(44) Why, in the third place, after seven other days, did he again send forth the dove, which did not again return to him? (#Ge 8:12). According to the word, the dove made no more return to him; but what in fact is meant is virtue, which, however, is not an indication of alienation, since, as I have said before, she was not separated from him at that time, but sent forth like a sun-beam to pay a visit of examination to the natures of others, but then, not finding any one to listen to her precepts of correction, she returns, and properly comes to him alone. But this time she is no longer the possession of one single individual, but is rather a common good to all those who have been willing to receive the emanations of wisdom as if coming up from the earth, those persons, that is, who from the very beginning have laboured under a great thirst of perfect wisdom.