Augustine's convesion to Christianity took place shortly after his discovery of Neo-Platonism. that combined rational elements to emotional factors. When Augustine came to Milan he went to listen to Ambrose's preaching only for the purpose of listening how he expressed it rather than what he said. He went there not for the search of truth but solely to learn from his technique. However, he realized soon that he was listening to what Ambrose was saying. Ambrose's allegorical interpretations of the Old Testament solved many difficulties that stood in Augustine's way of Christian faith. Augustine had intellectually accepted the faith, but he refused to follow his mind because he was not ready for the life of continence. His Prayer was: "Grant me chastity and continence, but not yet." (Gonzalez pg. 22)
Augustine was led to shame, despair, and finally conversion by teh story of two cases in which others
had shown more courage than him. Marius Victorinus whom Augustine admired publicly confessed his Christian faith
after a long period of doubt. The other case was the story of two men who read the Life of Saint Anthony,
and decided to leave the worldly life to serve God. Augustine was so touched by the story that unable to take
the final step he ran to a garden and threw hiself down under a fig tree and cried:
How long, how long? To-morrow, and to-morrow? Why not now? Why is there not this hour an end to my uncleanness?
After his conversion Augustine, his son, and a friend returned to Milan,
where they were baptized by Ambrose.