Overview

BOOK I


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;...
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THE CONFESSIONS OF SAINT AUGUSTINE

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Overview

BOOK I


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, whither my God can come into me? whither can God come
into me, God who made heaven and earth? is there, indeed, O Lord my
God, aught in me that can contain Thee? do then heaven and earth,
which Thou hast made, and wherein Thou hast made me, contain Thee? or,
because nothing which exists could exist without Thee, doth
therefore whatever exists contain Thee? 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!
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940012352774
  • Publisher: SAP
  • Publication date: 4/3/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 259 KB

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