XXXI. (119) There are also particular gifts which it is suitable both to God to give, and to men to receive. And these must be the virtues and the energies in accordance with them, at the discovery of which, being almost without any connexion with time, by reason of the surpassing rapidity of the giver which he is accustomed to exhibit in his gifts, every one is full of admiration, even those to whom nothing else in the world appears great. (120) On which account also, the question is put, “How didst thou find it so quickly, O my Son?”{31}{#ge 27:20.} the questioner marvelling at the promptness of the virtuous disposition; and he who has received the benefit answers felicitously, “Because the Lord God gave it to me.” For the gifts and explanations of men are slow, but those of God are most rapid, outstripping the motion of even the most speedy time. (121) Therefore those who by their strength and courage have become chiefs and leaders of the chorus which raises the song of triumph and of gratitude, are those who have been already mentioned; but those who, by reason of having been put to flight, and of their weakness, are companions of the song of lamentation which is raised on occasion of defeat, are men whom one ought to look upon as cowards, rather than to pity; like those who have a body labouring under some natural defect, to whom any ordinary occasion of sickness is a great hindrance to their cure. (122) But some persons have succumbed contrary to their inclinations, not because the energies of their souls are more effeminate, but because they have been overwhelmed by the more vigorous strength of their adversaries; and imitating those who are willing slaves, they have voluntarily cast themselves down before either masters, though they were freemen by birth; on which account being unable to be sold they have, which is the most incredible of all things, bought masters for themselves and so become slaves, doing the very same thing with those who are insatiably eager for drunkenness with wine; (123) for they also of their own free will and without any compulsion, drink unmixed wine, so that of their own accord they eradicate sobriety from their souls, and choose folly; for, says the scripture, “I hear the voice of those who are beginning revelry and drunkenness;” that is to say, of men who are exhibiting a madness which is not involuntary, but who injure themselves with a voluntary and deliberate frenzy.