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

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter XIV.—That Out of the Children of the Night and of the Darkness, Children of the Light and of the Day are Made.

15. And so say I too, O my God, where art Thou? Behold where Thou art! In Thee I breathe a little, when I pour out my soul by myself in the voice of joy and praise, the sound of him that keeps holy-day. 1241 And yet it is “cast down,” because it relapses and becomes a deep, or rather it feels that it is still a deep. Unto it doth my faith speak which Thou hast kindled to enlighten my feet in the night, “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God;” 1242 His “word is a lamp unto my feet.” 1243 Hope and endure until the night,—the mother of the wicked,—until the anger of the Lord be overpast, 1244 whereof we also were once children who were sometimes darkness, 1245 the remains whereof we carry about us in our body, dead on account of sin, 1246 “until the day break and the shadows flee away.” 1247 “Hope thou in the Lord.” In the morning I shall stand in Thy presence, and contemplate Thee; 1248 I shall for ever confess unto Thee. 1249 In the morning I shall stand in Thy presence, and shall see “the health of my countenance,” 1250 my God, who also shall quicken our mortal bodies by the Spirit that dwelleth in us, 1251 because in mercy He was borne over our inner darksome and floating deep. Whence we have in this pilgrimage received “an earnest” 1252 that we should now be light, whilst as yet we “are saved by hope,” 1253 and are the children of light, and the children of the day,—not the children of the night nor of the darkness, 1254 which yet we have been. 1255 Betwixt whom and us, in this as yet uncertain state of human knowledge, Thou only dividest, who provest our hearts 1256 and callest the light day, and the darkness night. 1257 For who discerneth us but Thou? But what have we that we have not received of Thee? 1258 Out of the same lump vessels unto honour, of which others also are made to dishonour. 1259



Ps. 42.4.


Ps. 42.5.


Ps. 119.105.


Job 14.13.


Eph. 2:3, Eph. 5:8.


Rom. 8.10.


Song. 2.17.


Ps. 5.3.


Ps. 30.12.


Ps. 43.5.


Rom. 8.11.


2 Cor. 1.22.


Rom. 8.24.


Though of the light, we are not yet in the light; and though, in this grey dawn of the coming day, we have a foretaste of the vision that shall be, we cannot hope, as he says in Ps. v. 4, to “see Him as He is” until the darkness of sin be overpast.


Eph. 5.8, and 1 Thess. 5.5.


Ps. 7.9.


Gen. 1.5.


1 Cor. 4.7.


Rom. 9.21.

Next: Chapter XV