(21) Why has he called Abraham’s wife Sarah, for he says, Sarah the wife of Abraham, taking her handmaid Hagar the Egyptian, gave her into his hand? (#Ge 16:2). The sacred writer here sums up with his approbation the marriage of the good on account of those who are incontinent and lascivious; for those persons despise their wise wives for the sake of concubines, whom they love with a frantic passion: on which account he here introduces the man endued with virtue, the constant husband of one wife, at that time in which it was lawful for him to make use of her handmaid; and his wife in fact indicates that he is wise, that is to say temperate, when he enters into the bed of another woman, since his connection with his concubine was only a connection of the body for the sake of propagating children; but his union with his wife was that of two souls joined together in harmony by heavenly affection. This is the literal effect of the statement. But if we look to the inner meaning of it, then he who has truly entrusted all his secret wishes to wisdom, and justice, and the other virtues, when once he has received the counsel of wisdom, and has tasted the joys of a matrimonial connection with it, remains constant to it as the partner and companion of his life; although encyclical education would lead him in a beautiful course, since when the man eminent in virtue has become master of the sciences of geometry, and arithmetic, and grammar, and rhetoric, and the other exercises of the mind, he is not the less on that account mindful of the pursuit of honesty, but is borne on towards the one as to a necessary aim, to the other as an accessory. But it is altogether fair that that fact also should meet with our approbation, -the fact I mean of his calling his handmaid also by the name of wife, because he went up to her bed out of complacency to and at the exhortation of his real wife, and not of his own genuine inclination; on which account he no longer calls her his handmaid, that even if it were not wholly deserved still his handmaid having been given to him to wife might at least obtain the same title. But those who study allegory may be allowed to say that the exercise of the middle disciplines also stands in the place of a concubine, having nevertheless the shape and ornaments of a wife, for all encyclical learning re-produces in itself and imitates genuine virtue.