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The Confessions And Letters Of St by St. Augustine

Chapter XXI.--What He Found in the Sacred Books Which are Not to Be Found in Plato.

27. Most eagerly, then, did I seize that venerable writing of Thy Spirit, but more especally the Apostle Paul; and those difficulties vanished away, in which he at one time appeared to me to contradict himself, and the text of his discourse not to agree with the testimonies of the Law and the Prophets. And the face of that pure speech appeared to me one and the same; and I learned to |rejoice with trembling.| So I commenced, and found that whatsoever truth I had there read was declared here with the recommendation of Thy grace; that he who sees may not so glory as if he had not received not only that which he sees, but also that he can see (for what hath he which he hath not received?); and that he may not only be admonished to see Thee, who art ever the same, but also may be healed, to hold Thee; and that he who from afar off is not able to see, may still walk on the way by which he may reach, behold, and possess Thee. For though a man |delight in the law of God after the inward man,| what shall he do with that other law in his members which warreth against the law of his mind, and bringeth him into captivity to the law of sin, which is in his members? For Thou art righteous, O Lord, but we have sinned and committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and Thy hand is grown heavy upon us, and we are justly delivered over unto that ancient sinner, the governor of death; for he induced our will to be like his will, whereby he remained not in Thy truth. What shall |wretched man| do? |Who shall deliver him from the body of this death,| but Thy grace only, |through Jesus Christ our Lord,'| whom Thou hast begotten co-eternal, and createdst in the beginning of Thy ways, in whom the Prince of this world found nothing worthy of death, yet killed he Him, and the handwriting which was contrary to us was blotted out? This those writings contain not. Those pages contain not the expression of this piety, -- the tears of confession, Thy sacrifice, a troubled spirit, |a broken and a contrite heart,| the salvation of the people, the espoused city, the earnest of the Holy Ghost, the cup of our redemption. No man sings there, Shall not my soul be subject unto God? For of Him cometh my salvation, for He is my God and my salvation, my defender, I shall not be further moved. No one there hears Him calling, |Come unto me all ye that labour.| They scorn to learn of Him, because He is meek and lowly of heart; for |Thou hast hid those things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.| For it is one thing, from the mountain's wooded summit to see the land of peace, and not to find the way thither, -- in vain to attempt impassable ways, opposed and waylaid by fugitives and deserters, under their captain the |lion| and the |dragon;| and another to keep to the way that leads thither, guarded by the host of the heavenly general, where they rob not who have deserted the heavenly army, which they shun as torture. These things did in a wonderful manner sink into my bowels, when I read that |least of Thy apostles,| and had reflected upon Thy works, and feared greatly.

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