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

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter XXII.—He Prays God that He Would Explain This Most Entangled Enigma.

28. My soul yearns to know this most entangled enigma. Forbear to shut up, O Lord my God, good Father,—through Christ I beseech Thee,—forbear to shut up these things, both usual and hidden, from my desire, that it may be hindered from penetrating them; but let them dawn through Thy enlightening mercy, O Lord. Of whom shall I inquire concerning these things? And to whom shall I with more advantage confess my ignorance than to Thee, to whom these my studies, so vehemently kindled towards Thy Scriptures, are not troublesome? Give that which I love; for I do love, and this hast Thou given me. Give, Father, who truly knowest to give good gifts unto Thy children. 1043 Give, since I have undertaken to know, and trouble is before me until Thou dost open it. 1044 Through Christ, I beseech Thee, in His name, Holy of Holies, let no man interrupt me. For I believed, and therefore do I speak. 1045 This is my hope; for this do I live, that I may contemplate the delights of the Lord. 1046 Behold, Thou hast made my days old, 1047 and they pass away, and p. 171 in what manner I know not. And we speak as to time and time, times and times,—“How long is the time since he said this?” “How long the time since he did this?” and, “How long the time since I saw that?” and, “This syllable hath double the time of that single short syllable.” These words we speak, and these we hear; and we are understood, and we understand. They are most manifest and most usual, and the same things again lie hid too deeply, and the discovery of them is new.



Matt. 7.11.


Ps. 73.16.




Ps. 27.4.


Ps. 39.5.

Next: Chapter XXIII

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