XLII. (234) Since this, then, is the case, those who do honour their parents are not doing anything worthy of praise, since even any single one of the commandments already mentioned is sufficient to invite them to regard their parents with reverence. But are not those men worthy of blame, and accusation, and the very extremity of punishment, who neither respect them as older than themselves, nor listen to them as their teachers, nor think them worthy of any requital as their benefactors, nor obey them as their rulers, nor fear them as their masters? (235) Therefore the law says, “Honour thy father and thy mother next after God;”{42}{#de 5:16.} assigning to them the second place in honour, on the same principle as nature herself has ranked them in her decision of their proper place and duties. And you will not honour them more by any line of conduct than by endeavouring and appearing to be virtuous persons. As the being such is a seeking of virtue without pride and without guile, and appearing such aims at virtue in connection with a good reputation and praise from one’s associates; (236) for parents, thinking but little of their own advantage, think the virtue and excellence of their children the perfection of their own happiness, for which reason it is that they are anxious that they should obey the injunctions which are laid upon them, and that they should be obedient to all just and beneficial commands; for a father will never teach his child anything which is inconsistent with virtue or with truth.

XLIII. (237) And any one may conjecture that pious respect is due to parents, not only from what has been said above, but also from the manner in which persons behave to those who are of the same age with their parents; for the man who shows respect to an old man, or to an old woman, who is no relation to him, must appear in some degree to be remembering his own father and mother, and, out of this consideration, to be looking upon them as the images of his parents, who are the real models. (238) On which account, in the sacred scriptures, it is not only commanded that young men should rise up and give the best seats to their elders, but also that they should rise up before them when they pass by; {43}{#le 19:32.} showing honour to the grey hairs of old age, to which there is a hope that they may come themselves if they now yield precedence to them. (239) And this commandment also seems to me to have been enacted with exceeding beauty and propriety; for the law says, “Let each man fear his father and his Mother,”{44}{#le 19:3.} enjoining fear rather than affection, not as being more advantageous and profitable with reference to the present occasion, for the first of these feelings affects foolish persons when they are being instructed or reproved, and folly cannot be cured by any other means than fear. But the second feeling, namely, affection towards their parents, it is not fitting should be inculcated on children by the injunctions of a lawgiver, for nature requires that that should be spontaneous. For it has implanted it so deeply from very infancy in the souls of those who are so completely united by blood, and by the services done by the parents to the children, that it is always selftaught and spontaneous, and has no need of commandments to enforce it. (240) But the law has enjoined fear, because children are accustomed to feel an easy indifference. For though parents attend to their children with an exceeding violence of affection, providing them with necessary things from all quarters, and bestowing all good things upon them, and shrinking from no labour and from no danger, being bound to them by love stronger than any oaths, still some persons do not receive their affection as if it aimed solely at their good, being full of luxury and arrogance; and coveting a luxurious life, and becoming effeminate both in body and soul, permitting them in no respect to entertain proper dispositions as through the native powers of their minds, which they are not ashamed to overthrow, and to enervate, and to deprive of each separate energy, and so they come not to fear their natural correctors, their fathers and mothers yielding to and indulging their own private passions and desires. (241) But we must also urge on the parents of such persons that they employ more weighty and severe admonitions in order to cure this impetuous obstinacy of their children, and we must warn the children to reverence their parents, fearing them as their rulers and natural masters; for it is with difficulty even by these considerations that they will be brought to hesitate to act unjustly.