In this Book VIII Augustine has finally removed all doubts that God does indeed have "spiritual substance" - meaning that He does exist in an immaterial way. That this substance is the beginning of all things now seems evident to him. The idea that God isn't limited by the spatial relationships that everything on Earth is limited by is finally resolved in Augustine's mind. Now that he has resolved some of his philosophical issues about God, he hopes that he can be firmer in his practice of morality.
Augustine visited an aged and highly venerated priest of Milan named Simplicianus who had baptized the Bishop Ambrose. Augustine tells Simplicianus of his theological agonies, and Simplicianus replies by telling Augustine the story of Victorinus, a famous and erudite translator of Neoplatonic books. Augustine had been reading some of these books recently. In his seventies, Victorinus converted to the Catholic faith. Augustine was deeply affected by this story because Victorinus was as educated and intellectual a man as ever became a Christian. The fact that a man of such philosophical and intellectual prowess would come to the faith emboldened Augustine to do the same. Augustine says he was "ardent to follow [Victorinus'] example."
At this time Augustine's friends Nebridius and Alypius were also trying to establish a