XXXI. (153) Since, then, these honours are put forth for them, if any of the priests are in any difficulty while living virtuously and irreproachably, they are at once accusers of us as disregarding the law, even though they may not utter a word. For if we were to obey the commands which we have received, and if we were to take care to give the first fruits as we are commanded, they would not only have abundance of all necessary things, but would also be filled with all kinds of supplies calculated for enabling them to live in refinement and luxury. (154) And if ever at any subsequent time the tribe of the priests is found to be blessed with a great abundance of all the necessaries and luxuries of life, this will be a great proof of their common holiness, and of their accurate observance of the laws and ordinances in every particular. But the neglect of some persons (for it is not safe to blame every one) is the cause of poverty to those who have been dedicated to God, and, if one must tell the truth, to the men themselves also. (155) For to violate the law is injurious to those who offend, even though it may be an attractive course for a short time; but to obey the ordinances of nature is most beneficial, even if at the time it may wear a painful appearance and may show no pleasant character.