“For e’en a woman’s wisdom’s not so coarse

As to despise the good and choose the worse.”

But it is consistent with the character of, and becoming to God to give form to what is shapeless, and to invest what is most ugly with admirable beauty. (42) Again, if the new world is to be exactly like the old one, then the maker is only wasting his labour, and differs in no respect from infant children who, very often while playing on the sea shore raise up little mounds of sand, and then pull them down again with their hands and destroy them; for it would have been much better than making another world exactly like the former, neither to take anything from, nor to add anything to, nor to change either for the better or for the worse, what existed originally, but to let it remain just as it was. (43) If, on the other hand, he is about to make a world better than the former one, then the maker too must be better than the maker of the former world, so that when he made the former world he was inferior both in his skill and in his intellect, which it is impious even to imagine, for God is at all times equal and similar to himself, being neither capable of any relaxation which can make him worse, nor of any extension which can make him better. Men, indeed, do admit of such inequalities in either direction, being naturally liable to alter either for the better or for the worse, and continually admitting of increase, and advance, and improvement, and everything contrary to these states; (44) and besides this, the works of us who are but mortal men may very appropriately be perishable, but the works of the immortal must in all consistency and reason be likewise imperishable, for it is natural that what is made should resemble the nature of the maker.