The Conversion of St Augustine
By all accounts, Augustine’s conversion story is very inspiring and educative as to the journey to salvation and the humble and arduous exercise of piety. To Philip Schaff, “If ever there was a thorough and fruitful conversion, next to that of Paul on the way to Damascus, it was that of Augustin.”  Augustine’s moment of conversion seems a fitting result of his life’s journey; both his experiences and the people around him were powerful instruments of divine sovereignty to renew him unto God.
The sheer size and depth of his literary legacy attests of his proficiency to thinking and meditating. It will be little surprise that he finds himself shaped by many encounters, books and messages. Such were the cases for his in-depth analysis of his sins: theft with companions, deception of others, sensual debauchery, etc. The spirit of these excesses and deviations was a consistent self-abandonment; “Behold, now, let my heart tell Thee what it was seeking there, that I should be gratuitously wanton, having no inducement to evil but the evil itself. It was foul, and I loved it. I loved to perish. I loved my own error—not that for which I erred, but the error itself.”  His education and learning experiences equipped him in the areas of Latin, rhetoric, Christianity and a variety of pagan beliefs and practices; in short, a thinker in the making.
Following are key figures of his acceptance of Christ. First was Bishop Ambrose who brought the Bible truth into Augustine’s intellectual arena: rhetoric and logic. This encounter had a profound impact in him and paved the way for his confrontations with the Manicheans, the Pelagians, the astrologers and the Platonists. Then, at the feet of his spiritual father, Simplicianus, he came to discover the exaltation of God most expressed in the conversion of the sinner. Then in a moment of intense distress as he was “weeping in the most bitter contrition of [his] heart,”  he found grace in the words of Paul in Romans 13:13-14, “Not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying; but put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” From these was “security infused in [his] heart”  unto saving faith. It is undeniable that another major influence in his conversion was the faithfulness and diligence of his mother. As Schaff puts it, “A son of so many prayers and tears could not be lost.” 
 Philip Schaff, The Confessions and Letters of St. Augustine, with a Sketch of his Life and Work Volume 1 (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Publishing Company), Prolegomena, Chap II.
 Ibid., Book II, Chap IV.
 Ibid., Book VIII, Chap XII.
 Ibid., Prolegomena, Chap II.
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