Chapter 28, paragraph 55.
Therefore, although here one thing led us to
another, still I do like to spend some time on a discussion which serves to
teach the soul the lesson that it must not fall back on the senses any more
than necessity demands; but it should rather retire into itself, away from
the senses, and become a child of God again. This is what it means to
become a new man by putting off the old. To undertake this is
absolutely necessary because of the neglect of God's law: Sacred Scripture
contains no greater truth, none more profound. I would like to say
more about this point and tie myself down while I am, as it were, laying
down the law to you, so that my one and only concern might be to render an
account of myself to myself, to whom I am above all responsible, and thus to
become to God, as Horace says, like "a slave who is his master's friend."
This is an achievement that is utterly impossible unless we remake ourselves
in His image, the image He committed to our care as something most precious
and dear, when He gave us to ourselves so constituted that nothing can take
precedence to us save He Himself.
But to my mind this calls for action
than which is none more laborious, none that is more akin to inaction, for
it is such as the soul cannot begin or complete except with the help of Him
to whom it yields itself. Hence it is that man's reformation is
dependent on the mercy of him to whose goodness and power he owes his