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AUGUSTINE: CONFESSIONS INDEX

BOOK ELEVEN

CHAPTER XXIX

39. But "since thy loving-kindness is better than life itself,"[450] observe how my life is but a stretching out, and how thy right hand has upheld me in my Lord, the Son of Man, the Mediator between thee, the One, and us, the many--in so many ways and by so many means. Thus through him I may lay hold upon him in whom I am also laid hold upon; and I may be gathered up from my old way of life to follow that One and to forget that which is behind, no longer stretched out but now pulled together again--stretching forth not to what shall be and shall pass away but to those things that are before me. Not distractedly now, but intently, I follow on for the prize of my heavenly calling,[451] where I may hear the sound of thy praise and contemplate thy delights, which neither come to be nor pass away.

But now my years are spent in mourning.[452] And thou, O Lord, art my comfort, my eternal Father. But I have been torn between the times, the order of which I do not know, and my thoughts, even the inmost and deepest places of my soul, are mangled by various commotions until I shall flow together into thee, purged and molten in the fire of thy love.

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