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.PPS Ph.D., LL.U. T. E. PAGE, Litt.D. W. H. D. ROUSE, LiTX.D. 







l.\ T\\0 VOLUMK& 




4 y 


V, 1 

•int printed. 1912, 
Riprinted l6l9. 


AuRELius AuGusTiNus was borii at Tagaste, in Nu- 
miclia, November }3, a.d. 354, and died August 30, 
430. It was in 373 that he joined the Manichaeans, 
and in 386 he was converted to Catholicism. He 
returned to Africa in 388, was ordained presbyter 
in 391, and in S9i> became Bisliop of Hippo^ where 
he lived until his death. His first book^ I)e Pulcliro 
ct Aplo, is lost. Besides the Confessions, he wrote 
Dc Doctrina Christiana, Encheiridion, De Trinitafc, 
De Civitaie Dei, Rctractaiiones, and a number of 
controversial and other pamphlets. 

There is no need to say much of the contents of 
this book. Some it will attract by its devotion, 
some by its philosophy perhaps ; but all it will charm 
by its complete sincerity. The scenes of Augustine's 
early life stand out like pictures ; and his mother 
lives before our mind's eye as if we had seen her in 
the flesh. The psychologist will notice how acutely 
the author traces the workings of his own mind, 
particularly in childhood. 

This is a reprint of William Watts's translation 
(with Scripture references), corrected according to 
Knoll's text, with the help of the translations of 
Pusey ( 1 838) and C. Bigg (Books I. to IX. ; Methuen, 
1897-1909) and the annotated text of J. Gibb and 
W. Montgomery (Cambridge Patristic Texts, 19O8). 

William Watts, Rector of St. Alban's, Wood Street, 
London (1590.^-1649), published his translation in 
1631 ; "This translation I began," he says, "for 


the exercise of my Lenten Devotions; but I quickly 
found it to exercise more than my Devotions : it exer- 
cised my skill, (all I had); it exercised my Patience, 
it exercised my Friends too (for it is incomparably 
the hardest task that ever 1 yet undertook)." The 
present editor is inclined to echo this remark. For 
the first two books especially, and partly later, he 
used an earlier translation by Sir Tobie Matthew 
(London, 1624 ; second edition Paris, 1638), to whom 
he alludes in his notes with often upbraiding as " the 

Pusey based his translation on Watts, but it is 
really rewritten. In the present edition I have kept 
Watts's text as far as possible, and where it had 
to be corrected I have tried to keep his style. The 
style of Augustine, both condensed in phrase and 
formless in structure, could not possibly be repro- 
duced : and I am much mistaken if readers will not 
enjoy the leisurely flow of Watts's rhythms, and for- 
give him heartily for using more words than he need 
have used. 

The Latin text is Knoll's (Teubner, 1909), with 
rather simpler spelling, fuller punctuation, and a 
very few changes which are noted at the foot of the 




Editio Pfinceps : 

Collected Works: Anierbacli, Basle^ 1506; re- 
printed Paris, 1515. 
Confessions: Mediolani, 1475. 

Latest Critical Edition : 

Confessions: P. Knoll, Teubner, 1909. 

Translations (of the Confessions) : 
Sir Tobie Matthew, 1()24<. 
William Watts, London, l631. 
E. B. Pusey (with Latin text and notes), Riv- 

ington, 1838, 2 vols. 
C. Bigg, Books I.-IX., Methuen, 1897-1909. 

Illustrative Works : 

Opera emendata studio monacliorum ordinis 

S. Benedicts Paris, 1679-1700; reprinted 

Gaume, Paris, 18S6-39; with life. 
Schrockh : Kirchengeschiehte, vol. xv. 
Neander : Geschichte der Christlichen Religion 

und Kirche, vol. ii. 
Cunningham : St. Austin and his place in the 

History of Christian Thought, London, 1886. 
Gwatkin : The Knowledge of God, 1 908, vol. ii. 




CAP. Magnus es, domine, et laudabilis valde : magna 
virtus tua, et sapientiae tuae non est numerus. et 
laudare te vult homo, aliqua portio creaturae tuae, et 
homo circumferens mortalitatem suam, circumferens 
testimonium peccati sui et testimonium, quia super- 
bis resistis : et tamen laudare te vult homo, aliqua 
portio creaturae tuae. tu excitas, ut laudare te 
delectet, quia fecisti nos ad te et inquietum est cor 
nostrum, donee requiescat in te. da mihi, domine, 
scire et intellegere, utrum sit prius invocare te an 
laudare te, et scire te prius sit an invocare te. sed 
quis te invocat nesciens te ? aliud enim pro alio 
potest invocare nesciens. an potius invocaris, ut 
sciaris.'* quomodo autem invocabunt, in quem non 
crediderunt ? aut quomodo credent sine praedi- 
cante.'* et laudabunt dominum qui requirunt eum. 
quaerentes enim inveniunt eura et invenientes lauda- 
bunt eum. quaeram te, domine, invocans te, et in- 
vocem te credens in te : praedicatus enim es nobis. 


He admires God's Majesty y and is injlamed with 
a deep desire of praising him 

Great art thou^ O Lord, and greatly to be praised : CHi.P. 
great is thy power, and thy wisdom is infinite. And ^ 
man, who being a part of what thou hast created, is ^^- c^^vii. 5 
desirous to praise thee ; this man, bearing about his 
own mortality with him, carrying about him a testi- 
mony of his own sin, (even this testimony, that 
God resisteth the proud ;) yet this man, this part James 
of what thou hast created, is desirous to praise thee ; *^- * 
thou so provokest him, that he even delighteth to 
praise thee. For thou hast created us for thyself, 
and our heart cannot be quieted till it may find 
repose in thee. Grant me, Lord, to know and under- 
stand what I ought first to do, whether call upon 
thee, or praise thee ? and which ought to be first, 
to know thee, or to call upon thee } But who can 
rightly call upon thee, that is yet ignorant of thee ? 
for such an one may instead of thee call upon 
another. Or art thou rather first called upon, 
that thou may est so come to be known ? But how 
then shall they call on him, in whom they have Kom. x. u 
not believed? and how shall they believe with- 
out a preacher.'' And again, they shall praise the 
Lord that seek after him : for, they that seek shall Matt. 
find ; and finding they shall praise him. Thee will vii. 7 
I seek, O Lord, calling upon thee ; and I will call 
upon thee, believing in thee : for thou hast been 


CAP. invocat te^ domine, fides mea, quam dedisti mihi, 
quam inspirasti mihi per humanitatem filii tui, per 
ministerium praedicatoris tui. 


CAP. Et quomodo invocabo deum meurrij deum et 
dominum meum^ quoniam utique in me ipsum eum 
invocabo, cum invocabo eum ? et quis locus est in 
me, quo veniat in me deus meus ? quo deus veniat 
in me, deus, qui fecit caelum et terram ? itane, 
domine deus meus, est quicquam in me, quod capiat 
te ? an vero caelum et terr^, quae fecisti et in 
quibus me fecisti, capiunt te ? an quia sine te non 
esset quidquid est, fit, ut quidquid est capiat te ? 
quoniam itaque et ego sum, quid peto, ut venias in 
me, qui non essem, nisi esses in me ? non enim ego 
iam in inferis,^ et tamen etiam ibi es. nam etsi 
descendero in infernum, ades. non ergo essem, deus 
meus, non omnino essem, nisi esses in me. an potius 
non essem, nisi essem in te, ex quo omnia, per quem 
omnia, in quo omnia } etiam sic, domine, etiam sic. 
quo te invoco, cum in te sim .'' aut unde venias in 
me ? ' quo enim recedam extra caelum et terram, ut 

1 In inferis : most MSS. inferi. 


declared unto us. My faith, O Lord, calls upon chap. 
thee, which thou hast given me, which thou hast ^ 
inspired into me ; even by the humanity of thy Son, 
and by the ministry of thy preacher. 


Man hath his being from God ; and that God is 
in man, and man in God 

And how shall I call upon my God, my Lord and chap. 
God } because that when I invoke him, I call him ^^ 
into myself: and what place is there in me fit foi 
my God to come into me by, whither God may come 
into me; even that God which made heaven and 
earth } Is it so, my Lord God } Is there anything 
in me which can contaiti thee ? Nay, can both 
heaven and earth which thou hast made, and in 
which thou hast made me, in any wise contain thee ? 
Or else because whatsoever is, could not subsist 
without thee, must it follow thereupon, that what- 
soever hath being, is endued with a capacity of 
thee } Since therefore I also am, how do I entreat 
thee to come into me, who could not be, unless 
thou wert first in me ? For I am not after all 
in hell, and yet thou art there : For if I go Ps. xiii. 28 
down into hell, thou art there also. I should 
therefore not be, O God, yea I should have no being 
at all, unless thou wert in me : or rather, I should 
not be, unless I had my being in thee ; of whom, Kom. xi. se 
and through whom, and to whom are all things. 
Even so it is. Lord, even so. Wherefore, then, do 
I invoke thee, seeing I am already in thee } Or 
whence canst thou come into me.'' For whither 

CAP. inde in me veniat deus meus, qui dixit : caelum et 
terram ego impleo ? 


CAP. Capiunt ergone te caelum et terra, quoniam tu 
imples ea ? an imples et restat, quoniam non te 
capiunt ? et quo refundis quidquid impleto caelo et 
terra restat ex te ? an non opus habes, ut quoquam 
continearis_, qui contines omnia^ quoniam quae imples 
continendo imples ? non enim vasa, quae te plena 
sunt, stabilem te faciunt, quia etsi fraiigantur non 
effunderis. et cum effunderis super nos, non tu iaces, 
sed erigis nos, nee tu dissiparis, sed^colligis nos. sed 
quae imples omnia, te toto imples omnia, an quia 
nou possunt te totum capere omnia, partem tui 
capiunt et eandem partem simul omnia capiunt ? an 
singulas singula et maiores maiora, minores minora 
capiunt ? ergo est aliqua pars tua maior, aliqua minor ? 
an ubique totus es et res nulla te toLum capit ? 



shall I go, beyond heaven and earth, that from cha.p. 
thence my God may come unto me ? who hath said, ^^ 
The heaven and earth do I fill. *^* • ^^i*' 



God ts wholly evei-yrvhere, and is not hy paHs 
contained by the Creature 

Do therefore the heaven and earth contain thee, chap. 
seeing thou fillest them ? Or dost thou fill them, ^^^ 
and there yet remains an overplus of thee, because 
they are not able to comprehend thee? If so, mto 
what dost thou pour whatsoever remaineth of thee 
after heaven and earth are filled? Is it not that 
thou hast no need to be contained by something, 
thou who containest all things ; seeing that what 
thou fillest, by containing them thou fillest. For 
those vessels which are full of thee, add no stability 
to thee ; for were they broken, thou art not shed 
out : and when thou art shed upon us, thou art not 
spilt, but thou raisest us up ; nor art thou scattered, 
but thou gatherest up us : but thou who fillest 
all, with thy whole self dost thou fill thein all. Or 
because these things cannot contain all of thee, 
do they receive a part of thee; and do all at 
once receive the same part of thee ? or, several 
capacities, several parts ; and greater things, greater 
parts; and less, lesser? Is therefore one part of 
thee greater, or another lesser? Or art thou all 
everywhere, and nothing contains thee wholly? 


CAP. Quid est er^o deus meus ? quid, rogo, nisi domi- 
nus deus ? quis enim dominus praeter dominum ? 
aut quis deus praeter deum nostrum ? summe, optime, 
potentissime, omnipotentissime, misericordissime et 
iustissime, secretissime et praesentissime, pulcherrime 
et fortissime, stabilis et inconprehensibilis, inmuta- 
bilis, mutans omnia, numquam novus, numquam vetus, 
innovans omnia ; in vetustatem perducens superbos 
et nesciunt ; semper agens, semper quietus, colligens 
et non egens, portans et implens et protegens, creans 
et nutriens, perficiens, quaerens, cum nihil desit tibi. 
amas nee aestuas, zelas et securus es ; paenitet te et 
non doles, irasceris et tranquillus es, opera mutas nee 
mutas consilium; recipis quod invenis et numquam 
amisisti; numquam inops et gaudes lueris, numquam 
avarus et usuras exigis. supererof^atur tibi, ut debeas, 
et quis habet quicquam non tuum ? reddens debita 
nulli debenSj donans debita nihil perdens. et quid 
diximuSj deus meus, vita mea, dulcedo mea sancta, 
aut quid dicit aliquis, cum de te dicit ? et vae tacen- 
tibus de te, quoniam loquaces muti sunt. 



An admirable description of God^s Attributes 

What is therefore my God ? What, I ask, but the chap. 
Lord God? For who is Lord but the Lord? Or iv 
who is God besides our God ? O thou supreme, ^*" ^^*" 
most excellent, most mighty, most omnipotent, 
most merciful and most just ; most secret and most 
present ; most beautiful and most strong ; constant 
and incomprehensible ; immutable, yet changing all 
things; never new, and never old; renewing all 
things, and insensibly bringing proud men into de- job ix. 5 
cay ; ever active, and ever quiet ; gathering together, 
yet never wanting; upholding, filling, and protecting; 
creating, nourishing and perfecting all things ; still 
seeking, although thou standest in need of nothing. 
Thou lovest, yet art not transported ; art jealous, 
but without fear ; thou dost repent, but not grieve ; 
art angry, but cool still. Thy works thou changest, 
but not thy counsel ; takest what thou findest, never 
losest aught. Thou art never needy, yet glad of 
gain ; never covetous, yet ex*ctest advantage. Men 
pay thee in superabundance of all things, that thou 
mayest be the debtor : and who hath anything which 
is not thine ? Thou payest debts, yet owest nothing ; 
forgivest debts, yet losest nothing. And shall we 
say, my God, my Life, my holy Delight : or what can 
any man say when he speaks of thee ? And woe to 
them that speak nothing in thy praise, seeing those 
that speak most, are dumb. 


CAP. Quis mihi dabit adquicscere in te ? quis dabit 
mihi, ut venias in cor meum et inebries illud, ut ob- 
liviscar maia mea et unum bonum meum amplectar, 
te ? quid mihi es ? miserere, ut loquar. quid tibi sum 
ipse, ut amari te iubeas a me et, nisi faciam, irascaris 
mihi et mineris ingentes miserias ? parvane ipsa est, 
si non amem te ? ei mihi ! die mihi per miserationes 
tuas, domine deus meus, quid sis mihi. die animae 
meae : salus tua ego sum. sic die, ut audiam. ecce 
aures cordis mei ante te, domine ; aperi eas et die 
animae meae : salus tua ego sum. curram post vocem 
banc et adprehendam te. noli abscondere a me 
faciem tuam : moriar, ne moriar, ut earn videam. 

Angusta est domus animae meae, quo venias ad 
eam : dilateturabs te. ruinosa est : refice eam. habet 
quae ofFendant oculos tuos : fateor et scio. sed quis 
mundabit eam } aut cui alteri praeter te clamabo : 
ab occultis meis munda me, domine, et ab alienis 
parce servo tuo ? credo, propter quod et loquor. 
domine, tu^scis. nonne tibi prolocutus sum adversum 
me delicta mea, deus meus, et tu dimisisti inpietatem 
cordis mei } non iudicio contendo tecum, qui Veritas 
es ; et ego nolo fallere me ipsum, ne mentiatur 



He prays for forgiveness of sins, and the 
Love of God 

Who shall procure for me, that I may repose in chap. 
thee ? Who shall procure thee to enter into my ^ 
heart ; and so to inebriate it, that I may forget my 
own evils, and embrace thee, my only good ? What 
art thou to me ? let me find grace to speak to thee. 
What am I to thee, that thou shouldest command 
me to love thee, and be angry with me, yea and 
threaten me with great mischiefs, unless I do love 
thee .'' Is it to be thought a small misery in itself, 
not to love thee ? Woe is me ! Answer me for thy 
mercy's sake, O Lord my God^ what thou art unto me : 
Say unto my soul, I am thy Salvation. Speak it out, Ps. xxxv. 
that I may hear thee. Behold, the ears of my heart 
are before thee, O Lord, open them, and say unto 
my soul, I am thy salvation. I will run after that 
voice, and take hold of thee. Hide not thy face 
from me : let me die lest I die, that I may see it. 

My soul's house is too strait for thee to come 
into : let it be enlarged by thee : 'tis ruinous, but do 
thou repair it. There be many things in it, I both 
confess and know, which may offend thine eyes ; 
but who can cleanse it ? or to whom but thee shall I 
cry. Cleanse me, O Lord, from my secret sins, and ps. xix. 12 
from strange sins deliver thy servant ; I believe, and ps. cxvi. i 
therefore do I speak. Thou knowest, O Lord, that 
I have confessed my sins against mine own self, O 
my God ; and thou forgavest me the iniquity of my 
heart. 1 will not plead with thee, who art Truth : jer. ii. 29 
and I will not deceive myself, lest my iniquity be a 
false witness to itself. I will not therefore plead 


CAP. iniquitas mea sibi. non ergo iudicio contendo tecum, 
quia, si iniquitates observaveris, domine, domine, quis 
sustinebit ? 


CAT. Sed tamen sine me Toqiii apud misericordiam 


tuam, me terram et cinerem, sine tamen loqui, quo- 
niam ecce misericordia tua est, non iiomo, inrisoi 
meus, cui loquor. et tu fortasse inrides me, sed con- 
versus misereberis mei. quid enim est quod volo 
dicere, domine, nisi quia nescio, unde venerim hue, 
in istam, dico vitam mortalem, an mortem vitalem ? 
nescio. et susceperunt me consolationes misera- 
tionum tuarum, sicut audivi a parentibus carnis meae, 
ex quo et in qua me formasti in tempore ; non enim 
ego memini. exceperunt ergo me consolationes 
tactis humani, nee mater mea vel nutrices meae sibi 
ubera implebant, sed tu mihi per eas dabas alimentum 
infantiae, secundum institutionem tuam, et divitias 
usque ad fundum rerum dispositas. tu etiam mihi 
dabas nolle amplius, quam dabas, et nutrientibus me 
dare mihi velle quod eis dabas : dare enim mihi per 
ordinatum affectum volebant quo abundabant ex te. 
nam bonum erat eis bonum meum ex eis, quod ex 


with thee : for if thou, Lord, shouldest be extreme chap. 
to mark what is done amiss, O Lord, O Lord, who ^ 
may abide it ? ^s. cxxx. 


That he hath received all blessings from God : 
and how he hath been preserved by him 

Yet suffer me to plead before thy Mercy, even chap. 
me, who am but dust and ashes: once again let ^i 
me speak, seeing 'tis thy mercy to which 1 address 
my speech, and not man who is my mocker. Yet 
even thou perhaps dost smile at me ; but turning, 
thou wilt pity me. What is it that I would say, 

Lord my God, but even this : that I know not 
whence I came hither; into this, a dying life (shall 

1 call it) or a living death rather ? I know not. And 
the comforts of thy mercies did take me up, as I 
have heard it of the parents of my flesh, out ot 
whom, and in whom thou sometimes did form me, 
for I myself cannot remember it. The comfort 
therefore of a woman's milk did then entertain me : 
yet did neither my mother nor nurses fill their own 
breasts ; but thou, O Lord, didst by them afford a 
nourishment fit for my infancy, even according to 
thine own institution, and those riches of thine, 
reaching to the root of all things. Thou also in- 
graftedst in me a desire to suck no more than thou 
suppliedst them withal ; and in my nurses to afford 
me what thou gavest them : for they were willing 
to dispense unto me with proportion, what thou 
suppliedst them with in abundance. For it was a 
blessing to them, that I received this blessing from 


CAP. eis non, sed per eas erat : ex te quippe bona omnia, 
deus, et ex deo meo salus mihi universa. quod anim- 
adverti postmodum clamante te mihi per haec ipsa, 
quae tribuis intus et foris. nam tunc sugere noram 
et adquiescere delectationibus, flere autem offensiones 
carnis meae, nihil amplius. 

Post et ridere coepi, dormiens primo, deinde vigi- 
lans. hoc enim de me mihi indicatum est et credidi, 
quoniam sic videmus ahos infantes ; nam ista mea 
non memini. et ecce paulatim sentiebam, ubi essem, 
et voluntates meas volebam ostendere eis, per quos 
implerentur, et non poteram, quia illae intus erant, 
foris autem illi, nee ullo suo sensu valebant introire 
in animam meam. itaque iactabam et membra et 
voces, signa similia voluntatibus meis, pauca quae 
poteram, qualia poteram : non enim erant veri 
similia. et cum mihi non obtemperabatur, vel non 
intellecto vel ne obesset, indignabar non subditis 
maioribus, et liberis non servientibus, et me de illis 
flendo vindicabam. tales esse infantes didici, quos 
discere potui, et me talem fuisse magis mihi ipsi in- 
dicaverunt nescientes quam scientes nutritores mei. 

Et ecce infantia mea olim mortua est et ego vivo, 


them ; which yet was rather by them, than from chap. 
them. For all good things proceed from thee, ^^ 

God, and from my God cometh all my health- 
fulness. And so much I observed afterwards, when 
thou didst cry unto me by those instincts of nature 
which thou induedst me withal, both inwardly and 
outwardly. For then first I knew how to suck ; and 
to be contented with what did please me, and to cry 
at what offended my flesh, nothing more. 

Afterwards I began also to laugh ; first sleeping, 
and then waking : for thus much was told me of my- 
self, and I easily believed it, for that we see other in- 
fants do so too. For these things of myself I remember 
not. And behold, by little and little I came on to per- 
ceive where I was ; and I had the will to signify what 

1 would have, to those that should help me to it : but 
I could not yet clearly enough express my desires to 
them ; for these were within me, and they without 
me ; nor could the guess of their senses dive into 
my meaning. Thereupon would I flutter with my 
limbs, and sputter out some words, making some 
other few signs, like to my wishes, as well as I 
could ; but could not get myself to be understood 
by them : and when people obeyed me not, either 
for that they understood me not, or lest what I 
desired should hurt me ; then how would I wrangle 
at those elder servants that would not submit to me, 
and the children that did not aptly humour me, and 
I thought to revenge myself upon them all, with 
crying. And this is, as I have learned, the fashion 
of all children, that I could hear of: and such an 
one was I, as those taught me, not knowing, better 
than my nurses who knew. 

And now behold, my infancy is dead long ago, yet 
I live still. But thou, O Lord, who both livest for 


CAP. tu autem, domine, qui et semper vivis et nihil mori- 
tur in te, quoniam ante primordia saeculorum et ante 
omne, quod vel aiite dici potest, tu es et deus es 
dominusque omnium, quae creasti, et apud te rerum 
omnium instabilium stant causae, et rerum omnium 
mutabilium inmutabiles manent origines, et omnium 
inrationalium et temporalium sempiternae vivuni 
rationes, die mihi suppliei tuo, deus, et misericors 
misero tuo, die mihi, utrum alicui iam aetati meae 
mortuae successerit infantia mea. an ilia est, quam 
egi intra viscera matris meae ? nam et de ilia mihi 
nonnihil indicatum est et praegnantes ipse vidi 
feminas. quid ante hanc etiam, dulcedo mea, deus 
mens ? fuine alicubi aut aliquis ? nam quis mihi 
dicat ista, non habeo ; nee pater nee mater potue- 
runt, nee aliorum experimentum, nee memoria mea. 
an irrides me ista quaerentem, teque de hoc, 
quod novi, laudari a me iubes, et confiteri me tibi ? 
confiteor tibi, domine caeli et terrae, laudem di- 
cens tibi de primordiis et infantia mea, quae non 
niemini ; et dedisti ea homini ex aliis de se conicere 
et auctoritatibus etiam muliercularum multa de se 
credere, eram enim et vivebam etiam tunc, et signa, 
quibus sensa mea nota aliis facerem, iam in fine 
infantiae quaerebam. unde hoc tale animal nisi abs 
te, domine ? an quisquam se faciendi erit artifex ? 
aut ulla vena trHliitur aliunde, qua esse et vivere 


f5ver, and in whom nothing dies, (because that before CHAP, 
the foundations of the world, and before everything ^^ 
else, that can be said to be before, thou art both 
God and Lord of all which thyself hath created ; 
and in whose presence are the causes of all uncer- 
tain things, and the immutable patterns of all 
things mutable, with whom do live the eternal 
reasons of all these contingent chance-medleys, for 
which we can give no reason) tell, I pray thee, O 
God, unto me thy suppliant: thou who art merciful, 
tell me who am miserable, did my infancy succeed 
to any other age of mine that was dead before ; or 
was that it which I past in my mother's belly ? for 
something have I heard of that too, and myself have 
seen women with child. What passed before that 
age, O God my delight ? Was I anywhere, or any- 
body ? For I have none to tell me thus much : 
neither could my father and mother, nor the ex- 
perience of others, nor yet mine own memory. 
Dost thou laugh at me for enquiring these things, 
who commandest to praise and to confess to 
I thee for what I know.-* I confess unto thee, O 
^ Lord of heaven and earth, and I sing praises 
i unto thee for my first being and infancy, which 
[ I have no memory of: and thou hast given leave 
: to man, by others to conjecture of himself, and 
j upon the credit of women to believe many things 
that concern himself. For even then had I life and 
being, and towards the end of mine infancy, I sought 
for some significations to express my meaning by unto 
others. Whence could such a living creature come, 
but from thee, O Lord ? Or hath any man the skill 
to frame himself.'' Or is any vein of ours, by which 
being and life runs into us, derived from any original 
but thy workmanship, O Lord, to whom being and 
B 17 


CAP. currat in nos, praeterqiiam quod tu facis noSj domine 
cui esse et vivere non aliud atque aliud est, qui? 
summe esse atque summe vivere id ipsum est! 
summus enim es et non mutaris, neque peragitur ii 
te hodiernus dies, et tamen in te peragitur, quia in 
te sunt et ista omnia : non enim haberent vias trans- 
eundi, nisi contineres ea. et quoniam anni tui nor 
deficiunt, anni tui hodiernus dies : et quam raulti 
iam dies nostri et patrum nostrorum per hodiernum 
tuum transierunt, et ex illo acceperunt modos, et 
uteumque extiterunt, et transibunt adhuc alii et 
accipient et uteumque existent, tu autem idem ipse 
es, et omnia crastina atque ultra omniaque hesterna 
et retro hodie facies, hodie fecisti. quid ad me, si 
quis non intellegat ? gaudeat et ipse dicens : quid 
est hoc ? gaudeat etiam sic, et amet non inveniendo 
invenire, potius quam inveniendo non invenire te. 


CAP. ExAUDi, deus. vae peccatis hominum ! et homo 


dicit haec, et misereris ems, quoniam tu fecisti 
eum et peccatum non fecisti in eo. quis me com- 
memorat peccatum infantiae meae, quoniam nemo 
mundus a peccato coram te, nee infans, cuius est 


living are not several things, because both to be chap. 
and to live in the highest degree, is of thy very ^' 
essence? For thou art the highest, and thou art 
not changed ; neither is this present day spent 
in thee ; yet it is spent in thee, because even all 
these times are in thee ; nor could have their 
ways of passing on, unless thou containedst them. 
And because thy years fail not, thy years are but 
this very day. And how many soever our days and Ps. cii. 27 
our fathers' days have been, they have all passed 
through this one day of thine : from that day have 
they received their measures and manners of being : 
and those to come shall so also pass away, and so also 
receive their measures and manners of being. But 
thou art the same still ; and all to-morrows and so 
forward, and all yesterdays and so backward, thou 
shalt make present in this day of thine : yea, and 
hast made present. What concerns it me, if any 
understand not this .'* let him rejoice notwithstanding 
and say : What is this } Let him so also rejoice, 
and rather love to find in not finding it out, than by 
finding it, not to find thee with it. 

That even his infancy was subject to sin 

{Hearken unto me, O God! Woe to the sins of chap. 
men ! Yet when man says thus, thou hast mercy on ^^^ 
him : because him thou hast created, but sin in him 
thou hast not made. Who shall bring to my remem- 
brance the sin of my infancy ? For in thy sight can Job xxv. 3 
no man be clean from his sin ; no, not an infant of a 



CAP. unius diei vita super terrain ? quis me commemoiat? 


an quilibet tantillus nunc parvulus, in quo video quod 
non memini de me ? quid ergo tunc peccabam ? an 
quia uberibus inbiabam plorans ? nam si nunc faciam, 
non quidem uberibus^ sed eseaecongruentiannismeis 
ita inhians, deridebor atque reprehendar iustissime. 
tunc ergo reprehendenda faciebam, sed quia reprehen- 
dentem intellegere non poteram^ nee mos reprehendi 
me nee ratio sinebat. nam extirpamus et eicimus ist; 
crescentes, nee vidi queraquam scientem, cum aliqui 
purgat, bona proicere. an pro tempore etiam ilia bon 
erantj flendo petere etiam quod noxie daretur, iii 
dignari acriter non subiectis hominibus liberis el 
maioribusj bisque, a quibus genitus est, multisqut 
praeterea prudentioribusnonadnutum voluntatis ob 
temperantibus, feriendo nocere niti quantum potest, 
quia non oboeditur imperiis, quibus perniciose ob- 
oediretur? ita imbecillitas membrorum infantilium 
innocens est, non animus infantium. vidi ego et ex- 
pertus sum zelantem parvulum : nondum loquebatur, 
et intuebatur pallidus amaro aspectu conlactaneum 

Quis hoc ignorat ? expiare se dicunt ista matres 
atque nutrices nescio quibus remediis. nisi vero 
et ista innocentia est, in fonte lactis ubertim ma- 
nante atque abundante opis egentissimum et illo 
adhuc uno alimento vitam ducentem consortemj 


ay old upon the earth. Who will put me in mind chap. 
f this.'' Any such a little one, in whom I now ^^^^ 
bserve, what of myself I remembered not } Where- 
n did I then sin ? In that I cried too fiercely after 
the pap ? For if I should do so at these years, crying 
(though not to suck again, but after such food as 
is convenient for my growth) I should be laughed 
at and reprehended for it. Even then therefore 
did I something worthy to be blamed : but for that 
I could not understand such as reprehended me, 
therefore would neither custom nor reason suffer me 
to be corrected. For as we grow, we root and cast 
out such childishness : nor have I seen any man 
(knowing what he doth) who purging out bad things, 
casts the good away alsoJBut whether may this pass 
for good, (considering tHe time), by crying to desire 
what would have hurt me by being gi ven j^ nd to 
he so sullenly froward at freemen and elders that 
did not humour me, and mine own parents too ; yea 
and fighting, as fiercely as I could, at divers other 
discreeter persons, that did not cockney me in 
everything ; because they obeyed not my com- 
mands, which had been hurtful to me to have been 
obeyed. So that it is not the mind of infants 
that is harmless, but the weakness of their childish 
members. I myself have seen and observed a 
little baby to be already jealous ; and before it 
could speak, what an angry and bitter look it would 
cast at another child that sucked away its milk 
m it. 
ho knows not this, that mothers and nurses profess 
eed to expiate these things, by I know not what 
edies ? But may this pass for innocency, that a 
by full fed, should not endure a poor foster child 
share with him in a fountain of milk plentifully 


CAP non pati. sed blande tolerantur haec, non quia ni 
vel parva, sed quia aetatis accessu peritura su 
quod licet probes, cum ferri aequo animo ead ^ 
ipsa non possunt, quando in aliquo annosiore dep 
Lenduntur. tu itaque, domine deus meus, ( » 
dedisti vitam infanti et corpus, quod ita, ut vie "' 
mus, instruxisti sensibus, conpegisti membris, figu i ■ 
decorasti, proque eius universitate atque incolumita 1 
omiies conatus animantis insinuasti, iubes me laudar ' 
te in istis et confiteri tibi et psallere nomini tuo 
altissime, quia deus es omnipotens et bonus, etiams 
sola ista fecisses, quae nemo alius potest facere nis 
tu, une, a quo est omnis modus, formosissime, qu 
formas omnia et lege tua ordinas omnia. 

Hanc ergo aetatem, domine, qua me vixisse non 
memini, de qua aliis credidi et quam me egisse ex 
aliis infantibus conieci, quamquam ista multum fida 
coniectura sit, piget me adnumerare huic vitae 
meae, quam vivo in hoc saeculo. quantum enim 
adtinet ad oblivionis meae tenebras, par illi est, 
quam vixi in matris utero. quod si et in iniquitate 
conceptus sum, et in peccatis mater mea me in utero 
aluit, ubi, oro te, deus meus, ubi, domine, ego, servus 
tuus, ubi aut quando innocens fui ? sed ecce omitto 
illud tempns : et quid mihi iam cum eo est, cuius 
nulla vestiffia recolo? 



and freshly flowing, though destitute of succour, and chap. 
having but that only nourishment to sustain its poor ^^^ 
life wit! al ? But these childnesses are with pleasure 
borne withal : not because they be in themselves 
either none or small faults, but for that they will 
vanish with age. Which albeit they may in this age 
be allowed of, yet are they in no patience to be en- 
dured in an elder body. Thou therefore, O Lord my 
God, who hast given both life and body to the infant ; 
which as we see thou hast furnished with senses, 
compacted with limbs, beautified with shape, and 
for his general good and safety, hast armed all the 
endeavours of the whole creature : even thou com- Ps. xd. 
mandest me to praise thee for these things, and to *^^^' ^ 
confess and sing unto thy Name, O thou Most High ! 
Because thou art a God omnipotent and good, 
although thou hadst done no more but these things 
which none else can do, but thou alone, from whom 
all proportion floweth ; O thou most beautiful, which 
fashionest all, and after thine own method disposest 
all. This age therefore of my life, O Lord, of which 
1 remember not any passages ; concerning which I 
must give credit to others' relation, which, notwith- 
standing that I have passed, as I conjecture by other 
infants (although these tokens may very strongly 
assure my conjecture), it irks me to reckon unto the 
rest of that life which I lead in this world ; seeing 
that in regard of the darkness of my forgetfulness of 
it, it is like that part which I passed in my mother's 
womb. Now, if 1 were shapen in iniquity, and in Ps. li, 5 
sin conceived by my mother ; where, 1 beseech thee, 
O my God, in what place. Lord, was I, thy servant, 
where or when was I innocent } But behold I now 
pass by that age ; for what have I to do with it, 
whereof I can nothing at all call to memory ? 




CAP. NoNNE ab infantia hue pergens veni in pueri- 
tiam ? vel potius ipsa in me venit et successit infan- 
tiae ? nee diseessit ilia : quo enim abiit ? et tamen 
iam non erat. non enim eram infans, qui non farer, 
sed iam puer loquens eram. et memini hoc, et unde 
loqui didieeram, post adverti. non enim docebant 
me maiores homines, praebentes mihi verba certo 
aliquo ordine doctrinae sieut paulo post litteras, sed 
ego ipse mente, quam dedisti mihi, deus meus, cum 
gemitibus et vocibus variis et variis membrorum 
motibus edere vellem sensa cordis mei, ut voluntati -^ 
pareretur, nee valerem quae volebam omnia nee 
quibus volebam omnibus, pensabam memoria : cum 
ipsi appellabant rem aliquam et cum secundum eam 
vocem corpus ad aliquid movebant, videbam et tene- 
bam hoe ab eis vocari rem illam, quod sonabant, cum 
eam vellent ostendere. hoe autem eos velle, ex 
motu corporis aperiebatur, tamquam verbis naturali- 
bus omnium gentium, quae fiunt vultu et nutu ocu- 
lorum ceterorumque membrorum actu et sonitu vocis 
indicante affeetionem animi in petendis, habendis, 
reiciendis fugiendisve rebus, ita verba in variis sen- 
tentiis locis suis posita et crebro audita quarum rerum 
signa essent paulatim colligebam measque iam volun- 



A description of his childhood 

rRowiNG on fronj the state of infancy, came I not chap. 
into my childhood ? Or rather came not that into ^^^^ 
me, and succeeded unto my infancy ? Nor yet did 
my infancy depart ; for whither went it ? yet now 
it was no more. For an infant I was no longer, 
that could not speak ; seeing now I began to prove 
a pretty prating boy. And this I well remember, 
and I afterwards observed how I first learned to 
speak. For my elders did not teach me this ability, 
by giving me words in any certain order of teaching, 
(as they did letters afterwards), but by that mind 
which thou, my God, gavest me, I myself with grunt- 
ings, varieties of voices, and various motions of my 
body, strove to express the conceits of mine own 
heart, that my desire might be obeyed ; but could 
not bring it out, either all I would have, or with all 
the signs I would. Then, 1 pondered in my memory : 
when they named anything, and when at that 
name they moved their bodies toward that thing, 
I observed it, and gathered thereby, that that word 
which they then pronounced, was the very name 
of the thing which they showed me. And that 
they meant this or that thing, was discovered to 
me by the motion of their bodies, even by that 
natural language, as it were, of all nations ; which 
expressed by the countenance and cast of the eye, 
by the action of other parts, and the sound of the 
voice, discovers the affections of the mind, either to 
desire, enjoy, refuse, or to avoid anything. And thus 
words in divers sentences, set in their due places, and 
heard often over, I by little and little collected, of 


CAP. tates, edomito in eis signis ore, per haec enuntiabam. 
sic cum his^ inter quos eram, voluntatum enuntian- 
darum signa conmunicavi ; et vitae humanae procel- 
losam societatem altius ingressus sum, pendens ex 
parentum auctoritate nutuque maiorum hominum. 


CAP. Deus, deus meusj quas ibi miserias expertus sum 
et ludificationes, quandoquidem recte raihi vivere 
puero id proponebatur, obtemperare monentibus, ut 
in hoc saeculo florerem^ et excellerem linguosis art- 
ibus, ad honorem hominum et falsas divitias famu- 
lantibus. inde in scholam datus sum, ut discerem lit- 
teras, in quibus quid utilitatis esset ignorabam miser, 
et tamen, si segnis in discendo essem, vapulabam. 
laudabatur enim hoc a maioribus, et multi ante nos 
vitam istam agentes praestruxerant aerumnosas vias, 
per quas transire cogebamur multipHcato labore et 
dolore filiis Adam. 

Invenimus autem, domine, homines rogantes te, et 
didicimus ab eis, sentientes te, ut poteramus, esse 


what things they were the signs, and having broken chap, 
my mouth to the pronunciation of them, I by them ^'^^ 
expressed mine own purposes. Thus, with those 
whom I conversed withal, did I communicate the 
expressions of mine own desires ; and ventured 
thereby upon the troublesome society of human 
businesses, depending all this while upon the 
authority of my parents, and being at the beck oi 
my elders. 


The hatj'ed that children hear to Learning, and their 
Love to Playing 

God, my God ! what miseries and what mockeries chap, 
did I find in that age ; whenas being yet a boy, obedi- ^^ 
ence was propounded unto me, to those who advised 

le to get on in the world ; and prove excellent in 

mgue-sciences, which should get me reputation 

amongst men, and deceitful riches } Thereupon was 

1 sent to school, to get learning ; whereby little knew 
I (wretch that I was) what profit might be obtained ; 
and yet if I proved truantly at my book, I was pre- 
sently beaten. For this discipline was commended 
by our ancestors ; and divers passing the same course 
before our times, had chalked these troublesome 
ways out unto us, by which we were constrained to 
follow them ; multiplying by this means both labour 
and sorrow to the sons of Adam. 

Yet we observed, O Lord, how certain men would 
pray unto thee ; and we learned of them ; thinking 
thee (as far as we could apprehend) to be some 


CAP. magnum aliquem, qui posses etiam non adparens 


sensibus nostris exaudire nos et subvenire nobis. 
nam puer coepi rogare te, auxilium et refugium 
meum, et in tuam invocationem rumpebam nodos 
linguae meae, et rogabam te parvus non parvo 
affectu, ne in schola vapularem. et cum me non ex- 
audiebas, quod non erat ad insipientiam mihi, ride- 
bantur a maioribus hominibus usque ab ipsis paren- 
tibus, qui mihi accidere mali nihil volebant, plagae 
meae, magnum tunc et grave malum meum. estne 
quisquam, domine, tam raagnus animus, praegrandi 
affectu tibi cohaerens, estne, inquam, quisquam — 
facit enim hoc quaedam etiam stoliditas— est ergo, 
qui tibi pie cohaerendo ita sit affectus granditer, ut 
cculeos et ungulas atque huiuscemodi varia tormenta, 
pro quibus efFugiendis tibi per universas terras cum 
tiVnore magno supplicatur, ita parvi aestimet, diligens 
eos., qui haec acerbissime formidant, quemadmodum 
parentes nostri ridebant tormenta, quibus pueri a 
magistris affligebamur.'* non enim aut minus ea 
metuebamus aut minus te de his evadendis depreca- 
bamur, et peccabamus tamen minus scribendo aut 
legendo aut cogitando de litteris, quam exigebatur a 
nobis, non enim deerat, domine, memoria vel in- 
genium, quae nos habere voluisti pro ilia aetata satis, 
sed delectabat ludere, et vindicabatur in nos ab eis 
qui talia iitique agebant. sed maiorum nugae negotia 


great one; who wert able, (and yet not appearing ciap. 
feo our senses) both to hear and help us. For being ^^ 
yet a boy, I began to pray unto thee, my Aid and 
Refuge, and even then brake the string of my tongue 
in praying to thee ; and being yet a little one, I 
prayed to thee with no small devotion, that I might 
not be beaten at school. And when thou heardest 
not (which yet was not to be accounted folly in me), 
my corrections, which I then esteemed my greatest 
and most grievous affliction, were made sport at by 
my elders, yea and by mine own parents, who wished 
no hurt at all unto me. Is there any man, O Lord, 
of so great a spirit, cleaving to thee with so strong 
an affection ; is there any man, I say, (for even a 
callousness may other-whiles do as much), who by 
devoutly applying himself unto thee, is so resolutely 
affected, that he can think so lightly of those racks 
d strappadoes, and such varieties of torments, (for 
he avoiding whereof men pray unto thee with so 
much fear all the world over), that he can make 
sport at those who most bitterly fear them ; as our 
parents laughed at these torments, which we school- 
boys suffered from our masters? For we were no 
less afraid of the rod, nor did we less earnestly pray 
to thee for the scaping of it, than others did of 
their tortures. And yet for all our fears, we too 
often played the truants ; either in writing, or read- 
ing, or thinking upon our lessons, less than was 
required of us. For we wanted not, O Lord, either 
memory or capacity, (of which, considering our age, 
thou pleasedst to bestow enough upon us) but 
^our mind was all upon playing; for which we were 
beaten, even by those masters, who were doing 
as much themselves. But elder folks' idlenesses, 
must, forsooth, be called business, and when children 




CAP. vocabantur, puerorum autein talia cum sint, puniuntur 
a maioribus, et nemo miseratur pueros vel illos vel 
utrosque. nisi vero adprobat quisquam bonus rerum 
arbiter vapulasse me, quia ludebam pila puer et eo 
ludo inpediebar, quominus celeriter discerem litteras, 
quibus maior deformius luderem. aut aliud faeiebat 
idem ipse, a quo vapulabam, qui si in aliqua quaesti- 
unculaa condoctore suovictus esset, magis bile atque 
invidia torqueretur quam ego, cum in certamine pilae 
a conlusore meo superabar ? 

CAP. Et tamen peccabam, domine deus meus, ordina- 
■^ tor et creator rerum omnium naturalium, peccatorum 
autem tantum ordinator, domine deus meus, peccabam 
faciendo contra praecepta parentum et magistrorum 
illorum. poteram enim postea bene uti litteris, quas 
volebant ut discerem quocumque animoillimei. non 
enim meliora eligens inoboediens eram, sed amore 
ludendi, amans in certaminibus superbas victorias, et 
scalpi aures meas falsis fabellis, quo prurirent arden- 
tius, eadem curiositate magis magisque per oculos 
emicante in spectacula, ludos maiorum ; quos tamen 
qui edunt, ea dignitate praediti excellunt, ut hoc 


do the like, the same men must punish them; CHAJP. 
and yet no man pities either childi'en or men or ^^ 
both. But perhaps some indifferent judge might 
account me to be justly beaten for playing at ball, 
being yet a boy, because by that sport I was hin- 
dered in my learning, by which, when I came to be 
a man, I was to play the fool more unbeseemingly : 
or did my master, who now beat me, anything 
else ? who, if in any trifling question he were foiled 
by another schoolmaster, he was presently more 
racked with choler and envy at him, than I was, 
when at a match at tennis-ball, I lost the game to 
my play-fellow. 

How for his play he neglected his Parents 

And yet I offended, O Lord God, thou Ruler CHi 
and Creator of all natural things, of sins only the ^ 
Ruler ! I siimed, O Lord my God ! in doing con- 
trary to the commandments of my parents, and of 
those masters : for I might afterwards have made 
good use of my learning, which they were desirous 
I should obtain, whatsoever purpose they had in it. 
For I disobeyed them not out of desire of choosing 
better courses ; but all out of a desire to play : 
aspiring to be captain in all sports, and to have mine 
ears tickled with feigned fables, to make them itch 
the more glowingly: the like desperate curiosity 
also sparkling through mine eyes, after the shows 
and plays of my elders : the authors whereof are 
esteemed to gain so much honour by it, that 
almost all the spectators wish the like to be their 


CAP. paene omnes optent parvulis suiSj quos taraen caedi 
libenter patiuntur, si spectaculis talibus inpediantur 
ab studio, quo eos ad talia edenda cupiunt pervenire. 
vide ista, domine, misericorditer, et libera nos iam 
invocantes te, libera etiam eos qui nondum te invo- 
cant, ut invocent te et liberes eos. 


CAP. AuDiERAM enim ego adhuc puer de vita aeterna 


promissa nobis per humilitatem domini dei nostri 
descendentis ad superbiam nostram, et signabar iam 
signo crucis eius, et condiebar eius sale iam inde 
ab utero matris meae, quae multum speravit in te. 
vidisti, domine, cum adhuc puer essem, et quodam 
die pressu stomachi repente aestuarem paene mori- 
turus, vidisti, deus mens, quoniam custos mens iam 
eras, quo motu animi et qua fide baptismum Cliristi 
tui, dei et domini mei, flagitavi a pietate matris meae 
et matris omnium nostrum, ecclesiae tuae. et con- 
turbata mater carnis meae, quoniam et sempiternam 
salutem meam carius parturibat corde casto in fide 
tua, iam curaret festinabunda, ut sacramentis saluta- 
ribus initiarer et abluerer, te, domine lesu, confitens 


own children ; whom for all that they gladly suffer to chap. 
be beaten, if by such stage-plays they be hindered ^ 
from their studies, by which they desire them to arrive 
one day to the ability of making the like. Look 
down upon these things mercifully, O Lord, and 
deliver us that now call upon thee : deliver also those 
that do not yet call upon thee ; that they may call 
upon thee, and thou mayest deliver them. 


Hofv he fell sick, and hotv recovering, his Baptism 
was deferred 

I HAD heard, being yet a boy, of eternal life pro- chap, 
mised unto us through the humility of thy Son our ^^ 
Lord God, descending even to our pride, and I was 
then signed with the sign of his Cross, and was 
seasoned with his salt, so soon as I came out of my 
mother's womb, who greatly trusted in thee. Thou 
sawest, O Lord, when being yet a boy, and one 
day taken with a pain in the stomach, I fell sud- 
denly into a fit, very like to die. Thou sawest, O 
my God, (for thou wert my Keeper) with what 
earnestness of mind, and with what faith, I impor- 
tuned the piety both of mine own mother, and of 
thy Church the mother of us all, for the Baptism of 
thy Christ, my Lord God. Whereupon the mother 
of my flesh being much perplexed, (for that in a 
chaste heart, and faith in thee, she most lovingly 
even travailed in birth of my eternal salvation,) did 
hasten with great care to procure me to be initiated Gal. ir. 
and washed with thy wholesome Sacraments, (I first 
confessing thee, O Lord Jesus, for the remission of 
I c 33 

CAP. in remissionem peccatorum, nisi statim recreatus 


essem. dilata est itaque mundatio mea, quasi 
necesse esset, ut adhuc sordidarer, si viverem, 
quia videlicet post lavacrum illud maior et peri 
culosior in sordibus delictorum reatus foret. ita 
iam credebara, et ilia, et omnis domus, nisi pater 
solus, qui tamen non evicit in me ius maternae 
pietatis, quominus in Christum crederem, sicut 
ille nondum crediderat. nam ilia sata^ebat, ut tu 
mihi pater esses, deus meus, potius quam ille : et 
in hoc adiuvabas earn, ut superaret virum, cui melior 
serviebat, quia et in hoc tibi utique id iubenti 

Rogo te, deus meus, vellem scire, si tu etiam 
velles, quo consilio dilatus sum, ne tunc baptizarer, 
utrum bono meo mihi quasi laxata sint lora peccandi 
an non laxata sint. unde ergo etiam nunc de aliis 
atque aliis sonat undique in auribus nostris : " sine 
ilium, faciat ; nondum enim baptizatus est." et 
tamen in salute corporis non dicimus : " sine vul- 
neretur amplius ; nondum enim sanatus est." 
quanto ergo melius et cito sanarer, et id ageretur 
mecum meorum meaque diligentia, ut recepta 
sal us animae meae tuta esset tutela tua, qui de- 
disses earn, melius vero. sed quot et quanti fluctus 
inpendere temptationum post pueritiam videbantur ! 



sins,) but that I jJiesently recovered upon it. Upon chai*. 
my recovery was my cleansing deferred ; as if it ^* 
were necessary that I should yet be more defiled; 
if I lived longer : because, forsooth, the guilt con- 
tracted by the filth of sin, were both greater and 
more dangerous after Baptism, than before. Thus 
did I then believe, as also my mother and the 
whole house, except my father only ; who did not 
for all this overthrow the power of my mother's 
piety in me, to the hindrance of my believing in 
Christ, although himself had not yet believed in him. 
For she by all means endeavoured, that thou, my 
God, shouldst be my father, rather than he. And 
herein didst thou assist her to overcome her husband, 
to whom (though the better of the two) she con- 
tinued her service; wherein she principally served 
thee, who commandedst her so to do. 

I beseech thee, O my God, (for I would gladly know, 
if thou wert pleased to tell me) to what purpose was 
my Baptism thus deferred ; whether it were more for 
my good that the reins of sin were, as it were, then 
enlarged, or that they should not have been enlarged 
at all } Whence therefore comes it, that even now my 
ears are on all sides so beaten with this noise : Let 
him alone, let him do what he will ; for he is not yet 
baptized : whereas upon any doubt of bodily health, we 
do not say, Let him be more dangerously wounded, for 
he is not yet cured .'* How much better had it been 
for me to have been speedily cured, that by my friends' 
diligence and my own, so much might have been 

Irought in me, that my soul having received health, 
ight have been safe under thy protection, who 
idst given it } This verily had been the better 
)urse. But how many, and what violent waves of 
jmptation did seem to threaten me after my child- 

CAP. noverat eos iam ilia mater, et terrain potius, unde 
postea formarer, quam ipsam iam effigiem conmittere 


CAP. In ipsa tamen pueritia, de qua mihi minus 


quam de adulescentia metuebatur, non amabam 
litteras et me in eas urgeri oderam ; et urgebar 
tamen, et bene mihi fiebat, nee faciebam ego bene : 
non enim discerem, nisi cogerer. nemo enim invitus 
bene facit, etiamsi bonum est quod facit. nee qui 
me urgebant, bene faciebant, sed bene mihi fiebat 
abs te, deus meus. illi enim non intuebantur, quo 
referrem quod me discere cogebant, praeterquam ad 
satiandas insatiabiles cupiditates copiosae inopiae et 
ignominiosae gloriae. tu vero, cui numerati sunt 
capilli nostri, errore omnium, qui mihi instabant ut 
discerem, utebaris ad utilitatem meam, meo autem, 
qui discere nolebam, utebaris ad poenam meam, qua 
plecti non eram indignus tantillus puer et tantus 
peccator. ita non de bene facientibus tu bene 
faciebas mihi, et de peccante me ipso iuste retri- 
buebas mihi. iussisti enim et si.c est, ut poena sua 

sibi sit omnis inordinatus dhiinus. 

'" ' * 


hood ! Those my mother full well knew ; and desired chap. 
to commit to them the clay of which I was after- ^^ 
wards to be new moulded, rather than the image 


He is forced to his Book : which God turned to 
good purpose 

But in this my childhood (wherein was less fear of ^jj^p 
me than in my youth) I loved not my book, and I xii 
hated to be forced to it : yet was I held to it not- 
withstanding : wherein it was very well for me, but 
I did not well for myself: for I would never have 
taken my learning, had I not been constrained to it. 
For no man does well against his will, though that 
which he does be good. Nor did they that forced 
me to it, very well ; but it was thou, my God, that 
didst the good to me. For they that held me to 
my learning, did not understand to what I would 
apply it, unless to satiate the insatiable desires of 
a rich beggary, and a dishonourable glory. But 
thou before whom the very hairs of our heads ^^^^^ ^ 3q 
are numbered, didst convert the common error of 
them all who pressed me to learning, to mine own 
benefit ; and my error, who would not learn, didst thou 
make use of for my punishment ; of which I being 
then so little a boy, and so great a sinner, was not 
unworthy. Thus by their means who did not well 
by me, didst thou well for me : and upon me who 
was a sinner, thou inflictedst a deserved punishment. 
For thou hast appointed it, and so it proves, every 
man's inordinate affection shall be his own affliction. 

1 It was believed that this image was restored in baptism. 



CAP. Quid autem erat causae, cur graecas litteras 
oderam, qiiibus puerulus imbuebar, ne nunc quidem 
mihi satis exploratum est. adamaveram enim latinas, 
non quas primi magistri, sed quas docent qui gram- 
aiatici vocantur. nam illas primas, ubi legere et 
scribere et numerare discitur, non minus onerosas 
poenalesque habebam quam omnes graecas. unde 
tamen et hoc nisi de peccato et vanitate vitae, qua 
caro eram et spiritus ambulans et non revertens.'' 
nam utique meliores, quia certiores, erant primae 
illae litterae, quibus fiebat in me et factum est et 
habeo illud, ut et legam, si quid scriptum invenio^ et 
scribam ipse, si quid volo, quam illae, quibus tenere 
cogebar Aeneae nescio cuius errores, oblitus errorum 
meorum, et plorare Didonem mortuam, quia se occidit 
ab amorCj cum interea me ipsum in his a te morien- 
tem, deus_, vita mea_, siccis oculis ferrem miserrimus. 
Quid enim miserius misero non miserante se ipsum 
et flente Didonis mortem_, quae fiebat amando Aenean, 
non flente autem mortem suam, quae fiebat non 
amando te, deus, lumen cordis mei et panis orisintus 
*nimae meae et virtus maritans mentem meam et 
sinum cogitationis meae .'' non te amabam, et forni- 
cabar abs te, et fornicanti sonabat undique : " euge, 



With what studies he was chiejiy delighted 

But what was the reason why of a child I should so chap. 
naturally hate the Greek tongue when it was taught ^'^^ 
me, I cannot yet understand. Latin I loved very 
well: not that part which the elementary teachers 
enter us in, but that which the men of letters teach 
us.^ For those first rudiments, to read, to write, and 
cipher, I accounted no less painful and troublesome 
than the Greek. But whence should this proceed, 
but from the sinfulness and vanity of this life } For ps. ixxviii 
I was but flesh, a wind that passeth away and cometh 39 
not again. For those first rudiments were better, 
because more certain, (seeing that by them, that skill 
was and is wrought in me, that I am able to read what 
I find written, and of myself to write what I will) than 
these latter ; by which I was enforced to commit to 
memory the wanderings of I know not what ^Eneas, 
while I forgat mine own : and to bewail dead Dido, 
because she killed herself for love ; when in the 
mean time (wretch that I was) I with dry eyes 
endured myself dying towards thee; O God my Life I 
For what can be more miserable than a wretch 
that pities not himself; one bemoaning Dido's death, 
caused by loving of jEneas, and yet not lamenting 
his own death, caused by not loving of thee, 
O God, thou Light of my soul, thou Bread of the 
internal mouth of my soul, and thou firmest Knot, 
marrying my soul and the bosom of my thoughts 
together ? I did not love thee, and I committed forni- 
cation against thee, while in the mean time every 
one applauded me with Well done, well done ! But 

I.e. the literature, not the grammar. 


CAP. euge." amicitia enim rauixli huius fornicatio est abs te 
■^^^^ et "euge, euge" dicitur, ut pudeat, si non ita homo sit. 
et haec non flebam, et flebam Didonem extinctam fer- 
roque extrema secutam, sequens ipse extrema condita 
tua relicto te, et terra iens in terram : et si prohiberer 
ea legere, dolerem, quia non legerem quod dolerem 
talis dementia honestiores et uberiores litterae putan 
tur quam illae, quibus legere et scribere didici. 

Sed nunc in anima mea clamet deus meus, et Veri- 
tas tua dicat mihi : non est ita, non est ita ; melior 
est prorsus doctrina ilia prior, nam ecce paratior sum 
oblivisci errores Acneae atque omnia eius modi, quam 
scribere et legere. at enim vela pendent liminibus 
graramaticarum scholarum^ sed non ilia magis hono- 
rem secreti quam tegimentum erroris significant, non 
clament adversus me quos iam non timeo, dum con- 
fiteor tibi quae vult anima mea, deus meus, et ad- 
quiesco in reprehensione malarum viarum mearum, ut 
diligani bonas vias tuas, non clament adversus me 
venditores grammaticae vel emptores, quia, si pro- 
poiiam eis interrogans, utrum verum sit quod Aenean 
aliquando Karthaginem venisse poeta dicit, indoc- 
tiores nescire se respondebunt, doctiores autem etiam 
negabunt verum esse, at si quaeram, quibus litteris 
scribatur Aeneae nomen, omnes mihi, qui haec didi- 
cerunt, verum respondent et secundum id pactum et 
placitum, quo inter se homines ista signa firmarunt, 


the love of tliis world is fornication against God : chap. 
which so applauds and encourages a spiritual for- ^^^^ 
nicator, that it is even a shame for a man to be JameBlv.j 
otherwise. But I bemoaned not all this ; but dead 
Dido I bewailed, that killed herself by falling upon 
the sword : I myself following these lower creatures 
of thine, forsaking thee ; and myself being earth, 
hastening to the earth. But if I were forbidden to read 
these toys, how sorry would I be, for that I might 
not read that which would make me sorry. Such mad- 
nesses were esteemed to be more commendable and 
fluent learning, than the learning to write and read. 
But let my God now cry unto my soul, and let thy 
truth say unto me, It is not so, it is not so ; that first 
kind of learning was far better. For behold I am 
readier to forget the wanderings of ^neas, and all 
such toys, than I am to write and read. True it is, 
that there are curtains at the entrance of Grammar 
Schools ; but they signify not so much the cloth of 
state to privacy, as serve for a blind to the follies 
committed behind them. Let not these masters 
now cry out upon me, whom now I am out of fear 
of; whilst I confess to thee, my God, what my soul 
delights in ; and rest contented with the repre- 
hension of mine own evil ways, that I may love thy 
good ones. Let not those buyers or sellers of 
grammar exclaim upon me, for that if I ask them, 
whether that of the poet be true, that iEneas ever 
came to Carthage : the unlearned will answer, they 
know not ; and the learned will deny it to be true. 
But if I ask them with what letters iEneas' name 
is written, every one that hath but learned so far, 
will pitch upon one truth, according to the agree- 
ment and will whereby men at first made rules for 
those characters. If I should ask again, which of 


CAP. item si qiiaeram, quid horum maiore vitae hiiius in- 
^^^^ commodo quisque obliviscatur, legere et scribere an 
poetica ilia figmenta, quis non videat, quid respon- 
surus sit, qui non est penitus oblitus sui ? peccabam 
ergo puer, cum ilia inania istis utilioribus amore prae- 
ponebam vel potius ista odcram, ilia amabam. iam 
vero unum et unum duo, duo et duo quattuor odiosa 
cantio mihi erat, et dulcissimum spectaculum vanitatis 
equus ligneus plenus armatis, et Troiae incendium, 
atque ipsius umbra Creusae. 


CAP. Cur ergo graecam etiam grammaticam oderam 


talia cantantem ? nam et Homerus peritus texere 
tales fabellas, et dulcissime vanus est, et mihi tamen 
amarus erat puero. credo etiam graecis pueris Ver- 
gilius ita sit, cum eum sic discere coguntur ut ego 
ilium, videlicet difficultas, difficultas omnino ediscen- 
dae linguae peregrinae, quasi felle aspergebat omnes 
suavitates graecas fabulosarum narrationum. nulla 
enim verba ilia noveram, et saevis terroribus ac 
poenis, ut nossem, instabatur mihi vehementer. nam 
et latina aliquando infans utique nulla noveram, et 
tamen advertendo didici sine ullo metu atque cruciatu, 
inter etiam blandimenta nutricum et ioca arridentium 


the two would be most incommodious to the life of CHAP, 
man to forget ; to write and read, or, these poetical ^^^^ 
fictions ; wiio sees not what any man would answer, 
that had not quite forgotten himself.^ I offended 
therefore being but a boy, when in my affection I 
preferred those vain studies to these more profit- 
able : or rather, indeed, I utterly hated these, and 
was in love with those. But then. One and one 
makes two, and two and two makes four, was a harsh 
song to me ; but The Wooden Horse full of Armed 
Men, and The Burning of Troy, and the Ghost of 
Creusa, was a most delightful spectacle of vanity. 


Of the Greek and Latin Tongues 

But why then did I hate the Greek literature chap. 
that chants of such things ? For Homer himself XIV 
was skilful in contriving such fictions, and is most 
delightfully wanton ; but yet very harsh to me being 
a schoolboy. I believe that Virgil is no less to 
Grecian children when they be compelled to learn 
him, as I was to learn Homer : for to say truth, the 
difficulty of learning a strange language, did sprinkle 
as it were with gall all the pleasures of those fabulous 
narrations. For I understood not a word of it, yet they 
vehemently pressed me and with most cruel threaten- 
ings and punishments, to make me understand it. 
The time was also (when I was an infant) that I knew 
not a word of Latin ; yet by marking I got that without 
any fear or tormenting, even by my nurses' prattlings 
to me, and the pretty tales of those that laughed upon 
me, and the sports of those that played with me. 


CAP. et laetitias alludentium. didici vero ilia sine poenali 


on ere urgentiura, cum me urgeret cor meum ad 
parienda concepta sua, id quod non esset, nisi aliqua 
verba didicissem non a docentibus, sed a loquentibus, 
in quorum et ego auribus parturiebam quidquid sen- 
tiebam. hinc satis elucet maiorem habere vim ad 
discenda ista liberam curiositatem quam meticulosam 
necessitatem. sed illius fluxum haec restringit legibus 
tuis, deus, legibus tuis a magistrorum ferulis usque 
ad temptationes martyrum_, valentibus legibus tuis 
- miscere saUibres amaritudines revocantes nos ad te 
a iucunditate pestifera, qua recessimus a te. 


CAP. ExAUDij domine, deprecationem meam, ne deficiat 
anima mea sub disciplina tua, neque deficiam in 
confitendo tibi miserationes tuas, quibus eruisti me 
ab omnibus viis meis pessimis, ut dulcescas mihi super 
omnes seductiones, quas sequebar, et amem te validis- 
sime, et amplexer manum tuam totis praecordiis meis, 
et eruas me ab omni temptatione usque in finem. 

Ecce enim tu, domiiie, rex meus et deus mens, 
tibi serviat quidquid utile puer didici, tibi serviat 


So much verily I learnt without any painful burden chap. 
lo me of those that urged me, for that mine own ^^^ 
heartput me toit tobring out mine own conceptions. 
Which I could never have done^ had I not learned 
divers words, not of those that taught me, but of 
them that talked familiarly to me, in whose hearing 
I also brought forth whatsoever I had conceived. 
Hereby it clearly appears that a free curiosity hath 
more force in children's learning of languages, than 
a frightful enforcement can have. But the unsettled- 
ness of that freedom, this enforcement restrains: 
thy laws, O God, yea, thy laws, even from the school- 
master's ferule, to the martyr's trials, being able to 
temper wholesome and bitter together ; calling us 
back by that means unto thyself, even from that 
infectious sweetness, which at first allured us to fall 
away from thee. 


Ills Prayer to God 

Hear my prayer, O Lord, let not my soul faint chap. 
under thy correction : nor let me faint in confessing ^^ 
unto thee thine own mercies, by which thou hast ^s- 1^- 2 
drawn me out of all mine own most wicked courses : 
that thyself mightest from hence forward grow sweet 
unto me, beyond all those allurements which hereto- 
fore I followed ; and that I might most entirely love 
thee, and lay hold upon thy hand with all the powers 
of my heart, that thou mightest finally draw me out 
of all danger of temptation. 

For behold, O Lord my King ; whatsoever good I 
have learned, being a -boy, unto thy service let it be 


CAP. quod loquor et scribo et lego et numerOj quoniam cum 

XV * 

vana discerem, tu discipliiiam dabas mihi et in eis 
vanis peccata delectationum mearum dimisisti mihi. 
didici in eis multa verba utilia ; sed et in rebus non 
vanis disci possunt, et ea via tuta est, in qua pueri 


CAP. Sed vae tibi, flumen moris humani ! quis resistit 


tibi ? quamdiu non siccaberis ? quousque volves 
Evae filios in mare magnum et formidulosum, quod 
vix transeunt qui lignum conscenderint ? nonne ego 
in te legi et tonantem lovem et adulterantem ? 
et utique non posset liaec duo, sed actum est, ut 
haberet auctoritatem imitandum verum adulterium 
lenocinante falso tonitru. quis autem paenulatorum 
magistrorum audit aure sobria ex eodem pulvere 
hominem clamantem et dicentem : fingebat haev 
Homerus et humana ad deos transferebat ; divina 
mallem ad nos? sed verius dicitur, quod fingebat 
haec quidem ille, sed hominibus flagitiosis divina 
tribuendo, ne flagitia flagitia putarentur, et ut quisquis 
ea fecisset, non homines perditos, sed caelestes decs 
videretin* imitatus. 


directed, yea, "whatsoever I speak or write, or read, chap. 
or number, let all serve thee. For when I learned ^^ 
vain things, thou didst discipline me : and in those 
vanities, thou forgavest the sinfulness of my delight 
in them. In those studies I learned many useful 
words, but those might have been also learned in 
studies not so vain : which is, I confess, the safest . 
way for children to be trained up in. 


Against lascivious fables 

But woe unto thee, O thou torrent of human CHAP, 
custom, who shall stop the course of thee ? When ^^^ 
wilt thou be dry.'* How long wilt thou continue 
tumbling the sons of Eve into that huge and hideous 
ocean, which they very hardly pass, who are shipped 
upon the Tree .'' Do I not read in thee of Jupiter 
sometimes thundering, and sometimes adulterating.^ 
But verily both these could not one person do : but 
this is feigned, that there might be authority to imitate 
true-acted adultery; false thunder the mean while 
playing the bawd to him. Yet which of our long- 
robed masters can with any patience hear a man that 
should in his school cry out saying : Homer feigned 
these, and ascribed men's faults unto the gods; but I 
had rather he had derived divine excellencies upon 
us. But more truly it is said, that Homer feigned these \ 
things indeed; and that by his attributing divine 
excellencies to most wicked mortals, crimes might not 
be accounted crimes : so that whosoever shall com- 
mit the like, seems not therein to imitate desperate 
people, but some heavenly deities, 


CAP. Et tamen, o flumen tartareum, iactantur in te fili 


hominum cum mercedibus^ ut haec discaiit, et magna 
res agitur, cum hoc agitur piiblice in foro, in con- 
spectu legum supra mercedem salaria decernentium, 
et saxa tua percutis et sonas dicens : " hinc verba 
discuntur, hinc adquiritur eloquentia, rebus persua- 
dendis sententiisque explicandis maxime necessaria." 
ita ergo non cognosceremus verba haec, imbrem et 
aureum et gremium et fucum et templa caeli et alia 
verba, quae in eo loco scripta sunt, nisi Terentius 
induceret nequara adulescentem, proponentem sibi 
lovem ad exemplum stupri, dum spectat tabulam 
quandam pictam in pariete, ubi inerat pictura haec, 
lovem quo pacto Danaae misisse aiunt in gremium 
quondam imbrem aureum, fucum factum mulieri ? 
et vide, quemadmodum se concitat ad libidinem 
quasi caelesti magisterio : 

at quern deum I (inquit) qui templa caeli summo 

sonitu concutit. 
ego homuncio id non facerem ? ego v^ro illud 

feci ac libens. 

Non omnino, non omnino per hanc turpitudinem 
verba ista commodius discuntur, sed per haec verba 
turpitudo ista confidentius perpetratur. non accuso 
verba quasi vasa lecta atque pretiosa, sed vinum 
erroris, quod in eis nobis propinabatur ab ebriis doc- 
toribus, et nisi biberemus, caedebamur, nee appellare 


I This notwithstanding, O thou heUish torrent, are chap. 
I the sons of men cast into thee, with payments xvi 
j made, to learn these fables ; and a great solemnity is 
I made of it, when 'tis pleaded for openly in the 
assemblies, and in the sight of the laws, which allow 
stipends to the teachers over and above the payments 
of the scholars : yet, O torrent, thou art still beating 
upon thy rocks, roaring out, and crying : Here are 
fine words to be learned ; here eloquence is attained : 
eloquence so necessary to persuade to business, and 
with advantage to express thoughts. But for all this, 
should we never so well have understood these words : 
The Golden Shower, the Lap, the Deceit, the Temple 
of Heaven, and such others written in the same place, 
had not Terence withal brought a lewd young man Ter. Eun. 
upon the stage, propounding Jupiter to himself for ^^^ 
an example of his adultery; whilst he beholds a 
certain picture on the wall, wherein are set out to 
the life, the story of Jupiter raining a golden shower 
into Danae's lap, deceiving the simple maiden by 
that means? See how that young man provoked 
himself to lust, as if he had had a celestial authority 
for it : 

" But what god do I imitate, saith he } Even that Ter. Eun. 
god who with a mighty thunder shakes the very ^^^ 
arches of heaven : may I not then, frail flesh and 
blood, do as much ? But I for my part did as much, 
yea, and gladly too." 

Plainly, these words are not so much the more easily 
learned by this filthy matter, but by these words the 
sin is more confidently committed. I blame not the 
words, which of themselves are like vessels choice 
and precious ; but that wine of error which is in 
them, drunk to us by our intoxicated teachers. If 

I refused to pledge them, we were beaten : nor had 

CAP. ad aliquem iudicein sobrium licebat. et tamen ego, 


deus meus, in cuius conspectu iam secura est 
recordatio mea, libenter haec didici et eis delectabar 
miser et ob hoc bonae spei puer appellalmr. 


CAP. Sine me, deus meus, dicere aliquid de ingenio 
^^^' meo, munere tuo, in quibus a me deliramentis 
atterebatur. proponebatur enim mihi negotium 
animae meae satis inquietum, praemio laudis et 
dedecoris vel plagarura metu, ut dicerem verba 
lunonis irascentis et dolentis, quod non possit Italia 
Teucrorum avertere regem : quae numquam luno- 
nem dixisse audierani, sed figmentorum poeticorum 
vestigia errantes sequi cogebamur, et tale aliquid 
dicere solutis verbis, quale poeta dixisset versibus : 
et ille dicebat laudabilius, in quo pro dignitate 
adumbratae personae irae ac doloris similior affectus 
eminebat verbis sententias congruenter vestientibus. 
Ut quid mihi illud, o vera vita, deus meus? quid 
mihi recitanti adclamabatur prae multis coaetaneis 
et conlectoribus meis ? nonne ecce ilia omnia fumus 
et ventus? itane aliud non erat, ubi exerceretur 
nigenium et lingua mea ? laudes tuae, domine, 
laudes tuae per scripturas tuas suspenderent 


we liberty to appeal unto any sober judge. All chap, 
this notwithstanding, O my God, (in whose presence xvi 
I now with security remember this) I did willingly 
learn these things ; and unhappy I, was for this 
accounted a youth of much towardness. 


The way of exercising youth in repeating and 
varying of verses 

Give me leave, O my God, to tell thee something rg^p 
of mine own wit, which was thy gift, and what xvil 
dotages I spent it upon. My master put a task 
upon me, troublesome enough to my soul, and that 
upon terms of reward of commendations, or fear of 
shame and whipping : namely, that I should declaim 
upon those words of Juno, expressing both her 
anger and sorrow, that she could not keep off the 
Trojan King from going into Italy : which words I 
had heard that Juno never uttered ; yet were we 
enforced to imitate the passages of these poetical 
fictions ; and to vary that into prose which the poet 
had expressed in verse. And he declaimed with 
itiore applause, in whose action, according to the 
dignity of the person represented, there appeared 
an affection nearer to anger or grief, set out with 
words agreeable to the matter. 

But to what end was this, O my true Life, my God ? 
Why was my declamation more applauded than so 
many others of mine own age and form ? Was not 
all this mere smoke and wind } And could no other 
subject be found to exercise my wit and tongue in? 
Thy praises, O Lord, thy praises, might have stayed 
the tender sprig of my heart upon the prop of thy 



CAP. palmitem cordis mei, et non raperetar per inania 
nugarum turpis praeda volatilibus. non enim uno 
modo sacrificatur transgressoribus angelis. 


CAP. Quid autem mirum, quod in vanitates ita fere- 


bar, et a te, deus meus, ibam foras, quando mihi 
imitandi proponebantur homines, qui aliqua facta sua 
non mala si cum barbarism© aut soloecismo enuntia- 
rent, reprehensi confundebantur ; si autem libidines 
suas integris et rite consequentibus verbis copiose 
ordinateque narrarent, laudati gloriabantur ? vides 
haec, domine, et taces, longanimis et multum 
misericors et verax. numquid semper tacebis ? et 
nunc erues de hoc inmanissimo profundo quaerentera 
te animam et sitientem delectationes tuas, et cuius 
cor dicit tibi : quaesivi vultum tuum ; vultum tuum, 
domine, requiram : nam longe a vultu tuo in afFectu 
tenebroso. non enim pedibus aut spatiis locorum 
itur abs te aut reditur ad te, aut vero filius ille tuus 
equos aut currus vel naves quaesivit aut avolavit 
pinna visibili aut moto poplite iter egit, ut in longin- 
qua regione vivens prodige dissiparet quod dederas 


Scriptures, tha^ it might not have been cropped off chap 
by these empt}' vanities, to be caught up as a prey by ^^^^ 
those flying spirits. For by more ways than one is 
there sacrifice offered to the collapsed angels. 


That Men care more to observe the Rules of 
Grammar than the Laws of God- 

But what wonder was it, if I were thus* carried chap. 
towards vanity, and estranged from thee, O my God ; ^ ^ 
whenas such men were propounded to me to imitate, 
who should they deliver any of their own acts, 
though not evil, with any barbarism or solecism, they 
were utterly dashed out of countenance : but should 
they make a copious and neat oration of their own 
lusts, in a round and well followed style, would take 
a pride to be applauded for it. These things thou 
seest, O Lord, long suffering, and of much mercy 
and truth, and thou keepest silence ; but wilt thou 
be silent for ever } Even now thou wilt draw out of 
this horrible pit, that soul that seeks after thee, and 
that thirsts after thy pleasures : whose heart saith Ps. xxvii. 9 
unto thee, I have sought thy face, and thy face. Lord, 
will I seek. For I had straggled far away from 
thy countenance in the mistiness of my affections. 
For we neither go nor return, from, or to thee, 
upon our feet, or by distance of spaces : nor did that 
younger brother seek post-horses, or waggons, or 
ships, or fly away with visible wings, or take his 
journey by the motion of his hams, that living in a Luke xy. 
far country he might prodigally waste that portion, 
which thou hadst given him at his departure. A 



CAi\ proficiscenti, dulcis pater, quia dederas, et egeno 

redeunti dulcior: in affectu ergo libidinoso, id enim 

est tenebroso atque id est longe a vultu tuo. vide, 
domine deus meus, et patienter, ut vides, vide, 
quomodo diligenter observent filii homiimm pacta 
litterariim et syllabarum accepta a prioribus locu- 
toribus, et a te accepta aeterna pacta perpetuae 
salutis neglegant : ut qui ilia sonorum vetera placita 
teneat aut doceat, si contra disciplinam gramraati- 
cam sine adspiratione primae syllabae hominem 
dixerit, magis displiceat hominibus, quam si contra 
tua praecepta hominem oderit, cum sit homo, quasi 
vero quemlibet inimicum hominem perniciosius sen- 
tiat quam ipsum odium, quo in eum irritatur, aut 
vastet quisquam persequendo alium gravius, quam 
cor suum vastat inimicando. et certe non est in- 
terior litterarum scientia quam scripta conscientia, 
id se alteri facere quod nolit pati. quam tu secretus 
es, habitans in excelsis in silentio, deus solus magnus, 
lege infatigabili spargens poenales caecitates supra 
inlicitas cupiditates, cum homo eloquentiae famam 
quaeritans ante hominem iudicem, circumstante 
hominum multitudine, inimicum suum odio inmanis- 
simo insectans, vigilantissime cavet, ne per linguae 
errorem dicat : Inter omines, et ne per mentis 
furorem hominem auferat ex hominibus non cavet. 



sweet Father, because thou gavest him his portion • CHAP. 
yet far sweeter to the poor wretch returning : foi X^lll 
that he went from thee out of a voluptuous affection; 
that is to say, a darkened one ; and such that is, 
which is far from thy countenance. Behold, O Lord ' 
God, and patiently behold, as thou still dost, how 
diligently the sons of men observe the rules of 
letters and syllables received from former speakers ; 
and yet regard not the eternal covenants of ever- 
lasting salvation, received from thyself. Insomuch, 
that he who either holds or teadies the ancient rules 
of pronunciation, if contrary to grammar he shall 
pronounce ominem, (that is, a man) without H in the 
first syllable ; he shall displease men more, than if 
against thy rules he should hate a man, although he 
be a man. As if any man should think his enemy 
to be more pernicious to him, than that hatred of 
his own is, whereby he is set against him : or imagine 
that he does worse scath to another man by perse- 
cuting him, than he does to his own heart, by con- 
triving enmity against him. Certainly there is no 
more inward knowledge of Letters than this law of 
conscience, that one is doing to another what himself Matt. vH. i] 
would noTsuffer. How secret art thou, O thou only 
great God, which dwellest in the Highest, and in 
silence, with an untiring destiny, dispersing blind- 
ness for punishments upon unlawful desires ; when a 
man affects the credit of eloquence, standing before a 
mortal judge, a multitude of mortals standing about 
him, inveighing against his adversary with his 
fiercest hatred, he takes heed most watchfully, that 
his tongue trips not before men, and he call them 
amines ; but takes no heed at all, lest through the 
fury of his spirit he should destroy a man out of the 
society of men. 



CAP. HoRUM ego puer morum in limine iacebam 
miser, et huius harenae palaestra erat ilia, ubi magis 
timebam barbarismum facere, quam cavebam, si faee- 
rem, non facientibus invidere. dico haec et con- 
fiteor tibi, deus meus, in quibus laudabar ab eis, 
quibus placere tunc niihi erat honeste vivere. non 
enim videbam voraginem turpitudinis, in quam 
proiectus eram ab oculis tuis. nam in illis iam quid 
me foedius fuit, ubi etiam talibus displicebam, fal 
lendo innumerabilibus mendaciis et paedagogum et 
magistros et parentes, amore ludendi, studio spec- 
tandi nugatoria et imitandi ludicra inquietudine ? 

Furta etiam faciebam de eellario parentum et de 
mensa, vel gula imperante vel ut haberem quod 
darem pueris, ludum suum mihi, quo pariter utique 
delectabantur, tamen vendentibus. in quo etiam 
ludo fraudulentas victorias ipse vana excellentiae 
cupiditate victus saepe aucupabar. quid enim tam 
nolebam pati atque atrociter, si deprehenderem, 
arguebam, quam id quod aliis faciebam ? et, si depre- 
hensus arguerer, saevire magis quam cedere libebat. 

Istane est innocentia puerilis ? non est, domine, 
non est, oro te, deus meus. nam haec ipsa sunt. 



How he was more careful to amid Barbarisms of 
Speech, than corruption of Manners 

In the threshold of these customs lay I, wretched boy, chap. 
and upon that stage I played my prizes ; where I ^^^ 
more feared to commit a barbarism in speaking, than 
I took care when I committed any, not to envy those 
that committed none. All this I declare and con- 
fess to thee, my God ; but in these things I was by 
them applauded, to please whom, I then accounted 
equal to living honestly. For then I discerned not 
that whirlpool of filthiness whereinto I was cast from 
thine eyes. For in thine eyes, what was more filthy 
than I .^ Where also I displeased such as myself; 
with innumerable lies deceiving both my tutor, and 
masters, and parents : all for love of play, out of a 
desire to see toys, and a restless desire to imitate 
the stage. 

Thievery also I committed out of my father's 
buttery and table; either gluttony oft commanding 
me, or that I might have something to give my play- 
fellows, selling me their baubles, although they were 
as much delighted with them as myself. In these 
play-games I being often over-matched, did with a 
vain desire to be counted excellent, aspire to win, 
though by foul play. And what was I so unwilling 
to endure, and what if I found out the deceit would 
I so fiercely wrangle at, as even those very tricks 
which I would put upon others ? And being myself 
taken with the manner, I would rather fall flat out, 
than yield to it. 

Is this that childish innocency ? It is not. Lord, it 
is not. I cry thee mercy, O my God : for these are 



CAP, quae a paedagogis et magistris^ a nucibus et piluljs 

et passeribus, ad praefectos et reges, aurum, praedia^ 

j mancipia, haec ipsa omnino succedentibus maioribus 

' aetatibus transeunt, sicuti ferulis maiora supplicia 

succedunt. humilitatis ergo signum in statura pueri- 

tiae, rex noster, probasti, cum aisti : talium est 

regrium caelorum- 


CAP. Sed tamen, domine, tibi excellentissimOj optimo 


conditori et rectori universitatis, deo nostro gratias, 
etiamsi me puerum tantum esse voluisses. eram enim 
etiam tunc, vivebam atque sentiebam meamque in- 
columitatem, vestigium secretissimae unitatis, ex qua 
eram, curae habebam, custodiebam interiore sensu 
integritatem sensuum meorum, inque ipsis parvis par- 
varunique rerum cogitationibus veritate delectabar. 
falli nolebam, memoria vigebam, locutione instruebar, 
amicitia mulcebar, fugiebam dolorem, abiectionem, 
ignorantiam. quid in tali animante non mirabile 
atque laudabile? at ista omnia dei mei dona sunt, 
non mihi ego dedi haec : et bona sunt et haec omnia 
ego. bonus ergo est qui fecit me, et ipse est bonum 
meum, et illi exulto bonis omnibus, quibus etiam puer 


the same things, the very same, which as our years chap. 
go on, leaving tutors and masters, leaving nuts, and ^^^ 
balls, and birds, are done with regard to kings and 
governors, to the getting of gold, and manor houses, 
and slaves. But this boy's play passes ovei* as more 
years come on, just as greater punishments follow 
after the ferule. Thou therefore, O our King, hast 
approved of the character of humility in the stature 
of childhood, when thou sayest : To such belongeth j^^^^ ^j^. 
the Kingdom of God. u 


He thankelh God for his Benefits 
But yet, O Lord, thanks have been due to thee, chap. 
our God and most excellent Creator, Governor of this 
universe, although thou hadst not been pleased to 
have brought me any further than tJie age of child- 
hood. For even then a Being I had, yea Life and 
SeiLses ; even then I had a care of mine own well 
being, which is an impression of that most secret 
unity of thine, whence I had my being ; in my in- 
ward sense preserved I the entireness of my outward 
senses ; even in these little things and in reflecting 
on little things, was I delighted with the truth. I 
would not willingly be deceived ; a fresh memory I 
had ; in forms of speaking I was well tutored ; by 
friendly usage I was made tractable. I avoided all 
sadness, dejectedness, and ignorance ; in such a little 
creature, what was there not admirable, not com- 
mendable } But all these are the gifts of my God : { 
for I bestowed them not upon myself. Good endow- 
ments they were; and all these was I. Good there- j 
lore is he that made me ; yea, he is my good, and ' 



CAP. eram. hoc enim peccabam, quod non in ipso, sed in 

creaturis cius, me atque ceteris^ voluptates, sublimi- 

tates veritates quacrebam, atque ita inruebam in 

do] ores, confiisiones, errores. gratias tibi, dulcedo 

mea et honor meus et fiducia mea, deus meus, 

gratias tibi de donis tuis ; sed tu mihi ea m 

serva. ita enim servabis me, et auge- 

buntur et perficientur quae dedisti 

mihi, et ero ipse tecum, 

quia et ut sim tu 

dedisti mihi. 



to him will I rejoice for all my good gifts, which of CHAP. 

a child I had. But here was my oversight, that I ^^ 

sought not pleasures, honours, and truths in him, 

but in his creatures, myself and the others; and 

therefore rushed I myself upon sorrows, disorders, and 

errors. Thanks to thee, my Sweetness, my Honour, 

my Trust, and my God ! Thanks to thee for all 

thy gifts! But be pleased to preserve them 

still unto me, and thus shall myself be 

preserved, and all thy gifts shall be 

both increased and perfected : 

yea, and I shall be with 

thee ; for my being 

is of thy giving. 





CAP, Record A Ri volo transactas foeditates meas^ ct "^ 
carnales corruptiones animae meae, non quod eas 
amem, sed ut amem te, deus meus. amore amoris 
tui facio istuc, recolens vias meas nequissimas in 
amaritudine recogitationis meae, ut tu dulcescas 
mihi, dulcedo non fallax, dulcedo felix et secura, et 
coUigens me a dispersione, in qua frustatim discissus 
sum, dum ab uno te aversus in multa evanui. 

Exarsi enim aliquando satiari inferis in adules- 
centia, et silvescere ausus sum variis et umbrosis 
amoribus, et contabuit species mea, et conputrui 
coram oculis tuis, placens mihi et placere cupiens 
oculis hominum. 


CAP. Et quid erat, quod me delectabat, nisi amare 
' et amari ? sed uon tenebatur modus ab animo usque 
ad animum, quatenus est luminosus limes amicitiae, 


He enters upon the Years a7id Sins of his Youth 

I WILL now call to mind my over-passed impurities, chap. 
and the fleshly corruptions of my soul : not because ^ 
I love them, but that I may love thee, O my God. 
For love of thy love I do it ; in the very bitterness 
of my remembrance repeating over my most wicked 
courses, that thou mayest only grow sweet unto me ; 
(thou Sweetness never beguiling, thou happy and 
secure Sweetness !) and recollecting myself out of 
that broken condition of mine, wherein I was piece- 
meal shattered asunder; while being turned away 
from thee alone, I squandered away myself upon 
many vanities. 

For I even burnt in my youth heretofore to 
take my fill of hell ; and I dared even to grow wild 
again, with these various loves beneath the shade : 
my beauty withered away, and I even stank in 
thine eyes; pleasing myself all this while, and 
desirous to content the eyes of mortals. 


He accuseth his Youth spent in the heat of Lvstfulness 
And what was it that I delighted in, but to love chap. 
md to be beloved .'' But love kept not that modera- ^^ 
ion of one mind's loving another mind, as the 
ightsome bounder of true f) icndship ; but out of 
I K {j5 


^^^ sed exhalabantiir nebulae de limosa concupiscentia 
carnis et scatebra pubertatis, et obnubilabant atque 
obfuscabant cor meum, ut non discerneretur sereni- 
tas dilectionis a caligine libidinis. utrumque in cori- 
fuso aestuabat et rapiebat iiibecillam aetatem per ab- 
rupta cupiditatum atque mersabat gurgite flagitiorum. 
invaluerat super me ira tua, et nesciebam. obsurdue- 
ram stridore catenae mortalitatis meae, poena super- 
biae animae meae, et ibam longius a te, et sinebas, et 
iactabar et effundebar et diffluebam et ebuUiebam 
per fornicationes meas, et tacebas. o tardum gaudiutn 
meum ! tacebas tunc, et ego ibam porro longe a te 
in plura et plura sterilia semina dolorum superba 
deiectione et inquieta lassitudine. 

Quis mihi modularetur aerumnam meam et novis- 
simarum rerum fugaces pulchritudines in usum ver 
teret earumque suavitatibus metas praefigeret, ul 
usque ad coniugale litus exaestuarent fluctus aetati; 
meae, si tranquillitas in eis non poterat esse fine pro 
creandorum liberorum contenta, sicut praescribit le? 
tua, domine, qui formas etiam propaginem morti; 
nostrae, potens inponere lenem manum ad tempera 
mentum spinarum a paradiso tuo seclusarum ? noi 
enim longe est a nobis omnipotentia tua, etiam cun 
loiige sumus a te. aut certe sonitum luibium tuaruii 
vigilantius advertercm : tribulationem autem carni 



that puddly concupiscence of my flesh, certain mists CHA.r 
and babblings of youth fumed up, which beclouded "• 
and so overcast my heart, that I could not discern 
the beauty of a chaste affection, from a fog of impure 
lustfulness. Both did confusedly boil in me, and 
ravished away my unstayed youth over the downfalls 
of unchaste desires, and drenched me over head and 
ears in the very whirlpool of most heinous impurities. 
Thy wrath all this while grew upon me, and I perceived 
it not. I was now grown deaf by the continual — 
crashing of that chain of my frailty, (thy punishment 
upon the pride of my soul) and I straggled further .. 
from thee, and thou letst me alone, and I was tumbled 
up and down, and I was even spilt and poured out, 
yea, and I boiled over in my fornications, and thou 
heldest thy peace yet. O my Joy, how slow art 
thou ! Thou then heldest thy peace, and then 
wandered I further and further from thee, into more 
and more fruitless seed-plots of sorrow, with a proud 
dejectedness, and an untired weariness. 

O for somebody that would then have sweetened 
my misery, and have converted to good use the fading 
beauties of these newest vanities I that would have 
prefixed some bounds to their tempting sweets, that 
so the high tides of my youth might have spent their 
force at last upon the shore of the marriage bed ; if 
so be the calmness those tides might be brought 
unto, would not have been contented with having 
children, as thy law prescribes, O Lord : even thou, 
who this way formest the offspring of our mortality, 
being able also with a gentle hand to blunt the 
prickles of those thorns, which were not suffered 
to grow in thy Paradise ? For thy omni potency is i^ 
not very far from us, even when we be far from thee. 
Or certainly I should have more heedfuUy hearkened 


CAP. habebunt huiiis modi, ego auteiu vobis parco ; et : 
bonum est homini mulierem non tangere ; et : qui 
sine uxore est, cogitat ea quae sunt del, quomodo 
placeat deo, qui autem matrimonio iunctus est, 
cogitat ea quae sunt mundi, quomodo placeat uxori. 
has ergo voces exaudirem vigilantior, et abscisus 
propter regnum caelorum felicior expectarem aivir 
plexus tuos. 

Sed efferbui miser, sequens impetum fluxus mei 
relicto te, et excessi omnia legitima tua, nee evasi fla- 
gella tua : quis enim hoc mortalium ? nam tu semper 
aderas misericorditer saeviens, et amarissimis aspar- 
gens ofFensionibus omnes illicitas iucunditates meas, 
ut ita quaererem sine ofFensione iucundari, et ubi hoc 
possem, non invenirem quicquam praeter te, domine, 
praeter te, qui fingis dolorem in praecepto et per- 
cutis, ut sanes, et occidis nos, ne moriamur abs te. 
ubi eram, et quam longe exulabam a deliciis domus 
tuae, anno illo sexto decimo aetatis carnis meae, cum 
accepit in me sceptrum, et totas manus ei dedi, vesania 
libidinis licentiosae per dedecus humanum, inlicitae 
autem per leges tuas ? non fuit cura meorum ruentem 
excipere me matrimonio, sed cura fuit tantum, ut 
discerem sermonem facere quam optimum et per- 
suadere dictione. 



to the voice of these clouds of thine : Notwith- chap. 
standing such shall have trouble in the flesh, but I ^^ 
spare you. And again : It is good for a man not to ..^„J°! 
touch a woman. And, He that is married careth ' ' 

for the things of this world, how he may please his 
wife. I should have therefore more attentively 
listened to those words, and made myself an eunuch Matt. xix. 
for the Kingdom of God, and so I might more ^^ 
happily have expected thy embracements. 

But I was too hot upon it (wretcli that I was) 
pursuing still the violent course of mine own stream, 
having left thee utterly : yea, and exceeded all thy ^^ 
prescriptions, nor did I escape thy scourges. For 
what mortal can avoid them ? For thou wert with 
me at every turn, most mildly rigorous, and ever and 
anon besaucing all my unlawful pastimes with most 
bitter discontentments : all to draw me on to seek 
for such pleasures as were without such discontent, 
and that I might light upon none but thee, O 
Lord : but thee, who makest, as it w^ere, some 
hardship in thy commandment ; and smitest us that ^ 
thou mayest heal us, yea, slayest us, that we should 
not die away from thee. Where was I, and how 
far was I banished from those delights of thy house 
in that sixteenth year of the age of my flesh ; at 
what time the madness of raging lust, (in which 
human shamelessness takes too much liberty, not- 
withstanding by thy laws it be forbidden) exercised 
its supreme dominion in me, I giving over all my 
force unto it ? My parents took no care all this 
wliile by marriage to save me from ruin ; but their 
care was to have me learn to make a poM^erful oration, 
and to prove a most persuasive speaker. 



CAP. Et anno quidem illo intermissa erant studia mea, 
diim mihi reducto a Madauris^in qua vicina urbe iam 
coeperam litteraturae atque oratoriae percipiendae 
gratia peregrinari, longinquioris apud Karthaginem 
peregrinationis sumptiis parabantur, animositate 
magis quam opibus patris^ municipis Thagastensis ad- 
modum tenuis, cui narro haec ? neque enim tibi, 
deus mens, sed apud te narro haec generi meo, 
generi huniano, quantulacumque ex particula inci- 
dere potest in istas meas litteras. et ut quid hoc ? nt 
videlicet ego et quisquis haec legit cogitemus, de 
quam profundo clamandum sit ad te. et quid propius 
auribus tuis^ si cor confitens et vita ex fide est ? quis 
enim non extollebat laudibus tunc hominem, patrem 
nieum^ quod ultra vires rei familiaris suae impendej'et 
filio, quidquid etiam longe peregrinanti studiorum 
causa opus esset ? multorum enim civium longe 
opulentiorum nullum tale negotium pro liberis erat, 
cum interea non salageret idem pater, qualis cres- 
cerem tibi aut quam castus essem, dummodo essem 
disertus vel desertus jwtius a cultura tua, deus, qui 
es unus verus et bonus dominus agri tui, cordis mei. 
Sed ubi sexto illo et decimo anno interposito otio 
ex necessitate doniestica fcrialusab omni sciiola cum 
parentibus esse coepi, excesserutit caput meum vepres 



Of his Travels for his Studies' sake, a'ld his 
Parents' Purpose in it 
Now for that year were my studies intermitted : CHAP. 
whenas upon my return from Madaura (a neighbour 
city wherein I had begun to Jearn the principles of 
literature and rhetoric) the expenses for a further 
journey to Carthage were provided for me : and that 
rather out of a brave mind my father bare, than any 
ability in him, for he was but a poor freeman of 
Thagaste. To whom tell I all this? For to thee I 
tell it not ; but before thee relate it to mine own 
kind, the human kind, even to so small a part of it as 
may light upon these writings of mine. And to what 
purpose do 1 this } Even that both myself and whoso- 
ever reads this, may bethink ourselves out of what ^ 
depths we are to cry unto thee. For what is nearer Ps. cxxx. 
to thine ears than the confessing heart, and the life 
directed by faith } Who did not then highly commend 
my father, for that even above the ability of his means 
he had furnished out his son with all necessaries for 
the taking of a far journey for his studies' sake ? 
For many abler citizens did no such thing for tlieir 
children. But yet this father of mine never troubled 
himself with any thought of how I might improve 
myself towards thee, or how chaste I were ; so that 
1 proved cultivated, though I were left withal un- 
dressed by thy tillage, O God, which art the only, 
true, and good landlord of the field of my heart. 

But whilst in that sixteenth year of my age I left 
going to school, and upon some household necessities 
lived idly at home with my parents, the briars of 
unclean desires grew rank over my head, and there 



CAP. libidinum, et nulla erat eradicans manus. quin immo 


ubi me ille pater in balneis vidit pubescentera et in- 

quieta indutum adulescentia, quasi iam ex hoc in 

nepotes gestiret, gaudens matri indicavit, gaudens 

vinulentia^ in qua te iste mundus oblitus est crea- 

torem suum et creaturam tuam pro te amavit, de 

vino invisibili perversae atque inclinatae in ima 

voluntatis suae. sed matris in pectore iam incho- 

averas templum tuum et exordium sanctae habita- 

tionis tuae : nam ille adhuc catechumenus et hoc 

recens erat. itaque ilia exsiluit pia trepidatione ac 

tremore, et quamvis mihi nondum fideli, timuit tamen 

vias distortaSj in quibus ambulant qui ponunt ad te 

tergum et non faciem. 

Ei mihi ! et audeo dicere tacuisse te, deus meus, 

cum irem abs te longius ? itane tu tacebas tunc 

mihi ? et cuius erant nisi tua verba ilia per matrem 

meam, fidelem tuam, quae cantasti in auras meas ? 

nee inde quicquam descendit in cor, ut facerem illud. 

volebat enira ilia, et secreto memini, ut monuerit 

cum sollicitudine ingenti, ne fornicarer, maximeque 

ne adulterarem cuiusquam uxorem. qui mihi moni- 

tus muliebres videbantur, quibus obtemperare erubes- 

cerem. illi autem tui erant, et nesciebam, et te 

tacere putabam atque illam loqui, per quam mihi tu 



was no hand put to root them out. Moreover, when chap 
my father seeing me in the bath, how the signs of ^^^ 
manhood began to bud in me, and plumed already 
with a stirring youthfulness ; as if in this sight he 
had first rejoiced in hope of having grandchildren by 
me, he gladly told it to my mother : rejoicing, I say, 
at it in his wine, in which the world too oft forgets 
thee its Creator, in the immaterial intoxication of 
its own will, perverse and bent to the lowest things, 
frowardly and weakly setting its love upon thy creature ^^"^ 
instead of thyself. But thou hadst already begun thy 
temi)le in my mother's breast, and laid the foundations 
of thine own holy habitation : whereas my father was 
but a Catechumen as yet, one newly converted. She 
therefore was even startled with an holy fear and 
trembling. And though I were not as yet baptized ; 
yet feared she those crooked ways, in which they 
walk, who put their backs to thee, and not their 

Woe is me ! And dare I say that thou heldest 
thy peace, O my God, whilst I wandered further 
from thee t Is it so } Didst thou indeed hold thy 
peace to me ? And whose but thine were those 
words, which by my mother, thy faithful one, 
thou sangest in my ears } Nothing of which would 
at that time so far sink into my heart, as to do it. 
For she commanded me, and, as I well remember, 
with very much earnestness forewarned me, that I 
should not commit fornication ; and especially that I 
should never defile any man's wife. These seemed 
to me no better than women's advices, which 
would be a shame for me to follow. But they were 
thine, indeed, and I knew it not : I thought thou 
hadst held thy peace, and that she only had spoken : 
she, by whom thou wert not silent unto me ; and in 


CAP. non tacebas, et in ilia contemnebaris a me, a me, 
filio eius, filio ancillae tuae, servo tuo. sednesciebam 
et praeceps ibam tanta caecitate, ut inter coaeta- 
neos meos puderet me minoris dedecoris, quoniam ^ 
audiebam eos iactantes flagitia sua et tanto 
gloriantes magis, quanto magis turpes essent, et 
libebat facere non solum libidine facti verum etiam 

Quid dignum est vituperatione nisi vitium ? ego, 
ne vituperarer, vitiosior fiebam, et ubi non suberat, 
quo admisso aequarer perditis, fingebam me fecisse 
quod non feceram, ne viderer abiectior, quo eram 
innocentior, et ne vilior haberer, quo eram castior. 
ecce cum quibus comitibus iter agebam platearum 
Babyloniae, et volutabar in caeno eius tamquam in 
cinnamis et unguentis pretiosis. et in umbilieo eius 
quo tenacius haererem, calcabat me inimicus invisi- 
bilis et seducel)at me, quia ego seductilis eram. non 
enim et ilia, quae iam de medio Babylonis fugerat, 
sed ibat in ceteris eius tardior, mater carnis meae, 
sicut monuit me pudicitiam, ita curavit quod de me 
a viro suo audierat, iamque pestilentiosum et in poste- 
rum periculosum sentiebat cohercere termino coniu- 
galis affectus, si resecari ad vivum non poterat. non 
curavit hoc, quia metus erat, ne inpediretur spes 


her thyself wast contemned by me ; even by me her chap. 
son, the son of thy handmaid, and thy servant. But ^^^ 
all this while I knew it not; and I ran headlong 
with such blindness, that I was ashamed amongst 
my equals to be guilty of less impudency than they 
were, whom I heard brag mightily of their naughti- 
ness : yea, and so much the more boasting, by how 
much more they had been beastly: and I took 
pleasure to do it, not for the pleasure of the act 
only, but for the praise of it also. 

What now is worthy of dispraise, if vice be not.^ 
But I made myself worse than indeed I was, that I 
might not be dispraised ; and when I wanted oppor- 
tunity to commit a naughtiness should make me as 
bad as the lost, I would feign myself to have done 
what I never did, that I might not seem so much 
the more dastardly, as I was the more innocent ; 
and that I might not be counted so much the more 
faint hearted, as I was the more chaste. Behold 
with what companions I walked the streets of 
Babylon, and I wallowed myself in the mire of it, 
as if I had reposed in a bed of spices and most 
precious ointments. And to make me cleave the 
faster to the very centre of sin, my invisible enemy 
trod me down and seduced me, because I was easy 
to be seduced. Yea, and the mother of my flesh, 
although herself were already fled out of Babylon, yet Jer. li. c 
went she full slow in the outskirts : for, as she had 
once advised me to keep my chastity, so she carried 
some respect withal to what she had heard her 
husband say of me. She felt it to be now deadly 
and dangerous for the future to restrain me within 
the bonds of a matrimonial aff'ection, if that in- 
fection in me could not otherwise be pared away 
by the quick. But she continued not in that care, 


CAP. mea conpede uxoria^ non spes ilia, quam in te futui 
saeculi habebat mater, sed spes litterarum, quas u 
nossem nimis volebat parens uterque, ille, quia de t 
prope nihil cogitabat, de me autem inania, ilia auteni 
quia non solum nullo detrimento, sed etiam non 
nullo adiuraento ad te adipiscendum futura existi 
mabat usitata ilia studia doctrinae. ita enim conici 
recolens, ut possum, mores parentum meorum. re 
laxabantur etiam mihi ad ludendum habenae ultr 
temperamentum severitatis in dissolutionem aflflic 
tionum variarum, et in omnibus erat caligo intei 
cludens mihi, deus meus, serenitatem veritatis tuat 
et prodiebat taraquam ex adipe iniquitas mea. "- 


CAP. FuRTUM certe punit lex tua, domine, et lex scripl 
in cordibus hominum, quam ne ipsa quidem deh 
iniquitas : quis enim fur aequo animo furem patitui 
nee copiosus adactum inopia. et ego furtum facei 
volui, et feci, nulla conpulsus egestate, nisi penur 
et fastidio iustitiae et sagina iniquitatis. nam 
furatiis sum, quod mihi abundabat et multo meliu 
nee ea re volebam frui, quam furto appetebani, s< 


ecause she feared withal, lest my hopes might be chap. 

indered by a she clog. Not those hopes of the ^'^ 

ext world, which my mother reposed in thee ; but 

he hopes of learning, which both my parents were 

reatly desirous I should attain unto. He, because 

e had little or no thought almost of thee, and but 

ain conceits of me neither. She, because she made 

eckoning that those usual courses of learning, would 

,ot only be no hindrance, but a great furtherance 

owards my attaining of thee. For thus I conjecture 

to my best remembrance) were the dispositions of 

(Otli my parents at that time. The reins (in the 

lean time) of liberty to play were slackened towards 

ne, beyond all temper of due severity, yea even to dis- 

oluteness which brought the various troubles. And 

n all these, there was a mist depriving my sight, O 

iiy God, of the brightness of thy truth ; and mine 

niquity came from me, as if swelling from a fatness. Ps. ixxiii.v 


Hofv he robbed a Pear-tree 

PURELY thy law, Lord, punishes thievery ; yea, chap. 
ind this law is so written in our hearts, that ini- i^ 
juity itself cannot blot it out. For what thief does 
villingly abide another man to steal from him ? No, 
lot a rich thief, him that is driven to steal upon 
lecessity. Yet had I a desire to commit thievery ; 
nd did it, compelled neither by hunger nor poverty ; w 
•ut even through a cloyedness of well doing, and a 
•amperedness of iniquity. For I stole that, of which 
had enough of mine own, and much better. Nor 
fhen I had done, cared I to enjoy the thing which 


CAP. ipso fur to et peccato. arbor erat pirus in vicini.-i 
nostrae vineae, pomis onusta, nee forma nee sapore 
inlecebrosis. ad hanc excutiendam atque asportan 
dam nequissimi adulescentuli perreximus nocte in 
tempesta, quousque ludum de pestilentiae more ir 
areis produxeramus, et abstulimus inde onera ingenti? 
non ad nostras epulas, sed vel proicienda porcis 
etiamsi aliquid inde comedimas^ dum tamen fieret i 
nobis quod eo liberet, quo non liceret. eece eo 
meum, deus, eece cor meum^ quod miseratus es ii 
imo abyssi. dicat tibi nunc ecee cor meum, quid ib 
quaerebat, ut essem gratis malus et malitiae mea» 
causa nulla esset nisi malitia. foeda erat, et amav 
earn ; amavi perire, amavi defectum meum, non illud 
ad quod deficiebam, sed defectum meum ipsun 
amavi, turpis anima et dissiliens a firmamento tu 
in exterminium, non dedecore aliquid, sed dedecu 

^AP. Etenim species est pulchris corporibus, et auro e 


argento et omnibus, et in eontactu carnis congruent! 
valet plurimuni, ceterisque sensibus est sua cuiqu 
accommodata modificatio corporum ; habet etiar 
honor temporalis et imperitandi atquc supenmc 
potentia suum decus, unde etiam vindictae avidita 


I had stolen, but joying in the theft and sin itself, chap 
A pear-tree there was in the orchard next our vine- ^^ 
yard, well laden with fruit, not mucli tempting 
either for colour or taste. To the shaking and 
robbing of this, a company of lewd young fellows 
of us went late one night, (having, according to our 
pestilent custom in the game-places, continued our 
sports even till that season) : thence carried we huge 
loadings, not for our own lickerishness, but even to 
fling to the hogs, though perhaps we ate some of it. 
And all this we did, because we would go whither we 
should not. Behold my heart, O Lord, which thou 
hadst pity on in the very bottom of the bottomless pit. 
Now, behold, let my heart tell thee, what it sought 
for there, that I should be thus evil for nothing, 
having no other provocation to ill, but ill itself. It 
was foul, yet I loved it, I loved to undo myself, I loved 
mine own fault, not that for which I committed the 
fault, but even the very fault itself; a base soul, 
shrinking back thus from my holdfast upon thee, 
even to utter destruction ; not affecting anything 
from the shame, but the shame itself. 


No man sinneth, but provoked by some Cause 

Ihkre is a comeliness now in all beautiful bodies, chap 
both in gold and silver, and all things ; and in tlie V 
touch of flesh, sympathy pleases much. Each other ^ 
sense hath his proper object answerably tempered. 
Worldly honour hath also its grace, in commanding 
and overcoming by its own power ; whence springs 
also the thirst of revenge. Hut yet, miglit a man 


CAP. oritur : et tamen in cuncta haec adipiscenda non est 
egrediendum abs te, doniine^ neqiie deviandum a 
lege tua. et vita^ quam hie vivimus, habet inlece- 
bram suam, propter quendam modum decoris sui, et 
convenientiam cum his omnibus infimis pulcbris. 
amicitia quoque hominum caro nodo dulcis est 
propter unitatem de multis animis. propter universa 
haec atque huius modi peccatum admittitur, dum 
inmoderata in ista inclinatione, cum extrema bona 
sint, meliora et summa deseruntur, tu, domine deus 
noster, et Veritas tua et lex tua. habent enim et 
haec ima delectationes, sed non sicut deus meus, qui 
fecit omnia, quia in ipso delectatur iustus, et ipse 
est deliciae rectorum corde. 

Cum itaque de facinore quaeritur, qua causa 
factum sit, credi non solet, nisi cum appetitus 
adipiscendi alicuius illorum bonorum, quae infima 
diximus, esse potuisse adparuerit, aut metus amit- 
tendi. pulchra sunt enim et decora, quamquam 
prae bonis superioribus et beatificis abiecta et 
iacentia. homicidium fecit, cur fecit .'^ adamavit 
cius coniugem aut praedium aut voluit depraedari, 
unde viveret, aut timuit ab illo tale aliquid amittere 
aut laesus ulcisci se exarsit. num homicidium sine 
causa faceret ipso homicidio delectatus ? quis credi- 
derit? nam et de quodam dictum est vaecordi et 
nimis crudeli homine, quod gratuito potius malus 


obtain all these, he were not to depart from thee, chap. 
O Lord, nor to decline from thy Law. The life also ^ 
which here we live hath its proper enticement, and 
that by reason of a certain proportion of comeliness 
of its own, and a correspondency with all these 
inferior beauties. That friendship also which is 
amongst societies, we see endeared with a sweet 
tie, even by reason of the union of many hearts. 
Upon occasion of all these and the like, is sin 
committed, while through an immoderate inclination 
towards these, which are goods but of the lowest 
alloy, better and higher are left out ; even thou, 
our Lord God, thy Truth and thy Law. For these 
low things have their delights, but nothing like my 
Lord God, who hath made these all ; for in him is 
the righteous man delighted, and he is the delicious- 
ness of the upright in heart. 

When enquiry is made after wickedness, upon 
what cause it was committed, no other reason uses to 
be believed but this, when there hath appeared 
to be a possibility of the appetites obtaining some 
one of those good things which we called of a 
lower alloy, or else a fear of losing it. For even 
these are beautiful and comely ; although com- 
pared with those higher goods, and happy-making 
riches, they be but abject and contemptible. A 
man hath murdered another. Why so ? Either 
he loved his wife or his estate ; or he would rob 
another to get maintainance for himself; or he stood 
in fear to lose some such thing by him ; or being- 
wronged, he was all on' fire to be revenged of him. 
Would any man commit a murder upon no i)rovoca- 
tion, but only upon a delight he takes in murder- 
ing ? Who will believe it .'' For as for that man 
said to be so stupidly and savagely cruel, that lie 
F 81 


CAP. atque crudelis erat ; praedicta est taraen causa : ne 


per otium, inquit, torpesceret manus aut animus, 
quare id quoque ? cur ita .'* ut scilicet ilia exer- 
citatione scelerum capta urbe honores, imperia, 
divitias adsequeretur, et careret metu legum et diffi- 
cultate reruirjj propter inopiam rei familiaris et cori- 
scientiam scelerum. nee ipse igitur Catilina amavit 
facinora sua, sed utique aliud, cuius causa ilia 


CAP. Quid ego miser in te amavi, o furtum meum, o facinus 
illud meum nocturnum sexti decimi anni aetatis 
meae ? non enim pulchrum eras^ cum furtum esses. 
aut vero aliquid es, ut loquar ad te ? pulchra erant 
poma ilia, quae furati sumus, quoniam creatura tua 
eratj pulcherrime omnium, creator omnium, deus 
bone, deus summum bonum et bonum verum meura '^ 
pulchra erant ilia poma, sed non ipsa concupivit 
anima mea miserabilis. erat raihi enim meliorum 
co})ia, ilia autem decerpsi, tantum ut furarer. nam 
decerpta proieci epulatus inde solam iniquitatem, 
qua laetabar fruens. nam et si quid illorum pomorum 


was enl and cruel merely for cruelty's sake ; yet is cHAP. 
there a cause assigned : Lest (says himself) my hand ^ 
or heart should grow unacti ve with idleness. And why Saiiu^, 
that? Why.'' Even in order that when he had once 
made himself master of the city, through frequent 
execution of mischievousness, he might mount up 
unto honours, commands, and riches; and set him- 
self above the fear of the law, and all difficulty, 
because of his desperate poverty, and the conscious- 
ness of his own \illanies. Therefore even Catiline 
himself loved not his own villanies, but 'twas some- 
thing else he loved, for whose sake he fell to commit 


All those things which under the shew of Good 

invite tis unto sin, are in God alone, to 

he found True a?id perfect 

What then was it that wretched I so loved in thee, chap, 

thou Theft of mine, thou deed of darkness, which ^^ 

1 committed in the sixteenth year of my age ? 
Lovely thou wert not, because thou wert Theft. 
But art thou anything, that I may reason the case 
with thee ? Those pears that we stole were fair to 
see to, for they were thy creature, O thou most 
Beautiful of all, thou Creator of all, thou good God, 
thou Sovereign Good, and my true Good. Those 
pears were fair indeed, but it was not those that my 
wretched soul desired ; for I had store of better of 
mine own, and I gathered those only that I might 
steal. For having gathered them, I flung them 
away, eating little of them but my own sin only, 
which I was extremely pleased with the enjoying, 


CAP. iiitravit in os meum, condimentum ibi facinus erat. 
et nunc, domine deus meus, quaero, quid me in furto 
delectaverit, et ecce species nulla est : non dico sicut 
in aequitate atque prudentia, sed neque sicut in inente 
hominis atque niemoria et sensibus et vegetante vita, 
neque sicut speciosa sunt sidera et decora locis suis, 
et terra et mare plena fetibus, qui succedunt nascendo 
decedentibus ; non saltem ut est quaedam defectiva 
species et umbratica vitiis fallentibus. 

Nam et superbia celsitudinem imitatur, cum tu sis 
unus super omnia deus excelsus. et ambitio quid nisi 
honores quaerit et gloriam, cum tu sis prae cunctis 
honorandus unus et gloriosus in aeternum ? et sae- 
vitia potestatum timeri vult : quis autem timendus 
nisi unus deus, cuius potestati eripi aut subtrahi quid, 
quando aut ubi aut quo vel a quo potest ? et blan- 
ditiae lascivientium amari volunt : sed neque blandius 
est aliquid tua caritate, nee amatur quicquam salu- 
brius quam ilia prae cunctis formosa et luminosa 
Veritas tua. et curiositas affectare videtur studium 
scientiae, cum tu omnia summe noveris. ignorantia 
quoque ipsa atque stultitia simplicitatis et innocen- 
tiae nomine tegitur, quia te simplicius quicquani 
non reperitur. quid te autem innocentius, quando- 
quidem opera sua malis inimica sunt ? et ignavia 
quasi quietem appetit : quae vero quies certa praeter 
dominum ? luxuria satietatem atque abundantiam 


For if any bit of those pears came within my moutli, chap, 
the sweetest sauce it had was the sin of the eater. ^^^ 
And now, O Lord my God, I enquire what was it 
in that thievery of mine, should so much delight 
me ; and behold there appears no loveliness in it. I 
do not mean such loveliness as there is seen in 
justice and wisdom ; no, nor such as is in the 
mind and memory ; or in the senses and lively soul 
of man : nor yet such as the stars are glorious and 
beautiful withal in their orbs ; or the earth or sea 
replenished with their natural offsprings, which by 
daily growing supply the room of the decayed. Nay, 
not so much as that false colour or shadow of good, 
that usually appears in deceiving vices. 

For pride imitates high-spiritedness ; whereas thou 
alone art the highest over all. Ambition, what 
seeks it but honours and reputation ; whereas thou 
art to be honoured above all things, and glorious for 
evermore. The cruelty of great ones desires to bo 
feared ; but who is to be feared but God alone ? Out 
of whose power, what can be wrested } or when, or 
where, or which way, or by whom .'' The enticements 
of amorous inveiglers desire to be loved ; but yet is 
nothing more pleasurable than thy charity ; nor is 
anything loved more wholesomely than that truth 
of thine, more bright and beautiful than anything. 
Curiosity makes semblance to affect a desire of know- 
ledge ; whereas 'tis thou only that supremely knowest 
all things. Yea, ignorance and foolishness itself is 
masked under the name of simplicity and innocency; 
even because nothing can be found more simple 
than thyself; and what is more innocent, seeing 
it is their own works that hunt the wicked ? Yea, 
sloth pretends a desire of quietness ; but what stable 
rest is there beside the Lord ? Expensiveness affects 


CAP. se cupit vocari : tu es autem plenitiido et indeficiens 
copia incorruptibilis suavitatis. efFusio liberalitatis 
obtendit umbram : sed bonorum omnium largitor 
affliientissimus tu es. avaritia raulta possidere vult : 
et tu possides omnia, invidentia de excellentia litigat : 
3uid te excellentius .'' ira vindictam quaerit : te iustius 
quis vindicat? timor insolita et repentina exhor- 
rescit, rebus, quae amantur, adversantia, dum prae- 
cavet securitati : tibi enim quid insolitum .'' quid 
repentinura ? aut quis a te separat quod diligis r 
aut ubi nisi apud te firma securitas? tristitia 
rebus amissis contabescit, quibus se oblectabat 
cupiditaSj quia ita sibi nollet^ sicut tibi auferri nihil 

Ita fornicatur anima, cum avertitur abs te et quae- 
rit extra te ea quae pura et liquida non invenit, nisi 
cum redit ad te. perverse te imitantur omnes, qui 
longe se a te faciunt et extollunt se adversumte. sed 
etiam sic te imitando indicant creatorem te esse omnis 
naturae et ideo non esse, quo a te omni modo rece- 
datur. quid ergo in illo furto ego dilexi, et in quo 
dominum meum vel vitiose atque perverse imitatus 
sum ? an libuit facere contra legem saltem fallacia, 
quia potentatu non poteram, ut mancam libertatem 
captivus imitarer, faciendo inpune quod non liceret, 
tenebrosa omnipotentiae similitudine ? ccce est ille 
servus fugiens dominum suum etconsecutus umbram. 


to be called plenty and abundance ; yet art thou the CHAP, 
fulness and never failing plenty of most incorruptible ^^ 
sweetness. Prodigality pretends a show of liberality : ^^ 
I but thou art the most flowing bestower of all good 
I things. Covetousness desires to possess much ; and 
thou possessest all. Emulation contends for ex- 
cellency ; but what so excellent as thou ? Anger 
seeks revenge ; but who revenges more justly than 
thou } Fear startles at unusual chances, which scare 
away the thing loved, while it is wary for its own 
security ; but what can happen unusual or sudden 
unto thee .'* Or who can deprive thee of what thou 
lovest .'* Or where but with thee is there any settled 
security } Grief pines away itself at its losses, which 
desire took delight to enjoy ; even because it would 
not be deprived ; like as nothing can be lost to thee. 
Just thus does the soul commit fornication, when 
she turns from thee, seeking those things with- 
j out thee, which she can nowhere find pure and 
I untainted, till she returns again to thee. Thus all 
I awkwardly imitate thee, even they that get them- 
j^selves far from thee, and who pride themselves 
^^Hrainst thee : and yet by thus imitathig thee, do 
!P(ney declare thee to be the Creator of the whole 
frame of nature, and consequently, that there is no 
place whither they can at all retire from thee. 
What therefore did I love in that theft of mine ! 
And wherein did I thus awkwardly and corruptly 
imitate my lord t Was it a pleasure to do contrary 
to thy Law, if but in show, because by strong 
hand I could not : that being a prisoner, I might 
make show of a counterfeit liberty, by doing that 
unpunished, which I ought not to do, under the 
shadowy pretence of omnipotency .? Behold, here 
is thy servant fleeing from his Lord, and gotten 


CAP. o putredo, o monstrum vitae et mortis profimditas ! f 
potuitne libere quod non licebat, non ob aliud, nisi 
quia non licebat ? 


CAP. Quid retribuam domino, quod recolit haec memoria 
VI r 

mea et anima mea non metuit inde? diligam te, 

domine, et gratias agam et confitear nomini tuo, 

quoniam tanta dimisisti mihi mala et nefaria opera 

mea. gratiae tuae deputo et misericordiae tuae, quod 

peccata mea tamquam glaciem solvisti. gratiae tuae 

deputo et quaecumque non feci mala : quid enim 

non facere potui, qui etiam gratuitum facinus amavi ? 

et omnia mihi dimissa esse fateor, et quae mea 

sponte feci mala et quae te duce non feci. 

Quis est hominum, qui suam cogitans infirmitatem 

•; audet viribus suis tribuere castitatem atque innocen- 

tiam suam, ut minus amet te, quasi minus ei necessaria 

fuerit misericordia tua, qua donas peccata conversis 

ad te .'' qui enim vocatus a te secutus est vocem 

tuam, et vitavit ea, quae me de me ipso recordantem 

et fatentem legit, non me derideat ab eo medico 

aegrum sanari, a quo sibi praestitum est, ut non 

aegrotaret, vel potius ut minus aegrotaret, et ideo 



under a shadow. O rottenness^ O monster of life, CHAP. 
O depth of death ! Could anything please thee, ^^ 
that thou mightest not do lawfully ; and done too 
upon no other reason, but because it was not lawful ? 


He returns thanks to God for remitting these sins, 
and for keeping him from many others 

What reward shall I render unto the Lord, for that chap. 

he so gently brings these things to my remem- ^^^ 

brance, that my soul is not affrighted at it .'' I will 

love thee, O Lord, and thank thee, and I will confess 

unto thy name ; because thou hast forgiven me this 

crime, and these heinous deeds of mine : unto thy 

L^race and mercy do I ascribe, that thou hast dis- 

>olved my sins as it were ice : yea unto thy grace do 

[ ascribe whatsoever evils I have not done. For 

»vhat evil was I not apt enough to commit, who 

oved the sin for the sin's sake ? Yea all I confess 

be forgiven me ; both what evils I committed 

ril fully, and what by thy guidance I have not 


What man is he, who upon consideration of his 

wn infirmity, dares so far to ascribe his chastity and 

inocency to his own virtue, as that he thereupon 

lould love thee less ; as if thy mercy, by which thou 

>rgivest those that turn unto thee, had been less 

iccssary for him ? Whosoever being effectually 

lied by thee, hath obeyed thy voice, and declined 

ose transgressions which he here reads me remem- 

•ring and confessing of myself; let him not laugh 

me, who am now cured by that same Physician 

lo ministered unto him such preservatives, that he 

i;ht not be sick at all, or but a little distempered 


CAP. te tantundem, immo vero amplius diligat, quia pei 
quern me videt tantis peccatorum meorum languor 
ibus exui, per eum se videt tantis peccatorun 
languoribus non inplicari. 


CAP. QuEM fructum habui miser aliquando in his, qua* 


nunc recolens erubesco, maxime in illo furto, in qui 
ipsum furtum amavi, nihil aliud^ cum et ipsum esse 
nihil et eo ipso ego miserior ? et tamen solus id no 
fecissem — sic recordor animum tunc meum — solu 
omnino id non fecissem. ergo amavi ibi etiam cor 
sortium eorum, cum quibus id feci, non ergo nih 
aliud quam furtum amavi ; immo vero nihil aliu< 
quia et illud nihil est. quid est re vera ? quis es 
qui doceat me, nisi qui inluminat cor memn 
discernit umbras eius .'' quid est, quod mihi venit 
mentem quaerere et discutere et considerare, quia 
tunc amarem poma ilia, quae furatus sum, et eis fr 
cuperem, possem etiam solus, si satis esset, conm 
tere illam iniquitatem, qua pervenirem ad volu 
tatem meam, nee confricatione consciorum ai 
morum accenderem pruritum cupiditatis meae ? s 



rather : but let him take occasion thereupon to love chap. 
thee so much, yea, so much the more ; since by that ^^^ 
Physician he hath observed me to have been recovered 
out of such deep consumptions of sinfulness, by the 
same hand he perceives himself not to have been 
incumbered by the like. 


jy/uit he loved in that his theft 

What fruit had I (vi^retched man) heretofrre in chap. 

these things, of the remembrance whereof I am now ^^^^ 

ashamed ? In that piece of thievery especially, ^o™- ^i. 

wherein I loved nothing but the very theft itself: 

kvhereas that was nothing itself, but I much the more 

niserable by it ? Yet by myself alone I would not 

lave committed it : so I now remember what my 

Hsposition then was : alone I would never have done 

t. Belike therefore it was the company that I loved, 

ho were with me at it. Then it was not that I 

oved nothing but the theft itself; nay verily, nothing 

Ise, because that circumstance of the company, was 

ideed a very nothing. What is this, verily ? Who 

- there to teach me, but even he that enlighteneth 

iy heart and discovereth the darkness of it } What 

that which came into my head to inquire into, 

id to discuss and consider better of.'* For had I 

len loved those pears which I stole, and wanted 

• eat them, I might have done it by myself, 

id it been enougli to commit the thievery, by 

hich I might attain my pleasure ; nor needed I 

*'^ive provoked that itch of mine own desires, by the 

bbing of those guilty consciences. But because 


CAP. quoniam in illis pomis voluptas mihi non erat, ea 
erat in ipso facinore, quara faciebat consortium simiil 

CAr. Quid erat ille afFectus aiiimi ? ccrte enim plane 


turpis erat nimis, et vae mihi erat, qui habe- 
bam ilium, sed tamen quid erat ? delicta quis in- 
tellegit ? risus erat quasi titillato corde, quod falle- 
bamus eos, qui haec a nobis fieri non putabant et 
f vehementer nolebant. cur ergo eo me delectabat, 
I quo id non faciebam solus ? an quia etiam nemo 
facile solus ridet } nemo quidem facile^ sed tamen 
etiam solos et singulos homines, cum alius nemo 
praesens est, vincit risus aliquando, si aliquid nimie 
ridiculum vel sensibus occurrit vel animo. at ego 
illud solus non facerem, non facerem omnino solus. 

Ecce est coram te, deus meus, viva recordatic 
animae meae. solus non facerem furtum illud, in qu( 
me non libebat id quod furabar, sed quia furabar 
quod me solum facere prorsus non liberet, ne< 
facerem. o nimis inimica amicitia, seductio menti 
investigabilis, ex ludo et ioco nocendi aviditas e 
alieni damni appetitus, nulla lucri mei, nulla ulci 
cendi libidine, sed cum dicitur : " eamus, faciamus, 
et pudet non esse impudentem. 


the pleasure I took consisted not in those pears, it chap. 
must needs therefore be in the very prank itself, ^'^^' 
which the company of us offenders jointly committed 


Bad Company is infectious 

What kind of disposition was that then ? For it chap. 

was too bad plainly : and woe is me that I had it. ^^ 

But yet what was it? Oh, who can understand his ^^- ^i-^- ^^ 

errors? We laughed heartily, till we tickled again, 

that we could beguile the owners, who little thought 

what we were a doing, and would never have endured 

it. Yet, again, why took I delight even in this, that 

I did it not alone ? Is it for that no man doth so 

readily laugh alone ? Ordinarily indeed nobody 

does ; but yet a fit of laughter sometimes comes upon 

men by themselves and singly, when nobody else is 

with them, if anything worthy to be laughed at 

comes either in their eye or fancy. Yet I for my 

part would not have done this alone ; I should never 

have done it alone verily. 

See here, my God, the lively remembrance of my 
soul set before thee. Alone, I would never have 
committed that theft, wherein what I stole did not so 
much content me, as because I stole it ; which would 
never have pleased me so well to have done alone, 
uor would I ever have done it. O friendship too 
unfriendly I Thou inscrutable inveigler of the soul, 
thou greediness to do mischief, all out of a mirth and 
wantonness, thou thirst to do wrong to others, though 
jpon no pleasure of gain or revenge unto me : but 

in because when one cries : Let us go, let us do 
I or that, then 'tis a shame not to be shameless. 



CAP Quis exaperit istam tortuosissimam et in plica tis- 

^ simam nodositatem ? foeda est -, nolo in earn inten- 

dere, nolo earn videre. te volo, iustitia et innocen- 

tia, pulchra et decora honestis luminibus, et insatiabili 

satietate. quies est apud te valde et vita impertur 

babilis. qui intrat in te, intrat in gaudium 

domini sui et non timebit et habebit se 

optime in optimo. defluxi abs te ego 

et erravi, deus meus, nimis de- 

vius ab stabilitate tua in 

adulescentia et factus 

sum mihi regie 




Whatsoever is good, is in God 

Who can pick out that crooked and intricate chap. 
knottiness .'' 'Tis filthy, I will never give my mind x 
to it, I will not so much as look towards it. But 
thee I desire, O Righteousness and Innocency, most 
beautiful and comely to all chaste eyes ; yea, with 
an insatiable satiety I desire to behold thee. With 
thee is rest assured, and a life never to be dis- 
turbed. He that enters into thee, enters into his Matt. xxv. 
master's joy : and he shall have no cause of 21 

fear, and shall be well in him who is 
the best. I slid away from thee, and 
I went astray, O my God, yea, too 
much astray, from thee my 
Stay, in these days of my 
youth, and I became 
to myself a land 
of want. 





CAP. Veni Kartliaginem, et circumstrepebat me undi- 
qiie sartago flagitiosorum amorum. nondum amabam, 
et amare amabam, et secretiore indigentia oderam 
me minus indigentem. quaerebam quid amarem, 
amans amare, et oderam seeuritatem et viam sine 
muscipulis, quoniam fames mihi erat intus ab in- 
teriore cibo, te ipso, deus meus, et ea fame non 
esuriebam, sed eram sine desiderio alimentorum 
incorruptibilium, non quia plenus eis eram, sed quo 
inanior, fastidiosior. et ideo non bene valebat anima 
mea, et ulcerosa proiciebat se foras, miserabiliter 
sc«lni avida contactu sensibilium. sed si non habe- 
rent animam, non utique amarentur. amare et amari 
dulce mihi erat, magis si et amantis corpore fruerer. ; 
Venam igitur amicitiae coiiiquinabam sordibus 
concupiscentiae, candoremque eius obnubilabam 
de tartaro libidinis, et tamen foedus atque inhon- 
estus, elegans et urbanus esse gestiebam abundant! 
vanitate. rui etiam in amorem, quo cupiebam capi. 


He is caught with Love, which he hunted after 

To Carthage I came, where a whole frying-pan full chap 
abominable loves crackled round about me, and on ^ 
every side. I was not in love as yet, yet 1 loved to be in 
love, and with a more secret kind of want, 1 hated my- 
self having little want. I sought about for something 
to love, loving still to be in love : security I hated, 
and that way too that had no snares in it : and all 
because I had a famine within me, even of that in- 
ward food (thyself, O God) though that famine made 
me not hungry. For I continued without all appetite 
towards incorruptible nourishments, not because I 
was already full, but the more empty, the more 
queasy stomached. For this cause my soul was not 
very well, but miserably breaking out into botches, 
had an extreme itch to be scratched by the touch of 
these sensible things, which yet if they had not a life, 
would not be loved at all. It was very pleasur- 
ible to me, both to love, and to beloved ; but much 
nore, when I obtained to enjoy the person whom 
I loved. 

I detiled therefore the spring of friendship with 
he filth of uncleanliness, and 1 besullied the purity 
>f it with the hell of lustfulness. But thus filthy 
aid dishonest as I was, with a superlative kind of 
anity I took a pride to pass for a spruce and a 
entle companion. I Ibrced nivself also into love, 

CAP. deus meus, misericordia mea, quanto felle mihi 
suavitatem illam et qiiam bonus aspersisti, quia et 
amatus sum, et perveni ad vinculum fruendi et con- 
Ijgabar laetus aerumriosis nexibus, ut caederer virgis 
ferreig ardentibus zeli et suspicionum et timorum et 
irarum atque rixaium. 


CAP Rapiebant me spectacula theatrica, plena imagin- 
ibus miseriarum mearum et fomitibus ignis mei. 
quid est, quod ibi homo vult dolere luctuosa et tra- 
gica, quae tamen pati ipse nollet ? et tamen pati 
vult ex eis dolorem spectator, et dolor ipse est 
voluptas eius. quid est nisi miserabilis insania ? 
nam eo raagis eis movetur quisque, quo minus a 
talibus affectibus sanus est, quamquam, cum ipse 
patitur, miseria, cum aliis ccmpatitur, misericordia 
dici solet. sed qualis tandem misericordia in rebus 
fictis et scenicis? non enim ad siibveniendum pro- 
voratur auditor, sed tantum ad dolendum invitatui 
et auclori earum imaginiim amplius favet, cuii 


with which I affected to be ensnared. My God, my Cii 
Mercy, with how much sourness didst thou of thy ^ 
goodness to me, besour that sweetness ? For obtain- 
ing once to be beloved again, and secretly arriving to 
the bond of enjoying ; I was -with much joy bound 
with sorrow-bringing embracements, even that I 
might be scourged with the iron burning rods of 
jealousy, and suspicions, and fears, and angers, and 

Of Stage Plays 

Stage-plays also at that time drew me away ; sights chap 
full of the images of mine own miseries, and the fuel to ^ ^ 
mine own fire. What is the reason now that a spectator 
desires to be made sad when he beholds doleful and 
tragical passages, which himself could not endure to 
suffer.? Yet for all that he desires to feel a kind 
of passionateness, yea, and his passion becomes his 
pleasure too. What is all this but a miserable mad- \ 

ness } For every man is more affected with these 
actions, the less free he is from such affections. 
Howsoever, when a man suffers aught in his own 
person, it uses to be styled misery : but when he 
hath a fellow feeling of another's, then 'tis mercy. 
But what compassion is to be shown at those feigned 
and scenical passions } For the auditors here are not 
provoked to help the sufferer, but invited only to be 
sorry for him : and they so much the more love the 
author of these fictions, by how much the more he can 




*^Ar. ami)]ius dolet. et si calamitates illae hominum vel 

antiquae vel falsae sic agantur, ut qui spectat non 

doleat, abscedit inde fastidiens et reprehendens ; si 

autem doleat, manet intentus et gaudens. lacrimae 

ergo amantur et dolores. certe omnis homo gaudere 

vult. an cum miserum esse neminem libeat, libet 

tamen esse misericordem, quod quia non sine dolore 

est, hac una causa amantur dolores % et hoc de ilia 

vena amicitiae est. 

Sed quo vadit? quo fluit? ut quid decurrit in 

torrentem picis buUientis, aestus inmanes taetrarum 

libidinura, in quos ipsa mutatur, et vertitur per 

nutum proprium de caelesti serenitate detorta atque . 

deiecta ? repudietur ergo misericordia ? nequaquam. 

ergo amentur dolores aliquando. sed cave inmundi-, anima mea, sub tutore deo meo, deo patrum 

nostrorum et laudabili et superelato in omnia saecula, 

cave inmunditiam. neque enim nunc non misereor, 

sed tunc in theatris congaudebam amantibus, cum 

sese fruebantur per flagitia, quamvis haec imaginarie 

gererent in ludo spectaculi, cum autem sese amitte- 

bant, quasi misericors contristabar ; et utrumque de- 

lectabat tamen. nunc vero magis miseror gaudentem 

in flagitio quam velut dura perpessum detrimento 


move passion in them : and if the calamities of the chap. 
person represented (either fallen out long since or ^^ 
utterly feigned) be so lamely set out, that no passion 
be moved in the spectator, he goes away surfeited 
and reporting scurvily of it. But if he be moved to 
passion, he sits it out very attentively, and even 
weeps for joy again. Are tears therefore loved, and 
passions ? Verily each man desires joyfulness. Or, 
whereas no man is willing to be miserable, is he 
notwithstanding pleased to be merciful .'' which 
because it cannot be without passion, for this reason 
alone come passions to be loved. All this springs 
from that vein of friendship. 

But whither goes that vein ? Which way flows 
it ? Wherefore runs it into that torrent of boiling 
pitch, those vast overflowings of vile lustfulness, into 
the nature of which it is of its own inclination 
changed, being quite altered from its heavenly clear- 
ness, and depraved .'* Shall compassion therefore be 
banished.'' By no means. Let us frame ourselves 
rather to love passion sometimes, But take. heed of 
uncleanness, O my soul, under the eye of God my 
Protector, (that God of our fathers, who is to be 
praised, and to be exalted above all, for ever and 
ever) beware of uncleanness. Nor am I now past all 
compassion; but when in those days I in the theatres 
sympathised together with the lovers, when they 
wickedly enjoyed one another, although their parts 
were merely feigned in the action of the comedy : 
and when they lost one another, I was sad with 
them, as if really pitying them : being in both 
equally delighted notwithstanding. But I much 
more pity him now that still rejoiceth in his own 
wickedness, than I do him that is, as it were, hardly 
pinched with the foregoing of some pernicious 



CAP. perniciosae voluptatis et amissione miserae felicitatis. 

> haec certe verier misericordia, sed non in ea delectat 

; dolor, nam etsi adprobatiir officio caritatis qui dolet 

; miserum, mallet tamen utique non esse quod doleret, 

! qui germanitus misericors est. si enim est malevola 

benevolentia^ quod fieri non potest, potest et ille, qui 

veraciter sinceriterque miseretur, cupere esse miseros^ 

ut misereatur. nonnullus itaque dolor adprobandus, 

nullus amandus est. hoc enim tu, domine deus, qui 

animas amas, longe alteque purius quam nos, et in- 

corruptibilius misereris, quod nuUo dolore sauciaris. 

et ad haec quis idoneus ? 

At ego tunc miser dolere amabam, et quaerebam, 
ut esset quod dolerem, quando mihi in aerumna 
alicna et falsa et saltatoria, ea magis placebat actio 
histrionis meque alliciebat vehementius, qua mihi 
lacrimae excutiebantur. quid autem mirum, cum 
infelix pecus aberrans a grege tuo et inpatiens cus- 
todiae tuae, turpi scabie foedarer.'' et inde erant 
dolorum amores^ non quibus altius penetrarer — non 
enim amabam talia perpeti, qualia spectare — sed 
quibus auditis et fictis tamquam in superficie raderer : 
quos tamen quasi ungues scalpentium fervidus tumor 
et tabes et sanies horrida consequebatur. talis vita 
mea numquid vita erat, deus meus } 



})leasure, and the loss of some miserable felicity, chap. 
This certainly is the truer mercy, but the grief ^^ 
gives not so much delight. For though he that 
condoles with the miserable be commended for his 
office of charity ; yet had he, that is most brotherly 
compassionate, much rather there were no occasion 
given him to condole. For if there be a good- will 
that is ill-willed, (which can never be), then only may 
he, who is truly and sincerely compassionate, wish 
there might still be some men miserable, that he might 
still be compassionate. Some kind of sorrow may / 
therefore be allowed, but no kind loved. And thus 
dost thou, O Lord God, who lovest our own souls 
much more purely than ourselves can do, and art 
more incorruptibly merciful, because thou canst be 
wounded with no sorrowfulness. And who is fit for 
these things .'* 

But wretched I, loved at that time to be made 
sorry, and sought out matter to be sorry at, whenas 
in another man's misery, though feigned, and 
merely personated, that action of the player best 
pleased me, yea, and drew me the more vehemently, 
which extracted tears out of mine eyes. What 
marvel was it now, when being an unhappy sheep, 
straying from thy flock, and not contented with thy 
keeping, I became infected with that filthy scab } 
And hence came my loving of those sorrows, not 
such, though, as should gall me too deep : (nor was 
I so far gone, as to love to suffer, what I loved to 
look upon :) but such yet as upon hearing these fictions 
should lightly scratch me ; upon which (as after 
scratching nails) followed an impostumation, and a 
putrefied matter. Such a life I then led; but was 
that a life, O my God ? 





CAP. Et circumvolabat super me fidelis a longe miseri- 

cordia tua. in quantas iniquitates distabui, et sacri- 

lega euriositate secutus sum, ut deserentem te dedu- 

ceret me ad ima infida et circumventoria obsequia 

daemoniorum, quibus immolabam facta mea mala, et 

in omnibus flagellabas me ! ausus sum etiam in cele- 

britate sollemnitatum tuarum, intra parietes ecclesiae 

tuae concupiscere, et agere negotium procurandi 

fructus mortis : unde me verberasti gravibus poenis, 

sed nil ad culpam meam, o tu praegrandis miseri- 

cordia mea, deus meus, refugium meum a terribilibus 

nocenttbus, in quibus vagatus sum praefidenti collo 

ad longe recedendum a te, amans vias meas et non 

tuas, amans fugitivam libertatem. 

Habebant et ilia studia, quae honesta vocabantur, 

ductum suum intuentem fora litigiosa, ut excellerem 

in eis, hoc laudabilior, quo fraudulentior. tanta est 

caecitas hominum de caecitate etiam gloriantium. et 

maior iam eram in schola rhetoris et gaudebam 

superbe et tumebam typho, quamquam longe sedatior, 

domine, tu scis, et remotus omnino ab eversionibus, 

quas faciebant eversores — hoc enim nomen saevum 

et diabolicum velut insigne urbanitatis est— inter 




His conversation with young Lawyers 

And thy faithful mercy hovered over me afar off ! chap. 
Upon what gross iniquities consumed I myself, ^^^ 
pursuing a sacrilegious curiosity, that having once 
forsaken thee, it might bring me as low as the very 
bottom of infidelity, to that beguiling service of devils, 
unto whom I sacrificed mine own vile actions ; for all 
which thou didst chastise me.'* I was so bold one 
day, as thy solemnities were a celebrating, even 
within the walls of thy Church, to desire and to 
execute a business, enough to purchase me the very 
fruits of death. For which thou scourgedst me with 
very grievous punishments, though nothing in respect 
of my fault, O thou my infinite Mercy, my God, my 
Refuge against those terrible dangers, in which I 
wandered with a stiff neck, to withdraw myself the 
further off from thee, loving mine own ways, and not 
thine : affecting a freedom, though that of a run- 

Those studies of mine also which were accounted 
commendable, were intended towards the Law, with 
an ambition to prove excellent at them ; so much the 
famouser as I proved the craftier. Such is men's 
blindness, that they even brag of their own owl- 
eyedness. I became by this time to be a prime 
fellow in the Rhetoric Schools ; and I joyed in it 
very pertly, and I swelled again with arrogancy, 
though more temperate I was. Lord thou knowest, 
yea, and far enough off from those humours of the 
Overturners (for this cruel and diabolical name was 
given out to be the very badge of gallantry) whom 


CAP. quos vivebam pudore inpudenti, quia talis non eram : 
et cum eis eram et amicitiis eorum delectabar ali- 
quando, a quorum semper factis abhorrebam, hoc est 
ab eversionibus, quibus proterve insectabantur igno- 
torum verecundiam, quam proturbarent gratis inlu- 
dendo atque inde pascendo malevolas laetitias suas. 
nihil est illo actu similius actibus daemoniorum. 
quid itaque verius quara eversores vocarentur, eversi 
plane prius ipsi atque perversi, deridentibus eos et 
seducentibus fallacibus occulte spiritibus in eo ipso, 
quo alios inridere amant et fallere ? 


CAP. Inter hos eso inbecilla tunc aetate discebam libros 


eloquentiae, in qua eminere cupiebam^fine damnabili 
et ventoso per gaudia vanitatis humanae ; et usitato 
iam discendi ordine perveneram in librum cuiusdam 
Ciceronis, cuius linguam fere omnes mirantur, pectus 
non ita. sed liber ille ipsius exhortationem con- 
tinetad philosophiam et vocatur Hortensius. ille vero 
liber mutavit affectum meum, et ad te ipsum, domine, 


notwithstanding I kept company withal^ even with chap. 
an impudent bashfulness, because I had not so rightly ^^^ 
gotten the garb of it as they. With these I conversed, 
and was oittimes deHghted with their acquaintance, 
whose doings I did ever abhor, that is their humours 
of Overturning : in which their custom was, mala- 
})ertly enough, to come over the demure and bashful 
behaviour of the freshmen, whom they thoroughly 
vexed with abusing and jeering at, upon no occasion ; 
and all to maintain their own humour of bitter 
jesting : nothing in the world can be liker the very 
actions of the devil himself, than this behaviour 
of theirs. What name then could they more truly 
be called by, than Overturners ? Being themselves 
overturned and altogether perverted first, and that 
by those seducing and deceiving spirits, secretly 
deriding them, even while they themselves take so 
much delight to jeer at, and to put tricks upon 

I hers. 
How Tullys Hortensius provoked him to shidy 
MOXGST these mad companions in that tender CHAr. 
age of mine learned I the books of eloquence, ^^ 
wherein my ambition was to be eminent, all out of 
a damnable and vain-glorious end, puffed up with a 
delight of human glory. By the ordinary course of 
study I fell upon a certain book o-f one Cicero, whose 
tongue almost every man admires, though not so his 
heart. This book of his contains an exhortation to 
Philosophy, and 'tis called Hortensius. Now this 
book quite altered my affection, turned my prayers 



iur, miitAvit prcvcsmcAS,ctvoU«c<lesideTi*mea fecit alia. 
Yiluit mibi repealft oamk Tana ^f»es, et inmortalitatein 
sa^^ntiae eoncQiilscebam aestu coi^ incredibili, et 
smgei^ coepenon^ ui ad te redifeiii. non enim ad 
aciMaidaiii UnfMUKi^ quod vlddbar em«re matetnis 
metcedibas, cum agei«n aim«ini aetatis undeYicen- 
simutt^ iam defunelo pktx^ ante biennium ; non ergo 
ad aea«!idam Unguam lelerelviiu ilium librum, iieque 
mlhl locaUonem^ sed quod loqaebatiur persoaserat, 

Quomodo aidebun^ deas mens* quomodo ardebam 
re¥olare a tanenls ad te> et neseiebvon quid ageres 
iae«v«i ! wpuA te esi ^am aapientia* amor autem 
sapienUae nomen graeeam babet philosi^iani, quo 
me aeoend^Mnt illae Utt«Nie« sunt qui seduoant per 
)>bik»(^)biKai« UMiptto ^ blando et boneslo nomine 
cokNtanteset firauites enwes sues; et prope omnes,qui 
ex iUis et supra tenporibiis tales erant, nolantttr in eo 
libiKi et demonstrantnr^ et manilestator ibt salutilera 
ilU athnonitio spirit r serrum tuum bonum et 

— •" •• videte,nevi«.> v^^ v;ec^»iatperphOo$ophian) 
. . sedue^kknem secundum tmditi^iMBem boon* 
imiu. $e<^udur . ca huiu> mm secun« 

dum Cbristum^ qui:t m ijiso iuhabr.i; . -rtv.s |)}enitttdo 
divimlaib ewporabter-.'' et ego illo ieiu)>oie, scis tu. 
lumen eovdis mei^« quoniam needum mihi haee ap<.i$> 
tobca nota er»ut. boc tamen solo deleetabsir in ilU 
eSKborlatKuir. v^UvhI iMMi ilbuu :iut ilUin sectjiui. >chi 


to thyself, O Lord, and made me have clean other CHAr. 
purposes and desires. All my vain hopes I thence- ^^ 
forth slighted ; and with an incredible heat of spirit 
I thirsted after the immortality of wisdom, and began 
now to rouse up myself, that I might turn again to 
thee ward. For I made not use of that book to file 
my tongue with, which I seemed to buy with that 
exhibition which my mother allowed me, in that 
nineteenth year of my age, my father being dead 
two years before. 1 made not use of that book, I 
say, to sharpen my tongue withal, nor had Tt "per- 
suaded me to affect the fine language in it, but tlie 
matter of it. 

How did I burn then, my God, how did 1 burn 
to fly from e arthly delights Jtowards thee, and yet l^ 
I knew not wlTartTTo^ii'me/ineclst to do with me ! 
For with thee is wisdom. That love of wisdom is 
! in Greek called Philosophy, with which that book 
inflamed me. Some there be that seduce others 
through Philosophy, under a great, a fair promising, 
and an honest name, colouring over and palliating 
their own errors : and almost all those who in the 
same and former ages had been of that stamp, are 
in that book censured and set forth : there also 
is that niosL wholesome advice of thy Spirit, given 
by thy good and devout servant, made plain : Beware Ooi. if. 8 
lest any man spoil you through Philosophy and vain 
deceit after the tradition of men, after the rudi- 
ments of the world, and not after Christ. For in 
him dwelleth all the Fulness of the Godhead bodily. 
For my part, thou Light of my heart knowest, that 
the Apostolical Scriptures were scarce known to me 
fit that time : but tiiis was it that so delighted me 
in that exhortation, that it did not engage me to this 
or tiiat sect, but left me free to love, and seek, and 

CAP. ipsam quaecumque esset sapieiitiam ut diligerem et 
quaererem et adsequerer et tenerem atque amplexarer 
fortiter, excitabar sermone illo et accendebar et 
ardebanij et hoc solum me in tanta flagrantia 
refrangebat, quod iiomen Christi non erat ibi, 
quoniam hoc nomen secundum misericordiam tuam, 
domine, hoc nomen salvatoris mei, fill tui, in ipso 
adhuc lacte matris tenerum cor meum pie biberat et 
alte retinebat, et quidquid sine hoc nomine fuisset_, 
quamvis litteratum et expolitum et veridicum, non 
me totum rapiebat. 

CAP. Itaque institui animum intendere in scripturas 
sanctas, et videre^ quales essent. et ecce video rem 
non compertam superbis neque nudatam pueris, sed 
incessu humilem, successu excelsam, et velatam 
mysteriis, et non eram ego talis^ ut intrare in earn 
possem, aut inclinare cervicem ad eius gressus. now 
enim sicut modo loquor, ita sensi, cum attendi ad 
illam scripturam, sed visa est mihi indigna, quam 
TulHanae dignitati compararem. tumor enim meus 
refugiebat modiim eius, et aciesmea non penetrabat 
interiora eius. verum tameu ilia erat, quae cresceret 


obtain, and hold, and embrace Wisdom itself, %\hat- CHAr. 
ever it was. Perchnnce it was that book I was ^^ 
stirred up, and enkindled, and inflamed by: this 
thing only in such a heat of zeal took me off, that 
the name of Christ was not in it. For this Name, 
according to thy mercy, O Lord, this Name of my 
^yiour thy Son, had my tender heart even together 
with my mother's milk devoutly drunken in, and 
charily treasured up : so that what book soever was .. 
without that Name, though never so learned, politely 
and truly penned, did not altogether take my appro- 


He sets lightly hy the Holy Sciipiures because of 
the simplicity of the style 
I RESOLVED thereupon to bend my studies towards chap. 
the Holy Scriptures, that I might see what they ^ 
were. But behold, I espy something in them not 
revealed to the proud, not discovered unto children, 
humble in style, sublime in operation, and wholly 
veiled over in mysteries ; and I was not so fitted at 
that time, as to pierce into the sense, or stoop my 
neck to its coming. For when I attentively read 
these Scriptures, I thought not then so of them, as I 
now speak ; but they seemed to me far unworthy to 
be compared to the stateliness of the Ciceronian 
eloquence. For my swelling pride soared above the 
temper of their style, nor was my sharp wit able to 
pierce into their sense. And yet such are thy 
I H 113 

CAP. oum parvulis^ sed ego dedignabar esse parvulus et 
turgidus fastu milii grandis videbar. 


CAP. Itaque incidi in homines superbe delirantes, ear- 
nales nimis et loquaces. in quorum ore laquei dia- 
boli, et viscum confectum conmixtione syllabarum 
nominis tui et domini lesu Christi et paracleti con- 
solatoris nostri spiritus sancti. haec nomina non 
recedebant de ore eorum, sed tenus sono et strepitu 
ling^uae ; ceterum cor inane veri. et dicebant : 
" Veritas et Veritas," et mu.ltum earn dicebant mihi, 
et nusquam erat in eis^ sed falsa loquebantur non de 
te tantum, qui vere Veritas es, sed etiam de istis 
dementis mundi, creatura tua, de quibus etiam vera 
dicentes philosophos transgredi debui prae amore 
tuo, mi pater summc bone, pulchritudo pulchrorum 
omnium, o Veritas, Veritas, quam intime etiam turn 
meduUae animi mei suspirabant tibi, cum te illi 
sonarent mihi frequenter et raultipliciter, voce sola 
et libris multis et in<;entibus ! et ilia erant fercula.. 
in quibus mihi esurienti te inferebatur sol et luna 
pulchra opera tua, sed tamen opera tua, non tu, nee 


Scriptures as grew up together with thy little ones. chap. 
But I much disdained to be held a little one ; and ^ 
big swollen with pride, I took myself to be some 
great man. 

Ik ^^ 

^ How he was ensnared by the Manichees 

And even then I fell upon a sect of men proudly chap. 
doting, too carnal and prating, in whose mouth were ^^ 
the very snares of the Devil, and a very bird-lime 
composed by the mixture of the syllables of thy 
Name, and of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of the Holy 
Ghost the Comforter. All these names were never 
out of their mouth ; so far forth as the sound only and 
the noise of the tongue; but their heart was void of 
true meaning. Yet they cried out Truth, and Truth, 
and often sounded the word to me, yet was the Truth 
itself nowhere to be found amongst them. But they 
spake falsehood, not of thee only (who truly art the 
Truth itself) but also of the elements of this world, 
thy creatures. Concerning which it had been my 
duty, O my supreme and good Father, thou Beauty 
of all things that are beautiful, to have passed by 
all the Philosophers though they spake most truly. 
O Truth, Truth, how inwardly did the very marrow 
of my soul pant after thee, whenas they often 
and divers ways, though but barely, sounded thy 
name to me, with their voice only, and in many 
books and huge volumes i* And these were the 
dishes wherein to me, hunger-starven for thee, 
they served up the sun and moon. Beautiful 
works indeed of thine, but thy creatures notwith- 
standing, not thyself, no. nor thy first creatures 


CAP. ipsa prima, priora eniin spiritalia opera tua quam 
ista corporea quamvis lucida et ca»;lestia. 

At ego nee priora illa^ sed te ipsam, Veritas, in qua 
non est conmutatio nee momenti obumbratio, esurie- 
bam et sitiebam. et apponebantur adhuc mihi in illis 
ferculis phantasmata splendida, quibus lam melius erat 
amare istum solem, saltern istis oculis verum, quam 
ilia falsa animo decepto per oculos. et tamen, quia 
te putabam, manducabam, non avide quidem, quia 
nee sapiebas in ore meo sicuti es — neque enim tu 
eras ilia figmenta inania — nee nutriebar eis, sed ex- 
hauriebar magis, cibus in somnis siniillimus est cibis 
vigilantium, quo tamen dormientes non aluntur ; 
dormiunt enim. at ilia nee similia erant ullo modo 
tibi, sicut nunc mihi locuta cs, quia ilia erant cor- 
poralia phantasmata, falsa corpora, quibus certiora 
sunt vera corpora ista, quae videmus visu carneo, sive 
caelestia sive terrestria : cum pccudibus et volatili- 
bus videmus, et certiora sunt, quam cum imaginamui 
ea. et rursus certius imaginamur ea quam ex ei^ 
suspicamur alia grandiora et infinita^ quae omninc 
nulla sunt, qualibus ego tunc pascebar inanibus et 
non pascebar. 

At tu, amor meus, in quern deficio, ut fortis sira 
nee ista corpora es, quae videmus quamquam ii; 
caelo, nee ea, quae non videmus ibi, quia tu ist« 


neither. For thy spiritual works are before these chap. 
corporeal works, celestial though they be and ^^ 

But I hungered and thirsted not after those first 
works of thine, but after thee, even thee, O Truth, 
with whom there is no variableness, neither shadow James i, i; 
of turning. Yet they still set before me in those 
dishes glorious phantasies, than which much better 
it were to love this sun, which is true to our sight 
at least, than those phantasies which by our eyes 
serve to deceive our mind. Yet because I thought 
them to be thee, 1 fell to and fed ; not greedily 
though, for thou wert not savoury in my mouth, nor 
like thyself; for thou wast not those empty fictions : 
nor was I soundly nourished by them, but drawn 
dry rather. That food we dream of shows very like ) 
t he food w hich we eat aH^'akie"; yeF are ri those 
asleep nourisTTed^by^if/rolL* ^ey are asleep. But 
Those phantasies were not any way like to thee, 
as thou hast since spoken to me ; for that those 
were cor})oreal phantasies only, false bodies, than 
vvhich these true bodies both celestial and terrestrial 
which with our fleshly sight we behold, are far more 
certain. These things the very beasts and birds 
discern as well as we, and they are much more 
certain than any we can fancy of ourselves. And 
again, we do with more certainty conceive the 
images of these, than by them entertain the least 
suspicion of any vaster or infinite bodies which have 
at all no being. Such empty husks as these was I 
fed with, yet not a whit nourished. 

But thou, my Love, after whom I pine, that 1 may 
gather the more strength, art not these bodies which 
we see, though from heaven appearing : nor art thou 
l^se things which we see not there : for all those 

■ in 


CAP. condidisti nee in summis tuis conditionibus habes. 


quanto ergo longe es a phantasmatis illis meis, phan- 
tasraatis corporiim, quae omnino non sunt I quibus 
certiores sunt phantasiae corporum eorum, quae sunt, 
et eis certiora corpora, quae tamen non es. sed nee 
anima es, quae vita est corporum — ideo melior vita 
corporum certiorque quam corpora — sed tu vita es 
animarum, vita vitarum^ vivens te ipsa, et non mutaris, 
vita animae meae. 

V'^bi ergo mihi tunc eras et quam longe ? et longe 
peregrinabar abs te, exclusus et a siliquis porcorum, 
quos de siliquis pascebam, quanto enim mehores 
grammaticorum et poetarum fabellae quam ilia 
-^ decipula I nam versus et carmen et Medea volans 
utiliores certe, quam quinque elementa, varie fucata 
propter quinque antra tenebrarum, quae omnino 
nulla sunt et occldunt credentem. nam versum et 
carmen etiam ad vera pulmenta transfer© ; volantem 
autem Medeam etsi cantabam, non asserebam, etsi 
cantari audiebam, non credebam : ilia autem credidi. 
vae, vae ! quibus gradibus deductus in profunda 
inferi, quippe laborans et aestuans inopia veri, cum 
te, deus meus — tibi confiteor, qui me miseratus es et 
noiulum confitentem — cum te non secundum intel- 
lectum mentis, quo inodo praestare voluisti beluis, 
sed secundum sensum carnis quaererem. tu autem 


hast thou created; nor yet dost thou count them CHAP, 
amongst the chiefest pieces of thy workmanship. How ^^ 
far tlien art thou from those fond phantasies of mine, 
the phantasies of those bodies wliich have at all no 
being ! Than which the images of those bodies, which 
have real existence, are far more certain ; and the 
bodies themselves are more certain than their own 
images : yet these bodies thou art not. No, nor yet 
art thou the soul, which is the life of those bodies ; 
though better and more certain be the life ot those 
bodies, than the bodies themselves are. But thou art 
the life of souls, the life of lives, yea the very living 
life itself; nor art thou altered, O life of my soul. 

Where therefore wert thou then, and how far 
from me? Very far verily had I straggled from thee, 
being even barred from the husks of those swine, 
wliotn with husks I was set to feed. How much better 
then are those fables of the poets and grammarians, 
tiian these fool -traps ! For their verses, and poems, 
and Medea flying, are more profitable surely, than 
these men's Five Elements, oddly devised to answer 
the Five Dens of Darkness, which have at all no 
being, and which slay the believer. For verses and 
poems I can turn into true nourishment. But Medea 
flying, although I chanted sometimes, yet I maintained 
not the truth of; and though I heard it sung, I 
believed it not : but these phantasies I thorougidy 
believed. Alas^ alas ! by what steps was I brought to 
the very bottom of hell ; whenas toiling and tur- 
moiling myself through want of truth, I sought 
after thee my God, (to thee I now confess it, who 
hadst mercy on me when I had not yet confessed) 
not according to the understanding of the mind, ^ 
wherein thou madest me to excel the beasts, but 
according to the sense of the flesh } But thou at 


CAP. eras interior intimo meo et superior summo meo. 
^^ offendi illam mulierem audacem, inopem prudentiae, 
aenigma Salomonis, sedentem super sellam in foribus 
et dicentem : panes occultos libenter edite et aquam 
dulcem furtivam bibite. quae me seduxit, quia 
invenit foris habitantem in oculo carnis meae, et talia 
ruminantem apud me, qualia per ilium vorassem. 


CAP. Nesciebam enim aliud, vere quod est, et quasi 
acutule movebar, ut suffragarer stultis deceptoribus, 
cum a me quaereretur, unde malum est? et utrum 
forma corporea deus finiretur, et haberet capillos et 
ungues, et utrum iusti existimandi essent qui habe- 
rent uxores multas simul, et occiderent homines, et 
sacrificarent de animalibus. quibus rerum ignarus 
perturbabar, et recedens a veritate ire in earn mihi 
videbar, quia non noveram malum non esse nisi 
privationem boni usque ad quod omnino non est. 
"^uod unde viderem, cuius videre usque ad corpus 
erat oculis, et animo usque ad phantasma ? non 
noveram deum esse spiritual, non cui membra essent 
per longum et latum nee cui esse moles esset, 
quia moles in parte minor est quam in toto suo, et 


the same time wert more inward than my most chap. 
inward part ; and superior then, unto my supreniest. ^^^ 
I chanced upon that bold woman, who knoweth compare 
nothing, that subtilty in Solomon, sitting at the door Prov. 
of her house, and saying : Eat ye bread of secrecies i^^'J's.^J^' 
willingly, and drink ye stolen waters which are sweet. 
She seduced me, because she found my soul without- 
doors, dwelling in the eye of my flesh, and chewing 
the cud by myself, upon such baits as through her 
enticements I had devoured. 


The absurd dochine of the Manichees 

For I knew not that other, which truh^ is, and I was, chap. 
as it were, in some subtle way persuaded to give my ^"^^ 
consent to those foolish deceivers when they put 
their questions to me: Whence comes evil.'* and ---^ 
whether God were made up in a bodily shape, and 
had hair and nails t and whether those were to be 
esteemed righteous men, who had many wives at 
once, and did kill men, and offered sacrifices of 
living creatures ? At which things ignorant I was 
much troubled ; and while I went quite from the 
truth, I seemed to myself to be making towards it : 
because I yet knew not how that evil was nothing 
else but a privation of good, next indeed to that 
which has no being, Wiiich how should I come to 
see, whose sight pierced no further than to a body 
with mine eyes; and with my soul no deeper than to 
a mere phantasy .'* Nor did I know God to be a 
Spirit who hath not any parts extended in length and 
breadth, nor whose Being was to be a bulk ; for that 


CA]^ si iiifinita sit, minor est in aliqua parte certo spatio 


definitHj quam per infinitum, et non est tota ubique 
sicut spiritus, sicut deus. et quid in nobis esset, 
secundum quod essemus, et quid in scriptura dice- 
^•emur, ad imaginem dei, prorsus ignorabara. 

Et non noveram iustitiam veram interiorem non 
ex consuetudine iudicantem, sed ex lege rectissima 
dei omnipotentis, qua formarentur mores regionum 
et dierum pro regionibus et diebus, cum ipsa ubique 
ac semper esset, non alibi alia nee alias aliter; 
secundum quam iusti essent Abraham et Isaac et 
Jacob et Moyses et David, et illi omnes laudati 
ore dei ; sed eos ab imperitis iudicari iniquos, 
iudicantibus ex bumano die et universos mores 
humani generis ex parte moris sui metientibus; 
tamquam si quis nescius in armamentis, quid cui 
membro adcommodatum sit, ocrea velit caput 
contegi et galea calciari, et murmuret, quod non 
apte conveniat ; aut in uno die, indicto a pomeri- 
dianis lioris iustitio, quisquam stomachetur non sibi 
concedi quod venale proponere, quia mane con- 
cessum est ; nut in una domo videat aliquid 
tractari manibus a quoquam servo, quod facere non 
sinatur qui pocula ministrat ; aut aliquid post prae- 
sepia fieri, quod ante mensam prohibeatur; et 


every bulk is lesser in his part, than in his whole : and chap. 
if it be infinite^ it must needs be less in some part ^^^ 
that is limited, than in his infinity ; and cannot so be 
wholly everywhere, as a spirit is, as God is. And 
which part in us that should be, by which we were, 
and how rightly in the Scriptures we may be said 
to be made after the image of God, I was altogether 

Nor did I know that true and inward righteous- 
ness, jvhich judgeth not according to custom, but out ^ 
of the most ri^ht till Law of God Almiglitj, by which • 
the lasTiions of several places and times were so dis- 
posed, as was fittest both for those times and places ; 
itself in the mean time being the same always and 
everywhere ; not another thing in another place, 
nor otherwise upon another occasion. According to 
which righteousness Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, 
and Moses w^ere righteous, yea, and all those other 
commended by the mouth of God : but they were 
judged unrighteous by unskilful people judging out 
of human judgment, and measuring all mankind in 
general by the model of their own customs : just as 
if in armour, a man being ignorant what piece 
were appointed for Avhat part, should clap a greave 
upon his head, and draw a headpiece upon his leg, 
and then murmur because they would not fit him : or 
as if upon some set day when the course of Justice is 
publicly forbidden in the afternoon, a shopkeeper 
should stomach at it that he may not have leave to 
sell his wares, because it was lawful for him to do it 
in the forenoon : or when in some house lie observeth 
some servant to pass that kind of business through 
his hands, which the butler is not suffered to meddle 
withal ; or some thing done behind the stable, which 
is forbidden in the dining-room : or as if he should 

CAP. indignetur, cum sit unum habitaculum et una familia, 
non ubique atque omnibus idem tribui. sic sunt 
isti qui indignantur, cum audierint illo saeculo 
licuisse iustis aliquid, quod isto non licet iustis ; et 
quia illis aliud praecepit deus, istis aliud pro tem- 
poralibus causis; cum eidem iustitiae utrique servie- 
rint : cum in uno homine et in uno die et in unis 
aedibus videant aliud alii membro congruere, et 
aliud iam dudum licuisse, post horam non licere, 
quiddam in illo angulo permitti aut iuberi, quod 
in isto iuxta vetetur et vindicetur. numquid 
iustitia varia est et mutabilis ? sed tempora, quibus 
praesidet, non pariter eunt ; tempora enim sunt, 
homines autem, quorum vita super terram brevis 
est, quia sensu non valent causas contexere saecu- 
lorum priorum aliarumque gentium, quas experti 
non sunt, cum his quas experti sunt, in uno autem 
corpore vel die vel domo facile possunt videre, 
quid cui membro, quibus momentis, quibus partibus 
personisve congruat, in illis ofFenduntur, hie serviunt. 
Haec ego tunc nesciebam et non advertebam, et 
feriebant undique ista oculos meos, et non videbam. 
et cantabam carmina, et non mihi licebat ponere 
pedem quemlibet ubilibet, sed in alio atque alio 
metro aliter et in iino alicpio versu non omnibus 


be angry, thcit where there is one dwelling-house, CHAP, 
and one family, the same equality of distribution is ^^^ 
not observed everywhere, and to all alike in it. Of 
the same humour be those who are fretted to 
hear something to have been lawful for righteous 
men in the former age, which is not so for righteous 
men now-a-days. And because God commanded 
them one thing then, and these another thing 
now for certain temporal respects; and yet those ot 
both ages were servants to the same righteousness : 
whereas they may observe in one man, and in one 
day, and in one house, different things to be fit for 
different members, and one thing to be lawful now, 
which an hour hence is not so ; and something to be 
permitted or commanded in one corner, which is 
forbidden and punished in another. Is Justice 
thereupon various or mutable .'* No ; but the times 
rather, which justice governs, are not like one 
another ; for they are times. But men now, whose 
life is but short upon the earth, for that in their own 
apprehensions they are not able to compare together 
the causes of those former ages, and of other nations, 
which they have had no experience of, with these 
which they have had experience of; and that in one 
and the same body, day or family, they may easily 
observe what is fitting for such a member and at 
what seasons, what parts and what persons : they 
take exception to those, but to these they are 

These things I then knew not, nor did I mark 
them ; and they on every side beat about mine eyes, 
yet did I not see them. I endited verses, in which 
I had not liberty to place every foot where I pleased, 
but in one metre in one }), and in another metre 
^n another place : and not the selfsame foot in all 

B ^^^ 


CAP. locis eundem pedein ; et ars ipsa, qua canebam, non 
habebat aliud alibi, sed omnia simul. et non intuebar 
iustitiam, cui servirent boni et sancti homines, longe 
excellentius atque siiblimius habere simul omnia 
quae praecipit, et nulla ex parte varie, tamen variis 
temporibus non omnia simul, sed propria distri- 
buentem ac praecipientem. et reprehendjebam 
caecus pios patres, non solum, sicut deus iuberet 
atque inspiraret, utentes praesentibus, veru-m.quoque, 
sicut deus revelaret, futura praenuntiantes- 


CAP. NuMQUiD aliquando aut alicubi iniustum est 

diligere deum ex toto corde et ex tota anima et 
ex tota mente, et diligere proximum tamquam tc 
ipsum ? itaque flagitia, quae sunt contra naturam, 
ubique ac semper detestanda atque punienda sunt, 
qualia Sodomitarum fuerunt. quae si omnes gentes 
facerent, eodem criminis reatu divina lege tene- 
rentur, quae non sic fecit homines, ut hoc se 
uterentur modo. violatur quippe ipsa societas, quae 
cum deo nobis esse debet, cum eadem natura, cuius 


places of the same verse neither : yea, and the very chap. 
art o^ poetry itself, by which I endited, had not rules ^^^ 
different in one place from those in another, but all 
in one. Nor did I then behold how that rule of 
righteousness, to which those good and holy men 
obeyed, did far more excellently and sublimely con- 
tain all its precepts in one ; which though not varied 
from itself in any part, yet in different times, did not 
distribute or command all the same things at one 
time, but what was fit and proper for each time. 
Thus blind I reprehended those holy Fathers, not 
only for making use of the present things with that 
liberty which God both commanded and inspired 
them, but even also for foretelling things to come, 
which God had revealed unto them. 


Heinous offences ivhat be, and how punished 

Can it at any time or place be an unjust thing for chap. 
a man to love God with all his heart, with all his ^^^^ 
soul, and with all his mind ; and his neighbour as 
himself.^ Therefore are those crimes which be 
against nature, to be everywhere and at all times 
both detested and punished ; such as those of the ^^^ — ' 
men of Sodom were : which should all nations com- 
mit, they should stand all guilty of the same crime, 
by the Law of God, which hath not so made men, 
that they should this way use one another. For 
even that society which should be betwixt God and 
us, is then violated, when the same nature of which 
he is author, is polluted by the preposterousness of 


CAP. ille auctor est, libidinis perversitate poUuitur. quae 


autem contra mores hominum sunt flagit a^ pro 
morum diversitate vitanda sunt; ut pactum inter se 
civitatis aut gentis consuetudine vel le/^e firmatum 
nulla civis aut peregrin! libidine violetur. turpis 
enim omnis pars universo suo non congruens. 

Cum autem deus aliquid contra morem aut pactum 
quorumlibet iubet, etsi nunquam ibi factum est, 
faciendum est; et si omissum, instaurandum ; et si 
institutum non erat, instituendum est. si enim regi 
licet in civitate, cui regnat, iubere aliquid, quod neque 
ante ilium quisquam nee ipse umquam iusserat, et 
non contra societatem civitatis eius obtemperatur, 
immo contra societatem non obtemperatur — generale 
quippe pactum est societatis humanae oboedire 
regibus suis — quanto magis deus regnator universae 
creaturae, cui ad ea quae iusserit sine dubitatione 
serviendum est ! sicut enim in potestatibus societatis 
humanae maior potestas minori ad oboediendum 
praeponitur, ita deus omnibus. 

Item in facinoribus, ubi libido est nocendi, sive 
per contumeliam sive per iniuriam, et utrumque vel 
ulciscendi causa, sicut inimico inimicus, vel adipi- 
scendi alicuius extra conmodi, sicut latro viatori, vel 


lust. But those actions which are offences against chap. 
the customs and public usages of people, are to be ^'^^^ 
avoided, with respect had to the diversity of those 
several customs and usages ; so that a thing agreed 
upon, and confirmed, either by the custom or law 
of a city or nation amongst themselves, may not be 
violated at the lawless pleasure of any, whether 
native or foreigner. For vile is every part that agrees 
not with its own whole. 

But when God commands anything to be done, 
either against the customs or constitutions of any 
people whatsoever, though the like were never done 
heretofore, yet it is to be done now ; and if ever it 
hath been intermitted before, it is to be restored 
now ; and if it were never made a law before, it is to 
be made one now. For lawful if it be for a King in 
that city which he reigns over, to command that 
which never any Prince had before him, nor he him- 
self ever heretofore, and that it cannot be held to be 
against the common good of the city that he is obeyed : 
nay it were against it if he were not obeyed : (for a 
general agreement of all human societies, is that their 
princes should be obeyed) how much more dutiful 
then ought we to be to God, who is Lord Paramount 
over all his creatures, and that without any sticking 
at all, at whatsoever he pleases to command us ! For 
as amongst those powers appointed in human society, ,. 
the greater authority is set over the lesser, to com- 
mand obedience ; so is God set over all. 

In heinous offences also, where there arises a licen- 
tious will to hurt another, be it either by offering 
reproach or injury; and both of these either upon 
occasion of revenge, as in one enemy against another, 
or for the compassing of some piece of profit, not in his 
own power, as in the highway thiel to the traveller ; or 

I T 1 20 

CAP. evitandi mali^ sicut ei qui timetur, vel invidendo, 


sicut feliciori misenor aut m aliquo prosperatus ei, 
quern sibi aequari timet aut aequalem dolet, vel sola 
voluptate alieni mali, sicut spectatores gladiatorum 
aut inrisores aut inlusores quorumlibet. haec sunt 
capita iniquitatis, quae pullulant principandi et spec- 
tandi et seiitiendi libidinCj aut una aut duabus earum, 
aut simul omnibus, et vivitur male adversus tria et 
septem, psalterium decern chordarum, decalogum 
tuum, deus altissime et dulcissime. sed quae flagitia 
in te, qui non corrumperis ? aut quae adversus te 
f'acinora, cui noceri non potest ? sed hoc vindicas, 
quod in se homines perpetrant, quia etiam cum in te 
peccant, inpie faciunt in animas suas, et mentitur 
iniquitas sibi : sive corrumpendo ac pervertendo 
naturam suam, quam tu I'ecisti et ordinasti; vel 
inmoderate utendo concessis rebus vel in non con- 
cessa flagrando in eum usum, qui est contra naturam ; 
aut rei lenentur, animo et verbis saevientes adversus 
te et adversus stimulum calcitrantes ; aut cum di- 
ruptis limitibus humanae societatis, laetantur, audaces 
privatis conciliationibus aut diremptionibus, prout 
quidque delectaverit aut ofFenderit. 

Et ea fiunt, cum tu derelinqueris, fons vitae, qui es 
unus et verus creator et rector universitatis, et privata 


for the eschewing of some evil, as in him that is afraid chap. 
of another ; or in case of envying, as the miserable ^iil 
wretch against him in happier condition, or he that is 
well thriven in anything, fears him that is to grow 
up to him, or is grieved at him already in equal case 
with him ; or for the pleasure alone at another man's 
mischance, as those that are spectators of the sword- 
players, or that deride or put tricks on others. These 
be the chief heads of iniquity which sprout forth 
from that lawless desire of bearing rule, of seeing, of 
feeling, op of any one or two of these, or of all tlnee 
together. Thus we live offensively against three 
and seven, that psaltery of ten strings, thy Ten 
Commandments, O God, most High and most Sweet. 
But what foul offences can there be against thee, 
seeing thou canst not by them be corrupted .'' Or 
what high-handed transgressions can cross thee who 
canst not be harmed ? But this it is that thou 
revengest, that namely which men commit against 
themselves, seeing also when they sin against thee, 
they do wickedly even against their own souls, and ^ 
iniquity gives itself the lie : either by corrupting or pg. xxvii. 
perverting its own nature which thou hast created 12 
and ordained ; or else by an immoderate use of those 
creatures appointed for them, or in burning in lust 
towards the use of what is not appointed, which is 
against nature ; or they are held guilty, for raving 
with heart and tongue against thee, kicking thereby 
against the prick : or breaking open the pale of all 
human society, they rejoice themselves, bold in 
their privy societies and schisms, right as anything 
either delighteth or offendeth them. 

And these pranks are played whenever thou art 
forsaken, O Fountain of Life, which art the only 
and true Creator and Governor of the universe, 


CAr. superbia diligitur in parte unum falsum. itaque pietate 
liumili reditur in te : et purgas nos a consuetudine 
mala, et propitiiis es peccatis confitentiunij et exaudis 
gemitus conpeditorum, et solvis a vinculis, quae nobis 
fecimus, si iam non erigamus adversus te cornua falsae 
libertatiSj avaritia plushabendi et damno totum amit 
tendi, amplius amando proprium nostrum quam te, 
omnium bonum. 


CAP. Sed inter flagitia et facinora et tam multas iuiqui- 
tates sunt peccata profieientium, quae a bene 
iudicantibus et vituperantur ex regula perfectionis, 
et laudantur spe frugis sicut herba segetis. et sunt 
quaedam similia vel flagitio vel facinori et non sunt 
peccata, quia nee te ofFendunt, dominum deum 
nostrum, nee sociale consortium ; cum conciliantur 
aliqua in usum vitae congrua, et tempori, et incertum 
est an libidine liabendi; aut puniuntur corrigendi 
studio potestate ordinata, et incertum est an li))idine 



whenas out of a personal pride, a false unity is chap. 
loved in a part. By an humble devoutness must we ^'^^^ 
therefore return unto thee; and then thou purgest 
away our lewd customs, and provest favourable to 
their sins that confess unto thee, and thou hearest 
the groans of those that are enthralled by them, and 
thou loosest those fetters which we have made for 
our own selves ; if so be we do not lift up against 
thee the horns of a feigned liberty, through a gripple- 
ness of having more, though with a danger of losing 
all ; even by more strongly settling our love upon 
our own private commodity, than upon thee, the 
common Good of all. 


The difference that is betwixt Sins, and betwixt 
the Jjidgment of God and Me?i 

But amongst vices and crimes and all those iniquities chap. 
are the sins of learners ; which by those that judge ^^ 
rightly, both are discommended, after the rule of 
perfection, and yet the persons commended withal, 
upon hope of better fruit, as is the green blade 
of the growing corn. And there are some again, 
that look like infamous or impudent crimes, which 
yet are no sins ; even for that they neither offend 
thee, O Lord God, nor yet the bond of society ; 
when, namely, provision is made of some things 
fitting for the times, and we cannot judge whether 
it be out of a lust of having; or when some 
actions be by ordinary authority punished, with a 



CAP. iioc^ndi. multa itaque facta, quae hominibiis inpro- 
banda viderentur, testimonio tuo adprobata sunt, et 
multa laudata ab hominibus te teste damnantur, 
cum saepe se aliter habet species facti et aliter 
facientis animus atque articulus occulti temporis. cum 
vero aliquid tu repente inusitatum et ir/provisum 
imperas, etiamsi hoc aliquando vetuisti, quamvis 
causam imperii tui pro tempore occultes, et quamvis 
contra pactum sit aliquorum hominum societatis, 
quis dubitet esse faciendum, quando ea iusta est 
societas hominum, quae servit tibi ? sed beati qui 
te imperasse sciunt. fiunt enim omnia a servient- 
ibus tibi, vel ad exhibendum, quod ad praesens opus 
est, vel ad futura praenuntianda. 


CAP. Haec ego nesciens, inridebam illos sanctos servos 
et prophetas tuos. et quid agebam, cum inridebam 
eos, nisi ut inriderer abs te, sensim atque paulalim 
perdue tus ad eas nugas, ut crederem ficum plorare, 
cum decerpitur, et matrem eius arborem lacrimis 


desire of correcting, and it is uncertain whether it chai'. 
wereoutof a desire of hurting. Many a fact therefore ^^ 
which seems worthily disallowed by men, is yet well 
approved of by thy testimony ; and many a one by 
men praised, is, thou being witness, condemned : and 
', all this, because the outside of the fact, and the mind 
\ of the doer, and the unknown secret of the crisis, 
!;are all different from one another. But when thou 
on the sudden commandest any unusual and un- 
thought-of thing, yea, notwithstanding thou hast 
sometime heretofore forbidden this, although thou 
keepest secret for the time the reason of thy com- 
mand ; and notwithstanding it be against the ordin- 
ance of some society of men ; who doubts but it is to 
be obeyed, seeing that society of men is a just society, 
which serves thee ? But happy are they who know 
it was thou that gave the command. For all things 
are done by them that serve thee, either for the 
providing themselves of what is needful for the 
present, or for the foreshowing of something to come 

He speaks again of the Fig-tree, and derides ike 
Maiiichccs' foolish conceits aboiit it 

[YSELF being at that time ignorant of these chap. 
tilings, derided heartily those holy servants and -^ 
pro{)hets of thine. And what gained I by scorning 
them, but that myself should in the mean time 
be scorned by thee, being sensibly and by little 
and little drawn on to tiiese toys, as to believe 
that a fig wept when it was plucked, and the tree 


CAP. lacteis ? quam tamen ficum si comedisset aliquis 
sanctus, alieno sane, non suo seel ere decerptam, 
misceret visceribus, et anhelaret de ilia angelos, 
immo vero particulas dei, gemendo in oratione atque 
ructando : quae particulae summi et veri dei ligatae 
fuissent in illo pomo^ nisi electi sancti dente ac ventre 
solverentur. et credidi miser magis misericordiam 
praestandam friictibus terrae, quam hominibus, prop- 
ter quos nascerentur. si quis vero esuriens peteret, 
qui Manichaeus non esset, quasi capitali supplicio 
damnanda buccella videretur, si ei daretur. 


CAP. Et misisti manum tuam ex alto, et de hac profunda 
caligine eruisti animam meam, cum pro me fleret ad 
te mea mater, fidelis tua, amplius quam flent matres 
corporea funera. videbat enhn ilia mortem meam 
ex fide et spiritu, quem habebat ex te, et exaudisti 
earn, domine. exaudisti earn nee despexisti lacrimas 
eius, cum profluentes rigarent terram sub oculis eius 
in omni loco orationis ciiis : exaudisti earn, nam 
unde illud soiunium, quo earn consolatus es, utvivere 
mecum eederet et liabere mecum eandcm mensanj 


the motlier of it to shed milky tears ? Which fig not- chap. 
withstanding (so that it were plucked by some other ^ 
man's sin.) had some Manichean saint eaten, he should thug^re-^^ 
digest in his guts, and breathe out of that fig, very leased the 
angels : yea, in his prayer, groan and sigh out cer- "i*&^<^- „ 
tain portions, forsooth, of the Deity : which por- imprisoned 
tions of the most High and True God should remain in food 
bound in that fig, unless they had been set at liberty 
by the teeth or belly of some elect holy one. And 
I believed (wretch that I was) that more mercy was 
to be shewn to the fruits of the earth, than unto 
men for whose use they were created. For if any 
man, though an hungered, should have begged a bit, 
who were no Manichee, that morsel should seem 
fit to be condemned with capital punishment, should 
it have been civen to him. 


His Mother s Dream 

And thou stretchedst thine hand from on high, CHAr. 
and drewest my soul out of that darksome deepness, ^^ 
whenas my mother thy faithful one wept to thee for l*s- i^^xv. 
me, more bitterly than mothers use to do for the 
bodily deaths of their children. For she evidently 
saw that I was dead, by that faith and spirit which 
thou hadst given her, and thou heardest her, O Lord ; 
thou heardest her, and despisedst not her tears, when 
fiowing down they watered the very earth under her 
eyes in every place where she prayed ; yea, thou 
heardest her. For whence else was that dream of 
hers, l)y which thou comfortedst her; after which 
she allowed me to live with her, and to eat at 


CAP. in domo ? quod nolle coeperat, aversans et detestans 
blasphemias crroris mei. vidit eilim se stantem in 
quadam regula lignea et venientem ad se iuvenem 
splendidum hilarem atque arridentem sibi, cum ilia 
esset maerens et maerore confecta. qui cum causas 
ab ea quaesisset maestitiae suae cotidianarumque 
lacrimarum (docendi, utadsolet, non discendi gratia), 
atque ilia respondisset perditionem meara se plangere, 
iussisse ilium, quosecura esset, atque admonuisse, ut 
adtenderet et videret, ubi esset ilia, ibi esse et me. 
quod ilia ubi adtendit, vidit me iuxta se in eadem 
regula stantem. unde hoc, nisi quia erantaures tuae 
ad cor eius, o tu bone omnipotens, qui sic curas 
unumquemque nostrum, tamquam solum cures, et sic 
omnes, tamquam singulos ? 

Vnde illud etiam, quod cum mihi narrasset ipsum 
visum, et ego ad id detrahere conarer, ut ilia se potius 
non desperaret futuram esse quod eram, continuo 
sinealiqua haesitatione : "non" inquit ; " non enim 
mihi dictum est : ubi ille, ibi et tu, sed : ubi tu, ibi 
et ille." confiteor tibi, domine, recordationem meam, 
quantum recoio, quod saepe non tacui, amplius me 
isto per matrera responso tuo, quod tam vicina inter- 
pretationis falsitate turbata non est, et tam cito vidit 
quod videndum fuit— quod ego certe, antequam dix- 
isset, non videram — etiam turn fuisse commotum 
quam ipso somnio, quo feminae piae gaudium, tanto 


the same table in house with her, which slie already chap. 
began to be unwilling to do, refusing and detesting -^^ 
the blasphemies of my error. For she saw, in her Compare 
sleep, herself standing upon a wooden rule, and a;^"*^^; 
very beautiful young man coming towards her, with g^ reo^uia 
a cheerful countenance and smiling upon her, her- Mei" 
self being grieved and far gone with sorrowfulness. 
Which young man when he had demanded of her 
the causes of her sadness and daily weepings, (that 
he might teach, as they use to do, rather than learn) 
and she had answered that it was my perdition that 
she bewailed; he bade her rest contented, and wished 
her to observe diligently and behold, that where she 
herself was, there was I also. Who when she looked 
aside, she saw me standing by her upon the same 
rule. How should this chance now, but that thine 
ears were bent towards the requests of her heart, O 
thou Good Omnipotent, who hast such special care 
of every one of us, as if thou hadst care but of one 
alone ; and so regardest all, as if but single persons ! 
How came this about also, that when she had told 
me this vision, and I would have interpreted it, that 
she should not despair of being one day what I was : 
she presently, without any sticking at, replies : 
"No," saith she, "it was not told me, thou art where 
he is ; but where thou art, there he is " .'' I confess 
to thee O Lord, that to the best of my remembrance 
(which I have often spoken of) I was then the more 
moved at this thy answer by my mother, that she 
was not put out of conceit by the likelihood of my 
close interpretation, and that upon the very instant 
she apprehended what was to be seen by it, which I 
myself verily had not perceived before she spake : 
I was more moved, I say, at that, than with her 
dream itself; by which the joy of that holy woman 

I Si) 

CAP. post futurum, ad consolationem tunc praesentis sol- 
licitudinis tanto ante praedictum est. nam novem 
ferme anni secuti sunt, quibus ego in illo limo pro- 
fundi ac tenebris falsitatis, cum saepe surgere conarer 
et gravius alliderer, volutatus sum ; cum tamen ilia 
vidua casta, pia et sobria, qu;ivles amas, iam quidem 
spe alacrior, sed fletu et gcmitu non segnior, non 
desineret horis omnibus orationum suarum de me 
plangere ad te, et intrabant in conspectum tuum 
preces eius, et tamen dimittebas adhuc volvi et 
involvi ilia caligine. 


GAT. Et dedisti alterum responsum interim, quod recolo. 
XII , , 

nam et multa praetereo, propter quod propero ad ea 

iiuae me magis urguent confiteri tibi, et multa non 

memini. dedisti ergo alterum per sacerdotem tuum, 

quendam episcopum nutritum in ecclesia et exerci- 

tatum in libris tuis. quem cum ilia femina rogasset, 

ut dignaretur mecum conloqui, et refellere errores 

meos, et dedocere me mala ac docere bona — faciebat 

enim hoc, quos forte idoneos invenisset — noluit ille, 

prudenter sane, quantum sensi })ostea. respondit 

1 10 


to be fulfilled so long after, was, for the consolation chap 
of her present anguish, so long before foresignified. ^^ 
For nine full years passed after that, in all which 
I tumbled up and down in the mud of that deep pit, '^ 
and the darkness of that false belief, and when I 
endeavoured to rise, the more violently was I flung 
down again. All which time that chaste, godly, and 
sober widow (such thou lovest) more cheered iij) 
with hope, though no whit slackened in weeping 
and mourning, failed not all hours of her set prayers 
to bewail my case before thee. And her prayers 
found entry then into thy sight, yet notwitb.standing 
thou sufferedst me to be tumbled over and over in 
that darkness. 


The answer his Mother received from a Bishop, 
coTicerning his Conversion 

And thou gavest her another answer in the mean chap. 
time, which I now remember: and yet I pass over ^'^' 
many a one, for that I make haste to those things 
which more press me to confess unto thee, and 
many have I also forgotten. Thou affordedst her 
another answer, therefore, by a certain priest of 
thine, a Bishop brought up in the Church, and well 
studied in thy Books. Whom when this woman had 
entreated that he would vouchsafe to have some 
conference with me, as well to unteach me what 
was false, as to instruct me in what was sound : (for 
this office he ever and anon did, as he found fit hearers) : 
but he refused it, and in truth discreetly too,as I better 
afterwards perceived. For his answer was, that I was 


CAP. euim me adhuc esse indocilem, et quod inflatus 
essem novitate haeresis illius, et nonnullisquaestiun- 
culis iam multos inperitos exagitassem, sicut ilia 
iiidicaverat ei. '^ sed " inquit '' sine ilium ibi. tantum 
roga pro eo dominum : ipse legendo reperiet, quis 
ille sit error et quanta inpietas." 

Simul etiam narravit, se quoque parvulum a seducta 
matre sua datum fuisse Manichaeis, et omnes paene 
non legisse tantum verum etiam scriptitasse libros 
eorum, sibique adparuisse nullo contra disputante et 
convincente, quam esset ilia secta fugienda : itaque 
fiigisse. quae cum ille dixisset, atque ilia nollet 
adquiescere, sed instaret magis deprecando et 
ubertira flendo, ut me videret et mecum dis- 
sereret;, ille iam substomachans : "vade" in- 
quit " a me ; ita vivas, fieri non potest, ut 
filius istarum lacrimarum pereat." 
quod ilia ita se accepisse inter 
conloquia sua mecum satpe 
recordabatur, ac si de 
caelo sonuisset. 



yet unripe for instruction, for that I was yet puffed up cHAP. 
with the new taken-in heresy, and that I had already ^ir 
troubled divers unskilful persons with spurring of 
questions to them, as she had already told him : "but 
let him alone a while," said he, " only pray to God for 
him : he will of himself by reading find his own mis- 
take, and how great his impiety is." 

The Bishop then up and told her how himself 
when he was a little one had been by his seduced 
mother committed to the Manichees, and how he 
had not only read over almost all, but also copied 
out their books, and that it appeared to him, without 
the help of any man to dispute against or to convince 
it, how inuch that sect was to be avoided ; and how 
of himself therefore he had forsaken it. Which 
words when he had spoken, and she would not yet 
be satisfied ; but pressed more upon him, what with 
entreating, and what with weeping, that he would 
be pleased to see me, and to discourse with me ; lie, 
a little displeased at her tedious importunity, "Go thy 
ways," saith he, "and God bless thee, for it is not 
possible that the son of these tears should 
be lost." Which answer she then 
took (as she often remembered in 
our ffmiiliar discourse after- 
wards) as if an oracle 
had resounded from 





CAP. Per idem tempus annorum novem, ab undevicensitno 
anno aetatis meae usque ad duodeti'icensimum, 
seducebamur et seducebamus, falsi atque fallentes 
in variis cupiditatibiis, et palam per doctrinas, quas 
liberales vocant, occulte autem falso nomine re- 
ligionis, hie superbi, ibi superstitiosi, ubique vani : 
hac popularis gloriae sectantes inanitatem, usque ad 
theatricosplausus, et contentiosa carmina, et agonem 
eoronarum faenearum, et spectaculorum nugas, et in- 
temperantiam libidinum ; iliac autem purgari nos ab 
istis sordibus expetentes, cum eis, qui appellarentur 
electi et sancti, afferremus escas, de quibus nobis in 
officina aqualiculi sui fabricarent angelos et deos, per 
quos liberaremur. et sectabar ista atque faciebam 
cum amicis meis, per me ac mecum deceptis. inrideant 
me arrogantes, et nondum salubriter prostrati et elis^ 
a te, deus meus^ et ego tamen confitear tibi dedecori 
mea in laude tua. sine me, obsecro, et da mi 


How long, and what ways he seduced others 

For the space of nine years then (that is from the chap. 

nineteenth year of mine age to the eight and i 

twentieth) I was seduced myself, and others I 

seduced ; deceived, and deceiving in divers lusts ; 

and in public I did it by those arts which are called 

liberal, but in private I still pretended the assumed 

name of religion: here proud, there superstitious, 

everywhere vain ; on the one hand hunting after the 

empty noise of popular reputation, even affecting 

those theatrical hummings and applause, and those 

contentious strifes of wit, and to gain the grassy 

garlands, and the vanity of the stage, and the in- 

temperancy of ambition ; on the other hand much 

lesiring to purge myself from these corruptions 

by the help of those who were called elect and holy, 

I carried them certain chosen meats, out of which 

in the workhouse of their own paunches, they should g^e p. 137 

forge certain angels and gods, by whom I was to be 

leunsed. These things did I then follow, and did 

hem with my friends, who were deceived by me and 

vith me. Let such deride me now, who are arrogant, 

.nd not yet savingly cast down nor broken in heart, 

)y thee, O my God ; but I for all this do here confess 

nine own shame to thee in thy praise. Suffer me, 

; beseech thee, and give megrace to run over in 


CAT. circuire praesenti memoria praeteritos circuitus erroris 
inei, et immolare tibi hostiam iubilationis. quid enim 
sum ego mihi sine te nisi dux in praeceps? aut 
quid sum, cum mihi bene est, nisi sugens lac tuum 
aut fruens te, cibo qui non corrumpitur ? et quis 
homo est quiHbet homo, cum sit homo ? sed inrideant 
nos fortes et potentes, nos autem infirmi et inopes 
confiteumur tibi. 


CAP. DocEBAM in illis annis artem rhetoricam, et vic- 

toriosam loquacitatem victus cupiditate vendebam. 

malebam tamen, domine, tu scis, bonos habere disci- 

pulos, sicut appellantur boni, et eos sine dolo docebam 

dolos, non quibus conti'a caput innocentis agerent, 

sed aliquando pro capite nocentis. et, deus, vidisti 

de longinquo lapsantem in lubrico, et in multo fumo 

scintillantem fidem meam, quam exhibebam in illo 

magisterio dihgentibus vanitatem et quaerentibus 

mendacium, socius eorum. in illis annis linam habe- 

bam, non eo quod legitimum vocatur coniugio cogni- 

tam, sed quam indagaverat vagus ardor inops pruj 

dentiae, sed unam lumen, ei quoqiie servans toi 



my present remembrance the errors of my forepast chap, 

time, and to offer up unto thee the sacrifice of re- ^ 

joicing. For what am 1 without thee, but a guide p*^- xvi. i: 

to mine own downfall ? Or what am I even at the 

best, but an infant sucking thy milk, and feeding 

upon thee, the Food incorruptible ? But what kind John vi. 27 

of thing is any man, seeing that he is but a man r 

Let now the strong and the mighty laugh at me, 

but let us weak and needy souls ever confess unto \^ 



He teaches Rhetoric, and despiseih a Wizard who 
promised him the Viclorij 

I TAUGHT in those years the art of rhetoric, and chap. 
myself being overcome with a desire of gain, made ^^ 
sale of a loquacity, to overcome others by. Yet I 
desired rather (Lord, thou knowest) to have honest 
scholars, as they are now-a-days accounted ; and those, 
without all deceit, I taught how to deceive ; not 
that they might plead against the life of any innocent 
person, though sometimes to save the life of the 
guilty. And thou O God, from afar perceivedst me 
falling in that slippery course, and in much smoke 
sparkling out some little faith, which I then made 
show of in that schoolmastership of mine to those 
that loved vanity and sought a lie, becoming their ps. iv. 2 
companion. In those days I kept a mistress, not 
joined to me in lawful marriage ; but one found out ^ 
by wandering lust, utterly void of understanding : 
yet had I but that one, towards whom I truly kept 
the promise of the bed ; in whom I might by mine 


CAP. fidem; in qua sane experirer exemplo meo, quid 
distaret inter coniugalis placiti modum, quod foede- 
ratum esset generandi gratia, et pactum libidinosi 
amoris, ubi proles etiam contra votum nascitur, 
quamvis iam nata cogat se diligi. 

Recolo etiam, cum mihi theatrici carminis cer- 
tamen inire placuisset, mandasse raihi nescio quern 
haruspicem, quid ei dare vellem mercedis, ut vin- 
cerem, me autem foeda ilia sacramenta detestatum et 
abominatum respondisse, nee si corona ilia ita esset 
inmortaliter aurea, muscam pro victoria mea necari 
sinere. necaturus enim erat ille in sacrificiis suis ani- 
niantia, et illis honoribus invitaturus mihi suffraga- 
tura daemonia videbatur. sed hoc quoque malum 
non ex tua castitate repudiavi, deus cordis mei. non 
enim amare te noveram, qui nisi fulgores corporeos 
cogitare non noverara. talibus enim figmentis sus- 
pirans anima nonne fornicatur abs te, et fidit in falsis. 
et pascit ventos ? sed videlicet sacrificari pro me 
nollem daemonibus, quibus me ilia superstitione ipse 
sacrificabam. quid est enim aHud ventos pascere 
quam ipsos pascere^ hoc est errando eis esse voluptati 
atque derisui ? 



own example learn experience, what difference there chap. 
would be betwixt the knot of the marriage covenant, ^^ 
mutually consented unto for the desire of children, 
and the bargain of a lustful love, where though 
children be against our wills begotten, yet being 
born, they even compel us to love them. 

I remember once, that when I had a mind to put 
forth myself for the prize in a theatrical poem, I 
was demanded by 1 know not what wizard, what 
I would give him, to be assured to win the garland : 
but I detesting and abhorring such filthy rites, re- 
turned him answer ; that though the garland were 
immortal and of gold, yet would I not suffer a fly 
to lose its life to gain me the better of it. For he 
WHS to kill certam living creatures in those his 
sacrifices, and by those honours to invite the devils 
to favour me. But this ill means also I refused not 
out of any chaste reservation towards thee, O God of 
my heart; for then I knew not how to love thee, 
who knew not how to think on anything but certain 
corporeal shinings. And does not the soul, panting 
after such fond fictions, commit fornication against 
thee, trust in false hopes, and feed the winds } But I Hos. xii. 7 
would not, forsooth, that he should do sacrifice to 
the devils for me, and yet did I offer myself unto 
them, even by that my superstition. For, to feed 
the winds, what is it else but to feed them ; that is, / 

by our own errors to make ourselves the subjects of 
their pleasure and derision ? 



CAP. Itaque illos pianos, quos mathematicos vocant, 

plane consulere non desistebam, quod quasi nullum 

eis essetsacrificium,et nullae preces adaliquem spiri- 
tum ob divinationem dirigerentur. quod tamen Chris- 
tiana et vera pietas consequenter repellit et damnat. 
bonum est enim confiteri tibi, domine, et dicere : 
Miserere mei, cura animam meam, quoniam peccavi 
tibi ; neque ad licentiam peccandi abuti indulgentia 
tua, sed meminisse dominicae vocis : Ecce sanus 
factus es ; iam noli peccare, ne quid tibi deterius 
contingat. quam totam illi salubritatem interficere 
conantur, cum dicunt : " de caelo tibi est inevitabiiis 
causa peccandi" et "Venus hoc fecit aut Saturnus 
aut Mars/' scilicet ut homo sine culpa sit, caro et 
sanguis et superba putredo^ culpandus sit autem caeli 
ac siderum creator et ordinator. et quis est hie nisi 
deus noster, suavitas et origo iustitiae, qui reddes 
unicuique secundum opera eius et cor contritum et 
humiliatum non spernis ? 

Erat eo tempore vir sagax, medicinae artis peri- 
tissimus atque in ea nobilissimus, qui proconsul 
manu sua coronam illam agonisticam inposuerat non 
sano capiti meo, sed non ut medicus. nam illius 
morbi tu sanator, qui resistis superbis, humilibus 
autem das gratiani. numquid tanuii etiam per 
ilium senem defuisti niihi, aut destitisti mederi 



Giving himself to Astrology, he is reclaimed 
hy an ancient Physician 

Those impostors therefore, whom they style astro- chap. 
logers, I verily did not forbear to consult with ; and ^^^ 
that because they used no sacrifice, nor directed 
their prayers to any Spirit to speed their divina- 
tions : and yet doth Christian and true piety con- 
sistently refuse and condemn that art. For it is a 
good thing to confess unto thee, and to say Have Ps. xli. 4 
mercy upon me, heal my soul : for I have sinned 
against thee : and not to abuse thy kindness for a 
liberty of sinning, but to remember our Lord's warn- 
ing Behold thou art made whole, sin no more, John v. 14 
lest a worse thing come unto thee. All which 
wholesome advice they endeavour to overthrow, that 
say, The cause of thy sin is inevitably determined 
in heaven ; and that man, flesh and blood and proud 
corruption, be kept without sin, is of Venus' doing, 
forsooth ; or Saturn or Mars procured it ; meanwhile _^ 
the Creator and Ruler of heaven and stars bears the 
blame of it. And who is he but our God, the very 
Sweetness and Well-spring of Righteousness, who 
shall render to every man according to his works : and Ps. fi ? 
a broken and contrite heart wilt thou not despise. 

There was in those days a wise gentleman very 
skilful in physic, and famous for his art, who being 
at that time Proconsul, had with his own hand put 
the garland of contest upon my distempered head, 
but not as a physician : for this disease thou only 
curest, who resistest the proud, and givest grace i Pet. v. 5 
to the humble. But didst thou fail even by that 

Id physician, or forbarest to heal my soul } For 


CAP. animae meae ? quia enim factus ei eram familiarior, 

et eius sermonibus — erant enim sine verborum cultu 

vivacitate sententiarum iuciindi et graves — adsiduus 
et fixus inbaerebam : ubi cognovit et ex conloquio 
meo libris genethliacorum esse me deditum, benigne 
ac paterne monuitj ut eos abicerem, neque curam et 
operam rebus utilibus necessariam illi vanitati 
frustra inpenderem ; dicens ita se ilia didicisse, ut 
earn profession em primis annis aetatis suae deferre 
voluisset, qua vitam degeret, et si Hippocraten 
intellexissetj et illas utique litteras potursse in- 
tellegere : et tamen non ob aliam causam se postea 
illis relictis medicinam adsecutum, nisi eas falsissimas 
conperisset, et noUet vir gravis decipiendis hominibus 
victum quaerere. " at tu " inquit " quo te in homini- 
bus sustentaSj rhetoricam tenes, banc autem fallaciam 
libero studio^ non necessitate rei familiaris sectaris. 
quo magis mihi te oportet de ilia credere, qui earn 
tarn perfecte discere elaboravi, quam ex ea sola 
vivere volui." a quo ego cum quaesissem, quae 
causa ergo facerefc, ut multa inde vera pronuntiaren- 
tur, respondit ille, ut potuit, vim sortis hoc facere, 
in rerum natura usquequaque difFusam. si enim de 
paginis poetae cuiuspiam, longe aliiid canentis atque 
intendentis, cum forte quis consulit, mirabiliter con- 
sonus negotio saepe versus exiret, et mirandum non 
esse dicebat, si ex aninia hmnana, superiore aliquo 


I grew more acquainted with him, and I diligently chap 
and firmly depended upon his words : by the liveli- ^^^ 
ness of the thoughts, his talk was both pleasant and 
grave,, although without study of elegance. Who 
when he had gathered by my discourse, that I was 
given to study the books of the Nativity-casters, he 
courteously and fatherly advised me to cast them all 
away, and that I should not hereafter in vain bestow 
my care or diligence (which was necessary for useful 
things) upon that vain study : affirming withal, that 
himself had in his younger years studied that art 
with a purpose to get his living by it ; hoping, if 
he had understood Hippocrates, he might well attain 
to understand that kind of learning also : yet that 
he had given it over, and wholly betaken himself to 
physic, for no other reason, but that he found it most 
deceitful ; and he being a grave man, would not get ^ 
his living by cheating of people. " But thou," saith 
he, " hast the profession of Rhetoric to maintain thy- 
self by, whereas thou followest this delusion volun- 
tarily, not driven to it by necessity: so much the 
more then oughtest thou to give me credit in this 
point, who laboured to attain to perfection in it, 
out of a purpose to get my living by it alone." Of 
whom when I had demanded, what the reason was 
then, why so many true things should be foretold •: 
by it } he answered me (as well as he could) that 
the force of chance diffused round about in the 
nature of things brought this about. For if when a 
man had by hap-hazard consulted the books of some 
poet, who sang of and intended clean another matter, 
the verses did oftentimes fall out wondrously agree- 
able to the present business : it were not then to be 
wondered at, saith he, if out of the soul of man, by 
some higher instinct, knowing nothing what is done 


CAW instinctu, nesciente quid in se fieret^ non arte sed 
sorte sonaret aliquid, quod interrogantis rebus 
faetisque concineret. 

Et hoc quidem ab illo vel per ilium procurasti 
mihi, et quid ipse postea per me ipsum quaererem, 
in memoria mea deliniasti. tunc autem nee ipse 
nee carissimus Nebridius^ adulescens valde bonus et 
valde castus, inridens totum illud divinationis genus, 
persuadere mihi potuerunt, ut haec abicerem, 
quoniam me amplius ipsorum auctorum movebat 
auctoritas, et nullum certum quale quaerebam docu- 
meutum adhuc inveneram, quo mihi sine ambigui- 
tate appareret, quae ab eis consultis vera dicerentur, 
forte vel sorte, non arte inspectorum siderum dici. 


CAP. In illis annis, quo primum tempore in municipio, 
quo natus sum, docere coeperam, conparaveram 
amicum societate studiorum nimis carum, coaevum 
mihi et conflorentem flore adulescentiae. mecum 
puer creverat et pariter in scholam ieramus pariterque 
hiseramus. sed nondum erat sic amicus, quamquani 
ne turn quidem sic, uti est vera amicitia, quia non est 


within itself, some answer should be given, which chap. 
more by hap than any good cunning, should have ^^^ 
acjreement to the business and actions of the 

And thus much truly, either from or by him, thou 
then wro ugh test for me, and then didst sketch in my 
memory, what of myself I should seek out afterwards. 
But yet at that time neither he, nor my most dear 
Nebridius, (a very good dispositioned young man, and 
a very chaste, who utterly derided that whole manner 
of divination) could persuade me to cast away those 
studies, even because the authority of the very authors 
overswayed more with me, and that I had not yet lit 
upon any demonstrative argument, such as I sought 
for, whereby it might clearly and without all doubt- 
fulness appear, that what had been truly foretold by 
those masters of the science, were spoken by fortune 
or by chance, and not out of the sure art of the Star- 


H| whom himself had affected with Heresy : 

^^ he grievously laments his Death 

In those years when I first of all began to teach chap, 
rhetoric in the town where I was born, I had gained a 
very dear friend, upon the occasion of the nearness of 
our studies ; one he was about mine own age, now 
springing up with me in the flower of youth. He 
had grown up of a child with me, and both school- 
fellows and play-fellows we had been. But yet was 
he not so truly my friend, no not at that later time 
tven, as true friendship should be indeed : for true it 




CAP. vera, nisi cum earn tu agglutinas inter haerentes sibi 


caritate cliflTusa in cordibus nostris per spiritum 
sanctum, qui datus est nobis, sed tamen dulcis erat 
nobis, cocta fervore parilium studiorum. nam et 
a fide vera, quam non germanitus et penitus adules- 
cens tenebat, deflexeram eum in superstitiosas 
fabellas et perniciosas, propter quas me plangebat 
mater, mecum iam errabat in animo ille homo, et 
non poterat anima mea sine illo. et ecce tu inminens 
dorso fugitivorum tuorum, deus ultionum et fons 
misericordiarum simul, qui eonvertis nos ad te miris 
modis, ecce abstulisti hominem de hac vita, cum vix 
explevisset annum in amicitia mea, suavi mihi super 
omnes suavitates illius vitae meae. 

Quis laudes tuas enumerat unus in se uno, quas 
expertus est ? quid tunc fecisti, deus meus, et quam 
investigabilis abyssus iudiciorum tuorum ? cum enim 
laboraret ille febribus, iacuit diu sine sensu in sudore 
laetali, et cum desperaretur, baptizatus est nesciens, 
me non curante, et praesumente id retinere potius 
animam eius quod a me acceperat, non quod in ne- 
scientis corpore fiebat. longe autem alitererat. nam 
recreatus est et salvus factus, statimque, ut primo 
cum eo loqui potui — potui autem mox, ut ille potuit, 
quando non discedebam et nimis pendebamus ex in- 
vicem — temptavi apud ilium inridere, tamquam et illo 
inrisuro mecum baptismum, queui acceperat mente 


cannot be, unless thou solderest it betwixt such chap. 
parties as cleave together, by that love which is shed *^ 
abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, which is 
given unto us. But yet a very sweet friendship it 
was, being ripened by the heat of like studies. For, 
from the true faith, (which he being a youth was not 
soundly and thoroughly grounded in) I had rapt him, 
even towards those selfsame superstitious and per- 
nicious fables, for which my mother bewailed my 
condition. With me now that man was wandering 
in error, nor could my soul be without him. But 
behold thou, ever at the back of thy runaways, the 
God of revenge, and fountain of mercies, both at the Pe xcir. i 
same time, who turnest us to thyself by most wonder- 
ful means, tookest that man out of this life, when he 
had scarce continued one whole year in my friend- 
ship, sweet to me above all sweetness of this life. 

What one man is able to recount all thy praises Ps. cvi. '2 ' 
which he hath felt in himself alone ? What was it 
thou then didst, my God, and how unsearchable is Ps.xxxvi.c 
the bottomless depth of thy judgments ? For whenas 
one day, sore sick of his fever, he lay senseless in a 
deadly sweat, and all despairing of his recovery, he 
was baptized, unwitting to himself; myself mean- 
while little regarding, and presuming that his soul 
would have retained rather what it had learnt of 
me, and not what was now wrought in the body 
of him that knew nothing of it. But it fell out far 
otherwise ; for he became refreshed, and recovered 
his health upon it. And as soon as ever I could 
come to speak with him (and I could, so soon as he 
could : for I had never yet gone from him, and we 
very nearly depended one upon another), I offered 
to scoff, as if he also would have scoffed with me for 

impany, at that Baptism, which he, being most 


CAR atque sensu absentissimus. sed tamen iam se acce- 
IV . 

pisse didicerat. at ille itame exhorruit utinimicum, 

admonuitque mirahili et repentina libertate, ut, si 
amicus esse vellem, talia sibi dicere desinerem. ego 
autem stupefactus atque turbatus, distuli omnes motus 
meos, ut convalesceret prius, essetque idoiieus viribus 
valetudinis, cum quo agere possem quod vellem. sed 
ille abreplus dementiae meae^, ut apud te servaretur 
coiisolationi meae, post paucos dies me absente 
repetitur febribus et defungitur. 

Quo dolore contenebratum est cor meum, et quid- 
quid aspiciebam mors erat. et erat mihi patria sup- 
plicium, et paterna domus mira infelicitas, et quidquid 
cum illo conmunicaveram, sine illo in cruciatum in- 
manem verterat. expetebant eum undique oculi mei, 
et non dabatur : et oderam omnia, quod non haberent 
eum, nee mihi iam dicere poterant: "ecce venit/' 
sicut cum viveret/ quando absens erat. factus eram 
ipse mihi magna quaestio, et interrogabam animam 
meam, quare tristis esset et quare conturbaret me 
valde,et nihil noverat respondere mihi. et si dicebam : 
"speraindeum," iuste non obtemperabat, quia verior 
erat et melior homo, quem carissimum amiserat, 
quam phantasma, in quod sperare iubebatur. solus 
fletus erat dulcis mihi et successerat amico meo in 
deliciis animi mei. 

1 So MSS.; veniret, Knoll. 


absent both in understanding and feeling, had lately chap. 
received, and had now understood that he had ^^ 
received it. But he looked with a great indignation 
upon me, as I had been his mortal enemy ; and with 
an admirable and sudden freedom of language, ad- 
vised me, that if I purposed to continue his friend, 
I should forbear such talk to him. But I all astonislied 
and amazed, put off the disclosing of my private com- 
motions, till he should grow well again, and had re- 
covered so much strength of health, that he were fit 
for me to deal with as I would. But he was taken 
away from my frenzy, that with thee he migiit be 
preserved for my future comfort ; falling in my absence 
a few days after into a relapse of his fever, he died. 

At the grief of this, my heart was utterly over 
clouded; and whatsoever I cast mine eyes upon, looked 
like death unto me. Mine own country was a very 
prison to me, and my father's house a wonderful un- 
happiness ; and whatsoever I had communicated in 
with him, wanting him turned to my most cruel 
torture. Mine eyes roved about everywhere for him, 
but they met not with him ; and 1 hated all places 
for that they had not him ; nor could they now tell 
me. Behold, he will come shortly, as when he was 
alive they did whenever he was absent. 1 became 
a great riddle to myself, and I often asked over my ^^ ^ 
soul, why she was so sad, and why she afflicted me so I S^;^*^ 
sorely: but she knev/ not what to answer me. And if U \^ 
I said, *' Put thy trust in God," very justly she did 
not obey me ; because that most dear man whom 
she had lost, was both truer and better than that 
fantastical god she was bid to trust in. Only tears 
were sweet to me, for they had now succeeded in "^ 
my friend's place, in the dearest of my affections. 


CAP. Et nunCj domine, iam ilia traiisierunt, et tempore 


lenitum est vulnus raeum. possumue audire abs te.. 
qui Veritas es, et admovere aurem cordis mei ori tuo. 
ut dicas mihi, cur fletus dulcis sit miseris ? an tu 
quamvis ubique adsis, longe abiecisti a te miserian: 
nostram? et tu in te manes, nos autem in experimenti? 
volvimur: et tamen nisi ad aures tuas ploraremus 
nihil residui de spe nostra fieret. unde igitur suavis 
fructus de amantadine vitae carpitur gemere el 
riere et suspirare et conqueri ? an hoc ibi dulce est 
quod speramus exaudire te ? recte istud in pre 
cibus, quia desiderium perveniendi habent. nun 
in dolore amissae rei et luctu, quo tunc operiebari 
neque enim sperabam revivescere ilium aut hot 
petebam lacrimis, sed tantum dolebam et flebam 
miser enim eram et amiseram gaudium meum. ar 
et fletus res amara est, et prae fastidio rerum, quibu; 
prius fruebamur, et tunc, dum ab eis abhorremus 
delectat ? 



0^' Tears in uiir Prayers for, and Bewailing of, 
the Tiling Beloved 

And now Lord, are these things well passed over, chap. 
and time hath assuaged the anguish of my wound. ^ 
May I learn this from thee who art Truth, and may I 
apply the ear of my heart unto thy mouth, that thou 
mayest tell me the reason, why weeping should be so -- 
sweet to people in misery ? Hast thou (notwith- 
standing thou art present everywhere) cast away our 
misery far from thee } And thou remainest constant 
in thyself, but we are tumbled up and down in divers 
trials : and yet unless we should bewail ourselves in 
thine ears, there should no hope remain for us. How 
comes it then to pass, that such sweet fruit is 
gathered from the bitterness of life, namely to mourn, - 
and weep, and sigh, and complain .^ Is it this that 
sweetens it, that we are in hope thou hearest us ? 
This may rightly be thought of our prayers, because 
they have a desire to approach unto thee. But may 
it be so said too concerning that grief and mourn- 
ing for the thing lost, with which I was then wholly 
overwhelmed.'* For I did not hope he should now 
revive again, nor did 1 pray for this with all my 
tears; but bemoan him only I did, and weep for him : 
seeing a wretch I was, and had utterly lost all my 
joy. Or is weeping a bitter thing, and yet out of a 
full-gorgedness of what we before enjoyed, and only 
while we are a loathing of them, can it be pleasing 
to us .'' 




CAP. Quid autem ista loquor ? noii enim tempus quae- 
rendi nunc est, sed confitendi tibi. miser eram, et 
miser est omnis animus vinctus amicitia rerum 
mortalium, et dilaniatur, cum eas amittit, et tunc 
sentit miseriam, qua miser est et antequam amittat 
eas. sic ego eram illo tempore, et fiebam amarissime 
et requiescebam in amaritudine. ita miser eram, et 
rhabebam cariorem illo amico meo vitam ipsam mise- 
ram. nam quamvis cam mutare vellem, nollem tamen 
amittere magis quam ilium ; et nescio an vellem vel 
pro illo, sicut de Oreste et Pylade traditur, si non 
fingitur, qui vellent pro invicem simul mori,quia morte 
peius eis erat non simul vivere. sed in me nescio 
quis afFectus niniis huic contrarius ortus erat, et tae- 
dium Vivendi erat in me gravissimum et moriendi 
metus. credo, quo magis ilium amabam, hoc magis 
mortem, quae mihi eum abstulerat, tamquam atro- 
cissimam inimicam oderam et timebam ; et earn 
repente coiisumpturam omnes homines putabam, 
quia ilium potuit. sic eram omnino, memini. ecce coi 
meum, deus mens, ecce intus ; vide, quia memini, spes 
inea, qui me mundas a talium afl'ectionum inmunditia, 



He tells with what great Affection he loved his Friend 
But why speak I of these things ? For 'tis no time Ckap, 
to ask questions, but to confess unto thee. Wretched ^ ^ 
I was ; and wretched is every soul that is bound fast 
in the friendship of mortal things; who becomes all 
to pieces when he forgoes them, and then first he ^ 
becomes sensible of his misery, by which he is 
already miserable even before he forgoes them. This 
was my case at that time, I wept full bitterly, and 
yet was best at quiet in that bitterness. Thus was 
I wretched enough, and that wretched life I accounted 
more dear than my friend himself. For though I 
would gladly have changed it, yet more unwilling I 
was to lose that, than I had been to lose him ; yea 
I know not whether I would have forgone that, even 
to have enjoyed him. Like as the tradition (if it be 
not a fiction) goes of Pylades and Orestes, who would 
gladly have died one for another, both together, 
it being to them worse than death not to live 
together. But a strange kind of affection prevailed 
with me which was clean contrary to theirs, for 
both grievously tedious to me it was to live, and 
yet fearful was I to die. I suppose that how much 
the more affectionately I loved him, so much the 
more did I both hate and fear (as my cruellest 
enemy) death, which had bereaved me of him : and 
I imagined it would speedily make an end of all 
other men, because it had the power to do of him. 
Even thus I remember, stood I then affected. 
Behold my heart, O my God, yea, search it 
throughly ; search it because I remember it well, O 
my Hope, who cleanest me from the impurity of such 


CAP. dirigens oculos meos ad te, et evellens de laqueo 
pedes meos. mirabar enim ceteros mortales vivere, 
quia illCj quern quasi non moriturum dilexeram^ mor 
tuus erat ; et me magis^ quia ille alter eram, vivere 
illo mortuo mirabar. bene quidam dixit de amico 
suo : dimidium animae suae, nam ego sensianimam 
meam et animam illius unam fuisse animam in duo- 
bus corporibus, et ideo mihi horrori erat vita, quia 
nolebam dimidius vivere ; et ideo forte mori metue- 
bam^ ne totus ille moreretur, quern multum ama- 


CAP. O DEMENTiAM ncsclentem diligere homines humani 
ter ! o stultum hominem inmoderate humana 
patientem ! quod ego tunc eram. itaque aestuabani, 
suspirabam, flebam, turbabar, iiec requies erat noc 
consilium, portabam enim concisam et cruentaui 
animam meam, inpatientem portari a me ; et ubi earn 
ponerem non inveniebam. non in amoenis nemor- 
ibus, non in ludis atque cantibus, nee in suave 
olentibus locis, nee in conviviis apparatis, nee in 
voluptate cubilis et lecti, non denique in libris atque 
carminibus adquiescebat. horrebant omnia et ipsa 


affections, directing mine eyes towards thee, and CHAP. 

plucking my feet out of the snare. For I much ^^ 

adniired that other mortals did live, since he whom 

I so loved, as if he never should have died, was now 

dead : yea, I more admired that myself who was to 

him a second self, should be able to live after him. 

Well said one of his friend, Thou half of my soul : for Hor. Odcs, 

I still thought my soul and his soul to have been but ^' ^' ^ 

one soul in two bodies : and therefore was my life a 

very horror to me, because I would not live by halves. 

And even therefore perchance was I afraid to die, 

lest he should wholly die, whom so passionately I had 



77/f impalientness oj grief constrains us to shift 
our dfve Kings 

O Madness, which knowest not how to love men, as chap. 
men should be loved ! () foolish man, which so ^ 
impatiently endurest the chances Mortality is subject 
unto ! Thus mad and foolish was I at that time. 
Therefore I stormed, and puffed, and cried, and 
tumbled, being capable neither of rest nor counsel. 
For I was fain to carry my shattered and blood- 
blubbered soul, which yet had not patience enough 
to be carried by me ; yet a place where to dispose 
of it, I could not light upon. Not in the delightful 
groves, not where mirth and music was, nor in the 
odoriferous gardens, nor in curious banquetings, nor 
in the pleasures of the bed and chambering ; nor, 
finally, in reading over either verse or prose, took it 
any contentment. Everything was offensive, yea, 


CAP. lux, et quidquid non erat quod ille erat, inprobum 
et taediosum erat, praeter gemitum et lacrimas : 
nam in eis solis aliquantula requies. ubi autem inde 
auferebatur aniraa mea, onerabat me grandis sarcina 
miseriae, ad te, domine, levaiida erat et curanda, 
sciebam, sed nee volebam nee valebam, eo magis, 
quod mihi non eras aliquid solidum et firmum^ cum 
de te cogitabam. non enini tu eras, sed vanum 
pbantasiTia et error meus erat deus meus. si conabar 
eam ibi ponere, ut requiesceret, per inane labebatur 
et iterum ruebat super me ; et ego mihi remanseram 
infelix locus, ubi nee esse possem nee inde recedere. 
quo enim cor meum fugeret a corde mco ? quo a 
me ipso fugerem r quo non me sequerer i et tamen 
fugi de patria. minus enim eum quaerebant oculi 
mei, ubi videre non solebant : atque a Thagastensi 
oppido veni Carthaginem. 


CAP. Non vacant tempora, nee otiose volvuntur per sensus 
VIII ^ . . , . . 

nostros : laciunt in ammo mn'a opera, ecce venie- 

bant et praeteribant de die in diem ; et veniendo et 

praetereundo, inserebant mihi spes alias et alias 

memorias, et paulatim resarciebant me pristinis 



the very light itself; and whatsoever were not he. cHAP. 
was alike painful and hateful to me^ except groaning ^^^ 
and weeping. For only in those found 1 a little 
refreshment. But so soon as I had retired my soul "^^^ ^'^^' 
from these, a huge misery overloaded me, which thou 
only couldst ease and lighten, O Lord. I knew thus 
much, and yet indeed I would not, nor was I able ; the 
more so, for that thou wert not any solid or substantial 
thing unto me, when in those days I thought upon 
thee. For not thou thyself, but mine own idle fantasy 
and error were then my God. If I offered to dis- 
charge my burden upon that, to give it some ease- 
ment, it fell as it were through the empty air, and 
came tumbling again upon me : whereupon I remained 
so unfortunate a place to myself, as there I could 
neither stay, nor get away from it. For whither 
should my heart fly from my heart? Whither was it 
possible to fly from mine own self.'' Whither should 
I not have followed myself.'' And yet after all this, 
out of my country I fled : for so should mine eyes less 
look for him there, where they were not went to see 
him. And thus I left the town of Thagaste, and 
came to Carthage. 

7\7}ie cures Sorroiv 

Times lose no time : nor do they idly go and return CHAP, 
about these senses of ours ; but they cause strange ^^^^ 
operations in our minds. Behold, they went and came 
day by day, and by going and coming to and again, 
they brought into my mind other notions, and other 
remembrances, and by little and little pieced me up 



CAP. eeneribus delectationum, quibus cedebat dolor mens 


ille ; sed succedebant non quidem dolores alii, causae 
tamen aliorum dolorum. nam unde me facillime et 
in intima dolor ille penetraverat, nisi quia fuderam 
in harenam animam meam, diligendo moriturum ae si 
non moriturum? maxime quippe me reparabant at- 
que recreabant aliorum amicorum solacia, cum quibus 
amabam quod postea amabam ; et hoc erat ingens 
fabula et longum mendacium^ cuius adulterina con- 
fricatione corrumpebatur mens nostra, pruriens in 

Sed ilia mihi fabula non moriebatur, si quis 
amicorum meorum moreretur. alia erant, quae 
in eis amplius capiebant animum, conloqui et con- 
ridere, et vicissim benivole obsequi ; simul legere 
libros dulciloquos, simul nugari et simul honestari ; 
dissentire interdum sine odio, tamquam ipse homo 
secum, atque ipsa rarissima dissensione condire con- 
sensiones plurimas ; docere aliquid invicem aut dis- 
cere ab invicem, desiderare absentes cum molestia, 
suscipere venientes cum laetitia : his atque huius 
modi signis, a corde amantium et redamantium pro- 
cedentibus, per os, per linguam, per oculos, et mille 
motus gratissimos, quasi fomitibus flagrare animos et 
ex pluribus unum (acere. 



again with my old kind of delights, unto which my chap 
present sorrow gave some way. And to that again ^^^^ 
there succeeded, though not other griefs, yet the 
causes of other griefs. For how came that former 
grief so easily and so deeply to make impression in 
me, but even from hence, that I had spilt my soul 
upon the sand, in loving a man that must die, as if he 
never had been to die ? For the comfortings of other 
friends did mostly repair and refresh me, with whom 
I did love, what afterwards I did love : and this was 
a great fable, and a long lie ; by the impure tickling 
whereof, my soul, which lay itching in my ears, was 
wholly corrupted. 

But that fable would not yet die with me, so oft as 
any of my friends died. They were other things 
which in their company did more fully take my 
mind ; namely, to discourse, and to laugh with them, 
and to do obsequious offices of courtesy one to another ; 
to read pretty books together ; sometimes to be in jest, 
and other whiles seriously earnest to one another; 
sometimes so to dissent without discontent, as a man ^ 
would do with his own self, and even with the seldom- 
ness of those dissentings, season our more frequent 
consentings ; sometimes would we teach, and some- 
times learn one of another ; wish for the company of 
the absent with impatience, and welcome home the 
newcomers with joyfulness. With these and the like 
expressions, proceeding out of the hearts of those that 
loved and repaired one another's affections, by the 
countenance, by the tongue, by the eyes, and by a 
thousand other most pleasing motions, did we set our 
souls ablaze, and make but one out of many. 




CAP. Hoc est, quod diligitur in amicis ; et sic diligitur, iit 
rea sibi sit humana conscientia, si non amaverit re- 
damantem aut si amantem non redamaverit, nihil 
quaerens ex eiiis corpora praeter indicia benivolen- 
tiae. hinc ille luctiis, si quis moriatur, et tenebrae 
dolorum, et versa dulcedine in amaritudinem cor 
raadiduni, et ex amissa vita raorientium mors viven- 
tium. beatiis qui amat te, et amicum in te, et inimi- 
cum propter te. solus enim nullum carum amittit, 
cui omnes in illo cari, qui non amittitur. et quis est 
iste nisi deus noster, deus, qui fecit caelum et terram 
et inplet ea, quia inplendo ea fecit ea? te nemo 
amittit, nisi qui dimittit, et quia dimittit, quo it aut 
quo fugit nisi a te placido ad te iratum ? nam ub 
non invenit legem tuam in poena sua ? et lex tu;i 
Veritas et Veritas tu. 


CAT*. Deus virtutum, converte nos et oslende faciem tuam, 


et salvi erimus. nam quoquoversum se verterit anima 




The comparhig of Human Friendship with Divine 

This it is now which a man loves in his friends ; and chap. 
so loves it, that he must in conscience confess himself ^^ 
guilty if he should not love him that loves him again, 
or not love that man again that loves him first, ex- 
pecting no other thing from him besides the pure 
demonstration of his love. Hence is that mourning 
whenever a friend dies, yea, those overcastings of 
sorrows, that steeping of the heart in tears, all sweet- 
ness utterly turned into bitterness : hence too upon 
the loss of the life of the dying, comes the death of 
the living. But blessed is the man that loves thee, 
and his friend in thee, and his enemy for thee. For 
he alone loses none that is dear unto him, to whom all 
are dear, in him that can never be lost. And who is 
this but our God, the God that made heaven and 
earth, and who filleth them, because in filling them 
he created them } Thee, no man loses, but he that *^ 
lets thee go. And he that lets thee go, whither goes 
Ire, or whither runs he, but from thee well pleased, 
back to thee offended } Yoy where shall not such a 
ime find thy Law fulfilled in his own punishment ? *^ 
And thy Law is truth, and Truth is thyself. Juhu xiv. 6 


All Beauty is from God, who is to he prayed for all 

CuRN us, O God of Hosts, sliow us the light of thy cuAi*. 
;ountenance and we shall be whole. For which way ^ 
soever the soul of man turns itself, unless towards ^'^- i^xix. 4 


CAP. hominis, ad dolores figitur alibi praeterquani in te^ 
tametsi figitur in pulchris extra te et extra se. quae 
tamen nulla essent, nisi essent abs te. quae oriun- 
tur et occidunt, et oriendo quasi esse incipiunt, et 
crescunt, ut perficiantur, et perfecta senescunt et in- 
tereunt : et non omnia senescunt et omnia intereunt. 
\ ergo cum oriuntur et tendunt esse, quo magis cele- 
riter crescunt, ut sint, eo magis festinant, ut non 
sint. sic est modus eorum. tantum dedisti eis, quia 
partes sunt rerum, quae non sunt omnes simul, sed 
decedendo ac succedendo agunt omnes universum, 
cuius partes sunt, ecce sic peragitur et sermo noster 
per signa sonantia. non enim erit totus sermo, si 
unum verbum non decedat, cum sonuerit partes 
suas, ut succedat aliud. laudet te ex illis anima 
mea', deus, creator omnium, sed non eis infigatur 
glutine amore per sensus corporis, eunt enim quo 
ibant, ut non sint, et conscindunt earn desideriis pes- 
tilentiosis, quoniam ipsa esse vult et requiescere 
amat in eis, quae amat. in illis autem non est ubi, 
quia non stant : fugiunt, et quis ea sequitur sensu 
carnis ? aut quis ea conprehendit, vel cum praesto 

Tardus est enim sensus carnis, quoniam sensus 
carnis est : ipse est modus eius. sufticit ad aliudj 



thee, it is even rivetted into dolours : yea, though it CHAP, 
settles itself upon beautiful objects without thee, and ^ 
without itself: which beauties were no beauties at all, 
unless they were from thee. They rise, and set ; and 
by rising, they begin to have being : they grow Up, 
that they may attain perfection; which having 
attained, they wax old and wither : though all grow 
not old, yet all must wither. Therefore when they 
spring up and tend towards a being, look how much 
more haste they make to be, so much the more they 
make not to be. Tiiis is the law of them. Thus much 
hast thou given to them, because they are parcels 
of things which are not extant all at one time, but 
which by going and coming do altogether make up 
the whole universe, whereof they are the parcels. 
Lo, even thus is our speech delivered by sounds 
significant : for it will never be a perfect sentence, 
unless one word gives way when it hath sounded 
his part, that another may succeed it. And by 
them let my soul praise thee, O God, Creator of 
all things ; but yet let not my soul be fastened unto 
these things with the glue of love through the 
senses of my body. For these things go whither 
they were to go, that they might no longer be; 
and they cleave the soul in sunder with most pesti- 
lent desires : even because the soul earnestly desires 
to be one with them, and loves finally to rest in 
these things which she loves. But in those things 
she finds not settlement, which are still fleeing, 
because they stand not : they flee away ; and who 
is he that can follow them with the senses of his 
flesh ; yea, who is able to overtake them, when they 
are hard by him ? 

For the sense of our flesh is slow, even because it 
is the sense of our flesh : and itself is its own measure. 


CAP. ad quod factus est; ad illud autem non sufficit, ut 
teneat transcurrentia ab initio debito usque ad linem 
debitum. in verbo enim tuo, per quod creantur, ibi 
audiunt : " hinc et hue usque." 


Noli esse vana, anima meaj et obsurdescere in aure 
cordis tumultu vanitatis tuae. audi et tu : verbum 
ipsum clamatj ut redeas^ et ibi est locus quietis in- 
perturbabilis, ubi non deseritur amor, si ipse non 
deserat. ecce ilia discedunt, ut alia succedant, et 
omnibus suis partibus constet infima universitas. 
"numquid ego aliquo discedo ? " ait verbum dei. ibi 
fige mansionem tuam, ibi commenda quidquid inde 
habes, anima mea, saltern fatigata fallaciis. veritati 
ommenda quidquid tibi est a veritate, et non perdes 
aliquid ; et reflorescent putria tua, et sanabuntur 
omnes languores tui, et fluxa tua reformabuntur et 
renovabuntur et constringentur ad te ; et non te 
deponent, quo descendunt, sed stabunt tecum et 
permanebunt ad semper stantem ac permanentem 

Vt quid perversa sequeris carnem tuam ? ipsa te 
se(juatiir conversam. (juid(]uid per illam sentis, in 


Sufficient enough it is for the end it is made for ; but chaf. 
it is not sufficient for this, namely, to hold at a stay -^ 
things running of course from their appointed start- 
ing place to their appointed end. For in thy Word 
by which they are created, they hear this signal : 
" Hence, and thus far." 


All things are created mutable in themselves, and 
immidahle in God 

Be not foolish, O my Soul, and make not the ear of chap. 
thine heart deaf, with the tumult of thy folly. But ^^ 
hearken now : the Word itself calls thee to return : 
and there is the place of quiet not to be disturbed, 
where thy love can never be forsaken, if itself for- 
'^ake not. Behold, these things give way that other 
things may come in their places, that so this lowest 
liole may have all his parts. "But do I ever 
part } " saith the Word of God. There set up thy 
welling, trust there whatsoever thou hast thence, 
) my Soul, at length tired out with these uncertain- 
ties. Recommend over unto truth, whatsoever thou 
hast left of truth ; and thou shalt lose nothing by 
; the bargain ; yea, thy decays shall reflourish again, 
and all thy languishments shall be recovered ; thy 
fadings shall be refreshed, shall be renewed, and shall 
be made to continue with thee : nor shall they put 
thee down to the place whither themselves descend ; 
but they shall stay with thee and stand fast for ever 
before that God, who himself stays and stands fast for 

Why now, my perverse soul, wilt thou be still follow- 
ing thine own flesh .'' Let that rather follow thee now 

1 M 177 



It, ef 

CAP. parte est et ignoras totum, cuius hae partes sunt 
delectant te tamen. sed si ad totum conprehendeii- 
dum esset idoneus sensus carnis tuae, ac non et ipse 
in parte universi accepisset pro tua poena iustum 
modum, velles, ut transiret quidquid existit in 
praesentia, ut magis tibi omnia placerent. nam et 
quod loquimur, per eundem sensum carnis audis, et 
non vis utique stare sy 11 abas, sed trans volare, ut aliae 
veniant et totum audias. ita semper omnia, quibus 
unum aliquid constat, et non sunt omnia simul ea, 
quibus constat : plus delectant omnia quam singula, 
si possint sentiri omnia, sed longe his melior qui fecit 
omnia, et ipse est deus noster, et non discedit, qui 
nee succeditur ei. 


CAP. Si placent corpora, deum ex illis lauda, et in arti-j 
ficem eorum retorque amorem, ne in his, quae til^l 
placent, tu displiceas. si placent animae, in dec 
amentur, quia et ipsae mutabiles sunt et illo fixae 
stabiliuntur : alioquin irent et perirent. in illo ergo 
amentur, et rape ad eum tecum quas potes, et die 


I thou hast turned. Whatever by her thou hast sense chap. 

'of, is but in pavt : and the whole whereof these are ^^ 
parts, thou knowest not ; and yet this little contents 
thee. But had the sense of thy flesh been capable of 
comprehending the whole, and not for thy punishment 
been stinted to a part of the whole ; thou wouldst 
have then desired that whatsoever hath existence at 
this present should pass away, that so the whole might 
better have pleased thee altogether. For what we 
speak, by the same sense of the flesh thou hearest, 
and yet wouldst not thou have the same syllables 
sound ever, but fly away, that others may come on, 
and thou mayest hear the whole sentence. Thus 
are all these things ever in being, which have still any 
one part of theirs in being, and yet all those parts 
which go to the making up of that whole being, are 
never all together in present being. All together 
surely must needs delight more fully, than parts 
single, if the pleasure of all could be felt all at once. 

! But far better than these all, is he that made all ; 

\ and he is our God : nor does he depart away, for that 
he hath no successor. 

-k XII 

Love of the Creatures is not forbidden, provided that 
in those which please us, God be loved 

If bodies then please thee, praise God for them, and chap. 
turn thy love upon him that made them ; lest other- ^^^ 
wise in those things which please thee, thou dis- 
please him. If souls please, let them be loved in 
God : for they are mutable, but in him are they 
firmly established, or else would they pass and perish. 
Il^ him therefore let them be beloved ; and draw 

■ 179 


s. AVGvsTiNi c()^^^:ssION^M liber iv 

CAP, eis : "hunc amemus : ipe fecit haec et non est 
Jonge." non enim fecit atque abiit^ sed ex illo in illo 
sunt, ecce ubi est, ubi sapit Veritas : intimus cordi 
est/ sed cor erravit ab eo. redite, praevaricatores, ad 
cor, et inhaerete ilb', qui fecit vos. state cum eo et 
stabitis, requiescite in eo et quieti eritis. quo itis in 
aspera ? quo itis ? bonuni, quod amatis, ab illo est : 
sed quantum est ad ilium, bonum est et suave ; sed 
amarum erit iuste, quia iniuste amatur deserto illo 
quidquid ab illo est. quo vobis adliuc et adhuc am- 
bulare vias difficiles et laboriosas ? non est requies, 
ubi quaerilis earn, quaerite quod quaeritis, sed ibi 
non est, ubi quaeritis. beataui vitam quaeritis in 
regione mortis : non est illic. quomodo enim beata 
vita, ubi nee vita ? 

Et descendit hue ipsa vita nostra et tulit mortem nos- 
tram, et occidit eam deabundantiavitae suae,et tonuit 
damans, ut redeamus hinc ad eum in illud secretum, 
unde processit ad nos in ipsum primum virginalem 
uterum, ubi ei nupsit liumana creatura, caro mortalis, 
ne semper mortalis ; et inde velut sponsus procedens 
de thalamo suo exultavit ut gigans ad currendam 
viani. non enim tarda vit, sed cucurrit clamans dictis, 
factis, morte, vita, descensu, ascensu, clamans, ut 
redeamus ad eum. et discessit ab oculis, ut redeamus 



unto him along with thee .as many souls as thou canst, (.hat. 
and say to them : Him let us love^, let us love him. ^'' 
He made all these, nor is he far from them. For he 
did not once make them, and then get him gone : 
but of him, and in him they are. See where lie is, 
even wherever is a flavour of truth. He is within 
the very heart, but yet hath the heart strayed from 
him. Turn again to your own heart, O ye trans- js. xivi. 8 
gressors7 and cleaVti fayt uilLo him that made you. 
Stand with him, and ye shall stand safely : rest 
yourselves in him, and ye shall rest safely. Whither 
go you in these craggy passages } Oh whither go 
you .'' The good that you love, is from him ; and in 
respect of him 'tis both good and pleasant. But it 
shall justly be turned to bitterness, because whalso- \ 
ever is from him is unjustly loved, if he be forsaken _^^ 
for it. Whither now wander ye further and further 
over these difficult and troublesome passages ? There 
is no rest to be found where you seek it. Seek what 
you do seek, but yet 'tis not there where you are 
seeking for it. You seek a blessed iife in llie land 
of death ; 'tis not there : for how should there be a 
happy life, where there is at all no life ? 

But our life descended hither, and took away our 
death, and killed him, out of the abundance of his own 
life: and he thundered, calling unto us to return 
hence to him into that secret place, from whence 
he came forth to us; coming first into the Virgin's 
womb, whence the humanity was married unto him, 
(even our mortal flesh, though not ever to be mortal) I's. .wiii. 6 
and thence came lie like a bridegroom out of his 
chamber, rejoicing as a giant to run his course. For 
he forslowed not, but he ran, crying both in words, 
deeds, death, descent, and ascension ; still crying to 
us to return unto him. And he v.itluli-cw himself 

J 81 


(]AP. ad cor et inveniamus eum, abscessit enim et ecce 


hie est. noluit nobiscum diu esse et non reliquit nos. 
illuc enim abscessit, unde iiumquam recessitj quia 
mundus per eum factus est, et in hoc mundo erat, 
et venit in hunc mundum peccatores salvos facere. 
cui confitetur anima mea, et sanat earn, quoniam 
peccavit illi. fill hominum, quo usque graves corde ? 
numquid et post descensum vitae non vultis ascen- 
dere et vivere ? sed quo ascenditis, quando in alto 
estis et posuistis in caelo os vestrum ? descendite, 
ut ascendatis, et ascendatis ad deum. cecidistis enim 
ascendendo contra deum. die eis ista, ut plorent in 
convalle plorationis, et sic eos rape tecum ad deum, 
quia de spiritu eius haec dicis eis, si dicis ardens igne 


CAT. Haec tunc non noveram, et amabam pulchra inferiora, 


et ibam in profundum et dicebam amicis meis : 
" num amamus aliquid nisi pulchrum ? quid est ergo 
pulchrum ? et quid est pulchritudo ? quid est quod 
nos allicit et conciliat rebus, quas amamus? nisi 
enim esset in eis decus et species, nuUo modo nos ad 


from our eyes, that we might return to our own chap. 
heart, and there find him. He withdrew himself, and ^^^ 
behold he is still here. He would not tarry long 
with us, yet hath he not utterly left us ; for thither he 
is gone, from whence he never parted, because the 
world was made by him. And in this world he was, 
and into this world he came to save sinners, unto 
whom my soul now confesseth, and he heals it, for it 
hath sinned against him. O ye sons of men, how long 
will ye be slow of heart .'* Will ye not now after that 
life is descended down to you, will not you ascend up 
to it and live ? But whither ascend you since you are 
on high, and have lifted up your head into heaven ? 
Descend again, that you may ascend, and ascend to 
God. For fallen you are, by ascending against God. 
Tell the souls whom thou lovest, thus ; that they may 
weep in this valley of tears ; and so carry them up 
with thee unto God, because by his Spirit thou 
speakest thus unto them, if speak thou dost burning 
with the fire of charity. 


Love, whence it comes 

These things I as then knew not, and I fell in love 
with these inferior beauties, and I was sinking even xiii 
to the very bottom ; and unto my friends 1 said : Do 
we love anything that is not beautiful .'* Then what 
is fair, and what is beauty .'' What is it that inveigles 
us thus, and that draws our affections to the things 
we love .'' For unless there were a gracefulness and 
a beauty in them, they could by no means draw us 


CAP. se moverent." et animadvertebam, et videbam in 


ipsis corporibus aliud esse quasi totum et ideo pul- 
chrum, aliud autem, quod ideo deceret, quoniam 
apte accommodaretur alicui, sicut pars corporis ad 
universum suum aut calciamentum ad pedem et 
similia. et ista consideratio scaturriit in animo meo 
ex intimo corde meo, et scripsi libros " de pulchro et 
apto_," puto, duos aut tres ; tu scis, deus : nam ex- 
cidit mihi. non enim habemus eos, sed aberraverunt 
a nobis nescio quomodo. 


CAP. Quid est autem, quod me movit, domine deus meus, 
XIV ^ ' ^ ' 

ut ad Hierium, Romanae urbis oratorem, scriberem 
illos libros ? quern non noveram facie, sed amaveram 
hominem ex doctrinae fama, quae illi clara erat, et 
quaedam verba eius audieram, et placuerant mihi. 
sed magis, quia placebat aliis et eum efferebant 
laudibus stupentes, quod ex homine Syro, docto prius 
graecae facundiae, post in latina etiam dictor mira- 
bilis extitisset, et esset scicntissimus rerum ad studium 
sapientiae pertinentium, mihi placebat. laudabatur 
homo et amabatur absens. utrumnani ab ore laud- 
antis intrat in cor audientis amor ille ? absit ; sed 
ex amante alio aceenditur alius, hiiic enim amatur 


unto them. And I marked narrowly and perceived chap. 
that in the bodies themselves there was one thing ^^^^ 
as it were the whole, which in that respect was 
beautiful, and another thing that was therefore be- 
coming, because it was aptly fitted to some thing, 
as some part of the body, in respect of the whole 
body, or a shoe in respect of the foot, and the like. 
And this consideration sprang up in my mind even 
out of the innermost of my heart, and I composed 
certain books on the Beautiful and the Fitting, two 
or three as I think. Thou knowest it, O Lord, for 
'tis out of my memory. For I have them not now by 
me, but lost they are, and I know not how. 


Of his Book of Fair and Fit 

What was the cause, O Lord my God, that moved chap 
me to dedicate unto Hierius an Orator of Rome, ^^^ 
these books of mine ? whom as then I so much as 
knew not by face, but upon love to the man merely 
for the face of his learning, which was eminent in 
him, and some words of his that I had heard, which 
very well pleased me. But rather did he please 
me, for that he pleased others, who highly ex- 
tolled him, admiring much that a Syrian born, 
brought up first in the Greek eloquence, should 
afterwards prove so wonderful a master in the Latin 
also : being above all this, a most knowing man in 
all the studies that pertain unto wisdom. He was 
commended and loved even when he was absent. 
Doth then this love enter the heart of the hearer 
immediately from the mouth of the praiser ? Nothing 
so. But by one lover is another inflamed. Hence 



CAP. qui laudatur, dum non fallaci corde laudatoris praedd 
cari creditur, id est cum amans eum laudat. 

Sic enira tunc amabam homines ex hominum iudi 
cio ; non enim ex tuo, deus meus, in quo nem< 
fallitur. sed tamen cur non sicut auriga nobilis, 
sicut venator studiis popularibus difFamatus^ sed 
longe aliter et graviter, et ita, quemadmodum et me 
laudari vellem ? non autem vellem ita laudari et 
amari me ut histriones, quamquam eos et ipse 
laudarem et amarem, sed eligens latere quam ita 
notus esse^, et vel haberi odio quam sic amari. ubi 
distribuuntur ista pondera variorum et diversorum 
amorum in anima una ? quid est, quod amo in alio, 
quod rursus nisi odissera, non a me detestarer et 
repellerem, cum sit uterque nostrum homo .'' non 
enim sicut equus bonus amatur ab eo qui nollet hoc 
esse, ctiamsi posset, hoc et de histrione dicendum 
est, qui naturae nostrae socius est. ergone amo in 
homine quod odi esse, cum sim homo .'' grande 
profundum est ipse homo, cuius etiam capillos tu, 
domine, numeratos habes et non minuuntur in te : et 
tamen capilli eius magis numerabiles quam affectus 
eius et motus cordis eius. 

At ille rhetor ex eo erat genere, quem sic ama- 
bam, ut esse me vellem talem ; et errabam tyfo, et 
circumferebar omni vento, et nimis occulte gubernabar 



comes it that he is oft loved who is heard com- chap. 
mended, when, namely, his worth is believed to be ^^^ 
truly set forth by the unfeigned heart of the com- 
mender ; that is, when he that loves him praises him. 
Thus then loved I men, upon the judgment of men, 
but not upon thine, O my God, in which no man is ^ 
deceived. But yet why not as that notable charioteer 
or huntsman, so famously spoken of by our vulgar 
affections ? No, but far otherwise and more seriously, 
and even as I would desire to be myself commended. 
For I would by no means have myself or com- 
mended or loved, in that kind that stage-players 
are, (though I myself did sometimes both commend 
and love them) but I would choose rather to have 
lived concealed, than to be known that way ; and 
to be hated, than in that kind to be beloved. Where 
now are these overswayings of such various and 
divers kinds of loves distributed in one soul ? What 
''is it that I am in love with in another man ? And 
" what again is it, that did I not hate him for, I should 
not detest and keep him out of my company, seeing 
we are men either of us } For the comparison holds 
not, that as a good horse is loved by him, who would 
not yet be that horse, no not though he might ; the 
same should likewise be affirmed of a stage-player, 
who is a fellow in nature with us. Do I therefore 
love that in a man, which I hate to be, seeing I am a 
man ? Man is a great deep, whose very hairs thou Matt. x. 3o 
numberest, O Lord, and they are not lost in thy sight ; 
1 and yet are the hairs of his head easier to be numbered 
Vthan are his affections and the motions of his heart. 
But that orator, whom I so loved, was of those that 
I would have wished myself to have been : and I 
erred through a swelling pride, and was tossed up 
and down with every wind, but I was governed by 



CAP. abs te. et unde scio et unde certus confiteor tibi, 
quod ilium in amore laudantium magis amaveram 
quam in rebus ipsis, de quibus laudabatur? quia 
si non laudatum vituperarent eum idem ipsi et vitu- 
perando atque spernendo ea ipsa narrarent, non 
accenderer in eo et non excitarer, et certe res non 
aliae forent nee homo ipse alius, sed tantummodo 
alius affect us narrantium. ecce ubi iacet anima 
infirma, nondum haerens soliditati veritatis. sicut 
aurae linguarum flaverint a pectoribus opinantium, 
ita fertur et vertitur, torque tur ac retorquetur, et 
obnubilatur ei lumen et non cernitur Veritas, et 
ecce est ante nos. et magnum quiddam mihi erat, 
si sermo meus et studia mea illi viro innotescerent : 
quae si probaret, flagrarem magis ; si autem inpio- 
baret, sauciaretur cor vanum et inane soliditatis tuae. 
et tamen pulchrum illud atque aptum, unde ad eum 
scripseram, libenter animo versabam ob os contem- 
plationis meae, et nuUo conlaudatore mirabar. 


CAP. Sed tantae rei cardinem in arte tua nondum vide- 
bani, omnipotens, qui facis mirabilia solus, et ibat 



thee very secretly. And how now do I know, and CHAP, 
how can I upon a sure ground confess unto thee, ^^^ 
that I loved that man more for the love of them ^P^^- ^^- ^^ 
that commended him, than for the good parts them- 
selves for which he was commended ? Because if 
the self same men should not have praised but dis- 
praised him, and in dispraising and despising him 
had they told the same things of him, I should never 
have been so kindled and provoked to love him. 
And certainly things would have been the same, 
and the man himself not different, but only a 
different feeling in the speakers. See where the 
impotent soul lies along, that is not yet stayed up 
by the solidity of truth ! Just as the blasts of 
tongues blow out of the breasts of those who think 
they know, so is it carried this way and that way, 
tumbled and tossed up and down, and the light is be- 
clouded and it can never discern the truth. And yet 
it is right before us. I conceived to purchase some 
great credit by it, if my style and meditations might 
but be known to that famous man ; which should 
he allow of, then were I more on fire, but if he dis- 
approved, this vain heart of mine utterly void of thy 
solidity, had been cut to the quick at it. And yet 
that subject of Fair and Fit upon which I wrote to 
him, my meditations gladly laboured upon, and 
though I had no others to commend it, yet did 1 
myself admire it. 


Hofv his Understanding keing overshadowed with 
corporeal images, he could not discei-n the spiritual 

But I could not all this while discover the main chap. 
point of the business in that skill of thine, O thou ^^ 


CAP. animus meus per formas corporeas^ et pulchrum, 


quod per sc ipsum, aptum autem^ quod ad aliquid 
adcommodatum deceret, definiebam et distinguebam 
et exemplis corporeis adstruebam. et converti me 
ad animi naturam, et non me sinebat falsa opinio, 
quam de spiritalibus habebam, verum cernere. et 
inruebat in oculos ipsa vis veri, et avertebam pal- 
pitantem mentem ab incorporea re ad liniamenta 
et colores et tumentes magnitudines, et quia non 
poteram ea videre in animo, putabam me non posse 
videre animum meum. et cum in virtute pacem 
amarem, in vitiositate autem odissem discordiam, in 
ilia unitatem, in ista quandam divisionem notabam, 
inque ilia unitate mens rationalis et natura veritatis 
ac summi boni mihi esse videbatur : in ista vero 
divisione inrationalis vitae nescio quam substantiam, 
et naturam summi mali, quae non solum esset sub- 
stantia, sed omnino vita esset, et tamen abs te non 
esset, deus meus, ex quo sunt omnia, miser opinabar. 
et illam monadem appellabam tamquam sine uUo 
sexu mentem, banc vero dyadem, iram in facinoribus, 
libidinem in flagitiis, nesciens quid loquerer, non 
enim noveram neque didiceram nee ullam sub- 
stantiam malum esse, nee ipsam mentem nostram 
summum atque inconmutabile bonuni. 

Sicut enim facinora sunt, si vitiosus est ille animi 
motus, in quo est impetus, et se iactat insolenter ac 


Omnipotent who only dost great wonders ; and CHAP, 
my conceit ranged through corporeal forms : and I ^^ 
defined and distinguished as fair, what is so, abso- 
lutely of itself ; and fit, which becomes graceful when 
applied to some other thing: and confirmed my 
argument by corporeal examples. I set my studies 
afterwards to consider of the nature of the soul, 
but that false opinion which I had already enter- 
tained concerning spiritual matters, would not let 
me discover the truth, yet the force of truth did 
ever and anon flash into mine eyes, but I turned 
away my panting soul from all incorporeal substances, 
setting it upon lineaments, and colours, and swelling 
quantities. And for that I was not able to see all 
these in my soul, I verily believed that I could not 
see that soul of mine. And whereas in virtue I 
loved peace, and in viciousness I abhorred discord : 
in the first I observed an unity, but division ever to 
be in this. And in that unity, I conceived to be the 
rational intelligence, and the nature both of truth 
and of our chiefest goodness : but in this division, 
silly I imagined, I know not what substance of an 
irrational life, and the nature of the greatest evil, 
which should not only be a substance, but a very 
true life also, and yet not at all depend on thee, O 
my God, of whom are all things. And yet that 
first I called Unity, as if it had been a soul without 
sex ; but the latter I styled a Duality, which should 
be anger in cruelties, and lust in impurities ; not 
knowing what I talked of. For I had not as yet 
either known or learned, that neither was evil a 
substance, or that our own soul was not that chiefest 
and unchangeable good. 

For even as crimes are done, if so be that motion 
of the soul in which the force of the appetite now is, 



CAP. turbide, et flagitia, si est inmoderata ilia animae af- 


fectio^ qua carnales hauriuntur voluptates^ ita errores 
et falsae opiniones vitam contaminant, si rationalis 
mens ipsa vitiosa est. qualis in me tunc erat, nesciente 
alio lumine illam inlustrandam esse, ut sit particeps 
veritatis, quia non est ipsa natura veritatis, quoniam 
tu inluminabis lucernam meam, domine ; deusmeus, 
inluminabis tenebras meas, et de plenitudine tua 
omnes nos accepimus. es enim tu lumen verum, quod 
inluminat omnem hominem venientem in hunc mun- 
dum, quia in te non est transmutatio nee moment i 

Sed ego conabar ad te et repellebar abs te, ut 
saperem mortem, quoniam superbis resistis. quid 
autem superbius, quam ut assererem mira dementia 
me id esse naturaliter, quod tu es ? cum enim ego 
essem mutabilis, et eo mihi manifestum esset, quod 
utique ideo sapiens esse cupiebam, ut ex deteriore 
melior fierem, malebam tamen etiam te opinari muta- 
bilem, quam me non hoc esse, quod tu es. itaque 
repellebar, et resistebas ventosae cervici meae, et ima- 
ginabar formas corporeas, et caro carnem accusabam 
et spiritus ambulans non revertebar ad te, et ambu- 
lando ambulabam in ea, quae non sunt neque in 
te neque in me neque in corpore, neque mihi crea- 
bantur a veritate tua, sed a mea vanitate fingebantur; 
ex corpore, et dicebam parvulis fidelibus tuis, civibus" 


be corrupted, stirring itself insolently and unrulily : uhaf 
and vices arise^ when that affection of the soul by ^^ 
which carnal pleasures are taken into resolution, ' 
be immoderate : thus do errors and false opinions 
defile the life, if so be that the reasonable soul itself 
be viciously disposed. So it was in me at that time, 
when I was utterly ignorant that it must be en- 
lightened by another light, to make it partaker of the 
truth, since it is not itself the essence of truth. For 
thou shalt light my candle, O Lord my God, thou Pa' 
shalt enlighten my darkness : and of thy fulness have Join 
we all received ; for thou art the true Light that 
lighteth every man that cometh into the world ; for 
that in thee there is no variableness, neither shadow 
of change. 

But I pressed towards thee, and was as fast thrust 
from thee, that 1 might taste of death : for thou re- \ 

sistest the proud. And what could be prouder, than 
for me with a wonderful madness to maintain myself 
to be that by nature whicli thou thyself art .'' For 
whereas myself was mutable, (so much appearing 
manifestly unto me, in that I became so ambitious 
to grow wiser, that of worse I might so prove better ;) ^/^ 
yet chose I rather to imagine thee to be mutable, 
than myself not to be that which thou wert. There- 
fore gavest thou me the repulse, and thou resistedst 
my inconsistent stiff-neckedness, and 1 fancied to --^ 
myself certain corporeal forms, and being flesh, I 
accused flesh ; and being a wayfaring spirit, I did 
not turn towards thee, but went nuddling on and on ^ 

towards those fancies which have no being, neither 
in thee, nor in me, nor in anybody, nor were 
created for me by thy truth, but devised merely by 
mine own vain conceit, fancying out a body. And 
I demanded of thy faithful little ones, my fellow 

I N 193 

OP. meis, a quibus iiescicns exulabani, dicebam illis gar- 
lulusct ineptus: "cur ergo errat aninna, qiiam fecit 
deus?" et mihi iiolebam dici : "cur ergo errat 
deus ? " el contendebam magis inconmutabilem tuam 
substantiam coactam errare, quam meam mutabilem 
sponte deviasse, et poena errare coiifiitebar. 

Et eram aetate aiinorum fortasse viginti sex aut 
septCDi, cum ilia volumina scripsi^ volveiis apud me 
corporalia figmenta obstrepeiitia cordis mei auribus^, 
quas inteudebam, dulcis Veritas^ in interiorem melo- 
diam tuam,cogitans de pulchroet apto, et stare cupiens 
et audire te et gaudio gaudere propter vocem sponsi, 
et non poteram^ quia vocibus erroris mei rapiebar 
foras^ et f)ondere superbiae meae in ima decidebam. 
non enim dabas auditui meo gaudium et laetitiam^ 
aut exultabant ossa_, quae humiliata non erant. 



1 citizens, (from whom unbeknowing to myself I stcod 'HA 
L exiled) I put the question to them 1 say, (prating ^"^ 
and foolish man that I was !) Why therefore doth the 
soul err, which God hath created ? But I would not 
that any one should demand of me. Why therefore 
doth God err ? And I stiffly maintained, that thy 
unchangeable substance rather did err upon con- 
straint, tlian be brought to confess mine own ' 
changeable substance to have gone astray volun- 
tarily, or that my error was my punishment. 

I was at that time perchance six or seven and 
twenty years old, when I composed those volumes ; 
canvassing up and down with myself these corporeal 
fictions, which were still buzzing in the ears of my 
heart, (which ears I was straining rather, O sweet 
truth, to hearken after thy inward melody) plodding 
all this time upon my Fair and Fit, and desiring to 
stand, and to hearken to thee, and to rejoice ex- 
ceedingly at the voice of thy Spouse, but could not 
bring myself to it ; for by the calls of mine own errors, 
I was drawn out of myself, and oppressed with the 
weight of mine own proud conceit, I sunk into the 
lowest pit. For thou didst not make me to hear 
joy and gladness, nor did my bones rejoice, for they 
were not yet humbled. 




CAr. Et quid inihi proderat, quod aniios natus ferine 


viginti, cum in manus meas vemssent Anstotelica 
quaedam^ quas appellant decern categorias — quarum 
nomine, cum eas rhetor Carthaginiensis, magister 
meus, buccis typho crepantibus commemoraret et alii 
qui docti habebantur, tamquam in nescio quid magnum 
et divinum suspensus inhiabam — legi eas solus et intel- 
lexi ? quas cum contulissem cum eis^qui se dicebant vix 
eas, magistris eruditissimis non loquentibus tantum, 
sed multa in pulvere depingentibus, intellexisse, nihil 
inde aliud mihi dicere potuerunt, quam ego solus apud 
me ipsum legens cognoveram; et satis aperte mihi 
videbantur loquentes de substantiis, sicuti est homo, 
et quae inillis essent, sicuti est figura hominis, qualis 
sit, et statura, quot pedum sit, aut cognatio, cuius 
frater sit, aut ubi sit constitutus aut quando natus, 
aut stet an sedeat, aut calciatus vel arniatus sit, aut 
aliquid faciat aut patiatur aliquid, et quaecumque in 
his noveni generibus, quorum exempli gratia quaedam 
posui, vel in ipso substantiae genere innumerabilia 

Quid lioc mihi proderat, quando et oberat, cum 
etiam te, deus meus, mirabiliter siniplicem atque 



The advdrabie Aptness to Learning, and the great 
Underslanding St. Augustine had 

And what was I the better for it;, when scarce twenty < u a i . 
years old, that book of Aristotle's Ten Categories ^^^ 
falling into my hands, (of which my rhetoric master 
of Carthage, and others esteemed very good scholars, 
would be cracking with full mouths,) I earnestly and 
with such suspense gaped upon it at first, as upon I 
know not what deep and divine piece ; but read it 
over afterwards, yea, and attained the understanding 
of it, by myself alone ? And comparing my notes 
afterwards with theirs, who protesting how Iiardly 
they gat to understand the book from very able 
tutors, not dictating to them only by word of mouth, 
but taking pains also to delineate out in the dust the 
schemes and demonstrations of it ; they could teach 
me no more of it, than I had observed before upon 
mine own reading. And it seemed plain enough to 
my capacity, when they discoursed of substances, 
such as man is, and of the accidents inhering to 
these substances; as for example, the figure of a 
man, how qualified he was, and of what shape and 
stature, how many foot high, and his relation to his 
kindred, whose brother he is, or where placed, or 
when born, or whether he stands or sits, or be shod 
or armed, or does or suffers anything : and whatso- 
ever was to be learned besides in these nine classes, 
of which I have given these former examples; or 
these other innumerable observations in that chief 
class of substance. 

What now did all this further me, seeing withal 
it as much hindered me whenas 1 took pains to 


TAP. incommulabilem. illis decern praedicamentis putans 
quidquid c sset omnino conprehensum, sic intellegere 
conarer^ qu.isi et tu subiectnm esses magnitudini tiiae 
aut pulchritudini, ut ilia esseiit in te quasi in sub- 
iecto^ sicut in corpore : cum tna magnitudo et tua 
pulehritudo tu ipse sis, corpus autem non eo sit 
niagnum et pulclmnn, quo corpus est, quia ctsi 
minus magnum et minus pulcbrum essct, nihilominus 
corpus esset? falsitas enim erat, quam de te cogita 
bam. non Veritas, et figmenta miseriae meae, nou 
Hrmamenta beatitudinis tuae. iusseras enim, et ita 
liebat in mc, ut terra spinas et tribolos pareret milii, 
et cum labore pervenirem ad panem meum. 

Et quid mihi proderat, quod omnes libros artium, 
qiias liberales vocant, tunc ncquissimus malarum cupi- 
ditatum servus per me ipsum legi ct intellexi, quos- 
cumque legere potui ? et gaudebam in cis, et ncsoie- 
bam, unde esset quidquid ibi verum et certum esset. 
dorsum enim habebam ad lumen, et ad ea, quae 
inluminantur, faciem : unde ipsa facies mea, qua in- 
luminata cerntbam, non inluminabatur. quidquid 
de arte loquendi et tlisserendi, quidquid de dimension- 
ibus figurarum et de musicis et de numeris, sine magiia 
difficultate nullo hominum tradente intellexi, scis tu, 
domine deus meus, quia et celeritas intellegendi et 
dispiciendi acumen donum tuum est. sed non indc 


understand thcc, O my God (whose essence is most chap. 
wonderfully simple and unchangeable) : imagining ^^^ 
whatsoever had being, to be comprehended under 
those ten Predicaments ; as if thyself had been 
subject to thine own greatness or beauty; and that 
these two had an inherence in thee, like accidents 
in their subject, or as in a body : whereas thy great- 
ness and beauty is in thy essence ; but a body is not 
great or fair in that regard as it is a boch^, seeing 
that though it were less great or fair, yet should it 
be a body notwithstanding. But it was a mere false- 
hood which of thee I had conceived, and no truth ; 
a very fiction of mine own foolery, and no solid 
ground of thy happiness. For thou iiadst given 
forth the command, and so it came to pass in me, 
that my earth should bring forth briars and thorns i eniii 
in me, and that in the sweat of my brow 1 should eat 
my ])read. 

And what was I the better, that 1, the vile slave to 
wicked affections, read over by myself, and under- 
stood all the books of those sciences which they call 
liberal, as many as I could cast mine eyes upon ? 
And that I took great delight in them, but knew not 
all this while whence all that came, whatsoever was 
true or certain in them .'* For I stood with my back 
to the light, and with my face towards these things 
which receive that light ; and therefore my face, 
with which I discerned these things that were iilunii- 
nated, was not in itself illuminated. Whatever was 
written, either of the art of rhetoric, of logic, what- 
ever of geometry, music, and arithmetic, I attained 
the understanding of by myself without any great 
difficulty, or any instructor at all, as thou knowest, 
O Lord my Ood ; even because the quickness of 
conceiving, and the sharpness of disputing is thy 



CAP. sacrificabam tibi. itaque mihi non ad usum, sed ad 
perniciem magis valebat, quia tam bonam partem 
substantiae meae sategi habere in potestate, et forti- 
tudinem meam non ad te eustodiebam, sed profectus 
sum abs te in longinquam regionem, ut earn dissi- 
parem in meretrices cupiditates. nam quid mihi 
proderat bona res non utenti bene? non enim 
seiitiebam illas artes etiam ab studiosis et ingeniosis 
diliicillime intellegi, nisi cum eis eadem conabar ex- 
ponere^ et erat ille excellentissimus in eis^ qui me 
exponentem nontardius sequeretur. 
^ Sed quid mihi hoe proderat putanti, quod tu, 
domine deus Veritas, corpus esses lucidum et in- 
_^ mensum^ et ego frustum de illo corpore ? nimia 
perversitas ! sed sic eram ; nee erubesco, deus me us, 
confiteri tibi in me misericordias tuas et invocare te, 
qui nou erubui tunc profiteri hominibus blasphemias 
meas, et latrare adversum te. quid ergo tunc mihi 
proderat ingenium, per illas doctrinas agile, et nullo 
adminiculo humani magisterii tot nodosissimi libri 
enodati. cum deformiter et sacrilega turpitudine in 
doctrina pietatis errarem ? aut quid tantum oberal 
p.'irvulis tuis longe tardius ingenium ; cum a te longe 
non recederent, ut in nido ecclesiae tuae tuti plu- 
mescerent, et alas caritatis alimento sanae fidei 
nutrircnt ? o domine deus noster, in velamento 
alarum tuaruui S))crennis, et protege nos et porta 


gift : and yet did I not sacrifice any part of it to thee, chap 
All this therefore served not me to any good em- ^^*^ 
ployment, but to ray destruction rather, since I went 
about to get so good a part of my portion into mine 
own custody; and I preserved not mine own abili- 
ties entire for thy service, but wandered into a far 
country, to spend it there upon my harlotries. For 
what good did it me to have good abilities, and not 
employ them to good uses ? For I understood not 
that those arts were attained with difficulty, even 
by those that were very studious and intelligent 
scholars, until that myself going about to interpret 
them in others' hearing, he was held tlie most ex- 
cellent at them, who was able to follow me with 
least slowness. . 

But what did all this benefit me, thinking all this \ 
while that thou, O Lord God of Truth, wert nothing \ 
but a vast and bright body, and myself some piece 
of that body ? O extreme perverseness ! But in 
that case was I then ; nor do I blush, O my God, 
to confess thy mercies towards me, and to call upon 
thee, who blushed not then openly to profess before 
men mine own blasphemies, and to bark against 
thee. What good did then my nimble wit, able to 
run over all those sciences, and all those most knotty 
volumes, made easy to me without help or light from 
any tutor ; seemg that I erred so foully, and with 
so much sacrilegious shamefulness in the doctrine 
of piety ? Or what hindrance was a far slower wit 
to thy little ones ; seeing they straggled not so far 
from thee, but that in the nest of thy Church they 
might securely plume themselves, and nourish the 
wings of charity, by the food of solid faith ? O 
Lord our God, under the sliadow of thy wings let us 
hope ! Defend thou, and carry us. Thou wilt carry 



CAP. nos. til portabis, tu portabis et parvulos et usque ad" 

canos tu portabis : quoniam firmitas nostra quando 

tu es^ tunc est firmitas^ cum autem nostra est^ in- 

firmitas est. vivit apud te semper bonum nostrum, 

et quia inde aversi sumus, perversi sumus. revert- 

amnr iam, domine, nt non evertamur, quia vivit 

apud te sine uUo defectu bonum nostrum, 

quod tu ipse es : et non timemus, ne 

non sit quo redeamus, quia nos 

inde ruimus ; nobis autem 

absentibus non ruit do- 

raus nostra, aeter- 

nitas tua. 




us, thou wilt so, both while we are little and until we ctiAP, 
are greyheaded : for our weakness, when 'tis from ^^^ 
thee, then is onr strength ; but when 'tis of our- 
selves, then it is weakness indeed. Our good still 
lives with thee ; from which because we are averse, 
tliercfore arc we perverse. Let us now at last, O 
Lord, return, that we do not overturn : because with 
thee our good lives without any defect, which 
good thou art. We shall not need to fear find- 
ing a place to return unto, because we 
fell headlong from it; for however 
we have been longabsentfrom 
thence, yet that house of 
ours shall not fall 
down, and that 
is thy Eter- 





CAP. AcciPE sacrificium confessioniim meavum de iiianu 
linguae meae, quam formasti et excitasti, ut confitca- 
tur nomini tuo^ et sana omnia ossa mea, et dicant : 
domine, quis similis tibi ? neque enim docet te, 
quid in se agatur, qui tibi confitetur; quia oculum 
tuum non excludit cor clausiim, nee manum tuam re- 
pellit duritia hominum : sed solvis earn, cum voles^ 
aut miserans aut vindicans, et non est qui se ab- 
scondat a calore tuo. sed te laudet anima mea, ut 
amet te, et confiteatur tibi miserationes tuas, ut laudet 
te. non cessat nee tacet laudes tuas universa creatura 
tua, nee spiritus omnis hominis per os conversum ad 
te; necanimalia nee corporalia per os considerantium 
ea : ut exsurgat in te a lassitudine anima nostra, in- 
nitens eis, quae fecisti, et adtransiens ad te, qui fecisti 
liaec mirabiliter: et ibi refectio et vera fortitudo. 



^ ■ . . ! 

He stirs his ow7i Soul to praise God 

Receive here the sacrifice of confessions from the CHAi'. 
hand of my tongue, which thou hast formed and ^ 
stirred up to confess unto thy name. Heal thou all 
my bones and let them say, O Lord, Who is like unto Ps. xxxv. 
thee? For neither does a man teach thee what is '^ 
done within himself when he confesses to thee ; 
seeing a closed heart shuts not out thy eye, nor can 
man's hard-heartedness thrust back thy hand : for 
tliou openest it when thou pleasest, either out of 
pitv or justice to us, and there is nothing can hide 
itself from thy heat. But let my soul praise thee I's. x\x. e 
that it may love thee, and let it confess thine own 
mercies to thee that it may praise thee. Thy whole 
creation is never slack or silent in thy praises, nor the 
spirit of any man by the praise of his mouth con- 
verted to thee ; no nor yet any animal or corporeal 
creature, by the mouths of those that well consider 
of them : that so our soul may toward thee rouse 
itself up from weariness, leaning itself on those 
things whicli thou hast created, and passing over to 
thyself, who hast made them so wonderfully; where 
refreshment and true fortitude is. 


s. A\ (.\s:iiNi confp:ssionvm libek v 


OAi'. Eant el fiii>iant a te inquieti iniqiii. et tu vides eos 
et distinguis umbras, et eece piilchra sunt cum eis 
omnia, et ipsi turpes sunt, et quid nocuerunt tibi ? 
aut in quo imperium tuum dehonestaverunt, a caelis 
usque in novissima iustum et integrum ? quo enim 
fugeruntj cum fugerent a facie tua ? aut ubi tu non 
invenis eos ? sed fugerunt, ut non viderent te viden- 
tem se, atque excaecati in te offenderent — quia non 
deseris aliquid eorum, quae fecisti — in te offenderent 
iniusti et iuste vexarentur, subtrahentes se lenitati 
tuae, et offendentes in rectitudinem tuam, et cadehtes 
in asperitatem tuam. videlicet nesciunt, quwl ubique 
sis, quern nuUus circuminscribit locus, et solus es 
praesens etiam his, qui longe fiunt a te. convertan- 
tur ergo et quaerant te, quia non, si cut ipsi deserue- 
runt creatorem suum, ita tu deseruisti creaturam 
tuam. ipsi convertantur, et ecce ibi es in corde 
eonun, in corde confitentium tibi, et proicientium se 
in te, et ploraiitium in sinu tuo post vias suas diffi- 
ciles : et tu facilis tergens lacrimas eorum, et magis 
plorant et gaudent in fletibus, quoniam tu, domine, 



God's presence can wo man avoid, seeing he is everywhere 

Let unquiet naughty people run and flee from thee chap. 
as fast as they will; yet thou seest them well ^^ 
enough, and canst distinguish of shadows : and 
beliold, all seems gay to them, meanwhile themselves 
be deformed. And what wrong have they done thee 
by it, or how have they disparaged thy government, 
which from the highest heavens to this lowest earth, 
is most just and perfect ? But whither are they fled, ps. cxxxix 
when they fled from thy presence ? Or in what ^ 
corner shalt thou not find them out .-^ But they ran 
away that they might not see thee, who well sawest 
them, that being so blindfolded, they might stumble 
upon thee, because thou forsakest nothing that thou 
hast made; that the unjust, I say, might stumble 
upon thee, and be justly vexed at it ; withdrawing , 
themselves from thy lenity, and stumbling at thy \ 
justice, to fall foul upon thy severity. Little know 
they in truth, that thou art everywhere, whom no 
place encompasses, and that thou alone art ever near, 
even to those that set themselves furthest from thee. 
Let them therefore be turned back, and seek thee ; 
because as they liave forsaken thee their Creator, 
thou hast not so given over thy creature. Let them 
be turned back; and behold, thou art there in their 
heart, in the heart of those that confess thee, and 
that cast themselves upon thee, and that pour lorth 
their tears in thy bosom, after all their tedious wander- 
ings. Then shalt thou most gently wipe away their 
tears, and they do weep the more, yea, and delight in 
:ir weeping; even for that thou, O Lord, and not anv 

o i>t9 

CAF. non aliquis iionu), caro et sanguis, sed tu, domine, 
qui fecisti, reficis et consolaris eos. et ubi ego erani;, 
quando te quaerebam ? et tu eras ante me, ego 
autein et a me discesseram nee me inveniebam : 
quanto minus te ! 


A p. Proloquor in conspectu dei mei annum ilium unde- 
tricensimum aetatis meae. iam venerat Carthaginem 
quidam Manichaeorum episcopus, Faustus nomine, 
magnus laqueus diaboli, et multi inplicabantur in 
eo per inlecebram suaviloquentiae. quam ego iam 
tametsi laudabam, discernebam tamen a veritate 
rerum, quarum discendarum avidus eram, nee quali 
vasculo sermonis, sed quid mihi scientiae comeden- 
dum adponeret nominatus apud eos ille Faustus 
intuebar. fama enim de illo praelocuta mihi erat, 
quod esset honestarum omnium doctrinarum peri- 
tissimuset adprime disciplinis liberalibus eruditus 
^ Et quoniam multa philosophorum legeram, memo- 
riae que mandata retinebam, ex eis quaedam conipara- 
bam illis Manichaeorum longis fabulis : etmihi j^roba- 
biliora ista videbantur, quae dixerunt iili, qui tantum 
potuerunt valere, ut possent aestimare saeculum, 
quamquam eius dominum minime invenerint. quo- 
niain magnus es, domine, et hmnilia respieis_, excelsaJ 


! man of flesh and blood, but Uiou Lord, wiio madost < u \r 
them, canst refresh and comfort them. But where " 
j abouts was I, when I sought after thee .'' Thou wert 
i directly before me, but I had gone back from thee ; 
uov did 1 then find myself, much less thee. 


Of FnuMhf.t the Manic/tee : cnul of Astrologies 

I LAV open before my God thit nine and twentieth chap. 
year of mine age. There came in those days unto ^^^ 
Carthage a certain Bishop of the Manicliees, Faustus 
by name : a great snare of the Devil he was, and 
ixiany were entangled by him in that gin of his smooth 
language : which though myself did much commend 
in him, yet I was able to discern betwixt it, and the 
truth of those things which 1 then was earnest to 
learn : nor had 1 an eye so much to the curious dish of 
oratory, as what substance of science their so famous 
Faustus set before me to feed upon. Report had be- 
forehand highly spoken of him to me ; as, that he was 
a most knowing man in all points of honest learning, 
and exquisitely skilled in all the liberal sciences. 

And for that I had sometimes read many books or 
the philosophers, and had fresh in memory much of 
theirs ; 1 j)resently fell to compare some points of 
theirs to those long fables of the Manichees : and 
those things verily which the philosophers had taught, 
(who could only prevail so ffir as to make judgment 
of this lower world, though the Lord of it they could 
by no means find out) seemed far more probable unto 
me. For great art thou, O Lord, and hast respect rs.cxxxvlii. 
unto the humble, but the proud thou beholdest afar ^ 



< Ar .lutein « loiigc agnoscis : nee prupiiiquas nisi obtritis 
cordc;, nee inveniris a superbis, nee si illi curiosa 
peritia numerent Stellas et harenam, et dimetiantur 
sidereas plagas_, et vestigent vias astrorum. mente 
sua enira quaerunt ista et ingenio, quod tu dedisti 
eis, et multa invenerunt, et praenuntiaverunt ante 
multos annos defectus luminarium solis et lunae, 
quo die^ qua hora, quanta ex parte futuri essent, 
et non eos fefellit numerus. et ita factum est, ut 
praenuntiaverunt; et scripserunt regulas indagatas, 
et leguntur hodie ; atque ex eis praenuntiatur, quo 
anno et quo mense anni et quo die mensis et qua 
hora diei et quota parte luminis sui defectura sit 
luna vel sol : et ita fiet, ut praenuntiatur. et 
mirantur haec homines et stupent, qui nesciunt 
ea, et exultant atque extoUimtur qui sciunt, et per 
impiam su})erbiam recedentes, et deficientes alumine 
tuo. tanto .inte solis defectum futurum praevident, et 
in praesentia suum non vident — non enim religiose 
(|iia(iunt, uncle habeantingeiuum^ quo ista quaerunt — 
et invenientes, quia tu fecisti eos, non ipsi se dant tibi, 
se, nt serves quod fecisti, et quales se ipsi feeerant 
oeeidunt se tibi, et trucidant exaltntioms suas sicut 
volatilia, et curiositates suas sieut pisces maris, quibus 
perambiilant secretas semitas abyssi, et luxmias suas 


oft'. Nor dost, thou draw near^ hut to the contrite in chap. 
hearty nor art thou found by those that be proud^ no, ^^^ 
not though they had the curious skill to number the 
stars and the sand^ and to quarter out the houses 
of the heavenly constellations, and to find out tlie 
courses of the planets. For with their understanding 
and wit, which thou bestowedst on them, do they 
search out these things : nuieh they have found out, 
and foretold many a year, before the echpses of the 
lights of the sun and moon, what day and what hour, 
and how many digits they should be so, nor hath 
their calculation failed them : and just thus came all 
to pass as they foretold ; and they committed to 
writing the rules found out by them, which are read 
this day, and out of them do others foretell in what 
year, and month of the year, and what day of the 
month, and what hour of the day, and what part 
of its light, the moon or the sun is to be eclipsed : 
and so it shall come to pass as it is foreshewed. 
At these things men wonder and are astonished, 
that know not this art ; and they that know it, 
triumph and arc extolled ; and out of a wicked pride 
turning back from thee, failing thereby of thy light, 
they foresee an eclipse of the sun so long beforehand, 
but perceive not their own which they suffer in the 
present. For they enquire not religiously enough ' 
from whence they are enabled with the wit to seek 
all this withal : and finding that 'tis thou that made 
them, they resign not themselves up unto thee, that 
thou mayest preserve what thou hast made, nor do 
they kill in sacrifice unto thee, what they have made 
themselves to be ; nor slay their own exalted imagina- 
tions, like as the fowls of the air ; and their own I's. viii 
curiosities, like as the fishes of the sea, in which they 
wander over the unknown paths of the bottomless 


CAP. sicut pecora campi, ut tu, deus, ignis edax, consumas 
mortuas curas eorum, recreans eos immortaliter. 

Sed non noverunt viam^ verbum tuum, per quod 
fecisti ea quae numerant, et ipsos qui nuraerant, et 
sensum^ quo cernunt quae numerant, et mentem, de 
qua numerant ; et sapientiae tuae non est numerus. 
ipse autem unigenitus factus est nobis sapientia et 
iustitia et sanctificatio, et numeratus est inter nos, et 
solvit tributum Caesari. non noverunt banc viani, 
qua descendant ad ilhim a se, et per eum ascendant 
ad einn, non noverunt banc viani, et putant se ex- 
celsos esse cum sideribus et lucidos, et ecce ruerunt 
in terram^ et obscuratum est insipiens cor eorum. et 
multa vera de creatura dicunt, et veritateni, creaturae 
artificem, non pie quaerunt, et ideo non inveniunt, 
aut si inveniunt^ cognoscentes deum, non sicut deum 
hoi7orant, aut gratias agunt. et evanescunt in cogita- 
tiouibus suis, et dicunt se esse sapientes sibi tribuendo 
(juae tua sunt, ac per hoc student perversissima cae- 
eitate etiam tibi tribuere quae sua sunt, mendacia 
scilicet in te conferentes, qui Veritas es, et immu- 
tantes gloriam incorrupti dei in similitudinem iraaginis 
corruptibilis hominis et volucrum et quadrupedum 
et serpentium, et convertunt veritatem tuam in 
mendacium, et eolunt et serviunt creaturae potius 
quarn creator!. 


pit; and their own luxuriousness, like as the beasts chap. 
of the field; that thou Lord, who art a consuming ^^^ 
tire, mayest burn up those dead cares of theirs, and Dent, iv, 24 
renew themselves immortally. 

But they know not tjiat way, (thy Word) by which 
; tiioii madest these things which themselves can 
calculate, and the calculators themselves, and the 
sense by which they see what they number, and the 
understanding, out of which they do number it : and 
of thy wisdom there is no number. But the Only 
Begotten himself is made unto us Wisdom, and 1 ( or. i. sn 
Righteousness, and Sanctification, and was numibered 
as one of us, and paid tribute unto Caesar. This way^ 

Lhave not these men known, by which they should V. 
descend from themselves unto him, and by -him ( 
again ascend unto him. They verily know not this J 
way, and they conceit themselves to move in an high 
orb, and to shine amongst the stars ; whereas behold 
they grovel upon the ground, and their foolish heart Kom. i. 21 
is darkened. Thej discourse truly of many things 
concerning the creature ; but the truth, the Architect ■-^" 
of the creature, they do not religiously seek after ; and 
therefore do they not find him. Or if they do find 
him, acknowledging him to be God, yet they glorify [.um. i. 21 
him not as God, neither are thankful, but become 
vain in their imaginations. They give out themselves 
to be wise, attributing thy works unto their skill : 
and in this humour with a most perverse blindness, 
study they on the other side to impute to thee their 
own follies ; entitling thee, who art the Truth itself, 
unto their lies ; changing thus the glory of the un- Rom. 1. 28. 
corruptible God into an image like to corruptible 2» 
man, and to birds, and to four footed beasts, and 
creeping things : changing thy truth into a lie, and 

serving the creature more than the Creator. 



( Ar' Multa tamen ab eis ex ipsa creatura vera dicta 
retinebam, et occrurrei)at mihi ratio per numeros et 
ordinem temporum et visibiles attestationes siderum^ 
ct conferebam cum dictis Manichaei, quae de his rebus 
multa scripsit dopiosissime delirans, et non mihi 
occurrebat ratio nee soHstitiorum et aequiiioctiorum 
nee defectuum luminarium nee quidquid tale in libris 
saecularis sapientiae didiceram. ibi autem credere 
iubebar, et ad iUas rationes numeris et oculis meis 
exploratas non occurrebat, et longe diversuni erat. 


CAP. NuMQUiD, domine deus veritatis, quisquis novit ista^ 
iam placet tibi ? infelix enim homo, qui scit ilia 
omnia, te autem nescit ; beatus autem, qui te scit, 
etiamsi ilia nesciat. qui vero et te et ilia novit, non 
proj)ter ilia beatior, sed propter te solum beatus est, 
si cognoscens te, sicut te glorificet, et gratias agat et 
non evanescat in cogitationibus suis. sicut enim 
nitlior, qui novit possidere arborem et de usu eius 
tibi gratias agit, quamvis nesciat vel quot cubitis alta 
sit vel quanta latitudine diffusa, quam ille, qui earn 
metitur et omnes ramos eius mmuMat et iicqiu 


But yet divers observations concerning the creature CHAF. 
truly delivered by tliese philosophers, did I retain in ^^^ 
memory, yea, and I found there a reasonable ex- 
planation by calculations, the order of times, and 
the visible testimonies of the stars : and all this I 
compared with the sayings of Manicbaeus, who had 
written much of these subjects, doting most abun- 
dantly; but I found there no reason either of the 
solstices, or equinoxes, or of the eclipses of the 
greater lights, nor of any such point as I had learned 
in the books of secular philosophy. But in his 
writings was I commanded to believe all, but it 
did not answer unto those reasons, which had been 
found true, both by mine own calculatings and eye- 
sight ; from all which his was quite contrary. 


Only fhr Knowledge of (h)d makes happif 

Tkll me, O Lord (ud of Truth, is whosoever is skilful CHAP, 
in these philosophical things thereby acceptable unto '^ 
thee } Surely most unhappy is the man that knows 
all these things, and is ignorant of thee : but happy 
is he that knows thee, though ignorant of these. 
And he that knows both thee and them, is not 
the happier for them, but for thee only ; upon con- 
dition tliat as he knows thee, so he glorifies thee as 
thou art, and is thankful, and becomes not vain in his Kom. i. ai 
own imaginations. For as he is better that knows how 
to possess a tree, and returns thanks unto thee for 
the commodities of it, although he knows not how 

f*^'"ny cubits high it rises, or how broad it spreads ; 
n he that hath the skill to measure it, and keeps 

CAR jwssidet earn, neque creatorem eius novit aut diligit; 
sic fidelis homo, cuius totus mundus divitiarura est, et 
(juasi nihil habens omnia possidet inhaerendo tibi, 
cui serviunt omnia, quamvis nee saltern septentrionum 
gyros noverit, dubitare stultum est, quin utique melior 
sit quam mensor caeli et numerator siderum et pensor 
elementorum, et neglegens tui, qui omnia in mensura 
et nuuiero et pondere disposuisti. 

CAP. Sed tamen quis quaerebat Manichaeum nescio quem 

etiam ista scribere, sine quorum peritia pietas disci 

poterat ? dixisti enim ho mini : ecce pietas est sapi- 

entia. quam ille ignorare posset, etiamsi ista perfecte 

nosset : ista vero quia non noverat, impudentissime 

audens docere, prorsus illam nosse non posset. 

vanitas est enira mundana ista etiam nota profiteri, 

pietas autem tibi confileri. unde ille devius ad hoc 

ista multum locutus est, ut convictus ab eis, qui ista 

vere didicisseni, quis esset eius sensus in ceteris, 

quae abditiora sunt, manifeste cognosceretur. iion 


an account of all the boughs of it, and is neither chap. 
owner of it, nor knows nor loves him that created it : ^^ 
even so, a faithful man, whose right all this world of 
wealth is, and who having nothing, yet doth as it were 
possess all things, even by cleaving unto thee, to 
whom all things serve, though he knows not so much 
as the circles of the north, yet it is folly to doubt 
but he is in better estate than he that can quarter 
out the heavens and number the stars, and poises 
the elements, and yet is negligent of thee, who hast 
made all things in number, weight, and measure. wisd in 

rhe rax/iness of Faii.sins, tn tearhiniz irhni he knew not 

But yet who requested 1 know not what Manichean chap. 
to write even these things, without the skill of which v 
true piety might well have been learned? For thou 
hast said unto man. Behold, piety is wisdom ; of j^b xxviii. 
which the Manichean might be utterly ignorant, 28 
though perfect at the knowledge of these things : 
but these things because he knew not, most impu- 
dently daring to teach them, he was not able plainly 
to attain the knowledge of that piety. A great 
vanity it is verily to profess these worldly things 
even when known ; but it is a pious thing to confess 
unto thee. From this he had gone astray, and all 
he got by prating much of these things, was to be 
confuted by those who had learned the truth of these 
things, and to be evidently discovered what under- 
standing he had in points that were abstruser. For 


CAR enim parvi se aestimari voluit, sed spiritum sanctum, 
consolatorem el ditatorem fidelium tuorum, auctori- 
tate plenaria personaliter in se esse persuadere con- 
atus est. itaqiie cum de caelo ac stellis et de solis ac 
lunae motibus falsa dixisse deprehenderetur, quamvis 
ad doctrinam religionis ista non pertineant, tamen 
ausus eius sacrileges fuisse satis emineret, cum ea 
non solum ignorata^ sed etiam falsa, tarn vesana 
superbiae vanitate diceret, ut ea tamquam divinae 
personae tribuere sibi niteretur. 

Cum enim audio Christianum aliquem fratrem, 
ilium aut ilium, ista nescientem et aliud pro alio 
sentientem, patienter intueor opinantem homiuem; 
nee illi obesse video, cum de te, domine creator 
omnium, non credat indigna, si forte situs et habitus 
creaturae corporalis ignoret. obest autem, si hoc ad 
ipsam doctrinae pietatis formam pertinere arbitretur, 
et pertinacius affirmare audeat quod ignorat. sed 
etiam talis infirmitas in fidei cunabulis a Caritate 
matre sustinetur, donee assurgat novus homo in 
virum perfectum, et circumferri non {)ossit omni vento 
doctrinae. i?i illo autem, qui doctor, qui auctor, qui 
dux et princeps eorum, quibus ilia suaderet, ita fieri 
ausus est, ut qui cum sequerentur non quemlibet 
hominem, sed spiritum tuum sanctum se sequi arbi- 
trarentur, quis tantam dementiam, sicubi falsa dixisse 

ST. at:gustinf;s confessions iu)ok V 

the man would not have himseli meanly thought oi, (;HA.r. 
but went about forsooth, to persuade, that the Holy ^' 
Ghost, the Comforter and Enricher of the faithful 
ones, was with full authority resident within him. 
Whereas therefore he was found out to have taught 
falsely of the heavens and stars, and of the courses 
of the sun and moon, (although those things pertain 
little to the doctrine of religion), that his presumptions 
were sacrilegious was apparent enough, seeing that 
he delivered those things not only which he knew 
not, but which himself had falsified, and that with so 
mad a vanity of pride, that he went about to claim 
them for himself, as the words of a divine person. 

Whenever now I hear a Christian brother, (either 
one or other) that is ignorant enough of these 
philosophical subtilties, and that mistaketh one 
thing for another, I can patiently behold such a man 
delivering his opinion; nor do I see how it can 
much hinder him, whenas he does not believe any- 
thing unworthy of thee, O Lord, the Creator of all, 
if perchance he be less skilled in the situation or 
condition of the corporeal creature. But then it 
hurts him, if so be he imagines this to pertain to the 
very essence of the doctrine of piety, and will stand 
too stiffly in a thing he is utterly ignorant of And 
yet is even such an infirmity in the infancy of a 
man's faith withal borne by our Mother Charity, till 
such time as tliis new convert grow up into a perfect Euh. iv. 
man, p.nd not to be carried "about with every wind ' ^ 
of doctrine: whereas in that Faustus, who was so 
presumptuous as to make himself the doctor and 
authority, the ringleader and chief man of all those 
whom he had inveigled, to the opinion, that whoever 
became his follower, did not imagine himself to 
follow a mere man, but thy Holy Spirit; who wculd 

CJ vr. coiivincerelur, mm detestandam longeque abiciendam 
esse iudicaret ? sed tamen uondum liquido coii- 
pereram, utrum etiam secundum eius verba vicissi- 
tudines longiorum et brevioi-um dierum atque 
noctium, et ipsius noctis et diei, et deliquia luminum, 
et si quid eius modi in aliis libris legeram, posset 
exponi, ut, si forte posset, incertum mihi fieret, 
utrum ita se res haberet an ita, sed ad fidem raeam 
illius auctoritatem propter creditam sanctitatem 


('AJ\ p^T pf^Y annos fernie ipsos novem; (lu.ibus eos animo 
vagabundus audivi_, uimis extento desiderio vcnturum 
expectabam istum Fauslum. ceteri enim eoium, in 
quos forte incurrissem, qui talium rerum quaestio- 
nibus a me obiectis deficiebant, ilium milii promitte- 
bant, cuius adventu conlatoque conloquio facillime 
mihi haec, et si qua forte maiora quaererem, enoila- 
tissime expedirentur. ergo ubi venit, expertus sum 
hominem gratum et iucundum verbis, et ea ipsa, quae 
illi solent dicere, multo suavius garrientem. sed quid 


not judge but that so higli a degree of madness, chap 
when once he had been convicted to have taught ^ 
falsities, were not to be detested, and utterly re- 
jected ? But 1 had not clearly as yet found out, 
whether the interchanged alterations of the length 
and shortness of days and nights, yea of the day and 
night itself, witli the eclipses and wanings of the 
greater lights, and other things of the like kind 
which I had read of in other -books, might also be 
so expounded as to stand with his determination of 
them : but though peradventure it might so be, yet 
should it remain uncertain to me, whether it were 
so or not ; however, for the great sanctity supposed 
to be in the man, I was ready to j)ropound to 
my«;e1f his authority, which ought to be enough to 


ke me believe him. 


Faustus was eloquent hy Nature, rather than by Art 

And by the space almost of those nine years, wherein <^'HAi' 
with an unsettled mind I had been a disciple of the ^ ^ 
Manichees, with a desire set upon the tenter-hooks 
had I expected the coming of this Faustus. For all 
the rest of that sect whom by chance I had lit upon, 
and had put to a nonplus with my questions and 
objections about these things, still promised me this 
Faustus, upon whose coming and conference all these, 
and greater difficulties, if I had them, would most 
easily and clearly be satisfied. So soon therefore us 
he was come, I quickly tasted him to be a very 
pleasing-languaged man, and one that could prate 
a great deal more delightfully of tliose points that 



CAP. ad raeam sitim pretiosorum poculorum decentissiiiiub 
ministrator f lam rebus tahbus satiatae erant aures 
raeae ; nee ideo mihi meliora viclebantur, quia melius 
dicebantur ; nee ideo vera, quia diserta ; nee ideo 
sapiens anima, quia vultus congruus et decorum 
eloquium. illi autem, qui eum mihi promittebant, non 
boni rerum existimatores erant ; et ideo illis videbatur 
prudens et sapiens, quia delectabat eos loquens. 

Sensi autem aliud genus hominum etiam veri- 
tatem habere suspectam, et ei nolle adquiescere, si 
compto atque uberi sermone promeretur. me autem 
iam docueras, deus meus, miris et occultis mod is, et 
propterea credo, quod tu me docueris ; quoniam 
veruin est, nee quisquam praeter te alius doctor 
est veri, ubicumque et undecumque claruerit. iam 
ergo abs te didicerani, nee eo dehere videri aliquid 
verum dici, quia eloquenter dioitur, nee eo falsum, 
quia incomposite sonant signa labiorum ; rursus nee 
ideo verum, quia inpolite enuntiatur, nee ideo 
falsum, quia splendidus sermo est : sed perinde esse 
sapientiam et stultitiam, sicut sunt cibi utiles et 
iriutiles; verbis autem oniatis et inornatis, sicut 
vasis urbaiiis et rusticanis utrosc^ue cibos posse 

Igitur aviditas inea. (]ua ilium tanto tempore 
expectaveram hominem, deiectabatur quideni motu 
aflectuque disi)utantis, et verbis congruentibus at(|ue 



they were wont to talk of. But how should the most cuAr 
spruce cup-bearer slake the thirst I had after those ^'^ 
precious cups .'* Mine ears had been cloyed already 
with such trashy which did not now therefore seem 
better to me, because better said ; nor therefore true, 
because eloquent ; nor seemed the soul wise, because 
the face had a good garb, and the language a sweet 
tone. As for them who had made such promises 
of him to me, they plainly were no good judges of 
things ; and therefore to them he a})peared prudent 
and wise, for that he could please them in the 

Anutiier sort of people I had also met withal, who 
become presently suspicious of the truth itself, and 
refuse to acknowledge it so, if delivered in a picked 
and fluent discourse. But tliou, O my God, hadst 
taught me by wonderful and secret ways, and there- 
fore I believe, even because thou hast taught me : 
for that is the very truth, nor is there besides thee any 
other teacher of truth, wheresoever or whencesoever 
he may be famous. Of thyself, therefore, had I now 
learned, that nothing ought to seem to be truly 
spoken, because eloquently set ofi'; nor false therefore, 
because delivered with an untunable pronunciation. 
Again, nor therefore true, because roughly delivered ; 
nor therefore false, because graced in the speaking : 
but it fares with wisdom and folly, as it doth with 
wholesome and unwholesome diet ; and with neat 
and undressed phrases, as with courtly or country 
vessels ; either kind of meats may be served up in 
either kind of dishes. 

That greediness therefore of mine, with which I 
had so long expected that man, was delighted verily 
with his carriage and feeling in dispute, ^"^1 the apt 
words and fluent which set out his thoughts. I 
I p 225 


CAr. '"id Vvistiendas sertintias facile occurrentibus. delect- 
^^ abar autem, et cum multis vel etiam prae multis 
laudabam ac ferebam ; sed moleste habebam, quod 
in coetu audientium iion sinerer ingerere illi, et 
partiri cum eo curas quaestionum mearum, conferendo 
familiariter et accipiendo ac reddendo sermonem. 
quod ubi potui, et aures eius cum familiaribus meis 
eoque tempore occupare coepi, quo non dedeceret 
alternis disserere, et protuli quaedam, quae me move- 
bant, expertus sum prius hominem expertem liber- 
alium disciplinarum, nisi grammaticae, atque eius 
ipsius usitato modo. et quialegerat aliquasTuUianas 
orationes, et paucissimos Senecae libros, et nonnulla 
poetarum, et suae sectae si qua volumina latine atque 
composite conscripta erant, et quia aderat cotidiana 
sermocinandi exercitatio ; inde suppetebat eloquium, 
quod fiebat acceptius magisque seductorium modera- 
mine ingenii et quodam lepore naturali. itane est, ut 
recolo, domine deus mens, arbiter conscientiae meae ? 
coram te cor meum et recordatio mea ; qui mecum 
tunc agebas abdito secreto providentiae tuae, et 
inhonestos errores meos iam convertebas ante faciem 
meam, ut viderem et odissem. 



was indeed much taken with him ; and with others ^ y^^' 
many, yea and more than those many, did I both 
praise and extoll him. But this I took ill from him, 
that in the assembly of his auditors, I mi<Tht not be 
suffered to put in now and then, and communicate 
those questions that troubled me, by a familiar con- 
ferring and exchange of arguments with him. Which 
when I gat opportunity to do, I, with other of my, 
friends, both began to busy his ears, and that at such 
times too, as had not been undecent for him to have 
exchanged an argument with me ; and I opened my- 
self in such things as did sway much with me : but 
the man I found at once unskilful in the liberal 
sciences, save of grammar only, and but ordinarily 
in that neither. And because he had read some of 
Tully's Orations, some few books of Seneca, divers of 
the poets, and those volumes of his own sect which 
had been written in the Latin tongue, and something 
handsomely ; and for that he was daily practised in 
eaking upon a subject ; thence became he furnished 
ith eloquence, which proved the more pleasing and 
veigling, being governed by a good wit, and set off 
ithakind of gracefulness that was natural unto him. 
it not thus, as I recall, O Lord my God, thou Judge of 
y conscience ? Before thee my heart still is, and my 
"emembrance too; thou who didst at that time direct 
me by the hidden secret of thy Providence, and didst 
turn those shameful errors of mine before my face, rs, l. 21 
that I might see and hate them. 




CAr Nam posteaquam ille mihi imperitus earum artium^ 
quibus eum excellere putaveram, satis apparuit, de- 
sperare coepi posse mihi eum ilia, quae me move- 
bant, aperire atque dissolvere ; quorum quidem igna- 
rus posset veritatem tenere pietatis, sed si Manichaeus 
non esset. libri quippe eorum pleni sunt longissimis 
fabulis de caelo et de sideribus et sole et luna : quae 
mihi eum, quod utique cupiebam, conlatis nume- 
rcrum rationibus, quas alibi ego legeram, utrum 
potius ita essent, ut Manichaei libris continebatur, 
an certe vel par etiam inde ratio redderetur, sub- 
til iter explicare posse iam non arbitrabar. quae 
tamen ubi cousideranda et discutienda protuli, 
modeste sane ille nee ausus est subire ipsani sar- 
cinam. noverat enim se ista non nosse, nee eum 
puduit confiteri. non erat de talibus, quales multos 
loquaces passus eram, conantes ea me docere et 
dicentes nihil, iste verocor habebat, etsi nonrectum 
ad te, nee tamen nimis incautum ad se ipsum. non 
usquequaque imperitus erat imperitiae suae, et noluit 
se temere disputando in ea coartari, unde nee exitus 
ei uUus nee facilis esset reditus. etiam hinc mihi 
amplius placuit : pulchrior est enim temperantia 
conHtentis animi, quam ilia, quae nosse cupiebam. et 



He falls off from the Manichees 

For after that he had sufficiently appeared to me to chap. 
be thus ignorant of those arts in which I tliought he ^^^ 
had excelled ; I began to despair that he should ever 
open and untie these difficulties which so much per- 
plexed me ; of which though a man were ignorant, 
he might yet hold fast the truth of piety, provided he 
were not a Manichee. For their books are fraught 
with far-fetched fables, of the heaven, and the stars, 
of the sun and of the moon ; which I, having com- 
pared with the calculations I had read of otherwhere, 
id not hereafter hold him any ways able exactly to 
solve me in (which I much desired), whether those 
ings should be rather so, as in the Manichees' 
oks they were contained, or that some as sufficient 
ason might at least be fetched out of them. Which 
eries when I had offered to be considered upon and 
iscussed, he, modestly, to say truth, had not the 
boldness to undergo that burden ; for he knew of 
his own ignorance in these arts, nor was he asiiamed 
to confess as much. For none ofthose prating fellows 
he was, many of which I had been troubled withal, 
hat would undertake to instruct me in these arts, and 
last say nothmg to the purpose. But this man 
e a mind, though not right towards thee, yet not 
too rash towards himself: for he was not altogether 
ignorant of his own ignorance ; nor was he willing 
rashly to engage himself in a dispute, whence he 
could neither get off, nor retire fairly. And even 
for this did I like the better of him : for fairer 
appears the modesty of a confessing mind, than those 
things which I then desired to be informed of. And 



CAi • eum in omnibus tUfficilioribus et subtilioribus quacs- 
tionibus talem inveniebam 

Refracto itaque studio^ quod intenderam in Mani- 
chaei litteras^ magisque desperans de ceteris eorum 
doctoribus, quando in multis, quae me movebant^ ita 
ille nominatus apparuit, coepi cum eo pro studio illius 
^agere vitam^ quo ipse flagrabat in eas litteras, quas 
tunc^iam rhetor Karthaginis adulescentes docebam ; 
et legere cum eo, sive quae ille audita desideraret. 
sive quae ipse tali ingenio apta existimarem. cete- 
""rum conatus omnis meus, qui proficere in ilia secta 
statueram, illohominecognito prorsus intercidit; non 
ut ab eis omnino separarer, sed quasi melius quicquam 
non inveniens eo, quo iam quoquo modo inrueram, 
contentus interim esse decreveram, nisi aliquid forte, 
quod magis eligendum esset, eluceret. ita ille Faus- 
tus, qui multis laqueus mortis extitit, meum quo 
captus eram relaxare iam coeperat nee volens nee 
sciens. manus enim tuae, deus meus, in abdito provi- 
dentiae tuae, non deserebant animam meam, et san- 
guine cordis matris meae per lacrimas eius diebus et 
noctibus pro me sacrificabatur tibi, ct egisti mecum 
miris modis. tu illud egisti, deus meus. nam a 
domino gressus hominis diriguntur, et viam eiiis 
volet, aut quae procuratio salutis practer manum 
tunm reficientem quae fecisti ? 



at this guard I found him lying, in all those more CHAP, 
difficult and more subtle questions. ^^^ 

My edge being thus taken ofT, which I had keenly 
directed towards the Manichee's doctrine ; and de- 
spairing more of the performance of their other 
doctors; seeing in divers things which had stumbled 
me, this so famous Faustus liad so appeared ; I 
began with him to take the same course of life, 
according to that study which he was very hot upon, 
in that kind of learning, in which at that time being 
a rhetoric reader in Carthage, I instructed young 
students ; and I began to read with him, either what 
himself desired to hear, or such stuff as I judged fit 
for such a wit. But all my endeavour, by which 1 
purposed to proceed in that sect, upon knowledge of 
that man, beiran utterly to faint in me ; not that I as 
yet brake with them altogether; but as one not find- 
ing anythinir better than that course, upon which I 
had some way or other thrown myself, I resolved to 
stay where 1 was awhile, until by chance something 
else might appear, which I should see more cause to 
make choice of. And thus that Faustus, who had 
been the very snare of death unto divers, had now, 
nor willing nor knowing, begun to unbind the snare 
in which I was fettered. For thy hands, O Lord my 
God, out of the secret of thy providence, did not now 
forsake my soul ; and out of the blood of my mother's 
heart, through her tears night and day poured out, 
hadst thou a sacrifice made for me; and thou pro- 
ceededst with me by strange and secret ways. It was 
thy doing, O my God : for the steps of a man are pg xxxvll 
directed by the Lord, and he shall dispose his way. 33 
For how shall we procure salvation, but from thy 
hand, that repairs whatsoever thou hast made ? 



CAP. Egisti ergo mecum^ ut mihi persuaderetur Roniam 
pergere, et potius ibi docere quod docebam Car- 
thagini. et hoc unde mihi persuasum est, non prae- 
teribo confiteri tibi ; quoniam et in his altissimi tui 
recessus et praesentissima in nos misericordia tua 
cogitanda et praedieanda est. non ideo Romam per- 
gere volui, quod maiores quaestus maiorque mihi dig- 
nitas ab amicis, qui hoc suadebant, promittebatur — 
quamquam et ista ducebant animum tunc meum — 
sed ilia erat causa maxima et paene sola, quod 
audiebam quietius ibi studere adulescentes et ordi- 
natiore disciplinae cohercitione sedari, ne in eius 
scholam, quo magistro non utuntur, passim et pro- 
terve inruant, nee eos admitti omnino, nisi ille 

Contra apud Carthaginem foeda est et intemperans 
licentia scholasticorum : inrumpunt inpudenter et 
prope furiosa fronte perturbaiit ordinem, quem 
quisque discipulis ad proficiendum instituerit. 
multa iniuriosa faciunt, mira hebetudine et punienda 
legibus, nisi cnnsuetudo patrona sit, hoc miseriores 
cos ostendens, quo iam quasi liceat faciunt, quod 



He takes a Voi/age to Rome, against the fvill 
of his Mother 

Thou dealtest with ine therefore, that I should be chap. 
persuaded to go to Rome, and teach there, rather ^^^^ 
than at Carthage. And how I came to be persuaded 
to this, I will not neglect to confess unto thee ; 
because hereby thy most profound secrets, and thy 
most ready mercy towards us, may be considered 
upon and professed. I had no intent for this cause 
to go towards Rome, that greater gettings, and 
higher preferments were warranted me by my friends 
which persuaded me to the journey, (though these 
hopes likewise drew on my mind at that time) ; but 
there was another great reason for it, which was 
almost the only reason, that I had heard how young 
men might follow their studies there more quietly, 
and were kept under a stricter course of discipline; 
that they might not at their pleasure, and in inso- 
lent manner, rush in upon that man's school, where 
their own master professed not, no nor come within 
the doors of it, unless he permitted it. 

But at Carthage, on the other side, reigns a 
most uncivil and unruly licentiousness amongst the 
scholars. They break in audaciously, and almost 
with Bedlam looks, disturb all order which any 
master hath propounded for the good of his scholars. 
Divers outrages" do they commit, with a wonderful 
5tupidness, deserving soundly to be punished by the 
laws, were not custom a defendress of them ; declar- 
ing them to be the more miserable, because they do 



CAP. per tuam aeternam legem numquam licebit; et inpune 
se facere arbitrantur, cum ipsa faciendi caecitate 
puniantur^ et incomparabiliter patiantur peiora, quam 
faciunt. ergo quos mores cum studerem meos esse 
nolui, eos cum docerem cogebar perpeti alienos ; et 
ideo placebat ire, ubi talia non fieri omnes qui 
noverant indicabant. verum autem tu, spes mea et 
portio mea in terra viventium, ad mutandum terrarum 
locum pro salute animae meae et Carthagini stimu- 
los, quibus inde avererer, admovebas, et Romae in- 
lecebras, quibus adiralitrer, proponebas milii^ per 
homines, qui diligunt vitam mortuam, hinc insana 
facientesj inde vana poUicentes : et ad coirigendos 
greasus meos utebaris occulte et illorum et mea 
pei versitate. nam et qui perturbabant otium meum, 
foeda rabie caeci erant, et qui invitabant ad aliud, 
terram sapiebant. ego autem, qui detestabar hie 
veram miseriam, illic falsam felicitatem appetebam. 

Sed quare hinc abirem et illuc irem, tu sciebas, 
deus, nee indicabas mihi nee matri, quae me pro- 
fectum atrociter planxit, et usque ad mare secuta est. 
sed fefelli eam violenter me tenentem, ut aut re- 
vocaret aut mecum pergeret, et finxi me amicum 
nolle deserere, donee vento facto navigaret. et 


as if it were lawful, what by thy eternal law shall never chap. 

be so: and they suppose they escape unpunished ^^^^ 

all this while, whereas they be enough punished 

with the blindness which they do it with, and that 

they already suffer things incomparably worse than 

what they do. These men's manners therefore when 

I was a student, I would never fashion myself unto, 

though when 1 set up school I was fain to endure 

them from others : and for this cause was I desirous 

to go, where all those that knew it, assured me, 

that there were no such insolencies committed. 

But thou, O my Refuge and my Portion in the land Ps. cxUi. 3 

of the living, to force me to change my dwelling for 

the salvation of my soul, didst prick me forward with 

goads at Carthage, with which I might be driven 

thence, and madest proffer of certain allurements at 

Rome, by which I might be drawn thither : even by 

men who were in love with a dying life, now playing 

mad pranks, then promising vain hopes : and, for 

the reforming of my courses, didst thou make secret 

use both of their perverseness and of mine own too. 

For both they that disturbed my quiet, were blinded 

with a base madness, and those that invited me to 

another course, savoured merely of earth. But I 

myself, who here detested true misery, aspired there 

to a false felicity,^ 

But the cause why I went from thence, and 
went thither, thou knewest, O God ; yet didst thou 
neither discover it to me, nor to my mother, who 
heavily bewailed my journey, and followed me as far 
as the seaside. But I deceived her, though holding 
me by force, that either I should go bnck with her, 
or she might go along with me : for 1 feigned that 
1 had a friend whom I could not leave, till I saw 
him with a fair wind under sail. Thus I made a lie 



CAP. m^titus sum matri, et illi matri, et evasi ; quia et hoc 


tu dimisisti mihi misericorditer servaiis me ab aquis 
maris plenum exsecrandis sordibus usque ad aquam 
gratiae tuae ; qua me abluto siccarentur flumina 
maternorum oculorum, quibus pro me cotidie tibi 
rigabat terram sub vultu suo. et tamen recusanti 
sine me redire vix persuasi^ ut in loco, qui proximus 
nostrae navi erat, memoria beati Cypriani, maneret 
ea nocte. sed ea nocte clanculo ego profectus sum, 
ilia autem non ; mansit orando et flendo. et quid 
a te petebatj deus raeus, tantis lacrimis, nisi ut 
navigare me non sineres ? sed alte consulens, et 
exaudiens cardinem desiderii eius, non curasti quod 
tunc petebat, ut me faceres quod semper petebat. 
flavit ventus et implevit vela nostra, et litus sub- 
traxit aspectibus nostris, in quo mane ilia insanie- 
bat dolore etquerellis et gemitu implebat aures tuas 
contemnentis ista, cum et me oupiditatibus raperes 
ad finiendas ipsas cupiditates, et illius carnale deside- 
rium iusto dolorum flagello vapularet. amabat enim 
secum praesentiam meam more matrum, sed multis 
multo amplius; et nesciebat, quid tu illi gaudioruin 
facturus essejs de absentia mea. nesciebat, ideo flebat 
et (.'iulabat, atque illis cruciatibus arguebatur in ea 


to my mother, and to so good a mother too, and so chap. 

jrot away from her : for this also hast thou mercifully ^^^^ 

forgiven me, preserving me from the waters of the 

sea, then full of execrable filthiness, landing me safe 

at the water of thy Grace ; that so soon as I were 

purged with this, those floods of my mother's eyes 

shoidd be dried up, with which for my sake she daily 

watered the ground under her face, in prayer unto 

tiiee. Yet refusing to return without me, I with much 

ado persuaded her to stay that night in a place hard 

by our ship, where there was an oratory erected in 

memory of St. Cyprian. That night I privily stole 

aboard, but she did not : she tarried behind in weeping 

and prayer. And wiiat, O Lord, requested she with 

those tears, but that thou wouldst not suffer me to sail 

iway from her .'' But thou profoundly providing, and 

earing the main point of her desire, didst not at that 

ime regard her petition, that thou mightest bring that 

pass in me, which she had always begged of thee. 

The wind blew fair, and swelled our sails, and the 

hore withdrew itself from our sight. There on the 

iiorrow she fell into an extreme passion of sorrow, 

nd with complaints and lamentations she even 

lied thine ears, which did for that little seem to 

egard them : when through the strength of mine 

wn desires, thou didst hurry me away, that thou 

lightest at once put an end to those same desires : 

ad that her carnal affection towards me might be 

iistly punished by the scourge of sorrows. For she 

luch doted on my company, as mothers use to do, 

5a much more fondly than many mothers : and little 

aew she how great a joy thou wert about to work 

•r her out of my absence. She knew nothing of it, 

lerefore did she weep and lament ; proving herself 

fose tortures to be guilty of what Eve left 


CAP. reliquiarium Evae, cum gemitu quaerens quod cum 

gemitu pepererat. et tamen post accusationem lalla- 

ciarum et crudelitatis meae, conversa rursum ad de- 

precandum te pro me abiit ad solita, et ego Romam. 


CAP. Et ecce excipior ibi flagello aegritudinis corporalis, 
et ibam iam ad inferos, portans omnia mala, quae 
eonmiseram et in te et in me et in alios, multa et 
gravia super originalis peecati vinculum, quo omnes 
in Adam moriraur. non enim quicquam eorum mihi 
donaveras in Christo, nee solverat ille in cruce sua 
inimicitias, quas tecum contraxeram peccatis meis. 
quomodo enim eas solveret in cruce phantasmatis, 
quod de illo credideram ? quam ergo falsa mihi vide- 
batur mors carnis eius, tam vera erat animae meae ; 
et quam vera erat mors carnis eius, tam falsa vita 
animae meae, quae id non credebat. et ingravescenti- 
bus febribus, iam ibam et peribam. quo enim irem, 
si liinc tunc abirem, nisi in ignem atque tormenta 
digna factis meis in veritate ordinis tui ? et hoc ilia 
nesciebat, et tamen pro me orabat absens. tu autem, 
ubique praesens, ubi erat exaudiebas eam, et ubi eram 
miserebaris mei, ut recuperarem salutem corporis 


behind her ; with sorrow seeking, what she had chap. 
brought forth in sorrow. But having at last made ^^^^ 
an end of accusing me of false and hard dealing with 
her, she betook herself again to entreat thy favour 
for me, and returned home: and I went on towards 


Of a shrewd Fever thai he Jell into 

But lo, there was I welcomed with the rod of bodily chap. 
sickness, and I was even ready to go to hell, carrying ^^ 
with me all those sins which I had committed, both 
against thee, and myself, yea, many and grievous 
offences against others, over and above that bond of 
original sin, whereby we all die in Adam. For thou 
hadst not yet forgiven me any of them in Christ, nor 
had he yet slain that enmity by his Cross which by Eph. ii. i( 
mv sins 1 had incurred against thee : and how indeed 
could he on the cross of a phantom, which was my 
belief of it ? How false therefore the death of his flesh 
• eemed unto me, so true was the death of my soul ; | 
and how true the death of his body was, so false was / 
the life of my soul, which did not believe the death 
of his body. My fever now growing more violent 
upon me, I was at the point of going and perishing : 
for whither should 1 have gone, had I died at that 
time, but into fire and torments such as my misdeeds 
were worthy of in the truth of thy decree } Of all 
this nothing knew my mother, yet continued she to 
pray for me although in absence. But thou who art 
present every where, heardest her where she was, and 
hadst compassion upon me whereas I was ; so that I 


CAP- ddhuc insanus corde sacrilege, neque enim desi- 
derabam in illo tanto periculo baptismum tuum^ et 
melior eram puer, quo ilium de materna pietate flagi- 
tavi, sicut iam recordatus atque confessus sum. sed 
in dedecus meum creveram^ et consilia medicinae 
tuae demens irridebam. qui non me sivisti talem bis 
mori. quo vulnere si feriretur cor matris, numquam 
sanaretur. non enim satis eloquor, quid erga me 
habebat animi et quanto maiore sollicitudine me 
paituriebat spiritu, quam carne pepereiat. non 
itaque video, quomodo sanaretur, si mea talis ilia 
mors transverberasset viscera dilectionis eius. et 
ubi essent tantae preces, tam crebrae sine intermis- 
sione ? nusquam nisi ad te. an vero tu, deus miseri- 
cordiarum, sperneres cor contritum et humiliatum 
viduae castae ac sobriae, frequentantis elemosynas, 
obsequentis atque servientis Sanctis tuis, nullum diem 
praetermittentis oblationem ad altare tuum, bis die, 
mane et vespere, ad ecclesiam tuam sine uila inter- 
missione vcnientis, non ad vanas fabulas et aniles 
loquacitates, sed ut te audiret in tuis sermonibus et 
tu illam in suis orationibus ? huiusne tu lacrimas, 
quibus non a te aurum et argentum petebat nee ali- 
quod nutabile aut volubile bonum, sed salutem animae 
filii sui, tu, cuius munere talis erat, contemneres et 
repelleres ab auxilio tuo ? nequaquam, domine, immo 


recovered health of body thereupon, though sorely chjlp. 
crazed as yet in my sacrilegious heart. For I had ^^ 
not in that danger desired thy baptism, and I was 
better affected being but a youth when 1 had begged 
it of my mother's devotion, as I have before recited and 
confessed. But I had from thenceforth grown worse 
and worse, to my own shame : and now stark mad I 
scoffed at those precepts of that physic of thine, by 
which thou wouldst not suffer me to die two deaths at 
once : with which wound should my mother's heart 
have been gored, it could never have been cured. For 
I want words to express the affection she bare to- 
wards me, and with how much vehementer anguish 
she was now in labour of me in the spirit, than she 
had been at her childbearing in the flesh. 1 cannot 
possibly see, therefore, how she could have been 
cured, had so unchristian a death of mine once 
strucken through the bowels of her love. And where 
should then have been those passionate prayers of 
hers, so frequent and incessant in all places ? No- 
where but with thee. But wouMst thou, O God of 
Mercies, have despised that contrite and humble i Tim. v, i( 
heart of that chaste and sober widow, so frequent in 
alms-deeds, so obsequious and serviceable to thy 
saints, who passed no day without her oblation at 
thine Altar, never missing twice a day morning and 
evening to come to church ; not to listen after idle 
tales and old wives' chat, but that she might hear 
thee speaking to her in thy sermons, and thou her, 
in her prayers.'* Couldst thou despise and reject 
without succour those tears of hers, with which she 
begged no gold or silver of thee, nor any mutable or 
fading good ; butihe salvation of her son's soul only .'' 
Couldst thou do it, by whose grace she was inspired 
to do this? By no means, Lord. Yea, thou wcrt 
1 g 241 

CAP. vero ad eras et exaudiebas et faciebas ordine, quo 


praedestinaveras esse faciendum, absit, ut tu falleres 
earn in illis visionibus et responsionibus tuis, quae 
iam commemoravi et quae iion commemoravi, quae 
ilia fideli pectore tenebat et semper orans tamquam 
chirographa tua ingerebat tibi, dignaris enim^quoniam 
in saeculum misericordia tua, eis quibus omnia debita 
dimittis, etiam promissionibus debitor fieri 


CAP. Recreasti ergo me ab ilia aegritudine, et salvum 
fecisti fiiiiim ancillae tiiae tunc interim corpore, ut 
esset cui salntem meliorem atque certiorem dares, et 
iungebar etiam tunc Romae falsis illis atque fallen- 
tibus Sanctis : non enim tantum auditoribus eorum, 
quorum e numero erat etiam is, in cuius domo aegro- 
taverum et convalueram, sed eis etiam, quoselectos 
, vocant. adhuc enim milii vidcbatur non esse nos, 
qui peccamus, sed nescio quam aliam in nobis peccare 
naturam, et delectabat superbiam meam extra culpam 
esse, et cum aliquid mali fecissem, non confiteri me 
fecisse, ut sanares animam meam, quoniam peccabat 


still at hand, and thou heardest her, and thou didst CHAF 
all in the selfsame order thou hadst predestinated ^^ 
it should be done in. Let it never be thought thou 
shouldst deceive her in those visions and answers 
she had of thee ; both those which I have already 
mentioned, and those which I have not mentioned ; 
all which she laid up in her faithful heart, wliich in 
her pra^'ers ever and anon she would press thee 
withal, as with thine own handwriting. For thou 
(because thy mercy endureth for ever) vouchsafest 
unto those whose debts thou forgivest thoroughly, 
even to become a kind of debtor by thy promises. 

His Errors before his receiving the Doctrine 
of the Gospel 

Thou recoveredst me therefore of that sickness, and chap 
healedst the son of thy handmaid at that time in his ^ 
body, that he might remain, for thee to bestow upon 
him a health far better and more certain. And I joined 
myself in Rome even at that time with those deceiving 
and deceived holy ones : not only with their disciples, 
(of whom mine host was one, in whose house I fell sick 
and recovered) but also with those whom they call 
the elect. For 1 was hitherto of the opinion, that 
it was not we ourselves tliat sinned, but I know not 
what other nature in us; and it much delighted 
my proud conceit, to be set outside of fault; and 
when I had committed any sin, not to confess I had 
ne any, that thou mi^htest heal my soul when 


had sinned against tliee : but I loved to excuse 


CAP. tibi^ sed excusare me amabam, et accusare nescio 


quid aliud, quod niecum esset et ego non essem. 
verum autem totum ego eram, et adversus me inpie- 
tas mea me diviserat : et id erat peccatum insaiiabilius, 
quo me peccatorem non esse arbitrabar ; et execrabilis 
iiiiquitas, te, deus omnipotens, te in me ad perniciem 
meani, quam me a te ad salutem, malle superari. 

Nondiim ergo posueras custodiam ori meo et 
ostium continentiae circum labia mea, ut non de- 
clinaret cor meum in verba mala, ad excusandas 
excusationes in peccatis cum horainibus operantibus 
iniquitatem, et ideo adhuc combinabam cum electis 
eorum : sed tamen desperans in ea falsa doctrina me 
posse proficere, eaque ipsa, quibus, si nil melius re- 
perirera, contentus esse decreveram, iam remissius 
neglegentiusque retinebam. 

~" Etenim suborta est etiara mihi cogitatio, piniden- 
tiores illos ceteris f'uisse philosophos, quos Academicos 
appellant, quod de omnibus dubitandum esse censue- 
rant, nee aliquid veri ab homine comprehendi posse 
decreverant. ita enim et milii liquido sensisse vide- 
bantur, ut vulgo habentur, etiam illorum intentionem 

-n^iondum intellegenti. nee dissimulavi eundem hospi- 
tem meum reprimere a nimia fiducia, quam sensi euni 
habere de rebus fabulosis, quibus Manichaei libri 
pleni sunt, amicitia tamen eorum laniiliarius utebar 
quam ceterorum hominum, qui in ilia haeresi non 


myself, and to accuse I know not what other corrup- chap. 
tion that I bare about me, and that was not I. But ^ 
verily it was I myself altogether, and mine own 
impiety had made the division in me : and that sin 
of mine was the more incurable, for that I did not 
judge myself to be a sinner; and most execrable 
iniquity it was, that I had rather have thee, O God 
Almighty, even thee I say, to be overcome by me to 
mine own destruction, than myself to be overcome of 
thee, to mine own salvation. 

Thou hadst not yet therefore set a watch before Ps. cxu. 
my mouth, and kept the door of my lips, that my ^' * 
heart might not incline to wicked speeches, to the 
making of those excuses of my sins with the men 
that work iniquity : and even therefore continued I 
still combined with their elect ones. But yet now 
it were despairing much to profit myself in tliat 
.Ise doctrine, even those opinions of theirs (Avith 
'^hich if I could chance upon no better, I was resolved 
'to rest contented) I began to be something more 
remiss and careless in the holding. 
^L For there rose a conceit in me that those philo- 
^Rophers which they call Academics, should be wiser 
^Khan the rest, for that they held men ought to make 
^K doubt upon everything, and decreed that no truth 
^Kan be comprehended by man : for thus to me they 
pneemed clearly to have thought, as it is commonly 
received, even though I did not yet understand their 
leaning. And as free and open I was to dissuade that 
lost of mine, from that too much cotifidence, which I 
rceived him to settle upon those fabulous opinions 
^hich the Manichees' books; are full of. And yet I 
lade more familiar use of their friendship, than I 
lid of other men's that were not of this heresy, 
'et did I not maintain it with my ancient fire, 


» sti 



CAi'. fuissent. nee earn defendebam pristina animositate, 

sed tamen familiaritas eorum — plures enim eosRoma 

occultabat— pigrius me faciebat aliud quaerere, prae- 

/"Visertim desperantem in ecclesia tua, domine caeli et 

terrae, creator omnium visibilium et invisibilium, 

posse inveniri verum, unde me illi averterant : mul- 

tumque mihi turpe videbatur credere figuram te 

habere bumanae carnis, et membrorum nostroruni 

'^ lineamentis corporalibus terminari. et quoniam cum 

de deo rneo cogitare veil em, cogitare nisi moles cor- 

O porum non noveram — neque enim videbatur mihi 

esse quicquam, quod tale non esset — ea maxima et 

_^ prope sola causa erat inevitabilis erroiis mei. 

Hinc enim et mali substantiam quandam credebam 
esse talem, et habere suam molem, tetram et deformem 
f^] sive crassam, quam terram dicebant, sive tenuem atque 
subtilem, sicuti est aeris corpus : quam malignam 
mentem per illam terram repentem imaginantur. et 
quia deum bonum nullam malam naturam creasse 
qualiscumque me pietas credere cogebat, constitue- 
bam ex adverso sibi duas moles, utramque infinitam, 
sed malam angustius, bonam grandius, et ex hoc initio 
pestilentioso me cetera sacrilegia sequebantur. cum 
enim conaretur animus meus recurrere in catholicam 
fidem, repercutiebatur, quia non erat oatholica fides, 
quam esse arbitrabar. et magis pius mihi videbar, 
si te, deus meus, cui confitentur ex me miserationes 


but yet did my familiarity witii that sect (of whom chap. 
Rome shelters many) make me slower to seek out ^ 
any other way : especially seeing I now despaired, 

Lord of heaven and earth, Creator of all visible 
and invisible things, to find the truth in thy Church, 
which they had quite put me out of conceit with. 
And it then seemed a very unseemly thing to believe 
thee to have the shape of our human flesh, and to be 
girt up in the bodily lineaments of our members. 
And because that when I had a desire to meditate 
upon my God, I knew not how to think of him. but as 
of a bulk of bodies, (for that seemed to me not to be 
anything, which was not such) this was the greatest, 
and almost the only cause of my inevitable mis- 

For hence it was that I believed evil to have been 
a kind of substance, and had a bulk of earth belonging 
to it, either deformed and gross, which they called 
earth ; or else thin and subtle, (like the body of the 
air): which they imagine to be some ill-natured mind 
gliding through the earth. And for that I know 
'not what imperfect piety, constrained me to believe 
that the good God never created any evil nature ; I 
i supposed two bulks, contrary to one another, both 
infinite, but the evil to be lesser, and the good 
larger : and out of this pestilent foundation, other 
sacrilegious conceits followed uj)on me. For when 
my mind endeavoured to have recourse back unto 
the Catholic faith, I was still staved off again, for 
that that indeed was not the Catholic faith which 

1 believed to have been. And I thought myself 
more reverent, if I should have believed thee, O my 
God, (to whom thy mercies wrought in me do now 
confess) to be infinite in other parts, although on that 
side by which evil was set in opposition unto thee, I 



CAP. tuaC;, vel ex ceteris partibus infinitum crederem, quam- 
vis ex una, qua tibi moles mali opponebatur, cogerer 
finitum fateri, quam si ex omnibus partibus in cor- 
poris humani forma te opinarer finiri. et melius 
mihi videbar credere nullum malum te creasse — quod 
mihi nescienti non solum aliqua substantia^^sed etiam 
corporea videbatur, quia et mentem cogitare non 
noveram nisi eam subtile corpus esse, quod tamen 
per loci spatia diffunderetur — quam credere abs te 
=*^sse qualem putabam naturam mali. ipsum quoque 
salvatorem nostrum, unigenitum tuum, tamquam de 
massa lucidissimae molis tuae porrectum ad nostram 
salutem ita putabam, ut aliud de illo non crederem 
nisi quod possem vanitate imaginari. talem itaque 
naturam eius n^isci non posse de Maria virgine arbi- 
trabar, nisi carni concerneretur. concern! autem et 
non coinquinari non videbam, quod mihi tale figura- 
bam. metuebam itaque credere incarnatum, ne cre- 
dere cogerer ex carne inquinatum. nunc spiritales 
tui blande et ainanter ridcbunt me, si has conf usiones 
meas legeiuit; sed tamen tiilis eram. 



was constrained to confess thee to be finite^ than if chap. 
in all parts I should imagine thee to be finitely con- '^ 
eluded within the shape of an human body. And it 
seemed safer for me to believe thee to have never 
created any evil, (which to ignorant me seemed not 
some substance only, but to be corporeal also : for 
that I could not hit to think of any mind, unless it 
should be a subtle body, and that diffused too through 
space) than to believe anything could come from 
thee of that condition, which I imagined the nature 
of evil to be. Yea, and our Saviour himself, thy only 
Begotten, I thought of as thrust out, as it were, 
for our salvation, from the most bright mass of thy 
Substance, in such a way that I could believe no other 
thing of him, than that I was able to imagine by mine 
own vain fancy. Such a nature therefore I thought 
could never be born of the Virgin Maiy, unless it 
were incorporated into her flesh : and how that which 
I had on this fashion figured out to myself should be 
incorporated, and not therewithal defiled, I saw not. 
I feared therefore to believe Christ to be born in the 
flesh, lest I should be enforced also to believe that 
he was defiled by the flesh. Now will thy spiritual 
children in a mild and loving manner laugh at me, 
when they shall read these my confusions. But such 
a man I then was. 




CAP. Deinde quae ilii in scripturis tuis reprehenderaiit 
defend! posse non exi>timabam : sed aliquando — i 
capiebani cum aliquo iilonim libroruin doctissimo 
conferre singula, et experiri, quid inde sentiret, iam 
enim Elpidii cuiusdam adversus eosdein Manichaeos 
coram loquentis et disserentis semiones etiam apud 
Carthaginem movere me coeperant, cum talia de scnp- 
turis proferret, quibus resisti non facile posset, et 
inbecilla mihi responsio videbatur istorum ; quam 
quidem non facile palam promebant, sed nobis secre- 
tius : cum dicerent scripturas novi te>tamenti falsatas 
fuisse a nescio quibus, qui ludaeoriim legem inserere 
Christianae fidei voluenmt, atque ipsi iiicorrupta ex- 
emplaria nulla proferrent. sed me maxime captum 
et offocatum quodam modo, deprimebant corporalia 
cogitantem moles illae. sub quibus anhelaiis in aumm 
tuae veritatis liquidam et simplicem respirare non 




Hoiv he compared the Mrinichees' TeneU with 
the Ca'holici 

FuRTHERMORF, whatever these Manichees had found CHAP. 
fault withal in thy Scriptures, I thought no possible ^^ 
to be defended : but yet verily had I a good will 
now and then to confer upon these several points 
with some man that were best skilled in those books, 
and to make experience what he thought of the 
matter. For the speech of one Elpidius, speaking 
and disputing face to face against the said Manichees, 
had already begun to stir me, even whilst I was at 
Carthage: when namely he produced such texts out 
of the Scriinures, wiiich were not easily to be with- 
stood. And the Manichees' answer seemed but very 
weak unto me : which answer they would not willingly 
deliver in public hearing, but amongst ourselves only 
in private : namely whenas they said, that the Scrip- 
tures of the New Testament had been corrupted 
by I know not whom, who were desirous to insert 
the Law of the Jews into the Christian faith : whereas 
themselves all tiiis while brought not out any copies 
that had not been so corrupted. But me, strongly 
captivated, and stifled, as it were, with ray thoughts 
about these corporeal phantasies, did these bulks 
keep down ; under which struggling for the breath 
of thy truth, I was not able to take it in pure and 





CAP- Sedulo ergo agere coeperam, propter quod venerair 
ut docerem Romae artem rhetoricam : et priiis doir 
congregare aliquos, qiiibus et per quos innotescer 
coeperam. et ecce cognosco alia Romae fieri, qua 
non patiebar in Africa, nam re vera illas eversione 
a perditis adulescentibus ibi non fieri mnnifestatun 
est mihi : "sed subito " inquiunt " ne merceden 
magistro reddant, conspirant multi adulescentes e 
transferunt se ad alium, desevtores fidei et quibu 
prae pecuniae caritate iustitia vilis est." oderat etian 
istos cor meum, quamvis non perfecto odio. quoc 
enim ab eis passurus eram, magis oderam fortass< 
quam eo, quod cuilibet inlicita faciebant. certe tamei 
turpes sunt tales, et fornicantur abs te, amaiido vola 
tica ludibria temporum et lucrum luteum, quod cun 
adprehenditur manum inquinat, et amplectend« 
mundum fugientem, coiitenmendo te, nianentem e 
revocantem, et ignoscentein nnh initi ad te ineretric 
humanae aniniae. etnunc tales odi pravos et distor 
tos, quamvis eos conigendos diligam, ut pecuniae 



The cunning Tricks put at Rome by Scholars upon 
their Masters 

Diligently therefore began I to put in practice chap. 
that for which I came to Rome : that is, to teach ^^^ 
rhetoric : and first of all, to draw some to my 
lodging, to whom, and through whose means, I 
began to be made known abroad : when lo, I came to 
know how that other misdemeanours were committed 
in Rome, which I did not endure in Africa. For tJiose 
overturnings, 'tis true, committed by desperate young 
fellows, were not here practised, as it was plain to 
me : " but yet, said they, to avoid payment of their 
master's stipend, divers young scholars plot together, 
and all on a sudden, to avoid due payment to 
their masters, these promise-breakers, who for the 
love of money make no account of just dealing, 
remove themselves to another." These sharking 
(Companions my heart hated also, though not with a Ps. cxxxix. 
])erfect hatred : for I more hated them, perchance, ^^ 
lor that myself was to suffer by them, than for that 
they played such dishonest pranks witii every man. 
Such verily be but base fellows, and they play 
false with thee, in loving these fleeting mockeries of 
;he times, and in gripping after this dirty gain, 
which when it is got hold of, bemires the hand ; and 
n embracing this fleeing world, and in despising 
■;hee, who abidest ever, and who callest back, and 
^rantest pardon to man*s adulterated soul that returns 
anto thee. And now I much hate such wicked 
li^l^^per verse natures, though I could well love them 


CAP (loctrinam ipsam, quam discunt^ praeferant, ei vero 
te, deum, veritatem et ubertatein certi boni et 
pacem castissimam. sed tunc magis eos pati nole- 
bam malos propter me, quam fieri propter te bonos 


CAP. Itaque posteaquam missum est a Mediolanio Romam 


ad praefectum urbis, utilH civitati rhetoricae magister 
provideretur, inpertita etiam evectione pubh'ca, ego 
ipse ambivi, per eos ipsos Maniebaeis vanitatibus 
ebrios — quibus ut carerem ibam, sed utrique nescie- 
bamus — ut dictione proposita me probatum praefectus 

_ tunc Symmachus mitteret. et veni Mediolanium ad 
Ambrosium ej)iscopum, in optimis notum orbi terrae, 
plum cultorem tuum,/ cuius tunc eloquia strenue 
ministrabant adipeni frumenti tui, et laetitiam olei, et 

^ sobriam vini ebrietatem, po})ulo tuo. ad eum autem 
ducebar abs te nesciens, ut per eum ad te sciens 
ducerer. suscepit me paterne ille homo dei et pere- 
grinalioncm meam satis episcopaliter dilexit. et eum 
amare coepi i)rimo quidem non tamquam doctoreni 


were they to be amended ; that they might prefer chap. 
learning before their money ; and above their learn- ^^^ 
ing esteem of thee, O God, the Truth and Fulness 
of all assured good, and the most chaste peace. But 
in those days I was even for mine own sake more 
unwilling to bear with those that dealt ill with 
me, than desirous that they should at last become 
good for thy sake. 


He goes io Milan to teach Rhetoric, and how 
St. Ambrose there entertains him 

I When therefore they of Milan had sent to Rome chap. 
to the Prefect of the City, desiring to be furnished ^^^^ 
thence with a rhetoric master for their city, tak- 
ing order also for the accommodating him in his 
journey upon the public charges, I put on to stand 
for the place, by means of those very men, drunken 
with Manichean vanities, (to be rid of whom I went 
away, yet did neither of us know it), and I procured 
that upon my making a public oration for the place, 
Symmachus (then Prefect of the City) should so far 
approve of me, as to send me thither. Weil ; unto 
Milan I came, to Bishop Ambrose, a man of the best 
fame all the world over, and thy devout servant; 
whose eloquent discourse did in those cays plentifully 
dispense the fatness of thy wheat, the gladness of Ps. iv. 7, 
thy oil, and the sober overflowings of thy wine, unto "^- ^* 
the people. To him was I led by thee, unknowing, 
that by him I might be brought to thee, knowing it. 
That man of God entertained me fatherly, and ap- 
proved of the cause of my coming, as became a bishop. 
I thenceforth began to love him : not at first verily 


CAP. veri, quod in ecclesia tua prorsus desperabam, sed 
tamquam hominem benignum in me. studiose audie- 
bam disputantem in populo, non intentione, qua 
debui, sed quasi explorans eius facundiam, utrura 
conveniret suae, an maior minorve proflueret, 
quam praedicabatur ; et verbis eius suspendebar 
intentus, rerum autem incuriosus et contemptor ad- 
stabam : et delectabar sermonis suavitate, quamquam 
eruditions, minus taraen hilarescentis atque mul- 
centis, quam Fausti erat, quod attinet ad dicendi 
modum.y^ ceterum rerum ipsarum nulla con para tio : 
nam ille per Manichaeas fallaeias aberrabat, ille 
autem saluberrime docebat salutem. sed longe est 
a peccatoribus salus, qualis ego tunc aderam. et 
tamen piopinquabam sensim, et nesciens. 


CAP. Cum enim non satagerem discere quae dicebat, sed 
tantum quemadmodum dicebat audire — ea mihi 
quij)pe, desperanti ad te viam patere homini, inanis 
cura remanserat — veniebant in animum meum simul 
cum verbis, quae diligebam, res etiani, quas neglege- 
bani neque enim ea dirimere poterani. et dum 


as a teacher of the truth, (which I utterly despaired chap. 
to find in thy Church), but as a man of courteous ^^^^ 
usage to me. I very diligently heard him preaching 
to the people ; although, not with so good a frame 
of mind as I ought, but as it were, trying his elo- 
quence, whether it were answerable to the fame that 
went of him, or whether the stream were more or 
less than was said of him ; and I weighed every 
word of his very attentively, but of the matter I 
was careless and scornful. And verily with the 
sweetness of his discourse I was much delighted : 
which, however it were more learned, yet was it not 
so pleasing and inveigling as Faustus his was, the 
manner of the oratory I mean, though for the matter 
there was no comparison. For Faustus did but rove 
up and down amongst his Manichean fallacies; but 
Ambrose taught salvation most soundly. But salva- 
tion is far enough from sinners, such as I was at that 
instant ; and yet I drew by little and little nearer 
toward it ; but how, I knew not. 


i'pun his hearing of St. Ambrose, he by little and 
Utile falls off from his errors 

For though I took little heed to hearken to what he chap. 
spake, but merely to the way how he delivered them : -^^^ 
(for that empty care was now only left in me, I 
despairing utterly to find a way how man should 
come unto thee): yet together with his words which I 
liked, the things also themsevos which I neglected, 
stole in upon my mind ; for 1 knew not how to part 
them : and whilst I opened my heart to entertain 

I R 257 

CAr. cor aperirem ad excipiendum, quam diserte diceret, 
pariter intrabat et quam vera diceret, gradatim 
jjuidem. nam primo etiam ipsa defendi posse mihi 
iam coeperunt videri, et fidem catholicam, pro qua 
nihil posse dici adversus oppugnantes Manichaeos 
putaveram, iam non inpudenter asseri existimabam, 
maxima audito uno atque altero, etsaepius aenigmate 
soluto de scriptis veteribus, ubi, cum ad litteram 
acciperem, occidebar. spiritaliter itaque plerisque 
illorum librorum locis expositis, iam reprehendebam 
desperationem meam illam dumtaxat, qua credideram 
legem et prophetas detestantibus atque irridentibus 
resisti omnino non posse.^ nee tamen iam ideo mihi 
catholicam viam tenendam esse sentiebam ; quia et 
ipsa poterat habere doctos adsertores sues, qui co- 
piose et non absurde obiecta refellerent : nee ideo iam 
damnandum illud_, quod tenebam, quia defensionis 
partes aequabantur. ita enim catholica non mihi victa 
videbatur, ut nondum etiam victrix appareret. tunc 
vero fortiter intendi animum, si quo modo possem 
certis aliquibus documentis Manichaeos convincere 
i'alsitatis. quod si possem spiritalem substantiam 
cogitare, statim machinamenta ilia omnia solverentur 
et abicerentur ex animo meo : sed non poteram. 
""^ V^erum tamen de ipso mundi huins corpore, omni- 
que natura, quam seiisus cainis attingeret, multo 
probabiliora plerosque sensisse philosophos magis 


how eloquently he expressed it, there also entered with chap. 
it, only by degrees, how truly he proved it. For first ^^^ 
of all the things began to appear unto me as possible 
to be defended : and the Catholic faith, in defence of 
which I thought nothing could be answered to the 
Manichees' arguments, I now concluded with myself, 
might well be maintained without absurdity : espe- 
cially after I had heard one or two hard places of 
the Old Testament resolved now and then ; which 
when I understood literally, I was slain. Many places 
therefore of those books having been spiritually 
expounded, I blamed mine own desperate conceit, 
whereby I had believed, that the Law and the 
Prophets could no way be upheld against those that 
hated and scorned them. Yet did I not resolve for 
all this, that the Catholic way might be held safely ; 
seeing it might have its teachers and maintainers, 
which might be able both copiously and not absurdly, 
to answer some objections made against it : nor yet 
did I conceive that my former way ought to be con- 
demned, because that both sides of the defence were 
equal. For although the Catholic party seemed to 
me not to be overthrown, yet it appeared not to be 
altogether victorious. Earnestly hereupon did I bend 
my mind, to see if it were possible upon certain proofs 
to convince the Manichees of falsehood : and could I 
but once have taken into my thoughts that there 
should be any spiritual substance, all their strongholds 
had been beaten down, and cast utterly out of my 
mind ; but I was not able. 

Notwithstanding, concerning the body of this 
world, and the whole frame of nature, which the 
senses of our flesh can reach unto, I now more 
seriously considering upon, and comparing things 
together, judged divers of the Philosophers to have 


CAP. magisque considerans atque comparans iudicabam. 
"itaque Academicorum more, sicut existiniantur, 
dubitans de omnibus atque inter omnia fluctuans, 
^Manichacos quidem relinquendos esse decrevi ; non 
arbitrans eo ipso tempore dubitationis meae in ilia 
seeta mihi permanendum esse, cui iam nonnullos 
philosophos praeponebam : qiiibus tamen philosophis, 
quod sine salutari nomine Christi essent, cura- 
tionem languoris animae meae conmittere 
omnino recusabam. statui ergo tamdiu 
esse catechumenus in catholica 
ecclesia mihi a parentibus 
conmendata, donee ali- 
quid certi eluceret, 
quo cursum 



held much the more probable opinions. After the chap. 
manner therefore of the Academics (as they are ^^^ 
supposed) doubting now of everything, and wavering 
up and down between all, I absolutely resolved, that 
the Manichees were to be abandoned ; judging in 
that very time of my doubt, that I could not safely 
continue in that sect, before which I now preferred 
divers of the Philosophers : to which Philosophers 
notwithstanding, for that they were without the 
saving Name of Christ, I utterly refused to commit 
the curing of my languishing soul. This there- 
fore I determined, so long to be a cate- 
chumen in the Catholic Church, (which 
had been so much commended 
unto me by my parents) till 
such time as some certain 
mark should appear, 
whereto I might 
steer my 
course. • 





CAF. Spes mea a iuventute inea^ ubi mihi eras et quo 
recesseras ? an vero non tu feceras me, et dis- 
creveras me a quadrupedibus, et volatilibus caeli 
sapientiorem me feceras ? et ambulabam per tene- 
bras et lubricum, et quaerebam te foris a me, et non 
inveniebam deiim cordis mei ; et veneram in pro- 
fundum maris et diffidebam et desperabam de in- 
ventione veri. iam venerat ad me mater pietate 
fortis, terra marique me sequens, et in periculis om- 
nibus de te secura. nam et per marina discriminn 
ipsos nautas consolabatur, a quibus rudes abyssi 
viatoreSj cum perturbantur, consolari solent, pollicens 
eis perventionem cum salute, quia hoc ei tu per 
visum pollicitus eras, et invenit me periclitantem 
quidem graviter desperatione indagandae veritatis: 
sed tamen ei cum indicassem non me quidem iam esse 
Manichaeum, sed neque Catholicum Christianum, 
non, quasi inopinatum aliquid audierit, exiluit laetitia, 
cum iam secura fieret ex ea parte miseriae meae, in 
qua me,tamquammortuum, resuscitandum tibiflebat, 


How St. Augusthie was neither Mmiichee, nor 
good Catholic 

O THOU my Hope even from my youth, where wert chap 
thou all this while, and whither wert thou gone ? ^ 
For hadst not thou created me, and set a distinction 
betwixt me and the beasts of the field, and made 
me wiser than the fowls of the air? Yet did I 
wander through the dark, and over the slippery, 
and I groped out of myself after thee, but found not 
the God of my heart ; and drew near even to the 
bottom of the sea, and I distrusted, and despaired 
of ever finding out the truth. By this time came my 
mother unto me, (whom motherly piety had m.ade 
adventurous) following me over sea and land, confi- 
dent upon thee in all perils. For in the dangers upon 
the sea, she comforted even the mariners, (by whom 
the inexperienced passengers of the deep, use rather 
to be comforted) assuring them of a safe landing : 
because so much hadst thou assured her by a vision. 
She found me grievously endangered by a despair 
of ever finding out the truth. But when I had 
once discovered to her that I was no longer now a 
Manichee, nor fully yet a Catholic Christian, she 
did not leap for joy, as if she had heard of some 
unlooked-for news, seeing she had been satisfied 
before concerning that part of my misery, for 
which she bewailed me, as one dead, but as if 
there were good hopes of his reviving : laying me 


CAT et feretro cogitatioiiis ofFerebat, ut diceres filio 
viduae ; luvenis, tibi dico, surge : et revivesceret 
et inciperet loqui^ et traderes ilium matri suae, 
nulla ergo turbulenta exultatione trepidavit cor 
eius^ cum audisset ex tanta parte iam factum, quod 
tibi cotidie plangebat ut fieret, veritatem me non- 
dum adeptum, sed falsitati iam ereptum : immo 
vero quia certa erat et quod restabat te daturum, 
qui totum promiseras, placidissime et pectore pleno 
fiduciae respoiidit mihi, credere se in Christo, quod 
priusquam de hac vita emigraret_, me visura esset 
jWelem catholicumy et hoc quidem mihi. tibi 
autem, fons misericordiarum, preces et lacrimas 
densiores, ut accelerares adiutorium et inluminares 
tenebras meas : et studiosius ad ecclesiam currere et 
in Ambrosi ora suspendi, ad fontem salientis aquae 
_ in vitam aeternam. diligebat autem ilium viruni 
sicut angelum dei^ quod per ilium cognoverat me 
interim ad illam ancipitem fluctuationem iam esse 
perductunij per quam transiturum me ab aegritudine 
ad sanitatem, intercurrente artiore periculo, quasi per 
accessionem, quam criticam medici vocant, certa 



forth upon the bier before thee^ that thou mightest chap. 
say unto the son of the widow. Young man, I say ^ 
unto thee, arise ; and he should sit up, and begin to Luke vii. 14 
speak, and thou shouldest deliver him to his mother. 
Her heart, therefore, panted not in any tumultuous 
kind of rejoicing, when she heard that to be already 
in so great part done, which she daily with tears 
desired of thee might be wholly done ; namely, that 
though I had not yet attained the truth, yet that 1 
was rescued from falsehood. Yea, rather, for that 
she was most certain, that thou wouldst one day per- 
form the rest, who hadst promised the whole ; most 
calmly, and with an heart full of confidence, she 
replied unto me ; how she believed in Christ, that she 
should yet before she died, see me a true Catholic. 
And thus much said she to me. But to thee, O 
Fountain of Mercies, poured she forth more frequent 
prayers and tears, that thou wouldst hasten thy help, 
and enlighten my darkness : and more eagerly than 
ever would she run unto the church, and hang upon 
the lips of Ambrose, as a fountain of water that 
springeth up into life everlasting. For that man 
she loved as an angel of God, because she had heard 
that I had been brought by him in the mean time to 
that doubtful state of faith I was now in ; and she 
felt sure that through this I was to pass from sickness 
unto health, some sharper conflict coming between, 
in another fit, as it were, which the physicians call 




c AP, Itaque cum ad memorias sanctorum, sicut in Africa 

solebat, pultes et panem et merum adtulisset, atque 

ab ostiario prohiberetur : ubi hoc episcopum vetuisse 
cognovit, tarn pie atque oboedienter amplexa est, ut 
ipse mirarer, quam facile accusat: ix potius consuetu- 
dinis suae quam disceptatrix illius prohibitionis effecta 
sit. non enim obsidebat spiritum eius vinulentia 
eamque stimulabat in odium veri amor vini, sicut 
plerosque mares et feminas, qui ad canticum sobrie- 
tatis sicut ad potionem aquatam madidi nausiant. 
sed ilia cum attulisset canistrum cum sollemnibus 
epulis, jjraegustandis atque largiendis, plus etiam 
quam unum pocillum pro suo palato satis sobrio tem- 
peratum, unde dignationem sumeret, non ponebat : et 
si multae essent quae illo modo videbantur honoran- 
dae memoriae defunctorum, idem ipsum unum, quod 
ubique poneret, circumferebat, quo iam non solum 
aquatissimo, sed etiam tepidissimo cum suis praesen- 
tibus per sorbitiones exiguas partiretur, quia pietatem 
ibi quaerebat, non voluptatem. 



His Mother is turned from her cotaiti-y 

Whenas my mother therefore had one time brought chap. 
unto the oratories erected in memory of the saints, as ^^ 
she was wont to do in Africa, certain cheesecakes, 
and bread and wine ; and had been forbidden to do 
it by the sexton : so soon as ever she knew that the 
Bishop had forbidden this, she did so piously and 
obediently embrace the motion, that I myself won- 
dered at it, that she should so easily be brought 
rather to blame her own country-custom, than to 
call the present countermand in question. For no 
wine bibbing besotted her spirit, nor did the love of 
wine provoke her to the hatred of the truth, as it 
doth to many, both men and women, who being a ceriaia dis- 
little whittled once, turn the stomach at a song of orders at 
sobriety, as they would do at a draught of water, i/ai feasts" 
But she, when she had brought her basket of these had caused 
usual junkets, which she meant to eat a little of ^ ^^^"^^'^^ °* 
first, and to give the rest away ; never used to allow p^t^n their 
herself above one small pot of wine, well allayed place 
with water, for her own sober palate, whence she 
might sip a mannerly draught. And if there were 
many oratories of the departed saints, that ought 
to be honoured in like manner, she still carried the 
selfsame pot about with her, to be used every- 
where, which should not only be low allayed with 
water, but very lukewarm with carrying about : and 
this would she distribute to those that were about 
her by small sups : for she came to those places to 
seek devotion, and not pleasure. 


CAP, Itaque ubi comperit a praeclaro praedicatore atque 
II . « . . /. . 

antistite pietatis praeceptum esse^ ista non hen, nee 

ab eis qui sobrie facerent^ ne uUa occasio se ingurgi- 
tandi daretur ebriosis ; et quia ilia quasi parentalia 
superstitioni gentilium essent simillima, abstinuit se 
libentissime : et pro canistro pleno terrenis fructi- 
bus, plenum purgatioribus votis pectus ad memorias 
martyrum afferre didicerat^ ut et quod posset daret 
egentibus, et sic communicatio dominici corporis illic 
celebraretur, cuius passionis imitatione immolati et 
corona ti sunt m arty res. 

Sed tamen videtur mihi^ domine deus meus — et ita 
est in conspectu tuo de hac re cor meum — non facile 
fortasse de hac amputanda consuetudine matrem 
raeam fuisse cessuram, si ab alio prohiberetur, quern 
non sicut Ambrosium diligebat. quern propter sal li- 
tem meam maxima diligebat, eam vero ille, propter 
eius religiosissimam conversationem, qua in bonis 
operibus tarn fervens spiritu frequentabat ecclesiam, 
ita ut saepe erumperet, cum me videret, in eius 
praedicationem^ gratulans mihi, quod talem matrem 
^ haberem, nesciens^, qualem ilia filium;, qui dubitabam 
de illis omnibus et inveniri posse viam vitae mininie 




So soon therefore as she found this custom to be chap, 
countermanded by that most famous preacher, and ^^ 
the most pious prelate Ambrose, yea, forbidden even 
to those that would use it but soberly, that so no 
occasion of riot might thereby be given to such as 
loved drinking too well ; and for that these funeral 
anniversary feasts, as it were, in honour of our dead 
fathers, did too nearly resemble the superstition of 
the Gentiles, she most willingly forbare it ever after : 
and instead of a basket filled with the fruits of the 
earth, she now had learned to present a breast re- 
plenished with purer petitions, at the oratories of the 
Martyrs ; that she might give away what she could 
spare among the poor, and that the Communion of 
the Lord's Body might in that place be rightly cele- 
brated, where, after the example of his Passion, these 
Martyrs had been sacrificed and crowned. 

But for all this it seems to me, O Lord my God, 
and thus thinks my heart of it in thy sight : that 
my mother would not easily have given way to the 
breaking of her country-custom, had it been for- 
bidden her by some other man, whom she had not 
loved so well as she did Ambrose ; whom in regard 
of my salvation, she very entirely affected, and he 
her again, for her most religious conversation, whereby 
so full of good works, so fervent in the spirit, she 
frequented the church. Yea, so well he affected her, 
that he would very often when he saw me, break 
forth into her praises ; congratulating with me, in 
that I had such a mother : little knowing in the mean 
time what a son she had of me ; who doubted of all 
these things, and least of all imagined the way to life 
could possibly be found out. 





CAP. Nec iara ingemescebam orando, ut subvenires mihi, 
sed ad quaerendum intentus et ad disserendum in- 

^_^uietus erat animus meu^ipsumque Ambrosium feli- 
cem quendam hominem secundum saeculum opinabar, 
quem sic tantae potestates honorarent : caelibatus 
tantum eius mihi laboriosus videbatur. quid autem 
ille spei gereret^ adversus ipsius excellentiae tempta- 
menta quid luctaminis haberet^ quidve solaminis in 
adversis, et occultum os eius^ quod erat in corde 
eius, quam sapida gaudia de pane tuo ruminaret, nec 
conicere noveram nec expertus eram. ue^c ille scie- 
bat aestus meos, nec foveam periculi mei. non enim 
quaerere ab eo poteram quod volebam, sicut volebam, 
secludentibus me ab eius aure atque ore catervis 
negotiosorum hominuni, quorum infirmitatibus servie- 
bat : cum quibus quando non erat, quod perexiguum 
temporis erat, aut corpus reficiebat necessariis sus- 

^entaculis aut Icctione animum. sed cum legebat, 
oculi ducebantur per paginas et cor intellectumrima- 
batur, vox autem et lingua quiescebant. saepe, cum 
adessemus — non enim vetabatur quisquam ingredi 
aut ei venientem nuntiari mos erat — sic eum leffen- 
tern vidimus tacite et aliter numquam, sedentesque in 
diuturno silentio — quis enim tarn intento esse oneri 



The Employments and Studies of St. Ambrose 

Nor did I hitherto groan in my prayers that thou chap 
wouldest help me ; but my unquiet mind was alto- ^^^ 
gether intentive to seek for learning, and to dispute 
upon it. As for Ambrose himself, I esteemed him a 
very happy man according to the world, whom per- 
sonages of such authority so much honoured ; only I 
his remaining a bachelor seemed a painful course ! 
unto me. But what hopes he carried about him, what 
strugglings he felt against the temptations his very \ 
eminence was subject unto, or what comfort he found ^ 
in his adversities, and how savoury joys that mouth 
hidden in his heart fed upon in thy Bread, I neither 
knew how to guess at, nor had I yet any feeling of. 
As little on the other side knew he of my private 
heats, nor of the pit of my danger. For I had not 
the opportunity to make my demands unto him, what 
I would, or how 1 would ; for that multitude of people 
full of business, whose infirmities he gave up himself 
unto, debarred me both from hearing and speaking 
with him. With whom when he was not taken up, 
(which was but a little time altogether) he either 
refreshed his body with necessary sustenance, or his 
mind with reading. But when he was reading, he 
drew his eyes along over the leaves, and his heart 
searched into the sense, but his voice and tongue were 
silent. Ofttimes when we were present (for no man 
was debarred of coming to him, nor was it his fashion 
to be told of anybody that came to speak with him) we 
still saw him reading to himself, and never otherwise : 
io that having long sat in silence (for who durst be so 
I s 273 

CAP. aiideret? — discedebamus: etconiectabamuseumparvo 


ipso tempore, quod reparandae menti suae nancisce- 
batur, feriatum ab strepitu causarumalienarum, nolle 
in aliud avocari ; et cavere fortasse, ne auditore sus- 
pense et intento, si qua obscurius posuisset ille quern 
legeret, etiam exponere esset necesse aut de aliqui- 
bus difficilioribus dissevtare quaestionibus ; atque huic 
operi tempovibus impensis minus quam vellet volu- 
minum evolveret : quamquam et causa servandae 
vocis, quae illi facillime obtundebatur, poterat esse 
iustior tacite legendi. quolibet tamen animo id 
ageret, bono utique ille vir agebat. 
^ Sed certe mihi nulla dabatur copia sciscitandi quae 
cupiebam de tarn sancto oraculo tuo, pectore illius, 
nisi cum aliquid breviter esset audiendum. aestus 
autem illi mei otiosum eum valde_, cui refunderentui^, 
requirebant, nee umquaminveniebant. et eumquidem 
in populo verbum veritatis recte tractantem omni die 
dominico audiebam ; et magis magisque mihi con- 
firmabatur omnes versutarum calumniarum nodos, 
quos illi deceptores nostri adversus divinos libros in- 
nectebantj posse dissolvi. ubi vero etiam conperi ad 
imaginem tiiam hominem a te factum ab spiritalibus 
filiis tuis, quos de matre catholica per gratiam re- 
generasti, non sic intellegi, ut humani corporis forma 
te terminatum^ crederent atque cogitarent^ quamquam 

1 MSS. determinatuiii. 


bold as to interrupt him, so intentive to his study?) CiiAP 
we were fain to depart. We conjectured, that the ^^^ 
small time which he gat for the repairing of his mind, 
he retired himself from the clamour of other men's 
businesses, being unwilling to be taken off for any 
other employment : and he was wary perchance too, 
lest some hearer being struck into suspense, and eager 
upon it, if the author he read should deliver anything 
obscurely, he should be put to it to expound it, or to 
discuss some of the harder questions ; so that spend- 
ing away his time about this work, he could not turn 
over so many volumes as he desired : although per- 
adventure the preserving of his voice (which a little 
speaking used to weaken) might be a just reason for 
his reading to himself. But with what intent soever 

(e did it, that man certainly had a good meaning 
But verily no opportunity could I obtain of pro- 
ounding my demands, as I desired, to that so holy 
an oracle of thine, his breast, unless the thing might 
be heard very briefly. But those commotions in me, 
required to find him at his best leisure, that I might 
pour them out before him ; but never could they find 
him so. Yet heard I him every Sunday, preaching 
the word of truth rightly to the people : by which 
that apprehension of mine was more and more con- 
firmed in me, that all those knots of crafty calumnies, 
which those our deceivers had knit in prejudice of 
the Holy Books, might well enough be untied. ^ But 
so soon as I understood withal, that man, created 
by thee after thine own image, was not so under- 
stood by thy spiritual sons, (whom of our Catholic 
Mother thou hast regenerated by thy Grace) as if 
they once believed or imagined thee to be confined 
in an human shape: although I had not the least 


CAP. quomodo se habevet spiritalis substantia, ne qiiidem 
tenuiter atque aenigmate suspicabar, tamen gaudens 
erubiii non me tot annos adversus catholicam fidem_, 
sed contra carnalium cogitationum figmenta latrasse. 
eo quippe temerarius et impius fueram, quod ea quae 
debebam quaerendo discere, accusando dixeram. tu 
autem, altissime et proxime, secretissime et praesen- 
tissime^ cui membra non sunt alia maiora et alia 
minora^ sed ubique totus es et nusquam locorum es, 
non es utique forma ista corporea^ tamen fecisti homi- 
nem ad imaginem tuam, et ecce ipse a capite usque 
ad pedes in loco est. 


CAP. Cum ergo nescirem, quomodo haec subsisteret imago 

tua, pulsans proponerem, quomodo credendum esset^ 

non insultans opponerem^ quasi ita creditum esset. 

tanto igituracrior cura rodebat intima mea, quid certi 

retinerem, quanto me magis pudebat, tam diu inlusum 

et d( ccptum promissione certorum^ puerili errore et 

animositate tam multa incerta quasi certa garrisse. 

quod enim falsa essent, postea mihi claruit. certum 

tamen erat, ([iiod incerta essent et a me aliquando 



suspicion^ nor so much as a confused notion^ in what CHAP, 
strange manner a spiritual substance should be : yet ^^^ 
blushing did I rejoice, that I had not so many years 
barked against the Catholic faith, but against the 
fictions of carnal imaginations. But herein had I been 
rash and impious, that what I ought to have learned 
by inquiry, 1 had spoken of as condemning. For thou, 
O the most High, and the most Near ; the most Secret 
and yet the most present with us ; hast not such 
limbS; of which some be bigger, and some smaller ; 
but art wholely everywhere, circumscribed in no cer- 
tain place ; nor art thou of such corporeal shape ; 
yet hast thou made man after thine own image, and 
behold from head to foot is he contained in space. 

I Of the Letter and the Spirit 

EiNG thus ignorant therefore in what manner this chap. 
image of thine should subsist ; I should have knocked i^' 
and propounded the doubt, how that was to be 
believed ; not triumphingly to have opposed against 
it, as if it were so believed. The anxiety therefore 
of resolving what certainty I was to hold, did so much 
the more sharply even gnaw my very bowels, by how 
much the more ashamed I was, that having been so 
long deceived by the promise of certainties, I had 
with a childish error and rashness, prated up and down 
of so many uncertainties, and that as confidently as 
if they had been certainties. For that they were mere 
falsehoods, it clearly appeared to me afterwards : yet 
even already was I certain, that they were at least 




CAi'. pro ceitis habita fuissent^ cum catholicam tuam 
caecis contentionibus accusarem^ etsi nondum com- 
pertam vera docentem, non tamen ea docentem, 
quae graviter accusabam. itaque confundebar et 
convertebar, et gaudebam^ deus meus, quod ecclesia 
uiiica^ corpus uiiici tui, in qua mihi nomen Christi 
infanti est inditum, non saperet infantiles nugas ; 
neque hoc haberet in doctrina sua sana, quod te 
creatorem omnium in spatium loci, quamvis summum 
et amplum, tamen undique temiinatum, membrorum 
humanorum figura contruderet. 

Gaudebam etiam^ quod vetera scripta legis et pro 
phetarum iam non illo oculo mihi legenda propone- 
rentur, quo antea videbantur absurda, cum arguebam 
tamquam ita sentientes sanctos tuos ; verum autem 
non ita sentiebant. et tamquam regulam diligentis- 
sime conmendaret, saepe in popularibus sermonibus 
suis dicentem Ambrosium laetus audiebam : Littera 
occidit^ spiritus autem vivificat, cum ea, quae ad 
litteram perversitatem docere videbantur, remoto 
mystico velamento spiritaliter aperiret, non dicens 
quod me offenderet, quamvis ea diceret, quae utrum 
^vera essent adhuc ignorarem. tenebam cor meum ab 
omni adsensione, timens praecipitium ; et suspendio 
magis necabar. volebam enim eorum quae non vi- 
derem ita me certum fieri, ut certus essem, quod 
septem et tria decern sint. neque enim tam insanus 


uncertain^ and that I had all this while believed them chap. 
for certain ; whenas, namely out of a blind and con- ^^ 
tentious humour, I accused thy Catholic Church, 
which though I had not yet found to teach truly, yet 
found I it not to teach what I heartily accused it for 
teaching. In this manner was I first confounded, and 
then converted : and I much rejoiced, O my God, that 
thy only Church, the Body of thine only Son, (wherein 
^ the name of Christ had been put upon me being yet 
an infant), did not relish these childish toys ; nor 
maintained any such tenets in her sound doctrine as 
to crowd up the Creator of this all under the shape 
of human members, into any proportions of a place, 
which, though never so great and so large, should yet 
be terminated and surrounded. 

And for this I rejoiced also, for that the Old 
Scriptures of the Law and the Prophets, were laid 
before me now, to be perused, not with that eye to 
which they seemed most absurd before, whenas I 
misliked thy holy ones for thinking so and so : but 
indeed they did not think so. And with joyful heart 
I heard Ambrose in his sermons to the people, most 
diligently oftentimes recommend this text for a rule 
unto them. The letter killeth, but the spirit giveth j Cor. iii. 6 
life : whilst those things which taken according to 
the letter seemed to teach perverse doctrines, he 
spiritually laid open to us, having taken off the veil 
of the mystery ; teaching nothing in it that offended 
me, though such things he taught, as I knew not yet 
whether they were true or not. For I all this while 
kept my heart firm from assenting to anything, fearing 
to fall headlong ; but by this hanging in suspense I 
was the worse killed : for my whole desire was to be 
made so well assured of those things which I saw 

tl was certain that seven and three make ten. 

CAP. eram, ut ne hoc quidem putarem posse conprehendi, 
sed sicut hoc, ita cetera ciipiebam, sive corporalia, quae 
coram sensibus meis non adessent, sive spiritalia, de 
^ quibus cogltare nisi corporaliter nesciebam. et sanari 
credendo poterarn, ut purgatior acies mentis meae 
dirigeretur aliquo modo in veritatem tuam, semper 
manentem et ex nullo deficientem ; sed, sicut e venire 
assolet, ut mahim medicum expertus etiam bono 
timeat se conmittere, ita erat valetudo animae meae, 
quae utique nisi credendo sanari non poterat, et ne 
falsa crederet, curari recusabat, resistens manibus 
tuis, qui medicamenta fidei confecisti, et sparsisti 
super morbos orbis terrarum, et tantam ilhs auctori- 
tatem tribuisti. 

CAP. Ex hoc tamen quoque, iam praeponens doctrinam 
Catholicam, modestius ibi minimeque fallaciter sentie- 
bam iuberi, ut crederetur quod non demonstrabatur — | 
sive esset quid, sed cui forte non esset, sive nee quid 
esset — quam illic temeraria pollicitatione scientiae 
credulitatem inrideri, et postea tam multa fabulosis- 
sima et absurdissima, quia demonstrari non poterant, 


For I was not so mad yet, as to think that not even chap. 
this last proposition might by demonstration be com- ^^ 
prehended : but I desired to have other things as 
clearly demonstrated as this ; both those things cor- 
poreal which were not present before my senses ; and 
spiritual, whereof I knew not yet how to conceive, 
but after a corporeal manner. But by believing 
might I have been cured, that so the eyesight of my 
soul being cleared, might some way or other have 
been directed toward thy truth, which is the same 
eternally, and in no point failing. But as it happens 
usually to him that having had experience of a bad 
physician, is fearful afterwards to trust himself with 
a good : so it was with the state of my soul, which 
could no ways be healed but by believing ; and lest 
it should believe falsehoods, it refused to be cured : 
resisting in the mean time thy hands, who first pre- 
pared for us the medicines of faith, and hast applied 
them to the diseases of the whole world, and given 
unto them so great authority. 

Of the Aidkoriiij and necessary Use oj' the 
'Holy Bible 

From henceforth therefore I began first of all to chap, 
esteem better of the Catholic doctrine, and also to ^ 
think that it did with more modesty, and without any 
deceit, command that to be believed, which was not 
demonstrated (whether it could be so, but not to 
all, or whether it could not), than the Manichecs' 
doctrine, which with its rash promise of great know- 
ledge, exposed my easiness of belief first of all unto 
derision, and afterwards commanded me to believe so 


CAP. credenda imperari. I deinde paulatim tu, domine, 
manu mitissima et misericordissiraa pertractans et 
conponens cor meunij consideranti, quam innume- 
rabilia crederem^ quae non viderem neque cum gere- 
rentur affuissem :^icut tarn multa in historia gentium^ 
tarn multa de locis atque urbibus^ quae non videram, 
tam multa amicis, tarn multa medicis^ tarn multa 
hominibus aliis atque aliis, quae nisi crederentur, 
omnino in liac vita nihil ageremus, postremo quam 
inconcusse fixum fide retinerem, de quibus parentibus 
ortus essemj quod scire non possem, nisi audiendo 

credidissem : persuasisti mihi, non qui crederent libris 

tuiSj quos tanta in omnibus fere gentibus auctoritate 
fundasti, sed qui non crederent^ esse culpandos j| nee 
audiendos esse, si qui forte mi hi dicereiit : '' unde scis 
illos libros unius veri et veracissimi dei spiritu esse 
humano generi ministratos ? " id ipsum enim maxime 
credendum erat : quoniam nulla pugnacitas calura- 
niosarum quaestionum, per tam multa quae legeram 
inter seconfligentium philosophorum^extorquere mihi 
potuit, ut aliquando non crederem te esse quidquid 
esses, quod ego nescirem, aut administrationem rerum 
humanarum ad te pertinere. 
— Sed id credebam aliquando robustius, aliquando 
exilius, semper tamen credidi et esse te et curam 
nostri gerere, etiamsi ignorabam vel quid sentiendum 


many most fabulous and absurd things, because they chap 
could not be demonstrated. Next of all, thou Lord, ^' 
by little and little, with a gentle and most merciful 
hand working and rectifying my heart ; even Avhile I 
took into my consideration how innumerable things I 
otherwise believed, which I had never seen, nor was 
present at while they were in doing : like as those 
many reports in the history of several nations, those 
many relations of places and of cities, which I had 
never seen : so many reports likewise of friends, so 
many of physicians, so many of these and these 
men, which unless we should believe, we should do 
nothing at all in this life : last of all, I considered, 
with how unalterable assurance I believed of what / 
parents I was descended ; which I could not other- j 
wise come to know, had I not believed it upon hear- j 
say : persuadedst me at last, that not they who be- • 
lieved thy Bible, (which with so great authority thou 
hast settled among all nations) but those who be- 
lieved it not, were to be blamed, nor were those 
men to be listened unto, who would say perchance. 
How knowest thou those Scriptures to have been 
imparted unto mankind by the Spirit of the only 
true and most high God? For this fundamental 
point was above all the rest to be believed ; because 
no wrangles of all those cavilling questions, whereof 
I had read so much amongst the Philosophers con- 
tradicting each other, could so far enforce me, as 
that I should at any time not believe thee to be 
whatsoever thou wert, (though what I knew not) or 
that the government of human businesses should 
not belong unto thee. 

Thus much though I sometimes believed more 
strongly, and more weakly other whiles, yet I ever 
believed, both that thou wert God, and hadst a 


CAP. esset de substantia tiia, vel quae via duceret aut 
reduceret ad te. ideoque cum essemus infirmi ad in- 
veniendam liquida ratione veritatem, et ob hoc nobis 
opus esset auctoritate sanctarum litterarum, lam cre- 
dere coeperam nullo modo te fuisse tributurum tarn 
excellentem illi scripturae per omnes lam terras 
auctoritatem, nisi et per ipsam tibi credi et per ipsam 
te quaeri voluisses. iam enim absurditatem, quae me 
in illis litteris solebat ofFendere, cum multa ex eis 
probabiliter exposita audissem, ad sacramentorum 
altitudinem referebam ; eoque mihi ilia venerabilior et 
sacrosancta fide dignior apparebat auctoritas, quo et 
omnibus ad legendum esset in promptu, et secreti sui 
dignitatem in intellectu profundiore servaret, verbis 
apertissimis et humillimo genere loquendi se cunctis 
praebens^ et exercens intentionem eorum^ qui non 
sunt leves corde ; ut exciperet omnes populari sinu, et 
per angusta foramina paucos ad te traiceret, multo 
tamen plures, quam si nee tanto apice auctoritatis 
emineret, nee turbas gremio sanctae humilitatis hau- 
riret. cogitabam haec et aderas mihi^ suspirabam et 
audiebas me, fluctuabam et gubernabas me, ibam per 
viam saeculi latam nee deserebas. 



care of us, though I were utterly ignorant, either 
what was to be thought of thy substance, or what way 
led or brought back again towards thee. Seeing 
therefore mankind would prove too weak to find out 
the truth by the way of evident reason, and for this 
cause was there need of the authority of Holy Writ : 
I began now to believe that thou wouldst by no means 
have stated such excellency of authority upon that 
book all the world over, had it not been thy express 
pleasure to have thine own self both believed in 
by means of it, and sought by it also. For those 
absurdities which in those Scriptures were wont to 
offend me, after I had heard divers of them ex- 
pounded probably, I referred now to the depth of 
the mystery : yea, and the authority of that Book 
appeared so much the more venerable, and so much 
the more worthy of our religious credit, by how much 
the readier at hand it was for all to read upon, pre- 
serving yet the majesty of the secret under the pro- 
foundness of the meaning, offering itself unto all in 
words most open, and in a style of speaking most 
humble, and exercising the attention of such as are 
not light of heart; that it might by that means 
receive all into its common bosom, and through 
narrow passages, waft over some few towards thee : 
yet are these few a good many more than they 
would have been, had it not obtained the eminency 
of such high authority, nor allured on those com- 
panies with at bosom of holy humility. These things 
then I thought upon, and thou wert with me : I 
sighed, and thou heardest me : I wavered up and 
down, and thou didst guide me : I wandered through 
the broad way of this world, yet didst thou not 
forsake me. 





CAP. Tnhiabam honoribiis, hicris, coniugio^ et tu inridebas. 
patiebar in eis cupiditatibus amarissimas difficultates, 
te propitio tanto magis, qiianto minus sinebas mihi 
dulcescere quod non eras tu. vide cor meum, 
domine, qui voluisti, ut hoc recordarer et confiterer 
tibi. nunc tibi inhaereat anima mea, quam de visco 
tarn tenaci mortis exuisti. quam misera erat ! et 
sensum vulneris tu pungebas, ut relictis omnibus 
converteretur ad te, qui es super omnia et sine quo 
nulla essent omnia, converteretur et sanaretur. quara 
ergo miser eram, et quomodo egisti, ut sentirem 
miseriam meam, die illo, quo, cum pararem recitare 
imperatori laudes, quibus plura mentirer, etmentienti 
faveretur ab scientibus, easque curas anhelaret cor 
meum et cogitationum tabificarum febribus aestuaret, 
transiens per quendam vicum Mediolanensem, animad- 
verti pauperem mendicum,iam, credo, saturum iocan-| 
tern atque laetantem. et ingemui et locutus sum cum 
amicis, qui mecum erant, multos dolores insaniarura 
nostrarum ; quia omnibus talibus conatibus nostris, 



The Miseiy of the ambitious, shew?i hy the example 
of a Beggar 

I GAPED after honours, gains, wedlock ; and thou chap. 
laughedst at me. In these desires of mine I under- ^ ^ 
went most bitter hardships : wherein thou wert so 
much the more gracious unto me, as thou didst less 
suffer anything to grow sweet unto me, which was 
not thou thyself. Behold now my heart, O Lord, 
who wouldest I should remember alHhis, that I might 
now confess it unto thee. Let now my soul cleave 
fast unto thee, which thou hast freed from that fast- 
holding birdlime of death. How wretched was it 
at that time ! Thou didst pierce the wound on the 
quick, that forsaking all other things, it might turn 
to thee, who art above all, and without whom all 
things would turn to nothing : that it might, I say, 
turn and be healed. How miserable therefore was 1 ! 
And how didst thou deal with me, to make me sen- 
sible of my misery ! That same day, namely, when 
I was preparing an oration in praise of the Emperor, 
wherein I was to deliver many an untruth, and to be 
applauded for my untruth, even by those that knew 
I did so. Whilst my heart panted after these cares, 
and boiled again with the feverishness of these con- 
suming thoughts ; walking along one of the streets 
of Milan, I observed a poor beggar man, half drunk 
I believe, very jocund and pleasant upon the matter : 
but I looking mournfully at him, fell to discourse 
with my friends then in company with me, about 
the many sorrows occasioned by our own madness ; 


CAP. (qualibus tunc laborabam, sub stimulis cupiditatum 
trahens infelicitatis meae sarcinam, et trahendo 
exaggerans) nihil vellemus aliud nisi ad securam laeti- 
tiam pervenire^ quo nos mendicus ille iam praeces- 
sisset, numquam illuc fortasse ventures, quod enim 
iam ille pauculis et emendicatis nummulisadeptus erat^ 
ad hoc ego tarn aerumnosis anfractibus et circuitibus 
ambiebam_, ad laetitiam scilicet temporalis felicitatis. 

Non enim verum gaudium habebat : sed et ego 
illis ambitionibus multo falsius quaerebam. et certe 
ille laetabatur, ego anxius eram, seeurus ille, ego 
trepidus, et si quisquam percontaretur me, utrum 
mallem exultare an metuere, responderem : " exul- 
tare"; rursus si rogaret, utrum me talem mallem, 
qualis ille, an qualis ego tunc essem, me ipsum curis 
timoribusque confectum eligerem, sed perversitate ; 
numquid veritate ? neque enim eo me praeponere 
illi debebam, quo doctior eram, quoniam non inde 
gaudebam, sed placere inde quaerebam hominibus, 
non ut eos docerem, sed tantum et placerem. prop- 
terea et baculo disciplinae tuae confringebas ossa 

Recedant ergo ab anima inta qui dicunt ei : "in- 
terest, unde quis gaudeat." gaudebat mendicus ille 
vinulentia, tu gloria, qua gloria, domine ? quae 
non est in te. nam sicut verum gaudium non erat, 
ita nee ilia vera gloria ; et amplius vertebat mentem 


for that, by all such endeavours of ours, (under CHAF 
which I then laboured, and galled by the spurs of ^^ 
desire, dragged after me the burden of mine own 
infelicity, increasing it by the dragging) we had mind 
of nothing but how to attain some joy without care, 
whither that beggar man had arrived before us, 
who should never percliance come at all thither. 
For that which he had attained unto by means of a 
few pence, (and those begged too) the same was I 
now plotting for, by many a troublesome turning 
and winding ; namely, to compass the joy of a 
temporary felicity. 

For that beggar man verily enjoyed no true joy ; 
but yet I with those my ambitious designs, hunted 
after a much uncertainer. And certainly that fellow 
was jocund, but I perplexed ; he void of care, I full 
of fears. But should any man demand of me, 
whether I had rather be merry or fearful ? I would 
answer. Merry. Again, were I asked, whether I had 
rather be in that beggar man's case, or in mine own 
at that time ? I would make choice of mine own, 
though thus overgone with cares and fears ; yet was 
this upon a wilfulness. For was it out of any true 
reason .'' For I ought not to prefer myself before that 
beggar, because I was more learned than he, seeing 
my learning was not it that made me joyful : but I 
sought rather to please men by it; not to instruct them, 
but merely to delight them. For this cause didst thou 
even break my bones with the stafFof thy correction. 

Away with those therefore from my soul, who say 
unto it ; There is much difference betwixt the occa- 
sions of a man's rejoicing. That beggar man rejoiced j 
in his drunkenness ; thou in glory. What glory. 
Lord ? That which is not in thee. For even as his 
was no true joy, no more was mine any true glory : 
I T 289 

CAP. am et ille ii^sa nocte diffesturus erat ebrietatem 

VI 1 o 

jaum, Ggo cum mea dormieraiii et sunexeram, et 
dormiturus et surrecturus eram ; vide quot dies ! 
interest vero^ unde quis gaudeat, scio, et gaudium 
spei fidelis iiicomparabilitei* distat ab ilia vanitate. 
sed et tmic distabat in er nos : nimirum quippe ille 
felicior erat, non tantum quod hilaritate perfunde- 
batur, cum ego curis eviscerarer, verum etiam quod 
ille bene optando adquisiverat vinum, ego menti- 
endo quaerebam typhum. dixi tunc multa in hac 
sententia caris meis ; et saepe advertebam in his, 
quomodo mihi esset, et inveniebam male mihi esse ; 
et dolebam et conduplicabam ipsum male; etsi quid 
adrisisset prosperum, taedebat adprehendere^ quia 
paene priusquam teneretur avolabat. 


CAP. CoNGEMRSCEBMVHJS in liis, qui simul amice vivebamus, 


et maxime cum Alypio et Nebridio ista conloquebar. 
quorum Alypius ex eodem quo ego eram ortus muni- 
cipio, parentibus primatibus municipalibus, me minor 
natu, nam et studuerat apud me, cum in nostro 



and it turned my head even more. He was that chap. 
night to digest his drunkenness; but many a niglit ^'^ 
had 1 slept with mine, and had risen again with it, 
and was to sleep again, and again to rise with it, how 
many days! But there is indeed a difference in the 
grounds of a man's rejoicing. I know there is, 
and that the joy of a faithful hope is incomparably 
beyond such a vanity. Yea, and at that very time 
was there much diti'erence betwixt him and me : for 
he veriiy was the happier man ; not only ibr that 
he was thoroughl}'^ drenched in mirth, whenas my 
bowels were gripped with cares : but also for that 
by his wishing good luck, he had gotten good store 
of wine ; whereas I, by a flattering oration, sought 
after a mere puff of pride. Much to this purpose 
said I at that time to my dear companions : and I 
marked by them how it fared with me ; and I found 
myself in an ill taking: I grieved for it, by which I 
doubled my ill taking; and when any prosperity 
smiled upon me, it irked me to catch at it ; for that 
almost before I could lay hand upon it, away it flew 
from me. 


lie dissuades A J if j mis from his excessive delight in 
the (jrce/isian Games 

We jointly bemoaned ourselves for this, who lived chap. 
like i"rien(is together ; but chiefly and most familiarly ^^^ 
did I speak hereof with Alypius and Nebridius : of 
whom Aly})ius was born in the same town with me, 
whose parents were of the chief rank there, and him- 
self younger than I. For he had also studied under me, 


CAr. oppido docere coepi^ et postea Carthagini : et dili- 
gebat muUuin_, quod ei bonus et doctiis viderer^ et 
ego illum^ proi)ter magnam virtutis iiidolem, quae in 
non magna aetate satis eminebat. gurges tamen 
niorum Carthaginensium, quibus nugatoria fervent 
spectacula, absorbuerat eum in insaniam circensium. 
sed cum in eo miserabiliter volveretur^ ego autem 
rlietoricam ibi })rofessus publica schola uterer, non- 
dum me audiebat ut magistrum propter quandam 
simultatem, quae inter me et patrem eius erat 
exorta. et compereram, quod circum exitiabiliter 
amaretj et graviter angebar, quod tantam spem per- 
diturus vel etiam perdidisse mihi videbatur. sed 
monendi eum et aliqua coercitione revocandi nulla 
erat copia^ vel amicitiae benevolentia vel iure magis- 
terii. putabam enim eum de me cum patre sentire, 
ille vero non sic erat. itaque postposita in hac re 
patris voluntate, salutare me coeperat veniens in 
auditorium meum, et audire aliquid atque abire, 

Sed enim de memoria mihi lapsum erat agere cum 
illo, ne vanorum ludorum caeco et praecipiti studio 
tarn bonum interimeretur ingenium. verum autem, 
domine, tu, qui praesides gubernaculis omnium, quae 
creasti, non eum oblitus eras, futurum inter filios tuos 
antistitem sacramenti tui : et ut aperte tibi tribuere- 
tur eius correctio, per me quidem illam, sed nescien- 
tem, operatus es. nam quodam die cum sederem 


first, when I set up school in our own town, and CHAr. 
at Carthage afterwards. He loved me very much, ^^^ 
because I seemed of a good disposition to him, and 
well learned : and I loved him again, for his great 
towardness to virtue, which was eminent enough for 
one of no great years. But that whirlpit of those 
Carthaginian fashions, amongst whom those idle 
spectacles are hotly followed, had already swallowed 
up him in immoderate delight of the Circensian 
sports. But mean while that he Mas miserably 
tumbled up and down that way, and I professing 
rhetoric there, had set up a public school : he made 
no use of me as his master, by reason of some un- 
kindness risen betwixt his father and me. Although 
therefore I had found how dangerously he doted upon 
the race-place, and that I were grievously perplexed 
that he took the course to undo so good a hope as 
was conceived of him, or rather as methoughthehad 
already undone it : yet had I no means, either privately 
to advise him, and by way of constraint to reclaim 
him, or by interest of a friendship, or the awe of a 
master. For I supposed verily, that he had the 
same opinion of me with his father ; but he was not 
of that mind. Laying aside therefore his father's 
quarrel, he began to salute me, coming sometimes 
into my school, to hear a little and be gone. 

However, 1 had forgotten to deal with him, that he 
should not for a blind and headstrong desire of such 
vain pastimes undo so good a wit. But thou, O Lord, 
tliou who sittest at the helm of all thou hast created, 
hadst not forgotten him, who was one day to prove a 
chief priest of thy Sacraments; and that his amend- 
ment might plainly be attributed to thyself, thoi: 
truly broughtest it about by my means, who yet knew 
nothing of it. For whenas one day I sat in my 

CAR loco solito, et coram me adessent discipuli, venit, 


salutavit, sedit, atqiie in ea quae agebantur intendit 
animimi. et forte lectio in manibiis erat, quam 
dum exponerem et oportune mihi adhibenda vide- 
retnr similitudo circensium, quo illud quod insinua- 
bam et iucundius et planius fieret, et cum inrisione 
mordaci eorum, quos iJla captivasset insania^ scis tn, 
deus noster, quod tunc dc Alypio ab ilia peste 
sanando non cogitaverim. at ille in se rapuit, me- 
que illud non nisi propter se dixisse credidit; et 
quod alius acciperet ad suscensendum mihi, accepit 
honestus adulescens ad suscensendum sibi, et ad me 
ardentius diligendum. dixeras enim tu iam olim 
et innexueras litteris tuis : corripe sapientem, et 
amabit te. 

At ilium ego non corripueram, sed utens tu 
omnibus et scientibus et nescientibus, ordine quo 
nosti — et ille ordo iustus est — de corde et liiipua 
mea carbones ardentes operatus es, quibus men tern 
spei bonae adureres tabescentem ac sanares. taccat 
laudes tuas^ qui miserationes tuas non considerat. 
quae tibi de medullis meis confitentur. etenim vero 
ille post ilia verba proripuit se ex fovea tam alta, qm 
libcnter dcmergebatur et cum mira voluptate cae- 
cai)atur, et excussit animum forti temperantia, et 
vesihierunt omnes circensium sordes ab eo. amplius- 
(juc illuc non acccssit. deiiuir piitreii) reluct-iritein 


accustomed place, with my scholars before me, in came CHAP, 
he, saluted me, sat him down, and applied his mind to ^ ^^ 
what I then hand led. 1 had by chance a passage 
then in hand, which that I might the better illus- 
'trate, it seemed very seasonable to me to make use of 
a similitude borrowed from the Circensian races ; both 
to make that which I insinuated more pleasant and 
more plain, and to give a biting quip withal, at those 
whom that madness had enthralled. God, thou 
knowest, that I little thought at that time of curing 
Alypius of that pestilence. But he took it to him- 
self, and conceived that 1 merely intended it towards 
him ; and what another man would have made an 
occasion of being angry with me, that good young 
man made a reason of being offended at himself, and 
to love me the more fervently. For thou hadst said 
it long ago, and put it into thy Book, Rebuke a wise I'rov. j.\. s 
man, and he will love thee. 

But for my part, I meant no rebuke towards him : 
but 'tis thou who makest use of all men, both 
knowing or not knowing, in that order which thy- 
self knowest, and that order is just. Out of my 
heart and tongue thou wroughtest burning coals, by 
which thou niightest set on fire that languishing 
disposition of his, of which so good hopes had been 
conceived, and miglitest cure it. Let such a one 
conceal thy praises, who considereth not of thy 
mercies, which my very marrow confesses unto thee. 
For he upon that speech, heaved himself out of that 
pit so deep, wherein he had wilfully been plunged, 
and was hoodwinked with the wretched pastime 
of it ; and roused up his mind with a well re- 
solved moderation ; whereupon all those filths of 
the Circensian pastimes flew off from him, nor came 
he over at them afterwards. Upon this, prevailed 


CAP. evicit, ut me magistro uteretur : cessit ille atque 
concessit, et audire me rursus incipiens, iUamecum 
superstitione involutus est, amans in Manichaeis 
ostentationem continentiae, quam veram ct ger- 
manam putabat. erat autem ilia vecors et sediic- 
toria, pretiosas animas captans nondum virtutis altitu- 
dinem scientes tangere^ et superficie decipi faciles, 
sed tamen adumbratae simulataeque virtutis. 


CAP. NoN sane relinqiiens incantatam sibi a ])arentibus 


terrenam viam. Romam praecesserat, ut ius disceret, 
et ibi gladiatorii spectaciili hiatu incredibili et in- 
credibiliter abreptus est. cum enim aversaretur et 
detestaretur talia, quidam eius amici et condiscipuii, 
cum forte de prandio redeuntibus pervium esset, 
recusantem veheni enter et resistentem, familiari vio- 
lentia duxerunt in amphitheatrum crudelium et 
funestorum ludorum diebus, liaec dicentem : " si 
corpus meum in locum ilium trabitis, numquid et 
animum et oculos meos in ilia spectacula potestis 
intendere .'' adero itaque abscns, ac sic et vos 
et ilia superabo." quibus auditis illi nihilo setius 
eurn adduxerunt secum, id ipsum forte explorare 


he with his unwillmg father, that he might be one chap 
of my scholars. He yielded and condescended: so ^ ^^ 
that Alypius beginning to be my auditor again, 
was bemuffled in the same superstition with me, 
loving that ostentation of continency in the Mani- 
chees, which he supposed to be true and unfeigned. 
But verily no better it was than a senseless and a 
seducing continency, ensnaring precious souls, not 
able yet to reacli to the height of virtue, and easy to 
be beguiled with a fair outside, of that which was 
but a shadowed and a feigned virtue. 

Alypius is taken with a delight of the S7vord-j)lays, 
which before he hated 
E not forsaking that worldly course which his ^^ft^' 
j)arents had charmed him to pursue, went before me 
to Rome, to study the laws, where he was incredibly 
carried away with an incredible greediness for the 
sword players. For being utterly against and de- 
testing such spectacles, when he was one day by 
chance met withal by divers of his acquaintance 
and fellow-students coming from dinner, they with 
a familiar kind of violence, haled him (vehemently 
denying and resisting them) along into the Amphi- 
theatre, on a time when these cruel and deadly 
shows were exhibited ; he thus protesting : " I'hough 
you hale my body to that place, and there set me, 
can you after that force me to give my mind, and 
lend my eyes to these shows ? I shall therefore be 
absent even while I am present, and so shall I over- 
come both you and them too." His companions 
hearing these words, led him on never the slower, 


CAP. cupientes, utrum posset efficere. quo ubi vcntiim est 
et sedibus quibus potiierunt locati sunt, fervebant 
omnia inmanissimis voluptatibus. ille clausis foribus 
oculorum interdixit animo, ne in tanta mala pro- 
cederet. atque utinam et aures opturasset ! nam 
quodam piignae casu, cum clamor ingens totius 
populi veliementer eum pulsasset, curiositate victus, 
et quasi paratus, quidquid illud esset, etiam visum 
contemnere et vincere, aperuit, et percussus est 
graviore vulnere in anima quam ille in corpore, quem 
cernere concupivit, ceciditque miserabilius quam ille, 
quo cadente factus est clamor : qui per eius aures 
intravit et reseravit eius lumina, ut esset, qua feri- 
retur et deiceretur audax adluic potius quam forti^ 
animus, et eo infirmior, quo de se praesumpserat, qui 
debuit de te. ut enim vidit ilium sanguinem, in- 
manitatem simul ebibit ; et non se avertit, sedfixit 
aspectum, et hauriebat furias et nesciebat, et delecta- 
batur scelere certaminis, et cruenta voluptate inebria- 
batur. et non erat iam ille, qui venerat, sed unus d 
turba, ad quam venerat, et verus eorum socius. 
quibus adductus erat. quid plura ? spectavit 
clamavit, exarsit, abstulit inde secum insaniam, qu 
stinmlareUir redire, non tantuni cum illis, a quibus 



desirous perchance to try, whether he could be as CHAP, 
good as his word or no. When tiiey were come ^ "^ 
thither, and had taken their places as they could, 
all that round grew hot with hideous gloating. But 
Alypius closing up the doors of his eyes, forbade 
his mind to range abroad after such mischiefs ; 
and I would that he had stopped his ears also. 
For upon the fall of one in the fight, a mighty 
cry of the people beating strongly upon him, he 
(being overcome by curiosity, and as it were prepared, 
whatsoever it were, to contemn it even when seen, 
and to overcome it) opened his eyes, and was struck 
with a deeper wound in his soul, than the other was 
in his body, whom he desired to behold : and he 
presently fell more miserably than the sword-player 
did, upon whose fall that mighty noise was raised. 
Which noise entered through iiis ears, and unlocked 
his eyes, to make way for the striking and beating 
down of his soul, which was bold rather than valiant 
heretofore; and so much the weaker, for that it 
had trusted on itself, which ought only to have 
trusted on thee. For so soon as he saw the 
blood, he at the very instant drunk down a kind 
of savageness ; nor did he turn away his head, but 
fixed his eye upon it, drinking up unawares the 
very Furies themselves ; being much taken with the 
barbarousness of the sword-fight, and even drunk 
again with that bloodthirsty joy. Nor was he now 
the man he was when he came first thither, but 
become one of the throng he came unto ; yea, an 
entire companion of theirs that brought him thither. 
What shall I say more ? He looked on, he cried out 
for company, he was inflamed with it, carried home 
such a measure of madness as spurred him on to 
come another time : and that not only in their 


CAr. abstractus est, sed etiam prae illis et alios trabens. 
et inde tamen manu validissima et misericordissima 
eruisti eum tu, et docuisti eum non sui habere, sed 
tui fiduciam ; sed longe postca. 


CAP. Verum tamen iam hoc ad medicinani futuram in eiiis 
memoria reponebatur. nam et illud, quod, cum 
adhuc studeret iam me audiens apud Cavthaginem, et 
medio die cogitarat in foro quod recitaturus erat, 
sicut exerceri scholastici solent, sivisti eum conpre- 
hendi ab aeditimis fori tamquam furem, non arbitror 
aliam ob causam te permisisse, deus noster, nisi ut 
ille vir tantus futurus iam inciperet discere, quam 
non facile in noscendis causis homo ab homine dam- 
nandus esset temeraria credulitate. quippe ante tri- 
bunal deambulabat solus cum tabulis ac stilo, cum 
ecce adulescens quidam ex numero scholasticorum, 
fur verus, securim clanculo apportans, illo non sen- 
tiente, ingressus est ad cancellos phnnbeos, qui vico 
argentario desuper praeminent, et praeciciere plum- 
bum coepit. sono autem securis audito submuraiura- 
verunt argentarii, qui subter erant, et miserunt qui 
adprehenderent quern forte invenissent. quorum 


company who first haled him on^ but to run before chat. 
them too, yea^ and hale on others also. Yet out of ^^^^ 
all this didst thou with a most strong and merciful 
hand pluck him notwithstanding^ and taughtest him 
to repose no more confidence in himself, but upon 
thee only. But this was not till a great while after. 


Alypins was apprehended for suspicion of thievery 

But thus much laid he up in his memory for a chai* 
medicine hereafter : as that also which fell out when "^^ 
he was yet itoy scholar at Carthage : where meditating 
at noon time once in the market place, upon some- 
thing he was to say by heart (as scholars use to be 
exercised) thou sufferedst him to be apprehended by 
the officers of the market place for a thief. For no 
other cause, I suppose, didst thou, O our God, suffer 
it, but that he, who was hereafter to prove so great 
a man, should now begin to learn, that in judging of 
causes man was not to be condemned by man out of a 
rash credulity. For as he was walking by himself 
before the place of judgment, with his noting tables 
and his pen, behold a young man of the number of 
the students, (who was the right thief indeed) 
privily bringing a hatchet with him (Alypius never 
perceiving him) gat in as far as the leaden grate-works 
which cover the street of the silversmiths, and began 
to chop in sunder the lead. But the noise of the 
hatcliet being heard, the silversmiths that were under- 
neath began to mutter, and sent forth to apprehend 
whom ever they should find. But the thief hearing 

Ieir voices, ran away, leaving his hatcliet behind 

CAP. vocibus auditis, relicto instrumento, ille discessit 


timens, ne cum eo teneretur. Alypius aiitem, qui 
non viderat intrantem, exeuntem sensit et celeriter 
vidit abeuutem, et causam scire cupiens ingressus 
est locum ; et inventam securim stans atque admirans 
considerabat, cum ecce illi, qui missi eraiit, reperiunt 
eum solum ferentem ferrum_, cuius sonitu exciti 
venerant : tenent^ adtrahunt^ congregatis inquilinis 
fori tamquam furem manifestum se conpreheiidisse 
gloriantur, et inde offerendus iudiciis ducebatur. 
sed liactenus doceudus fuit. statim enim, domine, 
adfuisti innocentiae, cuius testis eras tu solus, cum 
enim duceretur, vel ad custodiam vel ad supplicium, 
(it eis obviam quidam architectus^ cuius maxima erat 
cura publicarum fabricarum. gaudent illi eum potis- 
simum occurrisse, cui solebant in suspicionem venire 
ablatarum rerum, quae perissent de foro, ut quasi 
tandem iam ille cognosceret, a quibus haec fierent. 
verum autem viderat homo saepe Alypium in domo 
cuiusdam senatoris^ ad quern salutandum ventitabat ; 
statimque cognitum manu adprehensa semovit a 
turbis, et tanti mali causam quaerens, quid gestuni 
esset, audivit, omnesque tumultuantes, qui aderant, 
et minaciter frementes iussit venire secum. et vene- 
runt ad domum illius adulescentis, qui rem con- 
miserat. puer vero erat ante ostium, et tam parvus 
erat, ut nihil exinde domino suo metuens, facile posset 


him, fearing to be taken with it. Alypius now, who chap. 
spied him not when he came in, perceived him as ^^ 
he went out, and with what speed he made away, 
and being desirous to know what the matter was, went 
into the place ; where findinj; the hatchet, he stood 
still a while, admiring and considering upon it ; w hen 
behold, those that were sent, find him alone with the 
hatchet in his hand, startled by the noise whereof 
they had made thither : they lay hold upon him, hale 
him away, and gathering the nei^libours dwelling in 
the market place about them, they congratulate one 
another for taking so notorious a felon, leading him 
away to the justice thereupon. But no further was 
Alypius to be instructed. For presently, O Lord, 
camest thou to the succour of his innocency, whereof 
thou wert the only witness. For as he was led along, 
(either to prison or execution) there encountered 
them a certain architect, who had the charge of 
the public buildings. Glad they were to meet him 
of all the rest, for that they were used to fall under 
his suspicion of stealing goods, lost out of the 
market place ; that lie might take notice at length by 
whom these kind of cheats were used to be played. 
But that party had divers times seen Alypius at a 
certain Senator's house, whom he often came to 
visit; who presently taking knowledge of him, took 
him aside by the hand, and privately enquiring the 
occasion of that mischance, heard the whole carriage 
of the business from him ; and bade all that rabble 
(all in an uproar, and threatening of Alypius) to go 
along with him. And to the house they came of 
that young man who had committed the fact : where, 
behold, there was a boy before the door, who was so 
little, as having not the wit to fear doing his master 
any hurt by it, was likely enough to disclose the 


CAr. totum indicare ; cum eo quippe in foro fuit pedisecus. 
quern posteaquam recoluit Aljpius, architecto intim- 
avit. at ille securim demonstravit puero quaerens 
ab eOj cuius esset. qui confestim " nostra " inquit ; 
deinde interrogatus aperuit cetera. sic in illani 
donium translata causa, confusisque turbis^ quae de 
illo triuni})hare iam coeperant, futurus dispensator 
verbi tui, et multarum in ecclesia tua causarum 
examinator, experientior instructiorque discessit. 


CAP. Hung ergo Romae inveneram. et adhaesit mihi for- 
tissimo vinculo^ mecumque Mediolanium profectus 
est, ut nee me desereret, et de iure^ quod didicerat, 
aliquid ageret secundum votum magis parentum quam 
suum. et ter iam adsederat mirabili continentia 
ceteris, cum ille magis miraretur eos, qui aurum 
innocentiae praeponerent. temptataest quoque eius 
indoles, non solum de inlecebra cupiditatis sed etiam 
stimulo timoris. Romae adsidebat comiti lartri- 
tionum Italicianarum. erat eo tempore quidam 
potentissimus senator, cuius et beneficiis obstricti 
multi et terror! subdili crant. voluit sibi licere 


whole matter unto them : for he had followed his chap. 
master to the market place. Whom so soon as ever ^^ 
Alypius remembered, he told the architect of ^^im : 
and he showing the hatchet to the boy, asked him 
whose that was ? " Ours/' quoth he presently ; and 
being further questioned upon the matter, he dis- 
covered everything. Thus was the burglary laid upon 
the master of that house, and the rude multitude 
ashamed, which had already begun to triumph over 
Alypius, who was hereafter to be a dispenser of 
thy Word, and an examiner of many causes in thy 
Church : who went away now, better experienced and 
instructed by this accident. 


Of the great Integrity of Alypius, and oj 
Nebridius' coming 

HIS Alypius therefore I afterwards lit upon at chap. 
Rome ; where he knit in with me with a most strong ^ 
tie ; whence he went with me to Milan, both that 
lie might not break company with me, and that he 
might withal practise something in the law he had 
applied himself unto : rather to fulfil his parents' 
desire, than his own. There had he thrice already 
sat as an Assessor for Justice, with a freedom from 
bribery that was the wonder of the rest : he wonder- 
ing at others rather, who preferred gold before 
honesty. His disposition was tested besides, not only 
with a bait of covetousness, but with the spur of fear 
also. At Rome he had been Assessor to the Count 
of the Italian Bounties. There was at that time a 
most potent Senator, to whose favours many stood 
engjiged, whom many also were much afraid of. 
I u 305 

CAP. nescio quid ex more potentiae suae, quod esset 
per leges inlicitum; restitit Alypius. promissuni 
est praemium ; inrisit animo. j)raetentae minae ; 
calcavit, mirantibus omnibus inusitatam animam, quae 
liominem tantum, et innumerabilibus praestandi no- 
cendique modis ingenti fama celebratum, vel amicum 
lion optaret vel non formidaret inimieum. ipse 
autem index, cui consiliarius erat, quamvis et ipse 
fieri nollet, non tamen aperte recusabat, sed in istum 
causam transferens ab eo se non permitti adserebat, 
quia et re vera, si ipse faceret, iste discederet. hoc- 
solo autem paene iam inlectus erat studio litterario, 
ut pretiis praetorianis codices sibi conficiendos 
curaret ; sed consulta iustitia, deliberationem in 
melius vertit, utiliorem iudicans aequitatem, qua 
prohibebatur, quam potestatem, qua sinebatur. 
parvum est hoc; sed qui in parvo fidelis est, et in 
magno fidelis est, nee uUo modo erit inane, quod 
tuae veritatis ore processit : si in iniusto mamona 
fideles non fuistis, verum quis dabit vobis ? et si in 
alieno fideles non fuistis, vestrum quis dabit vobis ? 
talis tunc ille inhaerebat mihi, mecumque nutabat in 
consiiio, quisnam esset tenendus vitae modus. 


This great man would needs by his usual powers chap. 
have a thing pass the court, which by the laws was ^ 
utterly forbidden : Alypius crossed it. A bribe 
promised him, he with all his heart despised it. 
Threats were used, he trampled them under foot: 
all men hi the mean time admiring so rare a spirit, 
which either desired not such a man (so infinitely 
famed for the innumerable means he had, either to 
do a man a good or a shrewd turn) to be his friend, 
or feared not to have him for his enemy. As for the 
Judge himself, in whose court Alypius was Assessor, 
although for his own part he were unwilling to have 
it pass, yet did he not openly cross it, but put the 
matter off to this Alypius ; pretending that by him 
he was not suffered to do it : for verily if he should 
have offered it, Alypius would have gone off the bench. 
But one thing there w^as that did almost tempt him 
by his love of learning ; that, namely, he might 
get himself a library at such under-prices as the 
Praetors had their books at. But consulting with 
justice, he altered his purpose to the better ; esteem- 
ing equity to be more gainful, by which he was pro- 
hibited that course, than power could be, upon which 
he might take the liberty. All this hitherto said of 
him, is but httle : but he that is faithful in that Luke xvi. 
which is least, is faithful also in much. Nor can that ^^ 
possibly be to no purpose spoken, which proceeded 
out of the mouth of thy Truth : If ye have not been Luke xvi. 
faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit ^^ 
to your trust true riches ? And if ye have not been Luke xvi. 
faithful in that which is another man's, who shall give '2 
you that which is your own ? Such a man as I iiave 
described, did he at that time join himself unto me ; 
and wavered in his purpose as I did, what course of 
life was to be taken. 


CAr. Nebridius etiam, qui relicta patria vicina Cartha- 
gini atque ipsa Carthagine, ubi frequentissimus erat, 
relicto pateruo rure optimo, relicta domo ct non 
secutura matre, nullam ob aliam causam Mediolanium 
venerat, nisi ut meciim viveret in flagrantissimo 
studio veritatis atque sapientiae, pariter suspirabat 
paritcrque fluctuabat^beatae vitae inquisitor ardens, et 
quaestionum difficillimarum scrutator acerrimus. et 
erant ora trium egentium, et inopiam suam sibimet 
invicem anhelantium, et ad te expectantium, ut dares 
eis escam in tempore opportuno. et in omni amari- 
tudine, quae nostros saeculares actus de misericordia 
tua sequebatur, intuentibus nobis finem, cur ea 
pateremur, occurrebant tenebrae, et aversabamur 
gementes et dicebamus : " quamdiu haec ? " et hoc 
crebro dicebamus et dicentes non relinquebamus ea^ 
quia non elucebat certum aliquid, quod illis relictis 


CAP. Et ego maxime mirabar satagens et recolens, quam 
longum tempus esset ab undevicensimo anno aeta- 
tis meae, quo fervere coeperam studio sapientiae, 


Nebridius also, who having left his native country CHAP, 
near Carthage, yea and Carthage itself, where for ^ 
the most part he lived ; leaving his father's lands, 
which were very rich ; leaving his own house, and a 
mother behind, who was not ready to follow after 
him; was by this time come to Milan, and for no 
other reason neither, but that he might bestow 
himself with me in a most ardent desire after truth 
and wisdom. Together with me he sighed, and with 
me he wavered ; still continuing a most ardent 
searcher after happiness, and a most acute examiner 
of the difficultest questions. Thus were there now 
gotten together the mouths of three beggars, sighing 
out their wants one to another, and waiting upon 
thee, that thou mightest give them their meat in Pi- cxiv. ij 
due season. And in much anguish of spirit (which 
by the disposing of thy mercy, still followed our 
worldly affairs) looking towards the end, why we 
should suffer all this, darkness beclouded us : where- 
upon we turned away mourning to ourselves, saying: 
How long will things continue at this stay ? This 
we often said, but in saying so, we yet forsook not 
our errors ; for that we yet discovered no certainty, 
which when we had forsaken them, we might betake 
ourselves unto. 


He deliberates what course of life he mere best 
to take 

And I admired extremely (pondering earnestly with chap 
myself, and examining of my memory) what a deal ^' 
of time I had consumed since that nine and twen- 
tieth year of mine age, in which I began first to be 



CAP, disponens. ea inventa, relinquere omnes vanarum cupi- 
ditatum spes inanes et insanias mendaces. et ecce 
iam tricenariam actatem gerebam, in eodem luto 
liaesitans aviditate fruendi praesentibus, fugientibus 
et dissipantibus me, dum dico : " eras inveniam ; ecce 
manifestum apparebit, et tenebo; ecce Faustus 
veniet et exponet omnia, o magni viri Academici ! 
nihil ad agendam vitam certi conprehendi potest? 
immo quaeramus diligentiiis et non desperemus. 
ecce iam non sunt absurda in libris ecclesiasticis, 
quae absurda videbantur, et possunt aliter atque 
lioneste intellegi. figam pedes in eo gradu, in quo 
puer a parentibus positus eram, donee inveniatur 
.^jjerspicua Veritas. sed ubi quaeretur.^ quando 
quaeretur ? non vacat Ambrosio, non vacat legere. 
ubi ipsos codices quaerimus ? unde aut quando 
conparamus ? a quibns sumimus ? deputentur tem- 
pora, distribuantur horae pro salute animae. magna 
spes oborta est : non docet catholica fides, quod 
putabanuis et vani accusabamus. nefas habent docti 
eius credere deum figura humani corporis termina- 
tum. et dubitamus pulsare, quo aperiantur cetera ? 
antemeridianis boris discipuli occupant; ceteris 
quid facimus ? cur non id agimus ? sed quando 


inflamed with the love of wisdom : resolving, when I CHAP 
had found that, to let pass all those empty hopes, ^^ 
and lying frenzies of vain desires. And behold I 
was now going of my thirtieth year, still sticking in 
the same clay; still possessed with a greediness of 
enjoying things present, they as fast flitting and 
wasting my soul; I still saying to myself. To-morrow ~~ 
I shall find it out, it will appear very plainly, and 
I shall understand it : and behold, Faustus the 
Manichee will come, and clear everything. O you 
great men, of the Academics' opinion : can no cer- 
tain course for the ordering of our lives possibly be 
comprehended ? nay, let us rather search the more 
diligently, and not despair of finding : for behold 
those things in the ecclesiastical books are not absurd 
to us now, which sometimes seemed so : for they 
may be otherwise, yea, and that honestly under- 
stood. I will henceforth pitch my foot upon that 
step, on which, being yet a child, my parents placed 
me, until such time as the clear trutli may be found. 
But where about shall it be sought for } when shall 
it be sought for? Ambrose is not at leisure, nor 
have we ourselves any spare time to read. But 
where shall we find the books to read in ? Whence, 
or when can we procure them, or from whom borrow 
them? Let set times be appointed, and certain hours 
distributed for the health of our souls. We now 
begin to conceive great hopes : the Catholic faith 
teaches not what we thought it had, whereof we 
vainly accused it: the learned men of that faith 
hold it for a detestable opini(m, to believe God to be 
ntained under the figure of a human body : and 
do we doubt to knock, that all the other mysteries 
may also be opened unto us ? All the forenoons our 
scholars take up, what shall we do the rest of the 



^xi 5^^^*^"^^s amicos maiores, quorum sufFragiis opus 
habemus ? quando praeparamus quod emant scho- 
lastic! ? quando reparamus nos ipsos relaxando animo 
ab intentione curarum ? pereant omnia et dimitta- 
mus haec vana et inania : conferamus nos ad solam 
inquisitionem veritatis. vita misera est, mors incerta 
est; subito obrepat — quomodo hinc exibimus? et 
ubi nobis discenda sunt quae hinc negleximus ? ac 
non potius huius neglegentiae supplicia luenda ? 
quid, si mors ipsa omnem curam cum sensu am- 
putabit et finiet ? ergo et hoc quaerendum. sed 
absit, ut ita sit. non vacat, non est inane, quod 
tam eminens culmen auctoritatis Christianae fidei toto 
orbe diffunditur. numquam tanta et talia pro nobis 
divinitus agerentur, si morte corporis etiam vita 
animae consumeretur. quid cunctamur igitur, relicta 
spe saeculi, conferre nos totos ad quaerendum deum et 
vitam beatam ? sed expecta : iucunda sunt etiam ista, 
habent non parvam dulcedinem suam ; non facile ab 
eis praecidenda est intentio, quia turpe est ad ea 
rursum vedire. ecce iam quantum est, ut inpetretur 
aliquis honor, et quid amplius in his desiderandum ? 

suppetit amicorum maiorum copia : ut nihil aliua 


day ? Why go we not about this ? But when then chap. 
shall we visit our greater friends, of whose favours we ^^ 
stand in need ? What time shall we have to compose 
some discourse to sell to scholars ? When shall we 
recreate ourselves, and unbend our minds from those 
cares they are too earnest upon ? Let all these 
thoughts perish, let us give over these vain and 
empty fancies, and betake ourselves solely to search -^ 
out the truth. Life is miserable ; death uncertain ; 
if it steals upon us on the sudden, in what case shall 
we go out of the world, and where shall we then 
learn what we have here neglected ? Or rather, 
shall we not there suffer the due punishment of our 
negligence } If it be objected, that death will quite 
cut off both care and sense of all these things, and 
there's an end of them : then let that be first 
enquired into. But God forbid that it should be so. 
It is not for no purpose, 'tis no idle toy, that so 
eminent a height of authority which the Christian 
faith hath, is diffused all the world over. Never 
would such and so great blessings be by the Divine 
Providence wrought for us, if so be that together 
with the death of the body, the life of the soul 
should be brought to nothing also. Wherefore 
then delay we time any longer, that giving over 
our hopes of this world, we might give up ourselves 
wholly to seek after God and a happy life.^ But 
stay a while : even these worldly things are sweet, 
and they have some, and that no small, pleasure. 
We are not too lightly to divorce our purposes 
from them, for that it were a foul shame to make 
love again to them. See, 'tis no such great matter 
to obtain some office of honour ; and what should 
a man desire more in this world ? We have store 
of potent friends : not to push on for anything too 

CAP. multum festinemus, vel praesidatus dari potest, et 


ducenda uxor cum aliqua pecunia, ne sumptum nostrum 
gravet, et ille erit modus cupiditatis. multi magni 
viri et imitatione dignissimi sapientiae studio cum 
coniugibiis dediti fuerunt." 

Cum haec dice bam et alternabant hi venti et 
inpellebant hue atque illuc cor meum, transibant 
tempora, et tardabam converti ad dominum; et differe- 
bam de die in diem vivere in te, et non difFerebam 
cotidie in memet ipso mori : amans beatam vitam 
timebam illam in sede sua, et ab ea fugiens quaere bam 
eam. putabam enim me miserum fore nimis, si femi- 
nae privarer amplexibus, et medicinam misericordiae 
tuae ad eandem infirmitatem sanandam non cogita- 
bam, quia expertus non eram ; et propriarum virium 
credebarn esse continentiam, quarum mihi non eram 
conscius, cum tarn stultus essem, ut nescirem, sicut 
scriptum est, neminem posse esse continentem, nisi 
tu dederis. utique dares, si gemitu interno pul- 
sarem aures tuas et fide soiida in te iactarem curam 



much, even a governor's place may be bestowed upon chap. 
us : then a wife should be wedded with a good ^^ 
portion to ease our charges ; and this shall be the 
full point of our desires. Many great persons, and 
those worthy of our imitation, have addicted them- 
selves to the study of wisdom in the state of 

Whilst these things I discoursed of, and these 
winds of uncertainties changed up and down, and 
drove my heart this way and that way : the time 
still passed on, but I was slow to be converted to my 
Lord God ; and from one day to another I deferred to 
live in thee, but deferred not daily to die within my- 
self. Being thus in love with an happy life, yet feared 
I to find it in its proper place, and fleeing from it, I 
sought after it. 1 thought I should be too miserable, 
should I be debarred of the embracements of a woman : 
as for that medicine of thy mercy which should cure 
that infirmity, I never thought of it; and all because 
I had no experience of it. As for continency, I sup- 
posed it to be in the liberty of our own power, 
which I for my part felt that I had not ; being so 
foolish withal, that I knew not it was written, that 
no man can preserve his chastity unless thou give it. 
And thou verily wouldst have given it, if with cordial 
groanings I should have knocked at thine ears, and 
with a settled faith have cast my cares upon thee. 




CAP Prohibebat me sane Alvpius ab uxore duceuda, 
XII ,, , 

cantans nullo modo nos posse secure otio simul in 

amore sapientiae vivere, sicut iam diu desideraremus, 

si id fecissem. erat enira ipse in ea re etiara tunc 

castissimus, ita ut mirum esset ; quia vel experientiam 

concubitus ceperat in ingressu adulescentiae suae, sed 

nonhaeserat,magisquedoluerat et spreverat^et deinde 

iam continentissime vivebat. (ego autem resistebam 

illi exemplis eorum, qui coniugati coluissent sapien- 

tiam, et promeruissent deum, et habuissent fideliter ac 

dilexissent amicos. ? a quorum ego granditate quidem 

animi longe aberam : et deligatus morbo carnis 

mortifera suavitate trahebam catenam meam, solvi 

timens^ et quasi concusso vulnere, repellens verba 

bene suadentis tamquam manum solventis. 

Insuper etiam per me ipsi quoque Alypio loque- 

batur serpens, et innectebat atque spargebat per 

linguam meam dulces laqueos in via eius, quibus 

illi honesti et expediti pedes inplicarentur. cum 

enim me ille miraretur, quern non parvi penderet, 

ita haerere visco illius voluptatis, ut me adfir- 

marem, quotienscumque inde inter nos quaereremus, 

caelibem vitam nullo modo posse degere, atque ita 




./ Contention between Aiypius and Angiuiine, about 
Marriage and Single Life 

Alypius indeed was the man that kept me from chap, 
marrying of a wife ; alleging, that by no means could ^^^ 
we enjoy so much undistracted leisure as to live to- 
gether in the love of wisdom (as we long since had 
desired) should I take that course. For he himself 
was so chaste that way, that it was a wonder to see : 
for he had made a trial of that act in the beginning of 
his youth ; but having not engaged himself by it, he 
was sorry for it rather, and despised it ; living from 
that time until this present most continently. For 
my part I opposed him with the examples of such men 
as in the state of matrimony had professed wisdom, 
and were acceptable unto God, and conversed faith- 
fully and lovingly with their acquaintances : of the 
greatness of whose spirit I was far enough short. 
Thus I, bound fast with the disease of the flesh, and 
with the deadly sweetness of it, drew my shackles 
along with me, much afraid to have them knocked off: 
and as if my wound had been too hard rubbed by it, 
I put back his good persuasions, as it were the hand 
of one that would unchain me. 

Moreover, even by me did the serpent speak unto 
Alypius, preparing and laying by my tongue most 
pleasurable snares in his way, in which his honest and 
yet free feet might be entangled. For whenas he 
much admired at me, (whom he slightly esteemed not 
of; for sticking so fast in the birdlime of that pleasure, 
as resolutely to affii-m, so oft as we had speech about 
it. that I could by no means lead a single life : and 



CAP. me defenderem, cum ilium mirantem viderem, ut di- 


cerem multum interesse inter illud, quod ipse raptim 
et furtim expertus esset, quod paene iam ne raemi- 
nisset quidem atque ideo nulla molestia facile con- 
temneret, et delectationes consuetudinis meae; ad 
quas si accessisjset honestum nomen matrimonii, non 
eum mirari oportere, cur ego illam vitam nequirem 
spernere : coeperat et ipse desiderare coniugium, ne- 
quaquam victus libidine talis voluptatis,sed curiositatis. 
dicebat enim scire se cupere, quidnam esset illud^ 
sine quo vita mea, quae illi sic placebat, non mihi 
vita, sed poena videretur. stupebat enim liber ab 
illo vinculo animus servitutem meam, et stupendo 
ibat in experiendi cupidinem, venturus in ipsam ex- 
perientiam atque inde fortasse lapsurus in earn quam 
stupebat servitutem, quoniam sponsionem volebat 
facere cum morte, et qui amat periculum, incidet in 
illud. neutrum enim nostrum, si quod est coniugale 
decus in officio regendi matrimonii et suscipiendorum 
liberorum, ducebat nisi tenuiter. magna autem ex 
parte atque vehementer consuetude satiandaeinsatia- 
bilis concupiscentiae me captum excruciabat, ilium 
autem admiratio capiendum traliebat. sic eramus, 
donee tu, altissime, non deserens humum nostram, 
miseratus miseros, subvenires miris et occultis modis. 



that I used this for an argument (when I saw him so chap 
much wonder at the matter) that there was a great ^^^ 
difference betwixt the pleasure which he had tried by 
stealth and snatches, (which he scarce now remem- 
bered, and might easily therefore despise) and the 
delights of my daily habit : into which might but 
the honest name of marriage be added, he should 
not wonder then, why I had not the power to con- 
temn that course of living : even he began to desire 
to be married ; not as if overcome with the lust of 
so poor a pleasure, as all out of a curiosity : for he 
desired, as he said, to know what manner of content 
that should be, without which my life, which pleased 
him so, seemed not a life but a punishment unto me. 
For his mind, that was free as yet from that clog, 
stood amazed at my thraldom ; and out of that amaze- 
ment, he proceeded to an itch of trying : like enough 
to have come to the experience of it, and from the 
bare experience, to fall perchance into that bondage 
he in me so much admired at ; seeing he was so will- 
ing to enter into a covenant with death ; and he 
that loves danger shall fall into it. For the conjugal 
honour (it there be any) in the office of well ordering 
the duties of a married life, and of ha vin<^ of children, 
moved neither of us but little. But that which for the 
most part did most violently afflict me, already made a 
slave to it, was the custom of satisfying an insatiable 
lust ; but him, that was hereafter to be enslaved, did an 
admiration screw up to it. In this case we continued, 
until thou, O most High, not forsaking our lowliness, 
having compassion of us that stood in need of it, 
didst at length fetch us off, by admn*able and secret 





CAP. Et instabatur inpiffre, ut ducerem uxorem. lam 
petebam, iam promittebatur, maxime matre clante 
operam, quo me iam coniugatum baptismus salutaris 
ablueret, quo me in dies gaudebat aptari, et vota sua 
ac promissa tua in mea fide conpleri animadvertebat. 
cum sane et rogatu meo et desiderio suo forti cla- 
more cordis abs te deprecaretur cotidie, ut ei per 
visum ostenderes aliquid de futuro matrimonio meo, 
numquam voluisti. et videbat quaedam vana et 
phantastica, quo cogebat inpetus de hac re sata- 
gcntis humani spiritus, et narrabat mihi non cum 
fiducia^ qua solebat, cum tu demonstrabas ei, sed con- 
temnens ea. dicebat enim discernere se nescio quo 
sapore, quern verbis expiicare non poterat, quid in- 
teresset inter revclaiitem te et animam suam som- 
niantem. instabatur tamen, et puella petebatur, 
cuius aetas ferme bicnnio minus quam nubilis erat, 
et quia ea placelmt, exspeclabatur. 




Augustine lays out for a Wife 

And much ado tliere was to get me a wife. Now chap 
went I a wooinn^, and then was the wench promised ^^^^ 
me : my mother taking most pains to beat the bar- 
gain : her purpose in it being, that when I were 
once married, the wholesome waters of Baptism might 
cleanse me, towards which she much rejoiced to see 
me daily fitting myself; observing that all her own 
desires, and thy promises, were to be fulfilled in my 
embracing of the faith. At which time verily, both 
by mine own entreaties, and her desires, and with 
very strong cries of her heart, did she daily beg of 
thee, that thou wouldst vouchsafe by some vision to 
discover something unto her concerning my future 
marriage, but thou wouldst never do it. Yet saw she 
indeed certain vain and fantastical things, driven by 
the earnestness of the human spirit, so busied about 
this matter. These she told me of; yet not with that 
confidence she was wont when thyself afforded any 
visions unto her, but slighting them, as it were. For 
she could, as she said, (though I know not what 
relish she had, which in words she could not express) 
easily enough discern how much difference there 
was betwixt thy revelations, and the dreams of her 
own spirit. Yet went she forward earnestly, and 
the parents' goodwill was asked ; but the maid 
wanted two years of being marriageable. Yet, for 
that I had a good liking to her^ I was content to stay 
so long for her. 




CAP. Et multi amici asjitaveramus animo et conloquentes 


ac detestaiites turbulentas humanae vitae molestias, 
paene iam firmaveramus remoti a turbis otiose vivere, 
id otium sic moliti, ut, si quid habere possemus, 
conferremus in medium, unamque rem familiarem 
conflaremusex omnibus, ut peramicitiae sinceritatem 
non esset aliud huius et aliud illius, sed quod ex 
cunctis fieret unum, et universum singulorum esset 
et omnia omnium ; cum videremur nobis esse posse 
decem ferme liomines in eadem societate, essentque 
inter nos praedivites, Homanianus maxime com- 
rauniceps noster, quem tunc graves aestus nego- 
tiorum suorum ad comitatum adtraxerant, ab ineunte 
actate mihi familiarissimus. qui maxime instabat Imic 
rei, et magnam in suadendo habebat auctoritatem, 
quod ampla res eius multum ceteris anteibat. et 
placuerat nobis, ut bini annul tamquam magistratus 
omnia necessaria curarent, ceteris quietis. sed postea- 
quam coepit cogitari, utrum hoc mulierculae sinerent, 
quas et alii nostrum iam habebant et nos habere vole- 
bamus, totum illud placitum, quod bene formabamus, 
dissiluit in manibus, atque confractum et abiectum 
est. inde ad suspiria et gemitus et gressus ad 




A new Plot is laid and broken 

And we were many friends, which debated together, chaf. 
conferring about the detesting these turbulent ^^^'^ 
molestations of human life ; and we had now almost 
resolved to sequester ourselves from company, and 
to live at peace : we hoj^ed so to obtain that peace, 
by putting together what stock every man was able 
to make, and making one household of all : that 
through the plain dealing of a common friendship, 
one thing should not be this man's, and another 
thing that man's ; but what stock should be made 
up out of every man's particular, should in the whole 
belong unto the interest of every single person, 
and all together, unto all in general. It seemed 
to us, that there might near be some ten persons 
in this brotherhood : some of which were very rich 
men; and Romanianus especially, our townsman 
(from his childhood a very familiar friend of mine) 
whom the hot pursuit of his business had brought up 
to Court : who was most earnest of all for this pro- 
ject : and therein was his voice of great authority, 
because his wealth was much greater than the rest. 
And we had set it down that two officers should 
be yearly chosen, for the making of necessary pro- 
visions, whilst the rest were quiet. But so soon as 
we began to consider better of" it, whether our wives, 
(which some of us had already, and I resolved to 
have shortly) would endure all this or no ; all that 
so well laid plot fell to pieces in our hands, and was 
utterly dashed and cast aside. Thence returned 
we again to our old sighings, and groanings, and 


CAP. sequendas latas et tritas vias saeculi, quoniam multae 
cogitationes erant in corde nostro, consilium autem 
tuum manet in aeternum. ex quo consilio deridcbas 
nostra et tua praeparabas nobis, daturus escam in 
opportunitate, et aperturus manum, atque impleturus 
animas nostras benedictione. 


CAP. Interea mea peccata multiplicabantur, et avulsa a 
latere meo, tamquam inpedimento coniugii, cum qua 
cubare solitus eram, cor, ubi adhaerebat, concisum 
et vulneratum mihi erat et trahebat sanguinem. et 
ilia in Africam redierat, vovens tibi alium se virum 
nescituram, relicto apud me naturali ex ilia filio 
meo. at ego infelix nee feminae imitator, dilationis 
inpatiens, tamquam post bienriium accepturus earn 
quam petebam, quia non amator coniugii sed libi- 
dinis servus eram, procuravi aliam, non utique 
coniugem, quo tamquam sustentaretur et perduce- 
retur, vel integer vel auctior, morbus animae meae 
satellitio perdurantis consuetudinis in regnum 
uxorium. nee sanabatur vulnus illud meum, quod 


wanderings, and to our former following those broad chap. 
and beaten ways of the world : for that many thoughts ^^^ 
were in our hearts, but thy counsel standeth for Matt. vii. 13 
ever. Out of which counsel didst thou deride ours, ps. xxxiii. 
and laid the groundwork for thine own ; purposing ^^ 
to give us meat in due season, and to open thy hand, pg. cxiv. is, 
and to fill our souls with thy blessing, a* 


How his old Concubine goes awatj from him, and 
he gets another 

Mv sins in the mean time were multiplied, and that chap. 
mistress of mine which was wont to be my bedfellow, ^^ 
the hinderer as it were of my marriage, being plucked 
away from my side, my heart cleaving unto her, was 
broken by this means, and wounded, yea, and blood 
drawn from it. Home again went she into Africa, 
(vowing to thee never to know man more) leaving a 
bastard son with me, which I had begotten of her. 
But unhappy I, who had not the heart to imitate a 
woman, impatient now of all delay as if it were two 
long years before I was to enjoy her whom I went a 
wooing to, (being not so much a lover of wedlock 
as a slave to lust) quickly procured another (though 
not a wife) by whom that disease of my soul 
might be nursed up, and kept alive, either as 
vigorous as it was, or more fierce upon it, under 
the convoy of inveterate custom into the king- 
dom of marriage. Nor was that wound of mine as 
yet cured, which had been made by the cutting 
away of my former concubine ; but after most 


CAP. prioris praecisione factum erat, sed post fervorem 
doloremque acerrimum putrescebat, et quasi frigidius, 
led desperatius dolebat. 


CAP. TiBi laus, tibi gloria, fous misericordiarum ! ego 
fiebam miserior et tu propinquior. aderat iam 
ianique dexteratua, raptura me de caeno et ablutura, 
et ignorabam. nee me revocabat a profundiore 
voIuj)tatum carnalium gurgite, nisi metus mortis et 
futuri iudicii tui, qui per varias quidem opiniones, 
nnmquam tamen recessit de pectore meo. et dis- 
putabam cum amicis meis Alypio et Nebridio de 
finibus bonorum et malorum, Epicurum accepturum 
fuisse pal mam in animo meo, nisi ego credidissem 
post mortem restare animae vitam et tractus meri- 
lorum, quod Epicurus credere noluit. et quaerebam, 
si essemus inmortales et in perpetua corporis volup- 
tate sine ullo amissionis terrore viveremus, cur non 
essemus beati, aut quid aliud qiiaereremus : nesciens 
id ipsum ad magnam miseriam pertinere, quod ita 
demersus et caecus c(»gitare non possem lumen 
honestatis et gratis amplectendae pulchritudinis, 
quam non videt oculus carnis, et videtur ex intimo. 


eager burning and anguish it festered ; and still it chap. 
pained me, though alter a mure dull, jet alter a ^^ 
more desperate manner. 


Of the Immorialiiy of the Soul 

Praise be to thee, g^ory be to thee^ O Fountain of chap. 
Mercies ! I became more miserable, and thou nearer ^^'^ 
unto me. Thy right hand was ready by and by to 
pluck me out of the mire, and to wash me throughly, 
but I knew not yet of it. Nor did anything call me 
back from that deeper gulf of carnal pleasures, but 
only the fear of death, and of thy judgment to come : 
which, although divers opinions 1 conceived of it, 
yet never went it utterly out of my breast. I dis- 
puted in those days with my friends Alypius and 
Xebridius concerning the limits of good and evil : 
determining, that Epicurus in my judgment should 
have won the garland, had I not verily believed that 
there remained a life for the soul after the body was 
dead, and the fruits of our deservjngs, which Epicurus 
would not believe. And I put the question, that 
suppose we were to be immortal, and were to live in 
per{)elual enjoyment of bodily pleasures, and that 
without fear of losing, why should we not then be 
fully happy, and wherefore should we seek for any 
other thing } Little knowing that even this very 
thing was a part of my great misery, that being thus 
drowned and blinded, I could not discern that light 
of honesty and of beauty, (to be embraced for its own 
sake), which the eye of the flesh cannot ken, it being 
only by the inner man to be discerned. Nor did I 


CAiv nec considerabam miser, ex qua vena mihi rnanaret, 


quod ista ipsa, foeda, tamen cum amicis dulciter 

obnferebam, nec esse sine amicis poteram beatus 

etiam secundum sensum,quem tunc habebam, quanta- 

libet afluentia carnalium voluptatum. quos utique 

amicos gratis diligebam, vicissimque ab eis me diligi 

gratis sentiebam. o tortuosas vias ! vae animae 

meae audaci, quae speravit, si a te recessisset, se 

aliquid melius habituram ! versa et reversa in ter- 

gum et in latera et in ventrem, et dura sunt 

omniaj et tu solus requies. et ecce ades et 

liberas a miserabilibus erioribus et 

constitues nos in via tua, et con- 

solaris et dicis : " currite, 

ego feram et ego per- 

ducam et ibi ego 




consider, wretch that I was, out of what vein it flowed, chap. 
that even these conceits, (filthy ones as they were) ^^^ 
I with such pleasure conferred of with my friends, 
nor could I be happy without friends, even accord- 
ing to the opinion 1 then was of, how great abundance 
soever of carnal pleasures beside I enjoyed. Which 
friends verily I loved for their own sakes, and I found 
myself to be in like manner beloved of them again. 
Out upon these intricate ways ! Woe unto that 
audacious soul of mine, which hoped, that had it 
forsaken thee, it should have had some better thing ! 
Turned it hath, and turned again, upon back, sides, 
and belly, yet found all places to be hard ; and that 
thou art her rest only. And behold, thou art near at 
hand ; and from our wretched errors thou de- 
liverest us, and settlest us in thine own 
way, and dost comfort, and say thus 
unto us : Run on, I will carry 
you : yea, I will bring you 
to your journey's end, 
and there also will 
I carry you. 




CAP. Iam mortua erat adulescentia mea mala et nefanda, 
et ibam in iuventutem, quanto aetate maior, tanto 
vanitate turpior, qui cogitare aliquid substantiae nisi 
tale non poteram, quale per hos oculos videri solet. 
non te cogitabam, deus, in figura corporis humani : ex 
quo audire aliquid de sapientia coepi, semper hoc 
fugi, et gaudebam me hoc reperire in fide spiritalis 
matris nostrae, Catholicae tuae ; sed quid te aliud 
cogitarem non occurrebat. et conabar cogitare te 
homo, et talis homo, summum et solum et verum 
deum, et te incorruptibilem et inviolabilem et in- 
conmutabilem totis medullis credebam, quia nes- 
ciens, unde et quomodo, plane tamen videbam et 
certus eram, id quod corrumpi potest, deterius esse 
quam id quod non potest, et quod violari non 
potest, incunctanter praeponebam violabili, et quod 
nullam patitur mutationem, melius esse quam id 
quod mutari potest, clamabat violenter cor meum 
H(l versus omnia phantasmata mea, ;et hoc uno ictii 
conabar abigere circumvolantem turbam inmunditiae 


How rejecting corporeal Images, he bega?i to know 
God to be incorporeal 

Bv this time was that wicked and abominable time chap. 
of my youth dead, and I went on into a more solid I 
age : by how much the elder in years, so much the 
fouler in vanity ; who could not imagine any other j 
kind of substance than what I saw with these eyes. J 
Yet thought I not thee, O God, to be comprehended 
under the figure of an human body ; since the time 
I began to hear anything of wisdom, I always avoided 
that: and I rejoiced to have found thus much in the 
faith of our spiritual Mother thy Catholic Church. 
But what else I should think thee to be, I knew not. 
And I being but a man, (and so mean a man too) 
yet set I myself to believe thee to be the sovereign 
and only true God : and that thou wert incorruptible, ' 
and inviolable, and uncljan^gaible, with all the powers 
of my soul did 1 believe : because not knowing how 
nor which way, yet clearly did I behold, and very 
sure I was, that that which may be corrupted^ must \ 
needs be worse than that which cannot be corrupted ; 
and that which cannot be violated, did I without any 
sticking at prefer before that which was subject to 
be violated : and that which suffers no change, I 
judged to be much better than that which may suffer - 
change. My heart passionately cried out upon all 
my phantasms ; and with one blow I laid about me to 
beat away all that fluttering troop of unclean fancies. 


CAP. ab acie mentis meae : et vix dimota in ictu oculi, ecce 

conglobata rursus aderat, et inruebat in aspectum 

meum et obnubilabat eum, ut quamvis non forma 

humani corporis, corpora um tamen aliquid cogitare 

cogerer per spatia locorum, sive infusum mundo sive 

etiam extra mundum per infinita difFusum, etiam 

ipsum incorruptibile et inviolabile et incommutabile, 

quod corruptibili et violabili et commutabili prae- 

ponebam : quoniam quidquid privabam spatiis talibus, 

nihil mihi esse videbatur, sed prorsus nihil^ ne inane 

quidem, \tamquam si corpus auferatur loco et maneat 

locus omni corpore vacuatus, et terreno et humido et 

aerio et caelesti, sed tamen sit locus inanis, tamquam 

spatiosum nihil. 

Ego itaque incrassatus corde, nee mihimet ipsi vel 

ipse conspicuus^ quidquid non per aliquanta spatia 

tenderetur, vel diffuuderetur vel conglobaretur vel 

tumeret, vel tale aliquid caperet aut capere posset, 

nihil prorsus esse arbitrabar. iperquales enim formas 

ire Solent oculi mei^ per tales imagines ibat cor 

meum, nee videbam banc eandem intentionem, qua 

illas i])sas imagines formabam, non esse tale aliquid : 

quae tamen ipsas non formaret, nisi esset magnum 

aliquid. ' ita etiam te, vita vitae meae, grandem per 

infinita spatia undique cogitabam penetrare totam 

mundi molem, et extra eam quaquaversum per 

inmensa sine termino, ut haberet te terra, haberet 



from the eye of my mind. And lo, being yet scarce CHAP, 
put oif by the space of the twinkling of an eye, they ^ 
came in multitudes again about me, they pressed 
upon my sight, and so beclouded it, that though I 
thought thee not to be of the shape of a human 
body, yet was I consti-ained to imagine thee to be 
some corporeal substance, taking up vast spaces of 
place : and that, eitliei* infused into this world, or 
else diffused indefinitely without it : yea, even of 
that incorruptible, and invisible, and unchangeable, 
which 1 preferred before corruptible, and violable, 
and changeable, did I imagine thus. Because that 
whatsover I deprived of these spaces, seemed to be 
nothing unto me ; yea, altogether nothing, not so 
much as an emptiness verily; just as if a body 
were taken out of its place, and the place should 
remain empty of any body at all, either earthly, or 
watery, or airy, or heavenly ; but should remain a 
void space, as it were a spacious nothing. 

I therefore being thus gross hearted (for I was not 
even able to discern my very self); whatsoever was 
not stretched out over certain spaces, nor diffused 
abroad, nor amassed up into bulk, nor swelled into 
breadth, or which did not or could not receive some 
form of these dimensions, I thought to be a. just 
nothing. For such forms agjny eyes arejwont tQ y ^t^ge 
over, even such like images did mv h ^y^yt p pw yQve 
aTter : nor did I yeFoBserve that this very attention 
oT^mine, by which I formed these images, was not any 
such corporeal substance ; which yet could not have 
formed them, had not itself been some great thing. 
In like manner did I conceive thee, O thou Life of 
my life, to be some huge corporeal substance, on ^ , 
every side piercing through the whole globe of this 
world ; yea, and diffused every way without it, and 

CAP. caelum, haberent omnia et ilia finirentur in te, tu 
autem iiusquam. sicut aiitem luci solis non obsis- 
teret aeris corpus, aeris huius, qui supra terram est, 
quominus per eum traiceretur, penetrans eum non 
dirrumpendo aut concidendo, sed implendo eum 
totum : sic tibi putabam non solum caeli et aeris 
et maris, sed etiam terrae corpus, pervium et ex 
omnibus maximis minimisque partibus penetrabile ad 
capiendam praesentiam tuam, occulta inspiratione 
intrinsecus et extrinsecus administrante omnia, quae 
creasti. j ita suspicabar, quia cogitare aliud non pote- 
ram ; nam falsum erat. illo enim modo maior pars 
terrae maiorem tui partem haberet, et minorem 
minor, atque ita te plena essent omnia, ut amplius 
tui caperet elephanti corpus quam passeris, quo esset 
isto grandius grandioremque occuparet locum, atque 
ita frustatim partibus mundi magnis magnas, brevibus 
breves partes tuas praesentes faceres. non est autem 
ita. sed nondum inluminaveras tenebras meas. 




that by infinite spaces, though unbounded : so that CHAP, 
tlie earth siiould have thee, the heaven should have ^ ^ 
thee, all thino^s should have thee, and that tliey 
should be bounded in thee, but thou nowhere. For 
as the body of the air which is above the earth, 
hindereth not the light of the sun from passing 
through it, which pierceth it, not by bursting or 
cuttinsT, but by filling of it : so thought I, that not 
only the body of the heaven, the air and sea only, 
but of the earth too, to be at pleasure passable unto 
thee, yea easy to be pierced by thee in all its 
greatest and smallest parts, that all m.ight receive 
thy presence, while a secret inspiration both in- 
wardly and outwardly governeth all things which 
thou hast created, ^^y s_^I_susj)^ecte_(|j^ bec^^ ^'liL 
other thing I could not think of: and yet was^Cfiis 
faTse too. For by tliis means should a greater part 
of the earth have contained a larger portion of tliee, 
and the less, a lesser: and then should all tbiirgs in 
such sort have been full of thee, as that the body of 
an elephant should contain so much more of thee 
than the body of a sparrow, by how much that 
should be bigger than this, and take up more room; 
by which conceit shouldst thou make thy parts 
present unto the several parts of the world by bits, 
as it were, great gobbets to great parts, little bits 
to little parts of the world. But t hus thou art not ...^y^ 
l^reservt. But thou hadst not as yet enlightened my" 




CAT'. Sat erat mihi, domine^ adversus illos deceptos de- 

ceptores et loquaces mutos, quoniam non ex eis 

sonabat verbum tuum, sat erat ergo illud, quod iam 
diu ab usque Carthagine a Nebridio proponi solebat, 
et omnes, qui audiebamus, concussi sumus : quid erat 
tibi iactura nescio qua gens tenebrarum, quam ex 
ad versa mole solent proponere, si tu cum ea pugnare 
noluisses ? si enim responderetur, aliquid fuisse noci- 
turam, violabilis tu et corruptibibs fores, si autem 
nihil ea nocere potuisse diceretur, nulla afferretur 
causa pugnandi, et ita pugnandi, ut quaedam portio 
tua et membrum tuum vel proles de ipsa substantia 
tua misceretur ad\ ersis potestatibus et non a te crea- 
tis naturis, atque in tantum ab eis corrumperetur et 
commutaretur in deterius, ut a beatitudine in miseriam 
verteretur, et egeret auxilio, quo erui purgarique pos- 
set; et banc esse animam, cui tuus strmo, servienti 
lil)er, et contamiiiatae purus, et corruptae integer, 
subveniret, scd et ipse corruptibilis, quia ex una 
eadenique substantia, itaque si te, quidquid es, id est 




Nehridiiix confutes the Manichees 

I HAD answer enough, Lord, to oppose against those chap, 
deceived deceivers, those dumb praters (therefore ^^ 
dumb because they sounded not forth thy word) : I 
had answer enough, I say, in that which long ago, 
whiles we were at Carthage, Nebridius used to pro- 
pound ; at which all we that heard it were much 
staggered ; namely ; What that imaginary nation of 
darkness, which the Manichees were wont to set in 
opposition against thee, would have done unto thee, 
hadst thou refused to fight with it ? For, had they 
answered, it would have done thee some hurt ; then 
shouldst thou have been subject to violence and cor- ^ 
ruption : but if they answered, it could do thee no 
hurt, then would there have been no reason brought 
for thy fighting with it : especially for such a fight- 
ing, in which some certain portion or member of 
thine, or some oHspring of thy substance should have 
been mingled with those contrary powers, those 
natures not created by thee ; by whom it should so 
fcir have been corrupted and changed to the worse, 
that it should have been turned from happiness into 
misery, and should have stood in need of some assist- 
ance, by which it must both be delivered and purged : 
and that this offspring of thy substance was our soul ; 
which, being enthralled, thy Word that was free ; 
which being defiled, thy Word that was pure ; which 
being maimed, thy Word that was entire, might every 
way relieve: and yet that W^ord itself also be cor- 
ruptible, because it was the off'spring of one and the 
same substance. Therefore should they affirm thee, 


CAP. substantiam tuam^ qua es, incorruptibilein dicerent, 
falsa esse ilia omnia et exsecrabilia ; si autem 
corruptibilem, id ipsum iam falsum et prima voce 
aboniinandum. sat erat ergo istuc, adversus eos 
omni modo evomendos a pressura pectoris, quia noii 
habebant, qua exirent, sine horribili sacrilegio cordis 
et linguae, sentiendo de te ista et loquendo. 


CAP. Sed et ego adhue, quamvis incontaminabilem et 
inconvertibilem et nulla ex parte mutabilem dicerem 
firmeque sentirem dominum nostrum, deum verum, 
qui fecisti non solum animas nostras sed etiam cor- 
pora, nee tantum nostras animas et corpora, sed 
omnes et omnia ; /non tenebam explicitam et enoda- 
tam causam mali. quaecumque tamen esset, sic earn 
quaerendam videbam, ut non per illam constringerer 
deum incommutabilem mutabilem credere, ne ipse 
fierem quod quaerobam. itaque securus earn quaere- 
bam, et certus non esse verum quod illi dicerent, 
quos toto animo fugiebam ; quia videbam quaerendo, 
unde malum, repletos malitia, qua opinarentur tuam 
potius substantiam male pati quam suam. male facere, 


whatsoever thou art, that is, thy substance, to be chap 
incorruptible ; then were all these fancies of theirs ^^ 
most false and execrable. But if they should affirm 
thee to be corruptible ; even that were most false, 
and to be abhorred at the first hearing. This argu- 
ment therefore of Nebridius verily had been enough 
against those, who deserved wholly to be spewed out 
of my over-charged stomach ; for that they had no 
evasion to betake themselves unto, without most hor- 
rible blasphemy both of heart and tongue, thinking 
and speaking of thee in this fashion. 

' Free H'ill is the cause of Sin 

UT I as yet. although I both said and thought most chai 
confidently, that thou our Lord the true God, (who ^^^ 
madest not only our souls but our bodies ; and not only 
both souls and bodies, but us all, and all things else 
besides) wert neither to be corrupted nor altered one 
way or other; yet understood I not clearly and without 
difficulty the cause of evil. And yet whatever it were, 
I perceived I ought in that sense to enquire after it, 
that I might not be constrained to believe that the 
incommutable God could be altered by it : lest my- 
self should be made the thing that I was seeking. Tim 

After this therefore I sought it without anxietv 

s. .'k 

aiise (il 

being very certain that the Manichees' tenet (whom 
I dissented from with my whole heart) was no way 
true ; for that I discovered them, whilst they enquired 
the cause of evil, to be most full of maliciousness; 
' they thinking that thy substance did rather suffer ill 
than their own commit evil. - ,. --.-.-^ •- 



CAF. Et intendebam, ut cernerem quod audiebam, libe- 
rum voluntatis arbitrium causam esse, ut male facere- 
mus, et rectum iudicium tuum ut pateremur, et eam 
liquidam cernere non valebam. itaque aciem mentis 
de profundo educere conatus, mergebar iterum, et 
saepe conatus mergebar iteium atque iterum. sub- 
levabat enim me in lucem tuam, quod tarn sciebam 
me habere voluntatem quam me vivere. itaque cum 
aliquid vellem aut noUem, non alium quam me velle 
ac nolle certissimus eram, et ibi esse causam peccati 
mei iam iamque advertebam. quod autem invitus 
facerem, pati me potius quam facere videbam, et id 
non culpam, sed poenam esse iudicabam, qua me non 
iniuste plecti te iustum cogitans cito fatebar. sed 
rursus dicebam : " quis fecit me ? nonne deus meus, 
non tantum bonus, sed ipsum bonum? unde igitur 
mihi male velle et bene nolle ? ut esset, cur iuste 
poenas luerem? quis in me hoc posuit et insevit 
mihi plantarium amaritudinis, cum totus fierem a 
dulcissimo deo meo? si diabolus auctor, unde ipse 
diabolus ? quod si et ipse perversa voluntate ex bono 
angelo diabolus factus est, unde et in ipso voluntas 
mala, qua diabolus fieret, quando totus angelus a 
conditore optimo factus esset f ' ' his cogitationibus de- 
primebar iterum et suffocabar, sed non usque ad ilium 
infernum subducebar erroris, ubi tiemo tibi confitetur, 
dum tu potius mala pati quam homo facere putatur. 


Whereupon I applied my industry to understand the chap. 
truth of what I had heard, how that Free Will should ^^^ 
I be the cause of our evil doing : and thy just judg- 
ment, that we suffer evil. But I was not able clearly 
to discern it. Endeavouring therefore to draw the 
eye of my soul out of that pit, I was again plunged 
into it ; and endeavouring often, I was plunged as 
often. For this raised me a little up towards thy 
light, that I now knew as well that I had a will, as 
that I had a life : and when therefore I did either 
will or nill anything, I was most sure of it, that I 
and no other did will and nill : and there was the 
cause of my sin, as I perceived presently. But what 
I did against my will, that I seemed to suffer rather 
than to do : that judged I not to be my fault, but 
my punishment ; whereby, I holding thee most just, 
quickly confessed myself to be not unjustly punished. 
But I objected to myself again: Who made me.'' 
^ Did not my God, who is not only good, but Goodness 
' itself .-^ Whence then came it that I can both will 
evil and nill good ? that there might be cause found 
why I should be justly punished for it.'* Who w^as 
it that set this in me, that ingrafted into my stem 
this scion of bitterness, seeing I was wholly made 
up by my most sweet God } If the Devil were the 
author, whence is that same Devil ? And if he him- 
self by his own perverse will, of a good angel became 
a devil, whence then proceeded that perverse will in 
him, to make him a devil, seeing that he had been 
made all angel by that most good Creator.^ And 
by such thoughts as these was I again cast down and 
overwhelmed : yet not so far brought down was I as 
the hell of that error, where no man confesseth unto 
thee, when thou art rather thought to suffei: eyiL 
thauQ man to do evil. 




CAP. Sic enim nitebar invenire cetera, ut iam inveneram 


melius esse incorruptibile quam corruptibile, et ideo 
te^ quidquid esses^ esse incorruptibilem confitebar. 
neque enim ulla anima umquam potuit poteritve cogi- 
tare aliquid^ quod sit te melius, qui summum et 
oj)timum bonum es. cum autem verissime atque cer- 
-tissime incorruptibile corruptibili praeponatur, sicut 
ego iam praeponebam, poteram iam cogitatione aliquid 
adtingere, quod esset melius deo meo, nisi tu esses 
incorruptibilis. ubi igitur videbam incorruptibile cor- 
ruptibili esse praeferendum, ibi te quaerere debebam, 
atque inde advertere, ubi sit malum, id est unde sit 
ipsa corruptio, qua violari substantia tua nuUo modo 
potest. / nullo enim prorsus violat corruptio deum 
nostrum, nulla voluntate, nulla necessitate, nullo in- 
proviso casu, quoniam ipse est deus, et quod sibi vult, 
bonum est, et ipse est idem bonum ; corrumjn autem 
non est bonum. nee cogeris invitiis ad aliquid, quia 
voluntas tua non est maior quam potentia tua. esset 
autem maior, si te ipso tu ipse maior esses : voluntas 
enim et potentia dei deus ipse est. quid improvisum 
tibi, qui nosti omnia ? et nulla natura est, nisi quia 
nosti earn, et ut quid multa dicimus, cur non sit cor- 
ruptibilis substantia, quae deus est, quando, si Ikh- 
esset, non esset deus ? 




God cannot he covipelled 

In this sort did I endeavour now to find out the rest, chap. 
as I had already found, that what was incorruptible 
must needs be better than that which was corruptible : 
and thee, therefore, whatsoever thou wert, did I ac- 
knowledge to be incorruptible. For never yet soul 
was, nor ever shall be able to think upon anything 
which may be better than thou, who art the sovereign 
and the best good. But whereas most truly and cer- 
tainly, that which is incorruptible is to be preferred 
before what is corruptible,(like as I did then prefer it), 
I might very well have reached in my thoughts to 
something that should be better than my God, hadst 
thou not been incorruptible. Seeing therefore that 
incorruptible ought to be preferred before corruptible, ^ 
^ at that j)oint ought I to have sought out thee, and I 
thTnce'set out to observe where evil is ; that is, even j 
whence corruption comes ; by which thy substance 1 
can by no means be infected. P^or corruption does no j 
ways infect our God ; by no will, by no necessity, by 
no unlooked for chance : because he is God, and what 
he wills, is good ;• and he himself is that Good ; but to 
be corrupted is not good. Nor art thou, O God, against 
thy will constrained to anything, for that thy will is not 
greater than thy power. But greater should it be, were 
thyself greater than thyself. For the will and j)(nver of 
Gcd, is God himself". And what chanoe can s^Lj;p.i:j,ge 
thee unlooked for, who knowest all things.^ Nor is 
there an\ nature of things, b1itT3ecalise thoTi knowest 
it. And why should we use more arguments to prove, 
why that substance which Cod is should not be cor- 
ruptible, seeing if it were so, it should not be God ? 



CAP. Et quaerebam, unde malum^ et male quaerebam et 
^ in ipsa inquisitione mea non videbam malum, fetcon- 
stituebam in conspectu spiritus mei universam crea- 
turam, quidquid in ea cernere possumus (sicuti est 
terra et mare et aer et sidera et arbores et animalia 
mortalia), et quidquid in ea non videmus (sicut firma- 
mentum caeli insuper et omnes angelos et cuncta 
spiritalia eius, sed etiam ipsa^ quasi corpora essent, 
locis et locis ordinata, ut imaginatio mea) ; et feci 
unam massam grandem, distinctam generibus corpo- 
rum, creaturam tuam, sive re vera quae corpora erant^ 
sive quae ipse pro spiritibus finxeram; et eam feci 
grandem, non quantum erat, quod scire non poteram^ 
sed quantum libuit, undiqueversum sane finitam : 
te autem, domine, ex omni parte ambientem et 
penetrantem eam, sed usquequaque infinitum ; tam- 
quam si mare esset, ubique et undique per inmensa 
infinitum solum mare, et liaberet intra se spongiam 
quamlibet magnam, sed finitam tamen, plena esset 
utique spongia ilia ex omni sua parte ex inmenso 
mari : sic creaturam tuam finitam te infinite plenam 
putabam, et dicebam : " ecce deus, et ecce quae creavit 
deus, et bonus deus atque his validissime longissime- 



/ He pursues his enquiries after the root of sin 

And I sought whence evil should be, and I sought CHAP, 
ill : nor did I see that evil which was in this very ^ 
enquiry of mine. I set now before the eyes of my 
spirit the whole creation, and whatsoever I could 
discern in it ; as the sea, the earth, the air, the stars, 
the trees, the mortal creatures ; yea, and whatever 
else in it we do not see, as the firmament of the 
heaven ; all the angels moreover, and all the spiritual 
inhabitants thereof, but yet as if all these had been 
bodies, disposed in such and such places, as my fancy 
took me. And I made one great mass of all thy 
creatures, distinguished by their several kinds of 
bodies ; those that were i)odies indeed, or tiiose 
that I had myself feigned instead of spirits. And 
this mass I made huge enough, not yet so great as 
in itself it was, (which 1 could not come to the know- 
ledge of) but as big as I thought convenient, yet 
every way finite. But thee, O Lord, I imagined on 
every part environing and penetrating it, though 
every way infinite. As if there were supposed to be 
a sea, which everywhere and on every side, by a 
most unmeasurable infiniteness should be only a sea ; 
and that sea sliould contain in it some huge sponge, "^ 
but yet finite ; which sponge must needs be every- 
where and on every side filled with that unmeasur- 
able sea. So thought I tliy whole creation to be in 
itself finite, filled by thee who art infinite; and I 
said. Behold God, and behold what God hath 
created ; and God is good, yea, most mightily and 
incomparably better than all these : and God, 


CAP. que praestantior ; sed tamen bonus bona creavit : et 
ecce quomodo ambit atque implet ea ?] ubi ergo 
malum et unde et qua hue inrepsit ? quae radix eius 
et quod semen eius ? an omnino non est ? cur ergo 
timemus et cavemus quod non est ? aut si inaniter 
timemus, timor ipse malum est, quo incassum stimu- 
latur et excruciatur cor ; et tanto gravius malum, 
quanto non est, quod timeamus, et timemus. ideirco 
aut est malum, quod timemus, aut hoc malum est, 
quia timemus, unde est igitur, quia deus fecit haec 
omnia, bonus bona ? maius quidem et summum bonum 
minora fecit bona, sed tamen et creans et creata bona 
sunt omnia, unde est malum ? an unde fecit ea, ma- 
teries aliqua mala erat, et formavit atque ordinavit 
eam, sed reliquit aliquid in ilia, quod in bonum non 
converteret? cur et hoc.'' an inpotens erat totam 
vertere et conmutare, ut nihil mali remaneret, cum 
sit omnipolens? postremo cur inde aliquid facere 
voluit, ac non potius eadem omnipotentia fecit, ut 
nulla esset omnino.'* aut vero exsistere poterat 
contra eius voluntntem ? aut si aeterna erat, cur tam 
diu per infinita retro spatia temporum sic eam sivit 
esse, ac tanto post placuit aliquid ex oa facere? aut 
iam, si aliquid subito voluit agere, hoc potius ageret 
omnipotens, ut ilia non esset, atque ipse solus esset 
totum verum et surmnmn et infinitum bonum.? aut 



being himself good, created all them good ; and see CHAr 
how he environeth and fulfils them all. Where is ^^ 
evil then, and from whence, and how crept it in 
hither ? What is the root, and what the seed of it? 
Or hath it at all no being } W hy then do we fear and 
beware of that winch hath no being.'* Or if we fear 
it in vain, then surely is that very fear an evil, which 
in vain so gores and torments the soul. Yea, and so 
much a greater evil, by how much there wants of 
being anything, which we should stand in fear of, 
and yet we do fear. Therefore is there some evil 
thing which we fear, or else the very act of fearing 
is evil. Whence is evil therefore, seeing God who is 
good, hath created all these things good ; that is, the 
greater and chiefest Good hath created these lesser 
goods ; yet both he creating, and they created, 
are all good ? Whence now is evil ? Was there 
some evil matter, of which God made it, and as God 
formed and ordered it, did he leave anything in 
it which lie did not convert intogo()d ? But why did 
he so ? Was he not able so to turn and change the 
whole lump, that no evil should have remained in it, 
seeing he is able to do anything ? Lastly, why would 
he make anything at all of that, and did not by the 
same omnipotency rather cause that there should be 
no such thing at all ? Or, indeed, was it able to be 
of itself against his will ? Or if that evil matter had 
been from eternity, why sufiVred he it so long to con- 
tinue through infinite spaces of times past, and was 
pleased so long while after to make something out ot 
it ? Or if he were suddenly pleased now to go about 
some work, this rather should the Onmipotent have 
done, have caused (namely) that this evil matter 
should not at all have been, and that he himself 
should have been alone, that sovereign and infinite 


CAP. si non erat bene, ut non aliqiiid boni etiam fabri- 
caretur et eonderet qui bonus erat, ilia sublata et ad 
nihil um redacta materie, quae mala erat, bonam ipse 
institueret, unde omnia crearet? non enim esset 
omnipotens, si condere non posset aliquid boni, nisi 
ea quam non ipse condiderat adiuvaretur materia." 
/ talia volvebam peetore misero, ingravidato curis mor- 
dacissimis de timore mortis et non inventa veritate ; 
stabiliter tamen baerebat in corde meo in Catholica 
ecclesia fides Christi tui, domini et salvatoris nostri, 
in multis quidem adhuc informis et praeter doctrinae 
normam fluitans ; sed tamen non earn relinquebat 
animus, immo in dies magis magisque inbibebat. 


CAP. 1am etiam mathematiconim fallaces divinationes et 
inpia deliramenta reieceram. confiteantur etiam 
bine tibi de intimis visceribus animae meae misera- 
tiones tuae, deus meus ! tu enim, tu omnino — nam 
quis alius a morte omnis erroris revocat nos, nisi vita, 
quae mori nescit, et sapientia mentes indigentes in- 
Inminans, nullo indigens lumine, qua mundus admini- 
stratur usque ad arborum volatica folia ? — tu procur- 
asli pervicaeiae meae, qua obluctatus sum Vindiciano 



Good. Or if it had not been good that he who was CHAF. 
jTood should not frame and create something also ^ 
tliat were good ; then, that evil matter being first 
taken away, and brought into nothing, should he 
immediately have taken order for some good matter, 
whereof he might create all things. For he shoald 
not be omnipotent, if he were not able to create 
something that were good of itself, unless he were 
assisted by that matter which himself had not created. 
These thoughts tossed 1 up and down in my miser- 
able heart, overcharged with biting cares, through 
the fear of death, and not finding out the truth ; yet 
did the faith of thy Christ our Lord and Saviour, 
professed in the Catholic Church, firmly continue 
in my heart, though in divers particulars verily not 
vet perfected, and swerving from the right rule of 
doctrine ; yet did not my mind utterly leave it off, 
but every day took in more and more of it. 


Divhmtionx wade by the Mathematicinfis are vain 

By this time also had I rejected those deceitful char 
divinations, and impious dotages of the astrologers. ^^ 
Let thine own mercies, out of the most inward bowels 
of my soul, confess unto thee for this, O my God. 
For thou, thou altogether (for who else is it that 
calls us back from the death of all errors, but even 
that life which knows not how to die ; and that wis- 
dom which enlightens those minds that need it, 
itself needing no light: by which the whole world 
is governed, even to the fluttering leaves of the 
trees ?) thou took est order for that stiff of)inion of 
mine, by which I struggled with Vindicianus, that 



CAP. acuto seni^ et Nebridio adulescenti mirabilis animae, 
VI , . 

illi vehementer adfirmantij huic cum dubitatione qui- 

dem aliqua, sed tamen crebro dicenti, non esse illam 

artem futura praevidendi, coniecturas autem hominum 

habere saepe vim soitis, et multa dicendo dici plera- 

que Ventura, nescientibus eis, qui dicerent, sed in ea 

non tacendo incurrentibus : procurasti tu ergo homi- 

nem amicum, non quidem segnem consultorem mathe- 

maticorum, nee eas litteras bene callentem, sed, ut 

dixi, consultorem curiosum, et tamen scientem aliquid, 

quod a patre suo se audisse dicebat : quod quantum 

valeret ad illius artis opinionem evertendam, ignora- 

bat. is ergo vir nomine Firminus, liberaliter institu- 

tus et excultus eloquio, cum me tamquam carissimum 

de quibusdam suis rebus, in quas saecularis spes eius 

intumuerat, consuleret, quid mihi secundum suas quas 

constellationes appellant videretur, ego autem, qui 

iam de hiic re in Nebridii sententiam flecti coepei am, 

non quidem abnuerem conicere, ac dicere quod nu- 

tanti occurrebat ; sed tamen subicerem, prope iam 

esse mihi persuasum ridicula ilia esse et inania : tum 

ille mihi narravit, patrem suum fuisse librorum talium 

curiosissimum et habuisse amicum aeque illasimulque 

sectaiitem. qui pari studio et conlatione flagrabant 

in eas nugas igne cordis sui, ita ut mutorum quo- 

q\ie animalium^ si quae domi parerent, observarent 

momenta nascentium atque ad ea caeli positionem 



sharpsighted old man^ and with Nebridius that admir- chap. 
able spirited young man : the first vehemently affirm- ^ ^ 
ing, the latter often (though with some doubtfulness) 
saying, that there was no art whereby things to come 
might be foreseen : but that men's conjectures had 
oftentimes the help of fortune ; and that by talking 
many things, something to come was oft-times per- 
chance forespoken of; the parties that spake little 
knowing of it, but stumbling now and then upon 
the right, by their not saying nothing. Thou, there- 
fore, providedst a friendly man for me, and he no 
negHgent consulter with the astrologers : yet not 
throughly skilled in those arts, but, as I said, a curious 
consulter with them ; and one that knew something, 
which he had heard of his father, as he said : which 
how far it might prevail to overthrow the opinion of 
that art, he knew not. This man therefore, Firminus 
by name, having been finely bred, and well taught ; 
asking my advice, as a dear friend of his, concerning 
divers affairs of his own, which his worldly hopes 
were big swollen withal ; and what I conjectured 
of him by his constellations, as they call them : 
I, who now began to incline in this particular to- 
wards Nebridius' opinion, did not, to say troth, refuse 
to make conjecture upon it, and to tell him as much 
as came in my unresolved mind : but told him withal, 
that I was even almost persuaded in my heart that 
these were but vain and ridiculous follies. He there- 
upon up and told me, how his father had been very 
curious after such books, and how he had a friend as 
earnest as himself at them. These with joint study 
and conference were hot upon these toys, by the fire 
of their hearty affection, insomuch that they would 
observe even the very minutes of the bringing forth 
of young, of those dumb creatures which they kept 
I / S5S 

CAP. nota>ent, unde illius quasi artis exprrimeiita collige- 
rerit. itaque di eb tt audisse se a p itre suo, quod, cum 
eundem Firminum praegnans mater esset, etiam illius 
paterni amici famula quaedam pariter utero grandes- 
cebat. quod latere uon potuit dominum, qui etiam 
canum suarum partus examinatissima dib'gentia nosse 
eurabat; atqueita factum esse, ut cum iste coniugis, 
ille autem ancillae dies et horas minutioresque hora- 
rum articulos cautissima observatioue numerarent, 
euixae essent ambae simul ; ita ut easdem coiistella- 
tiones usque ad easdem minutias utrique nascenti 
facere cogerentur, iste filio, ille servuio. nam cum 
muliert s parturire coepissent, indicaverunt sibi ambo, 
quid sua cuiusque domo ageretur, et paraverunt quos 
ad se invicem mitterent, simul ut natum quod par- 
tui'iebatur esset cu'que nuntiatum : quod tamen ut 
oontinuo nuntiaretur, tamquam in regno suo facile 
effecerant. atque ita qui ab alterutro missi sunt, tarn 
ex paribus donioriim intervnllis sibi obviam factos esse 
dicebat, ut nliam ])ositi()7ieiu siderum aiiasqiir parti- 
culas inoint'iitorum neuter eoruiii notare sineretur. 
ct iMinen I'^irniinus aiiiplo apud siios loco natns, deal- 
batiores vins satu'uii ciirsitabat, augeliatur diviliis,! 
sublimabutur lionoribiis : servus antem ille, conditiouis 
iugo nidlateiuis relaxato. domir)is serviebat : ipso iiuli- 
cante, (pii noverat eum. 


about their houseSj and made observations withal oi CH.^r, 
Ihe position of the heavens at those minutes, to the ^^ 
intent to gather experiments of this art, as it were. 
So he said how he had heard of his father, that 
what time as his mother was big with him, the said 
Firminus, a certain maid servant of that friend 
of his father's was big with child also; which her 
master could not be ignorant of, who took care with 
most diligent examination to get knowledge even of 
his very bitches. And how it so fell out, tliat when 
one for his wife, and the other for his servant, with 
the cai-efuilest observation reckoned the days, yea, 
the hours, nay, the very least particles of the hours, 
that both of them were brought to bed hi the same 
instant: insomuch that both of them .ere con- 
strained to allow the very same hor- scop , even to 
the very smallest points, he for hi^ son's b rth, and 
the other for his little servant. I or so s nin as the 
women began to fall in labour, they both gave notice 
lo one another of what was fallen out in either of 
their houses, and had messengers ready to send to 
one another, so soon as each had notice of the child's 
being born, which they could easily procure to have 
instant notice of, as being in their own kingdom. And 
he said that the messengers sentfrom one another,met 
by the way, in such equal distance from either house, 
that neither of the calculators could observe any other 
position of the stars, or seconds of minutes, than the 
other had done. And yet Firminus born to a fair for- 
tune in his parents' house, ran his course tlirough 
brighter ways of the world, throve well in riches, 
raised himself to honour : whereas that little servant, 
notable any way to free himself of the yoke of slavery 
he was born unto, continued to serve his masters ; as 
himself told the story, who well enough knew him. 



CAP. His itaque auditis et creditis — talis quippe narra- 
verat — omnis ilia reluctatio mea soluta concidit : et 
primo Firminum ipsiim coiiatus sum ab ilia curiosi- 
tate revocare, cum diceremj constellationibus eius 
inspectis ut vera pronuntiarem^ debuisse me uti- 
que videre ibi parentes inter siios esse primarios^ 
nobilem familiam propriae civitatis^ natales ingeniios, 
hone lam edueationem liberalesque doctrinas ; at si 
me ille servus ex eisdem constellalionibus — quia et 
illius ipsae essent — consuluisset, ut eidem quoque vera 
proferrem, debuisse me rursus ibi videre abiectissi- 
mam familiam, conditionem servilem, et cetera longe 
a prioribus aliena longeque distantia. uiide autem 
fieret^ ut eadem inspiciens diversa dicerem, si vera 
dicerem — si autem eadem dicerem, falsa dicerem— 
inde certissime colligi, ea quae vera corisideratis con- 
stellatiouibus dicerentur, non arte dici;, sed sorte, 
quae autem falsa, non artis inperitia, sed sortis 

Hinc autem accepto aditu ipse mecum talia rumi- 
nando, ne quis eorundem delirorum, qui talem qaae- 
stum sequerentur, quos iam iamque invadere atque 
inrisos refellere cupiebam, mihi ita resisteret, quasi 
aut Firminus mihi aut illi pater falsa narraverit, 
inteiidi considerationem in eos qui gemini nascuntur, 



Upon the hearing and believing of these things uha^p. 
for that such a man of credit had told them ; all that ^^ 
former resolute reluctancy of mine fell quite to the 
ground. And first of all I endeavoured to reclaim 
Firminus from that curiosity, by telling him, that for 
me, upon the inspection of his constellation, to fore- 
tell what should truly happen to him, I ought verily 
first to have seen in them, how his parents had been 
eminent persons among their neighbours, and that 
he had been descended of a noble familv in his own 
city, that he was free born, educated like a gentle- 
man, and very well studied. But if that servant, 
upon the same constellations, which were common 
to him too, had asked me to tell him his true i'or- 
tune ; I ought on the other side to have seen in 
them the baseness of his lineage, the slavishness of 
his condition, and those other particulars so much 
different, and so far distant from the other Gentle- 
man's. Since then it came to pass, that looking 
upon the same constellations, I should read divers 
fortunes, if I should speak the truth ; and if I should 
pronounce the same fortunes, I should lie falsely: 
therefore did I also collect most certainly, that what- 
ever upon consideration of these constellations was 
foretold truly, was not spoken out of art, but chance : 
and whatever was delivered falsely, was not out of 
the unskilfulness of the art, but out of the falsehood 
of the chance. 

Being thus entered into the business, and thinking 
with myself more seriously upon suchlike arguments ; 
that no one of those dotards (who lived by such 
shifts, whom I had an itch even out of hand to cope 
withal, and with derision to confute) might here- 
after confront me so, as if either Firminus had 
informed me falsely, or his father him : I bent ray 

CAP. cjiioriim plerique ita post invicem fnnduntur ex utero, 
ut jparvum ipsum temporis intervalluui, quantamlibet 
vim in reriim natura habere contendant^ coUigi tamen 
liumana observatione iion ])ossit litterisque signari 
omnino non valeat. qiias mathematicus inspecturus 
est^ nt vera proiumtiet. et non erunt vera, quia 
easdem litteras inspiciens eadem debuit dicere de et lacob ; sed non eadem utrique acciderunt. 
falsa ergo dicerot aut_, si vera diceret, non eadem 
diceret : at eadem inspiceret. non ergo arte, sed 
sorte vera diceret. tu enim. domine^iustissime mode- 
rator univer&itatiSj consulentibiis consultisque nescien- 
tibiis occulto instinctu agis, ut, dum quisque consulit, 
hoc aiidiat, quod eum oportet and ire occultis meritis 
animarum ex abysso iusti iudicii tui. cui non dicat 
hcmo : '^'quid est hoc?" "iitquid hoe.^ " non dicat. 
noii dicat; lionio est enim. 



consideration upon those that are born twins, who CHAP 
for the most part come out of the womb so near one ^^ 
to another, as that small distance of time between 
them (how much force soever in reality these fellows 
avow it to have) yet cannot be estimated by any 
observation of man, nor can it be set down in the 
tables which the astrologer is to look into, to pro- 
nounce the truth. Nor shall they ever tell tiuth : 
for then, he that had looked u|)on the same figures, 
must have told the same fortunes both of Esau and 
of Jacob; whereas the same things no ways happened 
to them both. Needs therefore must he have said 
falsely : or if he had said truly, he must not have said 
the same things, whereas he looked upon the same 
figures. Had he therefore pronounced truly, it 
should have been by chance, and not by art. For 
thou, O Lord most Just, the Ruler of the universe, 
(even while they that ask the advice, and those that 
i;ive it too, know not what they do) workest by so 
!iidden an instinct for both, that he who consults 
lears what he ought to hear, out of the unsearch- 
able bottom of thy just judgment, in respect of the 
hidden deservings of the souls. To whom, let not 
man say, what is this, or what is that? T-et him 
not t;ay so, never let him say so: seeing hv is but a 




CAP. Iam itaque me. adiutor meus, illis vinciilis solveras, 
VII ^ 

et quaerebam, unde malum^ et non erat exitus. sed 

me non sinebas uUis fluctibus cogitationis auferri ab 

ea fide, qua credebam et esse te, et esse inconmii- 

tabilem siibstantiam tuam^ et esse de hominibus 

curam et iudicium tuum ; et in Christo, filio tuo, 

domino nostro, atque scripturis Sanctis, quas ecclesiae 

tuae Catholicae commendaret auctoritas, viam te 

posuisse salutis humanae ad earn vitam, quae post 

lianc mortem futura est. his itaque sal vis atque 

inconciisse roboratis in animo meo, quaerebam 

aestuans, unde sit malum, j quae ilia tonnenta par- 

turientis cordis mei, qui gemitus, deus meus ! et ibi 

erant aures tuae nesciente me. et cum in silentio 

fortiter quaererem, magnae voces erant ad miseri- 

cordiam tuam, tacitae contritiones animi mei. tu 

sciebas, quid patiebar, et nullus hominum. quantum 

enim erat, quod inde digerebatur per linguam meam 

in aures familiarissimorum meorum ! numquid tu- 

multus animae meae, cui nee tempora nee os meum 

sufficiebat, sonabat eis ? totum tamen ibat in audi- 

tum tuum, quod rugiebam a gemitu cordis mei, et 

ante te erat desiderium meum et lumen oculorum 



He is 7niserably tortured in his Euqidry after the 
Root of Evil 
And now, O my Helper, hadst thou discharged me chap. 
from those fetters : and presently enquired I whence 
evil should be, but found no way out of my question. 
But thou sufferedst me not to be carried away from 
the faith by any waves of those thoughts ; by which 
faith I believed both that thou wert, and that thy 
substance was unchangeable, and that thou hadst a 
care of, and passed st thy judgment upon men : and 
that in Christ thy Son, our Lord, and thy holy 
Scriptures which the authority of thy Church should 
acknowledge, thou hast laid out a way of man's 
salvation, to pass to that life which is to come after 
death. These grounds remaining safe and irremove- 
ably settled in my mind, I with much anxiety sought, 
from what root the nature of evil should proceed. 
What torments did my teeming heart then endure, 
and what groans, O my God ! Yet even to them 
were thine ears open, and I knew it not : and when 
in silence I so vehemently enquired after it, those 
silent contritions of my soul were strong cries for thy 
mercy. Thou, and no man, knewest how much I 
suffered. For, how little was that which my tongue 
sent forth into the ears of my most familiar friends ! 
Did I disclose to them the whole tumult of my soul, 
for which neither my time nor tongue had been 
sufficient } Yet did all of it ascend into thy hearing, 
which I roared out from the groans of my heart ; yea, 
my whole desires were laid up before thee, nor was Ps. xxxrli 


CAP. meorum iion erat me cum. intus enim erat. ego 

a litem foriS;, nee in loco illud. at ego intendebam in 

ea^ quae locis continentur; et non ibi inveniebam 

locum ad requiescendum^ nee recipiebant me ista^ 

ut dicei em : ""^ sat est et bene est," nee dimittebant 

redire^ ubi milii satis esset bene, superior enim eram 

istis, te vero inferior, et tu gaudium verum mihi 

subdito tibi, et tu mihi subieceras quae infra me 

creasti. et hoc erat rectum temperamentum et 

media regio salutis meae, ut manerem ad imaginem 

tuaui et tibi serviens dominarer corpori. sed cum 

superbe contra te surge rem et curreieni .idversus 

dominum in cervice crassa scuti mei, etiam ista 

infima supra me facta sunt et premebant, et nusquam 

erat laxamentum et respiramentum. ipsa occurre- 

bant undique acervatim et conglobatim cernenti, 

cogitanti autem imagines corporum ipsae oppone- 

bantur redeunti^ quasi diceretur : '^quo is, indigne et 

sordide r " et haec de vulnere meo creverant, quia 

humiliasti tamquam vulneratum superbum, et tumore 

meo separabar abs te, et nimis infiata facies claudebat 

oculos meos. 



I master of so much as of the light of mine own eyes : oJELAP. 
for that was all turned inward, but I outward ; nor ^^^ 
was that in its place : bat I bent myself to those 
things that are contained in places, and there I 
found no place to rest in; nor did those places so 
entertain me, that I could say, It is enough, and 'Tis 
well : nor did they yet suffer me to turn back, where 
I might find well being For to these things 
was I superior, but inferior to thee : and thou art the 
true Joy of me thy subject : and thou hast subjected 
under me those things which thou createdst below 
me. And this was the happy mean, and the middle 
region of my safety, where I might remain conform- 
able to thine image, and by serving thee, get the 
dominion over mine own ])ody. But whenas I rose 
up proudly against thee, and when I ran upon niy Job xv. 2(J 
Lord with the thick neck of my buckler ; then were 
these inferior things made my overmatches, and kept 
me under, nor could I get either releasement or space 
of breathing. They ran on all sides by heaps and 
troops upon me, broad-looking on them ; but when I 
thought, these corporeal images waylaid me as 1 
turned back, as if they should say unto me ; Whither 
goest thou, O thou unworthy and base creature ? 
And all these had grown out of my wound ; for thou 
hast humbled the proud like as him that is wounded, l*s- 
and through my own swelling was I set further oft' ''^^-'^^^- ^^ 
from thee ; yea, my cheeks, too big swollen, even 
blinded up mine eyes. 



VII [ 

CAP. Tu vero, domine, in aeteinum manes, et non in 
aeternum irasceris nobis, quoniam miseratus es 
terram et cinerem, et placuit in conspeetu tuo 
reformare deformia mea. et stimulis internis agita- 
bas me, ut inpatiens essem, donee mihi per inte- 
riorem aspectum certus esses, et residebat tumor 
mens ex occulta manu medicinae tuae, aciesque con- 
turbata et contenebrata mentis meae acri collyrio 
salubrium dolorum de die in diem .sanabatur. 


CAP. Et primo volens ostendere mihi, quam resistas super- 
bis, humilibus autem des gratiam, et quanta miseri- 
cordia tua demonstrata sit hominibus via humilitatis, 
quod verbum caro factum est et habitavit inter 
liomines : procurasti mihi per quendam hominem, in- 
manissimo typho turgidum, quosdam Platonicorum 
libros ex graeca lingua in latinum versos ;. et ibi legi 
non quidem his verbis, sed hoc idem omnino multis 
et multiplicil)us suaderi rationibus, quod in principio 
erat verbum ct verlnmi erat apud denm ct deus erat 




How the Mercy of God at length relieved him 

Thou, Lord, art tlie same for ever : nor art thou CHAP. 
angry witli us for ever, because thou hast pity upon ^ ^^^ 
thist and ashes : and it was pleasing in thy sight to 
reform my deformities ; and by inward galHngs didst 
thou startle me, that I should become unquiet, till 
such time as it might be assured unto my inward 
sight, that it was thou thyself. Thus, by the secret 
hand of thy medicining was my swelling abated ; 
and that tnmbled and bedimmed eyesight of my 
soul, by the smart eye-salve of mine own wholesome 
dolours, dailv began more and more to be cleared. 


^B U hat he found in some Books of the Plalunisfs, 
^^ agreeable to the ChrisLian Doctrine 

And thou being desirous first of all to shew unto me chap. 
how thou resistest the proud, but givest grace unto ^-^ 
the humble ; and with what great mercy of thine the James iv. 6 
way of humility is traced out unto men, in that thy 
Word was macle flesh, and dwelt among men : thou 
procuredst for me, by means of a certain man, puffed 
up with a most unreasonable pride, to see certain 
books of the Platonists, translated out of Greek into 
Latin. And therein I read, not indeed in the self- 
same words, but to the very same purpose, persuaded 
by many reasons, and of several kinds, that In the 
beginning was the Word, and the Word was with jobn \. 
God, and that Word was God : the same was in the ^-^^ 

CAP. verbum : hoc erat in principio apud deiim ; omnia 
per ipsum facta sunt, et sine ipso factum est nihil ; 
quod factum est, in eo vita est, et vita erat kix homi- 
mini ; et lux in tenebris lucet, et tenebrae earn non 
conprehenderunt ; et quia hominis aninia, quamvis 
testimonium })erhil)eat de luraine, non est tamen 
ipsa lumen, sed verbum, deus ipse, est lumen verum, 
quod iiiluminat omnem hominem venientem in hunc 
iimndum ; et quia in hoc mundo erat, et mundus per 
cum factus est, et mundus eum non cogiiovit. quia 
vero in sua propria venit et sui eum non receperunt, 
([uotquot autem receperunt eum, dedit eis potcs- 
tatem fiiios dei fieri, credentibus in nomine eius, non 
ibi legi. 

Item legi ibi, quia verbum, deus, non ex carne, 
non ex sanguine, neque ex voluntate viri, neque ex 
voluntate carnis, sed ex deo natus est ; ^sed quia ver- 
bum caro factus est et habitavit in nobis, non ibi legi. 
indagavi quippe in illis litteris varie dictum et in 
multis modis, quod sit filius in ibrma patris non rapi- 
nam arl)itratus esse aequalis deo, quia natiiraliter id 
ipsum est: sed quia semet ipsum cxinanivit formam 
servi accipiens, in siniilitudinem liominum factus et 
liabitu inventus ut homo, humiliavit se factus oboe- 
dif^is usque ad mortem, mortem autem crucis; prop- 
Irr (]uod deus eum exaltavit a mortuis, et donavit ei 
nonien, quod est supiM' omne nomen, ut in nomine 
Jesu omne genu flectatur caclcstium, terrestrium et 
infernorum ct omnis lingua confitcatur, quia dominus 
lesus in gloria est dei patris, non liabent illi libri. 


beginnins^ with God. All things were mad« by him, chap. 
and without him was nothing ma^e. In that which ^^ 
was macie, was life, and the life was the light of men. 
And the light shined in the darkness, and the dark- 
ness comprehended it not. And for that the soui of 
man, tlumgh it gives testimony of the light, yet itself 
is not that light, but the Word, God himself, is John i. 9 
that true light that lighteth every man that cometh 
into the world; and that he was in the world, and joim i. i o 
the world was made by him, and the world knew 
iiim not. But that he came unto his own, and his John i. ii 
own received him not, but as many as received him, 
to them gave he power to become the sons of God, John j. 12 
as many as believed in his name : all this did I not 
read there. 

There also did I read that God the Word was not 
born of flesh nor of blood, nor of the will of man, nor 
of the will of the flesh, but of God. But that the 
Vv'ord was made flesh and dwelt amongst us, did I not 
read there. I found out in those books, though it was 
otherwise and divers ways said, that the Son being in Phil. ii. e 
the form of the Father, thought it no robbery to be 
equal with God, for that in nature he was the same 
with him. But that he made himself of no reputation, phii. if, 7 
talking upon him the form of a servant, and was 
made in the likeness of men, and was found in fashion riiii. ii. s 
as a man, and humbled himself, and became obedient 
unto death, even the death of the Cross : wherefore phil. ii. 9 
Cxod hath higlily exalted him (from the dead) and 
given him a name over every name, that at the nan^- I'liii. ii. 10 
of Jesus every knee shall bow, of things in heaven, 
and things in earth, and things under tiie earth ; and 
that every tongue should c<mfess that Jesus Christ I'hii. ii. 11 
is Lord, to the glory of God the Father: those 
books have not. Again, fhr\t thy only beo-otten Son, 


GAP. quod autem ante omnia tempora et supra omnia tern- 
^^ pora inconmutabiliter manet unigenitus filius tuus, 
coaeternus tibi^ et quia de plenitudine eius accipiunt 
animae^ ut beatae sint, et quia participatione manentis 
in se sapientiae renovantur, ut sapientes sint, est ibi ; 
quod autem secundum tempus pro impiis mottuus est, 
et filio unico tuo non pepercisti, sed pro nobis omni- 
bus tradidisti eum, non est ibi. abscondisti eniin 
liaec a sapientibus et revelasti ea parvulis, ut veni- 
rent ad eum laborantes et onerati et reficeret eoS;, 
quoniam mitis est et humilis corde, et dirigit mites 
in iudicio^ et docet mansuetos vias suas, videns humi- 
litatem nostram et laborem nostrum et dimittens 
omnia peccata nostra, qui autem cothurno tamquam 
doctrinae sublimioris elati non audiunt dieentem : 
Discite a me, quoniam mitis sum et humilis corde, 
et invenietis requiem animabus vestris^ et si cog- 
noscunt deum^ non sicut deum glorificant, aut gratias 
agunt, sed evanescunt in cogitationibus suis, et 
obscuratur insipiens cor eorum ; dicentes se esse 
sapientes stulti fiunt. 

Et ideo legebam ibi etiam inmutatam gloriam 
incorruptionis tuae in idola et varia simulacra, 
in similitudinem imaginis corruptibilis hominis et 
volucrum et quadrupedum et serpentium, videlicet 
Aegyptium cibuni, quo Esau perdidit primogenita 
sua, quoniam caput quadrupedis pro te honoravit 
populus primogenitus, conversus corde in Aegyptum 
et curvans imaginem tuam, animam suam, ante 
imaginem vituli nianducantis faenum. inveni haec 
ibi et non manducavi. placuit enini tibi, domine, 


co-eternal with thee, was before all timeSj and beyond chap. 
all times remains unchangeablej and that of his ful- ^^ 
ness all souls receive what makes them blessed ; and 
that by participation of that wisdom which remains 
in them, they are renewed, that they may be made 
wise, is there. But that he in due time died for tlie 
wicked ; and that thou sparedst not thine only Son, Kom. viiL 
but deliveredst him for us all, is not there. For thou 32 
hast hid these things from the wise, and hast revealed 
them unto babes ; that they that labour and are Matt. xi. 28 
heavy laden, might come unto him, and he might re- 
fresh them, because he is meek and lowly in heart : 
and the meek he directeth in judgment, and such 
as be mild he teacheth his ways, beholding our 
humility and labour, and forgiving us all our sins. 
But such as tower high in the buskin of a sublimer 
learning, hear not him saying unto them. Learn of 
me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you shall M.itt. xi. 29 
find rest to your souls ; and, If they know God, yet Horn. i. 21 
they glorify him not as God, nor give thanks unto 
him, but wax vain in their imaginations ; and their 
foolish liearT isn3ai1ien¥d ; 1^^^^^ that they i?om. i. 22 

are wise, they become fools. '^ ^" ~^'**^" 

Andthere'also^did Tread, that they had changed Rom. i. 23 
the glory of thy incorruptible nature into idols, and 
divers shapes, into the likeness of the image of cor- 
ruptible man, and birds, and beasts, and serpents ; 
yea verily, into that Egyptian food, for which Esau Gen. xxv. 
sold his birthright ; for that that people, which was 
thy firstborn, worshipped the head of a four-footed 
beast instead of thee, turning in their heart back 
towards Egypt; and bowing thy image (their own 
soul) before the image of a calf that eateth hay. i's. cvi. 20 
These things found I there ; but I fed not on them. 
For it pleased thee, O Lord, to take away tiie reproach 
2 A 369 

CAP. iuferre opprohrium diminutionis ab lacob, lit maior 
serviret minori^ ct vocasti gentes in hereditatem 
tnam. et ego ad t'^ veneram exgentibus; et intend! 
in auvum, quod ab Aegypto voluisti ut aiiferret 
pojxilus tuus, quoniam tuiim erat, ubicumqiie erat. 
et dixisti Atheniensibus per apostolum tuum, quod in 
te vivimus et movemur et sumus, sicut et quidam 
secundum eos dixerunt, et utique inde erant illi libri. 
et non adtendi in idola Aegyptiorum, quibus de auro 
tuo ministrabant^ qui transmutaverunt veritatem dei 
in mendacium, et coluerunt et servierunt cieaturae 
potius quam creatoii. 


CAP. Rt inde adraonitus redire ad memet ipsum, intravi 
in intima mea, duce te, et potui, quoniam factus es 
adiutor mens, intravi et vidi qiialicumque oculo 
animae meae supra eundem ocuUnii animae meae, 
supra mentem meam, lueem incomrnutabilem : non 
banc vulgarem et conspicnHui omni cHnii, nee quasi 
ex eodem genere grandior erat, taniquani si ista 
multo multoque clarius claresceret totumque occu- 
paret niagnitudine. nou hoc ilia erat, sed aliud, 



of humbling from Jacobs that the elder brother chap, 

should serve the younger : and thou hast called the ^^ 

Gentiles into thine inheritance. And I myself had 

come unto thee from amoni? the Gentiles ; and I set 

my mind earnestly upon that gold which thou willedst Exod. iii. 

thy people to take from the Egyptians,, seeing thine -^ 

it was, wheresoever it were. And to the Athenians 

thou saidst by thy Apostle, That in thee we live, and Acts xviL 

move, and have our beii)g, as certain of their own ^^ 

})oets had said. And surely it was from Athens these 

books came. But I set not my mind towards the 

idols of Egypt, which they made of thy gold ; even 

they who changed the truth of God into a lie, and Rom. i. 2.5 

worshipped and served the creature more than the 


Divine things are more clearly discovered unto him 

And being lience admonished to return to myself, CJ^K^. 
I entered even into mine own inwards, thou being ^^*** 
my Leader : and able I was to do it, for thou wert 
now become my Helper. Into myself 1 went, and \. 
with the eyes of my soul (such as it was) I discovered 
over the same eye of my soul, over my mind, the 
unchangeable light of the Lord : not this vulgar 
light, which all flesh may look upon, nor yet another 
greater of the same kind ; as if this should shine 
much and much more clearly, and with its greatness 
take up all the room. This light was none of that, 


CAF, aliud valde ab istis omnibus, nee ita erat supra 


men tern meam, sicut oleum super aquam, nee sicut 
caelum super terram ; sed superio^\ quia ipsa^i^cit 
mc^^ et ego interior, quia factus^ab ea. qui novit 
vcritatem, novit cam, et qui novit eara_, novit 
aeternilatem. caritas novit earn, o aeterna Veritas 
et vera caritas et cara aeternitas ! tu es deus meus, 
tibi suspiro die ac nocte.^ et cum te primum cognovi, 
tu assumsisti me, ut viderem esse, quod viderem, et 
nondum me esse, qui viderem. et reverberasti infir- 
mitatem aspectus mei, radians in me vehementer, et 
contremui amore et horrore : et inveni longe me esse 
a te in regione dissimilitudinis, tamquam audirem 
vocem tuam de excelso : " cibus sum grandium : 
cresce et manducabis me. nee tu me in te mutabis 
sicut cibum carnis tuae, sed tu mutaberis in me." 
et cognovi, quoniam pro iniquitate erudisti hominem, 
et tabescere fecisti sicut araneam animam meam, et 
dixi: "numquid nihil est Veritas, quoniam neque 
per finita neque per infinita locorum spatia diffusa 
est?" et clamasti de longinquo : ego sum qui sum. 
et audivi, sicut auditur in corde, et non erat prorsus 
unde dubitarem, faciliusque dubitarem vivere me, 
quam non esse veritatem, quae per ea, quae facta 
sunt, intellecta conspicitur. 



but another, yea clean anotliev from all these. No.- chap. 
was it ill that manner above my mind, as oil is upon '^ 
^\ ater, nor yet as the heaven is above the earth : but 
superior to my soul, because it made me ; and I was 
inferior to it, because I was made by it. He that . 
knows what truth is, knows what that light is ; and ^ 
he that knows it, knows eternity. Charity knows 
it. O eternal Truth ! and true Charity ! and dear 
Eternity ! Thou art my God, to thee do I sigh day 
and night. Thee when first I saw, thou liftedst me 
up, that I might see there was something which I 
Alight see ; and that as yet I was not the man to see it. 
And thou didst beat back the infirmity of my own 
iglit, darting thy beams of light upon me most 
trongly, and I trembled both with love and horror : 
and I perceived myself to be far off from thee in the 
region of utter unlikeness, as if I heard this voice of 
thine from on high : I am the food of strong men, 
grow apace, and thou shalt feed on me ; nor shalt 
thou convert me like common food into thy substance, 
but thou shalt be changed into me. And I learned 
thereupon, that thou with rebukes hast corrected man 
for iniquity, thou madest my soul to consume away P:*. xxxix. 
like a moth. And I said : Is truth therefore nothing ^^ 
at all, seeing it is neither diffused by infinite spaces, 
nor by finite ? But thou criedst to me from afar off: 
Yea, verily, I Am that I Am. This voice I heard, Exod. Hi. 
(as things are heard in the heart) nor was there any 
suspicion at all, why I should doubt of it : yea, I 
should sooner doubt that I did not live, than that 
Truth is not, which is clearly to be seen by those Kom. i. 20 
things which .are made. 




CAP. Et inspexi cetera infra te, et vidi nee omnino esse 
nee omnino non esse : esse quidem, quoniam abs te 
sunt, non esse autem, quoniam id quod es non sunt, 
id enim vere est, quod incommutabiliter manet. 
mihi autem inhaerere deo bonum est, quia, si non 
manebo in illo, nee in me potero. ille autem in se 
manens innovat omnia ; et dominus meus es, quoniam 
bonorum meorum non eges. 


CAP. Et manifestatum est mihi, quoniam bona sunt, quae 


coirumpuntur, quae neque si summa bona essent, 
corrumpi possent, neque nisi bona essent, corrumpi 
possent : quia, si summa bona essent, incorruptibiba 
essent, si autem nulla bona essent, quid in eis con- 
rumpcretur, non esset. nocet enim oorruptio, et 
nisi bonum minueret, non noceret. aul igitur nihil 
nocet corruptio, quod fieri non potest, aut, quod cer- 
tissimuni est, omnia, quae corrumpuntur, privantur 



J/ow Crealure^ are, and yet are not 

And I cast minc^ eyes upon tliose other creatures chap. 

beneath thee,, and I perceived, tliat they neither ^^ 

have any absoUite being, nor yet could they be said 

to have no being. A being they have, because they \ 

are from tliee : and yet no being, because what thou \ 

art, they are not. For that truly hath a being, 

which remains unchangeably. It is good then for Ps. ixxiii. 

me to hold iast unto God : for if I remain not in him, 2** 

I shall never be able to do it in myself: whereas he 

remaining in himself, reneweth all things. And thou 

art my Lord, since thou dost not stand in need of ray r^. xvi. 2 



^^m All that is, is Good 

And manifested unto me it was, that even those chap. 
things be good, which yet are corrupted; which, -^^^ 
were they sovereignly good, could never be cor- 
rupted, nor could they be corrupted, unless they were 
good : because if sovereignly good they were, they 
must needs be incorruptible ; and if they held no 
goodness in them at all, neither should they have 
anything in them to be corrupted. For corruption 
hurts everything, but unless there were goodness to 
diminish, it could not hurt. Either therefore corrup- 
tion does at all no hurt, (which cannot be), or, which 
tost certain, all which is corrupted, is deprived 


CAP. bono, si autem omni bono privabuntur. omnino non 
XII ^ ' 

erunt. si enim erunt et corrumpi iam non poterunt, 

melioiM erunt, quia incorruptibiliter permanebunt. 

et quid monstrosius quam ea dicere omni bono amisso 

facta meliora? ergo si omni bono privabuntur, 

omnino nulla erunt : ergo quamdiu sunt, bona sunt, 

ei'go quaecumque sunt, bona sunt, malumque illud, 

quod qiiaerebam unde esset, non est substantia, quia, 

si substantia esset, bonum esset. aut enim esset 

incorruptibilis substantia, magnum utique bonum, 

aut substantia corruptibilis esset, quae nisi bona 

esset, corruptibilis non esset. itaque vidi et mani- 

festatum est milii, quia omnia bona tu fecisti, et 

prorsus nullae substantiae sunt, quas tu non fecisti. 

et quoniam non aequalia omnia fecisti, ideo sunt 

omnia, quia singula bona sunt, et simul omnia valde 

bona, quoniam fecit deus noster omnia bona valdc. 



CAP. Et tibi omnino non est malum, non solum til)i sed 
nee universae creaturae tuae, quia extra non est 
aliquid, quod inrurapat et corrumpat ordinem, quem 
inposuisti ei. in partibus autem eius quaedam qui- 
busdam quia non conveniunt, mala putanttir; et 



of goodness. If things then shall be deprived of all CHaf. 
their goodness, they shall have at all no being. For if ^^^ 
they shall still be, and shall not be at all corrupted, 
they shall thereby become better, because they 
remain ever in corruptibly. What more absurd now 
than to affii*m those things that have lost all their 
gooilness, to be made the better by it? Therefore, 
whenever they shall be deprived of all their goodness, 
they shall also lose all their being. So long therefore 
as they are, they are good : therefore, whatsover are, v 

are good, and that evil which I sought, whence it ^S^ 

should be, is not any substance : for were it a sub- 
stance, it should be good. For either it should be 
an incorruptible substance, that is to say, of the chief "Therefore 
sorts of good; or else should it be some corruptible sub- ^J^^^^^'g .. 
stance ; which unless it were some way or other good, and not 
it could not be corrupted. I perceived therefore, and one only :\ 
it was made plain unto me, that all things are good f]^eessScc 
which thou hast made, nor is there any substance at of things, 
all, which thou hast not made. And because all which ^^jversity 
thou hast made are not equal, therefore are all things ; thefr difler- 
for each is good, and at the same time all together ence 
very good, because thou our God hast made all things Gen. i. ii 
5ry good. 


All created Things praise God 

"to thee is there nothing at all evil : yea, not CHAP, 
only to thee, but also not to thy creatures in gene- ^^^^ 
ral ; because there is not anything which is without, 
which can break in, or discompose that order which 
thou hast settled. But in some particulars of thy 

Cr that some things there be which so well 

gAP. eadem ipsa conveniunt aliis et bona sunt^ et in semet 


ipsis bona sunt, et omnia haec. quae sibimet in- 
vicem non conveniunt, conveniunt inferiori parti 
verum, quam terram dicimus, habentem caelum suum 
nubilosum atque ventosum congruum sibi. et absit, 
ut dicerem iam : " non essent ista," quia etsi sola 
ista cernerem, desiderarem quidem melioia, sed iam 
etiam de solis istis laudare te deberem : quoniam" 
iaudandum te ostendunt de terra dracones et omnes 
abyssi, ignis, grando, nix, glacies, spiritus tempes- 
tatis, quae feciunt verbum tuum, montes et omnes 
colles, ligna fructifera et omnes cedri, bestiae et 
omnia pecora, reptilia et volatilia pinnata ; reges 
terrae et omnes populi, principes et omnes iudices 
terrae, iuvenes et virgines, seuiores cum iunioribus 
laudent nomen tuum. cum vero etiam de caelis te 
laudent, laudent te, deus noster, in excelsis omnes 
angeli tui, omnes virtutes tuae, sol et luna, omnes 
stellae et lumen, caeli caelorum et aquae, quae super 
caelos sunt, laudent nomen tuum ./non iam deside- 
rabam meliora, quia omnia cogitabam, et meliora 
quidem superiora quam inferiora, sed meliora omnia 
quam sola superiora iudicio saniore pendebam. 



agree not with some otiier things, they are conceived chap. 
to be evil: whereas tliose very things suit well enough ^^^' 
with some other things, and are good ; yea, and in 
themselves are good. And all these things which do 
not mutually agree one with another, do yet suit well 
( nough with this inferior part, which we call earth ; 
which hath such a cloudy and windy region of air 
hanging over it, as is in nature agreeable to it. God 
forbid now, that I should ever say. These things 
ought not to be ; for should I see nothing but these, 
verily I should want the better, yet even only for 
these ought I to praise thee ; for that thou art to 
be praised, these things of the earth do shew : 
dragons, and all deeps, fire, hail, snow, ice, and 
storm}^ wind, which fulfil thy word; mountains, and 
all hills, fruitful trees, and all cedars; beasts and 
all cattle ; creeping things and flying fowls ; kings 
of the earth and all people ; princes and all judges 
of the land ; young men and maidens ; old men and 
children, let them praise thy name. Seeing also 
these in heaven praise thee, praise thee, O our God, vt. cxivUi 
in the heights, thine angels and all thy hosts, sun ^-^2 
and moon, all the stars and light, the heaven of 
heavens, and the waters that be above the heavens, 
seeing that these praise thy name, I did not now 
desire better, because I had now thought upon them 
all : and that those superior things were better than 
these inferior things, but yet ail things together 
better than those suf)erior by themselves, I resolved 
upon in my bettered judgment. 




CAP. NoN est sanitas eis, quibus displicet aliquid creaturae 
tuae, sicut mihi non erat, cum displicerent multa, 
quae fecisti. et quia non audebat anima mea, ut ei 
displiceret deus meuS;, nolebat esse tuum quidquid ei 
displicebat. et inde ierat in opinionem duarum sub- 
stantia rum, et non requiescebat et aliena loquebatur. 
et inde rediens fecerat sibi deum per infinita, spatia 
locorum omnium, et eum putaverat esse te, et eum 
collocaverat in corde suo, et lacta erat rursus tem- 
plum idoli sui abominandum tibi. sed posteaquam 
fovisti caput nescientis, et clausisti oculos meos, ne 
viderent vanitatem^ cessavi de me paululum, et con- 
sopita est insania mea ; et evigilavi in te et vidi te 
infinitum aliter, et visus iste non a carne trahebatur. 


CAP. Et respexi alia, etvidi tibi debere quia sunt, et in te 
cuncta finita, sed aliter, non quasi in loco^, sed quia 
tu es omnitenens manu vei'itate, et omnia vera sunt^ 



To a sober Mind, none of God's Creatures arc 

They are not well in their wits, to whom anything CHAr. 
whicli thou hast created is displeasing, nor more than ^^^ 
I myself was, whenas many things which thou hadst 
made, did not like me. And because my soul durst 
not take distaste at my God, it would not suffer that 
aught should be accounted thine, which displeased it. 
Hence fell it upon the opinion of two substances, 
and no rest did it take, but talked idly. And turning 
from thence, it fancied a God to itself, which took up 
infinite measures of all places ; and him did it think 
to be thee ; and him it placed in its heart : so that 
it became once again the temple of its own idol, 
which was to thee so abominable. But after thou 
hadst refreshed my head, (I not knowing of it) and 
hadst shut up mine eyes that they should not behold 
vanity ; I began to be quieted a little from myself, 
and my mad fit was gone asleep : out of which 
I awaked in thee, and then discerned thee to be 
infinite another manner of way. But this sight was 
not derived from any powers of my flesh. 


1^^ How there is truth and falsehood in the Creatures 
And I looked upon other things; and I saw howCHAi 
they owed their being to thee; and that all finite ^^ 
things are in thee, but in a different manner jnoFas 
in space, but because thou containest all things in 



CAT ill quant am sunt^ nee quicquam est falsitas^ nisi cum 
]>utatiu' esse quod non est. et vidi, quia non solum 
locis sua quaeque suis conveniunt sed etiam tempori- 
bus ; et quia tu^ qui solus aeternus es^ non post innu- 
merabilia spatia temporum coepisti operari^ quia 
omnia spatia temporum^ quae praeterierunt et quae 
praeteribunt, nee abirent nee venirent nisi te oper- 
ante et manente. 


CAP. Et sensi expertus non esse mirum, quod palato non 
sano poena est et panis, qui sano suavis est, et oculis 
aegris odiosa lux, quae puvis amabilis. et iustitia tua 
displicet iniquis, nedum vipera et vermiculus, quae 
bona creasti, apta inferioribus creaturae tuae partibus, 
qiiibus et ipsi iniqui apti sunt, quanto dissimiliores 
sunt tibi, apti autem superioribus, quanto similiores 
flunt tibi. et quaesivi, quid esset iniquitas, et non 
inveni substantiam, sed a summa substantia, te deo, 
detortae in infima voluntatis pcrveisitatem proioientis 
intima sua et tumesceiitis i'uras. 




thine hand in thy truth. All things are true so far chap. 
forth as they have a being ; nor is falsehood anything, ^^ 
unless while a thing is thought to be, which is not. 
And I marked how that all things did agree respec- 
tively, not to their places only, but to their seasons 
also. And that thou, who only art eternal, didst not 
begin to work after innumerable spaces of time spent ; 
for that all spaces of times, both those which are 
passed already, and those which are to pass hereafter, 
should neither go nor come, out by thee, who art still 
working and still remaining. 


All Things are good, though to some Things not Jit 

And I both found and tried it to be no wonder that chap. 
the same bread is lothsome to a distempered palate, ^^^ 
which is pleasant to a sound one : and that to sore 
eyes, that light is offensive, which to the clear is 
delightful. And thy justice gives disgust unto the 
wicked : so do much more the viper and smallest 
vermin, which thou hast created good, and fit enough 
to these inferior portions of thy creation, to which 
these very wicked are also fit ; and that so much the 
more fit, by how much they be unlike thee, but so 
much fitter for the superior parts, by how much they 
ji become liker thee. And I enquired what iniquity 
k should be : but I found it not to be a substance, but . 

a swerving merely of the will, crooked quite away ticus x. lo, 
from thee, O God, (who art the supreme substance) which A 
towards these lower things ; casting away its inward "Jj^"!^^'*^''' 
parts, and puffed up outwardly. laiit 


CAP. Et mirabar_, quod iam te amabam. non pro te phan- 


tasma : et non stabam frui deo meo^ sed rapiebar ad 


te decore tuo^moxque diripiebar abs te pondere meo, 
et ruebam in ista cum gemitu ; et pondus hoc con- 
suetudo carnalis. sed mecuni erat niemoria tui, neque 
ullo modo dubitabam esse, cui cohaererem, sed non- 
dum me esse, qui cohaererem : quoniam corpus, quod 
corrumpitur, adgravat animam, et deprimit terrena 
inhabitatio sensum multa cogitantem. fi eramque cer- 
tissimus, quod invisibilia tua a constitutione mundi 
per ea quae facta sunt intellecta conspiciuntur, semp- 
iterna quoque virtus et divinitas tua. quaerens 
eniin, unde adprobarem pulchritudinem corporum 
sive caelestium sive terrestrium, et quid mihi praesto 
esset integre de mutabilibus, iudicanti et dicenti, 
'' hoc ita esse debet, illud non ita " : hoc ergo quaerens, 
unde iudicarem, cum ita iudicarem, inveneram in- 
commutabilem et veram veritatis aeternitatem supra 
mentem meam conmutabilem. atque ita gradatim 
a corporibus ad sentientem per corpus animam, atque 
inde ad eius interiorem vim, cui sensus corporis 



What thitigy hinder us of God's K7iowledge 

And I wondered not a little that I was now come to chap. 
love thee, and no phantasm instead of thee : nor did ^^'^^ 
I delay to enjoy my God, but was ravished to thee 
by thine own beauty ; and yet by and by I violently 
fell off again, even by mine own weight; rushing 
with sorrow enough upon these inferior things. This 
weight I spake of was my own fleshly custom. Yet 
had I still a remembrance of thee ; nor did I any way 
doubt, that there was one to whom I ought to cleave ; 
but I thought I was not yet able to cleave unto thee : Wisdom ix. 
for that the body which is corrupted, presseth down ^^ 
the soul, and the earthly tabernacle weigheth down 
•>the mind that museth upon many things. And most 
certain was I that thy invisible works are clearly seen Rom. \. 20 
from the constitution of the world, being understood by 
the things that are made ; and also thine eternal power 
and Godhead. For studying now, by what reasons 
to make good the beauty of corporeal things, either 
celestial or terrestrial, and what proof I had at hand 
solidly to pass sentence upon these mutable things, 
in pronouncing, Tliis ought to be thus, and This must 
be so ; plodding, I say, on this, upon what ground 
namely I ought to judge, seeing I did thus judge : 
I had by this time found the unchangeable and true V 
eternity of truth, residing above this changeable mind x 
of mine. And thus by degrees passing from bodies ^ 
to the soul, which makes use of the senses of the \ 
body to perceive by ; and from thence to its inner \ 
faculties, unto which the senses of the body are to \ 
represent their outward objects ; and so forward, as \ 

I 2 b 385 


CAP. exteriora nuntiaret, et quousque possunt bestiae, at- 

que inde rursus ad ratiocinantem potentiam, ad qiiam 

refertur iudicandum, quod sumitur a sensibus cor- 
poris, quae se quoque in me comperiens mutabilem^ 
erexit se ad intellegentiam suam, et abduxit cogita- 
tionem a consuetudine, subtrahens se contradicent- 
ibus turbis phaiitasmatum, ut inveniret, quo lumine 
aspargeretur ; cum sine ulla dubitatione clamaret 
incommutabile praeferendum esse mutabili, unde 
nosset ipsum inconmutabile — quod nisi aliquo modo 
nosset^ nullo modo illud mutabili certa praeponeret 
— et pervenit ad id, quod est, in ictu trepidant!^ 
aspectus. tunc vero invisibilia tua per ea quae facta 
sunt intelleeta conspexijsed aciem figere non evalui, 
et repercussa infi imitate redditus solitis, non mecum 
fere bam nisi amantem memoriam et quasi olefacta 
desiderantem, quae comedere nondum possem. 


CAP. Et quaerebam viam conparandi roboris, quod esset 
^ ^^^ idoneum ad fruendum te, nee inveniebam^ donee 
amplecterer mediatorem dei et hominum, hominem 



tar as the irrational creatures are able to go : thence chap. 
again I passed on to the reasoning faculties, unto ^^^^ 
which whatever is received from the senses of the 
body is referred to be judged. This also finding 
itself to be variable in me, betook itself towards its 
own understanding, drawing away my thoughts from 
custom, and withdrawing itself from these con- 
fused multitudes of phantasies, which contradict 
one another ; that so it might find out that light, 
which now bedewed it, when without all further 
doubting, it cried out, that what was unchangeable 
was to be })referred before what was changeable, 
by which it had come to know that unchangeable 
(which unless by .swiifLmeans or other it had known, \ 
it could never have had sure ground for the prefer- \ 
ring of it before the changeable) : thus by a flash of 
the twinkling eyesight it came so far as that which is. 
And now came I to have a sight of those invisible 
things of thee, which are understood by those things 
which are made. But I was not able to fix mine eye 
long upon them : but my infirmity being beaten back 
again, I was turned to my wonted fancies ; carrying 
along with me no more but a liking of those new 
thoughts in my memory, and an appetite, as it were, 
to the meat I had smelt; which as yet I was not able 
to eat of. 


^K Only Christ is the Way to Salvation 

Then set I myself to seek a means of gaining so chap. 
much strength, as should be sufficient to enjoy thee ; "^^ ^^^ 
but 1 could not find it, until I embraced that 


CAP. Christum lesum, qui est super omnia deus benedictus 
in saecula, vocantem et dicentem : ego sum via veri- 
tatis et vita, et cibum, cui capiendo invalidus eram, 
miscentem carni : quoniam verbum caro factum est, ut 
infantiae nostrae lactesceret sapientia tua, per quam 
I creasti omnia, non enim tenebam deum meum lesum 
humilis humileni, nee cuius rei magistra esset eius 
infirmitas noveram. verbum enim tuum, aeterna 
Veritas, superioribus creaturae tuae partibus super- 
erainens, subditos erigit ad se ipsam, in inferioribus 
autem aedificavit sibi humilem domum de limo nostro, 
per quam subdendos deprimeret a se ipsis et ad se 
traiceret, sanans tumorem et nutriens amorem, ne 
(iducia sui progrederentur longius, sed potius infirma- 
rentur, videntcs ante pedes suos infirmam divinitatem 
ex participatione tunicae pelliciae nostrae, et lassi 
prosternerentur in earn, ilia autem surgens levaret 


CAP. Ego vero aliud putabam : tantunioue sentiebnm de f 


domino Christo meo, quantum de excellentis sapien- 
tiae viro, cui nullus pos.set aequari, praesertim quia 


Mediator betwixt God and man, the Man Jesus chap. 

Christ ; who is over all, God blessed for evermore, ^^^^^ 

then calling unto me, and saying : I am the Way, ^ ^^": ^- '' 

the Truth, and the Life: who mingled that Food °™' *** " 

which I was unable to take (his own flesh) unto our 

flesh. For the Word was made flesh, that by thy John i. h 

wisdom, by which thou createdst all things, he might 

suckle our infancy. For I, not yet humble enough, did 

not apprehend my Lord Jesus Christ, who had made 

himself humble ; nor did I yet know what lesson 

that infirmity of his would teach us. For thy Word, 

the eternal Truth, being so highly exalted above 

the highest of thy creatures, reaches up those that 

were cast down, unto itself: having here below 

built for itself a lowly cottage of our clay, by which 

he intended to abate from the height of their own 2 Cor. x. 6 

imaginations, those that were to be cast down ; that 

so he might bring them about unto himself; allaying 

the swelling of their pride, and cherishing of their 

love : to the end they might go on no further in the 

confidence of themselves, but might find their own 

weakness rather; seeing the divinity itself enfeebled 

at our feet, by taking our coats of skin upon him : Geu. in. 21 

that so being weary at length, they might cast down 

themselves upon it, and that rising, might raise up 

them together with it 


What he thought of Christ's Tncarnatioti 
But I had before far other thoughts : conceiving chat. 
only of my Lord Christ as of a man of excellent ^^^ 
wisdom, whom no man could be equalled unto ; and 

erd especially, for that being so wonderfully 

CAT. niirabiliter natiis ex virgine (ad exemplum contem- 
nendorum temporalium prae adipiscenda immor- 
tal itate) divina pro nobis ciira tantam auctoritatem 
magisterii meruisse videbatur. quid aiiteDi sacra- 
menti haberet verbum caro factum^ lie suspicari 
quidem poteram. tantiim cognoveram ex his^ quae 
de illo scripta traderentur, quia manducavit et bibit^ 
dormivit^ ambulavit^ exbilaratus est, contristatus est^ 
sermocinatus est;, non haesisse carnem illam verbo 
tuo nisi cum anima et mente humana. novit hoc 
omniS;, qui novit incommutabililatem verbi tui, quam 
ego iani noveram, quantum poteram, nee omnino 
quicquam inde dubitabam. etenim nunc niovere 
membra corporis per voluntatem, nunc non movere ; 
nunc aliquo afFectu affici,nimc non affici ; nunc proferre 
per signa sapientes sententias, nunc esse in silentio : 
propria sunt mutabilitatis animae et mentis, quae si 
falsa de illo scripta essent, etiam omnia periclitarentur! 
mendacio, neque in illis litteris ulla fidei salus generi 
humano remaneret. quia itaque vera scripta sunt, 
totum hominem in Christo agnoscebam : non corpus 
tantum hominis aut cum corpore sine mente animum, 
sed ipsum hominem, non persona veritatis, sed magna 
quadam naturae humanae excellentia et perfectiore 
participatione sapientiae praeferri ceteris arbitrabar. 
Alypiusautem deum carneindutiim ita putabatcredi 
a Catholicis, ut praeter deum et carnem non esset in 


born of a Virgin, (giving us an example how to con- chap. 
temn the worldly things for the obtaining of immor- ^^^ 
tality ;) by that divine care of his he seemed to have 
deserved so much authority, as to be the master over 
us. But what mystery this might carry with it. The 
Word was made flesh, I could not so much as imagine. 
Thus much I collected out of what is come to us, 
being written of him (how that he did eat, and 
drink, and sleep, and walk, and rejoiced in spirit, 
and was heavy, and preached) : that the flesh did 
not cleave unto thy Word, without a human soul 
and mind. Everybody knows thus much, that 
kiioweth the unchangeableness of thy Word : which 
I myself now knew, as well as I could, nor did I at 
all make any doubt of it. For, for him to tt\ovc 
the limbs of his body by his will, and otherwhiles itot 
to move them ; now to be stirred by some afFectioriV 
and at another time not to be affected ; now to ^> 
deliver wise sentences, and another while to keep 
silence : all these be properties of a soul and mind 
that are mutable. And should these things be 
falsely written of him, all the rest verily would be 
in suspicion of being a lie, nor should there be left 
at all in those Books any safeness of faith for man- 
kind. Because therefore truths are there written, I 
there acknowledged a perfect man to be in Christ. 
Not the body of a man only, or a sensitive soul 
without a rational, but a very man, whom, not for 
liis being the form of truth, but for a certain extra- The 
ordinary excellency of human nature that was in him, Manichees 
I judged worthy to be preferred before all other men. that he w:i^ 

As for Alypius, he imagined the Catholics to have a form of 
believed God to be so clothed with flesh, that *''''*^ 
besides God and the flesh, there was no soul at all in 

Kand that they had preached there was no 

CAP Chri to anima^ mentemque hominis non existimabat 


in eo praedicari. et quoniam bene persuasum tenebat 
ea, quae de illo memoriae maiidata sunt^ sine vitali et 
rationali creatura non fieri, ad ipsam Christianam fidem 
pigrius movebatur. sed postea haereticorum ApoUi- 
naristarum hunc errorem esse cognoscens, Catholicae 
fidei conlaetatus et contemperatus est. ego autem 
aliquanto posterius didicisse me fateor, in eo, quod 
verbum caro factum est, quomodo Catholica Veritas a 
Photini falsitate dirimatur. improbatio quippe hae- 
reticorum facit eminere, quid ecclesia tua sentiat et 
quid habeat sana doctrina. oportuit enim et hae- 
reses esse, ut probati manifesti fierent inter infirmos. 


CAP, Sed tunc, lectis Platonicorum illis libris, posteaquam 
inde admonitus quaerere incorpoream veritatem, in- 
visibilia tua per ea quae facta sunt intellecta conspexi ; 
et repulsus sensi, quid per tenebras aniraae meae 
contemplari non sinerer, certus esse te et infinitum 
esse, nee tamen per locos finitos infinitosve diffundi, 
et vere te esse, qui semper idem ipse esses, ex nulla 
parte nulloque motu alter aut aliter, cetera vero ex 
te esse omnia, hoc solo firmissimo documento, quia 
sunt: certus quidem in istis eram.nimis tamen infirmus 


soul of man in him. And because he was verily chap 
persuaded, that those actions which were recorded ^^^ 
of him could not be performed but by a vital and a 
rational creature, he was the slower therefore in 
moving towards the Christian faith. But under- 
standing afterwards, that this was the error of the 
Apollinarian heretics, he was better pleased with 
the Catholic faith, and better complied with it. But 
something later it was, I confess, ere I learned how 
in this sentence. The Word was made flesh, the 
Catholic truth could be cleared of the heresy of 
Photinus. For, the confuting of the heretics makes 
the opinions of the Church more eminent, and the 
tenet which the sound doctrine maintaineth. For 
there must be also heresies, that they which are i cor. xi. 1 9 

Ipproved may be made manifest among the weak. 
0/ (livers Booh of the Platonists 
luT having read as then these books of the Platonists, chap. 
having once gotten the hint from them, and falling ^-^ 
upon the search of incorporeal truth ; I came to get 
a sight of these invisible things of thine, which are 
understood by those things which are made : and 
being put back again, I p erceived how that the 
d arkness of mine own mind was it which so hinderect 
m y contemplation : I became certain, that thou werT ^ 
both infinite, and yet not diffused over finite and 
infinite places : and that thou art truly the same that 
thou art ever, nor in any part, nor by any motion, 
different or otherwise : and tha^. all other things are 
from thee, taught so by this one most firm demonstra- 
tion, that they are. Of these things I was certain 



CAP ad fruendum te. garriebam plane quasi peritus et, nisi 
in Christo, salvatore nostrOj viam tuam quaererem, 
non peritus, sed periturus essem. iam enim coeperam 
velle videri sapiens, plenus poena mea et non flebam, „ 
insuper autem inflabar scientia. ubi enim erat ilia ■ 
aedificans caritas a fundamento humilitatis, quod 
est Christus lesus ? aut quando illi libri me docerent 
cam? in quos me propterea, priusquam scripturas 
tuas considerarem, credo voluisti incurrere, ut inpri- 
ineretur memoriae meae, quomodo ex eis affectus 
essem, et cum postea in libris tuis mansuefactus j 
essem, et curantibus digitis tuis contrectarentur 
vulnera mea, discernerem atque distinguerem, quid 
interesset inter praesumptionem et confessionem, 
inter videntes, quo eundum sit, nee videntes, qua, et 
viam ducentem ad beatificam patriam, non tantum 
cernendam sed et habitandam. nam si primo Sanctis 
tuis litteris informatus essem, et in earum familiaritate 
obdulcuisses mihi, et post in ilia volumina incidissem, 
fortasse aut abripuissent me a solidnmento pietatis, 
aut si in afFectu, quern salubrem inbibcram, perstitis- 
sem, putarem etiam ex illis libris eum posse concipi, 
si eos solos quisque didicisset 



enough, yet t oo weak to comprehend thee. I prated chap. 
altogether asl were a skil?ul fellow ; but had I not ' |^^ 
sought thy way in Christ our Saviour, I had been like | 
to prove not skilled but killed. For now, forsooth, I J 
began to be desirous to seem wise : full of mine own 
punishment, yet could not weep for it, but became 
more and more puffed up with my knowledge. For 
where was that charity that should build me up from 
that foundation of humility which is in Christ Jesus ? 
Or when would these books have taught me that ? 
Vet upon these, I believe it was thy pleasure that I 
should first fall, before I took thy Scriptures into my 
consideration ; that I might print in memory, how far 
those books wrought upon my affections : and that 
when afterwards I should come to be made tractable 
by thy Books, thine own fingers undertaking the cure 
of me, and my wounds dressed, I might discern at 
last and distinguish how main a difference there was 
betwixt presumption and confession ; betwixt those 
tliat saw whither they were to go, but knew nothing 
of the way : and that path which leads unto that 
blessed country, not only to be looked upon, but 
dwelt in. For had I first been brought up in thy holy 
Scriptures, and in the familiar use of them thyself 
had grown sweet unto me, and had I fallen upon these 
philosophical volumes afterwards ; they might either 
have withdrawn me from the solid ground of piety, 
or if I had stood fimi in that wholesome disposition 
which I had there tasted, I might perchance have 
thought, that a man, even out of these Platonic books 
might have gotten the same, had he studied them 




CAP. Itaque avidissime arripui venerabilem stilum spiritus 
tui, et prae ceteris apostolum Paulum. et perierunt 
illae quaestiones, in quibus mihi aliquando visus est 
adversari sibi^ et non congruere testimoniis legis et 
prophetarum textus sermonis eius : et apparuit mihi 
una facies eloquiorum castoruni, et exultare cum 
tremore didici. et coepi et inveni, quidquid iliac 
verum legeram, hac cum conmendatione gratiae 
tuae dici : ut qui videt non sic glorietur_, quasi non 
acceperit non solum quod videt^ sed etiam ut 
videat — quid enim habet quod non accepit ? — et ut 
te, qui es semper idem, non solum admoneatur ut 
videat, sed etiam sanetur ut teneat ; et qui dc long- 
inquo videre non potest, viam tamen ambulet, qua 
veniat et videat et teneat :| quia, etsi condclectctur 
homo legi dei secundum interiorem hominem, quid 
faciet de alia lege in membris suis, rcpngnante legi 
mentis suae, et se captivum ducente in lege peccati, 
quae est in membris eius ? quoniam iustus es, 
domine; nos autem peccavimus, inique fecimus, 
inpic gessimus, et gravata est super nos manus tua, 
et iuste traditi sunius antiquo peccatori, praeposito 
mortis, quia persuasit voluntati nostrae similitudincm 



What he found in the Holy Scfiphires, irhich wa:^ 
not in the Platonists 

Most greedily therefore laid I hold upon that chap. 
venerable writing of thy Spirit : and upon the Apostle ^ -^ * 
Paul above all the rest. Whereupon those difficulties 
quite vanished away, in which he sometimes seemed 
to me to contradict himself; and wherein the text of 
his discourse seemed not to agree with the testi- 
monies of the Law and the Prophets. And there 
appeared unto me but one face in that chaste 
eloquence ; and I learned to rejoice with trembling. Pa. u. ii 
So I began ; and found whatsoever truth I had there 
read, to be said here with the praise of thy grace. 
So he that sees should not so glory as if he had not i Cor. iv. 7 
received, not only that which he doth see, but also 
the power to see. For what hath he, which he hath 
not received ? So he is put in mind not only to see 
thee, who art ever the same, but that he may be 
made strong to hold thee : and that he who from afar 
off is not able to see his way, may yet walk on that 
way, whereby he may at last arrive, and see, and 
comprehend. For though a man be delighted with the Kom.vii. •:•: 
law of God after the inner man, yet how shall he do 
with that other law in his members, which wars 
against the law of his mind, and bringeth him into 
captivity to the law of sin which is in his members? Rom.vii. 2? 
For, thou art righteous, O Lord, but we have sinned Dan. ix. 5 
and committed iniquity, and dene wickedly, and thy 
hand is grown heavy upon us, and we are justly 
delivered over unto that old sinner the president 
of death : for he hath wrought our will to become 
like his will, whereby he departed from thy truth. 



CAP. voluntatis suae, qua in veritate tua non stetit. quid 
faciet miser homo ? quis eum liberabit de corpore 
mortis huius, nisi gratia tua per lesum Christum 
dominum nostrum, quem genuisti coaeternum et 
creasti in principio viarum tuarum ; in quo princeps 
huius mundi non invenit quicquam morte dignum, 
et occidit eum ; et evacuatum est chirographum, quod 
erat contrarium nol)is ? hoc illae litterae non habent. 
non habent illae paginae vultum pietatis illius, lacri- 
mas confessionis, sacrificium tuum, spiritum contribu- 
latum, cor contritum et humiliatum, populi salutem, 
sponsam civitatem, arram spiritus sancti, poculum 
pretii nostri. nemo ibi, cantat : Nonne deo subdita 
erit anima mea ? ab ipso enim salutare nieum : 
etenira ipse deus mens et salutaris meus, susceptor 
meus : non movebor amplius. nemo ibi audit vocan- 
tem : Venite ad me, qui laboratis. dedignantur ab eo 
discere, quoniam raitis est et humilis corde. abscon- 
disti enim haec a sapientibus et pnidentibus et 
revelasti ea parvulis. et aliud est de silvestri ca- 
cumine videre patriam pacis, et iter ad eam non in- 
venire, et frustra conariperinvia, circum obsidentibus 
et insidiantibus fugitivis desertoribus, cum principe 
suo leone et dracone : et aliud tenere viam illuc du» 
centem, cura caelestis imperatoris munitam, ubi non 
latrocinantur qui caelestem militiam deseruerunt ; 
vitant enim eam sicut supplicium. haec mihi 
inviscerabantur miris modis, cum minimum 
apostolorum tuorum legerem, et con- 
sideraveram oj)era tua et expaveram. 



What shall wretched man do ? Who shall deliver chap. 
him from the body of this death, b'&t only thy grace, ^^^ 
through Jesus Christ our Lord, whom thou hasT; ^^^- ^^'• 
begotten co-eterrial to" thyself, and possessedst in p^.^^ ^... 
the beginning of thy ways : in whom the prince of 22 
this world found nothing worthy of death, yet killed johu xiv. 
he him ; whereby the handwriting was blotted out, 30 
which was contrary to me ? None of all this do these Coi. ii. i4 
Platonic writings contain. Those leaves can show 
nothing of this face of pity, those tears of confession, 
that sacrifice of thine, a troubled spirit, a broken Ps. h. 
and a contrite heart, the salvation of thy people, the 
Spouse, the city, the earnest of the Holy Ghost, the 
Cup of our Redemption. No man sings there. Shall 
not my soul wait upon God, seeing from him cometh ps. ixii. 1 
my salvation ? For he is my God, and my Salvation, ps. ixii. 2 
my Defence ; I shall be no more moved. No man 
in those books hears him calling : Come unto me all Matt. xi. 28 
ye that labour ; Yea, they scorn to learn of him 
because he is meek and lowly in heart. For these Matt, xi. 29 
thi ngs hast thou hid from the wise and pru dent, and" Matt, xi. 25 
1 lalt reveaied them unto babes . For it is one thing 
from the woody top of a mountain to see the land of Deut. 
peace, and not to find the way thither ; and in vain ^^^"- *^ 
to travel through ways unpassable, round about beset 
with these fugitive spirits, forsakers of their God lying 
in ambush with that ring-leader of theirs, the Lion and 
the Dragon : and another to keep on the way that 
leads thither, which is guarded by the care of our 
heavenly General : where there are none that forsook 
the heavenly army to exercise robberies ; which they 
abhor as much as their very torment. These things 
did by wonderful means sink into my v ^y bowels , 
whenas I read that lea st of thy Apostles, and 
had consTdered up on thy works and trembled. 




CAP. Deus meus, recorder in gratiarum actione tibi, et 
confitear misericordias tuas super me. perfundantur 
ossa mea dileetione tiia, et dicant : Domiiie, quis 
similis tibi ? dirrupisti vincula mea : sacrificem tibi 
sacrificium laudis. quomodo dirrupisti ea, narrabo, 
et dicent omnes, qui adorant te, cum audient haec : 
Benedictus dominus in caelo et in terra ; magnimi 
et mirabile nomen eius. inhaeserant praecordiis 
meis verba tua, et undique circumvallabar abs te. 
de vita tua aeterna certus eram, quamvis earn 
in aenigmate et quasi per speculum videram ; dubi- 
tatio tamen omnis de incorruptibili substantia^ quod 
ab ilia esset omnis substantia, ablata mihi erat, nee 
certior de te, sed stabilior in te esse cupiebam. de 
mea vero temporali vita nutabant omnia, et mun- 
dandum erat cor a fermento veteri ; et placel)at via, 
ipse salvator, etire per eius angustias adhuc pigebat. 
et inmisisti in mentem meam, visumque est bonum 
in conspectu meo, pergere ad Simplicianum,qui inihi 
bonus apparebat servus tuus, et lucebat in eo gratia 



Ho?v being injiamed wilk the Love of Heaven fi/ 
Things, he goeih to ^'Simplicianus 

CiivE me leave, O my God, with thanksgiving to chap. 
remember, and to confess unto thee thine own ^ 
mercies bestowed upon me. Let my bones be filled 
with thy love, and let them say unto thee, Who is ps. ixxxvi. 
like unto thee, O Lord ? Thou hast broken my ^ 
bonds in sunder, I will offer unto thee the sacrifice Ps. cxvi, 
of thanksgiving. And how thou hast broken them ^^» '^ 
will 1 now declare ; and all men who worship thee, 
when they hear of it shall say : Blessed be the Lord, 
both in heaven and in earth, great and wonderful is 
his name. Thy words had stuck fast even to the 
very roots of my heart, and I was hedged round about Job i. lo 
by thee. Of the eternity of thy life I was now 
become certain, though I had nO more than seen in i cor. xiii. 
a glass as it were darkly. All my former doublings, '2 
concerning an incorruptible substance, and that all 
other substance should come from that, was now 
quite taken away from me ; nor did 1 desire as now 
to be made more certain of thee, but to stand firmer 
in thee. As for mine own temporal life, all things 
were as yet unresolved ; my heart was to be purged i Cor. v. i 
from the old leaven. The Way (our Saviour him- johu xiv. c 
self) I very well liked of: but it still irked me to 
follow him through its straitness. Thou didst put 
into my mind, and it seemed good in mine own eyes, 
to go unto Simplicianiis, who seemed to me a faithful 





CAP. tua. audieram etiam^ quod a iuventute sua devo- j 
tissime tibi viveret ; iam verotunc senuerat ; et longal 
aetata in tarn bono studio sectandae viae tuae multa| 
expertus^ multa edoetus mihi videbatur : et vere sicj 
erat. unde mihi ut proferret volebam conferenti 
secum aestus meos, quis esset aptus modus sicj 
afFecto, ut ego eram, ad ambulandum in via tua. 

Videbam enim plenam ecclesiam, et alius sic ibat, 
alius autem sic. mihi autem displicebat^ quod agebam 
in saeculo, et oneri mihi erat valdC;, non iam inflam- 
mantibus cupiditatibus, ut solebant, spe honoris et 
pecuniae ad tolerandam illam servitutem tarn gravem. 
iam enim me ilia non delectabant, prae dulcedine tua 
et decore domus tuae^ quam dilexi ; sed adhuc tena- 
citer alligabar ex femina, nee me prohibebat aposto- 
lus coniugarij quanivis exhortaretur ad melius, maxime 
volens omnes homines sic esse, ut ipse erat. sed ego 
infirmior eligebam moUiorem locum ; et propter hoc 
unum volvebar in ceteris, languidus et tabescens curis 
marcidis, quod et in aliis rebus, quas nolebam pati, 
congruere cogebar vitae coniugali, cui deditus ob- 
stringebar. audieram ex ore veritatis esse spadones, 
qui se ipsos absciderunt propter regnum caeloium ; 

sed^ (jui potest, inquil, capeie, ca])!;!!. vani sunt 


servant of thine, and that thy grace shined in him : chap. 

I of whom I had further heard, that from his very ^ 

! youth he had lived most devoutly towards thee. 
He was now grown into years ; and by reason of so 
great an age, spent in so good a purpose as follow- 
ing thy ways, he seemed to me to have gained ex- 
perience of many things, and to have been taught 
many things : and verily so he had Out of which 
skill of his, I desired him to afford me some direc- 

■ tions, (making him acquainted with my troubles) 
which should be the readiest way for a man in my 
case to walk in thy paths. 

: For, the Church I saw to be full, and one went 
this way, and another that way. But very unpleasant 

I to me it was, that I led the life of a worldling : yea, 
a very grievous burden it was, those desires after the 

, hopes of honour and profit inflaming me now no longer 
as they were wont to do, nor helping me to bear so 
heavy a bondage. For in respect of the sweetness 
and the beauty of thy house which I loved, those 
thoughts delighted me no longer. But very strongly 
yet was I enthralled with the love of a woman : nor 
had thine Apostle forbidden me to marry, though he i Cor. vii. s 
advised me to do better, earnestly wishing that all 
men were as himself then was. But I being weak, 
made choice of the softer place : and because of this 
alone, was languishing I tumbled up and down in 
the rest ; yea, I pined away with withering cares, 
because in other matters which I was unwilling to 
undergo, I was constrained to accommodate myself 
to a married life, unto which I stood enthralled. 
I had understood from the mouth of Truth itself, 
that there were some eunuchs which have made Matt. xix. 
themselves so for the kingdom of heaven's sake: '^ 
but, quoth he, let him receive this saying that is able. 


CAT. cei'te omnes homilies^ quibus noii inest dei scientia, 
iiec de his, quae videntur bona, potuerimt invenire 
eum, qui est. at ego lam non eram in ilia vanitate ; 
transcenderam earn, et contestante universa creatura, 
inveneram te creatorem nostrum, et verbum tuum 
apud te deum, tecumque unum deum, per quod 
creasti omnia. et est aliud genus inpiorum, qui 
cognoscentes deum non sicut deum glorificaverunt 
aut gratias egerunt. in hoc quoque incideram, et 
dextera tua suscepit me et inde ablatum posuisti, ubi 
convalescerem, quia dixisti homini : Ecce pietas est 
sapientia, et : Noli velle videri sapiens, quoniam 
dicentes se esse sapientes stuiti faeti sunt, et in- 
veneram iam bonam margaritam, et venditis omni- 
bus, quae haberem, emenda erat, et dubitabam. 


CAP. Perrexi ergo ad Simpliciaiium, patrem in accipienda 
gratia tunc episcopi Ambrosii, et quem vere nt patrem 
diligebat. narravi ei circuitus erroris mei. »d>i autem 
commemoravi legisse mequosdam libros Platonicorinii, 
quos Victorinus, quondam rhetor urbis Romae, quem 
Christianum defunctum esse audieram, in Latinam 
linguam transtulisset, gratulatus est mihi, quod non 


All those men verily are vain, in whom the know- chap. 

ledge of God is not ; and who could not out of \ 

these things which seem good, find out him that is ^ ^ili!*!™ 

good indeed. But I was no longer in that vanity; 

I was now gotten beyond it ; and by the testimony 

of all thy creatures, had I found thee our Creator, 

and thy Word God together with thee, and together 

one God with thee, by which Word thou createdst all 

things. There is yet another kind of wicked men, 

who knowing God, did not glorify him as God, Rom. i. 21 

neither were thankful : upon these also was I fallen, 

but thy right hand sustained me, and delivering me 

out of their company, thou placedst me where I 

might grow better. For thou hast said unto man : 

Behold, the fear of the Lord is wisdom : and. Be not Job xxviii. 

desirous to seem wise in thine own eyes, because ^^ 

they who affirmed themselves to be wise, became ^'™^ '■'■ ^ 

fools. But I had now found that Pearl of price, Kom. i. 22 

which 1 ought to have bought, though I sold all that Matt. xiii. ^ 

I had But I was yet in a quandary what to do. ** 

i .. . . " 

How I ictnrhius, the j amous Orator, was converted 

Into Simplicianus therefore I went, the father at CHAP, 
that time of Bishop Ambrose in his receiving of thy ^^ 
jnrrace ; whom verily Ambrose loved as his own father. 
To him I discovered the winding course of my error. 
But when I told him that I had read over certain 
books of the Platonists, which Victorinus, sometime 
rhetoric professor of Rome, (who died a Christian as 
I had heard) had translated into Latin, he much 
rejoiced over me, for that I had not fallen upon 


CAP. in aliorum philosophorum scripta incidissem, plena 
fallaciarum et deceptionum^ secundum elementa 
huius mundij in istis autem omnibus modis insinuari 
deum et eius verbum. deinde, ut me exhortaretur 
ad humilitatem Christi, sapientibus absconditam et 
revelatam parvulis, Victorinum ipsum recordatus est, 
quenij Romae cum esset, familiarissime no vera t, 
deque illo mihi narravit quod non silebo. habet enim 
magnam laudem gratiae tuae confitendam tibi, quem- 
admodum ille doctissimus senex, et omnium liberalium 
doctrinarum peritissimus, quique philosophorum tam 
multa legerat et diiudicaverat, doctor tot nobilium 
senatorum, qui etiam ob insigne praeclari magisterii, 
quod cives huius mundi eximium putant, statuam 
Romano foro meruerat et acceperat, usque ad illam 
aetatem venerator idolorum, sacrorumque sacrilego- 
rum particeps, quibus tunc tota fere Romana nobilitas 
inflata, spirabat prodigia iam et omnigenum deum 
monstra et Anubem latratorem, quae aliquando 

contra Neptunum et Venerem contraque Minervam 

tela tenuerant, et a se victis iam Roma supplicabat, 
quae iste senex Victorinus tot annos ore terricrepo 
defensitaverat, non erubuerit esse puer Christi tui, et 
infans fontis tui, subiecto coUo ad humilitatis iugum, 
et edomita fronte ad crucis opprobrium. 

O domine, domine, qui inclinasti caelos et de- 
scendisti, tetigisti montes et fumigaverunt, quibus 


any other philosophers' writings, which use to be chap. 
full of fallacies and vain deceits, after the rudi- ^^ 
raents of this world : whereas in the Platonists, God 
and his word are everywhere implied. And the 
better to exhort me to Christ's humility, (hidden 
from the wise, and revealed to little ones) he men- Matt. xi. 25 
tioned Victorinus himself, whom whilst he was at 
Rome he had familiarly known : and of him he told 
this story, which I will not here conceal. For it 
affords matter of much praise of thy grace, which 
ought to be confessed unto thee, to hear how this 
most learned old man, most skilful in all the liberal 
sciences ; one who had read, and weighed so many of 
the philosophers ; one that had been master to so 
many noble Senators, who also as a mark of high 
office nobly filled, had (which worldlings esteem such 
an honour) both deserved and obtained a statue in 
the Roman Forum ; he remaining even till his old age 
a worshipper of idols, and a copartner of such sacri- 
legious solemnities, with which almost all the nobility 
and people of Rome were inspired, and had portents 
on their lips of that monstrous rabble of the galli- 
maufry of gods, and of Anubis the Barker, which had 
sometime maintained the bucklers against Neptune vcro. Aen. 
Venus, and Minerva, whom Rome having once con- viii. 698 
quered, now worshipped, all which this old Victorinus 
with his thundering eloquence, had so many years 
been the champion of: how, I say, he blushed not 
to become the child of thy Christ, and an infant at 
thy font, submitting his neck to the yoke of humility, 
and subduing his forehead to the ignominy of the 

O Lord, O Lord, which hast bowed the heavens ps. cxiiv. i 
and come down, touched the mountains and they 

Buoke : by what means didst thou convey 

CAP. modis te insinuasti illi pectori ? legebat, sicut ait 
Simplicianus, sanctam scripturam, omnesque Chris- 
tianas litteras investigabat studiosissime et perscrut- 
abatui% et dicebat Simpliciano non palam, sed secretius 
et familiarius : "Noverisiammeesse Christianum." et 
respondebat ille : '' Non credara nee deputabo te inter 
Christianos, nisi in ecclesia Christi videro." ille autem 
inridebat dicens : " Ergo parietes faciunt Christianos ? " 
et hoc saepe dicebat, iam se esse Christianiim, et 
Simplicianus illud saepe respondebat, et saepe ab illo 
parietiim inrisio repetebatur. amicos enim suos re- 
verebatur offendere, superbos daemonicolas, quorum 
ex culmine Babylonicae dignitatis quasi ex cedris 
Libani, quas nondum contriverat dominus, graviter 
ruituras in se inimicitias arbitrabatur. sed postea- 
quam legendo et inhiando hausit firmitatem^timuitque 
negari a Christo coram angelis Sanctis, si eum timeret 
coram hominibus confiteri, reusque sibi magni criminis 
adparuit, erubescendo de sacramentis humilitatis verbi 
, tui, et non erubescendo de sacris sacrilegis superborum 
daemoniorum, quae imitator superbus acceperat, de- 
puduit vanitati et erubuit veritati, subitoque et inopi- 
natus ait Simpliciano, ut ipse narrabat : " Eamus in 
ecclesiam : Christianus volo fieri." at ille non se 
capiens laetitia, perrexit cum eo. ubi autem imbutus 
est primis instructionis sacramentis, non multo post 


thyself into that man's breast ? He read, as Shn- chap. 
plicianus said, the Holy Scriptures, most studiously ^^ 
sought after and searched tlirough all the writings 
of the Cliristinns, and said unto Simplicianus, (not 
openly, but after a private and familar manner) 
You shall now understand that I am a Christian. 
Simplicianus answered him : I will never believe, 
nor will I rank you among the Christians, unless I see 
you in the Church of Christ. Whereunto, he smiling 
upon him, replied : Is it the walls then that make 
Christians.'* And this he often reiterated, that he 
was now a Christian : and Simplicianus making the 
same answer, the conceit of the walls was as often 
returned. For he feared to ofFeud his friends, which 
were proud devil-worshippers, from the height of 
whose Babylonian dignity, as from the top of the 
cedars of Libanus, which the Lord had not yet 
brought down, he supposed a storm of ill will would 
shower upon him. But when by reading and 
earnestness he had gathered strength, and that he 
feared to be denied by Christ before his angels, mkc ix. 2 
should he now be afraid to confess him before men ; 
and that he appeared guilty to himself of a mighty 
crime, in being ashamed of the Sacraments of the 
humility of thy Word, whereas he had not been 
ashamed of the sacrilegious sacrifices of those proud 
devils (of which he himself had proudly partaken) ; 
he became bold-faced against vanity, and shame- 
faced towards the truth : yea, all on the sudden, 
when Simplicianus thought nothing of it, he says 
unto him, (as himself told me) Come, let us go to 
the church, I resolve to be made a Christian. But 
he, not able to contain himself for joy, went along 
with him : where, so soon as he was instructed in the 
first mysteries of religion, he not long after gave in 



CAP. nomen dedit^ut per baptisniumregeiieraretur, mirante 
Roma, gaudente ecclesia. superbi videbant et iras- 
cebantur, dentibus suis stridebant et tabescebant : 
servo autem tuo dominus deus erat spes eius, et non 
respiciebat in vanitates et insanias mendaces. 

Denique ut ventum est ad horam profitendae fidei, 
quae verbis certis conceptis retentisque memoriter, de 
loco eminentiore, in conspectu populi fidelis, Romae 
reddi solet ab eis, qui accessuri sunt ad gratiam tuam, 
oblatum esse diceb^t Victorino a presbyteris, ut 
secretius redderet, sicut nonnullis, qui verecundia 
trepidaturi videbantur, ofFerri mos erat ; ilium autem 
maluisse salutem suam in conspectu sanctae multi- 
tudinis profiteri. non enim erat salus, quam docebat, 
in rhetorica, et tamen earn publice professus erat. 
quanto minus ergo vereri debuit mansuetum gregem 
tuum, pronuntians verbum tuum, qui non verebatur 
in verbis suis turbas insanorum ? itaque ubi ascendit, 
ut redderet, omnes sibimet invicem, quisque ut eum 
noverat, instrepuerunt nomen strepitu gratulationis. 
quis autem ibi non eum noverat ? et sonuit presso 
sonitu per ora cunctorum conlaetantium : " Vic- 
torinus, Victorinus." cito sonuerunt exultatione, 
quia videbant eum, et cito siluerunt intentione, ut 


his name, that he might be regenerated by Baptism : chap. 
the city of Rome wondering, and the Church re- ^^ 
joicing. The proud beheld it, and were enraged, 
gnashing upon him with their teeth, and even pining 
away with envy at it. But the Lord God was the 
hope of his servant, who took no regard to vanities Ps. xxxi: 
and lying madness. " 

To conclude, when the hour was come wherein 
he was to make a profession of his faith, (which in 
Rome it was the custom of those that were shortly 
to come unto thy grace to do, in a set form of 
words gotten by heart, and standing aloft upon a 
more eminent place, where they might well be 
seen of all the faithful people ;) there was an offer 
made, as he said, by the priests unto Victorinus, 
that he might make his profession more privately, 
as the custom was to offer that courtesy to some 
others, who were likely to be bashful and fearful 
at the matter: but he chose rather to profess his 
salvation in the presence of the holy assembly. 
For whereas that was no salvation which he had 
taught in rhetoric, and yet had he made public 
profession of that : how much less therefore ought 
he to dread that meek flock of thine, in the pro- 
nouncing of thy word, who in the delivering of his 
own words, had not feared the fullest audience of 
mad men? So soon therefore as he was mounted 
up aloft to make his profession ; every one that knew 
him whispered his name one to another with the voice 
of congratulation. And who was there that did not 
know him ? And there ran a soft whisper through 
all the mouths of the rejoicing multitude, Victorinus, 
Victorinus. Quickly spake they of him with triumph- 
ing, for that they saw him ; and as quickly were they 
t again, that they might now hear him. He 

CAP. audirent eum. pionuntiavit ille fidem veracem prae- 
cJara fiducia, et volebant eum omnes rapere intro in 
cor suum. et rapiebant amando et gaudendo : hae 
rapientium manus erant. 


CAP. Deus bone^. quid aHtur in homine, ut plus ffaudeat 
de salute desperatae animae et de maiore periculo 
liberataCj quam si spes ei semper afFuisset aut peri- 
eulum minus fuisset ? etenim tu quoque^ misericors 
pater, plus gaudes de uno paenitente, quam de nona- 
ginta novem iustis, quibus non opus est paenitentia. 
et nos cum magna iucunditate audimus, cum audimus 
quam exsultantibus pastoris umeris reportetur ovis, 
quae erraverat, et drachma referatur in thesauros tuos 
conlaetantibus vicinis mulieri, quae invenit : et lacri- 
mas excutit gaudium sollemnitatis domus tuae, cum 
legitur in domo tua de minore filio tuo, quoniam 
mortuus fuerat et revixit, perierat et inventus est. 
gaudes quippe in nobis, et in angelis tuis sancta cari- 
tate Sanctis, nam tu semper idem, quia ea quae non 
semper nee eodem modo sunt eodeni modo semper 
nosti omnia. 



pronounced aloud the true faith with an excellent chai*. 
boldness, and every man would gladly have plucked ^^ 
him to them into their very heart : yea_, greedily did 
they snatch him in, by loving of him, and rejoicing 
for him. These were the hands by which they 
snatched him. 


That God and his Angels do rejoice the more, at the 
conversion of a greater Sinner 

Good God ! what is that which is wrought in man, chap. 
that he should more rejoice at the salvation of such ^^^ 
a soul as was in a desperate condition, and which hath 
been delivered out of the greater danger, than if 
there had always been conceived good hopes of him, or 
whose danger had been lesser } Yea, even thou also 
O most merciful Father, dost more rejoice over one laake xr. « 
sinner repenting, than over ninety and nine just per- 
sons that need no repentance. And with much joyful- 
ness do we hearken so often as we hear it, how the lost 
sheep is brought home again upon the Shepherd's Luke xr. i 
shoulder rejoicing : and that the lost groat is put again 
into thy treasury, her friends and neighbours rejoicing 
with the woman that had found it. Yea, and the joy 
conceived at the solemn service of thy house makes 
the tears come out of our eyes, whenas the parable of 
thy younger son is read in it, how he was dead, but 
made alive again ; he was lost, but found again. For 
thou rejoicest both over us, as also over thy Angels, 
who continue holy, in holy charity. For thou art ever 
the same, because thou knowest after the selfsame 
manner, all those things which of themselves neither 
continue the same ever, nor after the same manner. 


CAP. Quid ergo agitur in anima, cum amplius delectatur 
inventis aut redditis rebus, quas diligit, quam si eas 
semper habuisset? contestantur enim et cetera, et J|j 
plena sunt omnia testimoniis clamantibus : " ita est." 
triumphat victor imperator ; et non vicisset, nisi pug- 
navisset : et quanto maius periculum fuit in proelio, 
tanto est gaudium maius in triumpho. iactat tem- 
pestas navigantes minaturque naufragium; omnes 
futura morte pallescunt: tranquillatur caelum et mare, 
et exultant nimis, quoniam timuerunt nimis. aeger est 
carus, et vena eius malum renuntiat ; omnes, qui eum 
salvum cupiunt, aegrotant simul animo : fit ei recte, 
et nondum ambulat pristinis viribus, et fit iam tale 
gaudium, quale non fuit, cum antea salvus et fortis 
ambularet. easque ipsas voluptates humanae vitae 
etiam non inopinatis et praeter voluntatem inruenti- 
bus, sed institutis et voluntariis molestiis homines 
adquirunt. edendi et bibendi voluptas nulla est, nisi 
praecedat esuriendi et sitiendi molestia. et ebriosi 
quaedam salsiuscula comedunt, quo fiat molestus 
ardor, quem dum exstinguit potatio, fit delectatio. 
et institutum est, ut iam pactae sponsae non tra- 
dantur statim, ne vile luibcat niaritus datam, quam 
non suspiraverit sponsus dilatam. 


What is that therefore which is wrought in the chap. 
soul whenas it is more delighted to have either found ^^^ 
or regained those things which it loved, than if it had 
always possessed them.'' Yea, and other creatures 
bear witness hereunto ; and all things are full of testi- 
monies still crying out, that so it is. The general 
triumpheth when he is a conqueror ; yet had he never 
overcome, had he not fought : and how much the 
more danger was in the battle, so much the more 
rejoicing is there in the triumph. The storm tosses 
the passengers, and threatens shipwreck, and every- 
l)ody waxes pale at his death approaching : but the 
sky clears up, and the sea grows calm again, and they 
are as much rejoiced as they were over scared. A 
dear friend of ours is sick, and his blood-letting shows 
the malignity of his disease : all that wish his good 
health are thereupon sick in mind with him. He 
proves well again, though not able to walk up and 
down so strongly as he was wont to do ; yet there is 
so great an expression of joy made, as never had been, 
whenas before his sickness he was able to walk per- 
fectly, sound, and lustily. Yea, the very pleasures of 
our human life do we procure by preceding difficulties : 
nor these only which fall upon us unlooked for, and 
against our wills, but even purposed by us and desired. 
There is no pleasure at all in eating and drinking, 
unless the pinching of hunger and thirst go before it. 
Drunkards eat certain saltish meats, with purpose to 
procure a thirsty hotness in the mouth, which whilst 
the drink quenches, the pleasure is procured. The 
order also it is, that the spouse already affianced uses 
not instantly to be given to her sweetheart : for fear 
lest when he is an husband he should less esteem of her 
for being so soon obtained, whom whilst he was a wooer 
he sighed not after, thinking her too long delayed. 
I 2 D 417 


CAP. Hoc in turpi et exsecranda laetitia, hoc in ea, quae 
concessa et licita est^ hoc in ipsa sincerissima hones- 
tate amicitiae, hoc in eo^ qui mortuus erat et revixit, 
perierat et inventus est : ubique maius gaudium / 
molestia maiore praeceditur. quid est hoc^ domine 
deus meus, cum tu aeternum tibi^ tu ipse sis gaudium, 
et quaedam de te circa te semper gaudeant ? quid 
est, quod haec rerum pars alternat defectu et pro- 
fectu, offensionibus et conciliationibus ? an is est 
modus earum, et tantum dedisti eis, cum a summis 
caelorum usque ad ima terrarum, ab initio usque in 
finem saeculorum, ab angelo usque ad vermiculum, 
a motu primo usque ad exti'emura, omnia genera 
bonorum et omnia iusta opera tua suis quaeque sedi- 
bus locares, et suis quaeque temporibus ageres ? ei 
mihi, quara excelsus es in excelsis, et quam pro- 
fundus in profundisl et nusquam recedis^ et vix 
redimus ad te. 




This is observable in such joy as is dishonest, and chaf. 
to be abhorred; seen also in that joy which is con- ^"^ 
sented unto, and lawful ; seen likewise in the most 
sincere honesty of friendship ; seen lastly, in him 
who was dead, and afterwards revived ; who was lost 
and is found. The greatest joy is everywhere ushered 
in by the greatest painfulness. What means this, O 
Lord my God, whereas thou art an everlasting joy 
unto thee, even thine own self, and some things The angels 
•around thee are ever rejoicing in thee } What means Cpi»pare 
this, that this division of things thus alters up and xili. lo 
down, with going backwards and forwards, with fall- 
ings out, and making friends again ? Is this the 
fashion of them, and is this that proportion thou then 
assignedst to them ; whenas even from the highest 
heavens down to the lowest of the earth, from the 
beginning of the world to the last end of it ; from the 
angel to the worm ; from the first thing that moveth 
even unto the last ; thou didst settle all kinds of 
good things, and all thine own just works in their 
proper places, and accomplishedst all in their due 
seasons ? Alas for me ! how high art thou in the *^ 
highest things, and how profound in the lowest ! 
And thou dost nowhere depart from us, and we hardly 
return unto thee. 




CAP Age^ domine, fac excita et revoca nos, accende et 
rape^ fragra_, dulcesce : amemus, curramus. nonne 
multi, ex profundiore tartaro caecitatis quam Victori- 
nus, redeunt ad te et acceduiit, et inluminantur re- 
cipientes lumen, quod si qui recipiunt, accipiunt a te 
potestatem, ut filii tui fiant ? sed si minus noti sunt 
populis, minus de illis gaudent etiam qui noverunt 
eos. quando enim cum multis gaudetur, et in singulis I 
uberius est gaudium ; quia fervefaciunt se et inflain- 
mantur ex alterutro. deinde, quod multis noti, I 
multis sunt auctoritati ad salutem, et multis praeeunt 
secuturis : ideoque multum de illis et qui eos prae- 
cesserunt laetantur, quia non de solis laetantur. 
absit enim, ut in tabernaculo tuo prae pauperibus 
accipiantur personae divitum, aut prae ignobilibus 
nobiles; quando potius infirma mundi elegisti, ut 
confunderes fortia, et ignobilia liuius mundi elegisti 
et contemptibilia, et ea quae non sunt, tamquam sint, 
ut ea quae sunt evacuares. et tamen idem ipse 
minimus apostolorum tuorum, per cuius linguam tua 
ista verba sonuisti, cum Faulus pro consule, per eius 
militiam debellata superbia, sub lene iugum Christi 
tui missus esset, regis magni provincialis effectus, ipse 



Why we are more to rejoice in the Conversion of 
a great Sinner 

Go on, O Lord, and make an end of it, stir us up, and chap. 
call us back ; kindle us and pluck us to thee, be frag- ^^ 
rant, and grow sweet unto us : let us love, let us 
run. Do not many a man out of a deeper dungeon 
of blindness than Victorinus was in, return unto thee, 
and are enlightened with the beams they receive 
from thee ; which they that once receive, receive 
power also from thee to become thy sons ? who yet Joim i. 12 
if they be less known among people, even those that 
do know them are less joyful for them : seeing that 
when a many rejoice together, the joy of every single 
man is fuller ; even for that they warm themselves, 
and are inflamed by one another. Again, because 
those that are generally known, are authors of salva- 
tion to many, and give many example to follow them : 
and even therefore those also which have gone before 
rejoice much for them, because they rejoice not for 
them alone. Far be it from our thoughts, that in thy 
Tabernacle the persons of the rich should be accepted 
of before the poor, or the noble before the common 
people : seeing thou hast chosen the weak things of 1 Cor. l 27 
the world, to confound the mighty ; and base things 
of the world, and things that are despised hast thou 
chosen ; and things which are not, to bring to nought 
things that are. And yet even that least of thy 
Apostles, by whose tongue thou soundedst out these 
words, whenas Paulus the Deputy had his pride beaten 
down by the spiritual warfare of that Apostle, and was 
set to draw in the easy yoke of Christ, now made a 



CA V. quoque ex priore Saiilo Pauliis vocari amavit ob tarn 
raagnae insigne victoriae. plus enim hostis vincitur 
in eo, quern plus tenet et de quo plures tenet, plus 
autem superbos tenet nomine nobilitatis, et de his 
plures nomine auctoritatis. quanto igitur gratius 
cogitabatur Victoriui pectus, quod tarn inexpugnabile 
receptaculum diabolus obtinuerat, Victorini lingua, 
quo telo grandi et acuto multos peremerat, abun- 
dantius exultare oportuit filios tuos, quia rex noster 
alligavit fortem, et videbant vasa eius erepta mundari, 
et aptari in honcvem tuum, et fieri utilia domino ad 
omne opus bonum. 

CAP. Sed ubi mihi homo tuus Simplicianus de Victorino 
ista narravit, exarsi ad imitandum : ad hoc enim et 
ille narraverat. posteaquam vero et illud addidit, 
quod imperatoris luliani temporibus, lege data pro- 
hibiti sunt Christiani docere litteraturam et oratoriam 
— quam legem ille amplexus, loquacem scholam de- 
serere maluit quam verbum tuum, quo linguas in- 
fantium facis disertas — non mihi fortior quam felicior 


humble subject of the Great King : he also instead chap, 
of Saul, which was his name before, desired to be ^^ 
called Paul afterwards, in testimony of so great a 
victory. For the enemy is more overcome by wring- 
ing a man from him, of whom he had more hold, 
and by whom he hath hold of many others. And 
sudh as be proud he hath the surer hold of, by reason 
of their title of nobility, and of many more through 
them, by reason of their authority. How much more 
welcome therefore the heart of Victorinus was es- 
teemed, which the Devil had made himself master of, 
as of an invincible place of retreat ; and the tongue 
of Victorinus, with which as with a mighty and most 
keen weapon he had slain many : so much the more 
abundantly became it thy sons to rejoice, for that 
our King hath bound the strong man, and that they Matt. xu. 2f 
saw his vessels taken from him and cleansed, and to 2Tim. ii. 21 
be made serviceable for the Lord, unto every good 


^H IV/iai hindered his Conversion 

But so soon as thy man Simplicianus had made an chap. 
end of his story of Victorinus, I was all on fire to ^ 
be imitating of him : yea, this was the end he told 
it for. After which when he had subjoined this 
relation of himself: how that in the days of the 
Emperor Julian, when there was a law made, whereby 
the Christians were forbidden to teach the liberal 
sciences or oratory, and how he obeying this law, 
chose rather to give over his wordy schools than thy 
word, by which thou makest eloquent the tongues of 


CAP. visus est, quia invenit occasionem vacandi tibi. cui 


rei ego suspirabam, ligatus non ferro alieno, sed mea 
ferrea voluntate. velle meum tenebat iiiimicus ; et 
inde mihi catenam fecerat et constrinxerat me. 
quippe voluntate perversa facta est libido, et dum 
servitur libidini, facta est consuetudo, et dum con- 
suetudini non resistitur, facta est necessitas. ! quibus 
quasi ansulis sibimet innexis — unde catenam appel- 
lavi — tenebat me obstrictum dura servitus. voluntas 
autem nova, quae mibi esse coeperat, ut te gratis 
colere fruique te vellem, deus, sola certa iucunditas, 
nondum erat idonea ad superandam priorem vetustate 
roboratam. ita duae voluntates meae, una vetus, 
alia nova, ilia carnalis, ilia spiritalis, confligebant 
inter se, atque discordando dissipabant animam 

Sic intellegebam me ipso experimento id quod 
legeram, quomodo caro concupisceret adversus spi- 
ritum et spiritus adversus carnem : ego quidem in 
utroque, sed magis ego in eo, quod in me appro- 
babam, quam in eo, quod in me improbabam. ibi 
enim magis iam non ego, quia ex magna parte id 
patiebar invitus quam faciebam volens. sed tamen 
consuetudo adversus me pugnacior ex me facta erat, 
quoniam volens quo nollem perveneram. et quis 
lure contradiceret, cum peccantem iusta poena se- 
queretur? et non erat iam ilia excusatio, qua videri 


infants : he seemed unto me not to have been more chap. 
valiant, than happy in it ; for that by this means he ^ 
found the opportunity to attend upon thee only. 
Which opportunity myself also sighed for, thus 
bound as 1 was, not with another man's irons, but v^ 
with mine own iron will. My willingness was the 
enemy master of; by which he made a chain for me, 
and had therewith bound me. Because that of a 
fro ward will, was a lust made ; and a lust ever 
obeyed, became a custom ; and a custom not resisted, 
brought on a necessity. By which links as it were 
lianging one upon another, for which I have called it 
a chain, did a very hard bondage hold me enthralled. 
As for that new will which I now began to have 
towards the free worshipping and enjoying of thee, 
O God, the only assured Sweetness ; it was not / 
able as yet to overcome my former wilfulness, now 
hardened in me by so long continuance. Thus did 
my two wills, one new and tother old, that carnal, 
and this spiritual, try masteries within me, and by 
their disagreeing wasted out my soul. 

Thus came I to understand (myself affording me 
the experiment) what I had sometimes read : how 
the flesh lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit cjai. v. 17 
against the flesh. I myself was in both ; yet of the 
two, in that rather which I approved of in myself, 
than in that which I disallowed. For in this, I was 
now no more ; because much of it I suffered rather 
against my will, than did it with my will. And yet 

I was custom now by mine own assistance become more 
sturdy against me, even because I was come willingly, 
whither I would not have come. And who then can . 
with any equity speak against it, if just punishment 
follows upon the sinner.'* Nor had I now that fair 

C3, upon pretence of which I heretofore seemed 

CAP. mihi solebam propterea me nondum contempto sae- 
culo servire tibi^ quia incerta mihi esset perceptio veri- 
tatis : iam enim et ipsa certa erat. ego autem adhiic 
terra obligatus^, militare tibi recusabam ; et inpedi- 
meiitis omnibus sic timebam expediri, quemadmodum 
inpediri timendum est. 

Ita sarcina saeculi, velut somno assolet, dulcitev 
premebar; et cogitatioiies^ quibus meditabar in te, 
similes erant conatibus expergisci volentium, qui 
tamen superati soporis altitudine remerguntur. et 
sicut nemo est, qui dormire semper velit, omniumque 
sano iudicio vigilare praestat, difFert taraen plerumque 
homo somnum excutere, cum gravis torpor in mem- 
bris est, eumque iam displicentem carpit libentius, 
quamvis surgendi tempus advenerit: ita certuni 
habebam, esse melius, tuae caritati me dedere, quani 
meae cupiditati cedere ; sed illud placebat et vince- 
bat, hoc libebat et vinciebat. non enim erat quod 
tibi responderem dicenti mihi : Surge qui dormis, et 
exsurge a mortuis, et inluminabit te Christus ; et 
undique ostendenti vera te dicere, non erat omnino, 
quid responderem veritate convictus, nisi tantuni 
verba lenta et somnolenta : "modo/' ^^ecce modo/* 
'' sine paululum." sed '^ modo et modo " non habebat 
modum et ^^sine paululum" in longum ibat. frustra 


to myself, not as yet able to forsake the world and ciiAr. 
to attend to thy service, for that the knowledge of ^ 
the truth was hitherto uncertain unto me: seeing 
now I stood assured of it. But I being enlisted by 
the earth, refused to fight under thy banner. Yea, 
as much afraid I was to be freed of what did hinder 
my march towards thee, as I ought to have been 
afraid of what might hinder it. 

Tiius with the baggage of this present world was 
I as sweetly overladen, as a man uses to be in a 
dream : and those thouglits with which I meditated 
upon thee, were like the struggles of such as woukl 
,i;et up; who being yet overcome with a deep sleep, 
iall again into it. And like as there is no man who 
desires to sleep always, (for that in any sober man's 
judgment it is much better to keep waking ;) yet ^ 
does a man oftentimes defer to shake off his drowsi-"^ 
ness, when he finds a heavy sluggishness all his body 
over, and angry at himself for it, yet he willingly 
takes another nap, notwithstanding it be high time 
for him to be stirring : in like manner assured I 
was, that much better it were for me to give up 
myself to thy charity, than to give over myself to 
mine own sensuality. But notwithstanding that 
former course pleased, and convinced my mind, yet 
this latter seized my will and held me confined. 
Nor had I anything now to answer thee calling to 
me : Arise, thou that sleepest, and staiul up from v.\>h. \. 
the dead, and Christ shall give thee light : and 
whereas thou on all sides sliowedst me, that what 
thou saidst was true ; I had nothing at all to answer 
for myself, being convinced by that truth ; but cer- 
tain lither and drowsy words only : Anon, see, I come 
by and by : let me sleep a little while. But my now 
and anon had no measure with them, and my little 


:!AR condelectabatur legi tuae secundum interiorem homi- 
nem, cum alia lex in membris meis repugnaret legi 
mentis meae, et captivum me duceret in lege peccati, 
quae in membris meis erat. lex enim peccati est 
violentia consuetudinis, qua traliitur et tenetur etiam 
invitus animus, eo merito, quo in eam volens inlabi- 
tur. miserum ergo me quis liberaret de corpore 
mortis huius, nisi gratia tua per lesum Christum, 
dominum nostrum ? 


CAP. Et de vinculo quidem desiderii concubitus, quo artis- 


simo tenebar, et saecularium negotiorum servitute 
quemadmodum exemeris, narrabo et confitebor nomini 
tuo, domine, adiutor mens et redemptor mens, age- 
bam solita crescente anxitudine, et cotidie suspirabam 
tibi ; frequentabam ecclesiam tuam, quantum vacabat 
ab eis negotiis, sub quorum pondere gemebam. 
mecum erat Alypius, otiosus ab opere iuris peritorum 
post assessionem tertiam, expectans, quibus iterum 
consilia venderet; sicut ego vendebam dicendi facul- 
tatera, si qua docendo praestari potest. Nebridius 
autera amicitiae nostrae cesserat, ut omnium nostrum 
familiarissimo Verecundo, Mediolanensi et civi et 
grammatico, subdoceret, vehementer desideranti et 


while drove out into a mighty length. I in vain chap. 

delighted in thy law according to the inner man, ^' 

when another law in my members rebelled against Bom. yii. 22 

the law of my mind, leading me captive in the law 

of sin which was in my members. That law of sin Bom.vii. 23 

now is the violence of custom, by which the mind 

of man is drawn and holden even against its will ; a- 

deserving to be so holden, for that it so willingly 

slides into that custom. Wretched I therefore, who 

could deliver me from the body of this death ; but 

thy grace only, through Jesus Christ our Lord ? 


Ponliciamis relates the Life of St. Ajiihony 

And the manner how thou deliveredst me out of the chap, 
bonds of desire, which I had unto carnal concupi- ^^ 
scence, (wherewith I was most straitly fettered) and 
from the drudgery of worldly business ; will I now 
declare and confess unto thy name, O Lord my 
Helper and my Redeemer. My wonted unsettled- 
ness of mind grew more and more upon me ; and I 
daily sent up sighs unto thee. Thy church I re- 
sorted frequently unto, as my business (under the 
burden of which I groaned) would give me leave. 
Alypius was now in company with me ; at leisure 
now from his law business, after the third time as 
Assessor, expecting other clients whom he might sell 
his counsels unto ; as I used to sell the skill of plead- 
ing; if any such can be taught. Nebridius had now 
so far condescended to our friendly requests, as to 
lecture under Verecundus (a very familiar friend to 
^^1 of us) a citizen and a grammarian of Milan ; who 

B 4^9 

VAV. familiaritatis iure flaoitanti de luiniero nostro fidele 


adiutorium, quo indigebat nimis. non itaque Nebri- 
dium cupiditas coiimodorum eo traxit — niaiora enim 
posset, si vellet, de litteris agere — sed officio benevo- 
lentiae petitionem nostram contemnere noluit, amicus 
dulcissimus et mitissimus. agebat autem illud pru- 
dentissime, cavens innotescere personis secundum 
hoc saeculum maioribus, devitaiis in eis omnem in- 
quietudinem animi, quern volebat habere h'berum, et 
quam multis posset horis feriatum, ad quaerendnm 
aliquid vel legendum vel audiendum de sapientia. 

Quodam igitur die — non recolo causam, qua erat 
absens Nebridius — cum ecce ad nos domum venit 
ad me et Alypium Ponticianus quidam, civis noster, 
in quantum Afer, praeclare in palatio militans : nescio 
quid a nobis volebat, et consedimus, ut conloquere- 
mur. et forte supra mensam hisoriam, quae ante nos 
erat, adtendit codicem : tulit, aperuit, invenit aposto- 
lum Paulum, inopinate sane; putaverat enim aliquid 
de libris, quorum professio me conterebat. tum vero 
arridens, meque intuens, gratulatorie miratus est, quod 
eas et solas prae oculis meis litteras repente con- 
perisset. Cliristianus quippe et fidelis erat, et saepe 
tibi, deo nostro, prosternebatur in ecclesia crebris et 
diuturnis orationibus. cui ego cum indicassem illis 


vehemently requested, and by the right of friend- CHAr, 
ship did even challenge such a friendly aid from ^^ 
our company, as he very much stood in need of. 
Nebridius therefore was not drawn to that pains b}^ 
any desire of profit (for he might have done better 
with literature if he had pleased) but being a most 
sweet and tractable companion, out of his respects of 
courtesy, would not slight the request we made to 
him. But he carried it very discreetly, still wary of 
being known to those personages whom the world 
esteemed great ; declining thereby all breaking oft 
the quiet of his own mind, which he resolved to 
reserve free to himself, and at leisure as many hours 
as might be, for the seeking, or reading, or hearing 
something concerning wisdom. 

Upon a certain day therefore (I do not now re- 
member why Nebridius was absent) behold, there 
came home unto me and Alypius, one Ponticianus 
a countryman of ours, an African, who had an office 
of good in the Emperor's Court. He wanted some- 
thing or other from us : and down together we sat, 
so that into discourse we fell. It so happened that 
upon the table before us, which we used to play 
upon, he espied a book lying ; up he took, and 
opened it ; and quite besides his expectation, found 
it to be St. Paul's Epistles, whereas he rather thought 
it had been some of those books which I ware out 
myself in teaching of. At which he smiling to him- 
self, and looking upon me, in a congratulating manner 
as it were, wondered not a little, that he had so un- 
expectedly found such a kind of book, and only such 
a one lying before me. For he was both a Christian 
and faithful too ; and one that often used to pro- 
strate himself before thee our God in the Church, in 
frequent and long prayers. Whom therefore when 

CAP. me scriptiiris curam maximam inpendere, ortus est 
sermo ipso narrante de Antonio Aegyptio monacho, 
cuius nomen excellenter clarebat apud servos tuos, 
nos autem usque in illam horam latebat. quod ille 
ubi eomperit, immoratus est in eo sermone, insinuans 
tantum virum ignorantibus, et admirans eandem nos- 
tram ignorantiam. stupebamus autem^ audientes tarn 
recenti memoria et prope nostris temporibus testatis- 
sima niirabiha tua, in fide recta et Catholica ecclesia. 
omnes mirabamur, et nos, quia tarn magna erant, et 
ille, quia inaudita nobis erant. 

Inde sermo eius devolutus est ad monasteriorum 
greges, et mores suaveolentiae tuae, et ubera deserta 
heremi, quorum nos nihil sciebaraus. et erat monas- 
terium Mediolanii, plenum bonis fratribus, extra urbis 
moenia, sub Ambrosio nutritore, et iion noveramus. 
pertendebat ille et loquebatur adhuc, et nos intent! 
tacebamus. unde incidit, ut diceret, nescio quando 
se et tres alios contubernales suos, nimiruni apud 
Treveros, cum imperator pomeridiano circensiuui 
spectaculo teneretur, exisse deambulatum in hortos 
muris contiguos ; atqueillic, ut forte combinati spatia- 
bantur, unum secum seorsum et alios duos itideni 
seorsum pariterque digressos ; sed illos vagabundos 


I had once told, how tliat I bestowed much pains chap 
upon those writings ; there began a speech, (himself ^ ^ 
being the relater) of Anthony the monk of Egypt : 
whose name was in most high reputation among thy 
servants, though for our part we had not so much 
as once heard of him to that hour. Which when 
he had discovered, he insisted the more upon that 
discourse, hinting the knowledge of so famous a 
man unto us, and admiring at that our ignorance of 
him. But we stood amazed, on the other side, hear- 
ing such wonderful works of thine ; so generally 
testified, so fresh in memory, and almost in our 
own times, to be done in the true faith and Church 
Catholic. We all wondered ; we to hear such great 
things reported ; and he, that we had never heard 

From this story of Anthony, took he occasion to 
discourse of the companies of monasteries, and the 
fashions of thine own sweet-smelling savour and the 
fruitful desert of the wilderness : of all which we 
knew nothing. And there was at that same time a 
monastery at Milan, full of good brethren, without 
the walls of the city, under Ambrose the nourisher 
of it, and yet we knew nothing of it. He went on 
with his tale, and we listened to him with great 
silence. Hereupon took he occasion to tell, how 
himself (I know not at what time) and three other 
of his comrades (and it was at Trier, whenas the 
Emperor was taken up with seeing of the Circensian 
chariot races) one afternoon went out to walk into 
the gardens next the city walls ; where as it fell out, 
they sorted themselves into two companies, one of 
the three keeping with him, and the other two 
walking at large also by themselves. But as these 

fo were ranging up and down, they stumbled bv 
2 E 43:j 

CAP. inmisse in quandam casam, ubi habitabant quidam 
servi tui spiritu pauperes, qualium est regnum caelo- 
rum, et invenisse ibi codicem, in quo scripta erat vita 
Antonii. quam legere coepit unus eorum, et mirari et 
accendi, et inter legendum meditari arripere talem 
vitam et relicta militia saeciilari servire tibi. erant 
autem ex eis, quos dicunt Agentes in Rebus, turn 
subito repletus amore saneto, et sobrio pudore iratus 
sibi, coniecit oculos in amicum et ait illi : " die, 
quaeso te, omnibus istis laboribus nostris quo ambi- 
mus pervenire ? quid quaerimus ? cuius rei causa 
militamus ? maiorne esse poterit spes nostra in 
palatio, quam ut amici imperatoris simus? et ibi 
quid non fragile plenumque periculis ? et per quot 
pericula pervenitur ad grand ius periciilum ? et 
quando istuc erit ? amicus autem dei, si voluero, 
ecce nunc fio." dixit hoc, et turbid us parturitions 
novae vitae reddidit oculos paginis : et legebat et 
mutabatur intus, ubi tu videbas, et exuebatur 
mundo mens eius, ut mox apparuit. nanique dum 
legit et volvit fluctus cordis sui, infremuit aliquando 
et discrevit decrevitque meliora : iamque tuus ait 
amico suo : '' ego iam abrupi me ab ilia spe nostra, et 


chance upon a certain little house, inhabited by chap 
divers of thy servants, poor in spirit, of whom is the ^'^ 
Kingdom of God : where they found a little book, i^ii't'- v. 3 
wherein the life of Anthony was described. One of 
them began to read, wonder at it, and to be inflamed 
with it ; and even in the very reading to devise with 
himself upon the taking such a life upon him, and 
by giving over his secular employments, to betake 
himself into thy service. And these men were of 
those whom they style Agents for the Public Affairs. 
Then suddenly being filled with an holy love, and 
a sober shamefastness, even angry at himself again, 
he cast his eyes upon his friend, saying : Tell me, 
I entreat thee, what preferment is that unto 
which all these labours of ours aspire ? What aim 
we at ? What is it we serve the State for } Can 
our hopes in Court rise higher than to be the 
Emperor's friends ? In which place what is there 
not brittle and full of perils ? And by how^ many 
dangers amve we at last unto one danger greater 
than all the rest ? And how long shall we be in 
getting thus high ? Whereas if I be desirous to 
become the friend of God, lo, I am even now made 
it. Thus he said : and all in pain in the travail of 
newness of life, he turned his eyes again upon the 
book : and he read on, and was inwardly changed 
where thou didst discern him, and his mind was 
quite dispossessed of worldly cares, as presently after 
it appeared. For as he read forward, and rolled up 
and down those waves of his heart, he made expres- 
sion of some indignation at himself, felt an inward 
conflict, and resolved finall}^ of much better courses. 
And thus now become wholly thine, he saith unto his 
friend : Even now have I broke loose from those 

tl)itious hopes of ours, and am fully resolved to 

CAT. deo servire statui ; et hoc ex hac hora, in hoc loco 
aggredior. te si piget imitari, noli adversari." re- 
spondit ille, adhaerere se socium tantae mercedis 
tantaeque militiae. et ambo^, iam tiii^ aedificabant 
turrem siimptu idoneo, relinquendi omnia sua et 
sequendi te. turn Ponticianus et qui cum eo per 
alias horti partes deambulabant^ quaerentes eos de- 
venerunt in eundem locum, et invenientes admonue- 
runt, ut redirent, quod iam declinasset dies, at illi 
narrato placito et proposito suo, quoque modo in eis 
talis voluntas orta est atque firmata_, petiverunt, ne 
sibi molesti essent, si adiungi recusarent. isti autem 
nihil mutati a pristinis^ fleverunt se tamen, ut dice- 
bat, atque illis pie congratulati sunt et conmendave- 
nmt se orationibus eorum, et trahentes cor in terra 
abierunt in palatium ; illi autem affigentes cor caelo 
manserunt in casa ; et habebant ambo sponsas : qiia( 
posteaquam hoc audierunt, dicaverunt etiam ipsaj 
virginitatem tibi. 



serve God only ; and this, from this hour forward, in chap. 
this very place, will I enter upon : as for thee, if it ^^ 
irks thee to imitate me, yet do not offer to dissuade 
me. Whereunto the other answered, that he also 
would closely stick unto him, as his partner in so 
ample a reward, and his fellow in so honourable a 
service. Thus both of them now become thine, x^' 
reared up a spiritual tower, with that treasure as is x/ 
only able to do it, of forsaking all and following thee. 
Ponticianus then, and the other that was with him, 
that had walked over other parts of the garden in 
search of them, came in the very nick into the same 
place, where they were; and having there found them, 
put them in mind of going homewards, for that it 
began to groAv something late. But they discovering 
their resolution and pur})ose unto them, and by what 
means that will began, and came to be settled in 
them ; humbly desired they would not be trouble- 
some to them, if so be they refused to join them- 
selves unto them. But Ponticianus and his friend 
no whit altered from their old wont, did yet bewail 
themselves with tears, as he affirmed, piously con- 
gratulating with them, and recommended themselves 
to their prayers ; and turning their hearts towards 
earthly things, returned into the Court. But the 
other two setting their affections upon heavenly, 
remained in that cottage. And both of them were 
contracted to sweethearts ; who having once heard 
of this business, dedicated also their own virginity 
unto God, 




' :^^- Narrabat haec Poiiticiamis. tii autenij domine^ 
inter verba eius retoiquebas me ad me ipsum, 
aiiferens me a dorso iiieo, ubi me posueram^ dum 
nollem me adtendere ; et constituebas me ante faciem 
meam^ ut viderem, quam turpis essem, qiiam dis- 
tortus et sordidus, maculosus et ulcerosus. et vide- 
bam et horrebam, et quo a me fugerem non erat. et 
si conabar a me avertere aspectum, narrabat ille 
quod narrabat ; et tu me rursus opponebas mihi, et 
inpingebas me in oeulos meos, ut invenirem iniqui- 
tatem et odissem. noveram eam, sed dissimulabani 
et cohibebam et obliviscebar. 

I'unc vero quanto ardentius amabam illos, de 
quibus audiebam salubres aft'ectus^ quod se totos tibi 
sanandos dederant^ tan to exsecrabilius me conpara- 
tum eis oderam : quoniam multi mei anni mecum 
effluxerant — forte duodecim anni — ex quo, ab unde- 
vicensimo anno aetatis meae, lecto Ciceronis Hor- 
tensio_, excitatus eram studio sapientiae^ et differebam 
contempta felicitate terrena ad earn investigandani 
vacare, cuius non inventio^ sed vel sola inquisitio, iani 
praeponenda erat etiam inventis thesauris regnis- 
\ que gentium, et ad nutum circumfluentibus corporis 



Ue iLds out of Love willi himselj' upon this Story 

This was Ponticianiis his story. But thou, O Lord, chap. 
all the while that he was speaking, didst turn me ^^^ 
back to reflect upon myself; taking me from be- 
hind my back, wliere I had heretofore placed my- 
self, whenas I had no list to observe mine own self: 
and thoa now settedst me before mine own face, that 
[ might discern how filthy, and how crooked, and 
sordid, and bespotted, and ulcerous I was. And I 
beheld and abhorred myself, nor could I find any 
place whither to flee from myself. And if I went 
about to turn mine eyes from off myself, he went on 
telling his tale ; and thou thereupon opposedst my- 
self unto myself, and thrustedst me ever and anon 
into mine own eyes, to make me find at last mine 
own iniquity, and to loathe it. I had heretofore 
taken notice of it; but I had again dissembled it, 
winked at it, and forgotten it. 

But at this time, how much the more ardently 
I loved those two whose wholesome purposes I heard 
tell of, even for that they had resigned up themselves 
unto thee to be cured : so much the more detestably 
did I hate myself in comparison of them. Because I 
had already lost so many years, (twelve or thereabouts) 
since that nineteenth of mine age, when upon the 
reading of Cicero's Hortensius, I was first stirred up 
to the study of wisdom : and still I was deferring 
to despise all earthly felicity, and to search out that, 
whose not finding alone, but the bare seeking, ought 
to have been preferred before all the treasures and 
kingdoms of this world already found, and before 



CAP voluptatibus. at ego adulescens miser valde^ miserior 
in exordio ipsius adulescentiae, etiam petieram a te 
castitatem et dixeram : "da mihi castitatem et coii- 
tinentiam, sed noli modo." timebam enim^ ne nie 
cito exaudires et cito sanares a morbo concupi- 
scentiae, qiiem malebani expleri quam exstingui. 
et ieram per vias pravas superstitione sacrilega ; non 
quidem certiis in ea, sed quasi praeponens earn 
ceteris, quae non pie quaerebam, sed inimice oppug- 

Et putaveram me propterea differre de die in diem — 
contempta spe saeculi te solum sequi, quia non mihi 
apparebat cerium aliquid, quo dirigerem cursum 
meura. et venerat dies, quo nudarer mihi et incre- 
paret in me conscientia mea ; " ubi est lingua mea ? 
nempe tu dicebas^ propter incertum verum nolle te 
abicere sarcinam vanitatis. ecce iam certum est, et 
ilia te adhuc premitj; umerisque liberioribus pinnas 
recipiunt, qui neque ita in quaerendo adtriti sunt nee 
decennio et amplius ista meditati." itarodebarintns 
et confundebar pudore horribili vehementer, cum 
Ponticianus talia loqueretur. terminato autem ser- 
mone et causa, qua venerat, abiit ille, et ego ad me, 
quae non in me dixi ? quibus sententiarum verberibus 


all the pleasures of the body, though to be com- chap. 
manded for a nod. But I, wretched young fellow ^^^^ 
that I was, more wretched even in the very entrance 
into my youth, had even then begged chastity at thy 
hands, and said : Give me chastity and continency, 
but do not give it yet. For I was afraid that thou 
wouldst hear me too soon, and too soon deliver me 
from my disease of incontinency ; which my desire 
was, rather to have satisfied than extinguished. 
Yea, I had wandered with a sacrilegious superstition 
through most wicked ways of Manicheisni : not yet 
sure that' it was right, but preferring that, as it were, 
before those others which I did not so much seek after 
religiously, as oppose maliciously. 

And this was the reason, as I think, why I deferred^ 
from day to day to contemn all hopes in this world, 
;ind to follow thee only, for that there did not appear 
any certain end, which I was to direct my course 
unto. But now was the day come wherein I was to 
be set naked before myself, and when mine own 
conscience was to rebuke me : Where is thy tongue ? 
Surely thou wert wont to say, how that for an un- 
certain truth thou wouldst not yet cast off' the baggage 
of vanity. See, certainty hath appeared now, and 
yet does that burden still overload thee : whereas 
behold, others have gotten wings to free their 
shoulders by flying from under it ; others, I say, who 
neither have so much worn out themselves with 
seeking after that certainty, nor yet spent ten whole 
years and more, in thinking how to do it. Thus felt 
I a corrosive within, yea most vehemently confounded 
I was with a horrible shame, whenas Ponticianus was 
a telling that story. And he having done both his 
tale and the business he came for, went his way, 
id I into myself. What said I not within myself! 


CAP. non flagellavi animam meam, iit sequeretur me 
conantem post te ire ? et renitebatur, recusabat et 
lion se execusabat. coiisumpta erant et convicta 
arguiiienta omnia : remanserat muta trepidatio, et 
quasi mortem formidabat restringi a fluxu consuetu- 
dinis, quo tabescebat in mortem. 

VII 1 

CAP. TuM in ilia grandi rixa interioris domus meae. quam 


fortiter excitaveram cum anima mea in eubieulo 
nostro, corde meo, tam vultu quam mente turbatus 
invado Alypium^ exclamo : '' quid patimur ? quid est 
1 hoc, quod audisti ? surgunt indocti et caelum ra- 
I piunt, et nos cum doctrinis nostris ecce ubi voluta- 
mur in carne et sanguine ! an quia praecesserunt, 
pudet sequi, et non pudet nee saltem sequi ? " dixi 
nescio qua talia, et abripuit me ab illo aestus mens, 
cum taceret attonitus me intuens. neque enim solita 
sonabam. plus loquebantur aniniuni meuni frons, 
genae, oculi, color, modus vocis, quam verba, quae 


With what scourges of condemning sentences lashed chap. 
I not mine own soiil^ to make it follow me, endeavour- ^^^ 
ing now to go after thee ! And it drew back : it 
refused, but gave no reason to excuse its refusal by. 
All its arguments were already spent and confuted, 
there remained a silent trembling ; and it feared, 
like the death, to be restrained from the sore of 
custom, which made it pine away even to the very 


IVhat he did in Ike Garden 

In the midst then of all this vast tempest of my inner chap. 
house, which I had so stoutly raised up against mine ^nr 
own soul, in our chamber, my heart ; all over troubled 
both in mind and countenance, upon Alypius I set, 
crying out : What ails us ? What is this, that tliou 
heardest ? The unlearned start up and take heaven 
by violence, and we with all our learning, see how we 
wallow us in flesh and blood ! Because others are 
gone before, is it a shame for us to come after ? Is 
it not a shame not even to go after them ? Some 
such words as these I then uttered : and in that 
heat away I flung from him, while with silence and 
astonishment he looked upon me. For my speeches 
sounded not now in the key they were Avont to 
do : yea, my forehead, my cheeks, my eyes, my 
colour, and the accent of my voice, spake out my 
mind more emphatically than the words did which I 



CAV. promebam. hortiilus quidain erat liospitii nostri, quo 
iios utebamur sicut tota domo : nam hospes ibi nou 
habitabat, dominus domus. illuc me abstulerat 
tumultus pectoris, ubi nemo impediret ardentem 
Jitem^ quam mecum aggressus eram, donee exiret, 
qua tu sciebas, ego autem non : sed tantum insanie- 
bam salubriter et moriebar vitaliter, gnarus, quid 
mali essem, et ignarus, quid boni post paululum 
futurus essem. abscessi ergo in hortum et Alypius 
pedem post pedem. neque enim secretum meum non 
erat, ubi ille aderat. et quando me sic affectum 
desereret ? sedimus quantum potuimus remoti ab 
aedibus. ego fremebam spiritu^ indignans indigna- 
tione turbulentissima, quod non irem in placitum et 
pactum tecum, deus meus, in quod eundum esse 
omnia ossa niea clamabant et in caelum tollebant 
laudibus : et non illuc ibatur navibus aut quadrigis 
aut pedibus, quantum saltem de domo in eum locum 
ieram, ubi sedebamus. nam non solum ivv, vvvum 
etiam pervenire illuc, nihil erat aliud quam vclle ire, 
sed velle fortiter et integre, non semisauciam hac 
atque hac versare ct iactare voluntatem, parte adsur- 
gente cum alia parte cadente luctantem. 

Denique tam multa faciebam corpore in ipsis cunc 
tationis aestibus, quae aliquando volunt homines et 
non valent, si aut ipsa membra non habeant aut ea 
vel conligata vinculis vel resoluta languore vel qiio- 


uttered. A garden there was belonging to our chap 
lodging, which we had the liberty of, as well as of ^^^^^ 
any other part of the house ; for the master of the 
house, our host, lived not there. Thither had the 
tempest within my breast now hurried me, where no 
man might come to non-suit that fiery action which I 
had entered against myself, until it came to a good 
issue ; but which way, God thou knewest, I did not. 
Only I was for the time most soberly mad, and dying, 
to live : sensible enough what piece of misery for the 
j^resent I now was, but utterly ignorant how good I 
sliortly was to grow. Into that garden went I, and 
Vlypius followed me foot by foot : for I was no less 
secret when he was near ; and how could he forsake 
me, in such a state ? Down we sat us, as far from the 
house as possibly we could. I fretted in the spirit, 
angry at myself with a most tempestuous indignation, 
for that I went not into thy will and covenant, my God , 
which all my bones cried out upon me to do, extolling 
it to the very skies. That way we go not in ships, or 
chariots, or upon our own legs, no not so small a part 
of the way to it, as I had come from the liouse into 
that })lace, where we were now sitting. For, not to 
go towards only, but to arrive fully at that place, 
required no more but the will to go to it, but yet / 
to will it resolutely and thoroughly ;• not to stagger 
and tumble down an half wounded will, now on 
this side, and anon on that side ; setting the part 
advancing itself to struggle with another j)art that 
is falling. 

Finally, in these vehement passions of my dtlay, 
many of tiiose things performed I with my body, 
whicii men sometimes would do, but cannot ; if 
either they have not the limbs to do them withal ; 
>r if those limbs l)e bound with cords, weakened 


CAP. quo modo impedita sint. si vulsi capillum^ sipercussi 
frontem^ si consertis digitis amplexatus sum genu^ 
quia voluij feci, potui autem velle et non facere, si 
mobilitas membrorum non obsequeretur. tarn multa 
ergo fecij ubi non hoc erat velle quod posse : et non 
faciebam^ quod et incomparabili affectu amplius mihi 
placebat, et mox^ ut vellem, possem, quia mox^ ut 
vellem^ utique vellem. ibi enim facultas ea^ quae 
voluntas^ et ipsum velle iam facere erat ; et tamen 
non fiebat^ faciliusque obtemperabat corpus tenuissi- 
mae voluntati animae, ut ad nutum membra move- 
rentur, quam ipsa sibi anima ad voluntatem suam 
magnam in sola voluntate perficiendam. 



CAi'. Vnde hoc monstrum ? et quare istuc? lueeat 
misericordia tua, et interrogem, si forte mihi re- 
spondere possint latebrae poenaruni liominum et 1 
tenebrosissimae contritiones filiorum Adam, unde f 
hoc monstrum ? et quare istuc ? imperat animus | 
corpori, et paretur statim : imperat animus sibi, et ' 
resistitur. imperat animus, ut movent ur mnnus^ et 


with infirmity, or be any other ways hindered. If I chap. 
tare myself by the hair, beat my forehead, if locking ^^^^ 
my fingers one within another I beclasped my knee ; 
all tliis I did because I would. But I might have 
willed it, and yet not have done it, if so be the 
motion of my limbs had not been pliable enough to 
liave performed it. So many things therefore I now 
did, at such time as the will was not all at one with 
the power ; and something on the other side I then 
did not, which did incomparably more affect me with 
pleasure, which yet so soon as I had the will to do, I 
had the power also ; because so soon as ever I willed, 
I willed it thoroughly : for at such a time the power 
is all one with the will ; and the Avilling is now the 
doing : and yet was not the thing done, and more 
easily did my body obey the weakest willing of my 
mind in the moving of its limbs at her beck, than my 
mind had obeyed itself in carrying out this great will 
that could be done in the will alone. 

^H IVkj/ the Mind is so slow to Goodness 

^Bthence now is this portent, and to what purpose .f* oiiAV. 
Let thy mercy enlighten me that I may put this '^ 
question : if so be those concealed anguishes which 
men feel, and those most undiscoverable pangs of 
contrition of the sons of Adam, may perhaps afford 
me a right answer. Whence is this portent, and to 
what end } The mind commands the body, and is a 'v 
presently obeyed : the mind commands itself, and is J \ 
tsisted. The mind gives the word commanding the 


CAP. tanta est facilitas, ut vix a servitio discernatur 


imperium : et animus animus est, manus autem 
corpus est. imperat animus, ut velit animus, nee 
alter est nee facit tamen. unde hoc monstrum ? et 
quare istuc ? imperat, inquam, ut velit, qui non 
imperaret, nisi vellet, et non facit quod imperat. sed 
non ex toto vult : non ergo ex toto imperat. nam in 
tantum imperat, in quantum vult, et in tantum non 
fit quod imperat, in quantum non vult, quoniam 
voluntas imperat, ut sit voluntas, nee alia, sed ipsa, 
non itaque plena imperat ; ideo non est, quod 
imperat. nam si plena esset, nee imperaret, ut esset, 
quia iam esset. non igitur monstrum partim velle, 
partim nolle, sed aegritudo animi est, quia non totus 
assurgit veritate sublevatus, consuetudine praegrava- 
tus. et ideo sunt duae voluntates, quia una earum 
tota non est, et hoe adest alteri, quod deest alteri. 

(\v. Pereant a facie tua, deus, siciiti pereunt, vaniloqui 
et mentis seductores, qui cum duas voluntates in 

deliberando animadverterint, duas naluras duariiin 


hand to be moved ; and such readiness there is, that chap 
the command is scarcely to be discerned from the ^^ 
execution. Yet the mind is mind, whereas the hand 
is body. The mind commands mind to will ; it is the 
same, and yet it does not. Whence is this portent, 
I / and to what purpose ? 1 say it commands that itself 
would M'ill a thing ; which never would give the 
I command, unless it willed it : yet it does not that, 
\ which is commanded. But it willeth not entirely: 
\tlierefore doth it neither command entirely. For so 
far forth it commandeth, as it willeth : and, so far 
forth is not the thing done which is commanded, as 
it willeth it not, because the will commandeth that 
there be a will ; not another will but the same. But 
it doth not command fully, therefore is not the thing 
done, which it commanded. For were the willing 
full, it would never command it to be, because it 
would already be. 'Tis therefore no portent partly 
to will, and partly to nill ; only an infirmity of our 
soul it is, that it being overloaded with ill custom, 
cannot entirely rise up together, though supjjorted 
by verity. Hence is it that there be two wills, for 
that one of them is not entire : and the one is supplied 
with that, wherein the other lacks. 


1^^ 'J hi' 11 ill oj Man is various 

Let them perish out of thy sight, O God, (and they chap. 
do perish, those vain babblers, and seducers of the ^ 
soul) who because they have observed that there 

ftwo wills in the act of deliberating, affirm 
I tl F 449 

CAr. mentium esse asseverant^ unam bonam, alteram 
malam. ipsi vere mali sunt, cum ista mala sentiunt, 
et idem ipsi boni erunt^ si vera senserint verisque 
consenserint, ut dicat eis apostolus tuus : fuistis 
aliquando tenebrae, nunc autem lux in domino, illi 
enim dum volunt esse lux non in domino, sed in se 
ipsiSj putando animae naturam hoe esse, quod deus 
est, ita facti sunt densiores tenebrae, quoniam 
longius a te recesserunt horrenda arrogantia, a te, 
verolumine inluminante omnem hominem venientem 
in hunc mundum. adtendite, quid dicatis, et eru- 
bescite : et accedite ad eum et inluminamini, et vultus 
vestri non erubescent, ego cum deliberabam, ut ser- 
virem domino deo meo, sicut din disposueram, ego 
eram, qui volebara, ego, qui nolebam ; ego eram. nee 
plene volebam nee plene nolebam. ideo mecum 
contendebam et dissipabar a me ipso, et ipsa dissi- 
patio me invito quidem fiebat, nee tamen ostendebat 
naturam mentis alienae, sed poenam meae. et idto 
non iam ego operabar illam, sed quod habitat in me 
peccatum, de supplicio liberioris peccati, quia eram 
filius Adam. 

Nam si tot sunt contrariae naturae, quot volun- 
tates sibi resistant, non iam duae, sed plures erunl. 
si deliberet quisquam, utrum ad conventiculum 
eorum pergat an ad theatrum, clamant isti : " ecce 
duae naturae, una bona hac ducit, altera mala iliac 



thereupon, that there are two kinds of natures, of CHAi\ 
two kinds of souls, one good and the other bad. ^ 
Themselves are truly bad, whenas they believe these 
bad opinions : and the same men shall become good, 
if they shall come to believe true opinions, and 
shall consent unto the true, that thy Apostle may 
say unto them, Ye were sometime darkness, but ] pii. v. 8 
now are ye light in the Lord. But these fellows 
would be light indeed, not in the Lord, but in them- 
selves ; imagining the nature of the soul to be the 
same that God is. Thus are they made more gross 
darkness ; for that they went back farther from thee, 
through a horrid arrogancy : from thee the true 
Light that lighteth every man that cometh into this John i. » 
world. Take heed what you say. and blush for 
shame: draw near unto him and be enlightened, rs.xxxiv. 6 
and your faces shall not be ashamed. Myself when 
sometime I deliberated upon serving of the Lord my 
God, (as I long had purposed) it was myself who 
willed it, and myself who nilled it ; it was I myself 
I neither willed entirely, nor yet nilled entirely. 
Therefore was I at strife with myself, and distracted 
by mine own self. Which distracting befell me 
much against my mind, nor yet shewed ic forth the 
nature of another man's mind, but the punishment 
of mine own. I therefore myself was not the causer 
of it, but the sin that dwells in me : from the punish- 
ment of that more voluntary sin, because I was a son 
of Adam. 

For if there be so many contrary natures in man, 
as there be wills resisting one another ; there shall 
not now be two natures alone, but many. Supj)ose 
a man should deliberate with himself whether he 
should go to their conventicle, or go to see a play ; 
presently they cry oUt: Behold, here are two natures ; 


CAP reducit. nam unde ista cunctatio sibimet adversan- 


tium voluntatum ? " ego autem dico ambas malas, 
et quae ad illos ducit et quae ad theatrum reducit. 
sed non credunt nisi bonam esse, qua itur ad eos. 
quid ? si ergo quisquam noster deliberet, et secuni 
altercantibus duabus voluntatibus fluctuet, utrum ad 
theatrum pergat an ad ecclesiam nostram, nonne et 
isti quid respondeant fluctuabunt? aut enim fate- 
buntur, quod nolunt, bona voluntate pergi in eccle- 
siam nostram, sicut in earn pergunt qui sacramentis 
eius imbuti sunt atque detinentur, aut duas malas 
naturas et duas malas nientes in unq Iiomine con- 
fligere putabunt, et non erit verum quod solent 
dicere, unam bonam, alteram malam ; aut convert- 
en tur ad verum et non negabunt, cum quisque 
deliberate animam unam diversis voluntatibus 

lam ergo non dicant, cum duas voluntates in 
homine uuo adversari sibi sentiunt, duas contrarias 
mentes, de duabus contrariis substantiis, et de duobus 
contrariis principiis contendere, unam bonam, alteram 
malam. nam tu, deus verax, improbas eos et re- 
darguis atque convincis eos, sicut in utraque mala 
volunlate, cum quisque deliberat, utrum hominem 
veneno interimat an ferro, utrum fundum alienuni 


one good, which draws this way ; and another bad, chap. 
which draws back that way. Else whence is this ^ 
mammering of the wills thus thwarting one another ? 
But I answer, that both these wills be bad : that as 
ill, which draws to their conventicle, as that which 
draws back unto the theatre. But they will not 
believe that will to be other than good, which brings 
men to them. Suppose then one of us should de- 
liberate, and through the dispute of his two wills 
should be in a quandary, whether he should go see a 
play, or come to our church : will not they be as 
much in a quandary what to answer? For either 
must they confess, (which they will never grant) 
that the will which leads to our church is good, 
as it is in them which go to their church, who 
are partakers of her sacraments, and detained in 
her obedience ; or else must they suppose that 
there be two evil natures, and two evil souls in 
one man, which combat one another ; and it will 
not be true which they are wont to affirm, that 
there is one good, and the other bad ; or must 
they be converted to the truth, and no more 
deny, that in the acts of one man's deliberation 
there is one soul distracted between two contrary 

Let them no more say, therefore, that whenas they 
perceive two wills to be contrary one to another in 
one man, that there be two contrary souls, made 
of two contrary substances, from two contrary prin- 
ciples, one good, and the other bad, contending one 
with another. For thou, O true God, dost disprove, 
check, and convince them; like as when both wills 
being bad, a man deliberates with himself, whether 
he should kill a man by poison or by the sword ? 
Whether he should take in this piece, or that, of 



CAP. ilium an ilium invadat,, quando utrumque non potest, 
utrum emat voluptatem luxuria an pecuniam servet 
avaritia, utrum ad circum pergat an ad theatrum, si 
uno die utrumque exhibeatur; addo etiam tertiuni, 
an ad furtum de domo aliena, si subest occasio ; 
addo et quartum, an ad conmittendum adulterium, si 
et inde simul facultas aperitur, si omnia concurrant 
in unum articulum temporis, pariterque cupiuntur 
omnia, quae simul agi nequeunt: discerpunt enim 
animum sibimet adversantibus quattuor voluntatibus 
vel etiam pluribus, in tanta copia rerum, quae appe- 
tuntur: nee tamen tantam multitudinem diversarum 
substantiarum solent dicere. ita et in bonis volun- 
tatibus. nam quaero ab eis, utrum bonum sit 
delectari leetione af)ostoli, et utrum bonum sit de- 
lectari psalmo sobrio, et utrum bonum sit evangelium 
disserere. respondebunt ad singula: "bonum," 
quid? si ergo pariter delectent omnia siinulque uno 
tempore, nonne diversae voluntates distend unt ror 
hominis, dum deliberatur, quid potissimum arripia- 
mus ? et omnes bonae sunt et certant secum, donee 
eligatur unum, quo feriatur tota voluntas una, quae 
in plures dividebatur. ita etiam, cum aeternitas 
delectat superius et temporalis boni voluptas retentat 
inferius, eadem anima est non tota voluntate illud 



another man's ground, whenas he cannot do both ? CHAr, 
Whether he should purchase pleasure with prodi- ^ 
gality, or keep close his money by covetousness ? 
Whetlier he should go to the chariot race, or to the 
theatre, if they were both to be seen upon one day? 
J add also a third instance; whether he should rob 
another man's house, had he the opportunity : and 
a fourth I add, or whether he should commit adultery 
if the means is opened from that side also at the same 
time; if all these concurred in the same instant of time, 
and if all these acts be equally desired, which cannot 
possibly be all at one time acted. For verily they 
tear in sunder the soul amongst four different wills, 
clean contraiy to one another, perchance among 
more than four : in such variety of things which are 
desirable, yet use they not to affirm that there is 
any such multitude of divers substances. Thus also 
is it in such wills as are good. For I demand of 
them, whether it be a good thing to be delighted in 
reading of the Apostle ? And whether it be a good 
mind to be delighted in a sober Psalm ? and, whether 
it be a good act to discourse upon the Gospel ^ They 
will answer to each of these, that it is good. What 
now if all these equally delight us, and all together 
at the same time? Do not divers wills then rack 
the mind, whenas a man is deliberating which of 
all these we should chiefly take ? Yet are all these 
wills good, although they all contend with one 
another ; till such time as one of them be made 
choice of, whereby the whole will is set at rest and 
united, which was before divided into many. Thus 
also, when eternity delights the superior parts, and 
the pleasure of some tempoial good holds fast the 
inferior ; it is but one and the same soul which willetli 
not this or that with an entire will ; and is therefore 


CAP. aut hoc volens ; et ideo discerpitur gravi molestia, 
dum illud veritate praeponit^ hoc familiaritate non 


CAP. Sic aegrotabam et exci'uciabar_, accusans memet ipsum 
solito acerbius nimis, ac volvens et versans me in 
vinculo meo, donee abrumperetur totum, quo iam 
exiguo tenebar. sed tenebar tameu. et instabas 
tamen in occultis meiSj domine, severa misericord i a 
flagella ingeminans timoris et pudoris, ne rursus ees- 
sarem et non abrumperetur id ipsum exiguum el 
tenue, quod remanserat, et revalesceret iterum, et 
me robustius alligaret. dicebam enim apud me 
intus : '' ecce modo fiat, modo fiat/' et cum verbo 
iam ibam in placitum. iam paene faciebam, et non 
faciebam ; nee relabebar tamen in pristina, sed de 
proximo stabam et respirabam. et item conabar, et 
paulo minus ibi eram et paulo minus, iam iamquo 
adtingebam et tenebam : et non ibi eram nee 
adtingebam nee tenebam, haesitans mori morti et 
vitae vivere ; plusque in me valebat deterius inolituni. 
quam melius insolitum ; punctumque ipsum tempoi is, 
quo alind futurus eram, (juanto propius admovebatur, 


torn in sunder with grievous perplexity, because chap. 
truth makes it put this first, while habit suffers it not ^ 
to put that away. 


The. Combat in him hehvixt the Spirit and the Flesh 
Tuts soul-sick 1 was, and in this manner tormented ; chap. 
accusing myself much more eagerly than I was wont, " 
turning and winding myself in my chain, till that 
which held me might be utterly broken ; which 
though but little, yet held it me fast enough not- 
withstanding. And thou, O Lord, pressedst upon 
me in my inward parts, by a most severe mercy 
redoubling my lashes of fear and shame, lest I should 

Igive way again, and lest that small and tender tie, 
which now only was left, should not break off but 
recover strength again, and hamper me again the 
faster. For I said within myself: Behold, let it be 
done now, let it be done now. And no sooner had 
I said the word, but that I began to put on tlie 
resolution. Now I even almost did it, yet indeed I 
did it not : yet notwithstanding, fell I not quite back 
to my old wont, but stood in the degree next to it, 
to fetch new breath. Yea, I set upon it again, and 
I wanted but very little of getting up to it, and 
within a very little, even by and by obtained I to 
touch and lay hold of it ; and yet could I not get up 
to it, nor come to touch, or lay full hold of it, still 
fearing to die unto death, and to live unto life : 
and the worse which I had been anciently inured 
unto, prevailed more with me than the better, to 
which I was unused: yea, the very instant of time 

I wherein I was to become something else, the nearer it 
\ 457 



CAP. tanto ampliorem incutiebat horrorem ; sed non 
XI ^ . 

recutiebat retro nee avertebat, sed suspendebat. 

Retinebant nugae nugarum et vanitates vanit.i- 
tum, antiquae amicae meae^ et succiitiebant vestem 
nieam carneam et submurmurabant : " dimittisne 
nos?" et ^*a momento isto non erimiis tecum ultra 
in aeternum" et "a momento isto non tibi licebit 
hoc et illud ultra in aeternum." et quae suggere- 
bant in eo, quod dixi "hoc et illud," quae suggere- 
bant, deus meus,^ avertat ab anima servi tui 
misericordia tua! quas sordes suggerebant^ quae 
dedecora ! et audiebam eas iam longe minus quam 
dimidius, non tamquam libere contradicentes eundo 
in obviam, sed velut a dorso mussitantes et disce- 
dentem quasi furtim vellicantes, ut respicerem. 
retardabant tamen cunctantem me abripere atque 
excutere ab eis et transilire quo vocabar, cum 
diceret milii consuetndo violenta : " putasne sine 
istrs poteris ?" 

Sed iam tepidissime hoc dicebat. aperiebatur enim 
ab ea parte, qua intend eram faciem et quo transire 
trepidabam, casta dignitas continentiae, serena et non 
dissolute hilaris, honeste blandiens, ut venirem neque 
dubitarem, et extendens ad me suscipiendinu et 
amplectendum pias maniis, pleiias gregibns bononnn 


approaclied to me, the greater horror did it strike chap. 
into me. But for all this did it not strike me utterly ^^ 
back, nor turned me quite off, but kept me in suspense 

The very toys of all toys, and vanities of vanities, 
(those ancient favourites of mine) were they which so 
fast withheld me : they plucked softly at this fleshly 
garment, and spake softly in mine ears : Canst thou 
thus part with us ? And shall we no more accom- 
pany thee from this time for ever ? And from this 
time forth shall it no more be lawful for thee to do 
this or that for ever ? And what were those things 
which they suggested to me in that phrase this or 
that, as I said, what were those which they suggested, 

my God ? Such, as let thy mercy utterly turn 
away from the soul of thy servant. Oh what im- 
purities, oh what most shameful things did they 
suggest ! And now I much less than half heard 
them, nor now so freely contradicting me face to 
face ; but muttering as it were softly behind my back, 
and giving me a privy pluck as I went from them that 

1 might look once more back : yet for all this as I 
hesitated they did hold me back from snatching 
away myself, and shaking them off, and leaping from 
them to the place I was called unto; for violent 
custom thus rowned me in the ear : Thinkest thou 
to be ever able to live without all that ? 

But by this time it spake very faintly. For on 
that side which I set my face towards, and whither I 
trembled to go, was that chaste dignity of Continency 
discovered ; cheerful was she, but not dissolutely 
pleasant, honestly coaxing me to come to her, and 
doubt nothing : yea stretching forth those devout 
hands of hers, so full of the multitudes of good 
examples, both to receive and to embrace me. There 


CAP. exemplorum. ibi tot pueri et puellae, ibi iuventus 
multa, et omnis aetas, et graves viduae et virgines 
anus, et in omnibus ipsa continentia, nequaquani 
sterilis, sed fecunda mater filiorum, gaudiorum de 
marito te, domine. et inridebat me inrisione horta- 
toria, quasi diceret: "tu non poteris, quod isti, quod 
istae ? an vero isti et istae in se ipsis possunt ae non 
in domino deo suo ? dominus deus eorum me dedit eis. 
quid in te stas et non in te stas ? proice te in eum, 
noli metuere ; non se subtrahet^ at cadas : proice te 
secuius, excipiet et sanabit te. " et erubescebam 
nimiSj quia illarum nugarum murmura adhuc audie- % 
bam^ et cunctabundus pendebam. et rursus illa^ ^ 
quasi diceret: ^'obsurdesce adversus inmunda ilia 
membra tua, ut mortificentur. narrant tibi delecta- 
tiones, sed non sicut lex domini dei tui." ista con- 
troversia in corde meo non nisi de me ipso adversus 
me ipsum. at Alypius affixus lateri meo iniisitati 
motus mei exitum tacitus opperiebatur. 



were in company with her very many both young men CHAP, 
and maidens, a multitude of youth and of all ages : ^^ 
both grave widows and ancient virgins, and Continence 
herself in every one of them, not barren at all, but 
a fruitful mother of children, her joys, by thee her ps. cxiii. o 
husband, O Lord. And she was pleasant with me 
with a kind of exhorting quip, as if she should have 
said : Canst not thou perform what these of both 
sexes have performed ? Or can any of these perform 
thus much of themselves, not rather by the Lord 
their God? The Lord their God gave me unto 
them. Why standest thou on thyself, and on thy- 
self standest not ? Cast thyself upon him ; fear 
not, he will not slip away and make thee fall. Cast 
thyself boldly upon him, he will receive thee, and he 
will heal thee. I blushed all this while to myself 
very much, for that I yet heard the muttering of 
those toys, and that I yet hung in suspense. Where- 
upon she seemed to say again : Stop thine ears 
against those unclean members of thine, that they Col. iii. 5 
may be mortified. They tell thee of delights in- 
deed, but not such as the law of the Lord thy God 
tells thee of. This was the controversy I felt in my 
heart, about nothing but myselt, against myself. But 
Alypius sitting by my side, in silence expected the 
issue of my unaccustomed agitation. 




TAP. Vbi vero a fundo arcano alta consideratio traxit et - 
^n ... 

congessit totam miseriam meam in conspectu cordis 

mei, oborta est procella in gens, ferens ingentem im- 
brem lacrimarum. et ut totum effunderem cum vocibus 
suis, surrexi ab Alypio — solitudo mihi ad negotiuni 
flendi aptior suggerebatur — et secessi remotius, qiianijj 
ut posset mihi onerosa esse etiam eius praesentia. sic ^ 
tunc eram, et ille sensit : nescio quid enim, puto^ 
dixeram, in quo apparebat sonus vocis meae iam fletu 
gravidus, et sic surrexeram. mansit ergo ille ubi 
sedebamus nimie stupens. ego sub quadam fici 
arbore stravi me nescio quomodo, et diniisi habenas 
lacrimis, et proruperunt flumina oculorum meorum, 
acceptabile sacrificium tuum, et non quidem his ver- 
bis, sed in hac sententia multa dixi tibi : " et tu, 
domine, usquequo.^ usquequo, domine, irasceris in 
finem .'' ne memor fueris iniquitaluin nostraruin aiiti- 
quarum." sentiebam enim eis me teneri. iactabani 
voces miserabiles : '^quamdiu, quamdiu 'eras et 
eras ' ? quare non modo ? quare non hac hora finis 
turpitudinis meae ^ " 

Dicebam haec, et flebam, amarissima contritione 
cordis mei. et ecce audio vocem de vicina domocum 




How he was converted hy a voice 

So soon therefore as a deep consideration even from chap. 
the secret bottom of my soul^ had drawn together and ^^^ 
hiid all my misery upon one heap before the eyes of 
my heart; there rose up a mighty storm, bringing as 
mighty a shower of tears with it ; which that I might 
pour forth with such expressions as suited best with 
them^ I rose from Alypius : for I conceived that soli- 
tariness was more fit for a business of weeping. So far 
off then I went, as that even his presence might not 
be troublesome unto me. Thus disposed was I at that 
time, and he perceived of it ; sometliing I believe I 
had said before, which discovered the sound of my 
voice to be big with weeping, and in that case I rose 
from him. He thereupon stayed alone where we sat 
together, most extremely astonished. I flung down 
myself I know not how, under a certain fig tree, 
giving all liberty to my tears : whereupon the floods 
of mine eyes gushed out, an acceptable sacrifice to 
thee, O Lord. And though not perchance in these 
very words, yet much to this purpose said I unto 
thee : And thou, O Lord, how long, how long. Lord, Ps. vi. 3 
wilt thou be angry, for ever ? Remember not our Ps. ixxix. 
former iniquities : (for I found myself to be still en- ^ 
thralled by them). Yea, I sent up these miserable 
exclamations. How long? how long still 'Ho-nior- 
row," and "^ to-morrow " .'' Why not now } Wherefore 
even this very hour is there not an end put to my 
uncleanness } 

Thus much I uttered, weeping, in the most bitter 
contrition of my heart : whenas behold I heard a 


CAP. cantu dicciitis, et crebro repetentis, quasi piieri an 
puellae, nescio : " tolle lege, tolle lege." statimque 
mutato vultu intentissimus cogitare coepi, utrumnam 
solerent pueri in aliquo genere ludendi cantitare tale 
aliquid, nee occurrebat omnino audisse me uspiam : 
repressoque impetu lacrimarum surrexi, nihil aliud 
interpretans divinitus mihi iuberi, nisi ut aperireni 
codicem et legerem quod primum cai)ut invenisseni.| 
audieram enim de Antonio, quod ex evangelica lee- 
tione, cui forte supervenerat, admonitus fuerit, tani- 
qnam sibi diceretur quod legebatur : vade, vende 
omnia;, quae habes, da pauperibus et habebis thesau- 
rum in caelis ; et veni, sequere me : et tali oraculo 
confestim ad te esse conversum. itaque concitus"" 
redii in eum locum, ubi sedebat Alypius : ibi enim 
posueram codicem apostoli, eum inde surrexeram. 
arripui, aperui et legi in silentio capitulum, quo pri- 
mum coniecti sunt oculi mei : /non in comissationibus 
et ebrietatibus, non in cubilibus et inpudicitiis, non 
in contentione et aemulatione, sed induite dominum 
lesum Christum, et carnis providentiam ne feceritis 
in concupiscentiis. nee ultra volui legere, nee opus 
erat. statim quippe cum fine huiusce sententiac, 
quasi luce sccuritatis infusa cordi meo, omnes dubita- 
tionis tenebrae diffugerunt. 

Turn Interiecto aut digitoaut nescio quo alio signo, 
codicem clausi, et tranquillo iam vultu indicavi Alypio. 


voice from some neighbom^'s house, as it had been chap 
of a boy or girl, 1 know not whether, in a singing ^^^ 
tune saying, and often repeating: Take up and read. 
Take up and read. Instantly changing my counte- 
nance tliereupon, I began very heedfully to bethink 
myself, whether children were wont in any kind of 
playing to sing any such words : nor could I remem- 
ber myself ever to have heard the like Whereupon 
refraining the violent torrent of my tears, up I gat 
me ; interpreting it no other way, but that I was 
from God himself commanded to open the book, and 
to read that chapter which I should first light upon. 
For I had heard of Anthony, that by hearing of the 
Gospel which he once chanced to come in upon, he 
took himself to be admonished, as if what was read, 
had purposely been spoken unto him : Go, and sell Matt, xix, 
that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt ^^ 
have treasure in heaven, and come and follow me : 
and by such a miracle that he was presently converted 
unto thee. Hastily therefore went I again to that 
place where Alypius was sitting ; for there had I laid 
the Apostle's book whenas I rose from thence. I 
snatched it up, I opened it, and in silence I read that 
chapter which I had first cast mine eyes upon : Not 
in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and Rom. xiil. 
wantonness, not in strife and envying : but put ye on ^^ 

Bthe Lord Jesus Christ ; and make not provision for 
the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof. No further would 
I read ; nor needed I. For instantly even with the 
end of this sentence, by a light as it were of con- 
fidence now darted into my heart, all the darkness ^ 
of doubting vanished away. 

Shutting up the book thereupon, and putting my 

finger between, or I know not what other mark, with 

a well-quieted countenance I discovered all this unto 

I 2 u 465 



CAV. at ille quid in se ageretur — quod ego nesciebam — 

sicindicavit. petit videre quid legissem : ostendi, et 

adtendit etiam ultra quam ego legerani^ et ignora- 

bam quid sequeretur. sequebatur autem : infirmuin 

vero in fide recipite. quod ille ad se rettulit mihi- 

qiie apeiuit. sed tali admonitione firmatus est, 

placitoque ac proposito bono (et congruentissimosuis' 

moribus, quibus a me in melius iam olim valde 

longeque distabat), sine ulla turbulenta cunctatione 

coniunctus est. inde ad matrem ingredimur, indica- 

mus : gaudet. narramus, quemadmodum gestum sit : 

exultat et triumphat, et benedicebat tibi, qui potens 

es ultra quam petimus aut intellegimus facere, quia 

tanto amplius sibi a te concessum de me videbat, 

quam petere solebat miserabilibus flebilibusque gemi- 

tibus. convertisti enim me ad te, ut nee uxorem 

quaererem nee aliquam spem saeculi huius, s!aiis 

in ea regula fidei, in qua me ante tot annos ei 

revelaveras : et convertisti luctum eius 

in gaudium, multo uberius, quam 

voluerat, et multo earius atqiie 

castius, quam de nepot- 

ibus carnis meae 




Alypius. And he again in this manner revealed unto chap. 
me what also was wrought in his heart, which I verily -^^^ 
knew nothing of. He requested to see what I had 
read : I shewed him the place ; and he looked further 
than I had read, nor knew I what followed. This 
followed : Him that is weak in faith, receive : which Kom. xIt 
he applied to himself, and shewed it to me. And hy 
this admonition was he strengthened, and unto that 
i>ood resolution and purpose (which was most agree- 
able to his disposition, wherein he did always very 
far differ from me, to the better) without all turbulent 
delaying did he now apply himself. From thence 
went we into the house unto my mother : we discover 
ourselves, she rejoices for it ; we declare in order 
how everything was done ; she leaps for joy, and 
triumpheth, and blessed thee, who art able to do 
above that which we ask or think ; for that she per- 
ceived thee to have given her so much more con- 
cerning me, than she was wont to beg by her pitiful 
and most doleful groanings. For so thou convertedst 
me unto thyself, as that I sought now no more after 
a wife, nor any other hopes in this world : standing 
thus upon the same rule of faith, in which thou 
hadst shewed me unto her in a vision, so many years 
before, 'i'hus didst thou convert her mourn- 
iug into rejoicing, and that much more 
plentifully than she had desired, and 
with a nnich dearer and a 
chaster joy, than she erst re- 
quired from any grand- 
children of my body. 




Adeodalus, Z-Jo 

Aeneas, 39 

Ag'ens in Kebus, 43 i 

All is g:ood, a 7 5 

Alypius, 291, 297, 301, 3u5, 391, 

429, 461 
Ambition, 289 

Ambrose, 255, 257, 267, 273, 4ii7 
Anthony, the monk of K^ypt. 4 33 
ApoUiuaristae, 392 
Aristotle, 197 
Assessor, 305 
Astrology, 153 
Athenian literature, r.?! 
Aug:nstiue : 

childhood, *_'.") 

sclioDl, 2 7 

studies of (ireek and Latin 
39, 43 

theft. 5 7 

youthful sins, 65 

i leaves school at sixteen, 71 
robs a pear-tree, 77 
yoes to Carthage, 99 
studies law and rhetoric, 107 
reads Cicero, 109 
joins the Manichees, 115 
life from nineteen to twenty- 
eight years of age, 147 
his mistress, 149 
^^L studies astrology, 153 


Augustine (continued) : 
his friend, 159 
ifoes to Carthage again, 169 
writes " De Pnlchro," 185 
reads Aristotle, 197 
meets FauBtus, 211 
teaches rhetoric at ('artliage, 

goes to Kome, 235 
his fever, 239 

teaches rhetoric at Rome, 253 
goes to Milan to teach, 255 
his progress towards faith, 

seeks a wife, 321 
his son, 325 

changes his mistress, 325 
reads iu the I'latonists, 365 
goes to Simplicianus, 403 
crifiis in the garden, 443, 45 7 

Bkauty, 179, 183 
Beggar, story of, 287 
Bishop's answiT about the dream 

Carthage : 

life at, 99, 169, 211, 231 
disorders amongst scholars, 283 

Categories, the Ten, 197 

Cicero, 109, 227 

Comes largitionum Italicarum, 3u4 



C'onsiliarius, 306 

Corporeal and spiritual, 191, ins 

Dido, 39 

Dream of AiiL:iHriiic"< moilifi-. 137 
Duality, 191 

Eclipses foretold, 213, l'17 
Epicurus, 82 7 
Equinox, 217 
Eversores, 108 
Evil, source of, 121 
a substance, 247 

Father of Augustine, 71, 7S 
Faustus, a Maniciiean, 211, 219. 

Finiiiuns, 353 
i'ood, Manidieau view of, 14 7 

offered at the saints' oratories, 
Freewill, 341 
Friend's death, 159, 165 

Gamks, Circensian, 293 

Garden, the crisis in a. 443 

Gladiators, 297 

Greek language, 39, 43 

(;rief for the dead, 161, lf.3. Ifi7 

•11 " DROPT iu pronunciation, o.'r 

Uk-rins, 185 

Hipitocrates, 155 

Homer, 43, 47 

Horoscopes, folly of, 355 

" Hortensins" .ii riccro, Kiy 

IdOLATRV, 369 
Infancy, 15, 21 


.Ici-rAN, Emperor. 4 23 
Juno, 51 
Jupiter, 4 7 

Law, study of, 107 
l.earnino- by compulsion, 37 
Letter and spirit, 27 7 
Love, 183 

Madaliia, 71 

Manichees, 115, 136, 211, 245, 2S1, 
259, 339, 341, 451 

Marriage, 317 

Medea, 119 

Milan, 255 

Mistress, his, 149, 325 

Monasrtery at Milan, 433 | 

Mother of Augur^tiue, 73 J 

her dream, 137 | 

wishes to accompany him to 

IJome, 237 
her kindly cotmtry ways, 2i;'J 
seeks a wife for her son, 321 

Mythology, 47, 49 

KebrIDIUS, 157, 201. 3U9. 339, 42i 
OVERTURNERS, the, lo9 

Paul and Saul, 421 
Paul's Epistles, 431 
I'lar-tree robbed, 7 7 

why he did it, 91 
Philosophy, 111 
Photiuus, 393 
Platonists, 365. 3 93 
Ponticianns, 431 

KiiKTOKic learher at < 'uriluii.;e, 23 ! 
lloraaniauus. ."iT. 
Rome, 233, 23"-. 24;; 


.fiT. Cyprian, chapel i^i'. •. 
-?aiil aiul Paul. 423 
Rchooldayu, 27 
Seneca, 227 
Slmpliolainis. 4u3. -411 
Sinfulne:ss iu inl'aiifv, 21 
Solomon, 121 
^iolstice, 217 
Son, Augustine's, ?,'2') 
Speak, leaniiufT to. 2 5. 4,'; 
Stage -plays, 101 
Svmmaelnis. 255 

Tkars, the niotlicr 
Terence, 49 
Tliagaste, 71, I6y 

1 \: 

Tlieft in childhood, 5 7, 77 
'I'liiovery detecttd^ ^yi 
Three and seven, 23] 
Time's en re, 169 
Trees' consciousness, in; 
Trier, 433 

IMty, 191 

Vkuf.cundus, 429 

Verse-writing-, 1 25 

Victorinus, conrersion of, 4o7, 41 S 

Vindicianns, 851 

Viroil. 45 

Wizard, 151