XIII. (54) In many people perhaps an inquiry may suggest itself as to what is the meaning of the expression, “In the mountain of thy inheritance.” It is plain that God bestows inheritance, but perhaps it is not reasonable to think that he receives inheritances, since everything in the world belongs to him. (55) But perhaps this is said of those who are subject to him as their master, according to some special computation of connection; just as kings govern indeed all their subjects, but rule their own servants in a different and peculiar manner, whom they are accustomed to employ as ministers for the care of their bodies and the rest of their manner of life. (56) And again, though they are lords of all the possessions in their whole country, even of those which appear to belong to private individuals, they nevertheless are accounted owners only of those portions which they can entrust to superintendents and overseers, from whom they receive yearly revenues, which properties they often visit for the sake of relaxation and amusement, when they lay aside for a while the heaviest portion of the burden of the cares which arise to them in the administration of public affairs and in the government of their kingdoms; and these possessions are called especially the royal properties. (57) Moreover all the silver and gold, and other treasures which are stored up in the coffers of their subjects, do all in reality belong more to the rulers than to those who possess them. But nevertheless there are some which are peculiarly called the royal treasures, in which those who are appointed collectors of the produce lay up the revenues which are derived from the country. (58) Do not wonder, therefore, if the company of wise souls is pronounced to be the especial inheritance of the all-powerful God who has authority and dominion over everything, since he sees most acutely of all beings, exercising the irreproachable and unadulterated eye of the mind, which is never shut, but is always wide open and looking intensely into every thing.

XIV. (59) And on this account, indeed, it is said in the greater prayer, “Inquire of thy father, and he will tell thee; of thy elders, and they will reply to thee, when the Most High divided the nations, when he separated the sons of Adam, he fixed the boundaries of the nations, according to the number of the angels of God, and the portion of the Lord himself was his people Israel.”{13}{#de 32:7.} (60) For, behold, here again, he uses the expression, “the portion and inheritance of God,” meaning that disposition which is capable of seeing him, and which sincerely worships him; and he says that the children of the earth, whom he calls the sons of Adam, were scattered and dispersed, and brought together again, and that a company was formed of them, since they were unable to use right reason as their guide. For, in real truth, virtue is the cause of harmony and unity, and the opposite disposition is the cause of dissolution and disagreement. (61) Indeed, it is a proof of what has been said, what happens every year on the day called the day of atonement; for on that day the people are enjoined “to take by lot two goats, one for the Lord, and one to be the Scapegoat;”{14}{#de 15:6.} that is to say, two reasons, the one in accordance with God, the other consistent with creation. He, therefore, who wishes to exalt the Cause of all things will acquire honour to himself; but he who attributes honour to creation will be banished, being driven from the most sacred places, and compelled to fall into inaccessible and wicked gulfs.