Augustine’s Confession, Book I, Chapter 5

Chapter 5. He Seeks Rest in God, and Pardon of His Sins.

5. Oh! how shall I find rest in You? Who will send You into my heart to inebriate it, so that I may forget my woes, and embrace You my only good? What are You to me? Have compassion on me, that I may speak. What am I to You that You demand my love, and unless I give it You art angry, and threatenest me with great sorrows? Is it, then, a light sorrow not to love You? Alas! alas! tell me of Your compassion, O Lord my God, what You are to me. Say unto my soul, I am your salvation. So speak that I may hear. Behold, Lord, the ears of my heart are before You; open them, and say unto my soul, I am your salvation. When I hear, may I run and lay hold on You. Hide not Your face from me. Let me die, lest I die, if only I may see Your face.

6. Cramped is the dwelling of my soul; expand it, that You may enter in. It is in ruins, restore it. There is that about it which must offend Your eyes; I confess and know it, but who will cleanse it? or to whom shall I cry but to You? Cleanse me from my secret sins, O Lord, and keep Your servant from those of other men. I believe, and therefore do I speak; Lord, You know. Have I not confessed my transgressions unto You, O my God; and You have put away the iniquity of my heart? I do not contend in judgment with You, Job 9:3 who art the Truth; and I would not deceive myself, lest my iniquity lie against itself. I do not, therefore, contend in judgment with You, for if You, Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?


Quis mihi dabit adquiescere in te? quis dabit mihi, ut venias in cor meum et inebries illud, ut obliviscar mala 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! dic mihi per miserationes tuas, domine deus meus, quid sis mihi. dic animae meae: salus tua ego sum. sic dic, ut audiam. ecce aures cordis mei ante te, domine; aperi eas et dic animae meae: salus tua ego sum. curram post vocem hanc et adprehendam te. noli abscondere a me faciem tuam: moriar, ne moriar, ut eam videam. Angusta est domus animae meae, quo venias ad eam: dilatetur abs 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 contendotecum, qui veritas es; et ego nolo fallere me ipsum, ne mentiatur iniquitas mea sibi. non ergo iudicio contendo tecum, quia, si iniquitates observaveris, domine, domine, quis sustinebit?



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