XVI. (95) And the most holy Moses appears to me to have had a regard to all these circumstances, and on that account to have commanded that men should discard this passion, detesting it as the most disgraceful thing and the cause of most disgraceful actions; and, therefore, to have prohibited it above all other feelings as an engine for the destruction of the soul; but if that engine is destroyed and the soul brought back to its obedience, to the guidance of reason, the man will become entirely filled with peace and obedience to law and all sorts of perfect good things, so as to produce complete happiness. (96) But as he was fond of brevity and accustomed to cut short things which were inclined to be countless in point of number, by a mode of teaching which was confined to general instances, he begins to admonish and to correct one appetite, that which is concerned about the belly; conceiving that the other appetites will not be equally restive, but will be brought to order by learning that the most important and authoritative of the whole has become obedient to the laws of moderation. (97) What, then, is the lesson which he gives us about this origin of all vices? There are two things of a most comprehensive nature, meat and drink. He, then, has not left either of them unrestrained, but has bridled them with especial commands most calculated to lead them to temperance and to humanity, and to the greatest of all virtues, piety; (98) for he commanded men to offer first fruits of corn, and wine, and oil, and cattle, and other things; {17}{#nu 18:12.} and to distribute the first fruits among the sacrificers and the priests; among the sacrificers because of the gratitude due to God for the abundance and fertility of all things, and to the priests because of their sacred ministrations about the temple, and therefore they were worthy to receive wages for their services in respect of the sacred Ceremonies.{18}{#nu 18:31.} (99) And he utterly forbids any one to taste of anything, or to take any portion of anything, before separating off the first fruits, wishing also by this injunction to inculcate the practice of most useful temperance; for he who has learnt not to throw himself greedily on all the abundance which the seasons of the year have brought, but to wait till the first fruits are consecrated, is likely to be able to restrain the restive obstinacy of the passions, making them gentle and manageable.