(57) Why does God say, “Every creeping thing which lives shall be to you for food?” (#Ge 9:3). Creeping things are of a twofold nature; some being venomous, and others domestic. The venomous ones are serpents, which, instead of feet, use their bellies and breasts, creeping upon the earth; but the domestic ones are those which have legs above their feet. This is the literal meaning of the statement. But if we look to the inward sense of it, then the creeping things represent the foul vices, but the clean ones represent joy; for in connexion with the passion of concupiscence there will exist joy and pleasure; and in connexion with desire there will be will and counsel, and in connexion with sorrow goading and compunction, and in connexion with avidity there will be fear. Therefore such disordered perturbations of the passions threaten souls with death and destruction; but the joys do really live, as he himself has warned us in an allegory; and they also give life to those who possess them.