XV. (62) Moses, therefore, has such intimate connection with God, that, relying upon this in a very great degree, he is in the habit of using more fervent and energetic expressions and doctrines than are calculated for the ears of us inferior persons; for he not only thinks it fit to speak of God as an inheritor, but even, which is a more startling thing to the comprehension, he calls him the inheritance of others; (63) for to the entire tribe which came to him as a fugitive and a suppliant, he did not think fit to allot only a portion of land, as he did to the other eleven tribes, but he chose that they should receive an especial honour, namely, the priesthood, a possession not of earth, but of heaven. “For thou shalt not be,” says God, as Moses represents, “a portion to the tribe of Levi, nor any inheritance among the children of Israel, because the Lord himself is their Inheritance.”{15}{#de 10:9.} And again he speaks in the person of God, in his holy oracles, in this manner: “I am thy portion and Inheritance.”{16}{#nu 18:20.} (64) For, in real truth, the mind which is perfectly purified, and which knows all the things of creation, knows and recognizes one only God, the Uncreate, whom it approaches, and by whom it is received. For to whom is it permitted to say, “He alone is my God,” except to the man who is attached to none of the objects which are inferior to him? And this is the custom of the Levites; for the name of Levi, being interpreted, means, “He is to me,” because different things are honoured by different people, but by him only that which is highest and most excellent, the Cause of all things.

XVI. (65) They tell an old story, that some man in ancient times, who had fallen madly in love with the beauty of wisdom, as if it had been the beauty of a most lovely woman, once, when he saw a most sumptuous preparation of unbounded and costly magnificence, looked towards some of his friends, and said, “Behold, O companions, how many things there are of which I have no need!” And yet he had nothing whatever of even necessary things beyond his mere clothes, so that he was not puffed up with the magnitude of his riches, which has been the case with numbers of people; so that, on this account, he spoke arrogantly against pomp and show. (66) The lawgiver

teaches us that we should account those people wise who are not eager to be rich in created things, but who despise all created things in comparison of the friendship of the uncreated God, whom they look upon as the only true wealth, and the boundary of most perfect happiness. (67) Never, then, let those men boast, who have acquired power and sovereignty, as some do, because they have subdued one city, or country, or nation; and others, because they have acquired the dominion over all the countries of the earth, to its furthest borders, and over all Grecian and barbarous nations, and over all the rivers and seas, infinite both in number and magnitude. (68) For if, besides these things, they had made themselves masters (which it is impious even to mention) of that sublime nature which was the only thing that the Creator made free from the bond of slavery and servitude, they would still be looked upon but as private individuals in comparison with the great kings who have received God for their inheritance; for in proportion as that nature which has acquired a possession is better than the possession itself, and the Creator than the thing created, by so much also are they more royal.