Contents – Book XII

Contents – Book XII Book XII Chapter I The Discovery of Truth is Difficult, but God Has promised that he who seeks shall find. Chapter...

Chapter I – The Discovery Of Truth Is Difficult, But God Has Promised That He Who Seeks Shall Find.

BOOK TWELVE The mode of creation and the truth of Scripture. Augustine explores the relation of the visible and formed matter of heaven and earth...

Chapter II – Of The Double Heaven, – The Visible, And The Heaven Of Heavens.

BOOK TWELVE CHAPTER II 2. In lowliness my tongue confesses to thy exaltation, for thou madest heaven and earth. This heaven which I see, and...

Chapter III – Of The Darkness Upon The Deep, And Of The Invisible And Formless Earth.

BOOK TWELVE CHAPTER III 3. And truly this earth was invisible and unformed,[459] and there was an inexpressibly profound abyss[460] above which there was no light since...

Chapter IV – From The Formlessness Of Matter, The Beautiful World Has Arisen.

BOOK TWELVE CHAPTER IV 4. What, then, should that formlessness be called so that somehow it might be indicated to those of sluggish mind, unless...

Chapter V – What May Have Been The Form Of Matter.

BOOK TWELVE CHAPTER V 5. When our thought seeks something for our sense to fasten to [in this concept of unformed matter], and when it...

Chapter VI – He Confesses That At One Time He Himself Thought Erroneously Of Matter.

BOOK TWELVE CHAPTER VI 6. But if, O Lord, I am to confess to thee, by my mouth and my pen, the whole of what...

Chapter VII – Out Of Nothing God Made Heaven And Earth.

BOOK TWELVE CHAPTER VII 7. Whence and how was this, unless it came from thee, from whom all things are, in so far as they...

Chapter VIII – Heaven And Earth Were Made “In The Beginning;” Afterwards The World, During Six Days, From Shapeless Matter.

BOOK TWELVE CHAPTER VIII 8. That heaven of heavens was thine, O Lord, but the earth which thou didst give to the sons of men...

Chapter IX – That The Heaven Of Heavens Was An Intellectual Creature, But That The Earth Was Invisible And Formless Before The Days That It Was Made.

BOOK TWELVE CHAPTER IX 9. And therefore the Spirit, the Teacher of thy servant,[470] when he mentions that “in the beginning thou madest heaven and earth,”...

Chapter X – He Begs Of God That He May Live In The True Light, And May Be Instructed As To The Mysteries Of The Sacred Books.

BOOK TWELVE CHAPTER X 10. O Truth, O Light of my heart, let not my own darkness speak to me! I had fallen into that...

Chapter XI – What May Be Discovered To Him By God.

BOOK TWELVE CHAPTER XI 11. Thou hast told me already, O Lord, with a strong voice in my inner ear, that thou art eternal and...

Chapter XII – From The Formless Earth God Created Another Heaven And A Visible And Formed Earth.

BOOK TWELVE CHAPTER XII 15. These things I have considered as thou hast given me ability, O my God, as thou hast excited me to...

Chapter XIII – Of The Intellectual Heaven And Formless Earth, Out Of Which, On Another Day, The Firmament Was Formed.

BOOK TWELVE CHAPTER XIII 16. Meanwhile this is what I understand, O my God, when I hear thy Scripture saying, “In the beginning God made...

Chapter XIV – Of The Depth Of The Sacred Scripture, And Its Enemies.

BOOK TWELVE CHAPTER XIV 17. Marvelous is the depth of thy oracles. Their surface is before us, inviting the little ones; and yet wonderful is...

Chapter XV – He Argues Against Adversaries Concerning The Heaven Of Heavens.

BOOK TWELVE CHAPTER XV 18. “Will you say that these things are false which Truth tells me, with a loud voice in my inner ear,...

Chapter XVI – He Wishes To Have No Intercourse With Those Who Deny Divine Truth.

BOOK TWELVE CHAPTER XVI 23. Now, I would like to discuss a little further, in thy presence, O my God, with those who admit that...

Chapter XVII – He Mentions Five Explanations Of The Words Of Genesis I.

BOOK TWELVE CHAPTER XVII 24. For they say: “Even if these things are true, still Moses did not refer to these two things when he...

Chapter XVIII – What Error Is Harmless In Sacred Scripture.

BOOK TWELVE CHAPTER XVIII 27. When all these things have been said and considered, I am unwilling to contend about words, for such contention is...

Chapter XIX – He Enumerates The Things Concerning Which All Agree.

BOOK TWELVE CHAPTER XIX[487] 28. For it is certainly true, O Lord, that thou didst create the heaven and the earth. It is also true...

Chapter XX – Of The Words, “In The Beginning,” Variously Understood.

BOOK TWELVE CHAPTER XX 29. From all these truths, which are not doubted by those to whom thou hast granted insight in such things in...

Chapter XXI – Of The Explanation Of The Words, “The Earth Was Invisible.”

BOOK TWELVE CHAPTER XXI 30. Again, regarding the interpretation of the following words, one man selects for himself, from all the various truths, the interpretation...

Chapter XXII – He Discusses Whether Matter Was From Eternity, Or Was Made By God.

BOOK TWELVE CHAPTER XXII 31. Now suppose that someone tried to argue against these last two opinions as follows: “If you will not admit that...

Chapter XXIII – Two Kinds Of Disagreements In The Books To Be Explained.

BOOK TWELVE CHAPTER XXIII 32. I have heard and considered these theories as well as my weak apprehension allows, and I confess my weakness to...

Chapter XXIV – Out Of The Many True Things, It Is Not Asserted Confidently That Moses Understood This Or That.

BOOK TWELVE CHAPTER XXIV 33. But in the midst of so many truths which occur to the interpreters of these words (understood as they can...

Chapter XXV – It Behoves Interpreters, When Disagreeing Concerning Obscure Places, To Regard God The Author Of Truth, And The Rule Of Charity.

BOOK TWELVE CHAPTER XXV 34. Let no man fret me now by saying, “Moses did not mean what you say, but what I say.” Now if he asks me,...

Chapter XXVI – What He Might Have Asked Of God Had He Been Enjoined To Write The Book Of Genesis.

BOOK TWELVE CHAPTER XXVI 36. And yet, O my God, thou exaltation of my humility and rest of my toil, who hearest my confessions and...

Chapter XXVII – The Style Of Speaking In The Book Of Genesis Is Simple And Clear.

BOOK TWELVE CHAPTER XXVII 37. For just as a spring dammed up is more plentiful and affords a larger supply of water for more streams...

Chapter XXVIII – The Words, “In The Beginning,” And, “The Heaven And The Earth,” Are Differently Understood.

BOOK TWELVE CHAPTER XXVIII 38. But others, to whom these words are no longer a nest but, rather, a shady thicket, spy the fruits concealed...

Chapter XIX – Concerning The Opinion Of Those Who Explain It “At First He Made.”

BOOK TWELVE CHAPTER XXIX 40. But he who understands “In the beginning he made” as if it meant, “At first he made,” can truly interpret...

Chapter XXX – In The Great Diversity Of Opinions, It Becomes All To Unite Charity And Divine Truth.

BOOK TWELVE CHAPTER XXX 41. In this discord of true opinions let Truth itself bring concord, and may our God have mercy on us all,...

Chapter XXXI – Moses Is Supposed To Have Perceived Whatever Of Truth Can Be Discovered In His Words.

BOOK TWELVE CHAPTER XXXI 42. Thus, when one man says, “Moses meant what I mean,” and another says, “No, he meant what I do,” I...

Chapter XXXII – First, The Sense Of The Writer Is To Be Discovered, Then That Is To Be Brought Out Which Divine Truth Intended.

BOOK TWELVE CHAPTER XXXII 43. Finally, O Lord–who art God and not flesh and blood–if any man sees anything less, can anything lie hid from...