'The reader who has never met Augustine before ought to go first of all to the Confessions,' reflected the Trappist monk and scholar Thomas Merton. 'Augustine lived the theology that he wrote. . . . He experienced the reality of Christ living in his own soul.'
Saint Augustine, the celebrated theologian who served as Bishop of Hippo from A.D. 396 until his death in A.D. 430, is widely regarded as one of the most influential thinkers in the Western world. Written in the form of a long prayer addressed directly to God, Augustine's Confessions, the remarkable chronicle of his conversion to Christianity, endures as the greatest spiritual autobiography of all time.
'Augustine possessed a strong, capacious, argumentative mind,' wrote Edward Gibbon. 'He boldly sounded the dark abyss of grace, predestination, free-will, and original sin.' And the eminent historian Jaroslav Pelikan remarked: 'There has, quite literally, been no century of the sixteen centuries since the conversion of Augustine in which he has not been a major intellectual, spiritual, and cultural force.'
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|Title of eBook: The Confessions|
|Release Date: 11-01-2000|
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|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
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|Parent title||The Confessions|
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Chapter OneGREAT ART THOU, O LORD, and greatly to be praised; great is Thy power, and Thy wisdom infinite. And Thee would man praise; man, but a particle of Thy creation; man, that bears about him his mortality, the witness of his sin, the witness that Thou resistest the proud: yet would man praise Thee; he, but a particle of Thy creation. Thou awakest us to delight in Thy praise; for Thou madest us for Thyself, and our heart is restless, until it repose in Thee. Grant me, Lord, to know and understand which is first, to call on Thee or to praise Thee? and, again, to know Thee or to call on Thee? for who can call on Thee, not knowing Thee? for he that knoweth Thee not, may call on Thee as other than Thou art. Or, is it rather, that we call on Thee that we may know Thee? but how shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? or how shall they believe without a preacher? and they that seek the Lord shall praise Him: for they that seek shall find Him, and they that find shall praise Him. I will seek Thee, Lord, by calling on Thee; and will call on Thee, believing in Thee; for to us hast Thou been preached. My faith, Lord, shall call on Thee, which Thou hast given me, wherewith Thou hast inspired me, through the Incarnation of Thy Son, through the ministry of the Preacher.
And how shall I call upon my God, my God and Lord, since, when I call for Him, I shall be calling Him to myself? and what room is there within me, whither my God can come into me? whither can God come into me, God who made heaven and earth? is there, indeed, O Lord my God, aught in me that can contain Thee? do then heaven and earth, which Thou hast made, and wherein Thou h...