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Chapter 48.—Augustin Prays that the Manichæans May Be Restored to Their Senses.

O great is Thy patience, Lord, full of compassion and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy, and true;11351135     Ps. ciii. 8. who makest Thy sun to rise upon the good and the evil, and who sendest rain upon the just and the unjust;11361136     Matt. v. 45. who willest not the death of the sinner, so much as that he return and live;11371137     Ezek. xxxiii. 11. who 365reproving in parts, dost give place to repentance, that wickedness having been abandoned, they may believe on Thee, O Lord;11381138     Wisd. xii. 2. who by Thy patience dost lead to repentance, although many according to the hardness of their heart and their impenitent heart treasure up for themselves wrath against the day of wrath and of the revelation of Thy righteous judgment, who wilt render to every man according to his works;11391139     Rom. ii. 4-6. who in the day when a man shall have turned from his iniquity to Thy mercy and truth, wilt forget all his iniquities:11401140     Ezek. xviii. 21.   stand before us, grant unto us that through our ministry, by which Thou hast been pleased to refute this execrable and too horrible error, as many have already been liberated, many also may be liberated, and whether through the sacrament of Thy holy baptism, or through the sacrifice of a broken spirit and a contrite and humbled heart,11411141     Ps. li. 17. in the sorrow of repentance, they may deserve to receive the remission of their sins and blasphemies, by which through ignorance they have offended Thee.  For nothing is of any avail, save Thy surpassing mercy and power, and the truth of Thy baptism, and the keys of the kingdom of heaven in Thy holy Church; so that we must not despair of men as long as by Thy patience they live on this earth, who even knowing how great an evil it is to think or to say such things about Thee, are detained in that malign profession on account of the use or the attainment of temporal or earthly convenience, if rebuked by Thy reproaches they in any way flee to Thy ineffable goodness, and prefer to all the enticements of the carnal life, the heavenly and eternal life.


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