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who was not wholly uninitiated in natural philosophy, might be benefited in respect of knowledge.
Therefore, if you consider the matter, you will find that all men, and especially those who have been alluded to as giving gratuitously, sell rather than give ; and that they, who we fancy are receiving favours, are, in reality, purchasing the benefits which they derive; for they who give, hoping to receive a requital, such as praise or honour, and seekiug for a return of the favour which they are conferring, under the specious name of a gift, are, in reality, making a bargain. Since it is usual, for those who sell, to receive a price in return for what they part with ; but they who, receiving presents, feel anxiety to make a return for them, and make such a return in due season, they in reality perform the part of purchasers; for as they know how to receive, 80 also do they know how to requite. But God distributes his good things, not like a seller vending his wares at a high price, but he is inclined to make presents of everything, pouring forth the inexhaustible foun. taius of his graces, and never desiring any return; for he has no need of anything, nor is there any created being competent to give him a suitable gift in return.
XXXV. As all things then are confessed to be the possessions of God, and proved to be so by sound reasonings and testimovies, which cannot possibly be convicted of bearing false witness, for they are the sacred oracles which Moses has recorded in the Holy Scriptures that bear witness; we must deprecate that mind which fancied that that which originated in a meeting with the outward sense was his own property, and which called it Cain, and said, “ I have gotten a man by means of God,” in this also greatly erring. But in what did be err? Because God was the cause, not the instrument ; and what was born was created indeed through the agency of bomo instrument, but was by all means called into existence by the great first cause; for many things must co-operate in the origination of anything; by whom, from what, by means of what, and why? Now he by whom a thing originates is the cause; that from which a thing is de is the ma ial; that by means of which it was made is the instrument; and why, is the object.
For come now, suppose any one should say, what things must meet together, that any house or city may be made!
Must there not be a builder, and stones, and timber, and tools? What then is the builder, but the cause by whom the house or city is built? And what are the stones and timber, but the materials of which the building is made? And what are the tools, but the things by means of which it is made ? And for what reason is it built, except to serve as a shelter and protection? This is the object. Now passing on from these particular buildings, consider the greatest house or city, namely, this world, for you will find that God is the cause of it, by whom it was made. That the materials are the four elements, of which it is composed ; that the instrument is the word of God, by means of which it was made; and the object of the building you will fiud to be the display of the goodness of the Creator.
This is the discriminating opinion of men fond of truth, who desire to attain to true and sound knowledge; but they who say that they have gotten anything by means of God, conceive that the cause is the instrument, the Creator namely, and the instrument the cause, namely, the human mind. And all sound reason would reproach Joseph for saying, “ That the true interpretation of the dreams would be found out by means of God;"* for he should have said, that owing to him, as the cause indeed, would be the unfolding and accurate under. standing of those things which were obscure; for we are the instruinents by whom the particular energies are developed, both in our stutes of tension and of relaxation ; but the Cre. ator is he who gives the blow which sets in motion" the faculties of body and soul, by whom all things are moved.
Those then who are unable to distinguish between the differences of things must be instructed as ignorant; but those who, from a contentious spirit, invert: the orders of the things signified, must be avoided as disputatious; but those who, after an accurate investigation into tho phænomena which present themselves to them, assigu its proper place to each of the objects discovered, must be praised as inen who have attained to a true philosophy, and are void of error. For Moses says to those who fear lest they should be destroyed by the wicked man, who is pursuing them with all his host, “ Stand still, and see the salvation which is from the Lord, and which he will work for you ;"teaching them that salva. . Genosis zl. 8.
+ Exodus xiv. 13,
tion is effected, not by means of God, but by him as the direct
SACRIFICES OF ABEL AND CAIN.
I. “And he also added, that she should bring forth his brother.”. The addition of one thing is a taking away of some other; as for instance, of particles in arithmetic, and of reasons in the soul. If then we must say that Abel is added, wo must also think that Cain is taken away. But that the unusual character of expression may not cause perplexity to many we will endeavour to explain accurately the philosophy which is apparent beneath them, as clearly as muy be in our power.
It happens then, that there are two opinions contrary to and at variance with one another; the one of which commits every. thing to the mind as the leader of all reasoning, or feeling. or moving, or being stationary; and the other, attributing to God all the consequent work of creation as his own. Now the symbol of the former of these is Cain, which name, beivg interpreted means, “possession," from his appearing to possess all things ; and the symbol of the other is Abel ; for this name, being interpreted, means " referring to God." Now both these opinions were brought forth by one soul. But it follows of necessity that as soon as they were born they must have been separated; for it was impossible for enemies to dwell together for ever. Until then the soul brought forth the Godloving doctrine Abel, the self-loving Cain dwelt with her. But when she brought forth Abel, or unanimity with God, she abandoned unanimity with that mind, which was wise in its own conceit.
II. And this will be more evidently shown by the oracle which was given to Perseverance, that is to Rebecca ;t for she also, having conceived the two inconsistent vatures of good and evil, and having considered each of them very deeply • Genesio iv. 2.
Genesis xxv. 24.
according to the injunctions of prudence, beholding them both exulting, and making a sort of skirmish as a prelude to the war which was to exist between them; she, I say, besought God to explain to her what this calamity meant, and what was the remedy for it. And he answered her inquiry, and told her, “ Two nations are in thy womb.” This calamity is the birth of good and evil. “But two peoples shall be divided in thy bowels." And the remedy is, for these two to be parted and separated from one another, and no longer to abide in the same pluce.
God therefore having added the good doctrine, that is Abel, to the soul, took away from it evil doctrine, that is Cain : for Abraham also, leaving mortal things, “is added to the people of God,"• having received immortality, and having become equal to the angels; for the angels are the host of God, being incorporeal and happy souls. And in the same manner Jacob, tire practiser of virtue, is added to the better one, because he had quitted the worse.
And Isaac, who was thought worthy of self-taught knowledge, of his own accord also leaves all the corporeal essence which was attached to his soul, and is added to and made an inheritor with (not the people, as the others whom I have mentioned were), but with the “ race," I as Moses says; for “ race" is one, and the highest of all: but “ people," is the name of many. As many, therefore, as through instruction and learning have improved and at last arrived at perfection, are classed among the larger number. Nor is number insignificant of those who have learnt from oral instruction and demonstration, and whom Moses calls the people. But those inen who have forsaken human instruction, and having become well-disposed disciples of God, and having arrived at a comprehension of knowledge acquired without labour, have passed over to the immortal and most perfect race of beings, and have so received an inheritance better than the former generations of created men; and of these men Isaac is reckoned as a companion.
III. There is also another proof that the mind is immortal, which is of this nature :— There are some persons whom God, advancing to higher degrees of improvement, has enabled to soar above all species and genera, having placed them near himself; as he says to Moses, · But stand thou here with
. Genesis xxv. 8. + Genesis xliz. 33. I Genesis xxxv. 25.
me. When, therefore, Moses is about to die, he is not added to one class, nor does he forsake another, as the men before him had done ; nor is he connected with "addition" or "subtraction,” but “by means of the word of the Cause of all things, by whom the whole world was made.”+ He departs to another abode, that you may understand from this that God accounts a wise man as entitled to equal honour with the world itself, having both created the universe, and raised the perfect man from the things of earth up to himself by the same word.
Not but what, when he gave him the use of all earthly things and suffered him to dwell among them, he assigned to him not such a power as he might exercise in common with ản earthly governor or monarch, by which he should forcibly rule over the passions of tho soul, but he appointed him to be a sort of god, making the whole of the body, and the mind, which is the ruler of the body, subjects and slaves to him
; "For I give thee,” says he, " as a god to Pharaoh."| But God is not susceptible of any subtraction or addition, inasmuch as he is complete and entirely equal to himself
. In reference to which it is said of Moses, • That no one is said to know of his tomb;'S for who could be competent to perceive the migration of a perfect soul to the living God? Nor do I even believe that the soul itself while awaiting this event was conscious of its own improvement, inasmuch as it was at that time becoming gradually divine; for God, in the case of those persons whom he is about to benefit, does not take him who is to receive the advan. tage into his counsels, but is accustomed rather to pour his benefits ungrudgingly upon him without his having any previous anticipation of them.
This is something like the meaning of God's adding the creation of what is good to the perfect mind. But the good is holiness, the name of which is Ābel.
IV. "And Abel became a shepherd of sheep; but Cain was a tiller of the ground.” Why now has Moses, who represents Cain as older than Abel, now transposed them in the order in which he here mentions them, so as to name the younger first when relating their choice of a way of life? For it was natural that the elder should lead the way and adopt the culti
* Deuteronomy v. 31. + Deuteronomy xxxiv. 6.
§ Deuteronomy xxxiv. 6.