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St. Augustine Quotes

44 of the best book quotes from St. Augustine
  1. #1
    “If any one attributes their existence to fate, because he calls the will or the power of God itself by the name of fate, let him keep his opinion, but correct his language.”
  2. #2
    “Like a good servant, Job counted the will of his Lord his great possession, by obedience to which his soul was enriched; nor did it grieve him to lose, while yet living, those goods which he must shortly leave at his death.”
  3. #3
    “It is a great question among men, whether man can be mortal and blessed.”
  4. #4
    “God is always trying to give good things to us, but our hands are too full to receive them.”
  5. #5
    “Though good and bad men suffer alike, we must not suppose that there is no difference between the men themselves.”
  6. #6
    “The bodies of irrational animals are bent toward the ground, whereas man was made to walk erect with his eyes on heaven, as though to remind him to keep his thoughts on things above.”
  7. #7
    “They have made Virtue also a goddess, which, indeed, if it could be a goddess, had been preferable to many. And now, because it is not a goddess, but a gift of God, let it be obtained by prayer from Him, by whom alone it can be given.”
  8. #8
    “I do not know what ages passed before the human race was created, yet I have no doubt that no created thing is co-eternal with the Creator.”
  9. #9
    “For as the same fire causes gold to glow brightly, and chaff to smoke; and under the same flail the straw is beaten small, while the grain is cleansed.”
  10. #10
    “And thus it is that in the same affliction the wicked detest God . . . while the good pray and praise.”
  11. #11
    “In a word, human kingdoms are established by divine providence.”
  1. #12
    “Beauty is indeed a good gift of God; but that the good may not think it a great good, God dispenses it even to the wicked.”
  2. #13
    “The desire for fame tempts even noble minds.”
  3. #14
    “Thus, a good man, though a slave, is free; but a wicked man, though a king, is a slave. For he serves, not one man alone, but what is worse, as many masters as he has vices.”
  4. #15
    “There are three things which every artificer must possess if he is to effect anything,—nature, education, practice. Nature is to be judged by capacity, education by knowledge, practice by its fruit.”
  5. #16
    “Thus, though it is not every creature that can be blessed (for beasts, trees, stones, and things of that kind have not this capacity), yet that creature which has the capacity cannot be blessed of itself, since it is created out of nothing, but only by Him by whom it has been created.”
  6. #17
    “For even in the likeness of the sufferings, there remains an unlikeness in the sufferers; and though exposed to the same anguish, virtue and vice are not the same thing.”
  7. #18
    “The place and time of these miracles are dependent on His unchangeable will, in which things future are ordered as if already they were accomplished.”
  8. #19
    “Every city is a living body.”
  9. #20
    “As to those feebler spirits who, though they cannot be said to prefer earthly possessions to Christ, do yet cleave to them with a somewhat immoderate attachment, they have discovered by the pain of losing these things how much they were sinning in loving them. For their grief is of their own making.”
  10. #21
    “My God, you had mercy on me even before I had confessed to you; but I now confess that all this was because I tried to find you, not through the understanding of the mind, by which you meant us to be superior to the beasts, but through the sense of the flesh.”
  11. #22
    “Let the strong and mighty laugh at men like me: let us, the weak and the poor, confess our sins to you.”

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  1. #23
    “But my sin was this, that I looked for pleasure, beauty, and truth not in him but in myself and his other creatures, and the search led me instead to pain, confusion, and error.”
  2. #24
    “You alone are the life which never dies and the wisdom that needs no light besides itself, but illumines all who need to be enlightened, the wisdom that governs the world, down to the leaves that flutter on the trees.”
  3. #25
    “Tears alone were sweet to me, for in my heart’s desire they had taken the place of my friend.”
  4. #26
    “All who know the truth know this Light, and all who know this Light know eternity.”
  5. #27
    “I learned it without being forced by threats of punishment, because it was my own wish to be able to give expression to my thoughts.”
  6. #28
    “Where could my heart find refuge from itself? Where could I go, yet leave myself behind? Was there any place where I should not be a prey to myself? None.”
  7. #29
    “I lived in misery, like every man whose soul is tethered by the love of things that cannot last and then is agonized to lose them.”
  8. #30
    “But we did not relinquish out worldly aims, because we could not see the light of any truth that we might grasp in place of them.”
  9. #31
    “All these things, and their like can be occasions of sin because, good though they are, they are of the lowest order of good, and if we are too much tempted by them we abandon those higher and better things, your truth, your law, and you yourself, O Lord our God.”
  10. #32
    “My sorrows are evil and they are at strife with joys that are good, and I cannot tell which will gain the victory.”
  11. #33
    “We can see from this that the soul is weak and helpless unless it clings to the firm rock of truth. Men give voice to their opinions, but they are only opinions, like so many puffs of wind that waft the soul hither and tither and make it veer and turn.”
  1. #34
    “Who can recall to me the sins I committed as a baby? For in your sight no man is free from sin, not even a child who has lived only one day on earth.”
  2. #35
    “What an abomination! What a parody of life! What abysmal death! Could I enjoy doing wrong for no other reason than that it was wrong?”
  3. #36
    “Even when I bore the pain of my search valiantly, in silence, the mute sufferings of my soul were loud voices calling to your mercy. You knew what I endured, but no man knew.”
  4. #37
    “They have no knowledge of the thoughts in his mind, but they are in love with their own opinions, not because they are true, but because they are their own […] If, on the other hand, they love them because they are true, they are both theirs and mine, for they are the common property of all lovers of the truth.”
  5. #38
    “All my empty dreams suddenly lost their charm and my heart began to throb with a bewildering passion for the wisdom of eternal truth.”
  6. #39
    “The more unscrupulous I was, the greater my reputation was likely to be, for men are so blind that they even take pride in their blindness.”
  7. #40
    “The truth, of course, was that it was all my own self, and my own impiety had divided me against myself. My sin was all the more incurable because I did not think myself a sinner.”
  8. #41
    “My inner self was a house divided against itself.”
  9. #42
    “Grief eats away its heart for the loss of things which it took pleasure in desiring, because it wants to be like you, from whom nothing can be taken away.”
  10. #43
    “Even though it clings to things of beauty, if their beauty is outside God and outside the soul, it only clings to sorrow.”
  11. #44
    “True happiness is to rejoice in the truth, for to rejoice in the truth is to rejoice in you, O God, who are the Truth, you, my God, my true Light, to whom I look for salvation.”

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