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By Saint Augustine, Henry Chadwick

The son of a pagan father and a Christian mom, Saint Augustine spent his early years torn among conflicting faiths and international perspectives. His Confessions, written whilst he was once in his forties, recount how, slowly and painfully, he got here to show clear of his younger principles and licentious way of life, to develop into in its place a staunch suggest of Christianity and one among its so much influential thinkers. A remarkably sincere and revealing non secular autobiography, the Confessions also deal with primary problems with Christian doctrine, and plenty of of the prayers and meditations it comprises are nonetheless an essential component of the perform of Christianity today.

For greater than seventy years, Penguin has been the top writer of vintage literature within the English-speaking international. With greater than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents an international bookshelf of the simplest works all through background and throughout genres and disciplines. Readers belief the series to supply authoritative texts improved via introductions and notes through extraordinary students and modern authors, in addition to up-to-date translations via award-winning translators.

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Extra info for Confessions

Sample text

These facts alone are ample evidence of the continued and widespread interest in Saint Augustine, for few books have been translated so often into so many languages. In preparing this translation I decided at the outset to use ‘you’ rather than ‘thou’. Although the Confessions, as might be expected, are written in the form of prayer, it seemed to me that in a work of this length it would merely be tiresome to retain the conventional usage. For the sake of consistency I have also taken the liberty of changing ‘thou’ to ‘you’ in the quotations from Scripture.

1 Speak so that I may hear your words. My heart has ears ready to listen to you, Lord. Open them wide and whisper in my heart, I am here to save you. I shall hear your voice and make haste to clasp you to myself. Do not hide your face away from me, for I would gladly meet my death to see it, since not to see it would be death indeed. My soul is like a house, small for you to enter, but I pray you to enlarge it. It is in ruins, but I ask you to remake it. It contains much that you will not be pleased to see: this I know and do not hide.

And if my wishes were not carried out, either because they had not been understood or because what I wanted would have harmed me, I would get cross with my elders, who were not at my beck and call, and with people who were not my servants, simply because they did not attend to my wishes; and I would take my revenge by bursting into tears. By watching babies I have learnt that this is how they behave, and they, quite unconsciously, have done more than those who brought me up and knew all about it to convince me that I behaved in just the same way myself.

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