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The Confessions And Letters Of St by St. Augustine

Chapter IV.--He Shows by the Example of Victorinus that There is More Joy in the Conversion of Nobles.

9. Haste, Lord, and act; stir us up, and call us back; inflame us, and draw us to Thee; stir us up, and grow sweet unto us; let us now love Thee, let us |run after Thee.| Do not many men, out of a deeper hell of blindness than that of Victorinus, return unto Thee, and approach, and are enlightened, receiving that light, which they that receive, receive power from Thee to become Thy sons? But if they be less known among the people, even they that know them joy less for them. For when many rejoice together, the joy of each one is the fuller in that they are incited and inflamed by one another. Again, because those that are known to many influence many towards salvation, and take the lead with many to follow them. And, therefore, do they also who preceded them much rejoice in regard to them, because they rejoice not in them alone. May it be averted that in Thy tabernacle the persons of the rich should be accepted before the poor, or the noble before the ignoble; since rather |Thou hast chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hast Thou chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to naught things that are.| And yet, even that |least of the apostles,| by whose tongue Thou soundest out these words, when Paulus the proconsul -- his pride overcome by the apostle's warfare -- was made to pass under the easy yoke of Thy Christ, and became a provincial of the great King, -- he also, instead of Saul, his former name, desired to be called Paul, in testimony of so great a victory. For the enemy is more overcome in one of whom he hath more hold, and by whom he hath hold of more. But the proud hath he more hold of by reason of their nobility; and by them of more, by reason of their authority. By how much the more welcome, then, was the heart of Victorinus esteemed, which the devil had held as an unassailable retreat, and the tongue of Victorinus, with which mighty and cutting weapon he had slain many; so much the more abundantly should Thy sons rejoice, seeing that our King hath bound the strong man, and they saw his vessels taken from him and cleansed, and made meet for Thy honour, and become serviceable for the Lord unto every good work.
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