Thus were there the mouths of three indigent persons, sighing out their wants one to another, and waiting upon Thee that Thou mightest give them their meat in due season. Is this all Thou hast assigned to them, whereas from the highest heavens to the lowest earth, from the beginning of the world to the end of ages, from the angel to the worm, from the first. Who will say so? Then suddenly, filled with a holy love, and a sober shame, in anger with himself cast his eyes upon his friend, saying, Tell me, I pray thee, what would we attain by all these labours of ours? All which wholesome advice they labour to destroy, saying, The cause of thy sin is inevitably determined in heaven; and This did Venus, or Saturn, or Mars: that man, forsooth, flesh and blood, and proud corruption, might be blameless;.
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When then he came, I found him a man of pleasing discourse, and who could speak fluently and in better terms, yet still but the self-same things which they were wont to say. Moreover, it had at first troubled me that in this very summer my lungs began to give way, amid too great literary labour, and to breathe deeply with difficulty, and by the pain in my chest to show. Mine ears were already cloyed with the like, nor did they seem to me therefore better, because better said; nor therefore true, because eloquent; nor the soul therefore wise, because the face was comely, and the language graceful. But what is forgetfulness, but the privation of memory? Chapter XXV Let no man harass me then, confessions saint augustine essay by saying, Moses thought not as you say, but as I say: for if he should ask me, How know you that Moses thought that which you infer out of his words? I have said already; and again will say, for love of Thy love do I this. And therefore unto the Word coeternal with Thee Thou dost at once and eternally say all that Thou dost say; and whatever Thou sayest shall be made is made; nor dost Thou make, otherwise than by saying;. Present then it is, that we forget not, and being so, we forget. I had found then how deadly he doted upon the Circus, and was deeply grieved that he seemed likely, nay, or had thrown away so great promis yet had I no means of advising or with a sort of constraint.
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Or if it were from eternity, why suffered He it so to be for infinite spaces of times past, and was pleased so long after to make something out of it? All which takes place when I repeat a thing by heart. If in my praise I am moved with the good of my neighbour, why am I less moved if another be unjustly dispraised than if it be myself? Thou, O Lord, shalt reward him in the resurrection of the just, seeing Thou hast already given him the lot of the righteous. Never would such and so great things be by God wrought for us, if with the death of the body the life of the soul came to an end. But Thou, by whom the very hairs of our head are numbered, didst use for my good the error of all who urged me to learn; and my own, who would not learn, Thou didst use for. But that the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, I read not there. But that barren earth was grieved; and the thorns choked the word. The seat whereof being in the appetite of knowledge, and sight being the sense chiefly used for attaining knowledge, it is in Divine language called The lust of the eyes. For I believed, and therefore do I speak.
The stars and lights of heaven, are also for signs, and for seasons, and for years, and for days; they are; yet neither should I say, that the going round of that wooden wheel was a day. For He is the same who begat me, and defends m and Thou Thyself art all my good; Thou, Almighty, Who are with me, yea, before I am with Thee. But he was not yet my friend as afterwards, nor even then, as true friendship is; for true it cannot be, unless in such as Thou cementest together, cleaving unto Thee, by that love which is shed. They seize him, hale him away, and gathering the dwellers in the market-place together, boast of having taken a notorious thief, and so he was being led away to be taken before the judge. Away with those then from my soul who say to her, It makes a difference whence a man's joy. Chapter XL Where hast Thou not walked with me, O Truth, teaching me what to beware, and what to desire; when I referred to Thee what I could discover here below, and consulted Thee? Would that what I uttered on these words, they could hear, without my knowing whether they heard, lest they should think I spake it for their sakes! I beseech by our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son, the Man of Thy right hand, the Son of man, whom Thou hast established for Thyself, as Thy Mediator and ours, through Whom Thou soughtest us, not seeking Thee, but. For how should there be a blessed life where life itself is not? For the sense of the flesh is slow, because it is the sense of the flesh; and thereby is it bounded. There my mother Thy handmaid, bearing a chief part of those anxieties and watchings, lived for prayer. Such would. And how was I moved, O my God, who had now learned to be angry at myself for things past, that I might not sin in time to come!
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Who therefore denieth, that things to come are not as yet? Yet went up the whole to Thy hearing, all which I roared out from the groanings of my heart; and my desire was before Thee, and the light of mine eyes was not with m for that was. Mothers and nurses tell you that they allay these things by I know not what remedies. For reading or hearing these words, they see that all times past and to come, are surpassed by Thy eternal and stable abiding; and yet that there is no creature formed in time, not of Thy making. Thus do the offspring of the waters increase and multiply. Thou hast made all things; and before all times Thou art: neither in any time was time not. These things we behold, and they are severally good, and altogether very good. The storm tosses the sailors, threatens shipwreck; all wax pale at approaching death; sky and sea are calmed, and they are exceeding joyed, as having been exceeding afraid.
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He explains the feelings he experienced as he ate the pears and threw the rest away to the pigs. Hence He was showed forth to holy men of old; that so they, through faith in His Passion to come, as we through faith of it passed, might be saved. Give, Father, Who truly knowest to give good gifts unto Thy children. Fr Benignus O'Rourke.S.A, foreword by Martin Laird (London: DLT Books, 2013) Saint Augustine of Hippo. Which if so it be, let that which he thought on be of all the highest. For it contains great praise of Thy grace, to be confessed unto Thee, how that aged man, most learned and skilled in the liberal sciences, and who had read, and weighed so many works of the philosophers; the instructor. What man is he, who, weighing his own infirmity, dares to ascribe his purity and innocency to his own strength; that so he should love Thee the less, as if he had less needed Thy mercy, whereby Thou. I, all astonished and amazed, suppressed all my emotions till he should grow well, and his health were strong enough for me to deal with him as I would. I will confess then what I know of myself, I will confess also what I know not of myself. Behold, Thou hast made my days old, and they pass away, and how, I know not. Oh how high art Thou, and yet the humble in heart are Thy dwelling-place; for Thou raisest up those that are bowed down, and they fall not, whose elevation Thou art. But I could not fix my gaze thereon; and my infirmity being struck back, I was thrown again on my wonted habits, carrying along with me only a loving memory thereof, and a longing for what.
Yet the mind is mind, the hand is body. Since, then, I too exist, why do I seek that Thou shouldest enter into me, who were not, wert Thou not in me? For I had heard of Antony, that coming in during the reading of the Gospel, he received the admonition, as if what was being read was spoken to him: Go, sell all that thou hast, and give. The preachers of Thy word pass out of this life into another; but Thy Scripture is spread abroad over the people, even unto the end of the world. I confess unto Thee Thy gifts. Although neither is that current month present; but one day only; the rest being to come, if it be the first; past, if the last; if any of the middle, then amid past and to come.