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The Works of Philo


{**Yonge's title, A Treatise on the Doctrine that Dreams Are Sent from God.}


I. (1.1) The treatise before this one has contained our opinions on those visions sent from heaven which are classed under the first species; in reference to which subject we delivered our opinion that the Deity sent the appearances which are beheld by man in dreams in accordance with the suggestions of his own nature. But in this treatise we will, to the best of our power, describe those dreams which come under the second species. (1.2) Now the second species is that in which our mind, being moved simultaneously with the mind of the universe, has appeared to be hurried away by itself and to be under the influence of divine impulses, so as to be rendered capable of comprehending beforehand, and knowing by anticipation some of the events of the future. Now the first dream which is akin to the species which I have been describing, is that which appeared on the ladder which reached up to heaven, and which was of this kind. (1.3) "And Jacob dreamed, and behold a ladder was firmly planted on the earth, the head of which reached up to heaven; and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. And behold there was a ladder firmly planted on the earth, and the Lord was standing steadily upon it; and he said, I am the God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: be not afraid. The earth on which thou art sleeping I will give unto thee and unto thy seed, and thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and it shall be multiplied as the sand on the seashore, and shall spread to the south, and to the north, and to the east; and in thee shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed, and in thy seed also. And, behold, I am with thee, keeping thee in all thy ways, by whichever thou goest, and I will bring thee again into this land; because I will not leave thee until I have done everything which I have said unto Thee."{1}{genesis 28:12.} (1.4) But the previous considerations of the circumstances of this vision require that we should examine them with accuracy, and then perhaps we shall be able to comprehend what is indicated by the vision. What, then, are the previous circumstances? The scripture tells us, "And Jacob went up from the well of the oath, and came to Charran, and went into a place and lay down there until the sun arose. And he took one of the stones of the place and placed it at his head, and went to sleep in that place." And immediately afterwards came the dream. (1.5) Therefore it is well at the outset to raise a question on these three points:--One, What was the well of the oath, {2}{#ge 26:33.} and why was it called by this name? Secondly, What is Charran, and why, after Jacob had departed from the well beforementioned, did he immediately go to Charran? Thirdly, What was the place, and why, when he was in it, did the sun at once set, and did he go to sleep?

II. (1.6) Let us then at once begin and consider the first of these points. To me, then, the well appears to be an emblem of knowledge; for its nature is not superficial, but very deep. Nor does it lie in an open place, but a well is fond of being hidden somewhere in secret. Nor is it found with ease, but only after great labour and with difficulty; and this too is seen to be the case with sciences, not only with such as have great and indescribable subjects of speculation, but even with respect to such as are the most insignificant. (1.7) Choose, therefore, whichever art you please; not the most excellent, but even the must obscure of all, which perhaps no one who has been bred a free man in the whole city would ever study of his own accord, and which scarcely any servant in the field would attend to, who, against his will, was a slave to some morose and ill-tempered master who compelled him to do many unpleasant things. (1.8) For the matter will be found to be not a simple one, but rather one of great complications and variety, not easy to be seized upon, but difficult to discover, difficult to master, hostile to delay, and indolence and indifference, full of earnestness and contention, and sweat, and care. For which reason "those who dig in this well say that they cannot find even water in it;" because the ends of science are not only hard to discover, but are even altogether undiscoverable; (1.9) and it is owing to this that one man is more thoroughly skilled in grammar or in geometry than another, because of its being impossible to circumscribe, increase, and extend one within certain limits; for there is always more that is left behind than what comes to be learnt; and what is left watches for and catches the learner, so that even he who fancies that he has comprehended and mastered the very extremities of knowledge would be considered but half perfect by another person who was his judge, and if he were before the tribunal of truth would appear to be only beginning knowledge; (1.10) for life is short, as some one has said, but art is long; of which that man most thoroughly comprehends the magnitude, who sincerely and honestly plunges deeply into it, and who digs it out like a well. And such a man, when he is at the point of death, being now grey-headed and exceedingly old, it is said, wept, not that he feared death as being a coward, but out of a desire for instruction, as feeling that he was now, for the first time, entering upon it when he was finally departing from life. (1.11) For the soul flourishes for the pursuit of knowledge when the prime vigour of the body is withering away from the lapse of time; therefore, before one has arrived at one's prime and vigour by reason of a more accurate comprehension of things, it is not difficult to be tripped up. But this accident is common to all people who are fond of learning, to whom new subjects of contemplation are continually rising up and striving after old ones, the soul itself producing many such subjects when it is not barren and unproductive. And nature, also, unexpectedly and spontaneously displaying a great number to those who are gifted with acute and penetrating intellects. Therefore the well of knowledge is shown to be of this kind, having no boundary and no end. (1.12) We must now explain why it was called the well of the oath. Those matters which are doubted about are decided by an oath, and those which are uncertain are confirmed in the same manner, and so, too, those which want certification receive it; from which facts this inference is drawn, that there is no subject respecting which any one can make an affirmation with greater certainty than he can respecting the fact that the race of wisdom is without limitation and without end. (1.13) It is well, therefore, to enrol one's self under the banners of one who discusses these matters without an oath; but he who is not very much inclined to assent to the assertions of another will at least assent to them when he has made oath to their correctness. But let no one refuse to take an oath of this kind, well knowing that he will have his name inscribed on pillars among those who are faithful to their oaths.

III. (1.14) However, enough of this. The next thing must be to consider why it is that as four wells had been dug by the servants of Abraham and Isaac, the fourth and last was called the well of the oath. (1.15) May it not be that sacred historian here desires to represent, in a figurative manner, that as in the universe there are four elements of which this world is composed, and as there are an equal number in ourselves, of which we have been fashioned before we were moulded into our human shape, three of them are capable of being comprehended somehow or other, but the fourth is unintelligible to all who come forward as judges of it. (1.16) Accordingly, we find that the four elements in the world are the earth, and the water, and the air, and the heaven, of which, even if some are difficult to find, they are still not classed in the utterly undiscoverable portion. (1.17) For that the earth, because it is a heavy, and indissoluble, and solid substance, is divided into mountains and champaign districts, and intersected by rivers and seas, so that some portion of it consists of islands, and some portions are continent. And again, some of it has a shallow and some a deep soil; and some is rough, and rugged, and strong, and altogether barren; and some is smooth and delicate, and exceedingly fertile; and besides all these facts we know a great number of others relative to the earth. (1.18) And again, there is the water, which we know has many of the aforesaid qualities in common with the earth, and many also peculiar to itself; for some of it is sweet, and some brackish, and some is mixed up of various characteristics; and some is good to drink, and some is not drinkable; and, moreover, neither of these last qualities is invariable with respect to every creature, but there are some to which it is the one and not the other, and vice versa. Again, some water is by nature cold, and other water naturally hot; (1.19) for there is in all sorts of places an infinite number of springs pouring forth hot water, not on the land only but even in the sea: at all events, there have appeared before now veins pouring up warm water in the middle of the sea, which all the enormous efflux of salt water in all the sea that encircles the world, pouring over them from all eternity, has never been able to extinguish, nor even in the least degree to diminish. (1.20) Again, we know that the air has an attractive nature, yielding to such bodies as surround it in an altitude of resistance, being the organ of life, and breath, and sight, and hearing, and all the rest of the external senses, admitting of rarification, and condensation, and motion, and tranquillity, and changes, and variations of every kind, by which it is altered and modified, and generating summers and winters, and the seasons of autumn and spring, by means of which the circle of the year is the last brought to a conclusion.

IV. (1.21) All these things, then, we feel: but the heaven has a nature which is incomprehensible, and it has never conveyed to us any distinct indication by which we can understand its nature; for what can we say? that it is solid ice, as some persons have chosen to assert? or that it is the purest fire? or that it is a fifth body, moving in a circle having no participation in any of the four elements? For what can we say? Has that most remote sphere of the fixed stars any density in an upward direction? or is it merely a superficies devoid of all depth, something like a plane figure? (1.22) And what are the stars? Are they masses of earth full of fire? For some persons have said that they are hills, and valleys, and thickets, men who are worthy of a prison and a treadmill, or of any place where there are instruments proper for the punishment of impious persons; or are they, as some one has defined them, a continuous and dense harmony, the closely packed, indissoluble mass of aether? Again, are they animated and intelligent? or are they destitute alike of mind and vitality? Have they their motions in consequence of any choice of their own? or merely because they are compulsory? (1.23) What, again, are we to say of the moon? Does she show us a light of her own, or a borrowed and illegitimate one, only reflected from the rays of the sun? or is neither of these things true, but has she something mixed, as it were, so as to be a sort of combination of her own light and of that which belongs to some other body? For all these things, and others like them, belonging to the fourth and most excellent of the bodies in the world, namely, the heaven, are uncertain and incomprehensible, and are spoken of in accordance with conjectures and guesses, and not with the solid, certain reasoning of truth, (1.24) so that a person might venture to swear that no mortal man will ever be able to comprehend any one of these matters clearly. At all events, the fourth and dry well was called the well of the oath on this account, because the search after the fourth element in the world, that is to say the heaven, is without any result, and is in every respect fruitless.

V. But let us now see in what manner that fourth element in us is by nature in such an especial and singular manner incomprehensible. (1.25) There are, then, four principal elements in us, the body, the external sense, the speech, and the mind. Now of these, three are not uncertain or unintelligible in every respect, but they contain some indication in themselves by which they are comprehended. (1.26) Now what is my meaning in this statement? We know already that the body is divisible into three parts, and that it is capable of motion in six directions, inasmuch as it has three dimensions, in length, in depth, in breadth; and twice as many motions, namely six, the upward motion, the downward motion, that to the right, that to the left, the forward, and the backward motion. But, moreover, we are not ignorant that it is the vessel of the soul; and we are also aware that it is subject to the changes of being young, of decaying, of growing old, of dying, of undergoing dissolution. (1.27) And with respect to the outward senses, we are not, so far as that is concerned, utterly dull and mutilated, but we are able to say that that also is divided into five divisions, and that there are appropriate organs for the development of each sense formed by nature; for instance, the eyes for seeing, the ears for hearing, the nostrils for smelling, and the other organs for the exercise of the respective senses to which they are adapted, and also that we may call these outward senses messengers of the mind which inform it of colours, and shapes and sounds, and the peculiar differences of vapours, and flavours, and, in short, which describe to it all bodies, and all the distinctive qualities which exist in them. They also may be looked upon as body-guards of the soul, informing it of all that they see or hear; and if anything injurious attacks it from without, they foresee it, and guard against it, so that it may not enter by chance and unawares, and so become the cause of irremediable disaster to their mistress. (1.28) Again, the voice does not entirely escape our comprehension; but we know that one voice is shrill and another deep; that one is tuneful and harmonious, and another dissonant and very unmusical; and again, one voice is more powerful, and another less so. And they differ also in ten thousand other particulars, in kind, in complexion, in distance, in combined and separate tension of the tones, in the symphonies of fourths, of fifths, and of the diapason. (1.29) Moreover, there are some things which we know also with respect to that articulate voice which has been allotted to man alone of all animals, as, for instance, we know that it is emitted by the mind, that it receives its articulate distinctness in the mouth, that it is by the striking of the tongue that articulate utterance is impressed upon the tones of the voice, and which renders the uttered sound not only a bare, naked, useless noise, void of all characteristic, and that it discharges the office of a herald or interpreter towards the mind which suggests it.

VI. (1.30) Now then is the fourth element which exists within us, the dominant mind, comprehensible to us in the same manner as these other divisions? Certainly not; for what do we think it to be in its essence? Do we look upon it as spirit, or as blood, or, in short, as any bodily substance! But it is not a substance, but must be pronounced incorporeal. Is it then a limit, or a species, or a number, or a continued act, or a harmony, or any existing thing whatever? (1.31) Is it, the very first moment that we are born, infused into us from without, or is it some warm nature in us which is cooled by the air which is diffused around us, like a piece of iron which has been heated at a forge, and then being plunged into cold water, is by that process tempered and hardened? (And perhaps it is from the cooling process [psyxis] to which it is thus submitted that the soul [heÁ psycheÁ] derives its name.) What more shall we say? When we die, is it extinguished and destroyed together with our bodies? or does it continue to live a long time? or, thirdly, is it wholly incorruptible and immortal? (1.32) Again, where, in what part does this mind lie hid? Has it received any settled habitation? For some men have dedicated it to our head, as the principal citadel, around which all the outward senses have their lairs; thinking it natural that its body-guards should be stationed near it, as near the palace of a mighty king. Some again contend earnestly in favour of the position which they assign it, believing that it is enshrined like a statue in the heart. (1.33) Therefore now the fourth element is incomprehensible, in the world of heaven, in comparison of the nature of the earth, of the water, and of the air; and the mind in man, in comparison of the body and the outward sense, and the speech, which is the interpreter of the mind; may it not be the case also, that for this reason the fourth year is described as holy and praiseworthy in the sacred scriptures? (1.34) For among created things, the heaven is holy in the world, in accordance with which body, the imperishable and indestructible natures revolve; and in man the mind is holy, being a sort of fragment of the Deity, and especially according to the statement of Moses, who says, "God breathed into his face the breath of life, and man became a living Soul."{3}{#ge 2:7.} (1.35) And it appears to me, that it is not without reason that both these things are called praiseworthy; for these two things, the heaven and the mind, are the things which are able to utter, with all becoming dignity, the praises, and hymns, and glory, and beatitude of the Father who created them: for man has received an especial honour beyond all other animals, namely, that of ministering to the living God. And the heaven is always singing melodies, perfecting an all-musical harmony, in accordance with the motions of all the bodies which exist therein; (1.36) of which, if the sound ever reached our ears, love, which could not be restrained, and frantic desires, and furious impetuosity, which could not be put an end to or pacified, would be engendered, and would compel us to give up even what is necessary, nourishing ourselves no longer like ordinary mortals on the meat and drink, which is received by means of our throat, but on the inspired songs of music in its highest perfection, as persons about to be made immortal through the medium of their ears: and it is said that Moses{4}{#ex 24:18.} was an incorporeal hearer of these melodies, when he went for forty days, and an equal number of nights, without at all touching any bread or any water.

VII. (1.37) Therefore the heaven, which is the archetypal organ of music, appears to have been arranged in a most perfect manner, for no other object except that the hymns sung to the honour of the Father of the universe, might be attuned in a musical manner; and we hear that virtue, that is to say, Leah, {5}{#ge 29:35.} after the birth of her fourth son, was no longer able to bring forth any more, but restrained, or perhaps I should say, was restrained, as to her generative powers; for she found, I conceive, all her generative power dry and barren, after she had brought forth Judah, that is to say, "confession," the perfect fruit: (1.38) and the phrase, "Leah desisted from bearing children," differs in no respect from the statement, that the children of Isaac found no water in the fourth Well."{6}{#ge 26:32.} Since it appears from both these figurative expressions, that every creature thirsts for God, by whom all their births take place, and from whom nourishment is bestowed to them when they are born. (1.39) Perhaps therefore some petty cavilling critics will imagine that all this statement about the digging of the wells is a superfluous piece of prolixity on the part of the lawgiver: but those who deserve a larger classification, being citizens not of some petty state but of the wide world, being men of more perfect wisdom, will know well that the real question is not about the four wells, but about the parts of the universe that the men who are gifted with sight, and are fond of contemplation exercise their powers of investigation; namely, about the earth, the water, the air, and the heaven. (1.40) And examining each of these matters with the most accurately refined conception, in three of them they have found some things within the reach of their comprehension; on which account they have given these names, injustice, enmity, and latitude to what they have discovered. But in the fourth, that is to say in heaven, they have found absolutely nothing whatever, which they could comprehend; as we explained a little time ago: for the fourth is found to be a well destitute of water, and dry; and for the reason above mentioned it is called a well.

VIII. (1.41) We will now investigate what comes next, and inquire what Charran is, and why the man who went up from the well came to it. Charran then, as it appears to me, is a sort of metropolis of the outward senses: and it is interpreted at one time a pit dug, at another time holes; one fact being intimated by both these names; (1.42) for our bodies are in a manner dug out to furnish the organs of the outward senses, and each of the organs is a sort of hole for the corresponding outward sense in which it shelters itself as in a cave: when therefore any one goes up from the well which is called the well of the oath, as if he were leaving a harbour, he immediately does of necessity come to Charran: for it is a matter of necessity that the outward senses should receive one who comes on an emigration from that most excellent country of knowledge, unbounded as it is in extent, without any guide. (1.43) For our soul is very often set in motion by is own self after it has put off the whole burden of the body, and has escaped from the multitude of the outward senses; and very often too, even while it is still clothed in them. Therefore by its own simple motion it has arrived at the comprehension of those things which are appreciable only by the intellect; and by the motion of the body, it has attained to an understanding of those things which are perceptible by the outward senses; (1.44) therefore, if any one is unable altogether to associate with the mind alone, he then finds for himself a second refuge, namely, the external senses; and whoever fails in attaining to a comprehension of the things which are intelligible only by the intellect is immediately drawn over to the objects of the outward senses; for the second organ is always to the outward senses, in the case of those things which are not able to make a successful one as far as the dominant mind. (1.45) But it is well for man not to grow old or to spend all his time in this course either, but rather, as if they were straying in a foreign country like sojourners, to be always seeking for a second migration, and for a return to their native land. Therefore Laban, knowing absolutely nothing of either species or genus, or form, or conception, or of anything else whatever which is comprehended by the intellect alone, and depending solely on what lies externally visible, and such things as come under the notice of the eyes, and the ears, and the other hundred faculties, is thought worthy of Charran for his country, which Jacob, the lover of virtue, inhabits as a foreign land for a short time, always bearing in his recollection his return homewards; (1.46) therefore his mother, perseverance, that is Rebecca, says to him, "Rise up and flee to Laban, my brother, to Charran, and dwell with him certain Days."{7}{#ge 27:43.} Do you not perceive then that the practiser of virtue will not endure to live permanently in the country of the outward senses, but only to remain there a few days and a short time, on account of the necessities of the body to which he is bound? But a longer time and an entire life is allotted to him in the city which is appreciable only by the intellect.

IX. (1.47) In reference to which fact, also, it appears to me to be that his grandfather also, by name Abraham, so called from his knowledge, would not endure to remain any great length of time in Charran, for it is said in the scriptures that "Abraham was seventy-five years old when he departed from Charran;"{8}{#ge 12:4.} although his father Terah, which name being interpreted means, "the investigation of a smell," lived there till the day of is Death.{9}{#ge 17:32.} (1.48) Therefore it is expressly stated in the sacred scriptures that "Terah died in Charran," for he was only a reconnoitrer of virtue, not a citizen. And he availed himself of smells, and not of the enjoyments of food, as he was not able as yet to fill himself with wisdom, nor indeed even to get a taste of it, but only to smell it; (1.49) for as it is said that those dogs which are calculated for hunting can by exerting their faculty of smell, find out the lurking places of their game at a great distance, being by nature rendered wonderfully acute as to the outward sense of smell; so in the same manner the lover of instruction tracks out the sweet breeze which is given forth by justice, and by any other virtue, and is eager to watch those qualities from which this most admirable source of delight proceeds, and while he is unable to do so he moves his head all round in a circle, smelling out nothing else, but seeking only for that most sacred scent of excellence and food, for he does not deny that he is eager for knowledge and wisdom. (1.50) Blessed therefore are they to whom it has happened to enjoy the delights of wisdom, and to feast upon its speculations and doctrines, and even of the being cheered by them still to thirst for more, feeling an insatiable and increasing desire for knowledge. (1.51) And those will obtain the second place who are not allured indeed to enjoy the sacred table, but who nevertheless refresh their souls with its odours; for they will be excited by the fragrances of virtue like those languid invalids who, because they are not as yet able to take solid food, nevertheless feed on the smell of such viands as the sons of the physicians prepare as a sort of remedy for their impotency.

X. (1.52) Therefore, having left the land of the Chaldaeans, Terah is said to have migrated to Charran; bringing with him his son Abraham and the rest of his household who agreed with him in opinion, not in order that we might read in the account of the historical chronicles that some men had become emigrants, leaving their native country and becoming inhabitants of a foreign land as if it were their own country, but in order that a lesson of the greatest importance to life and full of wisdom, and adapted to man alone, might not be neglected. (1.53) And what is the lesson? The Chaldaeans are great astronomers, and the inhabitants of Charran occupy themselves with the topics relating to the external senses. Therefore the sacred account says to the investigator of the things of nature, why are you inquiring about the sun, and asking whether he is a foot broad, whether he is greater than the whole earth put together, or whether he is even many times as large? And why are you investigating the causes of the light of the moon, and whether it has a borrowed light, or one which proceeds solely from itself? Why, again, do you seek to understand the nature of the rest of the stars, of their motion, of their sympathy with one another, and even with earthly things? (1.54) And why, while walking upon the earth do you soar above the clouds? And why, while rooted in the solid land, do you affirm that you can reach the things in the sky? And why do you endeavour to form conjectures about matters which cannot be ascertained by conjecture? And why do you busy yourself about sublime subjects which you ought not to meddle with? And why do you extend your desire to make discoveries in mathematical science as far as the heaven? And why do you devote yourself to astronomy, and talk about nothing but high subjects? My good man, do not trouble your head about things beyond the ocean, but attend only to what is near you; and be content rather to examine yourself without flattery. (1.55) How, then, will you find out what you want, even if you are successful? Go with full exercise of your intellect to Charran, that is, to the trench which is dug, into the holes and caverns of the body, and investigate the eyes, the ears, the nostrils, and the other organs of the external senses; and if you wish to be a philosopher, study philosophically that branch which is the most indispensable and at the same time the most becoming to a man, and inquire what the faculty of sight is, what hearing is, what taste, what smell, what touch is, in a word, what is external sense; then seek to understand what it is to see, and how you see; what it is to hear, and how you hear; what it is to smell, or to taste, or to touch, and how each of these operations is ordinarily effected. (1.56) But it is not the very extravagance of insane folly to seek to comprehend the dwelling of the universe, before your own private dwelling is accurately known to you? But I do not as yet lay the more important and extensive injunction upon you to make yourself acquainted with your own soul and mind, of the knowledge of which you are so proud; for in reality you will never be able to comprehend it. (1.57) Mount up then to heaven, and talk arrogantly about the things which exist there, before you are as yet able to comprehend, according to the words of the poet,

"All the good and all the evil

Which thy own abode contains;"

and, bringing down that messenger of yours from heaven, and dragging him down from his search into matters existing there, become acquainted with yourself, and carefully and diligently labour to arrive at such happiness as is permitted to man. (1.58) Now this disposition the Hebrews called Terah, and the Greeks Socrates; for they say also that the latter grew old in the most accurate study by which he could hope to know himself, never once directing his philosophical speculations to the subjects beyond himself. But he was really a man; but Terah is the principle itself which is proposed to every one, according to which each man should know himself, like a tree full of good branches, in order that these persons who are fond of virtue might without difficulty gather the fruit of pure morality, and thus become filled with the most delightful and saving food. (1.59) Such, then, are those men who reconnoitre the quarters of wisdom for us; but those who are actually her athletes, and who practise her exercises, are more perfect. For these men think fit to learn with complete accuracy the whole question connected with the external senses, and after having done so, then to proceed to another and more important speculation, leaving all consideration of the holes of the body which they call Charran. (1.60) Of the number of these men is Abraham, who attained to great progress and improvement in the comprehension of complete knowledge; for when he knew most, then he most completely renounced himself in order to attain to the accurate knowledge of him who was the truly living God. And, indeed, this is a very natural course of events; for he who completely understands himself does also very much, because of his thorough appreciation of it, renounce the universal nothingness of the creature; and he who renounces himself learns to comprehend the living God.

XI. (1.61) We have now, then, explained what Charran is, and why he who left the well of the oath came thither. We must now consider the third point which comes next in order, namely, what the place is to which this man came; for it is said, "He met him in the Place."{10}{#ge 28:11.} (1.62) Now place is considered in three ways: firstly, as a situation filled by a body; secondly, as a divine word which God himself has filled wholly and entirely with incorporeal powers; for says the scripture, "I have seen the place in which the God of Israel Stood,"{11}{#ex 24:10.} in which alone he permitted his prophet to perform sacrifice to him, forbidding him to do so in other places. For he is ordered to go up into the place which the Lord God shall choose, and there to sacrifice burnt offerings and sacrifices for salvation, and to bring other victims also without spot. (1.63) According to the third signification, God himself is called a place, from the fact of his surrounding the universe, and being surrounded himself by nothing whatever, and from the fact of his being the refuge of all persons, and since he himself is his own district, containing himself and resembling himself alone. (1.64) I, indeed, am not a place, but I am in a place, and every existing being is so in a similar manner. So that which is surrounded differs from that which surrounds it; but the Deity, being surrounded by nothing, is necessarily itself its own place. And there is an evidence in support of my view of the matter in the following sacred oracle delivered with respect to Abraham: "He came unto the place of which the Lord God had told him: and having looked up with his eyes, he saw the place afar Off."{12}{#ge 22:4.} (1.65) Tell me, now, did he who had come to the place see it afar off? Or perhaps it is but an identical expression for two different things, one of which is the divine world, and the other, God, who existed before the world. (1.66) But he who was conducted by wisdom comes to the former place, having found that the main part and end of propitiation is the divine word, in which he who is fixed does not as yet attain to such a height as to penetrate to the essence of God, but sees him afar off; or, rather, I should say, he is not able even to behold him afar off, but he only discerns this fact, that God is at a distance from every creature, and that any comprehension of him is removed to a great distance from all human intellect. (1.67) Perhaps, however, the historian, by this allegorical form of expression, does not here mean by his expression, "place," the Cause of all things; but the idea which he intends to convey may be something of this sort; --he came to the place, and looking up with his eyes he saw the very place to which he had come, which was a very long way from the God who may not be named nor spoken of, and who is in every way incomprehensible.

XII. (1.68) These things, then, being defined as a necessary preliminary, when the practiser of virtue comes to Charran, the outward sense, he does not "meet" the place, nor that place either which is filled by a mortal body; for all those who are born of the dust, and who occupy any place whatever, and who do of necessity fill some position, partake of that; nor the third and most excellent kind of place, of which it was scarcely possible for that man to form an idea who made his abode at the well which was entitled the "well of the oath," where the self-taught race, Isaac, abides, who never abandons his faith in God and his invisible comprehension of him, but who keeps to the intermediate divine word, which affords him the best suggestions, and teaches him everything which is suitable to the times. (1.69) For God, not condescending to come down to the external senses, sends his own words or angels for the sake of giving assistance to those who love virtue. But they attend like physicians to the disease of the soul, and apply themselves to heal them, offering sacred recommendations like sacred laws, and inviting men to practice the duties inculcated by them, and, like the trainers of wrestlers, implanting in their pupils strength, and power, and irresistible vigour. (1.70) Very properly, therefore, when he has arrived at the external sense, he is represented no longer as meeting God, but only the divine word, just as his grandfather Abraham, the model of wisdom, did; for the scripture tells us, "The Lord departed when he had finished conversing with Abraham, and Abraham returned to his Place."{13}{#ge 18:33.} From which expression it is inferred, that he also met with the sacred words from which God, the father of the universe, had previously departed, no longer displaying visions from himself but only those which proceed from his subordinate powers. (1.71) And it is with exceeding beauty and propriety that it is said, not that he came to the place, but that he met the place: for to come is voluntary, but to meet is very often involuntary; so that the divine Word appearing on a sudden, supplies an unexpected joy, greater than could have been hoped, inasmuch as it is about to travel in company with the solitary soul; for Moses also "brings forward the people to a meeting with God,"{14} {#Ex 19:17.} well knowing that he comes invisibly towards those souls who have a longing to meet with him.

XIII. (1.72) And he subsequently alleges a reason why he "met the place;" for, says he, "the sun was Set."{15}{#ge 28:11.} Not meaning the sun which appears to us, but the most brilliant and radiant light of the invisible and Almighty God. When this light shines upon the mind, the inferior beams of words (that is of angels) set. And much more are all the places perceptible by the external senses overshadowed; but when he departs in a different direction, then they all rise and shine. (1.73) And do not wonder if, according to the rules of allegorical description, the sun is likened to the Father and Governor of the universe; for in reality nothing is like unto God; but those things which by the vain opinion of men are thought to be so, are only two things, one invisible and the other visible; the soul being the invisible thing, and the sun the visible one. (1.74) Now he has shown the similitude of the soul in another passage, where he says, "God made man, in the image of God created he him." And again, in the law enacted against homicides, he says, "Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed in requital for that blood, because in the image of God did I make Him."{16}{#ge 9:6.} But the likeness of the sun he only indicates by symbols. (1.75) And it is easy otherwise by means of argument to perceive this, since God is the first light, "For the Lord is my light and my Saviour,"{17}{#ps 26:1.} is the language of the Psalms; and not only the light, but he is also the archetypal pattern of every other light, or rather he is more ancient and more sublime than even the archetypal model, though he is spoken of as the model; for the real model was his own most perfect word, the light, and he himself is like to no created thing. (1.76) Since, as the sun divides day and night, so also does Moses say that God divided the light from the darkness; for "God made a division between the light and between the Darkness."{18}{#ge 1:4.} And besides all this, as the sun, when he arises, discovers hidden things, so also does God, who created all things, not only bring them all to light, but he has even created what before had no existence, not being their only maker, but also their founder.

XIV. (1.77) And the sun is also spoken of in many passages of holy writ in a figurative manner. Once as the human mind, which men build up as a City{19}{#ge 1:4.} and furnish, who are compelled to serve the creature in preference to the uncreated God, of whom it is said that, "They built strong cities for Pharaoh and Peitho,"{20}{#ge 11:4.} that is, for discourse; to which persuasion (to peithein) is attributed, and Rameses, or the outward sense, by which the soul is devoured as if by moths; for the name Rameses, being interpreted, means, "the shaking of a moth;" and On, the mind, which they called Heliopolis, since the mind, like the sun, has the predominance over the whole mass of our body, and extends its powers like the beams of the sun, over everything. (1.78) But he who appropriates to himself the regulation of corporeal things, by name Joseph, takes the priest and minister of the mind to be his father-in-law; for says the scripture, "he gave him Aseneth, the daughter of Peutephres, the priest of Heliopolis, for his Wife."{21}{#ge 41:45.} (1.79) And, using symbolical language, he calls the outward sense a second sun, inasmuch as it shows all the objects of which it is able to form a judgment to the intellect, concerning which he speaks thus, "The sun rose upon him when he passed by the appearance of God."{22}{#ge 32:31.} For in real truth, when we are no longer able to endure to pass all our time with the most sacred appearances, and as it were with incorporeal images, but when we turn aside in another direction, and forsake them, we use another light, that, namely, in accordance with the external sense, which is real truth, is in no respect different from darkness, (1.80) which, after it has arisen, arouses as if from sleep the senses of seeing, and of hearing, and also of taste, and of touch, and of smell, and sends to sleep the intellectual qualities of prudence, and justice, and knowledge, and wisdom, which were all awake. (1.81) And it is for this reason that the sacred scripture says, that no one can be pure before the evening, {23}{#le 4:31.} as the disorderly motions of the outward senses agitate and confuse the intellect. Moreover, he establishes a law for the priests also which may not be avoided, combining with it an expression of a grave opinion when it says, "He shall not eat of the holy things unless he has washed his body in water, and unless the sun has set, and he has become Pure."{24}{#le 22:6.} (1.82) For by these words it is very clearly shown that there is no one whatever completely pure, so as to be fit to be initiated into the holy and sacred mysteries, to whose lot it has fallen to be honoured with these glories of life which are appreciable by the external senses. But if any one rejects these glories, he is deservedly made conspicuous by the light of wisdom, by means of which he will be able to wash off the stains of vain opinion and to become pure. (1.83) Do you not see that even the sun itself produces opposite effects when he is setting from those which he causes when rising? For when he rises everything upon the earth shines, and the things in heaven are hidden from our view; but, on the other hand, when he sets then the stars appear and the things on earth are overshadowed. (1.84) In the same manner, also, in us, when the light of the outward senses rises like the sun, the celestial and heavenly sciences are really and truly hidden from view; but when this light is near setting, then the starlike radiance of the virtues appears, when the mind is pure, and concealed by no object of the outward senses.

XV. (1.85) But according to the third signification, when he speaks of the sun, he means the divine word, the model of that sun which moves about through the heaven, as has been said before, and with respect to which it is said, "The sun went forth upon the earth, and Lot entered into Segor, and the Lord rained upon Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire." (1.86) For the word of God, when it reaches to our earthly constitution, assists and protects those who are akin to virtue, or whose inclinations lead them to virtue; so that it provides them with a complete refuge and salvation, but upon their enemies it sends irremediable overthrow and destruction. (1.87) And in the fourth signification, what is meant by the sun is the God and ruler of the universe himself, as I have said already, by means of whom such offences as are irremediable, and which appear to be overshadowed and concealed, are revealed; for as all things are possible, so, likewise, all things are known to God. (1.88) In reference to which faculty of his it is that he drags those persons who are living dissolutely as regards their souls, and who are in a debauched and intemperate manner, cohabiting with the daughters of the mind the outward senses, as prostitutes and harlots, to the light of the sun, in order to display their true characters; (1.89) for the scripture says, "And the people abode in Shittim;" now the meaning of the name Shittim is, "the thorns of passion;" which sting and wound the soul. "And the people was polluted, and began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab,"{25}{#nu 25:1.} and those who are called daughters are the outward senses, for the name Moab is interpreted, "of a father;" and the scripture adds, "Take all the chiefs of the people, and make an example of them unto the Lord in the face of the sun, and the anger of the Lord shall be turned from Israel."{26}{#nu 25:4.} (1.90) For he not only desires that the wicked deeds which are hidden shall be made manifest, and therefore turns upon them the beams of the sun, but he also by this symbolical language calls the father of the universe the sun, that being by whom all things are seen beforehand, and even all those things which are invisibly concealed in the recesses of the mind; and when they are made manifest, then he promises that he who is the only merciful being, will become merciful to the people. (1.91) Why so? Because, even if the mind, fancying that though it does wrong it can escape the notice of the Deity as not being able to see everything, should sin secretly and in dark places, and should after that, either by reason of its own notions or through the suggestions of some one else, conceive that it is impossible that anything should be otherwise than clear to God, and should disclose itself and all its actions, and should bring them forward, as it were, out of the light of the sun, and display them to the governor of the universe, saying, that it repents of the perverse conduct which it formerly exhibited when under the influence of foolish opinion (for that nothing is indistinct before God, but all things are known and clear to him, not merely such as have been done, but even such are merely hoped or designed, by reason of the boundless character of his wisdom), it then is purified and benefited, and it propitiates the chastiser who was ready to punish it, namely, conscience, who was previously filled with just anger towards it, and who now admits repentance as the younger brother of perfect innocence and freedom from sin.

XVI. (1.92) Moreover, it appears that Moses has in other passages also taken the sun as a symbol of the great Cause of all things, of which I seen an instance in the law which is enacted with respect to those who borrow on pledges: let us recite the law, "If thou takest as a pledge the garment of thy neighbour, thou shalt give it back before the setting of the sun: for it is his covering, it is his only covering of his nakedness, in which he lies down. If he cries unto me I will hearken unto him, for I am Merciful."{27}{#ex 22:26.} (1.93) Is it not natural that those who fancy that the lawgiver displays such earnestness about a garment should, if they do not reproach him, at least make a suggestion, saying, "What are ye saying, my good men? Do ye affirm that the Creator and ruler of the world calls himself merciful with respect to so trivial a matter, as that of a garment not being restored to the borrower by the lender?" (1.94) These are the opinions and notions of men who have never had the least conception or comprehension of the virtue of the almighty God, and who, contrary to all human and divine law, impart the triviality of human affairs to the uncreate and immortal nature, which is full of happiness, and blessedness, and perfection; (1.95) for in what respect do those lenders act unreasonably, who retain in their own hands the pledges which are deposited with them as security, until they receive back their own which they have lent? The debtors are poor, some one will perhaps say, and it is right to pity them: would it not have been reasonable and better to enact a law in accordance with which a contribution should be made to assist their necessities, rather than allow them to appear as debtors, or else one which should forbid the lending on pledges at all? But the law which has permitted the lending on pledges, cannot fairly be indignant against those who will not give up the pledges which they have received before the proper time, as if they were acting unjustly. (1.96) But if any one having come, so to say, to the very farthest limits of poverty, and, being clothed in rags, loads himself with new debts, neglecting the pity which he receives from the bystanders, which is freely bestowed, upon those who fall into such misfortunes, in their own houses, and in the temples, and in the market-place, and everywhere; (1.97) such a one brings and offers to his creditor, the only covering which he had for his shame, with which he has been wont to cover the secret parts of his nature, as a pledge for something. For what, I pray? Is it for some other and better garment? For no one is unprovided with necessary food as long as the springs of the rivers bubble up, and the torrents flow abundantly, and the earth gives forth its annual fruits. (1.98) Again, is any creditor so covetous of riches, or so very cruel, or so perverse, as not to be willing to contribute a tetradrachm, or even less, to one in distress? Or is any one so stingy as to be willing to lend it, but to refuse to give it? or as to take the only garment that the poor man has as a pledge? which indeed under another name may fairly be called running away with a man's clothes; {28}{the Greek word is loÁpodyteoÁ. A loÁpodyteÁs was one who frequented the baths for the purpose of stealing the clothes of the bathers.} for men who do this are accustomed to put on other peoples' clothes, and steal them, and to leave the proper owners naked. (1.99) And why has the law provided so carefully that the debtor may not be without his clothes by night, and that he may not lie down to sleep without them, but has not paid the same attention to the fact of his being indecorously naked by day? Are not all things concealed by night and darkness, so as to cause less shame, or rather none at all at that time, but are they not disclosed by day and by light, so as then to compel persons to blush more freely? (1.100) And why does the law not use the expression "to give," but "to restore?" For restoration takes place with respect to the property of other persons, but pledges belong rather to those who have lent on them than to those who have borrowed on them. Moreover, do you not perceive that the law has not enjoined the debtor, who has received back his garment that it may serve as bed-clothes, to bring it back again to his creditor at the return of daylight? (1.101) And, indeed, if the exact propriety of the language be considered, even the most stupid person may see that there is something additional meant beyond what is formally expressed. For the injunction rather resembles a maxim than a recommendation. For, if a person had been giving a recommendation, he would have said: "Give back to your debtor, at the approach of evening, the garment which has been pledged to you, if it be the only garment that he is possessed of, that he may have something with which to cover himself at night." But one who was laying down a maxim would speak thus; as indeed the law does here, "For it is his garment, the only covering of his nakedness, in which he will lie down to sleep."

XVII. (1.102) These things then, and other things of the same kind, may be urged in reply to those assertors of the literal sense of a passage; and who superciliously reject all other explanations. We will now, in accordance with the usual laws of allegorical speaking, say what is becoming with respect to these subjects. We say, therefore, that a garment here is spoken of symbolically, to signify speech; for clothes keep off the injuries which are wont to visit the body, from cold and heat, and they also conceal the unmentionable parts of nature, and moreover, a cloak is a fitting garment for the body. (1.103) In much the same manner, speech has been given to man by God, as the most excellent of gifts; for in the first place, it is a defensive weapon against those who would attack him with innovations. For as nature has fortified all other animals with their own appropriate and peculiar means of defence, by which they are able to repel those who attempt to injure them, so also has it bestowed upon man that greatest defence and most impregnable protection of speech, with which, as with a panoply, every one who is completely clothed, will have a domestic and most appropriate bodyguard; and employing it as a champion, will be able to ward off all the injuries which can be brought against him by his enemies. (1.104) In the second place, it is a most necessary defence against shame and reproach; for speech is very well calculated to conceal and obscure the faults of men. In the third place, it conduces to the whole ornament of life: for this is the thing which improves every one, and which conducts every one to what is best; (1.105) for there are many disgraceful and mischievous men, who take conversation as a pledge, and deprive its proper owners of it, and utterly cut off what they ought to seek to increase; like men who ravage the lands of their enemies, and who attempt to destroy their corn and all the rest of their crops, which, if it were left unhurt, would be a great advantage to those who would use it. (1.106) For some men carry on an irreconcilable and never-ending war against rational nature, and utterly extirpate its every shoot and beginning, and destroy all its first appearances of propagation, and render it, as one may say, utterly unproductive and barren of all good practices. (1.107) For sometimes, when it is borne onwards towards sacred instruction with irresistible impetuosity, and when it is smitten with a love of the speculations of true philosophy, they--out of jealousy and envy, fearing lest, when it has derived strength from its noble aspirations and has been elevated to a splendid height, it may overwhelm all their petty cavils and plausible devices against the truth, like an irresistible torrent--turn its energy in another direction by their own evil artifices, guiding it in another channel to vulgar and illiberal acts: and very often they seek to blunt it or to hedge it in, and in this way leave the nobility of its nature uncultivated, just as at times wicked guardians of orphan children have rendered a deep-soiled and fertile land barren. And these most pitiless of all men have not been restrained by shame from stripping the man of his only garment, namely, speech; "For," says the scripture, "it is his only covering."--What is a man's only covering, except speech? (1.108) For, as neighing is the peculiar attribute of a horse, and barking of a dog, and lowing of an ox, and roaring of a lion, so also is speaking, and speech itself, the peculiar property of man: for this is what man has received above all other animals as his peculiar gift, as a protection, a bulwark, and panoply, and wall of defence; he being, of all living creatures, the most beloved of God.

XVIII. (1.109) On which account the scripture adds, "This is the only covering of his nakedness;" for what can so becomingly overshadow and conceal the reproaches and disgraces of life, as speech? For ignorance is a disgrace akin to irrational nature, but education is the brother of speech, and an ornament properly belonging to man. (1.110) In what then will a man lie down to rest? That is to say, in what will a man find tranquillity and a respite from his labours, except in speech? For speech is a relief to our most miserable and afflicted race. As therefore, when men have been overwhelmed by grief, or by fear, or by any other evil, tranquillity, and constancy, and the kindness of friends have often restored them; so it happens, not often, but invariably, that speech, the only real averter of evil, wards off that most heavy burden which the necessities of that body in the which we are bound up, and the unforeseen accidents of external circumstances which attack us, impose upon us; (1.111) for speech is a friend, and an acquaintance, and a kinsman, and a companion bound up within us; I should rather say, fitted close and united to us by some indissoluble and invisible cement of nature. On this account it is, that it forewarns us of what will be expedient for us, and when any unexpected event befalls us it comes forward of its own accord to assist us; not only bringing advantage of one kind only, such as that which he who is an adviser without acting, or an agent who can give no advice, may supply, but of both kinds: (1.112) for he does not display a half-complete power, but one which is perfect in every part. Inasmuch, as even if it were to fail in his endeavour, and in any conceptions which may have been formed, or efforts which may have been made, it still can have recourse to the third species of assistance, namely, consolation. For speech is, as it were, a medicine for the wounds of the soul, and a saving remedy for its passions, which, "even before the setting of the sun," the lawgiver says one must restore: that is to say, before the all-brilliant beams of the almighty and all-glorious God are obscured, which he, out of pity for our race, sends down from heaven upon the human mind. (1.113) For while that most Godlike light abides in the soul, we shall be able to give back the speech, which was deposited as a pledge, as if it were a garment, in order that he who has received this peculiar possession of man, may by its means conceal the discreditable circumstances of life, and reap the benefit of the divine gift, and indulge in a respite combined with tranquillity, in consequence of the presence of so useful an adviser and defender, who will never leave the ranks in which he has been stationed. (1.114) Moreover, while God pours upon you the light of his beams, do you hasten in the light of day to restore his pledge to the Lord; for when the sun has set, then you, like the whole land of Egypt, {29}{#ex 10:21.} will have an everlasting darkness which may be felt, and being stricken with blindness and ignorance, you will be deprived of all those things of which you thought that you had certain possession, by that sharp-sighted Israel, whose pledges you hold, having made one who was by nature exempt from slavery a slave to necessity.

XIX. (1.115) We have discussed this subject at this length with no other object except that of teaching that the mind, which is inclined to practice virtue, having irregular motions towards prolificness and sterility, and as one may say, being in a manner always ascending and descending, when it becomes prolific and is elevated to a height is illuminated with the archetypal and incorporeal beams of the rational spring of the all-perfecting sun; but when it descends and becomes unproductive, then it is again illuminated by those images of those beams, the immortal words which it is customary to call angels. (1.116) On which account we now read in the scripture, "He met the place; for the sun was Set."{30}{#ge 28:11.} For when those beams of God desert the soul by means of which the clearest comprehensions of affairs are engendered in it, then arises that second and weaker light of words, and the light of things is no longer seen, just as is the case in this lower world. For the moon, which occupies the second rank next to the sun, when that body has set, pours forth a somewhat weaker light than his upon the earth; (1.117) and to meet a place or a word is a most sufficient gift for those who cannot discern that God is superior to every place or word; because they have not a soul wholly destitute of light, but because, since that most unmixed and brilliant light has set, they have been favoured with one which is alloyed. "For the children of Israel had light in all their Dwellings,"{31}{#ex 10:23.} says the sacred historian in the book of Exodus, so that night and darkness were continually banished from them, though it is in night and darkness that those men live who have lost the eyes of the soul rather than those of the body, having no experience of the beams of virtue. (1.118) But some persons--supposing that what is meant here by the figurative expression of the sun is the external sense and the mind, which are looked upon as the things which have the power of judging; and that which is meant by place is the divine word--understand the allegory in this manner: the practiser of virtue met with the divine word, after the mortal and human light had set; (1.119) for as long as the mind thinks that it attains to a firm comprehension of the objects of the intellect, and the outward sense conceives that it has a similar understanding of its appropriate objects, and that it dwells amid sublime objects, the divine word stands aloof at a distance; but when each of these comes to confess its own weakness, and sets in a manner while availing itself of concealment, then immediately the right reason of a soul well-practised in virtue comes in a welcome manner to their assistance, when they have begun to despair of their own strength, and await the aid which is invisibly coming to them from without.

XX. (1.120) Therefore, the scripture says in the next verses, "That he took one of the stones of the place and placed it at his head, and slept in that Place."{32}{#ge 28:11.} Any one may wonder not only at the interior and mystical doctrine contained in these words, but also at the distinct assertion, which gives us a lesson in labour and endurance: (1.121) for the historian does not think it becoming, that the man who is devoted to the study of virtue should adopt a luxurious life, and live softly, imitating the pursuits and rivalries of those who are called indeed happy, but who are in reality full of all unhappiness; whose entire life is a sleep and a dream, according to the holy lawgiver. (1.122) These men, after they have during the whole day been doing all sorts of injustice to others, in courts of justice, and council halls, and theatres, and everywhere, then return home, like miserable men as they are, to overturn their own house. I mean not that house which comes under the class of buildings, but that which is akin to the soul, I mean the body. Introducing immoderate and incessant food, and irrigating it with an abundance of pure wine, until the reason is overwhelmed, and disappears; and the passions which have their seat beneath the belly, the offspring of satiety, rise up, being carried away by unrestrained frenzy, and falling upon, and vehemently attacking all that they meet with, are only at last appeased after they have worked off their excessive violence of excitement. (1.123) But by night, when it is time to turn towards rest, having prepared costly couches and the most exquisite of beds, they lie down in the most exceeding softness, imitating the luxury of women, whom nature has permitted to indulge in a more relaxed system of life, inasmuch as their maker, the Creator of the universe, has made their bodies of a more delicate stamp. (1.124) Now no such person as this is a pupil of the sacred word, but those only are the disciples of that who are real genuine men, lovers of temperance, and orderliness, and modesty, men who have laid down continence, and frugality, and fortitude, as a kind of base and foundation for the whole of life; and safe stations for the soul, in which it may anchor without danger and without changeableness: for being superior to money, and pleasure, and glory, they look down upon meats and drinks, and everything of that sort, beyond what is necessary to ward off hunger: being thoroughly ready to undergo hunger, and thirst, and heat, and cold, and all other things, however hard they may be to be borne, for the sake of the acquisition of virtue. And being admirers of whatever is most easily provided, so as to not be ashamed of ever such cheap or shabby clothes, think rather, on the other hand, that sumptuous apparel is a reproach and great scandal to life. (1.125) To these men, the soft earth is their most costly couch; their bed is bushes, and grass, and herbage, and a thick layer of leaves; and the pillows for their head are a few stones, or any little mounds which happen to rise a little above the surface of the plain. Such a life as this, is, by luxurious men, denominated a life of hardship, but by those who live for virtue, it is called most delightful; for it is well adapted, not for those who are called men, for those who really are such. (1.126) Do you not see, that even now, also, the sacred historian represents the practiser of honourable pursuits, who abounds in all royal materials and appointments, as sleeping on the ground, and using a stone for his pillow; and a little further on, he speaks of himself as asking in his prayers for bread and a cloak, the necessary wealth of nature? like one who has at all times held in contempt, the man who dwells among vain opinions, and who is inclined to revile all those who are disposed to admire him; this man is the archetypal pattern of the soul which is devoted to the practice of virtue, and an enemy of every effeminate person.

XXI. (1.127) Hitherto I have been uttering the praises of the man devoted to labour and to virtue, as it occurred to me naturally; but now we must examine what is symbolically signified under the expressions made use of. Now it is well that we should know, that the divine place and the sacred region are full of incorporeal intelligences; and these intelligences are immortal souls. (1.128) Taking then one of these intelligences, and selecting one of them according as it appears to be the most excellent, this lover of virtue, of whom we are speaking, applies it to our own mind, to it as to the head of a united body; for, indeed, the mind is in a manner the head of the soul; and he does this, using the pretext indeed as if he were going to sleep, but, in reality, as being about to rest upon the word of God, and to place the whole of his life as the lightest possible burden upon it; (1.129) and it listens to him gladly, and receives the labourer in the paths of virtue at first, as if he were going to become a disciple; then when he has shown his approbation of the dexterity of his nature, he gives him his hand, like a gymnastic trainer, and invites him to the gymnasia, and standing firmly, compels him to wrestle with him, until he has rendered his strength so great as to be irresistible, changing his ears by the divine influences into eyes, and calling this newly-modelled disposition Israel, that is, the man who Sees.{33}{the marginal note in our Bible translates Israel, "a prince of God."} (1.130) Then also he crowns him with the garland of victory. But this garland has a singular and foreign, and, perhaps, not altogether a wellomened name, for it is called by the president of the games torpor, for it is said, that the breadth became Torpid{34}{#ge 32:25; where, however, the expression of the Bible is "the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint."} of all the rewards and of the proclamations of the heralds, and of all those most wonderful prizes for pre-eminent excellence which are had in honour; (1.131) for the soul which has received a share of irresistible power, and which has been made perfect in the contests of virtue, and which has arrived at the very furthest limit of what is honourable, will never be unduly elated or puffed up by arrogance, nor stand upon tiptoes, and boast as if it were well to make vast strides with bare feet; but the breadth which was extended wide by opinion, will become torpid and contracted, and then will voluntarily succumb and yield to tameness, so as being classed in an inferior order to that of the incorporeal natures, it may carry off the victory while appearing to be defeated; (1.132) for it is accounted a most honourable thing to yield the palm to those who are superior to one's self, voluntarily rather than through compulsion; for it is incredible how greatly the second prize in this contest is superior in real dignity and importance to the first prize in the others.

XXII. (1.133) Such then may be said, by way of preface, to the discussion of that description of visions which are sent from God. But it is time now to turn to the subject itself, and to investigate, with accuracy, every portion of it. The scripture therefore says, "And he dreamed a dream. And behold a ladder was planted firmly on the ground, the head of which reached to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending along It."{35}{#ge 28:12.} (1.134) By the ladder in this thing, which is called the world, is figuratively understood the air, the foundation of which is the earth, and the head is the heaven; for the large interior space, which being extended in every direction, reaches from the orb of the moon, which is described as the most remote of the order in heaven, but the nearest to us by those who contemplate sublime objects, down to the earth, which is the lowest of such bodies, is the air. (1.135) This air is the abode of incorporeal souls, since it seemed good to the Creator of the universe to fill all the parts of the world with living creatures. On this account he prepared the terrestrial animals for the earth, the aquatic animals for the sea and for the rivers, and the stars for the heaven; for every one of these bodies is not merely a living animal, but is also properly described as the very purest and most universal mind extending through the universe; so that there are living creatures in that other section of the universe, the air. And if these things are not comprehensible by the outward senses, what of that? For the soul is also invisible. (1.136) And yet it is probable that the air should nourish living animals even more than the land or the water. Why so? Because it is the air which has given vitality to those animals which live on the earth and in the water. For the Creator of the universe formed the air so that it should be the habit of those bodies which are immovable, and the nature of those which are moved in an invisible manner, and the soul of such as are able to exert an impetus and visible sense of their own. (1.137) Is it not then absurd that that element, by means of which the other elements have been filled with vitality, should itself be destitute of living things? Therefore let no one deprive the most excellent nature of living creatures of the most excellent of those elements which surrounds the earth; that is to say, of the air. For not only is it not alone deserted by all things besides, but rather, like a populous city, it is full of imperishable and immortal citizens, souls equal in number to the stars. (1.138) Now of these souls some descend upon the earth with a view to be bound up in mortal bodies, those namely which are most nearly connected with the earth, and which are lovers of the body. But some soar upwards, being again distinguished according to the definitions and times which have been appointed by nature. (1.139) Of these, those which are influenced by a desire for mortal life, and which have been familiarised to it, again return to it. But others, condemning the body of great folly and trifling, have pronounced it a prison and a grave, and, flying from it as from a house of correction or a tomb, have raised themselves aloft on light wings towards the aether, and have devoted their whole lives to sublime speculations. (1.140) There are others, again, the purest and most excellent of all, which have received greater and more divine intellects, never by any chance desiring any earthly thing whatever, but being as it were lieutenants of the Ruler of the universe, as though they were the eyes and ears of the great king, beholding and listening to everything. (1.141) Now philosophers in general are wont to call these demons, but the sacred scripture calls them angels, using a name more in accordance with nature. For indeed they do report (diangellousi) the injunctions of the father to his children, and the necessities of the children to the father. (1.142) And it is in reference to this employment of theirs that the holy scripture has represented them as ascending and descending, not because God, who knows everything before any other being, has any need of interpreters; but because it is the lot of us miserable mortals to use speech as a mediator and intercessor; because of our standing in awe of and fearing the Ruler of the universe, and the all-powerful might of his authority; (1.143) having received a notion of which he once entreated one of those mediators, saying: "Do thou speak for us, and let not God speak to us, lest we Die."{36}{#ex 20:19.} For not only are we unable to endure his chastisements, but we cannot bear even his excessive and unmodified benefits, which he himself proffers us of his own accord, without employing the ministrations of any other beings. (1.144) Very admirably therefore does Moses represent the air under the figurative symbol of a ladder, as planted solidly in the earth and reaching up to heaven. For it comes to pass that the evaporations which are given forth by the earth becoming rarefied, are dissolved into air, so that the earth is the foundation and root of the air, and that the heaven is its head. (1.145) Accordingly it is said that the moon is not an unadulterated consolidation of pure aether, as each of the other stars is, but is rather a combination of the aether-like and air-like essence. For the black spot which appears in it, which some call a face, is nothing else but the air mingled with it, which is by nature black, and which extends as far as heaven.

XXIII. (1.146) The ladder therefore in the world which is here spoken of in this symbolical manner, was something of this sort. But if we carefully investigate the soul which exists in men, the foundation of which is something corporeal, and as it were earth-like, we shall find that the foundation to be the outward sense; and the head to be something heavenly, as it were the most pure mind. (1.147) But all the words of God move incessantly upwards and downwards through the whole of it, dragging it upwards along with them whenever they soar aloft, and separating it from whatever is mortal, and exhibiting to it a sight of those things which alone are worthy of being beheld; but yet not casting it down when they descend. For neither is God himself, nor the word of God, worthy of blame. But they join with them in their descent, by reason of their love for mankind and compassion for our race, for the sake of being their allies and rendering them assistance, in order that by breathing in a saving inspiration they may recall to life the soul which was still being tossed about in the body as in the river. (1.148) Now the God and governor of the universe does by himself and alone walk about invisibly and noiselessly in the minds of those who are purified in the highest degree. For there is extant a prophecy which was delivered to the wise man, in which it is said: "I will walk among you, and I will be your God."{37}{#le 26:12.} But the angels--the words of God--move about in the minds of those persons who are still in a process of being washed, but who have not yet completely washed off the life which defiles them, and which is polluted by the contact of their heavy bodies, making them look pure and brilliant to the eyes of virtue. (1.149) But it is plain enough what vast numbers of evils are driven out, and what a multitude of wicked inhabitants is expelled in order that one good man may be introduced to dwell there. Do thou, therefore, O my soul, hasten to become the abode of God, his holy temple, to become strong from having been most weak, powerful from having been powerless, wise from having been foolish, and very reasonable from having been doting and childless. (1.150) And perhaps too the practiser of virtue represents his own life as like to a ladder; for the practice of anything is naturally an anomalous thing, since at one time it soars up to a height, and at another it turns downwards in a contrary direction; and at one time has a fair voyage like a ship, and at another has but an unfavourable passage; for, as some one says, the life of those who practise virtue is full of vicissitudes: being at one time alive and waking, and at another dead or sleeping. (1.151) And perhaps this is no incorrect statement; for the wise have obtained the heavenly and celestial country as their habitation; having learnt to be continually mounting upwards, but the wicked have received as their share the dark recesses of hell, having from the beginning to the end of their existence practised dying, and having been from their infancy to their old age familiarised with destruction. (1.152) But the practisers of virtue, for they are on the boundary between two extremities, are frequently going upwards and downwards as if on a ladder, being either drawn upwards by a more powerful fate, or else being dragged down by that which is worse; until the umpire of this contention and conflict, namely God, adjudges the victory to the more excellent class and utterly destroys the other.

XXIV. (1.153) There is also in this dream another sort of similitude or comparison apparent, which must not be passed over in silence; the affairs of mankind are naturally compared to a ladder, on account of their irregular motion and progress: (1.154) for as some one or other has said; "One day has cast one man down from on high and destroyed him, and another it has raised up, nothing that belongs to our human race being formed by nature so as to remain long in the same condition, but all such things changing with all kinds of alteration. (1.155) Do not men become rulers from having been private individuals, and private individuals from having been rulers, poor from having been rich, and very rich from having been very poor; glorious from being despised, and most illustrious from having been infamous?" [...] A very beautiful way of life: for it is very possible that the being whose habitation is the whole world, may dwell with you also, and take care of your house, so that it may be completely protected and free from injury for ever; (1.156) and there is such a way as this in which human affairs move upwards and downwards, meeting with an unstable and variable fortune, the anomalous character of which, unerring time proves by evidence which is not indistinct but manifest and legible.

XXV. (1.157) But the dream also represented the archangel, namely the Lord himself, firmly planted on the ladder; for we must imagine that the living God stands above all things, like the charioteer of a chariot, or the pilot of a ship; that is, above bodies, and above souls, and above all creatures, and above the earth, and above the air, and above the heaven, and above all the powers of the outward senses, and above the invisible natures, in short, above all things whether visible or invisible; for having made the whole to depend upon himself, he governs it and all the vastness of nature. (1.158) But let no one who hears that he was firmly planted thus suppose that any thing at all assists God, so as to enable him to stand firmly, but let him rather consider this fact that what is here indicated is equivalent to the assertion that the firmest position, and the bulwark, and the strength, and the steadiness of everything is the immoveable God, who stamps the character of immobility on whatever he pleases; for, in consequence of his supporting and consolidating things, those which he does combine remain firm and indestructible. (1.159) Therefore he who stands upon the ladder of heaven says to him who is beholding the dream, "I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac; be not Afraid."{38}{#ge 28:13.} This oracle and this vision were also the firmest support of the soul devoted to the practice of virtue, inasmuch as it taught it that the Lord and God of the universe is both these things also to his own race, being entitled both the Lord and God of all men, and of his grandfathers and ancestors, and being called by both names in order that the whole world and the man devoted to virtue might have the same inheritance; since it is also said, "The Lord himself is his Inheritance."{39}{deuteronomy 10:9.}

XXVI. (1.160) But do not fancy that it is an accidental thing here for him to be called in this place the God and Lord of Abraham, but only the God of Isaac; for this latter is the symbol of the knowledge which exists by nature, which hears itself, and teaches itself, and learns of itself; but Abraham is the symbol of that which is derived from the teaching of others; and the one again is an indigenous and native inhabitant of his country, but the other is only a settler and a foreigner; (1.161) for having forsaken the language of those who indulge in sublime conversations about astronomy, a language imitating that of the Chaldaeans, foreign and barbarous, he was brought over to that which was suited to a rational being, namely, to the service of the great Cause of all things. (1.162) Now this disposition stands in need of two powers to take care of it, the power that is of authority, and that of conferring benefits, in order that in accordance with the authority of the governor, it may obey the admonitions which it receives, and also that it may be greatly benefited by his beneficence. But the other disposition stands in need of the power of beneficence only; for it has not derived any improvement from the authority which admonishes it, inasmuch as it naturally claims virtue as its own, but by reason of the bounty which is showered upon it from above, it was good and perfect from the beginning; (1.163) therefore God is the name of the beneficent power, and Lord is the title of the royal power. What then can any one call a more ancient and important good, than to be thought worthy to meet with unmixed and unalloyed beneficence? And what can be less valuable than to receive a mixture of authority and liberality? And it appears to me that it was because the practiser of virtue saw that he uttered that most admirable prayer that, "the Lord might be to him as God;"{40}{#ge 28:21.} for he desired no longer to stand in awe of him as a governor, but to honour and love him as a benefactor. (1.164) Now is it not fitting that even blind men should become sharpsighted in their minds to these and similar things, being endowed with the power of sight by the most sacred oracles, so as to be able to contemplate the glories of nature, and not to be limited to the mere understanding of the words? But even if we voluntarily close the eye of our soul and take no care to understand such mysteries, or if we are unable to look up to them, the hierophant himself stands by and prompts us. And do not thou ever cease through weariness to anoint thy eyes until you have introduced those who are duly initiated to the secret light of the sacred scriptures, and have displayed to them the hidden things therein contained, and their reality, which is invisible to those who are uninitiated. (1.165) It is becoming then for you to act thus; but as for ye, O souls, who have once tasted of divine love, as if you had even awakened from deep sleep, dissipate the mist that is before you; and hasten forward to that beautiful spectacle, putting aside slow and hesitating fear, in order to comprehend all the beautiful sounds and sights which the president of the games has prepared for your advantage.

XXVII. (1.166) There are then a countless number of things well worthy of being displayed and demonstrated; and among them one which was mentioned a little while ago; for the oracles calls the person who was really his grandfather, the father of the practiser of virtue, and to him who as really his father, it has not given any such title; for the scriptures says, "I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father," but in reality Abraham was his grandfather; and then proceeds, "And the God of Isaac," and in this case he does not add, "thy father:" (1.167) is it not then worth while to examine into the cause of this difference? Undoubtedly it is; let us then in a careful manner apply ourselves to the consideration of the cause. Philosophers say that virtue exists among men, either by nature, or by practice, or by learning. On which account the sacred scriptures represent the three founders of the nation of the Israelites as wise men; not indeed originally endowed with the same kind of wisdom, but arriving rapidly at the same end. (1.168) For the eldest of them, Abraham, had instruction for his guide in the road which conducted him to virtue; as we shall show in another treatise to the best of our power. And Isaac, who is the middle one of the three, had a self-taught and self-instructed nature. And Jacob, the third, arrived at this point by industry and practice, in accordance with which were his labours of wrestling and contention. (1.169) Since then there are thus three different manners by which wisdom exists among men, it happens that the two extremes are the most nearly and frequently united. For the virtue which is acquired by practice, is the offspring of that which is derived from learning. But that which is implanted by nature is indeed akin to the others, for it is set below them, as the root for them all. But it has obtained its prize without any rivalry or difficulty. (1.170) So that it is thus very natural for Abraham, as one who had been improved by instruction, to be called the father of Jacob, who arrived at his height of virtue by practice. By which expression is indicated that not so much the relationship of one man to the other, but that the power which is fond of hearing is very ready for learning; the power which is devoted to practice being also well suited for wrestling. (1.171) If, however, this practiser of virtue runs on vigorously towards the end and learns to see clearly what he previously only dreamed of in an indistinct way, being altered and re-stamped with a better character, and being called Israel, that is, "the man who sees God," instead of Jacob, that is, "the supplanter," he then is no longer set down as the son of Abraham, as his father, of him who derived wisdom from instruction, but as the son of Israel, who was born excellent by nature. (1.172) These statements are not fables of my own invention, but are the oracle written on the sacred pillars. For, says the scripture: "Israel having departed, he and all that he had came to the well of the oath, and there he sacrificed a sacrifice to the God of his father Isaac."{41}{#ge 46:1.} Do you not now perceive that this present assertion has reference not to the relationship between mortal men, but, as was said before, to the nature of things? For look at what is before us. At one time, Jacob is spoken of as the son of his father Abraham, and at another time he is called Israel, the son of Isaac, on account of the reason which we have thus accurately investigated.

XVIII. (1.173) Having then said: "I am the Lord God of Abraham, the father and the God of Isaac," he adds: "Be not afraid," very consistently. For how can we any longer be afraid when we have thee, O God, as our armour and defender? Thee, the deliverer from fear and from every painful feeling? Thee, who hast also fashioned the archetypal forms of our instruction while they were still indistinct, so as to make them visible, teaching Abraham wisdom, and begetting Isaac, who was wise from his birth. For you condescended to be called the guide of the one and the father of the other, assigning to the one the rank of pupil, and to the other that of a son. (1.174) For this reason, too, God promised that he would not give him the land. I mean by the land here, all-prolific virtue, on which the practiser rests from his contests and sleeps, from the fact of the life according to the outward sense being lulled asleep, and that of the soul being awakened. Receiving gladly peaceful repose there, which he did not obtain without war, and the afflictions which arise from war, not by means of bearing arms and slaying men; away with any such notion! but by overthrowing the array of vices and passions which are the adversaries of virtue. (1.175) But the race of wisdom is likened to the sand of the sea, by reason of its boundless numbers, and because also the sand, like a fringe, checks the incursions of the sea; as the reasonings of instruction beat back the violence of wickedness and iniquity. And these reasonings, in accordance with the divine promises, are extended to the very extremities of the universe. And they show that he who is possessed of them is the inheritor of all the parts of the world, penetrating everywhere, to the east, and to the west, to the south, and to the north. For it is said in the scripture: "He shall be extended towards the sea, and towards the south, and towards the north, and towards the East."{42}{genesis 28:14.} (1.176) But the wise and virtuous man is not only a blessing to himself, but he is also a common good to all men, diffusing advantages over all from his own ready store. For as the sun is the light of all those beings who have eyes, so also is the wise man light to all those who partake of a rational nature.

XXIX. (1.177) "For in thee shall all the nations of the earth be blessed." And this oracle applies to the wise man in respect of himself, and also in respect of Others.{43}{the text is very corrupt here. I have followed Mangey's reading and translation.} For if the mind which is in me is purified by perfect virtue, and if the tribes of that earthly part which is about me are purified at the same time, which tribes have fallen to the lot of the external senses, and of the greatest channel of all, namely the body; and if any one, either in his house, or in his city, or in his country, or in his nation, becomes a lover of wisdom, it is inevitable that that house, and that city, and that country, and that nation, must attain to a better life. (1.178) For, as those spices which are set on fire fill all persons near them with their fragrance, so in the same manner do all those persons who are neighbours of and contiguous to the wise men catch some of the exhalations which reach to a distance from him, and so become improved in their characters.

XXX. (1.179) And it is the greatest of all advantages to a soul engaged in labours and contests, to have for its fellow traveller, God, who penetrates everywhere. "For behold," says God, "I am with Thee."{44}{#ge 28:15.} Of what then can we be in need while we have for our wealth Thee, who art the only true and real riches, who keepest us in the road which leads to virtue in all its different divisions? For it is not one portion only of the rational life which conducts to justice and to all other virtue, but the parts are infinite in number, from which those who desire to arrive at virtue can set out.

XXXI. (1.180) Very admirably therefore is it said in the scripture: "I will lead thee back to this land." For it was fitting that the reason should remain with itself, and should not depart to the outward sense. And if it has departed, then the next best thing is for it to return back again. (1.181) And perhaps also a doctrine bearing on the immortality of the soul is figuratively intimated by this expression. For the soul, having left the region of heaven, as was mentioned a little while before, came to the body as a foreign country. Therefore the father who begot it promises that he will not permit it to be for ever held in bondage, but that he will have compassion on it, and will unloose its chains, and will conduct it in safety and freedom as far as the metropolis, and will not cease to assist it till the promises which he has made in words are confirmed by the truth of actions. For it is by all means the peculiar attribute of God to foretell what is to happen. (1.182) And why do we say this? for his words do not differ from his actions; therefore the soul which is devoted to the practice of virtue, being set in motion, and roused up to the investigations relating to the living God, at first suspected that the living God existed in place; but after a short space it became perplexed by the difficulty of the question, and began to change its opinion. (1.183) "For," says the scripture, "Jacob awoke and said, Surely the Lord is in this place, and I knew it not;" and it would have been better, I should have said; not to know it, than to fancy that God existed in any place, he whom himself contains all things in a circle.

XXXII. (1.184) Very naturally, therefore, was Jacob afraid, and said in a spirit of admiration, "how dreadful is this Place."{45}{#ge 28:16.} For, in truth, of all the topics or places in natural philosophy, the most formidable is that in which it is inquired where the living God is, and whether in short he is in any place at all. Since some persons affirm that everything which exists occupies some place or other, and others assign each thing a different place, either in the world or out of the world, in some space between the different bodies of the universe. Others again affirm that the uncreated God resembles no created being whatever, but that he is superior to everything, so that the very swiftest conception is outstripped by him, and confesses that it is very far inferior to the comprehension of him; (1.185) wherefore it speedily cries out, This is not what I expected, because the Lord is in the place; for he surrounds everything, but in truth and reason he is not surrounded by anything. And this thing which is demonstrated and visible, this world perceptible by the outward senses, is nothing else but the house of God, the abode of one of the powers of the true God, in accordance with which he is good; (1.186) and he calls this world an abode, and he has also pronounced it with great truth to be the gate of heaven. Now, what does this mean? We cannot comprehend the world which consists of various species, in that which is fashioned in accordance with the divine regulations, appreciable only by the intellect, in any other manner than by making a migration upwards from this other world perceptible by the outward senses and visible; (1.187) for it is not possible either to perceive any other existing being which is incorporeal, without deriving our principles of judgment from bodies. For while they are quiet, their place is perceived, and when they are in motion we judge of their time; but the points, and the lines, and the superficies, and in short the boundaries. [...]{46}{there is an hiatus here, which cannot be filled up satisfactorily. The whole of the rest of the chapter is pronounced by Mangey to be obscure and corrupt, and almost unintelligible.} as of a garment wrapped externally around it. (1.188) According to analogy, therefore, the knowledge of the world appreciable by the intellect is attained to by means of our knowledge of that which is perceptible by the outward senses, which is as it were a gate to the other. For as men who wish to see cities enter in through the gates, so also they who wish to comprehend the invisible world are conducted in their search by the appearance of the visible one. And the world of that essence which is only open to the intellect without any visible appearance or figure whatever, and which exists only in the archetypal idea which exists in the mind, which is fashioned according to its appearance, will be brought on without any shade; all the walls, and all the gates which could impede its progress being removed, so that it is not looked at through any other medium, but by itself, putting forth a beauty which is susceptible of no change, presenting an indescribable and exquisite spectacle.

XXXIII. (1.189) But enough of this. There is another dream also which belongs to the same class, that one I mean about the spotted flock, which the person who beheld it relates after he had awoke, saying, "The angel of God spake unto me in a dream, and said, Jacob; and I said, What is it? And he said unto me, Look up with thine eyes, and see the goats and the rams mounting on the flocks, and the she-goats, some white, and spotted, and ring-straked, and speckled: for I have beheld all that Laban does unto thee. I am that God who was seen by thee in the place of God, where thou anointedst the pillar, and vowedst a vow unto me. Now therefore, rise up and depart out of the land, and go into the land of thy birth, and I will be with Thee."{47}{#ge 31:11.} (1.190) You see here, that the divine word speaks of dreams as sent from God; including in this statement not those only which appear through the agency of the chief cause itself, but those also which are seen through the operation of his interpreters and attendant angels, who are thought by the father who created them to be worthy of a divine and blessed lot: (1.191) consider, however, what comes afterwards. The sacred word enjoins some persons what they ought to do by positive command, like a king; to others it suggests what will be for their advantage, as a preceptor does to his pupils; to others again, it is like a counsellor suggesting the wisest plans; and in this way too, it is of great advantage to those who do not of themselves know what is expedient; to others it is like a friend, in a mild and persuasive manner, bringing forward many secret things which no uninitiated person may lawfully hear. (1.192) For at times it asks some persons, as for instance, Adam, "Where art thou?" And any one may properly answer to such a question, "No where?" Because all human affairs never remain long in the same condition, but are moved about and changed, whether we speak of their soul or their body, or of their external circumstances; for their minds are unstable, not always having the same impressions from the same things, but such as are diametrically contrary to their former ones. The body also is unstable, as all the changes of the different ages from infancy to old age show; their external circumstances also are variable, being tossed up and down by the impetus of everagitated fortune.

XXXIV. (1.193) When, however, he comes into an assembly of friends, he does not begin to speak before he has first accosted each individual among them, and addressed him by name, so that they prick up their ears, and are quiet and attentive, listening to the oracles thus delivered, so as never to forget them or let them escape their memory: since in another passage of scripture we read, "Be silent and Listen."{48}{#de 27:9.} (1.194) In this manner, too, Moses is called up to the bush. For, the scripture says, "When he saw that he was turning aside to see, God called him out of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses: and he said, What is it, Lord?"{49}{#ex 3:4.} And Abraham also, on the occasion of offering up his beloved and only son as a burnt-offering, when he was beginning to sacrifice him, and when he had given proof of his piety, was forbidden to destroy the self-taught race, Isaac by name, from among men; (1.195) for at the beginning of his account of this transaction, Moses says that "God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham, Abraham; and he said, Behold, here am I. And he said unto him, Take now thy beloved son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and offer him up." And when he had brought the victim to the altar, then the angel of the Lord called him out of heaven, saying, "Abraham, Abraham," and he answered, "Behold, here am I. And he said, Lay not thy hand upon the child, and do nothing to Him."{50}{#ge 22:1.} (1.196) Also the practiser of virtue is also called one of this company dear to God, being deservedly accounted worthy of the same honour; for, says the scripture, "The angel of God said to me in my sleep, Jacob: and I answered, and said, What is It?"{51}{#ge 31:10.} (1.197) But after he has been called he exerts his attention, endeavouring to arrive at an accurate knowledge of the symbols which are displayed to him; and these symbols are the connection and generation of reasonings, as flocks and herds. For, says the scripture, "Jacob, looking up with his eyes, saw the goats and rams leaping upon the shegoats and upon the sheep." (1.198) Now the hegoat is the leader of the flock of goats, and the ram is the leader of the flock of sheep, and these two animals are symbols of perfect reasonings, one of which purifies and cleanses the soul of sins, and the other nourishes it and renders it full of good actions. Such then are the leaders of the flocks in us, namely, reasons; and the flocks themselves, resembling the sheep and goats whose names they bear, rush forwards and hasten with zeal and earnestness towards justice. (1.199) Therefore, looking up with the eye of his mind, which up to that time had been closed, he saw the perfect and thoroughly sharpened reasons analogically resembling the goats and rams, prepared for the diminution of offences and the increase of good actions. And he beheld how they leap upon the sheep and the goats, that is on those souls which are still young and tender, and in the vigour of youth, and beautiful in the flower of their age; not pursuing irrational pleasure, but indulging in the invisible sowing of the doctrines of prudence. (1.200) For this is a marriage which is blessed in its children; not uniting bodies, but adapting perfect virtues to well-disposed souls. Therefore do all ye right reasons of wisdom leap up, form connections, sow seed, and pass by no soul which you see rich and fertile, and welldisposed, and virgin; but inviting it to association and connection with you, render it perfect and pregnant; for so you will become the parents of all kinds of good things, of a male offspring, white, variegated, ring-straked, and speckled.

XXXV. (1.201) But we must now examine what power each of these offspring has. Now those which are purely white (dialeukoi) are the most beautiful and the most conspicuous: the word dia being often prefixed in composition by way of adding force to the word, so that the words diadeÁlon and diaseÁmion are commonly used to signify what is very conspicuous (deÁlon) and very remarkable (episeÁmon); (1.202) therefore the meaning here is that the first-born offspring of the soul which has received the sacred seed, is purely white; being like light in which there is no obscurity, and like the most brilliant radiance: like the unclouded beam which might proceed from the rays of the sun in fine weather at mid-day. Again, by the statement that some are variegated, what is meant is, not that the flocks are marked by such a multiform and various spottedness as to resemble the unclean leprosy, and which is an emblem of a life unsteady and tossed about in any direction by reason of the fickleness of the mind, but only that they have marks drawn in regular lines and different characters, shaped and impressed with all kinds of well approved forms, the peculiarities of which, being multiplied together and combined properly, will produce a musical harmony. (1.203) For some persons have looked upon the art of variegating as so random and obscure a matter, that they have referred it to weavers. But I admire not only the art itself, but the name likewise, and most especially so when I look upon the divisions of the earth and the spheres in heaven, and the differences between various plants and various animals, and that most variegated texture, I mean the world; (1.204) for I am compelled to suppose, that the maker of this universal textile fabric was also the inventor of all varied and variegating science; and I look with reverence upon the inventor, and I honour the art which he invented, and I am amazed at the work which is the result, and this too, though it is but a very small portion of it which I have been able to see, but still, from the portion of which has been unfolded to me, if indeed I may say that it has been unfolded, I hope to form a tolerably accurate judgment of the whole, guiding my conjectures by the light of analogy. (1.205) Nevertheless I admire the lover of wisdom for having studied the same art, collecting and thinking fit to weave together many things, though different, and proceeding from different sources, into the same web; for taking the first two elements from the grammatical knowledge imparted to children, that is to say, reading and writing, and taking from the more perfect growth of knowledge the skill which is found among poets, and the comprehension of ancient history, and deriving certainty and freedom from deception from arithmetic and geometry, in which sciences there is need of proportions and calculations; and borrowing from music rhyme, and metre, and harmonies, and chromatics, and diatonics, and combined and disjoined melodies; and having derived from rhetoric invention, and language, and arrangement, and memory, and action; and from philosophy, whatever has been omitted in any of these separate branches, and all the other things of which human life consists, he has put together in one most admirably arranged work, combining great learning of one kind with great learning of another kind. (1.206) Now the sacred scripture calls the maker of this compound work Besaleel, which name, being interpreted, signifies "in the shadow of God;" for he makes all the copies, and the man by name Moses makes all the models, as the principal architect; and for this reason it is, that the one only draws outlines as it were, but the other is not content with such sketches, (1.207) but makes the archetypal natures themselves, and has already adorned the holy places with his variegating art; but the wise man is called the only adorner of the place of wisdom in the oracles delivered in the sacred scriptures.

XXXVI. And the most beautiful and varied work of God, this world, has been created in this its present state of perfection by all-wise knowledge; and how can it be anything but right to receive the art of variegating as a noble effort of knowledge? (1.208) the most sacred copy of which is the whole word of wisdom, which will bear about in its bosom the things of heaven and of earth, from which the practiser of virtue elaborates his notions of various things. For after the white sheep he immediately beheld the variegated animals, stamped with the impression of instruction. (1.209) The third kind are the ring-straked and speckled; and what man in his senses would deny that these also are, as to their genus, variegated? but still he is not so very eager about the varieties of the members of the flocks, as about the road which leads to virtue and excellence; (1.210) for the prophet intends that he who proceeds along this road shall be besprinkled with dust and water; because it is related that the earth and water being kneaded together and fashioned into shape by the Creator of man, was formed into one body, not being made by hand, but being the work of invisible nature. (1.211) Therefore it is the first principle of wisdom not to forget one's self, and always to keep before one's eyes the materials of which one has been compounded; for in this way a man will get rid of boasting and arrogance, which of all evils is the one most hated by God; for who that ever admits into his mind the recollection that the first principles of his formation are dust and water, would ever be so puffed by vanity as to be unduly elated? (1.212) On this account the prophet has thought it fit that those who are about to offer sacrifice shall be sprinkled with the aforesaid things; thinking no one worthy to appear at a sacrifice who has not first of all learnt to know himself, and to comprehend the nothingness of mankind, and the elements of which he is composed, conjecturing from them that he himself is utterly insignificant.

XXXVII. (1.213) These three signs, the white, the variegated, and the ring-straked and speckled, are as yet imperfect in the practiser of virtue, who has not himself as yet attained to perfection. But, in the case of him who is perfect, they also appear to be perfect. And in what manner they appear so we will examine. (1.214) The sacred scripture has appointed that the great High Priest, when he was about to perform the ministrations appointed by the law, should be besprinkled with water and ashes in the first place, that he might come to a remembrance of himself. For the wise Abraham also, when he went forth to converse with God, pronounced himself to be dust and ashes. In the second place, it enjoins him to put on a tunic reaching down to his feet, and the variouslyembroidered thing which was called his breastplate, an image and representation of the lightgiving stars which appear in heaven. (1.215) For there are, as it seems, two temples belonging to God; one being this world, in which the high priest is the divine word, his own firstborn son. The other is the rational soul, the priest of which is the real true man, the copy of whom, perceptible to the senses, is he who performs his paternal vows and sacrifices, to whom it is enjoined to put on the aforesaid tunic, the representation of the universal heaven, in order that the world may join with the man in offering sacrifice, and that the man may likewise co-operate with the universe. (1.216) He is now therefore shown to have these two things, the speckled and the variegated character. We will now proceed to explain the third and most perfect kind, which is denominated thoroughly white. When this same high priest enters into the innermost parts of the holy temple, he is clothed in the variegated garment, and he also assumes another linen robe, made of the very finest flax. (1.217) And this is an emblem of vigour, and incorruptibility, and the most brilliant light. For such a veil is a thing very difficult to be broken, and it is made of nothing mortal, and when it is properly and carefully purified it has a most clear and brilliant appearance. (1.218) And these injunctions contain this figurative meaning, that of those who in a pure and a guileless spirit serve the living God, there is no one who does not at first depend upon the firmness and obstinacy of his mind, despising all human affairs, which allure men with their specious bait, and injure them, and produce weakness in them. In the next place, he aims at immortality, laughing at the blind inventions with which mortals delude themselves. And last of all, he shines with the unclouded and most brilliant light of truth, no longer desiring any of the things which belong to false opinion, which prefer darkness rather than light.

XXXVIII. (1.219) The great high priest of the confession, then, may have now been sufficiently described by us, being stamped with the impressions above-mentioned, the white, the variegated, and the ring-straked and speckled. But he who is desirous of the administration of human affairs, by name Joseph, does not, as it appears, claim for himself any of the extreme characteristics, but only that variegated one which is in the middle between the others. (1.220) For we read that Joseph had a "coat of many Colours,"{52}{#ge 37:3.} not being sprinkled with the sacred purifications, by means of which he might have known that he himself was only a compound of dust and water, and not being able to touch that thoroughly white and most shining raiment, virtue. But being clothed in the much-variegated web of political affairs, with which the smallest possible portion of truth is mixed up; and also many and large portions of plausible, probable, and likely falsehoods, from which all the sophists of Egypt, and all the augurs, and ventriloquists, and sorcerers spring; men skilful in juggling, and in incantations, and in tricks of all kinds, from whose treacherous arts it is very difficult to escape. (1.221) And it is on this account that Moses very naturally represents this robe as stained with blood; since the whole life of the man who is mixed up in political affairs is tainted, warring on others and being warred against, and being aimed at, and attacked, and shot at by all the unexpected chances which befall him. (1.222) Examine now the man who has great influence with the people, on whom the affairs of the city depend. Do not be alarmed at those who look with admiration upon him; and you will find many diseases lurking within him, and you will see that he is entangled in many disasters, and that fortune is dragging him violently in different directions, though he bends his neck the other way, and resists, although invisibly, and in fact that fortune is seeking to overthrow and destroy him; or else the people themselves are impatient at his supremacy, or he is exposed to the attacks of some more powerful rival. (1.223) And envy is a formidable enemy, and one hard to be shaken off, clinging also to everything that is called good fortune, and it is not easy to escape from it.

XXXIX. (1.224) What reason is there then for our congratulating ourselves on the administration of political affairs as if we were clothed in a garment of many colours, deceived by its external splendour, and not perceiving its ugliness, which is kept out of sight, and hidden, and full of treachery and guile? (1.225) Let us then put off this flowery robe, and put on that sacred one woven with the embroideries of virtue; for thus we shall escape the snares which want of skill, and ignorance, and want of knowledge, and education lay for us, of which Laban is the companion. (1.226) For when the sacred word has purified us with the sprinklings prepared beforehand for purification, and when it has adorned us with the select reasonings of true philosophy, and, having led us to that man who has stood the test, has made us genuine, and conspicuous, and shining, it blames the treacherous disposition which seeks to raise itself up to invalidate what is said. (1.227) For the scripture says: "I have seen what Laban does unto Thee,"{53}{#ge 31:12.} namely, things contrary to the benefits which I conferred on you, things impure, wicked, and altogether suited to darkness. But it is not right for the man who anchors on the hope of the alliance of God to crouch and tremble, to whom God says, "I am the God who was seen by thee in the place of God." (1.228) A very glorious boast for the soul, that God should think fit to appear to and to converse with it. And do not pass by what is here said, but examine it accurately, and see whether there are really two Gods. For it is said: "I am the God who was seen by thee;" not in my place, but in the place of God, as if he meant of some other God. (1.229) What then ought we to say? There is one true God only: but they who are called Gods, by an abuse of language, are numerous; on which account the holy scripture on the present occasion indicates that it is the true God that is meant by the use of the article, the expression being, "I am the God (ho Theos);" but when the word is used incorrectly, it is put without the article, the expression being, "He who was seen by thee in the place," not of the God (tou Theou), but simply "of God" (Theou); (1.230) and what he here calls God is his most ancient word, not having any superstitious regard to the position of the names, but only proposing one end to himself, namely, to give a true account of the matter; for in other passages the sacred historian, when he considered whether there really was any name belonging to the living God, showed that he knew that there was none properly belonging to him; but that whatever appellation any one may give him, will be an abuse of terms; for the living God is not of a nature to be described, but only to be.

XL. (1.231) And a proof of this may be found in the oracular answer given by God to the person who asked what name he had, "I am that I Am,"{54}{#ex 3:14.} that the questioner might know the existence of those things which it was not possible for man to conceive not being connected with God. (1.232) Accordingly, to the incorporeal souls which are occupied in his service, it is natural for him to appear as he is, conversing with them as a friend with his friends; but to those souls which are still in the body he must appear in the resemblance of the angels, though without changing his nature (for he is unchangeable), but merely implanting in those who behold him an idea of his having another form, so that they fancy that it is his image, not an imitation of him, but the very archetypal appearance itself. (1.233) There is then an old story much celebrated, that the Divinity, assuming the resemblance of men of different countries, goes round the different cities of men, searching out the deeds of iniquity and lawlessness; and perhaps, though the fable is not true, it is a suitable and profitable one. (1.234) But the scripture, which at all times advances its conceptions with respect to the Deity, in a more reverential and holy tone, and which likewise desires to instruct the life of the foolish, has spoken of God under the likeness of a man, though not of any particular man; (1.235) attributing to him, with this view, the possession of a face, and hands, and feet, and of a mouth and voice, and also anger and passion, and moreover, defensive weapons, and goings in and goings out, and motions upwards and downwards, and in every direction, not indeed using all these expressions with strict truth, but having regard to the advantage of those who are to learn from it; (1.236) for the writers knew that some men are very dull in their natures, so as to be utterly unable to form any conception whatever of God apart from a body, whom it will be impossible to admonish if they were to speak in any other style than the existing one, of representing God as coming and departing like a man; and as descending and ascending, and as using his voice, and as being angry with sinners, and being implacable in his anger; and speaking too of his darts and swords, and whatever other instruments are suitable to be employed against the wicked, as being all previously ready. (1.237) For we must be content if such men can be brought to a proper state, by the fear which is suspended over them by such descriptions; and one many almost say that these are the only two paths taken, in the whole history of the law; one leading to plain truth, owing to which we have such assertions as, "God is not as a Man;"{55}{#nu 23:19.} the other, that which has regard to the opinions of foolish men, in reference to whom it is said, "The Lord God shall instruct you, like as if a man instructs his Son."{56}{#de 1:31.}

XLI. (1.238) Why then do we any longer wonder, if God at times assumes the likeness of the angels, as he sometimes assumes even that of men, for the sake of assisting those who address their entreaties to him? so that when he says, "I am the God who was seen by thee in the place of God;"{57}{#ge 31:13.} we must understand this, that he on that occasion took the place of an angel, as far as appearance went, without changing his own real nature, for the advantage of him who was not, as yet, able to bear the sight of the true God; (1.239) for as those who are not able to look upon the sun itself, look upon the reflected rays of the sun as the sun itself, and upon the halo around the moon as if it were the moon itself; so also do those who are unable to bear the sight of God, look upon his image, his angel word, as himself. (1.240) Do you not see that encyclical instruction, that is, Hagar, says to the angel, "Art thou God who seest Me?"{58}{#ge 16:13.} for she was not capable of beholding the most ancient cause, inasmuch as she was by birth a native of Egypt. But now the mind begins to be improved, so as to be able to contemplate the governor of all the powers; (1.241) on which account he says himself, "I am the Lord God,"{59}{#ge 31:13.} I whose image you formerly beheld instead of me, and whose pillar you set up, engraving on it a most sacred inscription; and the inscription indicated that I stood alone, and that I established the nature of all things, bringing disorder and irregularity into order and regularity, and supporting the universe firmly, so that it might rest on a firm and solid foundation, my own ministering word.

XLII. (1.242) For the pillar is the symbol of three things; of standing, of dedication, and of an inscription: now the standing and the inscription have been described, but the dedication it is necessary should be explained to all men. (1.243) For heaven and the world are an offering dedicated to God who made them; and all the cosmopolitan and God-loving souls, which dedicate and consecrate themselves to him, not allowing any mortal thing to drag them in an opposite direction, are never weary of hallowing their own life, and adorning it with every kind of beauty as a meet offering for him. (1.244) And he is a foolish man who does not set up a pillar to God, but who erects one to himself instead, attributing stability to the things of creation, which is tossed about in every direction, and thinking those things worthy of inscriptions and panegyrics, which are in reality full of matter for blame and accusation, and which as such had better never have been mentioned in an inscription at all, or if they had, had better have been speedily erased again. (1.245) On which account the holy scripture says distinctly, "Thou shalt not set up a pillar to Thyself;"{60}{deuteronomy 16:22.} for in truth there is nothing belonging to man that is stable, no, not though some persons persist even so obstinately in affirming it. (1.246) But they not only think that they stand firmly, but also that they are worthy of honours and inscriptions, forgetting him who is alone worthy of honour, and who is alone firmly fixed; for while they are turning aside and wandering away from the path which leads to virtue, the outward sense leads them still more astray, that is to say, the woman who is akin to them, she also compels them to run ashore; (1.247) therefore, the whole soul, like a ship, {61}{mangey thinks that this passage is corrupt, and proposes to alter naus into apnous, "dead," but it seems unnecessary.} being shut in all around, is offered up as a pillar; for the sacred scriptures tell us that Lot's wife having turned back to look behind her, became a pillar of salt, (1.248) and this is said very naturally and fitly; for if any one does not look forwards at those things which are worthy of being seen and heard (and these things are the virtues and the actions done in accordance with virtue), but looks backwards at the things which are behind him, at deaf glory, and blind riches, and senseless vigour of body, and an empty elegance of mind, pursuing these objects only, and such as are akin to them, he will lie as a lifeless pillar melting away by itself; for salt is not a thing to preserve his firmness.

XLIII. (1.249) Very admirably therefore does the practiser of virtue, having learnt by continued study that creation is a thing in its own nature moveable, but that the uncreated God is unchangeable and immoveable, erect a pillar to God, and anoint it after he has erected it; for God says, "Thou hast anointed my Pillar."{62}{#ge 31:13.} (1.250) But do not fancy that that stone was anointed with oil, but understand rather that that opinion, that God is the only being who stands firmly, was thoroughly hardened by exercise, and established in the soul by the science of wrestling, not that science by which bodies are made fat, but that by which the mind acquires strength and irresistible vigour; (1.251) for the man who is eager in the pursuit of good studies and virtuous objects is fond of labours, and fond of exercises; so that very naturally, having worked out the science of training which is the sister of the art of medicine, he anoints and brings to perfection all the reasonings of virtue and piety, and dedicates them, as a most beautiful and lasting offering to God. (1.252) For this reason, after mentioning the dedication of the pillar, God adds that, "Thou vowedst a vow to me." Now a vow also is, to speak properly, a dedication, since he who makes a vow is said to offer up, as a gift to God, not only his own possessions, but himself likewise, who is the owner of them; (1.253) for says the scripture, "the man is holy who nourishes the locks of the hair of his head; who has vowed a vow." But if he is holy he is undoubtedly an offering to God, no longer meddling with anything unholy or profane; (1.254) and there is an evidence in favour of my argument, in the conduct of the prophetess, and mother of a prophet, Hannah, whose name being translated, signifies grace; for she says that she gives her son, "Samuel, as a gift to the Holy One,"{63}{#1Sa 1:28.} not dedicating him more as a human being, than as a disposition full of inspiration, and possessed by a divinely sent impulse; and the name Samuel being interpreted means, "appointed to God." (1.255) Why then, O my soul, do you any longer waste yourself in vain speculations and labours? and why do you not go as a pupil to the practiser of virtue, taking up arms against the passions, and against vain opinion, to learn from him the way to wrestle with them? For as soon as you have learnt this art, you will become the leader of a flock, not of one which is destitute of marks, and of reason, and of docility, but of one which is well approved, and rational, and beautiful, (1.256) of which, if you become the leader, you will pity the miserable race of mankind, and will not cease to reverence the Deity; and you will never be weary of blessing God, and moreover you will engrave hymns suited to your sacred subject upon pillars, that you may not only speak fluently, but may also sing musically the virtues of the living God; for by these means you will be able to return to your father's house, being delivered from a long a profitless wandering in and foreign land.


I. (2.1) In describing the third species of dreams which are sent from God, we very naturally call on Moses as an ally, in order that as he learnt, having previously been ignorant, so he may instruct us who are also ignorant, concerning these signs, illustrating each separate one of them. Now this third species of dreams exists, whenever in sleep the mind being set in motion by itself, and agitating itself, is filled with frenzy and inspiration, so as to predict future events by a certain prophetic power. (2.2) For the first kind of dreams which we mentioned, was that which proceeded from God as the author of its motion, and, as some invisible manner prompted us what was indistinct to us, but well known to himself. The second kind was when our own intellect was set in motion simultaneously with the soul of the universe, and became filled with divine madness, by means of which it is allowed to prognosticate events which are about to happen; (2.3) and for this reason the interpreter of the sacred will very plainly and clearly speaks of dreams, indicating by this expression the visions which appear according to the first species, as if God, by means of dreams, gave suggestions which were equivalent to distinct and precise oracles. Of the visions according to the second species he speaks neither very clearly nor very obscurely; an instance of which is afforded by the vision which was exhibited of the ladder reaching up to heaven; for this version was an enigmatical one; nevertheless, the meaning was not hidden from those who were able to see with any great acuteness. (2.4) But these visions which are afforded according to the third species of dreams, being less clear than the two former kinds by reason of their having an enigmatical meaning deeply seated and fully coloured, require the science of an interpreter of dreams. At all events all the dreams of this class, which are recorded by the lawgiver, are interpreted by men who are skilled in the aforesaid art. (2.5) Whose dreams then am I here alluding to? Surely every one must see to those of Joseph, and of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and to those which the chief baker and chief butler saw themselves; (2.6) and it may be well at all times to begin our instruction with the first instances. Now the first dreams are those which Joseph beheld, receiving two visions from the two parts of the world, heaven and earth. From the earth the dream about the harvest; and that is as follows, "I thought that we were all binding sheaves in the middle of the field; and my sheaf stood Up."{64}{#ge 37:7.} (2.7) And the other relates to the circle of the zodiac, and is, "They worshipped me as the sun and the moon and the eleven stars." And the interpretation of the former one, which was delivered with great violence of reproof, is as follows, "Shall you be a king and reign over us? or shall you be a lord and lord it over us?" The interpretation of the second is again full of just indignation, "Shall I, and thy mother, and thy brethren come and fall down upon the ground and worship thee?"

II. (2.8) Let these things be laid down first by way of foundation; and on this foundation let us raise up the rest of the building, following the rules of that wise architect, allegory, and accurately investigating each particular of the dreams; but first we must mention what it is requisite should be attended to before the dreams. Some persons have extended the nature of good over many things, and others have attributed it to the most excellent Being alone; some again have mixed it with other things, while others have spoken of it as unalloyed. (2.9) Those then who have called only what is honourable good, have preserved this nature free from alloy, and have attributed it only to what is most excellent, namely to the reason that is in us; but those who have mixed it have combined it with three things, the soul, the body, and external circumstances. And they who act thus are persons of a somewhat effeminate and luxurious way of life, being bred up the greater part of their time, from their earliest infancy, in the women's apartments and among the effeminate race which is found in the women's apartments. But those who argue differently are men inclined to a harder regimen, being bred up from their boyhood among men, and being themselves men in their minds, embracing what is right in preference to what is pleasant, and devoting themselves to nourishment fit for athletes for the sake of strength and vigour, not of pleasure. (2.10) Moses moreover represents two persons as leaders of these two companies. The leader of the noble and good company is the self-taught and self-instructed Isaac; for he records that he was weaned, not choosing to avail himself at all of tender, and milk-like, and childish, and infantine food, but only of such as was vigorous and perfect, inasmuch as he was formed by nature, from his very infancy, for acts of virtue, and was always in the prime and vigour of youth and energy. But the leader of the company, which yields and which is inclined to softer measures, is Joseph; (2.11) for he does not indeed neglect the virtues of the soul, but he likewise shows anxiety about the stability and permanence of the body, and also desires an abundance of worldly treasures; and it is in strict accordance with natural truth, that he is represented as drawn in different directions, since he proposes to himself many different objects in life; and being attracted by each of them, he is kept in a state of commotion and agitation, without being able to stand firm. (2.12) And his case is not like that of cities, which having made a truce enjoy peace, and yet after a time are again attacked, so as to gain the victory and to be defeated alternately; for at times a great influx of riches and glory coming upon them, subdues all their cares for the body and the soul, but afterwards, being repelled by both these things, they are conquered by the adversary; (2.13) and in the same manner all the pleasures of the body coming upon the soul in a compact array overwhelm and efface all the objects of the intellect one after the other; and then, after a short time, wisdom, changing its course and blowing in the opposite direction with a fresh and violent breeze, causes the stream of the pleasures to slacken, and altogether moderates all the eagerness, and impetuosity, and rivalry of the external senses. (2.14) Such a circle then of never-ending war revolves around the soul, subject as it is to so many changes; for when one enemy has been destroyed, then immediately there springs up another more powerful, after the fashion of the many-headed hydra; for they say, that in the case of this monster, instead of the head which was cut off another sprung up, by which statement they mean to intimate the multiform, and prolific, and almost invincible character of undying wickedness. (2.15) Do not, therefore, answer [...] Joseph [...]{65}{there is an hiatus here, and there is a good deal of corruption about the beginning of this book.} but know that he is the image of multiform and mixed knowledge. For there appears in him a rational species of continence, which is of the masculine kind, being fashioned in accordance with his father Jacob; (2.16) and also that kind which is devoid of reason is likewise visible, that of the outward sense I mean, being made in the likeness of his maternal race, according to Rachel. There appears in him also the seed of bodily pleasures, which his association with the chief butlers, and chief bakers, and chief cooks has stamped upon him. There is, also visible the seed of vain opinion, on which he mounts as on a chariot by reason of his levity, being puffed up, and elated, and raising himself to a height to the destruction of equality.

III. (2.17) Now the character of Joseph is sketched out by the foregoing outlines. But each of his dreams must be investigated with accuracy; and first of all we must examine the one about the sheaves. "I thought," says he, "that we were all binding sheaves." The expression, "I thought," is clearly that of a person who is not certain, but who is hesitating and supposing with some amount of indistinctness, not of one who sees positively and clearly; (2.18) for it is very natural for persons just awakening out of a deep sleep, and still dozing at it were, to say, "I thought;" but not so for people who are thoroughly awake, and who can see distinctly. (2.19) And the practiser of virtue, Jacob, does not say, "I thought," but his language is, "Behold, a ladder firmly set, the head of which reached up to Heaven."{66}{#ge 28:12.} And again he says, when "the sheep conceived I saw them with my eyes in my sleep, and behold the he-goats and the rams leapt upon the ewes and upon the she-goats, white, and variegated, and ring-straked, and Speckled."{67}{#ge 31:10.} (2.20) For it happens of necessity that the sleeping conceptions also of those who think what is honourable and eligible for its own sake and more distinct and more pure, just as their waking actions are also more deserving of approbation.

IV. (2.21) But when I hear Jacob relating his dream I marvel at his having fancied that he was binding up the sheaves, and not reaping the corn; for the one is the task of the lower classes and of servants, but the other is the occupation of the employers, and of men more skilled in agriculture. (2.22) For to be able to distinguish what is necessary from what is mischievous, and what is nutritious from what is not so, and what is genuine from what is spurious, and useful fruit from a worthless root, not only in reference to those things which the land bears, but also in those which the intellect bears, is the work of most perfect virtue. (2.23) Accordingly the holy scripture represents those who see, that is the sons of Israel, as reaping, and what is a most extraordinary thing, as reaping not barley or wheat, but the harvest itself; accordingly the language of Moses is, "When you reap your harvest, you shall not wholly reap the corners of your Harvest."{68}{leviticus 19:9.} (2.24) For he means here that the virtuous man is not merely the judge of things which differ from one another, and that he does not only distinguish the things from which some produce is derived from the produce itself; but that he is able also to distinguish while reaping the harvest, to remove this opinion of his ability to distinguish, and to eradicate a man's own opinion of himself; because he is firmly persuaded, and believes Moses when he affirms that "judgment belongs to God Alone,"{69}{#de 1:17.} with whom are the comparisons and distinctions between all things; to whom it is well for a man to confess that he is inferior, a confession more glorious than the most renowned victory. (2.25) Now the reaping a harvest is like cutting a second time what has been cut already; which when some persons fond of novelty applied themselves to they found a circumcision of circumcision, and a purification of purification; {70}{#nu 6:2.} that is to say, they found that the purification of the soul was itself purified, attributing the power of making bright to God, and never fancying that they themselves were competent, without the assistance of the divine wisdom, to wash and cleanse a life which is full of stains. (2.26) Akin to this is the double cave, which is a symbol of the twofold and excellent recollections (the one existing in reference to the creature, and the other to the Creator), in which the virtuous man is bred up, contemplating the things which are in the world, and being also fond of inquiring about the father who made them; (2.27) and it is owing to these twofold recollections, in my opinion, that the double symphony in music, that of the double diapason, was invented. (2.28) For it was necessary that the work and the creator should be made happy in two most perfect melodies, and not both in the same one. For since the excellencies which were to be celebrated by them differed from one another, it followed of necessity that the melodies and symphonies should likewise differ from one another. The combined symphony being assigned to the world, which is a compound creation, composed of many different parts; and the disjoined melody being appropriated to him who, as to his essence, is separated from every creature, namely, to God. (2.29) Moreover, the interpreter of the sacred will again enunciates an opinion friendly to virtue, saying that it is not proper "to thoroughly reap every corner of the harvest field;" remembering the original proposition, according to which he agreed that "the tribute belonged to the Lord,"{71}{#nu 31:28.} to whom the authority and the conformation of these things also belong; (2.30) but he who is uninitiated in reaping boasts, so far as to say, "I thought that I was with the others binding up the sheaves which I had Reaped."{72}{#ge 37:7.} And he does not consider that this is the occupation of servants and unskilled hands, as I have said a little while ago. (2.31) But this word sheaves is an allegorical expression by which affairs are really meant, such as each man takes in hand for the support of his house, in which he hopes to live and dwell for ever.

V. (2.32) There are, therefore, an infinite number of differences between sheaves, that is to say, between such affairs as support a house. There are also a countless host of differences between those who gather and take up the sheaves in their hand, so that it is impossible to mention or even to imagine them all. Still it is not out of place to describe a few of them by way of example, which he too mentioned, when he was recounting his dream. (2.33) For he says to his brethren, "I thought that we were binding up sheaves." Now, of brethren he has ten, who are sons of the same father as himself, and one who is by the same mother; and the name of each individual among them is an emblem of some most necessary thing. Reuben is an emblem of natural acuteness, for he is called "the son who sees," being in so far as he is a son not perfect, but in so far as he is endowed with the faculty of sight and sees acutely, he is naturally well qualified. (2.34) Simeon is an emblem of learning, for his name being interpreted means, "listening." Levi is a symbol of virtuous energies and actions, and of holy ministrations. Judas is an emblem of songs and hymns addressed to God. Issachar, of wages which are given for good work; but perhaps the works themselves are their own perfect reward. Zabulon is a symbol of light, since his name means the departure of night; and when the night departs and leaves us, then of necessity light arises. (2.35) Dan is a symbol of the distinction between, and division of, different things. Gad is an emblem of the invasion of pirates, and of a counter attack made upon them. Asser is a symbol of natural wealth, for his name being interpreted, signifies "a calling blessed," since wealth is accounted a blessed possession. (2.36) Napthali is a symbol of peace, for all things are open and extended by peace, as on the other hand they are closed by war; and his name being interpreted means, "widening," or "that which is opened." Benjamin is an emblem of young and old times; for being interpreted his name means "the son of days," and both young time and old time are measured by days and nights. (2.37) Accordingly, every one of them takes up in his hand what belongs to himself; and having taken it up, binds all the parts together; the man well endowed by nature taking up the parts of dexterity, and perseverance, and memory, of which good natural endowments consist; the man who has learnt well takes up the parts of listening, tranquillity, and attention; the man willing to endeavour takes up courage and a happy confidence which does not shrink from danger; (2.38) the man inclined to gratitude takes up praises, panegyrics, hymns, and blessings, both in speaking and in singing; the man who is eager for wages takes up unhesitating industry, most enduring gratitude, and care, armed with a promptitude which is not to be despised; (2.39) he who pursues light rather than darkness takes up wakefulness and acuteness of sight; the man who is an admirer of the division of and distinction between things takes up wellsharpened reasons so as not to be deceived by things similar to one another as if they were identical, impartiality so as not to be led away by favour, and incorruptibility; (2.40) he who, in something of a piratical fashion, lays ambuscades against those who counterplot against him, takes up deceit, cajolery, trickery, sophistry, pretence, and hypocrisy, which being in their own nature blamable, are nevertheless praised when employed against the enemy; he who studies to be rich in the riches of nature takes up temperance and frugality; he who loves peace takes up obedience to law, a good reputation, freedom from pride, and equality.

VI. (2.41) It is of these things, then, that the sheaves of his brethren by the same father are composed and bound up; but the sheaf of his uterine brother is composed of days and of time, which are the causes of nothing, as if they were the causes of all things. (2.42) But the dreamer and interpreter of dreams himself, for he united both characters, makes a sheaf of empty opinion as of the greatest and most brilliant of possessions and the most useful to life. For which reason it is originally by his dreams, which are things dear to night, that he is made known to the king of the bodily country, and not by any performance of conspicuous actions, which require day for their exhibition. (2.43) After that, he is appointed overseer or governor of all Egypt, and is honoured with the second rank in the kingdom, and made inferior in honour only to the king. All which things are in the eye of wisdom, if that were the judge, more inglorious and more ridiculous than even defeat and dishonour. (2.44) After that he puts on a golden necklace, a most illustrious halter, the circlet and wheel of interminable necessity, not the consequence and regular order of things in life, nor the connection of the affairs of nature as Thamar was; for her ornament was not a necklace, but an armlet. Moreover, he assumes a ring, a royal gift which is no gift, a pledge devoid of good faith, the very contrary gift to that which was given to the same Thamar by Judah the son of the seeing king, Israel; (2.45) for God gives to the soul a seal, a very beautiful gift, to show that he has invested with shape the essence of all things which was previously devoid of shape, and has stamped with a particular character that which previously had no character, and has endowed with form that which had previously no distinctive form, and having perfected the entire world, he has impressed upon it an image and appearance, namely, his own word. (2.46) But Joseph also mounts the second chariot, being puffed up with elation of mind and vain arrogance. And he is regulator of the provisions, laying up and preserving the treasures for the body, and providing it with food from all quarters: and this is a very formidable fortification against the soul. (2.47) Moreover, his deliberate choice of life, and the life which he admires, is testified to in no slight degree by his name; for Joseph, being interpreted, means "addition;" and vain opinion is always adding what is spurious to what is genuine, and what is the property of others to what is one's own, and what is false to what is true, and what is superfluous to what is adequate, and luxury to what is sufficient to support existence, and pride to life.

VII. (2.48) Consider now what it is which I am here desirous to prove. We are nourished by meat and drink, even though the meat be the most ordinary corn, and the drink plain water from the stream. Moreover, besides this, vain opinion has added to it an infinite number of varieties of cakes, and cheese-cakes, and sweetmeats, and costly and various mixtures of an indescribable multitude of wines, for the enjoyment of pleasure rather than for a participation in necessary food properly prepared. (2.49) Again, the necessary seasonings for eating, are leeks, {73}{#nu 11:4.} and vegetables, and many fruits of trees, and cheese, and other things of that sort; and if you wish to include carnivorous men, we must, besides, add fish and meat to these items. (2.50) Would it not, then, have been sufficient to broil these things upon the coals, or to roast them at the fire, and then eat them at once, after the fashion of those true heroes of old times? But the epicure is eager not only for such things as these, but he takes vain opinion for his ally, and excites the gluttonous passions which are within him, and seeks out and hunts all about for confectioners and pastrycooks of high reputation in their art. (2.51) And they, bringing forward the different baits for his miserable stomach, which have been invented after long consideration, and preparing all kinds of peculiar flavours, and arranging them in due order, tickle, and allure, and subdue the tongue. Then, immediately they circumvent that foundation of the outward senses, the taste, by means of which the banquet-hunter in a very short time is rendered a slave instead of a free man. (2.52) For who is there who does not know that clothes were originally made as a defence against the injuries which might arise to the body from cold and heat? as the poets say somewhere:--

"Taming the wind in the winter."

(2.53) Who, therefore, thinks of costly purple garments? Who cares about transparent and thin summer robes? Who wishes for a garment delicate as a spider's web? Who is eager to have embroidered for him apparel flowered over with dyes and brocaded figures, by those who are skilful in sewing and weaving cunning embroidery, and are superior in their handwork to the imitative skill of the painter? Who, I say? Who, but vain opinion.

VIII. (2.54) And, indeed, it is for the same reasons that we had need of houses, requiring them also for protection against the attacks of wild beasts, or of men more savage in their nature than even wild beasts. Why is it, then, that we adorn the pavements and floors with costly stones? And why do we travel over Asia, and Africa, and all Europe, and the islands, searching for pillars and capitals, and architraves, and selecting them with reference to their superior beauty? (2.55) And why are we anxious for, and why do we vie with one another in specimens of Doric, and Ionic, and Corinthian sculpture, and in all the refinements which luxurious men have devised in addition to the existing customs, adorning the capitals of their pillars? And why do we furnish our chambers for men and for women with golden ornaments? Is it not all from our being influenced by vain opinion? (2.56) And yet, for sound sleep, the mere ground was sufficient (since, even to the present day, the accounts tell us that the gymnosophists, among the Indians, sleep on the ground in accordance with their ancient customs); and if it were not, at all events a couch made of carefully chosen stones or plain pieces of wood, would be a sufficient bed; (2.57) but now the poles of our ladders are ornamented with ivory feet, and workmen inlay our beds with costly mother-of-pearl and variegated tortoise-shell, at great expense of labour, and money, and time: and some beds are even made of solid silver or solid gold, and inlaid with precious stones, with all kinds of flowery work, and embossed golden ornaments strewed about them, as if for mere display and magnificence, and not for daily use. The contriver of all which is again the same vain opinion. (2.58) Again: why need we seek for more in the way of ointment than the juice pressed out of the fruit of the olive? For that softens the limbs, and relieves the labour of the body, and produces a good condition of the flesh; and if anything has got relaxed or flabby, it binds it again, and makes it firm and solid, and it fills us with vigour and strength of muscle, no less than any other unguent. (2.59) But the pleasant unguents of vain opinion, are set up in opposition to those that are merely useful, on which the perfumers work, and to which vast regions contribute, such as Syria, Babylon, the Indians, and the Scythians; in which nations the origins of all perfumes are found.

IX. (2.60) Again, with respect to drinking; what more could man really have need of than the cup of nature wrought with the perfection of art? Now such a cup our own hands supply, which, if any one brings together and forms into a hollow, applying them closely to his mouth, while another pours in the liquid to be drank, he gets not only a remedy for his thirst, but also a most indescribable pleasure. (2.61) Still, if one were absolutely in need of something else, would not the ivy cup of the agricultural labourer be sufficient? and why should it be requisite to have recourse to the arts of other eminent artists? And what can be the use of providing a countless multitude of gold and silver goblets, it if be not for the gratification of boastful and vain-glorious arrogance, and of vain opinion raising itself to an undue height? (2.62) Again, when men wear crowns, they are not content with fragrant garlands of laurel, or ivy, or violets, or lilies, or roses, or of any three whatever, or of any flower, neglecting all the gifts of God, which he bestows upon us as the various seasons of the year, but they put golden crowns on their heads, which are a very grievous weight, wearing them in the middle of the crowded marketplace without any shame. And what can we think of such men, but that they are slaves of vain opinion, in spite of their asserting themselves not only to be free, but even to be rulers over many other persons? (2.63) The day would fail me if I were to go through all the varieties of human life; and yet, why need I dwell on the subject with prolixity? For who is there who has not heard, or who has not seen, such men as these? Who is there who does not associate with, and who is not familiar with them? So that the sacred scripture has very appropriately named "addition" the enemy of simplicity and the companion of pride; (2.64) for as superfluous shoots do grow on trees, which are a great injury to the genuine useful branches, and which the cultivators destroy and cut out from a prudent foreknowledge of what is necessary: so likewise the life of falsehood and arrogance often grows up by the side of the true life devoid of pride, of which, to this day, no cultivator has been found who has been able to cut away the injurious superfluous growth by the roots. (2.65) Therefore the practisers of wisdom, knowing this in the first instance by the outward sense, and secondly, pursuing it by the mind, cry out loudly and say, "A wicked beast has seized and devoured Joseph."{74}{#ge 37:33.} (2.66) But does not that most ferocious beast, the various pride which springs up in the life of men living in irregularity and confusion, whose chief workmen are covetousness and unscrupulous cunning, devour every one who comes within his reach? Therefore grief will be added to them, even while they are alive, as though they were dead, since they have a life worthy of lamentation and mourning, since Jacob mourns for Joseph, even while he is alive. (2.67) But Moses will not allow the sacred reasonings about Nadab to be bewailed; {75}{#le 10:6.} for they have not been carried off by a savage beast, but have been taken up by unextinguishable violence and imperishable light; because, having discarded all fear and hesitation, they had duly consecrated the fervent and fiery zeal, consuming the flesh, and very easily and vehemently excited towards piety, which is unconnected with creation, but is akin to God, not going up to the altar by the regular steps, for that was forbidden by law, but proceeding rapidly onwards with a favourable gale, and being conducted up even to the threshold of heaven, becoming dissolved into ethereal beams like a whole burnt-offering.

X. (2.68) Therefore, O thou soul, that art obedient to thy teacher! thou must cut off thine hand and thy power when it begins to take hold of the parts of generation; that is to say, of things created, or of human pursuits; (2.69) for very often ... to cut off the hand which has laid hold of the privy Parts,"{76}{#de 25:12.} in the first place, because it has gladly received the pleasure which it ought rather to hate; and, secondly, because it has thought that the faculty of propagating seed was in our own power, and also, because it has attributed to the creature that power which belongs to the Creator. (2.70) Dost thou not see that the earthly mass, Adam, when it lays its hands upon the two trees, dies, because it has preferred the number two to the unit, and because it has admired the creature in preference to the Creator? But do thou go forth beyond the reach of the smoke and the tempest, and flee from the ridiculous pursuits of mortal life as a fearful whirlpool, and do not, as the proverb has it, touch them even with the tip of thy finger. (2.71) And when thou hast girded thyself up for the sacred ministrations, having made broad thy whole hand and thy whole power, then take a firm hold of the speculations of instruction and wisdom; for the command is of this kind, "If a soul brings a gift or a sacrifice, the gift shall be of fine wheaten Flour."{77}{leviticus 2:1.} After that the lawgiver adds: "And when he has taken a full handful of the fine wheaten flour, with the oil, and with all the frankincense, he places the memorial on the altar of sacrifice." (2.72) Is not this a very beautiful and appropriate expression of Moses, to call that soul incorporeal which is about to offer sacrifice, but not to call the double mass which consists of mortality and immortality by any such name? For that which vows the vow--that which is full of gratitude--that which offers such sacrifices as are truly without spot, is one thing only, namely, the soul. (2.73) What then is the offering of the incorporeal soul? What is the fine wheaten flour, a symbol of the mind purified by the suggestions of instruction, which is able to render the friend of education free from all disease, and life free from all reproach? (2.74) From which the priest taking a handful within his whole hand, that is to say, with the whole grasp of his mind, is commanded to offer up the whole soul itself, full of the most unalloyed and pure doctrines, as the most excellent of sacrifices, fat and in good condition, rejoicing in divine light, and redolent of the exhalations which are given forth by justice, and by the other virtues, so as always to enjoy a most fragrant, and delicious, and happy life; for the oil and the frankincense, of which the priest takes a handful with the white meat, contain a figurative assertion of this.

XI. (2.75) It is on this account that Moses set apart an especial festival for the sheaf; however, not for every sheaf, but for that which came from the sacred land. "For when," says he, "you come into the land which I give unto you, and when you reap its harvest, you shall bring sheaves as a first fruit of your harvest to the Priest."{78}{#le 23:10.} (2.76) And the meaning of this injunction is, when, O mind, you come into the country of virtue, which it is fitting should be offered up to God

alone, being a land good for pasture, a land of rich soil, a land which beareth fruit, and when you reap the fruit (either that afforded by the land spontaneously or that which thou hast sown), which has been brought to perfection by the God who gives perfection; carry it not home to thy house; that is to say, do not store it up, and do not attribute to thyself the cause of the crop which has arisen to thee, before thou has offered the first fruits to the Cause of all wealth, and to him who persuaded thee to study the operations which confer riches. (2.77) And it is enjoined that you shall offer the "first fruits of your own harvest;" not of the harvest of the land, in order that we may reap and gather in the harvest for ourselves; dedicating to God all good and nutritious, and beneficial fruits.

XII. (2.78) But the man who is at the same time initiated in dreams and also an interpreter of dreams, is bold to say that his sheaf rose and stood upright; for in real truth, as spirited horses lift their necks high, so all who are companions of vain opinion place themselves above all things, above all cities, and laws, and national customs, and above all the circumstances which affect each individual of them. (2.79) Then proceeding onwards from being demagogues to being leaders of the people, and overthrowing the things which belong to their neighbours, and setting up and establishing on a solid footing what belongs to themselves, that is to say, all such dispositions as are free and by nature impatient of slavery, they attempt to reduce these also under their power; (2.80) on which account the dreamer adds, "And your sheaves turning towards my sheaf made obeisance unto It."{79}{#ge 37:7.} For the lover of modesty marvels at and fears the stiffnecked, and the cautious person fears the self-willed man, and he who reverences holiness fears that which is impious both for himself and for others. (2.81) And is not this reasonable? For inasmuch as the good man is a spectator, not only of human life but also of all the things which exist in the world, he knows how many things are accustomed to be caused by necessity, and chance, and opportunity, and violence, and authority; and what numbers of propositions, and what great instances of prosperity proceeding onwards with rapidity towards heaven, the same causes have shaken and overthrown; (2.82) so that he will of necessity take up caution as a shield, as a protection to prevent his suffering any sudden and unexpected evil; for as I imagine what a wall is to a city, that caution is to an individual. (2.83) Do not these men then talk foolishly, are they not mad, who desire to display their inexperience and freedom of speech to kings and tyrants, at times daring to speak and to do things in opposition to their will? Do they not perceive that they have not only put their necks under the yoke like brute beasts, but that they have also surrendered and betrayed their whole bodies and souls likewise, and their wives and their children, and their parents, and all the rest of the numerous kindred and community of their other relations? And is it not lawful for the charioteer, and also for the passenger, with all freedom to spur, and to urge forward, and to check, and to hold back, according as he desires to arrange things, so as to make them greater or smaller. (2.84) Therefore, being pricked with goads, and flogged, and mutilated, and suffering all the cruelties which can be inflicted in an inhuman and pitiless manner before death, all together, they are led away to execution and put to death.

XIII. (2.85) These are the rewards of unseemly freedom of speech, not of that which is accounted such by right-thinking judges, but of that license which is full of folly, and insanity of mind, and of incurable distemper. What do you mean? Does anyone, when he sees a storm at its height, and a violent gale opposing him, and a hurricane raging tempestuously, and the sea full of vast waves, when he ought to anchor his ship, does anyone, I say, at such a moment weigh anchor and put to sea? (2.86) What pilot, or what captain of a ship, was ever so drunk and intoxicated, as, while all the dangers which I have just enumerated were threatening him, to be willing to set sail, lest, if his vessel became water-logged by the sea breaking over it from above, it might be swallowed up with all its crew? For, if he had been inclined to meet with a voyage free from danger, it was in his power to wait for calm weather and a smooth and favourable breeze. (2.87) What would one say, suppose anyone were to see a bear or a lion coming on with violence, and, while he might pacify and tame him, were to provoke him and make him savage, in order to give up himself as an unpitied meal and feast to those ravenous monsters? (2.88) Unless indeed anyone will assert that it is of no use to anyone to oppose the asps and serpents of Egypt, and all the other things which ... destructive poison ... inflict inevitable death on those who are once bitten by them; for that men must be content to use incantations, and so to tame those beasts, and by such means to avoid suffering any evil from them. (2.89) Moreover, are there not certain men who are more savage and more treacherous than boars, or serpents, or asps? whose treacherous and malignant disposition it is impossible to escape otherwise than by gentleness and caresses? Therefore the wise Abraham will offer adoration to the sons of Cheth, and their name being interpreted, means "admiring," because the occasion persuades him to do so. (2.90) For he has not come to this action of adoration because he honours person who, by nature, and by hereditary qualities, and by their own habits, are enemies to reason, and who miserably waste the coinage of the soul, namely instruction, corrupting, and adulterating, and clipping it, but because he fears their present power and their scarcely conquerable strength, and is on his guard not to provoke them, he takes refuge in that great and powerful possession and weapon of virtue, that most excellent place of abode for wise souls, the double cave, which he could not occupy while warring and fighting, but only by acting as a champion and servant of reason. (2.91) What? Do not we also, when we are spending our time in the market-place, frequently wonder at the masters, and also at the beasts of burden? But we wonder at these two classes, with different and not the same feelings. For we look upon the masters with honour, and upon the beasts of burden with fear, lest some injury should be done to us by them. (2.92) And when an opportunity offers, it is a good thing to attack our enemies and put down their power; but when we have no such opportunity, it is better to be quiet; but if we wish to find perfect safety as far as they are concerned, it is advantageous to caress them.

XIV. (2.93) On which account it is even now proper to praise those persons who do not yield to the president of vain opinion but who withstand him and say, "Shall you be a king and rule over Us?"{80}{#ge 37:8.} For they do not see him actually in possession of kingly power, they do not see him as yet kindled like a flame, and shining and blazing in the unlimited fuel, but only smouldering like a spark, dreaming of glory, and not visibly having attained to it; (2.94) for they also suggest favourable hopes to themselves as if they will not be able to be overcome by him; for which reason they say, "Shall you reign over us?" Which is equivalent to saying, Do you expect to be a king over us while we are living, existing, strong, and breathing? Perhaps, indeed, you may make yourself master of such as are weak people, but with respect to us who are strong you will be looked upon us as a subject. (2.95) And, indeed, this is the natural state of the case. For when right reason is powerful in the soul, vain opinion is put down; but when right reason is weak, vain opinion is strong. As long, therefore, as the soul has its own power still safe, and as long as it is not mutilated in any part of it, it may well have confidence to attack and aim its arrows at the pride which resists it, and it may indulge in freedom of speech, saying, "You shall not be a king, you shall not be a lord either over us, or during our lifetime over others; (2.96) but we, with our body-guards and shield-bearers, the offspring of wisdom, will overthrow your attacks and baffle your threats with one single sally of ours. In reference to which circumstances it is said, "They began to hate him because of his dreams and because of his words." (2.97) But are not all the images which pride sets up and worships mere words and dreams, while, on the contrary, those things alone deserve to be called actions and real energies which are referable to correct life and right reason? And the one class are worthy of hatred as being false, and the other class deserve friendship as being full of desirable and lovely truth. (2.98) Let no one, therefore, venture to bring accusations against the virtues of such men, as if they exhibited a specimen of an inhuman and unbrotherly disposition; but let any one who is disposed to do so, learn that it is not a man who is now being judged of, but the disposition which exists in the soul of each individual, which is mad on the subject of glory and arrogant pride; let him embrace these men who have adopted irreconcileable enmity and hatred towards this disposition, and let him never love what is hated by them. (2.99) Knowing thoroughly that such judges are never deceived so as to wander from a sound opinion, but that, having learnt from the beginning to understand who is the true king, namely, the Lord, they indignantly refuse to worship him who deprives God of his honour, and seeks to appropriate it to himself, and who invites his fellow servants to do him service.

XV. (2.100) On which account they say with confidence, "Shall you be a king and reign over us?" Are you ignorant that we are not independent, but that we are under the government of an immortal king, the only God? And why should you be a lord and lord it over us? for are we not under domination, and have we not now, and shall we not have for ever, and ever the same one Lord? in being whose servants we rejoice more than any one else can do in his liberty; for to be the servant of God is the most excellent of all things which are honoured in creation. (2.101) I, therefore, should pray that I myself also might be able to abide firmly in the things which have been decided by these men; overseers of things, not of bodies, and just, and sober all their lives, so as never to be deceived by any of those things which are accustomed to deceive mankind. (2.102) But up to this time I am in a state of intoxication, and I am labouring under much uncertainty, and I have need of a staff and of a guide like a blind man; for if I had a staff to support me, then, perhaps, I might neither stumble nor fall. (2.103) But if any persons who are conscious that they are but inconsiderate and precipitate, pay no attention to and do not care to follow those who have investigated all necessary matters with diligence and circumspection, nor, though they themselves are ignorant of the road, submit to the guidance of those who are acquainted with it, let them know that they have entered a course which is very difficult to travel through, and that they are entangled in it, and will not be able to advance further; (2.104) but I am so bound by treaties to these men, the moment I have a little recovered from my intoxication, that I think the same person both a friend and an enemy. But at present I will drive from me and hate that dreamer no less than they do; for no one in his senses could blame me for this, that the majority of opinions and votes does always prevail; (2.105) but when he changes to a better course of life, and no longer dreams, and no longer worries himself by entangling himself in the vain imaginations of the slaves of vain opinion, and when he no longer dreams about night, and darkness, and the changes of uncertain matters which cannot be guessed at; (2.106) he, then, having awakened from deep sleep, continues awake and receives certainty instead of indistinctness, and truth instead of false conceptions, and day instead of night, and light instead of darkness, and rejects an Egyptian wife, that is to say, the pleasure of the body, when she invites him to come in to her, and to enjoy her conversation, out of an indescribable love of continence and admiration for piety, (2.107) and asserts his right to a share in those kindred and inherited blessings from which he appeared to be alienated, again desiring to recover that portion of virtue which properly belongs to him. For proceeding by small and gradual improvements, as if he were now established on the summit and perfection of his own life, he cries out, what indeed he knows to a certainty from what has happened to him, that he "belongs to God,"{81}{#ge 50:19.} and that he belongs no more to any object of external sense which can affect any creature; (2.108) and then his brethren will come to a permanent reconciliation with him, changing their hatred into friendship, and their malignity into good will. But I who am the follower of these men, for I have learnt to obey them as a servant obeys his master, will never cease to praise him for his change of mind. (2.109) Since Moses, also, that priest of sacred things, preserves his change of mind as what is worthy of love and of being preserved in men's recollection, from being forgotten, by the symbol of the Bones{82}{#ex 13:19.} which he did not think proper to have buried in Egypt for ever, looking upon it as a hard thing, if the soul put forth any beautiful flower to suffer that to wither away, and to be overwhelmed and destroyed by the torrents which the Egyptian river of the passions, namely the body, which is incessantly flowing through all the outward senses, sends forth.

XVI. (2.110) The vision, therefore, which appeared proceeding from the earth, with reference to the sheaves and the interpretation thereof, has now been sufficiently discussed. It is time now to consider the other vision; and to examine how that is interpreted by the art of the explanation of dreams. (2.111) "He saw then," says the scripture, "a second dream, and he related it to his father, and to his brethren, and he said, I saw that the sun, and the moon, and the eleven stars worshipped me. And his father rebuked him, and said, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I, and thy mother, and thy brethren, come forward and advance, and fall down to the earth and worship thee? And his brethren were jealous of him; but his father regarded his Words."{83}{genesis 37:9.} (2.112) The studiers of sublime wisdom now say that the zodiac, the greatest of all circles in heaven, is studded with twelve animals (zoÁdia), from which it has derived its name. And that the sun and the moon are always revolving around it, and go through each of the animals, not indeed with equal rapidity, but in unequal numbers and periods; the one doing so in thirty days, and the other in as near as may be a twelfth part of that time, that is in two days and a half; (2.113) therefore, he who saw this heaven-sent vision, thought that he was being worshipped by eleven stars, ranking himself among them as the twelfth, so as to complete the whole circle of the zodiac. (2.114) And I recollect having before now heard some man who had applied himself to learning in no careless or indolent spirit, say that men were not the only beings which went mad with vain opinions, but that the stars did so too. And they also, said he, contend with one another for precedence, and those which are the greater claim to be attended by the lesser stars as their guards; (2.115) these matters, however, we may leave for the studiers of sublime subjects to investigate, and to settle how much truth and how much random assertion there is in them. But we say, that the lover of indiscriminate study, and unreasonable contention, and vain opinion, being always puffed up by folly, wishes to assert a precedence, not only over men, but also above the nature of all existing things; (2.116) and he thinks that all things were created for his sake, and that it is necessary that everything, whether earth or heaven, or water or air, should bring him tribute; and he has gone to such an extravagant pitch of folly, that he is not able to reason upon such matters as even a young child might understand, and to see that no artist ever makes the whole for the sake of the part, but rather makes the part for the sake of the whole. Now the part of the whole is the man, so that he is properly asserted to have been made for the sake of perfecting the world in which he is rightly classed.

XVII. (2.117) But some persons are full of such exceeding folly, that they are indignant if the whole world does not follow their intentions: for this reason Xerxes, the king of Persia, being desirous to strike terror into his enemies, made a display of very mighty undertakings, altering the whole face of nature; (2.118) for he changed the nature of the elements of the earth and of the sea, giving land to the sea and sea to the land, by joining the Hellespont with a bridge, and breaking up Mount Athos into deep gulfs, which, being filled with sea, became so many new and artificially-cut seas, being entirely changed from the ancient course of nature. (2.119) And having worked wonders with respect to the earth, according to his wishes, he mounted up upon daring conceptions, like a miserable man as he was, contracting the guilt of impiety, and seeking to soar up to heaven, as if he would move what cannot be moved, and would subjugate the host of heaven, and, as the proverb has it, he began with a sacred thing. (2.120) For he aimed his arrows at the most excellent of the heavenly bodies, the sun, the ruler of the day, as if he had not himself been wounded by the invisible dart of insanity, not only because of his desiring things which were impossible, but such as were also most impious, either of which is a great disgrace to him who attempts them. (2.121) It is related, also, that the very populous nation of the Germans, and theirs is a country where the sea is subject to the ebb and flow of the tide, ran down to the reflux which occurs in their country with great impetuosity, and drawing their naked swords charged and encountered the billowy sea as if it were a phalanx of enemies: (2.122) and these men deserve to be hated because they dare impiously to take up the arms of enemies against the free and invincible parts of nature; but they deserve also to be ridiculed for attempting what is impossible, as if they thought it practicable to wound the water as though it were a living animal, or to stab it and kill it. And again, one should grieve at the sight of such men, and fear, and flee out of fear at their attacks, and submit to all the affections of the soul which are conversant with pleasures and pains.

XVIII. (2.123) Moreover, it is only a very short time ago that I knew a man of very high rank, one who was prefect and governor of Egypt, who, after he had taken it into his head to change our national institutions and customs, and in an extraordinary manner to abrogate that most holy law guarded by such fearful penalties, which relates to the seventh day, and was compelling us to obey him, and to do other things contrary to our established custom, thinking that that would be the beginning of our departure from the other laws, and of our violation of all our national customs, if he were once able to destroy our hereditary and customary observance of the seventh day. (2.124) And as he saw that those to whom he offered violence did not yield to his injunctions, and that the rest of our people was not disposed to submit in tranquillity, but was indignant and furious at the business, and was mourning and dispirited as if at the enslaving, and overthrow, and utter destruction of their country; he thought fit to endeavour by a speech to persuade them to transgress, saying: (2.125) "If an invasion of enemies were to come upon you on a sudden, or the violence of a deluge, from the river having broken down all its barriers by an inundation, or any terrible fire, or a thunderbolt, or famine, or pestilence, or an earthquake, or any other evil, whether caused by men or inflicted by God, would you still remain quiet and unmoved at home? (2.126) And would you still go on in your habitual fashion, keeping your right hand back, and holding the other under your garments close to your sides, in order that you might not, even without meaning it, do anything to contribute to your own preservation? (2.127) And would you still sit down in your synagogues, collecting your ordinary assemblies, and reading your sacred volumes in security, and explaining whatever is not quite clear, and devoting all your time and leisure with long discussions to the philosophy of your ancestors? (2.128) Nay: rather shaking off all these ideas, you would gird yourselves up for the preservation of yourselves, and of your parents, and of your children, and, if one must tell the plain truth, of your possessions and treasures, to save them from being utterly destroyed. (2.129) And, indeed, I myself, am," said he, "all the evils which I have just enumerated: I am a whirlwind, I am war, and deluge, and thunderbolt, and the calamity of famine, and the misery of pestilence, and an earthquake which shakes and overthrows what stood firm before, not being merely the name of a necessity of fate, but actual, visible power, standing close to you." (2.130) What then can we say that a man who says, or who merely thinks such things as these, is? Is he not an evil of an extraordinary nature? He surely must be some foreign calamity, brought from over the sea, or from some other world, since he, a man in every respect miserable, has dared to compare himself to the all-blessed God. (2.131) We must likewise add, that he is daring here to utter blasphemies against the sun, and the moon, and the rest of the stars, whenever anything which had been looked for according to the seasons of the year, either does not happen at all, or is brought about with difficulty; if, for instance, the summer causes too much heat, or the winter too excessive a cold, or if the spring or autumn were unseasonable, so that the one were to become barren and unfruitful, and the other to be prolific only in diseases. (2.132) Therefore, giving all imaginable license to an unbridled mouth and abusive tongue, such a man will reproach the stars as not bringing their customary tribute, all but claiming for the things of earth the reverence and adoration of the heavenly bodies, and for himself above them all, in proportion as he, as being a man, looks upon himself as superior to the other animals.

XIX. (2.133) Such men then are classed by us as the very teachers of vain opinion. Let us now in turn look at their followers by themselves. These men are always laying plots against the practisers of virtue, and when they see them labouring to make their own life pure with guileless truth, and to exhibit it, as one may say, to the light of the moon, or of the sun, as able to stand inspection, they endeavor by deceit, or even by open violence, to hinder them, trying to drive them into the sunless country of impious men, which is occupied by deep night, and endless darkness, and ten thousand tribes of images, and appearances, and dreams, and then, having thrust them down thither, they compel them to fall down and worship them as masters. (2.134) For we look upon the practiser of virtue as the sun, since the one gives light to our bodies, and the other to the things which belong to the soul: and the education which such a man uses we look upon as the moon, for the use of each is most pure and most useful in the night; and the brethren are those virtuous reasonings which are the offspring of instruction, and of a soul devoted to the practice of virtue, all of which make straight the right path of life, and which they, therefore, by all kinds of wary and cunning wrestlings, seek to overcome, and to trip up, and overthrow, and break the neck of, because they have determined neither to think nor to say anything sound themselves. (2.135) For this reason his father rebukes this intractable youth (I do not mean Jacob, but right reason, which is older even than he), saying, (2.136) "What is this dream which thou hast dreamt?" but thou hast not seen any dream at all; hast thou fancied that things which are free by nature are to be of necessity slaves to human things, and that things which are rulers are to become subjects? and, what is more paradoxical still, subject, not to anything else but to the very things which they govern? and to be the slaves of no other things except those very things which are their own slaves? unless indeed a change of all the established things to their direct contraries is to take place, by the power of God, who is able to effect all things, and to move what is immovable, and to fix what is in a constant state of agitation. (2.137) Since on what principle can you be angry with or reproach a man who sees a vision in his sleep? For he will say, I did not see it intentionally, why do you bring accusations against me, for errors which I have not committed from any deliberate purpose? I have related to you what fell upon me and made an impression on my mind suddenly, and without my desiring it. (2.138) But the present question is not about dreams, but about things which resemble dreams; which, to those whose minds are not highly purified appear great, and beautiful, and desirable things; while they are, in reality, trifling, and obscure, and deserving of ridicule, in the eyes of honest judges of the truth.

XX. (2.139) Shall I then, says he, I, that is to say, right reason, come to you? And shall the soul, which is both the mother and nurse of the company devoted to learning virtuous instruction, also come to thee? (2.140) And are the offspring of us too to come likewise? And are we all to stand in a row, laying aside all our former dignity, and holding up our hands and praying to thee? And are we then to prostrate ourselves on the ground, and endeavour to propitiate and adore thee? But may the sun never shine upon such transactions, since deep darkness is suited to evil deeds, and brilliant light to good deeds. And what could be a greater evil than for pride, that deceiver and beguiler, to be praised and admired, instead of sincere and honest simplicity? (2.141) And it is with great propriety that the statement is added, "And his father took notice of his words." For it is the occupation of a soul which is not young, nor barren, nor wholly unfruitful, but rather of one which is really older and able to beget offspring, to cohabit with prudent caution, and to despise and overlook nothing whatever, but to have a reverential fear of the power of God, from which we cannot escape, and which we cannot overcome; and to look all around to see what its very end shall be. (2.142) For this reason they say, that the sister of Moses also (and she is called Hope by us, when speaking in a figurative manner) was contemplated at a distance by the sacred scriptures, inasmuch as she kept her eyes fixed on the end of life, hoping that some good fortune might befall her, sent by the Giver of all good from above, from heaven; (2.143) for it has often happened that many persons, after having taken long voyages, and having sailed over a great expanse of sea with a fair wind, and without any danger, have suddenly been shipwrecked in the harbour itself, when they have been on the very point of casting anchor; (2.144) and many persons too, who have successfully come to the end of formidable wars of long duration, and have come off unwounded so as never to have received even a scratch on the surface of the skin, but to have escaped whole and entire as if they had only been at some popular assembly or national festival, having returned home with joy and cheerfulness, have been plotted against in their houses by those who, of all the world, least ought to have done so; being, as the proverb says, like oxen slain in their stall.

XXI. (2.145) As these unexpected events, which no one could ever have anticipated, do frequently happen in this manner and overthrow people, so also do they often drive the powers of the soul in a contrary direction to the proper one, and drag it in an opposite way, according to their power, and compel it to change its course: for what man, who has ever descended into the arena of life, has come off without a fall? (2.146) And who is there who has never been tripped up in that contest? He is happy who has not often been so. And for whom has not fortune laid snares, blowing upon him at intervals, and collecting its strength, that it may twine itself around him, and speedily carry him off before its adversary is ready for the contest? (2.147) Do we not know, that some persons have come from infancy to old age who have never been sensible of any irregularity, whether it be from the happy condition of their nature, or from the care of those who brought them up and educated them, or owing to both circumstances? But then, being filled with profound peace in themselves, which is real peace, and the archetypal model of that which exists in cities, and being considered happy on that account, because they have never had a notion, not even in a dream, of the intestine war which arises from the violence of the passions, and which is the most piteous of all wars, have at last, at the very close of their lives, run on shore and made shipwreck, either through some intemperance of language or some insatiable gluttony, or some incontinent licentiousness of the parts below the belly. (2.148) For some, while--

"Still on the threshold of extreme old age,"

have admired the youthful, unhonoured, detestable, and disgraceful life of debauches; and others have given in to the cunning, and wicked, and calumnious, and desperate way of life of others, pursuing the first fruits of quarrelsome curiosity, when they ought rather to have discarded such habits now, even if they had been familiar to them. (2.149) For which reason one ought to propitiate God, and to supplicate him perseveringly, that he will not pass by our miserable race, but that he will allow his saving mercy to be everlastingly shown towards us; for it is difficult for those who have tasted unalloyed peace to be prevented from glutting themselves with it.

XXII. (2.150) But, come now, this hunger is lighter evil than thirst, inasmuch as it has love and desire for its comforters; but when, through the desire of drinking, it is necessary to satisfy one's self with that other fountain, the water of which is dirty and unwholesome, then it is indispensable for the drinkers, being filled with a bitter-sweet pleasure, to live an unenviable life, betaking themselves to pernicious things as though they were advantageous, from ignorance of what is really desirable. (2.151) But the impetuous course of these evils is most grievous when the irrational powers of the soul attack the powers of the reason and get the better of them; (2.152) for as long as the herds of oxen obey their drivers, and the flocks obey their shepherds, and the goats obey the goatherds, the herds and all belonging to them go on well; but when the herdsmen who are appointed to look after the cattle become weaker than the beasts committed to their care, then everything goes wrong, and instead of regularity there arises irregularity, and disorder in the place of order, and confusion instead of steadiness, and disturbance in the place of good arrangement, since there is no longer any lawful superintending power properly established; for if there had been such a thing, it would have been destroyed before this time. (2.153) What then? Do we not think that even in ourselves there is a herd of irrational cattle, inasmuch as the irrational multitude of the soul is deprived of reason, and that the shepherd is the governing mind? But as long as that is vigorous and competent to act as the manager of the herd, everything goes on in a just, and prosperous, and advantageous manner; (2.154) but when any weakness or want of power supervenes to the king, then it follows of necessity that the subjects also labour with a like infirmity; and when they most completely seem to be in enjoyment of liberty, then they are a prize, lying most entirely ready for any one who pleases to contend for it to seize; for the natural course is for anarchy to be treacherous, and for government to be salutary, especially in a state where law and justice are honoured. And this is such a state as is consistent with reason.

XXIII. (2.155) We have now, then, spoken with sufficient accuracy about the dreams of vain opinion. Now, the different species of gluttony are conversant about drinking and eating. But the one has no need of any great variety, while the other requires a countless number of seasonings and sauces. These things, then, are referred to two managers. The matters relating to excessive drinking are referred to the chief butler, and those which belong to luxurious eating to the chief baker. (2.156) Now these men are, with excessive propriety, recorded to have seen visions of dreams one night; for they, each of them, labour to gratify the same need of their master, providing not simple food, but such as is accompanied with pleasure and extraordinary gratification; and each of them, separately, labours about half the food, but the two together are employed about the whole, and the one part draws on the other; (2.157) for men, when they have eaten, immediately desire drink; and men who have drunk immediately wish to eat; so that it is in no slight degree on this account that a vision is ascribed to them both at the same time. (2.158) Therefore the chief butler has the office of ministering to the appetite for wine, and the chief baker to the voracity. And each of them sees in his vision what relates to his own business: the one sees wine and the plant which engenders wine, namely the vine; the other sees white bread lying on dishes, and himself serving up the Dishes.{84}{#ge 40:16.} (2.159) Now perhaps it may be proper first of all to examine the first dream. And it is as follows:--"In my sleep there was a vine before me; and on the vine were three branches, and it flourished and brought forth shoots, and there were on it ripe bunches of grapes. And Pharaoh's cup was in my hand, and I took the bunch of grapes and pressed it into the cup, and I gave the cup into Pharaoh's Hand."{85}{#ge 40:9.} (2.160) He speaks here in an admirable manner, and the expression, "in my sleep," is quite correct. For, in real truth, he who follows not so much the inebriety which arises from wine as that which proceeds from folly, being indignant at an upright and wakeful position, like people asleep, is thrown down and relaxed, and shuts the eyes of his soul, not being able either to see or to hear anything which is worthy of being seen or of being heard. (2.161) And being overthrown, he goes on a blind and guideless (I will not say path, but pathless) way through life, being pricked with thorns and briars; and sometimes too he falls down steep places, and tumbles down upon other people, so as to hurt both them and himself in a pitiable manner. (2.162) But the deep and long-enduring sleep in which every wicked man is held, removes all true conceptions, and fills the mind with all kinds of false images, and unsubstantial visions, persuading it to embrace what is shameful as praiseworthy. For at one time it dreams of grief as joy, and does not perceive that it is looking at the vine, the plant of folly and error. (2.163) "For," says the chief butler, "the vine was before me," the desired object was before him who desired it, wickedness was before the wicked man: which we, foolish men that we are, cultivate, without being aware that we are doing so to our own injury, the fruit of which we eat and drink, classing it under both species of food, which, as it would seem, we appropriate, not for one half the evils that affect us for the whole of our complete and entire misfortunes.

XXIV. (2.164) But it is desirable not to be ignorant that the intoxication which proceeds from the vine does not affect all who indulge in it in a similar manner, but very often affects different people in contrary ways, so that it makes some better and others worse than they are naturally. (2.165) For in the case of some men, it relaxes the sternness and moroseness of their character, and relieves them of their cares, and assuages their anger and their sorrow, and brings their dispositions into a milder mood, and makes their souls placable. But of others again, it cherishes the angry passions, and binds their pain firmly, and excites their feelings of love, and stimulates their rudeness; rendering the mouth talkative, their tongue unbridled, emancipating their external senses from all restraint, rendering their passions furious, and their whole mind violent and excited towards every object. (2.166) So that the condition of the men firstmentioned appears to resemble an untroubled calm in fine weather, or a waveless tranquillity at sea, or a most peaceful and steady state of affairs in a city. But the condition of those whom I have last described, is more like a violent and unremitting gale, or a sea tossed by a storm into vast billows, or a sedition, an evil more fearful than even interminable and irreconcileable war. (2.167) Therefore, of these two banquet parties, the one is filled with laughter, with men promising amusement, and hoping for good fortune, and enjoying cheerfulness, and pleasant language, and mirth, and joy, and freedom from anxiety; (2.168) but the other is full of melancholy, and seriousness, and downcast looks, and offences, and reproaches, and wounds; of men gnashing their teeth, looking fiercely at one another, barking, strangling one another, contending with one another in every conceivable way, mutilating one another's ears and noses, and whatever parts of the body they can reach, displaying the intoxication of their whole life and their drunkenness in this unholy contest, with every kind of unseemly behaviour.

XXV. (2.169) It would therefore be naturally consistent to consider next that the vine is the symbol of two things: of folly, and of mirth. And each of these two, though it is indicated by many circumstances, we will explain in a few words, to avoid prolixity. (2.170) When any one leading us along the road, deserted by the passions and by acts of wickedness, the rod, that is, of philosophy, has led right reason to a height, and placed it like a scout upon a watch-tower, {86}{#nu 13:18.} and has commanded it to look around, and to survey the whole country of virtue, and to see whether it be blessed with a deep soil, and rich, and productive of herbage and of fruit, since deep soil is good to cause the learning which has been sown in it to increase, and to make the doctrines which have been planted in it, and which have grown to trees, to form solid trunks, or whether it be of a contrary character; and also to examine into actions, as one might into cities, and see whether they are strongly fortified, or whether they are defenceless and deprived of all the security which might be afforded by walls around them. Also to inquire into the condition of the inhabitants, whether they are considerable in numbers and in valour, or whether their courage is weak and their numbers scanty, the two causes acting reciprocally on one another. (2.171) Then because we were not able to bear the weight of the whole trunk of wisdom, we cut off one branch and one bunch of grapes, and carried it with us as a most undeniable proof of our joy, and a burden very easy to be borne, wishing to display at the same time the branch and the fruit of excellence to those who are gifted with acuteness of mental sight, to show them, that is, the strongly-shooting and grapebearing vine.

XXVI. (2.172) They then very fairly compare this vine of which we were only able to take a part, to happiness. And one of the ancient prophets bears his testimony in favour of my view of the matter, who speaking under divine inspiration has said, "The vineyard of the Lord Almighty is the house of Israel."{87}{#isa 5:7.} (2.173) Now Israel is the mind inclined to the contemplation of God and of the world; for the name Israel is interpreted, "seeing God," and the abode of the mind is the whole soul; and this is the most sacred vineyard, bearing as its fruit the divine shoot, virtue: (2.174) thus thinking well (to eu phronein) is the derivation of the word joy (euphrosyneÁ), being a great and brilliant thing so that, says Moses, even God himself does not disdain to exhibit it; and most especially at that time when the human race is departing from its sins, and inclining and bending its steps towards justice, following of its own accord the laws and institutions of nature. (2.175) "For," says Moses, "the Lord thy God will return, that he may rejoice in thee for thy good as he rejoiced in thy fathers, if thou wilt hear his voice to keep all his commandments and his ordinances and his judgments which are written in the book of this Law."{88}{#de 30:9.} (2.176) Who could implant in man a desire for virtue and excellence, more strongly than is here done? Dost thou wish, says the scripture, O mind, that God should rejoice? Do thou rejoice in virtue thyself, and bring no costly offering, (for what need has God of anything of thine?) But, on the other hand, receive with joy all the good things which he bestows upon thee; (2.177) for he rejoices in giving, when they who receive are worthy of his grace; unless you think that those men who live blameably may be justly said to make God indignant and to excite his anger, but that those who live in a praiseworthy manner do not make him rejoice. (2.178) But there is nothing which gives so much pleasure to fathers and mothers, our mortal parents, as the virtues of their children, even though they may be in want of numbers of necessary things; And does not the excellence of these aforesaid persons in like manner rejoice the Creator of the universe, who is in no want of anything whatever? (2.179) Do thou therefore, O mind, having learnt how mighty a thing the anger of God is, and how great a good the joy of God is, do not do anything worthy to excite his anger to thy own destruction, but study only such things as may be the means of your pleasing God. (2.180) And you will find these actions not to be the making of long and unusual journeys, nor the passing over unnavigable seas, or wandering without stopping to take breath to the furthest boundaries of earth and sea: for good actions do not dwell at a distance and have not been banished beyond the confines of the habitable world, but, as Moses says, good is situated near you, and is planted along with you, being united to you in three necessary parts, in the heart, in the mouth, and in the hands: that is to say, in the mind, in the speech, and in the actions; since it is necessary to think and to say, and to do good things, which are made perfect by a union of good design, good execution, and good language.

XXVII. (2.181) I say therefore to him whose occupation is to gratify one description of gluttony, the fondness for drinking, namely to the chief butler, "Why are you labouring hard, O unhappy man? For you think that you are preparing pleasant things to give delight, but in reality you are kindling a flame of folly and intemperance, and contributing great and abundant quantities of fuel to it." (2.182) But perhaps he may reply, do not blame me precipitately before you have considered my case; I was appointed to pour out wine, not indeed for a man who was endowed with temperance, and piety, and all the other virtues, but for a violent, and intemperate, and unjust master, one who was very proud in his impiety, and who dared once to say, "I do not know the Lord;"{89}{#ex 5:2.} so that I very naturally studied what would afford him gratification: (2.183) and do not wonder that God is delighted with one thing, and the mind which is hostile to God, namely Pharaoh, with the contrary. Who then is the chief butler of God? The priest who offers libations to him, the truly great high priest, who, having received a draught of everlasting graces, offers himself in return, pouring in an entire libation full of unmixed wine. You see that there are differences between butlers in proportion to the differences existing between those whom they are waiting on; (2.184) on this account I, the butler of Pharaoh, who exerts his stiff-necked, and in all respects intemperate reason, in the direction of indulgences of his passions, am a eunuch, having had all the generative parts of my soul removed, and being compelled to migrate from the apartments of the men, and am a fugitive also from the women's chambers, inasmuch as I am neither male nor female; nor am I able to disseminate seed nor to receive it, being of an ambiguous nature, neither one thing nor the other; a mere false coin of human money, destitute of immortality, which is from time to time kept alive by the constant succession of children and offspring: being also excluded from the assembly and sacred meeting of the people, for it is expressly forbidden that any one who has suffered any injury or mutilation such as I have should enter in Thereto.{90}{#de 23:1.}

XXVIII. (2.185) But the high priest of whom we are speaking is a perfect man, the husband of a virgin (a most extraordinary statement), who has never been made a woman; but who on the contrary, has ceased to be influenced by the customs of women in regard to her connection with her Husband.{91}{#ge 18:11.} And not only is this man competent to sow the seeds of unpolluted and virgin opinions, but he is also the father of sacred reasonings, (2.186) some of which are overseers and superintendents of the affairs of nature, such as Eleazar and Ithamar; others are ministers of the worship of God, earnestly occupied in kindling and burning up the flame of heaven; for, as they are always uttering discourses relating to holiness, they cause it to shine, bringing forth the most divine kind of piety like fire from a flint; (2.187) and the being who is at the same time the guide and father of those men is no insignificant part of the sacred assembly, but he is rather the person without whom the duly convened assembly of the parts of the soul could never be collected together at all; he is the president, the chairman, the creator of it, who, without the aid of any other being, is able by himself alone to consider and to do everything. (2.188) He, when taken in conjunction with others, is insignificant in point of number, but when he is looked at by himself he becomes numerous; he is a tribunal, an entire council, the whole people, a complete multitude, the entire race of mankind, or rather, if one is to speak the real truth, he is a sort of nature bordering on God, inferior indeed to him, but superior to man; (2.189) "for when," the scripture say, "the high priest goes into the Holy of Holies he will not be a Man."{92}{#le 16:17.} What then will he be if he is not a man? Will he be a God? I would not venture to say that (for the chief prophet, Moses, did receive the inheritance of this name while he was still in Egypt, being called "the god of Pharaoh;"){93}{#ex 7:1.} nor again is he man, but he touches both these extremities as if he touched both the feet and the head.

XXIX. (2.190) So now one kind of vine, which has been assigned as the portion of cheerfulness, and the intoxication which arises from it, namely unmingled goodness of counsel, and the cup-bearer too who drew the wine from the divine goblet, which God himself has filled with virtues up to the lip, has been explained; (2.191) but the other kind, that of folly, and grief, and drunkenness, is also already depicted in a fashion but in another character, by other expressions which are used in the greater canticle; "for," says the scripture, "their vine is of the vine of Sodom and their tendrils are of the vine of Gomorrah; their grapes are the grapes of gall; their bunches are full of bitterness itself. Their wine is the madness of dragons and the incurable fury of Asps."{94}{#de 32:32.} (2.192) You see here what great effects are produced by the drunkenness of folly: bitterness, an evil disposition, exceeding gall, excessive anger, implacability, a biting and treacherous disposition. The lawgiver most emphatically asserts the branch of the vine of folly to be in Sodom; and the name Sodom, being interpreted, means "blindness," or "barrenness;" since folly is a thing which is blind, and also barren of all good things; though, nevertheless, some people have been so greatly influenced by it as to measure, and weigh, and count everything with reference to themselves alone. (2.193) Gomorrah, being interpreted, means "measure;" but Moses conceived that God was the standard of weight, and measure, and number, in the universe, but he had not the same opinion of the human mind. And he shows this in the following passage, where he says, "There shall not be in thy sack one weight, and another weight, a great and a small; there shall not be in thy house one measure, and another measure, a great and a small; (2.194) thy weight shall be a true and just one." But a true and just measure is, to conceive that it is the only just God alone who measures and weighs everything, and who has circumscribed the nature of the universe with numbers, and limitations, and boundaries. But it is unjust and false to imagine that these things are regulated in accordance with the human mind. (2.195) But the eunuch and chief butler of Pharaoh, having beheld the plant generative of folly, namely, the vine, adds besides to his delineation there stocks, that he may signify the three extremities of error according to the three different times; for a root is equivalent to extremity.

XXX. (2.196) When, therefore, folly has overshadowed and occupied the whole soul, and when it has left no portion of it unoccupied or free, it not only compels it to commit such errors as are remediable, but such also as are irremediable. (2.197) Now those which admit of a remedy are set down as the easiest and the first; but those which are irremediable are altogether terrible, and are the last of all, being so far analogous to roots. (2.198) And as, in my notions, wisdom begins to benefit a man in small matters, and ends at last in the absolute perfection of all well-doing, so, in the same manner folly, constraining the soul from above and leading it away from instruction by small degrees, establishes it at last at a long distance from right reason, and finally leads it to the extreme point, and utterly overthrows it. (2.199) And the dream showed that after the roots appeared the vine flourished and put forth shoots and bore fruit; for, says the chief butler, "It was flourishing and bearing shoots, around which were bunches of Grapes."{95}{#ge 40:10.} The foolish man is accustomed to display barrenness, and never to put forth even leaves, and, in fact, to be withered all his life; (2.200) for what could be a greater evil than folly flourishing and bearing fruit? But, says he, "the cup of Pharaoh," the vessel which is the receptacle of folly and drunkenness, and of the ceaseless intoxication of life, "is in my hand;" an expression equivalent to saying, depends upon my administration, and endeavours, and powers; for without my contrivances, the passion will not proceed rightly by its own efforts; (2.201) for as it is proper that the reins should be in the hands of the charioteer, and the rudder in the hands of the pilot--for this is the only way in which the course of the chariot and the voyage of the vessel can proceed successfully--so, also, the filling of the goblet with wine is in the hands and depends upon the power of him who by his art brings to perfection one of the two kinds of gluttony, namely, satiety of wine. (2.202) But why has he endured to boast in respect of a matter which deserved rather to be denied than to be confessed? Would it not have been better not to have confessed at all that he was a teacher of intemperance, and not to admit that he increased the excitement of the passions by wine in the case of the intemperate man, as being an inventor and producer of a luxurious, and debauched, and most disgraceful way of life. (2.203) Such, however, is the case. Folly boasts of those things which ought to be concealed; and in this present case it prides itself, not only on holding in its hands the receptacle of the intemperate soul, that is to say, the cup of wine, and in showing it to all men, but also in pressing out the grapes into it; that is to say, in making that which satisfies the passion, and bringing what is concealed to light. (2.204) For as children which require food, when they are about to receive the milk, squeeze and press out the breast of the nurse that feeds them, so likewise does the workman and cause of intemperance vigorously press the fountain from which the evil of abundance of wine pours forth, that he may derive food in a most agreeable manner from the drops which are squeezed out.

XXXI. (2.205) Such a description then as I have here given may be applied to the man who is made frantic by the influence of unmixed wines, that he is a drunken, and foolish, and irremediable evil. We must now, in turn, investigate the character of the glutton, who is akin to the drunkard, and who is a sworn companion of all kinds of voracity and greediness, labouring, without any restraint, at the artificial gratification of his appetite. (2.206) And yet it does not require a great deal of care to arrive at his true character; for the dream which was seen is a representation of his likeness very closely resembling him; and when we have accurately examined him, let us look upon him as we would upon a representation in a mirror; (2.207) for "I thought," said the chief cook, "that I had three baskets of fine wheaten loaves upon my head." Now, using the word "head" in an allegorical manner, we mean by it the dominant part of the soul, that is, the mind, and we say that everything rests or depends upon that; for he once exclaimed concerning it, "All these things were in my charge." (2.208) Therefore when he had completed the preparation of these things which he had devised against the miserable belly, he displayed himself also, and, like a foolish man as he was, he was not ashamed to be weighed down with so great a burden, namely, the weight of three baskets; that is to say, with three portions of time. (2.209) For those who advocate the cause of pleasure affirm that it consists of three times, of the memory of past delights, and of the enjoyment of those that are present, and of the hope of what are to come; (2.210) so that the three baskets are likened unto the three portions of time, and the cakes upon the baskets to those circumstances which are suitable to each of the portions; to the recollection of past joys, to the enjoyment of present pleasures, to the hope of future delights. And he who carries all these things is likened unto the lover of pleasure, who has filled his faithless table, a table destitute of all hospitable and friendly salt, not with one kind of luxury only, but with almost every description and species of intemperance; (2.211) and this is enjoyed by king Pharaoh alone, as if he were sitting at a public banquet, and devoting himself to a dispersion, and scattering, and defeat, and destruction of temperance; for the name Pharaoh, being interpreted, means "dispersion." And it is magnificent and royal piece of conduct in him not to exult in the specious advantages of wisdom, but to pride himself on those pursuits of profligacy which it is unseemly to mention, wrecking himself on insatiable appetite and gluttony, and effeminacy of life. (2.212) Therefore the birds, that is to say, the chances which never could have been anticipated by conjecture, coming from outward quarters and hovering around him, will attack and kindle every thing like fire, and will destroy every thing with their all-devouring power, so that there is not a single fragment left to the bearer of the baskets for his enjoyment though he had hoped to proceed with his inventions and contrivances, for ever and ever carrying them on in a safe place, so that they could never be taken from him. (2.213) And thanks be to God who giveth the victory and who renders the labours of the man who is a slave to his passions, though ever so carefully carried out, still unproductive and useless, sending down winged natures in an invisible manner for their destruction and overthrow. Therefore, the mind, being deprived of those things which it had made for itself, having, as it were, its neck cut through, will be found headless and lifeless, and like those who are fixed to a cross, nailed as it were to the tree of hopeless and helpless ignorance. (2.214) For as long as none of these things come upon one which arrive suddenly and unexpectedly, then those acts which are directed to the enjoyment of pleasure appear to be successful; but when such evils descend upon them unexpectedly, they are overthrown, and their maker is destroyed with them.

XXXII. (2.215) The dreams, therefore, of those men who divide those things which produce the taste according to every species of food, whether it be meat or drink, and such as is not necessary but superfluous, and sought only by the intemperate, have been sufficiently explained. But those of Pharaoh, who appears to exercise sovereignty over these men and over all the powers of the soul, must now be investigated if we would proceed in order and consistently with our plan. (2.216) Pharaoh says, "In my dream I thought that I was standing by the bank of a river, and seven oxen came up as it were out of the river, of eminent plumpness in their flesh, and beautiful to the view, and fed in the green marsh; and behold, seven other oxen came up out of the river after them, evil to look at and ill-favoured, and lean in their flesh, such that I never saw any leaner in all Egypt; (2.217) and the lean and ill-favoured oxen devoured the seven former oxen which were beautiful, and picked out, and they entered into their stomachs, and still their appearance remained illfavoured, as I have described it at first. (2.218) And when I had awoke I fell asleep again; and again I saw in my dream, and as it were seven ears of corn grew up on one stalk, full and beautiful. And seven other ears of corn also came up, lean and wind-beaten, close to them, and these last seven ears did swallow up the seven beautiful and full Ears."{96}{#ge 41:17.} (2.219) You see now the preface of the lover of self who being easily moved, and changeable, and fickle, both in his body and soul, says, "I thought that I was standing," and did not consider that unchangeableness and steadiness belong to God alone, and to him who is dear to God. (2.220) And the most evident proof of the unchangeable power which exists in him is this world, which is always in the same place and in the same condition. And if the world is immovable how can the Creator of it be any thing but firm? In the second place the sacred scriptures are likewise most infallible witnesses; (2.221) for it is said in them, where the words are put into the mouth of God, "I stand here and there, before you were dwelling upon the rock, {97}{#ex 17:6.} which is an expression equivalent to, Thus am I who am visible to you, and am here: and I am there and everywhere, filling all places, standing and abiding in the same condition, being unchangeable, before you or any one of the objects of creation had any existence, being beheld upon the highest and most ancient authority of power, from which the creation of all existing things was shed forth, and the stream of wisdom flowed; (2.222) "for I am he who brought the stream of water out of the solid Rock,"{98}{deuteronomy 8:15.} is said in another place. And Moses also bears witness to the immutability of the Deity, where he says, "I saw the place where the God of Israel Stood;"{99}{#ex 24:10.} intimating enigmatically that he is not given to change by speaking here of his standing, and of his being firmly established.

XXXIII. (2.223) But there is in the Deity such an excessive degree of stability and firmness, that he gave even to the most excellent natures a share of his durability as his most excellent possession: and presently afterwards he, the most ancient author of all things, namely God, says that he is about to erect firmly his covenant full of grace (and that means his law and his word) in the soul of the just man as on a solid foundation, which shall be an image in the likeness of God, when he says to Noah, "I will establish my covenant with Thee."{100}{#ge 9:10.} (2.224) And besides this, he also indicates two other things, one that justice is in no respect different from the covenant of God, the other that other beings bestow gifts which are different from the persons who receive them; but God gives not only those gifts, but he gives also the very persons who receive them to themselves, for he has given me to myself, and every living being has he given to himself; for the expression, "I will establish my covenant with thee," is equivalent to, I will give thee to thyself. (2.225) And all those who are truly lovers of God desire eagerly to escape from the storm of multiplied affairs and business in which there is always tempestuous weather, and rough sea, and confusion, and to anchor in the calm and safe untroubled haven of virtue. (2.226) Do you not see what is said about the wise Abraham who "is standing before the Lord?"{101}{#ge 18:22.} For when was it likely that the mind would be able to stand, no longer inclining to different sides like the balance in a scale, except when it is opposite to God, beholding him and being beheld by him? (2.227) For perfect absence of motion comes to it in two ways, either from beholding him with whom nothing can be compared, because he is not attracted by anything resembling himself, or from being beheld by him, because ... which he considered worthy, the ruler has assigned to himself alone as the most excellent of beings. And indeed a divine admonition was given in the following terms to Moses: "Stand thou here with Me,"{102}{#de 5:31.} by which injunction both these things appear to be intimated, first, the fact that the good man is not moved, and secondly, the universal stability of the living God.

XXXIV. (2.228) For, in real truth, whatever is akin or near to God is appropriated by him, becoming steady and stationary by reason of his unchangeableness; and the mind, being at rest, well knows how great a blessing rest is, and admiring, its own beauty, it conceives that either it is assigned to God alone as his, or else to that intermediate nature which is between the mortal and the immortal race; (2.229) at all events, it says, "And I stood in the midst between the Lord and You,"{103}{#de 10:10.} not meaning by these words that he was standing on his own feet, but wishing to indicate that the mind of the wise man, being delivered from all storms and wars, and enjoying unruffled calm and profound peace, is superior indeed to man, but inferior to God. (2.230) For the ordinary human mind is influenced by opinion, and is thrown into confusion by any passing circumstances; but the other is blessed and happy, and free from all participation in evil. And the good man is on the borders, so that one may appropriately say that he is neither God nor man, but that he touches the extremities of both, being connected with the mortal race by his manhood, and with the immortal race by his virtue. (2.231) And there is something which closely resembles this in the passage of scripture concerning the high priest; "For when," says the scripture, "he goes into the holy of holies, he will not be a man till he has gone out Again."{104}{#le 16:17.} But if at that time he is not a man, it is clear that he is not God either, but a minister of God, belonging as to his mortal nature to creation, but as to his immortal nature to the uncreated God. (2.232) And he is placed in the middle class until he again goes forth among the things which belong to the body and to the flesh. And this is the order of things according to nature, when the mind, being entirely occupied with divine love, bends its course towards the temple of God, and approaches it with all possible earnestness and zeal, it becomes inspired, and forgets all other things, and forgets itself also. It remembers him alone, and depends on him alone, who is attended by it as by a body-guard, and who receives its ministrations, to whom it consecrates and offers up the sacred and untainted virtues. (2.233) But when the inspiration has ceased, and the excessive desire has relaxed, then it returns from divine things and becomes a man again, mixing with human affairs, which were awaiting him in the vestibule, that they might carry him off while gazing only on the things in them.

XXXV. (2.234) Moses therefore describes the perfect man as being neither God nor man, but, as I said before, something on the border between uncreated and the perishable nature. Again, he classes him who is improving and advancing towards perfection in the region between the dead and the living, meaning by the "living" those persons who dwell with wisdom, and by "the dead" those who rejoice in folly; (2.235) for it is said with respect to Aaron, that "He stood between the dead and the living, and the plague was Stayed."{105}{#nu 16:48.} For he who is making progress is not reckoned among those who are dead as to the life of virtue, inasmuch as he has a desire and admiration of what is honourable, nor among those who are living in extreme and perfect prosperity, for there is still something wanting to the end, but he touches both extremes; (2.236) on which account the expression, "the plague was stayed," is very properly used rather than "the plague ceased;" for in those who are perfect the things which break, and crush, and destroy the soul cease; but in those who are advancing towards perfection, they are only diminished, as if they were only cut short and checked.

XXXVI. (2.237) Since then all steadiness, and stability, and the abiding for ever in the same place unchangeably and immovably, is first of all seen in the living God, and next in the word of the living God, which he has called his covenant; and in the third place in the wise man, and in the fourth degree in him who is advancing towards perfection, what could induce the wicked mind, which is liable to all sorts of curses, to think that it is able to stand by itself, while it is in reality borne about as in a deluge, and dragged hither and thither by the incessant eddies of things flowing in through the dead and agitated body? (2.238) "For I thought," says the scripture, "that I was standing on the bank of the River:"{106}{#ge 41:17.} and by the word river we say that speech is symbolically meant, since both these things are borne outward, and flow on with a vigourous and sustained speed. And the one is at one time filled up with a great abundance of water, and the other with a quantity of verbs and nouns, and at another time they are both empty and relaxed, and in a state of quiescence; (2.239) again, they are of use inasmuch as the one irrigates the fields, and the other fertilizes the souls of those who receive it. And at times they are injurious by reason of overflowing, as then the one deluges the land on its borders, and the other troubles and confuses the reason of those who do not attend to it. (2.240) Therefore speech is compared to a river, and the nature of speech is twofold, the one sort being better and the other worse; that is, the better kind which does good, and that of necessity is the worse kind which does harm; (2.241) and Moses has given most conspicuous examples of each kind to those who are able to see, for he says, "For a river goes out of Eden to water the Paradise, and from thence it is divided into four Branches:"{107}{genesis 2:10.} (2.242) and by the name Eden he means the wisdom of the living God, and the interpretation of the name Eden is "delight," because I imagine wisdom is the delight of God, and God is the delight of wisdom, as it is said also in the Psalms, "Delight thou in the Lord."{108}{psalm 36:4.} And the divine word, like a river, flows forth from wisdom as from a spring, in order to irrigate and fertilize the celestial and heavenly shoots and plants of such souls as love virtue, as if they were a paradise. (2.243) And this sacred word is divided into four beginnings, by which I mean it is portioned out into four virtues, each of which is a princess, for to be divided into beginnings, {109}{there is an unavoidable obscurity in the translation here. The Greek word archai, which means beginnings, or principles, and also governments.} does not resemble divisions of place, but a kingdom, in order than any one, after having shown the virtues as boundaries, may immediately proceed to show the wise man who follows them to be king, being elected a such, not by men, but by the only free nature which cannot err, and which cannot be corrupted; (2.244) for those who behold the excellence of Abraham say unto him, "Thou art a king, sent from God among Us:"{110}{#ge 23:6.} proposing as a maxim, for those who study philosophy, that the wise man alone is a ruler and a king, and that virtue is the only irresponsible authority and sovereignty.

XXXVII. (2.245) Accordingly, one of the followers of Moses, having compared this speech to a river, has said in the Psalms, "The river of God was filled with Water;"{111}{psalm 65:10.} and it is absurd to give such a title to any of the rivers which flow upon the earth. But as it seems the psalmist is here speaking of the divine word, which is full of streams and wisdom, and which has no part of itself empty or desolate, or rather, as some one has said, which is diffused everywhere over the universe, and is raised up on high, on account of the continued and incessant rapidity of that ever-flowing spring. (2.246) There is also another expression in the Psalms, such as this, "The course of the river makes glad the city of God."{112}{psalm 45:5.} What city? For the holy city, which exists at present, in which also the holy temple is established, at a great distance from any sea or river, so that it is clear, that the writer here means, figuratively, to speak of some other city than the visible city of God. (2.247) For, in good truth, the continual stream of the divine word, being borne on incessantly with rapidity and regularity, is diffused universally over everything, giving joy to all. (2.248) And in one sense he calls the world the city of God, as having received the whole cup of the divine draught, ... and being gladdened thereby, so as to have derived from it an imperishable joy, of which it cannot be deprived for ever. But in another sense he applies this title to the soul of the wise man, in which God is said also to walk, as if in a city, "For," says God, "I will walk in you, and I will be your God in You."{113}{#le 26:12.} (2.249) And who can pour over the happy soul which proffers its own reason as the most sacred cup, the holy goblets of true joy, except the cup-bearer of God, the master of the feast, the word? not differing from the draught itself, but being itself in an unmixed state, the pure delight and sweetness, and pouring forth, and joy, and ambrosial medicine of pleasure and happiness; if we too may, for a moment, employ the language of the poets.

XXXVIII. (2.250) But that which is called by the Hebrews the city of God is Jerusalem, which name being interpreted means, "the sight of peace." So they do not look for the city of the living God in the region of the earth, for it is not made of wood or of stone, but seek it in the soul which is free from war, and which proposes to those who are endowed with acuteness of sight a contemplative and peaceful life; (2.251) since where could any find a more venerable and holy abode for God amid all existing things, than the mind fond of contemplation, which is eager to behold every thing and which does not, even in a dream, feel a wish for sedition or disturbance? (2.252) And again, the invisible spirit which is accustomed to converse with me in an unseen manner prompts me with a suggestion, and says, O my friend, you seem to be ignorant of an important and most desirable matter which I will explain to you completely; for I have also in a most seasonable manner explained many other things to you also. (2.253) Know, then, O excellent man, that God alone is the truest, and most real, and genuine peace, and that every created and perishable essence is continual war. For God is something voluntary, and mortal essence is necessity. Whoever, therefore, is able to forsake war, and necessity, and creation, and destruction, and to pass over to the uncreated being, to the immortal God, to the voluntary principle, and to peace, may justly be called the abode and city of God. (2.254) Do not, therefore, consider it a different thing whether you speak of the sight of peace or the sight of God, as they are the same thing; because peace is not only the companion but also the chief of powers of the living God, which are distinguished by many names.

XXXIX. (2.255) And, moreover, he says to the wise Abraham, "that he will give him an inheritance of land from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates,"{114}{#ge 15:18.} not meaning a portion of the land so much as a better portion in respect of our own selves. For our own body, and the passions which exist in it, and which are engendered by it, are likened to the river of Egypt, but the soul and the passions which are dear to that are likened to the river Euphrates. (2.256) And here a doctrine is laid down, at once most profitable to life and of the highest importance, that the good man has received for his inheritance the soul and the virtues of the soul: just as, on the contrary, the wicked man has received for his share the body and the vices of the body, and those which are engendered by the body. (2.257) And the expression "from," has a double sense. One, that by which the starting point from which it begins is included; the other that by which it is excluded. For when we say that from morning to evening there are twelve hours, or from the new moon to the end of the month there are thirty days, we are including in our enumeration both the first hour and the day of the new moon. And when any one says that such and such a field is three or four furlongs distant from the city, he clearly means to leave the city itself out of that measurement. (2.258) So that now, too, we must consider that the expression, "from the river of Egypt," is to be understood so as to include that river; for the writer intends to remove us to a distance from the things of the body which are seen to exist in a constant flow and course which is being destroyed and destroying, that so we may receive the inheritance of the soul with the imperishable virtues, which are, moreover, deserving of immortality. (2.259) Thus, therefore, by tracing it out diligently, we have found that praiseworthy speech is likened to a river; but speech which is deserving of blame is the very river of Egypt itself, untractable, unwilling to learn, as one may say in a word, lifeless speech; for which reason it is also changed into blood, {115}{#ex 7:17.} as not being able to afford sustenance. For the speech of ignorance is not wholesome, and it is productive of bloodless and lifeless frogs, which utter only a novel and harsh sound, a noise painful to the ear. (2.260) And it is said, likewise, that all the fish in that river were destroyed. And by the fish are here figuratively meant the conceptions; for these things float about and exist in speech as in a river, resembling living things and filling the river with life. But in uninstructed speech all conceptions die; for it is not possible to find any thing intelligent in it, but only, as some one has said, some disorderly and unmusical voices of jackdaws.

XL. (2.261) We have now then said enough on these subjects. But since he not only confesses that he saw in his dream, a standing and a river, but also the banks of a river, as his words are, "I thought that I was standing by the bank (cheilos) of the River."{116}{#ge 41:17.} It must be desirable to say a few seasonable things also about the bank. (2.262) Now there appears to be two most necessary objects on account of which nature has adapted lips (cheileÁ) to all animals, and especially to men; one for the same of tranquillity, for they are the strongest bulwark and fortification of the voice; the other for the sake of distinctness, for it is through them that the stream of words issues forth. For when they are closed speech is checked; for it is impossible that it should be borne outward if they are not parted. (2.263) And by these means nature prepares and trains man for both objects, speech and silence, watching the appropriate time for each employment. As for instance, is anything said worth listening to? Then attend, raising no obstacle, in perfect quiet, according to the injunction of Moses, "Be silent and Hear."{117}{#de 27:19.} (2.264) For of those persons who mix themselves up with contentious discussions there is not one who can properly be considered as either speaking or listening; but this is only advantageous to him who is about to do so. (2.265) Again, when you see, amid the wars and disasters of life, the merciful hand of God and his favourable power held over you and standing in defence of you, be silent yourself; for that champion stands in no need of any assistance. And there are proofs of this fact recorded in the sacred writings; such, for instance, as the verse, "The Lord will fight for us, and ye shall be Silent."{118}{#ex 14:14.} (2.266) And if you see the genuine offspring and the firstborn of Egypt destroyed, namely desire, and pleasures, and pain, and fear, and iniquity, and mirth, and intemperance, and all the other qualities which are similar and akin to these, then marvel and be silent, dreading the terrible power of God; (2.267) for, say the scriptures, "Not a dog shall move his tongue, nor shall anything, man or beast, utter a Sound;"{119}{#ex 11:7.} which is equivalent to saying, It does not become either the impudent tongue to bark and curse--nor the man that is within us, that is to say, our dominant mind; nor the cattle-like beast which is within us, that is to say, the outward sense--to boast, when all the evil that was in us has been utterly destroyed, and when an ally from without comes of his own accord to hold his shield over us.

XLI. (2.268) But there are many occasions which are not well suited to silence: and if we go to the language of ordinary prose, of which we may again see memorials laid up, how did there, ever an unexpected participation in good take place to any one? It is well, therefore, to give thanks and to sing hymns in honour of him who bestowed it. (2.269) What, then, is the good? The passion which is attacking us is dead, and is thrown out on its face without burial. Let us not delay, but standing still, let us sing that most sacred and becoming hymn, feeling that we are command to say to all men, "Let us sing unto the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the Sea."{120}{#ex 15:1.} (2.270) But the rout and destruction of the passions is indeed a good, but not a perfect good; but the discovery of wisdom is a surpassing good, and when that is found all the people will sing harmonies and melodies, not with one kind of music only, but with every sort; (2.271) for then, says the scripture, "Israel sang this song at the Well;"{121}{numbers 21:17.} that is to say, in triumph for the fact that knowledge, which had long been hidden but which was sought for, had at length been found by all men, though lying deep by nature; the duty of which was to irrigate the rational fields existing in the souls of those men who are fond of contemplation. (2.272) What, then, shall we say? When we bring home the legitimate fruit of the mind, does not the sacred scripture enjoin us to display in our reason, as in a sacred basket, the first fruits of our fertility; a specimen of the glorious flowers, and shoots, and fruits which the soul has brought forth, bidding us speak out distinctly, and to utter panegyrics on the God who brings things to perfection, and to say, "I have cleared away the things which were holy out of my house, and I have arranged them in the house of God:"{122}{#de 26:13.} appointing as stewards and guardians of them, men selected for their superior merit, and giving them the charge of these sacred things; (2.273) and these persons are Levites, proselytes, and orphans, and widows. But some are suppliants, some are emigrants and fugitives, some are persons widowed and destitute of all created things, but enrolled as belonging to God, the genuine husband and father of the soul which is inclined to worship.

XLII. (2.274) In this way, then, it is most proper both to speak and to be silent. But the wicked adopt an exactly contrary course; for they are admirers of a blamable kind of silence, and of an interpretation open to reproach, practising both lines of conduct to their own destruction and that of others. (2.275) But the greater part of their employment consists in saying what they ought not; for having opened their mouth and leaving it unbridled, like an unrestrained torrent, they allow their speech to run on indiscriminately, as the poet says, dragging on thousands of profitless sayings; (2.276) therefore those who have devoted themselves to the advocacy of pleasure and appetite, and every sort of excessive desire, building up irrational passion as a fortification against dominant reason, and preparing themselves for a contentious sort of discussion, have come at last to a regular dispute, hoping to be able to blind the race which is endowed with the faculty of sight, and to throw it down precipices, and into depths from which it will not be able at any future time to emerge. (2.277) But some have not only put themselves forward as rivals to human virtue, but have proceeded to such a pitch of folly as to oppose themselves also to divine virtue. Therefore Pharaoh, the king of the land of Egypt, is spoken of as the leader of the company which is devoted to the passions; for it is said to the prophet, "Behold, he is going forth to the river, and thou shalt stand in the way to meet him, on the bank of the River;"{123}{#ex 7:15.} (2.278) for it is the peculiar characteristic of the wise man to go forth to the rapidity and continual pouring forth of the irrational passion; and it is also characteristic of one man to go forth of the irrational passion; and it is also characteristic of the wise man to oppose with exceeding vigour the arguments on behalf of pleasure and desire, not with his feet, but with his mind, firmly and immoveably, standing on the bank of the river; that is to say, on the mouth and on the tongue, which are the organs of speech. For standing firmly on these, he will be able to overturn and defeat the plausible specious arguments which advocate the cause of passion. (2.279) But the enemy of the race which is endowed with the power of seeing, is the people of Pharaoh, which never ceased attacking, and persecuting, and enslaving virtue, until ... it paid the penalty for the evils which it inflicted ... being overwhelmed in the sea of those iniquities ... which it excited ... So that that period exhibited an extraordinary sight, a victory which was in no doubt, and a joy greater than could have been hoped for. (2.280) On which account it is said, "And Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea-Shore."{124}{#ex 14:30.} Great indeed was the hand which fought for them, compelling those who had sharpened these organs against the truth to fall by the mouth, and lips, and speech, so that they who had taken up these weapons against others should perish by their own arms and not by those of others. (2.281) And this announces three most glorious things to the soul; one, the destruction of the passions of Egypt; another, that this has taken place in no other spot than near the salt and bitter springs, as if on the shore of the sea, by which sophistical reason, that enemy of virtue, is poured forth; and, lastly, the sight of the disaster. (2.282) For no glorious thing can be invisible, but should be brought to the light and brilliancy of the sun. For so also the contrary, namely evil, should be thrust into deep darkness, and should be accounted deserving of night. And it may indeed by chance happen to some one to behold this: but what is really good should be always beheld by more piercing eyes. And what is so good as that what is good should live, and what is evil should die?

XLIII. (2.283) There were, therefore, three persons who uttered atrocious words which were to reach even to heaven; these men devoted themselves to studies against nature, or rather against their own souls, saying that this universe was the only thing which was perceptible to the outward senses, and visible, having never been created, and being never destined to be destroyed but being uncreated and imperishable, not requiring any superintendence, or care, or regulation, or management. (2.284) Afterwards piling up fresh attempts one upon another, they built up a doctrine which was not approved, and raised it to a height like a tower; for it is said, "And the whole earth spoke one Language,"{125}{#ge 11:1.} an inharmonious agreement of all the portions of the soul, for the purpose of overthrowing that which is the most comprehensive of all existing principles, namely, authority. (2.285) Therefore, a great and irresistable hand overthrew them when they were hoping to mount up even to heaven by their devices, for the purpose of destroying the everlasting kingdom; and it also dashed down the doctrine which they had built up; and the place is called confusion: (2.286) a very appropriate name for such an audacious and wicked attempt; for what can be more productive of confusion than anarchy? Are not houses which have no manager full of offences and disturbances? (2.287) And are not cities which are left unprovided with a king destroyed by the domination of the mob, the opposite evil to kingly power, and at the same time the greatest of all evils? And have not countries, and nations, and regions of the earth, the governments of which have been put down, lost all their ancient and great prosperity? (2.288) And why need I speak of matters of human history? For even the other species of animals, flocks of birds, and herds of terrestrial beasts, and shoals of aquatic creatures, never exist without some leader of their company; but they always desire and always pay attention to their own leader, as being the sole cause of the advantages they receive; at whose absence they are scattered and destroyed. (2.289) Do we suppose then, that in the case of earthly creatures, which are the most insignificant portion of the universe, authority is the cause of good things and anarchy the cause of evils, but that the world itself is not filled with extreme happiness by reason of the administration of God its king? (2.290) Therefore they have suffered punishment corresponding to their iniquities: for having polluted the sacred doctrine, they saw themselves polluted in like manner, all authority being taken away from among them; and being thrown themselves into confusion, but not having really caused any. But as long as they were left unpunished, being puffed up by insane pride, they sought to overthrow the authority of the universe by unholy speeches; and they set themselves up as rulers and kings, attributing the irresistible power of God to creatures which are perpetually coming to an end and being destroyed.

XLIV. (2.291) Therefore these ridiculous men giving themselves tragic airs and using inflated language, are accustomed to speak thus: we are they who are leaders; we are kings; On us all things depend. Who, except ourselves, is the cause of good and of the contrary? To whom, except to us, can be doing well or ill be truly attributed? They talk nonsense too in another manner, saying, that all things depend upon an invisible power, which they fancy presides over all human and divine affairs in the whole world. (2.292) Uttering such insolent falsehoods as these, if after intoxication they have become sober, and have come to themselves again, and feel ashamed of the intoxication to which they have given way coming under the dominion of the external senses, and if they reproach themselves for the evil actions which they have been led on to commit by folly, giving ear to their new counsellor, which never flatters, and which cannot be corrupted, namely, repentance, having propitiated the merciful power of the living God by sacred hymns of repentance instead of profane songs, they will find entire forgiveness. (2.293) But if they are restive and obstinate for ever, and indulge in wanton behavior, as if they were independent, and free, and the rulers of others, then by a necessity which is deaf to all entreaties and implacable, they will learn to feel their own nothingness in all things both small and great; (2.294) for the driver who mounts upon them, putting a bridle, upon this world, as though it were a winged chariot, drawing back with main strength the reins which before were loose, and pressing the bits severely, will remind them by whip and spur of his authority as master, which they, like wicked servants, have forgotten by reason of the gentle and merciful temper of their manager; (2.295) for bad servants, looking upon the gentleness of masters as anarchy, fancy themselves entirely free from the power of any master at all, until their owner checks their great and increasing disease by applying punishment as a remedy. (2.296) For which reason the expression is used of "a lawless soul, which with its lips distinguishes well-doing and evil-doing, and then will subsequently announce its own Sin."{126}{#le 5:4.} What sayest thou, O soul, full of insolence? For dost thou know what real good or real evil, real justice or real holiness, are? or what is suited to what? (2.297) The knowledge of those things and the power of regulating them belongs to God alone, and to whoever is dear to him. And witness is borne to this assertion by the scripture in which it is said, "I will kill and I will cause to live; I will smite and I will Heal."{127}{#de 32:39.} (2.298) But the mind which was wise in its own conceit had not even a superficial dreaming intimation of the things placed above it; but, wretched that it was, it was so completely carried away by the wind of vain opinion that it swore that those things which it had erroneously imagined stood firmly and solidly. (2.299) If, therefore, the violence and convulsion of the disease begin to relax, the sparks of returning health becoming gradually re-kindled, will compel it at first to confess its error, that is to say, to reproach itself, and afterwards to become a suppliant at the altar, entreating with prayers, and supplications, and sacrifices, that it may only obtain pardon.

XLV. (2.300) After this who can fairly raise the question why the historian of the scriptures has spoken of the river of Egypt only as having banks and has made no such mention of the Euphrates or of any other of the sacred rivers; for here he says, "Thou shalt stand in the way to meet him by the bank of the river." (2.301) And yet perhaps some persons in a spirit of ridicule will say that it is not right to bring such matters as these forward for investigation, for that it rather displays a spirit of cavilling than does any good. But I imagine that such things, like sweetmeats, are prepared in the sacred scriptures, for the improvement of those who read them, and that we ought not to condemn the curiosity of those who investigate such matters, but that we should rather blame their indolence if they did not investigate them. (2.302) For our present discussion is not about the history of rivers but about ways of life, which are compared to the streams of rivers, running in opposite directions to one another. For the life of the good man consists in actions; but that of the wicked man is seen to consist only in words. And speech [...] in the tongue, and mouth, and lips, and [...]{128}{the rest of this treatise is lost.}

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