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St. Augustine of Hippo: Confessions BOOK X
AUTHOR: Augustine
PUBLISHED ON: March 27, 2003
DOC SOURCE: CCN

St. Augustine of Hippo: CONFESSIONS
“New Advent Catholic Supersite”

St. Augustine of Hippo
Confessions

BOOK X.

HAVING MANIFESTED WHAT HE WAS AND WHAT HE IS, HE SHOWS THE GREAT
FRUIT OF HIS CONFESSION; AND BEING ABOUT TO EXAMINE BY WHAT METHOD
GOD AND THE HAPPY LIFE MAY BE FOUND, HE ENLARGES ON THE NATURE AND
POWER OF MEMORY. THEN HE EXAMINES HIS OWN ACTS, THOUGHTS AND
AFFECTIONS, VIEWED UNDER THE THREEFOLD DIVISION OF TEMPTATION; AND
COMMEMORATES THE LORD, THE ONE MEDIATOR OF GOD AND MEN.

CHAP. I.–IN GOD ALONE IS THE HOPE AND JOY OF MAN.

1. LET me know Thee, O Thou who knowest me; let me know Thee, as
I am known.t O Thou strength of my soul, enter into it, and prepare
it for Thyself, that Thou mayest have and hold it without “spot or
wrinkle.”  This is my hope, “therefore have I spoken;” and in
this hope do I rejoice, when I rejoice soberly. Other things of this
life ought the less to be sorrowed for, the more they are sorrowed
for; and ought the more to be sorrowed for, the less men do sorrow
for them. For behold, “Thou desirest truth, seeing that he who
does it “cometh to the light.. This wish I to do in confession in
my heart before Thee, and in my writing before many witnesses.

CHAP. II.–THAT ALL THINGS ARE MANIFEST TO GOD. THAT CONFESSION
UNTO HIM IS NOT’ MADE BY THE WORDS OF THE FLESH, BUT OF! THE SOUL,
AND THE CRY OF REFLECTION.

2. And from Thee, O Lord, unto whose eyes the depths of man’s
conscience are naked. what in me could be hidden though I were
unwilling to confess to Thee? For so should I hide Thee from myself,
not myself from Thee. But now, because my groaning witnesseth that I
am dissatisfied with myself, Thou shinest forth, and satisfiest, and
art beloved and desired; that I may blush for myself, and renounce
myself, and choose Thee, and may neither please Thee nor myself,
except in Thee. To Thee, then, O Lord, am I manifest, whatever I am,
and with what fruit I may confess unto Thee I have spoken. Nor do I
it with words and sounds of the flesh, but with the words of the
soul, and that cry of reflection which Thine ear knoweth.

For when I am wicked, to confess to Thee is naught but to be
dissatisfied with myself; but when I am truly devout, it is naught
but not to attribute it to myself, because Thou, O Lord, dost “bless
the righteous;, but first Thou justifiest him “ungodly.”  My
confession, therefore, O my God, in Thy sight, is made unto Thee
silently, and yet not silently. For m noise it is silent, in
affection it cries aloud. For neither do I give utterance to
anything that is right unto men which Thou hast not heard from me
before, nor dost Thou hear anything of the kind from me which
Thyself saidst not first unto me.

CHAP. III.–HE WHO CONFESSETH RIGHTLY UNTO GOD BEST KNOWETH
HIMSELF.

3. What then have I to do with men, that they should hear my
confessions, as if they were going to cure all my diseases. A
people curious to know the lives of others, but slow to correct
their own. Why do they desire to hear from me what I am, who are
unwilling to hear from Thee what they are? And how can they tell,
when they hear from me of myself, whether I speak the truth, seeing
that no man knoweth what is in man, “save the spirit of man which is
in him “?,o But if they hear from Thee aught concerning themselves,
they will not be able to say, “The Lord lieth.” For what is it to
hear from Thee of themselves, but to know themselves? And who is he
that knoweth himself and saith, “It is false,” unless he himself
lieth? But because “charity believeth all things” n (amongst those
at all events whom by union with itself it maketh one), I too, 0
Lord, also so confess unto Thee that men may hear, to whom I cannot
prove whether I confess the truth, yet do they believe me whose ears
charity openeth unto me.

   

4. But yet do Thou, my most secret Physician, make clear to me
what fruit I may reap by doing it. For the confessions of my past
sins,–which Thou hast “forgiven” and “covered,” x that Thou
mightest make me happy in Thee, changing my soul by faith and Thy
sacrament,–when they are read and heard, stir up the heart, that it
sleep not in despair and say, “I cannot;” but that it may awake in
the love of Thy mercy and the sweetness of Thy grace, by which he
that is weak is strong? if by it he is made conscious of his own
weakness. As for the good, they take delight in hearing of the past
errors of such as are now freed from them; and they delight, not
because they are errors, but because they have been and are so no
longer. For what fruit, then, 0 Lord my God, to whom my conscience
maketh her daily confession, more confident in the hope of Thy mercy
than in her own innocency,–for what fruit, I beseech Thee, do I
confess even to men in Thy presence by this book what I am at this
time, not what I have been? For that fruit I have both seen and
spoken of, but what I am at this time, at the very moment of making
my confessions, divers people desire to know, both who knew me and
who knew me not,–who have heard of or from me,–but their ear is
not at my heart, where I am whatsoever I am. They are desirous,
then, of hearing me confess what I am within, where they can neither
stretch eye, nor ear, nor mind; they desire it as those willing to
believe,–but will they understand? For charity, by which they are
good, says unto them that I do not lie in my confessions, and she in
them believes me.

CHAP. IV.–THAT IN HIS CONFESSIONS HE MAY DO GOOD, HE CONSIDERS
OTHERS.

5. But for what fruit do they desire this? Do they wish me
happiness when they learn how near, by Thy gift, I come unto Thee;
and to pray for me, when they learn how much I am kept back by my
own weight? To such will I declare myself. For it is no small fruit,
O Lord my God, that by many thanks should be given to Thee on our
behalf. and that by many Thou shouldest be entreated for us. Let
the fraternal soul love that in me which Thou teachest should be
loved, and lament that in me which Thou teachest should be lamented.
Let a fraternal and not an alien soul do this, nor that “of strange
children, whose mouth speaketh vanity, and their right hand is a
right hand of falsehood, but that fraternal one which, when it
approves me, rejoices for me, but when it disap proves me, is sorry
for me; because whether it approves or disapproves it loves me. To
such will I declare myself; let them breathe freely at my good
deeds, and sigh over my evil ones. My good deeds are Thy
institutions and Thy gifts, my evil ones are my delinquencies and
Thy judgments? Let them breathe freely at the one, and sigh over the
other; and let hymns and tears ascend into Thy sight out of the
fraternal hearts–Thy censers. And do Thou, O Lord, who takest
delight in the incense of Thy holy temple, have mercy upon me
according to Thy great mercy. “for Thy name’s sake;”. and on no
account leaving what Thou hast begun in me, do Thou complete what is
imperfect in me.

6. This is the fruit of my confessions, not of what I was, but of
what I am, that I may confess this not before Thee only, in a secret
exultation with trembling. and a secret sorrow with hope, but in
the ears also of the believing sons of men,–partakers of my joy,
and sharers of my mortality, my fellow-citizens and the companions
of my pilgrimage, those who are gone before, and those that are to
follow after, and the comrades of my way. These are Thy servants, my
brethren, those whom Thou wish-est to be Thy sons; my masters, whom
Thou hast commanded me to serve, if I desire to live with and of
Thee. But this Thy word were little to me did it command in
speaking, without going before in acting. This then do I both in
deed and word, this I do under Thy wings, in too great danger, were
it not that my soul, under Thy wings, is subject unto Thee, and my
weakness known unto Thee. I am a little one, but my Father liveth
for ever, and my Defender is “sufficient. for me. For He is the
same who begat me and who defends me; and Thou Thyself art all my
good; even Thou, the Omnipotent, who art with me, and that before I
am with Thee. To such, therefore, whom Thou commandest me to serve
will I declare, not what I was, but what I now am, and what I still
am. But neither do I judge myself.. Thus then I would be heard.

CHAP. V.–THAT MAN KNOWETH NOT HIMSELF WHOLLY.

7. For it is Thou, Lord, that judgest me;” for although no “man
knoweth the things of a
man, save the spirit of man which is in him, yet is there
something of man which “the spirit of man which is in him” itself
knoweth not. But Thou, Lord, who hast made him, knowest him wholly.
I indeed, though in Thy sight I despise myself, and reckon “myself
but dust and ashes,”‘ yet know something concerning Thee, which I
know not concerning myself. And assuredly “now we see through a
glass darkly,” not yet “face to face.. So long, therefore, as I be
“absent” from Thee, I am more “present” with myself than with Thee;’ and yet
know I that Thou canst not suffer violence; but for myself I know not
what temptations I am able to resist, and what I am not able.s But
there is hope, because Thou art faithful, who wilt not suffer us to
be tempted above that we are able, but wilt with the temptation also
make a way to escape, that we may be able to bear it. I would
therefore confess what I know concerning myself; I will confess also
what I know not concerning myself. And because what I do know of
myself, I know by Thee enlightening me; and what I know not of
myself, so long I know not until the time when my “darkness be as
the noonday” in Thy sight.

CHAP. VI.–THE LOVE OF GOD, IN HIS NATURE SUPERIOR TO ALL
CREATURES, IS ACQUIRED BY THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE SENSES AND THE
EXERCISE OF REASON.

8. Not with uncertain, but with assured consciousness do I love
Thee, O Lord. Thou hast stricken my heart with Thy word, and I loved
Thee. And also the heaven, and earth, and all that is therein,
behold, on every side 1;hey say that I should love Thee; nor do they
cease to speak unto all, “so that they are without excuse.”  But
more profoundly wilt Thou have mercy on whom Thou wilt have mercy,
and compassion on whom Thou wilt have compassion. otherwise do
both heaven and earth tell forth Thy praises to deaf ears. But what
is it that I love in loving Thee? Not corporeal beauty, nor the
splendour of time, nor the radiance of the light, so pleasant to our
eyes, nor the sweet melodies of songs of all kinds, nor the flagrant
smell of flowers, and ointments, and spices, not manna and honey,
not limbs pleasant to the embracements of flesh. I love not these
things when I love my God; and yet I love a certain kind of light,
and sound, and fragrance, and food, and embracement in loving my
God, who is the light, sound, fragrance, food, and embracement of my
inner man–where that light shineth unto my soul which no place can
contain, where that soundeth which time snatcheth not away, where
there is a fragrance which no breeze disperseth, where there is a
food which no eating can diminish, and where that clingeth which no
satiety can sunder. This is what I love, when I love my God.

9. And what is this? I asked the earth; and it answered, “I am
not He;” and whatsoever are therein made the same confession. I
asked the sea and the deeps, and the creeping things that lived, and
they replied, “We are not thy God, seek higher than we.” I asked the
breezy air, and the universal air with its inhabitants answered,’
‘Anaximenes. was deceived, I am not God.” I asked the heavens, the
sun, moon, and stars: “Neither,” say they, “are we the God whom thou
seekest.” And I answered unto all these things which stand about the
door of my flesh, “Ye have told me concerning my God, that ye are
not He; tell me something about Him.” And with a loud voice they
exclaimed, “He made us.” My question-mg was my observing of them;
and their beauty was their reply? And I directed my thoughts to
myself, and said, “Who art thou?” And I answered, “A
man.” And lo, in me there appear both body and soul, the one
without, the other within. By which of these should I seek my God,
whom I had sought through the body from earth to heaven, as far as I
was able to send messengers–the beams of mine eyes? But the better
part is that which is inner; for to it, as both president and judge,
did all these my corporeal messengers render the answers of heaven
and earth and all things therein, who said, “We are not God, but He
made us.” These things was my inner man cognizant of by the ministry
of the outer; I, the inner man, knew all this–I, the soul, through
the senses of my body. I asked the vast bulk of the earth of my God,
and it answered me, “I am not He, but He made me.”

10. Is not this beauty visible to all whose senses are
unimpaired? Why then doth it not speak the same things unto all?
Animals, the very small and the great, see it, but they are unable to question
it, because their senses are not endowed with reason to enable them
to judge on what they report. But men can question it, so that “the
invisible things of Him . . .  are clearly seen, being understood by
the things that are made;”‘ but by loving them, they are brought
into subjection to them; and subjects are not able to judge. Neither
do the creatures reply to such as question them, unless they can
judge; nor will they alter their voice (that is, their beauty). if
so be one man only sees, another both sees and questions, so as to
appear one way to this man, and another to that; but appearing the
same way to both, it is mute to this, it speaks to that–yea,
verily, it speaks unto all but they only understand it who compare
that voice received from without with the truth within. For the
truth declareth unto me, “Neither heaven, nor earth, nor any body
is: thy God.” This, their nature declareth unto him that beholdeth
them.

“They are a mass; a mass is less in part than in the whole.” Now,
O my soul, thou art my better part, unto thee I speak; for thou
animatest the mass of thy body, giving it life, which no body
furnishes to a body but thy God is even unto thee the Life of life.

CHAP. VII.–THAT GOD IS TO BE FOUND NEITHER FROM THE POWERS OF
THE BODY NOR OF THE SOUL.

11. What then is it that I love when I love my God? Who is He
that is above the head of my soul? By my soul itself will I mount up
unto Him. I will soar beyond that power of mine whereby I cling to
the body, and fill the whole structure of it with life. Not by that
power do I find my God; for then the horse and the mule, “which have
no understanding,” a might find Him, since it is the same power by
which their bodies also live. But there is another power, not that
only by which I quicken, but that also by which I endow with sense
my flesh, which the Lord hath made for me; bidding the eye not to
hear, and the ear not to see; but that, for me to see by, and this,
for me to hear by; and to each of the other senses its own proper
seat and office, which being different, I, the single mind, do
through them govern. I will soar also beyond this power of mine; for
this the horse and mule possess, for they too discern through the
body.

CHAP. VIII.—-OF THE NATURE AND THE AMAZING POWER OF MEMORY.

12. I will soar, then, beyond this power of my nature also,
ascending by degrees unto Him who made me. And I enter the fields
and roomy chambers of memory, where are the treasures of countless
images, imported into it from all manner of things by the senses.
There is treasured up whatsoever likewise we think, either by
enlarging or diminishing, or by varying in any way whatever those
things which the sense hath arrived at; yea, and whatever else hath
been entrusted to it and stored up, which oblivion hath not yet
engulfed and buried. When I am in this storehouse, I demand that
what I wish should be brought forth, and some things immediately
appear; others require to be longer sought after, and are dragged,
as it were, out of some hidden receptacle; others, again, hurry
forth in crowds, and while another thing is sought and inquired for,
they leap into view, as if to say, “Is it not we, perchance?” These
I drive away with the hand of my heart from before the face of my
remembrance, until what I wish be discovered making its appearance
out of its secret cell. Other things suggest themselves without
effort, and in continuous order, just as they are called for,–those
in front giving place to those that follow, and in giving place are
treasured up again to be forthcoming when I wish it. All of which
takes place when I repeat a thing from memory.

13. All these things, each of which entered by its own avenue,
are distinctly and under general heads there laid up: as, for
example, light, and all colours and forms of bodies, by the eyes;
sounds of all kinds by the ears; all smells by the passage of the
nostrils; all flavours by that of the mouth; and by the sensation of
the whole body is brought in what is hard or soft, hot or cold,
smooth or rough, heavy or light, whether external or internal to the
body. All these doth that great receptacle of memory, with its many
and indescribable departments, receive, to be recalled and brought
forth when required; each, entering by its own door, is hid up in
it. And yet the things themselves do not enter it, but only the
images of the things perceived are there ready at hand for thought
to, recall. And who can tell how these images formed,
notwithstanding that it is evident which of the senses each has been
fetched ‘m and treasured up? For even while I live in darkness and
silence, I can bring out colours in memory if I wish, and discern
between black and white, and what others I wish; nor yet do sounds
break in and disturb what is drawn in by mine eyes, and which I am
considering, seeing that they also are there, and are concealed,laid
up, as it were, apart. For these too I can summon if I please, and
immediately they appear. And though my tongue be at rest, and my
throat silent, yet can I sing as much as I will; and those images of
colours, which not withstanding are there, do not interpose themselves and interrupt
when another treasure is under consideration which flowed in through
the ears. So the remaining things carried in and heaped up by the
other senses, I recall at my pleasure. And I discern the scent of
lilies from that of violets while smelling nothing; and I prefer
honey to grape-syrup, a smooth thing to a rough, though then I
neither taste nor handle, but only remember.

14. These things do I within, in that vast chamber of my memory.
For there are nigh me heaven, earth, sea, and whatever I can think
upon in them, besides those which I have forgotten. There also do I
meet with myself, and recall myself,–what, when, or where I did a
thing, and how I was affected when I did it. There are all which I
remember, either by personal experience or on the faith of others.
Out of the same supply do I myself with the past construct now this,
now that likeness of things, which either I have experienced, or,
from having experienced, have believed; and thence again future
actions, events, and hopes, and upon all these again do I meditate
as if they were present. “I will do this or that,” say I to myself
in that vast womb of my mind, filled with the images of things so
many and so great, “and this or that shall follow upon it.” “Oh that
this or that might come to pass!” “God avert this or that!” Thus
speak I to myself; and when I speak, the images of all I speak about
are present, out of the same treasury of memory; nor could I say
anything at all about them were the images absent.

15. Great is this power of memory, exceeding great, O my God,–an
inner chamber large and boundless! Who has plumbed the depths!
thereof? Yet it is a power of mine, and appertains unto my nature;
nor do I myself grasp l all that I am. Therefore is the mind too
narrow to contain itself. And where should that be which it doth not
contain of itself? Is it outside and not in itself?

How is it, then, that it doth not grasp itself? A great
admiration rises upon me; astonishment seizes me. And men go forth
to wonder at the heights of mountains, the huge waves of the sea,
the broad flow of the rivers, the extent of the ocean, and the
courses of the stars, and omit to wonder at themselves; nor do they
marvel that when I spoke of all these things, I was not looking on
them with my eyes, and yet could not speak of them unless those
mountains, and waves, and rivers, and stars which I saw, and that
ocean which I believe in, I
saw inwardly in my memory, and with the same vast spaces between as
when I saw them abroad. But I did not by seeing appropriate them
when I looked on them with my eyes; nor are the things themselves
with me, but their images. And I
knew by what corporeal sense each made impression on me.

CHAP. IX.–NOT ONLY THINGS, BUT ALSO LITERATURE AND IMAGES, ARE
TAKEN FROM THE MEMORY, AND ARE BROUGHT FORTH BY THE
ACT OF REMEMBERING.

16. And yet are not these all that the illimitable capacity of my
memory retains. Here also is all that is apprehended of the liberal
sciences, and not yet forgotten–removed as it were into an inner
place, which is not a place; nor are they the images which am
retained, but the things themselves. For what is literature, what
skill in disputation, whatsoever I know of all the many kinds of
questions there are, is so m my memory, as that I have not taken in
the image and left the thing without, or that it should have sounded
and passed away like a voice imprinted on the ear by that trace,
whereby it might be recorded, as though it sounded when it no longer
did so; or as an odour while ‘it passes away, and vanishes into
wind, affects the sense of smell, whence it conveys the image of
itself into the memory, which we realize in recollecting; or like
food, which assuredly in the belly hath now no taste, and yet hath a
kind of taste in the memory, or like anything that is by touching
felt by the body, and which even when removed from us is imagined by
the memory. For these things themselves are not put into it, but the
images of them only are caught up, with a marvellous quickness, and
laid up, as it were, in most wonderful garners, and wonderfully
brought forth when we remember.

CHAP. X.–LITERATURE IS NOT INTRODUCED TO THE MEMORY THROUGH THE
SENSES, BUT IS BROUGHT FORTH FROM ITS MORE SECRET PLACES.

17. But truly when I hear that there are three kinds of questions,
“Whether a thing is?what it is?–of what kind it is?” I do indeed
hold fast the images of the sounds of which these words are
composed, and I know that those sounds passed through the air with a
noise, and now are not. But the things themselves which are
signified by these sounds I never arrived at by any sense of the
body, nor ever perceived them otherwise than by my mind; ‘ and in my
memory have I laid up not their images, but themselves, which, how
they entered into me, let them tell if they are able. ‘For I examine
all the gates of my flesh, but find not by which of them they
entered. For the eyes say, “If they were coloured, we announced
them.” The ears say, “If they sounded, we gave notice of them.” The
nostrils say, “If they smell, they passed in by us.” The sense of taste
says, “If they have no flavour, ask not me.” The touch says, “If it
have not body, I handled it not, and if I never handled it, I gave
no notice of it.” Whence and how did these things enter into my
memory? I know not how. For when I learned them, I gave not credit
to the heart of another man, but perceived them in my own; and I
approved them as true, and committed them to it, laying them up, as
it were, whence I might fetch them when I willed. There, then, they
were, even before I learned them, but were not in my memory. Where
were they, then, or wherefore, when they were spoken, did I
acknowledge them, and say, “So it is, it is true,” unless as being
already in the memory, though so put back and concealed, as it were,
in more secret caverns, that had they not been drawn forth by the
advice of another I would not, perchance, have been able to conceive
of them?

CHAP. XI.–WHAT IT IS TO LEARN AND TO THINK.

18. Wherefore we find that to learn these things, whose images we
drink not in by our senses, but perceive within as they axe by
themselves, without images, is nothing else but by meditation as it
were to concentrate, and by observing to take care that those
notions which the memory did before contain scattered and confused,
be laid up at hand, as it were, in that same memory, where before
they lay concealed, scattered and neglected, and so the more easily
present themselves to the mind well accustomed to observe them. And
how many things of this sort does my memory retain which have been
found out already, and, as I said, are, as it were, laid up ready to
hand, which we are said to have learned and to have known; which,
should we for small. intervals of time cease to recall, they are
again so submerged and slide back, as it were, into the more remote
chambers, that they must be evolved thence again as if new (for
other sphere they have none), and must be marshalled [cogenda] again
that they may become known; that is to say, they must be collected
[calligenda], as it were, from their dispersion; whence we have the
word cagitare. For cogo lit collect] and cogira [I re-collect] have
the same relation to each other as ago and agito, lucia and factira.
But the mind has appropriated to itself this word [cogitation], so
that not that which is collected anywhere, but what is collected,x
that is marshalled. in the mind, is properly said to be
“cogitated.”‘

CHAP. XII.–ON THE RECOLLECTION OF THINGS MATHEMATICAL.

19. The memory containeth also the reasons and innumerable laws
of numbers and dimensions, none of which hath any sense of the body
impressed, seeing they have neither colour, nor sound, nor taste,
nor smell, nor sense of touch. I have heard the sound of the words
by which these things are signified when they are discussed; but the
sounds are one thing, the things another. For the sounds are one
thing in Greek, another in Latin; but the things themselves are
neither Greek, nor Latin, nor any other language. I have seen the
lines of the craftsmen, even the finest, like a spider’s web; but
these are of another kind, they are not the images of those which
the eye of my flesh showed me; he knoweth them who, without any idea
whatsoever of a body, perceives them within himself. I have also
observed the numbers of the things with which we number all the
senses of the body; but those by which we number are of another
kind, nor are they the images of these, and therefore they certainly
are. Let him who sees not these things mock me for saying them; and
I will pity him, whilst he mocks me.

CHAP. XIII.–MEMORY RETAINS ALL THINGS.

20. All these ‘things I retain in my memory, and how I learnt
them I retain. I retain also many. things which I have heard most
falsely objected against them, which though they be false, yet is it
not false that I have remembered them; and I remember, too, that I
have distinguished between those truths and these falsehoods uttered
against them; and I now see that it is one thing to distinguish
these things, another to remember that I often distinguished I them,
when I often reflected upon them. I both remember, then, that I have
often understood these things, and what I now distinguish and
comprehend I store away in my memory, that hereafter I may remember
that I understood it now. Therefore also I remember that I have
remembered; so that if afterwards I shall call to mind that I have
been able to remember these things, it will be through the power of
memory that I shall call it to mind.

CHAP. XIV.—CONCERNING THE MANNER IN WHICH JOY AND SADNESS MAY
BE BROUGHT BACK TO THE MIND AND MEMORY.

21. This same memory contains also the affections of my mind; not
in the manner in which the mind itself contains them when it suffers
them, but very differently according to a power peculiar to memory.
For without being joyous, I remember myself to have had joy; and
with out being sad, I call to mind my past sadness; and that of which I
was once afraid, I remember without fear; and without desire recall
a former desire. Again, on the contrary, I at times remember when
joyous my past sadness, and when sad my joy. Which is not to be
wondered at as regards the body; for the mind is one thing, the body
another. If I, therefore, when happy, recall some past bodily pain,
it is not so strange a thing. But now, as this very memory itself is
mind (for when we give orders to have a thing kept in memory, we
say, “See that you bear this in mind;” and when we forget a thing,
we say, “It did not enter my mind,” and, “It slipped from my mind,”
thus calling the memory itself mind), as this is so, how comes it to
pass that when being joyful I remember my past sorrow, the mind has
joy, the memory sorrow, –the mind, from the joy than is in it, is
joyful,yet the memory, from the sadness that is in it, is not sad?
Does not the memory perchance belong unto the mind? Who will say so?
The memory doubtless is, so to say, the belly of the mind, and joy
and sadness like sweet and bitter food, which, when entrusted to the
memory, are, as it were, passed into the belly, where they can be
reposited, but cannot taste. It is ridiculous to imagine these to be
alike; and yet they are not utterly unlike.

22. But behold, out of my memory I educe it, when I affirm that
there be four perturbations of the mind,–desire, joy, fear, sorrow;
and whatsoever I shall be able to dispute on these, by dividing each into its
peculiar species, and by defining it, there I find what I may say,
and thence I educe it; yet am I not disturbed by any of these
perturbations when by remembering them I call them to mind; and
before I! recollected and reviewed them, they were there; wherefore
by remembrance could they be brought thence. Perchance, then, even
as meat is in ruminating brought up out of the belly, so by calling
to mind are these educed from the memory. Why, then, does not the
disputant, thus recollecting, perceive in the mouth of his
meditation the sweetness of joy or the bitterness of sorrow? Is the
comparison unlike in this because not like in all points? For who
would willingly discourse on these subjects, if, as often as we name
sorrow or fear, we should be compelled to be sorrowful or fearful?

And yet we could never speak of them, did we not find in’ our
memory not merely the sounds of the names, according to the images
imprinted on it by the senses of the body, but the notions of the
things themselves, which we never received by any door of the flesh,
but which the mind itself, recognising by the experience of its own
passions, entrusted to the memory, or else which the memory itself
retained without their being entrusted to it.

CHAP. XV.–IN MEMORY THERE ARE ALSO IMAGES OF THINGS WHICH ARE
ABSENT.

23. But whether by images or no, who can well affirm? For I name
a stone, I name the sun, and the things themselves are not present
to my senses, but their images are near to my memory. I name some
pain of the body, yet it is not present when there is no pain; yet
if its image were not in my memory, I should be Ignorant what to say
concerning it, nor in arguing be able to distinguish it from
pleasure. I name bodily health when sound in body; the thing itself
is indeed present with me, but unless its image also were in my
memory, I could by no means call to mind what the sound of this name
signified. Nor would sick people know, when health was named, what
was said, unless the same image were retained by the power of
memory, although the thing itself were absent from the body. I name
numbers whereby we enumerate; and not their images, but they
themselves are in my memory. I name the image of the sun, and this,
too, is in my memory. For I do not recall the image of that image,
but itself, for the image itself is present when I remember it. I
name memory, and I know what I name. But where do I know it, except
in the memory itself? Is it also present to itself by its image, and
not by itself?

CHAP. XVI.–THE PRIVATION OF MEMORY IS FORGETFULNESS.

24. When I name forgetfulness, and know, too, what I name, whence
should I know it if I did not remember it? I do not say the sound of
the name, but the thing which it signifies which, had I forgotten,
I could not know what that sound signified. When, therefore, I
remember memory, then is memory present with itself, through itself.
But when I remember forgetfulness, there are present both memory and
forgetfulness,–memory, whereby I remember, forgetfulness, which I
remember. But what is forgetfulness but the privation of memory?
How, then, is that present for me to remember, since, when it is so,
I cannot remember? But if what we remember we retain in memory, yet,
unless we remembered forgetfulness, we could never at the hearing of
the name know the thing meant by it, then is forgetfulness retained
by memory. Present, therefore, it is, lest we should forget it; and
being so, we do forget. Is it to be inferred from this that
forgetfulness, when we remember it, is not present to the memory
through itself, but through its image; because, were forgetfulness
present through itself, it would not lead us to remember, but to
forget? Who will now investigate this? Who shall understand how it
is?

25. Truly, O Lord, I labour therein, and labour in myself. I am
become a troublesome soil that requires overmuch labour. For we are
not now searching out the tracts of heaven, or measuring the
distances of the stars, or inquiring about the weight of the earth.
It is I my-self–I, the mind–who remember. It is not much to be
wondered at, if what I myself am not be far from me. But what is
nearer to me than myself? And, behold, I am not able to comprehend
the force of my own memory, though I cannot name myself without it.

For what shall I say when it is plain to me that I remember
forgetfulness?

Shall I affirm that which I remember is not in my memory? Or
shall I say that forgetfulness is in my memory with the view of my
not forgetting? Both of these are most absurd. What third view is
there? How can I assert that the image of forgetfulness is retained
by my memory, and not forgetfulness itself, when I remember it? And
how can I assert this, seeing that when the image of anything is
imprinted on the memory, the thing itself must of necessity be
present first by which that image may be imprinted? For thus do I
remember Carthage; thus, all the places to which I have been; thus,
the faces of men whom I have seen, and things reported by the other
senses; thus, the health or sickness of the body. For when these
objects were present, my memory received images from them, which,
when they were present, I might gaze on and reconsider in my mind,
as I remembered them when they were absent. If, therefore,
forgetfulness is retained in the memory through its image, and not
through itself, then itself was once present, that its image might
be taken.

But when it was present, how did it write its image on the
memory, seeing that forgetfulness by its presence blots out even
what it finds already noted? And yet, in whatever way, though it be
incomprehensible and inexplicable, yet most certain I am that I
remember also forgetfulness itself, whereby what we do remember is
blotted out.

CHAP. XVII.–GOD CANNOT BE ATTAINED UNTO BY THE POWER OF MEMORY,
WHICH BEASTS AND BIRDS POSSESS.

26. Great is the power of memory; very wonderful is it, O my God,
a profound and infinite manifoldness; and this thing is the mind,
and this I myself am. What then am I, O my God? Of what nature am I?
A life various and manifold, and exceeding vast. Behold, in the
numberless fields, and caves, and caverns of my memory, full without
number of numberless kinds of things, either through images, as all
bodies are; or by the presence of the things themselves, as are the
arts; or by some notion or observation, as the affections of the
mind are, which, even though the mind doth not suffer, the memory
retains, while whatsoever is in the memory is also in the mind:
through all these do I run to and fro, and fly; I penetrate on this
side and that, as far as I am able, and nowhere is there an end. So
great is the power of memory, so great the power of life in man,
whose life is mortal. What then shall I do, O Thou my true life, my
God? I will pass even beyond this power of mine which is called
memory–I will pass beyond it, that I may proceed to Thee, O Thou
sweet Light. What sayest Thou to me? Behold, I am soaring by my mind
towards Thee who remainest above me. I will also pass beyond this
power of mine which is called memory, wishful to reach Thee whence
Thou canst be reached, and to cleave unto Thee whence it is possible
to cleave unto Thee. For even beasts and birds possess memory, else
could they never find their lairs and nests again, nor many other
things to which they are used; neither indeed could they become used
to anything, but by their memory. I will pass, then, beyond memory
also, that I may reach Him who has separated me from the four-footed
beasts and the fowls of the air, making me wiser than they. I will
pass beyond memory also, but where shall I find Thee, O Thou truly
good and assured sweetness? But where shall I find Thee? If I find
Thee without memory, then am I un-‘ mindful of Thee. And how now
shall I find Thee, if I do not remember Thee?

CHAP. XVIII–A THING WHEN LOST COULD NOT BE FOUND UNLESS IT WERE
RETAINED IN THE MEMORY.

27. For the woman who lost her drachma, and searched for it with
a lamp. unless she had remembered it, would never have found it.
For when it was found, whence could she know whether it were the
same, had she not remembered it? I remember to have lost and found
many things; and this I know thereby, that when I was searching for
any of them, and was asked, “Is this it?” “Is that it?” I answered
“No,” until such time as that which I sought were offered to me.
Which had I not remembered, –whatever it were,–though it were
offered me, yet would I not find it, because I could not recognise
it. And thus it is always, when we search for and find anything that
is lost. Notwithstanding, if anything be by accident lost from the
sight, not from the memory,–as any visible body,–the image of it
is retained within, and is searched for until it be restored to
sight; and when it is found, it is recognised by
the image which is within. Nor do we say that we have found what we
had lost unless we recognise it; nor can we recognise it unless we
remember it. But this, though lost to the sight,, was retained in
the memory.

CHAP. XIX.–WHAT IT IS TO REMEMBER.

28. But how is it when the memory itself loses anything, as it
happens when we forget anything and try to recall it? Where finally
do we search, but in the memory itself? And there, if perchance one
thing be offered for another, we refuse it, until we meet with what
we seek; and when we do, we exclaim, “This is it!” which we should
not do unless we knew it again, nor should we recognise it unless we
remembered it. Assuredly, therefore, we had forgotten it. Or, had
not the whole of it slipped our memory, but by the part by which we
had hold was the other part sought for; since the memory perceived
that it did not revolve together as much as it was accustomed to do,
and halting, as if from the mutilation of its old habit, demanded
the restoration of that which was wanting. For example, if we see or
think of some man known to us, and, having forgotten his name,
endeavour to recover it, whatsoever other thing presents itself is
not connected with it; because it was not used to be thought of in
connection with him, and is consequently rejected, until that is
present whereon the knowledge reposes fittingly as its accustomed
object. And whence, save from the memory itself, does the present
itself? For even when we recognise it as put in mind of it by
another, it is thence it comes. For we do not believe it as
something new, but, as we recall it, admit what was said to be
correct. But if it were entirely blotted out of the mind, we should
not, even when put in mind of it, recollect it. For we have not as
yet entirely forgotten what we remember that we have forgotten. A
lost notion, then, which we have entirely forgotten, we cannot even
search for.

CHAP. XX. –WE SHOULD NOT SEEK FOR GOD AND THE HAPPY LIFE UNLESS
WE HAD KNOWN IT.

29. How, then, do I seek Thee, O Lord? For when I seek Thee, my
God, I seek a happy life. I will seek Thee, that my soul may live.’
For my body liveth by my soul, and my soul liveth by Thee. How,
then, do I seek a happy life, seeing that it is not mine till I can
say, “It is enough!” in that place where I ought to say it? How do I
seek it? Is it by remembrance, as though I had forgotten it, knowing
too that I had forgotten it? or, longing to learn it as a thing
unknown, which either I had never known, or had so forgotten it as
not even to remember that I had forgotten it? Is not a happy life
the thing that all desire, and is there any one who altogether
desires it not? But where did they acquire the knowledge of it, that
they so desire it? Where have they seen it, that they so love it?
Truly we have it, but how I know not. Yea, there is another way in
which, when any one hath it, he is happy; and some there be that are
happy in hope. These have it in an inferior kind to those that are
happy in fact; and yet are they better off than they who are happy
neither in fact nor in hope. And even these, had they it not in some
way, would not so much desire to be happy, which that they do desire
is most certain. How they come to know it, I cannot tell, but they
have it by some kind of knowledge unknown to me, who am in much
doubt as to whether it be in the memory; for if it be there, then
have we been happy once; whether all individually, or as in that man
who first sinned, in whom also we all died? and from whom we are all
born with misery, I do not now ask; but I ask whether the happy life
be in the memory? For did we not know it, we should not love it. We
hear the name, and we all acknowledge that we desire the thing; for
we are not delighted with the sound only. For when a Greek hears it
spoken in Latin, he does not feel delighted, for he knows not what
is spoken; but we are delighted. as he too would be if he heard it
in Greek; because the thing itself is neither Greek nor Latin, which
Greeks and Latins, and men of all other tongues, long so earnestly
to obtain. It is then known unto all, and could they with one voice
be asked whether they wished to be happy, without doubt they would
all answer that they would. And this could not be unless the thing
itself, of which it is the name, were retained in their memory.

CHAP. XXI.–HOW A HAPPY LIFE MAY BE RETAINED IN THE MEMORY.

30. But is it so as one who has seen Carthage remembers it? No.
For a happy life is not visible to the eye, because it is not a
body. Is it, then, as we remember numbers? No. For. he that hath
these in his knowledge strives not to attain further; but a happy
life we have in our knowledge, and, therefore, do we love it, while
yet we wish further to attain it that we may be happy. Is it, then,
as we remember eloquence? No. For although some, when they hear this
name, call the thing to mind, who, indeed, are not yet eloquent, and
many who wish to be so, whence it appears to be in, their knowledge; yet
have these by their bodily perceptions noticed that others are
eloquent, and been delighted with it, and long to be so, –although
they would not be delighted save for some interior knowledge, nor
desire to be so unless they were delighted,–but a happy life we can
by no bodily perception make experience of in others. Is it, then,
as we remember joy? It may be so; for my joy I remember, even when
sad, like as I do a happy life when I am miserable. Nor did I ever
with perception of the body either see, hear, smell, taste, or touch
my joy; but I experienced it in my mind when I rejoiced; and the
knowledge of it clung to my memory, so that I can call it to mind
sometimes with disdain and at others with desire, according to the
difference of the things wherein I now remember that I rejoiced. For
even from unclean things have I been bathed with a certain joy,
which now calling to mind, I detest and execrate; at other times,
from good and honest things, which, with longing, I call to mind,
though perchance they be not nigh at hand, and then with sadness do
I call to mind a former joy.

31. Where and when, then, did I experience my happy life, that I
should call it to mind, and love and long for it? Nor is it I alone
or e a few others who wish to be happy, but truly l all; which,
unless by certain knowledge we knew, we should not wish with so
certain a will. But how is this, that if two men be asked whether
they would wish to serve as soldiers one, it may be, would reply
that he would, the other that he would not; but if they were asked
whether they would wish to be happy, both of them would
unhesitatingly say that they would; and this one would wish to
serve, and the other not, from no other motive but to be happy? Is
it, perchance, that as one joys in this, and another in that, so do
all men agree in their wish for happiness, as they would agree, were
they asked, in wishing to have joy,–and this joy they call a happy
life? Although, then, one pursues joy in this way, and another in
that, all have one goal, which they strive to attain, namely, to
have joy. This life, being a thing which no one can say he has not
experienced, it is on that account found in the memory, and
recognised whenever the name of a happy life is heard.

CHAP. XXII.–A HAPPY LIFE IS TO REJOICE IN GOD, AND FOR GOD.

32. Let it be far, O Lord,Met it be far from the heart of Thy
servant who confesseth unto Thee; let it be far from me to think
myself happy, be the joy what it may. For there is a joy which is
not granted to the “wicked, but to those who worship Thee
thankfully, whose joy Thou Thyself art. And the happy life is
this,–to rejoice unto Thee, in Thee, and for Thee; this it is, and
there is no other? But those who think there is another follow after
another joy, and that not the true one. Their will, however, is not
turned away from some shadow of joy.

CHAP. XXIII.–ALL WISH TO REJOICE IN THE TRUTH.

33. It is not, then, certain that all men wish to be happy, since
those who wish not to rejoice in Thee, which is the only happy life,
do not verily desire the happy life. Or do all desire this, but
because “the flesh lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit
against the flesh,” so that they “cannot do the things that they
would,” they fall upon that which they are able to do, and with
that are content’; because that which they are not able to do, they
do not so will as to make them able. For I ask of every man,
whether he would rather rejoice in truth or in falsehood. They will
no more hesitate to say, “in truth,” than to say, “that they wish to
be happy.” For a happy life is joy in the truth. For this is joy in
Thee, who art “the truth, O God, “my light,” * “the health of my
countenance, and my God.’. All wish for this happy life; this life
do all wish for, which is the only happy one; joy in the truth do
all wish for? I have had experience of many who wished to deceive,
but not one who wished to be deceived. Where, then, did they know
this happy life, save where they knew also the truth? For they love
it, too, Since they would not be deceived. And when they love a
happy life, which is naught else but joy in the truth, assuredly
they love also the truth; which yet they would not love were there
not some knowledge of it in the memory. Wherefore, then, do they not
rejoice in it? Why are they not happy? Because they are more
entirely occupied with other things which rather make them
miserable, than that which would make them happy, which they
remember so little of. For there is yet a little light in men; let
them walk –let them “walk,” that the “darkness” seize them not?

34. Why, then, doth truth beget hatred/ and that man of thine,’
preaching the truth become an enemy unto them, whereas a happy life
is loved, which is naught else but joy in the truth; unless that
truth is loved in such a sort as that those who love aught else wish
that to be the truth which they love, and, as they are willing to be
deceived, are unwilling to be convinced that they are so? Therefore
do they hate the truth for the sake of that thing which they love
instead of the truth. They love truth when she shines on them, and
hate her when she rebukes them. For, because they are not willing to
be deceived, and wish to deceive, they love her when she reveals
herself, : and hate her when she reveals them. On that account shall
she so requite them, that those who were unwilling to be discovered
by her she both discovers against their will, and discovers not
herself unto them. Thus, thus, truly thus doth the human mind, so
blind and sick, so base and unseemly, desire to lie concealed, but
wishes not that anything should be concealed from it. But the
opposite is rendered unto it,–that itself is not concealed from the
truth, but the truth is concealed from it. Yet, even while thus
wretched, it prefers to rejoice in truth rather than in falsehood.
Happy then will it be, when, no trouble intervening, it shall
rejoice in that only truth by whom all things else are true.

CHAP. XXIV.–HE WHO FINDS TRUTH, FINDS GOD.

35. Behold how I have enlarged in my memory seeking Thee, O Lord;
and out of it have I not found Thee. Nor have I found aught
concerning Thee, but what I have retained in memory from the time I
learned Thee. For from the time I learned Thee have I never
forgotten Thee. For where I found truth, there found I my God, who
is the Truth itself, which from the time I learned it have I not
forgotten. And thus since the time I learned Thee, Thou] abidest in
my memory; and there do I find Thee whensoever I call Thee to
remembrance, and delight in Thee. These are my holy delights, which
Thou hast bestowed upon me in Thy mercy, having respect unto my
poverty.

CHAP. XXV.–HE IS GLAD THAT GOD DWELLS IN  HIS MEMORY.

36. But where in my memory abidest Thou, O Lord, where dost Thou
there abide? What manner of chamber hast Thou there formed far
Thyself? What sort of sanctuary hast Thou erected for Thyself? Thou
hast granted this honour to my memory, to take up Thy abode in it;
but in what quarter of it Thou abidest, I am considering. For in
calling Thee to mind. I soared beyond those parts of it which the
beasts also possess, since I found Thee not there ‘ amongst the
images of corporeal things; and I arrived at those parts where I had
committed the affections of my mind, nor there did I find Thee. And
I entered into the very seat of my mind, which it has in my memory,
since the mind remembers itself also–nor wert Thou there. For as
Thou art not a bodily image, nor the affection of a living creature,
as when we rejoice, condole, desire, fear, remember, forget, or
aught of the kind; so neither art Thou the mind itself, because Thou
art the Lord God of the mind; and all these things are changed, but
Thou remainest unchangeable over all, yet vouchsafest to dwell in my
memory, from the time I learned Thee. But why do I now seek in what
part of it Thou dwellest, as if truly there were places in it? Thou
dost dwell in it assuredly, since I have remembered Thee from the
time I learned Thee, and I find Thee in it when I call Thee to mind.

CHAP. XXVI.—GOD EVERYWHERE ANSWERS THOSE WHO TAKE’ COUNSEL OF
HIM.

37. Where, then, did I find Thee, so as to be able to learn Thee?
For Thou weft not in my memory before I learned Thee. Where, then,
did I find Thee, so as to be able to learn Thee, but in Thee above
me? Place there is none; we go both “backward” and “forward, and
there is no place. Everywhere, O Truth, dost Thou direct all who
consult Thee, and dost at once answer all, though they con-‘ suit
Thee on divers things. Clearly dost Thou answer, though all do not
with clearness hear. All consult Thee upon whatever they wish,
though they hear not always that which they wish. He is Thy best
servant who does not so much look to hear that from Thee which he
himself wisheth, as to wish that which he heareth from Thee.

CHAP. XXVII.–HE GRIEVES THAT HE WAS SO LONG WITHOUT GOD.

TOO late did I love Thee, O Fairness, so ancient, and yet so
new! Too late did I love Thee For behold, Thou wert within, and I
without, and there did I seek Thee; I, unlovely, rushed heedlessly
among the things of beauty Thou madest. Thou were with me, but I
was not with Thee. Those things kept me far from Thee, which, unless
they were in Thee, were not. Thou calledst, and criedst aloud, and
forcedst open my deafness. Thou didst gleam and shine, and chase
away my blindness. Thou didst exhale odours, and I drew in my breath
and do pant after Thee. I tasted, and do hunger and thirst. Thou
didst touch me, and I burned for Thy peace.

CHAP. XXVIII.—ON THE MISERY OF HUMAN LIFE.

39. When I shall cleave unto Thee with all my being, then shall I
in nothing have pain and labour; and my life shall be a real life,
being wholly full of Thee. But now since he whom Thou fillest is the
one Thou liftest up, I am a burden to myself, as not being full of
Thee. Joys of sorrow contend with sorrows of joy; and on which side
the victory may be I know not. Woe is me! Lord, have pity on me. My
evil sorrows contend with my good joys; and on which side the
victory may be I know not. Woe is me! Lord, have pity on me. Woe is
me! Lo, I hide not my wounds; Thou art the Physician, I the sick;
Thou merciful, I miserable. Is not the life of man upon earth a
temptation?’ Who is he that wishes for vexations and difficulties?
Thou commandest them to be endured, not to be loved. For no man
loves what he endures, though he may love to endure. For
notwithstanding he rejoices to endure, he would rather there were
naught for him to endure.’ In adversity, I desire prosperity; in
prosperity, I fear adversity. What middle place, then, is there
between these, where human life is not a temptation? Woe unto the
prosperity of this world, once and again, from fear of misfortune
and a corruption of joy! Woe unto the adversities of this world,
once and again, and for the third time, from the desire of
prosperity; and because adversity itself is a hard thing, and makes
shipwreck of endurance! Is not the life of man upon earth a
temptation, and that without intermission?

CHAP. XXIX.–ALL HOPE IS IN THE MERCY OF GOD

40. And my whole hope is only in Thy exceeding great mercy. Give
what Thou commandest, and command what Thou wilt. Thou imposest
continency upon us,

“nevertheless, I when I perceived,” saith one, “that I could [not
otherwise obtain her, except God gave her me; . . .  that was a
point of wisdom also to.
know whose gift she was.. For by continency are we bound up and
brought into one, whence we were scattered abroad into many. For he
loves Thee too little who loves aught with Thee, which he loves not
for Thee,’ 0 love, who ever burnest, and art never quenched! O
charity, my God, kindle me I Thou commandest continency; give what
Thou commandest, and command what Thou wilt.

CHAP. XXX.–OF THE PERVERSE IMAGES OF DREAMS, WHICH HE WISHES TO
HAVE TAKEN AWAY.

41. Verily, Thou commandest that I should be continent from the
“lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of
life.” T Thou hast commanded me to abstain from concubinage; and as
to marriage itself, Thou hast advised something better than Thou
hast allowed. And because Thou didst give it, it was done; and that
before I became a dispenser l of Thy sacrament. But there still
exist in my memory–of which I have spoken much–the images of
such things as my habits had fixed,there; and these rush into my
thoughts, though strengthless, when I am awake; but in sleep they do
so not only so as to give pleasure, but even to obtain consent, and
what very nearly resembles reality? Yea, to such an extent prevails
the illusion of the image, ‘both in my soul and in my flesh, that
the false persuade me,
when sleeping, unto that which the true are not able when waking. Am
I not myself at that time, 0 Lord my God? And them is yet so much
difference between myself and myself, in that instant wherein I pass
back from waking to sleeping, or return from sleeping to waking!
Where, then, is the reason which when waking resists such
suggestions? And if the things themselves be forced on it, I remain
unmoved. Is it shut up with the eyes? Or is it put to sleep with the
bodily senses? But whence, then, comes it to pass, that even in
slumber we often resist, and, bearing our purpose in mind, and
continuing most chastely in it, yield no assent to such allurements?
And there is yet so much difference that, when it happeneth
otherwise, upon awaking we return to peace of conscience; and by
this same diversity do we discover that it was not we that did it,
while we still feel sorry that in some way it was done in us.

42. Is not Thy hand able, O Almighty God, to heal all the
diseases of my soul,x and by Thy more abundant grace to quench even
the lascivious motions of my sleep? Thou wilt increase in me, O
Lord, Thy gifts more and more, that my soul may follow me to Thee,
disengaged from the bird-lime of concupiscence; that it ‘may not be
in rebellion against itself, and even in dreams not simply not,
through sensual images, commit those deformities of corruption, even
to the pollution of the flesh, but that it may not even consent unto
them. For it is no great thing for the Almighty, who is “able to do
. . .  above all that we ask or think, to bring it about that no
such influence–not even so slight a one as a sign might
restrain–should afford gratification to the chaste affection even
of one sleeping; and that not only in this life, but at my present
age. But what I still am in this species of my ill, have I confessed
unto my good Lord; rejoicing with tremblings in that which Thou hast
given me, and bewailing myself for that wherein I am still
imperfect; trusting that Thou wilt perfect Thy mercies in me, even
to the fulness of peace, which both that which is within and that
which is withou. shall have with Thee, when death is swallowed up
in victory?

CHAP. XXXI.–ABOUT TO SPEAK OF THE TEMPTATIONS OF THE LUST OF THE
FLESH, HE FIRST COMPLAINS OF THE LUST OF EATING AND  DRINKING.

43. There is another evil of the day that I would were
“sufficient” unto it.’ For by eating and drinking we repair the
daily decays of the body, until Thou destroyest both food and
stomach, when Thou shall destroy my want with an amazing satiety,
and shalt clothe this corruptible with an eternal incorruption. But
now is necessity sweet unto me, and against this sweetness do I
fight, lest I be enthralled; and I carry on a daily war by fasting.
oftentimes “bringing my body into subjection,”. and my pains are
expelled by pleasure. For hunger and thirst are in some sort pains;
they consume and destroy like unto a fever, unless the medicine of
nourishment relieve us. The which, since it is at hand through the
comfort we receive of Thy gifts, with which land and water and air
serve our infirmity, our calamity is called pleasure.

44. This much hast Thou taught me, that I should bring myself to
take food as medicine. But during the time that I am passing from
the uneasiness of want to the calmness of satiety, even in the very
passage doth that snare of concupiscence lie in wait for me. For the
passage itself is pleasure, nor is there any other way of passing
thither, whither necessity compels us to pass. And whereas health is
the reason of eating and drinking, there joineth itself as an
hand-maid a perilous delight, which mostly tries to precede it, in
order that I may do for her sake what I say I do, or desire to do,
for health’s sake. Nor have both the same limit; for what is
sufficient for health is too little for pleasure. And oftentimes it
is doubtful whether it be the necessary care of the body which still
asks nourishment, or whether a sensual snare of desire offers its
ministry. In this uncertainty does my unhappy soul rejoice, and
therein prepares an excuse as a defence, glad that it doth not
appear what may be Sufficient for the moderation of health, that so
under the pretence of health it may conceal the business of
pleasure. These temptations do I daily endeavour to resist, and I
summon Thy right hand. to my help, and refer my excitements to Thee,
because as yet I have no resolve in this matter.

45. I hear the voice of my God commanding, let not “your hearts
be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness.. “Drunkenness,” it
is far from me; Thou wilt have mercy, that it approach not near unto
me. But “surfeiting”
sometimes creepeth upon Thy servant; Thou wilt have mercy, that it
may be far from me. For no man can be continent unless Thou give
it. Many things which we pray for dost
Thou give us; and what good soever we receive before we prayed
for it, do we receive from Thee, and that we might afterwards know
this did we receive it from Thee. Drunkard was I never, but I have
known drunkards to be made sober men by Thee. Thy doing, then, was
it, that they who never were such might not be so, as from Thee it
was that they who have been so heretofore might not remain so
always; and from Thee, too was it, that both might know from whom it
was. I heard another voice of Thine, “Go not after thy lusts, but
refrain thyself from thine appetites. And by Thy favour have I
heard this saying likewise, which I have much delighted in, “Neither
if we eat, are we the better; neither if we eat not, are we the
worse;”. which is to say, that neither shall the one make me to
abound, nor the other to be wretched. I heard also another voice,
“For I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be
content, I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound . .
. . I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.. Lo!
a soldier of the celestial camp -not dust as we are. But remember, O
Lord, “that we are dust, and that of dust Thou hast created man.
and he “was lost, and is found.’. Nor could he do this of his own
power, seeing that he whom I so loved, saying these things through
the afflatus of Thy inspiration, was of that same dust. “I can,”
saith he, “do all things through Him which strengtheneth me..
Strengthen me, that I may be able. Give what Thou commandest, and
command what Thou wilt.s He confesses to have received, and when he
glorieth, he glorieth in the Lord. Another have I heard entreating
that he might receive,–” Take from me,” saith he, “the greediness
of the belly; by which it appeareth, O my holy God, that Thou
givest when what Thou commandest to be done is done.

46. Thou hast taught me, good Father, that “unto the pure all
things are pure;”. but “it is evil for that man who eateth with
offence; “. “and that every creature of Thine is good, and nothing
to be refused, if it be received with, thanksgiving;”. and that
“meat commendeth us not to God;”. and that no man should “judge us
in meat or in drink;”. and that he that eateth, let him not despise
him that eateth not; and let not him that eateth not judge him that
eateth.

These things have I learned, thanks and praise be unto Thee, O my
God and Master, who dost knock at my ears and enlighten my heart;
deliver me out of all temptation. It is not the uncleanness of meat
that I fear, but the uncleanness of lusting. I know that permission
was granted unto Noah to eat every kind of flesh . that was good
for food; that Elias was fed with flesh; that John, endued with
a wonderful abstinence, was not polluted by the living creatures
(that is, the locusts20) which he fed on. I know, too, that Esau was
deceived by a longing for lentiles, and that David took blame to
himself for desiring water, and that our King was tempted not by
flesh but bread.. And the people in the wilderness, therefore, also
deserved reproof, not because they desired flesh, but because, in
their desire for food, they murmured against the Lord.

47. Placed, then, in the midst of these temptations, I strive
daily against longing for food and drink. For it is not of such a
nature as that I am able to resolve to cut it off once for all, and
not touch it afterwards, as I was able to do with concubinage. The
bridle of the throat, therefore, is to be held in the mean of
slackness and tightness.. And who, O Lord, is he who is not in some
degree carried away beyond the bounds of necessity? Whoever he is,
he is great; let him magnify Thy name. But I am not such a one, “for
I am a sinful man.”  Yet do I also magnify Thy name; and He who
hath “overcome the world”. maketh intercession to Thee for my
sins, accounting me among the “feeble members” of His body,
because Thine eyes saw that of him which was imperfect; and in Thy
book all shall be written?

CHAP. XXXII.—OF THE CHARMS OF PERFUMES WHICH ARE MORE EASILY
OVERCOME.

48. With the attractions of odours I am not much troubled. When
absent I do not seek them; when present I do not refuse them; and am
prepared ever to be without them. At any rate thus I appear to
myself; perchance I am deceived. For that also is a lamentable
darkness wherein my capacity that is in me is concealed, so that my
mind, making inquiry into herself concerning her own powers,
ventures not readily to credit herself; because that which is
already in it is, for the most part, concealed, unless experience
reveal it. And no man ought to feel secur. in this life, the whole
of which is called a temptation. that he, who could be made better
from worse, may not also from better be made worse. Our sole hope,
our sole confidence, our sole assured promise, is Thy mercy.

CHAP. XXXIII.–HE OVERCAME THE PLEASURES OF THE EAR, ALTHOUGH IN
THE CHURCH HE FREQUENTLY DELIGHTED IN THE SONG, NOT IN THE THING
SUNG.

49. The delights of the ear had more powerfully inveigled and
conquered me, but Thou didst unbind and liberate me. Now, in those
airs which Thy words breathe soul into, when sung with a sweet and
trained voice, do I somewhat repose; yet not so as to cling to them,
but so as to free myself when I wish. But with the words which are
their life do they, that they may gain admission into me, strive
after a place of some honour in my heart; and I can hardly assign
them a fitting one. Sometimes I appear to myself to give them more
respect than, is fitting, as I perceive that our minds are more
devoutly and earnestly elevated into a flame of piety by the holy
words themselves when they are thus sung, than when they are not;
and that all affections of our spirit, by their own diversity, have
their appropriate measures in the voice and singing, wherewith by I
know not what secret relationship they are stimulated. But the
gratification of my flesh, to which the mind ought never to be given
over to be enervated, often beguiles me, while the sense does not so
attend on reason as to follow her patiently; but having gained
admission merely for her sake, it strives even to run on before her,
and be her leader. Thus in these things do I sin unknowing, but
afterwards do I know it.

50. Sometimes, again, avoiding very earnestly this same
deception, I err out of too great preciseness; and sometimes so much
as to desire that every air of the pleasant songs to which David’s
Psalter is often used, be banished both from my ears and those of
the Church itself; and that way seemed unto me safer which I
remembered to have been often related to me of Athanasius, Bishop of
Alexandria, who obliged the reader of the psalm to give utterance to
it with so slight an inflection of voice, that it was more like
speaking than singing. Notwithstanding, when I call to mind the
tears I shed at the songs of Thy Church, at the outset of my
recovered faith, and how even now I am moved not by the singing but
by what is sung, when they are sung with a clear and skilfully
modulated voice, I then acknowledge the great utility of this
custom. Thus vacillate I between dangerous pleasure and tried
soundness; being inclined rather (though I pronounce no irrevocable
opinion upon the subject)
to approve of the use of singing in the church, that so by the
delights of the ear the weaker minds may be stimulated to a
devotional frame. Yet when it happens to me to be more moved by the
singing than by what is sung, I confess myself to have sinned
criminally, and then I would rather not have heard the singing. See
now the condition I am in! Weep with me, and weep for me, 0you who
so control your inward feelings as that good results ensue. As for
you who do not thus act, these things concern you not. But Thou, O
Lord my God, give ear, behold and see, and have mercy upon me, and
heal me,a–Thou, in whose sight I am become a puzzle to myself; and
“this is my infirmity.”

CHAP. XXXIV.—OF THE VERY DANGEROUS ALLUREMENTS OF THE EYES; ON
ACCOUNT OF BEAUTY OF FORM, GOD, THE CREATOR, IS TO BE PRAISED.

51. There remain the delights of these eyes of my flesh,
concerning which to make my confessions in the hearing of the ears
of Thy temple, those fraternal and devout ears; and so to conclude
the temptations of “the lust of the flesh” which still assail me,
groaning and desiring to be clothed upon with my house from heaven.’
The eyes delight in fair and varied forms, and bright and pleasing
colours. Suffer not these to take possession of my soul; let God rather possess it,
He who made these things “very good. indeed; yet is He my good, not
these. And these move me while awake, during the day; nor is rest
from them granted me, as there is from the voices of melody,
sometimes, in silence, from them all. For that queen of colours, the
light, flooding all that we look upon, wherever I be during the day,
gliding past me in manifold forms, doth soothe me when busied about
other things, and not noticing it. And so strongly doth it insinuate
itself, that if it be suddenly withdrawn it is looked for longingly,
and if long absent doth sadden the mind.

52. O Thou Light, which Tobias saw,’ when, his eyes being closed,
he taught his son the way of life; himself going before with the
feet of charity, never going astray. Or that which Isaac saw, when
his fleshly “eyes were dim, so that he could not see” by reason of
old age; it was permitted him, not knowingly to bless his sons, but
in blessing them to know them. Or that which Jacob saw, when he too,
blind through-great age, with an enlightened heart, in the persons
of his own sons, threw light upon the races of the future people,
presignified in them; and laid his hands, mystically crossed, upon
his grandchildren by Joseph, not as their father, looking outwardly,
corrected them, but as he himself distinguished them. This is the
light, the only one, and all those who see and love it are one. But
that corporeal light of which I was speaking seasoneth the life of
the world for her blind lovers, with a tempting and fatal sweetness.
But they who know how to praise Thee for it, “O God, the world’s
great Architect,”. take it up in Thy hymn, and are not taken up
with it. in their sleep. Such desire I to be. I resist seductions
of the eyes, lest my feet with which I advance on Thy way be
entangled; and I raise my invisible eyes to. Thee, that Thou wouldst
be pleased to “pluck my feet out of the net.. Thou dost continually
pluck them out, for they are ensnared., Thou never ceasest to pluck
them out, but I, constantly remain fast in the snares set all around
me; because Thou “that keepest Israel shall neither slumber nor
sleep.”

53. What numberless things, made by divers arts and
manufactures, both in our apparel,
shoes, vessels, and every kind of work, in pictures, too, and sundry
images, and these going far beyond necessary and moderate use and
holy signification, have men added for the enthralment of the eyes;
following outwardly what they make, forsaking inwardly Him by whom
they were made, yea, and destroying that which they themselves were
made! But I, O my God and my Joy, do hence also sing a hymn unto
Thee, and offer a sacrifice of praise unto my Sanctifier. because
those beautiful patterns, which through the medium of men’s souls
are conveyed into their artistic hands. emanate from that Beauty
which is above our souls, which my soul sigheth after day and night.
But as for the makers and followers of those outward beauties, they
from thence derive the way of approving them, but not of using
them.tx And though they see Him not, yet is He there, that they
might not go astray, but keep their strength for Thee, and not
dissipate it upon delicious lassitudes. And I, though I both say and
perceive this, impede my course with such beauties, but Thou dost
rescue me, O Lord, Thou dost rescue me; “for Thy loving-kindness is
before mine eyes.”  For I am taken miserably, and Thou rescuest me
mercifully; sometimes not perceiving it, in that I had come upon
them hesitatingly; at other times with pain, because I was held fast
by them.

CHAP. XXXV.–ANOTHER KIND OF TEMPTATION IS CURIOSITY, WHICH IS
STIMULATED BY THE LUST OF THE EYES.

54. In addition to this there is another form of temptation, more
complex in its peril. For besides that concupiscence of the flesh
which lieth in the gratification of all senses and pleasures,
wherein its slaves who “are far from Thee perish,”. there
pertaineth to the soul, through the same senses of the body, a
certain vain and curious longing, cloaked under the name of
knowledge and learning, not of having pleasure in the flesh, but of
making experiments through the flesh. This longing, since it
originates in an appetite for knowledge, and the sight being the
chief amongst the senses in the acquisition of knowledge, is called
in divine language, “the lust of the eyes.” xs For seeing belongeth
properly to the eyes; yet we apply this word to the other senses
also, when we exercise them in the search after knowledge. For we do
not say, Listen how it glows, smell how it glistens, taste how it
shines, or feel how it flashes, since all these are said to be seen.
And yet we say
not only, See how it shineth, which the eyes alone can perceive; but
also, See how it soundeth, see how it smelleth, see how it tasteth,
see how hard it is. And thus the general experience of the senses,
as was said before, is termed “the lust of.the eyes,” because the
function of seeing, wherein the eyes hold the pre-eminence,
the.other senses by way of similitude take possession of, whensoever
they seek out any knowledge.

55. But by this is it more clearly discerned, when pleasure and
when curiosity is pursued by the senses; for pleasure follows after
objects that are beautiful, melodious, fragrant, savoury, soft; but
curiosity, for experiment’s sake, seeks the contrary of these,–not
with a view of undergoing uneasiness, but from the passion of
experimenting upon and knowing them. For what pleasure is there to
see, in a lacerated corpse, that which makes you shudder? And yet if
it lie near, we flock thither, to be made sad, and to turn pale.
Even in sleep they fear lest they should see it. Just as if when
awake any one compelled them to go and see it, or any report of its
beauty had attracted them! Thus also is it with the other senses,
which it were tedious to pursue. From this malady of curiosity are
all those strange sights exhibited in the theatre. Hence do we
proceed to search out the secret powers of nature (which is beside
our end), which to know profits not. and wherein men desire nothing
but to know. Hence, too, with that same end of perverted knowledge
we consult magical arts. Hence, again, even in religion itself, is
God tempted, when signs and wonders are eagerly asked of Him,–not
desired for any saving end, but to make trial only.

56. In this so vast a wilderness, replete with snares and
dangers, lo, many of them have I lopped off, and expelled from my
heart, as Thou, O God of my salvation, hast enabled me to do. And
yet when dare I say, since so many things of this kind buzz around
our daily life,–‘ when dare I say that no such thing makes me’
intent to see it, or creates in me vain solicitude? It is true that
the theatres never now carry me away, nor do I now care to know the
courses of the stars, nor hath my soul at any time consulted
departed spirits; all sacrilegious oaths I abhor. O Lord my God, to
whom I owe all humble and single-hearted service, with what subtlety
of suggestion does the enemy influence me to require some sign from
Thee! But by our King, and by our pure land chaste country
Jerusalem, I beseech Thee, that as any consenting unto such thoughts
is far from me, so may it always be farther and farther. But when I
entreat Thee for the salvation of any, the end I aim at is far
otherwise, and Thou who doest :what Thou wilt, givest and wilt give
me willingly to “follow” Thee?

57. Nevertheless, in how many most minute and contemptible things
is our curiosity daily tempted, and who can number how o/ten we
succumb? How often, when people are narrating idle tales, do we
begin by tolerating them, lest we should give offence unto the weak;
and then gradually we listen willingly! I
do not now-a-days go to the circus to see a dog chasing a hare;
but if by chance I pass such a coursing in the fields, it possibly
distracts me even from some serious thought, and draws me after
it,–not that I turn the body of my beast aside, but the inclination
of my mind. And except Thou, by demonstrating to me my weakness,
dost speedily warn me, either through the sight itself, by some
reflection to rise to Thee, or wholly to despise and pass it by, I,
vain one, am absorbed by it. How is it, when sitting at home, a
lizard catching flies, or a spider entangling them as they rush into
her nets, oftentimes arrests me? Is the feeling of curiosity not the
same because these are such tiny creatures? From them I proceed to
praise Thee, the wonderful Creator and Disposer of all things; but
it is not this that first attracts my attention. It is one thing to
get up quickly, and another not to fall, and of such things is my
life full; and my only hope is in Thy exceeding great mercy.

For when this heart of ours is made the receptacle of such
things, and bears crowds of this abounding vanity, then are our
prayers often interrupted and disturbed thereby; and whilst in Thy
presence we direct the voice of our heart to Thine ears, this so
great a matter is broken off by the influx of I know not what idle
thoughts.

CHAP. XXXVI.–A THIRD KIND IS “PRIDE” WHICH IS PLEASING TO MAN,
NOT TO GOD.

58. Shall we, then, account this too amongst such things as are
to be lightly esteemed, or shall anything restore us to hope, save
Thy complete mercy, since Thou hast begun to change us? And Thou
knowest to what extent Thou hast already changed me, Thou who
first healest me of the lust of vindicating myself, that so Thou
mightest forgive all my remaining “iniquities,” and heal all my
“diseases,” and redeem my life from corruption, and crown me with
“loving-kindness and tender mercies,” and satisfy my desire with
“good things;” x who didst restrain my pride with Thy fear, and
subdue my neck to Thy “yoke.” And now I bear it, and it is “light.
unto me, because so hast Thou promised, and made it, and so in truth
it was, though I knew it not, when I feared to take it up. But, O
Lord,-Thou who alone reignest without pride, because Thou art the
only true Lord, who hast no lord, –hath this third kind of
temptation left me, or can it leave me during this life?

59. The desire to be feared and loved of men, with no other view
than that I may experience a joy therein which is no joy, is a
miserable life, and unseemly ostentation. Hence especially it arises
that we do not love Thee, nor devoutly fear Thee. And therefore dost
Thou resist the proud, but givest grace unto the humble; and Thou
thunderest upon the ambitious designs of the world, and “the
foundations of the hills” tremble. Because now certain offices of
human society render it necessary to be loved and feared of men, the
adversary of our true blessedness presseth hard upon us, everywhere
scattering his snares of “well done, well done;” that while
acquiring them eagerly, we may be caught unawares, and disunite our
joy from Thy truth, and fix it on the deceits of men; and take
pleasure in being loved and feared, not for Thy sake, but in Thy
stead, by which means, being made like unto him, he may have them as
his, not in harmony of love, but in the fellowship of punishment;
who aspired to exalt his throne in the north. that dark and cold
they might serve him, imitating Thee in perverse and distorted ways.
But we, O Lord, lo, we are Thy “little flock; . do Thou possess us,
stretch Thy wings over us, and let us take refuge under them. Be
Thou our glory; let us be loved for Thy sake, and Thy word feared in
us. They who desire to be commended of men when Thou blamest, will
not be defended of men when Thou judgest; nor will they be delivered
when Thou condemnest. But when not the sinner is praised in the
desires of his soul, nor he blessed who doeth unjustly. but a man
is praised for some gift that Thou hast bestowed upon him, and he is
more gratified at the praise for himself, than that he possesses the
gift for which he is. praised, such a one is praised while Thou
blamest. And better truly is he who praised than the one who was
praised. For the gift of God in man was pleasing to the one, while
the other was better pleased with the gift of man than that of God.

CHAP. XXXVII.–HE IS FORCIBLY GOADED ON BY THE LOVE OF PRAISE.

60. By these temptations, 0 Lord, are we daily tried; yea,
unceasing]y are we tried. Our daily “furnace. is the human tongue.
And in this respect also dost Thou command us to be continent. Give
what Thou commandest, and command what Thou wilt. Regarding this
matter, Thou knowest the groans of my heart, and the river. of mine
eyes. For I am not able to ascertain how far I am clean of this
plague, and I stand in great fear of my “secret faults,” x which
Thine eyes perceive, though mine do not. For in other kinds of
temptations I have some sort of power of examining myself; but in
this, hardly any. For, both as regards the pleasures of the flesh
and an idle curiosity, I see how far I have been able to hold my
mind in check when I do without them, either voluntarily or by
reason of their not being at hand; for then I inquire of myself
how much more or less troublesome it is to me not to have them.
Riches truly which are sought for in order that they may minister to
some one of these three “lusts,”. or to two, or the whole of them,
if the mind be not able to see clearly whether, when it hath them,
it despiseth them, they may be cast on one side, that so it may
prove itself. But if we desire to test our power of doing without
praise, need we live ill, and that so flagitiously and immoderately
as that every one who knows us shall detest us? What greater madness
than this can be either said or conceived? But if praise both is
wont and ought to be the companion of a good life and of good works,
we should as little forego its companionship as a good life itself.
But unless a thing be absent, I do not know whether I shall be
contented or troubled at being without it.

61. What, then, do I confess unto Thee, O Lord, in this kind of
temptation? What, save that I am delighted with praise, but more
with the truth itself than with praise? For were I to have my
choice, whether I had rather, being
mad, or astray on all things, be praised by all men, or, being firm
and well-assured in the truth, be blamed by all, I see which I
should choose. Yet would I be unwilling that the approval of another
should even add to my joy for any good I have. Yet I admit that it
doth increase it, and, more than that, that dispraise doth diminish
it. And when I am disquieted at this misery of mine, an excuse
presents itself to me, the value of which Thou, God, knowest, for it
renders me uncertain. For since it is not continency alone that Thou
hast enjoined upon us, that is, from what things to hold back our
love, but righteousness also, that is, upon what to bestow it, and
hast wished us to love not Thee only, but also our neighbour,
–often, when gratified by intelligent praise, I appear to myself
to be gratified by the proficiency or towardliness of my neighbour,
and again to be sorry for evil in him when I hear him dispraise
either that which he understands not, or is good. For I am sometimes
grieved at mine own praise, either when those things which I am
displeased at in myself be praised in me, or even lesser and
trifling goods are more valued than they should be. But, again, how
do I know whether I am thus affected, because I am unwilling that he
who praiseth me should differ from me concerning myself–not as
being moved with consideration for him, but because the same good
things which please me in myself are more pleasing to me when they
also please another? For, in a sort, I am not praised when my
judgment of myself is not praised; since either those things which
are displeasing to me are praised, or those more so which are less
pleasing to me. Am t then uncertain of myself in this matter?

62. Behold, O Truth, in Thee do I see that I ought not to be
moved at my own praises for my own sake, but for my neighbour’s
good. And whether it be so, in truth I know not. For concerning this
I know less of myself than dost Thou. I beseech Thee now, O my God,
to reveal to me myself also, that I may confess unto my brethren,
who are to pray for me, what I find in myself weak. Once again let
me more diligently examine myself? If, in mine own praise, I am
moved with consideration for my neighbour, why am I less moved if
some other man be unjustly dispraised than if it be myself? Why am I
more irritated at that reproach which is cast upon myself, than at
that which is with equal injustice cast upon another in my presence?
Am I ignorant of this also? or does it remain that I deceive
myself, and do not the “truth. before Thee in my heart and tongue?
Put such madness far from me, O Lord, lest my mouth be to me the oil
of sinners, to anoint my head?

CHAP. XXXVIII.–VAIN-GLORY IS THE HIGHEST DANGER.

63. “I am poor and needy,”. yet better am I while in secret
groanings I displease myself, and seek for Thy mercy, until what is lacking in
me be renewed and made complete, even up to that peace of which the
eye of the proud is ignorant. Yet the word which proceedeth out of
the mouth, and actions known to men, have a most dangerous
temptation from the love of praise, which, for the establishing of a
certain excellency of our own, gathers together solicited suffrages.
It tempts, even when within I reprove myself for it, on the very
ground that it is reproved; and often man glories more vainly of the
very scorn of vain-glory; wherefore it is not any longer scorn of
vain-glory whereof it glories, for he does not truly contemn it when
he inwardly glories.

CHAP. XXXIX.—OF THE VICE OF THOSE WHO, WHILE PLEASING
THEMSELVES, DISPLEASE GOD.

64. Within also, within is another evil, arising out of the same
kind of temptation; whereby they become empty who please themselves
in themselves, although they please not, or displease, or aim at
pleasing others. But in pleasing themselves, they much displease
Thee, not merely taking pleasure in things not good as if they were
good, but in Thy good things as though they were their own; or even
as if in Thine, yet as though of their own merits; or even as if
though of Thy grace, yet not with friendly rejoicings, but as
envying that grace to others. In all these and similar perils and
labours Thou perceivest the trembling of my heart, and I rather feel
my wounds to be cured by Thee than not inflicted by me.

CHAP. XL.–THE ONLY SAFE RESTING-PLACE FOR THE SOUL IS TO BE
FOUND IN GOD.

65. Where hast Thou not accompanied me, O Truth,’ teaching me
both what to avoid and what to desire, when I submitted to Thee what
I could perceive of sublunary things, and asked Thy counsel? With my
external senses, as I could, I viewed the world, and noted the life
which my body derives from me, and these my senses. Thence I
advanced inwardly into the recesses of my memory,–the manifold
rooms, wondrously full of multitudinous wealth; and I considered and
was afraid, and could discern none of these things without Thee, and
found none of them to be Thee. Nor was I myself the discoverer of
these things,–I, who went over them all, and laboured to
distinguish and to value everything according to its dignity,
accepting some things upon the report of my senses, and questioning
about others which I felt to be mixed up with myself, distinguishing
and numbering the reporters themselves, and in the vast storehouse
of my memory investigating some things, laying up others, taking out
others. Neither was I myself when I did this (that is, that ability
of mine whereby I did it), nor was it Thou, for Thou art that
never-failing light which I took counsel of as to them all, whether
they were what they were, and what was their worth; and I heard Thee
teaching and commanding me. And this I do often; this is a delight
to me, and, as far as I can get relief from necessary duties, to
this gratification do I resort. Nor in all these which I review when
consulting Thee, find I a secure place for my soul, save in Thee,
into whom my scattered members may be gathered together, and nothing
of me depart from Thee.’ And sometimes Thou dost introduce me to a
most rare affection, inwardly, to an inexplicable sweetness, which,
if it should be perfected in me, I know not to what point that life
might not arrive. But by these wretched weights. of mine do I
relapse into these things, and am sucked in by my old customs, and
am held, and sorrow much, yet am much held. To such an extent does
the burden of habit press us down. In this way I can be, but will
not; in that I will, but cannot,–on both ways miserable.

CHAP. XLI.–HAVING CONQUERED HIS TRIPLE DESIRE, HE ARRIVES AT
SALVATION.

66. And thus have I reflected upon the wearinesses of my sins, in
that threefold “lust, and have invoked Thy right hand to my aid.
For with a wounded heart have I seen Thy brightness, and being
beaten back I exclaimed, “Who can attain unto it?” “I am cut off
from before Thine eyes.. Thou art the Truth, who presidest over all
things, but I, through my covetousness, wished not to lose Thee, but
with Thee wished to possess a lie; as no one wishes so to speak
falsely as himself to be ignorant of the t truth. So then I lost
Thee, became Thou deignest not to be enjoyed with a lie.

CHAP. XLII.–IN WHAT MANNER MANY SOUGHT THE MEDIATOR.

67. Whom could I find to reconcile me to Thee? Was I to solicit
the angels? By what prayer? By what sacraments? Many striving to
return unto Thee, and not able of themselves, have,’ as I am told,
tried this, and have fallen into a longing for curious visions? and
were held worthy to be deceived. For they, being exalted, sought
Thee by the pride of learning, thrusting themselves forward rather
than beating their breasts, and so by correspondence of heart drew
unto themselves the princes of the air. the conspirators and
companions in pride, by whom, through the power of magic, they were
deceived, seeking a mediator by whom they might be cleansed; but
none was there. For the devil it was, transforming himself into an
angel of light? And he much allured proud flesh, in that he had no
fleshly body. For they were mortal, and sinful; but Thou, O Lord, to
whom they arrogantly sought to be reconciled, art immortal, and
sinless. But a mediator between God and man ought to have something
like unto God, and something like unto man; lest being in both like
unto man, he should be far from God; or if in both like unto God, he
should be far from man, and so should not be a mediator. That
deceitful mediator, then, by whom in Thy secret judgments pride
deserved to be deceived, hath one thing in common with man, that is,
sin; another he would appear to have with God, and, not being
clothed with mortality of flesh, would boast that he was immortal?
But since “the wages of sin is death,”. this hath he in common with
men, that together with them he should be condemned to death.

CHAP. XLIII.–THAT JESUS CHRIST, AT THE SAME TIME GOD AND MAN, IS
THE TRUE AND MOST EFFICACIOUS MEDIATOR.

68. But the true Mediator, whom in Thy secret mercy Thou hast
pointed out to the humble, and didst send, that by His exampl. also
they might learn the same humility–that “Mediator between God and
men, the man Christ Jesus,”
appeared between mortal sinners and the immortal Just One–mortal
with men, just with God; that because the reward of righteousness is
life and peace, He might, by righteousness conjoined with God,
cancel the death of justified sinners, which He willed to have in
common with them? Hence He was pointed out to holy men of.old; to
the intent that they, through faith in His Passion to come,’ even as
we through faith in that which is past, might be saved. For as man
He was Mediator; but as the Word He was not between. because equal
to God, and God with God, and together with the Holy Spirit. one
God.

69. How hast Thou loved us, good Father, who sparedst not Thine
only Son, but deliveredst Him up for us wicked ones! How hast Thou
loved us, for whom He, who thought it no robbery to be equal with
Thee, “became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross;
He alone “free among the dead, that had power to lay down His
life, and power to take it again; for us was He unto Thee both
Victor and Victim, and the Victor as being the Victim; for us was He
unto Thee both Priest and Sacrifice, and Priest as being the
Sacrifice; of slaves making.us Thy sons, by being born of Thee, and
serving us. Rightly, then, is my hope strongly fixed on Him, that
Thou wilt heal all my diseases by Him who sitteth at Thy right
hand and maketh intercession for us; else should I utterly
despair? For numerous and great are my infirmities, yea, numerous
and great are they; but Thy medicine is greater. We might think that
Thy Word was removed from union with man, and despair of ourselves
had He not been “made flesh and dwelt among us.”

70. Terrified by my sins and the load of my misery, I had
resolved in my heart, and meditated flight into the wilderness;
but Thou didst forbid me, and didst strengthen me, saying,
therefore, Christ “died for all, that they which live should not
henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them.”
IT Behold, O Lord, I cast my care upon Thee, that I may live, and
“behold wondrous things out of Thy law.”  Thou knowest my
unskilfulness and my infirmities; teach me, and heal me. Thine only
Son–He “in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge”
— hath redeemed me with His blood. Let not the proud speak evil of
me, because I consider my ransom, and eat and drink, and distribute;
arid poor, desire to be satisfied from Him, together with those who
eat and are satisfied, and they praise the Lord that seek him.

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