Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Actual Subject of Augustin's "Autobiography"

B. B. Warfield:
His actual subject is not himself, but the goodness of God; and he [Augustin] introduces his own experiences only as the most lively of illustrations of the dealings of God with the human soul as he makes it restless until it finds its rest in him. 
A little further on, after discussing how the Confessions of Augustin are in a different class from Rousseau's Confessions, Warfield makes a nearer generic comparison to bring out what sort of book the Confessions is:
 The closest analogy to Augustine's Confessions, among books, at least, which have attained anything like the same popular influence, is furnished by John Bunan's Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners. Bunyan's purpose is precisely the same as Augustine's—to glorify the grace of God.
Furthermore, he says:
The interval that divides Augustine's Confessions from the Pilgrim's Progress is less than that which separates them from any simple autobiography—veracious and searching autobiography though a great portion of it is. For the whole concernment of the book is with the grace of God to a lost sinner. It is this, and not himself, that is its theme. 
—"Augustine and his 'Confessions,'" in The Works of Benjamin B. WarfieldStudies in Tertullian and Augustine (vol. 4; Grand Rapids: Baker, 2003), 240241.

No comments:

Post a Comment