(40) What is the meaning of, “Do thou please me, and keep thyself from stain, and I will make my treaty between me and thee, and I will multiply thee exceedingly?” (#Ge 17:1). God here lays down a law for the human race in a somewhat familiar manner; for he who has no participation in wickedness and is free from evil, will be perfectly good, which is peculiar to incorporeal natures. But those who are in the body are called good in proportion to the measure in which wickedness and the practice of sin are removed from them. Therefore the life of those men has appeared honourable, not that of those who have been free from sickness from the beginning to the end, but that of those who from a state of infirmity have advanced to sanity; on which account he says directly and plainly, “Keep thyself free from stain,” for it is sufficient to conduct a mortal nature to felicity not to be blamed, and neither to do nor say anything deserving of reproof; and such conduct is at once pleasing to the Father. Therefore it is that he said, “Do thou please me, and keep thyself free from stain.” Where the form of expression implies a mutual conversion; since the habits which please God do not deserve reproof, and he who keeps himself free from stain and avoids reproof in all things is altogether pleasing to God. Therefore he promises to bestow a double blessing on him who keeps himself free from all reproof; in the first place, to make him the guardian of the deposits of the divine covenant: and in the second place to cause him to increase to a multitude without any limit. For that expression, “I will make my treaty, or covenant, between me and thee,” shows the office of guardianship of the truth which is entrusted to an honest man; for the whole treaty of God is the incorporeal word; which is the form and measure of the universe according to which this world was made. And then repeating the expression, “I will multiply thee exceedingly,” twice manifestly shows the immense numbers to which the multitude promised shall grow, I mean the increase which shall take place in the people, not in human virtue.