Augustine, Confessions. Books 1–8

LCL 26: 4-5

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aut quomodo credent sine praedicante? et laudabunt dominum qui requirunt eum: quaerentes enim inveniunt eum et invenientes laudabunt eum. quaeram te, domine, invocans te et invocem te credens in te: praedicatus enim es nobis. invocat te, domine, fides mea, quam dedisti mihi, quam inspirasti mihi per humanitatem filii tui, per ministerium praedicatoris tui.

2. (2) Et quomodo invocabo deum meum, deum et dominum meum, quoniam utique in me ipsum eum vocabo, cum invocabo eum? et quis locus est in me quo veniat in me deus meus, quo deus veniat in me, deus qui fecit caelum et terram? itane, domine deus meus? est quicquam in me quod capiat te? an vero caelum et terra, quae fecisti et in quibus me fecisti, capiunt te? an quia sine te non esset quidquid est, fit ut quidquid est capiat te? quoniam itaque et ego sum, quid peto ut venias in me, qui non essem nisi esses in me? non enim ego iam inferi,1 et tamen etiam ibi es, nam etsi descendero in infernum, ades. non ergo essem, deus meus, non omnino essem, nisi esses in me. an potius non essem nisi essem in te, ex quo omnia, per quem omnia, in quo omnia? etiam sic, domine, etiam sic. quo te invoco, cum in te sim? aut unde venias in me? quo enim recedam extra caelum et terram, ut inde in me veniat deus meus, qui dixit, “caelum et terram ego impleo”?



they believe without a preacher?6Rom 10:14 Those who seek the Lord will praise him: those who search, find himMt 7:7; and when they have found him they will praise him. So let me seek you, Lord, while I invoke you in prayer; and let me invoke you while I believe in you. You have been preached to me. That faith of mine, Lord, which you have given to me, which you breathed into me by the incarnation of your Son, invokes you in prayer through the ministry of your preacher.

2. (2) And how shall I invoke my God, my God and my LordJn 20:28, in prayer? Certainly, when I do invoke him in prayer, I shall be summoning him into my very being. What place is there in me where my God may enter in, where that same God who made heaven and earthGn 1:1 may enter into me? Is it so, O Lord my God? Is there any part of me capable of encompassing you? Or is it the case that heaven and earth, which you made, and in which you made me, encompass you? Is it the case that because whatever exists would not exist but for you, whatever exists must contain you? Therefore since I too exist, why do I ask you to enter into me, when I would not exist but for your presence in me? After all, I am no longer in HellPs 86:13; and yet there too you are present: for even if I go down into Hell, you are therePs 139:8. So I would not exist, my God, I would not exist at all, unless you existed in me. Or rather, I would not exist unless I existed in you, by whom everything is, and through whom everything is, and in whom everything isRom 11:36. So it is, Lord, so it is. How am I to invoke you in prayer when I exist within you? Where would you come from, into me? Where would I have to withdraw to, beyond heaven and earth, to reach a place from which my God could enter into me?—for he declares, “I fill heaven and earth.”Jer 23:24

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.augustine-confessions_2014.2014