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PREFACE

I FORMERLY published, at the instance of certain of my brethren, a little work, in which, assuming the person of one who by silent reasoning with himself is searching for a knowledge he does not yet possess, I gave an example of the manner in which we may meditate concerning the grounds of our faith. But afterwards, when I considered that this work was put together by the interweaving of a great number of arguments, I began to ask myself whether there might not perhaps be found some one argument which should have no need of any other argument beside itself to prove it, and might suffice by itself to demonstrate that God really exists and is the Supreme Good, which needeth nothing beside itself to give it being or well-being, but without which nothing else can have either the one or the other; and whereof all other things are true which we believe concerning the divine essence. 4And when after many times earnestly directing my thoughts to this matter, it sometimes seemed to me that what I sought was just within my grasp, but sometimes that it eluded my mind’s sight altogether, at last I resolved in despair to renounce the search for a thing, the discovery whereof was beyond my powers. But this train of thought, so soon as I desired to lay it aside lest it should hinder my mind while vainly occupied therein from attending to other matters which might be more profitable to me, at once began to press itself as it were importunately upon me, unwilling and reluctant as I was to entertain it. And so one day, when I was wearied out with violently resisting this importunity, in the midst of the struggle of my thoughts, there so presented itself to me the very thing which I had given up hope of finding, that I hastened to embrace that very train of thought which I was but a moment ago anxiously thrusting from me. Thinking therefore that if I wrote down what I so greatly rejoiced to have found, it would please others who might read it, I wrote the following little work, treating of this and of some other matters, in the character of one striving to raise his thoughts to the contemplation of God and seeking to understand what he already believes. And because neither this nor the other treatise which I mentioned before, seemed to me worthy to be called a book or to have the writer’s name set in the front of it, and yet I thought I must 5not let them go without some title to invite those to read into whose hands they might come, I gave a name to each, calling the former An example of meditation on the grounds of faith and the latter Faith in search of Understanding. But, when both had been often transcribed under these titles by divers persons, was constrained by many and especially by Hugh the reverend Archbishop of Lyons and Legate of the Apostolic See in Gaul, who laid his commands upon me in virtue of his apostolical authority, to prefix my name to them. And so that this might be done more fittingly, I have called the former Monologion, that is, The Soliloquy, and this Proslogion, that is, The Address.

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