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Nicene and Post Nicene-Fathers, Vol. I:
The Confessions: Chapter XV

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter XV.—He Dismisses One Mistress, and Chooses Another.

25. Meanwhile my sins were being multiplied, and my mistress being torn from my side as an impediment to my marriage, my heart, which clave to her, was racked, and wounded, and bleeding. And she went back to Africa, making a vow unto Thee never to know another man, leaving with me my natural son by her. But I, unhappy one, who could not imitate a woman, impatient of delay, since it was not until two years’ time I was to obtain her I sought,—being not so much a lover of marriage as a slave to lust,—procured another (not a wife, though), that so by the bondage of a lasting habit the disease of my soul might be nursed up, and kept up in its vigour, or even increased, into the kingdom of marriage. Nor was that wound of mine as yet cured which had been caused by the separation from my former mistress, but after inflammation and most acute anguish it mortified, 478 and the pain became numbed, but more desperate.



In his De Natura Con. Manich. he has the same idea. He is speaking of the evil that has no pain, and remarks: “Likewise in the body, better is a wound with pain than putrefaction without pain, which is specially styled corruption;” and the same idea is embodied in the extract from Caird’s Sermons, on p. 5, note 7.

Next: Chapter XVI

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