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I am trying to find the source or reference for the following quote by St. Augustine of Hippo (P. S.: I translated this from Arabic, so the verbatim of the English version must be different):

We thank the heretics and "innovators" for what they brought of heresies and doubts against the scripture (bible), that made us understand deeply the scripture, and gain strength in knowledge, and discover treasures that we would not have discovered.

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  • Here is a link to 8 volumes of Augustine's Writings. – Nigel J Aug 17 '20 at 12:02
  • This reminds me of Gaudium et spes's claim that "the Church admits that she has greatly profited and still profits from the antagonism of those who oppose or who persecute her." – remline Aug 19 '20 at 20:46
  • @remline Yes, "profited" in the good sense, as in God's plan was complete by Judas' betrayal, but that doesn't excuse Judas from the sin he committed. Only God turns bad situations to the benefit of His children. – Mike Aug 20 '20 at 17:03
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    This quote was mentioned in a Protestant Reformed College in Edinburgh years ago: "Even those who cannot always be thanked for their answers may at least be thanked for their questions." No source given, that I know of, but your question instantly reminded me of it. Many a heretic has raised questions that rightly got Christians thinking how to answer, in order to refute the heresy! – Anne Aug 20 '20 at 17:49
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I found out that it is not an exact quote, but like a summary of an article published in:

"St. Augustine: Sermons for Christmas and Epiphany"

Publisher: Longmans, Green And Co., 1952, P. 35

Article: The good that comes of heretics. The good that came through the traitor Judas.

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