She will nourish and refresh them.”
“How, then, shall I respond to him who asks, 'What was God doing before he made heaven and earth?' I do not answer, as a certain one is reported to have done facetiously (shrugging off the force of the question). 'He was preparing hell,' he said, 'for those who pry too deep'. (Chapter XII, 14).
“ There was no time, therefore, when thou hadst not made anything, because thou hadst made time itself. (emphasis added) And there are no times that are coeternal with thee, because thou dost abide forever; but if times should abide, they would not be times.“For what is time? Who can easily and briefly explain it? Who can even comprehend it in thought or put the answer into words? Yet is it not true that in conversation we refer to nothing more familiarly or knowingly than time? And surely we understand it when we speak of it; we understand it also when we hear another speak of it.“What, then, is time? If no one asks me, I know what it is. If I wish to explain it to him who asks me, I do not know. Yet I say with confidence that I know that if nothing passed away, there would be no past time; and if nothing were still coming, there would be no future time; and if there were nothing at all, there would be no present time. (Chapter XIV, 17)
"Often a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other parts of the world, about the motions and orbits of the stars and even their sizes and distances,... and this knowledge he holds with certainty from reason and experience. It is thus offensive and disgraceful for an unbeliever to hear a Christian talk nonsense about such things, claiming that what he is saying is based in Scripture. We should do all that we can to avoid such an embarrassing situation, lest the unbeliever see only ignorance in the Christian and laugh to scorn."(De Genesi ad litteram; the Literal Meaning of Genesis, an unfinished work.)GOD AND THE BEAUTY OF CREATION—AN ARGUMENT FOR DESIGN?
Below are quotes revealing how Augustine reveled in the beauty of God's Creation, presenting arguments for a Creator that to me are even more powerful than the evidence of the red shift and the microwave background radiation.
“Look around; there are the heaven and the earth. They cry aloud that they were made, for they change and vary. Whatever there is that has not been made, and yet has being, has nothing in it that was not there before. This having something not already existent is what it means to be changed and varied. Heaven and earth thus speak plainly that they did not make themselves: 'We are, because we have been made; we did not exist before we came to be so that we could have made ourselves!' And the voice with which they speak is simply their visible presence. It was thou, O Lord, who madest these things. Thou art beautiful; thus they are beautiful. Thou art good, thus they are good. Thou art; thus they are. But they are not as beautiful, nor as good, nor as truly real as thou their Creator art. (emphasis added). Compared with thee, they are neither beautiful nor good, nor do they even exist. These things we know, thanks be to thee. Yet our knowledge is ignorance when it is compared with thy knowledge. (Confessions, Book 11, Chapter IV.)
“Now may our God be our hope. He Who made all things is better than all things. He Who made all beautiful things is more beautiful than all of them. He Who made all mighty things is more mighty than all of them. He Who made all great things is greater than all of them. Learn to love the Creator in His Creatures and the maker in what He has made.” (Commentary on Psalm 39, 9)
“Do you wish to receive? Then give! Do you wish to be forgiven? Then forgive! This is just a brief summary, Hear Christ say in another place 'Forgive and you shall be forgiven'. Forgive, give. And you shall be given what you desire—eternal life.” (Sermon 64-5; May 1st).
“Bad times! Troublesome times! This is what people are saying. Let our lives be good and the times will be good. For we make our own times. Such as we are, such are the times. What can we do? Maybe we cannot convert masses of people to a good life. But let the few who do hear live well. Let the few who live well endure the many who live badly.” (Sermon 30-8; July 4th).