An Analysis of the Supreme God in Confessions, a Book by Augustine of Hippo

Augustine asserts that knowledge of God is personal knowledge. This is something that a lot of Latter Day Saints would agree with. In the Church, we focus a lot on having your own personal testimony of the Gospel. In Augustine’s Confessions, he basically bears his testimony about what he has come to know to be true. It shows his personal experience with God and the journey of his own soul. These types of personal experiences from him and from others are very important because they can give new insights or help inspire another person.

In fact, Augustine had become converted partly because of a story he had heard of another person’s conversion. After that experience, he went on to become one of the most influential Christian philosophers. The supreme good for Augustine is eternal life. It is not something we can see. but something that we hope for and have faith in. Philosophers, on the other hand, would dismiss this idea of happiness because they cannot see it.

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Augustine also discusses the mistakes that can be made by human judges about whether or not a man is guilty of a crime even though he did not commit the crime in question. Often what would happen was that someone suspected of the crime would be tortured until he confessed to the crime.

A man would often do this just to make the torture stop. Augustine asserts that if this is what the judge must do, he would say to God, “’From my necessities deliver Thou me’“ (Augustine 11).

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Another main discussion point that Augustine takes on is that of peace. War is made to seek for peace. To seek for peace is an instinct of man. Jesus Christ was God who became man and became subject to human infirmities. Even though he was a God, he came and took the form of a servant and interposed himself that he might take us from a mortal state and place us in an immortal one. Since he dwelt here on the earth in a state similar to ours and was yet sinless, he can offer us divine help to cleanse us from our sins. Augustine reprimands Platonists for not acknowledging the divinity of Christ, yet choosing to believe that God’s grace has been given to a select few. He asserts that we have received God’s grace through the hope of God’s love which is Jesus Christ. Christ has the power to take us to the Father and obtain ultimate happiness. Augustine does believe that before the Creation, there had never been a man before. However, we know that man was created in God’s image. There is also the famous quote from Lorenzo Snow: “As man now is, God once was. As God now is, man may become.” We also know that the course of God is one eternal round, so his arguments against cyclical theories may not hold as much weight. However, Augustine is on point that religion (more specifically faith in Jesus Christ) provides true blessedness and eternal happiness.

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An Analysis of the Supreme God in Confessions, a Book by Augustine of Hippo. (2022, Jul 19). Retrieved from

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