Contents – Book XI
By confession he desires to stimulate towards God his own love and that of his readers.
He begs of God that through the Holy Scriptures he may be led to truth.
He begins from the creation of the world—not understanding the Hebrew text.
Heaven and Earth cry out that they have been created by God.
God created the world not from any certain matter, but In his own word.
He did not, however, create it by sounding and passing word.
By his co-eternal word he speaks, and all things are done.
That word itself is the beginning of all things, in the which we are instructed as to evangeelical truth.
Wisdom and the beginning.
The rashness of those who inquire what God did before he created Heaven and Earth.
They who ask this have not as yet known the eternity of God, which is exempt from the relation of time.
What God did before the creation of the world.
Before the times created by God, times were not.
Neither time past nor future, but the present only, really is.
There is only a moment of present time.
Time can only be perceived or measured while it is passing.
Nevertheless there is time past and future.
Past and future times cannot be thought of but as present.
We are ignorant in what manner God teaches future things.
In what manner time may properly be designated.
How time may be measured.
He prays God that he would explain this most entangled enigma.
That time is a certain extension.
That time is not a motion of a body which we measure by time.
He calls on God to enlighten his mind.
We measure longer events by shorter in time.
Times are measured in proportion as they pass by.
Time in the human mind, which expects, considers, and remembers.
That human life is a distraction, but that through the mercy of God he was intent on the prize of his heavenly calling.
Again he refutes the empty qquestion, “What did God before the creation of the world?”
How the Knowledge of God differs from that of Man.