XII. (31) “And God created man, taking a lump of clay from the earth, and breathed into his face the breath of life: and man became a living soul.” The races of men are twofold; for one is the heavenly man, and the other the earthly man. Now the heavenly man, as being born in the image of God, has no participation in any corruptible or earthlike essence. But the earthly man is made of loose material, which he calls a lump of clay. On which account he says, not that the heavenly man was made, but that he was fashioned according to the image of God; but the earthly man he calls a thing made, and not begotten by the maker. (32) And we must consider that the man who was formed of earth, means the mind which is to be infused into the body, but which has not yet been so infused. And this mind would be really earthly and corruptible, if it were not that God had breathed into it the spirit of genuine life; for then it “exists,” and is no longer made into a soul; and its soul is not inactive, and incapable of proper formation, but a really intellectual and living one. “For man,” says Moses, “became a living soul.”

XIII. (33) But some one may ask, why God thought an earth-born mind, which was wholly devoted to the body, worthy of divine inspiration, and yet did not treat the one made after his own idea and image in the same manner. In the second place he may ask, what is the meaning of the expression “breathed into.” And thirdly, why he breathed into his face: fourthly also, why, since he knew the name of the Spirit when he says, “And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the Waters,”{6}{#ge 1:2.} he now speaks of breath, and not of the Spirit. (34) Now in reply to the first question we must say this one thing; God being very munificent gives his good things to all men, even to those who are not perfect; inviting them to a participation and rivalry in virtue, and at the same time displaying his abundant riches, and showing that it is sufficient for those also who will not be greatly benefited by it; and he also shows this in the most evident manner possible in other cases; for when he rains on the sea, and when he raises up fountains in desert places, and waters shallow and rough and unproductive land, making the rivers to overflow with floods, what else is he doing but displaying the great abundance of his riches and of his goodness? This is the cause why he has created no soul in such a condition as to be wholly barren of good, even if the employment of that good be beyond the reach of some people. (35) We must also give a second reason, which is this: Moses wished to represent all the actions of the Deity as just–therefore a man who had not had a real life breathed into him, but who was ignorant of virtue, when he was chastised for the sins which he had committed would say that he was punished unjustly, in that it was only through ignorance of what was good that he had erred respecting it; and that he was to blame who had not breathed any proper wisdom into him; and perhaps he will even say, that he has absolutely committed no offence whatever; since some people affirm that actions done involuntarily and in ignorance have not the nature of offences. (36) Now the expression “breathed into” is equivalent to “inspired,” or “gave life to” things inanimate: for let us take care that we are never filled with such absurdity as to think that God employs the organs of the mouth or nostrils for the purpose of breathing into anything; for God is not only devoid of peculiar qualities, but he is likewise not of the form of man, and the use of these words shows some more secret mystery of nature; (37) for there must be three things, that which breathes in, that which receives what is breathed in, and that which is breathed in. Now that which breathes in is God, that which receives what is breathed in is the mind, and that which is breathed in is the spirit. What then is collected from these three things? A union of the three takes place, through God extending the power, which proceeds from himself through the spirit, which is the middle term, as far as the subject. Why does he do this, except that we may thus derive a proper notion of him? (38) Since how could the soul have perceived God if he had not inspired it, and touched it according to his power? For human intellect would not have dared to mount up to such a height as to lay claim to the nature of God, if God himself had not drawn it up to himself, as far as it was possible for the mind of man to be drawn up, and if he had not formed it according to those powers which can be comprehended. (39) And God breathed into man’s face both physically and morally. Physically, when he placed the senses in the face: and this portion of the body above all others is vivified and inspired; and morally, in this manner, as the face is the dominant portion of the body, so also is the mind the dominant portion of the soul. It is into this alone that God breathes; but the other parts, the sensations, the power of speech, and the power of generation, he does not think worthy of his breath, for they are inferior in power. (40) By what then were these subordinate parts inspired? beyond all question by the mind; for of the qualities which the mind has received form God, it gives a share to the irrational portion of the soul, so that the mind is vivified by God, and the irrational part of the soul by the mind; for the mind is as it were a god to the irrational part of the soul, for which reason Moses did not hesitate to call it “the god of Pharaoh.”{7}{#ex 7:1.} (41) For of all created things some are created by God, and through him: some not indeed by God, but yet through him: and the rest have their existence both by him and through him. At all events Moses as he proceeds says, that God planted a paradise, and among the best things as made both by God and through God, is the mind. But the irrational part of the soul was made indeed by God but not through God, but through the reasoning power which bears rule and sovereignty in the soul; (42) and Moses has used the word “breath,” not “spirit,” as there is a difference between the two words; for spirit is conceived of according to strength, and intensity, and power; but breath is a gentle and moderate kind of breeze and exhalation; therefore the mind, which was created in accordance with the image and idea of God, may be justly said to partake in his spirit, for its reasoning has strength: but that which is derived from matter is only a partaker in a thin and very light air, being as it were a sort of exhalation, such as arises from spices; for they, although they be preserved intact, and are not exposed to fire or fumigation, do nevertheless emit a certain fragrance.