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year of decision. Faustus comes to Carthage and Augustine is disenchanted
in his hope for solid demonstration of the truth of Manichean doctrine. He
decides to flee from his known troubles at Carthage to troubles yet unknown
at Rome. His experiences at Rome prove disappointing and he applies for a
teaching post at Milan. Here he meets Ambrose, who confronts him as an impressive
witness for Catholic Christianity and opens out the possibilities of the allegorical
interpretation of Scripture. Augustine decides to become a Christian catechumen.
1. Accept this sacrifice of my confessions from the hand
of my tongue. Thou didst form it and hast prompted it to
praise thy name. Heal all my bones and let them say, "O
Lord, who is like unto thee?"
It is not that one who confesses to thee instructs thee
as to what goes on within him. For the closed heart does
not bar thy sight into it, nor does the hardness of our
heart hold back thy hands, for thou canst soften it at will,
either by mercy or in vengeance, "and there is no one who
can hide himself from thy heat."
But let my soul praise thee, that it may love thee, and
let it confess thy mercies to thee, that it may praise thee.
Thy whole creation praises thee without ceasing: the spirit
of man, by his own lips, by his own voice, lifted up to
thee; animals and lifeless matter by the mouths of those
who meditate upon them. Thus our souls may climb out of
their weariness toward thee and lean on those things which
thou hast created and pass through them to thee, who didst
create them in a marvelous way. With thee, there is refreshment
and true strength.