Augustine: Confessions and Enchiridion by Albert Cook Outler

By Albert Cook Outler

This quantity within the Library of Christian Classics bargains translations of Augustine's Confessions and Enchiridion.

Long famous for the standard of its translations, introductions, explanatory notes, and indexes, the Library of Christian Classics offers students and scholars with smooth English translations of a few of the main major Christian theological texts in heritage. via those works--each written ahead of the tip of the 16th century--contemporary readers may be able to have interaction the tips that experience formed Christian theology and the church throughout the centuries.

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Sample text

Was it that I cried for the breast? If I should now so cry—not indeed for the breast, but for food suitable to my condition—I should be most justly laughed at and rebuked. What I did then deserved rebuke but, since I could not understand those who rebuked me, neither custom nor common sense permitted me to be rebuked. As we grow we root out and cast away from us such childish habits. Yet I have not seen anyone who is wise who cast away the good when trying to purge the bad. Nor was it good, even in that time, to strive to get by crying what, if it had been given me, would have been hurtful; or to be bitterly indignant at those who, because they were older—not slaves, either, but free—and wiser than I, would not indulge my capricious desires.

Thus, the infant's innocence lies in the weakness of his body and not in the infant mind. I have myself observed a baby to be jealous, though it could not speak; it was livid as it watched another infant at the breast. Who is ignorant of this? Mothers and nurses tell us that they cure these things by I know not what remedies. But is this innocence, when the fountain of milk is flowing fresh and abundant, that another who needs it should not be allowed to share it, even though he requires such nourishment to sustain his life?

It is as if he should feel that there is an enemy who could be more destructive to himself than that hatred which excites him against his fellow man; or that he could destroy him whom he hates more completely than he destroys his own soul by this same hatred. Now, obviously, there is no knowledge of letters more innate than the writing of conscience—against doing unto another what one would not have done to himself. How mysterious thou art, who "dwellest on high'5 32 in silence. O thou, the only great God, who by an unwearied law hurlest down the penalty of blindness to unlawful desire!

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