Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers: Series I/Volume I/Confessions/Book VII/Chapter 11

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Chapter XI.—That Creatures are Mutable and God Alone Immutable.

17. And I viewed the other things below Thee, and perceived that they neither altogether are, nor altogether are not. They are, indeed, because they are from Thee; but are not, because they are not what Thou art. For that truly is which remains immutably.[1] It is good, then, for me to cleave unto God,[2] for if I remain not in Him, neither shall I in myself; but He, remaining in Himself, reneweth all things.[3] And Thou art the Lord my God, since Thou standest not in need of my goodness.[4]


  1. Therefore, he argues, is God called the I AM (De Nat. Boni, 19): for omnis mutatio facit non esse quod erat. Similarly, we find him speaking in his De Mor. Manich. (c. I.): “For that exists in the highest sense of the word which continues always the same, which is throughout like itself, which cannot in any part be corrupted or changed, which is not subject to time, which admits of no variation in its present as compared with its former condition. This is existence in its true sense.” See also note 3, p. 158.
  2. Ps. lxxiii. 28.
  3. Wisd. vii. 27.
  4. Ps. xvi. 2.