(Augustine, Confesions. part 6)

shine; and we shall be saved."[101]  For wherever the soul of man
turns itself, unless toward thee, it is enmeshed in sorrows, even
though it is surrounded by beautiful things outside thee and
outside itself.  For lovely things would simply not be unless they
were from thee.  They come to be and they pass away, and by coming
they begin to be, and they grow toward perfection.  Then, when
perfect, they begin to wax old and perish, and, if all do not wax
old, still all perish.  Therefore, when they rise and grow toward
being, the more rapidly they grow to maturity, so also the more
rapidly they hasten back toward nonbeing.  This is the way of
things.  This is the lot thou hast given them, because they are
part of things which do not all exist at the same time, but by
passing away and succeeding each other they all make up the
universe, of which they are all parts.  For example, our speech is
accomplished by sounds which signify meanings, but a meaning is
not complete unless one word passes away, when it has sounded its
part, so that the next may follow after it.  Let my soul praise
thee, in all these things, O God, the Creator of all; but let not
my soul be stuck to these things by the glue of love, through the
senses of the body.  For they go where they were meant to go, that
they may exist no longer.  And they rend the soul with pestilent
desires because she longs to be and yet loves to rest secure in
the created things she loves.  But in these things there is no
resting place to be found.  They do not abide.  They flee away;
and who is he who can follow them with his physical senses?  Or
who can grasp them, even when they are present?  For our physical
sense is slow because it is a physical sense and bears its own
limitations in itself.  The physical sense is quite sufficient for
what it was made to do; but it is not sufficient to stay things
from running their courses from the beginning appointed to the end
appointed.  For in thy word, by which they were created, they hear
their appointed bound: "From there -- to here!"

                          CHAPTER XI

     16.  Be not foolish, O my soul, and do not let the tumult of
your vanity deafen the ear of your heart.  Be attentive.  The Word
itself calls you to return, and with him is a place of unperturbed
rest, where love is not forsaken unless it first forsakes.
Behold, these things pass away that others may come to be in their
place.  Thus even this lowest level of unity[102] may be made
complete in all its parts.  "But do I ever pass away?"  asks the
Word of God.  Fix your habitation in him.  O my soul, commit
whatsoever you have to him.  For at long last you are now becoming
tired of deceit.  Commit to truth whatever you have received from
the truth, and you will lose nothing.  What is decayed will
flourish again; your diseases will be healed; your perishable
parts shall be reshaped and renovated, and made whole again in
you.  And these perishable things will not carry you with them
down to where they go when they perish, but shall stand and abide,
and you with them, before God, who abides and continues forever.
     17.  Why then, my perverse soul, do you go on following your
flesh?  Instead, let it be converted so as to follow you.
Whatever you feel through it is but partial.  You do not know the
whole, of which sensations are but parts; and yet the parts
delight you.  But if my physical senses had been able to
comprehend the whole -- and had not as a part of their punishment
received only a portion of the whole as their own province -- you
would then desire that whatever exists in the present time should
also pass away so that the whole might please you more.  For what
we speak, you also hear through physical sensation, and yet you
would not wish that the syllables should remain.  Instead, you
wish them to fly past so that others may follow them, and the
whole be heard.  Thus it is always that when any single thing is
composed of many parts which do not coexist simultaneously, the
whole gives more delight than the parts could ever do perceived
separately.  But far better than all this is He who made it all.
He is our God and he does not pass away, for there is nothing to
take his place.

                          CHAPTER XII

     18.  If physical objects please you, praise God for them, but
turn back your love to their Creator, lest, in those things which
please you, you displease him.  If souls please you, let them be
loved in God; for in themselves they are mutable, but in him
firmly established -- without him they would simply cease to
exist.  In him, then, let them be loved; and bring along to him
with yourself as many souls as you can, and say to them: "Let us
love him, for he himself created all these, and he is not far away
from them.  For he did not create them, and then go away.  They
are of him and in him.  Behold, there he is, wherever truth is
known.  He is within the inmost heart, yet the heart has wandered
away from him.  Return to your heart, O you transgressors, and
hold fast to him who made you.  Stand with him and you shall stand
fast.  Rest in him and you shall be at rest.  Where do you go
along these rugged paths?  Where are you going?  The good that you
love is from him, and insofar as it is also for him, it is both
good and pleasant.  But it will rightly be turned to bitterness if
whatever comes from him is not rightly loved and if he is deserted
for the love of the creature.  Why then will you wander farther
and farther in these difficult and toilsome ways?  There is no
rest where you seek it.  Seek what you seek; but remember that it
is not where you seek it.  You seek for a blessed life in the land
of death.  It is not there.  For how can there be a blessed life
where life itself is not?"
     19.  But our very Life came down to earth and bore our death,
and slew it with the very abundance of his own life.  And,
thundering, he called us to return to him into that secret place
from which he came forth to us -- coming first into the virginal
womb, where the human creature, our mortal flesh, was joined to
him that it might not be forever mortal -- and came "as a
bridegroom coming out his chamber, rejoicing as a strong man to
run a race."[103]  For he did not delay, but ran through the
world, crying out by words, deeds, death, life, descent, ascension
-- crying aloud to us to return to him.  And he departed from our
sight that we might return to our hearts and find him there.  For
he left us, and behold, he is here.  He could not be with us long,
yet he did not leave us.  He went back to the place that he had
never left, for "the world was made by him."[104]  In this world
he was, and into this world he came, to save sinners.  To him my
soul confesses, and he heals it, because it had sinned against
him.  O sons of men, how long will you be so slow of heart?  Even
now after Life itself has come down to you, will you not ascend
and live?  But where will you climb if you are already on a
pinnacle and have set your mouth against the heavens?  First come
down that you may climb up, climb up to God.  For you have fallen
by trying to climb against him.  Tell this to the souls you love
that they may weep in the valley of tears, and so bring them along
with you to God, because it is by his spirit that you speak thus
to them, if, as you speak, you burn with the fire of love.

                         CHAPTER XIII

     20.  These things I did not understand at that time, and I
loved those inferior beauties, and I was sinking down to the very
depths.  And I said to my friends: "Do we love anything but the
beautiful?  What then is the beautiful?  And what is beauty?  What
is it that allures and unites us to the things we love; for unless
there were a grace and beauty in them, they could not possibly
attract us to them?"  And I reflected on this and saw that in the
objects themselves there is a kind of beauty which comes from
their forming a whole and another kind of beauty that comes from
mutual fitness -- as the harmony of one part of the body with its
whole, or a shoe with a foot, and so on.  And this idea sprang up
in my mind out of my inmost heart, and I wrote some books -- two
or three, I think -- On the Beautiful and the Fitting.[105]  Thou
knowest them, O Lord; they have escaped my memory.  I no longer
have them; somehow they have been mislaid.

                          CHAPTER XIV

     21.  What was it, O Lord my God, that prompted me to dedicate
these books to Hierius, an orator of Rome, a man I did not know by
sight but whom I loved for his reputation of learning, in which he
was famous -- and also for some words of his that I had heard
which had pleased me?  But he pleased me more because he pleased
others, who gave him high praise and expressed amazement that a
Syrian, who had first studied Greek eloquence, should thereafter
become so wonderful a Latin orator and also so well versed in
philosophy.  Thus a man we have never seen is commended and loved.
Does a love like this come into the heart of the hearer from the
mouth of him who sings the other's praise?  Not so.  Instead, one
catches the spark of love from one who loves.  This is why we love
one who is praised when the eulogist is believed to give his
praise from an unfeigned heart; that is, when he who loves him
praises him.
     22.  Thus it was that I loved men on the basis of other men's
judgment, and not thine, O my God, in whom no man is deceived.
But why is it that the feeling I had for such men was not like my
feeling toward the renowned charioteer, or the great gladiatorial
hunter, famed far and wide and popular with the mob?  Actually, I
admired the orator in a different and more serious fashion, as I
would myself desire to be admired.  For I did not want them to
praise and love me as actors were praised and loved -- although I
myself praise and love them too.  I would prefer being unknown
than known in that way, or even being hated than loved that way.
How are these various influences and divers sorts of loves
distributed within one soul?  What is it that I am in love with in
another which, if I did not hate, I should neither detest nor
repel from myself, seeing that we are equally men?  For it does
not follow that because the good horse is admired by a man who
would not be that horse -- even if he could -- the same kind of
admiration should be given to an actor, who shares our nature.  Do
I then love that in a man, which I also, a man, would hate to be?
Man is himself a great deep.  Thou dost number his very hairs, O
Lord, and they do not fall to the ground without thee, and yet the
hairs of his head are more readily numbered than are his
affections and the movements of his heart.
     23.  But that orator whom I admired so much was the kind of
man I wished myself to be.  Thus I erred through a swelling pride
and "was carried about with every wind,"[106] but through it all I
was being piloted by thee, though most secretly.  And how is it
that I know -- whence comes my confident confession to thee --
that I loved him more because of the love of those who praised him
than for the things they praised in him?  Because if he had gone
unpraised, and these same people had criticized him and had spoken
the same things of him in a tone of scorn and disapproval, I
should never have been kindled and provoked to love him.  And yet
his qualities would not have been different, nor would he have
been different himself; only the appraisals of the spectators.
See where the helpless soul lies prostrate that is not yet
sustained by the stability of truth!  Just as the breezes of
speech blow from the breast of the opinionated, so also the soul
is tossed this way and that, driven forward and backward, and the
light is obscured to it and the truth not seen.  And yet, there it
is in front of us.  And to me it was a great matter that both my
literary work and my zest for learning should be known by that
man.  For if he approved them, I would be even more fond of him;
but if he disapproved, this vain heart of mine, devoid of thy
steadfastness, would have been offended.  And so I meditated on
the problem "of the beautiful and the fitting" and dedicated my
essay on it to him.  I regarded it admiringly, though no one else
joined me in doing so.

                          CHAPTER XV

     24.  But I had not seen how the main point in these great
issues [concerning the nature of beauty] lay really in thy
craftsmanship, O Omnipotent One, "who alone doest great
wonders."[107]  And so my mind ranged through the corporeal forms,
and I defined and distinguished as "beautiful" that which is so in
itself and as "fit" that which is beautiful in relation to some
other thing.  This argument I supported by corporeal examples.
And I turned my attention to the nature of the mind, but the false
opinions which I held concerning spiritual things prevented me
from seeing the truth.  Still, the very power of truth forced
itself on my gaze, and I turned my throbbing soul away from
incorporeal substance to qualities of line and color and shape,
and, because I could not perceive these with my mind, I concluded
that I could not perceive my mind.  And since I loved the peace
which is in virtue, and hated the discord which is in vice, I
distinguished between the unity there is in virtue and the discord
there is in vice.  I conceived that unity consisted of the
rational soul and the nature of truth and the highest good.  But I
imagined that in the disunity there was some kind of substance of
irrational life and some kind of entity in the supreme evil.  This
evil I thought was not only a substance but real life as well, and
yet I believed that it did not come from thee, O my God, from whom
are all things.  And the first I called a Monad, as if it were a
soul without sex.  The other I called a Dyad, which showed itself
in anger in deeds of violence, in deeds of passion and lust -- but
I did not know what I was talking about.  For I had not understood
nor had I been taught that evil is not a substance at all and that
our soul is not that supreme and unchangeable good.
     25.  For just as in violent acts, if the emotion of the soul
from whence the violent impulse springs is depraved and asserts
itself insolently and mutinously -- and just as in the acts of
passion, if the affection of the soul which gives rise to carnal
desires is unrestrained -- so also, in the same way, errors and
false opinions contaminate life if the rational soul itself is
depraved.  Thus it was then with me, for I was ignorant that my
soul had to be enlightened by another light, if it was to be
partaker of the truth, since it is not itself the essence of
truth.  "For thou wilt light my lamp; the Lord my God will lighten
my darkness"[108]; and "of his fullness have we all
received,"[109] for "that was the true Light that lighteth every
man that cometh into the world"[110]; for "in thee there is no
variableness, neither shadow of turning."[111]
     26.  But I pushed on toward thee, and was pressed back by
thee that I might know the taste of death, for "thou resistest the
proud."[112]  And what greater pride could there be for me than,
with a marvelous madness, to assert myself to be that nature which
thou art?  I was mutable -- this much was clear enough to me
because my very longing to become wise arose out of a wish to
change from worse to better -- yet I chose rather to think thee
mutable than to think that I was not as thou art.  For this reason
I was thrust back; thou didst resist my fickle pride.  Thus I went
on imagining corporeal forms, and, since I was flesh I accused the
flesh, and, since I was "a wind that passes away,"[113] I did not
return to thee but went wandering and wandering on toward those
things that have no being -- neither in thee nor in me, nor in the
body.  These fancies were not created for me by thy truth but
conceived by my own vain conceit out of sensory notions.  And I
used to ask thy faithful children -- my own fellow citizens, from
whom I stood unconsciously exiled -- I used flippantly and
foolishly to ask them, "Why, then, does the soul, which God
created, err?"  But I would not allow anyone to ask me, "Why,
then, does God err?"  I preferred to contend that thy immutable
substance was involved in error through necessity rather than
admit that my own mutable substance had gone astray of its own
free will and had fallen into error as its punishment.
     27.  I was about twenty-six or twenty-seven when I wrote
those books, analyzing and reflecting upon those sensory images
which clamored in the ears of my heart.  I was straining those
ears to hear thy inward melody, O sweet Truth, pondering on "the
beautiful and the fitting" and longing to stay and hear thee, and
to rejoice greatly at "the Bridegroom's voice."[114]  Yet I could
not, for by the clamor of my own errors I was hurried outside
myself, and by the weight of my own pride I was sinking ever
lower.  You did not "make me to hear joy and gladness," nor did
the bones rejoice which were not yet humbled.[115]
     28.  And what did it profit me that, when I was scarcely
twenty years old, a book of Aristotle's entitled The Ten
Categories[116] fell into my hands?  On the very title of this I
hung as on something great and divine, since my rhetoric master at
Carthage and others who had reputations for learning were always
referring to it with such swelling pride.  I read it by myself and
understood it.  And what did it mean that when I discussed it with
others they said that even with the assistance of tutors -- who
not only explained it orally, but drew many diagrams in the sand
-- they scarcely understood it and could tell me no more about it
than I had acquired in the reading of it by myself alone?  For the
book appeared to me to speak plainly enough about substances, such
as a man; and of their qualities, such as the shape of a man, his
kind, his stature, how many feet high, and his family
relationship, his status, when born, whether he is sitting or
standing, is shod or armed, or is doing something or having
something done to him -- and all the innumerable things that are
classified under these nine categories (of which I have given some
examples) or under the chief category of substance.
     29.  What did all this profit me, since it actually hindered
me when I imagined that whatever existed was comprehended within
those ten categories?  I tried to interpret them, O my God, so
that even thy wonderful and unchangeable unity could be understood
as subjected to thy own magnitude or beauty, as if they existed in
thee as their Subject -- as they do in corporeal bodies -- whereas
thou art thyself thy own magnitude and beauty.  A body is not
great or fair because it is a body, because, even if it were less
great or less beautiful, it would still be a body.  But my
conception of thee was falsity, not truth.  It was a figment of my
own misery, not the stable ground of thy blessedness.  For thou
hadst commanded, and it was carried out in me, that the earth
should bring forth briars and thorns for me, and that with heavy
labor I should gain my bread.[117]
     30.  And what did it profit me that I could read and
understand for myself all the books I could get in the so-called
"liberal arts," when I was actually a worthless slave of wicked
lust?  I took delight in them, not knowing the real source of what
it was in them that was true and certain.  For I had my back
toward the light, and my face toward the things on which the light
falls, so that my face, which looked toward the illuminated
things, was not itself illuminated.  Whatever was written in any
of the fields of rhetoric or logic, geometry, music, or
arithmetic, I could understand without any great difficulty and
without the instruction of another man.  All this thou knowest, O
Lord my God, because both quickness in understanding and acuteness
in insight are thy gifts.  Yet for such gifts I made no thank
offering to thee.  Therefore, my abilities served not my profit
but rather my loss, since I went about trying to bring so large a
part of my substance into my own power.  And I did not store up my
strength for thee, but went away from thee into the far country to
prostitute my gifts in disordered appetite.[118]  And what did
these abilities profit me, if I did not put them to good use?  I
did not realize that those arts were understood with great
difficulty, even by the studious and the intelligent, until I
tried to explain them to others and discovered that even the most
proficient in them followed my explanations all too slowly.
     31.  And yet what did this profit me, since I still supposed
that thou, O Lord God, the Truth, wert a bright and vast body and
that I was a particle of that body?  O perversity gone too far!
But so it was with me.  And I do not blush, O my God, to confess
thy mercies to me in thy presence, or to call upon thee -- any
more than I did not blush when I openly avowed my blasphemies
before men, and bayed, houndlike, against thee.  What good was it
for me that my nimble wit could run through those studies and
disentangle all those knotty volumes, without help from a human
teacher, since all the while I was erring so hatefully and with
such sacrilege as far as the right substance of pious faith was
concerned?  And what kind of burden was it for thy little ones to
have a far slower wit, since they did not use it to depart from
thee, and since they remained in the nest of thy Church to become
safely fledged and to nourish the wings of love by the food of a
sound faith.
     O Lord our God, under the shadow of thy wings let us hope --
defend us and support us.[119]  Thou wilt bear us up when we are
little and even down to our gray hairs thou wilt carry us.  For
our stability, when it is in thee, is stability indeed; but when
it is in ourselves, then it is all unstable.  Our good lives
forever with thee, and when we turn from thee with aversion, we
fall into our own perversion.  Let us now, O Lord, return that we
be not overturned, because with thee our good lives without
blemish -- for our good is thee thyself.  And we need not fear
that we shall find no place to return to because we fell away from
it.  For, in our absence, our home -- which is thy eternity --
does not fall away.

                          BOOK FIVE

     A year of decision.  Faustus comes to Carthage and Augustine
is disenchanted in his hope for solid demonstration of the truth
of Manichean doctrine.  He decides to flee from his known troubles
at Carthage to troubles yet unknown at Rome.  His experiences at
Rome prove disappointing and he applies for a teaching post at
Milan.  Here he meets Ambrose, who confronts him as an impressive
witness for Catholic Christianity and opens out the possibilities
of the allegorical interpretation of Scripture.  Augustine decides
to become a Christian catechumen.

                           CHAPTER I

     1.  Accept this sacrifice of my confessions from the hand of
my tongue.  Thou didst form it and hast prompted it to praise thy
name.  Heal all my bones and let them say, "O Lord, who is like
unto thee?"[120]  It is not that one who confesses to thee
instructs thee as to what goes on within him.  For the closed
heart does not bar thy sight into it, nor does the hardness of our
heart hold back thy hands, for thou canst soften it at will,
either by mercy or in vengeance, "and there is no one who can hide
himself from thy heat."[121]  But let my soul praise thee, that it
may love thee, and let it confess thy mercies to thee, that it may
praise thee.  Thy whole creation praises thee without ceasing: the
spirit of man, by his own lips, by his own voice, lifted up to
thee; animals and lifeless matter by the mouths of those who
meditate upon them.  Thus our souls may climb out of their
weariness toward thee and lean on those things which thou hast
created and pass through them to thee, who didst create them in a
marvelous way.  With thee, there is refreshment and true strength.

                          CHAPTER II

     2.  Let the restless and the unrighteous depart, and flee
away from thee.  Even so, thou seest them and thy eye pierces
through the shadows in which they run.  For lo, they live in a
world of beauty and yet are themselves most foul.  And how have
they harmed thee?  Or in what way have they discredited thy power,
which is just and perfect in its rule even to the last item in
creation?  Indeed, where would they fly when they fled from thy
presence?  Wouldst thou be unable to find them?  But they fled
that they might not see thee, who sawest them; that they might be
blinded and stumble into thee.  But thou forsakest nothing that
thou hast made.  The unrighteous stumble against thee that they
may be justly plagued, fleeing from thy gentleness and colliding
with thy justice, and falling on their own rough paths.  For in
truth they do not know that thou art everywhere; that no place
contains thee, and that only thou art near even to those who go
farthest from thee.  Let them, therefore, turn back and seek thee,
because even if they have abandoned thee, their Creator, thou hast
not abandoned thy creatures.  Let them turn back and seek thee --
and lo, thou art there in their hearts, there in the hearts of
those who confess to thee.  Let them cast themselves upon thee,
and weep on thy bosom, after all their weary wanderings; and thou
wilt gently wipe away their tears.[122]  And they weep the more
and rejoice in their weeping, since thou, O Lord, art not a man of
flesh and blood.  Thou art the Lord, who canst remake what thou
didst make and canst comfort them.  And where was I when I was
seeking thee?  There thou wast, before me; but I had gone away,
even from myself, and I could not find myself, much less thee.

                          CHAPTER III

     3.  Let me now lay bare in the sight of God the twenty-ninth
year of my age.  There had just come to Carthage a certain bishop
of the Manicheans, Faustus by name, a great snare of the devil;
and many were entangled by him through the charm of his eloquence.
Now, even though I found this eloquence admirable, I was beginning
to distinguish the charm of words from the truth of things, which
I was eager to learn.  Nor did I consider the dish as much as I
did the kind of meat that their famous Faustus served up to me in
it.  His fame had run before him, as one very skilled in an
honorable learning and pre-eminently skilled in the liberal arts.
     And as I had already read and stored up in memory many of the
injunctions of the philosophers, I began to compare some of their
doctrines with the tedious fables of the Manicheans; and it struck
me that the probability was on the side of the philosophers, whose
power reached far enough to enable them to form a fair judgment of
the world, even though they had not discovered the sovereign Lord
of it all.  For thou art great, O Lord, and thou hast respect unto
the lowly, but the proud thou knowest afar off.[123]  Thou drawest
near to none but the contrite in heart, and canst not be found by
the proud, even if in their inquisitive skill they may number the
stars and the sands, and map out the constellations, and trace the
courses of the planets.
     4.  For it is by the mind and the intelligence which thou
gavest them that they investigate these things.  They have
discovered much; and have foretold, many years in advance, the
day, the hour, and the extent of the eclipses of those luminaries,
the sun and the moon.  Their calculations did not fail, and it
came to pass as they predicted.  And they wrote down the rules
they had discovered, so that to this day they may be read and from
them may be calculated in what year and month and day and hour of
the day, and at what quarter of its light, either the moon or the
sun will be eclipsed, and it will come to pass just as predicted.
And men who are ignorant in these matters marvel and are amazed;
and those who understand them exult and are exalted.  Both, by an
impious pride, withdraw from thee and forsake thy light.  They
foretell an eclipse of the sun before it happens, but they do not
see their own eclipse which is even now occurring.  For they do
not ask, as religious men should, what is the source of the
intelligence by which they investigate these matters.  Moreover,
when they discover that thou didst make them, they do not give
themselves up to thee that thou mightest preserve what thou hast
made.  Nor do they offer, as sacrifice to thee, what they have
made of themselves.  For they do not slaughter their own pride --
as they do the sacrificial fowls -- nor their own curiosities by
which, like the fishes of the sea, they wander through the unknown
paths of the deep.  Nor do they curb their own extravagances as
they do those of "the beasts of the field,"[124] so that thou, O
Lord, "a consuming fire,"[125] mayest burn up their mortal cares
and renew them unto immortality.
     5.  They do not know the way which is thy word, by which thou
didst create all the things that are and also the men who measure
them, and the senses by which they perceive what they measure, and
the intelligence whereby they discern the patterns of measure.
Thus they know not that thy wisdom is not a matter of
measure.[126]  But the Only Begotten hath been "made unto us
wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification"[127] and hath been
numbered among us and paid tribute to Caesar.[128]  And they do
not know this "Way" by which they could descend from themselves to
him in order to ascend through him to him.  They did not know this
"Way," and so they fancied themselves exalted to the stars and the
shining heavens.  And lo, they fell upon the earth, and "their
foolish heart was darkened."[129]  They saw many true things about
the creature but they do not seek with true piety for the Truth,
the Architect of Creation, and hence they do not find him.  Or, if
they do find him, and know that he is God, they do not glorify him
as God; neither are they thankful but become vain in their
imagination, and say that they themselves are wise, and attribute
to themselves what is thine.  At the same time, with the most
perverse blindness, they wish to attribute to thee their own
quality -- so that they load their lies on thee who art the Truth,
"changing the glory of the incorruptible God for an image of
corruptible man, and birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping
things."[130]  "They exchanged thy truth for a lie, and worshiped
and served the creature rather than the Creator."[131]
     6.  Yet I remembered many a true saying of the philosophers
about the creation, and I saw the confirmation of their
calculations in the orderly sequence of seasons and in the visible
evidence of the stars.  And I compared this with the doctrines of
Mani, who in his voluminous folly wrote many books on these
subjects.  But I could not discover there any account, of either
the solstices or the equinoxes, or the eclipses of the sun and
moon, or anything of the sort that I had learned in the books of
secular philosophy.  But still I was ordered to believe, even
where the ideas did not correspond with -- even when they
contradicted -- the rational theories established by mathematics
and my own eyes, but were very different.

                          CHAPTER IV

     7.  Yet, O Lord God of Truth, is any man pleasing to thee
because he knows these things?  No, for surely that man is unhappy
who knows these things and does not know thee.  And that man is
happy who knows thee, even though he does not know these things.
He who knows both thee and these things is not the more blessed
for his learning, for thou only art his blessing, if knowing thee
as God he glorifies thee and gives thanks and does not become vain
in his thoughts.

(continued in part 7 ...)

file: /pub/resources/text/icp-e/epl-01: agcon-06.txt