write:No I did not put this book to use in order to sharpen my tongue: what had won me over was not the style but the substance. 4.8 With what passion my God with what great passion

the nineteenth year of my age (my father hav-ing died two years before). No
I did not put this book to use in order to sharpen my tongue: what had won me over was not the style
but the substance.4.8 With what passion
my God
with what great passion I longed to ßy away from earthly things to you
and I did not know what you would make of me. For with you is wisdom. Now the love of wisdom has in Greek the name Òphilosophy
Ó and it was this love that those writings set aßame in me. There are those who lead others astray through philosophy
using that great and alluring and honorable name to whitewash their errors and wrap them in a false beauty; and nearly all such people
both in those days and earlier
are identiÞed and exposed in that book. The healthful admonition of your Spirit through your good and dutiful servant is also made manifest there: ÒSee to it that no one deceive you through philosophy and empty seduction
according to human tradition
according to the elements of this world
and not according to Christ. For in Christ dwells all the fullness of Godhead bodily.Ó In those days
as you know
O Light of my heart
these words of the Apostle were unknown to me. No
what delighted me in that exhortation was just this: it encouraged me not to follow this or that sect but instead to love wisdom itself
whatever it should turn out to be
and to love it and seek after it and pursue it and hold on to it and embrace it with all my strength. And the book stirred me and set me aßame
and I was Þlled with passionate longing. But in my great ardor there was just one thing that held me back: the name of Christ was not there. For by your mercy
O Lord
my tender heart had drunk that name
the name of my Savior
your Son
with my motherÕs milk; and still it retained that name deep within. Whatever lacked that name
however literate and polished and truthful it might have been
could not capture me altogether.5.9 And so I made up my mind to look into the Holy Scriptures and to see what they might be like. And what I see there is something not disclosed to the proud or laid bare to children; one must stoop to enter
but it is lofty within
and veiled in mysteries. Such was my character at that time that I could not enter; I could not bend my neck to follow its path. For what I say now is not what I thought then when I gave my attention to Scripture. Quite the contrary: I found it unwor-thy of comparison with the great dignity of Cicero. My swollen pride disdained its restraint
and my gaze did not penetrate its innermost Lk. 15:18Ð20Job 12:13
12:16Col. 2:8Ð9Ps. 24:7DSHPC077-Augustine.indd 3312/20/18 10:13 AM


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