XI. (51) Having now therefore explained these matters sufficiently, let us pass on to what comes next. And this is what follows: “I will destroy,” says God, “the man whom I have made from off the face of the earth, from man to beast, from creeping things to the fowls of the air, because I have considered and repent that I have made them.”13 (52) Now, some persons, when they hear the expressions which I have just cited, imagine that the living God is here giving away to anger and passion; but God is utterly inaccessible to any passion whatever. For it is the peculiar property of human weakness to be disquieted by any such feelings, but God has neither the irrational passions of the soul, nor are the parts and limits of the body in the least belonging to him. But, nevertheless, such things are spoken of with reference to God by the great lawgiver in an introductory sort of way, for the sake of admonishing those persons who could not be corrected otherwise. (53) For of all the laws which are couched in the form of injunction or prohibition, and such alone are properly speaking laws; there are two principal positions laid down with respect to the great cause of all things: one, that God is not as a man; the other, that God is as a man.14 (54) But the first of these assertions is confirmed by the most certain truth, while the latter is introduced for the instruction of the many. In reference to which, it is said concerning them, “as a man would instruct his son.”15 And this is said for the sake of instruction and admonition, and not because he is really such by nature. (55) For of men some are attached to the service of the soul, and others to that of the body; now the companions of the soul, being able to associate with incorporeal natures, appreciable only by the intellect, do not compare the living God to any species of created beings; but, dissociating it with any idea of distinctive qualities (for this is what most especially contributes to his happiness and to his consummate felicity, to comprehend his naked existence without any connection with figure or character), they, I say, are content with the bare conception of his existence, and do not attempt to invest him with any form. (56) But those who enter into agreements and alliances with the body, being unable to throw off the robes of the flesh, and to behold that nature, which alone of all natures has no need of anything, but is sufficient for itself, and simple, and unalloyed, and incapable of being compared with anything else, from the same notions of the cause of all things that they do of themselves; not considering that in the case of a being who exists through a concurrence of many faculties, he has need of many parts in order to supply the necessities of each of those faculties.