard also another voice, "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 . . . I can do all things through Christ which
strengtheneth me."  Lo! a soldier of the celestial camp--not dust
as we are. But remember, O Lord, "that we are dust,"  and that of
dust Thou hast created man;  and he "was lost, and is found."
 Nor could he do this of his own power, seeing that he whom I so
loved, saying these things through the afflatus of Thy inspiration,
was of that same dust. "I can," saith he, "do all things through Him
which strengtheneth me."  Strengthen me, that I may be able. Give
what Thou commandest, and command what Thou wilt.  He confesses
to have received, and when he glorieth, he glorieth in the Lord. 
Another have I heard entreating that he might receive,--"Take from
me," saith he, "the greediness of the belly;"  by which it
appeareth, O my holy God, that Thou givest when what Thou commandest
to be done is done.
46. Thou hast taught me, good Father, that "unto the pure all things
are pure;"  but "it is evil for that man who eateth with
offence;"  "and that every creature of Thine is good, and nothing
to be refused, if it be received with, thanksgiving;"  and that
"meat commendeth us not to God;"  and that no man should "judge
us in meat or in drink;"  and that he that eateth, let him not
despise him that eateth not; and let not him that eateth not judge him
that eateth.  These things have I learned, thanks and praise be
unto Thee, O my God and Master, who dost knock at my ears and
enlighten my heart; deliver me out of all temptation. It is not the
uncleanness of meat that I fear, but the uncleanness of lusting. I
know that permission was granted unto Noah to eat every kind of flesh
 that was good for food;  that Elias was fed with flesh;
 that John, endued with a wonderful abstinence, was not polluted
by the living creatures (that is, the locusts  ) which he fed on.
I know, too, that Esau was deceived by a longing for lentiles, 
and that David took blame to himself for desiring water,  and
that our King was tempted not by flesh but bread.  And the people
in the wilderness, therefore, also deserved reproof, not because they
desired flesh, but because, in their desire for food, they murmured
against the Lord. 
47. Placed, then, in the midst of these temptations, I strive daily
against longing for food and drink. For it is not of such a nature as
that I am able to resolve to cut it off once for all, and not touch it
afterwards, as I was able to do with concubinage. The bridle of the
throat, therefore, is to be held in the mean of slackness and
tightness.  And who, O Lord, is he who is not in some degree
carried away beyond the bounds of necessity? Whoever he is, he is
great; let him magnify Thy name. But I am not such a one, "for I am a
sinful man."  Yet do I also magnify Thy name; and He who hath
"overcome the world"  maketh intercession to Thee for my sins,
 accounting me among the "feeble members" of His body, 
because Thine eyes saw that of him which was imperfect; and in Thy
book all shall be written. 
 Matt. vi. 34.
 1 Cor. xv. 54.
 In Augustin's time, and indeed till the Council of Orleans, A.D.
538, fasting appears to have been left pretty much to the individual
conscience. We find Tertullian in his De Jejunio lamenting the slight
observance it received during his day. We learn, however, from the
passage in Justin Martyr, quoted in note 4, on p. 118, above, that in
his time it was enjoined as a preparation for Baptism.
 1 Cor. ix. 27.
 Luke xxi. 34.
 Wisd. viii. 21.
 Ecclus. xviii. 30.
 1 Cor. viii. 8.
 Phil. iv. 11-14.
 Ps. ciii. 14.
 Gen. iii. 19.
 Luke xv. 32.
 Phil. iv. 13.
 In his De Dono Persev. sec. 53, he tells us that these words
were quoted to Pelagius, when at Rome, by a certain bishop, and that
they excited him to contradict them so warmly as nearly to result in a
rupture between Pelagius and the bishop.
 1 Cor. i. 31.
 Ecclus. xxiii. 6.
 Titus i. 15.
 Rom. xiv. 20.
 1 Tim. iv. 4.
 1 Cor. viii. 8.
 Col. ii. 16.
 Rom. xiii. 23.
 He here refers to the doctrine of the Manichæans in the matter
of eating flesh. In his De Mor. Manich. secs. 36, 37, he discusses the
prohibition of flesh to the "Elect." From Ep. ccxxxvi. we find that
the "Hearers" had not to practice abstinence from marriage and from
eating flesh. For other information on this subject, see notes, pp. 66
 Gen. ix. 3.
 1 Kings xvii. 6.
 Matt. iii. 4.
 Gen. xxv. 34.
 2 Sam. xxiii. 15-17.
 Matt. iv. 3.
 Num. xi.
 So all God's gifts are to be used, but not abused; and those who
deny the right use of any, do so by virtually accepting the principle
of asceticism. As Augustin, in his De Mor. Ecc. Cath. sec. 39, says of
all transient things, we "should use them as far as is required for
the purposes and duties of life, with the moderation of an employer
instead of the ardour of a lover."
 Luke v. 8.
 John xvi. 33.
 Rom. viii. 34.
 1 Cor. xii. 22.
 Ps. cxxxix. 16; he similarly applies this passage when
commenting on it in Ps. cxxxviii. 21, and also in Serm. cxxxv.
Chapter XXXII.--Of the Charms of Perfumes Which are More Easily
48. With the attractions of odours I am not much troubled. When absent
I do not seek them; when present I do not refuse them; and am prepared
ever to be without them. At any rate thus I appear to myself;
perchance I am deceived. For that also is a lamentable darkness
wherein my capacity that is in me is concealed, so that my mind,
making inquiry into herself concerning her own powers, ventures not
readily to credit herself; because that which is already in it is, for
the most part, concealed, unless experience reveal it. And no man
ought to feel secure  in this life, the whole of which is called
a temptation,  that he, who could be made better from worse, may
not also from better be made worse. Our sole hope, our sole
confidence, our sole assured promise, is Thy mercy.
 "For some," says Thomas Taylor (Works, vol. I. "Christ's
Temptation," p. 11), "through vain prefidence of God's protection, run
in times of contagion into infected houses, which upon just calling a
man may: but for one to run out of his calling in the way of an
ordinary visitation, he shall find that God's angels have commission
to protect him no longer than he is in his way (Ps. xci. 11), and that
being out of it, this arrow of the Lord shall sooner hit him than
another that is not half so confident." We should not, as Fuller
quaintly says, "hollo in the ears of a sleeping temptation;" and when
we are tempted, let us remember that if (Hibbert, Syntagma
Theologicum, p. 342) "a giant knock while the door is shut, he may
with ease be still kept out; but if once open, that he gets in but a
limb of himself, then there is no course left to keep out the
remaining bulk." See also Augustin on Peter's case, De Corrept. et
Grat. c. 9.
 Job vii. 1, Old Vers. See p. 153, note 1.
Chapter XXXIII.--He Overcame the Pleasures of the Ear, Although in the
Church He Frequently Delighted in the Song, Not in the Thing Sung.
49. The delights of the ear had more powerfully inveigled and
conquered me, but Thou didst unbind and liberate me. Now, in those
airs which Thy words breathe soul into, when sung with a sweet and
trained voice, do I somewhat repose; yet not so as to cling to them,
but so as to free myself when I wish. But with the words which are
their life do they, that they may gain admission into me, strive after
a place of some honour in my heart; and I can hardly assign them a
fitting one. Sometimes I appear to myself to give them more respect
than, is fitting, as I perceive that our minds are more devoutly and
earnestly elevated into a flame of piety by the holy words themselves
when they are thus sung, than when they are not; and that all
affections of our spirit, by their own diversity, have their
appropriate measures in the voice and singing, wherewith by I know not
what secret relationship they are stimulated. But the gratification of
my flesh, to which the mind ought never to be given over to be
enervated, often beguiles me, while the sense does not so attend on
reason as to follow her patiently; but having gained admission merely
for her sake, it strives even to run on before her, and be her leader.
Thus in these things do I sin unknowing, but afterwards do I know it.
50. Sometimes, again, avoiding very earnestly this same deception, I
err out of too great preciseness; and sometimes so much as to desire
that every air of the pleasant songs to which David's Psalter is often
used, be banished both from my ears and those of the Church itself;
and that way seemed unto me safer which I remembered to have been
often related to me of Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, who obliged
the reader of the psalm to give utterance to it with so slight an
inflection of voice, that it was more like speaking than singing.
Notwithstanding, when I call to mind the tears I shed at the songs of
Thy Church, at the outset of my recovered faith, and how even now I am
moved not by the singing but by what is sung, when they are sung with
a clear and skilfully modulated voice, I then acknowledge the great
utility of this custom. Thus vacillate I between dangerous pleasure
and tried soundness; being inclined rather (though I pronounce no
irrevocable opinion upon the subject) to approve of the use of singing
in the church, that so by the delights of the ear the weaker minds may
be stimulated to a devotional frame. Yet when it happens to me to be
more moved by the singing than by what is sung, I confess myself to
have sinned criminally, and then I would rather not have heard the
singing. See now the condition I am in! Weep with me, and weep for me,
you who so control your inward feelings as that good results ensue. As
for you who do not thus act, these things concern you not. But Thou, O
Lord my God, give ear, behold and see, and have mercy upon me, and
heal me,  --Thou, in whose sight I am become a puzzle to myself;
and "this is my infirmity." 
 Ps. vi. 2.
 Ps. lxxvii. 10.
Chapter XXXIV.--Of the Very Dangerous Allurements of the Eyes; On
Account of Beauty of Form, God, the Creator, is to Be Praised.
51. There remain the delights of these eyes of my flesh, concerning
which to make my confessions in the hearing of the ears of Thy temple,
those fraternal and devout ears; and so to conclude the temptations of
"the lust of the flesh"  which still assail me, groaning and
desiring to be clothed upon with my house from heaven.  The eyes
delight in fair and varied forms, and bright and pleasing colours.
Suffer not these to take possession of my soul; let God rather possess
it, He who made these things "very good"  indeed; yet is He my
good, not these. And these move me while awake, during the day; nor is
rest from them granted me, as there is from the voices of melody,
sometimes, in silence, from them all. For that queen of colours, the
light, flooding all that we look upon, wherever I be during the day,
gliding past me in manifold forms, doth soothe me when busied about
other things, and not noticing it. And so strongly doth it insinuate
itself, that if it be suddenly withdrawn it is looked for longingly,
and if long absent doth sadden the mind.
52. O Thou Light, which Tobias saw,  when, his eyes being closed,
he taught his son the way of life; himself going before with the feet
of charity, never going astray. Or that which Isaac saw, when his
fleshly "eyes were dim, so that he could not see"  by reason of
old age; it was permitted him, not knowingly to bless his sons, but in
blessing them to know them. Or that which Jacob saw, when he too,
blind through great age, with an enlightened heart, in the persons of
his own sons, threw light upon the races of the future people,
presignified in them; and laid his hands, mystically crossed, upon his
grandchildren by Joseph, not as their father, looking outwardly,
corrected them, but as he himself distinguished them.  This is
the light, the only one, and all those who see and love it are one.
But that corporeal light of which I was speaking seasoneth the life of
the world for her blind lovers, with a tempting and fatal sweetness.
But they who know how to praise Thee for it, "O God, the world's great
Architect,"  take it up in Thy hymn, and are not taken up with it
 in their sleep. Such desire I to be. I resist seductions of the
eyes, lest my feet with which I advance on Thy way be entangled; and I
raise my invisible eyes to Thee, that Thou wouldst be pleased to
"pluck my feet out of the net."  Thou dost continually pluck them
out, for they are ensnared. Thou never ceasest to pluck them out, but
I, constantly remain fast in the snares set all around me; because
Thou "that keepest Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep." 
53. What numberless things, made by divers arts and manufactures, both
in our apparel, shoes, vessels, and every kind of work, in pictures,
too, and sundry images, and these going far beyond necessary and
moderate use and holy signification, have men added for the
enthralment of the eyes; following outwardly what they make, forsaking
inwardly Him by whom they were made, yea, and destroying that which
they themselves were made! But I, O my God and my Joy, do hence also
sing a hymn unto Thee, and offer a sacrifice of praise unto my
Sanctifier,  because those beautiful patterns, which through the
medium of men's souls are conveyed into their artistic hands, 
emanate from that Beauty which is above our souls, which my soul
sigheth after day and night. But as for the makers and followers of
those outward beauties, they from thence derive the way of approving
them, but not of using them.  And though they see Him not, yet is
He there, that they might not go astray, but keep their strength for
Thee,  and not dissipate it upon delicious lassitudes. And I,
though I both say and perceive this, impede my course with such
beauties, but Thou dost rescue me, O Lord, Thou dost rescue me; "for
Thy loving-kindness is before mine eyes."  For I am taken
miserably, and Thou rescuest me mercifully; sometimes not perceiving
it, in that I had come upon them hesitatingly; at other times with
pain, because I was held fast by them.
 1 John ii. 16.
 2 Cor. v. 2.
 Gen. i. 31.
 Tobit iv.
 Gen. xxvii. 1.
 Gen. xlviii. 13-19.
 From the beginning of the hymn of St. Ambrose, part of which is
quoted, ix. sec. 32, above.
 Assumunt eam, in hymno tuo, non absumuntur ab ea.
 Ps. xxv. 15.
 Ps. cxxi. 4.
 Sanctificatori meo, but some mss. have sacreficatori.
 See xi. sec. 7, and note, below.
 See note 6, sec. 40, above.
 Ps. lviii. 10, Vulg.
 Ps. xxvi. 3.
Chapter XXXV.--Another Kind of Temptation is Curiosity, Which is
Stimulated by the Lust of the Eyes.
54. In addition to this there is another form of temptation, more
complex in its peril. For besides that concupiscence of the flesh
which lieth in the gratification of all senses and pleasures, wherein
its slaves who "are far from Thee perish,"  there pertaineth to
the soul, through the same senses of the body, a certain vain and
curious longing, cloaked under the name of knowledge and learning, not
of having pleasure in the flesh, but of making experiments through the
flesh. This longing, since it originates in an appetite for knowledge,
and the sight being the chief amongst the senses in the acquisition of
knowledge, is called in divine language, "the lust of the eyes." 
For seeing belongeth properly to the eyes; yet we apply this word to
the other senses also, when we exercise them in the search after
knowledge. For we do not say, Listen how it glows, smell how it
glistens, taste how it shines, or feel how it flashes, since all these
are said to be seen. And yet we say not only, See how it shineth,
which the eyes alone can perceive; but also, See how it soundeth, see
how it smelleth, see how it tasteth, see how hard it is. And thus the
general experience of the senses, as was said before, is termed "the
lust of the eyes," because the function of seeing, wherein the eyes
hold the pre-eminence, the other senses by way of similitude take
possession of, whensoever they seek out any knowledge.
55. But by this is it more clearly discerned, when pleasure and when
curiosity is pursued by the senses; for pleasure follows after objects
that are beautiful, melodious, fragrant, savoury, soft; but curiosity,
for experiment's sake, seeks the contrary of these,--not with a view
of undergoing uneasiness, but from the passion of experimenting upon
and knowing them. For what pleasure is there to see, in a lacerated
corpse, that which makes you shudder? And yet if it lie near, we flock
thither, to be made sad, and to turn pale. Even in sleep they fear
lest they should see it. Just as if when awake any one compelled them
to go and see it, or any report of its beauty had attracted them! Thus
also is it with the other senses, which it were tedious to pursue.
From this malady of curiosity are all those strange sights exhibited
in the theatre. Hence do we proceed to search out the secret powers of
nature (which is beside our end), which to know profits not,  and
wherein men desire nothing but to know. Hence, too, with that same end
of perverted knowledge we consult magical arts. Hence, again, even in
religion itself, is God tempted, when signs and wonders are eagerly
asked of Him,--not desired for any saving end, but to make trial only.
56. In this so vast a wilderness, replete with snares and dangers, lo,
many of them have I lopped off, and expelled from my heart, as Thou, O
God of my salvation, hast enabled me to do. And yet when dare I say,
since so many things of this kind buzz around our daily life,--when
dare I say that no such thing makes me intent to see it, or creates in
me vain solicitude? It is true that the theatres never now carry me
away, nor do I now care to know the courses of the stars, nor hath my
soul at any time consulted departed spirits; all sacrilegious oaths I
abhor. O Lord my God, to whom I owe all humble and single-hearted
service, with what subtlety of suggestion does the enemy influence me
to require some sign from Thee! But by our King, and by our pure land
chaste country Jerusalem, I beseech Thee, that as any consenting unto
such thoughts is far from me, so may it always be farther and farther.
But when I entreat Thee for the salvation of any, the end I aim at is
far otherwise, and Thou who doest what Thou wilt, givest and wilt give
me willingly to "follow" Thee. 
57. Nevertheless, in how many most minute and contemptible things is
our curiosity daily tempted, and who can number how often we succumb?
How often, when people are narrating idle tales, do we begin by
tolerating them, lest we should give offence unto the weak; and then
gradually we listen willingly! I do not now-a-days go to the circus to
see a dog chasing a hare;  but if by chance I pass such a
coursing in the fields, it possibly distracts me even from some
serious thought, and draws me after it,--not that I turn the body of
my beast aside, but the inclination of my mind. And except Thou, by
demonstrating to me my weakness, dost speedily warn me, either through
the sight itself, by some reflection to rise to Thee, or wholly to
despise and pass it by, I, vain one, am absorbed by it. How is it,
when sitting at home, a lizard catching flies, or a spider entangling
them as they rush into her nets, oftentimes arrests me? Is the feeling
of curiosity not the same because these are such tiny creatures? From
them I proceed to praise Thee, the wonderful Creator and Disposer of
all things; but it is not this that first attracts my attention. It is
one thing to get up quickly, and another not to fall, and of such
things is my life full; and my only hope is in Thy exceeding great
mercy. For when this heart of ours is made the receptacle of such
things, and bears crowds of this abounding vanity, then are our
prayers often interrupted and disturbed thereby; and whilst in Thy
presence we direct the voice of our heart to Thine ears, this so great
a matter is broken off by the influx of I know not what idle thoughts.
 Ps. lxiii. 27.
 1 John ii. 16.
 Augustin's great end was to attain the knowledge of God. Hence,
in his Soliloquia, i. 7, we read: "Deum et animam scire cupio. Nihilne
plus? Nihil omnino." And he only esteemed the knowledge of physical
laws so far as they would lead to Him. (See v. sec. 7, above, and the
note there.) In his De Ordine, ii. 14, 15, etc., writing at the time
of his conversion, he had contended that the knowledge of the liberal
sciences would lead to a knowledge of the divine wisdom; but in his
Retractations (i. 3, sec. 2) he regrets this, pointing out that while
many holy men have not this knowledge, many who have it are not holy.
Compare also Enchir. c. 16; Serm. lxviii. 1, 2; and De Civ. Dei, ix.
 John xxi. 22.
 In allusion to those venatios, or hunting scenes, in which the
less savage animals were slain. These were held in the circus, which
was sometimes planted for the occasion, so as to resemble a forest.
See Smith's Greek and Roman Antiquities, under "Venatio," and vi. sec.
13, note, above.
Chapter XXXVI.--A Third Kind is "Pride" Which is Pleasing to Man, Not
58. Shall we, then, account this too amongst such things as are to be
lightly esteemed, or shall anything restore us to hope, save Thy
complete mercy, since Thou hast begun to change us? And Thou knowest
to what extent Thou hast already changed me, Thou who first healest me
of the lust of vindicating myself, that so Thou mightest forgive all
my remaining "iniquities," and heal all my "diseases," and redeem my
life from corruption, and crown me with "loving-kindness and tender
mercies," and satisfy my desire with "good things;"  who didst
restrain my pride with Thy fear, and subdue my neck to Thy "yoke." And
now I bear it, and it is "light"  unto me, because so hast Thou
promised, and made it, and so in truth it was, though I knew it not,
when I feared to take it up. But, O Lord,--Thou who alone reignest
without pride, because Thou art the only true Lord, who hast no
lord,--hath this third kind of temptation left me, or can it leave me
during this life?
59. The desire to be feared and loved of men, with no other view than
that I may experience a joy therein which is no joy, is a miserable
life, and unseemly ostentation. Hence especially it arises that we do
not love Thee, nor devoutly fear Thee. And therefore dost Thou resist
the proud, but givest grace unto the humble;  and Thou thunderest
upon the ambitious designs of the world, and "the foundations of the
hills" tremble.  Because now certain offices of human society
render it necessary to be loved and feared of men, the adversary of
our true blessedness presseth hard upon us, everywhere scattering his
snares of "well done, well done;" that while acquiring them eagerly,
we may be caught unawares, and disunite our joy from Thy truth, and
fix it on the deceits of men; and take pleasure in being loved and
feared, not for Thy sake, but in Thy stead, by which means, being made
like unto him, he may have them as his, not in harmony of love, but in
the fellowship of punishment; who aspired to exalt his throne in the
north,  that dark and cold they might serve him, imitating Thee
in perverse and distorted ways. But we, O Lord, lo, we are Thy "little
flock;"  do Thou possess us, stretch Thy wings over us, and let
us take refuge under them. Be Thou our glory; let us be loved for Thy
sake, and Thy word feared in us. They who desire to be commended of
men when Thou blamest, will not be defended of men when Thou judgest;
nor will they be delivered when Thou condemnest. But when not the
sinner is praised in the desires of his soul, nor he blessed who doeth
unjustly,  but a man is praised for some gift that Thou hast
bestowed upon him, and he is more gratified at the praise for himself,
than that he possesses the gift for which he is praised, such a one is
praised while Thou blamest. And better truly is he who praised than
the one who was praised. For the gift of God in man was pleasing to
the one, while the other was better pleased with the gift of man than
that of God.
 Ps. ciii. 3-5.
 Matt. xi. 30.
 Jas. iv. 6.
 Ps. xviii. 7.
 Isa. xiv. 13, 14.
 Luke xii. 32.
 Ps. x. 3, in Vulg. and LXX.
Chapter XXXVII.--He is Forcibly Goaded on by the Love of Praise.
60. By these temptations, O Lord, are we daily tried; yea, unceasingly
are we tried. Our daily "furnace"  is the human tongue. And in
this respect also dost Thou command us to be continent. Give what Thou
commandest, and command what Thou wilt. Regarding this matter, Thou
knowest the groans of my heart, and the rivers  of mine eyes. For
I am not able to ascertain how far I am clean of this plague, and I
stand in great fear of my "secret faults,"  which Thine eyes
perceive, though mine do not. For in other kinds of temptations I have
some sort of power of examining myself; but in this, hardly any. For,
both as regards the pleasures of the flesh and an idle curiosity, I
see how far I have been able to hold my mind in check when I do
without them, either voluntarily or by reason of their not being at
hand;  for then I inquire of myself how much more or less
troublesome it is to me not to have them. Riches truly which are
sought for in order that they may minister to some one of these three
"lusts,"  or to two, or the whole of them, if the mind be not
able to see clearly whether, when it hath them, it despiseth them,
they may be cast on one side, that so it may prove itself. But if we
desire to test our power of doing without praise, need we live ill,
and that so flagitiously and immoderately as that every one who knows
us shall detest us? What greater madness than this can be either said
or conceived? But if praise both is wont and ought to be the companion
of a good life and of good works, we should as little forego its
companionship as a good life itself. But unless a thing be absent, I
do not know whether I shall be contented or troubled at being without
61. What, then, do I confess unto Thee, O Lord, in this kind of
temptation? What, save that I am delighted with praise, but more with
the truth itself than with praise? For were I to have my choice,
whether I had rather, being mad, or astray on all things, be praised
by all men, or, being firm and well-assured in the truth, be blamed by
all, I see which I should choose. Yet would I be unwilling that the
approval of another should even add to my joy for any good I have. Yet
I admit that it doth increase it, and, more than that, that dispraise
doth diminish it. And when I am disquieted at this misery of mine, an
excuse presents itself to me, the value of which Thou, God, knowest,
for it renders me uncertain. For since it is not continency alone that
Thou hast enjoined upon us, that is, from what things to hold back our
love, but righteousness also, that is, upon what to bestow it, and
hast wished us to love not Thee only, but also our neighbour, 
--often, when gratified by intelligent praise, I appear to myself to
be gratified by the proficiency or towardliness of my neighbour, and
again to be sorry for evil in him when I hear him dispraise either
that which he understands not, or is good. For I am sometimes grieved
at mine own praise, either when those things which I am displeased at
in myself be praised in me, or even lesser and trifling goods are more
valued than they should be. But, again, how do I know whether I am
thus affected, because I am unwilling that he who praiseth me should
differ from me concerning myself--not as being moved with
consideration for him, but because the same good things which please
me in myself are more pleasing to me when they also please another?
For, in a sort, I am not praised when my judgment of myself is not
praised; since either those things which are displeasing to me are
praised, or those more so which are less pleasing to me. Am I then
uncertain of myself in this matter?
62. Behold, O Truth, in Thee do I see that I ought not to be moved at
my own praises for my own sake, but for my neighbour's good. And
whether it be so, in truth I know not. For concerning this I know less
of myself than dost Thou. I beseech Thee now, O my God, to reveal to
me myself also, that I may confess unto my brethren, who are to pray
for me, what I find in myself weak. Once again let me more diligently
examine myself.  If, in mine own praise, I am moved with
consideration for my neighbour, why am I less moved if some other man
be unjustly dispraised than if it be myself? Why am I more irritated
at that reproach which is cast upon myself, than at that which is with
equal injustice cast upon another in my presence? Am I ignorant of
this also? or does it remain that I deceive myself,  and do not
the "truth"  before Thee in my heart and tongue? Put such madness
far from me, O Lord, lest my mouth be to me the oil of sinners, to
anoint my head. 
 Isa. xlviii. 10, and Prov. xxvii. 21.
 Lam. iii. 48.
 Ps. xix. 12. See note 5, page 47, above.
 In his De Vera Relig. sec. 92, he points out that adversity
also, when it comes to a good man, will disclose to him how far his
heart is set on worldly things: "Hoc enim sine amore nostro aderat,
quod sine dolore discedit."
 1 John ii. 16. See beginning of sec. 41, above.
 Lev. xix. 18. See book xii. secs. 35, 41, below.
 It may be well, in connection with the striking piece of
soul-anatomy in this and the last two sections, to advert to other
passages in which Augustin speaks of the temptation arising from the
praise of men. In Serm. cccxxxix. 1, he says that he does not
altogether dislike praise when it comes from the good, though feeling
it to be a snare, and does not reject it: "Ne ingrati sint quibus
prædico." That is, as he says above, he accepted it for his
"neighbour's good," since, had his neighbour not been ready to give
praise, it would have indicated a wrong condition of heart in him. We
are, therefore, as he argues in his De Serm. Dom. in Mon. ii. 1, 2, 6,
to see that the design of our acts be not that men should see and
praise us (compare also Enarr. in Ps. lxv. 2). If they praise us it is
well, since it shows that their heart is right; but if we "act rightly
only because of the praise of men" (Matt. vi. 2, 5), we seek our own
glory and not that of God. See also Serms. xciii. 9, clix. 10, etc.;
and De Civ. Dei, v. 13, 14.
 Gal. vi. 3.
 1 John i. 8.
 Ps. cxli. 5, according to the Vulg. and LXX. The Authorized
Version (with which the Targum is in accord) gives the more probable
sense, when it makes the oil to be that of the righteous and not that
of the sinner: "Let the righteous smite me, it shall be a kindness;
and let him reprove me, it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not
break my head."
Chapter XXXVIII.--Vain-Glory is the Highest Danger.
63. "I am poor and needy,"  yet better am I while in secret
groanings I displease myself, and seek for Thy mercy, until what is
lacking in me be renewed and made complete, even up to that peace of
which the eye of the proud is ignorant. Yet the word which proceedeth
out of the mouth, and actions known to men, have a most dangerous
temptation from the love of praise, which, for the establishing of a
certain excellency of our own, gathers together solicited suffrages.
It tempts, even when within I reprove myself for it, on the very
ground that it is reproved; and often man glories more vainly of the
very scorn of vain-glory; wherefore it is not any longer scorn of
vain-glory whereof it glories, for he does not truly contemn it when
he inwardly glories.
 Ps. cix. 22.
Chapter XXXIX.--Of the Vice of Those Who, While Pleasing Themselves,
64. Within also, within is another evil, arising out of the same kind
of temptation; whereby they become empty who please themselves in
themselves, although they please not, or displease, or aim at pleasing
others. But in pleasing themselves, they much displease Thee, not
merely taking pleasure in things not good as if they were good, but in
Thy good things as though they were their own; or even as if in Thine,
yet as though of their own merits; or even as if though of Thy grace,
yet not with friendly rejoicings, but as envying that grace to others.
 In all these and similar perils and labours Thou perceivest the
trembling of my heart, and I rather feel my wounds to be cured by Thee
than not inflicted by me.
 See his De Civ. Dei, v. 20, where he compares the truly pious
man, who attributes all his good to God's mercy, "giving thanks for
what in him is healed, and pouring out prayers for the healing of that
which is yet unhealed," with the philosophers who make their chief end
pleasure or human glory.
Chapter XL.--The Only Safe Resting-Place for the Soul is to Be Found
65. Where hast Thou not accompanied me, O Truth,  teaching me
both what to avoid and what to desire, when I submitted to Thee what I
could perceive of sublunary things, and asked Thy counsel? With my
external senses, as I could, I viewed the world, and noted the life
which my body derives from me, and these my senses. Thence I advanced
inwardly into the recesses of my memory,--the manifold rooms,
wondrously full of multitudinous wealth; and I considered and was
afraid, and could discern none of these things without Thee, and found
none of them to be Thee. Nor was I myself the discoverer of these
things,--I, who went over them all, and laboured to distinguish and to
value everything according to its dignity, accepting some things upon
the report of my senses, and questioning about others which I felt to
be mixed up with myself, distinguishing and numbering the reporters
themselves, and in the vast storehouse of my memory investigating some
things, laying up others, taking out others. Neither was I myself when
I did this (that is, that ability of mine whereby I did it), nor was
it Thou, for Thou art that never-failing light which I took counsel of
as to them all, whether they were what they were, and what was their
worth; and I heard Thee teaching and commanding me. And this I do
often; this is a delight to me, and, as far as I can get relief from
necessary duties, to this gratification do I resort. Nor in all these
which I review when consulting Thee, find I a secure place for my
soul, save in Thee, into whom my scattered members may be gathered
together, and nothing of me depart from Thee.  And sometimes Thou
dost introduce me to a most rare affection, inwardly, to an
inexplicable sweetness, which, if it should be perfected in me, I know
not to what point that life might not arrive. But by these wretched
weights  of mine do I relapse into these things, and am sucked in
by my old customs, and am held, and sorrow much, yet am much held. To
such an extent does the burden of habit press us down. In this way I
can be, but will not; in that I will, but cannot,--on both ways
 See xii. sec. 35, below.
 See ix. sec. 10, note, above, and xi. sec. 39, below.
 Heb. xii. 1.
Chapter XLI.--Having Conquered His Triple Desire, He Arrives at
66. And thus have I reflected upon the wearinesses of my sins, in that
threefold "lust,"  and have invoked Thy right hand to my aid. For
with a wounded heart have I seen Thy brightness, and being beaten back
I exclaimed, "Who can attain unto it?" "I am cut off from before Thine
eyes."  Thou art the Truth, who presidest over all things, but I,
through my covetousness, wished not to lose Thee, but with Thee wished
to possess a lie; as no one wishes so to speak falsely as himself to
be ignorant of the truth. So then I lost Thee, because Thou deignest
not to be enjoyed with a lie.
 See p. 153, note 7, above.
 Ps. xxxi. 22.
Chapter XLII.--In What Manner Many Sought the Mediator.
67. Whom could I find to reconcile me to Thee? Was I to solicit the
angels? By what prayer? By what sacraments? Many striving to return
unto Thee, and not able of themselves, have, as I am told, tried this,
and have fallen into a longing for curious visions,  and were
held worthy to be deceived. For they, being exalted, sought Thee by
the pride of learning, thrusting themselves forward rather than
beating their breasts, and so by correspondence of heart drew unto
themselves the princes of the air,  the conspirators and
companions in pride, by whom, through the power of magic,  they
were deceived, seeking a mediator by whom they might be cleansed; but
none was there. For the devil it was, transforming himself into an
angel of light.  And he much allured proud flesh, in that he had
no fleshly body. For they were mortal, and sinful; but Thou, O Lord,
to whom they arrogantly sought to be reconciled, art immortal, and
sinless. But a mediator between God and man ought to have something
like unto God, and something like unto man; lest being in both like
unto man, he should be far from God; or if in both like unto God, he
should be far from man, and so should not be a mediator. That
deceitful mediator, then, by whom in Thy secret judgments pride
deserved to be deceived, hath one thing in common with man, that is,
sin; another he would appear to have with God, and, not being clothed
with mortality of flesh, would boast that he was immortal.  But
since "the wages of sin is death,"  this hath he in common with
men, that together with them he should be condemned to death.
 It would be easy so to do, since even amongst believers, as we
find from Evodius' letter to Augustin (Ep. clvi.), there was a
prevalent belief that the blessed dead visited the earth, and that
visions had an important bearing on human affairs. See also Augustin's
answer to Evodius, in Ep. clix.; Chrysostom, De Sacer. vi. 4; and on
Visions, see sec. 41, note, above.
 Eph. ii. 2.
 See note 5, p. 69, above.
 2 Cor. xi. 14.
 In his De Civ. Dei, x. 24, in speaking of the Incarnation of
Christ as a mystery unintelligible to Porphyry's pride, he has a
similar passage, in which he speaks of the "true and benignant
Mediator," and the "malignant and deceitful mediators." See vii. sec.
 Rom. vi. 23.
Chapter XLIII.--That Jesus Christ, at the Same Time God and Man, is
the True and Most Efficacious Mediator.
68. But the true Mediator, whom in Thy secret mercy Thou hast pointed
out to the humble, and didst send, that by His example  also they
might learn the same humility--that "Mediator between God and men, the
man Christ Jesus,"  appeared between mortal sinners and the
immortal Just One--mortal with men, just with God; that because the
reward of righteousness is life and peace, He might, by righteousness
conjoined with God, cancel the death of justified sinners, which He
willed to have in common with them.  Hence He was pointed out to
holy men of old; to the intent that they, through faith in His Passion
to come,  even as we through faith in that which is past, might
be saved. For as man He was Mediator; but as the Word He was not
between,  because equal to God, and God with God, and together
with the Holy Spirit  one God.
69. How hast Thou loved us,  O good Father, who sparedst not
Thine only Son, but deliveredst Him up for us wicked ones!  How
hast Thou loved us, for whom He, who thought it no robbery to be equal
with Thee, "became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross;"
 He alone "free among the dead,"  that had power to lay down
His life, and power to take it again;  for us was He unto Thee
both Victor and Victim, and the Victor as being the Victim; for us was
He unto Thee both Priest and Sacrifice, and Priest as being the
Sacrifice; of slaves making us Thy sons, by being born of Thee, and
serving us. Rightly, then, is my hope strongly fixed on Him, that Thou
wilt heal all my diseases  by Him who sitteth at Thy right hand
and maketh intercession for us;  else should I utterly despair.
 For numerous and great are my infirmities, yea, numerous and
great are they; but Thy medicine is greater. We might think that Thy
Word was removed from union with man, and despair of ourselves had He
not been "made flesh and dwelt among us." 
70. Terrified by my sins and the load of my misery, I had resolved in
my heart, and meditated flight into the wilderness;  but Thou
didst forbid me, and didst strengthen me, saying, therefore, Christ
"died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto
themselves, but unto Him which died for them."  Behold, O Lord, I
cast my care upon Thee,  that I may live, and "behold wondrous
things out of Thy law."  Thou knowest my unskilfulness and my
infirmities; teach me, and heal me. Thine only Son--He "in whom are
hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge"  --hath redeemed
me with His blood. Let not the proud speak evil of me,  because I
consider my ransom, and eat and drink, and distribute; and poor,
desire to be satisfied from Him, together with those who eat and are
satisfied, and they praise the Lord that seek him. 
 See notes 3, p. 71, and 9 and 11, p. 74, above.
 1 Tim. ii. 5.
 Not that our Lord is to be supposed, as some have held, to have
been under the law of death in Adam, because "in Adam all die" (1 Cor.
xv. 22; see the whole of c. 23, in De Civ. Dei, xiii, and compare ix.
sec. 34, note 3, above); for he says in Serm. ccxxxii. 5: "As there
was nothing in us from which life could spring, so there was nothing
in Him from which death could come." He laid down His life (John x.
18), and as being partaker of the divine nature, could see no
corruption (Acts ii. 27). This is the explanation Augustin gives in
his comment on Ps. lxxxv. 5 (quoted in the next section) of Christ's
being "free among the dead." So also in his De Trin. xiii. 18, he says
he was thus free because "solus enim a debito mortis liber est
mortuus." The true analogy between the first and second Adam is surely
then to be found in our Lord's being free from the law of death by
reason of His divine nature, and Adam before his transgression being
able to avert death by partaking of the Tree of Life. Christ was, it
is true, a child of Adam, but a child of Adam miraculously born. See
note 3, p. 73, above.
 See De Trin. iv. 2; and Trench, Hulsean Lectures (1845), latter
part of lect. iv.
 Medius, alluding to mediator immediately before. See his De Civ.
Dei, ix. 15, and xi. 2, for an enlargement of this distinction between
Christ as man and Christ as the Word. Compare also De Trin. i. 20 and
xiii. 13; and Mansel, Bampton Lectures, lect. v. note 20.
 Some mss. omit Cum spiritu sancto.
 Christ did not, as in the words of a well-known hymn, "change
the wrath to love." For, as Augustin remarks in a very beautiful
passage in Ev. Joh. Tract. cx. 6, God loved us before the foundation
of the world, and the reconcilement wrought by Christ must not be "so
understood as if the Son reconciled us unto Him in this respect, that
He now began to love those whom He formerly hated, in the same way as
enemy is reconciled to enemy, so that thereafter they become friends,
and mutual love takes the place of their mutual hatred; but we were
reconciled unto Him who already loved us, but with whom we were at
enmity because of our sin. Whether I say the truth on this let the
apostle testify, when he says: `God commendeth His love towards us, in
that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us'" (Rom. v. 8, 9).
He similarly applies the text last quoted in his De Trin. xiii. 15.
See also ibid. sec. 21, where he speaks of the wrath of God, and ibid.
iv. 2. Compare Archbishop Thomson, Bampton Lectures, lect. vii., and
 Rom. viii. 34, which is not "for us wicked ones," but "for us
all," as the Authorized Version has it; and we must not narrow the
words. Augustin, in Ev. Joh. Tract. cx. 2, it will be remembered, when
commenting on John xvii. 21, "that they all may be one...that the
world may believe Thou hast sent me," limits "the world" to the
believing world, and continues (ibid.sec. 4), "Ipsi sunt enim mundus,
non permanens inimicus, qualis est mundis damnationi prædestinatus."
On Christ being a ransom for all, see Archbishop Thomson, Bampton
Lectures, lect. vii. part 5, and note 101.
 Phil. ii. 6, 8.
 Ps. lxxxviii. 5; see sec. 68, note, above.
 John x. 18.
 Ps. ciii. 3.
 Rom. viii. 34.
 See note 11, p. 140, above.
 John i. 14.
 Ps. lv. 7.
 2 Cor. v. 15.
 Ps. lv. 22.
 Ps. cxix. 18.
 Col. ii. 3. Compare Dean Mansel, Bampton Lectures, lect. v. and
 Ps. cxix. 122, Old Ver. He may perhaps here allude to the
spiritual pride of the Donatists, who, holding rigid views as to
purity of discipline, disparaged both his life and doctrine, pointing
to his Manichæanism and the sinfulness of life before baptism. In his
Answer to Petilian, iii. 11, 20, etc., and Serm. 3, sec. 19, on Ps.
xxxvi., he alludes at length to the charges brought against him,
referring then finally to his own confessions in book iii. above.
 Ps. xxii. 26. Augustin probably alludes here to the Lord's
Supper, in accordance with the general Patristic interpretation.
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