XII. (70) The third commandment given to a judge is to investigate the transactions themselves, in preference to showing any regard to the parties to the suit; and to attempt, in every imaginable manner, to separate himself from all respect of persons; constraining himself to an ignorance and forgetfulness of all those things of which he has any knowledge or recollection; such as relations, friends, countrymen or foreigners, enemies or hereditary connections, so that neither affection nor hatred may overshadow his knowledge of justice; for he must stumble like a blind man, who is advancing without a staff, and who has no one to guide him in whom he can rely firmly. (71) For which reason it is fitting that a righteous judge should have it even concealed from him who the parties to the suit are, and that he should look at the undisguised, simple nature of the transactions themselves; so as not to be liable to judge in accordance with random opinion, but according to real truth, and to be guided by such an opinion as this, that judgment is of God; {12}{#de 1:17.} and that the judge is the minister and steward of his judgment; and a steward is not allowed to give away the things of his master, as he has received as a pledge the most excellent of all the things which exist in human life, from the most excellent of all beings.