XXIV. (109) But here we must observe that Moses says, that “Noah pleased” the powers of the living God, “the Lord and God,” but that he tells us that Moses himself pleased the Being who is attended by those powers as his body guard, and who, without them, is conceived only according to his essence. For it is said, here, speaking in the person of God, “Because thou hast found grace in my sight,”26 pointing out himself instead of any one else whatever. (110) Thus, therefore, he who exists himself by himself alone, thinks the exceeding wisdom which is found in Moses worthy of grace, and that other wisdom which was formed on the model of his, he considers of an inferior class, and more a wisdom of species, as consisting of subordinate powers, according to which he is both Lord and God, and ruler and benefactor. (111) But another mind attached to the body and the slave of the passions, having been sold as slave to the chief cook, 27 that is to say to the pleasure of our compound being, and being castrated and mutilated of all the masculine and generative parts of the soul, being afflicted with a want of all good practices, and being incapable of receiving the divine voice, being also separated and cut off from the sacred assembly, in which conferences and discussions about virtue are continually being brought up, is conducted into the prison of the passions, and finds grace, (a grace more inglorious than dishonour), with the keeper of the prison.28 (112) For these men are properly called prisoners, not those who after they have been condemned at the judgment seat by the legitimate magistrates, or by judges formally appointed, are led away by the officers into the place appointed for malefactors; but those in whom nature has condemned the disposition of their souls, men who are full of intemperance, and cowardice, and injustice, and impiety, and innumerable other evils; (113) but the steward, and keeper, and guardian of these men, is the keeper of the prison, a composition and combination of all kinds of various wickednesses, united together into one mass, to please whom is the greatest of punishments. But some people who do not perceive this, being deceived with respect to what is injurious to such a degree, as to look upon it as advantageous, come to him with great joy, and offer themselves as his body-guards, that being accounted faithful by him, they may become his lieutenants and successors in the guardianship of involuntary and voluntary offences; (114) but do thou, O my soul, thinking such an office and magistracy as that, more grievous than the most laborious slavery, adopt, as far as you can, an unrestrained, and unconfined, and free system of life, (115) and if you are caught by the baits of passion, endure rather to be a prisoner yourself, than the keeper of a prison; for then if you suffer distress, and groan aloud, you will obtain pity; but if you give yourself up to ambition of great posts, and to a covetousness of honour, you will receive that pleasant and greatest evil of being keeper of the prison, by which you will be influenced the whole of your life.