XVI. (68) What, then, are we to say, but that such men are caught by the common customs of men, having, as their accuser, their mother, who lives according to the laws of the state, and acts like a demagogue, namely, custom: but that the others preserve the laws of nature, having, for their ally, their father, namely, right reason; (69) for it is not the case, as some persons think, that the priests slay men, rational animals, compounded of soul and body, but they only eradicate from their minds all those things which are akin to and dear to the flesh, thinking it seemly for those who have become ministers of the only wise God, to alienate themselves form all the things of creation, and to look upon all such things as enemies and thoroughly hostile. (70) On this account it is, that we shall slay a brother, not a man, but the body, which is brother to the soul; that is to say, we shall separate that which is devoted to the passions and mortal, from that which is devoted to virtue and divine. And, again, we shall slay a neighbour, not a man, but a company and a band; for such a company is, at the same time, akin to, and hostile to, the soul, laying baits and spreading snares for it, in order that being inundated by the objects of the outward senses, which overflow it, it may never emerge and look up to heaven, so as to embrace the beautiful and God-like natures. And we shall also slay those nearest to us: but that which is nearest to the mind is uttered speech, inserting false opinions among reasonable and natural plausibilities and probabilities, to the destruction of that best of all possessions, truth.