XXXI. (130) This is then the purport of that legend of the ancients, and we in accordance with that story say, that it is the most appropriate work of God to confer benefits, and of created beings to show gratitude, since they are unable to give any requital of those benefits beyond gratitude; for whatever he might be inclined to give as a requital for the other things which he has received, will be found to be the private property of him who is the Creator of all things, and not of the nature which offers it. (131) Having learnt therefore that there is only one employment possible for us of all the things that seem to contribute to the honour of God, namely the display of gratitude, let us at all times and in all places study this, with our voice, and with useful writings, and let us never desist composing encomiastic orations and poems, in order that both the Creator and the world may be honoured by every description of utterance which can be exhibited in either speaking or singing; the one being, as some has said, the best of all causes, and the other the most perfect of all created things.

XXXII. (132) Since therefore all the fruit of the soul is consecrated in the fourth year and the fourth number; in the fifth year we ourselves shall be allowed the use and enjoyment of it for ourselves; for the scripture says, “In the fifth year ye shall eat the fruit thereof;” since it has been established by a perpetual law of nature, that account shall be taken of the creation after the Creator in every thing; so that even if we are thought worthy of the second place, it must be considered a marvellous thing; (133) and on this account it assigns to us the fruit of the fifth year, because the number five is the number appropriate to the outward sense; and if one must tell the truth, that which nourishes our minds is the outward sense, which by means of our eyes sets before us the distinctive qualities of colours and forms, and by means of our ears presents us with all the various peculiarities of sounds, and with smells by means of the nose, and with tastes through the medium of the mouth, and which enables us to judge of the yielding softness and resisting hardness, or of softness and roughness, or again of heat and cold, by means of the faculty which is dispersed over the whole body, which we usually denominate touch.