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“Augustine on His Conversion”
From Confessions 8. 12. 28-30
Click here to read at earlychurchtexts.com in the original Latin (with dictionary lookup links). The English translation below is from the NPNF series.earlychurchtexts.com
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28. But when a profound reflection had, from the secret depths of my soul, drawn together and heaped up all my misery before the sight of my heart, there arose a mighty storm, accompanied by as mighty a shower of tears. Which, that I might pour forth fully, with its natural expressions, I stole away from Alypius; for it suggested itself to me that solitude was fitter for the business of weeping. So I retired to such a distance that even his presence could not be oppressive to me. Thus was it with me at that time, and he perceived it; for something, I believe, I had spoken, wherein the sound of my voice appeared choked with weeping, and in that state had I risen up. He then remained where we had been sitting, most completely astonished. I flung myself down, how, I know not, under a certain fig-tree, giving free course to my tears, and the streams of mine eyes gushed out, an acceptable sacrifice unto Thee. And, not indeed in these words, yet to this effect, spake I much unto Thee,—“But Thou, O Lord, how long?” “How long, Lord? Wilt Thou be angry for ever? Oh, remember not against us former iniquities;” for I felt that I was enthralled by them. I sent up these sorrowful cries,—“How long, how long? Tomorrow, and tomorrow? Why not now? Why is there not this hour an end to my uncleanness?”
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original Latin text
Monica and Augustine's conversion
Conversion of Saint Augustine
Patrologiae Latinae Cursus Completus
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