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AUGUSTINE: CONFESSIONS INDEX

BOOK ELEVEN

CHAPTER X

12. Now, are not those still full of their old carnal nature[429] who ask us: "What was God doing before he made heaven and earth? For if he was idle," they say, "and doing nothing, then why did he not continue in that state forever--doing nothing, as he had always done? If any new motion has arisen in God, and a new will to form a creature, which he had never before formed, how can that be a true eternity in which an act of will occurs that was not there before? For the will of God is not a created thing, but comes before the creation--and this is true because nothing could be created unless the will of the Creator came before it. The will of God, therefore, pertains to his very Essence. Yet if anything has arisen in the Essence of God that was not there before, then that Essence cannot truly be called eternal. But if it was the eternal will of God that the creation should come to be, why, then, is not the creation itself also from eternity?"[430]

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