XXI. (65) “And the Lord God said to the serpent, Because thou hast done this thing, thou art cursed above all cattle and every beats of the field; upon thy breast and upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life. And I will put enmity in the midst between thee and between the woman, and in the midst between thy seed and between her seed, He shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his Heel.”{31}{#ge 3:14.} What is the reason why he curses the serpent without allowing him to make any defence, when in another place he commands that “both the parties between whom there is any dispute shall be Heard,”{32}{#de 19:17.} and that one shall not be believed till the other has been heard? (66) And indeed in this case you see that he did not give a prejudged belief to Adam’s statement against his wife; but he gave her also an opportunity of defending herself, when he asked her, “Why hast thou done this?” But she confessed that she had erred through the deceitfulness of serpent-like and diversified pleasure. Why, therefore, when the woman had said, “The serpent deceived Me,”{33}{#ge 3:13.} did he forbid the putting of the question to the serpent whether it was he who had thus deceived her; and why did he thus appoint him to be condemned without trial and without defence? (67) We must say, therefore, that the external senses are not a peculiar property of either bad or good men, but that they are of an intermediate nature, and common to both the wise man and the fool, and when they are found in the fool, they are bad; but when they are found in the wise man, they are good. Very naturally therefore, since it has a nature which is not necessarily and intrinsically evil, but one which being capable of either character, inclines at different times and under different circumstances towards either extremity, it is not condemned till it has itself confessed that it followed the worse inclination. (68) But the serpent, that is pleasure, is of itself evil. On this account it is absolutely not found at all in the virtuous man; but the wicked man alone enjoys it. Very properly therefore does God curse it before it has time to make any defence, inasmuch as it has no seed of virtue within it, but is at all times and in all places blameable and polluting.