XXV. (84) And let us now consider with what magnificent fitness and with what divine majesty he speaks of these things. Let us consider the expression, “All things are mine,” and “all things” mean as he says, “gifts, and offerings, and fruits of labour, which, on watching carefully, he will bring to me on the days of my Festivals.”{24}{#nu 28:2.} Showing, very manifestly, that of all existing things some are thought worthy of moderate grace which is called an offering, and some of that higher grace which is called by the appropriate name of a free gift. And these things again are of such a nature that they are able, not only to bring forth virtues as their fruit, but that good fruit and eatable does actually pervade the whole of them, by which alone the soul of him who loves contemplation is supported; (85) and he who has learnt this lesson, and who is able to keep and preserve these things in his mind, will bring to God a faultless and most excellent offering, namely faith, on the festivals, which are not feasts of mortal things; for he has assigned feasts also to himself, laying down this as the most inevitable doctrine to those who are revellers in philosophy. (86) And the doctrine is this: God alone keeps festival in reality, for he alone rejoices, he alone is delighted, he alone feels cheerfulness, and to him alone is it given, to pass an existence of perfect peace unmixed with war. He is free from all pain, and free from all fear; he has no participation in any evils, he yields to no one, he suffers no sorrow, he knows no fatigue, he is full of unalloyed happiness; his nature is entirely perfect, or rather God is himself the perfection, and completion, and boundary of happiness, partaking of nothing else by which he can be rendered better, but giving to every individual thing a portion of what is suited to it, from the fountain of good, namely, from himself; for the beautiful things in the world would never have been such as they are, if they had not been made after an archetypal pattern, which was really beautiful, the uncreate, and blessed, and imperishable model of all things.

XXVI. (87) And on this account too Moses calls the sabbath, which name being interpreted means “rest,” “the sabbath of God.”{25}{#le 23:2.} Touching upon the necessary principles of natural philosophy, not of the philosophy of men, in many parts of his law, for that among existing things which rests, if one must tell the truth, is one thing only, God. And by “rest” I do not mean “inaction” (since that which is by its nature energetic, that which is the cause of all things, can never desist from doing what is most excellent), but I mean an energy completely free from labour, without any feeling of suffering, and with the most perfect ease; (88) for one may say, without impropriety, that the sun and the moon, and the entire heaven, and the whole world labour, inasmuch as they are not endowed with independent power, and are continually in a state of motion and agitation, and the most undeniable proofs of their labour are the yearly seasons; for these things, which have the greatest tendency in the whole heaven to keep things together, vary their motions, making their revolutions at one time northern, at another time southern, and at other times different from both. (89) The air, again, being sometimes warmed and sometimes cooled, and being capable of every sort of change, is easily proved to labour by the variations to which we feel that it is subject, since the most general cause of change is fatigue, and it would be folly to enter into any long detail about terrestrial or aquatic animals, dwelling at any length upon their general or particular changes; for these animals very naturally are liable to weakness in a much greater degree than those sublime objects, inasmuch as they partake to the greatest extent of the lowest, that is of earthly essence. (90) Since therefore it is naturally the case that things, which are changed, are changed in consequence of fatigue, and since God is subject to no variation and to no change, he must also by nature be free from fatigue, and that, which has no participation in weakness, even though it moves everything, cannot possibly cease to enjoy rest for ever. So that rest is the appropriate attribute of God alone.