(4) Why does he say, “And he took unto him all these things?” (#Ge 15:10). He has added also that expression, “And he took unto him,” with especial propriety; for it is the sign of a soul thoroughly imbued with the love of God to ascribe whatever good and noble theories and feelings it receives, not unto itself, but wholly to God who is the giver of all benefits.
(5) What is the meaning of, “He divided them in the middle and laid the pieces opposite to one another?” (#Ge 15:10). Also the whole structure of the body, as of flesh, is to be looked at in such a light as this according to its whole creation; for the parts are brothers; not as they are divided and placed opposite to one another; but, being naturally inclined to one another, and having a mutual regard to one another, on account of their natural co-operation; the original Creator who gave them life making this division for the sake of usefulness, so that one part should be opposed to the other part, and again that both should reciprocally seek one another in all necessary ministrations. In this way he has directly separated the sense of sight, distributing it equally to two eyes by placing the nose between them and thus turning each eye to the other; for the pupils, if I may so say, lean both in one direction so as mutually to behold the same thing, scarcely ever straying beyond the position in which they are placed, but only looking towards one another, especially when anything comes across their sight. And in similar manner the faculty of hearing is distributed between the two ears, which are both reciprocally turned to one another, both tending to one and the same operation. And the sense of smell is divided between the two nostrils, being turned towards the two tubes of the nostrils, which are not revolving around or inclined towards the cheeks, so as being drawn in two different directions to look the one towards the right and the other towards the left, but being both collected together and turned inwards they await all smells with a common action. So also the hands are not made of an appearance contrary to that of one another, but being like brothers and like divisible parts, looking to one another mutually, and being prepared by nature for an operation and employment suitable to them, they thus act in the operations of receiving, giving, and working. And the feet are not constituted differently from the hands; as each of them behaves in such a manner that they both yield the one to the other, and progress is effected by the motion of both together, so that nothing can be accomplished by one alone. Nor is it only the feet and shins, but also the legs and knee-pans, and hips, and the breasts, and in fact every part on the right or left of the body, being divided in a similar manner, indicate one general harmony and correspondence and union as it were of connatural parts; that is to say, of all of those different members enumerated according to their separate species. And generally, whoever considers together and in an equal manner all the above mentioned parts thus subdivided, in reference to their joint operation, will find one nature combined of the two parts. As the hands, united and connected together with the fingers, are seen when in union with them to exhibit a harmony; and the feet, when re-united in operation, are seen to tend to union; and the ears, when similarly combined in the figure of an amphitheatre, are seen to unite themselves, in effect extending across the space which separates them. Therefore our nature, continually making in this manner a division of those parts which exist in us according to each separate species, has first of all separated and arranged the different sections, placing them as it were opposite to one another in the same way in which it has arranged the world; and it has also arranged them with reference to the easy discharge of their several duties. And again it has combined each of these members according to each species into one action, and into the same operation, collecting together all of them when considered generally. Nor is it only the parts of the body which any one may see thus united and in pairs, separated in their union, and again united in their division, but the parts of the soul are so too. But since the two superior sections of this are so many separate classes, namely the rational and the irrational, so also the separate parts of each section have their own appropriate division; as for instance, the rational part is divided into the intention and into the uttered word; and that part which exists in accordance with the outward senses is divided into the four senses; for the fifth sense, touch, is common to the other four, two of which, those with which we see and hear, are philosophical senses, so that it is by means of them that the power of living well is acquired for us; the others are nonphilosophical, namely smell and taste, but are servile, being created only for living; for the sense of smell, by means of its exercise, contains many things which awaken it, and receives a continual breathing which is as it were the continual food of living creatures; therefore smell and taste support this mortal body, but sight and hearing afford service to the immortal soul. Therefore these divisions of our members, according to our body and soul, were made and separated by the Creator; however, we must know that the parts of the world also are arranged in two divisions and are placed opposite to one another; the earth being divided into mountainous and champaign districts; the water into sweet and salt, sweet being that which is supplied by springs and rivers, and salt being that which comes from the sea; as also the atmosphere is divided into summer and winter, and also into spring and autumn. And it is on this account that Heraclitus wrote his books about nature, having borrowed his theory of contraries from our sacred historian, with the addition of an infinite number of laborious arguments.