St. Augustine of Hippo Quotes

The dominion of bad men is hurtful chiefly to themselves who rule, for they destroy their own souls by greater license in wickedness; while those who are put under them in service are not hurt except by their own iniquity. For to the just all the evils imposed on them by unjust rulers are not the punishment of crime, but the test of virtue. Therefore the good man, although he is a slave, is free; but the bad man, even if he reigns, is a slave, and that not of one man, but, what is far more grievous, of as many masters as he has vices; of which vices when the divine Scripture treats, it says, For of whom any man is overcome, to the same he is also the bond-slave.

St. Augustine of Hippo

Thus, in this universal catastrophe, the sufferings of Christians have tended to their moral improvement, because they viewed them with eyes of faith.

St. Augustine of Hippo

Wherefore, though good and bad men suffer alike, we must not suppose that there is no difference between the men themselves, because there is no difference in what they both suffer. 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. 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; and as the lees are not mixed with the oil, though squeezed out of the vat by the same pressure, so the same violence of affliction proves, purges, clarifies the good, but damns, ruins, exterminates the wicked. And thus it is that in the same affliction the wicked detest God and blaspheme, while the good pray and praise. So material a difference does it make, not what ills are suffered, but what kind of man suffers them. For, stirred up with the same movement, mud exhales a horrible stench, and ointment emits a fragrant odor.

St. Augustine of Hippo

To the divine providence it has seemed good to prepare in the world to come for the righteous good things, which the unrighteous shall not enjoy; and for the wicked evil things, by which the good shall not be tormented. But as for the good things of this life, and its ills, God has willed that these should be common to both; that we might not too eagerly covet the things which wicked men are seen equally to enjoy, nor shrink with an unseemly fear from the ills which even good men often suffer. There is, too, a very great difference in the purpose served both by those events which we call adverse and those called prosperous. For the good man is neither uplifted with the good things of time, nor broken by its ills; but the wicked man, because he is corrupted by this worlds happiness, feels himself punished by its unhappiness.

St. Augustine of Hippo

You called and cried out loud and shattered my deafness. You were radiant and resplendent, you put to flight my blindness. You were fragrant, and I drew in my breath and now pant after you. I tasted you, and I feel but hunger and thirst for you. You touched me, and I am set on fire to attain the peace which is yours.

St. Augustine of Hippo

There is another form of temptation, more complex in its peril. It originates in an appetite for knowledge. From this malady of curiosity are all those strange sights exhibited in the theatre. Hence do we proceed to search out the secret powers of nature (which is beside our end), which to know profits not, and wherein men desire nothing but to know.

St. Augustine of Hippo

Give what you command, and command what you will. You impose continency on us.

St. Augustine of Hippo

Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient and ever new! Late have I loved you! And, behold, you were within me, and I out of myself, and there I searched for you.

St. Augustine of Hippo

But the inner part is the better part; for to it, as both ruler and judge, all these messengers of the senses report the answers of heaven and earth and all the things therein, who said, "We are not God, but he made us." My inner man knew these things through the ministry of the outer man, and I, the inner man, knew all this I, the soul, through the senses of my body. I asked the whole frame of earth about my God, and it answered, "I am not he, but he made me."

St. Augustine of Hippo

As a youth I prayed, "Give me chastity and continence, but not yet."

St. Augustine of Hippo

I read there [in "certain books of the Platonists"] that God the Word was born "not of flesh nor of blood, nor of the will of man, nor the will of the flesh, but of God." But, that "the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us" I found this nowhere there.

St. Augustine of Hippo

Already I had learned from thee that because a thing is eloquently expressed it should not be taken to be as necessarily true; nor because it is uttered with stammering lips should it be supposed false. Nor, again, is it necessarily true because rudely uttered, nor untrue because the language is brilliant. Wisdom and folly both are like meats that are wholesome and unwholesome, and courtly or simple words are like town-made or rustic vessels both kinds of food may be served in either kind of dish.

St. Augustine of Hippo

And these were the dishes wherein to me, hunger-starven for thee, they served up the sun and the moon.

St. Augustine of Hippo

I was not yet in love, yet I loved to love...I sought what I might love, in love with loving.

St. Augustine of Hippo

The weakness of little children's limbs is innocent, not their souls.

St. Augustine of Hippo
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