On Free Choice of the Will.
"Evodius. Tell me, please, whether God is not the
cause of evil.
Augustine. I shall, if you will explain what kind of evil
you mean. For we usually speak of evil in two senses: one when we
mean that someone has done evil; the other, when we mean
that someone has suffered evil."1a
"No part of truth is ever made the private property of
anyone; rather, it is entirely common to all at the same
" . . . [W]e
do not sin by necessity but by free will." 1c
" . . . [A]
wicked will is the cause of all evil." 1d
" . . .
[I]f I am deceived, I am. For he
who does not exist cannot be deceived; and if I am deceived, by
this same token I am."2a
" . . . [I]t is not correct to say there are three periods of
time: past, present and future. . . For these three are in
the soul . . . : the present of things past is in the memory;
the present of things present is immediate vision; the
present of future things is expectation."2b
"'The wicked walk in a circle.'"2c*[Contrast
with Ecclesiastes 3:15-16.]
1 Saint Augustine
On Free Choice of the
Translated by Anna S. Benjamin and L.H. Hackstaff. With an
Introduction by L.H. Hackstaff. Englewood, NJ: Prentice-Hall,
a Book I, at 3.
b Book I, at 8.
c Book III, at 90.
d Book III, at 126
2nd ed. Selected and with Commentary by Vernon J. Bourke. Vernon
J. Bourke, 1964-1974. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Publishing
a If I am Deceived, I Exist, at 33. Source of the
translation: City of God, XI, 26; trans. The Works of
Aurelius Augustinus, ed. Marcus Dods, 15 vols, Edinburgh: T.
& T. Clark Co., 1871-1876. Revised by Vernon J. Bourke.
b What Is Time?, at 233. Source of the translation: Confessions,
XI, 14.17-30.40; trans. Fathers of the Church, ed. R.J.
Deferrari et al., Washington: Catholic University of America
Press, 1948-1962, 5 (1953), 343-365.
c Critique of Cyclicism, at 243. Source of the
translation: City of God, XII, 13-15; trans. The Works
of Aurelius Augustinus, ed. Marcus Dods, 15 vols, Edinburgh:
T. & T. Clark Co., 1871-1876.