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Августин. Исповедь

Liber Primus

1.1.1 Magnus es, domine, et laudabilis valde. Magna virtus tua et sapientiae tuae non est numerus. Et laudare te vult homo, aliqua portio creaturae tuae, et homo circumferens mortalitatem suam, circumferens testimonium peccati sui et testimonium quia superbis resistis; et tamen laudare te vult homo, aliqua portio creaturae tuae. Tu excitas ut laudare te delectet, quia fecisti nos ad te et inquietum est cor nostrum donec requiescat in te. Great art Thou, O Lord, and greatly to be praised; great is Thy power, and Thy wisdom infinite. And Thee would man praise; man, but a particle of Thy creation; man, that bears about him his mortality, the witness of his sin, the witness that Thou resistest the proud: yet would man praise Thee; he, but a particle of Thy creation. Thou awakest us to delight in Thy praise; for Thou madest us for Thyself, and our heart is restless, until it repose in Thee.
Da mihi, domine, scire et intellegere utrum sit prius invocare te an laudare te, et scire te prius sit an invocare te. Sed quis te invocat nesciens te? Aliud enim pro alio potest invocare nesciens. An potius invocaris ut sciaris? Quomodo autem invocabunt, in quem non crediderunt? Aut quomodo credent sine praedicante? Et laudabunt dominum qui requirunt eum: quaerentes enim inveniunt eum et invenientes laudabunt eum. Grant me, Lord, to know and understand which is first, to call on Thee or to praise Thee? and, again, to know Thee or to call on Thee? for who can call on Thee, not knowing Thee? for he that knoweth Thee not, may call on Thee as other than Thou art. Or, is it rather, that we call on Thee that we may know Thee? but how shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? or how shall they believe without a preacher? and they that seek the Lord shall praise Him: for they that seek shall find Him, and they that find shall praise Him.
Quaeram te, domine, invocans te et invocem te credens in te: praedicatus enim es nobis. Invocat te, domine, fides mea, quam dedisti mihi, quam inspirasti mihi per humanitatem filii tui, per ministerium praedicatoris tui. I will seek Thee, Lord, by calling on Thee; and will call on Thee, believing in Thee; for to us hast Thou been preached. My faith, Lord, shall call on Thee, which Thou hast given me, wherewith Thou hast inspired me, through the Incarnation of Thy Son, through the ministry of the Preacher.
1.2.2 Et quomodo invocabo deum meum, deum et dominum meum, quoniam utique in me ipsum eum vocabo, cum invocabo eum? Et quis locus est in me quo veniat in me deus meus, quo deus veniat in me, deus qui fecit caelum et terram? Itane, domine deus meus? Est quicquam in me quod capiat te? An vero caelum et terra, quae fecisti et in quibus me fecisti, capiunt te? An quia sine te non esset quidquid est, fit ut quidquid est capiat te? And how shall I call upon my God, my God and Lord, since, when I call for Him, I shall be calling Him to myself? and what room is there within me, whither my God can come into me? whither can God come into me, God who made heaven and earth? is there, indeed, O Lord my God, aught in me that can contain Thee? do then heaven and earth, which Thou hast made, and wherein Thou hast made me, contain Thee? or, because nothing which exists could exist without Thee, doth therefore whatever exists contain Thee?
Quoniam itaque et ego sum, quid peto ut venias in me, qui non essem nisi esses in me? Non enim ego iam inferi, et tamen etiam ibi es, nam etsi descendero in infernum, ades. Non ergo essem, deus meus, non omnino essem, nisi esses in me. An potius non essem nisi essem in te, ex quo omnia, per quem omnia, in quo omnia? Since, then, I too exist, why do I seek that Thou shouldest enter into me, who were not, wert Thou not in me? Why? because I am not gone down in hell, and yet Thou art there also. For if I go down into hell, Thou art there. I could not be then, O my God, could not be at all, wert Thou not in me; or, rather, unless I were in Thee, of whom are all things, by whom are all things, in whom are all things?
Etiam sic, domine, etiam sic. Quo te invoco, cum in te sim? Aut unde venias in me? Quo enim recedam extra caelum et terram, ut inde in me veniat deus meus, qui dixit, 'Caelum et terram ego impleo'? Even so, Lord, even so. Whither do I call Thee, since I am in Thee? or whence canst Thou enter into me? for whither can I go beyond heaven and earth, that thence my God should come into me, who hath said, I fill the heaven and the earth.
1.3.3 Capiunt ergone te caelum et terra, quoniam tu imples ea? An imples et restat, quoniam non te capiunt? Et quo refundis quidquid impleto caelo et terra restat ex te? An non opus habes ut quoquam continearis, qui contines omnia, quoniam quae imples continendo imples? Non enim vasa quae te plena sunt stabilem te faciunt, quia etsi frangantur non effunderis. Do the heaven and earth then contain Thee, since Thou fillest them? or dost Thou fill them and yet overflow, since they do not contain Thee? And whither, when the heaven and the earth are filled, pourest Thou forth the remainder of Thyself? or hast Thou no need that aught contain Thee, who containest all things, since what Thou fillest Thou fillest by containing it? for the vessels which Thou fillest uphold Thee not, since, though they were broken, Thou wert not poured out.
Et cum effunderis super nos, non tu iaces sed erigis nos, nec tu dissiparis sed conligis nos. Sed quae imples omnia, te toto imples omnia. An quia non possunt te totum capere omnia, partem tui capiunt et eandem partem simul omnia capiunt? An singulas singula et maiores maiora, minores minora capiunt? Ergo est aliqua pars tua maior, aliqua minor? An ubique totus es et res nulla te totum capit? And when Thou art poured out on us, Thou art not cast down, but Thou upliftest us; Thou art not dissipated, but Thou gatherest us. But Thou who fillest all things, fillest Thou them with Thy whole self? or, since all things cannot contain Thee wholly, do they contain part of Thee? and all at once the same part? or each its own part, the greater more, the smaller less? And is, then one part of Thee greater, another less? or, art Thou wholly every where, while nothing contains Thee wholly?
1.4.4 Quid es ergo, deus meus? Quid, rogo, nisi dominus deus? Quis enim dominus praeter dominum? Aut quis deus praeter deum nostrum? Summe, optime, potentissime, omnipotentissime, misericordissime et iustissime, secretissime et praesentissime, pulcherrime et fortissime, stabilis et incomprehensibilis, immutabilis mutans omnia, numquam novus numquam vetus, innovans omnia et in vetustatem perducens superbos et nesciunt. What art Thou then, my God? what, but the Lord God? For who is Lord but the Lord? or who is God save our God? Most highest, most good, most potent, most omnipotent; most merciful, yet most just; most hidden, yet most present; most beautiful, yet most strong, stable, yet incomprehensible; unchangeable, yet all-changing; never new, never old; all-renewing, and bringing age upon the proud, and they know it not;
Semper agens semper quietus, conligens et non egens, portans et implens et protegens, creans et nutriens et perficiens, quaerens cum nihil desit tibi. Amas nec aestuas, zelas et securus es, paenitet te et non doles, irasceris et tranquillus es, opera mutas nec mutas consilium, recipis quod invenis et numquam amisisti. Numquam inops et gaudes lucris, numquam avarus et usuras exigis, supererogatur tibi ut debeas: et quis habet quicquam non tuum? Reddis debita nulli debens, donas debita nihil perdens. Et quid diximus, deus meus, vita mea, dulcedo mea sancta, aut quid dicit aliquis cum de te dicit? Et vae tacentibus de te, quoniam loquaces muti sunt. ever working, ever at rest; still gathering, yet nothing lacking; supporting, filling, and overspreading; creating, nourishing, and maturing; seeking, yet having all things. Thou lovest, without passion; art jealous, without anxiety; repentest, yet grievest not; art angry, yet serene; changest Thy works, Thy purpose unchanged; receivest again what Thou findest, yet didst never lose; never in need, yet rejoicing in gains; never covetous, yet exacting usury. Thou receivest over and above, that Thou mayest owe; and who hath aught that is not Thine? Thou payest debts, owing nothing; remittest debts, losing nothing. And what had I now said, my God, my life, my holy joy? or what saith any man when he speaks of Thee? Yet woe to him that speaketh not, since mute are even the most eloquent.
1.5.5 Quis mihi dabit adquiescere in te? Quis dabit mihi ut venias in cor meum et inebries illud, ut obliviscar mala mea et unum bonum meum amplectar, te? Quid mihi es? Miserere ut loquar. Quid tibi sum ipse, ut amari te iubeas a me et, nisi faciam, irascaris mihi et mineris ingentes miserias? Parvane ipsa est si non amem te? Oh! that I might repose on Thee! Oh! that Thou wouldest enter into my heart, and inebriate it, that I may forget my ills, and embrace Thee, my sole good! What art Thou to me? In Thy pity, teach me to utter it. Or what am I to Thee that Thou demandest my love, and, if I give it not, art wroth with me, and threatenest me with grievous woes? Is it then a slight woe to love Thee not?
Ei mihi! dic mihi per miserationes tuas, domine deus meus, quid sis mihi. Dic animae meae, 'Salus tua ego sum': sic dic ut audiam. Ecce aures cordis mei ante te, domine. Aperi eas et dic animae meae, 'Salus tua ego sum.' curram post vocem hanc et apprehendam te. Noli abscondere a me faciem tuam: moriar, ne moriar, ut eam videam. Oh! for Thy mercies' sake, tell me, O Lord my God, what Thou art unto me. Say unto my soul, I am thy salvation. So speak, that I may hear. Behold, Lord, my heart is before Thee; open Thou the ears thereof, and say unto my soul, I am thy salvation. After this voice let me haste, and take hold on Thee. Hide not Thy face from me. Let me die- lest I die- only let me see Thy face.
1.5.6 Angusta est domus animae meae quo venias ad eam: dilatetur abs te. Ruinosa est: refice eam. Habet quae offendant oculos tuos: fateor et scio. Sed quis mundabit eam? Aut cui alteri praeter te clamabo, Narrow is the mansion of my soul; enlarge Thou it, that Thou mayest enter in. It is ruinous; repair Thou it. It has that within which must offend Thine eyes; I confess and know it. But who shall cleanse it? or to whom should I cry, save Thee?
'Ab occultis meis munda me, domine, et ab alienis parce servo tuo?' credo, propter quod et loquor, domine: tu scis. Nonne tibi prolocutus sum adversum me delicta mea, deus meus, et tu dimisisti impietatem cordis mei? Non iudicio contendo tecum, qui veritas es, et ego nolo fallere me ipsum, ne mentiatur iniquitas mea sibi. Non ergo iudicio contendo tecum, quia, si iniquitates observaveris, domine, domine, quis sustinebit? Lord, cleanse me from my secret faults, and spare Thy servant from the power of the enemy. I believe, and therefore do I speak. Lord, Thou knowest. Have I not confessed against myself my transgressions unto Thee, and Thou, my God, hast forgiven the iniquity of my heart? I contend not in judgment with Thee, who art the truth; I fear to deceive myself; lest mine iniquity lie unto itself. Therefore I contend not in judgment with Thee; for if Thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall abide it?
1.6.7 Sed tamen sine me loqui apud misericordiam tuam, me terram et cinerem sine tamen loqui. Quoniam ecce misericordia tua est, non homo, inrisor meus, cui loquor. Et tu fortasse inrides me, sed conversus misereberis mei. Quid enim est quod volo dicere, domine, nisi quia nescio unde venerim huc, in istam dico vitam mortalem an mortem vitalem? Nescio. Et susceperunt me consolationes miserationum tuarum, sicut audivi a parentibus carnis meae, ex quo et in qua me formasti in tempore: non enim ego memini. Yet suffer me to speak unto Thy mercy, me, dust and ashes. Yet suffer me to speak, since I speak to Thy mercy, and not to scornful man. Thou too, perhaps, despisest me, yet wilt Thou return and have compassion upon me. For what would I say, O Lord my God, but that I know not whence I came into this dying life (shall I call it?) or living death. Then immediately did the comforts of Thy compassion take me up, as I heard (for I remember it not) from the parents of my flesh, out of whose substance Thou didst sometime fashion me.
Exceperunt ergo me consolationes lactis humani, nec mater mea vel nutrices meae sibi ubera implebant, sed tu mihi per eas dabas alimentum infantiae secundum institutionem tuam et divitias usque ad fundum rerum dispositas. Tu etiam mihi dabas nolle amplius quam dabas, et nutrientibus me dare mihi velle quod eis dabas: dare enim mihi per ordinatum affectum volebant quo abundabant ex te. Thus there received me the comforts of woman's milk. For neither my mother nor my nurses stored their own breasts for me; but Thou didst bestow the food of my infancy through them, according to Thine ordinance, whereby Thou distributest Thy riches through the hidden springs of all things. Thou also gavest me to desire no more than Thou gavest; and to my nurses willingly to give me what Thou gavest them. For they, with a heaven-taught affection, willingly gave me what they abounded with from Thee.
Nam bonum erat eis bonum meum ex eis, quod ex eis non sed per eas erat. Ex te quippe bona omnia, deus, et ex deo meo salus mihi universa. Quod animadverti postmodum, clamante te mihi per haec ipsa quae tribuis intus et foris. Nam tunc sugere noram et adquiescere delectationibus, flere autem offensiones carnis meae, nihil amplius. For this my good from them, was good for them. Nor, indeed, from them was it, but through them; for from Thee, O God, are all good things, and from my God is all my health. This I since learned, Thou, through these Thy gifts, within me and without, proclaiming Thyself unto me. For then I knew but to suck; to repose in what pleased, and cry at what offended my flesh; nothing more.
1.6.8 Post et ridere coepi, dormiens primo, deinde vigilans. Hoc enim de me mihi indicatum est et credidi, quoniam sic videmus alios infantes: nam ista mea non memini. Afterwards I began to smile; first in sleep, then waking: for so it was told me of myself, and I believed it; for we see the like in other infants, though of myself I remember it not.
Et ecce paulatim sentiebam ubi essem, et voluntates meas volebam ostendere eis per quos implerentur, et non poteram, quia illae intus erant, foris autem illi, nec ullo suo sensu valebant introire in animam meam. Itaque iactabam membra et voces, signa similia voluntatibus meis, pauca quae poteram, qualia poteram: non enim erant vere similia. Thus, little by little, I became conscious where I was; and to have a wish to express my wishes to those who could content them, and I could not; for the wishes were within me, and they without; nor could they by any sense of theirs enter within my spirit. So I flung about at random limbs and voice, making the few signs I could, and such as I could, like, though in truth very little like, what I wished.
Et cum mihi non obtemperabatur, vel non intellecto vel ne obesset, indignabar non subditis maioribus et liberis non servientibus, et me de illis flendo vindicabam. Tales esse infantes didici quos discere potui, et me talem fuisse magis mihi ipsi indicaverunt nescientes quam scientes nutritores mei. And when I was not presently obeyed (my wishes being hurtful or unintelligible), then I was indignant with my elders for not submitting to me, with those owing me no service, for not serving me; and avenged myself on them by tears. Such have I learnt infants to be from observing them; and that I was myself such, they, all unconscious, have shown me better than my nurses who knew it.
1.6.9 Et ecce infantia mea olim mortua est et ego vivo. Tu autem, domine, qui et semper vivis et nihil moritur in te, quoniam ante primordia saeculorum, et ante omne quod vel ante dici potest, tu es, et deus es dominusque omnium quae creasti, et apud te rerum omnium instabilium stant causae, et rerum omnium mutabilium immutabiles manent origines, et omnium inrationalium et temporalium sempiternae vivunt rationes, dic mihi supplici tuo, deus, et misericors misero tuo dic mihi, utrum alicui iam aetati meae mortuae successerit infantia mea. And, lo! my infancy died long since, and I live. But Thou, Lord, who for ever livest, and in whom nothing dies: for before the foundation of the worlds, and before all that can be called "before," Thou art, and art God and Lord of all which Thou hast created: in Thee abide, fixed for ever, the first causes of all things unabiding; and of all things changeable, the springs abide in Thee unchangeable: and in Thee live the eternal reasons of all things unreasoning and temporal. Say, Lord, to me, Thy suppliant; say, all-pitying, to me, Thy pitiable one; say, did my infancy succeed another age of mine that died before it?
An illa est quam egi intra viscera matris meae? Nam et de illa mihi nonnihil indicatum est et praegnantes ipse vidi feminas. Quid ante hanc etiam, dulcedo mea, deus meus? Fuine alicubi aut aliquis? Nam quis mihi dicat ista, non habeo; nec pater nec mater potuerunt, nec aliorum experimentum nec memoria mea. An inrides me ista quaerentem teque de hoc quod novi laudari a me iubes et confiteri me tibi? was it that which I spent within my mother's womb? for of that I have heard somewhat, and have myself seen women with child? and what before that life again, O God my joy, was I any where or any body? For this have I none to tell me, neither father nor mother, nor experience of others, nor mine own memory. Dost Thou mock me for asking this, and bid me praise Thee and acknowledge Thee, for that I do know?
1.6.10 Confiteor tibi, domine caeli et terrae, laudem dicens tibi de primordiis et infantia mea, quae non memini. Et dedisti ea homini ex aliis de se conicere et auctoritatibus etiam muliercularum multa de se credere. Eram enim et vivebam etiam tunc, et signa quibus sensa mea nota aliis facerem iam in fine infantiae quaerebam. Unde hoc tale animal nisi abs te, domine? I acknowledge Thee, Lord of heaven and earth, and praise Thee for my first rudiments of being, and my infancy, whereof I remember nothing; for Thou hast appointed that man should from others guess much as to himself; and believe much on the strength of weak females. Even then I had being and life, and (at my infancy's close) I could seek for signs whereby to make known to others my sensations. Whence could such a being be, save from Thee, Lord?
An quisquam se faciendi erit artifex? Aut ulla vena trahitur aliunde qua esse et vivere currat in nos, praeterquam quod tu facis nos, domine, cui esse et vivere non aliud atque aliud, quia summe esse ac summe vivere idipsum est? Summus enim es et non mutaris, neque peragitur in te hodiernus dies, et tamen in te peragitur, quia in te sunt et ista omnia: non enim haberent vias transeundi, nisi contineres eas. Shall any be his own artificer? or can there elsewhere be derived any vein, which may stream essence and life into us, save from thee, O Lord, in whom essence and life are one? for Thou Thyself art supremely Essence and Life. For Thou art most high, and art not changed, neither in Thee doth to-day come to a close; yet in Thee doth it come to a close; because all such things also are in Thee. For they had no way to pass away, unless Thou upheldest them.
Et quoniam anni tui non deficiunt, anni tui hodiernus dies. Et quam multi iam dies nostri et patrum nostrorum per hodiernum tuum transierunt et ex illo acceperunt modos et utcumque extiterunt, et transibunt adhuc alii et accipient et utcumque existent. Tu autem idem ipse es et omnia crastina atque ultra omniaque hesterna et retro hodie facies, hodie fecisti. Quid ad me, si quis non intellegat? Gaudeat et ipse dicens, 'Quid est hoc?' gaudeat etiam sic, et amet non inveniendo invenire potius quam inveniendo non invenire te. And since Thy years fail not, Thy years are one to-day. How many of ours and our fathers' years have flowed away through Thy "to-day," and from it received the measure and the mould of such being as they had; and still others shall flow away, and so receive the mould of their degree of being. But Thou art still the same, and all things of tomorrow, and all beyond, and all of yesterday, and all behind it, Thou hast done to-day. What is it to me, though any comprehend not this? Let him also rejoice and say, What thing is this? Let him rejoice even thus! and be content rather by not discovering to discover Thee, than by discovering not to discover Thee.
1.7.11 Exaudi, deus. Vae peccatis hominum! et homo dicit haec, et misereris eius, quoniam tu fecisti eum et peccatum non fecisti in eo. Quis me commemorat peccatum infantiae meae, quoniam nemo mundus a peccato coram te, nec infans cuius est unius diei vita super terram? Quis me commemorat? An quilibet tantillus nunc parvulus, in quo video quod non memini de me? Quid ergo tunc peccabam? An quia uberibus inhiabam plorans? Nam si nunc faciam, non quidem uberibus sed escae congruenti annis meis ita inhians, deridebor atque reprehendar iustissime. Hear, O God. Alas, for man's sin! So saith man, and Thou pitiest him; for Thou madest him, but sin in him Thou madest not. Who remindeth me of the sins of my infancy? for in Thy sight none is pure from sin, not even the infant whose life is but a day upon the earth. Who remindeth me? doth not each little infant, in whom I see what of myself I remember not? What then was my sin? was it that I hung upon the breast and cried? for should I now so do for food suitable to my age, justly should I be laughed at and reproved.
Tunc ergo reprehendenda faciebam, sed quia reprehendentem intellegere non poteram, nec mos reprehendi me nec ratio sinebat: nam extirpamus et eicimus ista crescentes. Nec vidi quemquam scientem, cum aliquid purgat, bona proicere. An pro tempore etiam illa bona erant, flendo petere etiam quod noxie daretur, indignari acriter non subiectis hominibus liberis et maioribus hisque, a quibus genitus est, multisque praeterea prudentioribus non ad nutum voluntatis obtemperantibus feriendo nocere niti quantum potest, quia non oboeditur imperiis quibus perniciose oboediretur? What I then did was worthy reproof; but since I could not understand reproof, custom and reason forbade me to be reproved. For those habits, when grown, we root out and cast away. Now no man, though he prunes, wittingly casts away what is good. Or was it then good, even for a while, to cry for what, if given, would hurt? bitterly to resent, that persons free, and its own elders, yea, the very authors of its birth, served it not? that many besides, wiser than it, obeyed not the nod of its good pleasure? to do its best to strike and hurt, because commands were not obeyed, which had been obeyed to its hurt?
Ita inbecillitas membrorum infantilium innocens est, non animus infantium. Vidi ego et expertus sum zelantem parvulum: nondum loquebatur et intuebatur pallidus amaro aspectu conlactaneum suum. Quis hoc ignorat? Expiare se dicunt ista matres atque nutrices nescio quibus remediis. Nisi vero et ista innocentia est, in fonte lactis ubertim manante atque abundante opis egentissimum et illo adhuc uno alimento vitam ducentem consortem non pati. The weakness then of infant limbs, not its will, is its innocence. Myself have seen and known even a baby envious; it could not speak, yet it turned pale and looked bitterly on its foster-brother. Who knows not this? Mothers and nurses tell you that they allay these things by I know not what remedies. Is that too innocence, when the fountain of milk is flowing in rich abundance, not to endure one to share it, though in extremest need, and whose very life as yet depends thereon?
Sed blande tolerantur haec, non quia nulla vel parva, sed quia aetatis accessu peritura sunt. Quod licet probes, cum ferri aequo animo eadem ipsa non possunt quando in aliquo annosiore deprehenduntur. We bear gently with all this, not as being no or slight evils, but because they will disappear as years increase; for, though tolerated now, the very same tempers are utterly intolerable when found in riper years.
1.7.12 Tu itaque, domine deus meus, qui dedisti vitam infanti et corpus, quod ita, ut videmus, instruxisti sensibus, compegisti membris, figura decorasti proque eius universitate atque incolumitate omnes conatus animantis insinuasti, iubes me laudare te in istis et confiteri tibi et psallere nomini tuo, altissime, quia deus es omnipotens et bonus, etiamsi sola ista fecisses, quae nemo alius potest facere nisi tu, une, a quo est omnis modus, formosissime, qui formas omnia et lege tua ordinas omnia. Thou, then, O Lord my God, who gavest life to this my infancy, furnishing thus with senses (as we see) the frame Thou gavest, compacting its limbs, ornamenting its proportions, and, for its general good and safety, implanting in it all vital functions, Thou commandest me to praise Thee in these things, to confess unto Thee, and sing unto Thy name, Thou most Highest. For Thou art God, Almighty and Good, even hadst Thou done nought but only this, which none could do but Thou: whose Unity is the mould of all things; who out of Thy own fairness makest all things fair; and orderest all things by Thy law.
Hanc ergo aetatem, domine, quam me vixisse non memini, de qua aliis credidi et quam me egisse ex aliis infantibus conieci, quamquam ista multum fida coniectura sit, piget me adnumerare huic vitae meae quam vivo in hoc saeculo. Quantum enim attinet ad oblivionis meae tenebras, par illi est quam vixi in matris utero. This age then, Lord, whereof I have no remembrance, which I take on others' word, and guess from other infants that I have passed, true though the guess be, I am yet loth to count in this life of mine which I live in this world. For no less than that which I spent in my mother's womb, is it hid from me in the shadows of forgetfulness.
Quod si et in iniquitate conceptus sum et in peccatis mater mea me in utero aluit, ubi, oro te, deus meus, ubi, domine, ego, servus tuus, ubi aut quando innocens fui? Sed ecce omitto illud tempus: et quid mihi iam cum eo est, cuius nulla vestigia recolo? But if I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me, where, I beseech Thee, O my God, where, Lord, or when, was I Thy servant guiltless? But, lo! that period I pass by; and what have I now to do with that, of which I can recall no vestige?
1.8.13 Nonne ab infantia huc pergens veni in pueritiam? Vel potius ipsa in me venit et successit infantiae? Nec discessit illa: quo enim abiit? Et tamen iam non erat. Non enim eram infans qui non farer, sed iam puer loquens eram. Passing hence from infancy, I came to boyhood, or rather it came to me, displacing infancy. Nor did that depart,- (for whither went it?)- and yet it was no more. For I was no longer a speechless infant, but a speaking boy.
Et memini hoc, et unde loqui didiceram post adverti. Non enim docebant me maiores homines, praebentes mihi verba certo aliquo ordine doctrinae sicut paulo post litteras, sed ego ipse mente quam dedisti mihi, deus meus, cum gemitibus et vocibus variis et variis membrorum motibus edere vellem sensa cordis mei, ut voluntati pareretur, nec valerem quae volebam omnia nec quibus volebam omnibus, prensabam memoria. This I remember; and have since observed how I learned to speak. It was not that my elders taught me words (as, soon after, other learning) in any set method; but I, longing by cries and broken accents and various motions of my limbs to express my thoughts, that so I might have my will, and yet unable to express all I willed, or to whom I willed, did myself, by the understanding which Thou, my God, gavest me, practise the sounds in my memory.
Cum ipsi appellabant rem aliquam et cum secundum eam vocem corpus ad aliquid movebant, videbam et tenebam hoc ab eis vocari rem illam quod sonabant cum eam vellent ostendere. Hoc autem eos velle ex motu corporis aperiebatur tamquam verbis naturalibus omnium gentium, quae fiunt vultu et nutu oculorum ceterorumque membrorum actu et sonitu vocis indicante affectionem animi in petendis, habendis, reiciendis fugiendisve rebus. When they named any thing, and as they spoke turned towards it, I saw and remembered that they called what they would point out by the name they uttered. And that they meant this thing and no other was plain from the motion of their body, the natural language, as it were, of all nations, expressed by the countenance, glances of the eye, gestures of the limbs, and tones of the voice, indicating the affections of the mind, as it pursues, possesses, rejects, or shuns.
Ita verba in variis sententiis locis suis posita et crebro audita quarum rerum signa essent paulatim conligebam measque iam voluntates edomito in eis signis ore per haec enuntiabam. Sic cum his inter quos eram voluntatum enuntiandarum signa communicavi, et vitae humanae procellosam societatem altius ingressus sum, pendens ex parentum auctoritate nutuque maiorum hominum. And thus by constantly hearing words, as they occurred in various sentences, I collected gradually for what they stood; and having broken in my mouth to these signs, I thereby gave utterance to my will. Thus I exchanged with those about me these current signs of our wills, and so launched deeper into the stormy intercourse of human life, yet depending on parental authority and the beck of elders.
1.9.14 Deus, deus meus, quas ibi miserias expertus sum et ludificationes, quandoquidem recte mihi vivere puero id proponebatur, obtemperare monentibus, ut in hoc saeculo florerem et excellerem linguosis artibus ad honorem hominum et falsas divitias famulantibus. Inde in scholam datus sum ut discerem litteras, in quibus quid utilitatis esset ignorabam miser. Et tamen, si segnis in discendo essem, vapulabam. O God my God, what miseries and mockeries did I now experience, when obedience to my teachers was proposed to me, as proper in a boy, in order that in this world I might prosper, and excel in tongue-science, which should serve to the "praise of men," and to deceitful riches. Next I was put to school to get learning, in which I (poor wretch) knew not what use there was; and yet, if idle in learning, I was beaten.
Laudabatur enim hoc a maioribus, et multi ante nos vitam istam agentes praestruxerant aerumnosas vias, per quas transire cogebamur multiplicato labore et dolore filiis Adam. Invenimus autem, domine, homines rogantes te et didicimus ab eis, sentientes te, ut poteramus, esse magnum aliquem qui posses etiam non apparens sensibus nostris exaudire nos et subvenire nobis. For this was judged right by our forefathers; and many, passing the same course before us, framed for us weary paths, through which we were fain to pass; multiplying toil and grief upon the sons of Adam. But, Lord, we found that men called upon Thee, and we learnt from them to think of Thee (according to our powers) as of some great One, who, though hidden from our senses, couldest hear and help us.
Nam puer coepi rogare te, auxilium et refugium meum, et in tuam invocationem rumpebam nodos linguae meae et rogabam te parvus non parvo affectu, ne in schola vapularem. Et cum me non exaudiebas, quod non erat ad insipientiam mihi, ridebantur a maioribus hominibus usque ab ipsis parentibus, qui mihi accidere mali nihil volebant, plagae meae, magnum tunc et grave malum meum. For so I began, as a boy, to pray to Thee, my aid and refuge; and broke the fetters of my tongue to call on Thee, praying Thee, though small, yet with no small earnestness, that I might not be beaten at school. And when Thou heardest me not (not thereby giving me over to folly), my elders, yea my very parents, who yet wished me no ill, mocked my stripes, my then great and grievous ill.
1.9.15 Estne quisquam, domine, tam magnus animus, praegrandi affectu tibi cohaerens, estne, inquam, quisquam (facit enim hoc quaedam etiam stoliditas: est ergo), qui tibi pie cohaerendo ita sit affectus granditer, ut eculeos et ungulas atque huiuscemodi varia tormenta (pro quibus effugiendis tibi per universas terras cum timore magno supplicatur) ita parvi aestimet, diligens eos qui haec acerbissime formidant, quemadmodum parentes nostri ridebant tormenta quibus pueri a magistris affligebamur? Is there, Lord, any of soul so great, and cleaving to Thee with so intense affection (for a sort of stupidity will in a way do it); but is there any one who, from cleaving devoutly to Thee, is endued with so great a spirit, that he can think as lightly of the racks and hooks and other torments (against which, throughout all lands, men call on Thee with extreme dread), mocking at those by whom they are feared most bitterly, as our parents mocked the torments which we suffered in boyhood from our masters?
Non enim aut minus ea metuebamus aut minus te de his evadendis deprecabamur, et peccabamus tamen minus scribendo aut legendo aut cogitando de litteris quam exigebatur a nobis. Non enim deerat, domine, memoria vel ingenium, quae nos habere voluisti pro illa aetate satis, sed delectabat ludere et vindicabatur in nos ab eis qui talia utique agebant. Sed maiorum nugae negotia vocantur, puerorum autem talia cum sint, puniuntur a maioribus, et nemo miseratur pueros vel illos vel utrosque. For we feared not our torments less; nor prayed we less to Thee to escape them. And yet we sinned, in writing or reading or studying less than was exacted of us. For we wanted not, O Lord, memory or capacity, whereof Thy will gave enough for our age; but our sole delight was play; and for this we were punished by those who yet themselves were doing the like. But elder folks' idleness is called "business"; that of boys, being really the same, is punished by those elders; and none commiserates either boys or men.
Nisi vero approbat quisquam bonus rerum arbiter vapulasse me, quia ludebam pila puer et eo ludo impediebar quominus celeriter discerem litteras, quibus maior deformius luderem. Aut aliud faciebat idem ipse a quo vapulabam, qui si in aliqua quaestiuncula a condoctore suo victus esset, magis bile atque invidia torqueretur quam ego, cum in certamine pilae a conlusore meo superabar? For will any of sound discretion approve of my being beaten as a boy, because, by playing a ball, I made less progress in studies which I was to learn, only that, as a man, I might play more unbeseemingly? and what else did he who beat me? who, if worsted in some trifling discussion with his fellow-tutor, was more embittered and jealous than I when beaten at ball by a play-fellow?
1.10.16 Et tamen peccabam, domine deus, ordinator et creator rerum omnium naturalium, peccatorum autem tantum ordinator, domine deus meus, peccabam faciendo contra praecepta parentum et magistrorum illorum. Poteram enim postea bene uti litteris, quas volebant ut discerem quocumque animo illi mei. And yet, I sinned herein, O Lord God, the Creator and Disposer of all things in nature, of sin the Disposer only, O Lord my God, I sinned in transgressing the commands of my parents and those of my masters. For what they, with whatever motive, would have me learn, I might afterwards have put to good use.
Non enim meliora eligens inoboediens eram, sed amore ludendi, amans in certaminibus superbas victorias et scalpi aures meas falsis fabellis, quo prurirent ardentius, eadem curiositate magis magisque per oculos emicante in spectacula, ludos maiorum -- quos tamen qui edunt, ea dignitate praediti excellunt, ut hoc paene omnes optent parvulis suis, quos tamen caedi libenter patiuntur, si spectaculis talibus impediantur ab studio quo eos ad talia edenda cupiunt pervenire. For I disobeyed, not from a better choice, but from love of play, loving the pride of victory in my contests, and to have my ears tickled with lying fables, that they might itch the more; the same curiosity flashing from my eyes more and more, for the shows and games of my elders. Yet those who give these shows are in such esteem, that almost all wish the same for their children, and yet are very willing that they should be beaten, if those very games detain them from the studies, whereby they would have them attain to be the givers of them.
Vide ista, domine, misericorditer, et libera nos iam invocantes te, libera etiam eos qui nondum te invocant, ut invocent te et liberes eos. Look with pity, Lord, on these things, and deliver us who call upon Thee now; deliver those too who call not on Thee yet, that they may call on Thee, and Thou mayest deliver them.
1.11.17 Audieram enim ego adhuc puer de vita aeterna promissa nobis per humilitatem domini dei nostri descendentis ad superbiam nostram, et signabar iam signo crucis eius, et condiebar eius sale iam inde ab utero matris meae, quae multum speravit in te. As a boy, then, I had already heard of an eternal life, promised us through the humility of the Lord our God stooping to our pride; and even from the womb of my mother, who greatly hoped in Thee, I was sealed with the mark of His cross and salted with His salt.
Vidisti, domine, cum adhuc puer essem et quodam die pressu stomachi repente aestuarem paene moriturus, vidisti, deus meus, quoniam custos meus iam eras, quo motu animi et qua fide baptismum Christi tui, dei et domini mei, flagitavi a pietate matris meae et matris omnium nostrum, ecclesiae tuae. Thou sawest, Lord, how while yet a boy, being seized on a time with sudden oppression of the stomach, and like near to death- Thou sawest, my God (for Thou wert my keeper), with what eagerness and what faith I sought, from the pious care of my mother and Thy Church, the mother of us all, the baptism of Thy Christ, my God and Lord.
Et conturbata mater carnis meae, quoniam et sempiternam salutem meam carius parturiebat corde casto in fide tua, iam curaret festinabunda ut sacramentis salutaribus initiarer et abluerer, te, domine Iesu, confitens in remissionem peccatorum, nisi statim recreatus essem. Whereupon the mother my flesh, being much troubled (since, with a heart pure in Thy faith, she even more lovingly travailed in birth of my salvation), would in eager haste have provided for my consecration and cleansing by the health-giving sacraments, confessing Thee, Lord Jesus, for the remission of sins, unless I had suddenly recovered.
Dilata est itaque mundatio mea, quasi necesse esset ut adhuc sordidarer si viverem, quia videlicet post lavacrum illud maior et periculosior in sordibus delictorum reatus foret. Ita iam credebam et illa et omnis domus, nisi pater solus, qui tamen non evicit in me ius maternae pietatis, quominus in Christum crederem, sicut ille nondum crediderat. And so, as if I must needs be again polluted should I live, my cleansing was deferred, because the defilements of sin would, after that washing, bring greater and more perilous guilt. I then already believed: and my mother, and the whole household, except my father: yet did not he prevail over the power of my mother's piety in me, that as he did not yet believe, so neither should I.
Nam illa satagebat ut tu mihi pater esses, deus meus, potius quam ille, et in hoc adiuvabas eam, ut superaret virum, cui melior serviebat, quia et in hoc tibi utique id iubenti serviebat. For it was her earnest care that Thou my God, rather than he, shouldest be my father; and in this Thou didst aid her to prevail over her husband, whom she, the better, obeyed, therein also obeying Thee, who hast so commanded.
1.11.18 Rogo te, deus meus: vellem scire, si tu etiam velles, quo consilio dilatus sum ne tunc baptizarer, utrum bono meo mihi quasi laxata sint lora peccandi. An non laxata sunt? Unde ergo etiam nunc de aliis atque aliis sonat undique in auribus nostris: I beseech Thee, my God, I would fain know, if so Thou willest, for what purpose my baptism was then deferred? was it for my good that the rein was laid loose, as it were, upon me, for me to sin? or was it not laid loose? If not, why does it still echo in our ears on all sides,
'Sine illum, faciat: nondum enim baptizatus est'? Et tamen in salute corporis non dicimus: 'Sine vulneretur amplius: nondum enim sanatus est.' quanto ergo melius et cito sanarer et id ageretur mecum meorum meaque diligentia, ut recepta salus animae meae tuta esset tutela tua, qui dedisses eam. Melius vero. Sed quot et quanti fluctus impendere temptationum post pueritiam videbantur, noverat eos iam illa mater et terram per eos, unde postea formarer, quam ipsam iam effigiem committere volebat. "Let him alone, let him do as he will, for he is not yet baptised?" but as to bodily health, no one says, "Let him be worse wounded, for he is not yet healed." How much better then, had I been at once healed; and then, by my friends' and my own, my soul's recovered health had been kept safe in Thy keeping who gavest it. Better truly. But how many and great waves of temptation seemed to hang over me after my boyhood! These my mother foresaw; and preferred to expose to them the clay whence I might afterwards be moulded, than the very cast, when made.
1.12.19 In ipsa tamen pueritia, de qua mihi minus quam de adulescentia metuebatur, non amabam litteras et me in eas urgeri oderam, et urgebar tamen et bene mihi fiebat. Nec faciebam ego bene (non enim discerem nisi cogerer; nemo autem invitus bene facit, etiamsi bonum est quod facit), nec qui me urgebant bene faciebant, sed bene mihi fiebat abs te, deus meus. In boyhood itself, however (so much less dreaded for me than youth), I loved not study, and hated to be forced to it. Yet I was forced; and this was well done towards me, but I did not well; for, unless forced, I had not learnt. But no one doth well against his will, even though what he doth, be well. Yet neither did they well who forced me, but what was well came to me from Thee, my God.
Illi enim non intuebantur quo referrem quod me discere cogebant, praeterquam ad satiandas insatiabiles cupiditates copiosae inopiae et ignominiosae gloriae. Tu vero, cui numerati sunt capilli nostri, errore omnium qui mihi instabant ut discerem utebaris ad utilitatem meam, meo autem, qui discere nolebam, utebaris ad poenam meam, qua plecti non eram indignus, tantillus puer et tantus peccator. Ita de non bene facientibus tu bene faciebas mihi et de peccante me ipso iuste retribuebas mihi. Iussisti enim et sic est, ut poena sua sibi sit omnis inordinatus animus. For they were regardless how I should employ what they forced me to learn, except to satiate the insatiate desires of a wealthy beggary, and a shameful glory. But Thou, by whom the very hairs of our head are numbered, didst use for my good the error of all who urged me to learn; and my own, who would not learn, Thou didst use for my punishment- a fit penalty for one, so small a boy and so great a sinner. So by those who did not well, Thou didst well for me; and by my own sin Thou didst justly punish me. For Thou hast commanded, and so it is, that every inordinate affection should be its own punishment.
1.13.20 Quid autem erat causae cur graecas litteras oderam, quibus puerulus imbuebar? Ne nunc quidem mihi satis exploratum est. Adamaveram enim latinas, non quas primi magistri sed quas docent qui grammatici vocantur. Nam illas primas, ubi legere et scribere et numerare discitur, non minus onerosas poenalesque habebam quam omnes graecas. But why did I so much hate the Greek, which I studied as a boy? I do not yet fully know. For the Latin I loved; not what my first masters, but what the so-called grammarians taught me. For those first lessons, reading, writing and arithmetic, I thought as great a burden and penalty as any Greek.
Unde tamen et hoc nisi de peccato et vanitate vitae, qua caro eram et spiritus ambulans et non revertens? Nam utique meliores, quia certiores, erant primae illae litterae quibus fiebat in me et factum est et habeo illud ut et legam, si quid scriptum invenio, et scribam ipse, si quid volo, quam illae quibus tenere cogebar Aeneae nescio cuius errores, oblitus errorum meorum, et plorare Didonem mortuam, quia se occidit ab amore, cum interea me ipsum in his a te morientem, deus, vita mea, siccis oculis ferrem miserrimus. And yet whence was this too, but from the sin and vanity of this life, because I was flesh, and a breath that passeth away and cometh not again? For those first lessons were better certainly, because more certain; by them I obtained, and still retain, the power of reading what I find written, and myself writing what I will; whereas in the others, I was forced to learn the wanderings of one Aeneas, forgetful of my own, and to weep for dead Dido, because she killed herself for love; the while, with dry eyes, I endured my miserable self dying among these things, far from Thee, O God my life.
1.13.21 Quid enim miserius misero non miserante se ipsum et flente Didonis mortem, quae fiebat amando Aenean, non flente autem mortem suam, quae fiebat non amando te, deus, lumen cordis mei et panis oris intus animae meae et virtus maritans mentem meam et sinum cogitationis meae? Non te amabam, et fornicabar abs te, et fornicanti sonabat undique: For what more miserable than a miserable being who commiserates not himself; weeping the death of Dido for love to Aeneas, but weeping not his own death for want of love to Thee, O God. Thou light of my heart, Thou bread of my inmost soul, Thou Power who givest vigour to my mind, who quickenest my thoughts, I loved Thee not. I committed fornication against Thee, and all around me thus fornicating there echoed
'Euge! euge!' amicitia enim mundi huius fornicatio est abs te et 'Euge! euge!' dicitur ut pudeat, si non ita homo sit. Et haec non flebam, et flebam Didonem extinctam ferroque extrema secutam, sequens ipse extrema condita tua relicto te et terra iens in terram. Et si prohiberer ea legere, dolerem, quia non legerem quod dolerem. Tali dementia honestiores et uberiores litterae putantur quam illae quibus legere et scribere didici. "Well done! well done!" for the friendship of this world is fornication against Thee; and "Well done! well done!" echoes on till one is ashamed not to he thus a man. And for all this I wept not, I who wept for Dido slain, and "seeking by the sword a stroke and wound extreme," myself seeking the while a worse extreme, the extremest and lowest of Thy creatures, having forsaken Thee, earth passing into the earth. And if forbid to read all this, I was grieved that I might not read what grieved me. Madness like this is thought a higher and a richer learning, than that by which I learned to read and write.
1.13.22 Sed nunc in anima mea clamet deus meus, et veritas tua dicat mihi, 'Non est ita, non est ita.' melior est prorsus doctrina illa prior. Nam ecce paratior sum oblivisci errores Aeneae atque omnia eius modi quam scribere et legere. At enim vela pendent liminibus grammaticarum scholarum, sed non illa magis honorem secreti quam tegimentum erroris significant. But now, my God, cry Thou aloud in my soul; and let Thy truth tell me, "Not so, not so. Far better was that first study." For, lo, I would readily forget the wanderings of Aeneas and all the rest, rather than how to read and write. But over the entrance of the Grammar School is a vail drawn! true; yet is this not so much an emblem of aught recondite, as a cloak of error.
Non clament adversus me quos iam non timeo, dum confiteor tibi quae vult anima mea, deus meus, et adquiesco in reprehensione malarum viarum mearum, ut diligam bonas vias tuas, non clament adversus me venditores grammaticae vel emptores, quia, si proponam eis interrogans, utrum verum sit quod Aenean aliquando Carthaginem venisse poeta dicit, indoctiores nescire se respondebunt, doctiores autem etiam negabunt verum esse. Let not those, whom I no longer fear, cry out against me, while I confess to Thee, my God, whatever my soul will, and acquiesce in the condemnation of my evil ways, that I may love Thy good ways. Let not either buyers or sellers of grammar-learning cry out against me. For if I question them whether it be true that Aeneas came on a time to Carthage, as the poet tells, the less learned will reply that they know not, the more learned that he never did.
At si quaeram quibus litteris scribatur Aeneae nomen, omnes mihi qui haec didicerunt verum respondent secundum id pactum et placitum quo inter se homines ista signa firmarunt. Item si quaeram quid horum maiore vitae huius incommodo quisque obliviscatur, legere et scribere an poetica illa figmenta, quis non videat quid responsurus sit, qui non est penitus oblitus sui? But should I ask with what letters the name "Aeneas" is written, every one who has learnt this will answer me aright, as to the signs which men have conventionally settled. If, again, I should ask which might be forgotten with least detriment to the concerns of life, reading and writing or these poetic fictions? who does not foresee what all must answer who have not wholly forgotten themselves?
Peccabam ergo puer cum illa inania istis utilioribus amore praeponebam, vel potius ista oderam, illa amabam. Iam vero unum et unum duo, duo et duo quattuor, odiosa cantio mihi erat, et dulcissimum spectaculum vanitatis, equus ligneus plenus armatis et Troiae incendium atque ipsius umbra Creusae. I sinned, then, when as a boy I preferred those empty to those more profitable studies, or rather loved the one and hated the other. "One and one, two"; "two and two, four"; this was to me a hateful singsong: "the wooden horse lined with armed men," and "the burning of Troy," and "Creusa's shade and sad similitude," were the choice spectacle of my vanity.
1.14.23 Cur ergo graecam etiam grammaticam oderam talia cantantem? Nam et Homerus peritus texere tales fabellas et dulcissime vanus est, mihi tamen amarus erat puero. Credo etiam graecis pueris Vergilius ita sit, cum eum sic discere coguntur ut ego illum. Videlicet difficultas, difficultas omnino ediscendae linguae peregrinae, quasi felle aspergebat omnes suavitates graecas fabulosarum narrationum. Nulla enim verba illa noveram, et saevis terroribus ac poenis ut nossem instabatur mihi vehementer. Nam et latina aliquando infans utique nulla noveram, et tamen advertendo didici sine ullo metu atque cruciatu, inter etiam blandimenta nutricum et ioca adridentium et laetitias adludentium. Why then did I hate the Greek classics, which have the like tales? For Homer also curiously wove the like fictions, and is most sweetlyvain, yet was he bitter to my boyish taste. And so I suppose would Virgil be to Grecian children, when forced to learn him as I was Homer. Difficulty, in truth, the difficulty of a foreign tongue, dashed, as it were, with gall all the sweetness of Grecian fable. For not one word of it did I understand, and to make me understand I was urged vehemently with cruel threats and punishments. Time was also (as an infant) I knew no Latin; but this I learned without fear or suffering, by mere observation, amid the caresses of my nursery and jests of friends, smiling and sportively encouraging me.
Didici vero illa sine poenali onere urgentium, cum me urgeret cor meum ad parienda concepta sua, ┼et qua┼ non esset, nisi aliqua verba didicissem non a docentibus sed a loquentibus, in quorum et ego auribus parturiebam quidquid sentiebam. Hinc satis elucet maiorem habere vim ad discenda ista liberam curiositatem quam meticulosam necessitatem. Sed illius fluxum haec restringit legibus tuis, deus, legibus tuis a magistrorum ferulis usque ad temptationes martyrum, valentibus legibus tuis miscere salubres amaritudines revocantes nos ad te a iucunditate pestifera qua recessimus a te. This I learned without any pressure of punishment to urge me on, for my heart urged me to give birth to its conceptions, which I could only do by learning words not of those who taught, but of those who talked with me; in whose ears also I gave birth to the thoughts, whatever I conceived. No doubt, then, that a free curiosity has more force in our learning these things, than a frightful enforcement. Only this enforcement restrains the rovings of that freedom, through Thy laws, O my God, Thy laws, from the master's cane to the martyr's trials, being able to temper for us a wholesome bitter, recalling us to Thyself from that deadly pleasure which lures us from Thee.
1.15.24 Exaudi, domine, deprecationem meam, ne deficiat anima mea sub disciplina tua neque deficiam in confitendo tibi miserationes tuas, quibus eruisti me ab omnibus viis meis pessimis, ut dulcescas mihi super omnes seductiones quas sequebar, et amem te validissime, et amplexer manum tuam totis praecordiis meis, et eruas me ab omni temptatione usque in finem. Hear, Lord, my prayer; let not my soul faint under Thy discipline, nor let me faint in confessing unto Thee all Thy mercies, whereby Thou hast drawn me out of all my most evil ways, that Thou mightest become a delight to me above all the allurements which I once pursued; that I may most entirely love Thee, and clasp Thy hand with all my affections, and Thou mayest yet rescue me from every temptation, even unto the end.
Ecce enim tu, domine, rex meus et deus meus, tibi serviat quidquid utile puer didici, tibi serviat quod loquor et scribo et lego et numero, quoniam cum vana discerem tu disciplinam dabas mihi, et in eis vanis peccata delectationum mearum dimisisti mihi. Didici enim in eis multa verba utilia, sed et in rebus non vanis disci possunt, et ea via tuta est in qua pueri ambularent. For lo, O Lord, my King and my God, for Thy service be whatever useful thing my childhood learned; for Thy service, that I speak, write, read, reckon. For Thou didst grant me Thy discipline, while I was learning vanities; and my sin of delighting in those vanities Thou hast forgiven. In them, indeed, I learnt many a useful word, but these may as well be learned in things not vain; and that is the safe path for the steps of youth.
1.16.25 Sed vae tibi, flumen moris humani! quis resistet tibi? Quamdiu non siccaberis? Quousque volves Evae filios in mare magnum et formidulosum, quod vix transeunt qui lignum conscenderint? Nonne ego in te legi et tonantem Iovem et adulterantem? Et utique non posset haec duo, sed actum est ut haberet auctoritatem ad imitandum verum adulterium lenocinante falso tonitru. But woe is thee, thou torrent of human custom! Who shall stand against thee? how long shalt thou not be dried up? how long roll the sons of Eve into that huge and hideous ocean, which even they scarcely overpass who climb the cross? Did not I read in thee of Jove the thunderer and the adulterer? both, doubtless, he could not be; but so the feigned thunder might countenance and pander to real adultery.
Quis autem paenulatorum magistrorum audit aure sobria ex eodem pulvere hominem clamantem et dicentem: 'Fingebat haec Homerus et humana ad deos transferebat: divina mallem ad nos'? Sed verius dicitur quod fingebat haec quidem ille, sed hominibus flagitiosis divina tribuendo, ne flagitia flagitia putarentur et ut, quisquis ea fecisset, non homines perditos sed caelestes deos videretur imitatus. And now which of our gowned masters lends a sober ear to one who from their own school cries out, "These were Homer's fictions, transferring things human to the gods; would he had brought down things divine to us!" Yet more truly had he said, "These are indeed his fictions; but attributing a divine nature to wicked men, that crimes might be no longer crimes, and whoso commits them might seem to imitate not abandoned men, but the celestial gods."
1.16.26 Et tamen, o flumen tartareum, iactantur in te filii hominum cum mercedibus, ut haec discant, et magna res agitur cum hoc agitur publice in foro, in conspectu legum supra mercedem salaria decernentium, et saxa tua percutis et sonas dicens: And yet, thou hellish torrent, into thee are cast the sons of men with rich rewards, for compassing such learning; and a great solemnity is made of it, when this is going on in the forum, within sight of laws appointing a salary beside the scholar's payments; and thou lashest thy rocks and roarest,
'Hinc verba discuntur, hinc adquiritur eloquentia, rebus persuadendis sententiisque explicandis maxime necessaria.' ita vero non cognosceremus verba haec, 'Imbrem aureum' et 'Gremium' et 'Fucum' et 'Templa caeli' et alia verba quae in eo loco scripta sunt, nisi Terentius induceret nequam adulescentem proponentem sibi Iovem ad exemplum stupri, dum spectat tabulam quandam pictam in pariete ubi inerat pictura haec, Iovem quo pacto Danae misisse aiunt in gremium quondam imbrem aureum, fucum factum mulieri? "Hence words are learnt; hence eloquence; most necessary to gain your ends, or maintain opinions." As if we should have never known such words as "golden shower," "lap," "beguile," "temples of the heavens," or others in that passage, unless Terence had brought a lewd youth upon the stage, setting up Jupiter as his example of seduction. "Viewing a picture, where the tale was drawn, Of Jove's descending in a golden shower To Danae's lap a woman to beguile."
Et vide quemadmodum se concitat ad libidinem quasi caelesti magisterio: 'At quem deum! inquit qui templa caeli summo sonitu concutit. Ego homuncio id non facerem? Ego vero illud feci ac libens.' And then mark how he excites himself to lust as by celestial authority: "And what God? Great Jove, Who shakes heaven's highest temples with his thunder, And I, poor mortal man, not do the same! I did it, and with all my heart I did it."
non omnino per hanc turpitudinem verba ista commodius discuntur, sed per haec verba turpitudo ista confidentius perpetratur. Non accuso verba quasi vasa electa atque pretiosa, sed vinum erroris quod in eis nobis propinabatur ab ebriis doctoribus, et nisi biberemus caedebamur, nec appellare ad aliquem iudicem sobrium licebat. Et tamen ego, deus meus, in cuius conspectu iam secura est recordatio mea, libenter haec didici, et eis delectabar miser, et ob hoc bonae spei puer appellabar. Not one whit more easily are the words learnt for all this vileness; but by their means the vileness is committed with less shame. Not that I blame the words, being, as it were, choice and precious vessels; but that wine of error which is drunk to us in them by intoxicated teachers; and if we, too, drink not, we are beaten, and have no sober judge to whom we may appeal. Yet, O my God (in whose presence I now without hurt may remember this), all this unhappily I learnt willingly with great delight, and for this was pronounced a hopeful boy.
1.17.27 Sine me, deus meus, dicere aliquid et de ingenio meo, munere tuo, in quibus a me deliramentis atterebatur. Proponebatur enim mihi negotium, animae meae satis inquietum praemio laudis et dedecoris vel plagarum metu, ut dicerem verba Iunonis irascentis et dolentis quod non posset Bear with me, my God, while I say somewhat of my wit, Thy gift, and on what dotages I wasted it. For a task was set me, troublesome enough to my soul, upon terms of praise or shame, and fear of stripes, to speak the words of Juno, as she raged and mourned that she could not
Italia Teucrorum avertere regem, "This Trojan prince from Latinum turn."
quae numquam Iunonem dixisse audieram. Sed figmentorum poeticorum vestigia errantes sequi cogebamur, et tale aliquid dicere solutis verbis quale poeta dixisset versibus. Et ille dicebat laudabilius in quo pro dignitate adumbratae personae irae ac doloris similior affectus eminebat, verbis sententias congruenter vestientibus. Which words I had heard that Juno never uttered; but we were forced to go astray in the footsteps of these poetic fictions, and to say in prose much what he expressed in verse. And his speaking was most applauded, in whom the passions of rage and grief were most preeminent, and clothed in the most fitting language, maintaining the dignity of the character.
Ut quid mihi illud, o vera vita, deus meus, quod mihi recitanti adclamabatur prae multis coaetaneis et conlectoribus meis? Nonne ecce illa omnia fumus et ventus? Itane aliud non erat ubi exerceretur ingenium et lingua mea? Laudes tuae, domine, laudes tuae per scripturas tuas suspenderent palmitem cordis mei, et non raperetur per inania nugarum turpis praeda volatilibus. Non enim uno modo sacrificatur transgressoribus angelis. What is it to me, O my true life, my God, that my declamation was applauded above so many of my own age and class? is not all this smoke and wind? and was there nothing else whereon to exercise my wit and tongue? Thy praises, Lord, Thy praises might have stayed the yet tender shoot of my heart by the prop of Thy Scriptures; so had it not trailed away amid these empty trifles, a defiled prey for the fowls of the air. For in more ways than one do men sacrifice to the rebellious angels.
1.18.28 Quid autem mirum, quod in vanitates ita ferebar et a te, deus meus, ibam foras, quando mihi imitandi proponebantur homines qui aliqua facta sua non mala, si cum barbarismo aut soloecismo enuntiarent, reprehensi confundebantur, si autem libidines suas integris et rite consequentibus verbis copiose ornateque narrarent, laudati gloriabantur? But what marvel that I was thus carried away to vanities, and went out from Thy presence, O my God, when men were set before me as models, who, if in relating some action of theirs, in itself not ill, they committed some barbarism or solecism, being censured, were abashed; but when in rich and adomed and well-ordered discourse they related their own disordered life, being bepraised, they gloried?
Vides haec, domine, et taces, longanimis et multum misericors et verax. Numquid semper tacebis? Et nunc eruis de hoc immanissimo profundo quarerentem te animam et sitientem delectationes tuas, et cuius cor dicit tibi, 'Quaesivi vultum tuum.' vultum tuum, domine, requiram: nam longe a vultu tuo in affectu tenebroso. These things Thou seest, Lord, and holdest Thy peace; long-suffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth. Wilt Thou hold Thy peace for ever? and even now Thou drawest out of this horrible gulf the soul that seeketh Thee, that thirsteth for Thy pleasures, whose heart saith unto Thee, I have sought Thy face; Thy face, Lord, will I seek. For darkened affections is removal from Thee.
Non enim pedibus aut a spatiis locorum itur abs te aut reditur ad te, aut vero filius ille tuus minor equos vel currus vel naves quaesivit, aut avolavit pinna visibili, aut moto poplite iter egit, ut in longinqua regione vivens prodige dissiparet quod dederas proficiscenti, dulcis pater quia dederas, et egeno redeunti dulcior: in affectu ergo libidinoso, id enim est tenebroso, atque id est longe a vultu tuo. For it is not by our feet, or change of place, that men leave Thee, or return unto Thee. Or did that Thy younger son look out for horses or chariots, or ships, fly with visible wings, or journey by the motion of his limbs, that he might in a far country waste in riotous living all Thou gavest at his departure? a loving Father, when Thou gavest, and more loving unto him, when he returned empty. So then in lustful, that is, in darkened affections, is the true distance from Thy face.
1.18.29 Vide, domine deus, et patienter, ut vides, vide quomodo diligenter observent filii hominum pacta litterarum et syllabarum accepta a prioribus locutoribus, et a te accepta aeterna pacta perpetuae salutis neglegant, ut qui illa sonorum vetera placita teneat aut doceat, si contra disciplinam grammaticam sine adspiratione primae syllabae hominem dixerit, magis displiceat hominibus quam si contra tua praecepta hominem oderit, cum sit homo. Behold, O Lord God, yea, behold patiently as Thou art wont how carefully the sons of men observe the covenanted rules of letters and syllables received from those who spake before them, neglecting the eternal covenant of everlasting salvation received from Thee. Insomuch, that a teacher or learner of the hereditary laws of pronunciation will more offend men by speaking without the aspirate, of a "uman being," in despite of the laws of grammar, than if he, a "human being," hate a "human being" in despite of Thine.
Quasi vero quemlibet inimicum hominem perniciosius sentiat quam ipsum odium quo in eum inritatur, aut vastet quisquam persequendo alium gravius quam cor suum vastat inimicando. Et certe non est interior litterarum scientia quam scripta conscientia, id se alteri facere quod nolit pati. Quam tu secretus es, habitans in excelsis in silentio, deus solus magnus, lege infatigabili spargens poenales caecitates supra inlicitas cupiditates, cum homo eloquentiae famam quaeritans ante hominem iudicem circumstante hominum multitudine inimicum suum odio immanissimo insectans vigilantissime cavet, ne per linguae errorem dicat, 'Inter hominibus', et ne per mentis furorem hominem auferat ex hominibus, non cavet. As if any enemy could be more hurtful than the hatred with which he is incensed against him; or could wound more deeply him whom he persecutes, than he wounds his own soul by his enmity. Assuredly no science of letters can be so innate as the record of conscience, "that he is doing to another what from another he would be loth to suffer." How deep are Thy ways, O God, Thou only great, that sittest silent on high and by an unwearied law dispensing penal blindness to lawless desires. In quest of the fame of eloquence, a man standing before a human judge, surrounded by a human throng, declaiming against his enemy with fiercest hatred, will take heed most watchfully, lest, by an error of the tongue, he murder the word "human being"; but takes no heed, lest, through the fury of his spirit, he murder the real human being.
1.19.30 Horum ego puer morum in limine iacebam miser, et huius harenae palaestra erat illa, ubi magis timebam barbarismum facere quam cavebam, si facerem, non facientibus invidere. Dico haec et confiteor tibi, deus meus, in quibus laudabar ab eis quibus placere tunc mihi erat honeste vivere. Non enim videbam voraginem turpitudinis in quam proiectus eram ab oculis tuis. Nam in illis iam quid me foedius fuit, ubi etiam talibus displicebam fallendo innumerabilibus mendaciis et paedagogum et magistros et parentes amore ludendi, studio spectandi nugatoria et imitandi ludicra inquietudine? This was the world at whose gate unhappy I lay in my boyhood; this the stage where I had feared more to commit a barbarism, than having committed one, to envy those who had not. These things I speak and confess to Thee, my God; for which I had praise from them, whom I then thought it all virtue to please. For I saw not the abyss of vileness, wherein I was cast away from Thine eyes. Before them what more foul than I was already, displeasing even such as myself? with innumerable lies deceiving my tutor, my masters, my parents, from love of play, eagerness to see vain shows and restlessness to imitate them!
Furta etiam faciebam de cellario parentum et de mensa, vel gula imperitante vel ut haberem quod darem pueris ludum suum mihi quo pariter utique delectabantur tamen vendentibus. In quo etiam ludo fraudulentas victorias ipse vana excellentiae cupiditate victus saepe aucupabar. Quid autem tam nolebam pati atque atrociter, si deprehenderem, arguebam, quam id quod aliis faciebam? Et, si deprehensus arguerer, saevire magis quam cedere libebat. Istane est innocentia puerilis? Thefts also I committed, from my parents' cellar and table, enslaved by greediness, or that I might have to give to boys, who sold me their play, which all the while they liked no less than I. In this play, too, I often sought unfair conquests, conquered myself meanwhile by vain desire of preeminence. And what could I so ill endure, or, when I detected it, upbraided I so fiercely, as that I was doing to others? and for which if, detected, I was upbraided, I chose rather to quarrel than to yield. And is this the innocence of boyhood?
Non est, domine, non est. Oro te, deus meus: nam haec ipsa sunt quae a paedagogis et magistris, a nucibus et pilulis et passeribus, ad praefectos et reges, aurum, praedia, mancipia, haec ipsa omnino succedentibus maioribus aetatibus transeunt, sicuti ferulis maiora supplicia succedunt. Humilitatis ergo signum in statura pueritiae, rex noster, probasti, cum aisti, 'Talium est regnum caelorum.' Not so, Lord, not so; I cry Thy mercy, my God. For these very sins, as riper years succeed, these very sins are transferred from tutors and masters, from nuts and balls and sparrows, to magistrates and kings, to gold and manors and slaves, just as severer punishments displace the cane. It was the low stature then of childhood which Thou our King didst commend as an emblem of lowliness, when Thou saidst, Of such is the kingdom of heaven.
1.20.31 Sed tamen, domine, tibi excellentissimo atque optimo conditori et rectori universitatis, deo nostro gratias, etiamsi me puerum tantum esse voluisses. Eram enim etiam tunc, vivebam atque sentiebam meamque incolumitatem, vestigium secretissimae unitatis ex qua eram, curae habebam, custodiebam interiore sensu integritatem sensuum meorum inque ipsis parvis parvarumque rerum cogitationibus veritate delectabar. Yet, Lord, to Thee, the Creator and Governor of the universe, most excellent and most good, thanks were due to Thee our God, even hadst Thou destined for me boyhood only. For even then I was, I lived, and felt; and had an implanted providence over my well-being- a trace of that mysterious Unity whence I was derived; I guarded by the inward sense the entireness of my senses, and in these minute pursuits, and in my thoughts on things minute, I learnt to delight in truth,
Falli nolebam, memoria vigebam, locutione instruebar, amicitia mulcebar, fugiebam dolorem, abiectionem, ignorantiam. Quid in tali animante non mirabile atque laudabile? At ista omnia dei mei dona sunt. Non mihi ego dedi haec, et bona sunt, et haec omnia ego. Bonus ergo est qui fecit me, et ipse est bonum meum, et illi exulto bonis omnibus quibus etiam puer eram. I hated to be deceived, had a vigorous memory, was gifted with speech, was soothed by friendship, avoided pain, baseness, ignorance. In so small a creature, what was not wonderful, not admirable? But all are gifts of my God: it was not I who gave them me; and good these are, and these together are myself. Good, then, is He that made me, and He is my good; and before Him will I exult for every good which of a boy I had.
Hoc enim peccabam, quod non in ipso sed in creaturis eius me atque ceteris voluptates, sublimitates, veritates quaerebam, atque ita inruebam in dolores, confusiones, errores. Gratias tibi, dulcedo mea et honor meus et fiducia mea, deus meus, gratias tibi de donis tuis: sed tu mihi ea serva. Ita enim servabis me, et augebuntur et perficientur quae dedisti mihi, et ero ipse tecum, quia et ut sim tu dedisti mihi. For it was my sin, that not in Him, but in His creatures- myself and others- I sought for pleasures, sublimities, truths, and so fell headlong into sorrows, confusions, errors. Thanks be to Thee, my joy and my glory and my confidence, my God, thanks be to Thee for Thy gifts; but do Thou preserve them to me. For so wilt Thou preserve me, and those things shall be enlarged and perfected which Thou hast given me, and I myself shall be with Thee, since even to be Thou hast given me.

Liber secundus

2.1.1 Recordari volo transactas foeditates meas et carnales corruptiones animae meae, non quod eas amem, sed ut amem te, deus meus. Amore amoris tui facio istuc, recolens vias meas nequissimas in amaritudine recogitationis meae, ut tu dulcescas mihi, dulcedo non fallax, dulcedo felix et secura, et conligens me a dispersione, in qua frustatim discissus sum dum ab uno te aversus in multa evanui. Exarsi enim aliquando satiari inferis in adulescentia, et silvescere ausus sum variis et umbrosis amoribus, et contabuit species mea, et computrui coram oculis tuis placens mihi et placere cupiens oculis hominum. I will now call to mind my past foulness, and the carnal corruptions of my soul; not because I love them, but that I may love Thee, O my God. For love of Thy love I do it; reviewing my most wicked ways in the very bitterness of my remembrance, that Thou mayest grow sweet unto me (Thou sweetness never failing, Thou blissful and assured sweetness); and gathering me again out of that my dissipation, wherein I was torn piecemeal, while turned from Thee, the One Good, I lost myself among a multiplicity of things. For I even burnt in my youth heretofore, to be satiated in things below; and I dared to grow wild again, with these various and shadowy loves: my beauty consumed away, and I stank in Thine eyes; pleasing myself, and desirous to please in the eyes of men.
2.2.2 Et quid erat quod me delectabat, nisi amare et amari? Sed non tenebatur modus ab animo usque ad animum quatenus est luminosus limes amicitiae, sed exhalabantur nebulae de limosa concupiscentia carnis et scatebra pubertatis, et obnubilabant atque obfuscabant cor meum, ut non discerneretur serenitas dilectionis a caligine libidinis. Utrumque in confuso aestuabat et rapiebat inbecillam aetatem per abrupta cupiditatum atque mersabat gurgite flagitiorum. Invaluerat super me ira tua, et nesciebam. Obsurdueram stridore catenae mortalitatis meae, poena superbiae animae meae, et ibam longius a te et sinebas, et iactabar et effundebar et diffluebam et ebulliebam per fornicationes meas, et tacebas. O tardum gaudium meum! tacebas tunc, et ego ibam porro longe a te in plura et plura sterilia semina dolorum superba deiectione et inquieta lassitudine. And what was it that I delighted in, but to love, and be loved? but I kept not the measure of love, of mind to mind, friendship's bright boundary: but out of the muddy concupiscence of the flesh, and the bubblings of youth, mists fumed up which beclouded and overcast my heart, that I could not discern the clear brightness of love from the fog of lustfulness. Both did confusedly boil in me, and hurried my unstayed youth over the precipice of unholy desires, and sunk me in a gulf of flagitiousnesses. Thy wrath had gathered over me, and I knew it not. I was grown deaf by the clanking of the chain of my mortality, the punishment of the pride of my soul, and I strayed further from Thee, and Thou lettest me alone, and I was tossed about, and wasted, and dissipated, and I boiled over in my fornications, and Thou heldest Thy peace, O Thou my tardy joy! Thou then heldest Thy peace, and I wandered further and further from Thee, into more and more fruitless seed-plots of sorrows, with a proud dejectedness, and a restless weariness.
2.2.3 Quis mihi modularetur aerumnam meam et novissimarum rerum fugaces pulchritudines in usum verteret earumque suavitatibus metas praefigeret, ut usque ad coniugale litus exaestuarent fluctus aetatis meae? Si tranquillitas in eis non poterat esse fine procreandorum liberorum contenta (sicut praescribit lex tua, domine, qui formas etiam propaginem mortis nostrae, potens imponere lenem manum ad temperamentum spinarum a paradiso tuo seclusarum; non enim longe est a nobis omnipotentia tua, etiam cum longe sumus a te) -- aut certe sonitum nubium tuarum vigilantius adverterem: 'Tribulationem autem carnis habebunt huius modi; ego autem vobis parco'; et 'Bonum est homini mulierem non tangere'; et 'Qui sine uxore est, cogitat ea quae sunt dei, quomodo placeat deo; qui autem matrimonio iunctus est, cogitat ea quae sunt mundi, quomodo placeat uxori.' has ergo voces exaudirem vigilantior, et abscisus propter regnum caelorum felicior expectarem amplexus tuos. Oh! that some one had then attempered my disorder, and turned to account the fleeting beauties of these, the extreme points of Thy creation! had put a bound to their pleasureableness, that so the tides of my youth might have cast themselves upon the marriage shore, if they could not be calmed, and kept within the object of a family, as Thy law prescribes, O Lord: who this way formest the offspring of this our death, being able with a gentle hand to blunt the thorns which were excluded from Thy paradise? For Thy omnipotency is not far from us, even when we be far from Thee. Else ought I more watchfully to have heeded the voice from the clouds: Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh, but I spare you. And it is good for a man not to touch a woman. And, he that is unmarried thinketh of the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord; but he that is married careth for the things of this world, how he may please his wife.
2.2.4 Sed efferbui miser, sequens impetum fluxus mei relicto te, et excessi omnia legitima tua nec evasi flagella tua. Quis enim hoc mortalium? Nam tu semper aderas misericorditer saeviens, et amarissimis aspergens offensionibus omnes inlicitas iucunditates meas, ut ita quaererem sine offensione iucundari, et ubi hoc possem, non invenirem quicquam praeter te, domine, praeter te, qui fingis dolorem in praecepto et percutis ut sanes et occidis nos ne moriamur abs te. Ubi eram? Et quam longe exulabam a deliciis domus tuae anno illo sexto decimo aetatis carnis meae, cum accepit in me sceptrum (et totas manus ei dedi) vesania libidinis, licentiosae per dedecus humanum, inlicitae autem per leges tuas? Non fuit cura meorum ruentem excipere me matrimonio, sed cura fuit tantum ut discerem sermonem facere quam optimum et persuadere dictione. To these words I should have listened more attentively, and being severed for the kingdom of heaven's sake, had more happily awaited Thy embraces; but I, poor wretch, foamed like a troubled sea, following the rushing of my own tide, forsaking Thee, and exceeded all Thy limits; yet I escaped not Thy scourges. For what mortal can? For Thou wert ever with me mercifully rigorous, and besprinkling with most bitter alloy all my unlawful pleasures: that I might seek pleasures without alloy. But where to find such, I could not discover, save in Thee, O Lord, who teachest by sorrow, and woundest us, to heal; and killest us, lest we die from Thee. Where was I, and how far was I exiled from the delights of Thy house, in that sixteenth year of the age of my flesh, when the madness of lust (to which human shamelessness giveth free licence, though unlicensed by Thy laws) took the rule over me, and I resigned myself wholly to it? My friends meanwhile took no care by marriage to save my fall; their only care was that I should learn to speak excellently, and be a persuasive orator.
2.3.5 Et anno quidem illo intermissa erant studia mea, dum mihi reducto a Madauris, in qua vicina urbe iam coeperam litteraturae atque oratoriae percipiendae gratia peregrinari, longinquioris apud Carthaginem peregrinationis sumptus praeparabantur animositate magis quam opibus patris, municipis Thagastensis admodum tenuis. Cui narro haec? Neque enim tibi, deus meus, sed apud te narro haec generi meo, generi humano, quantulacumque ex particula incidere potest in istas meas litteras. Et ut quid hoc? Ut videlicet ego et quisquis haec legit cogitemus de quam profundo clamandum sit ad te. Et quid propius auribus tuis, si cor confitens et vita ex fide est? Quis enim non extollebat laudibus tunc hominem, patrem meum, quod ultra vires rei familiaris suae impenderet filio quidquid etiam longe peregrinanti studiorum causa opus esset? Multorum enim civium longe opulentiorum nullum tale negotium pro liberis erat, cum interea non satageret idem pater qualis crescerem tibi aut quam castus essem, dummodo essem disertus, vel desertus potius a cultura tua, deus, qui es unus verus et bonus dominus agri tui, cordis mei. For that year were my studies intermitted: whilst after my return from Madaura (a neighbour city, whither I had journeyed to learn grammar and rhetoric), the expenses for a further journey to Carthage were being provided for me; and that rather by the resolution than the means of my father, who was but a poor freeman of Thagaste. To whom tell I this? not to Thee, my God; but before Thee to mine own kind, even to that small portion of mankind as may light upon these writings of mine. And to what purpose? that whosoever reads this, may think out of what depths we are to cry unto Thee. For what is nearer to Thine ears than a confessing heart, and a life of faith? Who did not extol my father, for that beyond the ability of his means, he would furnish his son with all necessaries for a far journey for his studies' sake? For many far abler citizens did no such thing for their children. But yet this same father had no concern how I grew towards Thee, or how chaste I were; so that I were but copious in speech, however barren I were to Thy culture, O God, who art the only true and good Lord of Thy field, my heart.
2.3.6 Sed ubi sexto illo et decimo anno, interposito otio ex necessitate domestica, feriatus ab omni schola cum parentibus esse coepi, excesserunt caput meum vepres libidinum, et nulla erat eradicans manus. Quin immo ubi me ille pater in balneis vidit pubescentem et inquieta indutum adulescentia, quasi iam ex hoc in nepotes gestiret, gaudens matri indicavit, gaudens vinulentia in qua te iste mundus oblitus est creatorem suum et creaturam tuam pro te amavit, de vino invisibili perversae atque inclinatae in ima voluntatis suae. Sed matris in pectore iam inchoaveras templum tuum et exordium sanctae habitationis tuae, nam ille adhuc catechumenus et hoc recens erat. Itaque illa exilivit pia trepidatione ac tremore et, quamvis mihi nondum fideli, timuit tamen vias distortas in quibus ambulant qui ponunt ad te tergum et non faciem. But while in that my sixteenth year I lived with my parents, leaving all school for a while (a season of idleness being interposed through the narrowness of my parents' fortunes), the briers of unclean desires grew rank over my head, and there was no hand to root them out. When that my father saw me at the baths, now growing towards manhood, and endued with a restless youthfulness, he, as already hence anticipating his descendants, gladly told it to my mother; rejoicing in that tumult of the senses wherein the world forgetteth Thee its Creator, and becometh enamoured of Thy creature, instead of Thyself, through the fumes of that invisible wine of its self-will, turning aside and bowing down to the very basest things. But in my mother's breast Thou hadst already begun Thy temple, and the foundation of Thy holy habitation, whereas my father was as yet but a Catechumen, and that but recently. She then was startled with a holy fear and trembling; and though I was not as yet baptised, feared for me those crooked ways in which they walk who turn their back to Thee, and not their face.
2.3.7 Ei mihi! et audeo dicere tacuisse te, deus meus, cum irem abs te longius? Itane tu tacebas tunc mihi? Et cuius erant nisi tua verba illa per matrem meam, fidelem tuam, quae cantasti in aures meas? Nec inde quicquam descendit in cor, ut facerem illud. Volebat enim illa, et secreto memini ut monuerit cum sollicitudine ingenti, ne fornicarer maximeque ne adulterarem cuiusquam uxorem. Qui mihi monitus muliebres videbantur, quibus obtemperare erubescerem. Illi autem tui erant et nesciebam, et te tacere putabam atque illam loqui per quam mihi tu non tacebas, et in illa contemnebaris a me, a me, filio eius, filio ancillae tuae, servo tuo. Sed nesciebam et praeceps ibam tanta caecitate ut inter coaetaneos meos puderet me minoris dedecoris, quoniam audiebam eos iactantes flagitia sua et tanto gloriantes magis, quanto magis turpes essent, et libebat facere non solum libidine facti verum etiam laudis. Quid dignum est vituperatione nisi vitium? Ego, ne vituperarer, vitiosior fiebam, et ubi non suberat quo admisso aequarer perditis, fingebam me fecisse quod non feceram, ne viderer abiectior quo eram innocentior, et ne vilior haberer quo eram castior. Woe is me! and dare I say that Thou heldest Thy peace, O my God, while I wandered further from Thee? Didst Thou then indeed hold Thy peace to me? And whose but Thine were these words which by my mother, Thy faithful one, Thou sangest in my ears? Nothing whereof sunk into my heart, so as to do it. For she wished, and I remember in private with great anxiety warned me, "not to commit fornication; but especially never to defile another man's wife." These seemed to me womanish advices, which I should blush to obey. But they were Thine, and I knew it not: and I thought Thou wert silent and that it was she who spake; by whom Thou wert not silent unto me; and in her wast despised by me, her son, the son of Thy handmaid, Thy servant. But I knew it not; and ran headlong with such blindness, that amongst my equals I was ashamed of a less shamelessness, when I heard them boast of their flagitiousness, yea, and the more boasting, the more they were degraded: and I took pleasure, not only in the pleasure of the deed, but in the praise. What is worthy of dispraise but vice? But I made myself worse than I was, that I might not be dispraised; and when in any thing I had not sinned as the abandoned ones, I would say that I had done what I had not done, that I might not seem contemptible in proportion as I was innocent; or of less account, the more chaste.
2.3.8 Ecce cum quibus comitibus iter agebam platearum Babyloniae, et volutabar in caeno eius tamquam in cinnamis et unguentis pretiosis. Et in umbilico eius quo tenacius haererem, calcabat me inimicus invisibilis et seducebat me, quia ego seductilis eram. Non enim et illa quae iam de medio Babylonis fugerat, sed ibat in ceteris eius tardior, mater carnis meae, sicut monuit me pudicitiam, ita curavit quod de me a viro suo audierat, iamque pestilentiosum et in posterum periculosum sentiebat cohercere termino coniugalis affectus, si resecari ad vivum non poterat. Non curavit hoc, quia metus erat ne impediretur spes mea compede uxoria, non spes illa quam in te futuri saeculi habebat mater, sed spes litterarum, quas ut nossem nimis volebat parens uterque, ille quia de te prope nihil cogitabat, de me autem inania, illa autem quia non solum nullo detrimento sed etiam nonnullo adiumento ad te adipiscendum futura existimabat usitata illa studia doctrinae. Ita enim conicio, recolens ut possum mores parentum meorum. Relaxabantur etiam mihi ad ludendum habenae ultra temperamentum severitatis in dissolutionem affectionum variarum, et in omnibus erat caligo intercludens mihi, deus meus, serenitatem veritatis tuae, et prodiebat tamquam ex adipe iniquitas mea. Behold with what companions I walked the streets of Babylon, and wallowed in the mire thereof, as if in a bed of spices and precious ointments. And that I might cleave the faster to its very centre, the invisible enemy trod me down, and seduced me, for that I was easy to be seduced. Neither did the mother of my flesh (who had now fled out of the centre of Babylon, yet went more slowly in the skirts thereof as she advised me to chastity, so heed what she had heard of me from her husband, as to restrain within the bounds of conjugal affection (if it could not be pared away to the quick) what she felt to be pestilent at present and for the future dangerous. She heeded not this, for she feared lest a wife should prove a clog and hindrance to my hopes. Not those hopes of the world to come, which my mother reposed in Thee; but the hope of learning, which both my parents were too desirous I should attain; my father, because he had next to no thought of Thee, and of me but vain conceits; my mother, because she accounted that those usual courses of learning would not only be no hindrance, but even some furtherance towards attaining Thee. For thus I conjecture, recalling, as well as I may, the disposition of my parents. The reins, meantime, were slackened to me, beyond all temper of due severity, to spend my time in sport, yea, even unto dissoluteness in whatsoever I affected. And in all was a mist, intercepting from me, O my God, the brightness of Thy truth; and mine iniquity burst out as from very fatness.
2.4.9 Furtum certe punit lex tua, domine, et lex scripta in cordibus hominum, quam ne ipsa quidem delet iniquitas. Quis enim fur aequo animo furem patitur? Nec copiosus adactum inopia. Et ego furtum facere volui et feci, nulla compulsus egestate nisi penuria et fastidio iustitiae et sagina iniquitatis. Nam id furatus sum quod mihi abundabat et multo melius, nec ea re volebam frui quam furto appetebam, sed ipso furto et peccato. Arbor erat pirus in vicinia nostrae vineae pomis onusta nec forma nec sapore inlecebrosis. Ad hanc excutiendam atque asportandam nequissimi adulescentuli perreximus nocte intempesta (quousque ludum de pestilentiae more in areis produxeramus) et abstulimus inde onera ingentia, non ad nostras epulas sed vel proicienda porcis, etiamsi aliquid inde comedimus, dum tamen fieret a nobis quod eo liberet quo non liceret. Ecce cor meum, deus, ecce cor meum, quod miseratus es in imo abyssi. Dicat tibi nunc, ecce cor meum, quid ibi quaerebat, ut essem gratis malus et malitiae meae causa nulla esset nisi malitia. Foeda erat, et amavi eam. Amavi perire, amavi defectum meum, non illud ad quod deficiebam, sed defectum meum ipsum amavi, turpis anima et dissiliens a firmamento tuo in exterminium, non dedecore aliquid, sed dedecus appetens. Theft is punished by Thy law, O Lord, and the law written in the hearts of men, which iniquity itself effaces not. For what thief will abide a thief? not even a rich thief, one stealing through want. Yet I lusted to thieve, and did it, compelled by no hunger, nor poverty, but through a cloyedness of well-doing, and a pamperedness of iniquity. For I stole that, of which I had enough, and much better. Nor cared I to enjoy what I stole, but joyed in the theft and sin itself. A pear tree there was near our vineyard, laden with fruit, tempting neither for colour nor taste. To shake and rob this, some lewd young fellows of us went, late one night (having according to our pestilent custom prolonged our sports in the streets till then), and took huge loads, not for our eating, but to fling to the very hogs, having only tasted them. And this, but to do what we liked only, because it was misliked. Behold my heart, O God, behold my heart, which Thou hadst pity upon in the bottom of the bottomless pit. Now, behold, let my heart tell Thee what it sought there, that I should be gratuitously evil, having no temptation to ill, but the ill itself. It was foul, and I loved it; I loved to perish, I loved mine own fault, not that for which I was faulty, but my fault itself. Foul soul, falling from Thy firmament to utter destruction; not seeking aught through the shame, but the shame itself!
2.5.10 Etenim species est pulchris corporibus et auro et argento et omnibus, et in contactu carnis congruentia valet plurimum, ceterisque sensibus est sua cuique adcommodata modificatio corporum. Habet etiam honor temporalis et imperitandi atque superandi potentia suum decus, unde etiam vindictae aviditas oritur, et tamen in cuncta haec adipiscenda non est egrediendum abs te, domine, neque deviandum a lege tua. Et vita quam hic vivimus habet inlecebram suam propter quendam modum decoris sui et convenientiam cum his omnibus infimis pulchris. Amicitia quoque hominum caro nodo dulcis est propter unitatem de multis animis. Propter universa haec atque huius modi peccatum admittitur, dum immoderata in ista inclinatione, cum extrema bona sint, meliora et summa deseruntur, tu, domine deus noster, et veritas tua, et lex tua. Habent enim et haec ima delectationes, sed non sicut deus meus, qui fecit omnia, quia in ipso delectatur iustus, et ipse est deliciae rectorum corde. For there is an attractiveness in beautiful bodies, in gold and silver, and all things; and in bodily touch, sympathy hath much influence, and each other sense hath his proper object answerably tempered. Wordly honour hath also its grace, and the power of overcoming, and of mastery; whence springs also the thirst of revenge. But yet, to obtain all these, we may not depart from Thee, O Lord, nor decline from Thy law. The life also which here we live hath its own enchantment, through a certain proportion of its own, and a correspondence with all things beautiful here below. Human friendship also is endeared with a sweet tie, by reason of the unity formed of many souls. Upon occasion of all these, and the like, is sin committed, while through an immoderate inclination towards these goods of the lowest order, the better and higher are forsaken,- Thou, our Lord God, Thy truth, and Thy law. For these lower things have their delights, but not like my God, who made all things; for in Him doth the righteous delight, and He is the joy of the upright in heart.
2.5.11 Cum itaque de facinore quaeritur qua causa factum sit, credi non solet, nisi cum appetitus adipiscendi alicuius illorum bonorum quae infima diximus esse potuisse apparuerit aut metus amittendi. Pulchra sunt enim et decora, quamquam prae bonis superioribus et beatificis abiecta et iacentia. Homicidium fecit. Cur fecit? Adamavit eius coniugem aut praedium, aut voluit depraedari unde viveret, aut timuit ab illo tale aliquid amittere, aut laesus ulcisci se exarsit. Num homicidium sine causa faceret ipso homicidio delectatus? Quis crediderit? Nam et de quo dictum est, vaecordi et nimis crudeli homine, quod gratuito potius malus atque crudelis erat, praedicta est tamen causa: 'Ne per otium,' inquit, 'Torpesceret manus aut animus.' quaere id quoque: 'Cur ita?' ut scilicet illa exercitatione scelerum capta urbe honores, imperia, divitias adsequeretur et careret metu legum et difficultate rerum propter 'Inopiam rei familiaris et conscientiam scelerum'. Nec ipse igitur Catilina amavit facinora sua, sed utique aliud cuius causa illa faciebat. When, then, we ask why a crime was done, we believe it not, unless it appear that there might have been some desire of obtaining some of those which we called lower goods, or a fear of losing them. For they are beautiful and comely; although compared with those higher and beatific goods, they be abject and low. A man hath murdered another; why? he loved his wife or his estate; or would rob for his own livelihood; or feared to lose some such things by him; or, wronged, was on fire to be revenged. Would any commit murder upon no cause, delighted simply in murdering? who would believe it? for as for that furious and savage man, of whom it is said that he was gratuitously evil and cruel, yet is the cause assigned; "lest" (saith he) "through idleness hand or heart should grow inactive." And to what end? that, through that practice of guilt, he might, having taken the city, attain to honours, empire, riches, and be freed from fear of the laws, and his embarrassments from domestic needs, and consciousness of villainies. So then, not even Catiline himself loved his own villainies, but something else, for whose sake he did them.
2.6.12 Quid ego miser in te amavi, o furtum meum, o facinus illud meum nocturnum sexti decimi anni aetatis meae? Non enim pulchrum eras, cum furtum esses. Aut vero aliquid es, ut loquar ad te? Pulchra erant poma illa quae furati sumus, quoniam creatura tua erat, pulcherrime omnium, creator omnium, deus bone, deus summum bonum et bonum verum meum. Pulchra erant illa poma, sed non ipsa concupivit anima mea miserabilis. Erat mihi enim meliorum copia, illa autem decerpsi tantum ut furarer. Nam decerpta proieci, epulatus inde solam iniquitatem qua laetabar fruens. Nam et si quid illorum pomorum intravit in os meum, condimentum ibi facinus erat. Et nunc, domine deus meus, quaero quid me in furto delectaverit, et ecce species nulla est: non dico sicut in aequitate atque prudentia, sed neque sicut in mente hominis atque memoria et sensibus et vegetante vita, neque sicut speciosa sunt sidera et decora locis suis et terra et mare plena fetibus, qui succedunt nascendo decedentibus -- non saltem ut est quaedam defectiva species et umbratica vitiis fallentibus. What then did wretched I so love in thee, thou theft of mine, thou deed of darkness, in that sixteenth year of my age? Lovely thou wert not, because thou wert theft. But art thou any thing, that thus I speak to thee? Fair were the pears we stole, because they were Thy creation, Thou fairest of all, Creator of all, Thou good God; God, the sovereign good and my true good. Fair were those pears, but not them did my wretched soul desire; for I had store of better, and those I gathered, only that I might steal. For, when gathered, I flung them away, my only feast therein being my own sin, which I was pleased to enjoy. For if aught of those pears came within my mouth, what sweetened it was the sin. And now, O Lord my God, I enquire what in that theft delighted me; and behold it hath no loveliness; I mean not such loveliness as in justice and wisdom; nor such as is in the mind and memory, and senses, and animal life of man; nor yet as the stars are glorious and beautiful in their orbs; or the earth, or sea, full of embryo-life, replacing by its birth that which decayeth; nay, nor even that false and shadowy beauty which belongeth to deceiving vices.
2.6.13 Nam et superbia celsitudinem imitatur, cum tu sis unus super omnia deus excelsus. Et ambitio quid nisi honores quaerit et gloriam, cum tu sis prae cunctis honorandus unus et gloriosus in aeternum? Et saevitia potestatum timeri vult: quis autem timendus nisi unus deus, cuius potestati eripi aut subtrahi quid potest, quando aut ubi aut quo vel a quo potest? Et blanditiae lascivientium amari volunt: sed neque blandius est aliquid tua caritate nec amatur quicquam salubrius quam illa prae cunctis formosa et luminosa veritas tua. Et curiositas affectare videtur studium scientiae, cum tu omnia summe noveris. Ignorantia quoque ipsa atque stultitia simplicitatis et innocentiae nomine tegitur, quia te simplicius quicquam non reperitur. Quid te autem innocentius, quandoquidem opera sua malis inimica sunt? Et ignavia quasi quietem appetit: quae vero quies certa praeter dominum? Luxuria satietatem atque abundantiam se cupit vocari: tu es autem plenitudo et indeficiens copia incorruptibilis suavitatis. Effusio liberalitatis obtendit umbram: sed bonorum omnium largitor affluentissimus tu es. Avaritia multa possidere vult: et tu possides omnia. Invidentia de excellentia litigat: quid te excellentius? Ira vindictam quaerit: te iustius quis vindicat? Timor insolita et repentina exhorrescit rebus quae amantur adversantia, dum praecavet securitati: tibi enim quid insolitum? Quid repentinum? Aut quis a te separat quod diligis? Aut ubi nisi apud te firma securitas? Tristitia rebus amissis contabescit quibus se oblectabat cupiditas, quia ita sibi nollet, sicut tibi auferri nihil potest. For so doth pride imitate exaltedness; whereas Thou alone art God exalted over all. Ambition, what seeks it, but honours and glory? whereas Thou alone art to be honoured above all, and glorious for evermore. The cruelty of the great would fain be feared; but who is to be feared but God alone, out of whose power what can be wrested or withdrawn? when, or where, or whither, or by whom? The tendernesses of the wanton would fain be counted love: yet is nothing more tender than Thy charity; nor is aught loved more healthfully than that Thy truth, bright and beautiful above all. Curiosity makes semblance of a desire of knowledge; whereas Thou supremely knowest all. Yea, ignorance and foolishness itself is cloaked under the name of simplicity and uninjuriousness; because nothing is found more single than Thee: and what less injurious, since they are his own works which injure the sinner? Yea, sloth would fain be at rest; but what stable rest besides the Lord? Luxury affects to be called plenty and abundance; but Thou art the fulness and never-failing plenteousness of incorruptible pleasures. Prodigality presents a shadow of liberality: but Thou art the most overflowing Giver of all good. Covetousness would possess many things; and Thou possessest all things. Envy disputes for excellency: what more excellent than Thou? Anger seeks revenge: who revenges more justly than Thou? Fear startles at things unwonted and sudden, which endangers things beloved, and takes forethought for their safety; but to Thee what unwonted or sudden, or who separateth from Thee what Thou lovest? Or where but with Thee is unshaken safety? Grief pines away for things lost, the delight of its desires; because it would have nothing taken from it, as nothing can from Thee.
2.6.14 Ita fornicatur anima, cum avertitur abs te et quaerit extra te ea quae pura et liquida non invenit, nisi cum redit ad te. Perverse te imitantur omnes qui longe se a te faciunt et extollunt se adversum te. Sed etiam sic te imitando indicant creatorem te esse omnis naturae, et ideo non esse quo a te omni modo recedatur. Quid ergo in illo furto ego dilexi, et in quo dominum meum vel vitiose atque perverse imitatus sum? An libuit facere contra legem saltem fallacia, quia potentatu non poteram ut mancam libertatem captivus imitarer, faciendo impune quod non liceret tenebrosa omnipotentiae similitudine? Ecce est ille servus fugiens dominum suum et consecutus umbram. O putredo, o monstrum vitae et mortis profunditas! potuitne libere quod non licebat, non ob aliud nisi quia non licebat? Thus doth the soul commit fornication, when she turns from Thee, seeking without Thee, what she findeth not pure and untainted, till she returns to Thee. Thus all pervertedly imitate Thee, who remove far from Thee, and lift themselves up against Thee. But even by thus imitating Thee, they imply Thee to be the Creator of all nature; whence there is no place whither altogether to retire from Thee. What then did I love in that theft? and wherein did I even corruptly and pervertedly imitate my Lord? Did I wish even by stealth to do contrary to Thy law, because by power I could not, so that being a prisoner, I might mimic a maimed liberty by doing with impunity things unpermitted me, a darkened likeness of Thy Omnipotency? Behold, Thy servant, fleeing from his Lord, and obtaining a shadow. O rottenness, O monstrousness of life, and depth of death! could I like what I might not, only because I might not?
2.7.15 Quid retribuam domino quod recolit haec memoria mea et anima mea non metuit inde? Diligam te, domine, et gratias agam et confitear nomini tuo, quoniam tanta dimisisti mihi mala et nefaria opera mea. Gratiae tuae deputo et misericordiae tuae quod peccata mea tanquam glaciem solvisti. Gratiae tuae deputo et quaecumque non feci mala. Quid enim non facere potui, qui etiam gratuitum facinus amavi? Et omnia mihi dimissa esse fateor, et quae mea sponte feci mala et quae te duce non feci. Quis est hominum qui suam cogitans infirmitatem audet viribus suis tribuere castitatem atque innocentiam suam, ut minus amet te, quasi minus ei necessaria fuerit misericordia tua, qua donas peccata conversis ad te? Qui enim vocatus a te secutus est vocem tuam et vitavit ea quae me de me ipso recordantem et fatentem legit, non me derideat ab eo medico aegrum sanari a quo sibi praestitum est ut non aegrotaret, vel potius ut minus aegrotaret, et ideo te tantundem, immo vero amplius diligat, quia per quem me videt tantis peccatorum meorum languoribus exui, per eum se videt tantis peccatorum languoribus non implicari. What shall I render unto the Lord, that, whilst my memory recalls these things, my soul is not affrighted at them? I will love Thee, O Lord, and thank Thee, and confess unto Thy name; because Thou hast forgiven me these so great and heinous deeds of mine. To Thy grace I ascribe it, and to Thy mercy, that Thou hast melted away my sins as it were ice. To Thy grace I ascribe also whatsoever I have not done of evil; for what might I not have done, who even loved a sin for its own sake? Yea, all I confess to have been forgiven me; both what evils I committed by my own wilfulness, and what by Thy guidance I committed not. What man is he, who, weighing his own infirmity, dares to ascribe his purity and innocency to his own strength; that so he should love Thee the less, as if he had less needed Thy mercy, whereby Thou remittest sins to those that turn to Thee? For whosoever, called by Thee, followed Thy voice, and avoided those things which he reads me recalling and confessing of myself, let him not scorn me, who being sick, was cured by that Physician, through whose aid it was that he was not, or rather was less, sick: and for this let him love Thee as much, yea and more; since by whom he sees me to have been recovered from such deep consumption of sin, by Him he sees himself to have been from the like consumption of sin preserved.
2.8.16 Quem fructum habui miser aliquando in his quae nunc recolens erubesco, maxime in illo furto in quo ipsum furtum amavi, nihil aliud, cum et ipsum esset nihil et eo ipso ego miserior? Et tamen solus id non fecissem (sic recordor animum tunc meum), solus omnino id non fecissem. Ergo amavi ibi etiam consortium eorum cum quibus id feci. Non ergo nihil aliud quam furtum amavi? Immo vero nihil aliud, quia et illud nihil est. Quid est re vera? (quis est qui doceat me, nisi qui inluminat cor meum et discernit umbras eius?) quid est? Quod mihi venit in mentem quaerere et discutere et considerare, quia si tunc amarem poma illa quae furatus sum et eis frui cuperem, possem etiam solus; si satis esset committere illam iniquitatem qua pervenirem ad voluptatem meam, nec confricatione consciorum animorum accenderem pruritum cupiditatis meae. Sed quoniam in illis pomis voluptas mihi non erat, ea erat in ipso facinore quam faciebat consortium simul peccantium. What fruit had I then (wretched man!) in those things, of the remembrance whereof I am now ashamed? Especially, in that theft which I loved for the theft's sake; and it too was nothing, and therefore the more miserable I, who loved it. Yet alone I had not done it: such was I then, I remember, alone I had never done it. I loved then in it also the company of the accomplices, with whom I did it? I did not then love nothing else but the theft, yea rather I did love nothing else; for that circumstance of the company was also nothing. What is, in truth? who can teach me, save He that enlighteneth my heart, and discovereth its dark corners? What is it which hath come into my mind to enquire, and discuss, and consider? For had I then loved the pears I stole, and wished to enjoy them, I might have done it alone, had the bare commission of the theft sufficed to attain my pleasure; nor needed I have inflamed the itching of my desires by the excitement of accomplices. But since my pleasure was not in those pears, it was in the offence itself, which the company of fellow-sinners occasioned.
2.9.17 Quid erat ille affectus animi? Certe enim plane turpis erat nimis, et vae mihi erat qui habebam illum. Sed tamen quid erat? Delicta quis intellegit? Risus erat quasi titillato corde, quod fallebamus eos qui haec a nobis fieri non putabant et vehementer nolebant. Cur ergo eo me delectabat quo id non faciebam solus? An quia etiam nemo facile solus ridet? Nemo quidem facile, sed tamen etiam solos et singulos homines, cum alius nemo praesens, vincit risus aliquando, si aliquid nimie ridiculum vel sensibus occurit vel animo. At ego illud solus non facerem, non facerem omnino solus. Ecce est coram te, deus meus, viva recordatio animae meae. Solus non facerem furtum illud, in quo me non libebat id quod furabar sed quia furabar: quod me solum facere prorsus non liberet, nec facerem. O nimis inimica amicitia, seductio mentis investigabilis, ex ludo et ioco nocendi aviditas et alieni damni appetitus nulla lucri mei, nulla ulciscendi libidine! sed cum dicitur, 'Eamus, faciamus,' et pudet non esse impudentem. What then was this feeling? For of a truth it was too foul: and woe was me, who had it. But yet what was it? Who can understand his errors? It was the sport, which as it were tickled our hearts, that we beguiled those who little thought what we were doing, and much disliked it. Why then was my delight of such sort that I did it not alone? Because none doth ordinarily laugh alone? ordinarily no one; yet laughter sometimes masters men alone and singly when on one whatever is with them, if anything very ludicrous presents itself to their senses or mind. Yet I had not done this alone; alone I had never done it. Behold my God, before Thee, the vivid remembrance of my soul; alone, I had never committed that theft wherein what I stole pleased me not, but that I stole; nor had it alone liked me to do it, nor had I done it. O friendship too unfriendly! thou incomprehensible inveigler of the soul, thou greediness to do mischief out of mirth and wantonness, thou thirst of others' loss, without lust of my own gain or revenge: but when it is said, "Let's go, let's do it," we are ashamed not to be shameless.
2.10.18 Quis exaperit istam tortuosissimam et implicatissimam nodositatem? Foeda est; nolo in eam intendere, nolo eam videre. Te volo, iustitia et innocentia pulchra et decora, honestis luminibus et insatiabili satietate. Quies est apud te valde et vita imperturbabilis. Qui intrat in te, intrat in gaudium domini sui et non timebit et habebit se optime in optimo. Defluxi abs te ego et erravi, deus meus, nimis devius ab stabilitate tua in adulescentia, et factus sum mihi regio egestatis. Who can disentangle that twisted and intricate knottiness? Foul is it: I hate to think on it, to look on it. But Thee I long for, O Righteousness and Innocency, beautiful and comely to all pure eyes, and of a satisfaction unsating. With Thee is rest entire, and life imperturbable. Whoso enters into Thee, enters into the joy of his Lord: and shall not fear, and shall do excellently in the All-Excellent. I sank away from Thee, and I wandered, O my God, too much astray from Thee my stay, in these days of my youth, and I became to myself a barren land.

Liber tertius

3.1.1 Veni Carthaginem, et circumstrepebat me undique sartago flagitiosorum amorum. Nondum amabam, et amare amabam, et secretiore indigentia oderam me minus indigentem. Quaerebam quid amarem, amans amare, et oderam securitatem et viam sine muscipulis, quoniam fames mihi erat intus ab interiore cibo, te ipso, deus meus, et ea fame non esuriebam, sed eram sine desiderio alimentorum incorruptibilium, non quia plenus eis eram, sed quo inanior, fastidiosior. Et ideo non bene valebat anima mea et ulcerosa proiciebat se foras, miserabiliter scalpi avida contactu sensibilium. Sed si non haberent animam, non utique amarentur. Amare et amari dulce mihi erat, magis si et amantis corpore fruerer. Venam igitur amicitiae coinquinabam sordibus concupiscentiae candoremque eius obnubilabam de tartaro libidinis, et tamen foedus atque inhonestus, elegans et urbanus esse gestiebam abundanti vanitate. Rui etiam in amorem, quo cupiebam capi. Deus meus, misericordia mea, quanto felle mihi suavitatem illam et quam bonus aspersisti, quia et amatus sum, et perveni occulte ad vinculum fruendi, et conligabar laetus aerumnosis nexibus, ut caederer virgis ferreis ardentibus zeli et suspicionum et timorum et irarum atque rixarum. To Carthage I came, where there sang all around me in my ears a cauldron of unholy loves. I loved not yet, yet I loved to love, and out of a deep-seated want, I hated myself for wanting not. I sought what I might love, in love with loving, and safety I hated, and a way without snares. For within me was a famine of that inward food, Thyself, my God; yet, through that famine I was not hungered; but was without all longing for incorruptible sustenance, not because filled therewith, but the more empty, the more I loathed it. For this cause my soul was sickly and full of sores, it miserably cast itself forth, desiring to be scraped by the touch of objects of sense. Yet if these had not a soul, they would not be objects of love. To love then, and to be beloved, was sweet to me; but more, when I obtained to enjoy the person I loved, I defiled, therefore, the spring of friendship with the filth of concupiscence, and I beclouded its brightness with the hell of lustfulness; and thus foul and unseemly, I would fain, through exceeding vanity, be fine and courtly. I fell headlong then into the love wherein I longed to be ensnared. My God, my Mercy, with how much gall didst Thou out of Thy great goodness besprinkle for me that sweetness? For I was both beloved, and secretly arrived at the bond of enjoying; and was with joy fettered with sorrow-bringing bonds, that I might be scourged with the iron burning rods of jealousy, and suspicions, and fears, and angers, and quarrels.
3.2.2 Rapiebant me spectacula theatrica, plena imaginibus miseriarum mearum et fomitibus ignis mei. Quid est quod ibi homo vult dolere cum spectat luctuosa et tragica, quae tamen pati ipse nollet? Et tamen pati vult ex eis dolorem spectator et dolor ipse est voluptas eius. Quid est nisi mirabilis insania? Nam eo magis eis movetur quisque, quo minus a talibus affectibus sanus est, quamquam, cum ipse patitur, miseria, cum aliis compatitur, misericordia dici solet. Sed qualis tandem misericordia in rebus fictis et scenicis? Non enim ad subveniendum provocatur auditor sed tantum ad dolendum invitatur, et actori earum imaginum amplius favet cum amplius dolet. Et si calamitates illae hominum, vel antiquae vel falsae, sic agantur ut qui spectat non doleat, abscedit inde fastidiens et reprehendens; si autem doleat, manet intentus et gaudens lacrimat. Stage-plays also carried me away, full of images of my miseries, and of fuel to my fire. Why is it, that man desires to be made sad, beholding doleful and tragical things, which yet himself would no means suffer? yet he desires as a spectator to feel sorrow at them, this very sorrow is his pleasure. What is this but a miserable madness? for a man is the more affected with these actions, the less free he is from such affections. Howsoever, when he suffers in his own person, it uses to be styled misery: when he compassionates others, then it is mercy. But what sort of compassion is this for feigned and scenical passions? for the auditor is not called on to relieve, but only to grieve: and he applauds the actor of these fictions the more, the more he grieves. And if the calamities of those persons (whether of old times, or mere fiction) be so acted, that the spectator is not moved to tears, he goes away disgusted and criticising; but if he be moved to passion, he stays intent, and weeps for joy.
3.2.3 Ergo amantur et dolores. Certe omnis homo gaudere vult. An cum miserum esse neminem libeat, libet tamen esse misericordem, quod quia non sine dolore est, hac una causa amantur dolores? Et hoc de illa vena amicitiae est. Sed quo vadit? Quo fluit? Ut quid decurrit in torrentem picis bullientis, aestus immanes taetrarum libidinum, in quos ipsa mutatur et vertitur per nutum proprium de caelesti serenitate detorta atque deiecta? Repudietur ergo misericordia? Nequaquam. Ergo amentur dolores aliquando, sed cave immunditiam, anima mea, sub tutore deo meo, deo patrum nostrorum et laudabili et superexaltato in omnia saecula, cave immunditiam. Neque enim nunc non misereor, sed tunc in theatris congaudebam amantibus cum sese fruebantur per flagitia, quamvis haec imaginarie gererent in ludo spectaculi. Cum autem sese amittebant, quasi misericors contristabar, et utrumque delectabat tamen. Nunc vero magis misereor gaudentem in flagitio quam velut dura perpessum detrimento perniciosae voluptatis et amissione miserae felicitatis. Haec certe verior misericordia, sed non in ea delectat dolor. Nam etsi approbatur officio caritatis qui dolet miserum, mallet tamen utique non esse quod doleret qui germanitus misericors est. Si enim est malivola benivolentia, quod fieri non potest, potest et ille qui veraciter sinceriterque miseretur cupere esse miseros, ut misereatur. Nonnullus itaque dolor approbandus, nullus amandus est. Hoc enim tu, domine deus, qui animas amas, longe alteque purius quam nos et incorruptibilius misereris, quod nullo dolore sauciaris. Et ad haec quis idoneus? Are griefs then too loved? Verily all desire joy. Or whereas no man likes to be miserable, is he yet pleased to be merciful? which because it cannot be without passion, for this reason alone are passions loved? This also springs from that vein of friendship. But whither goes that vein? whither flows it? wherefore runs it into that torrent of pitch bubbling forth those monstrous tides of foul lustfulness, into which it is wilfully changed and transformed, being of its own will precipitated and corrupted from its heavenly clearness? Shall compassion then be put away? by no means. Be griefs then sometimes loved. But beware of uncleanness, O my soul, under the guardianship of my God, the God of our fathers, who is to be praised and exalted above all for ever, beware of uncleanness. For I have not now ceased to pity; but then in the theatres I rejoiced with lovers when they wickedly enjoyed one another, although this was imaginary only in the play. And when they lost one another, as if very compassionate, I sorrowed with them, yet had my delight in both. But now I much more pity him that rejoiceth in his wickedness, than him who is thought to suffer hardship, by missing some pernicious pleasure, and the loss of some miserable felicity. This certainly is the truer mercy, but in it grief delights not. For though he that grieves for the miserable, be commended for his office of charity; yet had he, who is genuinely compassionate, rather there were nothing for him to grieve for. For if good will be ill willed (which can never be), then may he, who truly and sincerely commiserates, wish there might be some miserable, that he might commiserate. Some sorrow may then be allowed, none loved. For thus dost Thou, O Lord God, who lovest souls far more purely than we, and hast more incorruptibly pity on them, yet are wounded with no sorrowfulness. And who is sufficient for these things?
3.2.4 At ego tunc miser dolere amabam, et quaerebam ut esset quod dolerem, quando mihi in aerumna aliena et falsa et saltatoria ea magis placebat actio histrionis meque alliciebat vehementius qua mihi lacrimae excutiebantur. Quid autem mirum, cum infelix pecus aberrans a grege tuo et impatiens custodiae tuae turpi scabie foedarer? Et inde erant dolorum amores, non quibus altius penetrarer (non enim amabam talia perpeti qualia spectare), sed quibus auditis et fictis tamquam in superficie raderer. Quos tamen quasi ungues scalpentium fervidus tumor et tabes et sanies horrida consequebatur. Talis vita mea numquid vita erat, deus meus? But I, miserable, then loved to grieve, and sought out what to grieve at, when in another's and that feigned and personated misery, that acting best pleased me, and attracted me the most vehemently, which drew tears from me. What marvel that an unhappy sheep, straying from Thy flock, and impatient of Thy keeping, I became infected with a foul disease? And hence the love of griefs; not such as should sink deep into me; for I loved not to suffer, what I loved to look on; but such as upon hearing their fictions should lightly scratch the surface; upon which, as on envenomed nails, followed inflamed swelling, impostumes, and a putrefied sore. My life being such, was it life, O my God?
3.3.5 Et circumvolabat super me fidelis a longe misericordia tua. In quantas iniquitates distabui et sacrilega curiositate secutus sum, ut deserentem te deduceret me ad ima infida et circumventoria obsequia daemoniorum, quibus immolabam facta mea mala! et in omnibus flagellabas me. Ausus sum etiam in celebritate sollemnitatum tuarum, intra parietes ecclesiae tuae, concupiscere et agere negotium procurandi fructus mortis. Unde me verberasti gravibus poenis, sed nihil ad culpam meam, o tu praegrandis misericordia mea, deus meus, refugium meum a terribilibus nocentibus, in quibus vagatus sum praefidenti collo ad longe recedendum a te, amans vias meas et non tuas, amans fugitivam libertatem. And Thy faithful mercy hovered over me afar. Upon how grievous iniquities consumed I myself, pursuing a sacrilegious curiosity, that having forsaken Thee, it might bring me to the treacherous abyss, and the beguiling service of devils, to whom I sacrificed my evil actions, and in all these things Thou didst scourge me! I dared even, while Thy solemnities were celebrated within the walls of Thy Church, to desire, and to compass a business deserving death for its fruits, for which Thou scourgedst me with grievous punishments, though nothing to my fault, O Thou my exceeding mercy, my God, my refuge from those terrible destroyers, among whom I wandered with a stiff neck, withdrawing further from Thee, loving mine own ways, and not Thine; loving a vagrant liberty.
3.3.6 Habebant et illa studia quae honesta vocabantur ductum suum intuentem fora litigiosa, ut excellerem in eis, hoc laudabilior, quo fraudulentior. Tanta est caecitas hominum de caecitate etiam gloriantium. Et maior etiam eram in schola rhetoris, et gaudebam superbe et tumebam typho, quamquam longe sedatior, domine, tu scis, et remotus omnino ab eversionibus quas faciebant eversores (hoc enim nomen scaevum et diabolicum velut insigne urbanitatis est), inter quos vivebam pudore impudenti, quia talis non eram. Et cum eis eram et amicitiis eorum delectabar aliquando, a quorum semper factis abhorrebam, hoc est ab eversionibus quibus proterve insectabantur ignotorum verecundiam, quam proturbarent gratis inludendo atque inde pascendo malivolas laetitias suas. Nihil est illo actu similius actibus daemoniorum. Quid itaque verius quam eversores vocarentur, eversi plane prius ipsi atque perversi, deridentibus eos et seducentibus fallacibus occulte spiritibus in eo ipso quod alios inridere amant et fallere. Those studies also, which were accounted commendable, had a view to excelling in the courts of litigation; the more bepraised, the craftier. Such is men's blindness, glorying even in their blindness. And now I was chief in the rhetoric school, whereat I joyed proudly, and I swelled with arrogancy, though (Lord, Thou knowest) far quieter and altogether removed from the subvertings of those "Subverters" (for this ill-omened and devilish name was the very badge of gallantry) among whom I lived, with a shameless shame that I was not even as they. With them I lived, and was sometimes delighted with their friendship, whose doings I ever did abhor -i.e., their "subvertings," wherewith they wantonly persecuted the modesty of strangers, which they disturbed by a gratuitous jeering, feeding thereon their malicious birth. Nothing can be liker the very actions of devils than these. What then could they be more truly called than "Subverters"? themselves subverted and altogether perverted first, the deceiving spirits secretly deriding and seducing them, wherein themselves delight to jeer at and deceive others.
3.4.7 Inter hos ego inbecilla tunc aetate discebam libros eloquentiae, in qua eminere cupiebam fine damnabili et ventoso per gaudia vanitatis humanae. Et usitato iam discendi ordine perveneram in librum cuiusdam Ciceronis, cuius linguam fere omnes mirantur, pectus non ita. Sed liber ille ipsius exhortationem continet ad philosophiam et vocatur 'Hortensius'. Ille vero liber mutavit affectum meum, et ad te ipsum, domine, mutavit preces meas, et vota ac desideria mea fecit alia. Viluit mihi repente omnis vana spes, et immortalitatem sapientiae concupiscebam aestu cordis incredibili, et surgere coeperam ut ad te redirem. Non enim ad acuendam linguam, quod videbar emere maternis mercedibus, cum agerem annum aetatis undevicensimum iam defuncto patre ante biennium, non ergo ad acuendam linguam referebam illum librum, neque mihi locutio sed quod loquebatur persuaserat. Among such as these, in that unsettled age of mine, learned I books of eloquence, wherein I desired to be eminent, out of a damnable and vainglorious end, a joy in human vanity. In the ordinary course of study, I fell upon a certain book of Cicero, whose speech almost all admire, not so his heart. This book of his contains an exhortation to philosophy, and is called "Hortensius." But this book altered my affections, and turned my prayers to Thyself O Lord; and made me have other purposes and desires. Every vain hope at once became worthless to me; and I longed with an incredibly burning desire for an immortality of wisdom, and began now to arise, that I might return to Thee. For not to sharpen my tongue (which thing I seemed to be purchasing with my mother's allowances, in that my nineteenth year, my father being dead two years before), not to sharpen my tongue did I employ that book; nor did it infuse into me its style, but its matter.
3.4.8 Quomodo ardebam, deus meus, quomodo ardebam revolare a terrenis ad te, et nesciebam quid ageres mecum! apud te est enim sapientia. Amor autem sapientiae nomen graecum habet philosophiam, quo me accendebant illae litterae. Sunt qui seducant per philosophiam magno et blando et honesto nomine colorantes et fucantes errores suos, et prope omnes qui ex illis et supra temporibus tales erant notantur in eo libro et demonstrantur, et manifestatur ibi salutifera illa admonitio spiritus tui per servum tuum bonum et pium: 'Videte, ne quis vos decipiat per philosophiam et inanem seductionem secundum traditionem hominum, secundum elementa huius mundi et non secundum Christum, quia in ipso inhabitat omnis plenitudo divinitatis corporaliter.' et ego illo tempore, scis tu, lumen cordis mei, quoniam nondum mihi haec apostolica nota erant, hoc tamen solo delectabar in illa exhortatione, quod non illam aut illam sectam, sed ipsam quaecumque esset sapientiam ut diligerem et quarererem et adsequerer et tenerem atque amplexarer fortiter, excitabar sermone illo et accendebar et ardebam, et hoc solum me in tanta flagrantia refrangebat, quod nomen Christi non erat ibi, quoniam hoc nomen secundum misericordiam tuam, domine, hoc nomen salvatoris mei, filii tui, in ipso adhuc lacte matris tenerum cor meum pie biberat et alte retinebat, et quidquid sine hoc nomine fuisset, quamvis litteratum et expolitum et veridicum, non me totum rapiebat. How did I burn then, my God, how did I burn to re-mount from earthly things to Thee, nor knew I what Thou wouldest do with me? For with Thee is wisdom. But the love of wisdom is in Greek called "philosophy," with which that book inflamed me. Some there be that seduce through philosophy, under a great, and smooth, and honourable name colouring and disguising their own errors: and almost all who in that and former ages were such, are in that book censured and set forth: there also is made plain that wholesome advice of Thy Spirit, by Thy good and devout servant: Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And since at that time (Thou, O light of my heart, knowest) Apostolic Scripture was not known to me, I was delighted with that exhortation, so far only, that I was thereby strongly roused, and kindled, and inflamed to love, and seek, and obtain, and hold, and embrace not this or that sect, but wisdom itself whatever it were; and this alone checked me thus unkindled, that the name of Christ was not in it. For this name, according to Thy mercy, O Lord, this name of my Saviour Thy Son, had my tender heart, even with my mother's milk, devoutly drunk in and deeply treasured; and whatsoever was without that name, though never so learned, polished, or true, took not entire hold of me.
3.5.9 Itaque institui animum intendere in scripturas sanctas et videre quales essent. Et ecce video rem non compertam superbis neque nudatam pueris, sed incessu humilem, successu excelsam et velatam mysteriis. Et non eram ego talis ut intrare in eam possem aut inclinare cervicem ad eius gressus. Non enim sicut modo loquor, ita sensi, cum attendi ad illam scripturam, sed visa est mihi indigna quam tullianae dignitati compararem. Tumor enim meus refugiebat modum eius et acies mea non penetrabat interiora eius. Verum autem illa erat quae cresceret cum parvulis, sed ego dedignabar esse parvulus et turgidus fastu mihi grandis videbar. I resolved then to bend my mind to the holy Scriptures, that I might see what they were. But behold, I see a thing not understood by the proud, nor laid open to children, lowly in access, in its recesses lofty, and veiled with mysteries; and I was not such as could enter into it, or stoop my neck to follow its steps. For not as I now speak, did I feel when I turned to those Scriptures; but they seemed to me unworthy to he compared to the stateliness of Tully: for my swelling pride shrunk from their lowliness, nor could my sharp wit pierce the interior thereof. Yet were they such as would grow up in a little one. But I disdained to be a little one; and, swollen with pride, took myself to be a great one.
3.6.10 Itaque incidi in homines superbe delirantes, carnales nimis et loquaces, in quorum ore laquei diaboli et viscum confectum commixtione syllabarum nominis tui et domini Iesu Christi et paracleti consolatoris nostri spiritus sancti. Haec nomina non recedebant de ore eorum, sed tenus sono et strepitu linguae; ceterum cor inane veri. Et dicebant, 'Veritas et veritas,' et multum eam dicebant mihi, et nusquam erat in eis, sed falsa loquebantur, non de te tantum, qui vere veritas es, sed etiam de istis elementis huius mundi, creatura tua, de quibus etiam vera dicentes philosophos transgredi debui prae amore tuo, mi pater summe bone, pulchritudo pulchrorum omnium. O veritas, veritas, quam intime etiam tum medullae animi mei suspirabant tibi, cum te illi sonarent mihi frequenter et multipliciter voce sola et libris multis et ingentibus! et illa erant fercula in quibus mihi esurienti te inferebatur pro te sol et luna, pulchra opera tua, sed tamen opera tua, non tu, nec ipsa prima. Priora enim spiritalia opera tua quam ista corporea, quamvis lucida et caelestia. At ego nec priora illa, sed te ipsam, te veritas, in qua non est commutatio nec momenti obumbratio, esuriebam et sitiebam. Et apponebantur adhuc mihi in illis ferculis phantasmata splendida, quibus iam melius erat amare istum solem saltem istis oculis verum quam illa falsa animo decepto per oculos. Et tamen, quia te putabam, manducabam, non avide quidem, quia nec sapiebas in ore meo sicuti es (neque enim tu eras illa figmenta inania) nec nutriebar eis, sed exhauriebar magis. Cibus in somnis simillimus est cibis vigilantium, quo tamen dormientes non aluntur; dormiunt enim. At illa nec similia erant ullo modo tibi, sicut nunc mihi locuta es, quia illa erant corporalia phantasmata, falsa corpora, quibus certiora sunt vera corpora ista quae videmus visu carneo, sive caelestia sive terrestria, cum pecudibus et volatilibus. Videmus haec, et certiora sunt quam cum imaginamur ea. Et rursus certius imaginamur ea quam ex eis suspicamur alia grandiora et infinita, quae omnino nulla sunt. Qualibus ego tunc pascebar inanibus, et non pascebar. At tu, amor meus, in quem deficio ut fortis sim, nec ista corpora es quae videmus quamquam in caelo, nec ea quae non videmus ibi, quia tu ista condidisti nec in summis tuis conditionibus habes. Quanto ergo longe es a phantasmatis illis meis, phantasmatis corporum quae omnino non sunt! quibus certiores sunt phantasiae corporum eorum quae sunt, et eis certiora corpora, quae tamen non es. Sed nec anima es, quae vita est corporum (ideo melior vita corporum certiorque quam corpora), sed tu vita es animarum, vita vitarum, vivens te ipsa, et non mutaris, vita animae meae. Therefore I fell among men proudly doting, exceeding carnal and prating, in whose mouths were the snares of the Devil, limed with the mixture of the syllables of Thy name, and of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Ghost, the Paraclete, our Comforter. These names departed not out of their mouth, but so far forth as the sound only and the noise of the tongue, for the heart was void of truth. Yet they cried out "Truth, Truth," and spake much thereof to me, yet it was not in them: but they spake falsehood, not of Thee only (who truly art Truth), but even of those elements of this world, Thy creatures. And I indeed ought to have passed by even philosophers who spake truth concerning them, for love of Thee, my Father, supremely good, Beauty of all things beautiful. O Truth, Truth, how inwardly did even then the marrow of my soul pant after Thee, when they often and diversely, and in many and huge books, echoed of Thee to me, though it was but an echo? And these were the dishes wherein to me, hungering after Thee, they, instead of Thee, served up the Sun and Moon, beautiful works of Thine, but yet Thy works, not Thyself, no nor Thy first works. For Thy spiritual works are before these corporeal works, celestial though they be, and shining. But I hungered and thirsted not even after those first works of Thine, but after Thee Thyself, the Truth, in whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning: yet they still set before me in those dishes, glittering fantasies, than which better were it to love this very sun (which is real to our sight at least), than those fantasies which by our eyes deceive our mind. Yet because I thought them to be Thee, I fed thereon; not eagerly, for Thou didst not in them taste to me as Thou art; for Thou wast not these emptinesses, nor was I nourished by them, but exhausted rather. Food in sleep shows very like our food awake; yet are not those asleep nourished by it, for they are asleep. But those were not even any way like to Thee, as Thou hast now spoken to me; for those were corporeal fantasies, false bodies, than which these true bodies, celestial or terrestrial, which with our fleshly sight we behold, are far more certain: these things the beasts and birds discern as well as we, and they are more certain than when we fancy them. And again, we do with more certainty fancy them, than by them conjecture other vaster and infinite bodies which have no being. Such empty husks was I then fed on; and was not fed. But Thou, my soul's Love, in looking for whom I fail, that I may become strong, art neither those bodies which we see, though in heaven; nor those which we see not there; for Thou hast created them, nor dost Thou account them among the chiefest of Thy works. How far then art Thou from those fantasies of mine, fantasies of bodies which altogether are not, than which the images of those bodies, which are, are far more certain, and more certain still the bodies themselves, which yet Thou art not; no, nor yet the soul, which is the life of the bodies. So then, better and more certain is the life of the bodies than the bodies. But Thou art the life of souls, the life of lives, having life in Thyself; and changest not, life of my soul.
3.6.11 Ubi ergo mihi tunc eras et quam longe? Et longe peregrinabar abs te, exclusus et a siliquis porcorum quos de siliquis pascebam. Quanto enim meliores grammaticorum et poetarum fabellae quam illa decipula! nam versus et carmen et Medea volans utiliores certe quam quinque elementa varie fucata propter quinque antra tenebrarum, quae omnino nulla sunt et occidunt credentem. Nam versum et carmen etiam ad vera pulmenta transfero; volantem autem Medeam etsi cantabam, non adserebam, etsi cantari audiebam, non credebam. Illa autem credidi -- vae, vae! quibus gradibus deductus in profunda inferi, quippe laborans et aestuans inopia veri, cum te, deus meus (tibi enim confiteor, qui me miseratus es et nondum confitentem), cum te non secundum intellectum mentis, quo me praestare voluisti beluis, sed secundum sensum carnis quaererem. Tu autem eras interior intimo meo et superior summo meo. Offendi illam mulierem audacem, inopem prudentiae, aenigma Salomonis, sedentem super sellam in foribus et dicentem, 'Panes occultos libenter edite, et aquam dulcem furtivam bibite.' quae me seduxit, quia invenit foris habitantem in oculo carnis meae et talia ruminantem apud me qualia per illum vorassem. Where then wert Thou then to me, and how far from me? Far verily was I straying from Thee, barred from the very husks of the swine, whom with husks I fed. For how much better are the fables of poets and grammarians than these snares? For verses, and poems, and "Medea flying," are more profitable truly than these men's five elements, variously disguised, answering to five dens of darkness, which have no being, yet slay the believer. For verses and poems I can turn to true food, and "Medea flying," though I did sing, I maintained not; though I heard it sung, I believed not: but those things I did believe. Woe, woe, by what steps was I brought down to the depths of hell! toiling and turmoiling through want of Truth, since I sought after Thee, my God (to Thee I confess it, who hadst mercy on me, not as yet confessing), not according to the understanding of the mind, wherein Thou willedst that I should excel the beasts, but according to the sense of the flesh. But Thou wert more inward to me than my most inward part; and higher than my highest. I lighted upon that bold woman, simple and knoweth nothing, shadowed out in Solomon, sitting at the door, and saying, Eat ye bread of secrecies willingly, and drink ye stolen waters which are sweet: she seduced me, because she found my soul dwelling abroad in the eye of my flesh, and ruminating on such food as through it I had devoured.
3.7.12 Nesciebam enim aliud vere quod est, et quasi acutule movebar ut suffragarer stultis deceptoribus, cum a me quaererent unde malum, et utrum forma corporea deus finiretur et haberet capillos et ungues, et utrum iusti existimandi essent qui haberent uxores multas simul et occiderent homines et sacrificarent de animalibus. Quibus rerum ignarus perturbabar, et recedens a veritate ire in eam mihi videbar, quia non noveram malum non esse nisi privationem boni usque ad quod omnino non est. (quod unde viderem, cuius videre usque ad corpus erat oculis, et animo usque ad phantasma?) et non noveram deum esse spiritum, non cui membra essent per longum et latum nec cui esse moles esset, quia moles in parte minor est quam in toto suo, et si infinita sit, minor est in aliqua parte certo spatio definita quam per infinitum, et non est tota ubique sicut spiritus, sicut deus. Et quid in nobis esset secundum quod essemus et recte in scriptura diceremur ad imaginem dei, prorsus ignorabam. For other than this, that which really is I knew not; and was, as it were through sharpness of wit, persuaded to assent to foolish deceivers, when they asked me, "whence is evil?" "is God bounded by a bodily shape, and has hairs and nails?" "are they to be esteemed righteous who had many wives at once, and did kill men, and sacrifice living creatures?" At which I, in my ignorance, was much troubled, and departing from the truth, seemed to myself to be making towards it; because as yet I knew not that evil was nothing but a privation of good, until at last a thing ceases altogether to be; which how should I see, the sight of whose eyes reached only to bodies, and of my mind to a phantasm? And I knew not God to be a Spirit, not one who hath parts extended in length and breadth, or whose being was bulk; for every bulk is less in a part than in the whole: and if it be infinite, it must be less in such part as is defined by a certain space, than in its infinitude; and so is not wholly every where, as Spirit, as God. And what that should be in us, by which we were like to God, and might be rightly said to be after the image of God, I was altogether ignorant.
3.7.13 Et non noveram iustitiam veram interiorem, non ex consuetudine iudicantem sed ex lege rectissima dei omnipotentis, qua formarentur mores regionum et dierum pro regionibus et diebus, cum ipsa ubique ac semper esset, non alibi alia nec alias aliter, secundum quam iusti essent Abraham et Isaac et Iacob et Moyses et David et illi omnes laudati ore dei. Sed eos ab imperitis iudicari iniquos, iudicantibus ex humano die et universos mores humani generis ex parte moris sui metientibus, tamquam si quis nescius in armamentis quid cui membro adcommodatum sit ocrea velit caput contegi et galea calciari et murmuret, quod non apte conveniat; aut in uno die indicto a promeridianis horis iustitio quisquam stomachetur non sibi concedi quid venale proponere, quia mane concessum est; aut in una domo videat aliquid tractari manibus a quoquam servo quod facere non sinatur qui pocula ministrat, aut aliquid post praesepia fieri quod ante mensam prohibeatur, et indignetur, cum sit unum habitaculum et una familia, non ubique atque omnibus idem tribui. Sic sunt isti qui indignantur, cum audierint illo saeculo licuisse iustis aliquid quod isto non licet iustis, et quia illis aliud praecepit deus, istis aliud pro temporalibus causis, cum eidem iustitiae utrique servierint, cum in uno homine et in uno die et in unis aedibus videant aliud alii membro congruere, et aliud iam dudum licuisse, post horam non licere, quiddam in illo angulo permitti aut iuberi, quod in isto iuxta vetetur et vindicetur. Numquid iustitia varia est et mutabilis? Sed tempora, quibus praesidet, non pariter eunt; tempora enim sunt. Homines autem, quorum vita super terram brevis est, quia sensu non valent causas conexere saeculorum priorum aliarumque gentium, quas experti non sunt, cum his quas experti sunt, in uno autem corpore vel die vel domo facile possunt videre quid cui membro, quibus momentis, quibus partibus personisve congruat, in illis offenduntur, hic serviunt. Nor knew I that true inward righteousness which judgeth not according to custom, but out of the most rightful law of God Almighty, whereby the ways of places and times were disposed according to those times and places; itself meantime being the same always and every where, not one thing in one place, and another in another; according to which Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and Moses, and David, were righteous, and all those commended by the mouth of God; but were judged unrighteous by silly men, judging out of man's judgment, and measuring by their own petty habits, the moral habits of the whole human race. As if in an armory, one ignorant of what were adapted to each part should cover his head with greaves, or seek to be shod with a helmet, and complain that they fitted not: or as if on a day when business is publicly stopped in the afternoon, one were angered at not being allowed to keep open shop, because he had been in the forenoon; or when in one house he observeth some servant take a thing in his hand, which the butler is not suffered to meddle with; or something permitted out of doors, which is forbidden in the dining-room; and should be angry, that in one house, and one family, the same thing is not allotted every where, and to all. Even such are they who are fretted to hear something to have been lawful for righteous men formerly, which now is not; or that God, for certain temporal respects, commanded them one thing, and these another, obeying both the same righteousness: whereas they see, in one man, and one day, and one house, different things to be fit for different members, and a thing formerly lawful, after a certain time not so; in one corner permitted or commanded, but in another rightly forbidden and punished. Is justice therefore various or mutable? No, but the times, over which it presides, flow not evenly, because they are times. But men whose days are few upon the earth, for that by their senses they cannot harmonise the causes of things in former ages and other nations, which they had not experience of, with these which they have experience of, whereas in one and the same body, day, or family, they easily see what is fitting for each member, and season, part, and person; to the one they take exceptions, to the other they submit.
3.7.14 Haec ergo tunc nesciebam et non advertebam, et feriebant undique ista oculos meos, et non videbam. Et cantabam carmina et non mihi licebat ponere pedem quemlibet ubilibet, sed in alio atque alio metro aliter atque aliter et in uno aliquo versu non omnibus locis eundem pedem. Et ars ipsa qua canebam non habebat aliud alibi, sed omnia simul. Et non intuebar iustitiam, cui servirent boni et sancti homines, longe excellentius atque sublimius habere simul omnia quae praecipit et nulla ex parte variari et tamen variis temporibus non omnia simul, sed propria distribuentem ac praecipientem. Et reprehendebam caecus pios patres non solum, sicut deus iuberet atque inspiraret, utentes praesentibus verum quoque, sicut deus revelaret, futura praenuntiantes. These things I then knew not, nor observed; they struck my sight on all sides, and I saw them not. I indited verses, in which I might not place every foot every where, but differently in different metres; nor even in any one metre the self-same foot in all places. Yet the art itself, by which I indited, had not different principles for these different cases, but comprised all in one. Still I saw not how that righteousness, which good and holy men obeyed, did far more excellently and sublimely contain in one all those things which God commanded, and in no part varied; although in varying times it prescribed not every thing at once, but apportioned and enjoined what was fit for each. And I in my blindness, censured the holy Fathers, not only wherein they made use of things present as God commanded and inspired them, but also wherein they were foretelling things to come, as God was revealing in them.
3.8.15 Numquid aliquando aut alicubi iniustum est diligere deum ex toto corde et ex tota anima et ex tota mente, et diligere proximum tamquam te ipsum? Itaque flagitia quae sunt contra naturam ubique ac semper detestanda atque punienda sunt, qualia Sodomitarum fuerunt. Quae si omnes gentes facerent, eodem criminis reatu divina lege tenerentur, quae non sic fecit homines ut se illo uterentur modo. Violatur quippe ipsa societas quae cum deo nobis esse debet cum eadem natura cuius ille auctor est libidinis perversitate polluitur. Quae autem contra mores hominum sunt flagitia pro morum diversitate vitanda sunt, ut pactum inter se civitatis aut gentis consuetudine vel lege firmatum nulla civis aut peregrini libidine violetur. Turpis enim omnis pars universo suo non congruens. Cum autem deus aliquid contra morem aut pactum quorumlibet iubet, etsi numquam ibi factum est, faciendum est, et si omissum, instaurandum, et si institutum non erat, instituendum est. Si enim regi licet in civitate cui regnat iubere aliquid quod neque ante illum quisquam nec ipse umquam iusserat, et non contra societatem civitatis eius obtemperatur, immo contra societatem non obtemperatur (generale quippe pactum est societatis humanae oboedire regibus suis), quanto magis deo regnatori universae creaturae suae ad ea quae iusserit sine dubitatione serviendum est. Sicut enim in potestatibus societatis humanae maior potestas minori ad oboediendum praeponitur, ita deus omnibus. Can it at any time or place be unjust to love God with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his mind; and his neighbour as himself? Therefore are those foul offences which be against nature, to be every where and at all times detested and punished; such as were those of the men of Sodom: which should all nations commit, they should all stand guilty of the same crime, by the law of God, which hath not so made men that they should so abuse one another. For even that intercourse which should be between God and us is violated, when that same nature, of which He is Author, is polluted by perversity of lust. But those actions which are offences against the customs of men, are to be avoided according to the customs severally prevailing; so that a thing agreed upon, and confirmed, by custom or law of any city or nation, may not be violated at the lawless pleasure of any, whether native or foreigner. For any part which harmoniseth not with its whole, is offensive. But when God commands a thing to be done, against the customs or compact of any people, though it were never by them done heretofore, it is to be done; and if intermitted, it is to be restored; and if never ordained, is now to be ordained. For lawful if it he for a king, in the state which he reigns over, to command that which no one before him, nor he himself heretofore, had commanded, and to obey him cannot be against the common weal of the state (nay, it were against it if he were not obeyed, for to obey princes is a general compact of human society); how much more unhesitatingly ought we to obey God, in all which He commands, the Ruler of all His creatures! For as among the powers in man's society, the greater authority is obeyed in preference to the lesser, so must God above all.
3.8.16 Item in facinoribus, ubi libido est nocendi sive per contumeliam sive per iniuriam et utrumque vel ulciscendi causa, sicut inimico inimicus, vel adipiscendi alicuius extra commodi, sicut latro viatori, vel evitandi mali, sicut ei qui timetur, vel invidendo, sicut feliciori miserior aut in aliquo prosperatus ei quem sibi aequari timet aut aequalem dolet, vel sola voluptate alieni mali, sicut spectatores gladiatorum aut inrisores aut inlusores quorumlibet. Haec sunt capita iniquitatis quae pullulant principandi et spectandi et sentiendi libidine aut una aut duabus earum aut simul omnibus, et vivitur male adversus tria et septem, psalterium decem chordarum, decalogum tuum, deus altissime et dulcissime. Sed quae flagitia in te, qui non corrumperis? Aut quae adversus te facinora, cui noceri non potest? Sed hoc vindicas quod in se homines perpetrant, quia etiam cum in te peccant, impie faciunt in animas suas, et mentitur iniquitas sibi sive corrumpendo ac pervertendo naturam suam, quam tu fecisti et ordinasti, vel immoderate utendo concessis rebus, vel in non concessa flagrando in eum usum qui est contra naturam. Aut rei tenentur animo et verbis saevientes adversus te et adversus stimulum calcitrantes, aut cum diruptis limitibus humanae societatis laetantur audaces privatis conciliationibus aut diremptionibus, prout quidque delectaverit aut offenderit. Et ea fiunt cum tu derelinqueris, fons vitae, qui es unus et verus creator et rector universitatis, et privata superbia diligitur in parte unum falsum. Itaque pietate humili reditur in te, et purgas nos a consuetudine mala, et propitius es peccatis confitentium, et exaudis gemitus compeditorum, et solvis a vinculis quae nobis fecimus, si iam non erigamus adversus te cornua falsae libertatis, avaritia plus habendi et damno totum amittendi, amplius amando proprium nostrum quam te, omnium bonum. So in acts of violence, where there is a wish to hurt, whether by reproach or injury; and these either for revenge, as one enemy against another; or for some profit belonging to another, as the robber to the traveller; or to avoid some evil, as towards one who is feared; or through envy, as one less fortunate to one more so, or one well thriven in any thing, to him whose being on a par with himself he fears, or grieves at, or for the mere pleasure at another's pain, as spectators of gladiators, or deriders and mockers of others. These be the heads of iniquity which spring from the lust of the flesh, of the eye, or of rule, either singly, or two combined, or all together; and so do men live ill against the three, and seven, that psaltery of often strings, Thy Ten Commandments, O God, most high, and most sweet. But what foul offences can there be against Thee, who canst not be defiled? or what acts of violence against Thee, who canst not be harmed? But Thou avengest what men commit against themselves, seeing also when they sin against Thee, they do wickedly against their own souls, and iniquity gives itself the lie, by corrupting and perverting their nature, which Thou hast created and ordained, or by an immoderate use of things allowed, or in burning in things unallowed, to that use which is against nature; or are found guilty, raging with heart and tongue against Thee, kicking against the pricks; or when, bursting the pale of human society, they boldly joy in self-willed combinations or divisions, according as they have any object to gain or subject of offence. And these things are done when Thou art forsaken, O Fountain of Life, who art the only and true Creator and Governor of the Universe, and by a self-willed pride, any one false thing is selected therefrom and loved. So then by a humble devoutness we return to Thee; and Thou cleansest us from our evil habits, and art merciful to their sins who confess, and hearest the groaning of the prisoner, and loosest us from the chains which we made for ourselves, if we lift not up against Thee the horns of an unreal liberty, suffering the loss of all, through covetousness of more, by loving more our own private good than Thee, the Good of all.
3.9.17 Sed inter flagitia et facinora et tam multas iniquitates sunt peccata proficientium, quae a bene iudicantibus et vituperantur ex regula perfectionis et laudantur spe frugis sicut herba segetis. Et sunt quaedam similia vel flagitio vel facinori et non sunt peccata, quia nec te offendunt, dominum deum nostrum, nec sociale consortium, cum conciliantur aliqua in usum vitae, congrua et tempori, et incertum est an libidine habendi, aut puniuntur corrigendi studio potestate ordinata, et incertum est an libidine nocendi. Multa itaque facta quae hominibus improbanda viderentur testimonio tuo approbata sunt, et multa laudata ab hominibus te teste damnantur, cum saepe se aliter habet species facti et aliter facientis animus atque articulus occulti temporis. Cum vero aliquid tu repente inusitatum et improvisum imperas, etiamsi hoc aliquando vetuisti, quamvis causam imperii tui pro tempore occultes et quamvis contra pactum sit aliquorum hominum societatis, quis dubitet esse faciendum, quando ea iusta est societas hominum quae servit tibi? Sed beati qui te imperasse sciunt. Fiunt enim omnia a servientibus tibi, vel ad exhibendum quod ad praesens opus est, vel ad futura praenuntianda. Amidst these offences of foulness and violence, and so many iniquities, are sins of men, who are on the whole making proficiency; which by those that judge rightly, are, after the rule of perfection, discommended, yet the persons commended, upon hope of future fruit, as in the green blade of growing corn. And there are some, resembling offences of foulness or violence, which yet are no sins; because they offend neither Thee, our Lord God, nor human society; when, namely, things fitting for a given period are obtained for the service of life, and we know not whether out of a lust of having; or when things are, for the sake of correction, by constituted authority punished, and we know not whether out of a lust of hurting. Many an action then which in men's sight is disapproved, is by Thy testimony approved; and many, by men praised, are (Thou being witness) condemned: because the show of the action, and the mind of the doer, and the unknown exigency of the period, severally vary. But when Thou on a sudden commandest an unwonted and unthought of thing, yea, although Thou hast sometime forbidden it, and still for the time hidest the reason of Thy command, and it be against the ordinance of some society of men, who doubts but it is to be done, seeing that society of men is just which serves Thee? But blessed are they who know Thy commands! For all things were done by Thy servants; either to show forth something needful for the present, or to foreshow things to come.
3.10.18 Haec ego nesciens inridebam illos sanctos servos et prophetas tuos. Et quid agebam cum inridebam eos, nisi ut inriderer abs te sensim atque paulatim perductus ad eas nugas ut crederem ficum plorare cum decerpitur et matrem eius arborem lacrimis lacteis? Quam tamen ficum si comedisset aliquis sanctus, alieno sane non suo scelere decerptam, misceret visceribus et anhelaret de illa angelos, immo vero particulas dei gemendo in oratione atque ructando. Quae particulae summi et veri dei ligatae fuissent in illo pomo, nisi electi sancti dente ac ventre solverentur. Et credidi miser magis esse misericordiam praestandam fructibus terrae quam hominibus propter quos nascerentur. Si quis enim esuriens peteret qui manichaeus non esset, quasi capitali supplicio damnanda buccella videretur si ei daretur. These things I being ignorant of, scoffed at those Thy holy servants and prophets. And what gained I by scoffing at them, but to be scoffed at by Thee, being insensibly and step by step drawn on to those follies, as to believe that a fig-tree wept when it was plucked, and the tree, its mother, shed milky tears? Which fig notwithstanding (plucked by some other's, not his own, guilt) had some Manichaean saint eaten, and mingled with his bowels, he should breathe out of it angels, yea, there shall burst forth particles of divinity, at every moan or groan in his prayer, which particles of the most high and true God had remained bound in that fig, unless they had been set at liberty by the teeth or belly of some "Elect" saint! And I, miserable, believed that more mercy was to be shown to the fruits of the earth than men, for whom they were created. For if any one an hungered, not a Manichaean, should ask for any, that morsel would seem as it were condemned to capital punishment, which should be given him.
3.11.19 Et misisti manum tuam ex alto et de hac profunda caligine eruisti animam meam, cum pro me fleret ad te mea mater, fidelis tua, amplius quam flent matres corporea funera. Videbat enim illa mortem meam ex fide et spiritu quem habebat ex te, et exaudisti eam, domine. Exaudisti eam nec despexisti lacrimas eius; cum profluentes rigarent terram sub oculis eius in omni loco orationis eius, exaudisti eam. Nam unde illud somnium quo eam consolatus es, ut vivere mecum cederet et habere mecum eandem mensam in domo? (quod nolle coeperat aversans et detestans blasphemias erroris mei.) vidit enim se stantem in quadam regula lignea et advenientem ad se iuvenem splendidum hilarem atque arridentem sibi, cum illa esset maerens et maerore confecta. Qui cum causas ab ea quaesisset maestitiae suae cotidianarumque lacrimarum, docendi, ut adsolet, non discendi gratia, atque illa respondisset perditionem meam se plangere, iussisse illum (quo secura esset) atque admonuisse, ut attenderet et videret, ubi esset illa, ibi esse et me. Quod illa ubi attendit, vidit me iuxta se in eadem regula stantem. Unde hoc, nisi quia erant aures tuae ad cor eius, o tu bone omnipotens, qui sic curas unumquemque nostrum tamquam solum cures, et sic omnes tamquam singulos? And Thou sentest Thine hand from above, and drewest my soul out of that profound darkness, my mother, Thy faithful one, weeping to Thee for me, more than mothers weep the bodily deaths of their children. For she, by that faith and spirit which she had from Thee, discerned the death wherein I lay, and Thou heardest her, O Lord; Thou heardest her, and despisedst not her tears, when streaming down, they watered the ground under her eyes in every place where she prayed; yea Thou heardest her. For whence was that dream whereby Thou comfortedst her; so that she allowed me to live with her, and to eat at the same table in the house, which she had begun to shrink from, abhorring and detesting the blasphemies of my error? For she saw herself standing on a certain wooden rule, and a shining youth coming towards her, cheerful and smiling upon her, herself grieving, and overwhelmed with grief. But he having (in order to instruct, as is their wont not to be instructed) enquired of her the causes of her grief and daily tears, and she answering that she was bewailing my perdition, he bade her rest contented, and told her to look and observe, "That where she was, there was I also." And when she looked, she saw me standing by her in the same rule. Whence was this, but that Thine ears were towards her heart? O Thou Good omnipotent, who so carest for every one of us, as if Thou caredst for him only; and so for all, as if they were but one!
3.11.20 Unde illud etiam, quod cum mihi narrasset ipsum visum, et ego ad id trahere conarer ut illa se potius non desperaret futuram esse quod eram, continuo sine aliqua haesitatione: 'Non,' inquit, 'Non enim mihi dictum est, ''Ubi ille, ibi et tu,'' sed, ''Ubi tu, ibi et ille.''' confiteor tibi, domine, recordationem meam, quantum recolo, quod saepe non tacui, amplius me isto per matrem vigilantem responso tuo, quod tam vicina interpretationis falsitate turbata non est et tam cito vidit quod videndum fuit (quod ego certe, antequam dixisset, non videram), etiam tum fuisse commotum quam ipso somnio quo feminae piae gaudium tanto post futurum ad consolationem tunc praesentis sollicitudinis tanto ante praedictum est. Nam novem ferme anni secuti sunt quibus ego in illo limo profundi ac tenebris falsitatis, cum saepe surgere conarer et gravius alliderer, volutatus sum, cum tamen illa vidua casta, pia et sobria, quales amas, iam quidem spe alacrior, sed fletu et gemitu non segnior, non desineret horis omnibus orationum suarum de me plangere ad te, et intrabant in conspectum tuum preces eius, et me tamen dimittebas adhuc volvi et involvi illa caligine. Whence was this also, that when she had told me this vision, and I would fain bend it to mean, "That she rather should not despair of being one day what I was"; she presently, without any hesitation, replies: "No; for it was not told me that, 'where he, there thou also'; but 'where thou, there he also'?" I confess to Thee, O Lord, that to the best of my remembrance (and I have oft spoken of this), that Thy answer, through my waking mother, -that she was not perplexed by the plausibility of my false interpretation, and so quickly saw what was to be seen, and which I certainly had not perceived before she spake, -even then moved me more than the dream itself, by which a joy to the holy woman, to be fulfilled so long after, was, for the consolation of her present anguish, so long before foresignified. For almost nine years passed, in which I wallowed in the mire of that deep pit, and the darkness of falsehood, often assaying to rise, but dashed down the more grievously. All which time that chaste, godly, and sober widow (such as Thou lovest), now more cheered with hope, yet no whit relaxing in her weeping and mourning, ceased not at all hours of her devotions to bewail my case unto Thee. And her prayers entered into Thy presence; and yet Thou sufferedst me to be yet involved and reinvolved in that darkness.
3.12.21 Et dedisti alterum responsum interim quod recolo. Nam et multa praetereo, propter quod propero ad ea quae me magis urguent confiteri tibi, et multa non memini. Dedisti ergo alterum per sacerdotem tuum, quendam episcopum nutritum in ecclesia et exercitatum in libris tuis. Quem cum illa femina rogasset ut dignaretur mecum conloqui et refellere errores meos et dedocere me mala ac docere bona (faciebat enim hoc, quos forte idoneos invenisset), noluit ille, prudenter sane, quantum sensi postea. Respondit enim me adhuc esse indocilem, eo quod inflatus essem novitate haeresis illius et nonnullis quaestiunculis iam multos imperitos exagitassem, sicut illa indicaverat ei. 'Sed' inquit 'Sine illum ibi. Tantum roga pro eo dominum. Ipse legendo reperiet quis ille sit error et quanta impietas.' simul etiam narravit se quoque parvulum a seducta matre sua datum fuisse manichaeis, et omnes paene non legisse tantum verum etiam scriptitasse libros eorum, sibique apparuisse nullo contra disputante et convincente quam esset illa secta fugienda: itaque fugisse. Quae cum ille dixisset atque illa nollet adquiescere, sed instaret magis deprecando et ubertim flendo, ut me videret et mecum dissereret, ille iam substomachans taedio, 'Vade' inquit 'A me. Ita vivas: fieri non potest, ut filius istarum lacrimarum pereat.' quod illa ita se accepisse inter conloquia sua mecum saepe recordabatur, ac si de caelo sonuisset. Thou gavest her meantime another answer, which I call to mind; for much I pass by, hasting to those things which more press me to confess unto Thee, and much I do not remember. Thou gavest her then another answer, by a Priest of Thine, a certain Bishop brought up in Thy Church, and well studied in Thy books. Whom when this woman had entreated to vouchsafe to converse with me, refute my errors, unteach me ill things, and teach me good things (for this he was wont to do, when he found persons fitted to receive it), he refused, wisely, as I afterwards perceived. For he answered, that I was yet unteachable, being puffed up with the novelty of that heresy, and had already perplexed divers unskilful persons with captious questions, as she had told him: "but let him alone a while" (saith he), "only pray God for him, he will of himself by reading find what that error is, and how great its impiety." At the same time he told her, how himself, when a little one, had by his seduced mother been consigned over to the Manichees, and had not only read, but frequently copied out almost all, their books, and had (without any argument or proof from any one) seen how much that sect was to be avoided; and had avoided it. Which when he had said, and she would not be satisfied, but urged him more, with entreaties and many tears, that he would see me and discourse with me; he, a little displeased at her importunity, saith, "Go thy ways and God bless thee, for it is not possible that the son of these tears should perish." Which answer she took (as she often mentioned in her conversations with me) as if it had sounded from heaven.

Liber quartus

4.1.1 Per idem tempus annorum novem, ab undevicensimo anno aetatis meae usque ad duodetricensimum, seducebamur et seducebamus, falsi atque fallentes in variis cupiditatibus, et palam per doctrinas quas liberales vocant, occulte autem falso nomine religionis, hic superbi, ibi superstitiosi, ubique vani, hac popularis gloriae sectantes inanitatem, usque ad theatricos plausus et contentiosa carmina et agonem coronarum faenearum et spectaculorum nugas et intemperantiam libidinum, illac autem purgari nos ab istis sordibus expetentes, cum eis qui appellarentur electi et sancti afferremus escas de quibus nobis in officina aqualiculi sui fabricarent angelos et deos per quos liberaremur. Et sectabar ista atque faciebam cum amicis meis per me ac mecum deceptis. Inrideant me arrogantes et nondum salubriter prostrati et elisi a te, deus meus, ego tamen confitear tibi dedecora mea in laude tua. Sine me, obsecro, et da mihi circuire praesenti memoria praeteritos circuitus erroris mei et immolare tibi hostiam iubilationis. Quid enim sum ego mihi sine te nisi dux in praeceps? Aut quid sum, cum mihi bene est, nisi sugens lac tuum aut fruens te, cibo qui non corrumpitur? Et quis homo est quilibet homo, cum sit homo? Sed inrideant nos fortes et potentes, nos autem infirmi et inopes confiteamur tibi. For this space of nine years (from my nineteenth year to my eight-and-twentieth) we lived seduced and seducing, deceived and deceiving, in divers lusts; openly, by sciences which they call liberal; secretly, with a false-named religion; here proud, there superstitious, every where vain. Here, hunting after the emptiness of popular praise, down even to theatrical applauses, and poetic prizes, and strifes for grassy garlands, and the follies of shows, and the intemperance of desires. There, desiring to be cleansed from these defilements, by carrying food to those who were called "elect" and "holy," out of which, in the workhouse of their stomachs, they should forge for us Angels and Gods, by whom we might be cleansed. These things did I follow, and practise with my friends, deceived by me, and with me. Let the arrogant mock me, and such as have not been, to their soul's health, stricken and cast down by Thee, O my God; but I would still confess to Thee mine own shame in Thy praise. Suffer me, I beseech Thee, and give me grace to go over in my present remembrance the wanderings of my forepassed time, and to offer unto Thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving. For what am I to myself without Thee, but a guide to mine own downfall? or what am I even at the best, but an infant sucking the milk Thou givest, and feeding upon Thee, the food that perisheth not? But what sort of man is any man, seeing he is but a man? Let now the strong and the mighty laugh at us, but let us poor and needy confess unto Thee.
4.2.2 Docebam in illis annis artem rhetoricam, et victoriosam loquacitatem victus cupiditate vendebam. Malebam tamen, domine, tu scis, bonos habere discipulos, sicut appellantur boni, et eos sine dolo docebam dolos, non quibus contra caput innocentis agerent sed aliquando pro capite nocentis. Et deus, vidisti de longinquo lapsantem in lubrico et in multo fumo scintillantem fidem meam, quam exhibebam in illo magisterio diligentibus vanitatem et quaerentibus mendacium, socius eorum. In illis annis unam habebam non eo quod legitimum vocatur coniugio cognitam, sed quam indagaverat vagus ardor inops prudentiae, sed unam tamen, ei quoque servans tori fidem, in qua sane experirer exemplo meo quid distaret inter coniugalis placiti modum, quod foederatum esset generandi gratia, et pactum libidinosi amoris, ubi proles etiam contra votum nascitur, quamvis iam nata cogat se diligi. In those years I taught rhetoric, and, overcome by cupidity, made sale of a loquacity to overcome by. Yet I preferred (Lord, Thou knowest) honest scholars (as they are accounted), and these I, without artifice, taught artifices, not to be practised against the life of the guiltless, though sometimes for the life of the guilty. And Thou, O God, from afar perceivedst me stumbling in that slippery course, and amid much smoke sending out some sparks of faithfulness, which I showed in that my guidance of such as loved vanity, and sought after leasing, myself their companion. In those years I had one, -not in that which is called lawful marriage, but whom I had found out in a wayward passion, void of understanding; yet but one, remaining faithful even to her; in whom I in my own case experienced what difference there is betwixt the self-restraint of the marriage-covenant, for the sake of issue, and the bargain of a lustful love, where children are born against their parents' will, although, once born, they constrain love.
4.2.3 Recolo etiam, cum mihi theatrici carminis certamen inire placuisset, mandasse mihi nescio quem haruspicem, quid ei dare vellem mercedis ut vincerem, me autem foeda illa sacramenta detestatum et abominatum respondisse, nec si corona illa esset immortaliter aurea muscam pro victoria mea necari sinere. Necaturus enim erat ille in sacrificiis suis animantia, et illis honoribus invitaturus mihi suffragatura daemonia videbatur. Sed hoc quoque malum non ex tua castitate repudiavi, deus cordis mei. Non enim amare te noveram, qui nisi fulgores corporeos cogitare non noveram. Talibus enim figmentis suspirans anima nonne fornicatur abs te et fidit in falsis et pascit ventos? Sed videlicet sacrificari pro me nollem daemonibus, quibus me illa superstitione ipse sacrificabam. Quid est enim aliud ventos pascere quam ipsos pascere, hoc est errando eis esse voluptati atque derisui? I remember also, that when I had settled to enter the lists for a theatrical prize, some wizard asked me what I would give him to win; but I, detesting and abhorring such foul mysteries, answered, "Though the garland were of imperishable gold, I would not suffer a fly to be killed to gain me it. " For he was to kill some living creatures in his sacrifices, and by those honours to invite the devils to favour me. But this ill also I rejected, not out of a pure love for Thee, O God of my heart; for I knew not how to love Thee, who knew not how to conceive aught beyond a material brightness. And doth not a soul, sighing after such fictions, commit fornication against Thee, trust in things unreal, and feed the wind? Still I would not forsooth have sacrifices offered to devils for me, to whom I was sacrificing myself by that superstition. For what else is it to feed the wind, but to feed them, that is by going astray to become their pleasure and derision?
4.3.4 Ideoque illos planos quos mathematicos vocant plane consulere non desistebam, quod quasi nullum eis esset sacrificium et nullae preces ad aliquem spiritum ob divinationem dirigerentur. Quod tamen christiana et vera pietas consequenter repellit et damnat. Bonum est enim confiteri tibi, domine, et dicere, 'Miserere mei: cura animam meam, quoniam peccavi tibi,' neque ad licentiam peccandi abuti indulgentia tua, sed meminisse dominicae vocis: 'Ecce sanus factus es; iam noli peccare, ne quid tibi deterius contingat.' quam totam illi salubritatem interficere conantur cum dicunt, 'De caelo tibi est inevitabilis causa peccandi' et 'Venus hoc fecit aut Saturnus aut Mars,' scilicet ut homo sine culpa sit, caro et sanguis et superba putredo, culpandus sit autem caeli ac siderum creator et ordinator. Et quis est hic nisi deus noster, suavitas et origo iustitiae, qui reddes unicuique secundum opera eius et cor contritum et humilatum non spernis? Those impostors then, whom they style Mathematicians, I consulted without scruple; because they seemed to use no sacrifice, nor to pray to any spirit for their divinations: which art, however, Christian and true piety consistently rejects and condemns. For, it is a good thing to confess unto Thee, and to say, Have mercy upon me, heal my soul, for I have sinned against Thee; and not to abuse Thy mercy for a licence to sin, but to remember the Lord's words, Behold, thou art made whole, sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee. All which wholesome advice they labour to destroy, saying, "The cause of thy sin is inevitably determined in heaven"; and "This did Venus, or Saturn, or Mars": that man, forsooth, flesh and blood, and proud corruption, might be blameless; while the Creator and Ordainer of heaven and the stars is to bear the blame. And who is He but our God? the very sweetness and well-spring of righteousness, who renderest to every man according to his works: and a broken and contrite heart wilt Thou not despise.
4.3.5 Erat eo tempore vir sagax, medicinae artis peritissimus atque in ea nobilissimus, qui proconsul manu sua coronam illam agonisticam imposuerat non sano capiti meo, sed non ut medicus. Nam illius morbi tu sanator, qui resistis superbis, humilibus autem das gratiam. Numquid tamen etiam per illum senem defuisti mihi aut destitisti mederi animae meae? Quia enim factus ei eram familiarior et eius sermonibus (erant enim sine verborum cultu vivacitate sententiarum iucundi et graves) adsiduus et fixus inhaerebam, ubi cognovit ex conloquio meo libris genethliacorum esse me deditum, benigne ac paterne monuit ut eos abicerem neque curam et operam rebus utilibus necessariam illi vanitati frustra impenderem, dicens ita se illa didicisse ut eius professionem primis annis aetatis suae deferre voluisset qua vitam degeret et, si Hippocraten intellexisset, et illas utique litteras potuisse intellegere; et tamen non ob aliam causam se postea illis relictis medicinam adsecutum, nisi quod eas falsissimas comperisset et nollet vir gravis decipiendis hominibus victum quaerere. 'At tu' inquit 'Quo te in hominibus sustentas, rhetoricam tenes, hanc autem fallaciam libero studio, non necessitate rei familiaris, sectaris. Quo magis mihi te oportet de illa credere, qui eam tam perfecte discere elaboravi, quam ex ea sola vivere volui.' a quo ego cum quaesissem quae causa ergo faceret ut multa inde vera pronuntiarentur, respondit ille ut potuit, vim sortis hoc facere in rerum natura usquequaque diffusam. Si enim de paginis poetae cuiuspiam longe aliud canentis atque intendentis, cum forte quis consulit, mirabiliter consonus negotio saepe versus exiret, mirandum non esse dicebat si ex anima humana superiore aliquo instinctu nesciente quid in se fieret, non arte sed sorte, sonaret aliquid quod interrogantis rebus factisque concineret. There was in those days a wise man, very skilful in physic, and renowned therein, who had with his own proconsular hand put the Agonistic garland upon my distempered head, but not as a physician: for this disease Thou only curest, who resistest the proud, and givest grace to the humble. But didst Thou fail me even by that old man, or forbear to heal my soul? For having become more acquainted with him, and hanging assiduously and fixedly on his speech (for though in simple terms, it was vivid, lively, and earnest), when he had gathered by my discourse that I was given to the books of nativity-casters, he kindly and fatherly advised me to cast them away, and not fruitlessly bestow a care and diligence, necessary for useful things, upon these vanities; saying, that he had in his earliest years studied that art, so as to make it the profession whereby he should live, and that, understanding Hippocrates, he could soon have understood such a study as this; and yet he had given it over, and taken to physic, for no other reason but that he found it utterly false; and he, a grave man, would not get his living by deluding people. "But thou," saith he, "hast rhetoric to maintain thyself by, so that thou followest this of free choice, not of necessity: the more then oughtest thou to give me credit herein, who laboured to acquire it so perfectly as to get my living by it alone." Of whom when I had demanded, how then could many true things be foretold by it, he answered me (as he could) "that the force of chance, diffused throughout the whole order of things, brought this about. For if when a man by haphazard opens the pages of some poet, who sang and thought of something wholly different, a verse oftentimes fell out, wondrously agreeable to the present business: it were not to be wondered at, if out of the soul of man, unconscious what takes place in it, by some higher instinct an answer should be given, by hap, not by art, corresponding to the business and actions of the demander."
4.3.6 Et hoc quidem ab illo vel per illum procurasti mihi, et quid ipse postea per me ipsum quaererem, in memoria mea deliniasti. Tunc autem nec ipse nec carissimus meus Nebridius, adulescens valde bonus et valde castus, inridens totum illud divinationis genus, persuadere mihi potuerunt ut haec abicerem, quoniam me amplius ipsorum auctorum movebat auctoritas et nullum certum quale quaerebam documentum adhuc inveneram, quo mihi sine ambiguitate appareret, quae ab eis consultis vera dicerentur, forte vel sorte non arte inspectorum siderum dici. And thus much, either from or through him, Thou conveyedst to me, and tracedst in my memory, what I might hereafter examine for myself. But at that time neither he, nor my dearest Nebridius, a youth singularly good and of a holy fear, who derided the whole body of divination, could persuade me to cast it aside, the authority of the authors swaying me yet more, and as yet I had found no certain proof (such as I sought) whereby it might without all doubt appear, that what had been truly foretold by those consulted was the result of haphazard, not of the art of the star-gazers.
4.4.7 In illis annis quo primum tempore in municipio quo natus sum docere coeperam, comparaveram amicum societate studiorum nimis carum, coaevum mihi et conflorentem flore adulescentiae. Mecum puer creverat et pariter in scholam ieramus pariterque luseramus. Sed nondum erat sic amicus, quamquam ne tunc quidem sic, uti est vera amicitia, quia non est vera nisi cum eam tu agglutinas inter haerentes tibi caritate diffusa in cordibus nostris per spiritum sanctum, qui datus est nobis. Sed tamen dulcis erat nimis, cocta fervore parilium studiorum. Nam et a fide vera, quam non germanitus et penitus adulescens tenebat, deflexeram eum in superstitiosas fabellas et perniciosas, propter quas me plangebat mater. Mecum iam errabat in animo ille homo, et non poterat anima mea sine illo. Et ecce tu imminens dorso fugitivorum tuorum, deus ultionum et fons misericordiarum simul, qui convertis nos ad te miris modis, ecce abstulisti hominem de hac vita, cum vix explevisset annum in amicitia mea, suavi mihi super omnes suavitates illius vitae meae. In those years when I first began to teach rhetoric in my native town, I had made one my friend, but too dear to me, from a community of pursuits, of mine own age, and, as myself, in the first opening flower of youth. He had grown up of a child with me, and we had been both school-fellows and play-fellows. But he was not yet my friend as afterwards, nor even then, as true friendship is; for true it cannot be, unless in such as Thou cementest together, cleaving unto Thee, by that love which is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, which is given unto us. Yet was it but too sweet, ripened by the warmth of kindred studies: for, from the true faith (which he as a youth had not soundly and thoroughly imbibed), I had warped him also to those superstitious and pernicious fables, for which my mother bewailed me. With me he now erred in mind, nor could my soul be without him. But behold Thou wert close on the steps of Thy fugitives, at once God of vengeance, and Fountain of mercies, turning us to Thyself by wonderful means; Thou tookest that man out of this life, when he had scarce filled up one whole year of my friendship, sweet to me above all sweetness of that my life.
4.4.8 Quis laudes tuas enumerat unus in se uno quas expertus est? Quid tunc fecisti, deus meus, et quam investigabilis abyssus iudiciorum tuorum? Cum enim laboraret ille febribus, iacuit diu sine sensu in sudore laetali et, cum desperaretur, baptizatus est nesciens, me non curante et praesumente id retinere potius animam eius quod a me acceperat, non quod in nescientis corpore fiebat. Longe autem aliter erat. Nam recreatus est et salvus factus, statimque, ut primo cum eo loqui potui (potui autem mox ut ille potuit, quando non discedebam et nimis pendebamus ex invicem), temptavi apud illum inridere, tamquam et illo inrisuro mecum baptismum quem acceperat mente atque sensu absentissimus, sed tamen iam se accepisse didicerat. At ille ita me exhorruit ut inimicum admonuitque mirabili et repentina libertate ut, si amicus esse vellem, talia sibi dicere desinerem. Ego autem stupefactus atque turbatus distuli omnes motus meos, ut convalesceret prius essetque idoneus viribus valetudinis, cum quo agere possem quod vellem. Sed ille abreptus dementiae meae, ut apud te servaretur consolationi meae. Post paucos dies me absente repetitur febribus et defungitur. Who can recount all Thy praises, which he hath felt in his one self? What diddest Thou then, my God, and how unsearchable is the abyss of Thy judgments? For long, sore sick of a fever, he lay senseless in a death-sweat; and his recovery being despaired of, he was baptised, unknowing; myself meanwhile little regarding, and presuming that his soul would retain rather what it had received of me, not what was wrought on his unconscious body. But it proved far otherwise: for he was refreshed, and restored. Forthwith, as soon as I could speak with him (and I could, so soon as he was able, for I never left him, and we hung but too much upon each other), I essayed to jest with him, as though he would jest with me at that baptism which he had received, when utterly absent in mind and feeling, but had now understood that he had received. But he so shrunk from me, as from an enemy; and with a wonderful and sudden freedom bade me, as I would continue his friend, forbear such language to him. I, all astonished and amazed, suppressed all my emotions till he should grow well, and his health were strong enough for me to deal with him as I would. But he was taken away from my frenzy, that with Thee he might be preserved for my comfort; a few days after in my absence, he was attacked again by the fever, and so departed.
4.4.9 Quo dolore contenebratum est cor meum, et quidquid aspiciebam mors erat. Et erat mihi patria supplicium et paterna domus mira infelicitas, et quidquid cum illo communicaveram, sine illo in cruciatum immanem verterat. Expetebant eum undique oculi mei, et non dabatur. Et oderam omnia, quod non haberent eum, nec mihi iam dicere poterant, 'Ecce veniet,' sicut cum viveret, quando absens erat. Factus eram ipse mihi magna quaestio, et interrogabam animam meam quare tristis esset et quare conturbaret me valde, et nihil noverat respondere mihi. Et si dicebam, 'Spera in deum,' iuste non obtemperabat, quia verior erat et melior homo quem carissimum amiserat quam phantasma in quod sperare iubebatur. Solus fletus erat dulcis mihi et successerat amico meo in deliciis animi mei. At this grief my heart was utterly darkened; and whatever I beheld was death. My native country was a torment to me, and my father's house a strange unhappiness; and whatever I had shared with him, wanting him, became a distracting torture. Mine eyes sought him every where, but he was not granted them; and I hated all places, for that they had not him; nor could they now tell me, "he is coming," as when he was alive and absent. I became a great riddle to myself, and I asked my soul, why she was so sad, and why she disquieted me sorely: but she knew not what to answer me. And if I said, Trust in God, she very rightly obeyed me not; because that most dear friend, whom she had lost, was, being man, both truer and better than that phantasm she was bid to trust in. Only tears were sweet to me, for they succeeded my friend, in the dearest of my affections.
4.5.10 Et nunc, domine, iam illa transierunt, et tempore lenitum est vulnus meum. Possumne audire abs te, qui veritas es, et admovere aurem cordis mei ori tuo, ut dicas mihi cur fletus dulcis sit miseris? An tu, quamvis ubique adsis, longe abiecisti a te miseriam nostram, et tu in te manes, nos autem in experimentis volvimur? Et tamen nisi ad aures tuas ploraremus, nihil residui de spe nostra fieret. Unde igitur suavis fructus de amaritudine vitae carpitur, gemere et flere et suspirare et conqueri? An hoc ibi dulce est, quod speramus exaudire te? Recte istuc in precibus, quia desiderium perveniendi habent. Num in dolore amissae rei et luctu, quo tunc operiebar? Neque enim sperabam revivescere illum aut hoc petebam lacrimis, sed tantum dolebam et flebam. Miser enim eram et amiseram gaudium meum. An et fletus res amara est et, prae fastidio rerum quibus prius fruebamur et tunc ab eis abhorremus, delectat? And now, Lord, these things are passed by, and time hath assuaged my wound. May I learn from Thee, who art Truth, and approach the ear of my heart unto Thy mouth, that Thou mayest tell me why weeping is sweet to the miserable? Hast Thou, although present every where, cast away our misery far from Thee? And Thou abidest in Thyself, but we are tossed about in divers trials. And yet unless we mourned in Thine ears, we should have no hope left. Whence then is sweet fruit gathered from the bitterness of life, from groaning, tears, sighs, and complaints? Doth this sweeten it, that we hope Thou hearest? This is true of prayer, for therein is a longing to approach unto Thee. But is it also in grief for a thing lost, and the sorrow wherewith I was then overwhelmed? For I neither hoped he should return to life nor did I desire this with my tears; but I wept only and grieved. For I was miserable, and had lost my joy. Or is weeping indeed a bitter thing, and for very loathing of the things which we before enjoyed, does it then, when we shrink from them, please us?
4.6.11 Quid autem ista loquor? Non enim tempus quaerendi nunc est, sed confitendi tibi. Miser eram, et miser est omnis animus vinctus amicitia rerum mortalium, et dilaniatur cum eas amittit, et tunc sentit miseriam qua miser est et antequam amittat eas. Sic ego eram illo tempore et flebam amarissime et requiescebam in amaritudine. Ita miser eram et habebam cariorem illo amico meo vitam ipsam miseram. Nam quamvis eam mutare vellem, nollem tamen amittere magis quam illum, et nescio an vellem vel pro illo, sicut de Oreste et Pylade traditur, si non fingitur, qui vellent pro invicem vel simul mori, qua morte peius eis erat non simul vivere. Sed in me nescio quis affectus nimis huic contrarius ortus erat, et taedium vivendi erat in me gravissimum et moriendi metus. Credo, quo magis illum amabam, hoc magis mortem, quae mihi eum abstulerat, tamquam atrocissimam inimicam oderam et timebam, et eam repente consumpturam omnes homines putabam, quia illum potuit. Sic eram omnino, memini. Ecce cor meum, deus meus, ecce intus. Vide, quia memini, spes mea, qui me mundas a talium affectionum immunditia, dirigens oculos meos ad te et evellens de laqueo pedes meos. Mirabar enim ceteros mortales vivere, quia ille, quem quasi non moriturum dilexeram, mortuus erat, et me magis, quia ille alter eram, vivere illo mortuo mirabar. Bene quidam dixit de amico suo: 'Dimidium animae' suae. Nam ego sensi animam meam et animam illius unam fuisse animam in duobus corporibus, et ideo mihi horrori erat vita, quia nolebam dimidius vivere, et ideo forte mori metuebam, ne totus ille moreretur quem multum amaveram. But what speak I of these things? for now is no time to question, but to confess unto Thee. Wretched I was; and wretched is every soul bound by the friendship of perishable things; he is torn asunder when he loses them, and then he feels the wretchedness which he had ere yet he lost them. So was it then with me; I wept most bitterly, and found my repose in bitterness. Thus was I wretched, and that wretched life I held dearer than my friend. For though I would willingly have changed it, yet was I more unwilling to part with it than with him; yea, I know not whether I would have parted with it even for him, as is related (if not feigned) of Pylades and Orestes, that they would gladly have died for each other or together, not to live together being to them worse than death. But in me there had arisen some unexplained feeling, too contrary to this, for at once I loathed exceedingly to live and feared to die. I suppose, the more I loved him, the more did I hate, and fear (as a most cruel enemy) death, which had bereaved me of him: and I imagined it would speedily make an end of all men, since it had power over him. Thus was it with me, I remember. Behold my heart, O my God, behold and see into me; for well I remember it, O my Hope, who cleansest me from the impurity of such affections, directing mine eyes towards Thee, and plucking my feet out of the snare. For I wondered that others, subject to death, did live, since he whom I loved, as if he should never die, was dead; and I wondered yet more that myself, who was to him a second self, could live, he being dead. Well said one of his friend, "Thou half of my soul"; for I felt that my soul and his soul were "one soul in two bodies": and therefore was my life a horror to me, because I would not live halved. And therefore perchance I feared to die, lest he whom I had much loved should die wholly.
4.7.12 O dementiam nescientem diligere homines humaniter! o stultum hominem immoderate humana patientem! quod ego tunc eram. Itaque aestuabam, suspirabam, flebam, turbabar, nec requies erat nec consilium. Portabam enim concisam et cruentam animam meam impatientem portari a me, et ubi eam ponerem non inveniebam. Non in amoenis nemoribus, non in ludis atque cantibus, nec in suave olentibus locis, nec in conviviis apparatis, neque in voluptate cubilis et lecti, non denique in libris atque carminibus adquiescebat. Horrebant omnia et ipsa lux, et quidquid non erat quod ille erat improbum et odiosum erat praeter gemitum et lacrimas: nam in eis solis aliquantula requies. Ubi autem inde auferebatur anima mea, onerabat me grandi sarcina miseriae. Ad te, domine, levanda erat et curanda, sciebam, sed nec volebam nec valebam, eo magis quia non mihi eras aliquid solidum et firmum, cum de te cogitabam. Non enim tu eras, sed vanum phantasma et error meus erat deus meus. Si conabar eam ibi ponere ut requiesceret, per inane labebatur et iterum ruebat super me, et ego mihi remanseram infelix locus, ubi nec esse possem nec inde recedere. Quo enim cor meum fugeret a corde meo? Quo a me ipso fugerem? Quo non me sequerer? Et tamen fugi de patria. Minus enim eum quaerebant oculi mei ubi videre non solebant, atque a Thagastensi oppido veni Carthaginem. O madness, which knowest not how to love men, like men! O foolish man that I then was, enduring impatiently the lot of man! I fretted then, sighed, wept, was distracted; had neither rest nor counsel. For I bore about a shattered and bleeding soul, impatient of being borne by me, yet where to repose it, I found not. Not in calm groves, not in games and music, nor in fragrant spots, nor in curious banquetings, nor in the pleasures of the bed and the couch; nor (finally) in books or poesy, found it repose. All things looked ghastly, yea, the very light; whatsoever was not what he was, was revolting and hateful, except groaning and tears. For in those alone found I a little refreshment. But when my soul was withdrawn from them a huge load of misery weighed me down. To Thee, O Lord, it ought to have been raised, for Thee to lighten; I knew it; but neither could nor would; the more, since, when I thought of Thee, Thou wert not to me any solid or substantial thing. For Thou wert not Thyself, but a mere phantom, and my error was my God. If I offered to discharge my load thereon, that it might rest, it glided through the void, and came rushing down again on me; and I had remained to myself a hapless spot, where I could neither be, nor be from thence. For whither should my heart flee from my heart? Whither should I flee from myself? Whither not follow myself? And yet I fled out of my country; for so should mine eyes less look for him, where they were not wont to see him. And thus from Thagaste, I came to Carthage.
4.8.13 Non vacant tempora nec otiose volvuntur per sensus nostros: faciunt in animo mira opera. Ecce veniebant et praeteribant de die in diem, et veniendo et praetereundo inserebant mihi spes alias et alias memorias, et paulatim resarciebant me pristinis generibus delectationum, quibus cedebat dolor meus ille; sed succedebant non quidem dolores alii, causae tamen aliorum dolorum. Nam unde me facillime et in intima dolor ille penetraverat, nisi quia fuderam in harenam animam meam diligendo moriturum acsi non moriturum? Maxime quippe me reparabant atque recreabant aliorum amicorum solacia, cum quibus amabam quod pro te amabam, et hoc erat ingens fabula et longum mendacium, cuius adulterina confricatione corrumpebatur mens nostra pruriens in auribus. Sed illa mihi fabula non moriebatur, si quis amicorum meorum moreretur. Alia erant quae in eis amplius capiebant animum, conloqui et conridere et vicissim benivole obsequi, simul legere libros dulciloquos, simul nugari et simul honestari, dissentire interdum sine odio tamquam ipse homo secum atque ipsa rarissima dissensione condire consensiones plurimas, docere aliquid invicem aut discere ab invicem, desiderare absentes cum molestia, suscipere venientes cum laetitia: his atque huius modi signis a corde amantium et redamantium procedentibus per os, per linguam, per oculos et mille motus gratissimos, quasi fomitibus conflare animos et ex pluribus unum facere. Times lose no time; nor do they roll idly by; through our senses they work strange operations on the mind. Behold, they went and came day by day, and by coming and going, introduced into my mind other imaginations and other remembrances; and little by little patched me up again with my old kind of delights, unto which that my sorrow gave way. And yet there succeeded, not indeed other griefs, yet the causes of other griefs. For whence had that former grief so easily reached my very inmost soul, but that I had poured out my soul upon the dust, in loving one that must die, as if he would never die? For what restored and refreshed me chiefly was the solaces of other friends, with whom I did love, what instead of Thee I loved; and this was a great fable, and protracted lie, by whose adulterous stimulus, our soul, which lay itching in our ears, was being defiled. But that fable would not die to me, so oft as any of my friends died. There were other things which in them did more take my mind; to talk and jest together, to do kind offices by turns; to read together honied books; to play the fool or be earnest together; to dissent at times without discontent, as a man might with his own self; and even with the seldomness of these dissentings, to season our more frequent consentings; sometimes to teach, and sometimes learn; long for the absent with impatience; and welcome the coming with joy. These and the like expressions, proceeding out of the hearts of those that loved and were loved again, by the countenance, the tongue, the eyes, and a thousand pleasing gestures, were so much fuel to melt our souls together, and out of many make but one.
4.9.14 Hoc est quod diligitur in amicis, et sic diligitur ut rea sibi sit humana conscientia si non amaverit redamantem aut si amantem non redamaverit, nihil quaerens ex eius corpore praeter indicia benivolentiae. Hinc ille luctus si quis moriatur, et tenebrae dolorum, et versa dulcedine in amaritudinem cor madidum, et ex amissa vita morientium mors viventium. Beatus qui amat te et amicum in te et inimicum propter te. Solus enim nullum carum amittit cui omnes in illo cari sunt qui non amittitur. Et quis est iste nisi deus noster, deus, qui fecit caelum et terram et implet ea, quia implendo ea fecit ea? Te nemo amittit nisi qui dimittit, et quia dimittit, quo it aut quo fugit nisi a te placido ad te iratum? Nam ubi non invenit legem tuam in poena sua? Et lex tua veritas et veritas tu. This is it that is loved in friends; and so loved, that a man's conscience condemns itself, if he love not him that loves him again, or love not again him that loves him, looking for nothing from his person but indications of his love. Hence that mourning, if one die, and darkenings of sorrows, that steeping of the heart in tears, all sweetness turned to bitterness; and upon the loss of life of the dying, the death of the living. Blessed whoso loveth Thee, and his friend in Thee, and his enemy for Thee. For he alone loses none dear to him, to whom all are dear in Him who cannot be lost. And who is this but our God, the God that made heaven and earth, and filleth them, because by filling them He created them? Thee none loseth, but who leaveth. And who leaveth Thee, whither goeth or whither teeth he, but from Thee well-pleased, to Thee displeased? For where doth he not find Thy law in his own punishment? And Thy law is truth, and truth Thou.
4.10.15 Deus virtutum, converte nos et ostende faciem tuam, et salvi erimus. Nam quoquoversum se verterit anima hominis, ad dolores figitur alibi praeterquam in te, tametsi figitur in pulchris extra te et extra se. Quae tamen nulla essent, nisi essent abs te. Quae oriuntur et occidunt et oriendo quasi esse incipiunt, et crescunt ut perficiantur, et perfecta senescunt et intereunt: et non omnia senescunt, et omnia intereunt. Ergo cum oriuntur et tendunt esse, quo magis celeriter crescunt ut sint, eo magis festinant ut non sint: sic est modus eorum. Tantum dedisti eis, quia partes sunt rerum, quae non sunt omnes simul, sed decedendo ac succedendo agunt omnes universum, cuius partes sunt. (ecce sic peragitur et sermo noster per signa sonantia. Non enim erit totus sermo, si unum verbum non decedat, cum sonuerit partes suas, ut succedat aliud.) laudet te ex illis anima mea, deus, creator omnium, sed non in eis figatur glutine amore per sensus corporis. Eunt enim quo ibant, ut non sint, et conscindunt eam desideriis pestilentiosis, quoniam ipsa esse vult et requiescere amat in eis quae amat. In illis autem non est ubi, quia non stant: fugiunt, et quis ea sequitur sensu carnis? Aut quis ea comprehendit, vel cum praesto sunt? Tardus est enim sensus carnis, quoniam sensus carnis est: ipse est modus eius. Sufficit ad aliud, ad quod factus est, ad illud autem non sufficit, ut teneat transcurrentia ab initio debito usque ad finem debitum. In verbo enim tuo, per quod creantur, ibi audiunt, 'Hinc' et 'Huc usque.' Turn us, O God of Hosts, show us Thy countenance, and we shall be whole. For whithersoever the soul of man turns itself, unless toward Thee, it is riveted upon sorrows, yea though it is riveted on things beautiful. And yet they, out of Thee, and out of the soul, were not, unless they were from Thee. They rise, and set; and by rising, they begin as it were to be; they grow, that they may be perfected; and perfected, they wax old and wither; and all grow not old, but all wither. So then when they rise and tend to be, the more quickly they grow that they may be, so much the more they haste not to be. This is the law of them. Thus much has Thou allotted them, because they are portions of things, which exist not all at once, but by passing away and succeeding, they together complete that universe, whereof they are portions. And even thus is our speech completed by signs giving forth a sound: but this again is not perfected unless one word pass away when it hath sounded its part, that another may succeed. Out of all these things let my soul praise Thee, O God, Creator of all; yet let not my soul be riveted unto these things with the glue of love, through the senses of the body. For they go whither they were to go, that they might not be; and they rend her with pestilent longings, because she longs to be, yet loves to repose in what she loves. But in these things is no place of repose; they abide not, they flee; and who can follow them with the senses of the flesh? yea, who can grasp them, when they are hard by? For the sense of the flesh is slow, because it is the sense of the flesh; and thereby is it bounded. It sufficeth for that it was made for; but it sufficeth not to stay things running their course from their appointed starting-place to the end appointed. For in Thy Word, by which they are created, they hear their decree, "hence and hitherto."
4.11.16 Noli esse vana, anima mea, et obsurdescere in aure cordis tumultu vanitatis tuae. Audi et tu: Be not foolish, O my soul, nor become deaf in the ear of thine heart with the tumult of thy folly. Hearken thou too.
verbum ipsum clamat ut redeas, et ibi est locus quietis imperturbabilis, ubi non deseritur amor si ipse non deserat. Ecce illa discedunt ut alia succedant, et omnibus suis partibus constet infima universitas. 'Numquid ego aliquo discedo?' ait verbum dei. Ibi fige mansionem tuam, ibi commenda quidquid inde habes, anima mea; saltem fatigata fallaciis, veritati commenda quidquid tibi est a veritate, et non perdes aliquid, et reflorescent putria tua, et sanabuntur omnes languores tui, et fluxa tua reformabuntur et renovabuntur et constringentur ad te, et non te deponent quo descendunt, sed stabunt tecum et permanebunt ad semper stantem ac permanentem deum. The Word itself calleth thee to return: and there is the place of rest imperturbable, where love is not forsaken, if itself forsaketh not. Behold, these things pass away, that others may replace them, and so this lower universe be completed by all his parts. But do I depart any whither? saith the Word of God. There fix thy dwelling, trust there whatsoever thou hast thence, O my soul, at least now thou art tired out with vanities. Entrust Truth, whatsoever thou hast from the Truth, and thou shalt lose nothing; and thy decay shall bloom again, and all thy diseases be healed, and thy mortal parts be reformed and renewed, and bound around thee: nor shall they lay thee whither themselves descend; but they shall stand fast with thee, and abide for ever before God, Who abideth and standeth fast for ever.
4.11.17 Ut quid perversa sequeris carnem tuam? Ipsa te sequatur conversam. Quidquid per illam sentis in parte est, et ignoras totum cuius hae partes sunt, et delectant te tamen. Sed si ad totum comprehendendum esset idoneus sensus carnis tuae, ac non et ipse in parte universi accepisset pro tua poena iustum modum, velles ut transiret quidquid existit in praesentia, ut magis tibi omnia placerent. Nam et quod loquimur per eundem sensum carnis audis, et non vis utique stare syllabas sed transvolare, ut aliae veniant et totum audias. Ita semper omnia, quibus unum aliquid constat (et non sunt omnia simul ea quibus constat): plus delectant omnia quam singula, si possint sentiri omnia. Sed longe his melior qui fecit omnia, et ipse est deus noster, et non discedit, quia nec succeditur ei. Why then be perverted and follow thy flesh? Be it converted and follow thee. Whatever by her thou hast sense of, is in part; and the whole, whereof these are parts, thou knowest not; and yet they delight thee. But had the sense of thy flesh a capacity for comprehending the whole, and not itself also, for thy punishment, been justly restricted to a part of the whole, thou wouldest, that whatsoever existeth at this present, should pass away, that so the whole might better please thee. For what we speak also, by the same sense of the flesh thou hearest; yet wouldest not thou have the syllables stay, but fly away, that others may come, and thou hear the whole. And so ever, when any one thing is made up of many, all of which do not exist together, all collectively would please more than they do severally, could all be perceived collectively. But far better than these is He who made all; and He is our God, nor doth He pass away, for neither doth aught succeed Him.
4.12.18 Si placent corpora, deum ex illis lauda et in artificem eorum retorque amorem, ne in his quae tibi placent tu displiceas. Si placent animae, in deo amentur, quia et ipsae mutabiles sunt et in illo fixae stabiliuntur: alioquin irent et perirent. In illo ergo amentur, et rape ad eum tecum quas potes et dic eis: 'Hunc amemus: ipse fecit haec et non est longe. Non enim fecit atque abiit, sed ex illo in illo sunt. Ecce ubi est, ubi sapit veritas: intimus cordi est, sed cor erravit ab eo. Redite, praevaricatores, ad cor et inhaerete illi qui fecit vos. State cum eo et stabitis, requiescite in eo et quieti eritis. Quo itis in aspera? Quo itis? Bonum quod amatis ab illo est: sed quantum est ad illum, bonum est et suave; sed amarum erit iuste, quia iniuste amatur deserto illo quidquid ab illo est. Quo vobis adhuc et adhuc ambulare vias difficiles et laboriosas? Non est requies ubi quaeratis eam. Quaerite quod quaeritis, sed ibi non est ubi quaeritis. Beatam vitam quaeritis in regione mortis: non est illic. Quomodo enim beata vita, ubi nec vita? If bodies please thee, praise God on occasion of them, and turn back thy love upon their Maker; lest in these things which please thee, thou displease. If souls please thee, be they loved in God: for they too are mutable, but in Him are they firmly stablished; else would they pass, and pass away. In Him then be they beloved; and carry unto Him along with thee what souls thou canst, and say to them, "Him let us love, Him let us love: He made these, nor is He far off. For He did not make them, and so depart, but they are of Him, and in Him. See there He is, where truth is loved. He is within the very heart, yet hath the heart strayed from Him. Go back into your heart, ye transgressors, and cleave fast to Him that made you. Stand with Him, and ye shall stand fast. Rest in Him, and ye shall be at rest. Whither go ye in rough ways? Whither go ye? The good that you love is from Him; but it is good and pleasant through reference to Him, and justly shall it be embittered, because unjustly is any thing loved which is from Him, if He be forsaken for it. To what end then would ye still and still walk these difficult and toilsome ways? There is no rest, where ye seek it. Seek what ye seek; but it is not there where ye seek. Ye seek a blessed life in the land of death; it is not there. For how should there be a blessed life where life itself is not?
4.12.19 Et descendit huc ipsa vita nostra, et tulit mortem nostram et occidit eam de abundantia vitae suae, et tonuit, clamans ut redeamus hinc ad eum in illud secretum unde processit ad nos, in ipsum primum virginalem uterum ubi ei nupsit humana creatura, caro mortalis, ne semper mortalis. Et inde velut sponsus procedens de thalamo suo exultavit ut gigans ad currendam viam. Non enim tardavit, sed cucurrit clamans dictis, factis, morte, vita, descensu, ascensu, clamans ut redeamus ad eum: et discessit ab oculis, ut redeamus ad eum. Et discessit ab oculis, ut redeamus ad cor et inveniamus eum. Abscessit enim et ecce hic est. Noluit nobiscum diu esse et non reliquit nos. Illuc enim abscessit unde numquam recessit, quia mundus per eum factus est, et in hoc mundo erat et venit in hunc mundum peccatores salvos facere. Cui confitetur anima mea et sanat eam, quoniam peccavit illi. Filii hominum, quo usque graves corde? Numquid et post descensum vitae non vultis ascendere et vivere? Sed quo ascenditis, quando in alto estis et posuistis in caelo os vestrum? Descendite, ut ascendatis, et ascendatis ad deum. Cecidistis enim ascendendo contra deum.' dic eis ista, ut plorent in convalle plorationis, et sic eos rape tecum ad deum, quia de spiritu eius haec dicis eis, si dicis ardens igne caritatis. "But our true Life came down hither, and bore our death, and slew him, out of the abundance of His own life: and He thundered, calling aloud to us to return hence to Him into that secret place, whence He came forth to us, first into the Virgin's womb, wherein He espoused the human creation, our mortal flesh, that it might not be for ever mortal, and thence like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, rejoicing as a giant to run his course. For He lingered not, but ran, calling aloud by words, deeds, death, life, descent, ascension; crying aloud to us to return unto Him. And He departed from our eyes, that we might return into our heart, and there find Him. For He departed, and to, He is here. He would not be long with us, yet left us not; for He departed thither, whence He never parted, because the world was made by Him. And in this world He was, and into this world He came to save sinners, unto whom my soul confesseth, and He healeth it, for it hath sinned against Him. O ye sons of men, how long so slow of heart? Even now, after the descent of Life to you, will ye not ascend and live? But whither ascend ye, when ye are on high, and set your mouth against the heavens? Descend, that ye may ascend, and ascend to God. For ye have fallen, by ascending against Him." Tell them this, that they may weep in the valley of tears, and so carry them up with thee unto God; because out of His spirit thou speakest thus unto them, if thou speakest, burning with the fire of charity.
4.13.20 Haec tunc non noveram, et amabam pulchra inferiora et ibam in profundum, et dicebam amicis meis, 'Num amamus aliquid nisi pulchrum? Quid est ergo pulchrum? Et quid est pulchritudo? Quid est quod nos allicit et conciliat rebus quas amamus? Nisi enim esset in eis decus et species, nullo modo nos ad se moverent.' et animadvertebam et videbam in ipsis corporibus aliud esse quasi totum et ideo pulchrum, aliud autem quod ideo deceret, quoniam apte adcommodaretur alicui, sicut pars corporis ad universum suum aut calciamentum ad pedem et similia. Et ista consideratio scaturrivit in animo meo ex intimo corde meo, et scripsi libros 'De pulchro et apto' -- puto duos aut tres: tu scis, deus, nam excidit mihi. Non enim habemus eos, sed aberraverunt a nobis nescio quo modo. These things I then knew not, and I loved these lower beauties, and I was sinking to the very depths, and to my friends I said, "Do we love any thing but the beautiful? What then is the beautiful? and what is beauty? What is it that attracts and wins us to the things we love? for unless there were in them a grace and beauty, they could by no means draw us unto them." And I marked and perceived that in bodies themselves, there was a beauty, from their forming a sort of whole, and again, another from apt and mutual correspondence, as of a part of the body with its whole, or a shoe with a foot, and the like. And this consideration sprang up in my mind, out of my inmost heart, and I wrote "on the fair and fit," I think, two or three books. Thou knowest, O Lord, for it is gone from me; for I have them not, but they are strayed from me, I know not how.
4.14.21 Quid est autem quod me movit, domine deus meus, ut ad Hierium, Romanae urbis oratorem, scriberem illos libros? Quem non noveram facie, sed amaveram hominem ex doctrinae fama, quae illi clara erat, et quaedam verba eius audieram et placuerant mihi. Sed magis quia placebat aliis et eum efferebant laudibus, stupentes quod ex homine Syro, docto prius graecae facundiae, post in latina etiam dictor mirabilis extitisset et esset scientissimus rerum ad studium sapientiae pertinentium, mihi placebat. Laudatur homo et amatur absens. Utrumnam ab ore laudantis intrat in cor audientis amor ille? Absit! sed ex amante alio accenditur alius. Hinc enim amatur qui laudatur, dum non fallaci corde laudatoris praedicari creditur, id est cum amans eum laudat. But what moved me, O Lord my God, to dedicate these books unto Hierius, an orator of Rome, whom I knew not by face, but loved for the fame of his learning which was eminent in him, and some words of his I had heard, which pleased me? But more did he please me, for that he pleased others, who highly extolled him, amazed that out of a Syrian, first instructed in Greek eloquence, should afterwards be formed a wonderful Latin orator, and one most learned in things pertaining unto philosophy. One is commended, and, unseen, he is loved: doth this love enter the heart of the hearer from the mouth of the commender? Not so. But by one who loveth is another kindled. For hence he is loved who is commended, when the commender is believed to extol him with an unfeigned heart; that is, when one that loves him, praises him.
4.14.22 Sic enim tunc amabam homines ex hominum iudicio, non enim ex tuo, deus meus, in quo nemo fallitur. Sed tamen cur non sicut auriga nobilis, sicut venator studiis popularibus diffamatus, sed longe aliter et graviter et ita, quemadmodum et me laudari vellem? Non autem vellem ita laudari et amari me ut histriones, quamquam eos et ipse laudarem et amarem, sed eligens latere quam ita notus esse et vel haberi odio quam sic amari. Ubi distribuuntur ista pondera variorum et diversorum amorum in anima una? Quid est quod amo in alio? Quod rursus nisi odissem, non a me detestarer et repellerem, cum sit uterque nostrum homo? Non enim sicut equus bonus amatur ab eo qui nollet hoc esse etiamsi posset. Hoc et de histrione dicendum est, qui naturae nostrae socius est. Ergone amo in homine quod odi esse, cum sim homo? Grande profundum est ipse homo, cuius etiam capillos tu, domine, numeratos habes et non minuuntur in te: et tamen capilli eius magis numerabiles quam affectus eius et motus cordis eius. For so did I then love men, upon the judgment of men, not Thine, O my God, in Whom no man is deceived. But yet why not for qualities, like those of a famous charioteer, or fighter with beasts in the theatre, known far and wide by a vulgar popularity, but far otherwise, and earnestly, and so as I would be myself commended? For I would not be commended or loved, as actors are (though I myself did commend and love them), but had rather be unknown, than so known; and even hated, than so loved. Where now are the impulses to such various and divers kinds of loves laid up in one soul? Why, since we are equally men, do I love in another what, if I did not hate, I should not spurn and cast from myself? For it holds not, that as a good horse is loved by him, who would not, though he might, be that horse, therefore the same may be said of an actor, who shares our nature. Do I then love in a man, what I hate to be, who am a man? Man himself is a great deep, whose very hairs Thou numberest, O Lord, and they fall not to the ground without Thee. And yet are the hairs of his head easier to be numbered than his feelings, and the beatings of his heart.
4.14.23 At ille rhetor ex eo erat genere quem sic amabam ut vellem esse me talem. Et errabam typho et circumferebar omni vento, et nimis occulte gubernabar abs te. Et unde scio et unde certus confiteor tibi quod illum in amore laudantium magis amaveram quam in rebus ipsis de quibus laudabatur? Quia si non laudatum vituperarent eum idem ipsi et vituperando atque spernendo ea ipsa narrarent, non accenderer in eo et non excitarer, et certe res non aliae forent nec homo ipse alius, sed tantummodo alius affectus narrantium. Ecce ubi iacet anima infirma nondum haerens soliditati veritatis: sicut aurae linguarum flaverint a pectoribus opinantium, ita fertur et vertitur, torquetur ac retorquetur, et obnubilatur ei lumen et non cernitur veritas, et ecce est ante nos. Et magnum quiddam mihi erat, si sermo meus et studia mea illi viro innotescerent. Quae si probaret, flagrarem magis; si autem improbaret, sauciaretur cor vanum et inane soliditatis tuae. Et tamen pulchrum illud atque aptum, unde ad eum scripseram, libenter animo versabam ob os contemplationis meae et nullo conlaudatore mirabar. But that orator was of that sort whom I loved, as wishing to be myself such; and I erred through a swelling pride, and was tossed about with every wind, but yet was steered by Thee, though very secretly. And whence do I know, and whence do I confidently confess unto Thee, that I had loved him more for the love of his commenders, than for the very things for which he was commended? Because, had he been unpraised, and these self-same men had dispraised him, and with dispraise and contempt told the very same things of him, I had never been so kindled and excited to love him. And yet the things had not been other, nor he himself other; but only the feelings of the relators. See where the impotent soul lies along, that is not yet stayed up by the solidity of truth! Just as the gales of tongues blow from the breast of the opinionative, so is it carried this way and that, driven forward and backward, and the light is overclouded to it, and the truth unseen. And to, it is before us. And it was to me a great matter, that my discourse and labours should be known to that man: which should he approve, I were the more kindled; but if he disapproved, my empty heart, void of Thy solidity, had been wounded. And yet the "fair and fit," whereon I wrote to him, I dwelt on with pleasure, and surveyed it, and admired it, though none joined therein.
4.15.24 Sed tantae rei cardinem in arte tua nondum videbam, omnipotens, qui facis mirabilia solus, et ibat animus per formas corporeas et pulchrum, quod per se ipsum, aptum autem, quod ad aliquid adcommodatum deceret, definiebam et distinguebam et exemplis corporeis adstruebam. Et converti me ad animi naturam, et non me sinebat falsa opinio quam de spiritalibus habebam verum cernere. Et inruebat in oculos ipsa vis veri, et avertebam palpitantem mentem ab incorporea re ad liniamenta et colores et tumentes magnitudines et, quia non poteram ea videre in animo, putabam me non posse videre animum. Et cum in virtute pacem amarem, in vitiositate autem odissem discordiam, in illa unitatem, in ista quandam divisionem notabam, inque illa unitate mens rationalis et natura veritatis ac summi boni mihi esse videbatur, in ista vero divisione inrationalis vitae nescioquam substantiam et naturam summi mali, quae non solum esset substantia sed omnino vita esset, et tamen abs te non esset, deus meus, ex quo sunt omnia, miser opinabar. Et illam 'Monadem' appellabam tamquam sine ullo sexu mentem, hanc vero 'Dyadem', iram in facinoribus, libidinem in flagitiis, nesciens quid loquerer. Non enim noveram neque didiceram nec ullam substantiam malum esse nec ipsam mentem nostram summum atque incommutabile bonum. But I saw not yet, whereon this weighty matter turned in Thy wisdom, O Thou Omnipotent, who only doest wonders; and my mind ranged through corporeal forms; and "fair," I defined and distinguished what is so in itself, and "fit," whose beauty is in correspondence to some other thing: and this I supported by corporeal examples. And I turned to the nature of the mind, but the false notion which I had of spiritual things, let me not see the truth. Yet the force of truth did of itself flash into mine eyes, and I turned away my panting soul from incorporeal substance to lineaments, and colours, and bulky magnitudes. And not being able to see these in the mind, I thought I could not see my mind. And whereas in virtue I loved peace, and in viciousness I abhorred discord; in the first I observed a unity, but in the other, a sort of division. And in that unity I conceived the rational soul, and the nature of truth and of the chief good to consist; but in this division I miserably imagined there to be some unknown substance of irrational life, and the nature of the chief evil, which should not only be a substance, but real life also, and yet not derived from Thee, O my God, of whom are all things. And yet that first I called a Monad, as it had been a soul without sex; but the latter a Duad; -anger, in deeds of violence, and in flagitiousness, lust; not knowing whereof I spake. For I had not known or learned that neither was evil a substance, nor our soul that chief and unchangeable good.
4.15.25 Sicut enim facinora sunt, si vitiosus est ille animi motus in quo est impetus et se iactat insolenter ac turbide, et flagitia, si est immoderata illa animae affectio qua carnales hauriuntur voluptates, ita errores et falsae opiniones vitam contaminant, si rationalis mens ipsa vitiosa est, qualis in me tunc erat nesciente alio lumine illam inlustrandam esse, ut sit particeps veritatis, quia non est ipsa natura veritatis, quoniam tu inluminabis lucernam meam, domine. Deus meus, inluminabis tenebras meas, et de plenitudine tua omnes nos accepimus. Es enim tu lumen verum quod inluminat omnem hominem venientem in hunc mundum, quia in te non est transmutatio nec momenti obumbratio. For as deeds of violence arise, if that emotion of the soul be corrupted, whence vehement action springs, stirring itself insolently and unrulily; and lusts, when that affection of the soul is ungoverned, whereby carnal pleasures are drunk in, so do errors and false opinions defile the conversation, if the reasonable soul itself be corrupted; as it was then in me, who knew not that it must be enlightened by another light, that it may be partaker of truth, seeing itself is not that nature of truth. For Thou shalt light my candle, O Lord my God, Thou shalt enlighten my darkness: and of Thy fulness have we all received, for Thou art the true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world; for in Thee there is no variableness, neither shadow of change.
4.15.26 Sed ego conabar ad te et repellebar abs te, ut saperem mortem, quoniam superbis resistis. Quid autem superbius quam ut adsererem mira dementia me id esse naturaliter quod tu es? Cum enim ego essem mutabilis et eo mihi manifestum esset, quod utique ideo sapiens esse cupiebam, ut ex deteriore melior fierem, malebam tamen etiam te opinari mutabilem quam me non hoc esse quod tu es. Itaque repellebar et resistebas ventosae cervici meae, et imaginabar formas corporeas et caro carnem accusabam, et spiritus ambulans nondum revertebar ad te et ambulando ambulabam in ea quae non sunt, neque in te neque in me neque in corpore, neque mihi creabantur a veritate tua, sed a mea vanitate fingebantur ex corpore. Et dicebam parvulis fidelibus tuis, civibus meis, a quibus nesciens exulabam, dicebam illis garrulus et ineptus, 'Cur ergo errat anima quam fecit deus?' et mihi nolebam dici, 'Cur ergo errat deus?' et contendebam magis incommutabilem tuam substantiam coactam errare quam meam mutabilem sponte deviasse et poena errare confitebar. But I pressed towards Thee, and was thrust from Thee, that I might taste of death: for thou resistest the proud. But what prouder, than for me with a strange madness to maintain myself to be that by nature which Thou art? For whereas I was subject to change (so much being manifest to me, my very desire to become wise, being the wish, of worse to become better), yet chose I rather to imagine Thee subject to change, and myself not to be that which Thou art. Therefore I was repelled by Thee, and Thou resistedst my vain stiffneckedness, and I imagined corporeal forms, and, myself flesh, I accused flesh; and, a wind that passeth away, I returned not to Thee, but I passed on and on to things which have no being, neither in Thee, nor in me, nor in the body. Neither were they created for me by Thy truth, but by my vanity devised out of things corporeal. And I was wont to ask Thy faithful little ones, my fellow-citizens (from whom, unknown to myself, I stood exiled), I was wont, prating and foolishly, to ask them, "Why then doth the soul err which God created?" But I would not be asked, "Why then doth God err?" And I maintained that Thy unchangeable substance did err upon constraint, rather than confess that my changeable substance had gone astray voluntarily, and now, in punishment, lay in error.
4.15.27 Et eram aetate annorum fortasse viginti sex aut septem, cum illa volumina scripsi, volvens apud me corporalia figmenta obstrepentia cordis mei auribus, quas intendebam, dulcis veritas, in interiorem melodiam tuam, cogitans de pulchro et apto, et stare cupiens et audire te et gaudio gaudere propter vocem sponsi, et non poteram, quia vocibus erroris mei rapiebar foras et pondere superbiae meae in ima decidebam. Non enim dabas auditui meo gaudium et laetitiam, aut exultabant ossa, quae humilata non erant. I was then some six or seven and twenty years old when I wrote those volumes; revolving within me corporeal fictions, buzzing in the ears of my heart, which I turned, O sweet truth, to thy inward melody, meditating on the "fair and fit," and longing to stand and hearken to Thee, and to rejoice greatly at the Bridegroom's voice, but could not; for by the voices of mine own errors, I was hurried abroad, and through the weight of my own pride, I was sinking into the lowest pit. For Thou didst not make me to hear joy and gladness, nor did the bones exult which were not yet humbled.
4.16.28 Et quid mihi proderat quod annos natus ferme viginti, cum in manus meas venissent aristotelica quaedam, quas appellant decem categorias (quarum nomine, cum eas rhetor Carthaginiensis, magister meus, buccis typho crepantibus commemoraret et alii qui docti habebantur, tamquam in nescio quid magnum et divinum suspensus inhiabam), legi eas solus et intellexi? Quas cum contulissem cum eis qui se dicebant vix eas magistris eruditissimis, non loquentibus tantum sed multa in pulvere depingentibus, intellexisse, nihil inde aliud mihi dicere potuerunt quam ego solus apud me ipsum legens cognoveram. Et satis aperte mihi videbantur loquentes de substantiis, sicuti est homo, et quae in illis essent, sicuti est figura hominis, qualis sit, et statura, quot pedum sit, et cognatio, cuius frater sit, aut ubi sit constitutus aut quando natus, aut stet an sedeat, aut calciatus vel armatus sit, aut aliquid faciat aut patiatur aliquid, et quaecumque in his novem generibus, quorum exempli gratia quaedam posui, vel in ipso substantiae genere innumerabilia reperiuntur. And what did it profit me, that scarce twenty years old, a book of Aristotle, which they call the often Predicaments, falling into my hands (on whose very name I hung, as on something great and divine, so often as my rhetoric master of Carthage, and others, accounted learned, mouthed it with cheeks bursting with pride), I read and understood it unaided? And on my conferring with others, who said that they scarcely understood it with very able tutors, not only orally explaining it, but drawing many things in sand, they could tell me no more of it than I had learned, reading it by myself. And the book appeared to me to speak very clearly of substances, such as "man," and of their qualities, as the figure of a man, of what sort it is; and stature, how many feet high; and his relationship, whose brother he is; or where placed; or when born; or whether he stands or sits; or be shod or armed; or does, or suffers anything; and all the innumerable things which might be ranged under these nine Predicaments, of which I have given some specimens, or under that chief Predicament of Substance.
4.16.29 Quid hoc mihi proderat, quando et oberat, cum etiam te, deus meus, mirabiliter simplicem atque incommutabilem, illis decem praedicamentis putans quidquid esset omnino comprehensum, sic intellegere conarer, quasi et tu subiectus esses magnitudini tuae aut pulchritudini, ut illa essent in te quasi in subiecto sicut in corpore, cum tua magnitudo et tua pulchritudo tu ipse sis, corpus autem non eo sit magnum et pulchrum quo corpus est, quia etsi minus magnum et minus pulchrum esset, nihilominus corpus esset? Falsitas enim erat quam de te cogitabam, non veritas, et figmenta miseriae meae, non firmamenta beatitudinis tuae. Iusseras enim, et ita fiebat in me, ut terra spinas et tribulos pareret mihi et cum labore pervenirem ad panem meum. What did all this further me, seeing it even hindered me? when, imagining whatever was, was comprehended under those often Predicaments, I essayed in such wise to understand, O my God, Thy wonderful and unchangeable Unity also, as if Thou also hadst been subjected to Thine own greatness or beauty; so that (as in bodies) they should exist in Thee, as their subject: whereas Thou Thyself art Thy greatness and beauty; but a body is not great or fair in that it is a body, seeing that, though it were less great or fair, it should notwithstanding be a body. But it was falsehood which of Thee I conceived, not truth, fictions of my misery, not the realities of Thy blessedness. For Thou hadst commanded, and it was done in me, that the earth should bring forth briars and thorns to me, and that in the sweat of my brows I should eat my bread.
4.16.30 Et quid mihi proderat quod omnes libros artium quas liberales vocant tunc nequissimus malarum cupiditatum servus per me ipsum legi et intellexi, quoscumque legere potui? Et gaudebam in eis, et nesciebam unde esset quidquid ibi verum et certum esset. Dorsum enim habebam ad lumen et ad ea quae inluminantur faciem, unde ipsa facies mea, qua inluminata cernebam, non inluminabatur. Quidquid de arte loquendi et disserendi, quidquid de dimensionibus figurarum et de musicis et de numeris, sine magna difficultate nullo hominum tradente intellexi. Scis tu, domine deus meus, quia et celeritas intellegendi et dispiciendi acumen donum tuum est. (sed non inde sacrificabam tibi; itaque mihi non ad usum sed ad perniciem magis valebat, quia tam bonam partem substantiae meae sategi habere in potestate et fortitudinem meam non ad te custodiebam, sed profectus sum abs te in longinquam regionem, ut eam dissiparem in meretrices cupiditates.) nam quid mihi proderat bona res non utenti bene? Non enim sentiebam illas artes etiam ab studiosis et ingeniosis difficillime intellegi, nisi cum eis eadem conabar exponere, et erat ille excellentissimus in eis qui me exponentem non tardius sequeretur. And what did it profit me, that all the books I could procure of the so-called liberal arts, I, the vile slave of vile affections, read by myself, and understood? And I delighted in them, but knew not whence came all, that therein was true or certain. For I had my back to the light, and my face to the things enlightened; whence my face, with which I discerned the things enlightened, itself was not enlightened. Whatever was written, either on rhetoric, or logic, geometry, music, and arithmetic, by myself without much difficulty or any instructor, I understood, Thou knowest, O Lord my God; because both quickness of understanding, and acuteness in discerning, is Thy gift: yet did I not thence sacrifice to Thee. So then it served not to my use, but rather to my perdition, since I went about to get so good a portion of my substance into my own keeping; and I kept not my strength for Thee, but wandered from Thee into a far country, to spend it upon harlotries. For what profited me good abilities, not employed to good uses? For I felt not that those arts were attained with great difficulty, even by the studious and talented, until I attempted to explain them to such; when he most excelled in them who followed me not altogether slowly.
4.16.31 Sed quid mihi hoc proderat, putanti quod tu, domine deus veritas, corpus esses lucidum et immensum et ego frustum de illo corpore? Nimia perversitas! sed sic eram nec erubesco, deus meus, confiteri tibi in me misericordias tuas et invocare te, qui non erubui tunc profiteri hominibus blasphemias meas et latrare adversum te. Quid ergo tunc mihi proderat ingenium per illas doctrinas agile et nullo adminiculo humani magisterii tot nodosissimi libri enodati, cum deformiter et sacrilega turpitudine in doctrina pietatis errarem? Aut quid tantum oberat parvulis tuis longe tardius ingenium, cum a te longe non recederent, ut in nido ecclesiae tuae tuti plumescerent et alas caritatis alimento sanae fidei nutrirent? O domine deus noster, in velamento alarum tuarum speremus, et protege nos et porta nos. Tu portabis et parvulos et usque ad canos tu portabis, quoniam firmitas nostra quando tu es, tunc est firmitas, cum autem nostra est, infirmitas est. Vivit apud te semper bonum nostrum, et quia inde aversi sumus, perversi sumus. Revertamur iam, domine, ut non evertamur, quia vivit apud te sine ullo defectu bonum nostrum, quod tu ipse es, et non timemus ne non sit quo redeamus, quia nos inde ruimus. Nobis autem absentibus non ruit domus nostra, aeternitas tua. But what did this further me, imagining that Thou, O Lord God, the Truth, wert a vast and bright body, and I a fragment of that body? Perverseness too great! But such was I. Nor do I blush, O my God, to confess to Thee Thy mercies towards me, and to call upon Thee, who blushed not then to profess to men my blasphemies, and to bark against Thee. What profited me then my nimble wit in those sciences and all those most knotty volumes, unravelied by me, without aid from human instruction; seeing I erred so foully, and with such sacrilegious shamefulness, in the doctrine of piety? Or what hindrance was a far slower wit to Thy little ones, since they departed not far from Thee, that in the nest of Thy Church they might securely be fledged, and nourish the wings of charity, by the food of a sound faith. O Lord our God, under the shadow of Thy wings let us hope; protect us, and carry us. Thou wilt carry us both when little, and even to hoar hairs wilt Thou carry us; for our firmness, when it is Thou, then is it firmness; but when our own, it is infirmity. Our good ever lives with Thee; from which when we turn away, we are turned aside. Let us now, O Lord, return, that we may not be overturned, because with Thee our good lives without any decay, which good art Thou; nor need we fear, lest there be no place whither to return, because we fell from it: for through our absence, our mansion fell not- Thy eternity.

Liber quintus

5.1.1 Accipe sacrificium confessionum mearum de manu linguae meae (quam formasti et excitasti, ut confiteatur nomini tuo), et sana omnia ossa mea, et dicant, 'Domine, quis similis tibi?' neque enim docet te quid in se agatur qui tibi confitetur, quia oculum tuum non excludit cor clausum nec manum tuam repellit duritia hominum, sed solvis eam cum voles, aut miserans aut vindicans, et non est qui se abscondat a calore tuo. Sed te laudet anima mea ut amet te, et confiteatur tibi miserationes tuas ut laudet te. Non cessat nec tacet laudes tuas universa creatura tua, nec spiritus omnis per os conversum ad te, nec animalia nec corporalia per os considerantium ea, ut exsurgat in te a lassitudine anima nostra, innitens eis quae fecisti et transiens ad te, qui fecisti haec mirabiliter. Et ibi refectio et vera fortitudo. Accept the sacrifice of my confessions from the ministry of my tongue, which Thou hast formed and stirred up to confess unto Thy name. Heal Thou all my bones, and let them say, O Lord, who is like unto Thee? For he who confesses to Thee doth not teach Thee what takes place within him; seeing a closed heart closes not out Thy eye, nor can man's hard-heartedness thrust back Thy hand: for Thou dissolvest it at Thy will in pity or in vengeance, and nothing can hide itself from Thy heat. But let my soul praise Thee, that it may love Thee; and let it confess Thy own mercies to Thee, that it may praise Thee. Thy whole creation ceaseth not, nor is silent in Thy praises; neither the spirit of man with voice directed unto Thee, nor creation animate or inanimate, by the voice of those who meditate thereon: that so our souls may from their weariness arise towards Thee, leaning on those things which Thou hast created, and passing on to Thyself, who madest them wonderfully; and there is refreshment and true strength.
5.2.2 Eant et fugiant a te inquieti iniqui. Et tu vides eos et distinguis umbras, et ecce pulchra sunt cum eis omnia et ipsi turpes sunt. Et quid nocuerunt tibi? Aut in quo imperium tuum dehonestaverunt, a caelis usque in novissima iustum et integrum? Quo enim fugerunt, cum fugerent a facie tua? Aut ubi tu non invenis eos? Sed fugerunt ut non viderent te videntem se atque excaecati in te offenderent, quia non deseris aliquid eorum quae fecisti; in te offenderent iniusti et iuste vexarentur, subtrahentes se lenitati tuae et offendentes in rectitudinem tuam et cadentes in asperitatem tuam. Videlicet nesciunt quod ubique sis, quem nullus circumscribit locus, et solus es praesens etiam his qui longe fiunt a te. Convertantur ergo et quaerant te, quia non, sicut ipsi deseruerunt creatorem suum, ita tu deseruisti creaturam tuam: ipsi convertantur. Et ecce ibi es in corde eorum, in corde confitentium tibi et proicientium se in te et plorantium in sinu tuo post vias suas difficiles. Et tu facilis terges lacrimas eorum, et magis plorant et gaudent in fletibus, quoniam tu, domine, non aliquis homo, caro et sanguis, sed tu, domine, qui fecisti, reficis et consolaris eos. Et ubi ego eram, quando te quaerebam? Et tu eras ante me, ego autem et a me discesseram nec me inveniebam: quanto minus te! Let the restless, the godless, depart and flee from Thee; yet Thou seest them, and dividest the darkness. And behold, the universe with them is fair, though they are foul. And how have they injured Thee? or how have they disgraced Thy government, which, from the heaven to this lowest earth, is just and perfect? For whither fled they, when they fled from Thy presence? or where dost not Thou find them? But they fled, that they might not see Thee seeing them, and, blinded, might stumble against Thee (because Thou forsakest nothing Thou hast made); that the unjust, I say, might stumble upon Thee, and justly be hurt; withdrawing themselves from thy gentleness, and stumbling at Thy uprightness, and falling upon their own ruggedness. Ignorant, in truth, that Thou art every where, Whom no place encompasseth! and Thou alone art near, even to those that remove far from Thee. Let them then be turned, and seek Thee; because not as they have forsaken their Creator, hast Thou forsaken Thy creation. Let them be turned and seek Thee; and behold, Thou art there in their heart, in the heart of those that confess to Thee, and cast themselves upon Thee, and weep in Thy bosom, after all their rugged ways. Then dost Thou gently wipe away their tears, and they weep the more, and joy in weeping; even for that Thou, Lord, -not man of flesh and blood, but -Thou, Lord, who madest them, re-makest and comfortest them. But where was I, when I was seeking Thee? And Thou wert before me, but I had gone away from Thee; nor did I find myself, how much less Thee!
5.3.3 Proloquar in conspectu dei mei annum illum undetricensimum aetatis meae. Iam venerat Carthaginem quidam manichaeorum episcopus, Faustus nomine, magnus laqueus diaboli, et multi implicabantur in eo per inlecebram suaviloquentiae. Quam ego iam tametsi laudabam, discernebam tamen a veritate rerum quarum discendarum avidus eram, nec quali vasculo sermonis, sed quid mihi scientiae comedendum apponeret nominatus apud eos ille Faustus intuebar. Fama enim de illo praelocuta mihi erat quod esset honestarum omnium doctrinarum peritissimus et apprime disciplinis liberalibus eruditus. Et quoniam multa philosophorum legeram memoriaeque mandata retinebam, ex eis quaedam comparabam illis manichaeorum longis fabulis, et mihi probabiliora ista videbantur quae dixerunt illi qui tantum potuerunt valere ut possent aestimare saeculum, quamquam eius dominum minime invenerint. Quoniam magnus es, domine, et humilia respicis, excelsa autem a longe cognoscis, nec propinquas nisi obtritis corde nec inveniris a superbis, nec si illi curiosa peritia numerent stellas et harenam et dimetiantur sidereas plagas et vestigent vias astrorum. I would lay open before my God that nine-and-twentieth year of mine age. There had then come to Carthage a certain Bishop of the Manichees, Faustus by name, a great snare of the Devil, and many were entangled by him through that lure of his smooth language: which though I did commend, yet could I separate from the truth of the things which I was earnest to learn: nor did I so much regard the service of oratory as the science which this Faustus, so praised among them, set before me to feed upon. Fame had before bespoken him most knowing in all valuable learning, and exquisitely skilled in the liberal sciences. And since I had read and well remembered much of the philosophers, I compared some things of theirs with those long fables of the Manichees, and found the former the more probable; even although they could only prevail so far as to make judgment of this lower world, the Lord of it they could by no means find out. For Thou art great, O Lord, and hast respect unto the humble, but the proud Thou beholdest afar off. Nor dost Thou draw near, but to the contrite in heart, nor art found by the proud, no, not though by curious skill they could number the stars and the sand, and measure the starry heavens, and track the courses of the planets.
5.3.4 Mente sua enim quaerunt ista et ingenio quod tu dedisti eis et multa invenerunt et praenuntiaverunt ante multos annos defectus luminarium solis et lunae, quo die, qua hora, quanta ex parte futuri essent, et non eos fefellit numerus. Et ita factum est ut praenuntiaverunt, et scripserunt regulas indagatas, et leguntur hodie atque ex eis praenuntiatur quo anno et quo mense anni et quo die mensis et qua hora diei et quota parte luminis sui defectura sit luna vel sol: et ita fiet ut praenuntiatur. Et mirantur haec homines et stupent qui nesciunt ea, et exultant atque extolluntur qui sciunt, et per impiam superbiam recedentes et deficientes a lumine tuo tanto ante solis defectum futurum praevident, et in praesentia suum non vident (non enim religiose quaerunt unde habeant ingenium quo ista quaerunt), et invenientes quia tu fecisti eos, non ipsi se dant tibi, se ut serves quod fecisti, et quales se ipsi fecerant occidunt se tibi, et trucidant exaltationes suas sicut volatilia, et curiositates suas sicut pisces maris quibus perambulant secretas semitas abyssi, et luxurias suas sicut pecora campi, ut tu, deus, ignis edax consumas mortuas curas eorum, recreans eos immortaliter. For with their understanding and wit, which Thou bestowedst on them, they search out these things; and much have they found out; and foretold, many years before, eclipses of those luminaries, the sun and moon, -what day and hour, and how many digits, -nor did their calculation fail; and it came to pass as they foretold; and they wrote down the rules they had found out, and these are read at this day, and out of them do others foretell in what year and month of the year, and what day of the month, and what hour of the day, and what part of its light, moon or sun is to be eclipsed, and so it shall be, as it is foreshowed. At these things men, that know not this art, marvel and are astonished, and they that know it, exult, and are puffed up; and by an ungodly pride departing from Thee, and failing of Thy light, they foresee a failure of the sun's light, which shall be, so long before, but see not their own, which is. For they search not religiously whence they have the wit, wherewith they search out this. And finding that Thou madest them, they give not themselves up to Thee, to preserve what Thou madest, nor sacrifice to Thee what they have made themselves; nor slay their own soaring imaginations, as fowls of the air, nor their own diving curiosities (wherewith, like the fishes of the seal they wander over the unknown paths of the abyss), nor their own luxuriousness, as beasts of the field, that Thou, Lord, a consuming fire, mayest burn up those dead cares of theirs, and re-create themselves immortally.
5.3.5 Sed non noverunt viam, verbum tuum, per quod fecisti ea quae numerant et ipsos qui numerant, et sensum quo cernunt quae numerant et mentem de qua numerant: et sapientiae tuae non est numerus. Ipse autem unigenitus factus est nobis sapientia et iustitia et sanctificatio, et numeratus est inter nos, et solvit tributum Caesari. Non noverunt hanc viam qua descendant ad illum a se et per eum ascendant ad eum. Non noverunt hanc viam, et putant se excelsos esse cum sideribus et lucidos, et ecce ruerunt in terram, et obscuratum est insipiens cor eorum. But they knew not the way, Thy Word, by Whom Thou madest these things which they number, and themselves who number, and the sense whereby they perceive what they number, and the understanding, out of which they number; or that of Thy wisdom there is no number. But the Only Begotten is Himself made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and was numbered among us, and paid tribute unto Caesar. They knew not this way whereby to descend to Him from themselves, and by Him ascend unto Him. They knew not this way, and deemed themselves exalted amongst the stars and shining; and behold, they fell upon the earth, and their foolish heart was darkened.
Et multa vera de creatura dicunt et veritatem, creaturae artificem, non pie quaerunt, et ideo non inveniunt, aut si inveniunt, cognoscentes deum non sicut deum honorant aut gratias agunt, et evanescunt in cogitationibus suis, et dicunt se esse sapientes sibi tribuendo quae tua sunt, ac per hoc student perversissima caecitate etiam tibi tribuere quae sua sunt, mendacia scilicet in te conferentes, qui veritas es, et immutantes gloriam incorrupti dei in similitudinem imaginis corruptibilis hominis et volucrum et quadrupedum et serpentium, et convertunt veritatem tuam in mendacium, et colunt et serviunt creaturae potius quam creatori. They discourse many things truly concerning the creature; but Truth, Artificer of the creature, they seek not piously, and therefore find Him not; or if they find Him, knowing Him to be God, they glorify Him not as God, neither are thankful, but become vain in their imaginations, and profess themselves to be wise, attributing to themselves what is Thine; and thereby with most perverse blindness, study to impute to Thee what is their own, forging lies of Thee who art the Truth, and changing the glory of uncorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things, changing Thy truth into a lie, and worshipping and serving the creature more than the Creator.
5.3.6 Multa tamen ab eis ex ipsa creatura vera dicta retinebam, et occurrebat mihi ratio per numeros et ordinem temporum et visibiles attestationes siderum, et conferebam cum dictis Manichaei, quae de his rebus multa scripsit copiosissime delirans, et non mihi occurrebat ratio nec solistitiorum et aequinoctiorum nec defectuum luminarium nec quidquid tale in libris saecularis sapientiae didiceram. Ibi autem credere iubebar, et ad illas rationes numeris et oculis meis exploratas non occurrebat, et longe diversum erat. Yet many truths concerning the creature retained I from these men, and saw the reason thereof from calculations, the succession of times, and the visible testimonies of the stars; and compared them with the saying of Manichaeus, which in his frenzy he had written most largely on these subjects; but discovered not any account of the solstices, or equinoxes, or the eclipses of the greater lights, nor whatever of this sort I had learned in the books of secular philosophy. But I was commanded to believe; and yet it corresponded not with what had been established by calculations and my own sight, but was quite contrary.
5.4.7 Numquid, domine deus veritatis, quisquis novit ista, iam placet tibi? Infelix enim homo qui scit illa omnia, te autem nescit; beatus autem qui te scit, etiamsi illa nesciat. Qui vero et te et illa novit, non propter illa beatior, sed propter te solum beatus est, si cognoscens te sicut te glorificet et gratias agat, et non evanescat in cogitationibus suis. Sicut enim melior est qui novit possidere arborem et de usu eius tibi gratias agit, quamvis nesciat vel quot cubitis alta sit vel quanta latitudine diffusa, quam ille qui eam metitur et omnes ramos eius numerat et neque possidet eam neque creatorem eius novit aut diligit, sic fidelis homo, cuius totus mundus divitiarum est et quasi nihil habens omnia possidet inhaerendo tibi, cui serviunt omnia, quamvis nec saltem septentrionum gyros noverit, dubitare stultum est, quin utique melior sit quam mensor caeli et numerator siderum et pensor elementorum et neglegens tui, qui omnia in mensura et numero et pondere disposuisti. Doth then, O Lord God of truth, whoso knoweth these things, therefore please Thee? Surely unhappy is he who knoweth all these, and knoweth not Thee: but happy whoso knoweth Thee, though he know not these. And whoso knoweth both Thee and them is not the happier for them, but for Thee only, if, knowing Thee, he glorifies Thee as God, and is thankful, and becomes not vain in his imaginations. For as he is better off who knows how to possess a tree, and return thanks to Thee for the use thereof, although he know not how many cubits high it is, or how wide it spreads, than he that can measure it, and count all its boughs, and neither owns it, nor knows or loves its Creator: so a believer, whose all this world of wealth is, and who having nothing, yet possesseth all things, by cleaving unto Thee, whom all things serve, though he know not even the circles of the Great Bear, yet is it folly to doubt but he is in a better state than one who can measure the heavens, and number the stars, and poise the elements, yet neglecteth Thee who hast made all things in number, weight, and measure.
5.5.8 Sed tamen quis quaerebat Manichaeum nescio quem etiam ista scribere, sine quorum peritia pietas disci poterat? Dixisti enim homini, 'Ecce pietas est sapientia.' quam ille ignorare posset, etiamsi ista perfecte nosset; ista vero quia non noverat, impudentissime audens docere, prorsus illam nosse non posset. Vanitas est enim mundana ista etiam nota profiteri, pietas autem tibi confiteri. Unde ille devius ad hoc ista multum locutus est, ut convictus ab eis qui ista vere didicissent, quis esset eius sensus in ceteris quae abditiora sunt manifeste cognosceretur. Non enim parvi se aestimari voluit, sed spiritum sanctum, consolatorem et ditatorem fidelium tuorum, auctoritate plenaria personaliter in se esse persuadere conatus est. Itaque cum de caelo ac stellis et de solis ac lunae motibus falsa dixisse deprehenderetur, quamvis ad doctrinam religionis ista non pertineant, tamen ausus eius sacrilegos fuisse satis emineret, cum ea non solum ignorata sed etiam falsa tam vesana superbiae vanitate diceret, ut ea tamquam divinae personae tribuere sibi niteretur. But yet who bade that Manichaeus write on these things also, skill in which was no element of piety? For Thou hast said to man, Behold piety and wisdom; of which he might be ignorant, though he had perfect knowledge of these things; but these things, since, knowing not, he most impudently dared to teach, he plainly could have no knowledge of piety. For it is vanity to make profession of these worldly things even when known; but confession to Thee is piety. Wherefore this wanderer to this end spake much of these things, that convicted by those who had truly learned them, it might be manifest what understanding he had in the other abstruser things. For he would not have himself meanly thought of, but went about to persuade men, "That the Holy Ghost, the Comforter and Enricher of Thy faithful ones, was with plenary authority personally within him." When then he was found out to have taught falsely of the heaven and stars, and of the motions of the sun and moon (although these things pertain not to the doctrine of religion), yet his sacrilegious presumption would become evident enough, seeing he delivered things which not only he knew not, but which were falsified, with so mad a vanity of pride, that he sought to ascribe them to himself, as to a divine person.
5.5.9 Cum enim audio christianum aliquem fratrem illum aut illum ista nescientem et aliud pro alio sentientem, patienter intueor opinantem hominem nec illi obesse video, cum de te, domine creator omnium, non credat indigna, si forte situs et habitus creaturae corporalis ignoret. Obest autem, si hoc ad ipsam doctrinae pietatis formam pertinere arbitretur et pertinacius affirmare audeat quod ignorat. Sed etiam talis infirmitas in fidei cunabulis a caritate matre sustinetur, donec adsurgat novus homo in virum perfectum et circumferri non possit omni vento doctrinae. In illo autem qui doctor, qui auctor, qui dux et princeps eorum quibus illa suaderet, ita fieri ausus est, ut qui eum sequerentur non quemlibet hominem sed spiritum tuum sanctum se sequi arbitrarentur, quis tantam dementiam, sicubi falsa dixisse convinceretur, non detestandam longeque abiciendam esse iudicaret? Sed tamen nondum liquido compereram utrum etiam secundum eius verba vicissitudines longiorum et breviorum dierum atque noctium et ipsius noctis et diei et deliquia luminum et si quid eius modi in aliis libris legeram posset exponi, ut, si forte posset, incertum quidem mihi fieret utrum ita se res haberet an ita, sed ad fidem meam illius auctoritatem propter creditam sanctitatem praeponerem. For when I hear any Christian brother ignorant of these things, and mistaken on them, I can patiently behold such a man holding his opinion; nor do I see that any ignorance as to the position or character of the corporeal creation can injure him, so long as he doth not believe any thing unworthy of Thee, O Lord, the Creator of all. But it doth injure him, if he imagine it to pertain to the form of the doctrine of piety, and will yet affirm that too stiffly whereof he is ignorant. And yet is even such an infirmity, in the infancy of faith, borne by our mother Charity, till the new-born may grow up unto a perfect man, so as not to be carried about with every wind of doctrine. But in him who in such wise presumed to be the teacher, source, guide, chief of all whom he could so persuade, that whoso followed him thought that he followed, not a mere man, but Thy Holy Spirit; who would not judge that so great madness, when once convicted of having taught any thing false, were to be detested and utterly rejected? But I had not as yet clearly ascertained whether the vicissitudes of longer and shorter days and nights, and of day and night itself, with the eclipses of the greater lights, and whatever else of the kind I had read of in other books, might be explained consistently with his sayings; so that, if they by any means might, it should still remain a question to me whether it were so or no; but I might, on account of his reputed sanctity, rest my credence upon his authority.
5.6.10 Et per annos ferme ipsos novem quibus eos animo vagabundus audivi nimis extento desiderio venturum expectabam istum Faustum. Ceteri enim eorum in quos forte incurrissem, qui talium rerum quaestionibus a me obiectibus deficiebant, illum mihi promittebant, cuius adventu conlatoque conloquio facillime mihi haec et si qua forte maiora quaererem enodatissime expedirentur. Ergo ubi venit, expertus sum hominem gratum et iucundum verbis et ea ipsa quae illi solent dicere multo suavius garrientem. Sed quid ad meam sitim pretiosorum poculorum decentissimus ministrator? Iam rebus talibus satiatae erant aures meae, nec ideo mihi meliora videbantur quia melius dicebantur, nec ideo vera quia diserta, nec ideo sapiens anima quia vultus congruus et decorum eloquium. Illi autem qui eum mihi promittebant non boni rerum existimatores erant, et ideo illis videbatur prudens et sapiens, quia delectabat eos loquens. Sensi autem aliud genus hominum etiam veritatem habere suspectam et ei nolle adquiescere, si compto atque uberi sermone promeretur. Me autem iam docueras, deus meus, miris et occultis modis (et propterea credo quod tu me docueris, quoniam verum est, nec quisquam praeter te alius doctor est veri, ubicumque et undecumque claruerit), iam ergo abs te didiceram nec eo debere videri aliquid verum dici, quia eloquenter dicitur, nec eo falsum, quia incomposite sonant signa labiorum; rursus nec ideo verum, quia impolite enuntiatur, nec ideo falsum, quia splendidus sermo est, sed perinde esse sapientiam et stultitiam sicut sunt cibi utiles et inutiles, verbis autem ornatis et inornatis sicut vasis urbanis et rusticanis utrosque cibos posse ministrari. And for almost all those nine years, wherein with unsettled mind I had been their disciple, I had longed but too intensely for the coming of this Faustus. For the rest of the sect, whom by chance I had lighted upon, when unable to solve my objections about these things, still held out to me the coming of this Faustus, by conference with whom these and greater difficulties, if I had them, were to be most readily and abundantly cleared. When then he came, I found him a man of pleasing discourse, and who could speak fluently and in better terms, yet still but the self-same things which they were wont to say. But what availed the utmost neatness of the cup-bearer to my thirst for a more precious draught? Mine ears were already cloyed with the like, nor did they seem to me therefore better, because better said; nor therefore true, because eloquent; nor the soul therefore wise, because the face was comely, and the language graceful. But they who held him out to me were no good judges of things; and therefore to them he appeared understanding and wise, because in words pleasing. I felt however that another sort of people were suspicious even of truth, and refused to assent to it, if delivered in a smooth and copious discourse. But Thou, O my God, hadst already taught me by wonderful and secret ways, and therefore I believe that Thou taughtest me, because it is truth, nor is there besides Thee any teacher of truth, where or whencesoever it may shine upon us. Of Thyself therefore had I now learned, that neither ought any thing to seem to be spoken truly, because eloquently; nor therefore falsely, because the utterance of the lips is inharmonious; nor, again, therefore true, because rudely delivered; nor therefore false, because the language is rich; but that wisdom and folly are as wholesome and unwholesome food; and adorned or unadorned phrases as courtly or country vessels; either kind of meats may be served up in either kind of dishes.
5.6.11 Igitur aviditas mea, qua illum tanto tempore expectaveram hominem, delectabatur quidem motu affectuque disputantis et verbis congruentibus atque ad vestiendas sententias facile occurrentibus. Delectabar autem et cum multis vel etiam prae multis laudabam ac ferebam, sed moleste habebam quod in coetu audientium non sinerer ingerere illi et partiri cum eo curas quaestionum mearum conferendo familiariter et accipiendo ac reddendo sermonem. Quod ubi potui et aures eius cum familiaribus meis eoque tempore occupare coepi quo non dedeceret alternis disserere, et protuli quaedam quae me movebant, expertus sum prius hominem expertem liberalium disciplinarum nisi grammaticae atque eius ipsius usitato modo. Et quia legerat aliquas tullianas orationes et paucissimos Senecae libros et nonnulla poetarum et suae sectae si qua volumina latine atque composite conscripta erant, et quia aderat cotidiana sermocinandi exercitatio, inde suppetebat eloquium, quod fiebat acceptius magisque seductorium moderamine ingenii et quodam lepore naturali. Itane est, ut recolo, domine deus meus, arbiter conscientiae meae? Coram te cor meum et recordatio mea, qui me tunc agebas abdito secreto providentiae tuae et inhonestos errores meos iam convertebas ante faciem meam, ut viderem et odissem. That greediness then, wherewith I had of so long time expected that man, was delighted verily with his action and feeling when disputing, and his choice and readiness of words to clothe his ideas. I was then delighted, and, with many others and more than they, did I praise and extol him. It troubled me, however, that in the assembly of his auditors, I was not allowed to put in and communicate those questions that troubled me, in familiar converse with him. Which when I might, and with my friends began to engage his ears at such times as it was not unbecoming for him to discuss with me, and had brought forward such things as moved me; I found him first utterly ignorant of liberal sciences, save grammar, and that but in an ordinary way. But because he had read some of Tully's Orations, a very few books of Seneca, some things of the poets, and such few volumes of his own sect as were written in Latin and neatly, and was daily practised in speaking, he acquired a certain eloquence, which proved the more pleasing and seductive because under the guidance of a good wit, and with a kind of natural gracefulness. Is it not thus, as I recall it, O Lord my God, Thou judge of my conscience? before Thee is my heart, and my remembrance, Who didst at that time direct me by the hidden mystery of Thy providence, and didst set those shameful errors of mine before my face, that I might see and hate them.
5.7.12 Nam posteaquam ille mihi imperitus earum artium quibus eum excellere putaveram satis apparuit, desperare coepi posse mihi eum illa quae me movebant aperire atque dissolvere; quorum quidem ignarus posset veritatem tenere pietatis, sed si manichaeus non esset. Libri quippe eorum pleni sunt longissimis fabulis de caelo et sideribus et sole et luna; quae mihi eum, quod utique cupiebam, conlatis numerorum rationibus quas alibi ego legeram, utrum potius ita essent ut Manichaei libris continebantur, an certe vel par etiam inde ratio redderetur, subtiliter explicare posse iam non arbitrabar. Quae tamen ubi consideranda et discutienda protuli, modeste sane ille nec ausus est subire ipsam sarcinam. Noverat enim se ista non nosse nec eum puduit confiteri. Non erat de talibus, quales multos loquaces passus eram, conantes ea me docere et dicentes nihil. Iste vero cor habebat, etsi non rectum ad te, nec tamen nimis incautum ad se ipsum. Non usquequaque imperitus erat imperitiae suae, et noluit se temere disputando in ea coartare unde nec exitus ei ullus nec facilis esset reditus: etiam hinc mihi amplius placuit. Pulchrior est enim temperantia confitentis animi quam illa quae nosse cupiebam. Et eum in omnibus difficilioribus et subtilioribus quaestionibus talem inveniebam. For after it was clear that he was ignorant of those arts in which I thought he excelled, I began to despair of his opening and solving the difficulties which perplexed me (of which indeed however ignorant, he might have held the truths of piety, had he not been a Manichee). For their books are fraught with prolix fables, of the heaven, and stars, sun, and moon, and I now no longer thought him able satisfactorily to decide what I much desired, whether, on comparison of these things with the calculations I had elsewhere read, the account given in the books of Manichaeus were preferable, or at least as good. Which when I proposed to he considered and discussed, he, so far modestly, shrunk from the burthen. For he knew that he knew not these things, and was not ashamed to confess it. For he was not one of those talking persons, many of whom I had endured, who undertook to teach me these things, and said nothing. But this man had a heart, though not right towards Thee, yet neither altogether treacherous to himself. For he was not altogether ignorant of his own ignorance, nor would he rashly be entangled in a dispute, whence he could neither retreat nor extricate himself fairly. Even for this I liked him the better. For fairer is the modesty of a candid mind, than the knowledge of those things which I desired; and such I found him, in all the more difficult and subtile questions.
5.7.13 Refracto itaque studio quod intenderam in Manichaei litteras, magisque desperans de ceteris eorum doctoribus, quando in multis quae me movebant ita ille nominatus apparuit, coepi cum eo pro studio eius agere vitam, quo ipse flagrabat in eas litteras quas tunc iam rhetor Carthaginis adulescentes docebam, et legere cum eo sive quae ille audita desideraret sive quae ipse tali ingenio apta existimarem. Ceterum conatus omnis meus quo proficere in illa secta statueram illo homine cognito prorsus intercidit, non ut ab eis omnino separarer sed, quasi melius quicquam non inveniens, eo quo iam quoquo modo inrueram contentus interim esse decreveram, nisi aliquid forte quod magis eligendum esset eluceret. Ita ille Faustus, qui multis laqueus mortis extitit, meum quo captus eram relaxare iam coeperat, nec volens nec sciens. Manus enim tuae, deus meus, in abdito providentiae tuae non deserebant animam meam, et de sanguine cordis matris meae per lacrimas eius diebus et noctibus pro me sacrificabatur tibi, et egisti mecum miris modis. Tu illud egisti, deus meus, nam a domino gressus hominis diriguntur, et viam eius volet. Aut quae procuratio salutis praeter manum tuam reficientem quae fecisti? My zeal for the writings of Manichaeus being thus blunted, and despairing yet more of their other teachers, seeing that in divers things which perplexed me, he, so renowned among them, had so turned out; I began to engage with him in the study of that literature, on which he also was much set (and which as rhetoric-reader I was at that time teaching young students at Carthage), and to read with him, either what himself desired to hear, or such as I judged fit for his genius. But all my efforts whereby I had purposed to advance in that sect, upon knowledge of that man, came utterly to an end; not that I detached myself from them altogether, but as one finding nothing better, I had settled to be content meanwhile with what I had in whatever way fallen upon, unless by chance something more eligible should dawn upon me. Thus, that Faustus, to so many a snare of death, had now neither willing nor witting it, begun to loosen that wherein I was taken. For Thy hands, O my God, in the secret purpose of Thy providence, did not forsake my soul; and out of my mother's heart's blood, through her tears night and day poured out, was a sacrifice offered for me unto Thee; and Thou didst deal with me by wondrous ways. Thou didst it, O my God: for the steps of a man are ordered by the Lord, and He shall dispose his way. Or how shall we obtain salvation, but from Thy hand, re-making what it made?
5.8.14 Egisti ergo mecum ut mihi persuaderetur Romam pergere et potius ibi docere quod docebam Carthagini. Et hoc unde mihi persuasum est non praeteribo confiteri tibi, quoniam et in his altissimi tui recessus et praesentissima in nos misericordia tua cogitanda et praedicanda est. Non ideo Romam pergere volui, quod maiores quaestus maiorque mihi dignitas ab amicis qui hoc suadebant promittebatur (quamquam et ista ducebant animum tunc meum), sed illa erat causa maxima et paene sola, quod audiebam quietius ibi studere adulescentes et ordinatiore disciplinae cohercitione sedari, ne in eius scholam quo magistro non utuntur passim et proterve inruant, nec eos admitti omnino nisi ille permiserit. Contra apud Carthaginem foeda est et intemperans licentia scholasticorum. Inrumpunt impudenter et prope furiosa fronte perturbant ordinem quem quisque discipulis ad proficiendum instituerit. Multa iniuriosa faciunt mira hebetudine, et punienda legibus nisi consuetudo patrona sit, hoc miseriores eos ostendens, quo iam quasi liceat faciunt quod per tuam aeternam legem numquam licebit, et impune se facere arbitrantur, cum ipsa faciendi caecitate puniantur et incomparabiliter patiantur peiora quam faciunt. Ergo quos mores cum studerem meos esse nolui, eos cum docerem cogebar perpeti alienos. Et ideo placebat ire ubi talia non fieri omnes qui noverant indicabant. Verum autem tu, spes mea et portio mea in terra viventium, ad mutandum terrarum locum pro salute animae meae, et Carthagini stimulos quibus inde avellerer admovebas, et Romae inlecebras quibus attraherer proponebas mihi per homines qui diligunt vitam mortuam, hinc insana facientes, inde vana pollicentes, et ad corrigendos gressus meos utebaris occulte et illorum et mea perversitate. Nam et qui perturbabant otium meum foeda rabie caeci erant, et qui invitabant ad aliud terram sapiebant, ego autem, qui detestabar hic veram miseriam, illic falsam felicitatem appetebam. Thou didst deal with me, that I should be persuaded to go to Rome, and to teach there rather, what I was teaching at Carthage. And how I was persuaded to this, I will not neglect to confess to Thee; because herein also the deepest recesses of Thy wisdom, and Thy most present mercy to us, must be considered and confessed. I did not wish therefore to go to Rome, because higher gains and higher dignities were warranted me by my friends who persuaded me to this (though even these things had at that time an influence over my mind), but my chief and almost only reason was, that I heard that young men studied there more peacefully, and were kept quiet under a restraint of more regular discipline; so that they did not, at their pleasures, petulantly rush into the school of one whose pupils they were not, nor were even admitted without his permission. Whereas at Carthage there reigns among the scholars a most disgraceful and unruly licence. They burst in audaciously, and with gestures almost frantic, disturb all order which any one hath established for the good of his scholars. Divers outrages they commit, with a wonderful stolidity, punishable by law, did not custom uphold them; that custom evincing them to be the more miserable, in that they now do as lawful what by Thy eternal law shall never be lawful; and they think they do it unpunished, whereas they are punished with the very blindness whereby they do it, and suffer incomparably worse than what they do. The manners then which, when a student, I would not make my own, I was fain as a teacher to endure in others: and so I was well pleased to go where, all that knew it, assured me that the like was not done. But Thou, my refuge and my portion in the land of the living; that I might change my earthly dwelling for the salvation of my soul, at Carthage didst goad me, that I might thereby be torn from it; and at Rome didst proffer me allurements, whereby I might be drawn thither, by men in love with a dying life, the one doing frantic, the other promising vain, things; and, to correct my steps, didst secretly use their and my own perverseness. For both they who disturbed my quiet were blinded with a disgraceful frenzy, and they who invited me elsewhere savoured of earth. And I, who here detested real misery, was there seeking unreal happiness.
5.8.15 Sed quare hinc abirem et illuc irem, tu sciebas, deus, nec indicabas mihi nec matri, quae me profectum atrociter planxit et usque ad mare secuta est. Sed fefelli eam, violenter me tenentem ut aut revocaret aut mecum pergeret. Et finxi me amicum nolle deserere donec vento facto navigaret, et mentitus sum matri, et illi matri. Et evasi, quia et hoc dimisisti mihi misericorditer servans me ab aquis maris, plenum exsecrandis sordibus usque ad aquam gratiae tuae, qua me abluto siccarentur flumina maternorum oculorum, quibus pro me cotidie tibi rigabat terram sub vultu suo. Et tamen recusanti sine me redire vix persuasi ut in loco qui proximus nostrae navi erat, memoria beati Cypriani, maneret ea nocte. Sed ea nocte clanculo ego profectus sum, illa autem non; mansit orando et flendo. Et quid a te petebat, deus meus, tantis lacrimis, nisi ut navigare me non sineres? Sed tu alte consulens et exaudiens cardinem desiderii eius non curasti quod tunc petebat, ut me faceres quod semper petebat. Flavit ventus et implevit vela nostra et litus subtraxit aspectibus nostris, in quo mane illa insaniebat dolore, et querellis et gemitu implebat aures tuas contemnentis ista, cum et me cupiditatibus meis raperes ad finiendas ipsas cupiditates et illius carnale desiderium iusto dolorum flagello vapularet. Amabat enim secum praesentiam meam more matrum, sed multis multo amplius, et nesciebat quid tu illi gaudiorum facturus esses de absentia mea. Nesciebat, ideo flebat et eiulabat, atque illis cruciatibus arguebatur in ea reliquiarium Evae, cum gemitu quaerens quod cum gemitu pepererat. Et tamen post accusationem fallaciarum et crudelitatis meae conversa rursus ad deprecandum te pro me abiit ad solita, et ego Romam. But why I went hence, and went thither, Thou knewest, O God, yet showedst it neither to me, nor to my mother, who grievously bewailed my journey, and followed me as far as the sea. But I deceived her, holding me by force, that either she might keep me back or go with me, and I feigned that I had a friend whom I could not leave, till he had a fair wind to sail. And I lied to my mother, and such a mother, and escaped: for this also hast Thou mercifully forgiven me, preserving me, thus full of execrable defilements, from the waters of the sea, for the water of Thy Grace; whereby when I was cleansed, the streams of my mother's eyes should be dried, with which for me she daily watered the ground under her face. And yet refusing to return without me, I scarcely persuaded her to stay that night in a place hard by our ship, where was an Oratory in memory of the blessed Cyprian. That night I privily departed, but she was not behind in weeping and prayer. And what, O Lord, was she with so many tears asking of Thee, but that Thou wouldest not suffer me to sail? But Thou, in the depth of Thy counsels and hearing the main point of her desire, regardest not what she then asked, that Thou mightest make me what she ever asked. The wind blew and swelled our sails, and withdrew the shore from our sight; and she on the morrow was there, frantic with sorrow, and with complaints and groans filled Thine ears, Who didst then disregard them; whilst through my desires, Thou wert hurrying me to end all desire, and the earthly part of her affection to me was chastened by the allotted scourge of sorrows. For she loved my being with her, as mothers do, but much more than many; and she knew not how great joy Thou wert about to work for her out of my absence. She knew not; therefore did she weep and wail, and by this agony there appeared in her the inheritance of Eve, with sorrow seeking what in sorrow she had brought forth. And yet, after accusing my treachery and hardheartedness, she betook herself again to intercede to Thee for me, went to her wonted place, and I to Rome.
5.9.16 Et ecce excipior ibi flagello aegritudinis corporalis, et ibam iam ad inferos portans omnia mala quae commiseram et in te et in me et in alios, multa et gravia super originalis peccati vinculum quo omnes in Adam morimur. Non enim quicquam eorum mihi donaveras in Christo, nec solverat ille in cruce sua inimicitias quas tecum contraxeram peccatis meis. Quomodo enim eas solveret in cruce phantasmatis, quod de illo credideram? Quam ergo falsa mihi videbatur mors carnis eius, tam vera erat animae meae, et quam vera erat mors carnis eius, tam falsa vita animae meae, quae id non credebat. Et ingravescentibus febribus iam ibam et peribam. Quo enim irem, si hinc tunc abirem, nisi in ignem atque tormenta digna factis meis in veritate ordinis tui? Et hoc illa nesciebat et tamen pro me orabat absens; tu autem ubique praesens ubi erat exaudiebas eam, et ubi eram miserebaris mei, ut recuperarem salutem corporis adhuc insanus corde sacrilego. Neque enim desiderabam in illo tanto periculo baptismum tuum, et melior eram puer, quo illum de materna pietate flagitavi, sicut iam recordatus atque confessus sum. Sed in dedecus meum creveram et consilia medicinae tuae demens inridebam, qui non me sivisti talem bis mori. Quo vulnere si feriretur cor matris, numquam sanaretur. Non enim satis eloquor quid erga me habebat animi, et quanto maiore sollicitudine me parturiebat spiritu quam carne pepererat. And lo, there was I received by the scourge of bodily sickness, and I was going down to hell, carrying all the sins which I had committed, both against Thee, and myself, and others, many and grievous, over and above that bond of original sin, whereby we all die in Adam. For Thou hadst not forgiven me any of these things in Christ, nor had He abolished by His Cross the enmity which by my sins I had incurred with Thee. For how should He, by the crucifixion of a phantasm, which I believed Him to be? So true, then, was the death of my soul, as that of His flesh seemed to me false; and how true the death of His body, so false was the life of my soul, which did not believe it. And now the fever heightening, I was parting and departing for ever. For had I then parted hence, whither had I departed, but into fire and torments, such as my misdeeds deserved in the truth of Thy appointment? And this she knew not, yet in absence prayed for me. But Thou, everywhere present, heardest her where she was, and, where I was, hadst compassion upon me; that I should recover the health of my body, though frenzied as yet in my sacrilegious heart. For I did not in all that danger desire Thy baptism; and I was better as a boy, when I begged it of my mother's piety, as I have before recited and confessed. But I had grown up to my own shame, and I madly scoffed at the prescripts of Thy medicine, who wouldest not suffer me, being such, to die a double death. With which wound had my mother's heart been pierced, it could never be healed. For I cannot express the affection she bore to me, and with how much more vehement anguish she was now in labour of me in the spirit, than at her childbearing in the flesh.
5.9.17 Non itaque video quomodo sanaretur, si mea talis illa mors transverberasset viscera dilectionis eius. Et ubi essent tantae preces, et tam crebrae sine intermissione? Nusquam nisi ad te. An vero tu, deus misericordiarum, sperneres cor contritum et humilatum viduae castae ac sobriae, frequentantis elemosynas, obsequentis atque servientis sanctis tuis, nullum diem praetermittentis oblationem ad altare tuum, bis die, mane et vespere, ad ecclesiam tuam sine ulla intermissione venientis, non ad vanas fabulas et aniles loquacitates, sed ut te audiret in tuis sermonibus et tu illam in suis orationibus? Huiusne tu lacrimas, quibus non a te aurum et argentum petebat, nec aliquod nutabile aut volubile bonum, sed salutem animae filii sui, tu, cuius munere talis erat, contemneres et repelleres ab auxilio tuo? Nequaquam, domine. Immo vero aderas et exaudiebas et faciebas ordine quo praedestinaveras esse faciendum. Absit ut tu falleres eam in illis visionibus et responsis tuis, quae iam commemoravi et quae non commemoravi, quae illa fideli pectore tenebat et semper orans tamquam chirographa tua ingerebat tibi. Dignaris enim, quoniam in saeculum misericordia tua, eis quibus omnia debita dimittis, etiam promissionibus debitor fieri. I see not then how she should have been healed, had such a death of mine stricken through the bowels of her love. And where would have been those her so strong and unceasing prayers, unintermitting to Thee alone? But wouldest Thou, God of mercies, despise the contrite and humbled heart of that chaste and sober widow, so frequent in almsdeeds, so full of duty and service to Thy saints, no day intermitting the oblation at Thine altar, twice a day, morning and evening, without any intermission, coming to Thy church, not for idle tattlings and old wives' fables; but that she might hear Thee in Thy discourses, and Thou her in her prayers. Couldest Thou despise and reject from Thy aid the tears of such an one, wherewith she begged of Thee not gold or silver, nor any mutable or passing good, but the salvation of her son's soul? Thou, by whose gift she was such? Never, Lord. Yea, Thou wert at hand, and wert hearing and doing, in that order wherein Thou hadst determined before that it should be done. Far be it that Thou shouldest deceive her in Thy visions and answers, some whereof I have, some I have not mentioned, which she laid up in her faithful heart, and ever praying, urged upon Thee, as Thine own handwriting. For Thou, because Thy mercy endureth for ever, vouchsafest to those to whom Thou forgivest all of their debts, to become also a debtor by Thy promises.
5.10.18 Recreasti ergo me ab illa aegritudine et salvum fecisti filium ancillae tuae tunc interim corpore, ut esset cui salutem meliorem atque certiorem dares. Et iungebar etiam tunc Romae falsis illis atque fallentibus sanctis, non enim tantum auditoribus eorum, quorum e numero erat etiam is in cuius domo aegrotaveram et convalueram, sed eis etiam quos electos vocant. Adhuc enim mihi videbatur non esse nos qui peccamus, sed nescio quam aliam in nobis peccare naturam, et delectabat superbiam meam extra culpam esse et, cum aliquid mali fecissem, non confiteri me fecisse, ut sanares animam meam, quoniam peccabat tibi, sed excusare me amabam et accusare nescio quid aliud quod mecum esset et ego non essem. Verum autem totum ego eram et adversus me impietas mea me diviserat, et id erat peccatum insanabilius, quo me peccatorem non esse arbitrabar, et execrabilis iniquitas, te, deus omnipotens, te in me ad perniciem meam, quam me a te ad salutem malle superari. Nondum ergo posueras custodiam ori meo et ostium continentiae circum labia mea, ut non declinaret cor meum in verba mala ad excusandas excusationes in peccatis cum hominibus operantibus iniquitatem, et ideo adhuc combinabam cum electis eorum, sed tamen iam desperans in ea falsa doctrina me posse proficere, eaque ipsa quibus, si nihil melius reperirem, contentus esse decreveram iam remissius neglegentiusque retinebam. Thou recoveredst me then of that sickness, and healedst the son of Thy handmaid, for the time in body, that he might live, for Thee to bestow upon him a better and more abiding health. And even then, at Rome, I joined myself to those deceiving and deceived "holy ones"; not with their disciples only (of which number was he, in whose house I had fallen sick and recovered); but also with those whom they call "The Elect." For I still thought "that it was not we that sin, but that I know not what other nature sinned in us"; and it delighted my pride, to be free from blame; and when I had done any evil, not to confess I had done any, that Thou mightest heal my soul because it had sinned against Thee: but I loved to excuse it, and to accuse I know not what other thing, which was with me, but which I was not. But in truth it was wholly I, and mine impiety had divided me against myself: and that sin was the more incurable, whereby I did not judge myself a sinner; and execrable iniquity it was, that I had rather have Thee, Thee, O God Almighty, to be overcome in me to my destruction, than myself of Thee to salvation. Not as yet then hadst Thou set a watch before my mouth, and a door of safe keeping around my lips, that my heart might not turn aside to wicked speeches, to make excuses of sins, with men that work iniquity; and, therefore, was I still united with their Elect.
5.10.19 Etenim suborta est etiam mihi cogitatio, prudentiores illos ceteris fuisse philosophos quos academicos appellant, quod de omnibus dubitandum esse censuerant nec aliquid veri ab homine comprehendi posse decreverant. Ita enim et mihi liquido sensisse videbantur, ut vulgo habentur, etiam illorum intentionem nondum intellegenti. Nec dissimulavi eundem hospitem meum reprimere a nimia fiducia quam sensi eum habere de rebus fabulosis quibus Manichaei libri pleni sunt. Amicitia tamen eorum familiarius utebar quam ceterorum hominum qui in illa haeresi non fuissent. Nec eam defendebam pristina animositate, sed tamen familiaritas eorum (plures enim eos Roma occultat) pigrius me faciebat aliud quaerere, praesertim desperantem in ecclesia tua, domine caeli et terrae, creator omnium visibilium et invisibilium, posse inveniri verum, unde me illi averterant, multumque mihi turpe videbatur credere figuram te habere humanae carnis et membrorum nostrorum liniamentis corporalibus terminari, et quoniam cum de deo meo cogitare vellem, cogitare nisi moles corporum non noveram (neque enim videbatur mihi esse quicquam quod tale non esset), ea maxima et prope sola causa erat inevitabilis erroris mei. But now despairing to make proficiency in that false doctrine, even those things (with which if I should find no better, I had resolved to rest contented) I now held more laxly and carelessly. For there half arose a thought in me that those philosophers, whom they call Academics, were wiser than the rest, for that they held men ought to doubt everything, and laid down that no truth can be comprehended by man: for so, not then understanding even their meaning, I also was clearly convinced that they thought, as they are commonly reported. Yet did I freely and openly discourage that host of mine from that over-confidence which I perceived him to have in those fables, which the books of Manichaeus are full of. Yet I lived in more familiar friendship with them, than with others who were not of this heresy. Nor did I maintain it with my ancient eagerness; still my intimacy with that sect (Rome secretly harbouring many of them) made me slower to seek any other way: especially since I despaired of finding the truth, from which they had turned me aside, in Thy Church, O Lord of heaven and earth, Creator of all things visible and invisible: and it seemed to me very unseemly to believe Thee to have the shape of human flesh, and to be bounded by the bodily lineaments of our members. And because, when I wished to think on my God, I knew not what to think of, but a mass of bodies (for what was not such did not seem to me to be anything), this was the greatest, and almost only cause of my inevitable error.
5.10.20 Hinc enim et mali substantiam quandam credebam esse talem et habere suam molem taetram et deformem et crassam, quam terram dicebant, sive tenuem atque subtilem, sicuti est aeris corpus, quam malignam mentem per illam terram repentem imaginantur. Et quia deum bonum nullam malam naturam creasse qualiscumque me pietas credere cogebat, constituebam ex adverso sibi duas moles, utramque infinitam, sed malam angustius, bonam grandius, et ex hoc initio pestilentioso me cetera sacrilegia sequebantur. Cum enim conaretur animus meus recurrere in catholicam fidem, repercutiebar, quia non erat catholica fides quam esse arbitrabar. Et magis pius mihi videbar, si te, deus meus, cui confitentur ex me miserationes tuae, vel ex ceteris partibus infinitum crederem, quamvis ex una, qua tibi moles mali opponebatur, cogerer finitum fateri, quam si ex omnibus partibus in corporis humani forma te opinarer finiri. Et melius mihi videbar credere nullum malum te creasse (quod mihi nescienti non solum aliqua substantia sed etiam corporea videbatur, quia et mentem cogitare non noveram nisi eam subtile corpus esse, quod tamen per loci spatia diffunderetur) quam credere abs te esse qualem putabam naturam mali. Ipsumque salvatorem nostrum, unigenitum tuum, tamquam de massa lucidissimae molis tuae porrectum ad nostram salutem ita putabam, ut aliud de illo non crederem nisi quod possem vanitate imaginari. Talem itaque naturam eius nasci non posse de Maria virgine arbitrabar, nisi carni concerneretur. Concerni autem et non inquinari non videbam, quod mihi tale figurabam. Metuebam itaque credere in carne natum, ne credere cogerer ex carne inquinatum. Nunc spiritales tui blande et amanter ridebunt me, si has confessiones meas legerint, sed tamen talis eram. For hence I believed Evil also to be some such kind of substance, and to have its own foul and hideous bulk; whether gross, which they called earth, or thin and subtile (like the body of the air), which they imagine to be some malignant mind, creeping through that earth. And because a piety, such as it was, constrained me to believe that the good God never created any evil nature, I conceived two masses, contrary to one another, both unbounded, but the evil narrower, the good more expansive. And from this pestilent beginning, the other sacrilegious conceits followed on me. For when my mind endeavoured to recur to the Catholic faith, I was driven back, since that was not the Catholic faith which I thought to be so. And I seemed to myself more reverential, if I believed of Thee, my God (to whom Thy mercies confess out of my mouth), as unbounded, at least on other sides, although on that one where the mass of evil was opposed to Thee, I was constrained to confess Thee bounded; than if on all sides I should imagine Thee to be bounded by the form of a human body. And it seemed to me better to believe Thee to have created no evil (which to me ignorant seemed not some only, but a bodily substance, because I could not conceive of mind unless as a subtile body, and that diffused in definite spaces), than to believe the nature of evil, such as I conceived it, could come from Thee. Yea, and our Saviour Himself, Thy Only Begotten, I believed to have been reached forth (as it were) for our salvation, out of the mass of Thy most lucid substance, so as to believe nothing of Him, but what I could imagine in my vanity. His Nature then, being such, I thought could not be born of the Virgin Mary, without being mingled with the flesh: and how that which I had so figured to myself could be mingled, and not defiled, I saw not. I feared therefore to believe Him born in the flesh, lest I should be forced to believe Him defiled by the flesh. Now will Thy spiritual ones mildly and lovingly smile upon me, if they shall read these my confessions. Yet such was I.
5.11.21 Deinde quae illi in scripturis tuis reprehenderant defendi posse non existimabam, sed aliquando sane cupiebam cum aliquo illorum librorum doctissimo conferre singula et experiri quid inde sentiret. Iam enim Elpidii cuiusdam adversus eosdem manichaeos coram loquentis et disserentis sermones etiam apud Carthaginem movere me coeperant, cum talia de scripturis proferret quibus resisti non facile posset. Et inbecilla mihi responsio videbatur istorum, quam quidem non facile palam promebant sed nobis secretius, cum dicerent scripturas novi testamenti falsatas fuisse a nescio quibus, qui Iudaeorum legem inserere christianae fidei voluerunt, atque ipsi incorrupta exemplaria nulla proferrent. Sed me maxime captum et offocatum quodam modo deprimebant corporalia cogitantem moles illae, sub quibus anhelans in auram tuae veritatis liquidam et simplicem respirare non poteram. Furthermore, what the Manichees had criticised in Thy Scriptures, I thought could not be defended; yet at times verily I had a wish to confer upon these several points with some one very well skilled in those books, and to make trial what he thought thereon; for the words of one Helpidius, as he spoke and disputed face to face against the said Manichees, had begun to stir me even at Carthage: in that he had produced things out of the Scriptures, not easily withstood, the Manichees' answer whereto seemed to me weak. And this answer they liked not to give publicly, but only to us in private. It was, that the Scriptures of the New Testament had been corrupted by I know not whom, who wished to engraff the law of the Jews upon the Christian faith: yet themselves produced not any uncorrupted copies. But I, conceiving of things corporeal only, was mainly held down, vehemently oppressed and in a manner suffocated by those "masses"; panting under which after the breath of Thy truth, I could not breathe it pure and untainted.
5.12.22 Sedulo ergo agere coeperam, propter quod veneram, ut docerem Romae artem rhetoricam, et prius domi congregare aliquos quibus et per quos innotescere coeperam. Et ecce cognosco alia Romae fieri, quae non patiebar in Africa. Nam re vera illas eversiones a perditis adulescentibus ibi non fieri manifestatum est mihi: 'Sed subito,' inquiunt, 'Ne mercedem magistro reddant, conspirant multi adulescentes et transferunt se ad alium, desertores fidei et quibus prae pecuniae caritate iustitia vilis est.' oderat etiam istos cor meum, quamvis non perfecto odio. Quod enim ab eis passurus eram magis oderam fortasse quam eo quod cuilibet inlicita faciebant. Certe tamen turpes sunt tales et fornicantur abs te amando volatica ludibria temporum et lucrum luteum, quod cum apprehenditur manum inquinat, et amplectendo mundum fugientem, contemnendo te manentem et revocantem et ignoscentem redeunti ad te meretrici animae humanae. Et nunc tales odi pravos et distortos, quamvis eos corrigendos diligam, ut pecuniae doctrinam ipsam quam discunt praeferant, ei vero te deum veritatem et ubertatem certi boni et pacem castissimam. Sed tunc magis eos pati nolebam malos propter me, quam fieri propter te bonos volebam. I began then diligently to practise that for which I came to Rome, to teach rhetoric; and first, to gather some to my house, to whom, and through whom, I had begun to be known; when to, I found other offences committed in Rome, to which I was not exposed in Africa. True, those "subvertings" by profligate young men were not here practised, as was told me: but on a sudden, said they, to avoid paying their master's stipend, a number of youths plot together, and remove to another; -breakers of faith, who for love of money hold justice cheap. These also my heart hated, though not with a perfect hatred: for perchance I hated them more because I was to suffer by them, than because they did things utterly unlawful. Of a truth such are base persons, and they go a whoring from Thee, loving these fleeting mockeries of things temporal, and filthy lucre, which fouls the hand that grasps it; hugging the fleeting world, and despising Thee, Who abidest, and recallest, and forgivest the adulteress soul of man, when she returns to Thee. And now I hate such depraved and crooked persons, though I love them if corrigible, so as to prefer to money the learning which they acquire, and to learning, Thee, O God, the truth and fulness of assured good, and most pure peace. But then I rather for my own sake misliked them evil, than liked and wished them good for Thine.
5.13.23 Itaque posteaquam missum est a Mediolanio Romam ad praefectum urbis, ut illi civitati rhetoricae magister provideretur, impertita etiam evectione publica, ego ipse ambivi per eos ipsos manichaeis vanitatibus ebrios (quibus ut carerem ibam, sed utrique nesciebamus) ut dictione proposita me probatum praefectus tunc Symmachus mitteret. Et veni Mediolanium ad Ambrosium episcopum, in optimis notum orbi terrae, pium cultorem tuum, cuius tunc eloquia strenue ministrabant adipem frumenti tui et laetitiam olei et sobriam vini ebrietatem populo tuo. Ad eum autem ducebar abs te nesciens, ut per eum ad te sciens ducerer. Suscepit me paterne ille homo dei et peregrinationem meam satis episcopaliter dilexit. Et eum amare coepi, primo quidem non tamquam doctorem veri, quod in ecclesia tua prorsus desperabam, sed tamquam hominem benignum in me. Et studiose audiebam disputantem in populo, non intentione qua debui, sed quasi explorans eius facundiam, utrum conveniret famae suae an maior minorve proflueret quam praedicabatur, et verbis eius suspendebar intentus, rerum autem incuriosus et contemptor adstabam. Et delectabar suavitate sermonis, quamquam eruditioris, minus tamen hilarescentis atque mulcentis quam Fausti erat, quod attinet ad dicendi modum. Ceterum rerum ipsarum nulla comparatio: nam ille per manichaeas fallacias aberrabat, ille autem saluberrime docebat salutem. Sed longe est a peccatoribus salus, qualis ego tunc aderam, et tamen propinquabam sensim et nesciens. When therefore they of Milan had sent to Rome to the prefect of the city, to furnish them with a rhetoric reader for their city, and sent him at the public expense, I made application (through those very persons, intoxicated with Manichaean vanities, to be freed wherefrom I was to go, neither of us however knowing it) that Symmachus, then prefect of the city, would try me by setting me some subject, and so send me. To Milan I came, to Ambrose the Bishop, known to the whole world as among the best of men, Thy devout servant; whose eloquent discourse did then plentifully dispense unto Thy people the flour of Thy wheat, the gladness of Thy oil, and the sober inebriation of Thy wine. To him was I unknowing led by Thee, that by him I might knowingly be led to Thee. That man of God received me as a father, and showed me an Episcopal kindness on my coming. Thenceforth I began to love him, at first indeed not as a teacher of the truth (which I utterly despaired of in Thy Church), but as a person kind towards myself. And I listened diligently to him preaching to the people, not with that intent I ought, but, as it were, trying his eloquence, whether it answered the fame thereof, or flowed fuller or lower than was reported; and I hung on his words attentively; but of the matter I was as a careless and scornful looker-on; and I was delighted with the sweetness of his discourse, more recondite, yet in manner less winning and harmonious, than that of Faustus. Of the matter, however, there was no comparison; for the one was wandering amid Manichaean delusions, the other teaching salvation most soundly. But salvation is far from sinners, such as I then stood before him; and yet was I drawing nearer by little and little, and unconsciously.
5.14.24 Cum enim non satagerem discere quae dicebat, sed tantum quemadmodum dicebat audire (ea mihi quippe iam desperanti ad te viam patere homini inanis cura remanserat), veniebant in animum meum simul cum verbis quae diligebam res etiam quas neglegebam, neque enim ea dirimere poteram. Et dum cor aperirem ad excipiendum quam diserte diceret, pariter intrabat et quam vere diceret, gradatim quidem. Nam primo etiam ipsa defendi posse mihi iam coeperunt videri, et fidem catholicam, pro qua nihil posse dici adversus oppugnantes manichaeos putaveram, iam non impudenter adseri existimabam, maxime audito uno atque altero et saepius aenigmate soluto de scriptis veteribus, ubi, cum ad litteram acciperem, occidebar. Spiritaliter itaque plerisque illorum librorum locis expositis iam reprehendebam desperationem meam, illam dumtaxat qua credideram legem et prophetas detestantibus atque inridentibus resisti omnino non posse. Nec tamen iam ideo mihi catholicam viam tenendam esse sentiebam, quia et ipsa poterat habere doctos adsertores suos, qui copiose et non absurde obiecta refellerent, nec ideo iam damnandum illud quod tenebam quia defensionis partes aequabantur. Ita enim catholica non mihi victa videbatur, ut nondum etiam victrix appareret. For though I took no pains to learn what he spake, but only to hear how he spake (for that empty care alone was left me, despairing of a way, open for man, to Thee), yet together with the words which I would choose, came also into my mind the things which I would refuse; for I could not separate them. And while I opened my heart to admit "how eloquently he spake," there also entered "how truly he spake"; but this by degrees. For first, these things also had now begun to appear to me capable of defence; and the Catholic faith, for which I had thought nothing could be said against the Manichees' objections, I now thought might be maintained without shamelessness; especially after I had heard one or two places of the Old Testament resolved, and ofttimes "in a figure," which when I understood literally, I was slain spiritually. Very many places then of those books having been explained, I now blamed my despair, in believing that no answer could be given to such as hated and scoffed at the Law and the Prophets. Yet did I not therefore then see that the Catholic way was to be held, because it also could find learned maintainers, who could at large and with some show of reason answer objections; nor that what I held was therefore to be condemned, because both sides could be maintained. For the Catholic cause seemed to me in such sort not vanquished, as still not as yet to be victorious.
5.14.25 Tum vero fortiter intendi animum, si quo modo possem certis aliquibus documentis manichaeos convincere falsitatis. Quod si possem spiritalem substantiam cogitare, statim machinamenta illa omnia solverentur et abicerentur ex animo meo: sed non poteram. Verum tamen de ipso mundi huius corpore omnique natura quam sensus carnis attingeret multo probabiliora plerosque sensisse philosophos magis magisque considerans atque comparans iudicabam. Itaque academicorum more, sicut existimantur, dubitans de omnibus atque inter omnia fluctuans, manichaeos quidem relinquendos esse decrevi, non arbitrans eo ipso tempore dubitationis meae in illa secta mihi permanendum esse cui iam nonnullos philosophos praeponebam. Quibus tamen philosophis, quod sine salutari nomine Christi essent, curationem languoris animae meae committere omnino recusabam. Statui ergo tamdiu esse catechumenus in catholica ecclesia mihi a parentibus commendata, donec aliquid certi eluceret quo cursum dirigerem. Hereupon I earnestly bent my mind, to see if in any way I could by any certain proof convict the Manichees of falsehood. Could I once have conceived a spiritual substance, all their strongholds had been beaten down, and cast utterly out of my mind; but I could not. Notwithstanding, concerning the frame of this world, and the whole of nature, which the senses of the flesh can reach to, as I more and more considered and compared things, I judged the tenets of most of the philosophers to have been much more probable. So then after the manner of the Academics (as they are supposed) doubting of every thing, and wavering between all, I settled so far, that the Manichees were to be abandoned; judging that, even while doubting, I might not continue in that sect, to which I already preferred some of the philosophers; to which philosophers notwithstanding, for that they were without the saving Name of Christ, I utterly refused to commit the cure of my sick soul. I determined therefore so long to be a Catechumen in the Catholic Church, to which I had been commended by my parents, till something certain should dawn upon me, whither I might steer my course.

Liber sextus

6.1.1 Spes mea a iuventute mea, ubi mihi eras et quo recesseras? An vero non tu feceras me et discreveras me a quadrupedibus et a volatilibus caeli sapientiorem me feceras? Et ambulabam per tenebras et lubricum et quaerebam te foris a me, et non inveniebam deum cordis mei. Et veneram in profundum maris, et diffidebam et desperabam de inventione veri. Iam venerat ad me mater pietate fortis, terra marique me sequens et in periculis omnibus de te secura. Nam et per marina discrimina ipsos nautas consolabatur, a quibus rudes abyssi viatores, cum perturbantur, consolari solent, pollicens eis perventionem cum salute, quia hoc ei tu per visum pollicitus eras. Et invenit me, periclitantem quidem graviter desperatione indagandae veritatis, sed tamen ei cum indicassem non me quidem iam esse manichaeum, sed neque catholicum christianum, non quasi inopinatum aliquid audierit, exilivit laetitia, cum iam secura fieret ex ea parte miseriae meae in qua me tamquam mortuum sed resuscitandum tibi flebat, et feretro cogitationis offerebat ut diceres filio viduae, 'Iuvenis, tibi dico, surge,' et revivesceret et inciperet loqui et traderes illum matri suae. Nulla ergo turbulenta exultatione trepidavit cor eius, cum audisset ex tanta parte iam factum quod tibi cotidie plangebat ut fieret, veritatem me nondum adeptum sed falsitati iam ereptum. Immo vero quia certa erat et quod restabat te daturum, qui totum promiseras, placidissime et pectore pleno fiduciae respondit mihi credere se in Christo quod priusquam de hac vita emigraret me visura esset fidelem catholicum. Et hoc quidem mihi. Tibi autem, fons misericordiarum, preces et lacrimas densiores, ut accelerares adiutorium tuum et inluminares tenebras meas, et studiosius ad ecclesiam currere et in Ambrosii ora suspendi, ad fontem salientis aquae in vitam aeternam. Diligebat autem illum virum sicut angelum dei, quod per illum cognoverat me interim ad illam ancipitem fluctuationem iam esse perductum per quam transiturum me ab aegritudine ad sanitatem, intercurrente artiore periculo quasi per accessionem quam criticam medici vocant, certa praesumebat. O Thou, my hope from my youth, where wert Thou to me, and whither wert Thou gone? Hadst not Thou created me, and separated me from the beasts of the field, and fowls of the air? Thou hadst made me wiser, yet did I walk in darkness, and in slippery places, and sought Thee abroad out of myself, and found not the God of my heart; and had come into the depths of the sea, and distrusted and despaired of ever finding truth. My mother had now come to me, resolute through piety, following me over sea and land, in all perils confiding in Thee. For in perils of the sea, she comforted the very mariners (by whom passengers unacquainted with the deep, use rather to be comforted when troubled), assuring them of a safe arrival, because Thou hadst by a vision assured her thereof. She found me in grievous peril, through despair of ever finding truth. But when I had discovered to her that I was now no longer a Manichee, though not yet a Catholic Christian, she was not overjoyed, as at something unexpected; although she was now assured concerning that part of my misery, for which she bewailed me as one dead, though to be reawakened by Thee, carrying me forth upon the bier of her thoughts, that Thou mightest say to the son of the widow, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise; and he should revive, and begin to speak, and Thou shouldest deliver him to his mother. Her heart then was shaken with no tumultuous exultation, when she heard that what she daily with tears desired of Thee was already in so great part realised; in that, though I had not yet attained the truth, I was rescued from falsehood; but, as being assured, that Thou, Who hadst promised the whole, wouldest one day give the rest, most calmly, and with a heart full of confidence, she replied to me, "She believed in Christ, that before she departed this life, she should see me a Catholic believer." Thus much to me. But to Thee, Fountain of mercies, poured she forth more copious prayers and tears, that Thou wouldest hasten Thy help, and enlighten my darkness; and she hastened the more eagerly to the Church, and hung upon the lips of Ambrose, praying for the fountain of that water, which springeth up unto life everlasting. But that man she loved as an angel of God, because she knew that by him I had been brought for the present to that doubtful state of faith I now was in, through which she anticipated most confidently that I should pass from sickness unto health, after the access, as it were, of a sharper fit, which physicians call "the crisis."
6.2.2 Itaque cum ad memorias sanctorum, sicut in Africa solebat, pultes et panem et merum attulisset atque ab ostiario prohiberetur, ubi hoc episcopum vetuisse cognovit, tam pie atque oboedienter amplexa est ut ipse mirarer quam facile accusatrix potius consuetudinis suae quam disceptatrix illius prohibitionis effecta sit. Non enim obsidebat spiritum eius vinulentia eamque stimulabat in odium veri amor vini, sicut plerosque mares et feminas qui ad canticum sobrietatis sicut ad potionem aquatam madidi nausiant, sed illa cum attulisset canistrum cum sollemnibus epulis praegustandis atque largiendis, plus etiam quam unum pocillum pro suo palato satis sobrio temperatum, unde dignationem sumeret, non ponebat, et si multae essent quae illo modo videbantur honorandae memoriae defunctorum, idem ipsum unum, quod ubique poneret, circumferebat, quo iam non solum aquatissimo sed etiam tepidissimo cum suis praesentibus per sorbitiones exiguas partiretur, quia pietatem ibi quaerebat, non voluptatem. Itaque ubi comperit a praeclaro praedicatore atque antistite pietatis praeceptum esse ista non fieri nec ab eis qui sobrie facerent, ne ulla occasio se ingurgitandi daretur ebriosis, et quia illa quasi parentalia superstitioni gentilium essent simillima, abstinuit se libentissime, et pro canistro pleno terrenis fructibus plenum purgatioribus votis pectus ad memorias martyum afferre didicerat, ut et quod posset daret egentibus et sic communicatio dominici corporis illic celebraretur, cuius passionis imitatione immolati et coronati sunt martyres. Sed tamen videtur mihi, domine deus meus (et ita est in conspectu tuo de hac re cor meum), non facile fortasse de hac amputanda consuetudine matrem meam fuisse cessuram si ab alio prohiberetur quem non sicut Ambrosium diligebat. Quem propter salutem meam maxime diligebat, eam vero ille propter eius religiosissimam conversationem, qua in bonis operibus tam fervens spiritu frequentabat ecclesiam, ita ut saepe erumperet, cum me videret, in eius praedicationem gratulans mihi, quod talem matrem haberem, nesciens qualem illa me filium, qui dubitabam de illis omnibus et inveniri posse viam vitae minime putabam. When then my mother had once, as she was wont in Afric, brought to the Churches built in memory of the Saints, certain cakes, and bread and wine, and was forbidden by the door-keeper; so soon as she knew that the Bishop had forbidden this, she so piously and obediently embraced his wishes, that I myself wondered how readily she censured her own practice, rather than discuss his prohibition. For wine-bibbing did not lay siege to her spirit, nor did love of wine provoke her to hatred of the truth, as it doth too many (both men and women), who revolt at a lesson of sobriety, as men well-drunk at a draught mingled with water. But she, when she had brought her basket with the accustomed festival-food, to be but tasted by herself, and then given away, never joined therewith more than one small cup of wine, diluted according to her own abstemious habits, which for courtesy she would taste. And if there were many churches of the departed saints that were to be honoured in that manner, she still carried round that same one cup, to be used every where; and this, though not only made very watery, but unpleasantly heated with carrying about, she would distribute to those about her by small sips; for she sought there devotion, not pleasure. So soon, then, as she found this custom to be forbidden by that famous preacher and most pious prelate, even to those that would use it soberly, lest so an occasion of excess might be given to the drunken; and for these, as it were, anniversary funeral solemnities did much resemble the superstition of the Gentiles, she most willingly forbare it: and for a basket filled with fruits of the earth, she had learned to bring to the Churches of the martyrs a breast filled with more purified petitions, and to give what she could to the poor; that so the communication of the Lord's Body might be there rightly celebrated, where, after the example of His Passion, the martyrs had been sacrificed and crowned. But yet it seems to me, O Lord my God, and thus thinks my heart of it in Thy sight, that perhaps she would not so readily have yielded to the cutting off of this custom, had it been forbidden by another, whom she loved not as Ambrose, whom, for my salvation, she loved most entirely; and he her again, for her most religious conversation, whereby in good works, so fervent in spirit, she was constant at church; so that, when he saw me, he often burst forth into her praises; congratulating me that I had such a mother; not knowing what a son she had in me, who doubted of all these things, and imagined the way to life could not be found out.
6.3.3 Nec iam ingemescebam orando ut subvenires mihi, sed ad quaerendum intentus et ad disserendum inquietus erat animus meus, ipsumque Ambrosium felicem quendam hominem secundum saeculum opinabar, quem sic tantae potestates honorarent; caelibatus tantum eius mihi laboriosus videbatur. Quid autem ille spei gereret, et adversus ipsius excellentiae temptamenta quid luctaminis haberet quidve solaminis in adversis, et occultum os eius, quod erat in corde eius, quam sapida gaudia de pane tuo ruminaret, nec conicere noveram nec expertus eram, nec ille sciebat aestus meos nec foveam periculi mei. Non enim quaerere ab eo poteram quod volebam, sicut volebam, secludentibus me ab eius aure atque ore catervis negotiosorum hominum, quorum infirmitatibus serviebat. Cum quibus quando non erat, quod perexiguum temporis erat, aut corpus reficiebat necessariis sustentaculis aut lectione animum. Sed cum legebat, oculi ducebantur per paginas et cor intellectum rimabatur, vox autem et lingua quiescebant. Saepe cum adessemus (non enim vetabatur quisquam ingredi aut ei venientem nuntiari mos erat), sic eum legentem vidimus tacite et aliter numquam, sedentesque in diuturno silentio (quis enim tam intento esse oneri auderet?) discedebamus et coniectabamus eum parvo ipso tempore quod reparandae menti suae nanciscebatur, feriatum ab strepitu causarum alienarum, nolle in aliud avocari et cavere fortasse ne, auditore suspenso et intento, si qua obscurius posuisset ille quem legeret, etiam exponere esset necesse aut de aliquibus difficilioribus dissertare quaestionibus, atque huic operi temporibus impensis minus quam vellet voluminum evolveret, quamquam et causa servandae vocis, quae illi facillime obtundebatur, poterat esse iustior tacite legendi. Quolibet tamen animo id ageret, bono utique ille vir agebat. Nor did I yet groan in my prayers, that Thou wouldest help me; but my spirit was wholly intent on learning, and restless to dispute. And Ambrose himself, as the world counts happy, I esteemed a happy man, whom personages so great held in such honour; only his celibacy seemed to me a painful course. But what hope he bore within him, what struggles he had against the temptations which beset his very excellencies, or what comfort in adversities, and what sweet joys Thy Bread had for the hidden mouth of his spirit, when chewing the cud thereof, I neither could conjecture, nor had experienced. Nor did he know the tides of my feelings, or the abyss of my danger. For I could not ask of him, what I would as I would, being shut out both from his ear and speech by multitudes of busy people, whose weaknesses he served. With whom when he was not taken up (which was but a little time), he was either refreshing his body with the sustenance absolutely necessary, or his mind with reading. But when he was reading, his eye glided over the pages, and his heart searched out the sense, but his voice and tongue were at rest. Ofttimes when we had come (for no man was forbidden to enter, nor was it his wont that any who came should be announced to him), we saw him thus reading to himself, and never otherwise; and having long sat silent (for who durst intrude on one so intent?) we were fain to depart, conjecturing that in the small interval which he obtained, free from the din of others' business, for the recruiting of his mind, he was loth to be taken off; and perchance he dreaded lest if the author he read should deliver any thing obscurely, some attentive or perplexed hearer should desire him to expound it, or to discuss some of the harder questions; so that his time being thus spent, he could not turn over so many volumes as he desired; although the preserving of his voice (which a very little speaking would weaken) might be the truer reason for his reading to himself. But with what intent soever he did it, certainly in such a man it was good.
6.3.4 Sed certe mihi nulla dabatur copia sciscitandi quae cupiebam de tam sancto oraculo tuo, pectore illius, nisi cum aliquid breviter esset audiendum. Aestus autem illi mei otiosum eum valde cui refunderentur requirebant nec umquam inveniebant. Et eum quidem in populo verbum veritatis recte tractantem omni die dominico audiebam, et magis magisque mihi confirmabatur omnes versutarum calumniarum nodos quos illi deceptores nostri adversus divinos libros innectebant posse dissolvi. Ubi vero etiam comperi ad imaginem tuam hominem a te factum ab spiritalibus filiis tuis, quos de matre catholica per gratiam regenerasti, non sic intellegi ut humani corporis forma te determinatum crederent atque cogitarent (quamquam quomodo se haberet spiritalis substantia, ne quidem tenuiter atque in aenigmate suspicabar), tamen gaudens erubui non me tot annos adversus catholicam fidem, sed contra carnalium cogitationum figmenta latrasse. Eo quippe temerarius et impius fueram, quod ea quae debebam quaerendo discere accusando dixeram. Tu enim, altissime et proxime, secretissime et praesentissime, cui membra non sunt alia maiora et alia minora, sed ubique totus es et nusquam locorum es, non es utique forma ista corporea, tamen fecisti hominem ad imaginem tuam, et ecce ipse a capite usque ad pedes in loco est. I however certainly had no opportunity of enquiring what I wished of that so holy oracle of Thine, his breast, unless the thing might be answered briefly. But those tides in me, to be poured out to him, required his full leisure, and never found it. I heard him indeed every Lord's day, rightly expounding the Word of truth among the people; and I was more and more convinced that all the knots of those crafty calumnies, which those our deceivers had knit against the Divine Books, could be unravelled. But when I understood withal, that "man created by Thee, after Thine own image," was not so understood by Thy spiritual sons, whom of the Catholic Mother Thou hast born again through grace, as though they believed and conceived of Thee as bounded by human shape (although what a spiritual substance should be I had not even a faint or shadowy notion); yet, with joy I blushed at having so many years barked not against the Catholic faith, but against the fictions of carnal imaginations. For so rash and impious had I been, that what I ought by enquiring to have learned, I had pronounced on, condemning. For Thou, Most High, and most near; most secret, and most present; Who hast not limbs some larger, some smaller, but art wholly every where, and no where in space, art not of such corporeal shape, yet hast Thou made man after Thine own image; and behold, from head to foot is he contained in space.
6.4.5 Cum ergo nescirem quomodo haec subsisteret imago tua, pulsans proponerem quomodo credendum esset, non insultans opponerem quasi ita creditum esset. Tanto igitur acrior cura rodebat intima mea, quid certi retinerem, quanto me magis pudebat tam diu inlusum et deceptum promissione certorum puerili errore et animositate tam multa incerta quasi certa garrisse. Quod enim falsa essent, postea mihi claruit; certum tamen erat quod incerta essent et a me aliquando pro certis habita fuissent, cum catholicam tuam caecis contentionibus accusarem, etsi nondum compertam vera docentem, non tamen ea docentem quae graviter accusabam. Itaque confundebar et convertebar, et gaudebam, deus meus, quod ecclesia unica, corpus unici tui, in qua mihi nomen Christi infanti est inditum, non saperet infantiles nugas neque hoc haberet in doctrina sua sana, quod te creatorem omnium in spatium loci quamvis summum et amplum, tamen undique terminatum membrorum humanorum figura contruderet. Ignorant then how this Thy image should subsist, I should have knocked and proposed the doubt, how it was to be believed, not insultingly opposed it, as if believed. Doubt, then, what to hold for certain, the more sharply gnawed my heart, the more ashamed I was, that so long deluded and deceived by the promise of certainties, I had with childish error and vehemence, prated of so many uncertainties. For that they were falsehoods became clear to me later. However I was certain that they were uncertain, and that I had formerly accounted them certain, when with a blind contentiousness, I accused Thy Catholic Church, whom I now discovered, not indeed as yet to teach truly, but at least not to teach that for which I had grievously censured her. So I was confounded, and converted: and I joyed, O my God, that the One Only Church, the body of Thine Only Son (wherein the name of Christ had been put upon me as an infant), had no taste for infantine conceits; nor in her sound doctrine maintained any tenet which should confine Thee, the Creator of all, in space, however great and large, yet bounded every where by the limits of a human form.
6.4.6 Gaudebam etiam quod vetera scripta legis et prophetarum iam non illo oculo mihi legenda proponerentur quo antea videbantur absurda, cum arguebam tamquam ita sentientes sanctos tuos, verum autem non ita sentiebant. Et tamquam regulam diligentissime commendaret, saepe in popularibus sermonibus suis dicentem Ambrosium laetus audiebam: 'Littera occidit, spiritus autem vivificat,' cum ea quae ad litteram perversitatem docere videbantur, remoto mystico velamento, spiritaliter aperiret, non dicens quod me offenderet, quamvis ea diceret quae utrum vera essent adhuc ignorarem. Tenebam enim cor meum ab omni adsensione timens praecipitium, et suspendio magis necabar. Volebam enim eorum quae non viderem ita me certum fieri ut certus essem quod septem et tria decem sint. Neque enim tam insanus eram ut ne hoc quidem putarem posse comprehendi, sed sicut hoc, ita cetera cupiebam, sive corporalia, quae coram sensibus meis non adessent, sive spiritalia, de quibus cogitare nisi corporaliter nesciebam. Et sanari credendo poteram, ut purgatior acies mentis meae dirigeretur aliquo modo in veritatem tuam semper manentem et ex nullo deficientem. Sed sicut evenire adsolet, ut malum medicum expertus etiam bono timeat se committere, ita erat valetudo animae meae, quae utique nisi credendo sanari non poterat et, ne falsa crederet, curari recusabat, resistens manibus tuis, qui medicamenta fidei confecisti et sparsisti super morbos orbis terrarum et tantam illis auctoritatem tribuisti. I joyed also that the old Scriptures of the law and the Prophets were laid before me, not now to be perused with that eye to which before they seemed absurd, when I reviled Thy holy ones for so thinking, whereas indeed they thought not so: and with joy I heard Ambrose in his sermons to the people, oftentimes most diligently recommend this text for a rule, The letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life; whilst he drew aside the mystic veil, laying open spiritually what, according to the letter, seemed to teach something unsound; teaching herein nothing that offended me, though he taught what I knew not as yet, whether it were true. For I kept my heart from assenting to any thing, fearing to fall headlong; but by hanging in suspense I was the worse killed. For I wished to be as assured of the things I saw not, as I was that seven and three are ten. For I was not so mad as to think that even this could not be comprehended; but I desired to have other things as clear as this, whether things corporeal, which were not present to my senses, or spiritual, whereof I knew not how to conceive, except corporeally. And by believing might I have been cured, that so the eyesight of my soul being cleared, might in some way be directed to Thy truth, which abideth always, and in no part faileth. But as it happens that one who has tried a bad physician, fears to trust himself with a good one, so was it with the health of my soul, which could not be healed but by believing, and lest it should believe falsehoods, refused to be cured; resisting Thy hands, Who hast prepared the medicines of faith, and hast applied them to the diseases of the whole world, and given unto them so great authority.
6.5.7 Ex hoc tamen quoque iam praeponens doctrinam catholicam, modestius ibi minimeque fallaciter sentiebam iuberi ut crederetur quod non demonstrabatur (sive esset quid, sed cui forte non esset, sive nec quid esset), quam illic temeraria pollicitatione scientiae credulitatem inrideri et postea tam multa fabulosissima et absurdissima, quia demonstrari non poterant, credenda imperari. Deinde paulatim tu, domine, manu mitissima et misericordissima pertractans et componens cor meum, consideranti quam innumerabilia crederem quae non viderem neque cum gererentur adfuissem, sicut tam multa in historia gentium, tam multa de locis atque urbibus quae non videram, tam multa amicis, tam multa medicis, tam multa hominibus aliis atque aliis, quae nisi crederentur, omnino in hac vita nihil ageremus, postremo quam inconcusse fixum fide retinerem de quibus parentibus ortus essem, quod scire non possem nisi audiendo credidissem, persuasisti mihi non qui crederent libris tuis, quos tanta in omnibus fere gentibus auctoritate fundasti, sed qui non crederent esse culpandos nec audiendos esse, si qui forte mihi dicerent, 'Unde scis illos libros unius veri et veracissimi dei spiritu esse humano generi ministratos?' idipsum enim maxime credendum erat, quoniam nulla pugnacitas calumniosarum quaestionum per tam multa quae legeram inter se confligentium philosophorum extorquere mihi potuit ut aliquando non crederem te esse quidquid esses, quod ego nescirem, aut administrationem rerum humanarum ad te pertinere. Being led, however, from this to prefer the Catholic doctrine, I felt that her proceeding was more unassuming and honest, in that she required to be believed things not demonstrated (whether it was that they could in themselves be demonstrated but not to certain persons, or could not at all be), whereas among the Manichees our credulity was mocked by a promise of certain knowledge, and then so many most fabulous and absurd things were imposed to be believed, because they could not be demonstrated. Then Thou, O Lord, little by little with most tender and most merciful hand, touching and composing my heart, didst persuade me- considering what innumerable things I believed, which I saw not, nor was present while they were done, as so many things in secular history, so many reports of places and of cities, which I had not seen; so many of friends, so many of physicians, so many continually of other men, which unless we should believe, we should do nothing at all in this life; lastly, with how unshaken an assurance I believed of what parents I was born, which I could not know, had I not believed upon hearsay -considering all this, Thou didst persuade me, that not they who believed Thy Books (which Thou hast established in so great authority among almost all nations), but they who believed them not, were to be blamed; and that they were not to be heard, who should say to me, "How knowest thou those Scriptures to have been imparted unto mankind by the Spirit of the one true and most true God?" For this very thing was of all most to be believed, since no contentiousness of blasphemous questionings, of all that multitude which I had read in the self-contradicting philosophers, could wring this belief from me, "That Thou art" whatsoever Thou wert (what I knew not), and "That the government of human things belongs to Thee."
6.5.8 Sed id credebam aliquando robustius, aliquando exilius, semper tamen credidi et esse te et curam nostri gerere, etiamsi ignorabam vel quid sentiendum esset de substantia tua vel quae via duceret aut reduceret ad te. Ideoque cum essemus infirmi ad inveniendam liquida ratione veritatem et ob hoc nobis opus esset auctoritate sanctarum litterarum, iam credere coeperam nullo modo te fuisse tributurum tam excellentem illi scripturae per omnes iam terras auctoritatem, nisi et per ipsam tibi credi et per ipsam te quaeri voluisses. Iam enim absurditatem quae me in illis litteris solebat offendere, cum multa ex eis probabiliter exposita audissem, ad sacramentorum altitudinem referebam eoque mihi illa venerabilior et sacrosancta fide dignior apparebat auctoritas, quo et omnibus ad legendum esset in promptu et secreti sui dignitatem in intellectu profundiore servaret, verbis apertissimis et humillimo genere loquendi se cunctis praebens et exercens intentionem eorum qui non sunt leves corde, ut exciperet omnes populari sinu et per angusta foramina paucos ad te traiceret, multo tamen plures quam si nec tanto apice auctoritatis emineret nec turbas gremio sanctae humilitatis hauriret. Cogitabam haec et aderas mihi, suspirabam et audiebas me, fluctuabam et gubernabas me, ibam per viam saeculi latam nec deserebas. This I believed, sometimes more strongly, more weakly otherwhiles; yet I ever believed both that Thou wert, and hadst a care of us; though I was ignorant, both what was to be thought of Thy substance, and what way led or led back to Thee. Since then we were too weak by abstract reasonings to find out truth: and for this very cause needed the authority of Holy Writ; I had now begun to believe that Thou wouldest never have given such excellency of authority to that Writ in all lands, hadst Thou not willed thereby to be believed in, thereby sought. For now what things, sounding strangely in the Scripture, were wont to offend me, having heard divers of them expounded satisfactorily, I referred to the depth of the mysteries, and its authority appeared to me the more venerable, and more worthy of religious credence, in that, while it lay open to all to read, it reserved the majesty of its mysteries within its profounder meaning, stooping to all in the great plainness of its words and lowliness of its style, yet calling forth the intensest application of such as are not light of heart; that so it might receive all in its open bosom, and through narrow passages waft over towards Thee some few, yet many more than if it stood not aloft on such a height of authority, nor drew multitudes within its bosom by its holy lowliness. These things I thought on, and Thou wert with me; I sighed, and Thou heardest me; I wavered, and Thou didst guide me; I wandered through the broad way of the world, and Thou didst not forsake me.
6.6.9 Inhiabam honoribus, lucris, coniugio, et tu inridebas. Patiebar in eis cupiditatibus amarissimas difficultates, te propitio tanto magis, quanto minus sinebas mihi dulcescere quod non eras tu. Vide cor meum, domine, qui voluisti ut hoc recordarer et confiterer tibi. Nunc tibi inhaereat anima mea, quam de visco tam tenaci mortis exuisti. Quam misera erat! et sensum vulneris tu pungebas, ut relictis omnibus converteretur ad te, qui es super omnia et sine quo nulla essent omnia, converteretur et sanaretur. Quam ergo miser eram, et quomodo egisti ut sentirem miseriam meam die illo quo, cum pararem recitare imperatori laudes, quibus plura mentirer et mentienti faveretur ab scientibus, easque curas anhelaret cor meum et cogitationum tabificarum febribus aestuaret, transiens per quendam vicum Mediolanensem animadverti pauperem mendicum, iam, credo, saturum, iocantem atque laetantem. Et ingemui et locutus sum cum amicis qui mecum erant multos dolores insaniarum nostrarum, quia omnibus talibus conatibus nostris, qualibus tunc laborabam, sub stimulis cupiditatum trahens infelicitatis meae sarcinam et trahendo exaggerans, nihil vellemus aliud nisi ad securam laetitiam pervenire, quo nos mendicus ille iam praecessisset numquam illuc fortasse venturos. Quod enim iam ille pauculis et emendicatis nummulis adeptus erat, ad hoc ego tam aerumnosis anfractibus et circuitibus ambiebam, ad laetitiam scilicet temporalis felicitatis. Non enim verum gaudium habebat, sed et ego illis ambitionibus multo falsius quaerebam. Et certe ille laetabatur, ego anxius eram, securus ille, ego trepidus. Et si quisquam percontaretur me utrum mallem exultare an metuere, responderem: 'Exultare'; rursus si interrogaret utrum me talem mallem qualis ille, an qualis ego tunc essem, me ipsum curis timoribusque confectum eligerem, sed perversitate -- numquid veritate? Neque enim eo me praeponere illi debebam, quo doctior eram, quoniam non inde gaudebam, sed placere inde quaerebam hominibus, non ut eos docerem, sed tantum ut placerem. Propterea et tu baculo disciplinae tuae confringebas ossa mea. I panted after honours, gains, marriage; and thou deridedst me. In these desires I underwent most bitter crosses, Thou being the more gracious, the less Thou sufferedst aught to grow sweet to me, which was not Thou. Behold my heart, O Lord, who wouldest I should remember all this, and confess to Thee. Let my soul cleave unto Thee, now that Thou hast freed it from that fast-holding birdlime of death. How wretched was it! and Thou didst irritate the feeling of its wound, that forsaking all else, it might be converted unto Thee, who art above all, and without whom all things would be nothing; be converted, and be healed. How miserable was I then, and how didst Thou deal with me, to make me feel my misery on that day, when I was preparing to recite a panegyric of the Emperor, wherein I was to utter many a lie, and lying, was to be applauded by those who knew I lied, and my heart was panting with these anxieties, and boiling with the feverishness of consuming thoughts. For, passing through one of the streets of Milan, I observed a poor beggar, then, I suppose, with a full belly, joking and joyous: and I sighed, and spoke to the friends around me, of the many sorrows of our frenzies; for that by all such efforts of ours, as those wherein I then toiled dragging along, under the goading of desire, the burthen of my own wretchedness, and, by dragging, augmenting it, we yet looked to arrive only at that very joyousness whither that beggar-man had arrived before us, who should never perchance attain it. For what he had obtained by means of a few begged pence, the same was I plotting for by many a toilsome turning and winding; the joy of a temporary felicity. For he verily had not the true joy; but yet I with those my ambitious designs was seeking one much less true. And certainly he was joyous, I anxious; he void of care, I full of fears. But should any ask me, had I rather be merry or fearful? I would answer merry. Again, if he asked had I rather be such as he was, or what I then was? I should choose to be myself, though worn with cares and fears; but out of wrong judgment; for, was it the truth? For I ought not to prefer myself to him, because more learned than he, seeing I had no joy therein, but sought to please men by it; and that not to instruct, but simply to please. Wherefore also Thou didst break my bones with the staff of Thy correction.
6.6.10 Recedant ergo ab anima mea qui dicunt ei, 'Interest unde quis gaudeat. Gaudebat mendicus ille vinulentia, tu gaudere cupiebas gloria.' qua gloria, domine, quae non est in te? Nam sicut verum gaudium non erat, ita nec illa vera gloria et amplius vertebat mentem meam. Et ille ipsa nocte digesturus erat ebrietatem suam, ego cum mea dormieram et surrexeram et dormiturus et surrecturus eram, vide quot dies! interest vero unde quis gaudeat, scio, et gaudium spei fidelis incomparabiliter distat ab illa vanitate, sed et tunc distabat inter nos. Nimirum quippe ille felicior erat, non tantum quod hilaritate perfundebatur, cum ego curis eviscerarer, verum etiam quod ille bene optando adquisiverat vinum, ego mentiendo quaerebam typhum. Dixi tunc multa in hac sententia caris meis, et saepe advertebam in his quomodo mihi esset, et inveniebam male mihi esse et dolebam et conduplicabam ipsum male et, si quid adrisisset prosperum, taedebat apprehendere, quia paene priusquam teneretur avolabat. Away with those then from my soul who say to her, "It makes a difference whence a man's joy is. That beggar-man joyed in drunkenness; Thou desiredst to joy in glory." What glory, Lord? That which is not in Thee. For even as his was no true joy, so was that no true glory: and it overthrew my soul more. He that very night should digest his drunkenness; but I had slept and risen again with mine, and was to sleep again, and again to rise with it, how many days, Thou, God, knowest. But "it doth make a difference whence a man's joy is." I know it, and the joy of a faithful hope lieth incomparably beyond such vanity. Yea, and so was he then beyond me: for he verily was the happier; not only for that he was thoroughly drenched in mirth, I disembowelled with cares: but he, by fair wishes, had gotten wine; I, by lying, was seeking for empty, swelling praise. Much to this purpose said I then to my friends: and I often marked in them how it fared with me; and I found it went ill with me, and grieved, and doubled that very ill; and if any prosperity smiled on me, I was loth to catch at it, for almost before I could grasp it, it flew away.
6.7.11 Congemescebamus in his qui simul amice vivebamus, et maxime ac familiarissime cum Alypio et Nebridio ista conloquebar. Quorum Alypius ex eodem quo ego eram ortus municipio, parentibus primatibus municipalibus, me minor natu. Nam et studuerat apud me, cum in nostro oppido docere coepi, et postea Carthagini, et diligebat multum, quod ei bonus et doctus viderer, et ego illum propter magnam virtutis indolem, quae in non magna aetate satis eminebat. Gurges tamen morum Carthaginiensium, quibus nugatoria fervent spectacula, absorbuerat eum in insaniam circensium. Sed cum in eo miserabiliter volveretur, ego autem rhetoricam ibi professus publica schola uterer, nondum me audiebat ut magistrum propter quandam simultatem quae inter me et patrem eius erat exorta. Et compereram quod circum exitiabiliter amaret, et graviter angebar, quod tantam spem perditurus vel etiam perdidisse mihi videbatur. Sed monendi eum et aliqua cohercitione revocandi nulla erat copia vel amicitiae benivolentia vel iure magisterii. Putabam enim eum de me cum patre sentire, ille vero non sic erat. Itaque postposita in hac re patris voluntate salutare me coeperat veniens in auditorium meum et audire aliquid atque abire. These things we, who were living as friends together, bemoaned together, but chiefly and most familiarly did I speak thereof with Alypius and Nebridius, of whom Alypius was born in the same town with me, of persons of chief rank there, but younger than I. For he had studied under me, both when I first lectured in our town, and afterwards at Carthage, and he loved me much, because I seemed to him kind, and learned; and I him, for his great towardliness to virtue, which was eminent enough in one of no greater years. Yet the whirlpool of Carthaginian habits (amongst whom those idle spectacles are hotly followed) had drawn him into the madness of the Circus. But while he was miserably tossed therein, and I, professing rhetoric there, had a public school, as yet he used not my teaching, by reason of some unkindness risen betwixt his father and me. I had found then how deadly he doted upon the Circus, and was deeply grieved that he seemed likely, nay, or had thrown away so great promise: yet had I no means of advising or with a sort of constraint reclaiming him, either by the kindness of a friend, or the authority of a master. For I supposed that he thought of me as did his father; but he was not such; laying aside then his father's mind in that matter, he began to greet me, come sometimes into my lecture room, hear a little, and be gone.
6.7.12 Sed enim de memoria mihi lapsum erat agere cum illo, ne vanorum ludorum caeco et praecipiti studio tam bonum interimeret ingenium, verum autem, domine, tu, qui praesides gubernaculis omnium quae creasti, non eum oblitus eras futurum inter filios tuos antistitem sacramenti tui et, ut aperte tibi tribueretur eius correctio, per me quidem illam sed nescientem operatus es. Nam quodam die cum sederem loco solito et coram me adessent discipuli, venit, salutavit, sedit atque in ea quae agebantur intendit animum. Et forte lectio in manibus erat, quam dum exponerem opportune mihi adhibenda videretur similitudo circensium, quo illud quod insinuabam et iucundius et planius fieret cum inrisione mordaci eorum quos illa captivasset insania. Scis tu, deus noster, quod tunc de Alypio ab illa peste sanando non cogitaverim. At ille in se rapuit meque illud non nisi propter se dixisse credidit et quod alius acciperet ad suscensendum mihi, accepit honestus adulescens ad suscensendum sibi et ad me ardentius diligendum. Dixeras enim tu iam olim et innexueras litteris tuis, 'Corripe sapientem, et amabit te.' at ego illum non corripueram, sed utens tu omnibus et scientibus et nescientibus ordine quo nosti (et ille ordo iustus est) de corde et lingua mea carbones ardentes operatus es, quibus mentem spei bonae adureres tabescentem ac sanares. Taceat laudes tuas qui miserationes tuas non considerat, quae tibi de medullis meis confitentur. Etenim vero ille post illa verba proripuit se ex fovea tam alta, qua libenter demergebatur et cum mira voluptate caecabatur, et excussit animum forti temperantia, et resiluerunt omnes circensium sordes ab eo ampliusque illuc non accessit. Deinde patrem reluctantem evicit ut me magistro uteretur; cessit ille atque concessit. Et audire me rursus incipiens illa mecum superstitione involutus est, amans in manichaeis ostentationem continentiae, quam veram et germanam putabat. Erat autem illa vecors et seductoria, pretiosas animas captans nondum virtutis altitudinem scientes tangere et superficie decipi faciles, sed tamen adumbratae simulataeque virtutis. I however had forgotten to deal with him, that he should not, through a blind and headlong desire of vain pastimes, undo so good a wit. But Thou, O Lord, who guidest the course of all Thou hast created, hadst not forgotten him, who was one day to be among Thy children, Priest and Dispenser of Thy Sacrament; and that his amendment might plainly be attributed to Thyself, Thou effectedst it through me, unknowingly. For as one day I sat in my accustomed place, with my scholars before me, he entered, greeted me, sat down, and applied his mind to what I then handled. I had by chance a passage in hand, which while I was explaining, a likeness from the Circensian races occurred to me, as likely to make what I would convey pleasanter and plainer, seasoned with biting mockery of those whom that madness had enthralled; God, Thou knowest that I then thought not of curing Alypius of that infection. But he took it wholly to himself, and thought that I said it simply for his sake. And whence another would have taken occasion of offence with me, that right-minded youth took as a ground of being offended at himself, and loving me more fervently. For Thou hadst said it long ago, and put it into Thy book, Rebuke a wise man and he will love Thee. But I had not rebuked him, but Thou, who employest all, knowing or not knowing, in that order which Thyself knowest (and that order is just), didst of my heart and tongue make burning coals, by which to set on fire the hopeful mind, thus languishing, and so cure it. Let him be silent in Thy praises, who considers not Thy mercies, which confess unto Thee out of my inmost soul. For he upon that speech burst out of that pit so deep, wherein he was wilfully plunged, and was blinded with its wretched pastimes; and he shook his mind with a strong self-command; whereupon all the filths of the Circensian pastimes flew off from him, nor came he again thither. Upon this, he prevailed with his unwilling father that he might be my scholar. He gave way, and gave in. And Alypius beginning to be my hearer again, was involved in the same superstition with me, loving in the Manichees that show of continency which he supposed true and unfeigned. Whereas it was a senseless and seducing continency, ensnaring precious souls, unable as yet to reach the depth of virtue, yet readily beguiled with the surface of what was but a shadowy and counterfeit virtue.
6.8.13 Non sane relinquens incantatam sibi a parentibus terrenam viam, Romam praecesserat ut ius disceret, et ibi gladiatorii spectaculi hiatu incredibili et incredibiliter abreptus est. Cum enim aversaretur et detestaretur talia, quidam eius amici et condiscipuli, cum forte de prandio redeuntibus pervium esset, recusantem vehementer et resistentem familiari violentia duxerunt in amphitheatrum crudelium et funestorum ludorum diebus, haec dicentem: 'Si corpus meum in locum illum trahitis et ibi constituitis, numquid et animum et oculos meos in illa spectacula potestis intendere? Adero itaque absens ac sic et vos et illa superabo.' quibus auditis illi nihilo setius eum adduxerunt secum, idipsum forte explorare cupientes utrum posset efficere. Quo ubi ventum est et sedibus quibus potuerunt locati sunt, fervebant omnia immanissimis voluptatibus. Ille clausis foribus oculorum interdixit animo ne in tanta mala procederet. Atque utinam et aures obturavisset! nam quodam pugnae casu, cum clamor ingens totius populi vehementer eum pulsasset, curiositate victus et quasi paratus, quidquid illud esset, etiam visum contemnere et vincere, aperuit oculos. Et percussus est graviore vulnere in anima quam ille in corpore quem cernere concupivit, ceciditque miserabilius quam ille quo cadente factus est clamor. Qui per eius aures intravit et reseravit eius lumina, ut esset qua feriretur et deiceretur audax adhuc potius quam fortis animus, et eo infirmior quo de se praesumserat, qui debuit de te. Ut enim vidit illum sanguinem, immanitatem simul ebibit et non se avertit, sed fixit aspectum et hauriebat furias et nesciebat, et delectabatur scelere certaminis et cruenta voluptate inebriabatur. Et non erat iam ille qui venerat sed unus de turba ad quam venerat, et verus eorum socius a quibus adductus erat. Quid plura! spectavit, clamavit, exarsit, abstulit inde secum insaniam qua stimularetur redire non tantum cum illis a quibus prius abstractus est, sed etiam prae illis et alios trahens. Et inde tamen manu validissima et misericordissima eruisti eum tu, et docuisti non sui habere sed tui fiduciam, sed longe postea. He, not forsaking that secular course which his parents had charmed him to pursue, had gone before me to Rome, to study law, and there he was carried away incredibly with an incredible eagerness after the shows of gladiators. For being utterly averse to and detesting spectacles, he was one day by chance met by divers of his acquaintance and fellow-students coming from dinner, and they with a familiar violence haled him, vehemently refusing and resisting, into the Amphitheatre, during these cruel and deadly shows, he thus protesting: "Though you hale my body to that place, and there set me, can you force me also to turn my mind or my eyes to those shows? I shall then be absent while present, and so shall overcome both you and them." They, hearing this, led him on nevertheless, desirous perchance to try that very thing, whether he could do as he said. When they were come thither, and had taken their places as they could, the whole place kindled with that savage pastime. But he, closing the passage of his eyes, forbade his mind to range abroad after such evil; and would he had stopped his ears also! For in the fight, when one fell, a mighty cry of the whole people striking him strongly, overcome by curiosity, and as if prepared to despise and be superior to it whatsoever it were, even when seen, he opened his eyes, and was stricken with a deeper wound in his soul than the other, whom he desired to behold, was in his body; and he fell more miserably than he upon whose fall that mighty noise was raised, which entered through his ears, and unlocked his eyes, to make way for the striking and beating down of a soul, bold rather than resolute, and the weaker, in that it had presumed on itself, which ought to have relied on Thee. For so soon as he saw that blood, he therewith drunk down savageness; nor turned away, but fixed his eye, drinking in frenzy, unawares, and was delighted with that guilty fight, and intoxicated with the bloody pastime. Nor was he now the man he came, but one of the throng he came unto, yea, a true associate of theirs that brought him thither. Why say more? He beheld, shouted, kindled, carried thence with him the madness which should goad him to return not only with them who first drew him thither, but also before them, yea and to draw in others. Yet thence didst Thou with a most strong and most merciful hand pluck him, and taughtest him to have confidence not in himself, but in Thee. But this was after.
6.9.14 Verum tamen iam hoc ad medicinam futuram in eius memoria reponebatur. Nam et illud quod, cum adhuc studeret iam me audiens apud Carthaginem et medio die cogitaret in foro quod recitaturus erat, sicut exerceri scholastici solent, sivisti eum comprehendi ab aeditimis fori tamquam furem, non arbitror aliam ob causam te permisisse, deus noster, nisi ut ille vir tantus futurus iam inciperet discere quam non facile in cognoscendis causis homo ab homine damnandus esset temeraria credulitate. Quippe ante tribunal deambulabat solus cum tabulis ac stilo, cum ecce adulescens quidam ex numero scholasticorum, fur verus, securim clanculo apportans, illo non sentiente ingressus est ad cancellos plumbeos qui vico argentario desuper praeminent et praecidere plumbum coepit. Sono autem securis audito submurmuraverunt argentarii qui subter erant, et miserunt qui apprehenderent quem forte invenissent. Quorum vocibus auditis relicto instrumento ille discessit timens, ne cum eo teneretur. Alypius autem, qui non viderat intrantem, exeuntem sensit et celeriter vidit abeuntem et, causam scire cupiens, ingressus est locum et inventam securim stans atque admirans considerabat, cum ecce illi qui missi erant reperiunt eum solum ferentem ferrum cuius sonitu exciti venerant. Tenent, attrahunt, congregatis inquilinis fori tamquam furem manifestum se comprehendisse gloriantur, et inde offerendus iudiciis ducebatur. But this was already being laid up in his memory to be a medicine hereafter. So was that also, that when he was yet studying under me at Carthage, and was thinking over at mid-day in the market-place what he was to say by heart (as scholars use to practise), Thou sufferedst him to be apprehended by the officers of the market-place for a thief. For no other cause, I deem, didst Thou, our God, suffer it, but that he who was hereafter to prove so great a man, should already begin to learn that in judging of causes, man was not readily to be condemned by man out of a rash credulity. For as he was walking up and down by himself before the judgment-seat, with his note-book and pen, lo, a young man, a lawyer, the real thief, privily bringing a hatchet, got in, unperceived by Alypius, as far as the leaden gratings which fence in the silversmiths' shops, and began to cut away the lead. But the noise of the hatchet being heard, the silversmiths beneath began to make a stir, and sent to apprehend whomever they should find. But he, hearing their voices, ran away, leaving his hatchet, fearing to be taken with it. Alypius now, who had not seen him enter, was aware of his going, and saw with what speed he made away. And being desirous to know the matter, entered the place; where finding the hatchet, he was standing, wondering and considering it, when behold, those that had been sent, find him alone with the hatchet in his hand, the noise whereof had startled and brought them thither. They seize him, hale him away, and gathering the dwellers in the market-place together, boast of having taken a notorious thief, and so he was being led away to be taken before the judge.
6.9.15 Sed hactenus docendus fuit. Statim enim, domine, subvenisti innocentiae, cuius testis eras tu solus. Cum enim duceretur vel ad custodiam vel ad supplicium, fit eis obviam quidam architectus, cuius maxima erat cura publicarum fabricarum. Gaudent illi eum potissimum occurrisse, cui solebant in suspicionem venire ablatarum rerum quae perissent de foro, ut quasi tandem iam ille cognosceret a quibus haec fierent. Verum autem viderat homo saepe Alypium in domo cuiusdam senatoris ad quem salutandum ventitabat, statimque cognitum manu apprehensa semovit a turbis et tanti mali causam quaerens, quid gestum esset audivit omnesque tumultuantes qui aderant et minaciter frementes iussit venire secum. Et venerunt ad domum illius adulescentis qui rem commiserat. Puer vero erat ante ostium, et tam parvus erat ut nihil exinde domino suo metuens facile posset totum indicare; cum eo quippe in foro fuit pedisequus. Quem posteaquam recoluit Alypius, architecto intimavit. At ille securim demonstravit puero, quaerens ab eo cuius esset. Qui confestim 'Nostra' inquit; deinde interrogatus aperuit cetera. Sic in illam domum translata causa confusisque turbis quae de illo triumphare iam coeperant, futurus dispensator verbi tui et multarum in ecclesia tua causarum examinator experientior instructiorque discessit. But thus far was Alypius to be instructed. For forthwith, O Lord, Thou succouredst his innocency, whereof Thou alone wert witness. For as he was being led either to prison or to punishment, a certain architect met them, who had the chief charge of the public buildings. Glad they were to meet him especially, by whom they were wont to be suspected of stealing the goods lost out of the marketplace, as though to show him at last by whom these thefts were committed. He, however, had divers times seen Alypius at a certain senator's house, to whom he often went to pay his respects; and recognising him immediately, took him aside by the hand, and enquiring the occasion of so great a calamity, heard the whole matter, and bade all present, amid much uproar and threats, to go with him. So they came to the house of the young man who had done the deed. There, before the door, was a boy so young as to be likely, not apprehending any harm to his master, to disclose the whole. For he had attended his master to the market-place. Whom so soon as Alypius remembered, he told the architect: and he showing the hatchet to the boy, asked him "Whose that was?" "Ours," quoth he presently: and being further questioned, he discovered every thing. Thus the crime being transferred to that house, and the multitude ashamed, which had begun to insult over Alypius, he who was to be a dispenser of Thy Word, and an examiner of many causes in Thy Church, went away better experienced and instructed.
6.10.16 Hunc ergo Romae inveneram, et adhaesit mihi fortissimo vinculo mecumque Mediolanium profectus est, ut nec me desereret et de iure quod didicerat aliquid ageret secundum votum magis parentum quam suum. Et ter iam adsederat mirabili continentia ceteris, cum ille magis miraretur eos qui aurum innocentiae praeponerent. Temptata est quoque eius indoles non solum inlecebra cupiditatis sed etiam stimulo timoris. Romae adsidebat comiti largitionum Italicianarum. Erat eo tempore quidam potentissimus senator cuius et beneficiis obstricti multi et terrori subditi erant. Voluit sibi licere nescio quid ex more potentiae suae quod esset per leges inlicitum; restitit Alypius. Promissum est praemium; inrisit animo. Praetentae minae; calcavit, mirantibus omnibus inusitatam animam, quae hominem tantum et innumerabilibus praestandi nocendique modis ingenti fama celebratum vel amicum non optaret vel non formidaret inimicum. Ipse autem iudex cui consiliarius erat, quamvis et ipse fieri nollet, non tamen aperte recusabat, sed in istum causam transferens ab eo se non permitti adserebat, quia et re vera, si ipse faceret, iste discederet. Hoc solo autem paene iam inlectus erat studio litterario, ut pretiis praetorianis codices sibi conficiendos curaret, sed consulta iustitia deliberationem in melius vertit, utiliorem iudicans aequitatem qua prohibebatur quam potestatem qua sinebatur. Parvum est hoc, sed qui in parvo fidelis est et in magno fidelis est, nec ullo modo erit inane quod tuae veritatis ore processit: 'Si in iniusto mammona fideles non fuistis, verum quis dabit vobis? Et si in alieno fideles non fuistis, vestrum quis dabit vobis?' talis ille tunc inhaerebat mihi mecumque nutabat in consilio, quisnam esset tenendus vitae modus. Him then I had found at Rome, and he clave to me by a most strong tie, and went with me to Milan, both that he might not leave me, and might practise something of the law he had studied, more to please his parents than himself. There he had thrice sat as Assessor, with an uncorruptness much wondered at by others, he wondering at others rather who could prefer gold to honesty. His character was tried besides, not only with the bait of covetousness, but with the goad of fear. At Rome he was Assessor to the count of the Italian Treasury. There was at that time a very powerful senator, to whose favours many stood indebted, many much feared. He would needs, by his usual power, have a thing allowed him which by the laws was unallowed. Alypius resisted it: a bribe was promised; with all his heart he scorned it: threats were held out; he trampled upon them: all wondering at so unwonted a spirit, which neither desired the friendship, nor feared the enmity of one so great and so mightily renowned for innumerable means of doing good or evil. And the very judge, whose councillor Alypius was, although also unwilling it should be, yet did not openly refuse, but put the matter off upon Alypius, alleging that he would not allow him to do it: for in truth had the judge done it, Alypius would have decided otherwise. With this one thing in the way of learning was he well-nigh seduced, that he might have books copied for him at Praetorian prices, but consulting justice, he altered his deliberation for the better; esteeming equity whereby he was hindered more gainful than the power whereby he were allowed. These are slight things, but he that is faithful in little, is faithful also in much. Nor can that any how be void, which proceeded out of the mouth of Thy Truth: If ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous Mammon, who will commit to your trust true riches? And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man's, who shall give you that which is your own? He being such, did at that time cleave to me, and with me wavered in purpose, what course of life was to be taken.
6.10.17 Nebridius etiam, qui relicta patria vicina Carthagini atque ipsa Carthagine, ubi frequentissimus erat, relicto paterno rure optimo, relicta domo et non secutura matre, nullam ob aliam causam Mediolanium venerat, nisi ut mecum viveret in flagrantissimo studio veritatis atque sapientiae, pariter suspirabat pariterque fluctuabat, beatae vitae inquisitor ardens et quaestionum difficillimarum scrutator acerrimus. Et erant ora trium egentium et inopiam suam sibimet invicem anhelantium et ad te expectantium, ut dares eis escam in tempore opportuno. Et in omni amaritudine quae nostros saeculares actus de misericordia tua sequebatur, intuentibus nobis finem cur ea pateremur, occurrebant tenebrae, et aversabamur gementes et dicebamus, 'Quamdiu haec?' et hoc crebro dicebamus, et dicentes non relinquebamus ea, quia non elucebat certum aliquid quod illis relictis apprehenderemus. Nebridius also, who having left his native country near Carthage, yea and Carthage itself, where he had much lived, leaving his excellent family-estate and house, and a mother behind, who was not to follow him, had come to Milan, for no other reason but that with me he might live in a most ardent search after truth and wisdom. Like me he sighed, like me he wavered, an ardent searcher after true life, and a most acute examiner of the most difficult questions. Thus were there the mouths of three indigent persons, sighing out their wants one to another, and waiting upon Thee that Thou mightest give them their meat in due season. And in all the bitterness which by Thy mercy followed our worldly affairs, as we looked towards the end, why we should suffer all this, darkness met us; and we turned away groaning, and saying, How long shall these things be? This too we often said; and so saying forsook them not, for as yet there dawned nothing certain, which these forsaken, we might embrace.
6.11.18 Et ego maxime mirabar, satagens et recolens quam longum tempus esset ab undevicensimo anno aetatis meae, quo fervere coeperam studio sapientiae, disponens ea inventa relinquere omnes vanarum cupiditatum spes inanes et insanias mendaces. Et ecce iam tricenariam aetatem gerebam, in eodem luto haesitans aviditate fruendi praesentibus fugientibus et dissipantibus me, dum dico, 'Cras inveniam. Ecce manifestum apparebit, et tenebo. Ecce Faustus veniet et exponet omnia. O magni viri academici! nihil ad agendam vitam certi comprehendi potest. Immo quaeramus diligentius et non desperemus. Ecce iam non sunt absurda in libris ecclesiasticis quae absurda videbantur, et possunt aliter atque honeste intellegi. Figam pedes in eo gradu in quo puer a parentibus positus eram, donec inveniatur perspicua veritas. Sed ubi quaeretur? Quando quaeretur? Non vacat Ambrosio, non vacat legere. Ubi ipsos codices quaerimus? Unde aut quando comparamus? A quibus sumimus? Deputentur tempora, distribuantur horae pro salute animae. Magna spes oborta est: non docet catholica fides quod putabamus et vani accusabamus. Nefas habent docti eius credere deum figura humani corporis terminatum. Et dubitamus pulsare, quo aperiantur cetera? Antemeridianis horis discipuli occupant: ceteris quid facimus? Cur non id agimus? Sed quando salutamus amicos maiores, quorum suffragiis opus habemus? Quando praeparamus quod emant scholastici? Quando reparamus nos ipsos relaxando animo ab intentione curarum? And I, viewing and reviewing things, most wondered at the length of time from that my nineteenth year, wherein I had begun to kindle with the desire of wisdom, settling when I had found her, to abandon all the empty hopes and lying frenzies of vain desires. And lo, I was now in my thirtieth year, sticking in the same mire, greedy of enjoying things present, which passed away and wasted my soul; while I said to myself, "Tomorrow I shall find it; it will appear manifestly and I shall grasp it; to, Faustus the Manichee will come, and clear every thing! O you great men, ye Academicians, it is true then, that no certainty can be attained for the ordering of life! Nay, let us search the more diligently, and despair not. Lo, things in the ecclesiastical books are not absurd to us now, which sometimes seemed absurd, and may be otherwise taken, and in a good sense. I will take my stand, where, as a child, my parents placed me, until the clear truth be found out. But where shall it be sought or when? Ambrose has no leisure; we have no leisure to read; where shall we find even the books? Whence, or when procure them? from whom borrow them? Let set times be appointed, and certain hours be ordered for the health of our soul. Great hope has dawned; the Catholic Faith teaches not what we thought, and vainly accused it of; her instructed members hold it profane to believe God to be bounded by the figure of a human body: and do we doubt to 'knock,' that the rest 'may be opened'? The forenoons our scholars take up; what do we during the rest? Why not this? But when then pay we court to our great friends, whose favour we need? When compose what we may sell to scholars? When refresh ourselves, unbending our minds from this intenseness of care?
6.11.19 Pereant omnia et dimittamus haec vana et inania: conferamus nos ad solam inquisitionem veritatis. Vita misera est, mors incerta est. Subito obrepat: quomodo hinc exibimus? Et ubi nobis discenda sunt quae hic negleximus? Ac non potius huius neglegentiae supplicia luenda? Quid si mors ipsa omnem curam cum sensu amputabit et finiet? Ergo et hoc quaerendum. Sed absit ut ita sit. Non vacat, non est inane, quod tam eminens culmen auctoritatis christianae fidei toto orbe diffunditur. Numquam tanta et talia pro nobis divinitus agerentur, si morte corporis etiam vita animae consumeretur. Quid cunctamur igitur relicta spe saeculi conferre nos totos ad quaerendum deum et vitam beatam? Sed expecta: iucunda sunt etiam ista, habent non parvam dulcedinem suam; non facile ab eis praecidenda est intentio, quia turpe est ad ea rursum redire. Ecce iam quantum est ut impetretur aliquis honor. Et quid amplius in his desiderandum? Suppetit amicorum maiorum copia: ut nihil aliud et multum festinemus, vel praesidatus dari potest. Et ducenda uxor cum aliqua pecunia, ne sumptum nostrum gravet, et ille erit modus cupiditatis. Multi magni viri et imitatione dignissimi sapientiae studio cum coniugibus dediti fuerunt.' "Perish every thing, dismiss we these empty vanities, and betake ourselves to the one search for truth! Life is vain, death uncertain; if it steals upon us on a sudden, in what state shall we depart hence? and where shall we learn what here we have neglected? and shall we not rather suffer the punishment of this negligence? What, if death itself cut off and end all care and feeling? Then must this be ascertained. But God forbid this! It is no vain and empty thing, that the excellent dignity of the authority of the Christian Faith hath overspread the whole world. Never would such and so great things be by God wrought for us, if with the death of the body the life of the soul came to an end. Wherefore delay then to abandon worldly hopes, and give ourselves wholly to seek after God and the blessed life? But wait! Even those things are pleasant; they have some, and no small sweetness. We must not lightly abandon them, for it were a shame to return again to them. See, it is no great matter now to obtain some station, and then what should we more wish for? We have store of powerful friends; if nothing else offer, and we be in much haste, at least a presidentship may be given us: and a wife with some money, that she increase not our charges: and this shall be the bound of desire. Many great men, and most worthy of imitation, have given themselves to the study of wisdom in the state of marriage.
6.11.20 Cum haec dicebam et alternabant hi venti et impellebant huc atque illuc cor meum, transibant tempora et tardabam converti ad dominum, et differebam de die in diem vivere in te et non differebam cotidie in memet ipso mori. Amans beatam vitam timebam illam in sede sua et ab ea fugiens quaerebam eam. Putabam enim me miserum fore nimis si feminae privarer amplexibus, et medicinam misericordiae tuae ad eandem infirmitatem sanandam non cogitabam, quia expertus non eram, et propriarum virium credebam esse continentiam, quarum mihi non eram conscius, cum tam stultus essem ut nescirem, sicut scriptum est, neminem posse esse continentem nisi tu dederis. Utique dares, si gemitu interno pulsarem aures tuas et fide solida in te iactarem curam meam. While I went over these things, and these winds shifted and drove my heart this way and that, time passed on, but I delayed to turn to the Lord; and from day to day deferred to live in Thee, and deferred not daily to die in myself. Loving a happy life, I feared it in its own abode, and sought it, by fleeing from it. I thought I should be too miserable, unless folded in female arms; and of the medicine of Thy mercy to cure that infirmity I thought not, not having tried it. As for continency, I supposed it to be in our own power (though in myself I did not find that power), being so foolish as not to know what is written, None can be continent unless Thou give it; and that Thou wouldest give it, if with inward groanings I did knock at Thine ears, and with a settled faith did cast my care on Thee.
6.12.21 Prohibebat me sane Alypius ab uxore ducenda, cantans nullo modo nos posse securo otio simul in amore sapientiae vivere, sicut iam diu desideraremus, si id fecissem. Erat enim ipse in ea re etiam tunc castissimus, ita ut mirum esset, quia vel experientiam concubitus ceperat in ingressu adulescentiae suae, sed non haeserat magisque doluerat et spreverat et deinde iam continentissime vivebat. Ego autem resistebam illi exemplis eorum qui coniugati coluissent sapientiam et promeruissent deum et habuissent fideliter ac dilexissent amicos. A quorum ego quidem granditate animi longe aberam et deligatus morbo carnis mortifera suavitate trahebam catenam meam, solvi timens et quasi concusso vulnere repellens verba bene suadentis tamquam manum solventis. Insuper etiam per me ipsi quoque Alypio loquebatur serpens, et innectebat atque spargebat per linguam meam dulces laqueos in via eius, quibus illi honesti et expediti pedes implicarentur. Alypius indeed kept me from marrying; alleging that so could we by no means with undistracted leisure live together in the love of wisdom, as we had long desired. For himself was even then most pure in this point, so that it was wonderful; and that the more, since in the outset of his youth he had entered into that course, but had not stuck fast therein; rather had he felt remorse and revolting at it, living thenceforth until now most continently. But I opposed him with the examples of those who as married men had cherished wisdom, and served God acceptably, and retained their friends, and loved them faithfully. Of whose greatness of spirit I was far short; and bound with the disease of the flesh, and its deadly sweetness, drew along my chain, dreading to be loosed, and as if my wound had been fretted, put back his good persuasions, as it were the hand of one that would unchain me. Moreover, by me did the serpent speak unto Alypius himself, by my tongue weaving and laying in his path pleasurable snares, wherein his virtuous and free feet might be entangled.
6.12.22 Cum enim me ille miraretur, quem non parvi penderet, ita haerere visco illius voluptatis ut me adfirmarem, quotienscumque inde inter nos quaereremus, caelibem vitam nullo modo posse degere atque ita me defenderem, cum illum mirantem viderem, ut dicerem multum interesse inter illud quod ipse raptim et furtim expertus esset, quod paene iam ne meminisset quidem atque ideo nulla molestia facile contemneret, et delectationes consuetudinis meae, ad quas si accessisset honestum nomen matrimonii, non eum mirari oportere cur ego illam vitam nequirem spernere, coeperat et ipse desiderare coniugium, nequaquam victus libidine talis voluptatis sed curiositatis. Dicebat enim scire se cupere quidnam esset illud sine quo vita mea, quae illi sic placebat, non mihi vita sed poena videretur. Stupebat enim liber ab illo vinculo animus servitutem meam et stupendo ibat in experiendi cupidinem, venturus in ipsam experientiam atque inde fortasse lapsurus in eam quam stupebat servitutem, quoniam sponsionem volebat facere cum morte, et qui amat periculum incidet in illud. Neutrum enim nostrum, si quod est coniugale decus in officio regendi matrimonii et suscipiendorum liberorum, ducebat nisi tenuiter. Magna autem ex parte atque vehementer consuetudo satiandae insatiabilis concupiscentiae me captum excruciabat, illum autem admiratio capiendum trahebat. Sic eramus, donec tu, altissime, non deserens humum nostram miseratus miseros subvenires miris et occultis modis. For when he wondered that I, whom he esteemed not slightly, should stick so fast in the birdlime of that pleasure, as to protest (so oft as we discussed it) that I could never lead a single life; and urged in my defence when I saw him wonder, that there was great difference between his momentary and scarce-remembered knowledge of that life, which so he might easily despise, and my continued acquaintance whereto if the honourable name of marriage were added, he ought not to wonder why I could not contemn that course; he began also to desire to be married; not as overcome with desire of such pleasure, but out of curiosity. For he would fain know, he said, what that should be, without which my life, to him so pleasing, would to me seem not life but a punishment. For his mind, free from that chain, was amazed at my thraldom; and through that amazement was going on to a desire of trying it, thence to the trial itself, and thence perhaps to sink into that bondage whereat he wondered, seeing he was willing to make a covenant with death; and he that loves danger, shall fall into it. For whatever honour there be in the office of well-ordering a married life, and a family, moved us but slightly. But me for the most part the habit of satisfying an insatiable appetite tormented, while it held me captive; him, an admiring wonder was leading captive. So were we, until Thou, O Most High, not forsaking our dust, commiserating us miserable, didst come to our help, by wondrous and secret ways.
6.13.23 Et instabatur impigre ut ducerem uxorem. Iam petebam, iam promittebatur maxime matre dante operam, quo me iam coniugatum baptismus salutaris ablueret, quo me in dies gaudebat aptari et vota sua ac promissa tua in mea fide compleri animadvertebat. Cum sane et rogatu meo et desiderio suo forti clamore cordis abs te deprecaretur cotidie ut ei per visum ostenderes aliquid de futuro matrimonio meo, numquam voluisiti. Et videbat quaedam vana et phantastica, quo cogebat impetus de hac re satagentis humani spiritus, et narrabat mihi non cum fiducia qua solebat, cum tu demonstrabas ei, sed contemnens ea. Dicebat enim discernere se nescio quo sapore, quem verbis explicare non poterat, quid interesset inter revelantem te et animam suam somniantem. Instabatur tamen, et puella petebatur, cuius aetas ferme biennio minus quam nubilis erat, et quia ea placebat, exspectabatur. Continual effort was made to have me married. I wooed, I was promised, chiefly through my mother's pains, that so once married, the health-giving baptism might cleanse me, towards which she rejoiced that I was being daily fitted, and observed that her prayers, and Thy promises, were being fulfilled in my faith. At which time verily, both at my request and her own longing, with strong cries of heart she daily begged of Thee, that Thou wouldest by a vision discover unto her something concerning my future marriage; Thou never wouldest. She saw indeed certain vain and fantastic things, such as the energy of the human spirit, busied thereon, brought together; and these she told me of, not with that confidence she was wont, when Thou showedst her any thing, but slighting them. For she could, she said, through a certain feeling, which in words she could not express, discern betwixt Thy revelations, and the dreams of her own soul. Yet the matter was pressed on, and a maiden asked in marriage, two years under the fit age; and, as pleasing, was waited for.
6.14.24 Et multi amici agitaveramus animo et conloquentes ac detestantes turbulentas humanae vitae molestias paene iam firmaveramus remoti a turbis otiose vivere, id otium sic moliti ut, si quid habere possemus, conferremus in medium unamque rem familiarem conflaremus ex omnibus, ut per amicitiae sinceritatem non esset aliud huius et aliud illius, sed quod ex cunctis fieret unum et universum singulorum esset et omnia omnium, cum videremur nobis esse posse decem ferme homines in eadem societate essentque inter nos praedivites, Romanianus maxime communiceps noster, quem tunc graves aestus negotiorum suorum ad comitatum attraxerant, ab ineunte aetate mihi familiarissimus. Qui maxime instabat huic rei et magnam in suadendo habebat auctoritatem, quod ampla res eius multum ceteris anteibat. Et placuerat nobis ut bini annui tamquam magistratus omnia necessaria curarent ceteris quietis. Sed posteaquam coepit cogitari utrum hoc mulierculae sinerent, quas et alii nostrum iam habebant et nos habere volebamus, totum illud placitum, quod bene formabamus, dissiluit in manibus atque confractum et abiectum est. Inde ad suspiria et gemitus et gressus ad sequendas latas et tritas vias saeculi, quoniam multae cogitationes erant in corde nostro, consilium autem tuum manet in aeternum. Ex quo consilio deridebas nostra et tua praeparabas nobis, daturus escam in opportunitate et aperturus manum atque impleturus animas nostras benedictione. And many of us friends conferring about, and detesting the turbulent turmoils of human life, had debated and now almost resolved on living apart from business and the bustle of men; and this was to be thus obtained; we were to bring whatever we might severally procure, and make one household of all; so that through the truth of our friendship nothing should belong especially to any; but the whole thus derived from all, should as a whole belong to each, and all to all. We thought there might be some often persons in this society; some of whom were very rich, especially Romanianus our townsman, from childhood a very familiar friend of mine, whom the grievous perplexities of his affairs had brought up to court; who was the most earnest for this project; and therein was his voice of great weight, because his ample estate far exceeded any of the rest. We had settled also that two annual officers, as it were, should provide all things necessary, the rest being undisturbed. But when we began to consider whether the wives, which some of us already had, others hoped to have, would allow this, all that plan, which was being so well moulded, fell to pieces in our hands, was utterly dashed and cast aside. Thence we betook us to sighs, and groans, and our steps to follow the broad and beaten ways of the world; for many thoughts were in our heart, but Thy counsel standeth for ever. Out of which counsel Thou didst deride ours, and preparedst Thine own; purposing to give us meat in due season, and to fill our souls with blessing.
6.15.25 Interea mea peccata multiplicabantur, et avulsa a latere meo tamquam impedimento coniugii cum qua cubare solitus eram, cor, ubi adhaerebat, concisum et vulneratum mihi erat et trahebat sanguinem. Et illa in Africam redierat, vovens tibi alium se virum nescituram, relicto apud me naturali ex illa filio meo. At ego infelix nec feminae imitator, dilationis impatiens, tamquam post biennium accepturus eam quam petebam, quia non amator coniugii sed libidinis servus eram, procuravi aliam, non utique coniugem, quo tamquam sustentaretur et perduceretur vel integer vel auctior morbus animae meae satellitio perdurantis consuetudinis in regnum uxorium. Nec sanabatur vulnus illud meum quod prioris praecisione factum erat, sed post fervorem doloremque acerrimum putrescebat, et quasi frigidius sed desperatius dolebat. Meanwhile my sins were being multiplied, and my concubine being torn from my side as a hindrance to my marriage, my heart which clave unto her was torn and wounded and bleeding. And she returned to Afric, vowing unto Thee never to know any other man, leaving with me my son by her. But unhappy I, who could not imitate a very woman, impatient of delay, inasmuch as not till after two years was I to obtain her I sought not being so much a lover of marriage as a slave to lust, procured another, though no wife, that so by the servitude of an enduring custom, the disease of my soul might be kept up and carried on in its vigour, or even augmented, into the dominion of marriage. Nor was that my wound cured, which had been made by the cutting away of the former, but after inflammation and most acute pain, it mortified, and my pains became less acute, but more desperate.
6.16.26 Tibi laus, tibi gloria, fons misericordiarum! ego fiebam miserior et tu propinquior. Aderat iam iamque dextera tua raptura me de caeno et ablutura, et ignorabam. Nec me revocabat a profundiore voluptatum carnalium gurgite nisi metus mortis et futuri iudicii tui, qui per varias quidem opiniones numquam tamen recessit de pectore meo. Et disputabam cum amicis meis Alypio et Nebridio de finibus bonorum et malorum: Epicurum accepturum fuisse palmam in animo meo, nisi ego credidissem post mortem restare animae vitam et tractus meritorum, quod Epicurus credere noluit. Et quaerebam si essemus immortales et in perpetua corporis voluptate sine ullo amissionis terrore viveremus, cur non essemus beati aut quid aliud quaereremus, nesciens idipsum ad magnam miseriam pertinere quod ita demersus et caecus cogitare non possem lumen honestatis et gratis amplectendae pulchritudinis quam non videt oculus carnis, et videtur ex intimo. Nec considerabam miser ex qua vena mihi manaret quod ista ipsa foeda tamen cum amicis dulciter conferebam, nec esse sine amicis poteram beatus, etiam secundum sensum quem tunc habebam in quantalibet affluentia carnalium voluptatum. Quos utique amicos gratis diligebam vicissimque ab eis me diligi gratis sentiebam. To Thee be praise, glory to Thee, Fountain of mercies. I was becoming more miserable, and Thou nearer. Thy right hand was continually ready to pluck me out of the mire, and to wash me thoroughly, and I knew it not; nor did anything call me back from a yet deeper gulf of carnal pleasures, but the fear of death, and of Thy judgment to come; which amid all my changes, never departed from my breast. And in my disputes with my friends Alypius and Nebridius of the nature of good and evil, I held that Epicurus had in my mind won the palm, had I not believed that after death there remained a life for the soul, and places of requital according to men's deserts, which Epicurus would not believe. And I asked, "were we immortal, and to live in perpetual bodily pleasure, without fear of losing it, why should we not be happy, or what else should we seek?" not knowing that great misery was involved in this very thing, that, being thus sunk and blinded, I could not discern that light of excellence and beauty, to be embraced for its own sake, which the eye of flesh cannot see, and is seen by the inner man. Nor did I, unhappy, consider from what source it sprung, that even on these things, foul as they were, I with pleasure discoursed with my friends, nor could I, even according to the notions I then had of happiness, be happy without friends, amid what abundance soever of carnal pleasures. And yet these friends I loved for themselves only, and I felt that I was beloved of them again for myself only.
O tortuosas vias! vae animae audaci quae speravit, si a te recessisset, se aliquid melius habituram! versa et reversa in tergum et in latera et in ventrem, et dura sunt omnia, et tu solus requies. Et ecce ades et liberas a miserabilibus erroribus et constituis nos in via tua et consolaris et dicis, 'Currite, ego feram et ego perducam et ibi ego feram.' O crooked paths! Woe to the audacious soul, which hoped, by forsaking Thee, to gain some better thing! Turned it hath, and turned again, upon back, sides, and belly, yet all was painful; and Thou alone rest. And behold, Thou art at hand, and deliverest us from our wretched wanderings, and placest us in Thy way, and dost comfort us, and say, "Run; I will carry you; yea I will bring you through; there also will I carry you."

Liber septimus

7.1.1 Iam mortua erat adulescentia mea mala et nefanda, et ibam in iuventutem, quanto aetate maior, tanto vanitate turpior, qui cogitare aliquid substantiae nisi tale non poteram, quale per hos oculos videri solet. Non te cogitabam, deus, in figura corporis humani; ex quo audire aliquid de sapientia coepi, semper hoc fugi et gaudebam me hoc repperisse in fide spiritalis matris nostrae, catholicae tuae, sed quid te aliud cogitarem non occurrebat. Et conabar cogitare te, homo et talis homo, summum et solum et verum deum, et te incorruptibilem et inviolabilem et incommutabilem totis medullis credebam, quia nesciens unde et quomodo, plane tamen videbam et certus eram id quod corrumpi potest deterius esse quam id quod non potest, et quod violari non potest incunctanter praeponebam violabili, et quod nullam patitur mutationem melius esse quam id quod mutari potest. Clamabat violenter cor meum adversus omnia phantasmata mea, et hoc uno ictu conabar abigere circumvolantem turbam immunditiae ab acie mentis meae, et vix dimota in ictu oculi, ecce conglobata rursus aderat et inruebat in aspectum meum et obnubilabat eum, ut quamvis non forma humani corporis, corporeum tamen aliquid cogitare cogerer per spatia locorum, sive infusum mundo sive etiam extra mundum per infinita diffusum, etiam ipsum incorruptibile et inviolabile et incommutabile quod corruptibili et violabili et commutabili praeponebam, quoniam quidquid privabam spatiis talibus nihil mihi esse videbatur, sed prorsus nihil, ne inane quidem, tamquam si corpus auferatur loco et maneat locus omni corpore vacuatus et terreno et humido et aerio et caelesti, sed tamen sit locus inanis tamquam spatiosum nihil. Deceased was now that my evil and abominable youth, and I was passing into early manhood; the more defiled by vain things as I grew in years, who could not imagine any substance, but such as is wont to be seen with these eyes. I thought not of Thee, O God, under the figure of a human body; since I began to hear aught of wisdom, I always avoided this; and rejoiced to have found the same in the faith of our spiritual mother, Thy Catholic Church. But what else to conceive of Thee I knew not. And I, a man, and such a man, sought to conceive of Thee the sovereign, only, true God; and I did in my inmost soul believe that Thou wert incorruptible, and uninjurable, and unchangeable; because though not knowing whence or how, yet I saw plainly, and was sure, that that which may be corrupted must be inferior to that which cannot; what could not be injured I preferred unhesitatingly to what could receive injury; the unchangeable to things subject to change. My heart passionately cried out against all my phantoms, and with this one blow I sought to beat away from the eye of my mind all that unclean troop which buzzed around it. And to, being scarce put off, in the twinkling of an eye they gathered again thick about me, flew against my face, and beclouded it; so that though not under the form of the human body, yet was I constrained to conceive of Thee (that incorruptible, uninjurable, and unchangeable, which I preferred before the corruptible, and injurable, and changeable) as being in space, whether infused into the world, or diffused infinitely without it. Because whatsoever I conceived, deprived of this space, seemed to me nothing, yea altogether nothing, not even a void, as if a body were taken out of its place, and the place should remain empty of any body at all, of earth and water, air and heaven, yet would it remain a void place, as it were a spacious nothing.
7.1.2 Ego itaque incrassatus corde nec mihimet ipsi vel ipse conspicuus, quidquid non per aliquanta spatia tenderetur vel diffunderetur vel conglobaretur vel tumeret vel tale aliquid caperet aut capere posset, nihil prorsus esse arbitrabar. Per quales enim formas ire solent oculi mei, per tales imagines ibat cor meum, nec videbam hanc eandem intentionem qua illas ipsas imagines formabam non esse tale aliquid, quae tamen ipsas non formaret nisi esset magnum aliquid. Ita etiam te, vita vitae meae, grandem per infinita spatia undique cogitabam penetrare totam mundi molem et extra eam quaquaversum per immensa sine termine, ut haberet te terra, haberet caelum, haberent omnia et illa finirentur in te, tu autem nusquam. Sicut autem luci solis non obsisteret aeris corpus, aeris huius qui supra terram est, quominus per eum traiceretur penetrans eum, non dirrumpendo aut concidendo sed implendo eum totum, sic tibi putabam non solum caeli et aeris et maris sed etiam terrae corpus pervium et ex omnibus maximis minimisque partibus penetrabile ad capiendam praesentiam tuam, occulta inspiratione intrinsecus et extrinsecus administrantem omnia quae creasti. Ita suspicabar, quia cogitare aliud non poteram; nam falsum erat. Illo enim modo maior pars terrae maiorem tui partem haberet et minorem minor, atque ita te plena essent omnia ut amplius tui caperet elephanti corpus quam passeris, quo esset isto grandius grandioremque occuparet locum, atque ita frustatim partibus mundi magnis magnas, brevibus breves partes tuas prasesentes faceres. Non est autem ita, sed nondum inluminaveras tenebras meas. I then being thus gross-hearted, nor clear even to myself, whatsoever was not extended over certain spaces, nor diffused, nor condensed, nor swelled out, or did not or could not receive some of these dimensions, I thought to be altogether nothing. For over such forms as my eyes are wont to range, did my heart then range: nor yet did I see that this same notion of the mind, whereby I formed those very images, was not of this sort, and yet it could not have formed them, had not itself been some great thing. So also did I endeavour to conceive of Thee, Life of my life, as vast, through infinite spaces on every side penetrating the whole mass of the universe, and beyond it, every way, through unmeasurable boundless spaces; so that the earth should have Thee, the heaven have Thee, all things have Thee, and they be bounded in Thee, and Thou bounded nowhere. For that as the body of this air which is above the earth, hindereth not the light of the sun from passing through it, penetrating it, not by bursting or by cutting, but by filling it wholly: so I thought the body not of heaven, air, and sea only, but of the earth too, pervious to Thee, so that in all its parts, the greatest as the smallest, it should admit Thy presence, by a secret inspiration, within and without, directing all things which Thou hast created. So I guessed, only as unable to conceive aught else, for it was false. For thus should a greater part of the earth contain a greater portion of Thee, and a less, a lesser: and all things should in such sort be full of Thee, that the body of an elephant should contain more of Thee, than that of a sparrow, by how much larger it is, and takes up more room; and thus shouldest Thou make the several portions of Thyself present unto the several portions of the world, in fragments, large to the large, petty to the petty. But such art not Thou. But not as yet hadst Thou enlightened my darkness.
7.2.3 Sat erat mihi, domine, adversus illos deceptos deceptores et loquaces mutos, quoniam non ex eis sonabat verbum tuum -- sat erat ergo illud quod iam diu ab usque Carthagine a Nebridio proponi solebat et omnes qui audieramus concussi sumus: quid erat tibi factura nescio qua gens tenebrarum, quam ex adversa mole solent opponere, si tu cum ea pugnare noluisses? Si enim responderetur aliquid fuisse nocituram, violabilis tu et corruptibilis fores. Si autem nihil ea nocere potuisse diceretur, nulla afferretur causa pugnandi, et ita pugnandi ut quaedam portio tua et membrum tuum vel proles de ipsa substantia tua misceretur adversis potestatibus et non a te creatis naturis, atque in tantum ab eis corrumperetur et commutaretur in deterius ut a beatitudine in miseriam verteretur et indigeret auxilio quo erui purgarique posset, et hanc esse animam cui tuus sermo servienti liber et contaminatae purus et corruptae integer subveniret, sed et ipse corruptibilis, quia ex una eademque substantia. Itaque si te, quidquid es, id est substantiam tuam qua es, incorruptibilem dicerent, falsa esse illa omnia et exsecrabilia; si autem corruptibilem, idipsum iam falsum et prima voce abominandum. Sat erat ergo istuc adversus eos omni modo evomendos a pressura pectoris, quia non habebant qua exirent sine horribili sacrilegio cordis et linguae sentiendo de te ista et loquendo. It was enough for me, Lord, to oppose to those deceived deceivers, and dumb praters, since Thy word sounded not out of them; -that was enough which long ago, while we were yet at Carthage, Nebridius used to propound, at which all we that heard it were staggered: "That said nation of darkness, which the Manichees are wont to set as an opposing mass over against Thee, what could it have done unto Thee, hadst Thou refused to fight with it? For, if they answered, 'it would have done Thee some hurt,' then shouldest Thou be subject to injury and corruption: but if could do Thee no hurt,' then was no reason brought for Thy fighting with it; and fighting in such wise, as that a certain portion or member of Thee, or offspring of Thy very Substance, should he mingled with opposed powers, and natures not created by Thee, and be by them so far corrupted and changed to the worse, as to be turned from happiness into misery, and need assistance, whereby it might be extricated and purified; and that this offspring of Thy Substance was the soul, which being enthralled, defiled, corrupted, Thy Word, free, pure, and whole, might relieve; that Word itself being still corruptible because it was of one and the same Substance. So then, should they affirm Thee, whatsoever Thou art, that is, Thy Substance whereby Thou art, to be incorruptible, then were all these sayings false and execrable; but if corruptible, the very statement showed it to be false and revolting." This argument then of Nebridius sufficed against those who deserved wholly to be vomited out of the overcharged stomach; for they had no escape, without horrible blasphemy of heart and tongue, thus thinking and speaking of Thee.
7.3.4 Sed et ego adhuc, quamvis incontaminabilem et inconvertibilem et nulla ex parte mutabilem dicerem firmeque sentirem deum nostrum, deum verum, qui fecisti non solum animas nostras sed etiam corpora, nec tantum nostras animas et corpora sed omnes et omnia, non tenebam explicatam et enodatam causam mali. Quaecumque tamen esset, sic eam quaerendam videbam, ut non per illam constringerer deum incommutabilem mutabilem credere, ne ipse fierem quod quaerebam. Itaque securus eam quaerebam, et certus non esse verum quod illi dicerent quos toto animo fugiebam, quia videbam quaerendo unde malum repletos malitia, qua opinarentur tuam potius substantiam male pati quam suam male facere. But I also as yet, although I held and was firmly persuaded that Thou our Lord the true God, who madest not only our souls, but our bodies, and not only our souls and bodies, but all beings, and all things, wert undefilable and unalterable, and in no degree mutable; yet understood I not, clearly and without difficulty, the cause of evil. And yet whatever it were, I perceived it was in such wise to be sought out, as should not constrain me to believe the immutable God to be mutable, lest I should become that evil I was seeking out. I sought it out then, thus far free from anxiety, certain of the untruth of what these held, from whom I shrunk with my whole heart: for I saw, that through enquiring the origin of evil, they were filled with evil, in that they preferred to think that Thy substance did suffer ill than their own did commit it.
7.3.5 Et intendebam ut cernerem quod audiebam, liberum voluntatis arbitrium causam esse ut male faceremus et rectum iudicium tuum ut pateremur, et eam liquidam cernere non valebam. Itaque aciem mentis de profundo educere conatus mergebar iterum, et saepe conatus mergebar iterum atque iterum. Sublevabat enim me in lucem tuam quod tam sciebam me habere voluntatem quam me vivere. Itaque cum aliquid vellem aut nollem, non alium quam me velle ac nolle certissimus eram, et ibi esse causam peccati mei iam iamque animadvertebam. Quod autem invitus facerem, pati me potius quam facere videbam, et id non culpam sed poenam esse iudicabam, qua me non iniuste plecti te iustum cogitans cito fatebar. Sed rursus dicebam, 'Quis fecit me? Nonne deus meus, non tantum bonus sed ipsum bonum? Unde igitur mihi male velle et bene nolle? Ut esset cur iuste poenas luerem? Quis in me hoc posuit et insevit mihi plantarium amaritudinis, cum totus fierem a dulcissimo deo meo? Si diabolus auctor, unde ipse diabolus? Quod si et ipse perversa voluntate ex bono angelo diabolus factus est, unde et in ipso voluntas mala qua diabolus fieret, quando totus angelus a conditore optimo factus esset?' his cogitationibus deprimebar iterum et suffocabar, sed non usque ad illum infernum subducebar erroris ubi nemo tibi confitetur, dum tu potius mala pati quam homo facere putatur. And I strained to perceive what I now heard, that free-will was the cause of our doing ill, and Thy just judgment of our suffering ill. But I was not able clearly to discern it. So then endeavouring to draw my soul's vision out of that deep pit, I was again plunged therein, and endeavouring often, I was plunged back as often. But this raised me a little into Thy light, that I knew as well that I had a will, as that I lived: when then I did will or nill any thing, I was most sure that no other than myself did will and nill: and I all but saw that there was the cause of my sin. But what I did against my will, I saw that I suffered rather than did, and I judged not to be my fault, but my punishment; whereby, however, holding Thee to be just, I speedily confessed myself to be not unjustly punished. But again I said, Who made me? Did not my God, Who is not only good, but goodness itself? Whence then came I to will evil and nill good, so that I am thus justly punished? who set this in me, and ingrated into me this plant of bitterness, seeing I was wholly formed by my most sweet God? If the devil were the author, whence is that same devil? And if he also by his own perverse will, of a good angel became a devil, whence, again, came in him that evil will whereby he became a devil, seeing the whole nature of angels was made by that most good Creator? By these thoughts I was again sunk down and choked; yet not brought down to that hell of error (where no man confesseth unto Thee), to think rather that Thou dost suffer ill, than that man doth it.
7.4.6 Sic enim nitebar invenire cetera, ut iam inveneram melius esse incorruptibile quam corruptibile, et ideo te, quidquid esses, esse incorruptibilem confitebar. Neque enim ulla anima umquam potuit poteritve cogitare aliquid quod sit te melius, qui summum et optimum bonum es. Cum autem verissime atque certissime incorruptibile corruptibili praeponatur, sicut iam ego praeponebam, poteram iam cogitatione aliquid attingere quod esset melius deo meo, nisi tu esses incorruptibilis. Ubi igitur videbam incorruptibile corruptibili esse praeferendum, ibi te quaerere debebam atque inde advertere ubi sit malum, id est unde sit ipsa corruptio, qua violari substantia tua nullo modo potest. Nullo enim prorsus modo violat corruptio deum nostrum, nulla voluntate, nulla necessitate, nullo improviso casu, quoniam ipse est deus, et quod sibi vult bonum est, et ipse est idem bonum; corrumpi autem non est bonum. Nec cogeris invitus ad aliquid, quia voluntas tua non est maior quam potentia tua. Esset autem maior, si te ipso tu ipse maior esses: voluntas enim et potentia dei deus ipse est. Et quid improvisum tibi, qui nosti omnia? Et nulla natura est nisi quia nosti eam. Et ut quid multa dicimus cur non sit corruptibilis substantia quae deus est, quando, si hoc esset, non esset deus? For I was in such wise striving to find out the rest, as one who had already found that the incorruptible must needs be better than the corruptible: and Thee therefore, whatsoever Thou wert, I confessed to be incorruptible. For never soul was, nor shall be, able to conceive any thing which may be better than Thou, who art the sovereign and the best good. But since most truly and certainly, the incorruptible is preferable to the corruptible (as I did now prefer it), then, wert Thou not incorruptible, I could in thought have arrived at something better than my God. Where then I saw the incorruptible to be preferable to the corruptible, there ought I to seek for Thee, and there observe "wherein evil itself was"; that is, whence corruption comes, by which Thy substance can by no means be impaired. For corruption does no ways impair our God; by no will, by no necessity, by no unlooked-for chance: because He is God, and what He wills is good, and Himself is that good; but to be corrupted is not good. Nor art Thou against Thy will constrained to any thing, since Thy will is not greater than Thy power. But greater should it be, were Thyself greater than Thyself. For the will and power of God is God Himself. And what can be unlooked-for by Thee, Who knowest all things? Nor is there any nature in things, but Thou knowest it. And what should we more say, "why that substance which God is should not be corruptible," seeing if it were so, it should not be God?
7.5.7 Et quaerebam unde malum, et male quaerebam, et in ipsa inquisitione mea non videbam malum. Et constituebam in conspectu spiritus mei universam creaturam, quidquid in ea cernere possumus, sicuti est terra et mare et aer et sidera et arbores et animalia mortalia, et quidquid in ea non videmus, sicut firmamentum caeli insuper et omnes angelos et cuncta spiritalia eius, sed etiam ipsa, quasi corpora essent, locis et locis ordinavit imaginatio mea. Et feci unam massam grandem distinctam generibus corporum, creaturam tuam, sive re vera quae corpora erant, sive quae ipse pro spiritibus finxeram, et eam feci grandem, non quantum erat, quod scire non poteram, sed quantum libuit, undiqueversum sane finitam, te autem, domine, ex omni parte ambientem et penetrantem eam, sed usquequaque infinitum, tamquam si mare esset ubique et undique per immensa infinitum solum mare et haberet intra se spongiam quamlibet magnam, sed finitam tamen, plena esset utique spongia illa ex omni sua parte ex immenso mari. Sic creaturam tuam finitam te infinito plenam putabam et dicebam, 'Ecce deus et ecce quae creavit deus, et bonus deus atque his validissime longissimeque praestantior; sed tamen bonus bona creavit, et ecce quomodo ambit atque implet ea. Ubi ergo malum et unde et qua huc inrepsit? Quae radix eius et quod semen eius? An omnino non est? Cur ergo timemus et cavemus quod non est? Aut si inaniter timemus, certe vel timor ipse malum est, quo incassum stimulatur et excruciatur cor, et tanto gravius malum, quanto non est, quod timeamus, et timemus. Idcirco aut est malum quod timemus, aut hoc malum est quia timemus. Unde est igitur, quoniam deus fecit haec omnia bonus bona? Maius quidem et summum bonum minora fecit bona, sed tamen et creans et creata bona sunt omnia. Unde est malum? An unde fecit ea, materies aliqua mala erat et formavit atque ordinavit eam, sed reliquit aliquid in illa quod in bonum non converteret? Cur et hoc? An impotens erat totam vertere et commutare, ut nihil mali remaneret, cum sit omnipotens? Postremo cur inde aliquid facere voluit ac non potius eadem omnipotentia fecit, ut nulla esset omnino? Aut vero exsistere poterat contra eius voluntatem? Aut si aeterna erat, cur tam diu per infinita retro spatia temporum sic eam sivit esse ac tanto post placuit aliquid ex ea facere? Aut iam, si aliquid subito voluit agere, hoc potius ageret omnipotens, ut illa non esset atque ipse solus esset totum verum et summum et infinitum bonum? Aut si non erat bene, ut non aliquid boni etiam fabricaretur et conderet qui bonus erat, illa sublata et ad nihilum redacta materie quae mala erat, bonam ipse institueret unde omnia crearet? Non enim esset omnipotens si condere non posset aliquid boni nisi ea quam non ipse condiderat adiuvaretur materia.' talia volvebam pectore misero, ingravidato curis mordacissimis de timore mortis et non inventa veritate; stabiliter tamen haerebat in corde meo in catholica ecclesia fides Christi tui, domini et salvatoris nostri, in multis quidem adhuc informis et praeter doctrinae normam fluitans, sed tamen non eam relinquebat animus, immo in dies magis magisque inbibebat. And I sought "whence is evil," and sought in an evil way; and saw not the evil in my very search. I set now before the sight of my spirit the whole creation, whatsoever we can see therein (as sea, earth, air, stars, trees, mortal creatures); yea, and whatever in it we do not see, as the firmament of heaven, all angels moreover, and all the spiritual inhabitants thereof. But these very beings, as though they were bodies, did my fancy dispose in place, and I made one great mass of Thy creation, distinguished as to the kinds of bodies; some, real bodies, some, what myself had feigned for spirits. And this mass I made huge, not as it was (which I could not know), but as I thought convenient, yet every way finite. But Thee, O Lord, I imagined on every part environing and penetrating it, though every way infinite: as if there were a sea, every where, and on every side, through unmeasured space, one only boundless sea, and it contained within it some sponge, huge, but bounded; that sponge must needs, in all its parts, be filled from that unmeasurable sea: so conceived I Thy creation, itself finite, full of Thee, the Infinite; and I said, Behold God, and behold what God hath created; and God is good, yea, most mightily and incomparably better than all these: but yet He, the Good, created them good; and see how He environeth and fulfils them. Where is evil then, and whence, and how crept it in hither? What is its root, and what its seed? Or hath it no being? Why then fear we and avoid what is not? Or if we fear it idly, then is that very fear evil, whereby the soul is thus idly goaded and racked. Yea, and so much a greater evil, as we have nothing to fear, and yet do fear. Therefore either is that evil which we fear, or else evil is, that we fear. Whence is it then? seeing God, the Good, hath created all these things good. He indeed, the greater and chiefest Good, hath created these lesser goods; still both Creator and created, all are good. Whence is evil? Or, was there some evil matter of which He made, and formed, and ordered it, yet left something in it which He did not convert into good? Why so then? Had He no might to turn and change the whole, so that no evil should remain in it, seeing He is All-mighty? Lastly, why would He make any thing at all of it, and not rather by the same All-mightiness cause it not to be at all? Or, could it then be against His will? Or if it were from eternity, why suffered He it so to be for infinite spaces of times past, and was pleased so long after to make something out of it? Or if He were suddenly pleased now to effect somewhat, this rather should the All-mighty have effected, that this evil matter should not be, and He alone be, the whole, true, sovereign, and infinite Good. Or if it was not good that He who was good should not also frame and create something that were good, then, that evil matter being taken away and brought to nothing, He might form good matter, whereof to create all things. For He should not be All-mighty, if He might not create something good without the aid of that matter which Himself had not created. These thoughts I revolved in my miserable heart, overcharged with most gnawing cares, lest I should die ere I had found the truth; yet was the faith of Thy Christ, our Lord and Saviour, professed in the Church Catholic, firmly fixed in my heart, in many points, indeed, as yet unformed, and fluctuating from the rule of doctrine; yet did not my mind utterly leave it, but rather daily took in more and more of it.
7.6.8 Iam etiam mathematicorum fallaces divinationes et impia deliramenta reieceram. Confiteantur etiam hinc tibi de intimis visceribus animae meae miserationes tuae, deus meus! tu enim, tu omnino (nam quis alius a morte omnis erroris revocat nos nisi vita quae mori nescit, et sapientia mentes indigentes inluminans, nullo indigens lumine, qua mundus administratur usque ad arborum volatica folia?), tu procurasti pervicaciae meae, qua obluctatus sum Vindiciano acuto seni et Nebridio adulescenti mirabilis animae, illi vehementer adfirmanti, huic cum dubitatione quidem aliqua sed tamen crebro dicenti non esse illam artem futura praevidendi, coniecturas autem hominum habere saepe vim sortis et multa dicendo dici pleraque ventura, nescientibus eis qui dicerent sed in ea non tacendo incurrentibus -- procurasti ergo tu hominem amicum, non quidem segnem consultorem mathematicorum nec eas litteras bene callentem sed, ut dixi, consultorem curiosum et tamen scientem aliquid quod a patre suo se audisse dicebat: quod quantum valeret ad illius artis opinionem evertendam ignorabat. Is ergo vir nomine Firminus, liberaliter institutus et excultus eloquio, cum me tamquam carissimum de quibusdam suis rebus, in quas saecularis spes eius intumuerat, consuleret, quid mihi secundum suas quas constellationes appellant videretur, ego autem, qui iam de hac re in Nebridii sententiam flecti coeperam, non quidem abnuerem conicere ac dicere quod nutanti occurrebat, sed tamen subicerem prope iam esse mihi persuasum ridicula illa esse et inania, tum ille mihi narravit patrem suum fuisse librorum talium curiosissimum et habuisse amicum aeque illa simulque sectantem. Qui pari studio et conlatione flatabant in eas nugas ignem cordis sui, ita ut mutorum quoque animalium, si quae domi parerent, observarent momenta nascentium atque ad ea caeli positionem notarent, unde illius quasi artis experimenta conligerent. Itaque dicebat audisse se a patre quod, cum eundem Firminum praegnans mater esset, etiam illius paterni amici famula quaedam pariter utero grandescebat, quod latere non potuit dominum, qui etiam canum suarum partus examinatissima diligentia nosse curabat; atque ita factum esse, ut cum iste coniugis, ille autem ancillae dies et horas minutioresque horarum articulos cautissima observatione numerarent, enixae essent ambae simul, ita ut easdem constellationes usque ad easdem minutias utrique nascenti facere cogerentur, iste filio, ille servulo. Nam cum mulieres parturire coepissent, indicaverunt sibi ambo quid sua cuiusque domo ageretur, et paraverunt quos ad se invicem mitterent, simul ut natum quod parturiebatur esset cuique nuntiatum: quod tamen ut continuo nuntiaretur, tamquam in regno suo facile effecerant. Atque ita qui ab alterutro missi sunt tam ex paribus domorum intervallis sibi obviam factos esse dicebat, ut aliam positionem siderum aliasque particulas momentorum neuter eorum notare sineretur. Et tamen Firminus amplo apud suos loco natus dealbatiores vias saeculi cursitabat, augebatur divitiis, sublimabatur honoribus, servus autem ille conditionis iugo nullatenus relaxato dominis serviebat, ipso indicante qui noverat eum. But this time also had I rejected the lying divinations and impious dotages of the astrologers. Let Thine own mercies, out of my very inmost soul, confess unto Thee for this also, O my God. For Thou, Thou altogether (for who else calls us back from the death of all errors, save the Life which cannot die, and the Wisdom which needing no light enlightens the minds that need it, whereby the universe is directed, down to the whirling leaves of trees?) -Thou madest provision for my obstinacy wherewith I struggled against Vindicianus, an acute old man, and Nebridius, a young man of admirable talents; the first vehemently affirming, and the latter often (though with some doubtfulness) saying, "That there was no such art whereby to foresee things to come, but that men's conjectures were a sort of lottery, and that out of many things which they said should come to pass, some actually did, unawares to them who spake it, who stumbled upon it, through their oft speaking." Thou providedst then a friend for me, no negligent consulter of the astrologers; nor yet well skilled in those arts, but (as I said) a curious consulter with them, and yet knowing something, which he said he had heard of his father, which how far it went to overthrow the estimation of that art, he knew not. This man then, Firminus by name, having had a liberal education, and well taught in Rhetoric, consulted me, as one very dear to him, what, according to his socalled constellations, I thought on certain affairs of his, wherein his worldly hopes had risen, and I, who had herein now begun to incline towards Nebridius' opinion, did not altogether refuse to conjecture, and tell him what came into my unresolved mind; but added, that I was now almost persuaded that these were but empty and ridiculous follies. Thereupon he told me that his father had been very curious in such books, and had a friend as earnest in them as himself, who with joint study and conference fanned the flame of their affections to these toys, so that they would observe the moments whereat the very dumb animals, which bred about their houses, gave birth, and then observed the relative position of the heavens, thereby to make fresh experiments in this so-called art. He said then that he had heard of his father, that what time his mother was about to give birth to him, Firminus, a woman-servant of that friend of his father's was also with child, which could not escape her master, who took care with most exact diligence to know the births of his very puppies. And so it was that (the one for his wife, and the other for his servant, with the most careful observation, reckoning days, hours, nay, the lesser divisions of the hours) both were delivered at the same instant; so that both were constrained to allow the same constellations, even to the minutest points, the one for his son, the other for his new-born slave. For so soon as the women began to be in labour, they each gave notice to the other what was fallen out in their houses, and had messengers ready to send to one another so soon as they had notice of the actual birth, of which they had easily provided, each in his own province, to give instant intelligence. Thus then the messengers of the respective parties met, he averred, at such an equal distance from either house that neither of them could make out any difference in the position of the stars, or any other minutest points; and yet Firminus, born in a high estate in his parents' house, ran his course through the gilded paths of life, was increased in riches, raised to honours; whereas that slave continued to serve his masters, without any relaxation of his yoke, as Firminus, who knew him, told me.
7.6.9 His itaque auditis et creditis (talis quippe narraverat) omnis illa reluctatio mea resoluta concidit, et primo Firminum ipsum conatus sum ab illa curiositate revocare, cum dicerem, constellationibus eius inspectis ut vera pronuntiarem, debuisse me utique videre ibi parentes inter suos esse primarios, nobilem familiam propriae civitatis, natales ingenuos, honestam educationem liberalesque doctrinas; at si me ille servus ex eisdem constellationibus (quia et illius ipsae essent) consuluisset, ut eidem quoque vera proferrem, debuisse me rursus ibi videre abiectissimam familiam, conditionem servilem et cetera longe a prioribus aliena longeque distantia. Unde autem fieret ut eadem inspiciens diversa dicerem, si vera dicerem, si autem eadem dicerem, falsa dicerem, inde certissime conlegi ea quae vera consideratis constellationibus dicerentur non arte dici sed sorte, quae autem falsa, non artis imperitia sed sortis mendacio. Upon hearing and believing these things, told by one of such credibility, all that my resistance gave way; and first I endeavoured to reclaim Firminus himself from that curiosity, by telling him that upon inspecting his constellations, I ought if I were to predict truly, to have seen in them parents eminent among their neighbours, a noble family in its own city, high birth, good education, liberal learning. But if that servant had consulted me upon the same constellations, since they were his also, I ought again (to tell him too truly) to see in them a lineage the most abject, a slavish condition, and every thing else utterly at variance with the former. Whence then, if I spake the truth, I should, from the same constellations, speak diversely, or if I spake the same, speak falsely: thence it followed most certainly that whatever, upon consideration of the constellations, was spoken truly, was spoken not out of art, but chance; and whatever spoken falsely, was not out of ignorance in the art, but the failure of the chance.
7.6.10 Hinc autem accepto aditu, ipse mecum talia ruminando, ne quis eorundem delirorum qui talem quaestum sequerentur, quos iam iamque invadere atque inrisos refellere cupiebam, mihi ita resisteret, quasi aut Firminus mihi aut illi pater falsa narraverit, intendi considerationem in eos qui gemini nascuntur, quorum plerique ita post invicem funduntur ex utero ut parvum ipsum temporis intervallum, quantamlibet vim in rerum natura habere contendant, conligi tamen humana observatione non possit litterisque signari omnino non valeat quas mathematicus inspecturus est ut vera pronuntiet. Et non erunt vera, quia easdem litteras inspiciens eadem debuit dicere de Esau et de Iacob, sed non eadem utrique acciderunt. Falsa ergo diceret aut, si vera diceret, non eadem diceret: at eadem inspiceret. Non ergo arte sed sorte vera diceret. Tu enim, domine, iustissime moderator universitatis, consulentibus consultisque nescientibus occulto instinctu agis ut, dum quisque consulit, hoc audiat quod eum oportet audire occultis meritis animarum ex abysso iusti iudicii tui. Cui non dicat homo, 'Quid est hoc?' 'Ut quid hoc?' non dicat, non dicat; homo est enim. An opening thus made, ruminating with myself on the like things, that no one of those dotards (who lived by such a trade, and whom I longed to attack, and with derision to confute) might urge against me that Firminus had informed me falsely, or his father him; I bent my thoughts on those that are born twins, who for the most part come out of the womb so near one to other, that the small interval (how much force soever in the nature of things folk may pretend it to have) cannot be noted by human observation, or be at all expressed in those figures which the astrologer is to inspect, that he may pronounce truly. Yet they cannot be true: for looking into the same figures, he must have predicted the same of Esau and Jacob, whereas the same happened not to them. Therefore he must speak falsely; or if truly, then, looking into the same figures, he must not give the same answer. Not by art, then, but by chance, would he speak truly. For Thou, O Lord, most righteous Ruler of the Universe, while consulters and consulted know it not, dost by Thy hidden inspiration effect that the consulter should hear what, according to the hidden deservings of souls, he ought to hear, out of the unsearchable depth of Thy just judgment, to Whom let no man say, What is this? Why that? Let him not so say, for he is man.
7.7.11 Iam itaque me, adiutor meus, illis vinculis solveras, et quaerebam unde malum, et non erat exitus. Sed me non sinebas ullis fluctibus cogitationis auferri ab ea fide qua credebam et esse te et esse incommutabilem substantiam tuam et esse de hominibus curam et iudicium tuum et in Christo, filio tuo, domino nostro, atque scripturis sanctis quas ecclesiae tuae catholicae commendaret auctoritas, viam te posuisse salutis humanae ad eam vitam quae post hanc mortem futura est. His itaque salvis atque inconcusse roboratis in animo meo, quaerebam aestuans unde sit malum. Quae illa tormenta parturientis cordis mei, qui gemitus, deus meus! et ibi erant aures tuae nesciente me. Et cum in silentio fortiter quaererem, magnae voces erant ad misericordiam tuam tacitae contritiones animi mei. Tu sciebas quid patiebar, et nullus hominum. Quantum enim erat quod inde digerebatur per linguam meam in aures familiarissimorum meorum! numquid totus tumultus animae meae, cui nec tempora nec os meum sufficiebat, sonabat eis? Totum tamen ibat in auditum tuum quod rugiebam a gemitu cordis mei, et ante te erat desiderium meum, et lumen oculorum meorum non erat mecum. Intus enim erat, ego autem foris, nec in loco illud. At ego intendebam in ea quae locis continentur, et non ibi inveniebam locum ad requiescendum, nec recipiebant me ista ut dicerem, 'Sat est et bene est,' nec dimittebant redire ubi mihi satis esset bene. Superior enim eram istis, te vero inferior, et tu gaudium verum mihi subdito tibi et tu mihi subieceras quae infra me creasti. Et hoc erat rectum temperamentum et media regio salutis meae, ut manerem ad imaginem tuam et tibi serviens dominarer corpori. Sed cum superbe contra te surgerem et currerem adversus dominum in cervice crassa scuti mei, etiam ista infima supra me facta sunt et premebant, et nusquam erat laxamentum et respiramentum. Ipsa occurrebant undique acervatim et conglobatim cernenti, cogitanti autem imagines corporum ipsae opponebantur redeunti, quasi diceretur, 'Quo is, indigne et sordide?' et haec de vulnere meo creverant, quia humilasti tamquam vulneratum superbum, et tumore meo separabar abs te et nimis inflata facies claudebat oculos meos. Now then, O my Helper, hadst Thou loosed me from those fetters: and I sought "whence is evil," and found no way. But Thou sufferedst me not by any fluctuations of thought to be carried away from the Faith whereby I believed Thee both to be, and Thy substance to be unchangeable, and that Thou hast a care of, and wouldest judge men, and that in Christ, Thy Son, Our Lord, and the holy Scriptures, which the authority of Thy Catholic Church pressed upon me, Thou hadst set the way of man's salvation, to that life which is to be after this death. These things being safe and immovably settled in my mind, I sought anxiously "whence was evil?" What were the pangs of my teeming heart, what groans, O my God! yet even there were Thine ears open, and I knew it not; and when in silence I vehemently sought, those silent contritions of my soul were strong cries unto Thy mercy. Thou knewest what I suffered, and no man. For, what was that which was thence through my tongue distilled into the ears of my most familiar friends? Did the whole tumult of my soul, for which neither time nor utterance sufficed, reach them? Yet went up the whole to Thy hearing, all which I roared out from the groanings of my heart; and my desire was before Thee, and the light of mine eyes was not with me: for that was within, I without: nor was that confined to place, but I was intent on things contained in place, but there found I no resting-place, nor did they so receive me, that I could say, "It is enough," "it is well": nor did they yet suffer me to turn back, where it might be well enough with me. For to these things was I superior, but inferior to Thee; and Thou art my true joy when subjected to Thee, and Thou hadst subjected to me what Thou createdst below me. And this was the true temperament, and middle region of my safety, to remain in Thy Image, and by serving Thee, rule the body. But when I rose proudly against Thee, and ran against the Lord with my neck, with the thick bosses of my buckler, even these inferior things were set above me, and pressed me down, and no where was there respite or space of breathing. They met my sight on all sides by heaps and troops, and in thought the images thereof presented themselves unsought, as I would return to Thee, as if they would say unto me, "Whither goest thou, unworthy and defiled?" And these things had grown out of my wound; for Thou "humbledst the proud like one that is wounded," and through my own swelling was I separated from Thee; yea, my pride-swollen face closed up mine eyes.
7.8.12 Tu vero, domine, in aeternum manes et non in aeternum irasceris nobis, quoniam miseratus es terram et cinerem. Et placuit in conspectuo tuo reformare deformia mea, et stimulis internis agitabas me ut impatiens essem donec mihi per interiorem aspectum certus esses. Et residebat tumor meus ex occulta manu medicinae tuae aciesque conturbata et contenebrata mentis meae acri collyrio salubrium dolorum de die in diem sanabatur. But Thou, Lord, abidest for ever, yet not for ever art Thou angry with us; because Thou pitiest our dust and ashes, and it was pleasing in Thy sight to reform my deformities; and by inward goads didst Thou rouse me, that I should be ill at ease, until Thou wert manifested to my inward sight. Thus, by the secret hand of Thy medicining was my swelling abated, and the troubled and bedimmed eyesight of my mind, by the smarting anointings of healthful sorrows, was from day to day healed.
7.9.13 Et primo volens ostendere mihi quam resistas superbis, humilibus autem des gratiam, et quanta misericordia tua demonstrata sit hominibus via humilitatis, quod verbum tuum caro factum est et habitavit inter homines, procurasti mihi per quendam hominem immanissimo typho turgidum quosdam platonicorum libros ex graeca lingua in latinam versos, et ibi legi, non quidem his verbis sed hoc idem omnino multis et multiplicibus suaderi rationibus, quod in principio erat verbum et verbum erat apud deum et deus erat verbum. Hoc erat in principio apud deum. Omnia per ipsum facta sunt, et sine ipso factum est nihil. Quod factum est in eo vita est, et vita erat lux hominum; et lux in tenebris lucet, et tenebrae eam non comprehenderunt. Et quia hominis anima, quamvis testimonium perhibeat de lumine, non est tamen ipsa lumen, sed verbum deus est lumen verum, quod inluminat omnem hominem venientem in hunc mundum. Et quia in hoc mundo erat, et mundus per eum factus est, et mundus eum non cognovit. Quia vero in sua propria venit et sui eum non receperunt, quotquot autem receperunt eum, dedit eis potestatem filios dei fieri credentibus in nomine eius, non ibi legi. And Thou, willing first to show me how Thou resistest the proud, but givest grace unto the humble, and by how great an act of Thy mercy Thou hadst traced out to men the way of humility, in that Thy Word was made flesh, and dwelt among men:- Thou procuredst for me, by means of one puffed up with most unnatural pride, certain books of the Platonists, translated from Greek into Latin. And therein I read, not indeed in the very words, but to the very same purpose, enforced by many and divers reasons, that In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God: the Same was in the beginning with God: all things were made by Him, and without Him was nothing made: that which was made by Him is life, and the life was the light of men, and the light shineth in the darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not. And that the soul of man, though it bears witness to the light, yet itself is not that light; but the Word of God, being God, is that true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world. And that He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. But, that He came unto His own, and His own received Him not; but as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, as many as believed in His name; this I read not there.
7.9.14 Item legi ibi quia verbum, deus, non ex carne, non ex sanguine non ex voluntate viri neque ex voluntate carnis, sed ex deo natus est; sed quia verbum caro factum est et habitavit in nobis, non ibi legi. Indagavi quippe in illis litteris varie dictum et multis modis quod sit filius in forma patris, non rapinam arbitratus esse aequalis deo, quia naturaliter idipsum est, sed quia semet ipsum exinanivit formam servi accipiens, in similitudinem hominum factus et habitu inventus ut homo, humilavit se factus oboediens usque ad mortem, mortem autem crucis: propter quod deus eum exaltavit a mortuis et donavit ei nomen quod est super omne nomen, ut in nomine Iesu omne genu flectatur caelestium terrestrium et infernorum, et omnis lingua confiteatur quia dominus Iesus in gloria est dei patris, non habent illi libri. Quod enim ante omnia tempora et supra omnia tempora incommutabiliter manet unigenitus filius tuus coaeternus tibi, et quia de plenitudine eius accipiunt animae ut beatae sint, et quia participatione manentis in se sapientiae renovantur ut sapientes sint, est ibi; quod autem secundum tempus pro impiis mortuus est, et filio tuo unico non pepercisti, sed pro nobis omnibus tradidisti eum, non est ibi. Abscondisti enim haec a sapientibus et revelasti ea parvulis, ut venirent ad eum laborantes et onerati et reficeret eos, quoniam mitis est et humilis corde, et diriget mites in iudicio et docet mansuetos vias suas, videns humilitatem nostram et laborem nostrum et dimittens omnia peccata nostra. Qui autem cothurno tamquam doctrinae sublimioris elati non audiunt dicentem, 'Discite a me quoniam mitis sum et humilis corde, et invenietis requiem animabus vestris,' etsi cognoscunt deum, non sicut deum glorificant aut gratias agunt, sed evanescunt in cogitationibus suis et obscuratur insipiens cor eorum; dicentes se esse sapientes stulti facti sunt. Again I read there, that God the Word was born not of flesh nor of blood, nor of the will of man, nor of the will of the flesh, but of God. But that the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, I read not there. For I traced in those books that it was many and divers ways said, that the Son was in the form of the Father, and thought it not robbery to be equal with God, for that naturally He was the Same Substance. But that He emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men, and found in fashion as a man, humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, and that the death of the cross: wherefore God exalted Him from the dead, and gave Him a name above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should how, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father; those books have not. For that before all times and above all times Thy Only-Begotten Son remaineth unchangeable, co-eternal with Thee, and that of His fulness souls receive, that they may be blessed; and that by participation of wisdom abiding in them, they are renewed, so as to be wise, is there. But that in due time He died for the ungodly; and that Thou sparedst not Thine Only Son, but deliveredst Him for us all, is not there. For Thou hiddest these things from the wise, and revealedst them to babes; that they that labour and are heavy laden might come unto Him, and He refresh them, because He is meek and lowly in heart; and the meek He directeth in judgment, and the gentle He teacheth His ways, beholding our lowliness and trouble, and forgiving all our sins. But such as are lifted up in the lofty walk of some would-be sublimer learning, hear not Him, saying, Learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest to your souls. Although they knew God, yet they glorify Him not as God, nor are thankful, but wax vain in their thoughts; and their foolish heart is darkened; professing that they were wise, they became fools.
7.9.15 Et ideo legebam ibi etiam immutatam gloriam incorruptionis tuae in idola et varia simulacra, in similitudinem imaginis corruptibilis hominis et volucrum et quadrupedum et serpentium, videlicet Aegyptium cibum quo Esau perdidit primogenita sua, quoniam caput quadrupedis pro te honoravit populus primogenitus, conversus corde in Aegyptum et curvans imaginem tuam, animam suam, ante imaginem vituli manducantis faenum. Inveni haec ibi et non manducavi. Placuit enim tibi, domine, auferre opprobrium diminutionis ab Iacob, ut maior serviret minori, et vocasti gentes in hereditatem tuam. Et ego ad te veneram ex gentibus et intendi in aurum quod ab Aegypto voluisti ut auferret populus tuus, quoniam tuum erat, ubicumque erat. Et dixisti Atheniensibus per apostolum tuum quod in te vivimus et movemur et sumus, sicut et quidam secundum eos dixerunt, et utique inde erant illi libri. Et non attendi in idola Aegyptiorum, quibus de auro tuo ministrabant qui transmutaverunt veritatem dei in mendacium, et coluerunt et servierunt creaturae potius quam creatori. And therefore did I read there also, that they had changed the glory of Thy incorruptible nature into idols and divers shapes, into the likeness of the image of corruptible man, and birds, and beasts, and creeping things; namely, into that Egyptian food for which Esau lost his birthright, for that Thy first-born people worshipped the head of a four-footed beast instead of Thee; turning in heart back towards Egypt; and bowing Thy image, their own soul, before the image of a calf that eateth hay. These things found I here, but I fed not on them. For it pleased Thee, O Lord, to take away the reproach of diminution from Jacob, that the elder should serve the younger: and Thou calledst the Gentiles into Thine inheritance. And I had come to Thee from among the Gentiles; and I set my mind upon the gold which Thou willedst Thy people to take from Egypt, seeing Thine it was, wheresoever it were. And to the Athenians Thou saidst by Thy Apostle, that in Thee we live, move, and have our being, as one of their own poets had said. And verily these books came from thence. But I set not my mind on the idols of Egypt, whom they served with Thy gold, who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator.
7.10.16 Et inde admonitus redire ad memet ipsum, intravi in intima mea duce te, et potui, quoniam factus es adiutor meus. Intravi et vidi qualicumque oculo animae meae supra eundem oculum animae meae, supra mentem meam, lucem incommutabilem, non hanc vulgarem et conspicuam omni carni, nec quasi ex eodem genere grandior erat, tamquam si ista multo multoque clarius claresceret totumque occuparet magnitudine. Non hoc illa erat sed aliud, aliud valde ab istis omnibus. Nec ita erat supra mentem meam, sicut oleum super aquam nec sicut caelum super terram, sed superior, quia ipsa fecit me, et ego inferior, quia factus ab ea. And being thence admonished to return to myself, I entered even into my inward self, Thou being my Guide: and able I was, for Thou wert become my Helper. And I entered and beheld with the eye of my soul (such as it was), above the same eye of my soul, above my mind, the Light Unchangeable. Not this ordinary light, which all flesh may look upon, nor as it were a greater of the same kind, as though the brightness of this should be manifold brighter, and with its greatness take up all space. Not such was this light, but other, yea, far other from these. Nor was it above my soul, as oil is above water, nor yet as heaven above earth: but above to my soul, because It made me; and I below It, because I was made by It.
Qui novit veritatem, novit eam, et qui novit eam, novit aeternitatem; caritas novit eam. O aeterna veritas et vera caritas et cara aeternitas, tu es deus meus, tibi suspiro die ac nocte! et cum te primum cognovi, tu adsumpsisti me ut viderem esse quod viderem, et nondum me esse qui viderem. Et reverberasti infirmitatem aspectus mei, radians in me vehementer, et contremui amore et horrore. Et inveni longe me esse a te in regione dissimilitudinis, tamquam audirem vocem tuam de excelso: He that knows the Truth, knows what that Light is; and he that knows It, knows eternity. Love knoweth it. O Truth Who art Eternity! and Love Who art Truth! and Eternity Who art Love! Thou art my God, to Thee do I sigh night and day. Thee when I first knew, Thou liftedst me up, that I might see there was what I might see, and that I was not yet such as to see. And Thou didst beat back the weakness of my sight, streaming forth Thy beams of light upon me most strongly, and I trembled with love and awe: and I perceived myself to be far off from Thee, in the region of unlikeness, as if I heard this Thy voice from on high:
'Cibus sum grandium: cresce et manducabis me. Nec tu me in te mutabis sicut cibum carnis tuae, sed tu mutaberis in me.' et cognovi quoniam pro iniquitate erudisti hominem, et tabescere fecisti sicut araneam animam meam, et dixi, 'Numquid nihil est veritas, quoniam neque per finita neque per infinita locorum spatia diffusa est?' et clamasti de longinquo, 'Immo vero ego sum qui sum.' et audivi, sicut auditur in corde, et non erat prorsus unde dubitarem, faciliusque dubitarem vivere me quam non esse veritatem, quae per ea quae facta sunt intellecta conspicitur. "I am the food of grown men, grow, and thou shalt feed upon Me; nor shalt thou convert Me, like the food of thy flesh into thee, but thou shalt be converted into Me." And I learned, that Thou for iniquity chastenest man, and Thou madest my soul to consume away like a spider. And I said, "Is Truth therefore nothing because it is not diffused through space finite or infinite?" And Thou criedst to me from afar: "Yet verily, I AM that I AM." And I heard, as the heart heareth, nor had I room to doubt, and I should sooner doubt that I live than that Truth is not, which is clearly seen, being understood by those things which are made.
7.11.17 Et inspexi cetera infra te et vidi nec omnino esse nec omnino non esse: esse quidem, quoniam abs te sunt, non esse autem, quoniam id quod es non sunt. Id enim vere est quod incommutabiliter manet. Mihi autem inhaerere deo bonum est, quia, si non manebo in illo, nec in me potero. Ille autem in se manens innovat omnia, et dominus meus es, quoniam bonorum meorum non eges. And I beheld the other things below Thee, and I perceived that they neither altogether are, nor altogether are not, for they are, since they are from Thee, but are not, because they are not what Thou art. For that truly is which remains unchangeably. It is good then for me to hold fast unto God; for if I remain not in Him, I cannot in myself; but He remaining in Himself, reneweth all things. And Thou art the Lord my God, since Thou standest not in need of my goodness.
7.12.18 Et manifestatum est mihi quoniam bona sunt quae corrumpuntur, quae neque si summa bona essent neque nisi bona essent corrumpi possent; quia si summa bona essent, incorruptibilia essent, si autem nulla bona essent, quid in eis corrumperetur non esset. Nocet enim corruptio et, nisi bonum minueret, non noceret. Aut igitur nihil nocet corruptio, quod fieri non potest, aut, quod certissimum est, omnia quae corrumpuntur privantur bono. Si autem omni bono privabuntur, omnino non erunt. Si enim erunt et corrumpi iam non poterunt, meliora erunt, quia incorruptibiliter permanebunt. Et quid monstrosius quam ea dicere omni bono amisso facta meliora? Ergo si omni bono privabuntur, omnino nulla erunt: ergo quamdiu sunt, bona sunt. Ergo quaecumque sunt, bona sunt, malumque illud quod quaerebam unde esset non est substantia, quia si substantia esset, bonum esset. Aut enim esset incorruptibilis substantia, magnum utique bonum, aut substantia corruptibilis esset, quae nisi bona esset, corrumpi non posset. Itaque vidi et manifestatum est mihi quia omnia bona tu fecisti et prorsus nullae substantiae sunt quas tu non fecisti. Et quoniam non aequalia omnia fecisti, ideo sunt omnia, quia singula bona sunt, et simul omnia valde bona, quoniam fecit deus noster omnia bona valde. And it was manifested unto me, that those things be good which yet are corrupted; which neither were they sovereignly good, nor unless they were good could he corrupted: for if sovereignly good, they were incorruptible, if not good at all, there were nothing in them to be corrupted. For corruption injures, but unless it diminished goodness, it could not injure. Either then corruption injures not, which cannot be; or which is most certain, all which is corrupted is deprived of good. But if they he deprived of all good, they shall cease to be. For if they shall be, and can now no longer he corrupted, they shall be better than before, because they shall abide incorruptibly. And what more monstrous than to affirm things to become better by losing all their good? Therefore, if they shall be deprived of all good, they shall no longer be. So long therefore as they are, they are good: therefore whatsoever is, is good. That evil then which I sought, whence it is, is not any substance: for were it a substance, it should be good. For either it should be an incorruptible substance, and so a chief good: or a corruptible substance; which unless it were good, could not be corrupted. I perceived therefore, and it was manifested to me that Thou madest all things good, nor is there any substance at all, which Thou madest not; and for that Thou madest not all things equal, therefore are all things; because each is good, and altogether very good, because our God made all things very good.
7.13.19 Et tibi omnino non est malum, non solum tibi sed nec universae creaturae tuae, quia extra non est aliquid quod inrumpat et corrumpat ordinem quem imposuisti ei. In partibus autem eius quaedam quibusdam quia non conveniunt, mala putantur; et eadem ipsa conveniunt aliis et bona sunt et in semet ipsis bona sunt. Et omnia haec, quae sibimet invicem non conveniunt, conveniunt inferiori parti rerum, quam terram dicimus, habentem caelum suum nubilosum atque ventosum congruum sibi. Et absit iam ut dicerem, 'Non essent ista,' quia etsi sola ista cernerem, desiderarem quidem meliora, sed iam etiam de solis istis laudare te deberem, quoniam laudandum te ostendunt de terra dracones et omnes abyssi, ignis, grando, nix, glacies, spiritus tempestatis, quae faciunt verbum tuum, montes et omnes colles, ligna fructifera et omnes cedri, bestiae et omnia pecora, reptilia et volatilia pinnata. Reges terrae et omnes populi, principes et omnes iudices terrae, iuvenes et virgines, seniores cum iunioribus laudent nomen tuum. Cum vero etiam de caelis te laudent, laudent te, deus noster. In excelsis omnes angeli tui, omnes virtutes tuae, sol et luna, omnes stellae et lumen, caeli caelorum et aquae quae super caelos sunt laudent nomen tuum. Non iam desiderabam meliora, quia omnia cogitabam, et meliora quidem superiora quam inferiora, sed meliora omnia quam sola superiora iudicio saniore pendebam. And to Thee is nothing whatsoever evil: yea, not only to Thee, but also to Thy creation as a whole, because there is nothing without, which may break in, and corrupt that order which Thou hast appointed it. But in the parts thereof some things, because unharmonising with other some, are accounted evil: whereas those very things harmonise with others, and are good; and in themselves are good. And all these things which harmonise not together, do yet with the inferior part, which we call Earth, having its own cloudy and windy sky harmonising with it. Far be it then that I should say, "These things should not be": for should I see nought but these, I should indeed long for the better; but still must even for these alone praise Thee; for that Thou art to be praised, do show from the earth, dragons, and all deeps, fire, hail, snow, ice, and stormy wind, which fulfil Thy word; mountains, and all hills, fruitful trees, and all cedars; beasts, and all cattle, creeping things, and flying fowls; kings of the earth, and all people, princes, and all judges of the earth; young men and maidens, old men and young, praise Thy Name. But when, from heaven, these praise Thee, praise Thee, our God, in the heights all Thy angels, all Thy hosts, sun and moon, all the stars and light, the Heaven of heavens, and the waters that be above the heavens, praise Thy Name; I did not now long for things better, because I conceived of all: and with a sounder judgment I apprehended that the things above were better than these below, but altogether better than those above by themselves.
7.14.20 Non est sanitas eis quibus displicet aliquid creaturae tuae, sicut mihi non erat cum displicerent multa quae fecisti. Et quia non audebat anima mea ut ei displiceret deus meus, nolebat esse tuum quidquid ei displicebat. Et inde ierat in opinionem duarum substantiarum, et non requiescebat, et aliena loquebatur. Et inde rediens fecerat sibi deum per infinita spatia locorum omnium et eum putaverat esse te et eum conlocaverat in corde suo, et facta erat rursus templum idoli sui abominandum tibi, sed posteaquam fovisti caput nescientis et clausisti oculos meos, ne viderent vanitatem. Cessavi de me paululum, et consopita est insania mea, et evigilavi in te et vidi te infinitum aliter, et visus iste non a carne trahebatur. There is no soundness in them, whom aught of Thy creation displeaseth: as neither in me, when much which Thou hast made, displeased me. And because my soul durst not be displeased at my God, it would fain not account that Thine, which displeased it. Hence it had gone into the opinion of two substances, and had no rest, but talked idly. And returning thence, it had made to itself a God, through infinite measures of all space; and thought it to be Thee, and placed it in its heart; and had again become the temple of its own idol, to Thee abominable. But after Thou hadst soothed my head, unknown to me, and closed mine eyes that they should not behold vanity, I ceased somewhat of my former self, and my frenzy was lulled to sleep; and I awoke in Thee, and saw Thee infinite, but in another way, and this sight was not derived from the flesh.
7.15.21 Et respexi alia, et vidi tibi debere quia sunt et in te cuncta finita, sed aliter, non quasi in loco, sed quia tu es omnitenens manu veritate, et omnia vera sunt in quantum sunt, nec quicquam est falsitas, nisi cum putatur esse quod non est. Et vidi quia non solum locis sua quaeque suis conveniunt sed etiam temporibus et quia tu, qui solus aeternus es, non post innumerabilia spatia temporum coepisti operari, quia omnia spatia temporum, et quae praeterierunt et quae praeteribunt, nec abirent nec venirent nisi te operante et manente. And I looked back on other things; and I saw that they owed their being to Thee; and were all bounded in Thee: but in a different way; not as being in space; but because Thou containest all things in Thine hand in Thy Truth; and all things are true so far as they nor is there any falsehood, unless when that is thought to be, which is not. And I saw that all things did harmonise, not with their places only, but with their seasons. And that Thou, who only art Eternal, didst not begin to work after innumerable spaces of times spent; for that all spaces of times, both which have passed, and which shall pass, neither go nor come, but through Thee, working and abiding.
7.16.22 Et sensi expertus non esse mirum quod palato non sano poena est et panis qui sano suavis est, et oculis aegris odiosa lux quae puris amabilis. Et iustitia tua displicet iniquis, nedum vipera et vermiculus, quae bona creasti, apta inferioribus creaturae tuae partibus, quibus et ipsi iniqui apti sunt, quanto dissimiliores sunt tibi, apti autem superioribus, quanto similiores fiunt tibi. Et quaesivi quid esset iniquitas et non inveni substantiam, sed a summa substantia, te deo, detortae in infima voluntatis perversitatem, proicientis intima sua et tumescentis foras. And I perceived and found it nothing strange, that bread which is pleasant to a healthy palate is loathsome to one distempered: and to sore eyes light is offensive, which to the sound is delightful. And Thy righteousness displeaseth the wicked; much more the viper and reptiles, which Thou hast created good, fitting in with the inferior portions of Thy Creation, with which the very wicked also fit in; and that the more, by how much they be unlike Thee; but with the superior creatures, by how much they become more like to Thee. And I enquired what iniquity was, and found it to be substance, but the perversion of the will, turned aside from Thee, O God, the Supreme, towards these lower things, and casting out its bowels, and puffed up outwardly.
7.17.23 Et mirabar quod iam te amabam, non pro te phantasma, et non stabam frui deo meo, sed rapiebar ad te decore tuo moxque diripiebar abs te pondere meo, et ruebam in ista cum gemitu; et pondus hoc consuetudo carnalis. Sed mecum erat memoria tui, neque ullo modo dubitabam esse cui cohaererem, sed nondum me esse qui cohaererem, quoniam corpus quod corrumpitur adgravat animam et deprimit terrena inhabitatio sensum multa cogitantem, eramque certissimus quod invisibilia tua a constitutione mundi per ea quae facta sunt intellecta conspiciuntur, sempiterna quoque virtus et divinitas tua. Quaerens enim unde approbarem pulchritudinem corporum, sive caelestium sive terrestrium, et quid mihi praesto esset integre de mutabilibus iudicanti et dicenti, 'Hoc ita esset debet, illud non ita' -- hoc ergo quaerens, unde iudicarem cum ita iudicarem, inveneram incommutabilem et veram veritatis aeternitatem supra mentem meam commutabilem. Atque ita gradatim a corporibus ad sentientem per corpus animam atque inde ad eius interiorem vim, cui sensus corporis exteriora nuntiaret, et quousque possunt bestiae, atque inde rursus ad ratiocinantem potentiam ad quam refertur iudicandum quod sumitur a sensibus corporis. Quae se quoque in me comperiens mutabilem erexit se ad intellegentiam suam et abduxit cogitationem a consuetudine, subtrahens se contradicentibus turbis phantasmatum, ut inveniret quo lumine aspergeretur, cum sine ulla dubitatione clamaret incommutabile praeferendum esse mutabili unde nosset ipsum incommutabile (quod nisi aliquo modo nosset, nullo modo illud mutabili certa praeponeret), et pervenit ad id quod est in ictu trepidantis aspectus. Tunc vero invisibilia tua per ea quae facta sunt intellecta conspexi, sed aciem figere non evalui, et repercussa infirmitate redditus solitis non mecum ferebam nisi amantem memoriam et quasi olefacta desiderantem quae comedere nondum possem. And I wondered that I now loved Thee, and no phantasm for Thee. And yet did I not press on to enjoy my God; but was borne up to Thee by Thy beauty, and soon borne down from Thee by mine own weight, sinking with sorrow into these inferior things. This weight was carnal custom. Yet dwelt there with me a remembrance of Thee; nor did I any way doubt that there was One to whom I might cleave, but that I was not yet such as to cleave to Thee: for that the body which is corrupted presseth down the soul, and the earthly tabernacle weigheth down the mind that museth upon many things. And most certain I was, that Thy invisible works from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even Thy eternal power and Godhead. For examining whence it was that I admired the beauty of bodies celestial or terrestrial; and what aided me in judging soundly on things mutable, and pronouncing, "This ought to be thus, this not"; examining, I say, whence it was that I so judged, seeing I did so judge, I had found the unchangeable and true Eternity of Truth above my changeable mind. And thus by degrees I passed from bodies to the soul, which through the bodily senses perceives; and thence to its inward faculty, to which the bodily senses represent things external, whitherto reach the faculties of beasts; and thence again to the reasoning faculty, to which what is received from the senses of the body is referred to be judged. Which finding itself also to be in me a thing variable, raised itself up to its own understanding, and drew away my thoughts from the power of habit, withdrawing itself from those troops of contradictory phantasms; that so it might find what that light was whereby it was bedewed, when, without all doubting, it cried out, "That the unchangeable was to be preferred to the changeable"; whence also it knew That Unchangeable, which, unless it had in some way known, it had had no sure ground to prefer it to the changeable. And thus with the flash of one trembling glance it arrived at THAT WHICH IS. And then I saw Thy invisible things understood by the things which are made. But I could not fix my gaze thereon; and my infirmity being struck back, I was thrown again on my wonted habits, carrying along with me only a loving memory thereof, and a longing for what I had, as it were, perceived the odour of, but was not yet able to feed on.
7.18.24 Et quaerebam viam comparandi roboris quod esset idoneum ad fruendum te, nec inveniebam donec amplecterer mediatorem dei et hominum, hominem Christum Iesum, qui est super omnia deus benedictus in saecula, vocantem et dicentem, 'Ego sum via et veritas et vita,' et cibum, cui capiendo invalidus eram, miscentem carni, quoniam verbum caro factum est ut infantiae nostrae lactesceret sapientia tua, per quam creasti omnia. Non enim tenebam deum meum Iesum, humilis humilem, nec cuius rei magistra esset eius infirmitas noveram. Verbum enim tuum, aeterna veritas, superioribus creaturae tuae partibus supereminens subditos erigit ad se ipsam, in inferioribus autem aedificavit sibi humilem domum de limo nostro, per quam subdendos deprimeret a seipsis et ad se traiceret, sanans tumorem et nutriens amorem, ne fiducia sui progrederentur longius, sed potius infirmarentur, videntes ante pedes suos infirmam divinitatem ex participatione tunicae pelliciae nostrae, et lassi prosternerentur in eam, illa autem surgens levaret eos. Then I sought a way of obtaining strength sufficient to enjoy Thee; and found it not, until I embraced that Mediator betwixt God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who is over all, God blessed for evermore, calling unto me, and saying, I am the way, the truth, and the life, and mingling that food which I was unable to receive, with our flesh. For, the Word was made flesh, that Thy wisdom, whereby Thou createdst all things, might provide milk for our infant state. For I did not hold to my Lord Jesus Christ, I, humbled, to the Humble; nor knew I yet whereto His infirmity would guide us. For Thy Word, the Eternal Truth, far above the higher parts of Thy Creation, raises up the subdued unto Itself: but in this lower world built for Itself a lowly habitation of our clay, whereby to abase from themselves such as would be subdued, and bring them over to Himself; allaying their swelling, and tomenting their love; to the end they might go on no further in self-confidence, but rather consent to become weak, seeing before their feet the Divinity weak by taking our coats of skin; and wearied, might cast themselves down upon It, and It rising, might lift them up.
7.19.25 Ego vero aliud putabam tantumque sentiebam de domino Christo meo, quantum de excellentis sapientiae viro cui nullus posset aequari, praesertim quia mirabiliter natus ex virgine, ad exemplum contemnendorum temporalium prae adipiscenda immortalitate, divina pro nobis cura tantam auctoritatem magisterii meruisse videbatur. Quid autem sacramenti haberet verbum caro factum, ne suspicari quidem poteram. Tantum cognoveram ex his quae de illo scripta traderentur quia manducavit et bibit, dormivit, ambulavit, exhilaratus est, contristatus est, sermocinatus est, non haesisse carnem illam verbo tuo nisi cum anima et mente humana. Novit hoc omnis qui novit incommutabilitatem verbi tui, quam ego iam noveram, quantum poteram, nec omnino quicquam inde dubitabam. Etenim nunc movere membra corporis per voluntatem, nunc non movere, nunc aliquo affectu affici, nunc non affici, nunc proferre per signa sapientes sententias, nunc esse in silentio, propria sunt mutabilitatis animae et mentis. Quae si falsa de illo scripta essent, etiam omnia periclitarentur mendacio neque in illis litteris ulla fidei salus generi humano remaneret. Quia itaque vera scripta sunt, totum hominem in Christo agnoscebam, non corpus tantum hominis aut cum corpore sine mente animum, sed ipsum hominem, non persona veritatis, sed magna quadam naturae humanae excellentia et perfectiore participatione sapientiae praeferri ceteris arbitrabar. Alypius autem deum carne indutum ita putabat credi a catholicis ut praeter deum et carnem non esset in Christo, animam mentemque hominis non existimabat in eo praedicari. Et quoniam bene persuasum tenebat ea quae de illo memoriae mandata sunt sine vitali et rationali creatura non fieri, ad ipsam christianam fidem pigrius movebatur. Sed postea haereticorum apollinaristarum hunc errorem esse cognoscens catholicae fidei conlaetatus et contemperatus est. Ego autem aliquanto posterius didicisse me fateor, in eo quod verbum caro factum est, quomodo catholica veritas a Photini falsitate dirimatur. Improbatio quippe haereticorum facit eminere quid ecclesia tua sentiat et quid habeat sana doctrina. Oportuit enim et haereses esse, ut probati manifesti fierent inter infirmos. But I thought otherwise; conceiving only of my Lord Christ as of a man of excellent wisdom, whom no one could be equalled unto; especially, for that being wonderfully born of a Virgin, He seemed, in conformity therewith, through the Divine care for us, to have attained that great eminence of authority, for an ensample of despising things temporal for the obtaining of immortality. But what mystery there lay in "The Word was made flesh," I could not even imagine. Only I had learnt out of what is delivered to us in writing of Him that He did eat, and drink, sleep, walk, rejoiced in spirit, was sorrowful, discoursed; that flesh did not cleave by itself unto Thy Word, but with the human soul and mind. All know this who know the unchangeableness of Thy Word, which I now knew, as far as I could, nor did I at all doubt thereof. For, now to move the limbs of the body by will, now not, now to be moved by some affection, now not, now to deliver wise sayings through human signs, now to keep silence, belong to soul and mind subject to variation. And should these things be falsely written of Him, all the rest also would risk the charge, nor would there remain in those books any saving faith for mankind. Since then they were written truly, I acknowledged a perfect man to be in Christ; not the body of a man only, nor, with the body, a sensitive soul without a rational, but very man; whom, not only as being a form of Truth, but for a certain great excellence of human nature and a more perfect participation of wisdom, I judged to be preferred before others. But Alypius imagined the Catholics to believe God to be so clothed with flesh, that besides God and flesh, there was no soul at all in Christ, and did not think that a human mind was ascribed to Him. And because he was well persuaded that the actions recorded of Him could only be performed by a vital and a rational creature, he moved the more slowly towards the Christian Faith. But understanding afterwards that this was the error of the Apollinarian heretics, he joyed in and was conformed to the Catholic Faith. But somewhat later, I confess, did I learn how in that saying, The Word was made flesh, the Catholic truth is distinguished from the falsehood of Photinus. For the rejection of heretics makes the tenets of Thy Church and sound doctrine to stand out more clearly. For there must also be heresies, that the approved may be made manifest among the weak.
7.20.26 Sed tunc, lectis platonicorum illis libris, posteaquam inde admonitus quaerere incorpoream veritatem, invisibilia tua per ea quae facta sunt intellecta conspexi et repulsus sensi quid per tenebras animae meae contemplari non sinerer, certus esse te et infinitum esse nec tamen per locos finitos infinitosve diffundi et vere te esse, qui semper idem ipse esses, ex nulla parte nulloque motu alter aut aliter, cetera vero ex te esse omnia, hoc solo firmissimo documento quia sunt, certus quidem in istis eram, nimis tamen infirmus ad fruendum te. Garriebam plane quasi peritus et, nisi in Christo, salvatore nostro, viam tuam quaererem, non peritus sed periturus essem. Iam enim coeperam velle videri sapiens plenus poena mea et non flebam, insuper et inflabar scientia. Ubi enim erat illa aedificans caritas a fundamento humilitatis, quod est Christus Iesus? Aut quando illi libri me docerent eam? In quos me propterea, priusquam scripturas tuas considerarem, credo voluisti incurrere, ut imprimeretur memoriae meae quomodo ex eis affectus essem et, cum postea in libris tuis mansuefactus essem et curantibus digitis tuis contrectarentur vulnera mea, discernerem atque distinguerem quid interesset inter praesumptionem et confessionem, inter videntes quo eundum sit nec videntes qua, et viam ducentem ad beatificam patriam non tantum cernendam sed et habitandam. Nam si primo sanctis tuis litteris informatus essem et in earum familiaritate obdulcuisses mihi, et post in illa volumina incidissem, fortasse aut abripuissent me a solidamento pietatis, aut si in affectu quem salubrem inbiberam perstitissem, putarem etiam ex illis libris eum posse concipi, si eos solos quisque didicisset. But having then read those books of the Platonists, and thence been taught to search for incorporeal truth, I saw Thy invisible things, understood by those things which are made; and though cast back, I perceived what that was which through the darkness of my mind I was hindered from contemplating, being assured "That Thou wert, and wert infinite, and yet not diffused in space, finite or infinite; and that Thou truly art Who art the same ever, in no part nor motion varying; and that all other things are from Thee, on this most sure ground alone, that they are." Of these things I was assured, yet too unsure to enjoy Thee. I prated as one well skilled; but had I not sought Thy way in Christ our Saviour, I had proved to be, not skilled, but killed. For now I had begun to wish to seem wise, being filled with mine own punishment, yet I did not mourn, but rather scorn, puffed up with knowledge. For where was that charity building upon the foundation of humility, which is Christ Jesus? or when should these books teach me it? Upon these, I believe, Thou therefore willedst that I should fall, before I studied Thy Scriptures, that it might be imprinted on my memory how I was affected by them; and that afterwards when my spirits were tamed through Thy books, and my wounds touched by Thy healing fingers, I might discern and distinguish between presumption and confession; between those who saw whither they were to go, yet saw not the way, and the way that leadeth not to behold only but to dwell in the beatific country. For had I first been formed in Thy Holy Scriptures, and hadst Thou in the familiar use of them grown sweet unto me, and had I then fallen upon those other volumes, they might perhaps have withdrawn me from the solid ground of piety, or, had I continued in that healthful frame which I had thence imbibed, I might have thought that it might have been obtained by the study of those books alone.
7.21.27 Itaque avidissime arripui venerabilem stilum spiritus tui, et prae ceteris apostolum Paulum, et perierunt illae quaestiones in quibus mihi aliquando visus est adversari sibi et non congruere testimoniis legis et prophetarum textus sermonis eius, et apparuit mihi una facies eloquiorum castorum, et exultare cum tremore didici. Et coepi et inveni, quidquid illac verum legeram, hac cum commendatione gratiae tuae dici, ut qui videt non sic glorietur, quasi non acceperit non solum id quod videt, sed etiam ut videat (quid enim habet quod non accepit?) et ut te, qui es semper idem, non solum admoneatur ut videat, sed etiam sanetur ut teneat, et qui de longinquo videre non potest, viam tamen ambulet qua veniat et videat et teneat, quia, etsi condelectetur homo legi dei secundum interiorem hominem, quid faciet de alia lege in membris suis repugnante legi mentis suae et se captivum ducente in lege peccati, quae est in membris eius? Quoniam iustus es, domine, nos autem peccavimus, inique fecimus, impie gessimus, et gravata est super nos manus tua, et iuste traditi sumus antiquo peccatori, praeposito mortis, quia persuasit voluntati nostrae similitudinem voluntatis suae, qua in veritate tua non stetit. Quid faciet miser homo? Quis eum liberabit de corpore mortis huius, nisi gratia tua per Iesum Christum dominum nostrum, quem genuisti coaeternum et creasti in principio viarum tuarum, in quo princeps huius mundi non invenit quicquam morte dignum, et occidit eum? Et evacuatum est chirographum quod erat contrarium nobis. Hoc illae litterae non habent: non habent illae paginae vultum pietatis huius, lacrimas confessionis, sacrificium tuum, spiritum contribulatum, cor contritum et humilatum, populi salutem, sponsam civitatem, arram spiritus sancti, poculum pretii nostri. Nemo ibi cantat, 'Nonne deo subdita erit anima mea? Ab ipso enim salutare meum: etenim ipse deus meus et salutaris meus, susceptor meus: non movebor amplius.' nemo ibi audit vocantem: 'Venite ad me, qui laboratis.' dedignantur ab eo discere quoniam mitis est et humilis corde. Abscondisti enim haec a sapientibus et prudentibus et revelasti ea parvulis. Et aliud est de silvestri cacumine videre patriam pacis et iter ad eam non invenire et frustra conari per invia circum obsidentibus et insidiantibus fugitivis desertoribus cum principe suo leone et dracone, et aliud tenere viam illuc ducentem cura caelestis imperatoris munitam, ubi non latrocinantur qui caelestem militiam deseruerunt; vitant enim eam sicut supplicium. Haec mihi inviscerabantur miris modis, cum minimum apostolorum tuorum legerem, et consideraveram opera tua et expaveram. Most eagerly then did I seize that venerable writing of Thy Spirit; and chiefly the Apostle Paul. Whereupon those difficulties vanished away, wherein he once seemed to me to contradict himself, and the text of his discourse not to agree with the testimonies of the Law and the Prophets. And the face of that pure word appeared to me one and the same; and I learned to rejoice with trembling. So I began; and whatsoever truth I had read in those other books, I found here amid the praise of Thy Grace; that whoso sees, may not so glory as if he had not received, not only what he sees, but also that he sees (for what hath he, which he hath not received?), and that he may be not only admonished to behold Thee, who art ever the same, but also healed, to hold Thee; and that he who cannot see afar off, may yet walk on the way, whereby he may arrive, and behold, and hold Thee. For, though a man be delighted with the law of God after the inner man, what shall he do with that other law in his members which warreth against the law of his mind, and bringeth him into captivity to the law of sin which is in his members? For, Thou art righteous, O Lord, but we have sinned and committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and Thy hand is grown heavy upon us, and we are justly delivered over unto that ancient sinner, the king of death; because he persuaded our will to be like his will whereby he abode not in Thy truth. What shall wretched man do? who shall deliver him from the body of his death, but only Thy Grace, through Jesus Christ our Lord, whom Thou hast begotten co-eternal, and formedst in the beginning of Thy ways, in whom the prince of this world found nothing worthy of death, yet killed he Him; and the handwriting, which was contrary to us, was blotted out? This those writings contain not. Those pages present not the image of this piety, the tears of confession, Thy sacrifice, a troubled spirit, a broken and a contrite heart, the salvation of the people, the Bridal City, the earnest of the Holy Ghost, the Cup of our Redemption. No man sings there, Shall not my soul be submitted unto God? for of Him cometh my salvation. For He is my God and my salvation, my guardian, I shall no more be moved. No one there hears Him call, Come unto Me, all ye that labour. They scorn to learn of Him, because He is meek and lowly in heart; for these things hast Thou hid from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. For it is one thing, from the mountain's shaggy top to see the land of peace, and to find no way thither; and in vain to essay through ways unpassable, opposed and beset by fugitives and deserters, under their captain the lion and the dragon: and another to keep on the way that leads thither, guarded by the host of the heavenly General; where they spoil not who have deserted the heavenly army; for they avoid it, as very torment. These things did wonderfully sink into my bowels, when I read that least of Thy Apostles, and had meditated upon Thy works, and trembled exceedingly.

Liber octavus

8.1.1 Deus meus, recorder in gratiarum actione tibi et confitear misericordias tuas super me. Perfundantur ossa mea dilectione tua et dicant: 'Domine, quis similis tibi?' dirupisti vincula mea: sacrificem tibi sacrificium laudis. Quomodo dirupisti ea narrabo, et dicent omnes qui adorant te, cum audiunt haec, 'Benedictus dominus in caelo et in terra; magnum et mirabile nomen eius.' inhaeserant praecordiis meis verba tua, et undique circumvallabar abs te. De vita tua aeterna certus eram, quamvis eam in aenigmate et quasi per speculum videram; dubitatio tamen omnis de incorruptibili substantia, quod ab illa esset omnis substantia, ablata mihi erat, nec certior de te sed stabilior in te esse cupiebam. De mea vero temporali vita nutabant omnia et mundandum erat cor a fermento veteri. Et placebat via ipse salvator, et ire per eius angustias adhuc pigebat. Et immisisti in mentem meam visumque est bonum in conspectu meo pergere ad Simplicianum, qui mihi bonus apparebat servus tuus et lucebat in eo gratia tua. Audieram etiam quod a iuventute sua devotissime tibi viveret; iam vero tunc senuerat et longa aetate in tam bono studio sectandae vitae tuae multa expertus, multa edoctus mihi videbatur: et vere sic erat. Unde mihi ut proferret volebam conferenti secum aestus meos quis esset aptus modus sic affecto ut ego eram ad ambulandum in via tua. O my God, let me, with thanksgiving, remember, and confess unto Thee Thy mercies on me. Let my bones be bedewed with Thy love, and let them say unto Thee, Who is like unto Thee, O Lord? Thou hast broken my bonds in sunder, I will offer unto Thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving. And how Thou hast broken them, I will declare; and all who worship Thee, when they hear this, shall say, "Blessed be the Lord, in heaven and in earth, great and wonderful is his name. " Thy words had stuck fast in my heart, and I was hedged round about on all sides by Thee. Of Thy eternal life I was now certain, though I saw it in a figure and as through a glass. Yet I had ceased to doubt that there was an incorruptible substance, whence was all other substance; nor did I now desire to be more certain of Thee, but more steadfast in Thee. But for my temporal life, all was wavering, and my heart had to be purged from the old leaven. The Way, the Saviour Himself, well pleased me, but as yet I shrunk from going through its straitness. And Thou didst put into my mind, and it seemed good in my eyes, to go to Simplicianus, who seemed to me a good servant of Thine; and Thy grace shone in him. I had heard also that from his very youth he had lived most devoted unto Thee. Now he was grown into years; and by reason of so great age spent in such zealous following of Thy ways, he seemed to me likely to have learned much experience; and so he had. Out of which store I wished that he would tell me (setting before him my anxieties) which were the fittest way for one in my case to walk in Thy paths.
8.1.2 Videbam enim plenam ecclesiam, et alius sic ibat, alius autem sic, mihi autem displicebat quod agebam in saeculo et oneri mihi erat valde, non iam inflammantibus cupiditatibus, ut solebant, spe honoris et pecuniae ad tolerandam illam servitutem tam gravem. Iam enim me illa non delectabant prae dulcedine tua et decore domus tuae, quam dilexi, sed adhuc tenaciter conligabar ex femina, nec me prohibebat apostolus coniugari, quamvis exhortaretur ad melius, maxime volens omnes homines sic esse ut ipse erat. Sed ego infirmior eligebam molliorem locum et propter hoc unum volvebar, in ceteris languidus et tabescens curis marcidis, quod et in aliis rebus quas nolebam pati congruere cogebar vitae coniugali, cui deditus obstringebar. Audieram ex ore veritatis esse spadones qui se ipsos absciderunt propter regnum caelorum, sed 'Qui potest,' inquit, 'Capere, capiat.' vani sunt certe omnes homines quibus non inest dei scientia, nec de his quae videntur bona potuerunt invenire eum qui est. At ego iam non eram in illa vanitate. Transcenderam eam et contestante universa creatura inveneram te creatorem nostrum et verbum tuum apud te deum tecumque unum deum, per quod creasti omnia. Et est aliud genus impiorum, qui cognoscentes deum non sicut deum glorificaverunt aut gratias egerunt. In hoc quoque incideram, et dextera tua suscepit me et inde ablatum posuisti ubi convalescerem, quia dixisti homini, 'Ecce pietas est sapientia,' et, 'Noli velle videri sapiens, quoniam dicentes se esse sapientes stulti facti sunt.' et inveneram iam bonam margaritam, et venditis omnibus quae haberem emenda erat, et dubitabam. For, I saw the church full; and one went this way, and another that way. But I was displeased that I led a secular life; yea now that my desires no longer inflamed me, as of old, with hopes of honour and profit, a very grievous burden it was to undergo so heavy a bondage. For, in comparison of Thy sweetness, and the beauty of Thy house which I loved, those things delighted me no longer. But still I was enthralled with the love of woman; nor did the Apostle forbid me to marry, although he advised me to something better, chiefly wishing that all men were as himself was. But I being weak, chose the more indulgent place; and because of this alone, was tossed up and down in all beside, faint and wasted with withering cares, because in other matters I was constrained against my will to conform myself to a married life, to which I was given up and enthralled. I had heard from the mouth of the Truth, that there were some eunuchs which had made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake: but, saith He, let him who can receive it, receive it. Surely vain are all men who are ignorant of God, and could not out of the good things which are seen, find out Him who is good. But I was no longer in that vanity; I had surmounted it; and by the common witness of all Thy creatures had found Thee our Creator, and Thy Word, God with Thee, and together with Thee one God, by whom Thou createdst all things. There is yet another kind of ungodly, who knowing God, glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful. Into this also had I fallen, but Thy right hand upheld me, and took me thence, and Thou placedst me where I might recover. For Thou hast said unto man, Behold, the fear of the Lord is wisdom, and, Desire not to seem wise; because they who affirmed themselves to be wise, became fools. But I had now found the goodly pearl, which, selling all that I had, I ought to have bought, and I hesitated.
8.2.3 Perrexi ergo ad Simplicianum, patrem in accipienda gratia tunc episcopi Ambrosii et quem vere ut patrem diligebat. Narravi ei circuitus erroris mei. Ubi autem commemoravi legisse me quosdam libros platonicorum, quos Victorinus, quondam rhetor urbis Romae, quem christianum defunctum esse audieram, in latinam linguam transtulisset, gratulatus est mihi quod non in aliorum philosophorum scripta incidissem plena fallaciarum et deceptionum secundum elementa huius mundi, in istis autem omnibus modis insinuari deum et eius verbum. Deinde, ut me exhortaretur ad humilitatem Christi sapientibus absconditam et revelatam parvulis, Victorinum ipsum recordatus est, quem Romae cum esset familiarissime noverat, deque illo mihi narravit quod non silebo. Habet enim magnam laudem gratiae tuae confitendam tibi, quemadmodum ille doctissimus senex et omnium liberalium doctrinarum peritissimus quique philosophorum tam multa legerat et diiudicaverat, doctor tot nobilium senatorum, qui etiam ob insigne praeclari magisterii, quod cives huius mundi eximium putant, statuam Romano foro meruerat et acceperat, usque ad illam aetatem venerator idolorum sacrorumque sacrilegorum particeps, quibus tunc tota fere Romana nobilitas inflata spirabat, ┼popiliosiam┼ et omnigenum deum monstra et To Simplicianus then I went, the father of Ambrose (a Bishop now) in receiving Thy grace, and whom Ambrose truly loved as a father. To him I related the mazes of my wanderings. But when I mentioned that I had read certain books of the Platonists, which Victorinus, sometime Rhetoric Professor of Rome (who had died a Christian, as I had heard), had translated into Latin, he testified his joy that I had not fallen upon the writings of other philosophers, full of fallacies and deceits, after the rudiments of this world, whereas the Platonists many ways led to the belief in God and His Word. Then to exhort me to the humility of Christ, hidden from the wise, and revealed to little ones, he spoke of Victorinus himself, whom while at Rome he had most intimately known: and of him he related what I will not conceal. For it contains great praise of Thy grace, to be confessed unto Thee, how that aged man, most learned and skilled in the liberal sciences, and who had read, and weighed so many works of the philosophers; the instructor of so many noble Senators, who also, as a monument of his excellent discharge of his office, had (which men of this world esteem a high honour) both deserved and obtained a statue in the Roman Forum; he, to that age a worshipper of idols, and a partaker of the sacrilegious rites, to which almost all the nobility of Rome were given up, and had inspired the people with the love of
Anubem latratorem, quae aliquando contra Neptunum et Venerem contraque Minervam tela tenuerant Anubis, barking Deity, and all The monster Gods of every kind, who fought 'gainst Neptune, Venus, and Minerva:
et a se victis iam Roma supplicabat, quae iste senex Victorinus tot annos ore terricrepo defensitaverat, non erubuerit esse puer Christi tui et infans fontis tui, subiecto collo ad humilitatis iugum et edomita fronte ad crucis opprobrium. whom Rome once conquered, now adored, all which the aged Victorinus had with thundering eloquence so many years defended; -he now blushed not to be the child of Thy Christ, and the new-born babe of Thy fountain; submitting his neck to the yoke of humility, and subduing his forehead to the reproach of the Cross.
8.2.4 O domine, domine, qui inclinasti caelos et descendisti, tetigisti montes et fumigaverunt, quibus modis te insinuasti illi pectori? Legebat, sicut ait Simplicianus, sanctam scripturam omnesque christianas litteras investigabat studiosissime et perscrutabatur, et dicebat Simpliciano, non palam sed secretius et familiarius, 'Noveris me iam esse christianum.' et respondebat ille, 'Non credam nec deputabo te inter christianos, nisi in ecclesia Christi videro.' ille autem inridebat dicens, 'Ergo parietes faciunt christianos?' et hoc saepe dicebat, iam se esse christianum, et Simplicianus illud saepe respondebat, et saepe ab illo parietum inrisio repetebatur. Amicos enim suos reverebatur offendere, superbos daemonicolas, quorum ex culmine Babylonicae dignitatis quasi ex cedris Libani, quas nondum contriverat dominus, graviter ruituras in se inimicitias arbitrabatur. Sed posteaquam legendo et inhiando hausit firmitatem timuitque negari a Christo coram angelis sanctis, si eum timeret coram hominibus confiteri, reusque sibi magni criminis apparuit erubescendo de sacramentis humilitatis verbi tui et non erubescendo de sacris sacrilegis superborum daemoniorum, quae imitator superbus acceperat, depuduit vanitati et erubuit veritati subitoque et inopinatus ait Simpliciano, ut ipse narrabat, 'Eamus in ecclesiam: christianus volo fieri.' at ille non se capiens laetitia perrexit cum eo. Ubi autem imbutus est primis instructionis sacramentis, non multo post etiam nomen dedit ut per baptismum regeneraretur, mirante Roma, gaudente ecclesia. Superbi videbant et irascebantur, dentibus suis stridebant et tabescebant. Servo autem tuo dominus deus erat spes eius, et non respiciebat in vanitates et insanias mendaces. O Lord, Lord, Which hast bowed the heavens and come down, touched the mountains and they did smoke, by what means didst Thou convey Thyself into that breast? He used to read (as Simplicianus said) the holy Scripture, most studiously sought and searched into all the Christian writings, and said to Simplicianus (not openly, but privately and as a friend), "Understand that I am already a Christian." Whereto he answered, "I will not believe it, nor will I rank you among Christians, unless I see you in the Church of Christ." The other, in banter, replied, "Do walls then make Christians?" And this he often said, that he was already a Christian; and Simplicianus as often made the same answer, and the conceit of the "walls" was by the other as often renewed. For he feared to offend his friends, proud daemon-worshippers, from the height of whose Babylonian dignity, as from cedars of Libanus, which the Lord had not yet broken down, he supposed the weight of enmity would fall upon him. But after that by reading and earnest thought he had gathered firmness, and feared to be denied by Christ before the holy angels, should he now be afraid to confess Him before men, and appeared to himself guilty of a heavy offence, in being ashamed of the Sacraments of the humility of Thy Word, and not being ashamed of the sacrilegious rites of those proud daemons, whose pride he had imitated and their rites adopted, he became bold-faced against vanity, and shame-faced towards the truth, and suddenly and unexpectedly said to Simplicianus (as himself told me), "Go we to the Church; I wish to be made a Christian." But he, not containing himself for joy, went with him. And having been admitted to the first Sacrament and become a Catechumen, not long after he further gave in his name, that he might be regenerated by baptism, Rome wondering, the Church rejoicing. The proud saw, and were wroth; they gnashed with their teeth, and melted away. But the Lord God was the hope of Thy servant, and he regarded not vanities and lying madness.
8.2.5 Denique ut ventum est ad horam profitendae fidei, quae verbis certis conceptis retentisque memoriter de loco eminentiore in conspectu populi fidelis Romae reddi solet ab eis qui accessuri sunt ad gratiam tuam, oblatum esse dicebat Victorino a presbyteris ut secretius redderet, sicut nonnullis qui verecundia trepidaturi videbantur offerri mos erat; illum autem maluisse salutem suam in conspectu sanctae multitudinis profiteri. Non enim erat salus quam docebat in rhetorica, et tamen eam publice professus erat. Quanto minus ergo vereri debuit mansuetum gregem tuum pronuntians verbum tuum, qui non verebatur in verbis suis turbas insanorum? Itaque ubi ascendit ut redderet, omnes sibimet invicem, quisque ut eum noverat, instrepuerunt nomen eius strepitu gratulationis (quis autem ibi non eum noverat?) et sonuit presso sonitu per ora cunctorum conlaetantium, 'Victorinus, Victorinus.' cito sonuerunt exultatione, quia videbant eum, et cito siluerunt intentione, ut audirent eum. Pronuntiavit ille fidem veracem praeclara fiducia, et volebant eum omnes rapere intro in cor suum. Et rapiebant amando et gaudendo: hae rapientium manus erant. To conclude, when the hour was come for making profession of his faith (which at Rome they, who are about to approach to Thy grace, deliver, from an elevated place, in the sight of all the faithful, in a set form of words committed to memory), the presbyters, he said, offered Victorinus (as was done to such as seemed likely through bashfulness to be alarmed) to make his profession more privately: but he chose rather to profess his salvation in the presence of the holy multitude. "For it was not salvation that he taught in rhetoric, and yet that he had publicly professed: how much less then ought he, when pronouncing Thy word, to dread Thy meek flock, who, when delivering his own words, had not feared a mad multitude!" When, then, he went up to make his profession, all, as they knew him, whispered his name one to another with the voice of congratulation. And who there knew him not? and there ran a low murmur through all the mouths of the rejoicing multitude, Victorinus! Victorinus! Sudden was the burst of rapture, that they saw him; suddenly were they hushed that they might hear him. He pronounced the true faith with an excellent boldness, and all wished to draw him into their very heart; yea by their love and joy they drew him thither, such were the hands wherewith they drew him.
8.3.6 Deus bone, quid agitur in homine, ut plus gaudeat de salute desperatae animae et de maiore periculo liberatae quam si spes ei semper adfuisset aut periculum minus fuisset? Etenim tu quoque, misericors pater, plus gaudes de uno paenitente quam de nonaginta novem iustis quibus non opus est paenitentia. Et nos cum magna iucunditate audimus, cum audimus quam exultantibus pastoris umeris reportetur ovis quae erraverat, et drachma referatur in thesauros tuos conlaetantibus vicinis mulieri quae invenit, et lacrimas excutit gaudium sollemnitatis domus tuae, cum legitur in domo tua de minore filio tuo quoniam 'Mortuus erat et revixit, perierat et inventus est.' gaudes quippe in nobis et in angelis tuis sancta caritate sanctis. Nam tu semper idem, qui ea quae non semper nec eodem modo sunt eodem modo semper nosti omnia. Good God! what takes place in man, that he should more rejoice at the salvation of a soul despaired of, and freed from greater peril, than if there had always been hope of him, or the danger had been less? For so Thou also, merciful Father, dost more rejoice over one penitent than over ninety-nine just persons that need no repentance. And with much joyfulness do we hear, so often as we hear with what joy the sheep which had strayed is brought back upon the shepherd's shoulder, and the groat is restored to Thy treasury, the neighbours rejoicing with the woman who found it; and the joy of the solemn service of Thy house forceth to tears, when in Thy house it is read of Thy younger son, that he was dead, and liveth again; had been lost, and is found. For Thou rejoicest in us, and in Thy holy angels, holy through holy charity. For Thou art ever the same; for all things which abide not the same nor for ever, Thou for ever knowest in the same way.
8.3.7 Quid ergo agitur in anima, cum amplius delectatur inventis aut redditis rebus quas diligit quam si eas semper habuisset? Contestantur enim et cetera et plena sunt omnia testimoniis clamantibus, 'Ita est.' triumphat victor imperator, et non vicisset nisi pugnavisset, et quanto maius periculum fuit in proelio, tanto est gaudium maius in triumpho. Iactat tempestas navigantes minaturque naufragium: omnes futura morte pallescunt: tranquillatur caelum et mare, et exultant nimis, quoniam timuerunt nimis. Aeger est carus et vena eius malum renuntiat: omnes qui eum salvum cupiunt aegrotant simul animo: fit ei recte et nondum ambulat pristinis viribus, et fit iam tale gaudium quale non fuit cum antea salvus et fortis ambularet. Easque ipsas voluptates humanae vitae etiam non inopinatis et praeter voluntatem inruentibus, sed institutis et voluntariis molestiis homines adquirunt. Edendi et bibendi voluptas nulla est, nisi praecedat esuriendi et sitiendi molestia. Et ebriosi quaedam salsiuscula comedunt, quo fiat molestus ardor, quem dum exstinguit potatio, fit delectatio. Et institutum est ut iam pactae sponsae non tradantur statim, ne vile habeat maritus datam quam non suspiraverit sponsus dilatam. What then takes place in the soul, when it is more delighted at finding or recovering the things it loves, than if it had ever had them? yea, and other things witness hereunto; and all things are full of witnesses, crying out, "So is it." The conquering commander triumpheth; yet had he not conquered unless he had fought; and the more peril there was in the battle, so much the more joy is there in the triumph. The storm tosses the sailors, threatens shipwreck; all wax pale at approaching death; sky and sea are calmed, and they are exceeding joyed, as having been exceeding afraid. A friend is sick, and his pulse threatens danger; all who long for his recovery are sick in mind with him. He is restored, though as yet he walks not with his former strength; yet there is such joy, as was not, when before he walked sound and strong. Yea, the very pleasures of human life men acquire by difficulties, not those only which fall upon us unlooked for, and against our wills, but even by self-chosen, and pleasure-seeking trouble. Eating and drinking have no pleasure, unless there precede the pinching of hunger and thirst. Men, given to drink, eat certain salt meats, to procure a troublesome heat, which the drink allaying, causes pleasure. It is also ordered that the affianced bride should not at once be given, lest as a husband he should hold cheap whom, as betrothed, he sighed not after.
8.3.8 Hoc in turpi et exsecranda laetitia, hoc in ea quae concessa et licita est, hoc in ipsa sincerissima honestate amicitiae, hoc in eo qui mortuus erat et revixit, perierat et inventus est: ubique maius gaudium molestia maiore praeceditur. Quid est hoc, domine deus meus, cum tu aeternum tibi, tu ipse, sis gaudium, et quaedam de te circa te semper gaudeant? Quid est quod haec rerum pars alternat defectu et profectu, offensionibus et conciliationibus? An is est modus earum et tantum dedisti eis, cum a summis caelorum usque ad ima terrarum, ab initio usque in finem saeculorum, ab angelo usque ad vermiculum, a motu primo usque ad extremum, omnia genera bonorum et omnia iusta opera tua suis quaeque sedibus locares et suis quaeque temporibus ageres? Ei mihi, quam excelsus es in excelsis et quam profundus in profundis! et nusquam recedis, et vix redimus ad te. This law holds in foul and accursed joy; this in permitted and lawful joy; this in the very purest perfection of friendship; this, in him who was dead, and lived again; had been lost and was found. Every where the greater joy is ushered in by the greater pain. What means this, O Lord my God, whereas Thou art everlastingly joy to Thyself, and some things around Thee evermore rejoice in Thee? What means this, that this portion of things thus ebbs and flows alternately displeased and reconciled? Is this their allotted measure? Is this all Thou hast assigned to them, whereas from the highest heavens to the lowest earth, from the beginning of the world to the end of ages, from the angel to the worm, from the first motion to the last, Thou settest each in its place, and realisest each in their season, every thing good after its kind? Woe is me! how high art Thou in the highest, and how deep in the deepest! and Thou never departest, and we scarcely return to Thee.
8.4.9 Age, domine, fac, excita et revoca nos, accende et rape, flagra, dulcesce: amemus, curramus. Nonne multi ex profundiore tartaro caecitatis quam Victorinus redeunt ad te et accedunt et inluminantur recipientes lumen? Quod si qui recipiunt, accipiunt a te potestatem ut filii tui fiant. Sed si minus noti sunt populis, minus de illis gaudent etiam qui noverunt eos. Quando enim cum multis gaudetur, et in singulis uberius est gaudium, quia fervefaciunt se et inflammantur ex alterutro. Deinde quod multis noti, multis sunt auctoritati ad salutem et multis praeeunt secuturis, ideoque multum de illis et qui eos praecesserunt laetantur, quia non de solis laetantur. Absit enim ut in tabernaculo tuo prae pauperibus accipiantur personae divitum aut prae ignobilibus nobiles, quando potius infirma mundi elegisti ut confunderes fortia, et ignobilia huius mundi elegisti et contemptibilia, et ea quae non sunt tamquam sint, ut ea quae sunt evacuares. Et tamen idem ipse minimus apostolorum tuorum, per cuius linguam tua ista verba sonuisti, cum Paulus proconsul per eius militiam debellata superbia sub lene iugum Christi tui missus esset, regis magni provincialis effectus, ipse quoque ex priore Saulo Paulus vocari amavit ob tam magnae insigne victoriae. Plus enim hostis vincitur in eo quem plus tenet et de quo plures tenet. Plus autem superbos tenet nomine nobilitatis et de his plures nomine auctoritatis. Quanto igitur gratius cogitabatur Victorini pectus, quod tamquam inexpugnabile receptaculum diabolus obtinuerat, Victorini lingua, quo telo grandi et acuto multos peremerat, abundantius exultare oportuit filios tuos, quia rex noster alligavit fortem, et videbant vasa eius erepta mundari et aptari in honorem tuum et fieri utilia domino ad omne opus bonum. Up, Lord, and do; stir us up, and recall us; kindle and draw us; inflame, grow sweet unto us, let us now love, let us run. Do not many, out of a deeper hell of blindness than Victorinus, return to Thee, approach, and are enlightened, receiving that Light, which they who receive, receive power from Thee to become Thy sons? But if they be less known to the nations, even they that know them, joy less for them. For when many joy together, each also has more exuberant joy for that they are kindled and inflamed one by the other. Again, because those known to many, influence the more towards salvation, and lead the way with many to follow. And therefore do they also who preceded them much rejoice in them, because they rejoice not in them alone. For far be it, that in Thy tabernacle the persons of the rich should be accepted before the poor, or the noble before the ignoble; seeing rather Thou hast chosen the weak things of the world to confound the strong; and the base things of this world, and the things despised hast Thou chosen, and those things which are not, that Thou mightest bring to nought things that are. And yet even that least of Thy apostles, by whose tongue Thou soundedst forth these words, when through his warfare, Paulus the Proconsul, his pride conquered, was made to pass under the easy yoke of Thy Christ, and became a provincial of the great King; he also for his former name Saul, was pleased to be called Paul, in testimony of so great a victory. For the enemy is more overcome in one, of whom he hath more hold; by whom he hath hold of more. But the proud he hath more hold of, through their nobility; and by them, of more through their authority. By how much the more welcome then the heart of Victorinus was esteemed, which the devil had held as an impregnable possession, the tongue of Victorinus, with which mighty and keen weapon he had slain many; so much the more abundantly ought Thy sons to rejoice, for that our King hath bound the strong man, and they saw his vessels taken from him and cleansed, and made meet for Thy honour; and become serviceable for the Lord, unto every good work.
8.5.10 Sed ubi mihi homo tuus Simplicianus de Victorino ista narravit, exarsi ad imitandum: ad hoc enim et ille narraverat. Posteaquam vero et illud addidit, quod imperatoris Iuliani temporibus lege data prohibiti sunt christiani docere litteraturam et oratoriam. Quam legem ille amplexus, loquacem scholam deserere maluit quam verbum tuum, quo linguas infantium facis disertas. Non mihi fortior quam felicior visus est, quia invenit occasionem vacandi tibi, cui rei ego suspirabam, ligatus non ferro alieno sed mea ferrea voluntate. Velle meum tenebat inimicus et inde mihi catenam fecerat et constrinxerat me. Quippe ex voluntate perversa facta est libido, et dum servitur libidini, facta est consuetudo, et dum consuetudini non resistitur, facta est necessitas. Quibus quasi ansulis sibimet innexis (unde catenam appellavi) tenebat me obstrictum dura servitus. Voluntas autem nova quae mihi esse coeperat, ut te gratis colerem fruique te vellem, deus, sola certa iucunditas, nondum erat idonea ad superandam priorem vetustate roboratam. Ita duae voluntates meae, una vetus, alia nova, illa carnalis, illa spiritalis, confligebant inter se atque discordando dissipabant animam meam. But when that man of Thine, Simplicianus, related to me this of Victorinus, I was on fire to imitate him; for for this very end had he related it. But when he had subjoined also, how in the days of the Emperor Julian a law was made, whereby Christians were forbidden to teach the liberal sciences or oratory; and how he, obeying this law, chose rather to give over the wordy school than Thy Word, by which Thou makest eloquent the tongues of the dumb; he seemed to me not more resolute than blessed, in having thus found opportunity to wait on Thee only. Which thing I was sighing for, bound as I was, not with another's irons, but by my own iron will. My will the enemy held, and thence had made a chain for me, and bound me. For of a forward will, was a lust made; and a lust served, became custom; and custom not resisted, became necessity. By which links, as it were, joined together (whence I called it a chain) a hard bondage held me enthralled. But that new will which had begun to be in me, freely to serve Thee, and to wish to enjoy Thee, O God, the only assured pleasantness, was not yet able to overcome my former wilfulness, strengthened by age. Thus did my two wills, one new, and the other old, one carnal, the other spiritual, struggle within me; and by their discord, undid my soul.
8.5.11 Sic intellegebam me ipso experimento id quod legeram, quomodo caro concupisceret adversus spiritum et spiritus adversus carnem, ego quidem in utroque, sed magis ego in eo quod in me approbabam quam in eo quod in me improbabam. Ibi enim magis iam non ego, quia ex magna parte id patiebar invitus quam faciebam volens, sed tamen consuetudo adversus me pugnacior ex me facta erat, quoniam volens quo nollem perveneram. Et quis iure contradiceret, cum peccantem iusta poena sequeretur? Et non erat iam illa excusatio qua videri mihi solebam propterea me nondum contempto saeculo servire tibi, quia incerta mihi esset perceptio veritatis: iam enim et ipsa certa erat. Ego autem adhuc terra obligatus militare tibi recusabam et impedimentis omnibus sic timebam expediri, quemadmodum impediri timendum est. Thus, I understood, by my own experience, what I had read, how the flesh lusteth against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh. Myself verily either way; yet more myself, in that which I approved in myself, than in that which in myself I disapproved. For in this last, it was now for the more part not myself, because in much I rather endured against my will, than acted willingly. And yet it was through me that custom had obtained this power of warring against me, because I had come willingly, whither I willed not. And who has any right to speak against it, if just punishment follow the sinner? Nor had I now any longer my former plea, that I therefore as yet hesitated to be above the world and serve Thee, for that the truth was not altogether ascertained to me; for now it too was. But I still under service to the earth, refused to fight under Thy banner, and feared as much to be freed of all incumbrances, as we should fear to be encumbered with it.
8.5.12 Ita sarcina saeculi, velut somno adsolet, dulciter premebar, et cogitationes quibus meditabar in te similes erant conatibus expergisci volentium, qui tamen superati soporis altitudine remerguntur. Et sicut nemo est qui dormire semper velit omniumque sano iudicio vigilare praestat, differt tamen plerumque homo somnum excutere cum gravis torpor in membris est, eumque iam displicentem carpit libentius quamvis surgendi tempus advenerit: ita certum habebam esse melius tuae caritati me dedere quam meae cupiditati cedere, sed illud placebat et vincebat, hoc libebat et vinciebat. Non enim erat quod tibi responderem dicenti mihi, 'Surge qui dormis et exsurge a mortuis, et inluminabit te Christus,' et undique ostendenti vera te dicere, non erat omnino quid responderem veritate convictus, nisi tantum verba lenta et somnolenta: 'Modo,' 'Ecce modo,' 'Sine paululum.' sed 'Modo et modo' non habebat modum et 'Sine paululum' in longum ibat. Frustra condelectabar legi tuae secundum interiorem hominem, cum alia lex in membris meis repugnaret legi mentis meae et captivum me duceret in lege peccati quae in membris meis erat. Lex enim peccati est violentia consuetudinis, qua trahitur et tenetur etiam invitus animus eo merito quo in eam volens inlabitur. Miserum ergo me quis liberaret de corpore mortis huius nisi gratia tua per Iesum Christum, dominum nostrum? Thus with the baggage of this present world was I held down pleasantly, as in sleep: and the thoughts wherein I meditated on Thee were like the efforts of such as would awake, who yet overcome with a heavy drowsiness, are again drenched therein. And as no one would sleep for ever, and in all men's sober judgment waking is better, yet a man for the most part, feeling a heavy lethargy in all his limbs, defers to shake off sleep, and though half displeased, yet, even after it is time to rise, with pleasure yields to it, so was I assured that much better were it for me to give myself up to Thy charity, than to give myself over to mine own cupidity; but though the former course satisfied me and gained the mastery, the latter pleased me and held me mastered. Nor had I any thing to answer Thee calling to me, Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. And when Thou didst on all sides show me that what Thou saidst was true, I, convicted by the truth, had nothing at all to answer, but only those dull and drowsy words, "Anon, anon," "presently," "leave me but a little." But "presently, presently," had no present, and my "little while" went on for a long while; in vain I delighted in Thy law according to the inner man, when another law in my members rebelled against the law of my mind, and led me captive under the law of sin which was in my members. For the law of sin is the violence of custom, whereby the mind is drawn and holden, even against its will; but deservedly, for that it willingly fell into it. Who then should deliver me thus wretched from the body of this death, but Thy grace only, through Jesus Christ our Lord?
8.6.13 Et de vinculo quidem desiderii concubitus, quo artissimo tenebar, et saecularium negotiorum servitute quemadmodum me exemeris, narrabo et confitebor nomini tuo, domine, adiutor meus et redemptor meus. Agebam solita, crescente anxitudine, et cotidie suspirabam tibi. Frequentabam ecclesiam tuam, quantum vacabat ab eis negotiis sub quorum pondere gemebam. Mecum erat Alypius otiosus ab opere iuris peritorum post adsessionem tertiam, expectans quibus iterum consilia venderet, sicut ego vendebam dicendi facultatem, si qua docendo praestari potest. Nebridius autem amicitiae nostrae cesserat, ut omnium nostrum familiarissimo Verecundo, Mediolanensi et civi et grammatico, subdoceret, vehementer desideranti et familiaritatis iure flagitanti de numero nostro fidele adiutorium, quo indigebat nimis. Non itaque Nebridium cupiditas commodorum eo traxit (maiora enim posset, si vellet, de litteris agere) sed officio benivolentiae petitionem nostram contemnere noluit, amicus dulcissimus et mitissimus. Agebat autem illud prudentissime cavens innotescere personis secundum hoc saeculum maioribus, devitans in eis omnem inquietudinem animi, quem volebat habere liberum et quam multis posset horis feriatum ad quaerendum aliquid vel legendum vel audiendum de sapientia. And how Thou didst deliver me out of the bonds of desire, wherewith I was bound most straitly to carnal concupiscence, and out of the drudgery of worldly things, I will now declare, and confess unto Thy name, O Lord, my helper and my redeemer. Amid increasing anxiety, I was doing my wonted business, and daily sighing unto Thee. I attended Thy Church, whenever free from the business under the burden of which I groaned. Alypius was with me, now after the third sitting released from his law business, and awaiting to whom to sell his counsel, as I sold the skill of speaking, if indeed teaching can impart it. Nebridius had now, in consideration of our friendship, consented to teach under Verecundus, a citizen and a grammarian of Milan, and a very intimate friend of us all; who urgently desired, and by the right of friendship challenged from our company, such faithful aid as he greatly needed. Nebridius then was not drawn to this by any desire of advantage (for he might have made much more of his learning had he so willed), but as a most kind and gentle friend, he would not be wanting to a good office, and slight our request. But he acted herein very discreetly, shunning to become known to personages great according to this world, avoiding the distraction of mind thence ensuing, and desiring to have it free and at leisure, as many hours as might be, to seek, or read, or hear something concerning wisdom.
8.6.14 Quodam igitur die (non recolo causam qua erat absens Nebridius) cum ecce ad nos domum venit ad me et Alypium Ponticianus quidam, civis noster in quantum Afer, praeclare in palatio militans: nescio quid a nobis volebat. Et consedimus ut conloqueremur. Et forte supra mensam lusoriam quae ante nos erat attendit codicem. Tulit, aperuit, invenit apostolum Paulum, inopinate sane: putaverat enim aliquid de libris quorum professio me conterebat. Tum vero arridens meque intuens gratulatorie miratus est, quod eas et solas prae oculis meis litteras repente comperisset. Christianus quippe et fidelis erat, et saepe tibi, deo nostro, prosternebatur in ecclesia crebris et diuturnis orationibus. Cui ego cum indicassem illis me scripturis curam maximam impendere, ortus est sermo ipso narrante de Antonio Aegyptio monacho, cuius nomen excellenter clarebat apud servos tuos, nos autem usque in illam horam latebat. Quod ille ubi comperit, immoratus est in eo sermone, insinuans tantum virum ignorantibus et admirans eandem nostram ignorantiam. Stupebamus autem audientes tam recenti memoria et prope nostris temporibus testatissima mirabilia tua in fide recta et catholica ecclesia. Omnes mirabamur, et nos, quia tam magna erant, et ille, quia inaudita nobis erant. Upon a day then, Nebridius being absent (I recollect not why), to, there came to see me and Alypius, one Pontitianus, our countryman so far as being an African, in high office in the Emperor's court. What he would with us, I know not, but we sat down to converse, and it happened that upon a table for some game, before us, he observed a book, took, opened it, and contrary to his expectation, found it the Apostle Paul; for he thought it some of those books which I was wearing myself in teaching. Whereat smiling, and looking at me, he expressed his joy and wonder that he had on a sudden found this book, and this only before my eyes. For he was a Christian, and baptised, and often bowed himself before Thee our God in the Church, in frequent and continued prayers. When then I had told him that I bestowed very great pains upon those Scriptures, a conversation arose (suggested by his account) on Antony the Egyptian monk: whose name was in high reputation among Thy servants, though to that hour unknown to us. Which when he discovered, he dwelt the more upon that subject, informing and wondering at our ignorance of one so eminent. But we stood amazed, hearing Thy wonderful works most fully attested, in times so recent, and almost in our own, wrought in the true Faith and Church Catholic. We all wondered; we, that they were so great, and he, that they had not reached us.
8.6.15 Inde sermo eius devolutus est ad monasteriorum greges et mores suaveolentiae tuae et ubera deserta heremi, quorum nos nihil sciebamus. Et erat monasterium Mediolanii plenum bonis fratribus extra urbis moenia sub Ambrosio nutritore, et non noveramus. Pertendebat ille et loquebatur adhuc, et nos intenti tacebamus. Unde incidit ut diceret nescio quando se et tres alios contubernales suos, nimirum apud Treveros, cum imperator promeridiano circensium spectaculo teneretur, exisse deambulatum in hortos muris contiguos atque illic, ut forte combinati spatiabantur, unum secum seorsum et alios duos itidem seorsum pariterque digressos; sed illos vagabundos inruisse in quandam casam ubi habitabant quidam servi tui spiritu pauperes, qualium est regnum caelorum, et invenisse ibi codicem in quo scripta erat vita Antonii. Quam legere coepit unus eorum et mirari et accendi, et inter legendum meditari arripere talem vitam et relicta militia saeculari servire tibi. Erant autem ex eis quos dicunt agentes in rebus. Tum subito repletus amore sancto et sobrio pudore, iratus sibi, coniecit oculos in amicum et ait illi, 'Dic, quaeso te, omnibus istis laboribus nostris quo ambimus pervenire? Quid quaerimus? Cuius rei causa militamus? Maiorne esse poterit spes nostra in palatio quam ut amici imperatoris simus? Et ibi quid non fragile plenumque periculis? Et per quot pericula pervenitur ad grandius periculum? Et quando istuc erit? Amicus autem dei, si voluero, ecce nunc fio.' dixit hoc et turbidus parturitione novae vitae reddidit oculos paginis. Et legebat et mutabatur intus, ubi tu videbas, et exuebatur mundo mens eius, ut mox apparuit. Namque dum legit et volvit fluctus cordis sui, infremuit aliquando et discrevit decrevitque meliora, iamque tuus ait amico suo, 'Ego iam abrupi me ab illa spe nostra et deo servire statui, et hoc ex hac hora, in hoc loco aggredior. Te si piget imitari, noli adversari.' respondit ille adhaerere se socium tantae mercedis tantaeque militiae. Et ambo iam tui aedificabant turrem sumptu idoneo relinquendi omnia sua et sequendi te. Tunc Ponticianus et qui cum eo per alias horti partes deambulabat, quaerentes eos, devenerunt in eundem locum et invenientes admonuerunt ut redirent, quod iam declinasset dies. At illi, narrato placito et proposito suo quoque modo in eis talis voluntas orta esset atque firmata, petiverunt ne sibi molesti essent si adiungi recusarent. Isti autem nihilo mutati a pristinis fleverunt se tamen, ut dicebat, atque illis pie congratulati sunt, et commendaverunt se orationibus eorum et trahentes cor in terra abierunt in palatium, illi autem affigentes cor caelo manserunt in casa. Et habebant ambo sponsas quae, posteaquam hoc audierunt, dicaverunt etiam ipsae virginitatem tibi. Thence his discourse turned to the flocks in the monasteries, and their holy ways, a sweet-smelling savour unto Thee, and the fruitful deserts of the wilderness, whereof we knew nothing. And there was a monastery at Milan, full of good brethren, without the city walls, under the fostering care of Ambrose, and we knew it not. He went on with his discourse, and we listened in intent silence. He told us then how one afternoon at Triers, when the Emperor was taken up with the Circensian games, he and three others, his companions, went out to walk in gardens near the city walls, and there as they happened to walk in pairs, one went apart with him, and the other two wandered by themselves; and these, in their wanderings, lighted upon a certain cottage, inhabited by certain of Thy servants, poor in spirit, of whom is the kingdom of heaven, and there they found a little book containing the life of Antony. This one of them began to read, admire, and kindle at it; and as he read, to meditate on taking up such a life, and giving over his secular service to serve Thee. And these two were of those whom they style agents for the public affairs. Then suddenly, filled with a holy love, and a sober shame, in anger with himself cast his eyes upon his friend, saying, "Tell me, I pray thee, what would we attain by all these labours of ours? what aim we at? what serve we for? Can our hopes in court rise higher than to be the Emperor's favourites? and in this, what is there not brittle, and full of perils? and by how many perils arrive we at a greater peril? and when arrive we thither? But a friend of God, if I wish it, I become now at once." So spake he. And in pain with the travail of a new life, he turned his eyes again upon the book, and read on, and was changed inwardly, where Thou sawest, and his mind was stripped of the world, as soon appeared. For as he read, and rolled up and down the waves of his heart, he stormed at himself a while, then discerned, and determined on a better course; and now being Thine, said to his friend, "Now have I broken loose from those our hopes, and am resolved to serve God; and this, from this hour, in this place, I begin upon. If thou likest not to imitate me, oppose not." The other answered, he would cleave to him, to partake so glorious a reward, so glorious a service. Thus both being now Thine, were building the tower at the necessary cost, the forsaking all that they had, and following Thee. Then Pontitianus and the other with him, that had walked in other parts of the garden, came in search of them to the same place; and finding them, reminded them to return, for the day was now far spent. But they relating their resolution and purpose, and how that will was begun and settled in them, begged them, if they would not join, not to molest them. But the others, though nothing altered from their former selves, did yet bewail themselves (as he affirmed), and piously congratulated them, recommending themselves to their prayers; and so, with hearts lingering on the earth, went away to the palace. But the other two, fixing their heart on heaven, remained in the cottage. And both had affianced brides, who when they heard hereof, also dedicated their virginity unto God.
8.7.16 Narrabat haec Ponticianus. Tu autem, domine, inter verba eius retorquebas me ad me ipsum, auferens me a dorso meo, ubi me posueram dum nollem me attendere, et constituebas me ante faciem meam, ut viderem quam turpis essem, quam distortus et sordidus, maculosus et ulcerosus. Et videbam et horrebam, et quo a me fugerem non erat. Sed si conabar avertere a me aspectum, narrabat ille quod narrabat, et tu me rursus opponebas mihi et impingebas me in oculos meos, ut invenirem iniquitatem meam et odissem. Noveram eam, sed dissimulabam et cohibebam et obliviscebar. Such was the story of Pontitianus; but Thou, O Lord, while he was speaking, didst turn me round towards myself, taking me from behind my back where I had placed me, unwilling to observe myself; and setting me before my face, that I might see how foul I was, how crooked and defiled, bespotted and ulcerous. And I beheld and stood aghast; and whither to flee from myself I found not. And if I sought to turn mine eye from off myself, he went on with his relation, and Thou again didst set me over against myself, and thrustedst me before my eyes, that I might find out mine iniquity, and hate it. I had known it, but made as though I saw it not, winked at it, and forgot it.
8.7.17 Tunc vero quanto ardentius amabam illos de quibus audiebam salubres affectus, quod se totos tibi sanandos dederunt, tanto exsecrabilius me comparatum eis oderam, quoniam multi mei anni mecum effluxerant (forte duodecim anni) ex quo ab undevicensimo anno aetatis meae, lecto Ciceronis Hortensio, excitatus eram studio sapientiae et differebam contempta felicitate terrena ad eam investigandam vacare, cuius non inventio sed vel sola inquisitio iam praeponenda erat etiam inventis thesauris regnisque gentium et ad nutum circumfluentibus corporis voluptatibus. At ego adulescens miser valde, miser in exordio ipsius adulescentiae, etiam petieram a te castitatem et dixeram, 'Da mihi castitatem et continentiam, sed noli modo.' timebam enim ne me cito exaudires et cito sanares a morbo concupiscentiae, quem malebam expleri quam exstingui. Et ieram per vias pravas superstitione sacrilega, non quidem certus in ea sed quasi praeponens eam ceteris, quae non pie quaerebam sed inimice oppugnabam. But now, the more ardently I loved those whose healthful affections I heard of, that they had resigned themselves wholly to Thee to be cured, the more did I abhor myself, when compared with them. For many of my years (some twelve) had now run out with me since my nineteenth, when, upon the reading of Cicero's Hortensius, I was stirred to an earnest love of wisdom; and still I was deferring to reject mere earthly felicity, and give myself to search out that, whereof not the finding only, but the very search, was to be preferred to the treasures and kingdoms of the world, though already found, and to the pleasures of the body, though spread around me at my will. But I wretched, most wretched, in the very commencement of my early youth, had begged chastity of Thee, and said, "Give me chastity and continency, only not yet." For I feared lest Thou shouldest hear me soon, and soon cure me of the disease of concupiscence, which I wished to have satisfied, rather than extinguished. And I had wandered through crooked ways in a sacrilegious superstition, not indeed assured thereof, but as preferring it to the others which I did not seek religiously, but opposed maliciously.
8.7.18 Et putaveram me propterea differre de die in diem contempta spe saeculi te solum sequi, quia non mihi apparebat certum aliquid quo dirigerem cursum meum. Et venerat dies quo nudarer mihi et increparet in me conscientia mea: 'Ubi est lingua? Nempe tu dicebas propter incertum verum nolle te abicere sarcinam vanitatis. Ecce iam certum est, et illa te adhuc premit, umerisque liberioribus pinnas recipiunt qui neque ita in quaerendo attriti sunt nec decennio et amplius ista meditati.' ita rodebar intus et confundebar pudore horribili vehementer, cum Ponticianus talia loqueretur. Terminato autem sermone et causa qua venerat, abiit ille, et ego ad me. Quae non in me dixi? Quibus sententiarum verberibus non flagellavi animam meam, ut sequeretur me conantem post te ire? Et renitebatur, recusabat, et non se excusabat. Consumpta erant et convicta argumenta omnia. Remanserat muta trepidatio et quasi mortem reformidabat restringi a fluxu consuetudinis, quo tabescebat in mortem. And I had thought that I therefore deferred from day to day to reject the hopes of this world, and follow Thee only, because there did not appear aught certain, whither to direct my course. And now was the day come wherein I was to be laid bare to myself, and my conscience was to upbraid me. "Where art thou now, my tongue? Thou saidst that for an uncertain truth thou likedst not to cast off the baggage of vanity; now, it is certain, and yet that burden still oppresseth thee, while they who neither have so worn themselves out with seeking it, nor for often years and more have been thinking thereon, have had their shoulders lightened, and received wings to fly away." Thus was I gnawed within, and exceedingly confounded with a horrible shame, while Pontitianus was so speaking. And he having brought to a close his tale and the business he came for, went his way; and I into myself. What said I not against myself? with what scourges of condemnation lashed I not my soul, that it might follow me, striving to go after Thee! Yet it drew back; refused, but excused not itself. All arguments were spent and confuted; there remained a mute shrinking; and she feared, as she would death, to be restrained from the flux of that custom, whereby she was wasting to death.
8.8.19 Tum in illa grandi rixa interioris domus meae, quam fortiter excitaveram cum anima mea in cubiculo nostro, corde meo, tam vultu quam mente turbatus invado Alypium: exclamo, 'Quid patimur? Quid est hoc? Quid audisti? Surgunt indocti et caelum rapiunt, et nos cum doctrinis nostris sine corde, ecce ubi volutamur in carne et sanguine! an quia praecesserunt, pudet sequi et non pudet nec saltem sequi?' dixi nescio qua talia, et abripuit me ab illo aestus meus, cum taceret attonitus me intuens. Neque enim solita sonabam. Plus loquebantur animum meum frons, genae, oculi, color, modus vocis quam verba quae promebam. Hortulus quidam erat hospitii nostri, quo nos utebamur sicut tota domo: nam hospes ibi non habitabat, dominus domus. Illuc me abstulerat tumultus pectoris, ubi nemo impediret ardentem litem quam mecum aggressus eram, donec exiret -- qua tu sciebas, ego autem non: sed tantum insaniebam salubriter et moriebar vitaliter, gnarus quid mali essem et ignarus quid boni post paululum futurus essem. Abscessi ergo in hortum, et Alypius pedem post pedem. Neque enim secretum meum non erat, ubi ille aderat. Aut quando me sic affectum desereret? Sedimus quantum potuimus remoti ab aedibus. Ego fremebam spiritu, indignans indignatione turbulentissima quod non irem in placitum et pactum tecum, deus meus, in quod eundum esse omnia ossa mea clamabant et in caelum tollebant laudibus. Et non illuc ibatur navibus aut quadrigis aut pedibus, quantum saltem de domo in eum locum ieram ubi sedebamus. Nam non solum ire verum etiam pervenire illuc nihil erat aliud quam velle ire, sed velle fortiter et integre, non semisauciam hac atque hac versare et iactare voluntatem parte adsurgente cum alia parte cadente luctantem. Then in this great contention of my inward dwelling, which I had strongly raised against my soul, in the chamber of my heart, troubled in mind and countenance, I turned upon Alypius. "What ails us?" I exclaim: "what is it? what heardest thou? The unlearned start up and take heaven by force, and we with our learning, and without heart, to, where we wallow in flesh and blood! Are we ashamed to follow, because others are gone before, and not ashamed not even to follow?" Some such words I uttered, and my fever of mind tore me away from him, while he, gazing on me in astonishment, kept silence. For it was not my wonted tone; and my forehead, cheeks, eyes, colour, tone of voice, spake my mind more than the words I uttered. A little garden there was to our lodging, which we had the use of, as of the whole house; for the master of the house, our host, was not living there. Thither had the tumult of my breast hurried me, where no man might hinder the hot contention wherein I had engaged with myself, until it should end as Thou knewest, I knew not. Only I was healthfully distracted and dying, to live; knowing what evil thing I was, and not knowing what good thing I was shortly to become. I retired then into the garden, and Alypius, on my steps. For his presence did not lessen my privacy; or how could he forsake me so disturbed? We sate down as far removed as might be from the house. I was troubled in spirit, most vehemently indignant that I entered not into Thy will and covenant, O my God, which all my bones cried out unto me to enter, and praised it to the skies. And therein we enter not by ships, or chariots, or feet, no, move not so far as I had come from the house to that place where we were sitting. For, not to go only, but to go in thither was nothing else but to will to go, but to will resolutely and thoroughly; not to turn and toss, this way and that, a maimed and half-divided will, struggling, with one part sinking as another rose.
8.8.20 Denique tam multa faciebam corpore in ipsis cunctationis aestibus, quae aliquando volunt homines et non valent, si aut ipsa membra non habeant aut ea vel conligata vinculis vel resoluta languore vel quoquo modo impedita sint. Si vulsi capillum, si percussi frontem, si consertis digitis amplexatus sum genu, quia volui, feci. Potui autem velle et non facere, si mobilitas membrorum non obsequeretur. Tam multa ergo feci, ubi non hoc erat velle quod posse: et non faciebam quod et incomparabili affectu amplius mihi placebat, et mox ut vellem possem, quia mox ut vellem, utique vellem. Ibi enim facultas ea, quae voluntas, et ipsum velle iam facere erat; et tamen non fiebat, faciliusque obtemperabat corpus tenuissimae voluntati animae, ut ad nutum membra moverentur, quam ipsa sibi anima ad voluntatem suam magnam in sola voluntate perficiendam. Lastly, in the very fever of my irresoluteness, I made with my body many such motions as men sometimes would, but cannot, if either they have not the limbs, or these be bound with bands, weakened with infirmity, or any other way hindered. Thus, if I tore my hair, beat my forehead, if locking my fingers I clasped my knee; I willed, I did it. But I might have willed, and not done it; if the power of motion in my limbs had not obeyed. So many things then I did, when "to will" was not in itself "to be able"; and I did not what both I longed incomparably more to do, and which soon after, when I should will, I should be able to do; because soon after, when I should will, I should will thoroughly. For in these things the ability was one with the will, and to will was to do; and yet was it not done: and more easily did my body obey the weakest willing of my soul, in moving its limbs at its nod, than the soul obeyed itself to accomplish in the will alone this its momentous will.
8.9.21 Unde hoc monstrum? Et quare istuc? Luceat misericordia tua, et interrogem, si forte mihi respondere possint latebrae poenarum hominum et tenebrosissimae contritiones filiorum Adam. Unde hoc monstrum? Et quare istuc? Imperat animus corpori, et paretur statim; imperat animus sibi, et resistitur. Imperat animus ut moveatur manus, et tanta est facilitas ut vix a servitio discernatur imperium: et animus animus est, manus autem corpus est. Imperat animus ut velit animus, nec alter est nec facit tamen. Unde hoc monstrum? Et quare istuc, inquam, ut velit qui non imperaret nisi vellet, et non facit quod imperat? Sed non ex toto vult: non ergo ex toto imperat. Nam in tantum imperat, in quantum vult, et in tantum non fit quod imperat, in quantum non vult, quoniam voluntas imperat ut sit voluntas, nec alia, sed ipsa. Non itaque plena imperat; ideo non est quod imperat. Nam si plena esset, nec imperaret ut esset, quia iam esset. Non igitur monstrum partim velle, partim nolle, sed aegritudo animi est, quia non totus adsurgit veritate consuetudine praegravatus. Et ideo sunt duae voluntates, quia una earum tota non est et hoc adest alteri quod deest alteri. Whence is this monstrousness? and to what end? Let Thy mercy gleam that I may ask, if so be the secret penalties of men, and those darkest pangs of the sons of Adam, may perhaps answer me. Whence is this monstrousness? and to what end? The mind commands the body, and it obeys instantly; the mind commands itself, and is resisted. The mind commands the hand to be moved; and such readiness is there, that command is scarce distinct from obedience. Yet the mind is mind, the hand is body. The mind commands the mind, its own self, to will, and yet it doth not. Whence this monstrousness? and to what end? It commands itself, I say, to will, and would not command, unless it willed, and what it commands is not done. But it willeth not entirely: therefore doth it not command entirely. For so far forth it commandeth, as it willeth: and, so far forth is the thing commanded, not done, as it willeth not. For the will commandeth that there be a will; not another, but itself. But it doth not command entirely, therefore what it commandeth, is not. For were the will entire, it would not even command it to be, because it would already be. It is therefore no monstrousness partly to will, partly to nill, but a disease of the mind, that it doth not wholly rise, by truth upborne, borne down by custom. And therefore are there two wills, for that one of them is not entire: and what the one lacketh, the other hath.
8.10.22 Pereant a facie tua, deus, sicuti pereunt, vaniloqui et mentis seductores qui, cum duas voluntates in deliberando animadverterint, duas naturas duarum mentium esse adseverant, unam bonam, alteram malam. Ipsi vere mali sunt, cum ista mala sentiunt, et idem ipsi boni erunt, si vera senserint verisque consenserint, ut dicat eis apostolus tuus, 'Fuistis aliquando tenebrae, nunc autem lux in domino.' illi enim dum volunt esse lux, non in domino sed in se ipsis, putando animae naturam hoc esse quod deus est, ita facti sunt densiores tenebrae, quoniam longius a te recesserunt horrenda arrogantia, a te vero lumine inluminante omnem hominem venientem in hunc mundum. Attendite quid dicatis, et erubescite et accedite ad eum et inluminamini, et vultus vestri non erubescent. Ego cum deliberabam ut iam servirem domino deo meo, sicut diu disposueram, ego eram qui volebam, ego qui nolebam: ego eram. Nec plene volebam nec plene nolebam. Ideo mecum contendebam et dissipabar a me ipso, et ipsa dissipatio me invito quidem fiebat, nec tamen ostendebat naturam mentis alienae sed poenam meae. Et ideo non iam ego operabar illam, sed quod habitabat in me peccatum de supplicio liberioris peccati, quia eram filius Adam. Let them perish from Thy presence, O God, as perish vain talkers and seducers of the soul: who observing that in deliberating there were two wills, affirm that there are two minds in us of two kinds, one good, the other evil. Themselves are truly evil, when they hold these evil things; and themselves shall become good when they hold the truth and assent unto the truth, that Thy Apostle may say to them, Ye were sometimes darkness, but now light in the Lord. But they, wishing to be light, not in the Lord, but in themselves, imagining the nature of the soul to be that which God is, are made more gross darkness through a dreadful arrogancy; for that they went back farther from Thee, the true Light that enlightened every man that cometh into the world. Take heed what you say, and blush for shame: draw near unto Him and be enlightened, and your faces shall not be ashamed. Myself when I was deliberating upon serving the Lord my God now, as I had long purposed, it was I who willed, I who nilled, I, I myself. I neither willed entirely, nor nilled entirely. Therefore was I at strife with myself, and rent asunder by myself. And this rent befell me against my will, and yet indicated, not the presence of another mind, but the punishment of my own. Therefore it was no more I that wrought it, but sin that dwelt in me; the punishment of a sin more freely committed, in that I was a son of Adam.
8.10.23 Nam si tot sunt contrariae naturae quot voluntates sibi resistunt, non iam duae sed plures erunt. Si deliberet quisquam utrum ad conventiculum eorum pergat an ad theatrum, clamant isti, 'Ecce duae naturae, una bona hac ducit, altera mala illac reducit, nam unde ista cunctatio sibimet adversantium voluntatum?' ego autem dico ambas malas, et quae ad illos ducit et quae ad theatrum reducit. Sed non credunt nisi bonam esse qua itur ad eos. Quid si ergo quisquam noster deliberet et secum altercantibus duabus voluntatibus fluctuet, utrum ad theatrum pergat an ad ecclesiam nostram, nonne et isti quid respondeant fluctuabunt? Aut enim fatebuntur quod nolunt, bona voluntate pergi in ecclesiam nostram, sicut in eam pergunt qui sacramentis eius imbuti sunt atque detinentur, aut duas malas naturas et duas malas mentes in uno homine confligere putabunt, et non erit verum quod solent dicere, unam bonam, alteram malam, aut convertentur ad verum et non negabunt, cum quisque deliberat, animam unam diversis voluntatibus aestuare. For if there he so many contrary natures as there be conflicting wills, there shall now be not two only, but many. If a man deliberate whether he should go to their conventicle or to the theatre, these Manichees cry out, Behold, here are two natures: one good, draws this way; another bad, draws back that way. For whence else is this hesitation between conflicting wills? But I say that both be bad: that which draws to them, as that which draws back to the theatre. But they believe not that will to be other than good, which draws to them. What then if one of us should deliberate, and amid the strife of his two wills be in a strait, whether he should go to the theatre or to our church? would not these Manichees also be in a strait what to answer? For either they must confess (which they fain would not) that the will which leads to our church is good, as well as theirs, who have received and are held by the mysteries of theirs: or they must suppose two evil natures, and two evil souls conflicting in one man, and it will not be true, which they say, that there is one good and another bad; or they must be converted to the truth, and no more deny that where one deliberates, one soul fluctuates between contrary wills.
8.10.24 Iam ergo non dicant, cum duas voluntates in homine uno adversari sibi sentiunt, duas contrarias mentes de duabus contrariis substantiis et de duobus contrariis principiis contendere, unam bonam, alteram malam. Nam tu, deus verax, improbas eos et redarguis atque convincis eos, sicut in utraque mala voluntate, cum quisque deliberat utrum hominem veneno interimat an ferro, utrum fundum alienum illum an illum invadat, quando utrumque non potest, utrum emat voluptatem luxuria an pecuniam servet avaritia, utrum ad circum pergat an ad theatrum, si uno die utrumque exhibeatur; addo etiam tertium, an ad furtum de domo aliena, si subest occasio; addo et quartum, an ad committendum adulterium, si et inde simul facultas aperitur; si omnia concurrant in unum articulum temporis pariterque cupiantur omnia quae simul agi nequeunt, discerpunt enim animum sibimet adversantibus quattuor voluntatibus vel etiam pluribus in tanta copia rerum quae appetuntur, nec tamen tantam multitudinem diversarum substantiarum solent dicere. Ita et in bonis voluntatibus. Nam quaero ab eis utrum bonum sit delectari lectione apostoli et utrum bonum sit delectari psalmo sobrio et utrum bonum sit evangelium disserere. Respondebunt ad singula: 'Bonum.' quid si ergo pariter delectent omnia simulque uno tempore, nonne diversae voluntates distendunt cor hominis, dum deliberatur quid potissimum arripiamus? Et omnes bonae sunt et certant secum, donec eligatur unum quo feratur tota voluntas una, quae in plures dividebatur. Ita etiam cum aeternitas delectat superius et temporalis boni voluptas retentat inferius, eadem anima est non tota voluntate illud aut hoc volens et ideo discerpitur gravi molestia, dum illud veritate praeponit, hoc familiaritate non ponit. Let them no more say then, when they perceive two conflicting wills in one man, that the conflict is between two contrary souls, of two contrary substances, from two contrary principles, one good, and the other bad. For Thou, O true God, dost disprove, check, and convict them; as when, both wills being bad, one deliberates whether he should kill a man by poison or by the sword; whether he should seize this or that estate of another's, when he cannot both; whether he should purchase pleasure by luxury, or keep his money by covetousness; whether he go to the circus or the theatre, if both be open on one day; or thirdly, to rob another's house, if he have the opportunity; or, fourthly, to commit adultery, if at the same time he have the means thereof also; all these meeting together in the same juncture of time, and all being equally desired, which cannot at one time be acted: for they rend the mind amid four, or even (amid the vast variety of things desired) more, conflicting wills, nor do they yet allege that there are so many divers substances. So also in wills which are good. For I ask them, is it good to take pleasure in reading the Apostle? or good to take pleasure in a sober Psalm? or good to discourse on the Gospel? They will answer to each, "it is good." What then if all give equal pleasure, and all at once? Do not divers wills distract the mind, while he deliberates which he should rather choose? yet are they all good, and are at variance till one be chosen, whither the one entire will may be borne, which before was divided into many. Thus also, when, above, eternity delights us, and the pleasure of temporal good holds us down below, it is the same soul which willeth not this or that with an entire will; and therefore is rent asunder with grievous perplexities, while out of truth it sets this first, but out of habit sets not that aside.
8.11.25 Sic aegrotabam et excruciabar, accusans memet ipsum solito acerbius nimis ac volvens et versans me in vinculo meo, donec abrumperetur totum, quo iam exiguo tenebar, sed tenebar tamen. Et instabas tu in occultis meis, domine, severa misericordia, flagella ingeminans timoris et pudoris, ne rursus cessarem et non abrumperetur idipsum exiguum et tenue quod remanserat, et revalesceret iterum et me robustius alligaret. Dicebam enim apud me intus, 'Ecce modo fiat, modo fiat,' et cum verbo iam ibam in placitum. Iam paene faciebam et non faciebam, nec relabebar tamen in pristina sed de proximo stabam et respirabam. Et item conabar, et paulo minus ibi eram et paulo minus, iam iamque attingebam et tenebam. Et non ibi eram nec attingebam nec tenebam, haesitans mori morti et vitae vivere, plusque in me valebat deterius inolitum quam melius insolitum, punctumque ipsum temporis quo aliud futurus eram, quanto propius admovebatur, tanto ampliorem incutiebat horrorem. Sed non recutiebat retro nec avertebat, sed suspendebat. Thus soul-sick was I, and tormented, accusing myself much more severely than my wont, rolling and turning me in my chain, till that were wholly broken, whereby I now was but just, but still was, held. And Thou, O Lord, pressedst upon me in my inward parts by a severe mercy, redoubling the lashes of fear and shame, lest I should again give way, and not bursting that same slight remaining tie, it should recover strength, and bind me the faster. For I said with myself, "Be it done now, be it done now." And as I spake, I all but enacted it: I all but did it, and did it not: yet sunk not back to my former state, but kept my stand hard by, and took breath. And I essayed again, and wanted somewhat less of it, and somewhat less, and all but touched, and laid hold of it; and yet came not at it, nor touched nor laid hold of it; hesitating to die to death and to live to life: and the worse whereto I was inured, prevailed more with me than the better whereto I was unused: and the very moment wherein I was to become other than I was, the nearer it approached me, the greater horror did it strike into me; yet did it not strike me back, nor turned me away, but held me in suspense.
8.11.26 Retinebant nugae nugarum et vanitates vanitantium, antiquae amicae meae, et succutiebant vestem meam carneam et submurmurabant, 'Dimittisne nos?' et 'A momento isto non erimus tecum ultra in aeternum' et 'A momento isto non tibi licebit hoc et illud ultra in aeternum.' et quae suggerebant in eo quod dixi 'Hoc et illud,' quae suggerebant, deus meus, avertat ab anima servi tui misericordia tua! quas sordes suggerebant, quae dedecora! et audiebam eas iam longe minus quam dimidius, non tamquam libere contradicentes eundo in obviam, sed velut a dorso mussitantes et discedentem quasi furtim vellicantes, ut respicerem. Tardabant tamen cunctantem me abripere atque excutere ab eis et transilire quo vocabar, cum diceret mihi consuetudo violenta, 'Putasne sine istis poteris?' The very toys of toys, and vanities of vanities, my ancient mistresses, still held me; they plucked my fleshy garment, and whispered softly, "Dost thou cast us off? and from that moment shall we no more be with thee for ever? and from that moment shall not this or that be lawful for thee for ever?" And what was it which they suggested in that I said, "this or that," what did they suggest, O my God? Let Thy mercy turn it away from the soul of Thy servant. What defilements did they suggest! what shame! And now I much less than half heard them, and not openly showing themselves and contradicting me, but muttering as it were behind my back, and privily plucking me, as I was departing, but to look back on them. Yet they did retard me, so that I hesitated to burst and shake myself free from them, and to spring over whither I was called; a violent habit saying to me, "Thinkest thou, thou canst live without them?"
8.11.27 Sed iam tepidissime hoc dicebat. Aperiebatur enim ab ea parte qua intenderam faciem et quo transire trepidabam casta dignitas continentiae, serena et non dissolute hilaris, honeste blandiens ut venirem neque dubitarem, et extendens ad me suscipiendum et amplectendum pias manus plenas gregibus bonorum exemplorum. Ibi tot pueri et puellae, ibi iuventus multa et omnis aetas, et graves viduae et virgines anus, et in omnibus ipsa continentia nequaquam sterilis, sed fecunda mater filiorum gaudiorum de marito te, domine. Et inridebat me inrisione hortatoria, quasi diceret, 'Tu non poteris quod isti, quod istae? An vero isti et istae in se ipsis possunt ac non in domino deo suo? Dominus deus eorum me dedit eis. Quid in te stas et non stas? Proice te in eum! noli metuere. Non se subtrahet ut cadas: proice te securus! excipiet et sanabit te.' et erubescebam nimis, quia illarum nugarum murmura adhuc audiebam, et cunctabundus pendebam. Et rursus illa, quasi diceret, 'Obsurdesce adversus immunda illa membra tua super terram, ut mortificentur. Narrant tibi delectationes, sed non sicut lex domini dei tui.' ista controversia in corde meo non nisi de me ipso adversus me ipsum. At Alypius affixus lateri meo inusitati motus mei exitum tacitus opperiebatur. But now it spake very faintly. For on that side whither I had set my face, and whither I trembled to go, there appeared unto me the chaste dignity of Continency, serene, yet not relaxedly, gay, honestly alluring me to come and doubt not; and stretching forth to receive and embrace me, her holy hands full of multitudes of good examples: there were so many young men and maidens here, a multitude of youth and every age, grave widows and aged virgins; and Continence herself in all, not barren, but a fruitful mother of children of joys, by Thee her Husband, O Lord. And she smiled on me with a persuasive mockery, as would she say, "Canst not thou what these youths, what these maidens can? or can they either in themselves, and not rather in the Lord their God? The Lord their God gave me unto them. Why standest thou in thyself, and so standest not? cast thyself upon Him, fear not He will not withdraw Himself that thou shouldest fall; cast thyself fearlessly upon Him, He will receive, and will heal thee." And I blushed exceedingly, for that I yet heard the muttering of those toys, and hung in suspense. And she again seemed to say, "Stop thine ears against those thy unclean members on the earth, that they may be mortified. They tell thee of delights, but not as doth the law of the Lord thy God." This controversy in my heart was self against self only. But Alypius sitting close by my side, in silence waited the issue of my unwonted emotion.
8.12.28 Ubi vero a fundo arcano alta consideratio traxit et congessit totam miseriam meam in conspectu cordis mei, oborta est procella ingens ferens ingentem imbrem lacrimarum. Et ut totum effunderem cum vocibus suis, surrexi ab Alypio (solitudo mihi ad negotium flendi aptior suggerebatur) et secessi remotius quam ut posset mihi onerosa esse etiam eius praesentia. Sic tunc eram, et ille sensit: nescio quid enim, puto, dixeram in quo apparebat sonus vocis meae iam fletu gravidus, et sic surrexeram. Mansit ergo ille ubi sedebamus nimie stupens. Ego sub quadam fici arbore stravi me nescio quomodo, et dimisi habenas lacrimis, et proruperunt flumina oculorum meorum, acceptabile sacrificium tuum, et non quidem his verbis, sed in hac sententia multa dixi tibi: 'Et tu, domine, usquequo? Usquequo, domine, irasceris in finem? Ne memor fueris iniquitatum nostrarum antiquarum.' sentiebam enim eis me teneri. Iactabam voces miserabiles: 'Quamdiu, quamdiu, ''Cras et cras''? Quare non modo? Quare non hac hora finis turpitudinis meae?' But when a deep consideration had from the secret bottom of my soul drawn together and heaped up all my misery in the sight of my heart; there arose a mighty storm, bringing a mighty shower of tears. Which that I might pour forth wholly, in its natural expressions, I rose from Alypius: solitude was suggested to me as fitter for the business of weeping; so I retired so far that even his presence could not be a burden to me. Thus was it then with me, and he perceived something of it; for something I suppose I had spoken, wherein the tones of my voice appeared choked with weeping, and so had risen up. He then remained where we were sitting, most extremely astonished. I cast myself down I know not how, under a certain fig-tree, giving full vent to my tears; and the floods of mine eyes gushed out an acceptable sacrifice to Thee. And, not indeed in these words, yet to this purpose, spake I much unto Thee: and Thou, O Lord, how long? how long, Lord, wilt Thou be angry for ever? Remember not our former iniquities, for I felt that I was held by them. I sent up these sorrowful words: How long, how long, "to-morrow, and tomorrow?" Why not now? why not is there this hour an end to my uncleanness?
8.12.29 Dicebam haec et flebam amarissima contritione cordis mei. Et ecce audio vocem de vicina domo cum cantu dicentis et crebro repetentis, quasi pueri an puellae, nescio: 'Tolle lege, tolle lege.' statimque mutato vultu intentissimus cogitare coepi utrumnam solerent pueri in aliquo genere ludendi cantitare tale aliquid. Nec occurrebat omnino audisse me uspiam, repressoque impetu lacrimarum surrexi, nihil aliud interpretans divinitus mihi iuberi nisi ut aperirem codicem et legerem quod primum caput invenissem. Audieram enim de Antonio quod ex evangelica lectione cui forte supervenerat admonitus fuerit, tamquam sibi diceretur quod legebatur: 'Vade, vende omnia quae habes, et da pauperibus et habebis thesaurum in caelis; et veni, sequere me,' et tali oraculo confestim ad te esse conversum. Itaque concitus redii in eum locum ubi sedebat Alypius: ibi enim posueram codicem apostoli cum inde surrexeram. Arripui, aperui, et legi in silentio capitulum quo primum coniecti sunt oculi mei: 'Non in comessationibus et ebrietatibus, non in cubilibus et impudicitiis, non in contentione et aemulatione, sed induite dominum Iesum Christum et carnis providentiam ne feceritis in concupiscentiis.' nec ultra volui legere nec opus erat. Statim quippe cum fine huiusce sententiae quasi luce securitatis infusa cordi meo omnes dubitationis tenebrae diffugerunt. So was I speaking and weeping in the most bitter contrition of my heart, when, lo! I heard from a neighbouring house a voice, as of boy or girl, I know not, chanting, and oft repeating, "Take up and read; Take up and read. " Instantly, my countenance altered, I began to think most intently whether children were wont in any kind of play to sing such words: nor could I remember ever to have heard the like. So checking the torrent of my tears, I arose; interpreting it to be no other than a command from God to open the book, and read the first chapter I should find. For I had heard of Antony, that coming in during the reading of the Gospel, he received the admonition, as if what was being read was spoken to him: Go, sell all that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven, and come and follow me: and by such oracle he was forthwith converted unto Thee. Eagerly then I returned to the place where Alypius was sitting; for there had I laid the volume of the Apostle when I arose thence. I seized, opened, and in silence read that section on which my eyes first fell: Not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying; but put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, in concupiscence. No further would I read; nor needed I: for instantly at the end of this sentence, by a light as it were of serenity infused into my heart, all the darkness of doubt vanished away.
8.12.30 Tum interiecto aut digito aut nescio quo alio signo codicem clausi et tranquillo iam vultu indicavi Alypio. At ille quid in se ageretur (quod ego nesciebam) sic indicavit. Petit videre quid legissem. Ostendi, et attendit etiam ultra quam ego legeram. Et ignorabam quid sequeretur. Sequebatur vero: 'Infirmum autem in fide recipite.' quod ille ad se rettulit mihique aperuit. Sed tali admonitione firmatus est placitoque ac proposito bono et congruentissimo suis moribus, quibus a me in melius iam olim valde longeque distabat, sine ulla turbulenta cunctatione coniunctus est. Inde ad matrem ingredimur, indicamus: gaudet. Narramus quemadmodum gestum sit: exultat et triumphat et benedicebat tibi, qui potens es ultra quam petimus et intellegimus facere, quia tanto amplius sibi a te concessum de me videbat quam petere solebat miserabilibus flebilibusque gemitibus. Convertisti enim me ad te, ut nec uxorem quaererem nec aliquam spem saeculi huius, stans in ea regula fidei in qua me ante tot annos ei revelaveras, et convertisti luctum eius in gaudium multo uberius quam voluerat, et multo carius atque castius quam de nepotibus carnis meae requirebat. Then putting my finger between, or some other mark, I shut the volume, and with a calmed countenance made it known to Alypius. And what was wrought in him, which I knew not, he thus showed me. He asked to see what I had read: I showed him; and he looked even further than I had read, and I knew not what followed. This followed, him that is weak in the faith, receive; which he applied to himself, and disclosed to me. And by this admonition was he strengthened; and by a good resolution and purpose, and most corresponding to his character, wherein he did always very far differ from me, for the better, without any turbulent delay he joined me. Thence we go in to my mother; we tell her; she rejoiceth: we relate in order how it took place; she leaps for joy, and triumpheth, and blesseth Thee, Who are able to do above that which we ask or think; for she perceived that Thou hadst given her more for me, than she was wont to beg by her pitiful and most sorrowful groanings. For thou convertedst me unto Thyself, so that I sought neither wife, nor any hope of this world, standing in that rule of faith, where Thou hadst showed me unto her in a vision, so many years before. And Thou didst convert her mourning into joy, much more plentiful than she had desired, and in a much more precious and purer way than she erst required, by having grandchildren of my body.

Liber nonus

9.1.1 O domine, ego servus tuus, ego servus tuus et filius ancillae tuae: dirupisti vincula mea, tibi sacrificabo hostiam laudis. Laudet te cor meum et lingua mea, et omnia ossa mea dicant, 'Domine, quis similis tibi?' dicant, et responde mihi et dic animae meae, 'Salus tua ego sum.' quis ego et qualis ego? Quid non mali aut facta mea aut, si non facta, dicta mea aut, si non dicta, voluntas mea fuit? Tu autem, domine, bonus et misericors, et dextera tua respiciens profunditatem mortis meae et a fundo cordis mei exhauriens abyssum corruptionis. Et hoc erat totum, nolle quod volebam et velle quod volebas. Sed ubi erat tam annoso tempore et de quo imo altoque secreto evocatum est in momento liberum arbitrium meum, quo subderem cervicem leni iugo tuo et umeros levi sarcinae tuae, Christe Iesu, adiutor meus et redemptor meus? Quam suave mihi subito factum est carere suavitatibus nugarum, et quas amittere metus fuerat iam dimittere gaudium erat. Eiciebas enim eas a me, vera tu et summa suavitas, eiciebas et intrabas pro eis omni voluptate dulcior, sed non carni et sanguini, omni luce clarior, sed omni secreto interior, omni honore sublimior, sed non sublimibus in se. Iam liber erat animus meus a curis mordacibus ambiendi et adquirendi et volutandi atque scalpendi scabiem libidinum, et garriebam tibi, claritati meae et divitiis meis et saluti meae, domino deo meo. O Lord, I am Thy servant; I am Thy servant, and the son of Thy handmaid: Thou hast broken my bonds in sunder. I will offer to Thee the sacrifice of Let my heart and my tongue praise Thee; yea, let all my bones say, O Lord, who is like unto Thee? Let them say, and answer Thou me, and say unto my soul, I am thy salvation. Who am I, and what am I? What evil have not been either my deeds, or if not my deeds, my words, or if not my words, my will? But Thou, O Lord, are good and merciful, and Thy right hand had respect unto the depth of my death, and from the bottom of my heart emptied that abyss of corruption. And this Thy whole gift was, to nill what I willed, and to will what Thou willedst. But where through all those years, and out of what low and deep recess was my free-will called forth in a moment, whereby to submit my neck to Thy easy yoke, and my shoulders unto Thy light burden, O Christ Jesus, my Helper and my Redeemer? How sweet did it at once become to me, to want the sweetnesses of those toys! and what I feared to be parted from, was now a joy to part with. For Thou didst cast them forth from me, Thou true and highest sweetness. Thou castest them forth, and for them enteredst in Thyself, sweeter than all pleasure, though not to flesh and blood; brighter than all light, but more hidden than all depths, higher than all honour, but not to the high in their own conceits. Now was my soul free from the biting cares of canvassing and getting, and weltering in filth, and scratching off the itch of lust. And my infant tongue spake freely to Thee, my brightness, and my riches, and my health, the Lord my God.
9.2.2 Et placuit mihi in conspectu tuo non tumultuose abripere sed leniter subtrahere ministerium linguae meae nundinis loquacitatis, ne ulterius pueri meditantes non legem tuam, non pacem tuam, sed insanias mendaces et bella forensia, mercarentur ex ore meo arma furori suo. Et opportune iam paucissimi dies supererant ad vindemiales ferias, et statui tolerare illos, ut sollemniter abscederem et redemptus a te iam non redirem venalis. Consilium ergo nostrum erat coram te, coram hominibus autem nisi nostris non erat. Et convenerat inter nos ne passim cuiquam effunderetur, quamquam tu nobis a convalle plorationis ascendentibus et cantantibus canticum graduum dederas sagittas acutas et carbones vastatores adversus linguam subdolam, velut consulendo contradicentem et, sicut cibum adsolet, amando consumentem. And I resolved in Thy sight, not tumultuously to tear, but gently to withdraw, the service of my tongue from the marts of lip-labour: that the young, no students in Thy law, nor in Thy peace, but in lying dotages and law-skirmishes, should no longer buy at my mouth arms for their madness. And very seasonably, it now wanted but very few days unto the Vacation of the Vintage, and I resolved to endure them, then in a regular way to take my leave, and having been purchased by Thee, no more to return for sale. Our purpose then was known to Thee; but to men, other than our own friends, was it not known. For we had agreed among ourselves not to let it out abroad to any: although to us, now ascending from the valley of tears, and singing that song of degrees, Thou hadst given sharp arrows, and destroying coals against the subtle tongue, which as though advising for us, would thwart, and would out of love devour us, as it doth its meat.
9.2.3 Sagittaveras tu cor nostrum caritate tua et gestabamus verba tua transfixa visceribus. Et exempla servorum tuorum, quos de nigris lucidos et de mortuis vivos feceras, congesta in sinum cogitationis nostrae urebant et absumebant gravem torporem, ne in ima vergeremus, et accendebant nos valide, ut omnis ex lingua subdola contradictionis flatus inflammare nos acrius posset, non extinguere. Verum tamen quia propter nomen tuum, quod sanctificasti per terras, etiam laudatores utique haberet votum et propositum nostrum, iactantiae simile videbatur non opperiri tam proximum feriarum tempus, sed de publica professione atque ante oculos omnium sita ante discedere, ut conversa in factum meum ora cunctorum, intuentium quam vicinum vindemialium diem praevenire voluerim, multa dicerent, quod quasi appetissem magnus videri. Et quo mihi erat istuc, ut putaretur et disputaretur de animo meo et blasphemaretur bonum nostrum? Thou hadst pierced our hearts with Thy charity, and we carried Thy words as it were fixed in our entrails: and the examples of Thy servants, whom for black Thou hadst made bright, and for dead, alive, being piled together in the receptacle of our thoughts, kindled and burned up that our heavy torpor, that we should not sink down to the abyss; and they fired us so vehemently, that all the blasts of subtle tongues from gainsayers might only inflame us the more fiercely, not extinguish us. Nevertheless, because for Thy Name's sake which Thou hast hallowed throughout the earth, this our vow and purpose might also find some to commend it, it seemed like ostentation not to wait for the vacation now so near, but to quit beforehand a public profession, which was before the eyes of all; so that all looking on this act of mine, and observing how near was the time of vintage which I wished to anticipate, would talk much of me, as if I had desired to appear some great one. And what end had it served me, that people should repute and dispute upon my purpose, and that our good should be evil spoken of.
9.2.4 Quin etiam quod ipsa aestate litterario labori nimio pulmo meus cedere coeperat et difficulter trahere suspiria doloribusque pectoris testari se saucium vocemque clariorem productioremve recusare, primo perturbaverat me quia magisterii illius sarcinam paene iam necessitate deponere cogebat aut, si curari et convalescere potuissem, certe intermittere. Sed ubi plena voluntas vacandi et videndi quoniam tu es dominus oborta mihi est atque firmata (nosti, deus meus), etiam gaudere coepi quod haec quoque suberat non mendax excusatio, quae offensionem hominum temperaret, qui propter liberos suos me liberum esse numquam volebant. Plenus igitur tali gaudio tolerabam illud intervallum temporis donec decurreret (nescio utrum vel viginti dies erant), sed tamen fortiter tolerabantur quia recesserat cupiditas, quae mecum solebat ferre grave negotium, et ego premendus remanseram nisi patientia succederet. Peccasse me in hoc quisquam servorum tuorum, fratrum meorum, dixerit, quod iam pleno corde militia tua passus me fuerim vel una hora sedere in cathedra mendacii, at ego non contendo. Sed tu, domine misericordissime, nonne et hoc peccatum cum ceteris horrendis et funereis in aqua sancta ignovisti et remisisti mihi? Moreover, it had at first troubled me that in this very summer my lungs began to give way, amid too great literary labour, and to breathe deeply with difficulty, and by the pain in my chest to show that they were injured, and to refuse any full or lengthened speaking; this had troubled me, for it almost constrained me of necessity to lay down that burden of teaching, or, if I could be cured and recover, at least to intermit it. But when the full wish for leisure, that I might see how that Thou art the Lord, arose, and was fixed, in me; my God, Thou knowest, I began even to rejoice that I had this secondary, and that no feigned, excuse, which might something moderate the offence taken by those who, for their sons' sake, wished me never to have the freedom of Thy sons. Full then of such joy, I endured till that interval of time were run; it may have been some twenty days, yet they were endured manfully; endured, for the covetousness which aforetime bore a part of this heavy business, had left me, and I remained alone, and had been overwhelmed, had not patience taken its place. Perchance, some of Thy servants, my brethren, may say that I sinned in this, that with a heart fully set on Thy service, I suffered myself to sit even one hour in the chair of lies. Nor would I be contentious. But hast not Thou, O most merciful Lord, pardoned and remitted this sin also, with my other most horrible and deadly sins, in the holy water?
9.3.5 Macerabatur anxitudine Verecundus de isto nostro bono, quod propter vincula sua, quibus tenacissime tenebatur, deseri se nostro consortio videbat. Nondum christianus, coniuge fideli, ea ipsa tamen artiore prae ceteris compede ab itinere quod aggressi eramus retardabatur, nec christianum esse alio modo se velle dicebat quam illo quo non poterat. Benigne sane obtulit ut, quamdiu ibi essemus, in re eius essemus. Retribues illi, domine, in resurrectione iustorum, quia iam ipsam sortem retribuisti ei. Quamvis enim absentibus nobis, cum Romae iam essemus, corporali aegritudine correptus et in ea christianus et fidelis factus ex hac vita emigravit. Ita misertus es non solum eius sed etiam nostri, ne cogitantes egregiam erga nos amici humanitatem nec eum in grege tuo numerantes dolore intolerabili cruciaremur. Gratias tibi, deus noster! tui sumus. Indicant hortationes et consolationes tuae: fidelis promissor reddis Verecundo pro rure illo eius Cassiciaco, ubi ab aestu saeculi requievimus in te, amoenitatem sempiterne virentis paradisi tui, quoniam dimisisti ei peccata super terram in monte incaseato, monte tuo, monte uberi. Verecundus was worn down with care about this our blessedness, for that being held back by bonds, whereby he was most straitly bound, he saw that he should be severed from us. For himself was not yet a Christian, his wife one of the faithful; and yet hereby, more rigidly than by any other chain, was he let and hindered from the journey which we had now essayed. For he would not, he said, be a Christian on any other terms than on those he could not. However, he offered us courteously to remain at his country-house so long as we should stay there. Thou, O Lord, shalt reward him in the resurrection of the just, seeing Thou hast already given him the lot of the righteous. For although, in our absence, being now at Rome, he was seized with bodily sickness, and therein being made a Christian, and one of the faithful, he departed this life; yet hadst Thou mercy not on him only, but on us also: lest remembering the exceeding kindness of our friend towards us, yet unable to number him among Thy flock, we should be agonised with intolerable sorrow. Thanks unto Thee, our God, we are Thine: Thy suggestions and consolations tell us, Faithful in promises, Thou now requitest Verecundus for his country-house of Cassiacum, where from the fever of the world we reposed in Thee, with the eternal freshness of Thy Paradise: for that Thou hast forgiven him his sins upon earth, in that rich mountain, that mountain which yieldeth milk, Thine own mountain.
9.3.6 Angebatur ergo tunc ipse, Nebridius autem conlaetabatur. Quamvis enim et ipse nondum christianus in illam foveam perniciosissimi erroris inciderat ut veritatis filii tui carnem phantasma crederet, tamen inde emergens sic sibi erat, nondum imbutus ullis ecclesiae tuae sacramentis, sed inquisitor ardentissimus veritatis. Quem non multo post conversionem nostram et regenerationem per baptismum tuum ipsum etiam fidelem catholicum, castitate perfecta atque continentia tibi servientem in Africa apud suos, cum tota domus eius per eum christiana facta esset, carne solvisti. Et nunc ille vivit in sinu Abraham. Quidquid illud est quod illo significatur sinu, ibi Nebridius meus vivit, dulcis amicus meus, tuus autem, domine, adoptivus ex liberto filius: ibi vivit. Nam quis alius tali animae locus? Ibi vivit unde me multa interrogabat homuncionem inexpertum. Iam non ponit aurem ad os meum sed spiritale os ad fontem tuum, et bibit quantum potest sapientiam pro aviditate sua sine fine felix. Nec eum sic arbitror inebriari ex ea ut obliviscatur mei, cum tu, domine, quem potat ille, nostri sis memor. Sic ergo eramus, Verecundum consolantes tristem salva amicitia de tali conversione nostra et exhortantes ad fidem gradus sui, vitae scilicet coniugalis, Nebridium autem opperientes, quando sequeretur, quod de tam proximo poterat. Et erat iam iamque facturus, cum ecce evoluti sunt dies illi tandem. Nam longi et multi videbantur prae amore libertatis otiosae ad cantandum de medullis omnibus. Tibi dixit cor meum, 'Quaesivi vultum tuum; vultum tuum, domine, requiram.' He then had at that time sorrow, but Nebridius joy. For although he also, not being yet a Christian, had fallen into the pit of that most pernicious error, believing the flesh of Thy Son to be a phantom: yet emerging thence, he believed as we did; not as yet endued with any Sacraments of Thy Church, but a most ardent searcher out of truth. Whom, not long after our conversion and regeneration by Thy Baptism, being also a faithful member of the Church Catholic, and serving Thee in perfect chastity and continence amongst his people in Africa, his whole house having through him first been made Christian, didst Thou release from the flesh; and now he lives in Abraham's bosom. Whatever that be, which is signified by that bosom, there lives my Nebridius, my sweet friend, and Thy child, O Lord, adopted of a freed man: there he liveth. For what other place is there for such a soul? There he liveth, whereof he asked much of me, a poor inexperienced man. Now lays he not his ear to my mouth, but his spiritual mouth unto Thy fountain, and drinketh as much as he can receive, wisdom in proportion to his thirst, endlessly happy. Nor do I think that he is so inebriated therewith, as to forget me; seeing Thou, Lord, Whom he drinketh, art mindful of us. So were we then, comforting Verecundus, who sorrowed, as far as friendship permitted, that our conversion was of such sort; and exhorting him to become faithful, according to his measure, namely, of a married estate; and awaiting Nebridius to follow us, which, being so near, he was all but doing: and so, lo! those days rolled by at length; for long and many they seemed, for the love I bare to the easeful liberty, that I might sing to Thee, from my inmost marrow, My heart hath said unto Thee, I have sought Thy face: Thy face, Lord, will I seek.
9.4.7 Et venit dies quo etiam actu solverer a professione rhetorica, unde iam cogitatu solutus eram, et factum est. Eruisti linguam meam unde iam erueras cor meum, et benedicebam tibi gaudens, profectus in villam cum meis omnibus. Ibi quid egerim in litteris iam quidem servientibus tibi, sed adhuc superbiae scholam tamquam in pausatione anhelantibus, testantur libri disputati cum praesentibus et cum ipso me solo coram te; quae autem cum absente Nebridio, testantur epistulae. Et quando mihi sufficiat tempus commemorandi omnia magna erga nos beneficia tua in illo tempore, praesertim ad alia maiora properanti? Revocat enim me recordatio mea, et dulce mihi fit, domine, confiteri tibi quibus internis me stimulis perdomueris, et quemadmodum me complanaveris humilitatis montibus et collibus cogitationum mearum et tortuosa mea direxeris et aspera lenieris, quoque modo ipsum etiam Alypium, fratrem cordis mei, subegeris nomini unigeniti tui, domini et salvatoris nostri Iesu Christi, quod primo dedignabatur inseri litteris nostris. Magis enim eas volebat redolere gymnasiorum cedros, quas iam contrivit dominus, quam salubres herbas ecclesiasticas adversas serpentibus. Now was the day come wherein I was in deed to be freed of my Rhetoric Professorship, whereof in thought I was already freed. And it was done. Thou didst rescue my tongue, whence Thou hadst before rescued my heart. And I blessed Thee, rejoicing; retiring with all mine to the villa. What I there did in writing, which was now enlisted in Thy service, though still, in this breathing-time as it were, panting from the school of pride, my books may witness, as well what I debated with others, as what with myself alone, before Thee: what with Nebridius, who was absent, my Epistles bear witness. And when shall I have time to rehearse all Thy great benefits towards us at that time, especially when hasting on to yet greater mercies? For my remembrance recalls me, and pleasant is it to me, O Lord, to confess to Thee, by what inward goads Thou tamedst me; and how Thou hast evened me, lowering the mountains and hills of my high imaginations, straightening my crookedness, and smoothing my rough ways; and how Thou also subduedst the brother of my heart, Alypius, unto the name of Thy Only Begotten, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, which he would not at first vouchsafe to have inserted in our writings. For rather would he have them savour of the lofty cedars of the Schools, which the Lord hath now broken down, than of the wholesome herbs of the Church, the antidote against serpents.
9.4.8 Quas tibi, deus meus, voces dedi, cum legerem psalmos David, cantica fidelia, sonos pietatis excludentes turgidum spiritum, rudis in germano amore tuo, catechumenus in villa cum catechumeno Alypio feriatus, matre adhaerente nobis muliebri habitu, virili fide, anili securitate, materna caritate, christiana pietate! quas tibi voces dabam in psalmis illis, et quomodo in te inflammabar ex eis et accendebar eos recitare, si possem, toto orbi terrarum adversus typhum generis humani! et tamen toto orbe cantantur, et non est qui se abscondat a calore tuo. Quam vehementi et acri dolore indignabar manichaeis et miserabar eos rursus, quod illa sacramenta, illa medicamenta nescirent et insani essent adversus antidotum quo sani esse potuissent! vellem ut alicubi iuxta essent tunc et, me nesciente quod ibi essent, intuerentur faciem meam et audirent voces meas quando legi quartum psalmum in illo tunc otio. Quid de me fecerit ille psalmus ('Cum invocarem, exaudivit me deus iustitiae meae; in tribulatione dilatasti mihi. Miserere mei, domine, et exaudi orationem meam') audirent ignorante me utrum audirent, ne me propter se illa dicere putarent quae inter haec verba dixerim, quia et re vera nec ea dicerem nec sic ea dicerem, si me ab eis audiri viderique sentirem, nec, si dicerem, sic acciperent quomodo mecum et mihi coram te de familiari affectu animi mei. Oh, in what accents spake I unto Thee, my God, when I read the Psalms of David, those faithful songs, and sounds of devotion, which allow of no swelling spirit, as yet a Catechumen, and a novice in Thy real love, resting in that villa, with Alypius a Catechumen, my mother cleaving to us, in female garb with masculine faith, with the tranquillity of age, motherly love, Christian piety! Oh, what accents did I utter unto Thee in those Psalms, and how was I by them kindled towards Thee, and on fire to rehearse them, if possible, through the whole world, against the pride of mankind! And yet they are sung through the whole world, nor can any hide himself from Thy heat. With what vehement and bitter sorrow was I angered at the Manichees! and again I pitied them, for they knew not those Sacraments, those medicines, and were mad against the antidote which might have recovered them of their madness. How I would they had then been somewhere near me, and without my knowing that they were there, could have beheld my countenance, and heard my words, when I read the fourth Psalm in that time of my rest, and how that Psalm wrought upon me: When I called, the God of my righteousness heard me; in tribulation Thou enlargedst me. Have mercy upon me, O Lord, and hear my prayer. Would that what I uttered on these words, they could hear, without my knowing whether they heard, lest they should think I spake it for their sakes! Because in truth neither should I speak the same things, nor in the same way, if I perceived that they heard and saw me; nor if I spake them would they so receive them, as when I spake by and for myself before Thee, out of the natural feelings of my soul.
9.4.9 Inhorrui timendo ibidemque inferbui sperando et exultando in tua misericordia, pater. Et haec omnia exibant per oculos et vocem meam, cum conversus ad nos spiritus tuus bonus ait nobis, 'Filii hominum, quousque graves corde? Ut quid diligitis vanitatem et quaeritis mendacium?' dilexeram enim vanitatem et quaesieram mendacium, et tu, domine, iam magnificaveras sanctum tuum, suscitans eum a mortuis et conlocans ad dexteram tuam, unde mitteret ex alto promissionem suam, paracletum, spiritum veritatis. Et miserat eum iam, sed ego nesciebam. Miserat eum, quia iam magnificatus erat resurgens a mortuis et ascendens in caelum. Ante autem spiritus nondum erat datus, quia Iesus nondum erat clarificatus. Et clamat prophetia, 'Quousque graves corde? Ut quid diligitis vanitatem et quaeritis mendacium? Et scitote quoniam dominus magnificavit sanctum suum.' clamat 'Quousque', clamat 'Scitote', et ego tamdiu nesciens vanitatem dilexi et mendacium quaesivi, et ideo audivi et contremui, quoniam talibus dicitur qualem me fuisse reminiscebar. In phantasmatis enim quae pro veritate tenueram vanitas erat et mendacium. Et insonui multa graviter ac fortiter in dolore recordationis meae. Quae utinam audissent qui adhuc usque diligunt vanitatem et quaerunt mendacium: forte conturbarentur et evomuissent illud, et exaudires eos cum clamarent ad te, quoniam vera morte carnis mortuus est pro nobis qui te interpellat pro nobis. I trembled for fear, and again kindled with hope, and with rejoicing in Thy mercy, O Father; and all issued forth both by mine eyes and voice, when Thy good Spirit turning unto us, said, O ye sons of men, how long slow of heart? why do ye love vanity, and seek after leasing? For I had loved vanity, and sought after leasing. And Thou, O Lord, hadst already magnified Thy Holy One, raising Him from the dead, and setting Him at Thy right hand, whence from on high He should send His promise, the Comforter, the Spirit of truth. And He had already sent Him, but I knew it not; He had sent Him, because He was now magnified, rising again from the dead, and ascending into heaven. For till then, the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. And the prophet cries out, How long, slow of heart? why do ye love vanity, and seek after leasing? Know this, that the Lord hath magnified His Holy One. He cries out, How long? He cries out, Know this: and I so long, not knowing, loved vanity, and sought after leasing: and therefore I heard and trembled, because it was spoken unto such as I remembered myself to have been. For in those phantoms which I had held for truths, was there vanity and leasing; and I spake aloud many things earnestly and forcibly, in the bitterness of my remembrance. Which would they had heard, who yet love vanity and seek after leasing! They would perchance have been troubled, and have vomited it up; and Thou wouldest hear them when they cried unto Thee; for by a true death in the flesh did He die for us, who now intercedeth unto Thee for us.
9.4.10 Legebam, 'Irascimini et nolite peccare,' et quomodo movebar, deus meus, qui iam didiceram irasci mihi de praeteritis, ut de cetero non peccarem, et merito irasci, quia non alia natura gentis tenebrarum de me peccabat, sicut dicunt qui sibi non irascuntur et thesaurizant sibi iram in die irae et revelationis iusti iudicii tui! nec iam bona mea foris erant nec oculis carneis in isto sole quaerebantur. Volentes enim gaudere forinsecus facile vanescunt et effunduntur in ea quae videntur et temporalia sunt, et imagines eorum famelica cogitatione lambiunt. Et o si fatigentur inedia et dicant, 'Quis ostendet nobis bona?' et dicamus, et audiant, 'Signatum est in nobis lumen vultus tui, domine.' non enim lumen nos sumus quod inluminat omnem hominem, sed inluminamur a te ut, qui fuimus aliquando tenebrae, simus lux in te. O si viderent internum aeternum, quod ego quia gustaveram, frendebam, quoniam non eis poteram ostendere, si afferent ad me cor in oculis suis foris a te et dicerent, 'Quis ostendet nobis bona?' ibi enim ubi mihi iratus eram, intus in cubili ubi compunctus eram, ubi sacrificaveram mactans vetustatem meam et inchoata meditatione renovationis meae sperans in te, ibi mihi dulcescere coeperas et dederas laetitiam in corde meo. Et exclamabam legens haec foris et agnoscens intus, nec volebam multiplicari terrenis bonis, devorans tempora et devoratus temporibus, cum haberem in aeterna simplicitate aliud frumentum et vinum et oleum. I further read, Be angry, and sin not. And how was I moved, O my God, who had now learned to be angry at myself for things past, that I might not sin in time to come! Yea, to be justly angry; for that it was not another nature of a people of darkness which sinned for me, as they say who are not angry at themselves, and treasure up wrath against the day of wrath, and of the revelation of Thy just judgment. Nor were my good things now without, nor sought with the eyes of flesh in that earthly sun; for they that would have joy from without soon become vain, and waste themselves on the things seen and temporal, and in their famished thoughts do lick their very shadows. Oh that they were wearied out with their famine, and said, Who will show us good things? And we would say, and they hear, The light of Thy countenance is sealed upon us. For we are not that light which enlighteneth every man, but we are enlightened by Thee; that having been sometimes darkness, we may be light in Thee. Oh that they could see the eternal Internal, which having tasted, I was grieved that I could not show It them, so long as they brought me their heart in their eyes roving abroad from Thee, while they said, Who will show us good things? For there, where I was angry within myself in my chamber, where I was inwardly pricked, where I had sacrificed, slaying my old man and commencing the purpose of a new life, putting my trust in Thee,- there hadst Thou begun to grow sweet unto me, and hadst put gladness in my heart. And I cried out, as I read this outwardly, finding it inwardly. Nor would I be multiplied with worldly goods; wasting away time, and wasted by time; whereas I had in Thy eternal Simple Essence other corn, and wine, and oil.
9.4.11 Et clamabam in consequenti versu clamore alto cordis mei, 'O in pace! o in idipsum!' o quid dixit? 'Obdormiam et somnum capiam!' quoniam quis resistet nobis, cum fiet sermo qui scriptus est, 'Absorpta est mors in victoriam'? Et tu es idipsum valde, qui non mutaris, et in te requies obliviscens laborum omnium, quoniam nullus alius tecum nec ad alia multa adipiscenda quae non sunt quod tu, sed tu, domine, singulariter in spe constituisti me. Legebam et ardebam, nec inveniebam quid facerem surdis mortuis ex quibus fueram, pestis, latrator amarus et caecus adversus litteras de melle caeli melleas et de lumine tuo luminosas, et super inimicis scripturae huius tabescebam. And with a loud cry of my heart I cried out in the next verse, O in peace, O for The Self-same! O what said he, I will lay me down and sleep, for who shall hinder us, when cometh to pass that saying which is written, Death is swallowed up in victory? And Thou surpassingly art the Self-same, Who art not changed; and in Thee is rest which forgetteth all toil, for there is none other with Thee, nor are we to seek those many other things, which are not what Thou art: but Thou, Lord, alone hast made me dwell in hope. I read, and kindled; nor found I what to do to those deaf and dead, of whom myself had been, a pestilent person, a bitter and a blind bawler against those writings, which are honied with the honey of heaven, and lightsome with Thine own light: and I was consumed with zeal at the enemies of this Scripture.
9.4.12 Quando recordabor omnia dierum illorum feriatorum? Sed nec oblitus sum nec silebo flagelli tui asperitatem et misericordiae tuae mirabilem celeritatem. Dolore dentium tunc excruciabas me, et cum in tantum ingravesceret ut non valerem loqui, ascendit in cor meum admonere omnes meos qui aderant ut deprecarentur te pro me, deum salutis omnimodae. Et scripsi hoc in cera et dedi ut eis legeretur. Mox ut genua supplici affectu fiximus, fugit dolor ille. Sed quis dolor? Aut quomodo fugit? Expavi, fateor, domine meus deus meus. Nihil enim tale ab ineunte aetate expertus fueram, et insinuati sunt mihi in profundo nutus tui. Et gaudens in fide laudavi nomen tuum, et ea fides me securum esse non sinebat de praeteritis peccatis meis, quae mihi per baptismum tuum remissa nondum erant. When shall I recall all which passed in those holy-days? Yet neither have I forgotten, nor will I pass over the severity of Thy scourge, and the wonderful swiftness of Thy mercy. Thou didst then torment me with pain in my teeth; which when it had come to such height that I could not speak, it came into my heart to desire all my friends present to pray for me to Thee, the God of all manner of health. And this I wrote on wax, and gave it them to read. Presently so soon as with humble devotion we had bowed our knees, that pain went away. But what pain? or how went it away? I was affrighted, O my Lord, my God; for from infancy I had never experienced the like. And the power of Thy Nod was deeply conveyed to me, and rejoicing in faith, I praised Thy Name. And that faith suffered me not to be at ease about my past sins, which were not yet forgiven me by Thy baptism.
9.5.13 Renuntiavi peractis vindemialibus ut scholasticis suis Mediolanenses venditorem verborum alium providerent, quod et tibi ego servire delegissem et illi professioni prae difficultate spirandi ac dolore pectoris non sufficerem. Et insinuavi per litteras antistiti tuo, viro sancto Ambrosio, pristinos errores meos et praesens votum meum, ut moneret quid mihi potissimum de libris tuis legendum esset, quo percipiendae tantae gratiae paratior aptiorque fierem. At ille iussit Esaiam prophetam, credo, quod prae ceteris evangelii vocationisque gentium sit praenuntiator apertior. Verum tamen ego primam huius lectionem non intellegens totumque talem arbitrans distuli repetendum exercitatior in dominico eloquio. The vintage-vacation ended, I gave notice to the Milanese to provide their scholars with another master to sell words to them; for that I had both made choice to serve Thee, and through my difficulty of breathing and pain in my chest was not equal to the Professorship. And by letters I signified to Thy Prelate, the holy man Ambrose, my former errors and present desires, begging his advice what of Thy Scriptures I had best read, to become readier and fitter for receiving so great grace. He recommended Isaiah the Prophet: I believe, because he above the rest is a more clear foreshower of the Gospel and of the calling of the Gentiles. But I, not understanding the first lesson in him, and imagining the whole to be like it, laid it by, to be resumed when better practised in our Lord's own words.
9.6.14 Inde ubi tempus advenit quo me nomen dare oporteret, relicto rure Mediolanium remeavimus. Placuit et Alypio renasci in te mecum iam induto humilitate sacramentis tuis congrua et fortissimo domitori corporis, usque ad Italicum solum glaciale nudo pede obterendum insolito ausu. Adiunximus etiam nobis puerum Adeodatum ex me natum carnaliter de peccato meo. Tu bene feceras eum. Annorum erat ferme quindecim et ingenio praeveniebat multos graves et doctos viros. Munera tua tibi confiteor, domine deus meus, creator omnium et multum potens formare nostra deformia, nam ego in illo puero praeter delictum non habebam. Quod enim et nutriebatur a nobis in disciplina tua, tu inspiraveras nobis, nullus alius. Munera tua tibi confiteor. Est liber noster qui inscribitur 'De magistro': ipse ibi mecum loquitur. Tu scis illius esse sensa omnia quae inseruntur ibi ex persona conlocutoris mei, cum esset in annis sedecim. Multa eius alias mirabiliora expertus sum: horrori mihi erat illud ingenium. Et quis praeter te talium miraculorum opifex? Cito de terra abstulisti vitam eius, et securior eum recordor non timens quicquam pueritiae nec adulescentiae nec omnino homini illi. Sociavimus eum coaevum nobis in gratia tua, educandum in disciplina tua. Et baptizati sumus et fugit a nobis sollicitudo vitae praeteritae. Nec satiabar illis diebus dulcedine mirabili considerare altitudinem consilii tui super salutem generis humani. Quantum flevi in hymnis et canticis tuis, suave sonantis ecclesiae tuae vocibus commotus acriter! voces illae influebant auribus meis, et eliquabatur veritas in cor meum, et exaestuabat inde affectus pietatis, et currebant lacrimae, et bene mihi erat cum eis. Thence, when the time was come wherein I was to give in my name, we left the country and returned to Milan. It pleased Alypius also to be with me born again in Thee, being already clothed with the humility befitting Thy Sacraments; and a most valiant tamer of the body, so as, with unwonted venture, to wear the frozen ground of Italy with his bare feet. We joined with us the boy Adeodatus, born after the flesh, of my sin. Excellently hadst Thou made him. He was not quite fifteen, and in wit surpassed many grave and learned men. I confess unto Thee Thy gifts, O Lord my God, Creator of all, and abundantly able to reform our deformities: for I had no part in that boy, but the sin. For that we brought him up in Thy discipline, it was Thou, none else, had inspired us with it. I confess unto Thee Thy gifts. There is a book of ours entitled The Master; it is a dialogue between him and me. Thou knowest that all there ascribed to the person conversing with me were his ideas, in his sixteenth year. Much besides, and yet more admirable, I found in him. That talent struck awe into me. And who but Thou could be the workmaster of such wonders? Soon didst Thou take his life from the earth: and I now remember him without anxiety, fearing nothing for his childhood or youth, or his whole self. Him we joined with us, our contemporary in grace, to he brought up in Thy discipline: and we were baptised, and anxiety for our past life vanished from us. Nor was I sated in those days with the wondrous sweetness of considering the depth of Thy counsels concerning the salvation of mankind. How did I weep, in Thy Hymns and Canticles, touched to the quick by the voices of Thy sweet-attuned Church! The voices flowed into mine ears, and the Truth distilled into my heart, whence the affections of my devotion overflowed, and tears ran down, and happy was I therein.
9.7.15 Non longe coeperat Mediolanensis ecclesia genus hoc consolationis et exhortationis celebrare magno studio fratrum concinentium vocibus et cordibus. Nimirum annus erat aut non multo amplius, cum Iustina, Valentiniani regis pueri mater, hominem tuum Ambrosium persequeretur haeresis suae causa, qua fuerat seducta ab arrianis. Excubabat pia plebs in ecclesia, mori parata cum episcopo suo, servo tuo. Ibi mea mater, ancilla tua, sollicitudinis et vigiliarum primas tenens, orationibus vivebat. Nos adhuc frigidi a calore spiritus tui excitabamur tamen civitate attonita atque turbata. Tunc hymni et psalmi ut canerentur secundum morem orientalium partium, ne populus maeroris taedio contabesceret, institutum est, ex illo in hodiernum retentum multis iam ac paene omnibus gregibus tuis et per cetera orbis imitantibus. Not long had the Church of Milan begun to use this kind of consolation and exhortation, the brethren zealously joining with harmony of voice and hearts. For it was a year, or not much more, that Justina, mother to the Emperor Valentinian, a child, persecuted Thy servant Ambrose, in favour of her heresy, to which she was seduced by the Arians. The devout people kept watch in the Church, ready to die with their Bishop Thy servant. There my mother Thy handmaid, bearing a chief part of those anxieties and watchings, lived for prayer. We, yet unwarmed by the heat of Thy Spirit, still were stirred up by the sight of the amazed and disquieted city. Then it was first instituted that after the manner of the Eastern Churches, Hymns and Psalms should be sung, lest the people should wax faint through the tediousness of sorrow: and from that day to this the custom is retained, divers (yea, almost all) Thy congregations, throughout other parts of the world following herein.
9.7.16 Tunc memorato antistiti tuo per visum aperuisti quo loco laterent martyrum corpora Protasii et Gervasii, quae per tot annos incorrupta in thesauro secreti tui reconderas, unde opportune promeres ad cohercendam rabiem femineam sed regiam. Cum enim propalata et effossa digno cum honore transferrentur ad ambrosianam basilicam, non solum quos immundi vexabant spiritus confessis eisdem daemonibus sanabantur, verum etiam quidam plures annos caecus civis civitatique notissimus, cum populi tumultuante laetitia causam quaesisset atque audisset, exilivit eoque se ut duceret suum ducem rogavit, quo perductus impetravit admitti ut sudario tangeret feretrum pretiosae in conspectu tuo mortis sanctorum tuorum; quod ubi fecit atque admovit oculis, confestim aperti sunt. Inde fama discurrens, inde laudes tuae ferventes, lucentes, inde illius inimicae animus etsi ad credendi sanitatem non applicatus, a persequendi tamen furore compressus est. Gratias tibi, deus meus! unde et quo duxisti recordationem meam, ut haec etiam confiterer tibi, quae magna oblitus praeterieram? Et tamen tunc, cum ita fragraret odor unguentorum tuorum, non currebamus post te. Ideo plus flebam inter cantica hymnorum tuorum, olim suspirans tibi et tandem respirans, quantum patet aura in domo faenea. Then didst Thou by a vision discover to Thy forenamed Bishop where the bodies of Gervasius and Protasius the martyrs lay hid (whom Thou hadst in Thy secret treasury stored uncorrupted so many years), whence Thou mightest seasonably produce them to repress the fury of a woman, but an Empress. For when they were discovered and dug up, and with due honour translated to the Ambrosian Basilica, not only they who were vexed with unclean spirits (the devils confessing themselves) were cured, but a certain man who had for many years been blind, a citizen, and well known to the city, asking and hearing the reason of the people's confused joy, sprang forth desiring his guide to lead him thither. Led thither, he begged to be allowed to touch with his handkerchief the bier of Thy saints, whose death is precious in Thy sight. Which when he had done, and put to his eyes, they were forthwith opened. Thence did the fame spread, thence Thy praises glowed, shone; thence the mind of that enemy, though not turned to the soundness of believing, was yet turned back from her fury of persecuting. Thanks to Thee, O my God. Whence and whither hast Thou thus led my remembrance, that I should confess these things also unto Thee? which great though they be, I had passed by in forgetfulness. And yet then, when the odour of Thy ointments was so fragrant, did we not run after Thee. Therefore did I more weep among the singing of Thy Hymns, formerly sighing after Thee, and at length breathing in Thee, as far as the breath may enter into this our house of grass.
9.8.17 Qui habitare facis unanimes in domo, consociasti nobis et Evodium iuvenem ex nostro municipio. Qui cum agens in rebus militaret, prior nobis ad te conversus est et baptizatus et relicta militia saeculari accinctus in tua. Simul eramus, simul habitaturi placito sancto. Quaerebamus quisnam locus nos utilius haberet servientes tibi; pariter remeabamus in Africam. Et cum apud Ostia Tiberina essemus, mater defuncta est. Multa praetereo, quia multum festino: accipe confessiones meas et gratiarum actiones, deus meus, de rebus innumerabilibus etiam in silentio. Sed non praeteribo quidquid mihi anima parturit de illa famula tua, quae me parturivit et carne, ut in hanc temporalem, et corde, ut in aeternam lucem nascerer. Non eius sed tua dicam dona in eam, neque enim se ipsa fecerat aut educaverat se ipsam. Tu creasti eam (nec pater nec mater sciebat qualis ex eis fieret) et erudivit eam in timore tuo virga Christi tui, regimen unici tui, in domo fideli, bono membro ecclesiae tuae. Nec tantam erga suam disciplinam diligentiam matris praedicabat quantam famulae cuiusdam decrepitae, quae patrem eius infantem portaverat, sicut dorso grandiuscularum puellarum parvuli portari solent. Cuius rei gratia et propter senectam ac mores optimos in domo christiana satis a dominis honorabatur. Unde etiam curam dominicarum filiarum commissam diligenter gerebat et erat in eis cohercendis, cum opus esset, sancta severitate vehemens atque in docendis sobria prudentia. Nam eas, praeter illas horas quibus ad mensam parentum moderatissime alebantur, etiamsi exardescerent siti, nec aquam bibere sinebat, praecavens consuetudinem malam et addens verbum sanum: 'Modo aquam bibitis, quia in potestate vinum non habetis; cum autem ad maritos veneritis factae dominae apothecarum et cellariorum, aqua sordebit, sed mos potandi praevalebit.' hac ratione praecipiendi et auctoritate imperandi frenabat aviditatem tenerioris aetatis et ipsam puellarum sitim formabat ad honestum modum, ut iam nec liberet quod non deceret. Thou that makest men to dwell of one mind in one house, didst join with us Euodius also, a young man of our own city. Who being an officer of Court, was before us converted to Thee and baptised: and quitting his secular warfare, girded himself to Thine. We were together, about to dwell together in our devout purpose. We sought where we might serve Thee most usefully, and were together returning to Africa: whitherward being as far as Ostia, my mother departed this life. Much I omit, as hastening much. Receive my confessions and thanksgivings, O my God, for innumerable things whereof I am silent. But I will not omit whatsoever my soul would bring forth concerning that Thy handmaid, who brought me forth, both in the flesh, that I might be born to this temporal light, and in heart, that I might be born to Light eternal. Not her gifts, but Thine in her, would I speak of; for neither did she make nor educate herself. Thou createdst her; nor did her father and mother know what a one should come from them. And the sceptre of Thy Christ, the discipline of Thine only Son, in a Christian house, a good member of Thy Church, educated her in Thy fear. Yet for her good discipline was she wont to commend not so much her mother's diligence, as that of a certain decrepit maid-servant, who had carried her father when a child, as little ones used to be carried at the backs of elder girls. For which reason, and for her great age, and excellent conversation, was she, in that Christian family, well respected by its heads. Whence also the charge of her master's daughters was entrusted to her, to which she gave diligent heed, restraining them earnestly, when necessary, with a holy severity, and teaching them with a grave discretion. For, except at those hours wherein they were most temporately fed at their parents' table, she would not suffer them, though parched with thirst, to drink even water; preventing an evil custom, and adding this wholesome advice: "Ye drink water now, because you have not wine in your power; but when you come to be married, and be made mistresses of cellars and cupboards, you will scorn water, but the custom of drinking will abide." By this method of instruction, and the authority she had, she refrained the greediness of childhood, and moulded their very thirst to such an excellent moderation that what they should not, that they would not.
9.8.18 Et subrepserat tamen, sicut mihi filio famula tua narrabat, subrepserat ei vinulentia. Nam cum de more tamquam puella sobria iuberetur a parentibus de cupa vinum depromere, submisso poculo qua desuper patet, priusquam in lagunculam funderet merum, primoribus labris sorbebat exiguum, quia non poterat amplius sensu recusante. Non enim ulla temulenta cupidine faciebat hoc, sed quibusdam superfluentibus aetatis excessibus, qui ludicris motibus ebulliunt et in puerilibus animis maiorum pondere premi solent. Itaque ad illud modicum cotidiana modica addendo (quoniam qui modica spernit, paulatim decidit) in eam consuetudinem lapsa erat ut prope iam plenos mero caliculos inhianter hauriret. Ubi tunc sagax anus et vehemens illa prohibitio? Numquid valebat aliquid adversus latentem morbum, nisi tua medicina, domine, vigilaret super nos? Absente patre et matre et nutritoribus tu praesens, qui creasti, qui vocas, qui etiam per praepositos homines boni aliquid agis ad animarum salutem. Quid tunc egisti, deus meus? Unde curasti? Unde sanasti? Nonne protulisti durum et acutum ex altera anima convicium tamquam medicinale ferrum ex occultis provisionibus tuis et uno ictu putredinem illam praecidisti? Ancilla enim, cum qua solebat accedere ad cupam, litigans cum domina minore, ut fit, sola cum sola, obiecit hoc crimen amarissima insultatione vocans 'Meribibulam'. Quo illa stimulo percussa respexit foeditatem suam confestimque damnavit atque exuit. Sicut amici adulantes pervertunt, sic inimici litigantes plerumque corrigunt. Nec tu quod per eos agis, sed quod ipsi voluerunt, retribuis eis. Illa enim irata exagitare appetivit minorem dominam, non sanare, et ideo clanculo, aut quia ita eas invenerat locus et tempus litis, aut ne forte et ipsa periclitaretur, quod tam sero prodidisset. At tu, domine, rector caelitum et terrenorum, ad usus tuos contorquens profunda torrentis, fluxum saeculorum ordinate turbulentum, etiam de alterius animae insania sanasti alteram, ne quisquam cum hoc advertit, potentiae suae tribuat, si verbo eius alius corrigatur quem vult corrigi. And yet (as Thy handmaid told me her son) there had crept upon her a love of wine. For when (as the manner was) she, as though a sober maiden, was bidden by her parents to draw wine out of the hogshed, holding the vessel under the opening, before she poured the wine into the flagon, she sipped a little with the tip of her lips; for more her instinctive feelings refused. For this she did, not out of any desire of drink, but out of the exuberance of youth, whereby it boils over in mirthful freaks, which in youthful spirits are wont to be kept under by the gravity of their elders. And thus by adding to that little, daily littles (for whoso despiseth little things shall fall by little and little), she had fallen into such a habit as greedily to drink off her little cup brim-full almost of wine. Where was then that discreet old woman, and that her earnest countermanding? Would aught avail against a secret disease, if Thy healing hand, O Lord, watched not over us? Father, mother, and governors absent, Thou present, who createdst, who callest, who also by those set over us, workest something towards the salvation of our souls, what didst Thou then, O my God? how didst Thou cure her? how heal her? didst Thou not out of another soul bring forth a hard and a sharp taunt, like a lancet out of Thy secret store, and with one touch remove all that foul stuff? For a maid-servant with whom she used to go to the cellar, falling to words (as it happens) with her little mistress, when alone with her, taunted her with this fault, with most bitter insult, calling her wine-bibber. With which taunt she, stung to the quick, saw the foulness of her fault, and instantly condemned and forsook it. As flattering friends pervert, so reproachful enemies mostly correct. Yet not what by them Thou doest, but what themselves purposed, dost Thou repay them. For she in her anger sought to vex her young mistress, not to amend her; and did it in private, either for that the time and place of the quarrel so found them; or lest herself also should have anger, for discovering it thus late. But Thou, Lord, Governor of all in heaven and earth, who turnest to Thy purposes the deepest currents, and the ruled turbulence of the tide of times, didst by the very unhealthiness of one soul heal another; lest any, when he observes this, should ascribe it to his own power, even when another, whom he wished to be reformed, is reformed through words of his.
9.9.19 Educata itaque pudice ac sobrie potiusque a te subdita parentibus quam a parentibus tibi, ubi plenis annis nubilis facta est, tradita viro servivit veluti domino et sategit eum lucrari tibi, loquens te illi moribus suis, quibus eam pulchram faciebas et reverenter amabilem atque mirabilem viro. Ita autem toleravit cubilis iniurias ut nullam de hac re cum marito haberet umquam simultatem. Expectabat enim misericordiam tuam super eum, ut in te credens castificaretur. Erat vero ille praeterea sicut benivolentia praecipuus, ita ira fervidus. Sed noverat haec non resistere irato viro, non tantum facto sed ne verbo quidem. Iam vero refractum et quietum cum opportunum viderat, rationem facti sui reddebat, si forte ille inconsideratius commotus fuerat. Denique cum matronae multae, quarum viri mansuetiores erant, plagarum vestigia etiam dehonestata facie gererent, inter amica conloquia illae arguebant maritorum vitam, haec earum linguam, veluti per iocum graviter admonens, ex quo illas tabulas quae matrimoniales vocantur recitari audissent, tamquam instrumenta quibus ancillae factae essent deputare debuisse; proinde memores condicionis superbire adversus dominos non oportere. Cumque mirarentur illae, scientes quam ferocem coniugem sustineret, numquam fuisse auditum aut aliquo indicio claruisse quod Patricius ceciderit uxorem aut quod a se invicem vel unum diem domestica lite dissenserint, et causam familiariter quaererent, docebat illa institutum suum, quod supra memoravi. Quae observabant, expertae gratulabantur; quae non observabant, subiectae vexabantur. Brought up thus modestly and soberly, and made subject rather by Thee to her parents, than by her parents to Thee, so soon as she was of marriageable age, being bestowed upon a husband, she served him as her lord; and did her diligence to win him unto Thee, preaching Thee unto him by her conversation; by which Thou ornamentedst her, making her reverently amiable, and admirable unto her husband. And she so endured the wronging of her bed as never to have any quarrel with her husband thereon. For she looked for Thy mercy upon him, that believing in Thee, he might be made chaste. But besides this, he was fervid, as in his affections, so in anger: but she had learnt not to resist an angry husband, not in deed only, but not even in word. Only when he was smoothed and tranquil, and in a temper to receive it, she would give an account of her actions, if haply he had overhastily taken offence. In a word, while many matrons, who had milder husbands, yet bore even in their faces marks of shame, would in familiar talk blame their husbands' lives, she would blame their tongues, giving them, as in jest, earnest advice: "That from the time they heard the marriage writings read to them, they should account them as indentures, whereby they were made servants; and so, remembering their condition, ought not to set themselves up against their lords." And when they, knowing what a choleric husband she endured, marvelled that it had never been heard, nor by any token perceived, that Patricius had beaten his wife, or that there had been any domestic difference between them, even for one day, and confidentially asking the reason, she taught them her practice above mentioned. Those wives who observed it found the good, and returned thanks; those who observed it not, found no relief, and suffered.
9.9.20 Socrum etiam suam primo susurris malarum ancillarum adversus se inritatam sic vicit obsequiis, perseverans tolerantia et mansuetudine, ut illa ultro filio suo medias linguas famularum proderet, quibus inter se et nurum pax domestica turbabatur, expeteretque vindictam. Itaque posteaquam ille et matri obtemperans et curans familiae disciplinam et concordiae suorum consulens proditas ad prodentis arbitrium verberibus cohercuit, promisit illa talia de se praemia sperare debere, quaecumque de sua nuru sibi, quo placeret, mali aliquid loqueretur, nullaque iam audente memorabili inter se benivolentiae suavitate vixerunt. Her mother-in-law also, at first by whisperings of evil servants incensed against her, she so overcame by observance and persevering endurance and meekness, that she of her own accord discovered to her son the meddling tongues whereby the domestic peace betwixt her and her daughter-in-law had been disturbed, asking him to correct them. Then, when in compliance with his mother, and for the well-ordering of the family, he had with stripes corrected those discovered, at her will who had discovered them, she promised the like reward to any who, to please her, should speak ill of her daughter-in-law to her: and none now venturing, they lived together with a remarkable sweetness of mutual kindness.
9.9.21 Hoc quoque illi bono mancipio tuo, in cuius utero me creasti, deus meus, misericordia mea, munus grande donaveras, quod inter dissidentesque atque discordes quaslibet animas, ubi poterat, tam se praebebat pacificam ut cum ab utraque multa de invicem audiret amarissima, qualia solet eructare turgens atque indigesta discordia, quando praesenti amicae de absente inimica per acida conloquia cruditas exhalatur odiorum, nihil tamen alteri de altera proderet nisi quod ad eas reconciliandas valeret. Parvum hoc bonum mihi videretur, nisi turbas innumerabiles tristis experirer (nescio qua horrenda pestilentia peccatorum latissime pervagante) non solum iratorum inimicorum iratis inimicis dicta prodere, sed etiam quae non dicta sunt addere, cum contra homini humano parum esse debeat inimicitias hominum nec excitare nec augere male loquendo, nisi eas etiam extinguere bene loquendo studuerit: qualis illa erat docente te magistro intimo in schola pectoris. This great gift also thou bestowedst, O my God, my mercy, upon that good handmaid of Thine, in whose womb Thou createdst me, that between any disagreeing and discordant parties where she was able, she showed herself such a peacemaker, that hearing on both sides most bitter things, such as swelling and indigested choler uses to break out into, when the crudities of enmities are breathed out in sour discourses to a present friend against an absent enemy, she never would disclose aught of the one unto the other, but what might tend to their reconcilement. A small good this might appear to me, did I not to my grief know numberless persons, who through some horrible and wide-spreading contagion of sin, not only disclose to persons mutually angered things said in anger, but add withal things never spoken, whereas to humane humanity, it ought to seem a light thing not to toment or increase ill will by ill words, unless one study withal by good words to quench it. Such was she, Thyself, her most inward Instructor, teaching her in the school of the heart.
9.9.22 Denique etiam virum suum iam in extrema vita temporali eius lucrata est tibi, nec in eo iam fideli planxit quod in nondum fideli toleraverat: erat etiam serva servorum tuorum. Quisquis eorum noverat eam, multum in ea laudabat et honorabat et diligebat te, quia sentiebat praesentiam tuam in corde eius sanctae conversationis fructibus testibus. Fuerat enim unius viri uxor, mutuam vicem parentibus reddiderat, domum suam pie tractaverat, in operibus bonis testimonium habebat. Nutrierat filios, totiens eos parturiens quotiens abs te deviare cernebat. Postremo nobis, domine, omnibus, quia ex munere tuo sinis loqui, servis tuis, qui ante dormitionem eius in te iam consociati vivebamus percepta gratia baptismi tui, ita curam gessit quasi omnes genuisset, ita servivit quasi ab omnibus genita fuisset. Finally, her own husband, towards the very end of his earthly life, did she gain unto Thee; nor had she to complain of that in him as a believer, which before he was a believer she had borne from him. She was also the servant of Thy servants; whosoever of them knew her, did in her much praise and honour and love Thee; for that through the witness of the fruits of a holy conversation they perceived Thy presence in her heart. For she had been the wife of one man, had requited her parents, had govemed her house piously, was well reported of for good works, had brought up children, so often travailing in birth of them, as she saw them swerving from Thee. Lastly, of all of us Thy servants, O Lord (whom on occasion of Thy own gift Thou sufferest to speak), us, who before her sleeping in Thee lived united together, having received the grace of Thy baptism, did she so take care of, as though she had been mother of us all; so served us, as though she had been child to us all.
9.10.23 Impendente autem die quo ex hac vita erat exitura (quem diem tu noveras ignorantibus nobis), provenerat, ut credo, procurante te occultis tuis modis, ut ego et ipsa soli staremus, incumbentes ad quandam fenestram unde hortus intra domum quae nos habebat prospectabatur, illic apud Ostia Tiberina, ubi remoti a turbis post longi itineris laborem instaurabamus nos navigationi. Conloquebamur ergo soli valde dulciter et, praeterita obliviscentes in ea quae ante sunt extenti, quaerebamus inter nos apud praesentem veritatem, quod tu es, qualis futura esset vita aeterna sanctorum, quam nec oculus vidit nec auris audivit nec in cor hominis ascendit. Sed inhiabamus ore cordis in superna fluenta fontis tui, fontis vitae, qui est apud te, ut inde pro captu nostro aspersi quoquo modo rem tantam cogitaremus. The day now approaching whereon she was to depart this life (which day Thou well knewest, we knew not), it came to pass, Thyself, as I believe, by Thy secret ways so ordering it, that she and I stood alone, leaning in a certain window, which looked into the garden of the house where we now lay, at Ostia; where removed from the din of men, we were recruiting from the fatigues of a long journey, for the voyage. We were discoursing then together, alone, very sweetly; and forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, we were enquiring between ourselves in the presence of the Truth, which Thou art, of what sort the eternal life of the saints was to be, which eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor hath it entered into the heart of man. But yet we gasped with the mouth of our heart, after those heavenly streams of Thy fountain, the fountain of life, which is with Thee; that being bedewed thence according to our capacity, we might in some sort meditate upon so high a mystery.
9.10.24 Cumque ad eum finem sermo perduceretur, ut carnalium sensuum delectatio quantalibet, in quantalibet luce corporea, prae illius vitae iucunditate non comparatione sed ne commemoratione quidem digna videretur, erigentes nos ardentiore affectu in idipsum, perambulavimus gradatim cuncta corporalia et ipsum caelum, unde sol et luna et stellae lucent super terram. Et adhuc ascendebamus interius cogitando et loquendo et mirando opera tua. Et venimus in mentes nostras et transcendimus eas, ut attingeremus regionem ubertatis indeficientis, ubi pascis Israhel in aeternum veritate pabulo, et ibi vita sapientia est, per quam fiunt omnia ista, et quae fuerunt et quae futura sunt, et ipsa non fit, sed sic est ut fuit, et sic erit semper. Quin potius fuisse et futurum esse non est in ea, sed esse solum, quoniam aeterna est: nam fuisse et futurum esse non est aeternum. Et dum loquimur et inhiamus illi, attingimus eam modice toto ictu cordis. Et suspiravimus et reliquimus ibi religatas primitias spiritus et remeavimus ad strepitum oris nostri, ubi verbum et incipitur et finitur. Et quid simile verbo tuo, domino nostro, in se permanenti sine vetustate atque innovanti omnia? And when our discourse was brought to that point, that the very highest delight of the earthly senses, in the very purest material light, was, in respect of the sweetness of that life, not only not worthy of comparison, but not even of mention; we raising up ourselves with a more glowing affection towards the "Self-same," did by degrees pass through all things bodily, even the very heaven whence sun and moon and stars shine upon the earth; yea, we were soaring higher yet, by inward musing, and discourse, and admiring of Thy works; and we came to our own minds, and went beyond them, that we might arrive at that region of never-failing plenty, where Thou feedest Israel for ever with the food of truth, and where life is the Wisdom by whom all these things are made, and what have been, and what shall be, and she is not made, but is, as she hath been, and so shall she be ever; yea rather, to "have been," and "hereafter to be," 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 discoursing and panting after her, we slightly touched on her with the whole effort of our heart; and we sighed, and there we leave bound the first fruits of the Spirit; and returned to vocal expressions of our mouth, where the word spoken has beginning and end. And what is like unto Thy Word, our Lord, who endureth in Himself without becoming old, and maketh all things new?
9.10.25 Dicebamus ergo, 'Si cui sileat tumultus carnis, sileant phantasiae terrae et aquarum et aeris, sileant et poli, et ipsa sibi anima sileat et transeat se non se cogitando, sileant somnia et imaginariae revelationes, omnis lingua et omne signum, et quidquid transeundo fit si cui sileat omnino (quoniam si quis audiat, dicunt haec omnia, ''Non ipsa nos fecimus, sed fecit nos qui manet in aeternum''), his dictis si iam taceant, quoniam erexerunt aurem in eum qui fecit ea, et loquatur ipse solus non per ea sed per se ipsum, ut audiamus verbum eius, non per linguam carnis neque per vocem angeli nec per sonitum nubis nec per aenigma similitudinis, sed ipsum quem in his amamus, ipsum sine his audiamus (sicut nunc extendimus nos et rapida cogitatione attingimus aeternam sapientiam super omnia manentem), si continuetur hoc et subtrahantur aliae visiones longe imparis generis et haec una rapiat et absorbeat et recondat in interiora gaudia spectatorem suum, ut talis sit sempiterna vita quale fuit hoc momentum intellegentiae cui suspiravimus, nonne hoc est: ''Intra in gaudium domini tui''? Et istud quando? An cum omnes resurgimus, sed non omnes immutabimur?' We were saying then: If to any the tumult of the flesh were hushed, hushed the images of earth, and waters, and air, hushed also the pole of heaven, yea the very soul be hushed to herself, and by not thinking on self surmount self, hushed all dreams and imaginary revelations, every tongue and every sign, and whatsoever exists only in transition, since if any could hear, all these say, We made not ourselves, but He made us that abideth for ever- If then having uttered this, they too should be hushed, having roused only our ears to Him who made them, and He alone speak, not by them but by Himself, that we may hear His Word, not through any tongue of flesh, nor Angel's voice, nor sound of thunder, nor in the dark riddle of a similitude, but might hear Whom in these things we love, might hear His Very Self without these (as we two now strained ourselves, and in swift thought touched on that Eternal Wisdom which abideth over all); -could this be continued on, and other visions of kind far unlike be withdrawn, and this one ravish, and absorb, and wrap up its beholder amid these inward joys, so that life might be for ever like that one moment of understanding which now we sighed after; were not this, Enter into thy Master's joy? And when shall that be? When we shall all rise again, though we shall not all be changed?
9.10.26 Dicebam talia, etsi non isto modo et his verbis, tamen, domine, tu scis, quod illo die, cum talia loqueremur et mundus iste nobis inter verba vilesceret cum omnibus delectationibus suis, tunc ait illa, 'Fili, quantum ad me attinet, nulla re iam delector in hac vita. Quid hic faciam adhuc et cur hic sim, nescio, iam consumpta spe huius saeculi. Unum erat propter quod in hac vita aliquantum immorari cupiebam, ut te christianum catholicum viderem priusquam morerer. Cumulatius hoc mihi deus meus praestitit, ut te etiam contempta felicitate terrena servum eius videam. Quid hic facio?' Such things was I speaking, and even if not in this very manner, and these same words, yet, Lord, Thou knowest that in that day when we were speaking of these things, and this world with all its delights became, as we spake, contemptible to us, my mother said, "Son, for mine own part I have no further delight in any thing in this life. What I do here any longer, and to what I am here, I know not, now that my hopes in this world are accomplished. One thing there was for which I desired to linger for a while in this life, that I might see thee a Catholic Christian before I died. My God hath done this for me more abundantly, that I should now see thee withal, despising earthly happiness, become His servant: what do I here?"
9.11.27 Ad haec ei quid responderim non satis recolo, cum interea vix intra quinque dies aut non multo amplius decubuit febribus. Et cum aegrotaret, quodam die defectum animae passa est et paululum subtracta a praesentibus. Nos concurrimus, sed cito reddita est sensui et aspexit astantes me et fratrem meum, et ait nobis quasi quaerenti similis, 'Ubi eram?' deinde nos intuens maerore attonitos: 'Ponitis hic' inquit 'Matrem vestram.' ego silebam et fletum frenabam, frater autem meus quiddam locutus est, quo eam non in peregre, sed in patria defungi tamquam felicius optaret. Quo audito illa vultu anxio reverberans eum oculis, quod talia saperet, atque inde me intuens: 'Vide' ait 'Quid dicit.' et mox ambobus: 'Ponite' inquit 'Hoc corpus ubicumque. Nihil vos eius cura conturbet. Tantum illud vos rogo, ut ad domini altare memineritis mei, ubiubi fueritis.' cumque hanc sententiam verbis quibus poterat explicasset, conticuit et ingravescente morbo exercebatur. What answer I made her unto these things, I remember not. For scarce five days after, or not much more, she fell sick of a fever; and in that sickness one day she fell into a swoon, and was for a while withdrawn from these visible things. We hastened round her; but she was soon brought back to her senses; and looking on me and my brother standing by her, said to us enquiringly, "Where was I?" And then looking fixedly on us, with grief amazed: "Here," saith she, "shall you bury your mother." I held my peace and refrained weeping; but my brother spake something, wishing for her, as the happier lot, that she might die, not in a strange place, but in her own land. Whereat, she with anxious look, checking him with her eyes, for that he still savoured such things, and then looking upon me: "Behold," saith she, "what he saith": and soon after to us both, "Lay," she saith, "this body any where; let not the care for that any way disquiet you: this only I request, that you would remember me at the Lord's altar, wherever you be." And having delivered this sentiment in what words she could, she held her peace, being exercised by her growing sickness.
9.11.28 Ego vero cogitans dona tua, deus invisibilis, quae immittis in corda fidelium tuorum, et proveniunt inde fruges admirabiles, gaudebam et gratias tibi agebam, recolens quod noveram, quanta cura semper aestuasset de sepulchro quod sibi providerat et praeparaverat iuxta corpus viri sui. Quia enim valde concorditer vixerant, id etiam volebat, ut est animus humanus minus capax divinorum, adiungi ad illam felicitatem et commemorari ab hominibus, concessum sibi esse post transmarinam peregrinationem ut coniuncta terra amborum coniugum terra tegeretur. Quando autem ista inanitas plenitudine bonitatis tuae coeperat in eius corde non esse, nesciebam et laetabar, admirans quod sic mihi apparuisset (quamquam et in illo sermone nostro ad fenestram, cum dixit, 'Iam quid hic facio?', non apparuit desiderare in patria mori). Audivi etiam postea quod iam cum Ostiis essemus cum quibusdam amicis meis materna fiducia conloquebatur quodam die de contemptu vitae huius et bono mortis, ubi ipse non aderam, illisque stupentibus virtutem feminae (quoniam tu dederas ei) quaerentibusque utrum non formidaret tam longe a sua civitate corpus relinquere, 'Nihil' inquit 'Longe est deo, neque timendum est, ne ille non agnoscat in fine saeculi unde me resuscitet.' ergo die nono aegritudinis suae, quinquagesimo et sexto anno aetatis suae, tricesimo et tertio aetatis meae, anima illa religiosa et pia corpore soluta est. But I, considering Thy gifts, Thou unseen God, which Thou instillest into the hearts of Thy faithful ones, whence wondrous fruits do spring, did rejoice and give thanks to Thee, recalling what I before knew, how careful and anxious she had ever been as to her place of burial, which she had provided and prepared for herself by the body of her husband. For because they had lived in great harmony together, she also wished (so little can the human mind embrace things divine) to have this addition to that happiness, and to have it remembered among men, that after her pilgrimage beyond the seas, what was earthly of this united pair had been permitted to be united beneath the same earth. But when this emptiness had through the fulness of Thy goodness begun to cease in her heart, I knew not, and rejoiced admiring what she had so disclosed to me; though indeed in that our discourse also in the window, when she said, "What do I here any longer?" there appeared no desire of dying in her own country. I heard afterwards also, that when we were now at Ostia, she with a mother's confidence, when I was absent, one day discoursed with certain of my friends about the contempt of this life, and the blessing of death: and when they were amazed at such courage which Thou hadst given to a woman, and asked, "Whether she were not afraid to leave her body so far from her own city?" she replied, "Nothing is far to God; nor was it to be feared lest at the end of the world, He should not recognise whence He were to raise me up." On the ninth day then of her sickness, and the fifty-sixth year of her age, and the three-and-thirtieth of mine, was that religious and holy soul freed from the body.
9.12.29 Premebam oculos eius, et confluebat in praecordia mea maestitudo ingens et transfluebat in lacrimas, ibidemque oculi mei violento animi imperio resorbebant fontem suum usque ad siccitatem, et in tali luctamine valde male mihi erat. Tum vero ubi efflavit extremum, puer Adeodatus exclamavit in planctu atque ab omnibus nobis cohercitus tacuit. Hoc modo etiam meum quiddam puerile, quod labebatur in fletus, iuvenali voce cordis cohercebatur et tacebat. Neque enim decere arbitrabamur funus illud questibus lacrimosis gemitibusque celebrare, quia his plerumque solet deplorari quaedam miseria morientium aut quasi omnimoda extinctio. At illa nec misere moriebatur nec omnino moriebatur. Hoc et documentis morum eius et fide non ficta rationibusque certis tenebamus. I closed her eyes; and there flowed withal a mighty sorrow into my heart, which was overflowing into tears; mine eyes at the same time, by the violent command of my mind, drank up their fountain wholly dry; and woe was me in such a strife! But when she breathed her last, the boy Adeodatus burst out into a loud lament; then, checked by us all, held his peace. In like manner also a childish feeling in me, which was, through my heart's youthful voice, finding its vent in weeping, was checked and silenced. For we thought it not fitting to solemnise that funeral with tearful lament, and groanings; for thereby do they for the most part express grief for the departed, as though unhappy, or altogether dead; whereas she was neither unhappy in her death, nor altogether dead. Of this we were assured on good grounds, the testimony of her good conversation and her faith unfeigned.
9.12.30 Quid erat ergo quod intus mihi graviter dolebat, nisi ex consuetudine simul vivendi, dulcissima et carissima, repente dirupta vulnus recens? Gratulabar quidem testimonio eius, quod in ea ipsa ultima aegritudine obsequiis meis interblandiens appellabat me pium et commemorabat grandi dilectionis affectu numquam se audisse ex ore meo iaculatum in se durum aut contumeliosum sonum. Sed tamen quid tale, deus meus, qui fecisti nos, quid comparabile habebat honor a me delatus illi et servitus ab illa mihi? Quoniam itaque deserebar tam magno eius solacio, sauciabatur anima et quasi dilaniabatur vita, quae una facta erat ex mea et illius. What then was it which did grievously pain me within, but a fresh wound wrought through the sudden wrench of that most sweet and dear custom of living together? I joyed indeed in her testimony, when, in that her last sickness, mingling her endearments with my acts of duty, she called me "dutiful," and mentioned, with great affection of love, that she never had heard any harsh or reproachful sound uttered by my mouth against her. But yet, O my God, Who madest us, what comparison is there betwixt that honour that I paid to her, and her slavery for me? Being then forsaken of so great comfort in her, my soul was wounded, and that life rent asunder as it were, which, of hers and mine together, had been made but one.
9.12.31 Cohibito ergo a fletu illo puero, psalterium arripuit Evodius et cantare coepit psalmum. Cui respondebamus omnis domus: 'Misericordiam et iudicium cantabo tibi, domine.' audito autem quid ageretur, convenerunt multi fratres ac religiosae feminae et, de more illis quorum officium erat funus curantibus, ego in parte, ubi decenter poteram, cum eis qui me non deserendum esse censebant, quod erat tempori congruum disputabam eoque fomento veritatis mitigabam cruciatum tibi notum, illis ignorantibus et intente audientibus et sine sensu doloris me esse arbitrantibus. At ego in auribus tuis, ubi eorum nullus audiebat, increpabam mollitiam affectus mei et constringebam fluxum maeroris, cedebatque mihi paululum. Rursusque impetu suo ferebatur non usque ad eruptionem lacrimarum nec usque ad vultus mutationem, sed ego sciebam quid corde premerem. Et quia mihi vehementer displicebat tantum in me posse haec humana, quae ordine debito et sorte conditionis nostrae accidere necesse est, alio dolore dolebam dolorem et duplici tristitia macerabar. The boy then being stilled from weeping, Euodius took up the Psalter, and began to sing, our whole house answering him, the Psalm, I will sing of mercy and judgments to Thee, O Lord. But hearing what we were doing, many brethren and religious women came together; and whilst they (whose office it was) made ready for the burial, as the manner is, I (in a part of the house, where I might properly), together with those who thought not fit to leave me, discoursed upon something fitting the time; and by this balm of truth assuaged that torment, known to Thee, they unknowing and listening intently, and conceiving me to be without all sense of sorrow. But in Thy ears, where none of them heard, I blamed the weakness of my feelings, and refrained my flood of grief, which gave way a little unto me; but again came, as with a tide, yet not so as to burst out into tears, nor to change of countenance; still I knew what I was keeping down in my heart. And being very much displeased that these human things had such power over me, which in the due order and appointment of our natural condition must needs come to pass, with a new grief I grieved for my grief, and was thus worn by a double sorrow.
9.12.32 Cum ecce corpus elatum est, imus, redimus sine lacrimis. Nam neque in eis precibus quas tibi fudimus, cum offerretur pro ea sacrificium pretii nostri iam iuxta sepulchrum, posito cadavere priusquam deponeretur, sicut illic fieri solet, nec in eis ergo precibus flevi, sed toto die graviter in occulto maestus eram et mente turbata rogabam te, ut poteram, quo sanares dolorem meum, nec faciebas, credo commendans memoriae meae vel hoc uno documento omnis consuetudinis vinculum etiam adversus mentem, quae iam non fallaci verbo pascitur. Visum etiam mihi est ut irem lavatum, quod audieram inde balneis nomen inditum quia graeci balanion dixerint, quod anxietatem pellat ex animo. Ecce et hoc confiteor misericordiae tuae, pater orphanorum, quoniam lavi et talis eram qualis priusquam lavissem, neque enim exudavit de corde meo maeroris amaritudo. Deinde dormivi et evigilavi, et non parva ex parte mitigatum inveni dolorem meum atque, ut eram in lecto meo solus, recordatus sum veridicos versus Ambrosii tui. Tu es enim, And behold, the corpse was carried to the burial; we went and returned without tears. For neither in those prayers which we poured forth unto Thee, when the Sacrifice of our ransom was offered for her, when now the corpse was by the grave's side, as the manner there is, previous to its being laid therein, did I weep even during those prayers; yet was I the whole day in secret heavily sad, and with troubled mind prayed Thee, as I could, to heal my sorrow, yet Thou didst not; impressing, I believe, upon my memory by this one instance, how strong is the bond of all habit, even upon a soul, which now feeds upon no deceiving Word. It seemed also good to me to go and bathe, having heard that the bath had its name (balneum) from the Greek Balaneion for that it drives sadness from the mind. And this also I confess unto Thy mercy, Father of the fatherless, that I bathed, and was the same as before I bathed. For the bitterness of sorrow could not exude out of my heart. Then I slept, and woke up again, and found my grief not a little softened; and as I was alone in my bed, I remembered those true verses of Thy Ambrose. For Thou art the
deus, creator omnium"


"polique rector vestiens"

"diem decoro lumine,"

"noctem sopora gratia,"

"artus solutos ut quies"

"reddat laboris usui"

"mentesque fessas allevet"

"luctuque solvat anxios."

"
"Maker of all, the Lord, And Ruler of the height, Who, robing day in light, hast poured Soft slumbers o'er the night, That to our limbs the power Of toil may be renew'd, And hearts be rais'd that sink and cower, And sorrows be subdu'd."
9.12.33 Atque inde paulatim reducebam in pristinum sensum ancillam tuam conversationemque eius piam in te et sancte in nos blandam atque morigeram, qua subito destitutus sum, et libuit flere in conspectu tuo de illa et pro illa, de me et pro me. Et dimisi lacrimas quas continebam, ut effluerent quantum vellent, substernens eas cordi meo. Et requievit in eis, quoniam ibi erant aures tuae, non cuiusquam hominis superbe interpretantis ploratum meum. Et nunc, domine, confiteor tibi in litteris: legat qui volet, et interpretetur ut volet, et si peccatum invenerit, flevisse me matrem exigua parte horae, matrem oculis meis interim mortuam quae me multos annos fleverat ut oculis tuis viverem, non inrideat sed potius, si est grandi caritate, pro peccatis meis fleat ipse ad te, patrem omnium fratrum Christi tui. And then by little and little I recovered my former thoughts of Thy handmaid, her holy conversation towards Thee, her holy tenderness and observance towards us, whereof I was suddenly deprived: and I was minded to weep in Thy sight, for her and for myself, in her behalf and in my own. And I gave way to the tears which I before restrained, to overflow as much as they desired; reposing my heart upon them; and it found rest in them, for it was in Thy ears, not in those of man, who would have scornfully interpreted my weeping. And now, Lord, in writing I confess it unto Thee. Read it, who will, and interpret it, how he will: and if he finds sin therein, that I wept my mother for a small portion of an hour (the mother who for the time was dead to mine eyes, who had for many years wept for me that I might live in Thine eyes), let him not deride me; but rather, if he be one of large charity, let him weep himself for my sins unto Thee, the Father of all the brethren of Thy Christ.
9.13.34 Ego autem, iam sanato corde ab illo vulnere in quo poterat redargui carnalis affectus, fundo tibi, deus noster, pro illa famula tua longe aliud lacrimarum genus, quod manat de concusso spiritu consideratione periculorum omnis animae quae in Adam moritur. Quamquam illa in Christo vivificata etiam nondum a carne resoluta sic vixerit, ut laudetur nomen tuum in fide moribusque eius, non tamen audeo dicere, ex quo eam per baptismum regenerasti, nullum verbum exisse ab ore eius contra praeceptum tuum. Et dictum est a veritate filio tuo, 'Si quis dixerit fratri suo, ''Fatue'', reus erit gehennae ignis'; et vae etiam laudabili vitae hominum, si remota misericordia discutias eam! quia vero non exquiris delicta vehementer, fiducialiter speramus aliquem apud te locum. Quisquis autem tibi enumerat vera merita sua, quid tibi enumerat nisi munera tua? O si cognoscant se homines homines, et qui gloriatur, in domino glorietur! But now, with a heart cured of that wound, wherein it might seem blameworthy for an earthly feeling, I pour out unto Thee, our God, in behalf of that Thy handmaid, a far different kind of tears, flowing from a spirit shaken by the thoughts of the dangers of every soul that dieth in Adam. And although she having been quickened in Christ, even before her release from the flesh, had lived to the praise of Thy name for her faith and conversation; yet dare I not say that from what time Thou regeneratedst her by baptism, no word issued from her mouth against Thy Commandment. Thy Son, the Truth, hath said, Whosoever shall say unto his brother, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. And woe be even unto the commendable life of men, if, laying aside mercy, Thou shouldest examine it. But because Thou art not extreme in enquiring after sins, we confidently hope to find some place with Thee. But whosoever reckons up his real merits to Thee, what reckons he up to Thee but Thine own gifts? O that men would know themselves to be men; and that he that glorieth would glory in the Lord.
9.13.35 Ego itaque, laus mea et vita mea, deus cordis mei, sepositis paulisper bonis eius actibus, pro quibus tibi gaudens gratias ago, nunc pro peccatis matris meae deprecor te. Exaudi me per medicinam vulnerum nostrorum, quae pependit in ligno et sedens ad dexteram tuam te interpellat pro nobis. Scio misericorditer operatam et ex corde dimisisse debita debitoribus suis. Dimitte illi et tu debita sua, si qua etiam contraxit per tot annos post aquam salutis. Dimitte, domine, dimitte, obsecro, ne intres cum ea in iudicium. Superexultet misericordia iudicio, quoniam eloquia tua vera sunt et promisisti misericordiam misericordibus. Quod ut essent tu dedisti eis, qui misereberis cui misertus eris, et misericordiam praestabis cui misericors fueris. I therefore, O my Praise and my Life, God of my heart, laying aside for a while her good deeds, for which I give thanks to Thee with joy, do now beseech Thee for the sins of my mother. Hearken unto me, I entreat Thee, by the Medicine of our wounds, Who hung upon the tree, and now sitting at Thy right hand maketh intercession to Thee for us. I know that she dealt mercifully, and from her heart forgave her debtors their debts; do Thou also forgive her debts, whatever she may have contracted in so many years, since the water of salvation. Forgive her, Lord, forgive, I beseech Thee; enter not into judgment with her. Let Thy mercy be exalted above Thy justice, since 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.
9.13.36 Et credo, iam feceris quod te rogo, sed voluntaria oris mei approba, domine. Namque illa imminente die resolutionis suae non cogitavit suum corpus sumptuose contegi aut condiri aromatis aut monumentum electum concupivit aut curavit sepulchrum patrium. Non ista mandavit nobis, sed tantummodo memoriam sui ad altare tuum fieri desideravit, cui nullius diei praetermissione servierat, unde sciret dispensari victimam sanctam qua deletum est chirographum quod erat contrarium nobis, qua triumphatus est hostis computans delicta nostra et quaerens quid obiciat, et nihil inveniens in illo, in quo vincimus. Quis ei refundet innocentem sanguinem? Quis ei restituet pretium quo nos emit, ut nos auferat ei? Ad cuius pretii nostri sacramentum ligavit ancilla tua animam suam vinculo fidei. Nemo a protectione tua dirumpat eam; non se interponat nec vi nec insidiis leo et draco. Neque enim respondebit illa nihil se debere, ne convincatur et obtineatur ab accusatore callido, sed respondebit dimissa debita sua ab eo cui nemo reddet, quod pro nobis non debens reddidit. And, I believe, Thou hast already done what I ask; but accept, O Lord, the free-will offerings of my mouth. For she, the day of her dissolution now at hand, took no thought to have her body sumptuously wound up, or embalmed with spices; nor desired she a choice monument, or to be buried in her own land. These things she enjoined us not; but desired only to have her name commemorated at Thy Altar, which she had served without intermission of one day: whence she knew the holy Sacrifice to be dispensed, by which the hand-writing that was against us is blotted out; through which the enemy was triumphed over, who summing up our offences, and seeking what to lay to our charge, found nothing in Him, in Whom we conquer. Who shall restore to Him the innocent blood? Who repay Him the price wherewith He bought us, and so take us from Him? Unto the Sacrament of which our ransom, Thy handmaid bound her soul by the bond of faith. Let none sever her from Thy protection: let neither the lion nor the dragon interpose himself by force or fraud. For she will not answer that she owes nothing, lest she be convicted and seized by the crafty accuser: but she will answer that her sins are forgiven her by Him, to Whom none can repay that price which He, Who owed nothing, paid for us.
9.13.37 Sit ergo in pace cum viro, ante quem nulli et post quem nulli nupta est, cui servivit fructum tibi afferens cum tolerantia, ut eum quoque lucraretur tibi. Et inspira, domine meus, deus meus, inspira servis tuis, fratribus meis, filiis tuis, dominis meis, quibus et corde et voce et litteris servio, ut quotquot haec legerint, meminerint ad altare tuum Monnicae, famulae tuae, cum Patricio, quondam eius coniuge, per quorum carnem introduxisti me in hanc vitam, quemadmodum nescio. Meminerint cum affectu pio parentum meorum in hac luce transitoria, et fratrum meorum sub te patre in matre catholica, et civium meorum in aeterna Hierusalem, cui suspirat peregrinatio populi tui ab exitu usque ad reditum, ut quod a me illa poposcit extremum uberius ei praestetur in multorum orationibus per confessiones quam per orationes meas. May she rest then in peace with the husband before and after whom she had never any; whom she obeyed, with patience bringing forth fruit unto Thee, that she might win him also unto Thee. And inspire, O Lord my God, inspire Thy servants my brethren, Thy sons my masters, whom with voice, and heart, and pen I serve, that so many as shall read these Confessions, may at Thy Altar remember Monnica Thy handmaid, with Patricius, her sometimes husband, by whose bodies Thou broughtest me into this life, how I know not. May they with devout affection remember my parents in this transitory light, my brethren under Thee our Father in our Catholic Mother, and my fellow-citizens in that eternal Jerusalem which Thy pilgrim people sigheth after from their Exodus, even unto their return thither. That so my mother's last request of me, may through my confessions, more than through my prayers, be, through the prayers of many, more abundantly fulfilled to her.

Liber decimus

10.1.1 Cognoscam te, cognitor meus, cognoscam sicut et cognitus sum. Virtus animae meae, intra in eam et coapta tibi, ut habeas et possideas sine macula et ruga. Haec est mea spes: ideo loquor et in ea spe gaudeo, quando sanum gaudeo. Cetera vero vitae huius tanto minus flenda quanto magis fletur, et tanto magis flenda quanto minus fletur in eis. Ecce enim veritatem dilexisti, quoniam qui facit eam venit ad lucem. Volo eam facere in corde meo coram te in confessione, in stilo autem meo coram multis testibus. Let me know Thee, O Lord, who knowest me: let me know Thee, as I am known. Power of my soul, enter into it, and fit it for Thee, that Thou mayest have and hold it without spot or wrinkle. This is my hope, therefore do I speak; and in this hope do I rejoice, when I rejoice healthfully. Other things of this life are the less to be sorrowed for, the more they are sorrowed for; and the more to be sorrowed for, the less men sorrow for them. For behold, Thou lovest the truth, and he that doth it, cometh to the light. This would I do in my heart before Thee in confession: and in my writing, before many witnesses.
10.2.2 Et tibi quidem, domine, cuius oculis nuda est abyssus humanae conscientiae, quid occultum esset in me, etiamsi nollem confiteri tibi? Te enim mihi absconderem, non me tibi. Nunc autem quod gemitus meus testis est displicere me mihi, tu refulges et places et amaris et desideraris, ut erubescam de me et abiciam me atque eligam te et nec tibi nec mihi placeam nisi de te. Tibi ergo, domine, manifestus sum, quicumque sim. Et quo fructu tibi confitear, dixi, neque id ago verbis carnis et vocibus, sed verbis animae et clamore cogitationis, quem novit auris tua. Cum enim malus sum, nihil est aliud confiteri tibi quam displicere mihi; cum vero pius, nihil est aliud confiteri tibi quam hoc non tribuere mihi, quoniam tu, domine, benedicis iustum, sed prius eum iustificas impium. Confessio itaque mea, deus meus, in conspectu tuo tibi tacite fit et non tacite: tacet enim strepitu, clamat affectu. Neque enim dico recti aliquid hominibus quod non a me tu prius audieris, aut etiam tu aliquid tale audis a me quod non mihi tu prius dixeris. And from Thee, O Lord, unto whose eyes the abyss of man's conscience is naked, what could be hidden in me though I would not confess it? For I should hide Thee from me, not me from Thee. But now, for that my groaning is witness, that I am displeased with myself, Thou shinest out, and art pleasing, and beloved, and longed for; that I may be ashamed of myself, and renounce myself, and choose Thee, and neither please Thee nor myself, but in Thee. To Thee therefore, O Lord, am I open, whatever I am; and with what fruit I confess unto Thee, I have said. Nor do I it with words and sounds of the flesh, but with the words of my soul, and the cry of the thought which Thy ear knoweth. For when I am evil, then to confess to Thee is nothing else than to be displeased with myself; but when holy, nothing else than not to ascribe it to myself: because Thou, O Lord, blessest the godly, but first Thou justifieth him when ungodly. My confession then, O my God, in Thy sight, is made silently, and not silently. For in sound, it is silent; in affection, it cries aloud. For neither do I utter any thing right unto men, which Thou hast not before heard from me; nor dost Thou hear any such thing from me, which Thou hast not first said unto me.
10.3.3 Quid mihi ergo est cum hominibus, ut audiant confessiones meas, quasi ipsi sanaturi sint omnes languores meos? Curiosum genus ad cognoscendam vitam alienam, desidiosum ad corrigendam suam. Quid a me quaerunt audire qui sim, qui nolunt a te audire qui sint? Et unde sciunt, cum a me ipso de me ipso audiunt, an verum dicam, quandoquidem nemo scit hominum quid agatur in homine, nisi spiritus hominis qui in ipso est? Si autem a te audiant de se ipsis, non poterunt dicere, 'Mentitur dominus.' quid est enim a te audire de se nisi cognoscere se? Quis porro cognoscit et dicit, 'Falsum est,' nisi ipse mentiatur? Sed quia caritas omnia credit, inter eos utique quos conexos sibimet unum facit, ego quoque, domine, etiam sic tibi confiteor ut audiant homines, quibus demonstrare non possum an vera confitear. Sed credunt mihi quorum mihi aures caritas aperit. What then have I to do with men, that they should hear my confessions- as if they could heal all my infirmities- a race, curious to know the lives of others, slothful to amend their own? Why seek they to hear from me what I am; who will not hear from Thee what themselves are? And how know they, when from myself they hear of myself, whether I say true; seeing no man knows what is in man, but the spirit of man which is in him? But if they hear from Thee of themselves, they cannot say, "The Lord lieth." For what is it to hear from Thee of themselves, but to know themselves? and who knoweth and saith, "It is false," unless himself lieth? But because charity believeth all things (that is, among those whom knitting unto itself it maketh one), I also, O Lord, will in such wise confess unto Thee, that men may hear, to whom I cannot demonstrate whether I confess truly; yet they believe me, whose ears charity openeth unto me.
10.3.4 Verum tamen tu, medice meus intime, quo fructu ista faciam, eliqua mihi. Nam confessiones praeteritorum malorum meorum, quae remisisti et texisti ut beares me in te, mutans animam meam fide et sacramento tuo, cum leguntur et audiuntur, excitant cor ne dormiat in desperatione et dicat, 'Non possum,' sed evigilet in amore misericordiae tuae et dulcedine gratiae tuae, qua potens est omnis infirmus qui sibi per ipsam fit conscius infirmitatis suae. Et delectat bonos audire praeterita mala eorum qui iam carent eis, nec ideo delectat quia mala sunt, sed quia fuerunt et non sunt. Quo itaque fructu, domine meus, cui cotidie confitetur conscientia mea, spe misericordiae tuae securior quam innocentia sua, quo fructu, quaeso, etiam hominibus coram te confiteor per has litteras adhuc quis ego sim, non quis fuerim? Nam illum fructum vidi et commemoravi. Sed quis adhuc sim, ecce in ipso tempore confessionum mearum, et multi hoc nosse cupiunt qui me noverunt et non me noverunt, qui ex me vel de me aliquid audierunt, sed auris eorum non est ad cor meum, ubi ego sum quicumque sum. Volunt ergo audire confitente me quid ipse intus sim, quo nec oculum nec aurem nec mentem possunt intendere; credituri tamen volunt, numquid cognituri? Dicit enim eis caritas, qua boni sunt, non mentiri me de me confitentem, et ipsa in eis credit mihi. But do Thou, my inmost Physician, make plain unto 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 bless me in Thee, changing my soul by Faith and Thy Sacrament, when read and heard, stir up the heart, that it sleep not in despair and say "I cannot," but awake in the love of Thy mercy and the sweetness of Thy grace, whereby whoso is weak, is strong, when by it he became conscious of his own weakness. And the good delight to hear of the past evils of such as are now freed from them, not because they are evils, but because they have been and are not. With what fruit then, O Lord my God, to Whom my conscience daily confesseth, trusting more in the hope of Thy mercy than in her own innocency, with what fruit, I pray, do I by this book confess to men also in Thy presence what I now am, not what I have been? For that other fruit I have seen and spoken of. But what I now am, at the very time of making these confessions, divers desire to know, who have or have not known me, who have heard from me or of me; but their ear is not at my heart where I am, whatever I am. They wish then to hear me confess what I am within; whither neither their eye, nor ear, nor understanding can reach; they wish it, as ready to believe- but will they know? For charity, whereby they are good, telleth them that in my confessions I lie not; and she in them, believeth me.
10.4.5 Sed quo fructu id volunt? An congratulari mihi cupiunt, cum audierint quantum ad te accedam munere tuo, et orare pro me, cum audierint quantum retarder pondere meo? Indicabo me talibus. Non enim parvus est fructus, domine deus meus, ut a multis tibi gratiae agantur de nobis et a multis rogeris pro nobis. Amet in me fraternus animus quod amandum doces, et doleat in me quod dolendum doces. Animus ille hoc faciat fraternus, non extraneus, non filiorum alienorum quorum os locutum est vanitatem et dextera eorum dextera iniquitatis, sed fraternus ille, qui cum approbat me, gaudet de me, cum autem improbat me, contristatur pro me, quia sive approbet sive improbet me, diligit me. Indicabo me talibus. Respirent in bonis meis, suspirent in malis meis. Bona mea instituta tua sunt et dona tua, mala mea delicta mea sunt et iudicia tua. Respirent in illis et suspirent in his, et hymnus et fletus ascendant in conspectum tuum de fraternis cordibus, turibulis tuis. Tu autem, domine, delectatus odore sancti templi tui, miserere mei secundum magnam misericordiam tuam propter nomen tuum et nequaquam deserens coepta tua consumma imperfecta mea. But for what fruit would they hear this? Do they desire to joy with me, when they hear how near, by Thy gift, I approach unto Thee? and to pray for me, when they shall hear how much I am held back by my own weight? To such will I discover myself For it is no mean fruit, O Lord my God, that by many thanks should be given to Thee on our behalf, and Thou be by many entreated for us. Let the brotherly mind love in me what Thou teachest is to be loved, and lament in me what Thou teachest is to be lamented. Let a brotherly, not a stranger, mind, not that of the strange children, whose mouth talketh of vanity, and their right hand is a right hand of iniquity, but that brotherly mind which when it approveth, rejoiceth for me, and when it disapproveth me, is sorry for me; because whether it approveth or disapproveth, it loveth me. To such will I discover myself: they will breathe freely at my good deeds, sigh for my ill. My good deeds are Thine appointments, and Thy gifts; my evil ones are my offences, and Thy judgments. Let them breathe freely at the one, sigh at the other; and let hymns and weeping go up into Thy sight, out of the hearts of my brethren, Thy censers. And do Thou, O Lord, he pleased with the incense of Thy holy temple, have mercy upon me according to Thy great mercy for Thine own name's sake; and no ways forsaking what Thou hast begun, perfect my imperfections.
10.4.6 Hic est fructus confessionum mearum, non qualis fuerim sed qualis sim, ut hoc confitear non tantum coram te, secreta exultatione cum tremore et secreto maerore cum spe, sed etiam in auribus credentium filiorum hominum, sociorum gaudii mei et consortium mortalitatis meae, civium meorum et mecum peregrinorum, praecedentium et consequentium et comitum vitae meae. Hi sunt servi tui, fratres mei, quos filios tuos esse voluisti dominos meos, quibus iussisti ut serviam, si volo tecum de te vivere. Et hoc mihi verbum tuum parum erat si loquendo praeciperet, nisi et faciendo praeiret. Et ego id ago factis et dictis, id ago sub alis tuis nimis cum ingenti periculo, nisi quia sub alis tuis tibi subdita est anima mea et infirmitas mea tibi nota est. Parvulus sum, sed vivit semper pater meus et idoneus est mihi tutor meus. Idem ipse est enim qui genuit me et tuetur me, et tu ipse es omnia bona mea, tu omnipotens, qui mecum es et priusquam tecum sim. Indicabo ergo talibus qualibus iubes ut serviam, non quis fuerim, sed quis iam sim et quis adhuc sim; sed neque me ipsum diiudico. Sic itaque audiar. This is the fruit of my confessions of what I am, not of what I have been, to 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, sharers of my joy, and partners in my mortality, my fellow-citizens, and fellow-pilgrims, who are gone before, or are to follow on, companions of my way. These are Thy servants, my brethren, whom Thou willest to be Thy sons; my masters, whom Thou commandest me to serve, if I would live with Thee, of Thee. But this Thy Word were little did it only command by speaking, and not go before in performing. This then I do in deed and word, this I do under Thy wings; in over great peril, were not my soul subdued unto Thee under Thy wings, and my infirmity known unto Thee. I am a little one, but my Father ever liveth, and my Guardian is sufficient for me. For He is the same who begat me, and defends me: and Thou Thyself art all my good; Thou, Almighty, Who are with me, yea, before I am with Thee. To such then whom Thou commandest me to serve will I discover, not what I have been, but what I now am and what I yet am. But neither do I judge myself. Thus therefore I would be heard.
10.5.7 Tu enim, domine, diiudicas me, quia etsi nemo scit hominum quae sunt hominis, nisi spiritus hominis qui in ipso est, tamen est aliquid hominis quod nec ipse scit spiritus hominis qui in ipso est. Tu autem, domine, scis eius omnia, quia fecisti eum. Ego vero quamvis prae tuo conspectu me despiciam et aestimem me terram et cinerem, tamen aliquid de te scio quod de me nescio. Et certe videmus nunc per speculum in aenigmate, nondum facie ad faciem. Et ideo, quamdiu peregrinor abs te, mihi sum praesentior quam tibi et tamen te novi nullo modo posse violari; ego vero quibus temptationibus resistere valem quibusve non valeam, nescio. Et spes est, quia fidelis es, qui nos non sinis temptari supra quam possumus ferre, sed facis cum temptatione etiam exitum, ut possimus sustinere. Confitear ergo quid de me sciam, confitear et quid de me nesciam, quoniam et quod de me scio, te mihi lucente scio, et quod de me nescio, tamdiu nescio, donec fiant tenebrae meae sicut meridies in vultu tuo. For Thou, Lord, dost judge me: because, although no man knoweth the things of a man, but the spirit of a man which is in him, yet is there something of man, which neither the spirit of man that is in him, itself knoweth. But Thou, Lord, knowest all of him, Who hast made him. Yet I, though in Thy sight I despise myself, and account myself dust and ashes; yet know I something of Thee, which I know not of myself. And truly, now we see through a glass darkly, not face to face as yet. So long therefore as I be absent from Thee, I am more present with myself than with Thee; and yet know I Thee that Thou art in no ways passible; but I, what temptations I can resist, what I cannot, I know not. And 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 will confess then what I know of myself, I will confess also what I know not of myself. And that because what I do know of myself, I know by Thy shining upon me; and what I know not of myself, so long know I not it, until my darkness be made as the noon-day in Thy countenance.
10.6.8 Non dubia sed certa conscientia, domine, amo te: percussisti cor meum verbo tuo, et amavi te. Sed et caelum et terra et omnia quae in eis sunt, ecce undique mihi dicunt ut te amem, nec cessant dicere omnibus, ut sint inexcusabiles. Altius autem tu misereberis cui misertus eris, et misericordiam praestabis cui misericors fueris: alioquin caelum et terra surdis loquuntur laudes tuas. Quid autem amo, cum te amo? Non speciem corporis nec decus temporis, non candorem lucis, ecce istis amicum oculis, non dulces melodias cantilenarum omnimodarum, non florum et unguentorum et aromatum suaviolentiam, non manna et mella, non membra acceptabilia carnis amplexibus: non haec amo, cum amo deum meum, et tamen amo quandam lucem et quandam vocem et quendam odorem et quendam cibum et quendam amplexum, cum amo deum meum, lucem, vocem, odorem, cibum, amplexum interioris hominis mei, ubi fulget animae meae quod non capit locus, et ubi sonat quod non rapit tempus, et ubi olet quod non spargit flatus, et ubi sapit quod non minuit edacitas, et ubi haeret quod non divellit satietas. Hoc est quod amo, cum deum meum amo. Not with doubting, but with assured consciousness, do I love Thee, Lord. Thou hast stricken my heart with Thy word, and I loved Thee. Yea also heaven, and earth, and all that therein is, behold, on every side they bid me love Thee; nor cease to say so unto all, that they may be without excuse. But more deeply wilt Thou have mercy on whom Thou wilt have mercy, and wilt have compassion on whom Thou hast had compassion: else in deaf ears do the heaven and the earth speak Thy praises. But what do I love, when I love Thee? not beauty of bodies, nor the fair harmony of time, nor the brightness of the light, so gladsome to our eyes, nor sweet melodies of varied songs, nor the fragrant smell of flowers, and ointments, and spices, not manna and honey, not limbs acceptable to embracements of flesh. None of these I love, when I love my God; and yet I love a kind of light, and melody, and fragrance, and meat, and embracement when I love my God, the light, melody, fragrance, meat, embracement of my inner man: where there shineth unto my soul what space cannot contain, and there soundeth what time beareth not away, and there smelleth what breathing disperseth not, and there tasteth what eating diminisheth not, and there clingeth what satiety divorceth not. This is it which I love when I love my God.
10.6.9 Et quid est hoc? Interrogavi terram, et dixit, 'Non sum.' et quaecumque in eadem sunt, idem confessa sunt. Interrogavi mare et abyssos et reptilia animarum vivarum, et responderunt, 'Non sumus deus tuus; quaere super nos.' interrogavi auras flabiles, et inquit universus aer cum incolis suis, 'Fallitur Anaximenes; non sum deus.' interrogavi caelum, solem, lunam, stellas: 'Neque nos sumus deus, quem quaeris,' inquiunt. Et dixi omnibus his quae circumstant fores carnis meae, 'Dicite mihi de deo meo, quod vos non estis, dicite mihi de illo aliquid,' et exclamaverunt voce magna, 'Ipse fecit nos.' interrogatio mea intentio mea et responsio eorum species eorum. Et direxi me ad me et dixi mihi, 'Tu quis es?' et respondi, 'Homo.' et ecce corpus et anima in me mihi praesto sunt, unum exterius et alterum interius. Quid horum est unde quaerere debui deum meum, quem iam quaesiveram per corpus a terra usque ad caelum, quousque potui mittere nuntios radios oculorum meorum? Sed melius quod interius. Ei quippe renuntiabant omnes nuntii corporales, praesidenti et iudicanti de responsionibus caeli et terrae et omnium quae in eis sunt dicentium, 'Non sumus deus' et, 'Ipse fecit nos.' homo interior cognovit haec per exterioris ministerium; ego interior cognovi haec, ego, ego animus per sensum corporis mei, interrogavi mundi molem de deo meo, et respondit mihi, 'Non ego sum, sed ipse me fecit.' And what is this? I asked the earth, and it answered me, "I am not He"; and whatsoever are in it confessed the same. I asked the sea and the deeps, and the living creeping things, and they answered, "We are not thy God, seek above us." I asked the moving air; and the whole air with his inhabitants answered, "Anaximenes was deceived, I am not God. " I asked the heavens, sun, moon, stars, "Nor (say they) are we the God whom thou seekest." And I replied unto all the things which encompass the door of my flesh: "Ye have told me of my God, that ye are not He; tell me something of Him." And they cried out with a loud voice, "He made us. " My questioning them, was my thoughts on them: and their form of beauty gave the answer. And I turned myself unto myself, and said to myself, "Who art thou?" And I answered, "A man." And behold, in me there present themselves to me soul, and body, one without, the other within. By which of these ought I to seek my God? I had sought Him in the body from earth to heaven, so far as I could send messengers, the beams of mine eyes. But the better is the inner, for to it as presiding and judging, all the bodily messengers reported the answers of heaven and earth, and all things therein, who said, "We are not God, but He made us." These things did my inner man know by the ministry of the outer: I the inner knew them; I, the mind, through the senses of my body. I asked the whole frame of the world about my God; and it answered me, "I am not He, but He made me.
10.6.10 Nonne omnibus quibus integer sensus est apparet haec species? Cur non omnibus eadem loquitur? Animalia pusilla et magna vident eam, sed interrogare nequeunt, non enim praeposita est in eis nuntiantibus sensibus iudex ratio. Homines autem possunt interrogare, ut invisibilia dei per ea quae facta sunt intellecta conspiciant, sed amore subduntur eis et subditi iudicare non possunt. Nec respondent ista interrogantibus nisi iudicantibus, nec vocem suam mutant, id est speciem suam, si alius tantum videat, alius autem videns interroget, ut aliter illi appareat, aliter huic, sed eodem modo utrique apparens illi muta est, huic loquitur: immo vero omnibus loquitur, sed illi intellegunt qui eius vocem acceptam foris intus cum veritate conferunt. Veritas enim dicit mihi, 'Non est deus tuus terra et caelum neque omne corpus.' hoc dicit eorum natura. Viden? Moles est, minor in parte quam in toto. Iam tu melior es, tibi dico, anima, quoniam tu vegetas molem corporis tui praebens ei vitam, quod nullum corpus praestat corpori. Deus autem tuus etiam tibi vitae vita est. Is not this corporeal figure apparent to all whose senses are perfect? why then speaks it not the same to all? Animals small and great see it, but they cannot ask it: because no reason is set over their senses to judge on what they report. But men can ask, so that the invisible things of God are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made; but by love of them, they are made subject unto them: and subjects cannot judge. Nor yet do the creatures answer such as ask, unless they can judge; nor yet do they change their voice (i.e., their appearance), if one man only sees, another seeing asks, so as to appear one way to this man, another way to that, but appearing the same way to both, it is dumb to this, speaks to that; yea rather it speaks to all; but they only understand, who compare its voice received from without, with the truth within. For truth saith unto me, "Neither heaven, nor earth, nor any other body is thy God." This, their very nature saith to him that seeth them: "They are a mass; a mass is less in a part thereof than in the whole." Now to thee I speak, O my soul, thou art my better part: for thou quickenest the mass of my body, giving it life, which no body can give to a body: but thy God is even unto thee the Life of thy life.
10.7.11 Quid ergo amo, cum deum meum amo? Quis est ille super caput animae meae? Per ipsam animam meam ascendam ad illum. Transibo vim meam qua haereo corpori et vitaliter compagem eius repleo. Non ea vi reperio deum meum, nam reperiret et equus et mulus, quibus non est intellectus, et est eadem vis qua vivunt etiam eorum corpora. Est alia vis, non solum qua vivifico sed etiam qua sensifico carnem meam, quam mihi fabricavit dominus, iubens oculo ut non audiat, et auri ut non videat, sed illi per quem videam, huic per quam audiam, et propria singillatim ceteris sensibus sedibus suis et officiis suis: quae diversa per eos ago unus ego animus. Transibo et istam vim meam, nam et hanc habet equus et mulus: sentiunt enim etiam ipsi per corpus. What then do I love, when I love my God? who is He above the head of my soul? By my very soul will I ascend to Him. I will pass beyond that power whereby I am united to my body, and fill its whole frame with life. Nor can I by that power find my God; for so horse and mule that have no understanding might find Him; seeing it is the same power, whereby even their bodies live. But another power there is, not that only whereby I animate, but that too whereby I imbue with sense my flesh, which the Lord hath framed for me: commanding the eye not to hear, and the ear not to see; but the eye, that through it I should see, and the ear, that through it I should hear; and to the other senses severally, what is to each their own peculiar seats and offices; which, being divers, I the one mind, do through them enact. I will pass beyond this power of mine also; for this also have the horse, and mule, for they also perceive through the body.
10.8.12 Transibo ergo et istam naturae meae, gradibus ascendens ad eum qui fecit me, et venio in campos et lata praetoria memoriae, ubi sunt thesauri innumerabilium imaginum de cuiuscemodi rebus sensis invectarum. I will pass then beyond this power of my nature also, rising by degrees unto Him Who made me. And I come to the fields and spacious palaces of my memory, where are the treasures of innumerable images, brought into it from things of all sorts perceived by the senses.
Ibi reconditum est quidquid etiam cogitamus, vel augendo vel minuendo vel utcumque variando ea quae sensus attigerit, et si quid aliud commendatum et repositum est quod nondum absorbuit et sepelivit oblivio. Ibi quando sum, posco ut proferatur quidquid volo, et quaedam statim prodeunt, quaedam requiruntur diutius et tamquam de abstrusioribus quibusdam receptaculis eruuntur, quaedam catervatim se proruunt et, dum aliud petitur et quaeritur, prosiliunt in medium quasi dicentia, 'Ne forte nos sumus?' et abigo ea manu cordis a facie recordationis meae, donec enubiletur quod volo atque in conspectum prodeat ex abditis. Alia faciliter atque imperturbata serie sicut poscuntur suggeruntur, et cedunt praecedentia consequentibus et cedendo conduntur, iterum cum voluero processura. Quod totum fit cum aliquid narro memoriter. There is stored up, whatsoever besides we think, either by enlarging or diminishing, or any other way varying those things which the sense hath come to; and whatever else hath been committed and laid up, which forgetfulness hath not yet swallowed up and buried. When I enter there, I require what I will to be brought forth, and something instantly comes; others must be longer sought after, which are fetched, as it were, out of some inner receptacle; others rush out in troops, and while one thing is desired and required, they start forth, as who should say, "Is it perchance I?" These I drive away with the hand of my heart, from the face of my remembrance; until what I wish for be unveiled, and appear in sight, out of its secret place. Other things come up readily, in unbroken order, as they are called for; those in front making way for the following; and as they make way, they are hidden from sight, ready to come when I will. All which takes place when I repeat a thing by heart.
10.8.13 Ibi sunt omnia distincte generatimque servata, quae suo quaeque aditu ingesta sunt, sicut lux atque omnes colores formaeque corporum per oculos, per aures autem omnia genera sonorum omnesque odores per aditum narium, omnes sapores per oris aditum, a sensu autem totius corporis, quid durum, quid molle, quid calidum frigidumve, lene aut asperum, grave seu leve sive extrinsecus sive intrinsecus corpori. Haec omnia recipit recolenda cum opus est et retractanda grandis memoriae recessus et nescio qui secreti atque ineffabiles sinus eius: quae omnia suis quaeque foribus intrant ad eam et reponuntur in ea. Nec ipsa tamen intrant, sed rerum sensarum imagines illic praesto sunt cogitationi reminiscenti eas. Quae quomodo fabricatae sint, quis dicit, cum appareat quibus sensibus raptae sint interiusque reconditae? There are all things preserved distinctly and under general heads, each having entered by its own avenue: as light, and all colours and forms of bodies by the eyes; by the ears all sorts of sounds; all smells by the avenue of the nostrils; all tastes by the mouth; and by the sensation of the whole body, what is hard or soft; hot or cold; or rugged; heavy or light; either outwardly or inwardly to the body. All these doth that great harbour of the memory receive in her numberless secret and inexpressible windings, to be forthcoming, and brought out at need; each entering in by his own gate, and there laid up. Nor yet do the things themselves enter in; only the images of the things perceived are there in readiness, for thought to recall. Which images, how they are formed, who can tell, though it doth plainly appear by which sense each hath been brought in and stored up?
Nam et in tenebris atque in silentio dum habito, in memoria mea profero, si volo, colores, et discerno inter album et nigrum et inter quos alios volo, nec incurrunt soni atque perturbant quod per oculos haustum considero, cum et ipsi ibi sint et quasi seorsum repositi lateant. Nam et ipsos posco, si placet, atque adsunt illico, et quiescente lingua ac silente gutture canto quantum volo, imaginesque illae colorum, quae nihilo minus ibi sunt, non se interponunt neque interrumpunt, cum thesaurus alius retractatur qui influxit ab auribus. Ita cetera quae per sensus ceteros ingesta atque congesta sunt recordor prout libet, et auram liliorum discerno a violis nihil olfaciens, et mel defrito, lene aspero, nihil tum gustando neque contrectando sed reminiscendo antepono. For even while I dwell in darkness and silence, in my memory I can produce colours, if I will, and discern betwixt black and white, and what others I will: nor yet do sounds break in and disturb the image drawn in by my eyes, which I am reviewing, though they also are there, lying dormant, and laid up, as it were, apart. For these too I call for, and forthwith they appear. And though my tongue be still, and my throat mute, so can I sing as much as I will; nor do those images of colours, which notwithstanding be there, intrude themselves and interrupt, when another store is called for, which flowed in by the ears. So the other things, piled in and up by the other senses, I recall at my pleasure. Yea, I discern the breath of lilies from violets, though smelling nothing; and I prefer honey to sweet wine, smooth before rugged, at the time neither tasting nor handling, but remembering only.
10.8.14 Intus haec ago, in aula ingenti memoriae meae. Ibi enim mihi caelum et terra et mare praesto sunt cum omnibus quae in eis sentire potui, praeter illa quae oblitus sum. Ibi mihi et ipse occurro meque recolo, quid, quando et ubi egerim quoque modo, cum agerem, affectus fuerim. Ibi sunt omnia quae sive experta a me sive credita memini. Ex eadem copia etiam similitudines rerum vel expertarum vel ex eis quas expertus sum creditarum alias atque alias, et ipse contexo praeteritis atque ex his etiam futuras actiones et eventa et spes, et haec omnia rursus quasi praesentia meditor. 'Faciam hoc et illud' dico apud me in ipso ingenti sinu animi mei pleno tot et tantarum rerum imaginibus, et hoc aut illud sequitur. 'O si esset hoc aut illud!' 'Avertat deus hoc aut illud!' dico apud me ista et, cum dico, praesto sunt imagines omnium quae dico ex eodem thesauro memoriae, nec omnino aliquid eorum dicerem, si defuissent. These things do I within, in that vast court of my memory. For there are present with me, heaven, earth, sea, and whatever I could think on therein, besides what I have forgotten. There also meet I with myself, and recall myself, and when, where, and what I have done, and under what feelings. There be all which I remember, either on my own experience, or other's credit. Out of the same store do I myself with the past continually combine fresh and fresh likenesses of things which I have experienced, or, from what I have experienced, have believed: and thence again infer future actions, events and hopes, and all these again I reflect on, as present. "I will do this or that," say I to myself, in that great receptacle of my mind, stored with the images of things so many and so great, "and this or that will follow." "O that this or that might be!" "God avert this or that!" So speak I to myself: and when I speak, the images of all I speak of are present, out of the same treasury of memory; nor would I speak of any thereof, were the images wanting.
10.8.15 Magna ista vis est memoriae, magna nimis, deus meus, penetrale amplum et infinitum. Quis ad fundum eius pervenit? Great is this force of memory, excessive great, O my God; a large and boundless chamber! who ever sounded the bottom thereof?
Et vis est haec animi mei atque ad meam naturam pertinet, nec ego ipse capio totum quod sum. Ergo animus ad habendum se ipsum angustus est, ut ubi sit quod sui non capit? Numquid extra ipsum ac non in ipso? Quomodo ergo non capit? Multa mihi super hoc oboritur admiratio, stupor apprehendit me. yet is this a power of mine, and belongs unto my nature; nor do I myself comprehend all that I am. Therefore is the mind too strait to contain itself. And where should that be, which it containeth not of itself? Is it without it, and not within? how then doth it not comprehend itself? A wonderful admiration surprises me, amazement seizes me upon this.
Et eunt homines mirari alta montium et ingentes fluctus maris et latissimos lapsus fluminum et oceani ambitum et gyros siderum, et relinquunt se ipsos, nec mirantur quod haec omnia, cum dicerem, non ea videbam oculis, nec tamen dicerem, nisi montes et fluctus et flumina et sidera quae vidi et oceanum quem credidi intus in memoria mea viderem, spatiis tam ingentibus quasi foris viderem. Nec ea tamen videndo absorbui quando vidi oculis, nec ipsa sunt apud me sed imagines eorum, et novi quid ex quo sensu corporis impressum sit mihi. And men go abroad to admire the heights of mountains, the mighty billows of the sea, the broad tides of rivers, the compass of the ocean, and the circuits of the stars, and pass themselves by; nor wonder that when I spake of all these things, I did not see them with mine eyes, yet could not have spoken of them, unless I then actually saw the mountains, billows, rivers, stars which I had seen, and that ocean which I believe to be, inwardly in my memory, and that, with the same vast spaces between, as if I saw them abroad. Yet did not I by seeing draw them into myself, when with mine eyes I beheld them; nor are they themselves with me, but their images only. And I know by what sense of the body each was impressed upon me.
10.9.16 Sed non ea sola gestat immensa ista capacitas memoriae meae. Hic sunt et illa omnia quae de doctrinis liberalibus percepta nondum exciderunt, quasi remota interiore loco non loco; nec eorum imagines, sed res ipsas gero. Yet not these alone does the unmeasurable capacity of my memory retain. Here also is all, learnt of the liberal sciences and as yet unforgotten; removed as it were to some inner place, which is yet no place: nor are they the images thereof, but the things themselves.
Nam quid sit litteratura, quid peritia disputandi, quot genera quaestionum, quidquid horum scio, sic est in memoria mea ut non retenta imagine rem foris reliquerim, aut sonuerit et praeterierit sicut vox impressa per aures vestigio quo recoleretur, quasi sonaret cum iam non sonaret, aut sicut odor, dum transit et vanescit in ventos, olfactum afficit, unde traicit in memoriam imaginem sui quam reminiscendo repetamus, aut sicut cibus qui certe in ventre iam non sapit et tamen in memoria quasi sapit, aut sicut aliquid quod corpore tangendo sentitur, quod etiam separatum a nobis imaginatur memoria. Istae quippe res non intromittuntur ad eam, sed earum solae imagines mira celeritate capiuntur et miris tamquam cellis reponuntur et mirabiliter recordando proferuntur. For, what is literature, what the art of disputing, how many kinds of questions there be, whatsoever of these I know, in such manner exists in my memory, as that I have not taken in the image, and left out the thing, or that it should have sounded and passed away like a voice fixed on the ear by that impress, whereby it might be recalled, as if it sounded, when it no longer sounded; or as a smell while it passes and evaporates into air affects the sense of smell, whence it conveys into the memory an image of itself, which remembering, we renew, or as meat, which verily in the belly hath now no taste, and yet in the memory still in a manner tasteth; or as any thing which the body by touch perceiveth, and which when removed from us, the memory still conceives. For those things are not transmitted into the memory, but their images only are with an admirable swiftness caught up, and stored as it were in wondrous cabinets, and thence wonderfully by the act of remembering, brought forth.
10.10.17 At vero, cum audio tria genera esse quaestionum, an sit, quid sit, quale sit, sonorum quidem quibus haec verba confecta sunt imagines teneo, et eos per auras cum strepitu transisse ac iam non esse scio. Res vero ipsas quae illis significantur sonis neque ullo sensu corporis attigi neque uspiam vidi praeter animum meum, et in memoria recondidi non imagines earum, sed ipsas: quae unde ad me intraverint dicant, si possunt. Nam percurro ianuas omnes carnis meae, nec invenio qua earum ingressae sint. But now when I hear that there be three kinds of questions, "Whether the thing be? what it is? of what kind it is? I do indeed hold the images of the sounds of which those words be composed, and that those sounds, with a noise passed through the air, and now are not. But the things themselves which are signified by those sounds, I never reached with any sense of my body, nor ever discerned them otherwise than in my mind; yet in my memory have I laid up not their images, but themselves. Which how they entered into me, let them say if they can; for I have gone over all the avenues of my flesh, but cannot find by which they entered.
Quippe oculi dicunt, 'Si coloratae sunt, nos eas nuntiavimus'; aures dicunt, 'Si sonuerunt, a nobis indicatae sunt'; nares dicunt, 'Si oluerunt, per nos transierunt'; dicit etiam sensus gustandi, 'Si sapor non est, nihil me interroges'; tactus dicit, 'Si corpulentum non est, non contrectavi; si non contrectavi, non indicavi.' For the eyes say, "If those images were coloured, we reported of them." The ears say, "If they sound, we gave knowledge of them." The nostrils say, "If they smell, they passed by us." The taste says, "Unless they have a savour, ask me not." The touch says, "If it have not size, I handled it not; if I handled it not, I gave no notice of it."
Unde et qua haec intraverunt in memoriam meam? Nescio quomodo. Nam cum ea didici, non credidi alieno cordi, sed in meo recognovi et vera esse approbavi et commendavi ei, tamquam reponens unde proferrem cum vellem. Ibi ergo erant et antequam ea didicissem, sed in memoria non erant. Ubi ergo aut quare, cum dicerentur, agnovi et dixi, 'Ita est, verum est,' nisi quia iam erant in memoria, sed tam remota et retrusa quasi in cavis abditioribus ut, nisi admonente aliquo eruerentur, ea fortasse cogitare non possem? Whence and how entered these things into my memory? I know not how. For when I learned them, I gave not credit to another man's mind, but recognised them in mine; and approving them for true, I commended them to it, laying them up as it were, whence I might bring them forth when I willed. In my heart then they were, even before I learned them, but in my memory they were not. Where then? or wherefore, when they were spoken, did I acknowledge them, and said, "So is it, it is true," unless that they were already in the memory, but so thrown back and buried as it were in deeper recesses, that had not the suggestion of another drawn them forth I had perchance been unable to conceive of them?
10.11.18 Quocirca invenimus nihil esse aliud discere ista quorum non per sensus haurimus imagines, sed sine imaginibus, sicuti sunt, per se ipsa intus cernimus, nisi ea quae passim atque indisposite memoria continebat, cogitando quasi conligere atque animadvertendo curare, ut tamquam ad manum posita in ipsa memoria, ubi sparsa prius et neglecta latitabant, iam familiari intentioni facile occurrant. Wherefore we find, that to learn these things whereof we imbibe nor the images by our senses, but perceive within by themselves, without images, as they are, is nothing else, but by conception, to receive, and by marking to take heed that those things which the memory did before contain at random and unarranged, be laid up at hand as it were in that same memory where before they lay unknown, scattered and neglected, and so readily occur to the mind familiarised to them.
Et quam multa huius modi gestat memoria mea, quae iam inventa sunt et, sicut dixi, quasi ad manum posita, quae didicisse et nosse dicimur. Quae si modestis temporum intervallis recolere desivero, ita rursus demerguntur et quasi in remotiora penetralia dilabuntur, ut denuo velut nova excogitanda sint indidem iterum (neque enim est alia regio eorum) et cogenda rursus, ut sciri possint, id est velut ex quadam dispersione conligenda, unde dictum est cogitare. And how many things of this kind does my memory bear which have been already found out, and as I said, placed as it were at hand, which we are said to have learned and come to know which were I for some short space of time to cease to call to mind, they are again so buried, and glide back, as it were, into the deeper recesses, that they must again, as if new, he thought out thence, for other abode they have none: but they must be drawn together again, that they may be known; that is to say, they must as it were be collected together from their dispersion: whence the word "cogitation" is derived.
Nam cogo et cogito sic est, ut ago et agito, facio et factito. Verum tamen sibi animus hoc verbum proprie vindicavit, ut non quod alibi, sed quod in animo conligitur, id est cogitur, cogitari proprie iam dicatur. For cogo (collect) and cogito (re-collect) have the same relation to each other as ago and agito, facio and factito. But the mind hath appropriated to itself this word (cogitation), so that, not what is "collected" any how, but what is "recollected," i.e., brought together, in the mind, is properly said to be cogitated, or thought upon.
10.12.19 Item continet memoria numerorum dimensionumque rationes et leges innumerabiles, quarum nullam corporis sensus impressit, quia nec ipsae coloratae sunt aut sonant aut olent aut gustatae aut contrectatae sunt. Audivi sonos verborum, quibus significantur cum de his disseritur, sed illi alii, istae autem alia sunt. The memory containeth also reasons and laws innumerable of numbers and dimensions, none of which hath any bodily sense impressed; seeing they have neither colour, nor sound, nor taste, nor smell, nor touch. I have heard the sound of the words whereby when discussed they are denoted: but the sounds are other than the things.
Nam illi aliter graece, aliter latine sonant, istae vero nec graecae nec latinae sunt nec aliud eloquiorum genus. Vidi lineas fabrorum vel etiam tenuissimas, sicut filum araneae, sed illae aliae sunt, non sunt imagines earum quas mihi nuntiavit carnis oculus. Novit eas quisquis sine ulla cogitatione qualiscumque corporis intus agnovit eas. Sensi etiam numeros omnibus corporis sensibus quos numeramus, sed illi alii sunt quibus numeramus, nec imagines istorum sunt et ideo valde sunt. Rideat me ista dicentem qui non eos videt, et ego doleam ridentem me. For the sounds are other in Greek than in Latin; but the things are neither Greek, nor Latin, nor any other language. I have seen the lines of architects, the very finest, like a spider's thread; but those are still different, they are not the images of those lines which the eye of flesh showed me: he knoweth them, whosoever without any conception whatsoever of a body, recognises them within himself. I have perceived also the numbers of the things with which we number all the senses of my body; but those numbers wherewith we number are different, nor are they the images of these, and therefore they indeed are. Let him who seeth them not, deride me for saying these things, and I will pity him, while he derides me.
10.13.20 Haec omnia memoria teneo et quomodo ea didicerim memoria teneo. Multa etiam quae adversus haec falsissime disputantur audivi et memoria teneo. Quae tametsi falsa sunt, tamen ea meminisse me non est falsum. Et discrevisse me inter illa vera et haec falsa quae contra dicuntur, et hoc memini aliterque nunc video discernere me ista, aliter autem memini saepe me discrevisse, cum ea saepe cogitarem. Ergo et intellexisse me saepius ista memini, et quod nunc discerno et intellego, recondo in memoria, ut postea me nunc intellexisse meminerim. Ergo et meminisse me memini, sicut postea, quod haec reminisci nunc potui, si recordabor, utique per vim memoriae recordabor. All these things I remember, and how I learnt them I remember. Many things also most falsely objected against them have I heard, and remember; which though they be false, yet is it not false that I remember them; and I remember also that I have discerned betwixt those truths and these falsehoods objected to them. And I perceive that the present discerning of these things is different from remembering that I oftentimes discerned them, when I often thought upon them. I both remember then to have often understood these things; and what I now discern and understand, I lay up in my memory, that hereafter I may remember that I understand it now. So then I remember also to have remembered; as if hereafter I shall call to remembrance, that I have now been able to remember these things, by the force of memory shall I call it to remembrance.
10.14.21 Affectiones quoque animi mei eadem memoria continet, non illo modo quo eas habet ipse animus cum patitur eas, sed alio multum diverso, sicut sese habet vis memoriae. Nam et laetatum me fuisse reminiscor non laetus, et tristitiam meam praeteritam recordor non tristis, et me aliquando timuisse recolo sine timore et pristinae cupiditatis sine cupiditate sum memor. Aliquando et e contrario tristitiam meam transactam laetus reminiscor et tristis laetitiam. Quod mirandum non est de corpore: aliud enim animus, aliud corpus. The same memory contains also the affections of my mind, not in the same manner that my mind itself contains them, when it feels them; but far otherwise, according to a power of its own. For without rejoicing I remember myself to have joyed; and without sorrow do I recollect my past sorrow. And that I once feared, I review without fear; and without desire call to mind a past desire. Sometimes, on the contrary, with joy do I remember my fore-past sorrow, and with sorrow, joy. Which is not wonderful, as to the body; for mind is one thing, body another.
Itaque si praeteritum dolorem corporis gaudens memini, non ita mirum est. Hic vero, cum animus sit etiam ipsa memoria (nam et cum mandamus aliquid ut memoriter habeatur, dicimus, 'Vide ut illud in animo habeas,' et cum obliviscimur, dicimus, 'Non fuit in animo' et 'Elapsum est animo,' ipsam memoriam vocantes animum), cum ergo ita sit, quid est hoc, quod cum tristitiam meam praeteritam laetus memini, animus habet laetitiam et memoria tristitiam laetusque est animus ex eo quod inest ei laetitia, memoria vero ex eo quod inest ei tristitia tristis non est? Num forte non pertinet ad animum? Quis hoc dixerit? Nimirum ergo memoria quasi venter est animi, laetitia vero atque tristitia quasi cibus dulcis et amarus: cum memoriae commendantur, quasi traiecta in ventrem recondi illic possunt, sapere non possunt. Ridiculum est haec illis similia putare, nec tamen sunt omni modo dissimilia. If I therefore with joy remember some past pain of body, it is not so wonderful. But now seeing this very memory itself is mind (for when we give a thing in charge, to be kept in memory, we say, "See that you keep it in mind"; and when we forget, we say, "It did not come to my mind," and, "It slipped out of my mind," calling the memory itself the mind); this being so, how is it that when with joy I remember my past sorrow, the mind hath joy, the memory hath sorrow; the mind upon the joyfulness which is in it, is joyful, yet the memory upon the sadness which is in it, is not sad? Does the memory perchance not belong to the mind? Who will say so? The memory then is, as it were, the belly of the mind, and joy and sadness, like sweet and bitter food; which, when committed to the memory, are as it were passed into the belly, where they may be stowed, but cannot taste. Ridiculous it is to imagine these to be alike; and yet are they not utterly unlike.
10.14.22 Sed ecce de memoria profero, cum dico quattuor esse perturbationes animi, cupiditatem, laetitiam, metum, tristitiam, et quidquid de his disputare potuero, dividendo singula per species sui cuiusque generis et definiendo, ibi invenio quid dicam atque inde profero, nec tamen ulla earum perturbatione perturbor cum eas reminiscendo commemoro. Et antequam recolerentur a me et retractarentur, ibi erant; propterea inde per recordationem potuere depromi. Forte ergo sicut de ventre cibus ruminando, sic ista de memoria recordando proferuntur. Cur igitur in ore cogitationis non sentitur a disputante, hoc est a reminiscente, laetitiae dulcedo vel amaritudo maestitiae? An in hoc dissimile est, quod non undique simile est? But, behold, out of my memory I bring it, when I say there be four perturbations of the mind, desire, joy, fear, sorrow; and whatsoever I can dispute thereon, by dividing each into its subordinate species, and by defining it, in my memory find I what to say, and thence do I bring it: yet am I not disturbed by any of these perturbations, when by calling them to mind, I remember them; yea, and before I recalled and brought them back, they were there; and therefore could they, by recollection, thence be brought. Perchance, then, as meat is by chewing the cud brought up out of the belly, so by recollection these out of the memory. Why then does not the disputer, thus recollecting, taste in the mouth of his musing the sweetness of joy, or the bitterness of sorrow? Is the comparison unlike in this, because not in all respects like?
Quis enim talia volens loqueretur, si quotiens tristitiam metumve nominamus, totiens maerere vel timere cogeremur? Et tamen non ea loqueremur, nisi in memoria nostra non tantum sonos nominum secundum imagines impressas a sensibus corporis sed etiam rerum ipsarum notiones inveniremus, quas nulla ianua carnis accepimus, sed eas ipse animus per experientiam passionum suarum sentiens memoriae commendavit aut ipsa sibi haec etiam non commendata retinuit. For who would willingly speak thereof, if so oft as we name grief or fear, we should be compelled to be sad or fearful? And yet could we not speak of them, did we not find in our memory, not only the sounds of the names according to the images impressed by the senses of the body, but notions of the very things themselves which we never received by any avenue of the body, but which the mind itself perceiving by the experience of its own passions, committed to the memory, or the memory of itself retained, without being committed unto it.
10.15.23 Sed utrum per imagines an non, quis facile dixerit? Nomino quippe lapidem, nomino solem, cum res ipsae non adsunt sensibus meis; in memoria sane mea praesto sunt imagines earum. Nomino dolorem corporis, nec mihi adest dum nihil dolet; nisi tamen adesset imago eius in memoria mea, nescirem quid dicerem nec eum in disputando a voluptate discernerem. Nomino salutem corporis cum salvus sum corpore; adest mihi quidem res ipsa. Verum tamen nisi et imago eius inesset in memoria mea, nullo modo recordarer quid huius nominis significaret sonus, nec aegrotantes agnoscerent salute nominata quid esset dictum, nisi eadem imago vi memoriae teneretur, quamvis ipsa res abesset a corpore. But whether by images or no, who can readily say? Thus, I name a stone, I name the sun, the things themselves not being present to my senses, but their images to my memory. I name a bodily pain, yet it is not present with me, when nothing aches: yet unless its image were present to my memory, I should not know what to say thereof, nor in discoursing discern pain from pleasure. I name bodily health; being sound in body, the thing itself is present with me; yet, unless its image also were present in my memory, I could by no means recall what the sound of this name should signify. Nor would the sick, when health were named, recognise what were spoken, unless the same image were by the force of memory retained, although the thing itself were absent from the body.
Nomino numeros quibus numeramus; en adsunt in memoria mea non imagines eorum, sed ipsi. Nomino imaginem solis, et haec adest in memoria mea, neque enim imaginem imaginis eius, sed ipsam recolo; ipsa mihi reminiscenti praesto est. Nomino memoriam et agnosco quod nomino. Et ubi agnosco nisi in ipsa memoria? Num et ipsa per imaginem suam sibi adest ac non per se ipsam? I name numbers whereby we number; and not their images, but themselves are present in my memory. I name the image of the sun, and that image is present in my memory. For I recall not the image of its image, but the image itself is present to me, calling it to mind. I name memory, and I recognise what I name. And where do I recognise it, but in the memory itself? Is it also present to itself by its image, and not by itself?
10.16.24 Quid, cum oblivionem nomino atque itidem agnosco quod nomino, unde agnoscerem nisi meminissem? Non eundem sonum nominis dico, sed rem quam significat. Quam si oblitus essem, quid ille valeret sonus agnoscere utique non valerem. Ergo cum memoriam memini, per se ipsam sibi praesto est ipsa memoria. Cum vero memini oblivionem, et memoria praesto est et oblivio, memoria qua meminerim, oblivio quam meminerim. Sed quid est oblivio nisi privatio memoriae? Quomodo ergo adest ut eam meminerim, quando cum adest meminisse non possum? What, when I name forgetfulness, and withal recognise what I name? whence should I recognise it, did I not remember it? I speak not of the sound of the name, but of the thing which it signifies: which if I had forgotten, I could not recognise what that sound signifies. When then I remember memory, memory itself is, through itself, present with 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 it present that I remember it, since when present I cannot remember?
At si quod meminimus memoria retinemus, oblivionem autem nisi meminissemus, nequaquam possemus audito isto nomine rem quae illo significatur agnoscere, memoria retinetur oblivio. Adest ergo ne obliviscamur, quae cum adest, obliviscimur. An ex hoc intellegitur non per se ipsam inesse memoriae, cum eam meminimus, sed per imaginem suam, quia, si per se ipsam praesto esset oblivio, non ut meminissemus, sed ut oblivisceremur, efficeret? Et hoc quis tandem indagabit? Quis comprehendet quomodo sit? But if what we remember we hold it in memory, yet, unless we did remember forgetfulness, we could never at the hearing of the name recognise the thing thereby signified, then forgetfulness is retained by memory. Present then it is, that we forget not, and being so, we forget. It is to be understood from this that forgetfulness when we remember it, is not present to the memory by itself but by its image: because if it were present by itself, it would not cause us to remember, but to forget. Who now shall search out this? who shall comprehend how it is?
10.16.25 Ego certe, domine, laboro hic et laboro in me ipso. Factus sum mihi terra difficultatis et sudoris nimii. Neque enim nunc scrutamur plagas caeli aut siderum intervalla dimetimur vel terrae libramenta quaerimus. Ego sum qui memini, ego animus. Non ita mirum si a me longe est quidquid ego non sum: quid autem propinquius me ipso mihi? Et ecce memoriae meae vis non comprehenditur a me, cum ipsum me non dicam praeter illam. Lord, I, truly, toil therein, yea and toil in myself; I am become a heavy soil requiring over much sweat of the brow. For we are not now searching out the regions of heaven, or measuring the distances of the stars, or enquiring the balancings of the earth. It is I myself who remember, I the mind. It is not so wonderful, if what I myself am not, be far from me. But what is nearer to me than myself? And to, the force of mine own memory is not understood by me; though I cannot so much as name myself without it.
Quid enim dicturus sum, quando mihi certum est meminisse me oblivionem? An dicturus sum non esse in memoria mea quod memini? An dicturus sum ad hoc inesse oblivionem in memoria mea, ut non obliviscar? Utrumque absurdissimum est. Quid illud tertium? Quo pacto dicam imaginem oblivionis teneri memoria mea, non ipsam oblivionem, cum eam memini? Quo pacto et hoc dicam, quandoquidem cum imprimitur rei cuiusque imago in memoria, prius necesse est ut adsit res ipsa, unde illa imago possit imprimi? For what shall I say, when it is clear to me that I remember forgetfulness? Shall I say that that is not in my memory, which I remember? or shall I say that forgetfulness is for this purpose in my memory, that I might not forget? Both were most absurd. What third way is there? How can I say that the image of forgetfulness is retained by my memory, not forgetfulness itself, when I remember it? How could I say this either, seeing that when the image of any thing is impressed on the memory, the thing itself must needs be first present, whence that image may be impressed?
Sic enim Carthaginis memini, sic omnium locorum quibus interfui, sic facies hominum quas vidi, et ceterorum sensuum nuntiata, sic ipsius corporis salutem sive dolorem: cum praesto essent ista, cepit ab eis imagines memoria, quas intuerer praesentes et retractarem animo, cum illa et absentia reminiscerer. Si ergo per imaginem suam, non per se ipsam, in memoria tenetur oblivio, ipsa utique aderat, ut eius imago caperetur. Cum autem adesset, quomodo imaginem suam in memoria conscribebat, quando id etiam quod iam notatum invenit praesentia sua delet oblivio? Et tamen quocumque modo, licet sit modus iste incomprehensibilis et inexplicabilis, etiam ipsam oblivionem meminisse me certus sum, qua id quod meminerimus obruitur. For thus do I remember Carthage, thus all places where I have been, thus men's faces whom I have seen, and things reported by the other senses; thus the health or sickness of the body. For when these things were present, my memory received from them images, which being present with me, I might look on and bring back in my mind, when I remembered them in their absence. If then this forgetfulness is retained in the memory through its image, not through itself, then plainly itself was once present, that its image might be taken. But when it was present, how did it write its image in the memory, seeing that forgetfulness by its presence effaces even what it finds already noted? And yet, in whatever way, although that way be past conceiving and explaining, yet certain am I that I remember forgetfulness itself also, whereby what we remember is effaced.
10.17.26 Magna vis est memoriae, nescio quid horrendum, deus meus, profunda et infinita multiplicitas. Et hoc animus est, et hoc ego ipse sum. Quid ergo sum, deus meus? Quae natura sum? Varia, multimoda vita et immensa vehementer. Ecce in memoriae meae campis et antris et cavernis innumerabilibus atque innumerabiliter plenis innumerabilium rerum generibus, sive per imagines, sicut omnium corporum, sive per praesentiam, sicut artium, sive per nescio quas notiones vel notationes, sicut affectionum animi (quas et cum animus non patitur, memoria tenet, cum in animo sit quidquid est in memoria), per haec omnia discurro et volito hac illac, penetro etiam quantum possum, et finis nusquam. Great is the power of memory, a fearful thing, O my God, a deep and boundless manifoldness; and this thing is the mind, and this am I myself. What am I then, O my God? What nature am I? A life various and manifold, and exceeding immense. Behold in the plains, and caves, and caverns of my memory, innumerable and innumerably full of innumerable kinds of things, either through images, as all bodies; or by actual presence, as the arts; or by certain notions or impressions, as the affections of the mind, which, even when the mind doth not feel, the memory retaineth, while yet whatsoever is in the memory is also in the mind- over all these do I run, I fly; I dive on this side and on that, as far as I can, and there is no end.
Tanta vis est memoriae, tanta vitae vis est in homine vivente mortaliter! quid igitur agam, tu vera mea vita, deus meus? Transibo et hanc vim meam quae memoria vocatur, transibo eam ut pertendam ad te, dulce lumen. Quid dicis mihi? Ecce ego ascendens per animum meum ad te, qui desuper mihi manes, transibo et istam vim meam quae memoria vocatur, volens te attingere unde attingi potes, et inhaerere tibi unde inhaereri tibi potest. So great is the force of memory, so great the force of life, even in the mortal life of man. What shall I do then, O Thou my true life, my God? I will pass even beyond this power of mine which is called memory: yea, I will pass beyond it, that I may approach unto Thee, O sweet Light. What sayest Thou to me? See, I am mounting up through my mind towards Thee who abidest above me. Yea, I now will pass beyond this power of mine which is called memory, desirous to arrive at Thee, whence Thou mayest be arrived at; and to cleave unto Thee, whence one may cleave unto Thee.
Habent enim memoriam et pecora et aves, alioquin non cubilia nidosve repeterent, non alia multa quibus adsuescunt; neque enim et adsuescere valerent ullis rebus nisi per memoriam. Transibo ergo et memoriam, ut attingam eum qui separavit me a quadrupedibus et a volatilibus caeli sapientiorem me fecit. Transibo et memoriam, ut ubi te inveniam, vere bone, secura suavitas, ut ubi te inveniam? Si praeter memoriam meam te invenio, immemor tui sum. Et quomodo iam inveniam te, si memor non sum tui? For even beasts and birds have memory; else could they not return to their dens and nests, nor many other things they are used unto: nor indeed could they be used to any thing, but by memory. I will pass then beyond memory also, that I may arrive at Him who hath separated me from the four-footed beasts and made me wiser than the fowls of the air, I will pass beyond memory also, and where shall I find Thee, Thou truly good and certain sweetness? And where shall I find Thee? If I find Thee without my memory, then do I not retain Thee in my memory. And how shall I find Thee, if I remember Thee not?
10.18.27 Perdiderat enim mulier dragmam et quaesivit eam cum lucerna et, nisi memor eius esset, non inveniret eam. Cum enim esset inventa, unde sciret utrum ipsa esset, si memor eius non esset? Multa memini me perdita quaesisse atque invenisse. Inde istuc scio, quia, cum quaererem aliquid eorum et diceretur mihi, 'Num forte hoc est?' 'Num forte illud?', tamdiu dicebam, 'Non est,' donec id offerretur quod quaerebam. Cuius nisi memor essem, quidquid illud esset, etiamsi mihi offerretur non invenirem, quia non agnoscerem. For the woman that had lost her groat, and sought it with a light; unless she had remembered it, she had never found it. For when it was found, whence should she know whether it were the same, unless she remembered it? I remember to have sought and found many a thing; and this I thereby know, that when I was seeking any of them, and was asked, "Is this it?" "Is that it?" so long said I "No," until that were offered me which I sought. Which had I not remembered (whatever it were) though it were offered me, yet should I not find it, because I could not recognise it.
Et semper ita fit, cum aliquid perditum quaerimus et invenimus. Verum tamen si forte aliquid ab oculis perit, non a memoria, veluti corpus quodlibet visibile, tenetur intus imago eius et quaeritur, donec reddatur aspectui. Quod cum inventum fuerit, ex imagine quae intus est recognoscitur. Nec invenisse nos dicimus quod perierat, si non agnoscimus, nec agnoscere possumus, si non meminimus; sed hoc perierat quidem oculis, memoria tenebatur. And so it ever is, when we seek and find any lost thing. Notwithstanding, when any thing is by chance lost from the sight, not from the memory (as any visible body), yet its image is still retained within, and it is sought 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 was lost, unless we recognise it; nor can we recognise it, unless we remember it. But this was lost to the eyes, but retained in the memory.
10.19.28 Quid, cum ipsa memoria perdit aliquid, sicut fit cum obliviscimur et quaerimus ut recordemur, ubi tandem quaerimus nisi in ipsa memoria? Et ibi si aliud pro alio forte offeratur, respuimus donec illud occurrat quod quaerimus. Et cum occurrit, dicimus, 'Hoc est'; quod non diceremus nisi agnosceremus, nec agnosceremus nisi meminissemus. But what when the memory itself loses any thing, as falls out when we forget and seek that we may recollect? Where in the end do we search, but in the memory itself? and there, if one thing be perchance offered instead of another, we reject it, until what we seek meets us; and when it doth, we say, "This is it"; which we should not unless we recognised it, nor recognise it unless we remembered it.
Certe ergo obliti fueramus. An non totum exciderat, sed ex parte quae tenebatur pars alia quaerebatur, quia sentiebat se memoria non simul volvere quod simul solebat, et quasi detruncata consuetudine claudicans reddi quod deerat flagitabat? Tamquam si homo notus sive conspiciatur oculis sive cogitetur et nomen eius obliti requiramus, quidquid aliud occurrerit non conectitur, quia non cum illo cogitari consuevit ideoque respuitur donec illud adsit, ubi simul adsuefacta notitia non inaequaliter adquiescat. Certainly then we had forgotten it. Or, had not the whole escaped us, but by the part whereof we had hold, was the lost part sought for; in that the memory felt that it did not carry on together all which it was wont, and maimed, as it were, by the curtailment of its ancient habit, demanded the restoration of what it missed? For instance, if we see or think of some one known to us, and having forgotten his name, try to recover it; whatever else occurs, connects itself not therewith; because it was not wont to be thought upon together with him, and therefore is rejected, until that present itself, whereon the knowledge reposes equably as its wonted object.
Et unde adest nisi ex ipsa memoria? Nam et cum ab alio commoniti recognoscimus, inde adest. Non enim quasi novum credimus, sed recordantes approbamus hoc esse quod dictum est. Si autem penitus aboleatur ex animo, nec admoniti reminiscimur. Neque enim omni modo adhuc obliti sumus quod vel oblitos nos esse meminimus. Hoc ergo nec amissum quaerere poterimus, quod omnino obliti fuerimus. And whence does that present itself, but out of the memory itself? for even when we recognise it, on being reminded by another, it is thence it comes. For we do not believe it as something new, but, upon recollection, allow what was named to be right. But were it utterly blotted out of the mind, we should not remember it, even when reminded. For we have not as yet utterly forgotten that, which we remember ourselves to have forgotten. What then we have utterly forgotten, though lost, we cannot even seek after.
10.20.29 Quomodo ergo te quaero, domine? Cum enim te, deum meum, quaero, vitam beatam quaero. Quaeram te ut vivat anima mea. Vivit enim corpus meum de anima mea et vivit anima mea de te. Quomodo ergo quaero vitam beatam? Quia non est mihi donec dicam, 'Sat, est illic.' Ubi oportet ut dicam quomodo eam quaero, utrum per recordationem, tamquam eam oblitus sim oblitumque me esse adhuc teneam, an per appetitum discendi incognitam, sive quam numquam scierim sive quam sic oblitus fuerim ut me nec oblitum esse meminerim. Nonne ipsa est beata vita quam omnes volunt, et omnino qui nolit nemo est? Ubi noverunt eam, quod sic volunt eam? Ubi viderunt, ut amarent eam? Nimirum habemus eam nescio quomodo. 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 by Thee. How then do I seek a happy life, seeing I have it not, until I can say, where I ought to say it, "It is enough"? How seek I it? By remembrance, as though I had forgotten it, remembering that I had forgotten it? Or, desiring to learn it as a thing unknown, either never having known, or so forgotten it, as not even to remember that I had forgotten it? is not a happy life what all will, and no one altogether wills it not? where have they known it, that they so will it? where seen it, that they so love it? Truly we have it, how, I know not.
Et est alius quidam modus quo quisque, cum habet eam, tunc beatus est, et sunt qui spe beati sunt. Inferiore modo isti habent eam quam illi qui iam re ipsa beati sunt, sed tamen meliores quam illi qui nec re nec spe beati sunt. Qui tamen etiam ipsi, nisi aliquo modo haberent eam, non ita vellent beati esse: quod eos velle certissimum est. Nescio quomodo noverunt eam ideoque habent eam in nescio qua notitia, de qua satago, utrum in memoria sit, quia, si ibi est, iam beati fuimus aliquando, utrum singillatim omnes, an in illo homine qui primus peccavit, in quo et omnes mortui sumus et de quo omnes cum miseria nati sumus, non quaero nunc, sed quaero utrum in memoria sit beata vita. Neque enim amaremus eam nisi nossemus. Yea, there is another way, wherein when one hath it, then is he happy; and there are, who are blessed, in hope. These have it in a lower kind, than they who have it in very deed; yet are they better off than such as are happy neither in deed nor in hope. Yet even these, had they it not in some sort, would not so will to be happy, which that they do will, is most certain. They have known it then, I know not how, and so have it by some sort of knowledge, what, I know not, and am perplexed whether it be in the memory, which if it be, then we have been happy once; whether all severally, or in that man who first sinned, in whom also we all died, and from whom we are all born with misery, I now enquire not; but only, whether the happy life be in the memory? For neither should we love it, did we not know it.
Audimus nomen hoc et omnes rem ipsam nos appetere fatemur; non enim sono delectamur. Nam hoc cum latine audit graecus, non delectatur, quia ignorat quid dictum sit; nos autem delectamur, sicut etiam ille si graece hoc audierit, quoniam res ipsa nec graeca nec latina est, cui adipiscendae graeci latinique inhiant ceterarumque linguarum homines. Nota est igitur omnibus, qui una voce si interrogari possent utrum beati esse vellent, sine ulla dubitatione velle responderent. Quod non fieret, nisi res ipsa, cuius hoc nomen est, eorum memoria teneretur. We hear the name, and we all confess that we desire the thing; for we are not delighted with the mere sound. For when a Greek hears it in Latin, he is not delighted, not knowing what is spoken; but we Latins are delighted, as would he too, 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 for so earnestly. Known therefore it is to all, for they with one voice be asked, "would they be happy?" they would answer without doubt, "they would." And this could not be, unless the thing itself whereof it is the name were retained in their memory.
10.21.30 Numquid ita ut meminit Carthaginem qui vidit? Non. Vita enim beata non videtur oculis, quia non est corpus. Numquid sicut meminimus numeros? Non. Hos enim qui habet in notitia, non adhuc quaerit adipisci, vitam vero beatam habemus in notitia ideoque amamus et tamen adhuc adipisci eam volumus, ut beati simus. Numquid sicut meminimus eloquentiam? Non. But is it so, as one remembers Carthage who hath seen it? No. For a happy life is not seen with the eye, because it is not a body. As we remember numbers then? No. For these, he that hath in his knowledge, seeks not further to attain unto; but a happy life we have in our knowledge, and therefore love it, and yet still desire to attain it, that we may be happy. As we remember eloquence then? No.
Quamvis enim et hoc nomine audito recordentur ipsam rem, qui etiam nondum sunt eloquentes multique esse cupiant (unde apparet eam esse in eorum notitia), tamen per corporis sensus alios eloquentes animadverterunt et delectati sunt et hoc esse desiderant, quamquam nisi ex interiore notitia non delectarentur, neque hoc esse vellent nisi delectarentur. Beatam vero vitam nullo sensu corporis in aliis experimur. Numquid sicut meminimus gaudium? Fortasse ita. For although upon hearing this name also, some call to mind the thing, who still are not yet eloquent, and many who desire to be so, whence it appears that it is in their knowledge; yet these have by their bodily senses observed others to be eloquent, and been delighted, and desire to be the like (though indeed they would not be delighted but for some inward knowledge thereof, nor wish to be the like, unless they were thus delighted); whereas a happy life, we do by no bodily sense experience in others. As then we remember joy? Perchance;
Nam gaudium meum etiam tristis memini sicut vitam beatam miser, neque umquam corporis sensu gaudium meum vel vidi vel audivi vel odoratus sum vel gustavi vel tetigi, sed expertus sum in animo meo quando laetatus sum, et adhaesit eius notitia memoriae meae, ut id reminisci valeam, aliquando cum aspernatione, aliquando cum desiderio, pro earum rerum diversitate de quibus me gavisum esse memini. Nam et de turpibus gaudio quodam perfusus sum, quod nunc recordans detestor atque exsecror, aliquando de bonis et honestis, quod desiderans recolo, tametsi forte non adsunt, et ideo tristis gaudium pristinum recolo. for my joy I remember, even when sad, as a happy life, when unhappy; nor did I ever with bodily sense see, hear, smell, taste, or touch my joy; but I experienced it in my mind, when I rejoiced; and the knowledge of it clave to my memory, so that I can recall it with disgust sometimes, at others with longing, according to the nature of the things, wherein I remember myself to have joyed. For even from foul things have I been immersed in a sort of joy; which now recalling, I detest and execrate; otherwhiles in good and honest things, which I recall with longing, although perchance no longer present; and therefore with sadness I recall former joy.
10.21.31 Ubi ergo et quando expertus sum vitam meam beatam, ut recorder eam et amem et desiderem? Nec ego tantum aut cum paucis, sed beati prorsus omnes esse volumus. Quod nisi certa notitia nossemus, non tam certa voluntate vellemus. Sed quid est hoc? Quod si quaeratur a duobus utrum militare velint, fieri possit ut alter eorum velle se, alter nolle respondeat. Si autem ab eis quaeratur utrum esse beati velint, uterque se statim sine ulla dubitatione dicat optare, nec ob aliud velit ille militare, nec ob aliud iste nolit, nisi ut beati sint. Where then and when did I experience my happy life, that I should remember, and love, and long for it? Nor is it I alone, or some few besides, but we all would fain be happy; which, unless by some certain knowledge we knew, we should not with so certain a will desire. But how is this, that if two men be asked whether they would go to the wars, one, perchance, would answer that he would, the other, that he would not; but if they were asked whether they would be happy, both would instantly without any doubting say they would; and for no other reason would the one go to the wars, and the other not, but to be happy.
Num forte quoniam alius hinc, alius inde gaudet? Ita se omnes beatos esse velle consonant, quemadmodum consonarent si hoc interrogarentur, se velle gaudere, atque ipsum gaudium vitam beatam vocant. Quod etsi alius hinc, alius illinc adsequitur, unum est tamen quo pervenire omnes nituntur, ut gaudeant. Quae quoniam res est quam se expertum non esse nemo potest dicere, propterea reperta in memoria recognoscitur quando beatae vitae nomen auditur. Is it perchance that as one looks for his joy in this thing, another in that, all agree in their desire of being happy, as they would (if they were asked) that they wished to have joy, and this joy they call a happy life? Although then one obtains this joy by one means, another by another, all have one end, which they strive to attain, namely, joy. Which being a thing which all must say they have experienced, it is therefore found in the memory, and recognised whenever the name of a happy life is mentioned.
10.22.32 Absit, domine, absit a corde servi tui qui confitetur tibi, absit ut, quocumque gaudio gaudeam, beatum me putem. Est enim gaudium quod non datur impiis, sed eis qui te gratis colunt, quorum gaudium tu ipse es. Et ipsa est beata vita, gaudere ad te, de te, propter te: ipsa est et non est altera. Qui autem aliam putant esse, aliud sectantur gaudium neque ipsum verum. Ab aliqua tamen imagine gaudii voluntas eorum non avertitur. Far be it, Lord, far be it from the heart of Thy servant who here confesseth unto Thee, far be it, that, be the joy what it may, I should therefore think myself happy. For there is a joy which is not given to the ungodly, but to those who love Thee for Thine own sake, whose joy Thou Thyself art. And this is the happy life, to rejoice to Thee, of Thee, for Thee; this is it, and there is no other. For they who think there is another, pursue some other and not the true joy. Yet is not their will turned away from some semblance of joy.
10.23.33 Non ergo certum est quod omnes esse beati volunt, quoniam qui non de te gaudere volunt, quae sola vita beata est, non utique beatam vitam volunt. An omnes hoc volunt, sed quoniam caro concupiscit adversus spiritum et spiritus adversus carnem, ut non faciant quod volunt, cadunt in id quod valent eoque contenti sunt, quia illud quod non valent, non tantum volunt quantum sat est ut valeant? Nam quaero ab omnibus utrum malint de veritate quam de falsitate gaudere. Tam non dubitant dicere de veritate se malle, quam non dubitant dicere beatos esse se velle. Beata quippe vita est gaudium de veritate. It is not certain then that all wish to be happy, inasmuch as they who wish not to joy in Thee, which is the only happy life, do not truly desire the happy life. Or do all men desire this, but because the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh, that they cannot do what they would, they fall upon that which they can, and are content therewith; because, what they are not able to do, they do not will so strongly as would suffice to make them able? For I ask any one, had he rather joy in truth, or in falsehood? They will as little hesitate to say "in the truth," as to say "that they desire to be happy," for a happy life is joy in the truth:
Hoc est enim gaudium de te, qui veritas es, deus, inluminatio mea, salus faciei meae, deus meus. Hanc vitam beatam omnes volunt, hanc vitam, quae sola beata est, omnes volunt, gaudium de veritate omnes volunt. Multos expertus sum qui vellent fallere, qui autem falli, neminem. Ubi ergo noverunt hanc vitam beatam, nisi ubi noverunt etiam veritatem? Amant enim et ipsam, quia falli nolunt, et cum amant beatam vitam, quod non est aliud quam de veritate gaudium, utique amant etiam veritatem, nec amarent nisi esset aliqua notitia eius in memoria eorum. Cur ergo non de illa gaudent? Cur non beati sunt? Quia fortius occupantur in aliis, quae potius eos faciunt miseros quam illud beatos, quod tenuiter meminerunt. Adhuc enim modicum lumen est in hominibus. Ambulent, ambulent, ne tenebrae comprehendant. for this is a joying in Thee, Who art the Truth, O God my light, health of my countenance, my God. This is the happy life which all desire; this life which alone is happy, all desire; to joy in the truth all desire. I have met with many that would deceive; who would be deceived, no one. Where then did they know this happy life, save where they know the truth also? For they love it also, since they would not be deceived. And when they love a happy life, which is no other than joying in the truth, then also do they love the truth; which yet they would not love, were there not some notice of it in their memory. Why then joy they not in it? why are they not happy? because they are more strongly taken up with other things which have more power to make them miserable, than that which they so faintly remember to make them happy. For there is yet a little light in men; let them walk, let them walk, that the darkness overtake them not.
10.23.34 Cur autem veritas parit odium et inimicus eis factus est homo tuus verum praedicans, cum ametur beata vita, quae non est nisi gaudium de veritate, nisi quia sic amatur veritas ut, quicumque aliud amant, hoc quod amant velint esse veritatem, et quia falli nollent, nolunt convinci quod falsi sint? Itaque propter eam rem oderunt veritatem, quam pro veritate amant. Amant eam lucentem, oderunt eam redarguentem. Quia enim falli nolunt et fallere volunt, amant eam cum se ipsa indicat, et oderunt eam cum eos ipsos indicat. But why doth "truth generate hatred," and the man of Thine, preaching the truth, become an enemy to them? whereas a happy life is loved, which is nothing else but joying in the truth; unless that truth is in that kind loved, that they who love anything else would gladly have that which they love to be the truth: and because they would not be deceived, would not be convinced that they are so? Therefore do they hate the truth for that thing's sake which they loved instead of the truth. They love truth when she enlightens, they hate her when she reproves. For since they would not be deceived, and would deceive, they love her when she discovers herself unto them, and hate her when she discovers them.
Inde retribuet eis ut, qui se ab ea manifestari nolunt, et eos nolentes manifestet et eis ipsa non sit manifesta. Sic, sic, etiam sic animus humanus, etiam sic caecus et languidus, turpis atque indecens latere vult, se autem ut lateat aliquid non vult. Contra illi redditur, ut ipse non lateat veritatem, ipsum autem veritas lateat. Tamen etiam sic, dum miser est, veris mavult gaudere quam falsis. Beatus ergo erit, si nulla interpellante molestia de ipsa, per quam vera sunt omnia, sola veritate gaudebit. Whence she shall so repay them, that they who would not be made manifest by her, she both against their will makes manifest, and herself becometh not manifest unto them. Thus, thus, yea thus doth the mind of man, thus blind and sick, foul and ill-favoured, wish to be hidden, but that aught should be hidden from it, it wills not. But the contrary is requited it, that itself should not be hidden from the Truth; but the Truth is hid from it. Yet even thus miserable, it had rather joy in truths than in falsehoods. Happy then will it be, when, no distraction interposing, it shall joy in that only Truth, by Whom all things are true.
10.24.35 Ecce quantum spatiatus sum in memoria mea quaerens te, domine, et non te inveni extra eam. Neque enim aliquid de te inveni quod non meminissem, ex quo didici te, nam ex quo didici te non sum oblitus tui. Ubi enim inveni veritatem, ibi inveni deum meum, ipsam veritatem, quam ex quo didici non sum oblitus. Itaque ex quo te didici, manes in memoria mea, et illic te invenio cum reminiscor tui, et delector in te. Hae sunt sanctae deliciae meae, quas donasti mihi misericordia tua, respiciens paupertatem meam. See what a space I have gone over in my memory seeking Thee, O Lord; and I have not found Thee, without it. Nor have I found any thing concerning Thee, but what I have kept in memory, ever since I learnt Thee. For since I learnt Thee, I have not forgotten Thee. For where I found Truth, there found I my God, the Truth itself; which since I learnt, I have not forgotten. Since then I learnt Thee, Thou residest in my memory; and there do I find Thee, when I call Thee to remembrance, and delight in Thee. These be my holy delights, which Thou hast given me in Thy mercy, having regard to my poverty.
10.25.36 Sed ubi manes in memoria mea, domine, ubi illic manes? Quale cubile fabricasti tibi? Quale sanctuarium aedificasti tibi? Tu dedisti hanc dignationem memoriae meae, ut maneas in ea, sed in qua eius parte maneas, hoc considero. Transcendi enim partes eius quas habent et bestiae cum te recordarer, quia non ibi te inveniebam inter imagines rerum corporalium, et veni ad partes eius ubi commendavi affectiones animi mei, nec illic inveni te. Et intravi ad ipsius animi mei sedem, quae illi est in memoria mea, quoniam sui quoque meminit animus, nec ibi tu eras, quia sicut non es imago corporalis nec affectio viventis, qualis est cum laetamur, contristamur, cupimus, metuimus, meminimus, obliviscimur et quidquid huius modi est, ita nec ipse animus es, quia dominus deus animi tu es. Et commutantur haec omnia, tu autem incommutabilis manes super omnia et dignatus es habitare in memoria mea, ex quo te didici. Et quid quaero quo loco eius habites, quasi vero loca ibi sint? Habitas certe in ea, quoniam tui memini, ex quo te didici, et in ea te invenio, cum recordor te. But where in my memory residest Thou, O Lord, where residest Thou there? what manner of lodging hast Thou framed for Thee? what manner of sanctuary hast Thou builded for Thee? Thou hast given this honour to my memory, to reside in it; but in what quarter of it Thou residest, that am I considering. For in thinking on Thee, I passed beyond such parts of it as the beasts also have, for I found Thee not there among the images of corporeal things: and I came to those parts to which I committed the affections of my mind, nor found Thee there. And I entered into the very seat of my mind (which it hath in my memory, inasmuch as the mind remembers itself also), neither wert Thou there: for as Thou art not a corporeal image, nor the affection of a living being (as when we rejoice, condole, desire, fear, remember, forget, or the like); so neither art Thou the mind itself; because Thou art the Lord God of the mind; and all these are changed, but Thou remainest unchangeable over all, and yet hast vouchsafed to dwell in my memory, since I learnt Thee. And why seek I now in what place thereof Thou dwellest, as if there were places therein? Sure I am, that in it Thou dwellest, since I have remembered Thee ever since I learnt Thee, and there I find Thee, when I call Thee to remembrance.
10.26.37 Ubi ergo te inveni, ut discerem te? Neque enim iam eras in memoria mea, priusquam te discerem. Ubi ergo te inveni ut discerem te, nisi in te supra me? Et nusquam locus, et recedimus et accedimus, et nusquam locus. Veritas, ubique praesides omnibus consulentibus te simulque respondes omnibus etiam diversa consulentibus. Liquide tu respondes, sed non liquide omnes audiunt. Omnes unde volunt consulunt, sed non semper quod volunt audiunt. Optimus minister tuus est qui non magis intuetur hoc a te audire quod ipse voluerit, sed potius hoc velle quod a te audierit. Where then did I find Thee, that I might learn Thee? For in my memory Thou wert not, before I learned Thee. Where then did I find Thee, that I might learn Thee, but in Thee above me? Place there is none; we go backward and forward, and there is no place. Every where, O Truth, dost Thou give audience to all who ask counsel of Thee, and at once answerest all, though on manifold matters they ask Thy counsel. Clearly dost Thou answer, though all do not clearly hear. All consult Thee on what they will, though they hear not always what they will. He is Thy best servant who looks not so much to hear that from Thee which himself willeth, as rather to will that, which from Thee he heareth.
10.27.38 Sero te amavi, pulchritudo tam antiqua et tam nova, sero te amavi! et ecce intus eras et ego foris, et ibi te quaerebam, et in ista formosa quae fecisti deformis inruebam. Mecum eras, et tecum non eram. Ea me tenebant longe a te, quae si in te non essent, non essent. Vocasti et clamasti et rupisti surditatem meam; coruscasti, splenduisti et fugasti caecitatem meam; fragrasti, et duxi spiritum et anhelo tibi; gustavi et esurio et sitio; tetigisti me, et exarsi in pacem tuam. Too late loved I Thee, O Thou Beauty of ancient days, yet ever new! too late I loved Thee! And behold, Thou wert within, and I abroad, and there I searched for Thee; deformed I, plunging amid those fair forms which Thou hadst made. Thou wert with me, but I was not with Thee. Things held me far from Thee, which, unless they were in Thee, were not at all. Thou calledst, and shoutedst, and burstest my deafness. Thou flashedst, shonest, and scatteredst my blindness. Thou breathedst odours, and I drew in breath and panted for Thee. I tasted, and hunger and thirst. Thou touchedst me, and I burned for Thy peace.
10.28.39 Cum inhaesero tibi ex omni me, nusquam erit mihi dolor et labor, et viva erit vita mea tota plena te. Nunc autem quoniam quem tu imples, sublevas eum, quoniam tui plenus non sum, oneri mihi sum. Contendunt laetitiae meae flendae cum laetandis maeroribus, et ex qua parte stet victoria nescio. Contendunt maerores mei mali cum gaudiis bonis, et ex qua parte stet victoria nescio. Ei mihi! domine, miserere mei! ei mihi! ecce vulnera mea non abscondo. Medicus es, aeger sum; misericors es, miser sum. Numquid non temptatio est vita humana super terram? Quis velit molestias et difficultates? Tolerari iubes ea, non amari. Nemo quod tolerat amat, etsi tolerare amat. Quamvis enim gaudeat se tolerare, mavult tamen non esse quod toleret. Prospera in adversis desidero, adversa in prosperis timeo. Quis inter haec medius locus, ubi non sit humana vita temptatio? Vae prosperitatibus saeculi semel et iterum a timore adversitatis et a corruptione laetitiae! vae adversitatibus saeculi semel et iterum et tertio a desiderio prosperitatis, et quia ipsa adversitas dura est, et ne frangat tolerantiam! numquid non temptatio est vita humana super terram sine ullo interstitio? When I shall with my whole self cleave to Thee, I shall no where have sorrow or labour; and my life shall wholly live, as wholly full of Thee. But now since whom Thou fillest, Thou liftest up, because I am not full of Thee I am a burden to myself. Lamentable joys strive with joyous sorrows: and on which side is the victory, I know not. Woe is me! Lord, have pity on me. My evil sorrows strive with my good joys; and on which side is the victory, 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 all trial? Who wishes for troubles and difficulties? Thou commandest them to be endured, not to be loved. No man loves what he endures, though he love to endure. For though he rejoices that he endures, he had rather there were nothing for him to endure. In adversity I long for prosperity, in prosperity I fear adversity. What middle place is there betwixt these two, where the life of man is not all trial? Woe to the prosperities of the world, once and again, through fear of adversity, and corruption of joy! Woe to the adversities of the world, once and again, and the third time, from the longing for prosperity, and because adversity itself is a hard thing, and lest it shatter endurance. Is not the life of man upon earth all trial: without any interval?
10.29.40 Et tota spes mea nisi in magna valde misericordia tua. Da quod iubes et iube quod vis: imperas nobis continentiam. 'Et cum scirem,' ait quidam, 'Quia nemo potest esse continens, nisi deus det, et hoc ipsum erat sapientiae, scire cuius esset hoc donum.' per continentiam quippe conligimur et redigimur in unum, a quo in multa defluximus. Minus enim te amat qui tecum aliquid amat quod non propter te amat. O amor, qui semper ardes et numquam extingueris, caritas, deus meus, accende me! continentiam iubes: da quod iubes et iube quod vis. And all my hope is no where but in Thy exceeding great mercy. Give what Thou enjoinest, and enjoin what Thou wilt. Thou enjoinest us continency; and when I knew, saith one, that no man can be continent, unless God give it, this also was a part of wisdom to know whose gift she is. By continency verily are we bound up and brought back into One, whence we were dissipated into many. For too little doth he love Thee, who loves any thing with Thee, which he loveth not for Thee. O love, who ever burnest and never consumest! O charity, my God, kindle me. Thou enjoinest continency: give me what Thou enjoinest, and enjoin what Thou wilt.
10.30.41 Iubes certe ut contineam a concupiscentia carnis et concupiscentia oculorum et ambitione saeculi. Iussisti a concubitu et de ipso coniugio melius aliquid quam concessisti monuisti. Et quoniam dedisti, factum est, et antequam dispensator sacramenti tui fierem. Sed adhuc vivunt in memoria mea, de qua multa locutus sum, talium rerum imagines, quas ibi consuetudo mea fixit, et occursantur mihi vigilanti quidem carentes viribus, in somnis autem non solum usque ad delectationem sed etiam usque ad consensionem factumque simillimum. Et tantum valet imaginis inlusio in anima mea in carne mea, ut dormienti falsa visa persuadeant quod vigilanti vera non possunt. Verily Thou enjoinest me continency from the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the ambition of the world. Thou enjoinest continency from concubinage; and for wedlock itself, Thou hast counselled something better than what Thou hast permitted. And since Thou gavest it, it was done, even before I became a dispenser of Thy Sacrament. But there yet live in my memory (whereof I have much spoken) the images of such things as my ill custom there fixed; which haunt me, strengthless when I am awake: but in sleep, not only so as to give pleasure, but even to obtain assent, and what is very like reality. Yea, so far prevails the illusion of the image, in my soul and in my flesh, that, when asleep, false visions persuade to that which when waking, the true cannot.
Numquid tunc ego non sum, domine deus meus? Et tamen tantum interest inter me ipsum et me ipsum intra momentum quo hinc ad soporem transeo vel huc inde retranseo! ubi est tunc ratio qua talibus suggestionibus resistit vigilans et, si res ipsae ingerantur, inconcussus manet? Numquid clauditur cum oculis? Numquid sopitur cum sensibus corporis? Et unde saepe etiam in somnis resistimus nostrique propositi memores atque in eo castissime permanentes nullum talibus inlecebris adhibemus adsensum? Et tamen tantum interest ut, cum aliter accidit, evigilantes ad conscientiae requiem redeamus ipsaque distantia reperiamus nos non fecisse quod tamen in nobis quoquo modo factum esse doleamus. Am I not then myself, O Lord my God? And yet there is so much difference betwixt myself and myself, within that moment wherein I pass from waking to sleeping, or return from sleeping to waking! Where is reason then, which, awake, resisteth such suggestions? And should the things themselves be urged on it, it remaineth unshaken. Is it clasped up with the eyes? is it lulled asleep with the senses of the body? And whence is it that often even in sleep we resist, and mindful of our purpose, and abiding most chastely in it, yield no assent to such enticements? And yet so much difference there is, that when it happeneth otherwise, upon waking we return to peace of conscience: and by this very difference discover that we did not, what yet we be sorry that in some way it was done in us.
10.30.42 Numquid non potens est manus tua, deus omnipotens, sanare omnes languores animae meae atque abundantiore gratia tua lascivos motus etiam mei soporis extinguere? Augebis, domine, magis magisque in me munera tua, ut anima mea sequatur me ad te concupiscentiae visco expedita, ut non sit rebellis sibi, atque ut in somnis etiam non solum non perpetret istas corruptelarum turpitudines per imagines animales usque ad carnis fluxum, sed ne consentiat quidem. Nam ut nihil tale vel tantulum libeat, quantulum possit nutu cohiberi etiam in casto dormientis affectu, non tantum in hac vita sed etiam in hac aetate, non magnum est omnipotenti, qui vales facere supra quam petimus et intellegimus. Nunc tamen quid adhuc sim in hoc genere mali mei, dixi bono domino meo, exultans cum tremore in eo quod donasti mihi, et lugens in eo quod inconsummatus sum, sperans perfecturum te in me misericordias tuas usque ad pacem plenariam, quam tecum habebunt interiora et exteriora mea, cum absorpta fuerit mors in victoriam. Art Thou not mighty, God Almighty, so as to heal all the diseases of my soul, and by Thy more abundant grace to quench even the impure motions of my sleep! Thou wilt increase, Lord, Thy gifts more and more in me, that my soul may follow me to Thee, disentangled from the birdlime of concupiscence; that it rebel not against itself, and even in dreams not only not, through images of sense, commit those debasing corruptions, even to pollution of the flesh, but not even to consent unto them. For that nothing of this sort should have, over the pure affections even of a sleeper, the very least influence, not even such as a thought would restrain, -to work this, not only during life, but even at my present age, is not hard for the Almighty, Who art able to do above all that we ask or think. But what I yet am in this kind of my evil, have I confessed unto my good Lord; rejoicing with trembling, in that which Thou hast given me, and bemoaning that wherein I am still imperfect; hoping that Thou wilt perfect Thy mercies in me, even to perfect peace, which my outward and inward man shall have with Thee, when death shall be swallowed up in victory.
10.31.43 Est alia malitia diei, quae utinam sufficiat ei. Reficimus enim cotidianas ruinas corporis edendo et bibendo, priusquam escas et ventrem destruas, cum occideris indigentiam satietate mirifica et corruptibile hoc indueris incorruptione sempiterna. Nunc autem suavis est mihi necessitas, et adversus istam suavitatem pugno, ne capiar, et cotidianum bellum gero in ieiuniis, saepius in servitutem redigens corpus meum, et dolores mei voluptate pelluntur. Nam fames et sitis quidam dolores sunt, urunt et sicut febris necant, nisi alimentorum medicina succurrat. Quae quoniam praesto est ex consolatione munerum tuorum, in quibus nostrae infirmitati terra et aqua et caelum serviunt, calamitas deliciae vocantur. There is another evil of the day, which I would were sufficient for it. For by eating and drinking we repair the daily decays of our body, until Thou destroy both belly and meat, when Thou shalt slay my emptiness with a wonderful fulness, and clothe this incorruptible with an eternal incorruption. But now the necessity is sweet unto me, against which sweetness I fight, that I be not taken captive; and carry on a daily war by fastings; often bringing my body into subjection; and my pains are removed by pleasure. For hunger and thirst are in a manner pains; they burn and kill like a fever, unless the medicine of nourishments come to our aid. Which since it is at hand through the consolations of Thy gifts, with which land, and water, and air serve our weakness, our calamity is termed gratification.
10.31.44 Hoc me docuisti, ut quemadmodum medicamenta sic alimenta sumpturus accedam. Sed dum ad quietem satietatis ex indigentiae molestia transeo, in ipso transitu mihi insidiatur laqueus concupiscentiae. Ipse enim transitus voluptas est, et non est alius, qua transeatur quo transire cogit necessitas. Et cum salus sit causa edendi ac bibendi, adiungit se tamquam pedisequa periculosa iucunditas et plerumque praeire conatur, ut eius causa fiat quod salutis causa me facere vel dico vel volo. This hast Thou taught me, that I should set myself to take food as physic. But while I am passing from the discomfort of emptiness to the content of replenishing, in the very passage the snare of concupiscence besets me. For that passing, is pleasure, nor is there any other way to pass thither, whither we needs must pass. And health being the cause of eating and drinking, there joineth itself as an attendant a dangerous pleasure, which mostly endeavours to go before it, so that I may for her sake do what I say I do, or wish to do, for health's sake.
Nec idem modus utriusque est: nam quod saluti satis est, delectationi parum est, et saepe incertum fit utrum adhuc necessaria corporis cura subsidium petat an voluptaria cupiditatis fallacia ministerium suppetat. Ad hoc incertum hilarescit infelix anima et in eo praeparat excusationis patrocinium, gaudens non apparere quid satis sit moderationi valetudinis, ut obtentu salutis obumbret negotium voluptatis. His temptationibus cotidie conor resistere, et invoco dexteram tuam, et ad te refero aestus meos, quia consilium mihi de hac re nondum stat. Nor have each the same measure; for what is enough for health, is too little for pleasure. And oft it is uncertain, whether it be the necessary care of the body which is yet asking for sustenance, or whether a voluptuous deceivableness of greediness is proffering its services. In this uncertainty the unhappy soul rejoiceth, and therein prepares an excuse to shield itself, glad that it appeareth not what sufficeth for the moderation of health, that under the cloak of health, it may disguise the matter of gratification. These temptations I daily endeavour to resist, and I call on Thy right hand, and to Thee do I refer my perplexities; because I have as yet no settled counsel herein.
10.31.45 Audio vocem iubentis dei mei, 'Non graventur corda vestra in crapula et ebrietate.' ebrietas longe est a me: misereberis, ne appropinquet mihi. Crapula autem nonnumquam subrepit servo tuo: misereberis, ut longe fiat a me. Nemo enim potest esse continens, nisi tu des. Multa nobis orantibus tribuis, et quidquid boni antequam oraremus accepimus, a te accepimus; et ut hoc postea cognosceremus, a te accepimus. Ebriosus numquam fui, sed ebriosos a te factos sobrios ego novi. Ergo a te factum est ut hoc non essent qui numquam fuerunt, a quo factum est ut hoc non semper essent qui fuerunt, a quo etiam factum est ut scirent utrique a quo factum est. Audivi aliam vocem tuam: 'Post concupiscentias tuas non eas et a voluptate tua vetare.' audivi et illam ex munere tuo, quam multum amavi: 'Neque si manducaverimus, abundabimus, neque si non manducaverimus, deerit nobis'; hoc est dicere: 'Nec illa res me copiosum faciet nec illa aerumnosum.' audivi et alteram: 'Ego enim didici in quibus sum sufficiens esse, et abundare novi et penuriam pati novi. Omnia possum in eo qui me confortat.' ecce miles castrorum caelestium, non pulvis quod sumus. Sed memento, domine, quia pulvis sumus, et de pulvere fecisti hominem, et perierat et inventus est. Nec ille in se potuit, quia idem pulvis fuit quem talia dicentem adflatu tuae inspirationis adamavi: 'Omnia possum,' inquit, 'In eo qui me confortat.' conforta me ut possim. Da quod iubes et iube quod vis. Iste se accepisse confitetur et quod gloriatur in domino gloriatur. Audivi alium rogantem ut accipiat: 'Aufer a me,' inquit, 'Concupiscentias ventris.' unde apparet, sancte deus meus, te dare, cum fit quod imperas fieri. I hear the voice of my God commanding, Let not your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness. Drunkenness is far from me; Thou wilt have mercy, that it come not near me. But full feeding sometimes creepeth upon Thy servant; Thou wilt have mercy, that it may be far from me. For no one can be continent unless Thou give it. Many things Thou givest us, praying for them; and what good soever we have received before we prayed, from Thee we received it; yea to the end we might afterwards know this, did we before receive it. Drunkard was I never, but drunkards have I known made sober by Thee. >From Thee then it was, that they who never were such, should not so be, as from Thee it was, that they who have been, should not ever so be; and from Thee it was, that both might know from Whom it was. I heard another voice of Thine, Go not after thy lusts, and from thy pleasure turn away. Yea by Thy favour have I heard that which I have much loved; neither if we eat, shall we abound; neither if we eat not, shall we lack; which is to say, neither shall the one make me plenteous, nor the other miserable. I heard also another, for I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content; I know how to abound, and how to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ that strengtheneth me. Behold a soldier of the heavenly camp, not the dust which we are. But remember, Lord, that we are dust, and that of dust Thou hast made man; and he was lost and is found. Nor could he of himself do this, because he whom I so loved, saying this through the in-breathing of Thy inspiration, was of the same dust. I can do all things (saith he) through Him that strengtheneth me. Strengthen me, that I can. Give what Thou enjoinest, and enjoin what Thou wilt. He confesses to have received, and when he glorieth, in the Lord he glorieth. Another have I heard begging that he might receive. Take from me (saith he) the desires of the belly; whence it appeareth, O my holy God, that Thou givest, when that is done which Thou commandest to be done.
10.31.46 Docuisti me, pater bone, omnia munda mundis, sed malum esse homini qui per offensionem manducat; et omnem creaturam tuam bonam esse nihilque abiciendum quod cum gratiarum actione percipitur; et quia esca nos non commendat deo, et ut nemo nos iudicet in cibo aut in potu; et ut qui manducat non manducantem non spernat, et qui non manducat manducantem non iudicet. Didici haec: gratias tibi, laudes tibi, deo meo, magistro meo, pulsatori aurium mearum, inlustratori cordis mei. Eripe ab omni temptatione. Non ego immunditiam obsonii timeo, sed immunditiam cupiditatis. Scio Noe omne carnis genus quod cibo esset usui manducare permissum, Heliam cibo carnis refectum, Iohannem mirabili abstinentia praeditum animalibus, hoc est lucustis in escam cedentibus, non fuisse pollutum. Et scio Esau lenticulae concupiscentia deceptum, et David propter aquae desiderium a se ipso reprehensum, et regem nostrum non de carne sed de pane temptatum. Ideoque et populus in heremo non quia carnes desideravit, sed quia escae desiderio adversus dominum murmuravit, meruit improbari. Thou hast taught me, good Father, that to the pure, all things are pure; but that it is evil unto the man that eateth with offence; and, that every creature of Thine is good, and nothing to be refused, which is received with thanksgiving; and that meat commendeth us not to God; and, that no man should judge us in meat or drink; and, that he which 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 be to Thee, praise to Thee, my God, my Master, knocking at my ears, enlightening my heart; deliver me out of all temptation. I fear not uncleanness of meat, but the uncleanness of lusting. I know; that Noah was permitted to eat all kind of flesh that was good for food; that Elijah was fed with flesh; that endued with an admirable abstinence, was not polluted by feeding on living creatures, locusts. I know also that Esau was deceived by lusting for lentiles; and that David blamed himself for desiring a draught of water; and that our King was tempted, not concerning flesh, but bread. And therefore the people in the wilderness also deserved to be reproved, not for desiring flesh, but because, in the desire of food, they murmured against the Lord.
10.31.47 In his ergo temptationibus positus certo cotidie adversus concupiscentiam manducandi et bibendi. Non enim est quod semel praecidere et ulterius non attingere decernam, sicut de concubitu potui. Itaque freni gutturis temperata relaxatione et constrictione tenendi sunt. Et quis est, domine, qui non rapiatur aliquantum extra metas necessitatis? Quisquis est, magnus est, magnificet nomen tuum. Ego autem non sum, quia peccator homo sum, sed et ego magnifico nomen tuum, et interpellat te pro peccatis meis qui vicit saeculum, numerans me inter infirma membra corporis sui, quia et imperfectum eius viderunt oculi tui, et in libro tuo omnes scribentur. Placed then amid these temptations, I strive daily against concupiscence in eating and drinking. For it is not of such nature that I can settle on cutting it off once for all, and never touching it afterward, as I could of concubinage. The bridle of the throat then is to be held attempered between slackness and stiffness. And who is he, O Lord, who is not some whit transported beyond the limits of necessity? whoever he is, he is a great one; let him make Thy Name great. But I am not such, for I am a sinful man. Yet do I too magnify Thy name; and He maketh intercession to Thee for my sins who hath overcome the world; numbering me among the weak members of His body; because Thine eyes have seen that of Him which is imperfect, and in Thy book shall all be written.
10.32.48 De inlecebra odorum non satago nimis. Cum absunt, non requiro, cum adsunt, non respuo, paratus eis etiam semper carere. Ita mihi videor; forsitan fallar. Sunt enim et istae plangendae tenebrae in quibus me latet facultas mea quae in me est, ut animus meus de viribus suis ipse se interrogans non facile sibi credendum existimet, quia et quod inest plerumque occultum est, nisi experientia manifestetur, et nemo securus esse debet in ista vita, quae tota temptatio nominatur, utrum qui fieri potuit ex deteriore melior non fiat etiam ex meliore deterior. Una spes, una fiducia, una firma promissio misericordia tua. With the allurements of smells, I am not much concerned. When absent, I do not miss them; when present, I do not refuse them; yet ever ready to be without them. So I seem to myself; perchance I am deceived. For that also is a mournful darkness whereby my abilities within me are hidden from me; so that my mind making enquiry into herself of her own powers, ventures not readily to believe herself; because even what is in it is mostly hidden, unless experience reveal it. And no one ought to be secure in that life, the whole whereof is called a trial, that he who hath been capable of worse to be made better, may not likewise of better be made worse. Our only hope, only confidence, only assured promise is Thy mercy.
10.33.49 Voluptates aurium tenacius me implicaverant et subiugaverant, sed resolvisti et liberasti me. Nunc in sonis quos animant eloquia tua cum suavi et artificiosa voce cantantur, fateor, aliquantulum adquiesco, non quidem ut haeream, sed ut surgam cum volo. Attamen cum ipsis sententiis, quibus vivunt ut admittantur ad me, quaerunt in corde meo nonnullius dignitatis locum, et vix eis praebeo congruentem. Aliquando enim plus mihi videor honoris eis tribuere quam decet, dum ipsis sanctis dictis religiosius et ardentius sentio moveri animos nostros in flammam pietatis cum ita cantantur, quam si non ita cantarentur, et omnes affectus spiritus nostri pro sui diversitate habere proprios modos in voce atque cantu, quorum nescio qua occulta familiaritate excitentur. Sed delectatio carnis meae, cui mentem enervandam non oportet dari, saepe me fallit, dum rationi sensus non ita comitatur ut patienter sit posterior, sed tantum, quia propter illam meruit admitti, etiam praecurrere ac ducere conatur. Ita in his pecco non sentiens et postea sentio. The delights of the ear had more firmly entangled and subdued me; but Thou didst loosen and free me. Now, in those melodies which Thy words breathe soul into, when sung with a sweet and attuned voice, I do a little repose; yet not so as to be held thereby, but that I can disengage myself when I will. But with the words which are their life and whereby they find admission into me, themselves seek in my affections a place of some estimation, and I can scarcely assign them one suitable. For at one time I seem to myself to give them more honour than is seemly, feeling our minds to be more holily and fervently raised unto a flame of devotion, by the holy words themselves when thus sung, than when not; and that the several affections of our spirit, by a sweet variety, have their own proper measures in the voice and singing, by some hidden correspondence wherewith they are stirred up. But this contentment of the flesh, to which the soul must not be given over to be enervated, doth oft beguile me, the sense not so waiting upon reason as patiently to follow her; but having been admitted merely for her sake, it strives even to run before her, and lead her. Thus in these things I unawares sin, but afterwards am aware of it.
10.33.50 Aliquando autem hanc ipsam fallaciam immoderatius cavens erro nimia severitate, sed valde interdum, ut melos omne cantilenarum suavium quibus daviticum psalterium frequentatur ab auribus meis removeri velim atque ipsius ecclesiae, tutiusque mihi videtur quod de Alexandrino episcopo Athanasio saepe mihi dictum commemini, qui tam modico flexu vocis faciebat sonare lectorem psalmi ut pronuntianti vicinior esset quam canenti. Verum tamen cum reminiscor lacrimas meas quas fudi ad cantus ecclesiae in primordiis recuperatae fidei meae, et nunc ipsum cum moveor non cantu sed rebus quae cantantur, cum liquida voce et convenientissima modulatione cantantur, magnam instituti huius utilitatem rursus agnosco. Ita fluctuo inter periculum voluptatis et experimentum salubritatis magisque adducor, non quidem inretractabilem sententiam proferens, cantandi consuetudinem approbare in ecclesia, ut per oblectamenta aurium infirmior animus in affectum pietatis adsurgat. Tamen cum mihi accidit ut me amplius cantus quam res quae canitur moveat, poenaliter me peccare confiteor et tunc mallem non audire cantantem. Ecce ubi sum! flete mecum et pro me flete qui aliquid boni vobiscum intus agitis, unde facta procedunt. Nam qui non agitis, non vos haec movent. Tu autem, domine deus meus, exaudi: respice et vide et miserere et sana me, in cuius oculis mihi quaestio factus sum, et ipse est languor meus. At other times, shunning over-anxiously this very deception, I err in too great strictness; and sometimes to that degree, as to wish the whole melody of sweet music which is used to David's Psalter, banished from my ears, and the Church's too; and that mode seems to me safer, which I remember to have been often told me of Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, who made the reader of the psalm utter it with so slight inflection of voice, that it was nearer speaking than singing. Yet again, when I remember the tears I shed at the Psalmody of Thy Church, in the beginning of my recovered faith; and how at this time I am moved, not with the singing, but with the things sung, when they are sung with a clear voice and modulation most suitable, I acknowledge the great use of this institution. Thus I fluctuate between peril of pleasure and approved wholesomeness; inclined the rather (though not as pronouncing an irrevocable opinion) to approve of the usage of singing in the church; that so by the delight of the ears the weaker minds may rise to the feeling of devotion. Yet when it befalls me to be more moved with the voice than the words sung, I confess to have sinned penally, and then had rather not hear music. See now my state; weep with me, and weep for me, ye, whoso regulate your feelings within, as that good action ensues. For you who do not act, these things touch not you. But Thou, O Lord my God, hearken; behold, and see, and have mercy and heal me, Thou, in whose presence I have become a problem to myself; and that is my infirmity.
10.34.51 Restat voluptas oculorum istorum carnis meae, de qua loquar confessiones quas audiant aures templi tui, aures fraternae ac piae, ut concludamus temptationes concupiscentiae carnis quae me adhuc pulsant, ingemescentem et habitaculum meum, quod de caelo est, superindui cupientem. Pulchras formas et varias, nitidos et amoenos colores amant oculi. Non teneant haec animam meam; teneat eam deus, qui fecit haec bona quidem valde, sed ipse est bonum meum, non haec. Et tangunt me vigilantem totis diebus, nec requies ab eis datur mihi, sicut datur a vocibus canoris, aliquando ab omnibus, in silentio. Ipsa enim regina colorum, lux ista perfundens cuncta quae cernimus, ubiubi per diem fuero, multimodo adlapsu blanditur mihi aliud agenti et eam non advertenti. Insinuat autem se ita vehementer ut, si repente subtrahatur, cum desiderio requiratur; et si diu absit, contristat animum. There remains the pleasure of these eyes of my flesh, on which to make my confessions in the hearing of the ears of Thy temple, those brotherly and devout ears; and so to conclude the temptations of the lust of the flesh, which yet assail me, groaning earnestly, and desiring to be clothed upon with my house from heaven. The eyes love fair and varied forms, and bright and soft colours. Let not these occupy my soul; let God rather occupy it, who made these things, very good indeed, yet is He my good, not they. And these affect me, waking, the whole day, nor is any rest given me from them, as there is from musical, sometimes in silence, from all voices. For this queen of colours, the light, bathing all which we behold, wherever I am through the day, gliding by me in varied forms, soothes me when engaged on other things, and not observing it. And so strongly doth it entwine itself, that if it be suddenly withdrawn, it is with longing sought for, and if absent long, saddeneth the mind.
10.34.52 O lux quam videbat Tobis, cum clausis istis oculis filium docebat vitae viam et ei praeibat pede caritatis nusquam errans; aut quam videbat Isaac praegravatis et opertis senectute carneis luminibus, cum filios non agnoscendo benedicere sed benedicendo agnoscere meruit; aut quam videbat Iacob, cum et ipse prae grandi aetate captus oculis in filiis praesignata futuri populi genera luminoso corde radiavit et nepotibus suis ex Ioseph divexas mystice manus, non sicut pater eorum foris corrigebat, sed sicut ipse intus discernebat, imposuit -- ipsa est lux, una est et unum omnes qui vident et amant eam. At ista corporalis, de qua loquebar, inlecebrosa ac periculosa dulcedine condit vitam saeculi caecis amatoribus. Cum autem et de ipsa laudare te norunt, deus creator omnium, adsumunt eam in hymno tuo, non absumuntur ab ea in somno suo: sic esse cupio. Resisto seductionibus oculorum, ne implicentur pedes mei, quibus ingredior viam tuam, et erigo ad te invisibiles oculos, ut tu evellas de laqueo pedes meos. Tu subinde evelles eos, nam inlaqueantur. Tu non cessas evellere (ego autem crebro haereo in ubique sparsis insidiis) quoniam non dormies neque dormitabis, qui custodis Israhel. O Thou Light, which Tobias saw, when, these eyes closed, he taught his son the way of life; and himself went before with the feet of charity, never swerving. Or which Isaac saw, when his fleshly eyes being heavy and closed by old age, it was vouchsafed him, not knowingly, to bless his sons, but by blessing to know them. Or which Jacob saw, when he also, blind through great age, with illumined heart, in the persons of his sons shed light on the different races of the future people, in them foresignified; and laid his hands, mystically crossed, upon his grandchildren by Joseph, not as their father by his outward eye corrected them, but as himself inwardly discerned. This is the light, it is one, and all are one, who see and love it. But that corporeal light whereof I spake, it seasoneth the life of this world for her blind lovers, with an enticing and dangerous sweetness. But they who know how to praise Thee for it, "O all-creating Lord," take it up in Thy hymns, and are not taken up with it in their sleep. Such would I be. These seductions of the eyes I resist, lest my feet wherewith I walk upon Thy way be ensnared; and I lift up mine invisible eyes to Thee, that Thou wouldest pluck my feet out of the snare. Thou dost ever and anon pluck them out, for they are ensnared. Thou ceasest not to pluck them out, while I often entangle myself in the snares on all sides laid; because Thou that keepest Israel shalt neither slumber nor sleep.
10.34.53 Quam innumerabilia variis artibus et opificiis, in vestibus, calciamentis, vasis et cuiuscemodi fabricationibus, picturis etiam diversisque figmentis atque his usum necessarium atque moderatum et piam significationem longe transgredientibus addiderunt homines ad inlecebras oculorum, foras sequentes quod faciunt, intus relinquentes a quo facti sunt et exterminantes quod facti sunt. At ego, deus meus et decus meum, etiam hinc tibi dico hymnum et sacrifico laudem sacrificatori meo, quoniam pulchra traiecta per animas in manus artificiosas ab illa pulchritudine veniunt quae super animas est, cui suspirat anima mea die ac nocte. Sed pulchritudinum exteriorum operatores et sectatores inde trahunt approbandi modum, non autem inde trahunt utendi modum. Et ibi est et non vident eum, ut non eant longius et fortitudinem suam ad te custodiant nec eam spargant in deliciosas lassitudines. Ego autem haec loquens atque discernens etiam istis pulchris gressum innecto, sed tu evellis, domine, evellis tu, quoniam misericordia tua ante oculos meos est. Nam ego capior miserabiliter, et tu evellis misericorditer aliquando non sentientem, quia suspensius incideram, aliquando cum dolore, quia iam inhaeseram. What innumerable toys, made by divers arts and manufactures, in our apparel, shoes, utensils and all sorts of works, in pictures also and divers images, and these far exceeding all necessary and moderate use and all pious meaning, have men added to tempt their own eyes withal; outwardly following what themselves make, inwardly forsaking Him by whom themselves were made, and destroying that which themselves have been made! But I, my God and my Glory, do hence also sing a hymn to Thee, and do consecrate praise to Him who consecrateth me, because those beautiful patterns which through men's souls are conveyed into their cunning hands, come from that Beauty, which is above our souls, which my soul day and night sigheth after. But the framers and followers of the outward beauties derive thence the rule of judging of them, but not of using them. And He is there, though they perceive Him not, that so they might not wander, but keep their strength for Thee, and not scatter it abroad upon pleasurable weariness. And I, though I speak and see this, entangle my steps with these outward beauties; but Thou pluckest me out, O Lord, Thou pluckest me out; because Thy loving-kindness is before my eyes. For I am taken miserably, and Thou pluckest me out mercifully; sometimes not perceiving it, when I had but lightly lighted upon them; otherwhiles with pain, because I had stuck fast in them.
10.35.54 Huc accedit alia forma temptationis multiplicius periculosa. Praeter enim concupiscentiam carnis, quae inest in delectatione omnium sensuum et voluptatum, cui servientes depereunt qui longe se faciunt a te, inest animae per eosdem sensus corporis quaedam non se oblectandi in carne, sed experiendi per carnem vana et curiosa cupiditas nomine cognitionis et scientiae palliata. Quae quoniam in appetitu noscendi est, oculi autem sunt ad noscendum in sensibus principes, concupiscentia oculorum eloquio divino appellata est. Ad oculos enim proprie videre pertinet, utimur autem hoc verbo etiam in ceteris sensibus, cum eos ad cognoscendum intendimus. Neque enim dicimus, 'Audi quid rutilet,' aut, 'Olefac quam niteat,' aut, 'Gusta quam splendeat,' aut, 'Palpa quam fulgeat': videri enim dicuntur haec omnia. Dicimus autem non solum, 'Vide quid luceat,' quod soli oculi sentire possunt, sed etiam, 'Vide quid sonet,' 'Vide quid oleat,' 'Vide quid sapiat,' 'Vide quam durum sit.' ideoque generalis experientia sensuum concupiscentia (sicut dictum est) oculorum vocatur, quia videndi officium, in quo primatum oculi tenent, etiam ceteri sensus sibi de similitudine usurpant, cum aliquid cognitionis explorant. To this is added another form of temptation more manifoldly dangerous. For besides that concupiscence of the flesh which consisteth in the delight of all senses and pleasures, wherein its slaves, who go far from Thee, waste and perish, the soul hath, through the same senses of the body, a certain vain and curious desire, veiled under the title of knowledge and learning, not of delighting in the flesh, but of making experiments through the flesh. The seat whereof being in the appetite of knowledge, and sight being the sense chiefly used for attaining knowledge, it is in Divine language called The lust of the eyes. For, to see, belongeth properly to the eyes; yet we use this word of the other senses also, when we employ them in seeking knowledge. For we do not say, hark how it flashes, or smell how it glows, or taste how it shines, or feel how it gleams; for 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 so the general experience of the senses, as was said, is called The lust of the eyes, because the office of seeing, wherein the eyes hold the prerogative, the other senses by way of similitude take to themselves, when they make search after any knowledge.
10.35.55 Ex hoc autem evidentius discernitur quid voluptatis, quid curiositatis agatur per sensus, quod voluptas pulchra, canora, suavia, sapida, lenia sectatur, curiositas autem etiam his contraria temptandi causa, non ad subeundam molestiam sed experiendi noscendique libidine. Quid enim voluptatis habet videre in laniato cadavere quod exhorreas? Et tamen sicubi iaceat, concurrunt, ut contristentur, ut palleant. Timent etiam ne in somnis hoc videant, quasi quisquam eos vigilantes videre coegerit aut pulchritudinis ulla fama persuaserit. Ita et in ceteris sensibus, quae persequi longum est. Ex hoc morbo cupiditatis in spectaculis exhibentur quaeque miracula. Hinc ad perscrutanda naturae, quae praeter nos est, operta proceditur, quae scire nihil prodest et nihil aliud quam scire homines cupiunt. Hinc etiam si quid eodem perversae scientiae fine per artes magicas quaeritur. Hinc etiam in ipsa religione deus temptatur, cum signa et prodigia flagitantur non ad aliquam salutem, sed ad solam experientiam desiderata. But by this may more evidently be discerned, wherein pleasure and wherein curiosity is the object of the senses; for pleasure seeketh objects beautiful, melodious, fragrant, savoury, soft; but curiosity, for trial's sake, the contrary as well, not for the sake of suffering annoyance, but out of the lust of making trial and knowing them. For what pleasure hath it, to see in a mangled carcase what will make you shudder? and yet if it be lying near, they flock thither, to be made sad, and to turn pale. Even in sleep they are afraid to see it. As if when awake, any one forced them to see it, or any report of its beauty drew them thither! Thus also in the other senses, which it were long to go through. From this disease of curiosity are all those strange sights exhibited in the theatre. Hence men go on to search out the hidden powers of nature (which is besides our end), which to know profits not, and wherein men desire nothing but to know. Hence also, if with that same end of perverted knowledge magical arts be enquired by. Hence also in religion itself, is God tempted, when signs and wonders are demanded of Him, not desired for any good end, but merely to make trial of.
10.35.56 In hac tam immensa silva plena insidiarum et periculorum, ecce multa praeciderim et a meo corde dispulerim, sicut donasti me facere, deus salutis meae. Attamen quando audeo dicere, cum circumquaque cotidianam vitam nostram tam multa huius generis rerum circumstrepant, quando audeo dicere nulla re tali me intentum fieri ad spectandum et vana cura capiendum? Sane me iam theatra non rapiunt, nec curo nosse transitus siderum, nec anima mea umquam responsa quaesivit umbrarum; omnia sacrilega sacramenta detestor. A te, domine deus meus, cui humilem famulatum ac simplicem debeo, quantis mecum suggestionum machinationibus agit inimicus ut signum aliquod petam! sed obsecro te per regem nostrum et patriam Hierusalem simplicem, castam, ut quemadmodum a me longe est ad ista consensio, ita sit semper longe atque longius. Pro salute autem cuiusquam cum te rogo, alius multum differens finis est intentionis meae, et te facientem quod vis das mihi et dabis libenter sequi. In this so vast wilderness, full of snares and dangers, behold many of them I have cut off, and thrust out of my heart, as Thou hast given me, O God of my salvation. And yet when dare I say, since so many things of this kind buzz on all sides about our daily life- when dare I say that nothing of this sort engages my attention, or causes in me an idle interest? True, the theatres do not now carry me away, nor care I to know the courses of the stars, nor did my soul ever consult ghosts departed; all sacrilegious mysteries I detest. From Thee, O Lord my God, to whom I owe humble and single-hearted service, by what artifices and suggestions doth the enemy deal with me to desire some sign! But I beseech Thee by our King, and by our pure and holy country, Jerusalem, that as any consenting thereto is far from me, so may it ever be further and further. But when I pray Thee for the salvation of any, my end and intention is far different. Thou givest and wilt give me to follow Thee willingly, doing what Thou wilt.
10.35.57 Verum tamen in quam multis minutissimis et contemptibilibus rebus curiositas cotidie nostra temptetur et quam saepe labamur, quis enumerat? Quotiens narrantes inania primo quasi toleramus, ne offendamus infirmos, deinde paulatim libenter advertimus. Canem currentem post leporem iam non specto cum in circo fit; at vero in agro, si casu transeam, avertit me fortassis et ab aliqua magna cogitatione atque ad se convertit illa venatio, non deviare cogens corpore iumenti sed cordis inclinatione, et nisi iam mihi demonstrata infirmitate mea cito admoneas aut ex ipsa visione per aliquam considerationem in te adsurgere aut totum contemnere atque transire, vanus hebesco. Quid cum me domi sedentem stelio muscas captans vel aranea retibus suis inruentes implicans saepe intentum facit? Num quia parva sunt animalia, ideo non res eadem geritur? Pergo inde ad laudandum te, creatorem mirificum atque ordinatorem rerum omnium, sed non inde esse intentus incipio. Aliud est cito surgere, aliud est non cadere. Et talibus vita mea plena est, et una spes mea magna valde misericordia tua. Cum enim huiuscemodi rerum conceptaculum fit cor nostrum et portat copiosae vanitatis catervas, hinc et orationes nostrae saepe interrumpuntur atque turbantur, et ante conspectum tuum, dum ad aures tuas vocem cordis intendimus, nescio unde inruentibus nugatoriis cogitationibus res tanta praeciditur. Notwithstanding, in how many most petty and contemptible things is our curiosity daily tempted, and how often we give way, who can recount? How often do we begin as if we were tolerating people telling vain stories, lest we offend the weak; then by degrees we take interest therein! I go not now to the circus to see a dog coursing a hare; but in the field, if passing, that coursing peradventure will distract me even from some weighty thought, and draw me after it: not that I turn aside the body of my beast, yet still incline my mind thither. And unless Thou, having made me see my infirmity didst speedily admonish me either through the sight itself by some contemplation to rise towards Thee, or altogether to despise and pass it by, I dully stand fixed therein. What, when sitting at home, a lizard catching flies, or a spider entangling them rushing into her nets, oft-times takes my attention? Is the thing different, because they are but small creatures? I go on from them to praise Thee the wonderful Creator and Orderer of all, but this does not first draw my attention. It is one thing to rise quickly, another not to fall. And of such things is my life full; and my one hope is Thy wonderful great mercy. For when our heart becomes the receptacle of such things, and is overcharged with throngs of this abundant vanity, then are our prayers also thereby often interrupted and distracted, and whilst in Thy presence we direct the voice of our heart to Thine ears, this so great concern is broken off by the rushing in of I know not what idle thoughts. Shall we then account this also among things of slight concernment, or shall aught bring us back to hope, save Thy complete mercy, since Thou hast begun to change us?
10.36.58 Numquid etiam hoc inter contemnenda deputabimus, aut aliquid nos reducet in spem nisi nota misericordia tua, quoniam coepisti mutare nos? Et tu scis quanta ex parte mutaveris, qui me primitus sanas a libidine vindicandi me, ut propitius fias etiam ceteris omnibus iniquitatibus meis, et sanes omnes languores meos, et redimas de corruptione vitam meam, et corones me in miseratione et misericordia, et saties in bonis desiderium meum, qui compressisti a timore tuo superbiam meam et mansuefecisti iugo tuo cervicem meam. Et nunc porto illud, et lene est mihi, quoniam sic promisisti et fecisti; et vere sic erat, et nesciebam, quando id subire metuebam. And Thou knowest how far Thou hast already changed me, who first healedst me of the lust of vindicating myself, that so Thou mightest forgive all the rest of my iniquities, and heal all my infirmities, and redeem life from corruption, and crown me with mercy and pity, and satisfy my desire with good things: who didst curb my pride with Thy fear, and tame my neck to Thy yoke. And now I bear it and it is light unto me, because so hast Thou promised, and hast made it; and verily so it was, and I knew it not, when I feared to take it.
10.36.59 Sed numquid, domine, qui solus sine typho dominaris, quia solus verus dominus es, qui non habes dominum, numquid hoc quoque tertium temptationis genus cessavit a me aut cessare in hac tota vita potest, timeri et amari velle ab hominibus, non propter aliud sed ut inde sit gaudium quod non est gaudium? Misera vita est et foeda iactantia; hinc fit vel maxime non amare te nec caste timere te, ideoque tu superbis resistis, humilibus autem das gratiam, et intonas super ambitiones saeculi, et contremunt fundamenta montium. Itaque nobis, quoniam propter quaedam humanae societatis officia necessarium est amari et timeri ab hominibus, instat adversarius verae beatitudinis nostrae, ubique spargens in laqueis 'Euge! euge!' ut, dum avide conligimus, incaute capiamur et a veritate tua gaudium nostrum deponamus atque in hominum fallacia ponamus, libeatque nos amari et timeri non propter te sed pro te, atque isto modo sui similes factos secum habeat, non ad concordiam caritatis sed ad consortium supplicii, qui statuit sedem suam ponere in aquilone, ut te perversa et distorta via imitanti tenebrosi frigidique servirent. Nos autem, domine, pusillus grex tuus ecce sumus, tu nos posside. Praetende alas tuas, et fugiamus sub eas. Gloria nostra tu esto; propter te amemur et verbum tuum timeatur in nobis. Qui laudari vult ab hominibus vituperante te, non defendetur ab hominibus iudicante te nec eripietur damnante te. Cum autem non peccator laudatur in desideriis animae suae, nec qui iniqua gerit benedicetur, sed laudatur homo propter aliquod donum quod dedisti ei, at ille plus gaudet sibi laudari se quam ipsum donum habere unde laudatur, etiam iste te vituperante laudatur, et melior iam ille qui laudavit quam iste qui laudatus est. Illi enim placuit in homine donum dei, huic amplius placuit donum hominis quam dei. But, O Lord, Thou alone Lord without pride, because Thou art the only true Lord, who hast no lord; hath this third kind of temptation also ceased from me, or can it cease through this whole life? To wish, namely, to be feared and loved of men, for no other end, but that we may have a joy therein which is no joy? A miserable life this and a foul boastfulness! Hence especially it comes that men do neither purely love nor fear Thee. And therefore dost Thou resist the proud, and givest grace to the humble: yea, Thou thunderest down upon the ambitions of the world, and the foundations of the mountains tremble. Because now certain offices of human society make it necessary to be loved and feared of men, the adversary of our true blessedness layeth hard at us, every where spreading his snares of "well-done, well-done"; that greedily catching at them, we may be taken unawares, and sever our joy from Thy truth, and set it in the deceivingness of men; and be pleased at being loved and feared, not for Thy sake, but in Thy stead: and thus having been made like him, he may have them for his own, not in the bands of charity, but in the bonds of punishment: who purposed to set his throne in the north, that dark and chilled they might serve him, pervertedly and crookedly imitating Thee. But we, O Lord, behold we are Thy little flock; possess us as Thine, stretch Thy wings over us, and let us fly under them. Be Thou our glory; let us be loved for Thee, and Thy word feared in us. Who would be praised of men when Thou blamest, will not be defended of men when Thou judgest; nor delivered when Thou condemnest. But when- not the sinner is praised in the desires of his soul, nor he blessed who doth ungodlily, but- a man is praised for some gift which Thou hast given him, and he rejoices more at the praise for himself than that he hath the gift for which he is praised, he also is praised, while Thou dispraisest; better is he who praised than he who is praised. For the one took pleasure in the gift of God in man; the other was better pleased with the gift of man, than of God.
10.37.60 Temptamur his temptationibus cotidie, domine, sine cessatione temptamur. Cotidiana fornax nostra est humana lingua. Imperas nobis et in hoc genere continentiam: da quod iubes et iube quod vis. Tu nosti de hac re ad te gemitum cordis mei et flumina oculorum meorum. Neque enim facile conligo quam sim ab ista peste mundatior, et multum timeo occulta mea, quae norunt oculi tui, mei autem non. Est enim qualiscumque in aliis generibus temptationum mihi facultas explorandi me, in hoc paene nulla est. Nam et a voluptatibus carnis et a curiositate supervacanea cognoscendi video quantum adsecutus sim posse refrenare animum meum, cum eis rebus careo vel voluntate vel cum absunt. Tunc enim me interrogo quam magis minusve mihi molestum sit non habere. Divitiae vero, quae ob hoc expetuntur, ut alicui trium istarum cupiditatium vel duabus earum vel omnibus serviant, si persentiscere non potest animus utrum eas habens contemnat, possunt et dimitti, ut se probet. Laude vero ut careamus atque in eo experiamur quid possumus, numquid male vivendum est et tam perdite atque immaniter, ut nemo nos noverit qui non detestetur? Quae maior dementia dici aut cogitari potest? At si bonae vitae bonorumque operum comes et solet et debet esse laudatio, tam comitatum eius quam ipsam bonam vitam deseri non oportet. Non autem sentio, sine quo esse aut aequo animo aut aegre possim, nisi cum afuerit. By these temptations we are assailed daily, O Lord; without ceasing are we assailed. Our daily furnace is the tongue of men. And in this way also Thou commandest us continence. Give what Thou enjoinest, and enjoin what Thou wilt. Thou knowest on this matter the groans of my heart, and the floods of mine eyes. For I cannot learn how far I am more cleansed from this plague, and I much fear my secret sins, which Thine eyes know, mine do not. For in other kinds of temptations I have some sort of means of examining myself; in this, scarce any. For, in refraining my mind from the pleasures of the flesh and idle curiosity, I see how much I have attained to, when I do without them; foregoing, or not having them. For then I ask myself how much more or less troublesome it is to me not to have them? Then, riches, which are desired, that they may serve to some one or two or all of the three concupiscences, if the soul cannot discern whether, when it hath them, it despiseth them, they may be cast aside, that so it may prove itself. But to be without praise, and therein essay our powers, must we live ill, yea so abandonedly and atrociously, that no one should know without detesting us? What greater madness can be said or thought of? But if praise useth and ought to accompany a good life and good works, we ought as little to forego its company, as good life itself. Yet I know not whether I can well or ill be without anything, unless it be absent.
10.37.61 Quid igitur tibi in hoc genere temptationis, domine, confiteor? Quid, nisi delectari me laudibus? Sed amplius ipsa veritate quam laudibus. Nam si mihi proponatur utrum malim furens aut in omnibus rebus errans ab omnibus hominibus laudari, an constans et in veritate certissimus ab omnibus vituperari, video quid eligam. Verum tamen nollem, ut vel augeret mihi gaudium cuiuslibet boni mei suffragatio oris alieni. Sed auget, fateor, non solum, sed et vituperatio minuit. Et cum ista miseria mea perturbor, subintrat mihi excusatio, quae qualis sit, tu scis, deus; nam me incertum facit. Quia enim nobis imperasti non tantum continentiam (id est a quibus rebus amorem cohibeamus), verum etiam iustitiam (id est quo eum conferamus), nec te tantum voluisti a nobis verum etiam proximum diligi, saepe mihi videor de provectu aut spe proximi delectari, cum bene intellegentis laude delector, et rursus eius malo contristari, cum eum audio vituperare quod aut ignorat aut bonum est. Nam et contristor aliquando laudibus meis, cum vel ea laudantur in me in quibus mihi ipse displiceo, vel etiam bona minora et levia pluris aestimantur quam aestimanda sunt. Sed rursus unde scio an propterea sic afficior, quia nolo de me ipso a me dissentire laudatorem meum, non quia illius utilitate moveor, sed quia eadem bona quae mihi in me placent iucundiora mihi sunt, cum et alteri placent? Quodam modo enim non ego laudor, cum de me sententia mea non laudatur, quandoquidem aut illa laudantur quae mihi displicent, aut illa amplius quae mihi minus placent. Ergone de hoc incertus sum mei? What then do I confess unto Thee in this kind of temptation, O Lord? What, but that I am delighted with praise, but with truth itself, more than with praise? For were it proposed to me, whether I would, being frenzied in error on all things, be praised by all men, or being consistent and most settled in the truth be blamed by all, I see which I should choose. Yet fain would I that the approbation of another should not even increase my joy for any good in me. Yet I own, it doth increase it, and not so only, but dispraise doth diminish it. And when I am troubled at this my misery, an excuse occurs to me, which of what value it is, Thou God knowest, for it leaves me uncertain. For since Thou hast commanded us not continency alone, that is, from what things to refrain our love, but righteousness also, that is, whereon to bestow it, and hast willed us to love not Thee only, but our neighbour also; often, when pleased with intelligent praise, I seem to myself to be pleased with the proficiency or towardliness of my neighbour, or to be grieved for evil in him, when I hear him dispraise either what he understands not, or is good. For sometimes I am grieved at my own praise, either when those things be praised in me, in which I mislike myself, or even lesser and slight goods are more esteemed than they ought. But again how know I whether I am therefore thus affected, because I would not have him who praiseth me differ from me about myself; not as being influenced by concern for him, but because those same good things which please me in myself, please me more when they please another also? For some how I am not praised when my judgment of myself is not praised; forasmuch as either those things are praised, which displease me; or those more, which please me less. Am I then doubtful of myself in this matter?
10.37.62 Ecce in te, veritas, video non me laudibus meis propter me, sed propter proximi utilitatem moveri oportere. Et utrum ita sim, nescio. Minus mihi in hac re notus sum ipse quam tu. Obsecro te, deus meus, et me ipsum mihi indica, ut confitear oraturis pro me fratribus meis quod in me saucium comperero. Iterum me diligentius interrogem. Si utilitate proximi moveor in laudibus meis, cur minus moveor si quisquam alius iniuste vituperetur quam si ego? Cur ea contumelia magis mordeor quae in me quam quae in alium eadem iniquitate coram me iacitur? An et hoc nescio? Etiamne id restat, ut ipse me seducam et verum non faciam coram te in corde et lingua mea? Insaniam istam, domine, longe fac a me, ne oleum peccatoris mihi sit os meum ad impinguandum caput meum. Behold, in Thee, O Truth, I see that I ought not to be moved at my own praises, for my own sake, but for the good of my neighbour. And whether it be so with me, I know not. For herein I know less of myself than of Thee. I beseech now, O my God, discover to me myself also, that I may confess unto my brethren, who are to pray for me, wherein I find myself maimed. Let me examine myself again more diligently. If in my praise I am moved with the good of my neighbour, why am I less moved if another be unjustly dispraised than if it be myself? Why am I more stung by reproach cast upon myself, than at that cast upon another, with the same injustice, before me? Know I not this also? or is it at last that I deceive myself, and do not the truth before Thee in my heart and tongue? This madness put far from me, O Lord, lest mine own mouth be to me the sinner's oil to make fat my head. I am poor and needy; yet best, while in hidden groanings I displease myself, and seek Thy mercy, until what is lacking in my defective state be renewed and perfected, on to that peace which the eye of the proud knoweth not.
10.38.63 Egenus et pauper ego sum, et melior in occulto gemitu displicens mihi et quaerens misericordiam tuam, donec reficiatur defectus meus et perficiatur usque in pacem quam nescit arrogantis oculus. Sermo autem ore procedens et facta quae innotescunt hominibus habent temptationem periculosissimam ab amore laudis, qui ad privatam quandam excellentiam contrahit emendicata suffragia. Temptat et cum a me in me arguitur, eo ipso quo arguitur, et saepe de ipso vanae gloriae contemptu vanius gloriatur, ideoque non iam de ipso contemptu gloriae gloriatur: non enim eam contemnit cum gloriatur. Yet the word which cometh out of the mouth, and deeds known to men, bring with them a most dangerous temptation through the love of praise: which, to establish a certain excellency of our own, solicits and collects men's suffrages. It tempts, even when it is reproved by myself in myself, on the very ground that it is reproved; and often glories more vainly of the very contempt of vain-glory; and so it is no longer contempt of vain-glory, whereof it glories; for it doth not contemn when it glorieth.
10.39.64 Intus etiam, intus est aliud in eodem genere temptationis malum, quo inanescunt qui placent sibi de se, quamvis aliis vel non placeant vel displiceant nec placere affectent ceteris. Sed sibi placentes multum tibi displicent, non tantum de non bonis quasi bonis, verum etiam de bonis tuis quasi suis, aut etiam sicut de tuis, sed tamquam ex meritis suis, aut etiam sicut ex tua gratia, non tamen socialiter gaudentes, sed aliis invidentes eam. In his omnibus atque in huiuscemodi periculis et laboribus vides tremorem cordis mei, et vulnera mea magis subinde a te sanari quam mihi non infligi sentio. Within also, within is another evil, arising out of a like temptation; whereby men become vain, pleasing themselves in themselves, though they please not, or displease or care not to please others. But pleasing themselves, they much displease Thee, not only taking pleasure in things not good, as if good, but in Thy good things, as though their own; or even if as Thine, yet as though for their own merits; or even if as though from Thy grace, yet not with brotherly rejoicing, but envying that grace to others. In all these and the like perils and travails, Thou seest the trembling of my heart; and I rather feel my wounds to be cured by Thee, than not inflicted by me.
10.40.65 Ubi non mecum ambulasti, veritas, docens quid caveam et quid appetam, cum ad te referrem inferiora visa mea quae potui, teque consulerem? Lustravi mundum foris sensu quo potui, et attendi vitam corporis mei de me sensusque ipsos meos. Inde ingressus sum in recessus memoriae meae, multiplices amplitudines plenas miris modis copiarum innumerabilium, et consideravi et expavi, et nihil eorum discernere potui sine te et nihil eorum esse te inveni. Nec ego ipse inventor, qui peragravi omnia et distinguere et pro suis quaeque dignitatibus aestimare conatus sum, excipiens alia nuntiantibus sensibus et interrogans, alia mecum commixta sentiens ipsosque nuntios dinoscens atque dinumerans iamque in memoriae latis opibus alia pertractans, alia recondens, alia eruens. Nec ego ipse cum haec agerem, id est vis mea qua id agebam, nec ipsa eras tu, quia lux es tu permanens quam de omnibus consulebam, an essent, quid essent, quanti pendenda essent, et audiebam docentem ac iubentem. Et saepe istuc facio. Hoc me delectat, et ab actionibus necessitatis, quantum relaxari possum, ad istam voluptatem refugio. Neque in his omnibus quae percurro consulens te invenio tutum locum animae meae nisi in te, quo conligantur sparsa mea nec a te quicquam recedat ex me. Et aliquando intromittis me in affectum multum inusitatum introrsus, ad nescio quam dulcedinem, quae si perficiatur in me, nescio quid erit quod vita ista non erit. Sed recido in haec aerumnosis ponderibus et resorbeor solitis et teneor et multum fleo, sed multum teneor. Tantum consuetudinis sarcina digna est! his esse valeo nec volo, illic volo nec valeo, miser utrubique. Where hast Thou not walked with me, O Truth, teaching me what to beware, and what to desire; when I referred to Thee what I could discover here below, and consulted Thee? With my outward senses, as I might, I surveyed the world, and observed the life, which my body hath from me, and these my senses. Thence entered I the recesses of my memory, those manifold and spacious chambers, wonderfully furnished with innumerable stores; and I considered, and stood aghast; being able to discern nothing of these things without Thee, and finding none of them to be Thee. Nor was I myself, who found out these things, who went over them all, and laboured to distinguish and to value every thing according to its dignity, taking some things upon the report of my senses, questioning about others which I felt to be mingled with myself, numbering and distinguishing the reporters themselves, and in the large treasure-house of my memory revolving some things, storing up others, drawing out others. Nor yet was I myself when I did this, i.e., that my power whereby I did it, neither was it Thou, for Thou art the abiding light, which I consulted concerning all these, whether they were, what they were, and how to be valued; and I heard Thee directing and commanding me; and this I often do, this delights me, and as far as I may be freed from necessary duties, unto this pleasure have I recourse. Nor in all these which I run over consulting Thee can I find any safe place for my soul, but in Thee; whither my scattered members may be gathered, and nothing of me depart from Thee. And sometimes Thou admittest me to an affection, very unusual, in my inmost soul; rising to a strange sweetness, which if it were perfected in me, I know not what in it would not belong to the life to come. But through my miserable encumbrances I sink down again into these lower things, and am swept back by former custom, and am held, and greatly weep, but am greatly held. So much doth the burden of a bad custom weigh us down. Here I can stay, but would not; there I would, but cannot; both ways, miserable.
10.41.66 Ideoque consideravi languores peccatorum meorum in cupiditate triplici, et dexteram tuam invocavi ad salutem meam. Vidi enim splendorem tuum corde saucio et repercussus dixi, 'Quis illuc potest?' proiectus sum a facie oculorum tuorum. Tu es veritas super omnia praesidens, at ego per avaritiam meam non amittere te volui, sed volui tecum possidere mendacium, sicut nemo vult ita falsum dicere, ut nesciat ipse quid verum sit. Itaque amisi te, quia non dignaris cum mendacio possideri. Thus then have I considered the sicknesses of my sins in that threefold concupiscence, and have called Thy right hand to my help. For with a wounded heart have I beheld Thy brightness, and stricken back I said, "Who can attain thither? I am cast away from the sight of Thine eyes." Thou art the Truth who presidest over all, but I through my covetousness would not indeed forego Thee, but would with Thee possess a lie; as no man would in such wise speak falsely, as himself to be ignorant of the truth. So then I lost Thee, because Thou vouchsafest not to be possessed with a lie.
10.42.67 Quem invenirem qui me reconciliaret tibi? Ambiendum mihi fuit ad angelos? Qua prece? Quibus sacramentis? Multi conantes ad te redire neque per se ipsos valentes, sicut audio, temptaverunt haec, et inciderunt in desiderium curiosarum visionum, et digni habiti sunt inlusionibus. Elati enim te quaerebant doctrinae fastu exserentes potius quam tundentes pectora, et adduxerunt sibi per similitudinem cordis sui conspirantes et socias superbiae suae potestates aeris huius, a quibus per potentias magicas deciperentur, quaerentes mediatorem per quem purgarentur, et non erat. Diabolus enim erat transfigurans se in angelum lucis, et multum inlexit superbam carnem, quod carneo corpore ipse non esset. Erant enim illi mortales et peccatores, tu autem, domine, cui reconciliari superbe quaerebant, immortalis et sine peccato. Mediator autem inter deum et homines oportebat ut haberet aliquid simile deo, aliquid simile hominibus, ne in utroque hominibus similis longe esset a deo, aut in utroque deo similis longe esset ab hominibus atque ita mediator non esset. Fallax itaque ille mediator, quo per secreta iudicia tua superbia meretur inludi, unum cum hominibus habet, id est peccatum, aliud videri vult habere cum deo, ut, quia carnis mortalitate non tegitur, pro immortali se ostentet. Sed quia stipendium peccati mors est, hoc habet commune cum hominibus, unde simul damnetur in mortem. Whom could I find to reconcile me to Thee? was I to have recourse to Angels? by what prayers? by what sacraments? Many endeavouring to return unto Thee, and of themselves unable, have, as I hear, tried this, and fallen into the desire of curious visions, and been accounted worthy to be deluded. For they, being high minded, sought Thee by the pride of learning, swelling out rather than smiting upon their breasts, and so by the agreement of their heart, drew unto themselves the princes of the air, the fellow-conspirators of their pride, by whom, through magical influences, they were deceived, seeking a mediator, by whom they might be purged, and there was none. For the devil it was, transforming himself into an Angel of light. And it much enticed proud flesh, that he had no body of flesh. For they were mortal, and sinners; but thou, Lord, to whom they proudly sought to be reconciled, art immortal, and without sin. But a mediator between God and man must have something like to God, something like to men; lest being in both like to man, he should he far from God: or if in both like God, too unlike man: and so not be a mediator. That deceitful mediator then, by whom in Thy secret judgments pride deserved to be deluded, hath one thing in common with man, that is sin; another he would seem to have in common with God; and not being clothed with the mortality of flesh, would vaunt himself to be immortal. But since the wages of sin is death, this hath he in common with men, that with them he should be condemned to death.
10.43.68 Verax autem mediator, quem secreta tua misericordia demonstrasti hominibus et misisti, ut eius exemplo etiam ipsam discerent humilitatem, mediator ille dei et hominum, homo Christus Iesus, inter mortales peccatores et immortalem iustum apparuit, mortalis cum hominibus, iustus cum deo, ut, quoniam stipendium iustitiae vita et pax est, per iustitiam coniunctam deo evacuaret mortem iustificatorum impiorum, quam cum illis voluit habere communem. Hic demonstratus est antiquis sanctis, ut ita ipsi per fidem futurae passionis eius, sicut nos per fidem praeteritae, salvi fierent. In quantum enim homo, in tantum mediator, in quantum autem verbum, non medius, quia aequalis deo et deus apud deum et simul unus deus. But the true Mediator, Whom in Thy secret mercy Thou hast showed to the humble, and sentest, that by His example also they might learn that same humility, that Mediator between God and man, the Man Christ Jesus, appeared betwixt mortal sinners and the immortal just One; mortal with men, just with God: that because the wages of righteousness is life and peace, He might by a righteousness conjoined with God make void that death of sinners, now made righteous, which He willed to have in common with them. Hence He was showed forth to holy men of old; that so they, through faith in His Passion to come, as we through faith of it passed, might be saved. For as Man, He was a Mediator; but as the Word, not in the middle between God and man, because equal to God, and God with God, and together one God.
10.43.69 Quomodo nos amasti, pater bone, qui filio tuo unico non pepercisti, sed pro nobis impiis tradidisti eum! quomodo nos amasti, pro quibus ille, non rapinam arbitratus esse aequalis tibi, factus est subditus usque ad mortem crucis, unus ille in mortuis liber, potestatem habens ponendi animam suam et potestatem habens iterum sumendi eam, pro nobis tibi victor et victima, et ideo victor quia victima, pro nobis tibi sacerdos et sacrificium, et ideo sacerdos quia sacrificium, faciens tibi nos de servis filios de te nascendo, nobis serviendo. Merito mihi spes valida in illo est, quod sanabis omnes languores meos per eum qui sedet ad dexteram tuam et te interpellat pro nobis; alioquin desperarem. Multi enim et magni sunt idem languores, multi sunt et magni, sed amplior est medicina tua. Potuimus putare verbum tuum remotum esse a coniunctione hominis et desperare de nobis, nisi caro fieret et habitaret in nobis. How hast Thou loved us, good Father, who sparedst not Thine only Son, but deliveredst Him up for us ungodly! How hast Thou loved us, for whom He that thought it no robbery to be equal with Thee, was made subject even to the death of the cross, He alone, free among the dead, having power to lay down His life, and power to take it again: for us to Thee both Victor and Victim, and therefore Victor, because the Victim; for us to Thee Priest and Sacrifice, and therefore Priest because the Sacrifice; making us to Thee, of servants, sons by being born of Thee, and serving us. Well then is my hope strong in Him, that Thou wilt heal all my infirmities, by Him Who sitteth at Thy right hand and maketh intercession for us; else should I despair. For many and great are my infirmities, many they are, and great; but Thy medicine is mightier. We might imagine that Thy Word was far from any union with man, and despair of ourselves, unless He had been made flesh and dwelt among us.
10.43.70 Conterritus peccatis meis et mole miseriae meae agitaveram corde meditatusque fueram fugam in solitudinem, sed prohibuisti me et confirmasti me dicens, 'Ideo Christus pro omnibus mortuus est, ut qui vivunt iam non sibi vivant, sed ei qui pro ipsis mortuus est.' ecce, domine, iacto in te curam meam, ut vivam, et considerabo mirabilia de lege tua. Tu scis imperitiam meam et infirmitatem meam: doce me et sana me. Ille tuus unicus, in quo sunt omnes thesauri sapientiae et scientiae absconditi, redemit me sanguine suo. Non calumnientur mihi superbi, quoniam cogito pretium meum, et manduco et bibo et erogo et pauper cupio saturari ex eo inter illos qui edunt et saturantur. Et laudant dominum qui requirunt eum. Affrighted with my sins and the burden of my misery, I had cast in my heart, and had purposed to flee to the wilderness: but Thou forbadest me, and strengthenedst me, saying, Therefore Christ died for all, that they which live may now no longer live unto themselves, but unto Him that died for them. See, Lord, I cast my care upon Thee, that I may live, and consider wondrous things out of Thy law. Thou knowest my unskilfulness, and my infirmities; teach me, and heal me. He, Thine only Son, 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 meditate on my ransom, and eat and drink, and communicate it; and poor, desired to be satisfied from Him, amongst those that eat and are satisfied, and they shall praise the Lord who seek Him.

Liber undecimus

11.1.1 Numquid, domine, cum tua sit aeternitas, ignoras quae tibi dico, aut ad tempus vides quod fit in tempore? Cur ergo tibi tot rerum narrationes digero? Non utique ut per me noveris ea, sed affectum meum excito in te, et eorum qui haec legunt, ut dicamus omnes, 'Magnus dominus et laudabilis valde.' iam dixi et dicam, 'Amore amoris tui facio istuc.' nam et oramus, et tamen veritas ait, 'Novit pater vester quid vobis opus sit, priusquam petatis ab eo.' affectum ergo nostrum patefacimus in te confitendo tibi miserias nostras et misericordias tuas super nos, ut liberes nos omnino, quoniam coepisti, ut desinamus esse miseri in nobis et beatificemur in te, quoniam vocasti nos, ut simus pauperes spiritu et mites et lugentes et esurientes ac sitientes iustitiam et misericordes et mundicordes et pacifici. Ecce narravi tibi multa, quae potui et quae volui, quoniam tu prior voluisti ut confiterer tibi, domino deo meo, quoniam bonus es, quoniam in saeculum misericordia tua. Lord, since eternity is Thine, art Thou ignorant of what I say to Thee? or dost Thou see in time, what passeth in time? Why then do I lay in order before Thee so many relations? Not, of a truth, that Thou mightest learn them through me, but to stir up mine own and my readers' devotions towards Thee, that we may all say, Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised. I have said already; and again will say, for love of Thy love do I this. For we pray also, and yet Truth hath said, Your Father knoweth what you have need of, before you ask. It is then our affections which we lay open unto Thee, confessing our own miseries, and Thy mercies upon us, that Thou mayest free us wholly, since Thou hast begun, that we may cease to be wretched in ourselves, and be blessed in Thee; seeing Thou hast called us, to become poor in spirit, and meek, and mourners, and hungering and athirst after righteousness, and merciful, and pure in heart, and peace-makers. See, I have told Thee many things, as I could and as I would, because Thou first wouldest that I should confess unto Thee, my Lord God. For Thou art good, for Thy mercy endureth for ever.
11.2.2 Quando autem sufficio lingua calami enuntiare omnia hortamenta tua et omnes terrores tuos, et consolationes et gubernationes, quibus me perduxisti praedicare verbum et sacramentum tuum dispensare populo tuo? Et si sufficio haec enuntiare ex ordine, caro mihi valent stillae temporum. Et olim inardesco meditari in lege tua et in ea tibi confiteri scientiam et imperitiam meam, primordia inluminationis tuae et reliquias tenebrarum mearum, quousque devoretur a fortitudine infirmitas. Et nolo in aliud horae diffluant quas invenio liberas a necessitatibus reficiendi corporis et intentionis animi et servitutis quam debemus hominibus et quam non debemus et tamen reddimus. But how shall I suffice with the tongue of my pen to utter all Thy exhortations, and all Thy terrors, and comforts, and guidances, whereby Thou broughtest me to preach Thy Word, and dispense Thy Sacrament to Thy people? And if I suffice to utter them in order, the drops of time are precious with me; and long have I burned to meditate in Thy law, and therein to confess to Thee my skill and unskilfulness, the daybreak of Thy enlightening, and the remnants of my darkness, until infirmity be swallowed up by strength. And I would not have aught besides steal away those hours which I find free from the necessities of refreshing my body and the powers of my mind, and of the service which we owe to men, or which though we owe not, we yet pay.
11.2.3 Domine deus meus, intende orationi meae et misericordia tua exaudiat desiderium meum, quoniam non mihi soli aestuat, sed usui vult esse fraternae caritati. Et vides in corde meo quia sic est. Sacrificem tibi famulatum cogitationis et linguae meae, et da quod offeram tibi. Inops enim et pauper sum, tu dives in omnes invocantes te, qui securus curam nostri geris. Circumcide ab omni temeritate omnique mendacio interiora et exteriora labia mea. Sint castae deliciae meae scripturae tuae, nec fallar in eis nec fallam ex eis. Domine, attende et miserere, domine deus meus, lux caecorum et virtus infirmorum statimque lux videntium et virtus fortium, attende animam meam et audi clamantem de profundo. Nam nisi adsint et in profundo aures tuae, quo ibimus? Quo clamabimus? Tuus est dies et tua est nox; ad nutum tuum momenta transvolant. Largire inde spatium meditationibus nostris in abdita legis tuae, neque adversus pulsantes claudas eam. Neque enim frustra scribi voluisti tot paginarum opaca secreta, aut non habent illae silvae cervos suos, recipientes se in eas et resumentes, ambulantes et pascentes, recumbentes et ruminantes. O domine, perfice me et revela mihi eas. Ecce vox tua gaudium meum, vox tua super affluentiam voluptatum. Da quod amo: amo enim, et hoc tu dedisti. Ne dona tua deseras nec herbam tuam spernas sitientem. Confitear tibi quidquid invenero in libris tuis et audiam vocem laudis, et te bibam et considerem mirabilia de lege tua ab usque principio in quo fecisti caelum et terram usque ad regnum tecum perpetuum sanctae civitatis tuae. O Lord my god, give ear unto my prayer, and let Thy mercy hearken unto my desire: because it is anxious not for myself alone, but would serve brotherly charity; and Thou seest my heart, that so it is. I would sacrifice to Thee the service of my thought and tongue; do Thou give me, what I may offer Thee. For I am poor and needy, Thou rich to all that call upon Thee; Who, inaccessible to care, carest for us. Circumcise from all rashness and all lying both my inward and outward lips: let Thy Scriptures be my pure delights: let me not be deceived in them, nor deceive out of them. Lord, hearken and pity, O Lord my God, Light of the blind, and Strength of the weak; yea also Light of those that see, and Strength of the strong; hearken unto my soul, and hear it crying out of the depths. For if Thine ears be not with us in the depths also, whither shall we go? whither cry? The day is Thine, and the night is Thine; at Thy beck the moments flee by. Grant thereof a space for our meditations in the hidden things of Thy law, and close it not against us who knock. For not in vain wouldest Thou have the darksome secrets of so many pages written; nor are those forests without their harts which retire therein and range and walk; feed, lie down, and ruminate. Perfect me, O Lord, and reveal them unto me. Behold, Thy voice is my joy; Thy voice exceedeth the abundance of pleasures. Give what I love: for I do love; and this hast Thou given: forsake not Thy own gifts, nor despise Thy green herb that thirsteth. Let me confess unto Thee whatsoever I shall find in Thy books, and hear the voice of praise, and drink in Thee, and meditate on the wonderful things out of Thy law; even from the beginning, wherein Thou madest the heaven and the earth, unto the everlasting reigning of Thy holy city with Thee.
11.2.4 Domine, miserere mei et exaudi desiderium meum. Puto enim quod non sit de terra, non de auro et argento et lapidibus aut decoris vestibus aut honoribus et potestatibus aut voluptatibus carnis, neque de necessariis corpori et huic vitae peregrinationis nostrae, quae omnia nobis apponuntur quaerentibus regnum et iustitiam tuam. Vide, deus meus, unde sit desiderium meum. Narraverunt mihi iniusti delectationes, sed non sicut lex tua, domine: ecce unde est desiderium meum. Vide, pater, aspice et vide et approba, et placeat in conspectu misericordiae tuae invenire me gratiam ante te, ut aperiantur pulsanti mihi interiora sermonum tuorum. Obsecro per dominum nostrum Iesum Christum filium tuum, virum dexterae tuae, filium hominis, quem confirmasti tibi mediatorem tuum et nostrum, per quem nos quaesisti non quaerentes te, quaesisti autem ut quaereremus te, verbum tuum per quod fecisti omnia (in quibus et me), unicum tuum per quem vocasti in adoptionem populum credentium (in quo et me) -- per eum te obsecro, qui sedet ad dexteram tuam et te interpellat pro nobis, in quo sunt omnes thesauri sapientiae et scientiae absconditi: ipsos quaero in libris tuis. Moyses de illo scripsit; hoc ipse ait, hoc veritas ait. Lord, have mercy on me, and hear my desire. For it is not, I deem, of the earth, not of gold and silver, and precious stones, or gorgeous apparel, or honours and offices, or the pleasures of the flesh, or necessaries for the body and for this life of our pilgrimage: all which shall be added unto those that seek Thy kingdom and Thy righteousness. Behold, O Lord my God, wherein is my desire. The wicked have told me of delights, but not such as Thy law, O Lord. Behold, wherein is my desire. Behold, Father, behold, and see and approve; and be it pleasing in the sight of Thy mercy, that I may find grace before Thee, that the inward parts of Thy words be opened to me knocking. I beseech by our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son, the Man of Thy right hand, the Son of man, whom Thou hast established for Thyself, as Thy Mediator and ours, through Whom Thou soughtest us, not seeking Thee, but soughtest us, that we might seek Thee,- Thy Word, through Whom Thou madest all things, and among them, me also;- Thy Only-Begotten, through Whom Thou calledst to adoption the believing people, and therein me also;- I beseech Thee by Him, who sitteth at Thy right hand, and intercedeth with Thee for us, in Whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. These do I seek in Thy books. Of Him did Moses write; this saith Himself; this saith the Truth.
11.3.5 Audiam et intellegam quomodo in principio fecisti caelum et terram. Scripsit hoc Moyses, scripsit et abiit, transiit hinc a te ad te, neque nunc ante me est. Nam si esset, tenerem eum et rogarem eum et per te obsecrarem ut mihi ista panderet, et praeberem aures corporis mei sonis erumpentibus ex ore eius, et si hebraea voce loqueretur, frustra pulsaret sensum meum nec inde mentem meam quicquam tangeret; si autem latine, scirem quid diceret. Sed unde scirem an verum diceret? Quod si et hoc scirem, num ab illo scirem? Intus utique mihi, intus in domicilio cogitationis, nec hebraea nec graeca nec latina nec barbara, veritas sine oris et linguae organis, sine strepitu syllabarum diceret, 'Verum dicit', et ego statim certus confidenter illi homini tuo dicerem, 'Verum dicis.' cum ergo illum interrogare non possim, te, quo plenus vera dixit, veritas, rogo te, deus meus, rogo, parce peccatis meis, et qui illi servo tuo dedisti haec dicere, da et mihi haec intellegere. I would hear and understand, how "In the Beginning Thou madest the heaven and earth." Moses wrote this, wrote and departed, passed hence from Thee to Thee; nor is he now before me. For if he were, I would hold him and ask him, and beseech him by Thee to open these things unto me, and would lay the ears of my body to the sounds bursting out of his mouth. And should he speak Hebrew, in vain will it strike on my senses, nor would aught of it touch my mind; but if Latin, I should know what he said. But whence should I know, whether he spake truth? Yea, and if I knew this also, should I know it from him? Truly within me, within, in the chamber of my thoughts, Truth, neither Hebrew, nor Greek, nor Latin, nor barbarian, without organs of voice or tongue, or sound of syllables, would say, "It is truth," and I forthwith should say confidently to that man of Thine, "thou sayest truly." Whereas then I cannot enquire of him, Thee, Thee I beseech, O Truth, full of Whom he spake truth, Thee, my God, I beseech, forgive my sins; and Thou, who gavest him Thy servant to speak these things, give to me also to understand them.
11.4.6 Ecce sunt caelum et terra! clamant quod facta sint; mutantur enim atque variantur. Quidquid autem factum non est et tamen est, non est in eo quicquam quod ante non erat: quod est mutari atque variari. Clamant etiam quod se ipsa non fecerint: 'Ideo sumus, quia facta sumus. Non ergo eramus antequam essemus, ut fieri possemus a nobis.' et vox dicentium est ipsa evidentia. Tu ergo, domine, fecisti ea, qui pulcher es (pulchra sunt enim), qui bonus es (bona sunt enim), qui es (sunt enim). Nec ita pulchra sunt nec ita bona sunt nec ita sunt, sicut tu conditor eorum, quo comparato nec pulchra sunt nec bona sunt nec sunt. Scimus haec: gratias tibi, et scientia nostra scientiae tuae comparata ignorantia est. Behold, the heavens and the earth are; they proclaim that they were created; for they change and vary. Whereas whatsoever hath not been made, and yet is, hath nothing in it, which before it had not; and this it is, to change and vary. They proclaim also, that they made not themselves; "therefore we are, because we have been made; we were not therefore, before we were, so as to make ourselves." Now the evidence of the thing, is the voice of the speakers. Thou therefore, Lord, madest them; who art beautiful, for they are beautiful; who art good, for they are good; who art, for they are; yet are they not beautiful nor good, nor are they, as Thou their Creator art; compared with Whom, they are neither beautiful, nor good, nor are. This we know, thanks be to Thee. And our knowledge, compared with Thy knowledge, is ignorance.
11.5.7 Quomodo autem fecisti caelum et terram? Et quae machina tam grandis operationis tuae? Non enim sicut homo artifex formas corpus de corpore, arbitratu animae valentis imponere utcumque speciem, quam cernit in semet ipsa interno oculo (et unde hoc valeret, nisi quia tu fecisti eam?) et imponit speciem iam exsistenti et habenti, ut esset, veluti terrae aut lapidi aut ligno aut auro aut id genus rerum cuilibet. Et unde ista essent, nisi tu instituisses ea? Tu fabro corpus, tu animum membris imperitantem fecisti, tu materiam unde facit aliquid, tu ingenium quo artem capiat et videat intus quid faciat foris, tu sensum corporis quo interprete traiciat ab animo ad materiam id quod facit et renuntiet animo quid factum sit, ut ille intus consulat praesidentem sibi veritatem, an bene factum sit. Te laudant haec omnia creatorem omnium. Sed tu quomodo facis ea? Quomodo fecisti, deus, caelum et terram? Non utique in caelo neque in terra fecisti caelum et terram neque in aere aut in aquis, quoniam et haec pertinent ad caelum et terram neque in universo mundo fecisti universum mundum, quia non erat ubi fieret antequam fieret, ut esset. Nec manu tenebas aliquid unde faceres caelum et terram: nam unde tibi hoc quod tu non feceras, unde aliquid faceres? Quid enim est, nisi quia tu es? Ergo dixisti et facta sunt atque in verbo tuo fecisti ea. But how didst Thou make the heaven and the earth? and what the engine of Thy so mighty fabric? For it was not as a human artificer, forming one body from another, according to the discretion of his mind, which can in some way invest with such a form, as it seeth in itself by its inward eye. And whence should he be able to do this, unless Thou hadst made that mind? and he invests with a form what already existeth, and hath a being, as clay, or stone, or wood, or gold, or the like. And whence should they be, hadst not Thou appointed them? Thou madest the artificer his body, Thou the mind commanding the limbs, Thou the matter whereof he makes any thing; Thou the apprehension whereby to take in his art, and see within what he doth without; Thou the sense of his body, whereby, as by an interpreter, he may from mind to matter, convey that which he doth, and report to his mind what is done; that it within may consult the truth, which presideth over itself, whether it be well done or no. All these praise Thee, the Creator of all. But how dost Thou make them? how, O God, didst Thou make heaven and earth? Verily, neither in the heaven, nor in the earth, didst Thou make heaven and earth; nor in the air, or waters, seeing these also belong to the heaven and the earth; nor in the whole world didst Thou make the whole world; because there was no place where to make it, before it was made, that it might be. Nor didst Thou hold any thing in Thy hand, whereof to make heaven and earth. For whence shouldest Thou have this, which Thou hadst not made, thereof to make any thing? For what is, but because Thou art? Therefore Thou spokest, and they were made, and in Thy Word Thou madest them.
11.6.8 Sed quomodo dixisti? Numquid illo modo quo facta est vox de nube dicens, 'Hic est filius meus dilectus'? Illa enim vox acta atque transacta est, coepta et finita. Sonuerunt syllabae atque transierunt, secunda post primam, tertia post secundam atque inde ex ordine, donec ultima post ceteras silentiumque post ultimam. Unde claret atque eminet quod creaturae motus expressit eam, serviens aeternae voluntati tuae ipse temporalis. Et haec ad tempus facta verba tua nuntiavit auris exterior menti prudenti, cuius auris interior posita est ad aeternum verbum tuum. At illa comparavit haec verba temporaliter sonantia cum aeterno in silentio verbo tuo et dixit, 'Aliud est longe, longe aliud est. But how didst Thou speak? In the way that the voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son? For that voice passed by and passed away, began and ended; the syllables sounded and passed away, the second after the first, the third after the second, and so forth in order, until the last after the rest, and silence after the last. Whence it is abundantly clear and plain that the motion of a creature expressed it, itself temporal, serving Thy eternal will. And these Thy words, created for a time, the outward ear reported to the intelligent soul, whose inward ear lay listening to Thy Eternal Word. But she compared these words sounding in time, with that Thy Eternal Word in silence, and said "It is different, far different.
Haec longe infra me sunt nec sunt, quia fugiunt et praetereunt; verbum autem dei mei supra me manet in aeternum.' Si ergo verbis sonantibus et praetereuntibus dixisti, ut fieret caelum et terra, atque ita fecisti caelum et terram, erat iam creatura corporalis ante caelum et terram, cuius motibus temporalibus temporaliter vox illa percurreret. These words are far beneath me, nor are they, because they flee and pass away; but the Word of my Lord abideth above me for ever." If then in sounding and passing words Thou saidst that heaven and earth should be made, and so madest heaven and earth, there was a corporeal creature before heaven and earth, by whose motions in time that voice might take his course in time.
Nullum autem corpus ante caelum et terram, aut si erat, id certe sine transitoria voce feceras, unde transitoriam vocem faceres, qua diceres ut fieret caelum et terra. Quidquid enim illud esset unde talis vox fieret, nisi abs te factum esset omnino non esset. Ut ergo fieret corpus unde ista verba fierent, quo verbo a te dictum est? But there was nought corporeal before heaven and earth; or if there were, surely Thou hadst, without such a passing voice, created that, whereof to make this passing voice, by which to say, Let the heaven and the earth be made. For whatsoever that were, whereof such a voice were made, unless by Thee it were made, it could not be at all. By what Word then didst Thou speak, that a body might be made, whereby these words again might be made?
11.7.9 Vocas itaque nos ad intellegendum verbum, deum apud te deum, quod sempiterne dicitur et eo sempiterne dicuntur omnia. Neque enim finitur quod dicebatur et dicitur aliud, ut possint dici omnia, sed simul ac sempiterne omnia; alioquin iam tempus et mutatio et non vera aeternitas nec vera immortalitas. Hoc novi, deus meus, et gratias ago. Novi, confiteor tibi, domine, mecumque novit et benedicit te quisquis ingratus non est certae veritati. Thou callest us then to understand the Word, God, with Thee God, Which is spoken eternally, and by It are all things spoken eternally. For what was spoken was not spoken successively, one thing concluded that the next might be spoken, but all things together and eternally. Else have we time and change; and not a true eternity nor true immortality. This I know, O my God, and give thanks. I know, I confess to Thee, O Lord, and with me there knows and blesses Thee, whoso is not unthankful to assure Truth.
Novimus, domine, novimus, quoniam in quantum quidque non est quod erat et est quod non erat, in tantum moritur et oritur. Non ergo quicquam verbi tui cedit atque succedit, quoniam vere immortale atque aeternum est. Et ideo verbo tibi coaeterno simul et sempiterne dicis omnia quae dicis, et fit quidquid dicis ut fiat. Nec aliter quam dicendo facis, nec tamen simul et sempiterna fiunt omnia quae dicendo facis. We know, Lord, we know; since inasmuch as anything is not which was, and is, which was not, so far forth it dieth and ariseth. Nothing then of Thy Word doth give place or replace, because It is truly immortal and eternal. And therefore unto the Word coeternal with Thee Thou dost at once and eternally say all that Thou dost say; and whatever Thou sayest shall be made is made; nor dost Thou make, otherwise than by saying; and yet are not all things made together, or everlasting, which Thou makest by saying.
11.8.10 Cur, quaeso, domine deus meus? Utcumque video, sed quomodo id eloquar nescio, nisi quia omne quod esse incipit et esse desinit tunc esse incipit et tunc desinit, quando debuisse incipere vel desinere in aeterna ratione cognoscitur, ubi nec incipit aliquid nec desinit. Ipsum est verbum tuum, quod et principium est, quia et loquitur nobis. Sic in evangelio per carnem ait, et hoc insonuit foris auribus hominum, ut crederetur et intus quaereretur et inveniretur in aeterna veritate, ubi omnes discipulos bonus et solus magister docet. Why, I beseech Thee, O Lord my God? I see it in a way; but how to express it, I know not, unless it be, that whatsoever begins to be, and leaves off to be, begins then, and leaves off then, when in Thy eternal Reason it is known, that it ought to begin or leave off; in which Reason nothing beginneth or leaveth off. This is Thy Word, which is also "the Beginning, because also It speaketh unto us." Thus in the Gospel He speaketh through the flesh; and this sounded outwardly in the ears of men; that it might be believed and sought inwardly, and found in the eternal Verity;
Ibi audio vocem tuam, domine, dicentis mihi, quoniam ille loquitur nobis qui docet nos, qui autem non docet nos, etiam si loquitur, non nobis loquitur. Quid porro nos docet nisi stabilis veritas? Quia et per creaturam mutabilem cum admonemur, ad veritatem stabilem ducimur, ubi vere discimus, cum stamus et audimus eum et gaudio gaudemus propter vocem sponsi, reddentes nos unde sumus. Et ideo principium, quia, nisi maneret cum erraremus, non esset quo rediremus. Cum autem redimus ab errore, cognoscendo utique redimus; ut autem cognoscamus, docet nos, quia principium est et loquitur nobis. where the good and only Master teacheth all His disciples. There, Lord, hear I Thy voice speaking unto me; because He speaketh us, who teacheth us; but He that teacheth us not, though He speaketh, to us He speaketh not. Who now teacheth us, but the unchangeable Truth? for even when we are admonished through a changeable creature; we are but led to the unchangeable Truth; where we learn truly, while we stand and hear Him, and rejoice greatly because of the Bridegroom's voice, restoring us to Him, from Whom we are. And therefore the Beginning, because unless It abided, there should not, when we went astray, be whither to return. But when we return from error, it is through knowing; and that we may know, He teacheth us, because He is the Beginning, and speaking unto us.
11.9.11 In hoc principio, deus, fecisti caelum et terram in verbo tuo, in filio tuo, in virtute tua, in sapientia tua, in veritate tua, miro modo dicens et miro modo faciens. Quis comprehendet? Quis enarrabit? Quid est illud quod interlucet mihi et percutit cor meum sine laesione? Et inhorresco et inardesco: inhorresco, in quantum dissimilis ei sum, inardesco, in quantum similis ei sum. Sapientia, sapientia ipsa est quae interlucet mihi, discindens nubilum meum, quod me rursus cooperit deficientem ab ea caligine atque aggere poenarum mearum, quoniam sic infirmatus est in egestate vigor meus ut non sufferam bonum meum, donec tu, domine, qui propitius factus es omnibus iniquitatibus meis, etiam sanes omnes languores meos, quia et redimes de corruptione vitam meam, et coronabis me in miseratione et misericordia, et satiabis in bonis desiderium meum, quoniam renovabitur iuventus mea sicut aquilae. Spe enim salvi facti sumus et promissa tua per patientiam expectamus. Audiat te intus sermocinantem qui potest: ego fidenter ex oraculo tuo clamabo, 'Quam magnificata sunt opera tua, domine, omnia in sapientia fecisti!' et illa principium, et in eo principio fecisti caelum et terram. In this Beginning, O God, hast Thou made heaven and earth, in Thy Word, in Thy Son, in Thy Power, in Thy Wisdom, in Thy Truth; wondrously speaking, and wondrously making. Who shall comprehend? Who declare it? What is that which gleams through me, and strikes my heart without hurting it; and I shudder and kindle? I shudder, inasmuch as I unlike it; I kindle, inasmuch as I am like it. It is Wisdom, Wisdom's self which gleameth through me; severing my cloudiness which yet again mantles over me, fainting from it, through the darkness which for my punishment gathers upon me. For my strength is brought down in need, so that I cannot support my blessings, till Thou, Lord, Who hast been gracious to all mine iniquities, shalt heal all my infirmities. For Thou shalt also redeem my life from corruption, and crown me with loving kindness and tender mercies, and shalt satisfy my desire with good things, because my youth shall be renewed like an eagle's. For in hope we are saved, wherefore we through patience wait for Thy promises. Let him that is able, hear Thee inwardly discoursing out of Thy oracle: I will boldly cry out, How wonderful are Thy works, O Lord, in Wisdom hast Thou made them all; and this Wisdom is the Beginning, and in that Beginning didst Thou make heaven and earth.
11.10.12 Nonne ecce pleni sunt vetustatis suae qui nobis dicunt, 'Quid faciebat deus antequam faceret caelum et terram? Si enim vacabat,' inquiunt, 'Et non operabatur aliquid, cur non sic semper et deinceps, quemadmodum retro semper cessavit ab opere? Si enim ullus motus in deo novus extitit et voluntas nova, ut creaturam conderet quam numquam ante condiderat, quomodo iam vera aeternitas, ubi oritur voluntas quae non erat? Neque enim voluntas dei creatura est sed ante creaturam, quia non crearetur aliquid nisi creatoris voluntas praecederet. Ad ipsam ergo dei substantiam pertinet voluntas eius. Quod si exortum est aliquid in dei substantia quod prius non erat, non veraciter dicitur aeterna illa substantia. Si autem dei voluntas sempiterna erat, ut esset creatura, cur non sempiterna et creatura?' Lo, are they not full of their old leaven, who say to us, "What was God doing before He made heaven and earth? For if (say they) He were unemployed and wrought not, why does He not also henceforth, and for ever, as He did heretofore? For did any new motion arise in God, and a new will to make a creature, which He had never before made, how then would that be a true eternity, where there ariseth a will, which was not? For the will of God is not a creature, but before the creature; seeing nothing could be created, unless the will of the Creator had preceded. The will of God then belongeth to His very Substance. And if aught have arisen in God's Substance, which before was not, that Substance cannot be truly called eternal. But if the will of God has been from eternity that the creature should be, why was not the creature also from eternity?"
11.11.13 Qui haec dicunt nondum te intellegunt, o sapientia dei, lux mentium, nondum intellegunt quomodo fiant quae per te atque in te fiunt, et conantur aeterna sapere, sed adhuc in praeteritis et futuris rerum motibus cor eorum volitat et adhuc vanum est. Who speak thus, do not yet understand Thee, O Wisdom of God, Light of souls, understand not yet how the things be made, which by Thee, and in Thee are made: yet they strive to comprehend things eternal, whilst their heart fluttereth between the motions of things past and to come, and is still unstable.
Quis tenebit illud et figet illud, ut paululum stet, et paululum rapiat splendorem semper stantis aeternitatis, et comparet cum temporibus numquam stantibus, et videat esse incomparabilem, et videat longum tempus, nisi ex multis praetereuntibus motibus qui simul extendi non possunt, longum non fieri; non autem praeterire quicquam in aeterno, sed totum esse praesens; nullum vero tempus totum esse praesens; et videat omne praeteritum propelli ex futuro et omne futurum ex praeterito consequi, et omne praeteritum ac futurum ab eo quod semper est praesens creari et excurrere? Quis tenebit cor hominis, ut stet et videat quomodo stans dictet futura et praeterita tempora nec futura nec praeterita aeternitas? Numquid manus mea valet hoc aut manus oris mei per loquellas agit tam grandem rem? Who shall hold it, and fix it, that it be settled awhile, and awhile catch the glory of that everfixed Eternity, and compare it with the times which are never fixed, and see that it cannot be compared; and that a long time cannot become long, but out of many motions passing by, which cannot be prolonged altogether; but that in the Eternal nothing passeth, but the whole is present; whereas no time is all at once present: and that all time past, is driven on by time to come, and all to come followeth upon the past; and all past and to come, is created, and flows out of that which is ever present? Who shall hold the heart of man, that it may stand still, and see how eternity ever still-standing, neither past nor to come, uttereth the times past and to come? Can my hand do this, or the hand of my mouth by speech bring about a thing so great?
11.12.14 Ecce respondeo dicenti, 'Quid faciebat deus antequam faceret caelum et terram?' respondeo non illud quod quidam respondisse perhibetur, ioculariter eludens quaestionis violentiam: 'Alta,' inquit, 'Scrutantibus gehennas parabat.' aliud est videre, aliud ridere: haec non respondeo. Libentius enim responderim, 'Nescio quod nescio' quam illud unde inridetur qui alta interrogavit et laudatur qui falsa respondit. Sed dico te, deus noster, omnis creaturae creatorem et, si caeli et terrae nomine omnis creatura intellegitur, audenter dico, 'Antequam faceret deus caelum et terram, non faciebat aliquid.' si enim faciebat, quid nisi creaturam faciebat? Et utinam sic sciam quidquid utiliter scire cupio, quemadmodum scio quod nulla fiebat creatura antequam fieret ulla creatura. See, I answer him that asketh, "What did God before He made heaven and earth?" I answer not as one is said to have done merrily (eluding the pressure of the question), "He was preparing hell (saith he) for pryers into mysteries." It is one thing to answer enquiries, another to make sport of enquirers. So I answer not; for rather had I answer, "I know not," what I know not, than so as to raise a laugh at him who asketh deep things and gain praise for one who answereth false things. But I say that Thou, our God, art the Creator of every creature: and if by the name "heaven and earth," every creature be understood; I boldly say, "that before God made heaven and earth, He did not make any thing." For if He made, what did He make but a creature? And would I knew whatsoever I desire to know to my profit, as I know, that no creature was made, before there was made any creature.
11.13.15 At si cuiusquam volatilis sensus vagatur per imagines retro temporum et te, deum omnipotentem et omnicreantem et omnitenentem, caeli et terrae artificem, ab opere tanto, antequam id faceres, per innumerabilia saecula cessasse miratur, evigilet atque attendat, quia falsa miratur. Nam unde poterant innumerabilia saecula praeterire quae ipse non feceras, cum sis omnium saeculorum auctor et conditor? Aut quae tempora fuissent quae abs te condita non essent? Aut quomodo praeterirent, si numquam fuissent? Cum ergo sis operator omnium temporum, si fuit aliquod tempus antequam faceres caelum et terram, cur dicitur quod ab opere cessabas? Idipsum enim tempus tu feceras, nec praeterire potuerunt tempora antequam faceres tempora. Si autem ante caelum et terram nullum erat tempus, cur quaeritur quid tunc faciebas? Non enim erat tunc, ubi non erat tempus. But if any excursive brain rove over the images of forepassed times, and wonder that Thou the God Almighty and All-creating and All-supporting, Maker of heaven and earth, didst for innumerable ages forbear from so great a work, before Thou wouldest make it; let him awake and consider, that he wonders at false conceits. For whence could innumerable ages pass by, which Thou madest not, Thou the Author and Creator of all ages? or what times should there be, which were not made by Thee? or how should they pass by, if they never were? Seeing then Thou art the Creator of all times, if any time was before Thou madest heaven and earth, why say they that Thou didst forego working? For that very time didst Thou make, nor could times pass by, before Thou madest those times. But if before heaven and earth there was no time, why is it demanded, what Thou then didst? For there was no "then," when there was no time.
11.13.16 Nec tu tempore tempora praecedis, alioquin non omnia tempora praecederes. Sed praecedis omnia praeterita celsitudine semper praesentis aeternitatis et superas omnia futura, quia illa futura sunt, et cum venerint, praeterita erunt. Tu autem idem ipse es, et anni tui non deficient: anni tui nec eunt nec veniunt, isti enim nostri eunt et veniunt, ut omnes veniant; anni tui omnes simul stant, quoniam stant, nec euntes a venientibus excluduntur, quia non transeunt. Isti autem nostri omnes erunt, cum omnes non erunt. Anni tui dies unus, et dies tuus non cotidie sed hodie, quia hodiernus tuus non cedit crastino; neque enim succedit hesterno. Hodiernus tuus aeternitas; ideo coaeternum genuisti cui dixisti, 'Ego hodie genui te.' omnia tempora tu fecisti et ante omnia tempora tu es, nec aliquo tempore non erat tempus. Nor dost Thou by time, precede time: else shouldest Thou not precede all times. But Thou precedest all things past, by the sublimity of an ever-present eternity; and surpassest all future because they are future, and when they come, they shall be past; but Thou art the Same, and Thy years fail not. Thy years neither come nor go; whereas ours both come and go, that they all may come. Thy years stand together, because they do stand; nor are departing thrust out by coming years, for they pass not away; but ours shall all be, when they shall no more be. Thy years are one day; and Thy day is not daily, but To-day, seeing Thy To-day gives not place unto to-morrow, for neither doth it replace yesterday. Thy To-day, is Eternity; therefore didst Thou beget The Coeternal, to whom Thou saidst, This day have I begotten Thee. Thou hast made all things; and before all times Thou art: neither in any time was time not.
11.14.17 Nullo ergo tempore non feceras aliquid, quia ipsum tempus tu feceras. Et nulla tempora tibi coaeterna sunt, quia tu permanes. At illa si permanerent, non essent tempora. Quid est enim tempus? Quis hoc facile breviterque explicaverit? Quis hoc ad verbum de illo proferendum vel cogitatione comprehenderit? Quid autem familiarius et notius in loquendo commemoramus quam tempus? Et intellegimus utique cum id loquimur, intellegimus etiam cum alio loquente id audimus. At no time then hadst Thou not made any thing, because time itself Thou madest. And no times are coeternal with Thee, because Thou abidest; but if they abode, they should not be times. For what is time? Who can readily and briefly explain this? Who can even in thought comprehend it, so as to utter a word about it? But what in discourse do we mention more familiarly and knowingly, than time? And, we understand, when we speak of it; we understand also, when we hear it spoken of by another.
Quid est ergo tempus? Si nemo ex me quaerat, scio; si quaerenti explicare velim, nescio. Fidenter tamen dico scire me quod, si nihil praeteriret, non esset praeteritum tempus, et si nihil adveniret, non esset futurum tempus, et si nihil esset, non esset praesens tempus. Duo ergo illa tempora, praeteritum et futurum, quomodo sunt, quando et praeteritum iam non est et futurum nondum est? Praesens autem si semper esset praesens nec in praeteritum transiret, non iam esset tempus, sed aeternitas. Si ergo praesens, ut tempus sit, ideo fit, quia in praeteritum transit, quomodo et hoc esse dicimus, cui causa, ut sit, illa est, quia non erit, ut scilicet non vere dicamus tempus esse, nisi quia tendit non esse? What then is time? If no one asks me, I know: if I wish to explain it to one that asketh, I know not: yet I say boldly that I know, that if nothing passed away, time past were not; and if nothing were coming, a time to come were not; and if nothing were, time present were not. Those two times then, past and to come, how are they, seeing the past now is not, and that to come is not yet? But the present, should it always be present, and never pass into time past, verily it should not be time, but eternity. If time present (if it is to be time) only cometh into existence, because it passeth into time past, how can we say that either this is, whose cause of being is, that it shall not be; so, namely, that we cannot truly say that time is, but because it is tending not to be?
11.15.18 Et tamen dicimus longum tempus et breve tempus, neque hoc nisi de praeterito aut futuro dicimus. And yet we say, "a long time" and "a short time"; still, only of time past or to come.
Praeteritum tempus longum verbi gratia vocamus ante centum annos, futurum itidem longum post centum annos, breve autem praeteritum sic, ut puta dicamus ante decem dies, et breve futurum post decem dies. Sed quo pacto longum est aut breve, quod non est? Praeteritum enim iam non est et futurum nondum est. Non itaque dicamus, 'Longum est,' sed dicamus de praeterito, 'Longum fuit,' et de futuro, 'Longum erit.' domine meus, lux mea, nonne et hic veritas tua deridebit hominem? Quod enim longum fuit praeteritum tempus, cum iam esset praeteritum longum fuit, an cum adhuc praesens esset? A long time past (for example) we call an hundred years since; and a long time to come, an hundred years hence. But a short time past, we call (suppose) often days since; and a short time to come, often days hence. But in what sense is that long or short, which is not? For the past, is not now; and the future, is not yet. Let us not then say, "it is long"; but of the past, "it hath been long"; and of the future, "it will be long." O my Lord, my Light, shall not here also Thy Truth mock at man? For that past time which was long, was it long when it was now past, or when it was yet present?
Tunc enim poterat esse longum quando erat, quod esset longum; praeteritum vero iam non erat, unde nec longum esse poterat, quod omnino non erat. Non ergo dicamus, 'Longum fuit praeteritum tempus'; neque enim inveniemus quid fuerit longum, quando, ex quo praeteritum est, non est, sed dicamus, 'Longum fuit illud praesens tempus,' quia cum praesens esset, longum erat. Nondum enim praeterierat ut non esset, et ideo erat quod longum esse posset; postea vero quam praeteriit, simul et longum esse destitit quod esse destitit. For then might it be long, when there was, what could be long; but when past, it was no longer; wherefore neither could that be long, which was not at all. Let us not then say, "time past hath been long": for we shall not find, what hath been long, seeing that since it was past, it is no more, but let us say, "that present time was long"; because, when it was present, it was long. For it had not yet passed away, so as not to be; and therefore there was, what could be long; but after it was past, that ceased also to be long, which ceased to be.
11.15.19 Videamus ergo, anima humana, utrum praesens tempus possit esse longum, datum enim tibi est sentire moras atque metiri. Quid respondebis mihi? An centum anni praesentes longum tempus est? Vide prius utrum possint praesentes esse centum anni. Si enim primus eorum annus agitur, ipse praesens est, nonaginta vero et novem futuri sunt et ideo nondum sunt. Si autem secundus annus agitur, iam unus est praeteritus, alter praesens, ceteri futuri. Let us see then, thou soul of man, whether present time can be long: for to thee it is given to feel and to measure length of time. What wilt thou answer me? Are an hundred years, when present, a long time? See first, whether an hundred years can be present. For if the first of these years be now current, it is present, but the other ninety and nine are to come, and therefore are not yet, but if the second year be current, one is now past, another present, the rest to come.
Atque ita mediorum quemlibet centenarii huius numeri annum praesentem posuerimus. Ante illum praeteriti erunt, post illum futuri. Quocirca centum anni praesentes esse non poterunt. Vide saltem utrum qui agitur unus ipse sit praesens. Et eius enim si primus agitur mensis, futuri sunt ceteri, si secundus, iam et primus praeteriit et reliqui nondum sunt. Ergo nec annus qui agitur totus est praesens, et si non totus est praesens, non annus est praesens. Duodecim enim menses annus est, quorum quilibet unus mensis qui agitur ipse praesens est, ceteri aut praeteriti aut futuri. Quamquam neque mensis qui agitur praesens est, sed unus dies. Si primus, futuris ceteris, si novissimus, praeteritis ceteris, si mediorum quilibet, inter praeteritos et futuros. And so if we assume any middle year of this hundred to be present, all before it, are past; all after it, to come; wherefore an hundred years cannot be present. But see at least whether that one which is now current, itself is present; for if the current month be its first, the rest are to come; if the second, the first is already past, and the rest are not yet. Therefore, neither is the year now current present; and if not present as a whole, then is not the year present. For twelve months are a year; of which whatever by the current month is present; the rest past, or to come. Although neither is that current month present; but one day only; the rest being to come, if it be the first; past, if the last; if any of the middle, then amid past and to come.
11.15.20 Ecce praesens tempus, quod solum inveniebamus longum appellandum, vix ad unius diei spatium contractum est. Sed discutiamus etiam ipsum, quia nec unus dies totus est praesens. Nocturnis enim et diurnis horis omnibus viginti quattuor expletur, quarum prima ceteras futuras habet, novissima praeteritas, aliqua vero interiectarum ante se praeteritas, post se futuras. Et ipsa una hora fugitivis particulis agitur. Quidquid eius avolavit, praeteritum est, quidquid ei restat, futurum. See how the present time, which alone we found could be called long, is abridged to the length scarce of one day. But let us examine that also; because neither is one day present as a whole. For it is made up of four and twenty hours of night and day: of which, the first hath the rest to come; the last hath them past; and any of the middle hath those before it past, those behind it to come. Yea, that one hour passeth away in flying particles. Whatsoever of it hath flown away, is past; whatsoever remaineth, is to come.
Si quid intellegitur temporis, quod in nullas iam vel minutissimas momentorum partes dividi possit, id solum est quod praesens dicatur; quod tamen ita raptim a futuro in praeteritum transvolat, ut nulla morula extendatur. Nam si extenditur, dividitur in praeteritum et futurum; praesens autem nullum habet spatium. Ubi est ergo tempus quod longum dicamus? An futurum? Non quidem dicimus, 'Longum est,' quia nondum est quod longum sit, sed dicimus, 'Longum erit.' quando igitur erit? Si enim et tunc adhuc futurum erit, non erit longum, quia quid sit longum nondum erit. Si autem tunc erit longum, cum ex futuro quod nondum est esse iam coeperit et praesens factum erit, ut possit esse quod longum sit, iam superioribus vocibus clamat praesens tempus longum se esse non posse. If an instant of time be conceived, which cannot be divided into the smallest particles of moments, that alone is it, which may be called present. Which yet flies with such speed from future to past, as not to be lengthened out with the least stay. For if it be, it is divided into past and future. The present hath no space. Where then is the time, which we may call long? Is it to come? Of it we do not say, "it is long"; because it is not yet, so as to be long; but we say, "it will be long." When therefore will it be? For if even then, when it is yet to come, it shall not be long (because what can be long, as yet is not), and so it shall then be long, when from future which as yet is not, it shall begin now to be, and have become present, that so there should exist what may be long; then does time present cry out in the words above, that it cannot be long.
11.16.21 Et tamen, domine, sentimus intervalla temporum et comparamus sibimet et dicimus alia longiora et alia breviora. Metimur etiam quanto sit longius aut brevius illud tempus quam illud, et respondemus duplum esse hoc vel triplum, illud autem simplum aut tantum hoc esse quantum illud. Sed praetereuntia metimur tempora cum sentiendo metimur. Praeterita vero, quae iam non sunt, aut futura, quae nondum sunt, quis metiri potest, nisi forte audebit quis dicere metiri posse quod non est? Cum ergo praeterit tempus, sentiri et metiri potest, cum autem praeterierit, quoniam non est, non potest. And yet, Lord, we perceive intervals of times, and compare them, and say, some are shorter, and others longer. We measure also, how much longer or shorter this time is than that; and we answer, "This is double, or treble; and that, but once, or only just so much as that." But we measure times as they are passing, by perceiving them; but past, which now are not, or the future, which are not yet, who can measure? unless a man shall presume to say, that can be measured, which is not. When then time is passing, it may be perceived and measured; but when it is past, it cannot, because it is not.
11.17.22 Quaero, pater, non adfirmo. Deus meus, praeside mihi et rege me. Quisnam est qui dicat mihi non esse tria tempora, sicut pueri didicimus puerosque docuimus, praeteritum, praesens, et futurum, sed tantum praesens, quoniam illa duo non sunt? An et ipsa sunt, sed ex aliquo procedit occulto cum ex futuro fit praesens, et in aliquod recedit occultum cum ex praesenti fit praeteritum? Nam ubi ea viderunt qui futura cecinerunt, si nondum sunt? Neque enim potest videri id quod non est. Et qui narrant praeterita, non utique vera narrarent si animo illa non cernerent. Quae si nulla essent, cerni omnino non possent. Sunt ergo et futura et praeterita. I ask, Father, I affirm not: O my God, rule and guide me. "Who will tell me that there are not three times (as we learned when boys, and taught boys), past, present, and future; but present only, because those two are not? Or are they also; and when from future it becometh present, doth it come out of some secret place; and so, when retiring, from present it becometh past? For where did they, who foretold things to come, see them, if as yet they be not? For that which is not, cannot be seen. And they who relate things past, could not relate them, if in mind they did not discern them, and if they were not, they could no way be discerned. Things then past and to come, are."
11.18.23 Sine me, domine, amplius quaerere, spes mea; non conturbetur intentio mea. Si enim sunt futura et praeterita, volo scire ubi sint. Quod si nondum valeo, scio tamen, ubicumque sunt, non ibi ea futura esse aut praeterita, sed praesentia. Nam si et ibi futura sunt, nondum ibi sunt, si et ibi praeterita sunt, iam non ibi sunt. Ubicumque ergo sunt, quaecumque sunt, non sunt nisi praesentia. Quamquam praeterita cum vera narrantur, ex memoria proferuntur non res ipsae quae praeterierunt, sed verba concepta ex imaginibus earum quae in animo velut vestigia per sensus praetereundo fixerunt. Pueritia quippe mea, quae iam non est, in tempore praeterito est, quod iam non est; imaginem vero eius, cum eam recolo et narro, in praesenti tempore intueor, quia est adhuc in memoria mea. Permit me, Lord, to seek further. O my hope, let not my purpose be confounded. For if times past and to come be, I would know where they be. Which yet if I cannot, yet I know, wherever they be, they are not there as future, or past, but present. For if there also they be future, they are not yet there; if there also they be past, they are no longer there. Wheresoever then is whatsoever is, it is only as present. Although when past facts are related, there are drawn out of the memory, not the things themselves which are past, but words which, conceived by the images of the things, they, in passing, have through the senses left as traces in the mind. Thus my childhood, which now is not, is in time past, which now is not: but now when I recall its image, and tell of it, I behold it in the present, because it is still in my memory.
Utrum similis sit causa etiam praedicendorum futurorum, ut rerum, quae nondum sunt, iam existentes praesentiantur imagines, confiteor, deus meus, nescio. Illud sane scio, nos plerumque praemeditari futuras actiones nostras eamque praemeditationem esse praesentem, actionem autem quam praemeditamur nondum esse, quia futura est. Quam cum aggressi fuerimus et quod praemeditabamur agere coeperimus, tunc erit illa actio, quia tunc non futura, sed praesens erit. Whether there be a like cause of foretelling things to come also; that of things which as yet are not, the images may be perceived before, already existing, I confess, O my God, I know not. This indeed I know, that we generally think before on our future actions, and that that forethinking is present, but the action whereof we forethink is not yet, because it is to come. Which, when we have set upon, and have begun to do what we were forethinking, then shall that action be; because then it is no longer future, but present.
11.18.24 Quoquo modo se itaque habeat arcana praesensio futurorum, videri nisi quod est non potest. Quod autem iam est, non futurum sed praesens est. Cum ergo videri dicuntur futura, non ipsa quae nondum sunt, id est quae futura sunt, sed eorum causae vel signa forsitan videntur, quae iam sunt. Ideo non futura sed praesentia sunt iam videntibus, ex quibus futura praedicantur animo concepta. Quae rursus conceptiones iam sunt, et eas praesentes apud se intuentur qui illa praedicunt. Loquatur mihi aliquod exemplum tanta rerum numerositas. Intueor auroram, oriturum solem praenuntio. Quod intueor, praesens est, quod praenuntio, futurum. Non sol futurus, qui iam est, sed ortus eius, qui nondum est; tamen etiam ortum ipsum nisi animo imaginarer, sicut modo cum id loquor, non eum possem praedicere. Sed nec illa aurora quam in caelo video solis ortus est, quamvis eum praecedat, nec illa imaginatio in animo meo. Quae duo praesentia cernuntur, ut futurus ille ante dicatur. Futura ergo nondum sunt, et si nondum sunt, non sunt, et si non sunt, videri omnino non possunt; sed praedici possunt ex praesentibus, quae iam sunt et videntur. Which way soever then this secret fore-perceiving of things to come be; that only can be seen, which is. But what now is, is not future, but present. When then things to come are said to be seen, it is not themselves which as yet are not (that is, which are to be), but their causes perchance or signs are seen, which already are. Therefore they are not future but present to those who now see that, from which the future, being foreconceived in the mind, is foretold. Which fore-conceptions again now are; and those who foretell those things, do behold the conceptions present before them. Let now the numerous variety of things furnish me some example. I behold the day-break, I foreshow, that the sun, is about to rise. What I behold, is present; what I foresignify, to come; not the sun, which already is; but the sun-rising, which is not yet. And yet did I not in my mind imagine the sun-rising itself (as now while I speak of it), I could not foretell it. But neither is that day-break which I discern in the sky, the sun-rising, although it goes before it; nor that imagination of my mind; which two are seen now present, that the other which is to be may be foretold. Future things then are not yet: and if they be not yet, they are not: and if they are not, they cannot be seen; yet foretold they may be from things present, which are already, and are seen.
11.19.25 Tu itaque, regnator creaturae tuae, quis est modus quo doces animas ea quae futura sunt? Docuisti enim prophetas tuos. Quisnam ille modus est quo doces futura, cui futurum quicquam non est? Vel potius de futuris doces praesentia? Nam quod non est, nec doceri utique potest. Nimis longe est modus iste ab acie mea: invaluit. Ex me non potero ad illum, potero autem ex te, cum dederis tu, dulce lumen occultorum oculorum meorum. Thou then, Ruler of Thy creation, by what way dost Thou teach souls things to come? For Thou didst teach Thy Prophets. By what way dost Thou, to whom nothing is to come, teach things to come; or rather of the future, dost teach things present? For, what is not, neither can it be taught. Too far is this way of my ken: it is too mighty for me, I cannot attain unto it; but from Thee I can, when Thou shalt vouchsafe it, O sweet light of my hidden eyes.
11.20.26 Quod autem nunc liquet et claret, nec futura sunt nec praeterita, nec proprie dicitur, 'Tempora sunt tria, praeteritum, praesens, et futurum,' sed fortasse proprie diceretur, 'Tempora sunt tria, praesens de praeteritis, praesens de praesentibus, praesens de futuris.' Sunt enim haec in anima tria quaedam et alibi ea non video, praesens de praeteritis memoria, praesens de praesentibus contuitus, praesens de futuris expectatio. What now is clear and plain is, that neither things to come nor past are. Nor is it properly said, "there be three times, past, present, and to come": yet perchance it might be properly said, "there be three times; a present of things past, a present of things present, and a present of things future." For these three do exist in some sort, in the soul, but otherwhere do I not see them; present of things past, memory; present of things present, sight; present of things future, expectation.
Si haec permittimur dicere, tria tempora video fateorque, tria sunt. Dicatur etiam, 'Tempora sunt tria, praeteritum, praesens, et futurum,' sicut abutitur consuetudo; dicatur. Ecce non curo nec resisto nec reprehendo, dum tamen intellegatur quod dicitur, neque id quod futurum est esse iam, neque id quod praeteritum est. Pauca sunt enim quae proprie loquimur, plura non proprie, sed agnoscitur quid velimus. If thus we be permitted to speak, I see three times, and I confess there are three. Let it be said too, "there be three times, past, present, and to come": in our incorrect way. See, I object not, nor gainsay, nor find fault, if what is so said be but understood, that neither what is to be, now is, nor what is past. For but few things are there, which we speak properly, most things improperly; still the things intended are understood.
11.21.27 Dixi ergo paulo ante quod praetereuntia tempora metimur, ut possimus dicere duplum esse hoc temporis ad illud simplum, aut tantum hoc quantum illud, et si quid aliud de partibus temporum possumus renuntiare metiendo. Quocirca, ut dicebam, praetereuntia metimur tempora, et si quis mihi dicat, 'Unde scis?', respondeam, scio quia metimur, nec metiri quae non sunt possumus, et non sunt praeterita vel futura. Praesens vero tempus quomodo metimur, quando non habet spatium? Metitur ergo cum praeterit, cum autem praeterierit, non metitur; quid enim metiatur non erit. Sed unde et qua et quo praeterit, cum metitur? Unde nisi ex futuro? Qua nisi per praesens? Quo nisi in praeteritum? Ex illo ergo quod nondum est, per illud quod spatio caret, in illud quod iam non est. Quid autem metimur nisi tempus in aliquo spatio? Neque enim dicimus simpla et dupla et tripla et aequalia, et si quid hoc modo in tempore dicimus nisi spatia temporum. In quo ergo spatio metimur tempus praeteriens? Utrum in futuro, unde praeterit? Sed quod nondum est, non metimur. An in praesenti, qua praeterit? Sed nullum spatium non metimur. An in praeterito, quo praeterit? Sed quod iam non est, non metimur. I said then even now, we measure times as they pass, in order to be able to say, this time is twice so much as that one; or, this is just so much as that; and so of any other parts of time, which be measurable. Wherefore, as I said, we measure times as they pass. And if any should ask me, "How knowest thou?" I might answer, "I know, that we do measure, nor can we measure things that are not; and things past and to come, are not." But time present how do we measure, seeing it hath no space? It is measured while passing, but when it shall have passed, it is not measured; for there will be nothing to be measured. But whence, by what way, and whither passes it while it is a measuring? whence, but from the future? Which way, but through the present? whither, but into the past? From that therefore, which is not yet, through that, which hath no space, into that, which now is not. Yet what do we measure, if not time in some space? For we do not say, single, and double, and triple, and equal, or any other like way that we speak of time, except of spaces of times. In what space then do we measure time passing? In the future, whence it passeth through? But what is not yet, we measure not. Or in the present, by which it passes? but no space, we do not measure: or in the past, to which it passes? But neither do we measure that, which now is not.
11.22.28 Exarsit animus meus nosse istuc implicatissimum aenigma. Noli claudere, domine deus meus, bone pater, per Christum obsecro, noli claudere desiderio meo ista et usitata et abdita, quominus in ea penetret et dilucescant allucente misericordia tua, domine. Quem percontabor de his? Et cui fructuosius confitebor imperitiam meam nisi tibi, cui non sunt molesta studia mea flammantia vehementer in scripturas tuas? Da quod amo; amo enim, et hoc tu dedisti. Da, pater, qui vere nosti data bona dare filiis tuis, da, quoniam suscepi cognoscere et labor est ante me, donec aperias. Per Christum obsecro, in nomine eius sancti sanctorum nemo mihi obstrepat. Et ego credidi, propter quod et loquor. Haec est spes mea, ad hanc vivo, ut contempler delectationem domini. Ecce veteres posuisti dies meos et transeunt, et quomodo, nescio. Et dicimus tempus et tempus, tempora et tempora: 'Quamdiu dixit hoc ille,' 'Quamdiu fecit hoc ille' et: 'Quam longo tempore illud non vidi' et: 'Duplum temporis habet haec syllaba ad illam simplam brevem.' dicimus haec et audimus haec et intellegimur et intellegimus. Manifestissima et usitatissima sunt, et eadem rursus nimis latent et nova est inventio eorum. My soul is on fire to know this most intricate enigma. Shut it not up, O Lord my God, good Father; through Christ I beseech Thee, do not shut up these usual, yet hidden things, from my desire, that it be hindered from piercing into them; but let them dawn through Thy enlightening mercy, O Lord. Whom shall I enquire of concerning these things? and to whom shall I more fruitfully confess my ignorance, than to Thee, to Whom these my studies, so vehemently kindled toward Thy Scriptures, are not troublesome? Give what I love; for I do love, and this hast Thou given me. Give, Father, Who truly knowest to give good gifts unto Thy children. Give, because I have taken upon me to know, and trouble is before me until Thou openest it. By Christ I beseech Thee, in His Name, Holy of holies, let no man disturb me. For I believed, and therefore do I speak. This is my hope, for this do I live, that I may contemplate the delights of the Lord. Behold, Thou hast made my days old, and they pass away, and how, I know not. And we talk of time, and time, and times, and times, "How long time is it since he said this"; "how long time since he did this"; and "how long time since I saw that"; and "this syllable hath double time to that single short syllable." These words we speak, and these we hear, and are understood, and understand. Most manifest and ordinary they are, and the self-same things again are but too deeply hidden, and the discovery of them were new.
11.23.29 Audivi a quodam homine docto quod solis et lunae ac siderum motus ipsa sint tempora, et non adnui. Cur enim non potius omnium corporum motus sint tempora? An vero, si cessarent caeli lumina et moveretur rota figuli, non esset tempus quo metiremur eos gyros et diceremus aut aequalibus morulis agi, aut si alias tardius, alias velocius moveretur, alios magis diuturnos esse, alios minus? I heard once from a learned man, that the motions of the sun, moon, and stars, constituted time, and I assented not. For why should not the motions of all bodies rather be times? Or, if the lights of heaven should cease, and a potter's wheel run round, should there be no time by which we might measure those whirlings, and say, that either it moved with equal pauses, or if it turned sometimes slower, otherwhiles quicker, that some rounds were longer, other shorter?
Aut cum haec diceremus, non et nos in tempore loqueremur aut essent in verbis nostris aliae longae syllabae, aliae breves, nisi quia illae longiore tempore sonuissent, istae breviore? Deus, dona hominibus videre in parvo communes notitias rerum parvarum atque magnarum. Sunt sidera et luminaria caeli in signis et in temporibus et in diebus et in annis. Sunt vero, sed nec ego dixerim circuitum illius ligneolae rotae diem esse, nec tamen ideo tempus non esse ille dixerit. Or, while we were saying this, should we not also be speaking in time? Or, should there in our words be some syllables short, others long, but because those sounded in a shorter time, these in a longer? God, grant to men to see in a small thing notices common to things great and small. The stars and lights of heaven, are also for signs, and for seasons, and for years, and for days; they are; yet neither should I say, that the going round of that wooden wheel was a day, nor yet he, that it was therefore no time.
11.23.30 Ego scire cupio vim naturamque temporis, quo metimur corporum motus et dicimus illum motum verbi gratia tempore duplo esse diuturniorem quam istum. Nam quaero, quoniam dies dicitur non tantum mora solis super terram, secundum quod aliud est dies, aliud nox, sed etiam totius eius circuitus ab oriente usque orientem, secundum quod dicimus, 'Tot dies transierunt' (cum suis enim noctibus dicuntur tot dies, nec extra reputantur spatia noctium) -- quoniam ergo dies expletur motu solis atque circuitu ab oriente usque orientem, quaero utrum motus ipse sit dies, an mora ipsa quanta peragitur, an utrumque. Si enim primum dies esset, dies ergo esset, etiamsi tanto spatio temporis sol cursum illum peregisset, quantum est horae unius. Si secundum, non ergo esset dies, si ab ortu solis usque in ortum alterum tam brevis mora esset quam est horae unius, sed viciens et quater circuiret sol ut expleret diem. Si utrumque, nec ille appellaretur dies, si horae spatio sol totum suum gyrum circuiret, nec ille, si sole cessante tantum temporis praeteriret, quanto peragere sol totum ambitum de mane in mane adsolet. Non itaque nunc quaeram quid sit illud quod vocatur dies, sed quid sit tempus, quo metientes solis circuitum diceremus eum dimidio spatio temporis peractum minus quam solet, si tanto spatio temporis peractus esset, quanto peraguntur horae duodecim, et utrumque tempus comparantes diceremus illud simplum, hoc duplum, etiamsi aliquando illo simplo, aliquando isto duplo sol ab oriente usque orientem circuiret. Nemo ergo mihi dicat caelestium corporum motus esse tempora, quia et cuiusdam voto cum sol stetisset, ut victoriosum proelium perageret, sol stabat, sed tempus ibat. Per suum quippe spatium temporis, quod ei sufficeret, illa pugna gesta atque finita est. Video igitur tempus quandam esse distentionem. Sed video? An videre mihi videor? Tu demonstrabis, lux, veritas. I desire to know the force and nature of time, by which we measure the motions of bodies, and say (for example) this motion is twice as long as that. For I ask, Seeing "day" denotes not the stay only of the sun upon the earth (according to which day is one thing, night another); but also its whole circuit from east to east again; according to which we say, "there passed so many days," the night being included when we say, "so many days," and the nights not reckoned apart;- seeing then a day is completed by the motion of the sun and by his circuit from east to east again, I ask, does the motion alone make the day, or the stay in which that motion is completed, or both? For if the first be the day; then should we have a day, although the sun should finish that course in so small a space of time, as one hour comes to. If the second, then should not that make a day, if between one sun-rise and another there were but so short a stay, as one hour comes to; but the sun must go four and twenty times about, to complete one day. If both, then neither could that be called a day; if the sun should run his whole round in the space of one hour; nor that, if, while the sun stood still, so much time should overpass, as the sun usually makes his whole course in, from morning to morning. I will not therefore now ask, what that is which is called day; but, what time is, whereby we, measuring the circuit of the sun, should say that it was finished in half the time it was wont, if so be it was finished in so small a space as twelve hours; and comparing both times, should call this a single time, that a double time; even supposing the sun to run his round from east to east, sometimes in that single, sometimes in that double time. Let no man then tell me, that the motions of the heavenly bodies constitute times, because, when at the prayer of one, the sun had stood still, till he could achieve his victorious battle, the sun stood still, but time went on. For in its own allotted space of time was that battle waged and ended. I perceive time then to be a certain extension. But do I perceive it, or seem to perceive it? Thou, Light and Truth, wilt show me.
11.24.31 Iubes ut approbem, si quis dicat tempus esse motum corporis? Non iubes. Nam corpus nullum nisi in tempore moveri audio: tu dicis. Ipsum autem corporis motum tempus esse non audio: non tu dicis. Cum enim movetur corpus, tempore metior quamdiu moveatur, ex quo moveri incipit donec desinat. Et si non vidi ex quo coepit et perseverat moveri, ut non videam cum desinit, non valeo metiri, nisi forte ex quo videre incipio donec desinam. Quod si diu video, tantummodo longum tempus esse renuntio, non autem quantum sit, quia et quantum cum dicimus, conlatione dicimus, velut: 'Tantum hoc, quantum illud' aut: 'Duplum hoc ad illud' et si quid aliud isto modo. Dost Thou bid me assent, if any define time to be "motion of a body?" Thou dost not bid me. For that no body is moved, but in time, I hear; this Thou sayest; but that the motion of a body is time, I hear not; Thou sayest it not. For when a body is moved, I by time measure, how long it moveth, from the time it began to move until it left off? And if I did not see whence it began; and it continue to move so that I see not when it ends, I cannot measure, save perchance from the time I began, until I cease to see. And if I look long, I can only pronounce it to be a long time, but not how long; because when we say "how long," we do it by comparison; as, "this is as long as that," or "twice so long as that," or the like.
Si autem notare potuerimus locorum spatia, unde et quo veniat corpus quod movetur, vel partes eius, si tamquam in torno movetur, possumus dicere quantum sit temporis ex quo ab illo loco usque ad illum locum motus corporis vel partis eius effectus est. Cum itaque aliud sit motus corporis, aliud quo metimur quamdiu sit, quis non sentiat quid horum potius tempus dicendum sit? But when we can mark the distances of the places, whence and whither goeth the body moved, or his parts, if it moved as in a lathe, then can we say precisely, in how much time the motion of that body or his part, from this place unto that, was finished. Seeing therefore the motion of a body is one thing, that by which we measure how long it is, another; who sees not, which of the two is rather to be called time?
Nam si et varie corpus aliquando movetur, aliquando stat, non solum motum eius sed etiam statum tempore metimur et dicimus, 'Tantum stetit, quantum motum est' aut, 'Duplo vel triplo stetit ad id quod motum est' et si quid aliud nostra dimensio sive comprehenderit sive existimaverit, ut dici solet plus minus. Non ergo tempus corporis motus. For and if a body be sometimes moved, sometimes stands still, then we measure, not his motion only, but his standing still too by time; and we say, "it stood still, as much as it moved"; or "it stood still twice or thrice so long as it moved"; or any other space which our measuring hath either ascertained, or guessed; more or less, as we use to say. Time then is not the motion of a body.
11.25.32 Et confiteor tibi, domine, ignorare me adhuc quid sit tempus, et rursus confiteor tibi, domine, scire me in tempore ista dicere, et diu me iam loqui de tempore, atque ipsum diu non esse diu nisi mora temporis. Quomodo igitur hoc scio, quando quid sit tempus nescio? An forte nescio quemadmodum dicam quod scio? Ei mihi, qui nescio saltem quid nesciam! ecce, deus meus, coram te, quia non mentior! sicut loquor, ita est cor meum. Tu inluminabis lucernam meam, domine, deus meus, inluminabis tenebras meas. And I confess to Thee, O Lord, that I yet know not what time is, and again I confess unto Thee, O Lord, that I know that I speak this in time, and that having long spoken of time, that very "long" is not long, but by the pause of time. How then know I this, seeing I know not what time is? or is it perchance that I know not how to express what I know? Woe is me, that do not even know, what I know not. Behold, O my God, before Thee I lie not; but as I speak, so is my heart. Thou shalt light my candle; Thou, O Lord my God, wilt enlighten my darkness.
11.26.33 Nonne tibi confitetur anima mea confessione veridica metiri me tempora? Itane, deus meus, metior et quid metiar nescio. Metior motum corporis tempore: item ipsum tempus nonne metior? An vero corporis motum metirer, quamdiu sit et quamdiu hinc illuc perveniat, nisi tempus in quo movetur metirer? Ipsum ergo tempus unde metior? An tempore breviore metimur longius sicut spatio cubiti spatium transtri? Sic enim videmur spatio brevis syllabae metiri spatium longae syllabae atque id duplum dicere. Does not my soul most truly confess unto Thee, that I do measure times? Do I then measure, O my God, and know not what I measure? I measure the motion of a body in time; and the time itself do I not measure? Or could I indeed measure the motion of a body how long it were, and in how long space it could come from this place to that, without measuring the time in which it is moved? This same time then, how do I measure? do we by a shorter time measure a longer, as by the space of a cubit, the space of a rood? for so indeed we seem by the space of a short syllable, to measure the space of a long syllable, and to say that this is double the other.
Ita metimur spatia carminum spatiis versuum et spatia versuum spatiis pedum et spatia pedum spatiis syllabarum et spatia longarum spatiis brevium, non in paginis (nam eo modo loca metimur, non tempora) sed cum voces pronuntiando transeunt et dicimus, 'Longum carmen est, nam tot versibus contexitur; longi versus, nam tot pedibus constant; longi pedes, nam tot syllabis tenduntur; longa syllaba est, nam dupla est ad brevem.' sed neque ita comprehenditur certa mensura temporis, quandoquidem fieri potest ut ampliore spatio temporis personet versus brevior, si productius pronuntietur, quam longior, si correptius. Thus measure we the spaces of stanzas, by the spaces of the verses, and the spaces of the verses, by the spaces of the feet, and the spaces of the feet, by the spaces of the syllables, and the spaces of long, by the space of short syllables; not measuring by pages (for then we measure spaces, not times); but when we utter the words and they pass by, and we say "it is a long stanza, because composed of so many verses; long verses, because consisting of so many feet; long feet, because prolonged by so many syllables; a long syllable because double to a short one. But neither do we this way obtain any certain measure of time; because it may be, that a shorter verse, pronounced more fully, may take up more time than a longer, pronounced hurriedly.
Ita carmen, ita pes, ita syllaba. Inde mihi visum est nihil esse aliud tempus quam distentionem; sed cuius rei, nescio, et mirum, si non ipsius animi. Quid enim metior, obsecro, deus meus? Et dico aut indefinite, 'Longius est hoc tempus quam illud' aut etiam definite, 'Duplum est hoc ad illud.' Tempus metior, scio; sed non metior futurum, quia nondum est, non metior praesens, quia nullo spatio tenditur, non metior praeteritum, quia iam non est. Quid ergo metior? An praetereuntia tempora, non praeterita? Sic enim dixeram. And so for a verse, a foot, a syllable. Whence it seemed to me, that time is nothing else than protraction; but of what, I know not; and I marvel, if it be not of the mind itself? For what, I beseech Thee, O my God, do I measure, when I say, either indefinitely "this is a longer time than that," or definitely "this is double that"? That I measure time, I know; and yet I measure not time to come, for it is not yet; nor present, because it is not protracted by any space; nor past, because it now is not. What then do I measure? Times passing, not past? for so I said.
11.27.34 Insiste, anime meus, et attende fortiter. Deus adiutor noster: ipse fecit nos, et non nos. Attende ubi albescit veritas. Ecce puta vox corporis incipit sonare et sonat et adhuc sonat, et ecce desinit, iamque silentium est, et vox illa praeterita est et non est iam vox. Futura erat antequam sonaret, et non poterat metiri quia nondum erat, et nunc non potest quia iam non est. Tunc ergo poterat cum sonabat, quia tunc erat quae metiri posset. Sed et tunc non stabat; ibat enim et praeteribat. An ideo magis poterat? Praeteriens enim tendebatur in aliquod spatium temporis quo metiri posset, quoniam praesens nullum habet spatium. Si ergo tunc poterat, ecce puta altera coepit sonare et adhuc sonat continuato tenore sine ulla distinctione. Metiamur eam dum sonat. Cum enim sonare cessaverit, iam praeterita erit et non erit quae possit metiri. Metiamur plane et dicamus quanta sit. Courage, my mind, and press on mightily. God is our helper, He made us, and not we ourselves. Press on where truth begins to dawn. Suppose, now, the voice of a body begins to sound, and does sound, and sounds on, and list, it ceases; it is silence now, and that voice is past, and is no more a voice. Before it sounded, it was to come, and could not be measured, because as yet it was not, and now it cannot, because it is no longer. Then therefore while it sounded, it might; because there then was what might be measured. But yet even then it was not at a stay; for it was passing on, and passing away. Could it be measured the rather, for that? For while passing, it was being extended into some space of time, so that it might be measured, since the present hath no space. If therefore then it might, then, to, suppose another voice hath begun to sound, and still soundeth in one continued tenor without any interruption; let us measure it while it sounds; seeing when it hath left sounding, it will then be past, and nothing left to be measured; let us measure it verily, and tell how much it is.
Sed adhuc sonat nec metiri potest nisi ab initio sui, quo sonare coepit, usque ad finem, quo desinit. Ipsum quippe intervallum metimur ab aliquo initio usque ad aliquem finem. Quapropter vox quae nondum finita est metiri non potest, ut dicatur quam longa vel brevis sit, nec dici aut aequalis alicui aut ad aliquam simpla vel dupla vel quid aliud. Cum autem finita fuerit, iam non erit. Quo pacto igitur metiri poterit? Et metimur tamen tempora, nec ea quae nondum sunt, nec ea quae iam non sunt, nec ea quae nulla mora extenduntur, nec ea quae terminos non habent. Nec futura ergo nec praeterita nec praesentia nec praetereuntia tempora metimur, et metimur tamen tempora. But it sounds still, nor can it be measured but from the instant it began in, unto the end it left in. For the very space between is the thing we measure, namely, from some beginning unto some end. Wherefore, a voice that is not yet ended, cannot be measured, so that it may be said how long, or short it is; nor can it be called equal to another, or double to a single, or the like. But when ended, it no longer is. How may it then be measured? And yet we measure times; but yet neither those which are not yet, nor those which no longer are, nor those which are not lengthened out by some pause, nor those which have no bounds. We measure neither times to come, nor past, nor present, nor passing; and yet we do measure times.
11.27.35 'Deus creator omnium': versus iste octo syllabarum brevibus et longis alternat syllabis. Quattuor itaque breves (prima, tertia, quinta, septima) simplae sunt ad quattuor longas (secundam, quartam, sextam, octavam). Hae singulae ad illas singulas duplum habent temporis. Pronuntio et renuntio, et ita est quantum sentitur sensu manifesto. "Deus Creator omnium," this verse of eight syllables alternates between short and long syllables. The four short then, the first, third, fifth, and seventh, are but single, in respect of the four long, the second, fourth, sixth, and eighth. Every one of these to every one of those, hath a double time: I pronounce them, report on them, and find it so, as one's plain sense perceives.
Quantum sensus manifestus est, brevi syllaba longam metior eamque sentio habere bis tantum. Sed cum altera post alteram sonat, si prior brevis, longa posterior, quomodo tenebo brevem et quomodo eam longae metiens applicabo, ut inveniam quod bis tantum habeat, quandoquidem longa sonare non incipit nisi brevis sonare destiterit? Ipsamque longam num praesentem metior, quando nisi finitam non metior? Eius autem finitio praeteritio est: quid ergo est quod metior? Ubi est qua metior brevis? Ubi est longa quam metior? Ambae sonuerunt, avolaverunt, praeterierunt, iam non sunt. By plain sense then, I measure a long syllable by a short, and I sensibly find it to have twice so much; but when one sounds after the other, if the former be short, the latter long, how shall I detain the short one, and how, measuring, shall I apply it to the long, that I may find this to have twice so much; seeing the long does not begin to sound, unless the short leaves sounding? And that very long one do I measure as present, seeing I measure it not till it be ended? Now his ending is his passing away. What then is it I measure? where is the short syllable by which I measure? where the long which I measure? Both have sounded, have flown, passed away, are no more;
Et ego metior fidenterque respondeo, quantum exercitato sensu fiditur, illam simplam esse, illam duplam, in spatio scilicet temporis. Neque hoc possum, nisi quia praeterierunt et finitae sunt. Non ergo ipsas quae iam non sunt, sed aliquid in memoria mea metior, quod infixum manet. and yet I measure, and confidently answer (so far as is presumed on a practised sense) that as to space of time this syllable is but single, that double. And yet I could not do this, unless they were already past and ended. It is not then themselves, which now are not, that I measure, but something in my memory, which there remains fixed.
11.27.36 In te, anime meus, tempora metior. Noli mihi obstrepere, quod est; noli tibi obstrepere turbis affectionum tuarum. In te, inquam, tempora metior. Affectionem quam res praetereuntes in te faciunt et, cum illae praeterierint, manet, ipsam metior praesentem, non ea quae praeterierunt ut fieret; ipsam metior, cum tempora metior. Ergo aut ipsa sunt tempora, aut non tempora metior. It is in thee, my mind, that I measure times. Interrupt me not, that is, interrupt not thyself with the tumults of thy impressions. In thee I measure times; the impression, which things as they pass by cause in thee, remains even when they are gone; this it is which still present, I measure, not the things which pass by to make this impression. This I measure, when I measure times. Either then this is time, or I do not measure times.
Quid cum metimur silentia, et dicimus illud silentium tantum tenuisse temporis quantum illa vox tenuit, nonne cogitationem tendimus ad mensuram vocis, quasi sonaret, ut aliquid de intervallis silentiorum in spatio temporis renuntiare possimus? Nam et voce atque ore cessante peragimus cogitando carmina et versus et quemque sermonem motionumque dimensiones quaslibet et de spatiis temporum, quantum illud ad illud sit, renuntiamus non aliter ac si ea sonando diceremus. What when we measure silence, and say that this silence hath held as long time as did that voice? do we not stretch out our thought to the measure of a voice, as if it sounded, that so we may be able to report of the intervals of silence in a given space of time? For though both voice and tongue be still, yet in thought we go over poems, and verses, and any other discourse, or dimensions of motions, and report as to the spaces of times, how much this is in respect of that, no otherwise than if vocally we did pronounce them.
Voluerit aliquis edere longuisculam vocem, et constituerit praemeditando quam longa futura sit, egit utique iste spatium temporis in silentio memoriaeque commendans coepit edere illam vocem quae sonat, donec ad propositum terminum perducatur. Immo sonuit et sonabit; nam quod eius iam peractum est, utique sonuit, quod autem restat, sonabit atque ita peragitur, dum praesens intentio futurum in praeteritum traicit, deminutione futuri crescente praeterito, donec consumptione futuri sit totum praeteritum. If a man would utter a lengthened sound, and had settled in thought how long it should be, he hath in silence already gone through a space of time, and committing it to memory, begins to utter that speech, which sounds on, until it be brought unto the end proposed. Yea it hath sounded, and will sound; for so much of it as is finished, hath sounded already, and the rest will sound. And thus passeth it on, until the present intent conveys over the future into the past; the past increasing by the diminution of the future, until by the consumption of the future, all is past.
11.28.37 Sed quomodo minuitur aut consumitur futurum, quod nondum est, aut quomodo crescit praeteritum, quod iam non est, nisi quia in animo qui illud agit tria sunt? Nam et expectat et attendit et meminit, ut id quod expectat per id quod attendit transeat in id quod meminerit. Quis igitur negat futura nondum esse? Sed tamen iam est in animo expectatio futurorum. Et quis negat praeterita iam non esse? Sed tamen adhuc est in animo memoria praeteritorum. Et quis negat praesens tempus carere spatio, quia in puncto praeterit? Sed tamen perdurat attentio, per quam pergat abesse quod aderit. Non igitur longum tempus futurum, quod non est, sed longum futurum longa expectatio futuri est, neque longum praeteritum tempus, quod non est, sed longum praeteritum longa memoria praeteriti est. But how is that future diminished or consumed, which as yet is not? or how that past increased, which is now no longer, save that in the mind which enacteth this, there be three things done? For it expects, it considers, it remembers; that so that which it expecteth, through that which it considereth, passeth into that which it remembereth. Who therefore denieth, that things to come are not as yet? and yet, there is in the mind an expectation of things to come. And who denies past things to be now no longer? and yet is there still in the mind a memory of things past. And who denieth the present time hath no space, because it passeth away in a moment? and yet our consideration continueth, through which that which shall be present proceedeth to become absent. It is not then future time, that is long, for as yet it is not: but a long future, is "a long expectation of the future," nor is it time past, which now is not, that is long; but a long past, is "a long memory of the past."
11.28.38 Dicturus sum canticum quod novi. Antequam incipiam, in totum expectatio mea tenditur, cum autem coepero, quantum ex illa in praeteritum decerpsero, tenditur et memoria mea, atque distenditur vita huius actionis meae in memoriam propter quod dixi et in expectationem propter quod dicturus sum. Praesens tamen adest attentio mea, per quam traicitur quod erat futurum ut fiat praeteritum. Quod quanto magis agitur et agitur, tanto breviata expectatione prolongatur memoria, donec tota expectatio consumatur, cum tota illa actio finita transierit in memoriam. Et quod in toto cantico, hoc in singulis particulis eius fit atque in singulis syllabis eius, hoc in actione longiore, cuius forte particula est illud canticum, hoc in tota vita hominis, cuius partes sunt omnes actiones hominis, hoc in toto saeculo filiorum hominum, cuius partes sunt omnes vitae hominum. I am about to repeat a Psalm that I know. Before I begin, my expectation is extended over the whole; but when I have begun, how much soever of it I shall separate off into the past, is extended along my memory; thus the life of this action of mine is divided between my memory as to what I have repeated, and expectation as to what I am about to repeat; but "consideration" is present with me, that through it what was future, may be conveyed over, so as to become past. Which the more it is done again and again, so much the more the expectation being shortened, is the memory enlarged: till the whole expectation be at length exhausted, when that whole action being ended, shall have passed into memory. And this which takes place in the whole Psalm, the same takes place in each several portion of it, and each several syllable; the same holds in that longer action, whereof this Psalm may be part; the same holds in the whole life of man, whereof all the actions of man are parts; the same holds through the whole age of the sons of men, whereof all the lives of men are parts.
11.29.39 Sed quoniam melior est misericordia tua super vitas, ecce distentio est vita mea, et me suscepit dextera tua in domino meo, mediatore filio hominis inter te unum et nos multos, in multis per multa, ut per eum apprehendam in quo et apprehensus sum, et a veteribus diebus conligar sequens unum, praeterita oblitus, non in ea quae futura et transitura sunt, sed in ea quae ante sunt non distentus sed extentus, non secundum distentionem sed secundum intentionem sequor ad palmam supernae vocationis, ubi audiam vocem laudis et contempler delectationem tuam nec venientem nec praetereuntem. Nunc vero anni mei in gemitibus, et tu solacium meum, domine, pater meus aeternus es. At ego in tempora dissilui quorum ordinem nescio, et tumultuosis varietatibus dilaniantur cogitationes meae, intima viscera animae meae, donec in te confluam purgatus et liquidus igne amoris tui. But because Thy loving-kindness is better than all lives, behold, my life is but a distraction, and Thy right hand upheld me, in my Lord the Son of man, the Mediator betwixt Thee, The One, and us many, many also through our manifold distractions amid many things, that by Him I may apprehend in Whom I have been apprehended, and may be re-collected from my old conversation, to follow The One, forgetting what is behind, and not distended but extended, not to things which shall be and shall pass away, but to those things which are before, not distractedly but intently, I follow on for the prize of my heavenly calling, where I may hear the voice of Thy praise, and contemplate Thy delights, neither to come, nor to pass away. But now are my years spent in mourning. And Thou, O Lord, art my comfort, my Father everlasting, but I have been severed amid times, whose order I know not; and my thoughts, even the inmost bowels of my soul, are rent and mangled with tumultuous varieties, until I flow together into Thee, purified and molten by the fire of Thy love.
11.30.40 Et stabo atque solidabor in te, in forma mea, veritate tua, nec patiar quaestiones hominum qui poenali morbo plus sitiunt quam capiunt et dicunt, 'Quid faciebat deus antequam faceret caelum et terram?' aut 'Quid ei venit in mentem ut aliquid faceret, cum antea numquam aliquid fecerit?' da illis, domine, bene cogitare quid dicant, et invenire quia non dicitur numquam ubi non est tempus. Qui ergo dicitur numquam fecisse, quid aliud dicitur nisi nullo tempore fecisse? Videant itaque nullum tempus esse posse sine creatura et desinant istam vanitatem loqui. Extendantur etiam in ea quae ante sunt, et intellegant te ante omnia tempora aeternum creatorem omnium temporum neque ulla tempora tibi esse coaeterna nec ullam creaturam, etiamsi est aliqua supra tempora. And now will I stand, and become firm in Thee, in my mould, Thy truth; nor will I endure the questions of men, who by a penal disease thirst for more than they can contain, and say, "what did God before He made heaven and earth?" Or, "How came it into His mind to make any thing, having never before made any thing?" Give them, O Lord, well to bethink themselves what they say, and to find, that "never" cannot be predicated, when "time" is not. This then that He is said "never to have made"; what else is it to say, than "in 'no have made?" Let them see therefore, that time cannot be without created being, and cease to speak that vanity. May they also be extended towards those things which are before; and understand Thee before all times, the eternal Creator of all times, and that no times be coeternal with Thee, nor any creature, even if there be any creature before all times.
11.31.41 Domine deus meus, quis ille sinus est alti secreti tui et quam longe inde me proiecerunt consequentia delictorum meorum? Sana oculos meos, et congaudeam luci tuae. Certe si est tam grandi scientia et praescientia pollens animus, cui cuncta praeterita et futura ita nota sint, sicut mihi unum canticum notissimum, nimium mirabilis est animus iste atque ad horrorem stupendus, quippe quem ita non lateat quidquid peractum et quidquid reliquum saeculorum est, quemadmodum me non latet cantantem illud canticum, quid et quantum eius abierit ab exordio, quid et quantum restet ad finem. O Lord my God, what a depth is that recess of Thy mysteries, and how far from it have the consequences of my transgressions cast me! Heal mine eyes, that I may share the joy of Thy light. Certainly, if there be mind gifted with such vast knowledge and foreknowledge, as to know all things past and to come, as I know one well-known Psalm, truly that mind is passing wonderful, and fearfully amazing; in that nothing past, nothing to come in after-ages, is any more hidden from him, than when I sung that Psalm, was hidden from me what, and how much of it had passed away from the beginning, what, and how much there remained unto the end.
Sed absit ut tu, conditor universitatis, conditor animarum et corporum, absit ut ita noveris omnia futura et praeterita. Longe tu, longe mirabilius longeque secretius. Neque enim sicut nota cantantis notumve canticum audientis expectatione vocum futurarum et memoria praeteritarum variatur affectus sensusque distenditur, ita tibi aliquid accidit incommutabiliter aeterno, hoc est vere aeterno creatori mentium. But far be it that Thou the Creator of the Universe, the Creator of souls and bodies, far be it, that Thou shouldest in such wise know all things past and to come. Far, far more wonderfully, and far more mysteriously, dost Thou know them. For not, as the feelings of one who singeth what he knoweth, or heareth some well-known song, are through expectation of the words to come, and the remembering of those that are past, varied, and his senses divided, -not so doth any thing happen unto Thee, unchangeably eternal, that is, the eternal Creator of minds.
Sicut ergo nosti in principio caelum et terram sine varietate notitiae tuae, ita fecisti in principio caelum et terram sine distentione actionis tuae. Qui intellegit, confiteatur tibi, et qui non intellegit, confiteatur tibi. O quam excelsus es, et humiles corde sunt domus tua! tu enim erigis elisos, et non cadunt quorum celsitudo tu es. Like then as Thou in the Beginning knewest the heaven and the earth, without any variety of Thy knowledge, so madest Thou in the Beginning heaven and earth, without any distraction of Thy action. Whoso understandeth, let him confess unto Thee; and whoso understandeth not, let him confess unto Thee. Oh how high art Thou, and yet the humble in heart are Thy dwelling-place; for Thou raisest up those that are bowed down, and they fall not, whose elevation Thou art.

Liber duodecimus

12.1.1 Multa satagit cor meum, domine, in hac inopia vitae meae, pulsatum verbis sanctae scripturae tuae, et ideo plerumque in sermone copiosa est egestas humanae intellegentiae, quia plus loquitur inquisitio quam inventio, et longior est petitio quam impetratio, et operosior est manus pulsans quam sumens. Tenemus promissum: quis corrumpet illud? Si deus pro nobis, quis contra nos? 'Petite et accipietis, quaerite et invenietis, pulsate et aperietur vobis. Omnis enim qui petit accipit, et quaerens inveniet, et pulsanti aperietur.' promissa tua sunt, et quis falli timeat cum promittit veritas? My heart, O Lord, touched with the words of Thy Holy Scripture, is much busied, amid this poverty of my life. And therefore most times, is the poverty of human understanding copious in words, because enquiring hath more to say than discovering, and demanding is longer than obtaining, and our hand that knocks, hath more work to do, than our hand that receives. We hold the promise, who shall make it null? If God be for us, who can be against us? Ask, and ye shall have; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh, receiveth; and he that seeketh, findeth; and to him that knocketh, shall it be opened. These be Thine own promises: and who need fear to be deceived, when the Truth promiseth?
12.2.2 Confitetur altitudini tuae humilitas linguae meae, quoniam tu fecisti caelum et terram: hoc caelum quod video terramque quam calco, unde est haec terra quam porto, tu fecisti. Sed ubi est caelum caeli, domine, de quo audivimus in voce psalmi: 'Caelum caeli domino, terram autem dedit filiis hominum'? Ubi est caelum quod non cernimus, cui terra est hoc omne quod cernimus? Hoc enim totum corporeum non ubique totum ita cepit speciem pulchram in novissimis, cuius fundus est terra nostra, sed ad illud caelum caeli etiam terrae nostrae caelum terra est. Et hoc utrumque magnum corpus non absurde terra est ad illud nescio quale caelum quod domino est, non filiis hominum. The lowliness of my tongue confesseth unto Thy Highness, that Thou madest heaven and earth; this heaven which I see, and this earth that I tread upon, whence is this earth that I bear about me; Thou madest it. But where is that heaven of heavens, O Lord, which we hear of in the words of the Psalm. The heaven of heavens are the Lord's; but the earth hath He given to the children of men? Where is that heaven which we see not, to which all this which we see is earth? For this corporeal whole, not being wholly every where, hath in such wise received its portion of beauty in these lower parts, whereof the lowest is this our earth; but to that heaven of heavens, even the heaven of our earth, is but earth: yea both these great bodies, may not absurdly be called earth, to that unknown heaven, which is the Lord's, not the sons' of men.
12.3.3 Et nimirum haec terra erat invisibilis et incomposita, et nescio qua profunditas abyssi, super quam non erat lux quia nulla species erat illi, unde iussisti ut scriberetur quod 'Tenebrae erant super abyssum.' quid aliud quam lucis absentia? Ubi enim lux esset, si esset, nisi super esset eminendo et inlustrando? Ubi ergo lux nondum erat, quid erat adesse tenebras nisi abesse lucem? Super itaque erant tenebrae quia super lux aberat, sicut sonus ubi non est, silentium est. Et quid est esse ibi silentium nisi sonum ibi non esse? Nonne tu, domine, docuisti hanc animam quae tibi confitetur? Nonne tu, domine, docuisti me quod, priusquam istam informem materiam formares atque distingueres, non erat aliquid, non color, non figura, non corpus, non spiritus? Non tamen omnino nihil: erat quaedam informitas sine ulla specie. And now this earth was invisible and without form, and there was I know not what depth of abyss, upon which there was no light, because it had no shape. Therefore didst Thou command it to be written, that darkness was upon the face of the deep; what else than the absence of light? For had there been light, where should it have been but by being over all, aloft, and enlightening? Where then light was not, what was the presence of darkness, but the absence of light? Darkness therefore was upon it, because light was not upon it; as where sound is not, there is silence. And what is it to have silence there, but to have no sound there? Hast not Thou, O Lord, taught his soul, which confesseth unto Thee? Hast not Thou taught me, Lord, that before Thou formedst and diversifiedst this formless matter, there was nothing, neither colour, nor figure, nor body, nor spirit? and yet not altogether nothing; for there was a certain formlessness, without any beauty.
12.4.4 Quid ergo vocaretur, quo etiam sensu tardioribus utcumque insinuaretur, nisi usitato aliquo vocabulo? Quid autem in omnibus mundi partibus reperiri potest propinquius informitati omnimodae quam terra et abyssus? Minus enim speciosa sunt pro suo gradu infimo quam cetera superiora perlucida et luculenta omnia. Cur ergo non accipiam informitatem materiae, quam sine specie feceras unde speciosum mundum faceres, ita commode hominibus intimatam ut appellaretur 'Terra invisibilis et incomposita', How then should it be called, that it might be in some measure conveyed to those of duller mind, but by some ordinary word? And what, among all parts of the world can be found nearer to an absolute formlessness, than earth and deep? For, occupying the lowest stage, they are less beautiful than the other higher parts are, transparent all and shining. Wherefore then may I not conceive the formlessness of matter (which Thou hadst created without beauty, whereof to make this beautiful world) to be suitably intimated unto men, by the name of earth invisible and without form.
12.5.5 Ut, cum in ea quaerit cogitatio quid sensus attingat et dicit sibi, 'Non est intellegibilis forma sicut vita, sicut iustitia, quia materies est corporum, neque sensibilis, quoniam quid videatur et quid sentiatur in invisibili et incomposita non est,' dum sibi haec dicit humana cogitatio, conetur eam vel nosse ignorando vel ignorare noscendo? So that when thought seeketh what the sense may conceive under this, and saith to itself, "It is no intellectual form, as life, or justice; because it is the matter of bodies; nor object of sense, because being invisible, and without form, there was in it no object of sight or sense";- while man's thought thus saith to itself, it may endeavour either to know it, by being ignorant of it; or to be ignorant, by knowing it.
12.6.6 Ego vero, domine, si totum confitear tibi ore meo et calamo meo, quidquid de ista materia docuisti me, cuius antea nomen audiens et non intellegens, narrantibus mihi eis qui non intellegerent, eam cum speciebus innumeris et variis cogitabam et ideo non eam cogitabam. Foedas et horribiles formas perturbatis ordinibus volvebat animus, sed formas tamen, et informe appellabam non quod careret forma, sed quod talem haberet ut, si appareret, insolitum et incongruum aversaretur sensus meus et conturbaretur infirmitas hominis. Verum autem illud quod cogitabam non privatione omnis formae sed comparatione formosiorum erat informe, et suadebat vera ratio ut omnis formae qualescumque reliquias omnino detraherem, si vellem prorsus informe cogitare et non poteram. Citius enim non esse censebam quod omni forma privaretur quam cogitabam quiddam inter formam et nihil, nec formatum nec nihil, informe prope nihil. Et cessavit mens mea interrogare hinc spiritum meum plenum imaginibus formatorum corporum et eas pro arbitrio mutantem atque variantem, et intendi in ipsa corpora eorumque mutabilitatem altius inspexi, qua desinunt esse quod fuerant et incipiunt esse quod non erant, eundemque transitum de forma in formam per informe quiddam fieri suspicatus sum, non per omnino nihil. Sed nosse cupiebam, non suspicari. Et si totum tibi confiteatur vox et stilus meus, quidquid de ista quaestione enodasti mihi, quis legentium capere durabit? Nec ideo tamen cessabit cor meum tibi dare honorem et canticum laudis de his quae dictare non sufficit. Mutabilitas enim rerum mutabilium ipsa capax est formarum omnium in quas mutantur res mutabiles. Et haec quid est? Numquid animus? Numquid corpus? Numquid species animi vel corporis? Si dici posset 'Nihil aliquid' et 'Est non est,' hoc eam dicerem; et tamen iam utcumque erat, ut species caperet istas visibiles et compositas. But I, Lord, if I would, by my tongue and my pen, confess unto Thee the whole, whatever Thyself hath taught me of that matter, -the name whereof hearing before, and not understanding, when they who understood it not, told me of it, so I conceived of it as having innumerable forms and diverse, and therefore did not conceive it at all, my mind tossed up and down foul and horrible "forms" out of all order, but yet "forms" and I called it without form not that it wanted all form, but because it had such as my mind would, if presented to it, turn from, as unwonted and jarring, and human frailness would be troubled at. And still that which I conceived, was without form, not as being deprived of all form, but in comparison of more beautiful forms; and true reason did persuade me, that I must utterly uncase it of all remnants of form whatsoever, if I would conceive matter absolutely without form; and I could not; for sooner could I imagine that not to be at all, which should be deprived of all form, than conceive a thing betwixt form and nothing, neither formed, nor nothing, a formless almost nothing. So my mind gave over to question thereupon with my spirit, it being filled with the images of formed bodies, and changing and varying them, as it willed; and I bent myself to the bodies themselves, and looked more deeply into their changeableness, by which they cease to be what they have been, and begin to be what they were not; and this same shifting from form to form, I suspected to be through a certain formless state, not through a mere nothing; yet this I longed to know, not to suspect only.-If then my voice and pen would confess unto Thee the whole, whatsoever knots Thou didst open for me in this question, what reader would hold out to take in the whole? Nor shall my heart for all this cease to give Thee honour, and a song of praise, for those things which it is not able to express. For the changeableness of changeable things, is itself capable of all those forms, into which these changeable things are changed. And this changeableness, what is it? Is it soul? Is it body? Is it that which constituteth soul or body? Might one say, "a nothing something", an "is, is not," I would say, this were it: and yet in some way was it even then, as being capable of receiving these visible and compound figures.
12.7.7 Et unde utcumque erat, nisi esset abs te, a quo sunt omnia, in quantumcumque sunt? Sed tanto a te longius, quanto dissimilius, neque enim locis. Itaque tu, domine, qui non es alias aliud et alias aliter, sed idipsum et idipsum et idipsum, sanctus, sanctus, sanctus, dominus deus omnipotens, in principio, quod est de te, in sapientia tua, quae nata est de substantia tua, fecisti aliquid et de nihilo. Fecisti enim caelum et terram non de te. Nam esset aequale unigenito tuo ac per hoc et tibi, et nullo modo iustum esset, ut aequale tibi esset quod de te non esset. Et aliud praeter te non erat unde faceres ea, deus, una trinitas et trina unitas, et ideo de nihilo fecisti caelum et terram, magnum quiddam et parvum quiddam, quoniam omnipotens et bonus es ad facienda omnia bona, magnum caelum et parvam terram, duo quaedam, unum prope te, alterum prope nihil, unum quo superior tu esses, alterum quo inferius nihil esset. But whence had it this degree of being, but from Thee, from Whom are all things, so far forth as they are? But so much the further from Thee, as the unliker Thee; for it is not farness of place. Thou therefore, Lord, Who art not one in one place, and otherwise in another, but the Self-same, and the Self-same, and the Self-same, Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty, didst in the Beginning, which is of Thee, in Thy Wisdom, which was born of Thine own Substance, create something, and that out of nothing. For Thou createdst heaven and earth; not out of Thyself, for so should they have been equal to Thine Only Begotten Son, and thereby to Thee also; whereas no way were it right that aught should be equal to Thee, which was not of Thee. And aught else besides Thee was there not, whereof Thou mightest create them, O God, One Trinity, and Trine Unity; and therefore out of nothing didst Thou create heaven and earth; a great thing, and a small thing; for Thou art Almighty and Good, to make all things good, even the great heaven, and the petty earth. Thou wert, and nothing was there besides, out of which Thou createdst heaven and earth; things of two sorts; one near Thee, the other near to nothing; one to which Thou alone shouldest be superior; the other, to which nothing should be inferior.
12.8.8 Sed illud caelum caeli tibi, domine; terra autem, quam dedisti filiis hominum cernendam atque tangendam, non erat talis qualem nunc cernimus et tangimus. Invisibilis enim erat et incomposita, et abyssus erat super quam non erat lux, aut tenebrae erant super abyssum, id est magis quam in abysso. Ista quippe abyssus aquarum iam visibilium etiam in profundis suis habet speciei suae lucem utcumque sensibilem piscibus et repentibus in suo fundo animantibus. Illud autem totum prope nihil erat, quoniam adhuc omnino informe erat; iam tamen erat quod formari poterat. Tu enim, domine, fecisti mundum de materia informi, quam fecisti de nulla re paene nullam rem, unde faceres magna, quae miramur filii hominum. Valde enim mirabile hoc caelum corporeum, quod firmamentum inter aquam et aquam secundo die post conditionem lucis dixisti, 'Fiat', et sic est factum. Quod firmamentum vocasti caelum, sed caelum terrae huius et maris, quae fecisti tertio die dando speciem visibilem informi materiae, quam fecisti ante omnem diem. Iam enim feceras et caelum ante omnem diem, sed caelum caeli huius, quia in principio feceras caelum et terram. Terra autem ipsa quam feceras informis materies erat, quia invisibilis erat et incomposita, et tenebrae super abyssum. De qua terra invisibili et incomposita, de qua informitate, de quo paene nihilo faceres haec omnia quibus iste mutabilis mundus constat et non constat, in quo ipsa mutabilitas apparet, in qua sentiri et dinumerari possunt tempora, quia rerum mutationibus fiunt tempora dum variantur et vertuntur species, quarum materies praedicta est terra invisibilis. But that heaven of heavens was for Thyself, O Lord; but the earth which Thou gavest to the sons of men, to be seen and felt, was not such as we now see and feel. For it was invisible, without form, and there was a deep, upon which there was no light; or, darkness was above the deep, that is, more than in the deep. Because this deep of waters, visible now, hath even in his depths, a light proper for its nature; perceivable in whatever degree unto the fishes, and creeping things in the bottom of it. But that whole deep was almost nothing, because hitherto it was altogether without form; yet there was already that which could be formed. For Thou, Lord, madest the world of a matter without form, which out of nothing, Thou madest next to nothing, thereof to make those great things, which we sons of men wonder at. For very wonderful is this corporeal heaven; of which firmament between water and water, the second day, after the creation of light, Thou saidst, Let it be made, and it was made. Which firmament Thou calledst heaven; the heaven, that is, to this earth and sea, which Thou madest the third day, by giving a visible figure to the formless matter, which Thou madest before all days. For already hadst Thou made both an heaven, before all days; but that was the heaven of this heaven; because In the beginning Thou hadst made heaven and earth. But this same earth which Thou madest was formless matter, because it was invisible and without form, and darkness was upon the deep, of which invisible earth and without form, of which formlessness, of which almost nothing, Thou mightest make all these things of which this changeable world consists, but subsists not; whose very changeableness appears therein, that times can be observed and numbered in it. For times are made by the alterations of things, while the figures, the matter whereof is the invisible earth aforesaid, are varied and turned.
12.9.9 Ideoque spiritus, doctor famuli tui, cum te commemorat fecisse in principio caelum et terram, tacet de temporibus, silet de diebus. Nimirum enim caelum caeli, quod in principio fecisti, creatura est aliqua intellectualis. Quamquam nequaquam tibi, trinitati, coaeterna, particeps tamen aeternitatis tuae, valde mutabilitatem suam prae dulcedine felicissimae contemplationis tuae cohibet et sine ullo lapsu ex quo facta est inhaerendo tibi excedit omnem volubilem vicissitudinem temporum. Ista vero informitas, terra invisibilis et incomposita, nec ipsa in diebus numerata est. Ubi enim nulla species, nullus ordo, nec venit quicquam nec praeterit, et ubi hoc non fit, non sunt utique dies nec vicissitudo spatiorum temporalium. And therefore the Spirit, the Teacher of Thy servant, when It recounts Thee to have In the Beginning created heaven and earth, speaks nothing of times, nothing of days. For verily that heaven of heavens which Thou createdst in the Beginning, is some intellectual creature, which, although no ways coeternal unto Thee, the Trinity, yet partaketh of Thy eternity, and doth through the sweetness of that most happy contemplation of Thyself, strongly restrain its own changeableness; and without any fall since its first creation, cleaving close unto Thee, is placed beyond all the rolling vicissitude of times. Yea, neither is this very formlessness of the earth, invisible, and without form, numbered among the days. For where no figure nor order is, there does nothing come, or go; and where this is not, there plainly are no days, nor any vicissitude of spaces of times.
12.10.10 O veritas, lumen cordis mei, non tenebrae meae loquantur mihi! defluxi ad ista et obscuratus sum, sed hinc, etiam hinc adamavi te. Erravi et recordatus sum tui. Audivi vocem tuam post me, ut redirem, et vix audivi propter tumultus impacatorum. Et nunc ecce redeo aestuans et anhelans ad fontem tuum. Nemo me prohibeat: hunc bibam et hinc vivam. Non ego vita mea sim: male vixi ex me. Mors mihi fui: in te revivesco. Tu me alloquere, tu mihi sermocinare: credidi libris tuis, et verba eorum arcana valde. O let the Light, the Truth, the Light of my heart, not mine own darkness, speak unto me. I fell off into that, and became darkened; but even thence, even thence I loved Thee. I went astray, and remembered Thee. I heard Thy voice behind me, calling to me to return, and scarcely heard it, through the tumultuousness of the enemies of peace. And now, behold, I return in distress and panting after Thy fountain. Let no man forbid me! of this will I drink, and so live. Let me not be mine own life; from myself I lived ill, death was I to myself; and I revive in Thee. Do Thou speak unto me, do Thou discourse unto me. I have believed Thy Books, and their words be most full of mystery.
12.11.11 Iam dixisti mihi, domine, voce forti in aurem interiorem, quia tu aeternus es, solus habens immortalitatem, quoniam ex nulla specie motuve mutaris nec temporibus variatur voluntas tua, quia non est immortalis voluntas quae alia et alia est. Hoc in conspectu tuo claret mihi et magis magisque clarescat, oro te, atque in ea manifestatione persistam sobrius sub alis tuis. Item dixisti mihi, domine, voce forti in aurem interiorem, quod omnes naturas atque substantias quae non sunt quod tu es et tamen sunt, tu fecisti (et hoc solum a te non est, quod non est, motusque voluntatis a te, qui es, ad id quod minus est, quia talis motus delictum atque peccatum est), et quod nullius peccatum aut tibi nocet aut perturbat ordinem imperii tui vel in primo vel in imo. Hoc in conspectu tuo claret mihi et magis magisque clarescat, oro te, atque in ea manifestatione persistam sobrius sub alis tuis. Already Thou hast told me with a strong voice, O Lord, in my inner ear, that Thou art eternal, Who only hast immortality; since Thou canst not be changed as to figure or motion, nor is Thy will altered by times: seeing no will which varies is immortal. This is in Thy sight clear to me, and let it be more and more cleared to me, I beseech Thee; and in the manifestation thereof, let me with sobriety abide under Thy wings. Thou hast told me also with a strong voice, O Lord, in my inner ear, that Thou hast made all natures and substances, which are not what Thyself is, and yet are; and that only is not from Thee, which is not, and the motion of the will from Thee who art, unto that which in a less degree is, because such motion is transgression and sin; and that no man's sin doth either hurt Thee, or disturb the order of Thy government, first or last. This is in Thy sight clear unto me, and let it be more and more cleared to me, I beseech Thee: and in the manifestation thereof, let me with sobriety abide under Thy wings.
12.11.12 Item dixisti mihi voce forti in aurem interiorem, quod nec illa creatura tibi coaeterna est cuius voluptas tu solus es, teque perseverantissima castitate hauriens mutabilitatem suam nusquam et numquam exerit, et te sibi semper praesente, ad quem toto affectu se tenet, non habens futurum quod expectet nec in praeteritum traiciens quod meminerit, nulla vice variatur nec in tempora ulla distenditur. O beata, si qua ista est, inhaerendo beatitudini tuae, beata sempiterno inhabitatore te atque inlustratore suo! nec invenio quid libentius appellandum existimem 'Caelum caeli domino' quam domum tuam contemplantem delectationem tuam sine ullo defectu egrediendi in aliud, mentem puram concordissime unam stabilimento pacis sanctorum spirituum, civium civitatis tuae in caelestibus super ista caelestia. Thou hast told me also with a strong voice, in my inner ear, that neither is that creature coeternal unto Thyself, whose happiness Thou only art, and which with a most persevering purity, drawing its nourishment from Thee, doth in no place and at no time put forth its natural mutability; and, Thyself being ever present with it, unto Whom with its whole affection it keeps itself, having neither future to expect, nor conveying into the past what it remembereth, is neither altered by any change, nor distracted into any times. O blessed creature, if such there be, for cleaving unto Thy Blessedness; blest in Thee, its eternal Inhabitant and its Enlightener! Nor do I find by what name I may the rather call the heaven of heavens which is the Lord's, than Thine house, which contemplateth Thy delights without any defection of going forth to another; one pure mind, most harmoniously one, by that settled estate of peace of holy spirits, the citizens of Thy city in heavenly places; far above those heavenly places that we see.
12.11.13 Unde intellegat anima, cuius peregrinatio longinqua facta est, si iam sitit tibi, si iam factae sunt ei lacrimae suae panis, dum dicitur ei per singulos dies, 'Ubi est deus tuus?', si iam petit a te unam et hanc requirit, ut inhabitet in domo tua per omnes dies vitae suae? Et quae vita eius nisi tu? Et qui dies tui nisi aeternitas tua, sicut anni tui, qui non deficiunt, quia idem ipse es? Hinc ergo intellegat anima quae potest quam longe super omnia tempora sis aeternus, quando tua domus, quae peregrinata non est, quamvis non sit tibi coaeterna, tamen indesinenter et indeficienter tibi cohaerendo nullam patitur vicissitudinem temporum. Hoc in conspectu tuo claret mihi et magis magisque clarescat, oro te, atque in hac manifestatione persistam sobrius sub alis tuis. By this may the soul, whose pilgrimage is made long and far away, by this may she understand, if she now thirsts for Thee, if her tears be now become her bread, while they daily say unto her, Where is Thy God? if she now seeks of Thee one thing, and desireth it, that she may dwell in Thy house all the days of her life (and what is her life, but Thou? and what Thy days, but Thy eternity, as Thy years which fail not, because Thou art ever the same?); by this then may the soul that is able, understand how far Thou art, above all times, eternal; seeing Thy house which at no time went into a far country, although it be not coeternal with Thee, yet by continually and unfailingly cleaving unto Thee, suffers no changeableness of times. This is in Thy sight clear unto me, and let it be more and more cleared unto me, I beseech Thee, and in the manifestation thereof, let me with sobriety abide under Thy wings.
12.11.14 Ecce nescio quid informe in istis mutationibus rerum extremarum atque infimarum, et quis dicet mihi, nisi quisquis per inania cordis sui cum suis phantasmatis vagatur et volvitur, quis nisi talis dicet mihi quod, deminuta atque consumpta omni specie, si sola remaneat informitas per quam de specie in speciem res mutabatur et vertebatur, possit exhibere vices temporum? Omnino enim non potest, quia sine varietate motionum non sunt tempora, et nulla varietas ubi nulla species. There is, behold, I know not what formlessness in those changes of these last and lowest creatures; and who shall tell me (unless such a one as through the emptiness of his own heart, wonders and tosses himself up and down amid his own fancies?), who but such a one would tell me, that if all figure be so wasted and consumed away, that there should only remain that formlessness, through which the thing was changed and turned from one figure to another, that that could exhibit the vicissitudes of times? For plainly it could not, because, without the variety of motions, there are no times: and no variety, where there is no figure.
12.12.15 Quibus consideratis, quantum donas, deus meus, quantum me ad pulsandum excitas quantumque pulsanti aperis, duo reperio quae fecisti carentia temporibus, cum tibi neutrum coaeternum sit: unum quod ita formatum est ut sine ullo defectu contemplationis, sine ullo intervallo mutationis, quamvis mutabile tamen non mutatum, tua aeternitate atque incommutabilitate perfruatur; alterum quod ita informe erat ut ex qua forma in quam formam vel motionis vel stationis mutaretur, quo tempori subderetur, non haberet. Sed hoc ut informe esset non reliquisti, quoniam fecisti ante omnem diem in principio caelum et terram, haec duo quae dicebam. 'Terra autem invisibilis erat et incomposita, et tenebrae super abyssum': quibus verbis insinuatur informitas, ut gradatim excipiantur qui omnimodam speciei privationem nec tamen ad nihil perventionem cogitare non possunt, unde fieret alterum caelum et terra visibilis atque composita et aqua speciosa et quidquid deinceps in constitutione huius mundi non sine diebus factum commemoratur, quia talia sunt ut in eis agantur vicissitudines temporum propter ordinatas commutationes motionum atque formarum. These things considered, as much as Thou givest, O my God, as much as Thou stirrest me up to knock, and as much as Thou openest to me knocking, two things I find that Thou hast made, not within the compass of time, neither of which is coeternal with Thee. One, which is so formed, that without any ceasing of contemplation, without any interval of change, though changeable, yet not changed, it may thoroughly enjoy Thy eternity and unchangeableness; the other which was so formless, that it had not that, which could be changed from one form into another, whether of motion, or of repose, so as to become subject unto time. But this Thou didst not leave thus formless, because before all days, Thou in the Beginning didst create Heaven and Earth; the two things that I spake of. But the Earth was invisible and without form, and darkness was upon the deep. In which words, is the formlessness conveyed unto us (that such capacities may hereby be drawn on by degrees, as are not able to conceive an utter privation of all form, without yet coming to nothing), out of which another Heaven might be created, together with a visible and well-formed earth: and the waters diversly ordered, and whatsoever further is in the formation of the world, recorded to have been, not without days, created; and that, as being of such nature, that the successive changes of times may take place in them, as being subject to appointed alterations of motions and of forms.
12.13.16 Hoc interim sentio, deus meus, cum audio loquentem scripturam tuam: 'In principio fecit deus caelum et terram. Terra autem erat invisibilis et incomposita, et tenebrae erant super abyssum,' neque commemorantem quoto die feceris haec. Sic interim sentio propter illud caelum caeli, caelum intellectuale, ubi est intellectus nosse simul, non ex parte, non in aenigmate, non per speculum, sed ex toto, in manifestatione, facie ad faciem; non modo hoc, modo illud, sed quod dictum est nosse simul sine ulla vicissitudine temporum, et propter invisibilem atque incompositam terram sine ulla vicissitudine temporum, quae solet habere modo hoc et modo illud, quia ubi nulla species, nusquam est hoc et illud. Propter duo haec, primitus formatum et penitus informe, illud caelum, sed caelum caeli, hoc vero terram, sed terram invisibilem et incompositam, propter duo haec interim sentio sine commemoratione dierum dicere scripturam tuam, 'In principio fecit deus caelum et terram.' statim quippe subiecit quam terram dixerit, et quod secundo die commemoratur factum firmamentum et vocatum caelum, insinuat de quo caelo prius sine diebus sermo locutus sit. This then is what I conceive, O my God, when I hear Thy Scripture saying, In the beginning God made Heaven and Earth: and the Earth was invisible and without form, and darkness was upon the deep, and not mentioning what day Thou createdst them; this is what I conceive, that because of the Heaven of heavens, -that intellectual Heaven, whose Intelligences know all at once, not in part, not darkly, not through a glass, but as a whole, in manifestation, face to face; not, this thing now, and that thing anon; but (as I said) know all at once, without any succession of times; -and because of the earth invisible and without form, without any succession of times, which succession presents "this thing now, that thing anon"; because where is no form, there is no distinction of things: -it is, then, on account of these two, a primitive formed, and a primitive formless; the one, heaven but the Heaven of heaven, the other earth but the earth invisible and without form; because of these two do I conceive, did Thy Scripture say without mention of days, In the Beginning God created Heaven and Earth. For forthwith it subjoined what earth it spake of; and also, in that the Firmament is recorded to be created the second day, and called Heaven, it conveys to us of which Heaven He before spake, without mention of days.
12.14.17 Mira profunditas eloquiorum tuorum, quorum ecce ante nos superficies blandiens parvulis, sed mira profunditas, deus meus, mira profunditas! horror est intendere in eam, horror honoris et tremor amoris. Odi hostes eius vehementer: o si occidas eos de gladio bis acuto, et non sint hostes eius! sic enim amo eos occidi sibi, ut vivant tibi. Ecce autem alii, non reprehensores sed laudatores libri Geneseos: 'Non' inquiunt 'Hoc voluit in his verbis intellegi spiritus dei, qui per Moysen famulum eius ista conscripsit, non hoc voluit intellegi quod tu dicis, sed aliud quod nos dicimus.' quibus ego, te arbitro, deus omnium nostrum, ita respondeo. Wondrous depth of Thy words! whose surface, behold! is before us, inviting to little ones; yet are they a wondrous depth. O my God, a wondrous depth! It is awful to look therein; an awfulness of honour, and a trembling of love. The enemies thereof I hate vehemently; oh that Thou wouldest slay them with Thy two-edged sword, that they might no longer be enemies unto it: for so do I love to have them slain unto themselves, that they may live unto Thee. But behold others not faultfinders, but extollers of the book of Genesis; "The Spirit of God," say they, "Who by His servant Moses wrote these things, would not have those words thus understood; He would not have it understood, as thou sayest, but otherwise, as we say." Unto Whom Thyself, O Thou God all, being judge, do I thus answer.
12.15.18 Num dicetis falsa esse, quae mihi veritas voce forti in aurem interiorem dicit de vera aeternitate creatoris, quod nequaquam eius substantia per tempora varietur nec eius voluntas extra eius substantiam sit? Unde non eum modo velle hoc modo velle illud, sed semel et simul et semper velle omnia quae vult, non iterum et iterum, neque nunc ista nunc illa, nec velle postea quod nolebat aut nolle quod volebat prius, quia talis voluntas mutabilis est et omne mutabile aeternum non est: deus autem noster aeternus est. Item quod mihi dicit in aurem interiorem, expectatio rerum venturarum fit contuitus, cum venerint, idemque contuitus fit memoria, cum praeterierint. Omnis porro intentio quae ita variatur mutabilis est, et omne mutabile aeternum non est: deus autem noster aeternus est. Haec conligo atque coniungo, et invenio deum meum, deum aeternum, non aliqua nova voluntate condidisse creaturam nec scientiam eius transitorium aliquid pati. "Will you affirm that to be false, which with a strong voice Truth tells me in my inner ear, concerning the Eternity of the Creator, that His substance is no ways changed by time, nor His will separate from His substance? Wherefore He willeth not one thing now, another anon, but once, and at once, and always, He willeth all things that He willeth; not again and again, nor now this, now that; nor willeth afterwards, what before He willed not, nor willeth not, what before He willed; because such a will is and no mutable thing is eternal: but our God is eternal. Again, what He tells me in my inner ear, the expectation of things to come becomes sight, when they are come, and this same sight becomes memory, when they be past. Now all thought which thus varies is mutable; and is eternal: but our God is eternal." These things I infer, and put together, and find that my God, the eternal God, hath not upon any new will made any creature, nor doth His knowledge admit of any thing transitory.
12.15.19 Quid ergo dicetis, contradictores? An falsa sunt ista? 'Non' inquiunt. Quid illud? Num falsum est omnem naturam formatam materiamve formabilem non esse nisi ab illo qui summe bonus est quia summe est? 'Neque hoc negamus' inquiunt. Quid igitur? An illud negatis, sublimem quandam esse creaturam tam casto amore cohaerentem deo vero et vere aeterno ut, quamvis ei coaeterna non sit, in nullam tamen temporum varietatem et vicissitudinem ab illo se resolvat et defluat, sed in eius solius veracissima contemplatione requiescat, quoniam tu, deus, diligenti te, quantum praecipis, ostendis ei te et sufficis ei, et ideo non declinat a te nec ad se? Haec est domus dei non terrena neque ulla caelesti mole corporea, sed spiritalis et particeps aeternitatis tuae, quia sine labe in aeternum. Statuisti enim eam in saeculum et in saeculum saeculi; praeceptum posuisti et non praeteribit. Nec tamen tibi coaeterna, quoniam non sine initio, facta est enim. "What will ye say then, O ye gainsayers? Are these things false?" "No," they say; "What then? Is it false, that every nature already formed, or matter capable of form, is not, but from Him Who is supremely good, because He is supremely?" "Neither do we deny this," say they. "What then? do you deny this, that there is a certain sublime creature, with so chaste a love cleaving unto the true and truly eternal God, that although not coeternal with Him, yet is it not detached from Him, nor dissolved into the variety and vicissitude of times, but reposeth in the most true contemplation of Him only?" Because Thou, O God, unto him that loveth Thee so much as Thou commandest, dost show Thyself, and sufficest him; and therefore doth he not decline from Thee, nor toward himself. This is the house of God, not of earthly mould, nor of celestial bulk corporeal but spiritual, and partaker of Thy eternity, because without defection for ever. For Thou hast made it fast for ever and ever, Thou hast given it a law which it shall not pass. Nor yet is it coeternal with Thee, O God, because not without beginning; for it was made.
12.15.20 Nam etsi non invenimus tempus ante illam -- prior quippe omnium creata est sapientia, nec utique illa sapientia tibi, deus noster, patri suo, plane coaeterna et aequalis et per quam creata sunt omnia et in quo principio fecisti caelum et terram, sed profecto sapientia quae creata est, intellectualis natura scilicet, quae contemplatione luminis lumen est; dicitur enim et ipsa, quamvis creata, sapientia, sed quantum interest inter lumen quod inluminat et quod inluminatur, tantum inter sapientiam quae creat et istam quae creata est, sicut inter iustitiam iustificantem et iustitiam quae iustificatione facta est (nam et nos dicti sumus iustitia tua; ait enim quidam servus tuus, 'Ut nos simus iustitia dei in ipso'). Ergo quia prior omnium creata est quaedam sapientia quae creata est, mens rationalis et intellectualis castae civitatis tuae, matris nostrae, quae sursum est et libera est et aeterna in caelis (quibus caelis, nisi qui te laudant caeli caelorum, quia hoc est et caelum caeli domino?), etsi non invenimus tempus ante illam, quia et creaturam temporis antecedit, quae prior omnium creata est, ante illam tamen est ipsius creatoris aeternitas, a quo facta sumpsit exordium, quamvis non temporis, quia nondum erat tempus, ipsius tamen conditionis suae. For although we find no time before it, for wisdom was created before all things; not that Wisdom which is altogether equal and coeternal unto Thee, our God, His Father, and by Whom all things were created, and in Whom, as the Beginning, Thou createdst heaven and earth; but that wisdom which is created, that is, the intellectual nature, which by contemplating the light, is light. For this, though created, is also called wisdom. But what difference there is betwixt the Light which enlighteneth, and which is enlightened, so much is there betwixt the Wisdom that createth, and that created; as betwixt the Righteousness which justifieth, and the righteousness which is made by justification. For we also are called Thy righteousness; for so saith a certain servant of Thine, That we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. Therefore since a certain created wisdom was created before all things, the rational and intellectual mind of that chaste city of Thine, our mother which is above, and is free and eternal in the heavens (in what heavens, if not in those that praise Thee, the Heaven of heavens? Because this is also the Heaven of heavens for the Lord); -though we find no time before it (because that which hath been created before all things, precedeth also the creature of time), yet is the Eternity of the Creator Himself before it, from Whom, being created, it took the beginning, not indeed of time (for time itself was not yet), but of its creation.
12.15.21 Unde ita est abs te, deo nostro, ut aliud sit plane quam tu et non idipsum. Etsi non solum ante illam sed nec in illa invenimus tempus, quia est idonea faciem tuam semper videre nec uspiam deflectitur ab ea (quo fit ut nulla mutatione varietur). Inest ei tamen ipsa mutabilitas, unde tenebresceret et frigesceret nisi amore grandi tibi cohaerens tamquam semper meridies luceret et ferveret ex te. O domus luminosa et speciosa, dilexi decorem tuum et locum habitationis gloriae domini mei, fabricatoris et possessoris tui! tibi suspiret peregrinatio mea, et dico ei qui fecit te ut possideat et me in te, quia fecit et me. Erravi sicut ovis perdita, sed in umeris pastoris mei, structoris tui, spero me reportari tibi. Hence it is so of Thee, our God, as to be altogether other than Thou, and not the Self-same: because though we find time neither before it, nor even in it (it being meet ever to behold Thy face, nor is ever drawn away from it, wherefore it is not varied by any change), yet is there in it a liability to change, whence it would wax dark, and chill, but that by a strong affection cleaving unto Thee, like perpetual noon, it shineth and gloweth from Thee. O house most lightsome and delightsome! I have loved thy beauty, and the place of the habitation of the glory of my Lord, thy builder and possessor. Let my wayfaring sigh after thee, and I say to Him that made thee, let Him take possession of me also in thee, seeing He hath made me likewise. I have gone astray like a lost sheep: yet upon the shoulders of my Shepherd, thy builder, hope I to be brought back to thee.
12.15.22 Quid dicitis mihi, quos alloquebar contradictores, qui tamen et Moysen pium famulum dei et libros eius oracula sancti spiritus creditis? Estne ista domus dei, non quidem deo coaeterna sed tamen secundum modum suum aeterna in caelis, ubi vices temporum frustra quaeritis, quia non invenitis? Supergreditur enim omnem distentionem et omne spatium aetatis volubile, cui semper inhaerere deo bonum est. 'Est' inquiunt. Quid igitur ex his quae clamavit cor meum ad deum meum, cum audiret interius vocem laudis eius, quid tandem falsum esse contenditis? An quia erat informis materies, ubi propter nullam formam nullus ordo erat? Ubi autem nullus ordo erat, nulla esse vicissitudo temporum poterat; et tamen hoc paene nihil, in quantum non omnino nihil erat, ab illo utique erat a quo est quidquid est, quod utcumque aliquid est. 'Hoc quoque' aiunt 'Non negamus.' "What say ye to me, O ye gainsayers that I was speaking unto, who yet believe Moses to have been the holy servant of God, and his books the oracles of the Holy Ghost? Is not this house of God, not coeternal indeed with God, yet after its measure, eternal in the heavens, when you seek for changes of times in vain, because you will not find them? For that, to which it is ever good to cleave fast to God, surpasses all extension, and all revolving periods of time." "It is," say they. "What then of all that which my heart loudly uttered unto my God, when inwardly it heard the voice of His praise, what part thereof do you affirm to be false? Is it that the matter was without form, in which because there was no form, there was no order? But where no order was, there could be no vicissitude of times: and yet this almost nothing,' inasmuch as it was not altogether nothing, was from Him certainly, from Whom is whatsoever is, in what degree soever it is." "This also," say they, "do we not deny."
12.16.23 Cum his enim volo coram te aliquid conloqui, deus meus, qui haec omnia, quae intus in mente mea non tacet veritas tua, vera esse concedunt. Nam qui haec negant, latrent quantum volunt et obstrepant sibi: persuadere conabor ut quiescant et viam praebeant ad se verbo tuo. Quod si noluerint et reppulerint me, obsecro, deus meus, ne tu sileas a me. Tu loquere in corde meo veraciter; solus enim sic loqueris. Et dimittam eos foris sufflantes in pulverem et excitantes terram in oculos suos, et intrem in cubile meum et cantem tibi amatoria, gemens inenarrabiles gemitus in peregrinatione mea et recordans Hierusalem extento in eam sursum corde, Hierusalem patriam meam, Hierusalem matrem meam, teque super eam regnatorem, inlustratorem, patrem, tutorem, maritum, castas et fortes delicias et solidum gaudium et omnia bona ineffabilia, simul omnia, quia unum summum et verum bonum. Et non avertar donec in eius pacem, matris carissimae, ubi sunt primitiae spiritus mei, unde ista mihi certa sunt, conligas totum quod sum a dispersione et deformitate hac et conformes atque confirmes in aeternum, deus meus, misericordia mea. Cum his autem qui cuncta illa quae vera sunt falsa esse non dicunt, honorantes et in culmine sequendae auctoritatis nobiscum constituentes illam per sanctum Moysen editam sanctam scripturam tuam, et tamen nobis aliquid contradicunt, ita loquor. Tu esto, deus noster, arbiter inter confessiones meas et contradictiones eorum. With these I now parley a little in Thy presence, O my God, who grant all these things to be true, which Thy Truth whispers unto my soul. For those who deny these things, let them bark and deafen themselves as much as they please; I will essay to persuade them to quiet, and to open in them a way for Thy word. But if they refuse, and repel me; I beseech, O my God, be not Thou silent to me. Speak Thou truly in my heart; for only Thou so speakest: and I will let them alone blowing upon the dust without, and raising it up into their own eyes: and myself will enter my chamber, and sing there a song of loves unto Thee; groaning with groanings unutterable, in my wayfaring, and remembering Jerusalem, with heart lifted up towards it, Jerusalem my country, Jerusalem my mother, and Thyself that rulest over it, the Enlightener, Father, Guardian, Husband, the pure and strong delight, and solid joy, and all good things unspeakable, yea all at once, because the One Sovereign and true Good. Nor will I be turned away, until Thou gather all that I am, from this dispersed and disordered estate, into the peace of that our most dear mother, where the first-fruits of my spirit be already (whence I am ascertained of these things), and Thou conform and confirm it for ever, O my God, my Mercy. But those who do not affirm all these truths to be false, who honour Thy holy Scripture, set forth by holy Moses, placing it, as we, on the summit of authority to be followed, and do yet contradict me in some thing, I answer thus; By Thyself judge, O our God, between my Confessions and these men's contradictions.
12.17.24 Dicunt enim, 'Quamvis vera sint haec, non ea tamen duo Moyses intuebatur, cum revelante spiritu diceret, ''In principio fecit deus caelum et terram.'' non caeli nomine spiritalem vel intellectualem illam creaturam semper faciem dei contemplantem significavit, nec terrae nomine informem materiam.' quid igitur? 'Quod nos dicimus,' inquiunt, 'Hoc ille vir sensit, hoc verbis istis elocutus est.' quid illud est? 'Nomine' aiunt 'Caeli et terrae totum istum visibilem mundum prius universaliter et breviter significare voluit, ut postea digereret dierum enumeratione quasi articulatim universa quae sancto spiritui placuit sic enuntiare. Tales quippe homines erant rudis ille atque carnalis populus cui loquebatur, ut eis opera dei non nisi sola visibilia commendanda iudicaret.' terram vero invisibilem et incompositam tenebrosamque abyssum, unde consequenter ostenditur per illos dies facta atque disposita esse cuncta ista visibilia quae nota sunt omnibus, non incongruenter informem istam materiam intellegendam esse consentiunt. For they say, "Though these things be true, yet did not Moses intend those two, when, by revelation of the Spirit, he said, In the beginning God created heaven and earth. He did not under the name of heaven, signify that spiritual or intellectual creature which always beholds the face of God; nor under the name of earth, that formless matter." "What then?" "That man of God," say they, "meant as we say, this declared he by those words." "What?" "By the name of heaven and earth would he first signify," say they, "universally and compendiously, all this visible world; so as afterwards by the enumeration of the several days, to arrange in detail, and, as it were, piece by piece, all those things, which it pleased the Holy Ghost thus to enounce. For such were that rude and carnal people to which he spake, that he thought them fit to be entrusted with the knowledge of such works of God only as were visible." They agree, however, that under the words earth invisible and without form, and that darksome deep (out of which it is subsequently shown, that all these visible things which we all know, were made and arranged during those "days") may, not incongruously, be understood of this formless first matter.
12.17.25 Quid si dicat alius eandem informitatem confusionemque materiae caeli et terrae nomine prius insinuatam, quod ex ea mundus iste visibilis cum omnibus naturis quae in eo manifestissime apparent, qui caeli et terrae nomine saepe appellari solet, conditus atque perfectus est? Quid si dicat et alius caelum et terram quidem invisibilem visibilemque naturam non indecenter appellatam, ac per hoc universam creaturam quam fecit in sapientia, id est in principio, deus, huiuscemodi duobus vocabulis esse comprehensam; verum tamen quia non de ipsa substantia dei sed ex nihilo cuncta facta sunt, quia non sunt idipsum quod deus, et inest quaedam mutabilitas omnibus, sive maneant, sicut aeterna domus dei, sive mutentur, sicut anima hominis et corpus, communem omnium rerum invisibilium visibiliumque materiem adhuc informem, sed certe formabilem, unde fieret caelum et terra, id est invisibilis atque visibilis iam utraque formata creatura, his nominibus enuntiatam, quibus appellaretur terra invisibilis et incomposita, et tenebrae super abyssum, ea distinctione ut terra invisibilis et incomposita intellegatur materies corporalis ante qualitatem formae, tenebrae autem super abyssum spiritalis materies ante cohibitionem quasi fluentis immoderationis et ante inluminationem sapientiae? What now if another should say that "this same formlessness and confusedness of matter, was for this reason first conveyed under the name of heaven and earth, because out of it was this visible world with all those natures which most manifestly appear in it, which is ofttimes called by the name of heaven and earth, created and perfected?" What again if another say that "invisible and visible nature is not indeed inappropriately called heaven and earth; and so, that the universal creation, which God made in His Wisdom, that is, in the Beginning, was comprehended under those two words? Notwithstanding, since all things be made not of the substance of God, but out of nothing (because they are not the same that God is, and there is a mutable nature in them all, whether they abide, as doth the eternal house of God, or be changed, as the soul and body of man are): therefore the common matter of all things visible and invisible (as yet unformed though capable of form), out of which was to be created both heaven and earth (i. the invisible and visible creature when formed), was entitled by the same names given to the earth invisible and without form and the darkness upon the deep, but with this distinction, that by the earth invisible and without form is understood corporeal matter, antecedent to its being qualified by any form; and by the darkness upon the deep, spiritual matter, before it underwent any restraint of its unlimited fluidness, or received any light from Wisdom?"
12.17.26 Est adhuc quod dicat, si quis alius velit, non scilicet iam perfectas atque formatas invisibiles visibilesque naturas caeli et terrae nomine significari, cum legitur, 'In principio fecit deus caelum et terram,' sed ipsam adhuc informem inchoationem rerum formabilem creabilemque materiam his nominibus appellatam, quod in ea iam essent ista confusa, nondum qualitatibus formisque distincta, quae nunc iam digesta suis ordinibus vocantur caelum et terra, illa spiritalis, haec corporalis creatura. It yet remains for a man to say, if he will, that "the already perfected and formed natures, visible and invisible, are not signified under the name of heaven and earth, when we read, In the beginning God made heaven and earth, but that the yet unformed commencement of things, the stuff apt to receive form and making, was called by these names, because therein were confusedly contained, not as yet distinguished by their qualities and forms, all those things which being now digested into order, are called Heaven and Earth, the one being the spiritual, the other the corporeal, creation."
12.18.27 Quibus omnibus auditis et consideratis, nolo verbis contendere; ad nihil enim utile est nisi ad subversionem audientium. Ad aedificationem autem bona est lex, si quis ea legitime utatur, quia finis eius est caritas de corde puro et conscientia bona et fide non ficta; et novi magister noster in quibus duobus praeceptis totam legem prophetasque suspenderit. Quae mihi ardenter confitenti, deus meus, lumen oculorum meorum in occulto, quid mihi obest, cum diversa in his verbis intellegi possint, quae tamen vera sint? Quid, inquam, mihi obest, si aliud ego sensero quam sensit alius eum sensisse qui scripsit? Omnes quidem qui legimus nitimur hoc indagare atque comprehendere, quod voluit ille quem legimus, et cum eum veridicum credimus, nihil quod falsum esse vel novimus vel putamus audemus eum existimare dixisse. Dum ergo quisque conatur id sentire in scripturis sanctis quod in eis sensit ille qui scripsit, quid mali est si hoc sentiat quod tu, lux omnium veridicarum mentium, ostendis verum esse, etiamsi non hoc sensit ille quem legit, cum et ille verum nec tamen hoc senserit? All which things being heard and well considered, I will not strive about words: for that is profitable to nothing, but the subversion of the hearers. But the law is good to edify, if a man use it lawfully: for that the end of it is charity, out of a pure heart and good conscience, and faith unfeigned. And well did our Master know, upon which two commandments He hung all the Law and the Prophets. And what doth it prejudice me, O my God, Thou light of my eyes in secret, zealously confessing these things, since divers things may be understood under these words which yet are all true, -what, I say, doth it prejudice me, if I think otherwise than another thinketh the writer thought? All we readers verily strive to trace out and to understand his meaning whom we read; and seeing we believe him to speak truly, we dare not imagine him to have said any thing, which ourselves either know or think to be false. While every man endeavours then to understand in the Holy Scriptures, the same as the writer understood, what hurt is it, if a man understand what Thou, the light of all true-speaking minds, dost show him to be true, although he whom he reads, understood not this, seeing he also understood a Truth, though not this truth?
12.19.28 Verum est enim, domine, fecisse te caelum et terram. Et verum est esse principium sapientiam tuam, in qua fecisti omnia. Item verum est quod mundus iste visibilis habet magnas partes suas caelum et terram, brevi complexione factarum omnium conditarumque naturarum. Et verum est quod omne mutabile insinuat notitiae nostrae quandam informitatem, qua formam capit vel qua mutatur et vertitur. Verum est nulla tempora perpeti quod ita cohaeret formae incommutabili ut, quamvis sit mutabile, non mutetur. Verum est informitatem, quae prope nihil est, vices temporum habere non posse. Verum est quod, unde fit aliquid, potest quodam genere locutionis habere iam nomen eius rei quae inde fit: unde potuit vocari caelum et terra quaelibet informitas unde factum est caelum et terra. Verum est omnium formatorum nihil esse informi vicinius quam terram et abyssum. Verum est quod non solum creatum atque formatum sed etiam quidquid creabile atque formabile est tu fecisti, ex quo sunt omnia. Verum est omne quod ex informi formatur prius esse informe, deinde formatum. For true it is, O Lord, that Thou madest heaven and earth; and it is true too, that the Beginning is Thy Wisdom, in Which Thou createst all: and true again, that this visible world hath for its greater part the heaven and the earth, which briefly comprise all made and created natures. And true too, that whatsoever is mutable, gives us to understand a certain want of form, whereby it receiveth a form, or is changed, or turned. It is true, that that is subject to no times, which so cleaveth to the unchangeable Form, as though subject to change, never to be changed. It is true, that that formlessness which is almost nothing, cannot be subject to the alteration of times. It is true, that that whereof a thing is made, may by a certain mode of speech, be called by the name of the thing made of it; whence that formlessness, whereof heaven and earth were made, might be called heaven and earth. It is true, that of things having form, there is not any nearer to having no form, than the earth and the deep. It is true, that not only every created and formed thing, but whatsoever is capable of being created and formed, Thou madest, of Whom are all things. It is true, that whatsoever is formed out of that which had no form, was unformed before it was formed.
12.20.29 Ex his omnibus veris de quibus non dubitant, quorum interiori oculo talia videre donasti et qui Moysen, famulum tuum, in spiritu veritatis locutum esse immobiliter credunt, ex his ergo omnibus aliud sibi tollit qui dicit, 'In principio fecit deus caelum et terram,' id est in verbo suo sibi coaeterno fecit deus intellegibilem atque sensibilem vel spiritalem corporalemque creaturam; aliud qui dicit, 'In principio fecit deus caelum et terram,' id est in verbo suo sibi coaeterno fecit deus universam istam molem corporei mundi huius cum omnibus quas continet manifestis notisque naturis; aliud qui dicit, 'In principio fecit deus caelum et terram,' id est in verbo suo sibi coaeterno fecit informem materiam creaturae spiritalis et corporalis; aliud qui dicit, 'In principio fecit deus caelum et terram,' id est in verbo suo sibi coaeterno fecit deus informem materiam creaturae corporalis, ubi confusum adhuc erat caelum et terra, quae nunc iam distincta atque formata in istius mundi mole sentimus; aliud qui dicit, 'In principio fecit deus caelum et terram,' id est in ipso exordio faciendi atque operandi fecit deus informem materiam confuse habentem caelum et terram, unde formata nunc eminent et apparent cum omnibus quae in eis sunt. Out of these truths, of which they doubt not whose inward eye Thou hast enabled to see such things, and who unshakenly believe Thy servant Moses to have spoken in the Spirit of truth; -of all these then, he taketh one, who saith, In the Beginning God made the heaven and the earth; that is, "in His Word coeternal with Himself, God made the intelligible and the sensible, or the spiritual and the corporeal creature." He another, that saith, In the Beginning God made heaven and earth; that is, "in His Word coeternal with Himself, did God make the universal bulk of this corporeal world, together with all those apparent and known creatures, which it containeth." He another, that saith, In the Beginning God made heaven and earth; that is, "in His Word coeternal with Himself, did God make the formless matter of creatures spiritual and corporeal." He another, that saith, In the Beginning God created heaven and earth; that is, "in His Word coeternal with Himself, did God create the formless matter of the creature corporeal, wherein heaven and earth lay as yet confused, which, being now distinguished and formed, we at this day see in the bulk of this world." He another, who saith, In the Beginning God made heaven and earth; that is, "in the very beginning of creating and working, did God make that formless matter, confusedly containing in itself both heaven and earth; out of which, being formed, do they now stand out, and are apparent, with all that is in them."
12.21.30 Item quod attinet ad intellectum verborum sequentium, ex illis omnibus veris aliud sibi tollit qui dicit, 'Terra autem erat invisibilis et incomposita, et tenebrae erant super abyssum,' id est corporale illud quod fecit deus adhuc materies erat corporearum rerum informis, sine ordine, sine luce; aliud qui dicit, 'Terra autem erat invisibilis et incomposita, et tenebrae erant super abyssum,' id est hoc totum quod caelum et terra appellatum est adhuc informis et tenebrosa materies erat, unde fieret caelum corporeum et terra corporea cum omnibus quae in eis sunt corporeis sensibus nota; aliud qui dicit, 'Terra autem erat invisibilis et incomposita, et tenebrae erant super abyssum,' id est hoc totum quod caelum et terra appellatum est adhuc informis et tenebrosa materies erat, unde fieret caelum intelligibile (quod alibi dicitur caelum caeli) et terra, scilicet omnis natura corporea, sub quo nomine intellegatur etiam hoc caelum corporeum, id est unde fieret omnis invisibilis visibilisque creatura; aliud qui dicit, 'Terra autem erat invisibilis et incomposita, et tenebrae erant super abyssum,' non illam informitatem nomine caeli et terrae scriptura appellavit, sed iam erat, inquit, ipsa informitas quam terram invisibilem et incompositam tenebrosamque abyssum nominavit, de qua caelum et terram deum fecisse praedixerat, spiritalem scilicet corporalemque creaturam; aliud qui dicit, 'Terra autem erat invisibilis et incomposita, et tenebrae erant super abyssum,' id est informitas quaedam iam materies erat unde caelum et terram deum fecisse scriptura praedixit, totam scilicet corpoream mundi molem in duas maximas partes superiorem atque inferiorem distributam cum omnibus quae in eis sunt usitatis notisque creaturis. And with regard to the understanding of the words following, out of all those truths, he chooses one to himself, who saith, But the earth was invisible, and without form, and darkness was upon the deep; that is, "that corporeal thing that God made, was as yet a formless matter of corporeal things, without order, without light. " Another he who says, The earth was invisible and without form, and darkness was upon the deep; that is, "this all, which is called heaven and earth, was still a formless and darksome matter, of which the corporeal heaven and the corporeal earth were to be made, with all things in them, which are known to our corporeal senses." Another he who says, The earth was invisible and without form, and darkness was upon the deep; that is, "this all, which is called heaven and earth, was still a formless and a darksome matter; out of which was to be made, both that intelligible heaven, otherwhere called the Heaven of heavens, and the earth, that is, the whole corporeal nature, under which name is comprised this corporeal heaven also; in a word, out of which every visible and invisible creature was to be created." Another he who says, The earth was invisible and without form, and darkness was upon the deep, "the Scripture did not call that formlessness by the name of heaven and earth; but that formlessness, saith he, already was, which he called the earth invisible without form, and darkness upon the deep; of which he had before said, that God had made heaven and earth, namely, the spiritual and corporeal creature." Another he who says, The earth was invisible and without form, and darkness was upon the deep; that is, "there already was a certain formless matter, of which the Scripture said before, that God made heaven and earth; namely, the whole corporeal bulk of the world, divided into two great parts, upper and lower, with all the common and known creatures in them."
12.22.31 Cum enim duabus istis extremis sententiis resistere quisquam ita temptaverit: 'Si non vultis hanc informitatem materiae caeli et terrae nomine appellatam videri, erat ergo aliquid quod non fecerat deus, unde caelum et terram faceret; neque enim scriptura narravit quod istam materiem deus fecerit, nisi intellegamus eam caeli et terrae aut solius terrae vocabulo significatam cum diceretur, ''In principio fecit deus caelum et terram,'' ut id quod sequitur, ''Terra autem erat invisibilis et incomposita,'' quamvis informem materiam sic placuerit appellare, non tamen intellegamus nisi eam quam fecit deus in eo quod praescriptum est: ''Fecit caelum et terram,''' respondebunt assertores duarum istarum sententiarum quas extremas posuimus aut illius aut illius, cum haec audierint, et dicent, 'Informem quidem istam materiam non negamus a deo factam, deo, a quo sunt omnia bona valde, quia, sicut dicimus amplius bonum esse quod creatum atque formatum est, ita fatemur minus bonum esse quod factum est creabile atque formabile, sed tamen bonum: non autem commemorasse scripturam quod hanc informitatem fecerit deus, sicut alia multa non commemoravit, ut cherubim et seraphim, et quae apostolus distincte ait, ''Sedes, dominationes, principatus, potestates,'' quae tamen omnia deum fecisse manifestum est. Aut si eo quod dictum est, ''Fecit caelum et terram,'' comprehensa sunt omnia, quid de aquis dicimus super quas ferebatur spiritus dei? Si enim terra nominata simul intelleguntur, quomodo iam terrae nomine materies informis accipitur, quando tam speciosas aquas videmus? Aut si ita accipitur, cur ex eadem informitate scriptum est factum firmamentum et vocatum caelum neque scriptum est factas esse aquas? Non enim adhuc informes sunt et invisae quas ita decora specie fluere cernimus. Aut si tunc acceperunt istam speciem cum dixit deus, ''Congregetur aqua, quae est sub firmamento,'' ut congregatio sit ipsa formatio, quid respondebitur de aquis quae super firmamentum sunt, quia neque informes tam honorabilem sedem accipere meruissent nec scriptum est qua voce formatae sint? Unde si aliquid Genesis tacuit deum fecisse, quod tamen deum fecisse nec sana fides nec certus ambigit intellectus, nec ideo ulla sobria doctrina dicere audebit istas aquas coaeternas deo, quia in libro Geneseos commemoratas quidem audimus, ubi autem factae sint non invenimus, cur non informem quoque illam materiam, quam scriptura haec terram invisibilem et incompositam tenebrosamque abyssum appellat, docente veritate intellegamus ex deo factam esse de nihilo ideoque illi non esse coaeternam, quamvis ubi facta sit omiserit enuntiare ista narratio?' For should any attempt to dispute against these two last opinions, thus, "If you will not allow, that this formlessness of matter seems to be called by the name of heaven and earth; Ergo, there was something which God had not made, out of which to make heaven and earth; for neither hath Scripture told us, that God made this matter, unless we understand it to be signified by the name of heaven and earth, or of earth alone, when it is said, In the Beginning God made the heaven and earth; that so in what follows, and the earth was invisible and without form (although it pleased Him so to call the formless matter), we are to understand no other matter, but that which God made, whereof is written above, God made heaven and earth." The maintainers of either of those two latter opinions will, upon hearing this, return for answer, "we do not deny this formless matter to be indeed created by God, that God of Whom are all things, very good; for as we affirm that to be a greater good, which is created and formed, so we confess that to be a lesser good which is made capable of creation and form, yet still good. We say however that Scripture hath not set down, that God made this formlessness, as also it hath not many others; as the Cherubim, and Seraphim, and those which the Apostle distinctly speaks of, Thrones, Dominions, Principalities, Powers. All which that God made, is most apparent. Or if in that which is said, He made heaven and earth, all things be comprehended, what shall we say of the waters, upon which the Spirit of God moved? For if they be comprised in this word earth; how then can formless matter be meant in that name of earth, when we see the waters so beautiful? Or if it be so taken; why then is it written, that out of the same formlessness, the firmament was made, and called heaven; and that the waters were made, is not written? For the waters remain not formless and invisible, seeing we behold them flowing in so comely a manner. But if they then received that beauty, when God said, Let the waters under the firmament be gathered together, that so the gathering together be itself the forming of them; what will be said as to those waters above the firmament? Seeing neither if formless would they have been worthy of so honourable a seat, nor is it written, by what word they were formed. If then Genesis is silent as to God's making of any thing, which yet that God did make neither sound faith nor well-grounded understanding doubteth, nor again will any sober teaching dare to affirm these waters to be coeternal with God, on the ground that we find them to be mentioned in the hook of Genesis, but when they were created, we do not find; why (seeing truth teaches us) should we not understand that formless matter (which this Scripture calls the earth invisible and without form, and darksome deep) to have been created of God out of nothing, and therefore not to be coeternal to Him; notwithstanding this history hath omitted to show when it was created?"
12.23.32 His ergo auditis atque perspectis pro captu infirmitatis meae, quam tibi confiteor scienti deo meo, duo video dissensionum genera oboriri posse cum aliquid a nuntiis veracibus per signa enuntiatur: unum, si de veritate rerum, alterum, si de ipsius qui enuntiat voluntate dissensio est. Aliter enim quaerimus de creaturae conditione quid verum sit, aliter autem quid in his verbis Moyses, egregius domesticus fidei tuae, intellegere lectorem auditoremque voluerit. In illo primo genere discedant a me omnes qui ea quae falsa sunt se scire arbitrantur; in hoc item altero discedant a me omnes qui ea quae falsa sunt Moysen dixisse arbitrantur. Coniungar autem illis, domine, in te et delecter cum eis in te qui veritate tua pascuntur in latitudine caritatis, et accedamus simul ad verba libri tui et quaeramus in eis vountatem tuam per voluntatem famuli tui, cuius calamo dispensasti ea. These things then being heard and perceived, according to the weakness of my capacity (which I confess unto Thee, O Lord, that knowest it), two sorts of disagreements I see may arise, when a thing is in words related by true reporters; one, concerning the truth of the things, the other, concerning the meaning of the relater. For we enquire one way about the making of the creature, what is true; another way, what Moses, that excellent minister of Thy Faith, would have his reader and hearer understand by those words. For the first sort, away with all those who imagine themselves to know as a truth, what is false; and for this other, away with all them too, which imagine Moses to have written things that be false. But let me be united in Thee, O Lord, with those and delight myself in Thee, with them that feed on Thy truth, in the largeness of charity, and let us approach together unto the words of Thy book, and seek in them for Thy meaning, through the meaning of Thy servant, by whose pen Thou hast dispensed them.
12.24.33 Sed quis nostrum sic invenit eam inter tam multa vera quae in illis verbis aliter atque aliter intellectis occurrunt quaerentibus, ut tam fidenter dicat hoc sensisse Moysen atque hoc in illa narratione voluisse intellegi, quam fidenter dicit hoc verum esse, sive ille hoc senserit sive aliud? Ecce enim, deus meus, ego servus tuus, qui vovi tibi sacrificium confessionis in his litteris et oro ut ex misericordia tua reddam tibi vota mea, ecce ego quam fidenter dico in tuo verbo incommutabili omnia te fecisse, invisibilia et visibilia. Numquid tam fidenter dico non aliud quam hoc attendisse Moysen, cum scriberet, 'In principio fecit deus caelum et terram,' quia non, sicut in tua veritate hoc certum video, ita in eius mente video id eum cogitasse cum haec scriberet? Potuit enim cogitare, 'In ipso faciendi exordio,' cum diceret: 'In principio'; potuit et caelum et terram hoc loco nullam iam formatam perfectamque naturam sive spiritalem sive corporalem, sed utramque inchoatam et adhuc informem velle intellegi. Video quippe vere potuisse dici quidquid horum diceretur, sed quid horum in his verbis ille cogitaverit, non ita video, quamvis sive aliquid horum sive quid aliud quod a me commemoratum non est tantus vir ille mente conspexerit, cum haec verba promeret, verum eum vidisse apteque id enuntiavisse non dubitem. But which of us shall, among those so many truths, which occur to enquirers in those words, as they are differently understood, so discover that one meaning, as to affirm, "this Moses thought," and "this would he have understood in that history"; with the same confidence as he would, "this is true," whether Moses thought this or that? For behold, O my God, I Thy servant, who have in this book vowed a sacrifice of confession unto Thee, and pray, that by Thy mercy I may pay my vows unto Thee, can I, with the same confidence wherewith I affirm, that in Thy incommutable world Thou createdst all things visible and invisible, affirm also, that Moses meant no other than this, when he wrote, In the Beginning God made heaven and earth? No. Because I see not in his mind, that he thought of this when he wrote these things, as I do see it in Thy truth to be certain. For he might have his thoughts upon God's commencement of creating, when he said In the beginning; and by heaven and earth, in this place he might intend no formed and perfected nature whether spiritual or corporeal, but both of them inchoate and as yet formless. For I perceive, that whichsoever of the two had been said, it might have been truly said; but which of the two he thought of in these words, I do not so perceive. Although, whether it were either of these, or any sense beside (that I have not here mentioned), which this so great man saw in his mind, when he uttered these words, I doubt not but that he saw it truly, and expressed it aptly.
12.25.34 Nemo iam mihi molestus sit dicendo mihi, 'Non hoc sensit Moyses quod tu dicis, sed hoc sensit quod ego dico.' si enim mihi diceret, 'Unde scis hoc sensisse Moysen, quod de his verbis eius eloqueris?', aequo animo ferre deberem et responderem fortasse quae superius respondi vel aliquanto uberius, si esset durior. Cum vero dicit, 'Non hoc ille sensit quod tu dicis, sed quod ego dico,' neque tamen negat quod uterque nostrum dicit, utrumque verum esse, o vita pauperum, deus meus, in cuius sinu non est contradictio, plue mihi mitigationes in cor, ut patienter tales feram. Qui non mihi hoc dicunt, quia divini sunt et in corde famuli tui viderunt quod dicunt, sed quia superbi sunt nec noverunt Moysi sententiam sed amant suam, non quia vera est, sed quia sua est. Alioquin et aliam veram pariter amarent, sicut ego amo quod dicunt quando verum dicunt, non quia ipsorum est sed quia verum est: et ideo iam nec ipsorum est, quia verum est. Si autem ideo ament illud quia verum est, iam et ipsorum est et meum est, quoniam in commune omnium est veritatis amatorum. Illud autem quod contendunt non hoc sensisse Moysen quod ego dico, sed quod ipsi dicunt, nolo, non amo, quia etsi ita est, tamen ista temeritas non scientiae sed audaciae est, nec visus sed typhus eam peperit. Ideoque, domine, tremenda sunt iudicia tua, quoniam veritas tua nec mea est nec illius aut illius, sed omnium nostrum quos ad eius communionem publice vocas, terribiliter admonens nos ut eam nolimus habere privatam, ne privemur ea. Nam quisquis id quod tu omnibus ad fruendum proponis sibi proprie vindicat, et suum vult esse quod omnium est, a communi propellitur ad sua, hoc est a veritate ad mendacium. Qui enim loquitur mendacium, de suo loquitur. Let no man harass me then, by saying, Moses thought not as you say, but as I say: for if he should ask me, "How know you that Moses thought that which you infer out of his words?" I ought to take it in good part, and would answer perchance as I have above, or something more at large, if he were unyielding. But when he saith, "Moses meant not what you say, but what I say," yet denieth not that what each of us say, may both be true, O my God, life of the poor, in Whose bosom is no contradiction, pour down a softening dew into my heart, that I may patiently bear with such as say this to me, not because they have a divine Spirit, and have seen in the heart of Thy servant what they speak, but because they be proud; not knowing Moses' opinion, but loving their own, not because it is truth, but because it is theirs. Otherwise they would equally love another true opinion, as I love what they say, when they say true: not because it is theirs, but because it is true; and on that very ground not theirs because it is true. But if they therefore love it, because it is true, then is it both theirs, and mine; as being in common to all lovers of truth. But whereas they contend that Moses did not mean what I say, but what they say, this I like not, love not: for though it were so, yet that their rashness belongs not to knowledge, but to overboldness, and not insight but vanity was its parent. And therefore, O Lord, are Thy judgements terrible; seeing Thy truth is neither mine, nor his, nor another's; but belonging to us all, whom Thou callest publicly to partake of it, warning us terribly, not to account it private to ourselves, lest we he deprived of it. For whosoever challenges that as proper to himself, which Thou propoundest to all to enjoy, and would have that his own which belongs to all, is driven from what is in common to his own; that is, from truth, to a lie. For he that speaketh a lie, speaketh it of his own.
12.25.35 Attende, iudex optime, deus, ipsa veritas, attende quid dicam contradictori huic, attende. Coram te enim dico et coram fratribus meis, qui legitime utuntur lege usque ad finem caritatis. Attende et vide quid ei dicam, si placet tibi. Hanc enim vocem huic refero fraternam et pacificam: 'Si ambo videmus verum esse quod dicis et ambo videmus verum esse quod dico, ubi, quaeso, id videmus? Nec ego utique in te nec tu in me, sed ambo in ipsa quae supra mentes nostras est incommutabili veritate. Cum ergo de ipsa domini dei nostri luce non contendamus, cur de proximi cogitatione contendimus, quam sic videre non possumus ut videtur incommutabilis veritas, quando, si ipse Moyses apparuisset nobis atque dixisset: ''Hoc cogitavi,'' nec sic eam videremus, sed crederemus? Non itaque supra quam scriptum est unus pro altero infletur adversus alterum. Diligamus dominum deum nostrum ex toto corde, ex tota anima, ex tota mente nostra, et proximum nostrum sicut nosmet ipsos. Propter quae duo praecepta caritatis sensisse Moysen, quidquid in illis libris sensit, nisi crediderimus, mendacem faciemus dominum, cum de animo conservi aliter quam ille docuit opinamur. Iam vide quam stultum sit, in tanta copia verissimarum sententiarum quae de illis verbis erui possunt, temere adfirmare quam earum Moyses potissimum senserit, et perniciosis contentionibus ipsam offendere caritatem propter quam dixit omnia, cuius dicta conamur exponere.' Hearken, O God, Thou best judge; Truth Itself, hearken to what I shall say to this gainsayer, hearken, for before Thee do I speak, and before my brethren, who employ Thy law lawfully, to the end of charity: hearken and behold, if it please Thee, what I shall say to him. For this brotherly and peaceful word do I return unto Him: "If we both see that to be true that Thou sayest, and both see that to be true that I say, where, I pray Thee, do we see it? Neither I in thee, nor thou in me; but both in the unchangeable Truth itself, which is above our souls." Seeing then we strive not about the very light of the Lord God, why strive we about the thoughts of our neighbour which we cannot so see, as the unchangeable Truth is seen: for that, if Moses himself had appeared to us and said, "This I meant"; neither so should we see it, but should believe it. Let us not then be puffed up for one against another, above that which is written: let us love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our mind: and our neighbour as ourself. With a view to which two precepts of charity, unless we believe that Moses meant, whatsoever in those books he did mean, we shall make God a liar, imagining otherwise of our fellow servant's mind, than he hath taught us. Behold now, how foolish it is, in such abundance of most true meanings, as may be extracted out of those words, rashly to affirm, which of them Moses principally meant; and with pernicious contentions to offend charity itself, for whose sake he spake every thing, whose words we go about to expound.
12.26.36 Et tamen ego, deus meus, celsitudo humilitatis meae et requies laboris mei, qui audis confessiones meas et dimittis peccata mea, quoniam tu mihi praecipis ut diligam proximum meum sicut me ipsum, non possum minus credere de Moyse fidelissimo famulo tuo quam mihi optarem ac desiderarem abs te dari muneris, si tempore illo natus essem quo ille eoque loci me constituisses, ut per servitutem cordis ac linguae meae litterae illae dispensarentur quae tanto post essent omnibus gentibus profuturae et per universum orbem tanto auctoritatis culmine omnium falsarum superbarumque doctrinarum verba superaturae. Vellem quippe, si tunc ego essem Moyses (ex eadem namque massa omnes venimus; et quid est homo, nisi quia memor es eius?), vellem ergo, si tunc ego essem quod ille et mihi abs te Geneseos liber scribendus adiungeretur, talem mihi eloquendi facultatem dari et eum texendi sermonis modum ut neque illi qui nondum queunt intellegere quemadmodum creat deus, tamquam excedentia vires suas, dicta recusarent et illi qui hoc iam possunt, in quamlibet veram sententiam cogitando venissent, eam non praetermissam in paucis verbis tui famuli reperirent, et si alius aliam vidisset in luce veritatis, nec ipsa in eisdem verbis intellegenda deesset. And yet I, O my God, Thou lifter up of my humility, and rest of my labour, Who hearest my confessions, and forgivest my sins: seeing Thou commandest me to love my neighbour as myself, I cannot believe that Thou gavest a less gift unto Moses Thy faithful servant, than I would wish or desire Thee to have given me, had I been born in the time he was, and hadst Thou set me in that office, that by the service of my heart and tongue those books might be dispensed, which for so long after were to profit all nations, and through the whole world from such an eminence of authority, were to surmount all sayings of false and proud teachings. I should have desired verily, had I then been Moses (for we all come from the same lump, and what is man, saving that Thou art mindful of him?), I would then, had I been then what he was, and been enjoined by Thee to write the book of Genesis, have desired such a power of expression and such a style to be given me, that neither they who cannot yet understand how God created, might reject the sayings, as beyond their capacity; and they who had attained thereto, might find what true opinion soever they had by thought arrived at, not passed over in those few words of that Thy servant: and should another man by the light of truth have discovered another, neither should that fail of being discoverable in those same words.
12.27.37 Sicut enim fons in parvo loco uberior est pluribusque rivis in ampliora spatia fluxum ministrat quam quilibet eorum rivorum qui per multa locorum ab eodem fonte deducitur, ita narratio dispensatoris tui sermocinaturis pluribus profutura parvo sermonis modulo scatet fluenta liquidae veritatis, unde sibi quisque verum quod de his rebus potest, hic illud, ille illud, per longiores loquellarum anfractus trahat. Alii enim cum haec verba legunt vel audiunt, cogitant deum, quasi hominem aut quasi aliquam molem immensa praeditam potestate novo quodam et repentino placito extra se ipsam tamquam locis distantibus, fecisse caelum et terram, duo magna corpora supra et infra, quibus omnia continerentur, et cum audiunt, 'Dixit deus: fiat illud, et factum est illud,' cogitant verba coepta et finita, sonantia temporibus atque transeuntia, post quorum transitum statim existere quod iussum est ut existeret, et si quid forte aliud hoc modo ex familiaritate carnis opinantur. In quibus adhuc parvulis animalibus, dum isto humillimo genere verborum tamquam materno sinu eorum gestatur infirmitas, salubriter aedificatur fides, qua certum habeant et teneant deum fecisse omnes naturas quas eorum sensus mirabili varietate circumspicit. Quorum si quispiam quasi vilitatem dictorum aspernatus extra nutritorias cunas superba inbecillitate se extenderit, heu! cadet miser et, domine deus, miserere, ne implumem pullum conculcent qui transeunt viam, et mitte angelum tuum, qui eum reponat in nido, ut vivat donec volet. For as a fountain within a narrow compass, is more plentiful, and supplies a tide for more streams over larger spaces, than any one of those streams, which, after a wide interval, is derived from the same fountain; so the relation of that dispenser of Thine, which was to benefit many who were to discourse thereon, does out of a narrow scantling of language, overflow into streams of clearest truth, whence every man may draw out for himself such truth as he can upon these subjects, one, one truth, another, another, by larger circumlocutions of discourse. For some, when they read, or hear these words, conceive that God like a man or some mass endued with unbounded power, by some new and sudden resolution, did, exterior to itself, as it were at a certain distance, create heaven and earth, two great bodies above and below, wherein all things were to be contained. And when they hear, God said, Let it be made, and it was made; they conceive of words begun and ended, sounding in time, and passing away; after whose departure, that came into being, which was commanded so to do; and whatever of the like sort, men's acquaintance with the material world would suggest. In whom, being yet little ones and carnal, while their weakness is by this humble kind of speech, carried on, as in a mother's bosom, their faith is wholesomely built up, whereby they hold assured, that God made all natures, which in admirable variety their eye beholdeth around. Which words, if any despising, as too simple, with a proud weakness, shall stretch himself beyond the guardian nest; he will, alas, fall miserably. Have pity, O Lord God, lest they who go by the way trample on the unfledged bird, and send Thine angel to replace it into the nest, that it may live, till it can fly.
12.28.38 Alii vero, quibus haec verba non iam nidus sed opaca frutecta sunt, vident in eis latentes fructus et volitant laetantes et garriunt scrutantes et carpunt eos. Vident enim, cum haec verba legunt vel audiunt tua, deus aeterne, stabili permansione cuncta praeterita et futura tempora superari, nec tamen quicquam esse temporalis creaturae quod tu non feceris, cuius voluntas, quia id est quod tu, nullo modo mutata vel quae antea non fuisset exorta voluntate fecisti omnia, non de te similitudinem tuam formam omnium sed de nihilo dissimilitudinem informem, quae formaretur per similitudinem tuam recurrens in te unum pro captu ordinato, quantum cuique rerum in suo genere datum est, et fierent omnia bona valde, sive maneant circa te sive gradatim remotiore distantia per tempora et locos pulchras mutationes faciant aut patiantur. Vident haec et gaudent in luce veritatis tuae, quantulum hic valent. But others, unto whom these words are no longer a nest, but deep shady fruit-bowers, see the fruits concealed therein, fly joyously around, and with cheerful notes seek out, and pluck them. For reading or hearing these words, they see that all times past and to come, are surpassed by Thy eternal and stable abiding; and yet that there is no creature formed in time, not of Thy making. Whose will, because it is the same that Thou art, Thou madest all things, not by any change of will, nor by a will, which before was not, and that these things were not out of Thyself, in Thine own likeness, which is the form of all things; but ou