(Augustine, Confessions. part 7)

     For just as that man who knows how to possess a tree, and
give thanks to thee for the use of it -- although he may not know
how many feet high it is or how wide it spreads -- is better than
the man who can measure it and count all its branches, but neither
owns it nor knows or loves its Creator: just so is a faithful man
who possesses the world's wealth as though he had nothing, and
possesses all things through his union through thee, whom all
things serve, even though he does not know the circlings of the
Great Bear.  Just so it is foolish to doubt that this faithful man
may truly be better than the one who can measure the heavens and
number the stars and weigh the elements, but who is forgetful of
thee "who hast set in order all things in number, weight, and

                           CHAPTER V

     8.  And who ordered this Mani to write about these things,
knowledge of which is not necessary to piety?  For thou hast said
to man, "Behold, godliness is wisdom"[133] -- and of this he might
have been ignorant, however perfectly he may have known these
other things.  Yet, since he did not know even these other things,
and most impudently dared to teach them, it is clear that he had
no knowledge of piety.  For, even when we have a knowledge of this
worldly lore, it is folly to make a _profession_ of it, when piety
comes from _confession_ to thee.  From piety, therefore, Mani had
gone astray, and all his show of learning only enabled the truly
learned to perceive, from his ignorance of what they knew, how
little he was to be trusted to make plain these more really
difficult matters.  For he did not aim to be lightly esteemed, but
went around trying to persuade men that the Holy Spirit, the
Comforter and Enricher of thy faithful ones, was personally
resident in him with full authority.  And, therefore, when he was
detected in manifest errors about the sky, the stars, the
movements of the sun and moon, even though these things do not
relate to religious doctrine, the impious presumption of the man
became clearly evident; for he not only taught things about which
he was ignorant but also perverted them, and this with pride so
foolish and mad that he sought to claim that his own utterances
were as if they had been those of a divine person.
     9.  When I hear of a Christian brother, ignorant of these
things, or in error concerning them, I can tolerate his uninformed
opinion; and I do not see that any lack of knowledge as to the
form or nature of this material creation can do him much harm, as
long as he does not hold a belief in anything which is unworthy of
thee, O Lord, the Creator of all.  But if he thinks that his
secular knowledge pertains to the essence of the doctrine of
piety, or ventures to assert dogmatic opinions in matters in which
he is ignorant -- there lies the injury.  And yet even a weakness
such as this, in the infancy of our faith, is tolerated by our
Mother Charity until the new man can grow up "unto a perfect man,"
and not be "carried away with every wind of doctrine."[134]
     But Mani had presumed to be at once the teacher, author,
guide, and leader of all whom he could persuade to believe this,
so that all who followed him believed that they were following not
an ordinary man but thy Holy Spirit.  And who would not judge that
such great madness, when it once stood convicted of false
teaching, should then be abhorred and utterly rejected?  But I had
not yet clearly decided whether the alternation of day and night,
and of longer and shorter days and nights, and the eclipses of sun
and moon, and whatever else I read about in other books could be
explained consistently with his theories.  If they could have been
so explained, there would still have remained a doubt in my mind
whether the theories were right or wrong.  Yet I was prepared, on
the strength of his reputed godliness, to rest my faith on his

                           CHAPTER VI

     10.  For almost the whole of the nine years that I listened
with unsettled mind to the Manichean teaching I had been looking
forward with unbounded eagerness to the arrival of this Faustus.
For all the other members of the sect that I happened to meet,
when they were unable to answer the questions I raised, always
referred me to his coming.  They promised that, in discussion with
him, these and even greater difficulties, if I had them, would be
quite easily and amply cleared away.  When at last he did come, I
found him to be a man of pleasant speech, who spoke of the very
same things they themselves did, although more fluently and in a
more agreeable style.  But what profit was there to me in the
elegance of my cupbearer, since he could not offer me the more
precious draught for which I thirsted?  My ears had already had
their fill of such stuff, and now it did not seem any better
because it was better expressed nor more true because it was
dressed up in rhetoric; nor could I think the man's soul
necessarily wise because his face was comely and his language
eloquent.  But they who extolled him to me were not competent
judges.  They thought him able and wise because his eloquence
delighted them.  At the same time I realized that there is another
kind of man who is suspicious even of truth itself, if it is
expressed in smooth and flowing language.  But thou, O my God,
hadst already taught me in wonderful and marvelous ways, and
therefore I believed -- because it is true -- that thou didst
teach me and that beside thee there is no other teacher of truth,
wherever truth shines forth.  Already I had learned from thee that
because a thing is eloquently expressed it should not be taken to
be as necessarily true; nor because it is uttered with stammering
lips should it be supposed false.  Nor, again, is it necessarily
true because rudely uttered, nor untrue because the language is
brilliant.  Wisdom and folly both are like meats that are
wholesome and unwholesome, and courtly or simple words are like
town-made or rustic vessels -- both kinds of food may be served in
either kind of dish.
     11.  That eagerness, therefore, with which I had so long
awaited this man, was in truth delighted with his action and
feeling in a disputation, and with the fluent and apt words with
which he clothed his ideas.  I was delighted, therefore, and I
joined with others -- and even exceeded them -- in exalting and
praising him.  Yet it was a source of annoyance to me that, in his
lecture room, I was not allowed to introduce and raise any of
those questions that troubled me, in a familiar exchange of
discussion with him.  As soon as I found an opportunity for this,
and gained his ear at a time when it was not inconvenient for him
to enter into a discussion with me and my friends, I laid before
him some of my doubts.  I discovered at once that he knew nothing
of the liberal arts except grammar, and that only in an ordinary
way.  He had, however, read some of Tully's orations, a very few
books of Seneca, and some of the poets, and such few books of his
own sect as were written in good Latin.  With this meager learning
and his daily practice in speaking, he had acquired a sort of
eloquence which proved the more delightful and enticing because it
was under the direction of a ready wit and a sort of native grace.
Was this not even as I now recall it, O Lord my God, Judge of my
conscience?  My heart and my memory are laid open before thee, who
wast even then guiding me by the secret impulse of thy providence
and wast setting my shameful errors before my face so that I might
see and hate them.

                         CHAPTER VII

     12.  For as soon as it became plain to me that Faustus was
ignorant in those arts in which I had believed him eminent, I
began to despair of his being able to clarify and explain all
these perplexities that troubled me -- though I realized that such
ignorance need not have affected the authenticity of his piety, if
he had not been a Manichean.  For their books are full of long
fables about the sky and the stars, the sun and the moon; and I
had ceased to believe him able to show me in any satisfactory
fashion what I so ardently desired: whether the explanations
contained in the Manichean books were better or at least as good
as the mathematical explanations I had read elsewhere.  But when I
proposed that these subjects should be considered and discussed,
he quite modestly did not dare to undertake the task, for he was
aware that he had no knowledge of these things and was not ashamed
to confess it.  For he was not one of those talkative people --
from whom I had endured so much -- who undertook to teach me what
I wanted to know, and then said nothing.  Faustus had a heart
which, if not right toward thee, was at least not altogether false
toward himself; for he was not ignorant of his own ignorance, and
he did not choose to be entangled in a controversy from which he
could not draw back or retire gracefully.  For this I liked him
all the more.  For the modesty of an ingenious mind is a finer
thing than the acquisition of that knowledge I desired; and this I
found to be his attitude toward all abstruse and difficult
     13.  Thus the zeal with which I had plunged into the
Manichean system was checked, and I despaired even more of their
other teachers, because Faustus who was so famous among them had
turned out so poorly in the various matters that puzzled me.  And
so I began to occupy myself with him in the study of his own
favorite pursuit, that of literature, in which I was already
teaching a class as a professor of rhetoric among the young
Carthaginian students.  With Faustus then I read whatever he
himself wished to read, or what I judged suitable to his bent of
mind.  But all my endeavors to make further progress in Manicheism
came completely to an end through my acquaintance with that man.
I did not wholly separate myself from them, but as one who had not
yet found anything better I decided to content myself, for the
time being, with what I had stumbled upon one way or another,
until by chance something more desirable should present itself.
Thus that Faustus who had entrapped so many to their death --
though neither willing nor witting it -- now began to loosen the
snare in which I had been caught.  For thy hands, O my God, in the
hidden design of thy providence did not desert my soul; and out of
the blood of my mother's heart, through the tears that she poured
out by day and by night, there was a sacrifice offered to thee for
me, and by marvelous ways thou didst deal with me.  For it was
thou, O my God, who didst it: for "the steps of a man are ordered
by the Lord, and he shall choose his way."[135]  How shall we
attain salvation without thy hand remaking what it had already

                         CHAPTER VIII

     14.  Thou didst so deal with me, therefore, that I was
persuaded to go to Rome and teach there what I had been teaching
at Carthage.  And how I was persuaded to do this I will not omit
to confess to thee, for in this also the profoundest workings of
thy wisdom and thy constant mercy toward us must be pondered and
acknowledged.  I did not wish to go to Rome because of the richer
fees and the higher dignity which my friends promised me there --
though these considerations did affect my decision.  My principal
and almost sole motive was that I had been informed that the
students there studied more quietly and were better kept under the
control of stern discipline, so that they did not capriciously and
impudently rush into the classroom of a teacher not their own --
indeed, they were not admitted at all without the permission of
the teacher.  At Carthage, on the contrary, there was a shameful
and intemperate license among the students.  They burst in rudely
and, with furious gestures, would disrupt the discipline which the
teacher had established for the good of his pupils.  Many outrages
they perpetrated with astounding effrontery, things that would be
punishable by law if they were not sustained by custom.  Thus
custom makes plain that such behavior is all the more worthless
because it allows men to do what thy eternal law never will allow.
They think that they act thus with impunity, though the very
blindness with which they act is their punishment, and they suffer
far greater harm than they inflict.
     The manners that I would not adopt as a student I was
compelled as a teacher to endure in others.  And so I was glad to
go where all who knew the situation assured me that such conduct
was not allowed.  But thou, "O my refuge and my portion in the
land of the living,"[136] didst goad me thus at Carthage so that I
might thereby be pulled away from it and change my worldly
habitation for the preservation of my soul.  At the same time,
thou didst offer me at Rome an enticement, through the agency of
men enchanted with this death-in-life -- by their insane conduct
in the one place and their empty promises in the other.  To
correct my wandering footsteps, thou didst secretly employ their
perversity and my own.  For those who disturbed my tranquillity
were blinded by shameful madness and also those who allured me
elsewhere had nothing better than the earth's cunning.  And I who
hated actual misery in the one place sought fictitious happiness
in the other.
     15.  Thou knewest the cause of my going from one country to
the other, O God, but thou didst not disclose it either to me or
to my mother, who grieved deeply over my departure and followed me
down to the sea.  She clasped me tight in her embrace, willing
either to keep me back or to go with me, but I deceived her,
pretending that I had a friend whom I could not leave until he had
a favorable wind to set sail.  Thus I lied to my mother -- and
such a mother! -- and escaped.  For this too thou didst mercifully
pardon me -- fool that I was -- and didst preserve me from the
waters of the sea for the water of thy grace; so that, when I was
purified by that, the fountain of my mother's eyes, from which she
had daily watered the ground for me as she prayed to thee, should
be dried.  And, since she refused to return without me, I
persuaded her, with some difficulty, to remain that night in a
place quite close to our ship, where there was a shrine in memory
of the blessed Cyprian.  That night I slipped away secretly, and
she remained to pray and weep.  And what was it, O Lord, that she
was asking of thee in such a flood of tears but that thou wouldst
not allow me to sail?  But thou, taking thy own secret counsel and
noting the real point to her desire, didst not grant what she was
then asking in order to grant to her the thing that she had always
been asking.
     The wind blew and filled our sails, and the shore dropped out
of sight.  Wild with grief, she was there the next morning and
filled thy ears with complaints and groans which thou didst
disregard, although, at the very same time, thou wast using my
longings as a means and wast hastening me on to the fulfillment of
all longing.  Thus the earthly part of her love to me was justly
purged by the scourge of sorrow.  Still, like all mothers --
though even more than others -- she loved to have me with her, and
did not know what joy thou wast preparing for her through my going
away.  Not knowing this secret end, she wept and mourned and saw
in her agony the inheritance of Eve -- seeking in sorrow what she
had brought forth in sorrow.  And yet, after accusing me of
perfidy and cruelty, she still continued her intercessions for me
to thee.  She returned to her own home, and I went on to Rome.

                          CHAPTER IX

     16.  And lo, I was received in Rome by the scourge of bodily
sickness; and I was very near to falling into hell, burdened with
all the many and grievous sins I had committed against thee,
myself, and others -- all over and above that fetter of original
sin whereby we all die in Adam.  For thou hadst forgiven me none
of these things in Christ, neither had he abolished by his cross
the enmity[137] that I had incurred from thee through my sins.
For how could he do so by the crucifixion of a phantom, which was
all I supposed him to be?  The death of my soul was as real then
as the death of his flesh appeared to me unreal.  And the life of
my soul was as false, because it was as unreal as the death of his
flesh was real, though I believed it not.
     My fever increased, and I was on the verge of passing away
and perishing; for, if I had passed away then, where should I have
gone but into the fiery torment which my misdeeds deserved,
measured by the truth of thy rule?  My mother knew nothing of
this; yet, far away, she went on praying for me.  And thou,
present everywhere, didst hear her where she was and had pity on
me where I was, so that I regained my bodily health, although I
was still disordered in my sacrilegious heart.  For that peril of
death did not make me wish to be baptized.  I was even better
when, as a lad, I entreated baptism of my mother's devotion, as I
have already related and confessed.[138]  But now I had since
increased in dishonor, and I madly scoffed at all the purposes of
thy medicine which would not have allowed me, though a sinner such
as I was, to die a double death.  Had my mother's heart been
pierced with this wound, it never could have been cured, for I
cannot adequately tell of the love she had for me, or how she
still travailed for me in the spirit with a far keener anguish
than when she bore me in the flesh.
     17.  I cannot conceive, therefore, how she could have been
healed if my death (still in my sins) had pierced her inmost love.
Where, then, would have been all her earnest, frequent, and
ceaseless prayers to thee?  Nowhere but with thee.  But couldst
thou, O most merciful God, despise the "contrite and humble
heart"[139] of that pure and prudent widow, who was so constant in
her alms, so gracious and attentive to thy saints, never missing a
visit to church twice a day, morning and evening -- and this not
for vain gossiping, nor old wives' fables, but in order that she
might listen to thee in thy sermons, and thou to her in her
prayers?  Couldst thou, by whose gifts she was so inspired,
despise and disregard the tears of such a one without coming to
her aid -- those tears by which she entreated thee, not for gold
or silver, and not for any changing or fleeting good, but for the
salvation of the soul of her son?  By no means, O Lord.  It is
certain that thou wast near and wast hearing and wast carrying out
the plan by which thou hadst predetermined it should be done.  Far
be it from thee that thou shouldst have deluded her in those
visions and the answers she had received from thee -- some of
which I have mentioned, and others not -- which she kept in her
faithful heart, and, forever beseeching, urged them on thee as if
they had thy own signature.  For thou, "because thy mercy endureth
forever,"[140] hast so condescended to those whose debts thou hast
pardoned that thou likewise dost become a debtor by thy promises.

                           CHAPTER X

     18.  Thou didst restore me then from that illness, and didst
heal the son of thy handmaid in his body, that he might live for
thee and that thou mightest endow him with a better and more
certain health.  After this, at Rome, I again joined those
deluding and deluded "saints"; and not their "hearers" only, such
as the man was in whose house I had fallen sick, but also with
those whom they called "the elect." For it still seemed to me
"that it is not we who sin, but some other nature sinned in us."
And it gratified my pride to be beyond blame, and when _I_ did
anything wrong not to have to confess that _I_ had done wrong --
"that thou mightest heal my soul because it had sinned against
thee"[141] -- and I loved to excuse my soul and to accuse
something else inside me (I knew not what) but which was not I.
But, assuredly, it was I, and it was my impiety that had divided
me against myself.  That sin then was all the more incurable
because I did not deem myself a sinner.  It was an execrable
iniquity, O God Omnipotent, that I would have preferred to have
thee defeated in me, to my destruction, than to be defeated by
thee to my salvation.  Not yet, therefore, hadst thou set a watch
upon my mouth and a door around my lips that my heart might not
incline to evil speech, to make excuse for sin with men that work
iniquity.[142]  And, therefore, I continued still in the company
of their "elect."
     19.  But now, hopeless of gaining any profit from that false
doctrine, I began to hold more loosely and negligently even to
those points which I had decided to rest content with, if I could
find nothing better.  I was now half inclined to believe that
those philosophers whom they call "The Academics"[143] were wiser
than the rest in holding that we ought to doubt everything, and in
maintaining that man does not have the power of comprehending any
certain truth, for, although I had not yet understood their
meaning, I was fully persuaded that they thought just as they are
commonly reputed to do.  And I did not fail openly to dissuade my
host from his confidence which I observed that he had in those
fictions of which the works of Mani are full.  For all this, I was
still on terms of more intimate friendship with these people than
with others who were not of their heresy.  I did not indeed defend
it with my former ardor; but my familiarity with that group -- and
there were many of them concealed in Rome at that time[144] --
made me slower to seek any other way.  This was particularly easy
since I had no hope of finding in thy Church the truth from which
they had turned me aside, O Lord of heaven and earth, Creator of
all things visible and invisible.  And it still seemed to me most
unseemly to believe that thou couldst have the form of human flesh
and be bounded by the bodily shape of our limbs.  And when I
desired to meditate on my God, I did not know what to think of but
a huge extended body -- for what did not have bodily extension did
not seem to me to exist -- and this was the greatest and almost
the sole cause of my unavoidable errors.
     20.  And thus I also believed that evil was a similar kind of
substance, and that it had its own hideous and deformed extended
body -- either in a dense form which they called the earth or in a
thin and subtle form as, for example, the substance of the air,
which they imagined as some malignant spirit penetrating that
earth.  And because my piety -- such as it was -- still compelled
me to believe that the good God never created any evil substance,
I formed the idea of two masses, one opposed to the other, both
infinite but with the evil more contracted and the good more
expansive.  And from this diseased beginning, the other sacrileges
followed after.
     For when my mind tried to turn back to the Catholic faith, I
was cast down, since the Catholic faith was not what I judged it
to be.  And it seemed to me a greater piety to regard thee, my God
-- to whom I make confession of thy mercies -- as infinite in all
respects save that one: where the extended mass of evil stood
opposed to thee, where I was compelled to confess that thou art
finite -- than if I should think that thou couldst be confined by
the form of a human body on every side.  And it seemed better to
me to believe that no evil had been created by thee -- for in my
ignorance evil appeared not only to be some kind of substance but
a corporeal one at that.  This was because I had, thus far, no
conception of mind, except as a subtle body diffused throughout
local spaces.  This seemed better than to believe that anything
could emanate from thee which had the character that I considered
evil to be in its nature.  And I believed that our Saviour himself
also -- thy Only Begotten -- had been brought forth, as it were,
for our salvation out of the mass of thy bright shining substance.
So that I could believe nothing about him except what I was able
to harmonize with these vain imaginations.  I thought, therefore,
that such a nature could not be born of the Virgin Mary without
being mingled with the flesh, and I could not see how the divine
substance, as I had conceived it, could be mingled thus without
being contaminated.  I was afraid, therefore, to believe that he
had been born in the flesh, lest I should also be compelled to
believe that he had been contaminated by the flesh.  Now will thy
spiritual ones smile blandly and lovingly at me if they read these
confessions.  Yet such was I.

                          CHAPTER XI

     21.  Furthermore, the things they censured in thy Scriptures
I thought impossible to be defended.  And yet, occasionally, I
desired to confer on various matters with someone well learned in
those books, to test what he thought of them.  For already the
words of one Elpidius, who spoke and disputed face to face against
these same Manicheans, had begun to impress me, even when I was at
Carthage; because he brought forth things out of the Scriptures
that were not easily withstood, to which their answers appeared to
me feeble.  One of their answers they did not give forth publicly,
but only to us in private -- when they said that the writings of
the New Testament had been tampered with by unknown persons who
desired to ingraft the Jewish law into the Christian faith.  But
they themselves never brought forward any uncorrupted copies.
Still thinking in corporeal categories and very much ensnared and
to some extent stifled, I was borne down by those conceptions of
bodily substance.  I panted under this load for the air of thy
truth, but I was not able to breathe it pure and undefiled.

                          CHAPTER XII

     22.  I set about diligently to practice what I came to Rome
to do -- the teaching of rhetoric.  The first task was to bring
together in my home a few people to whom and through whom I had
begun to be known.  And lo, I then began to learn that other
offenses were committed in Rome which I had not had to bear in
Africa.  Just as I had been told, those riotous disruptions by
young blackguards were not practiced here.  Yet, now, my friends
told me, many of the Roman students -- breakers of faith, who, for
the love of money, set a small value on justice -- would conspire
together and suddenly transfer to another teacher, to evade paying
their master's fees.  My heart hated such people, though not with
a "perfect hatred"[145]; for doubtless I hated them more because I
was to suffer from them than on account of their own illicit acts.
Still, such people are base indeed; they fornicate against thee,
for they love the transitory mockeries of temporal things and the
filthy gain which begrimes the hand that grabs it; they embrace
the fleeting world and scorn thee, who abidest and invitest us to
return to thee and who pardonest the prostituted human soul when
it does return to thee.  Now I hate such crooked and perverse men,
although I love them if they will be corrected and come to prefer
the learning they obtain to money and, above all, to prefer thee
to such learning, O God, the truth and fullness of our positive
good, and our most pure peace.  But then the wish was stronger in
me for my own sake not to suffer evil from them than was my desire
that they should become good for thy sake.

                         CHAPTER XIII

     23.  When, therefore, the officials of Milan sent to Rome, to
the prefect of the city, to ask that he provide them with a
teacher of rhetoric for their city and to send him at the public
expense, I applied for the job through those same persons, drunk
with the Manichean vanities, to be freed from whom I was going
away -- though neither they nor I were aware of it at the time.
They recommended that Symmachus, who was then prefect, after he
had proved me by audition, should appoint me.
     And to Milan I came, to Ambrose the bishop, famed through the
whole world as one of the best of men, thy devoted servant.  His
eloquent discourse in those times abundantly provided thy people
with the flour of thy wheat, the gladness of thy oil, and the
sober intoxication of thy wine.[146]  To him I was led by thee
without my knowledge, that by him I might be led to thee in full
knowledge.  That man of God received me as a father would, and
welcomed my coming as a good bishop should.  And I began to love
him, of course, not at the first as a teacher of the truth, for I
had entirely despaired of finding that in thy Church -- but as a
friendly man.  And I studiously listened to him -- though not with
the right motive -- as he preached to the people.  I was trying to
discover whether his eloquence came up to his reputation, and
whether it flowed fuller or thinner than others said it did.  And
thus I hung on his words intently, but, as to his subject matter,
I was only a careless and contemptuous listener.  I was delighted
with the charm of his speech, which was more erudite, though less
cheerful and soothing, than Faustus' style.  As for subject
matter, however, there could be no comparison, for the latter was
wandering around in Manichean deceptions, while the former was
teaching salvation most soundly.  But "salvation is far from the
wicked,"[147] such as I was then when I stood before him.  Yet I
was drawing nearer, gradually and unconsciously.

                          CHAPTER XIV

     24.  For, although I took no trouble to learn what he said,,
but only to hear how he said it -- for this empty concern remained
foremost with me as long as I despaired of finding a clear path
from man to thee -- yet, along with the eloquence I prized, there
also came into my mind the ideas which I ignored; for I could not
separate them.  And, while I opened my heart to acknowledge how
skillfully he spoke, there also came an awareness of how _truly_
he spoke -- but only gradually.  First of all, his ideas had
already begun to appear to me defensible; and the Catholic faith,
for which I supposed that nothing could be said against the
onslaught of the Manicheans, I now realized could be maintained
without presumption.  This was especially clear after I had heard
one or two parts of the Old Testament explained allegorically --
whereas before this, when I had interpreted them literally, they
had "killed" me spiritually.[148]  However, when many of these
passages in those books were expounded to me thus, I came to blame
my own despair for having believed that no reply could be given to
those who hated and scoffed at the Law and the Prophets.  Yet I
did not see that this was reason enough to follow the Catholic
way, just because it had learned advocates who could answer
objections adequately and without absurdity.  Nor could I see that
what I had held to heretofore should now be condemned, because
both sides were equally defensible.  For that way did not appear
to me yet vanquished; but neither did it seem yet victorious.
     25.  But now I earnestly bent my mind to require if there was
possible any way to prove the Manicheans guilty of falsehood.  If
I could have conceived of a spiritual substance, all their
strongholds would have collapsed and been cast out of my mind.
But I could not.  Still, concerning the body of this world, nature
as a whole -- now that I was able to consider and compare such
things more and more -- I now decided that the majority of the
philosophers held the more probable views.  So, in what I thought
was the method of the Academics -- doubting everything and
fluctuating between all the options -- I came to the conclusion
that the Manicheans were to be abandoned.  For I judged, even in
that period of doubt, that I could not remain in a sect to which I
preferred some of the philosophers.  But I refused to commit the
cure of my fainting soul to the philosophers, because they were
without the saving name of Christ.  I resolved, therefore, to

(continued in part 8 ...)

file: /pub/resources/text/icp-e/epl-01: agcon-07.txt