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

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter II.—Of the Double Heaven,—The Visible, and the Heaven of Heavens.

2. The weakness of my tongue confesseth unto Thy Highness, seeing that Thou madest heaven and earth. This heaven which I see, and this earth upon which I tread (from which is this earth that I carry about me), Thou hast made. But where is that heaven of heavens, 1072 O Lord, of which we hear in the words of the Psalm, The heaven of heavens are the Lord’s, but the earth hath He given to the children of men? 1073 Where is the heaven, which we behold not, in comparison of which all this, which we behold, is earth? For this corporeal whole, not as a whole everywhere, hath thus received its beautiful figure in these lower parts, of which the bottom is our earth; but compared with that heaven of heavens, even the heaven of our earth is but earth; yea, each of these great bodies is not absurdly called earth, as compared with that, I know not what manner of heaven, which is the Lord’s, not the sons’ of men.



That is, not the atmosphere which surrounds the earth, as when we say, “the birds of heaven” (Jer. 4.25), “the dew of heaven” (Gen. 27.28); nor that “firmament of heaven” (Gen. 1.17) in which the stars have their courses; nor both these together; but that “third heaven” to which Paul was “caught up” (2 Cor. 12.1) in his rapture, and where God most manifests His glory, and the angels do Him homage.


Ps. 115.16, after the LXX., Vulgate, and Syriac.

Next: Chapter III