Vice one may take in troops with ease,
But in fair virtue’s front
Immortal God has stationed toil,
And care, and sweat, to bar the road.
Long is the road and steep,
And rough at first, which leads the steps
Or mortal men thereto;
But when you reach the height, the path
Is easy which before was hard,
And swift the onward course.
XXXVII. (151) After this the soul goes on to deny that it drinks wine or strong drink, boasting in its being continually sober throughout the whole of its life. For to have the reasoning powers really free, and unfettered, and pure, and intoxicated by no passion, was really a very important and admirable thing. (152) And from this it results that the mind which is filled with unmixed sobriety is of itself a complete and entire libation, and is offered as such to and consecrated to God. For what is the meaning of the expression, “I will pour out my soul before the Lord,” but “I will consecrate it entirely to him?” Having broken all the chains by which it was formerly bound, which all the empty anxieties of mortal life fastened around it, and having led it forth and emancipated it from them, he has stretched, and extended, and diffused it to such a degree that it reaches even the extreme boundaries of the universe, and is borne onwards to the beautiful and glorious sight of the uncreate God. (153) Therefore this company is one of sober persons who have made instruction their guide; but the former one is a company of drunkards, whose leader is ignorance.