XXXVIII. (205) And the blood is poured out in a circle all round the altar, because a circle is the most complete of all figures, and also in order that no part whatever may be left empty and unoccupied by the libation of life; for, to speak properly, the blood is the libation of the life. Therefore the law here symbolically teaches us that the mind, which is always performing its dances in a circle, is by every description of words, and intentions, and actions which it adopts, always showing its desire to please God. (206) And it is commanded that the belly and the feet shall be washed, which command is a figurative and very expressive one; for, by the belly it is figuratively meant to be signified that it is desirable that the appetites shall be purified, which are full of stains, and intoxication, and drunkenness, being thus a most pernicious evil, existing, and concocted, and exercised to the great injury of the life of mankind. (207) And by the command that the feet of the victim should be washed, it is figuratively shown that we must no longer walk upon the earth, but soar aloft and traverse the air. For the soul of the man who is devoted to God, being eager for truth, springs upward and mounts from earth to heaven; and, being borne on wings, traverses the expanse of the air, being eager to be classed with and to move in concert with the sun, and moon, and all the rest of the most sacred and most harmonious company of the stars, under the immediate command and government of God, who has a kingly authority without any rival, and of which he can never be deprived, in accordance with which he justly governs the universe. (208) And the division of the animal into limbs shows plainly that all things are but one, or that they are derived from one, and dissolved into one; which some persons have called satiety and also want, while others have called it combustion and arrangement: combustion, in accordance with the supreme power of God, who rules all other things in the world; and arrangement, according to the equality of the four elements which they all mutually allow to one another. (209) And when I have been investigating these matters, this has appeared to me to be a probable conjecture; the soul which honours the living God, ought for that very reason to honour him not inconsiderately nor ignorantly, but with knowledge and reason; and the reasoning which we indulge in respecting God admits of division and partition, according to each of the divine faculties and excellencies; for God is both all good, and is also the maker and creator of the universe; and he also created it having a foreknowledge of what would take place, and being its preserver and most blessed benefactor, full of every kind of happiness; all which circumstances have in themselves a most dignified and praiseworthy character, both separately and when looked at in conjunction with their kindred qualities; (210) and we must speak in the same way of other matters. When you wish to give thanks to God with your mind, and to assert your gratitude for the creation of the world, give him thanks for the creation of it as a whole, and of all its separate parts in their integrity, as if for the limbs of a most perfect animal; and by the parts I mean, for instance, the heaven, and the sun, and the moon, and the fixed stars; and secondly the earth, and the animals, and plants which spring from it; and next the seas and rivers, whether naturally springing from the ground or swollen by rain as winter torrents, and all the things in them: and lastly, the air and all the changes that take place in it; for winter, and summer, and spring, and autumn, being the seasons of the year, and being all of great service to mankind, are what we may call affections of the air for the preservation of all these things that are beneath the moon. (211) And if ever you give thanks for men and their fortunes, do not do so only for the race taken generally, but you shall give thanks also for the species and most important parts of the race, such as men and women, Greeks and barbarians, men on the continent, and those who have their habitation in the islands; and if you are giving thanks for one individual, do not divide your thankfulness in expression into gratitude for minute trifles and inconsiderable matters, but take in your view the most comprehensive circumstances, first of all, his body and his soul, of which he consists, and then his speech, and his mind, and his outward senses; for such gratitude cannot of itself be unworthy of being listened to by God, when uttered, for each of these particulars.