The Confessions of Saint Augustine HTML version

Book X
Let me know Thee, O Lord, who knowest me: let me know Thee, as I am known. Power
of my soul, enter into it, and fit it for Thee, that Thou mayest have and hold it without
spot or wrinkle. This is my hope, therefore do I speak; and in this hope do I rejoice, when
I rejoice healthfully. Other things of this life are the less to be sorrowed for, the more
they are sorrowed for; and the more to be sorrowed for, the less men sorrow for them. For
behold, Thou lovest the truth, and he that doth it, cometh to the light. This would I do in
my heart before Thee in confession: and in my writing, before many witnesses.
And from Thee, O Lord, unto whose eyes the abyss of man's conscience is naked, what
could be hidden in me though I would not confess it? For I should hide Thee from me,
not me from Thee. But now, for that my groaning is witness, that I am displeased with
myself, Thou shinest out, and art pleasing, and beloved, and longed for; that I may be
ashamed of myself, and renounce myself, and choose Thee, and neither please Thee nor
myself, but in Thee. To Thee therefore, O Lord, am I open, whatever I am; and with what
fruit I confess unto Thee, I have said. Nor do I it with words and sounds of the flesh, but
with the words of my soul, and the cry of the thought which Thy ear knoweth. For when I
am evil, then to confess to Thee is nothing else than to be displeased with myself; but
when holy, nothing else than not to ascribe it to myself: because Thou, O Lord, blessest
the godly, but first Thou justifieth him when ungodly. My confession then, O my God, in
Thy sight, is made silently, and not silently. For in sound, it is silent; in affection, it cries
aloud. For neither do I utter any thing right unto men, which Thou hast not before heard
from me; nor dost Thou hear any such thing from me, which Thou hast not first said unto
What then have I to do with men, that they should hear my confessions- as if they could
heal all my infirmities- a race, curious to know the lives of others, slothful to amend their
own? Why seek they to hear from me what I am; who will not hear from Thee what
themselves are? And how know they, when from myself they hear of myself, whether I
say true; seeing no man knows what is in man, but the spirit of man which is in him? But
if they hear from Thee of themselves, they cannot say, "The Lord lieth." For what is it to
hear from Thee of themselves, but to know themselves? and who knoweth and saith, "It is
false," unless himself lieth? But because charity believeth all things (that is, among those
whom knitting unto itself it maketh one), I also, O Lord, will in such wise confess unto
Thee, that men may hear, to whom I cannot demonstrate whether I confess truly; yet they
believe me, whose ears charity openeth unto me.
But do Thou, my inmost Physician, make plain unto me what fruit I may reap by doing it.
For the confessions of my past sins, which Thou hast forgiven and covered, that Thou
mightest bless me in Thee, changing my soul by Faith and Thy Sacrament, when read and
heard, stir up the heart, that it sleep not in despair and say "I cannot," but awake in the
love of Thy mercy and the sweetness of Thy grace, whereby whoso is weak, is strong,
when by it he became conscious of his own weakness. And the good delight to hear of the
past evils of such as are now freed from them, not because they are evils, but because