(34) Why does he say, “But Hagar called on the name of the Lord, who spoke to her, saying, ‘Thou God who hast had regard unto me.’ Because he said, ‘In truth I have beheld thee appearing before me.'”(# Ge 16:13). In the first place, take notice carefully that the angel, after the manner of the handmaiden of wisdom, was a minister to her on the part of God. But still why is he here called Lord or God who ought only to have been styled his angel? It was in order to adapt the fact to the proper person; for it was right that the Lord and chief of all the universe should appear to wisdom as God, and that his word should appear as a minister to the handmaid and servant of wisdom. But we may not suppose that she mistakenly looked upon the angel as God; for those who are unable to behold the first cause may easily be deceived and look upon the second as the first; in the same manner as he who has but weak sight, not being able to behold the sun which is in heaven in its real appearance, thinks that the ray which falls upon the earth is the sun itself; and those who have never seen the king attribute frequently the dignity of the supreme sovereign to his ministers. And in truth mild and rustic men who never have beheld a city, not even from the summits of the hills where they live, think every country house or farm-yard a mighty city, and look upon the people who dwell there as citizens of a great city, out of ignorance of what a city really is.
(35) What is the meaning of, “On this account she called that well the well of him whom I have seen face to face?” (#Ge 16:14). The well has both a spring and depth. But the learning of the students of encyclical science is neither all on the surface, nor is it destitute of first principles; for it has for its source corrective discipline. Therefore it is with perfect correctness that she says that the angel appeared before the well as God; since the erudition of the encyclical training possessing the second rank is supposed to rejoice in the first authority, though it is in reality separated from that first wisdom which it is permitted to wise men to behold, but not to sophists.