For this space of nine years (from my nineteenth year to my eight-and-twentieth) we lived seduced and seducing, deceived and
deceiving, in divers lusts; openly, by sciences which they call liberal; secretly, with a false-named religion; here proud,
there superstitious, every where vain. Here, hunting after the emptiness of popular praise, down even to theatrical applauses,
and poetic prizes, and strifes for grassy garlands, and the follies of shows, and the intemperance of desires.
There, desiring to be cleansed from these defilements, by carrying food to those who were called “elect” and “holy,” out
of which, in the workhouse of their stomachs, they should forge for us Angels and Gods, by whom we might be cleansed. These
things did I follow, and practise with my friends, deceived by me, and with me. Let the arrogant mock me, and such as have
not been, to their soul's health, stricken and cast down by Thee, O my God; but I would still confess to Thee mine own shame
praise. Suffer me, I beseech Thee, and give me grace to go over in my present remembrance the wanderings of my forepassed
time, and to offer unto Thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving. For what am I to myself without Thee, but a guide to mine own
downfall? or what am I even at the best, but an infant sucking the milk Thou givest, and feeding upon Thee, the food that
perisheth not? But what sort of man is any man, seeing he is but a man? Let now the strong and the mighty laugh at us, but
poor and needy confess unto Thee.