The Confessions Of Saint Augustine

The Confessions Of Saint Augustine

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by Saint Augustine
     
 

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In his Confessions Augustine (354-430), bishop of Hippo, invented autobiography in the modern sense of the term. He writes of his whole development from childhood on, revealing himself not only in the events and feelings he recalls but in the way he analyzes them. Complex and subtle, The Confessions is also the fundamentally simple story

Overview

In his Confessions Augustine (354-430), bishop of Hippo, invented autobiography in the modern sense of the term. He writes of his whole development from childhood on, revealing himself not only in the events and feelings he recalls but in the way he analyzes them. Complex and subtle, The Confessions is also the fundamentally simple story of one man's journey from darkness into light. Augustine tells of his first sexual adventures and the disappointment they brought him, of his deep attachment to his mistress and heart-break over her loss, and of his close but troubled relationship with his devout mother. He also shows how his quest for truth led him from Greek and Roman philosophy to the strange oriental sect of the Manicheans, and then to acceptance-after much struggle-of the Christian faith. Yet even Christianity could not quiet his restless mind: in the final books of The Confessions , Augustine goes beyond dogma to speculate boldly about memory, time, and the creation of the world.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The religion/philosophy standard is inducted into Penguin Classics' Deluxe Editions. Simple but elegant. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781599865720
Publisher:
Filiquarian Publishing
Publication date:
01/29/2008
Pages:
468
Sales rank:
1,207,532
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.94(d)

Read an Excerpt

Book One

Confessions of the greatness and unsearchableness of God, of God's mercies in infancy and boyhood, and human wilfulness; of his own sins of idleness, abuse of his studies, and of God's gifts up to his fifteenth year.


Great art Thou, O Lord, and greatly to be praised; great is Thy power, and Thy wisdom infinite. And Thee would man praise; man, but a particle of Thy creation; man, that bears about him his mortality, the witness of his sin, the witness that Thou resistest the proud: yet would man praise Thee; he, but a particle of Thy creation. Thou awakest us to delight in Thy praise; for Thou madest us for Thyself, and our heart is restless, until it repose in Thee. Grant me, Lord, to know and understand which is first, to call on Thee or to praise Thee? And, again, to know Thee or to call on Thee? For who can call on Thee, not knowing Thee? For he that knoweth Thee not, may call on Thee as other than Thou art. Or, is it rather that we call on Thee that we may know Thee? But how shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? Or how shall they believe without a preacher? And they that seek the Lord shall praise Him: for they that seek shall find Him, and they that find shall praise Him. I will seek Thee, Lord, by calling on Thee; and will call on Thee, believing in Thee; for to us hast Thou been preached. My faith, Lord, shall call on Thee, which Thou hast given me, wherewith Thou hast inspired me, through the Incarnation of Thy Son, through the ministry of the Preacher.

And how shall I call upon my God, my God and Lord, since, when I call for Him, I shall be calling Him to myself? And what room is there within me, whithermy God can come into me? whither can God come into me, God who made heaven and earth? Is there, indeed, O Lord my God, aught in me that can contain Thee? Do then heaven and earth, which Thou hast made, and wherein Thou hast made me, contain Thee? Or, because nothing which exists could exist without Thee, doth therefore whatever exists contain Thee? Since, then I too exist, why do I seek that Thou shouldest enter into me, who were not, wert Thou not in me? Why? Because I am not gone down in hell, and yet Thou art there also. For if I go down into hell, Thou art there. I could not be then, O my God, could not be at all, wert Thou not in me; or, rather, unless I were in Thee, of whom are all things, by whom are all things, in whom are all things? Even so, Lord, even so. Whither do I call Thee, since I am in Thee? Or whence canst Thou enter into me? for whither can I go beyond heaven and earth, that thence my God should come into me, who hath said, I fill the heaven and the earth.

Do the heaven and earth then contain Thee, since Thou fillest them? Or dost Thou fill them and yet overflow, since they do not contain Thee? And whither, when the heaven and the earth are filled, pourest Thou forth the remainder of Thyself? Or hast Thou no need that aught contain Thee, who containest all things, since what Thou fillest Thou fillest by containing it? for the vessels which Thou fillest uphold Thee not, since, though they were broken, Thou wert not poured out. And when Thou art poured out on us, Thou art not cast down, but Thou upliftest us; Thou art not dissipated, but Thou gatherest us. But Thou who fillest all things, fillest Thou them with Thy whole self? Or, since all things cannot contain Thee wholly, do they contain part of Thee? And all at once the same part? Or each its own part, the greater more, the smaller less? And is, then, one part of Thee greater, another less? Or, art Thou wholly every where, while nothing contains Thee wholly?

What art Thou then, my God? What, but the Lord God? For who is Lord but the Lord? Or who is God save our God? Most highest, most good, most potent, most omnipotent; most merciful, yet most just; most hidden, yet most present; most beautiful, yet most strong; stable, yet incomprehensible; unchangeable, yet all-changing; never new, never old; all-renewing, and bringing age upon the proud, and they know it not; ever working, ever at rest; still gathering, yet nothing lacking; supporting, filling, and overspreading; creating, nourishing, and maturing; seeking, yet having all things. Thou lovest, without passion; art jealous, without anxiety; repentest, yet grievest not; art angry, yet serene; changest Thy works, Thy purpose unchanged; receivest again what Thou findest, yet didst never lose; never in need, yet rejoicing in gains; never covetous, yet exacting usury. Thou receivest over and above, that Thou mayest owe; and who hath aught that is not Thine? Thou payest debts, owing nothing; remittest debts, losing nothing. And what had I now said, my God, my life, my holy joy? Or what saith any man when he speaks of Thee? Yet woe to him that speaketh not, since mute are even the most eloquent.

Oh! That I might repose on Thee! Oh! That Thou wouldest enter into my heart, and inebriate it, that I may forget my ills, and embrace Thee, my sole good? What art Thou to me? In Thy pity, teach me to utter it. Or what am I to Thee that Thou demandest my love, and, if I give it not, art wroth with me, and threatenest me with grievous woes? Is it then a slight woe to love Thee not? Oh! For Thy mercies' sake, tell me, O Lord my God, what Thou art unto me. Say unto my soul, I am thy salvation. So speak, that I may hear. Behold, Lord, my heart is before Thee; open Thou the ears thereof, and say unto my soul, I am thy salvation. After this voice let me haste, and take hold on Thee. Hide not Thy face from me. Let me die--lest I die--only let me see Thy face.


From the Hardcover edition.

Meet the Author


About the Translator:
An expert on the early Church, Henry Chadwick is Master of Peterhouse, Cambridge. He is the author of such books as Early Christian Thought and the Classical Tradition and Augustine in the Past Masters series. _

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The Confessions of Saint Augustine 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
regirene More than 1 year ago
As a fan of St. Augustine I purchased this nook book without first checking it out. The "wherewiths, withers, thees, thou, knoweths" and adding -est to SO many words makes it tiresome reading. Then throw in some "whences" & "thences". If you can get through all of that, more power to you. I've read translations that use more contemporary wording and suggest to future readers of Augustine to compare before committing to any book. St. Augustine's spirituality is as powerful as ever, just difficult to read in this format.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Your sample of this book does not provide even one page of Ryan's translation - which would be the only reason I would be interested in the book. I am NOT interested in the prelude and etc.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was written so long ago, yet it could have been written this year. The style and thought are very current, very insightful. Augustine writes so eloquently. His struggles can easily be our struggles, and his style is so forceful, yet poetic. Strongly recommend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It would be most useful to see some of the English translation in the free sample of the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mess you may find. Religious confessions like born again usually are best from a gladiator where you are liable to be swatted one if disrespectful duribg the sermon
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was NOT Maria Boulding's translation. The cover shows her book and even mentioned her name, my husband has a hard copy, so I was able to compare with his and thought I was downloading the same version. This translation is much harder to read and understand. Wish I would have bought the real book instead of this download.
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This book is what much of the Catholic dogma is based on!
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