XI. (51) These things then, I imagine, have now been sufficiently discussed. Let us now examine the affair of the curses, and see what the case is with respect to them: “Cursed,” says the scripture, “is Canaan the child; he shall be a servant to his brethren. Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be a servant unto them.” (52) We said some time ago that Shem bears the same name as good, being called not by a special name, but the whole genus of good is his name; in reference to which, the good is the only thing to be named, the only thing worthy of a good report and of glory; as, on the other hand, evil is the thing with no good report and with an evil fame. (53) Of what prayer then does he think the man worthy who has received a share of the nature of good? Surely of some new and extraordinary benediction, which no mortal is able to act up to, and from which, almost as from the ocean itself, abundant and unceasing springs of good things do gush out ever rising high and overflowing; for he calls the Lord and God of the world and of all the things in it, by a particular grace, the private especial God of Shem. (54) And see now how this exceeds all imaginable excess; for the man of whom such a thing is said, almost receives equal honour with the world; for when the same being cares for and superintends them both, it follows of necessity that the two things so superintended must be of equal honour and importance; (55) may we not even say that these gifts are poured out upon him abundantly? For the master and benefactor of the world, perceptible by the external senses, is called by these appellations, Lord and God; but of the Good which is appreciable by the intellect, he is merely called the saviour and benefactor, not the master or lord; for what is wise is dearer to God than what is slavish. In reference to which principle he speaks clearly in the case of Abraham, saying, “I will not hide from Abraham who is dear to Me.”{14}{#ge 18:7.} (56) But the man who has this inheritance has advanced beyond the bounds of human happiness; for he alone is nobly born, inasmuch as he has God attributed to him as his father, and being his adopted only son, he is not rich, but allwealthy, dwelling luxuriously in abundance and among genuine good things, not worn out by age, but in a state of vigour and continual renewal, such that besides them there is no good; (57) being a man not of fair reputation, but of exceeding glory and receiving praise, not of that bastard sort which proceeds from flattery, but that which is founded on truth. He is the only king, having received from the Ruler of all things an irresistible power, without a rival, and authority over all things. He is the only free man, being emancipated from that most grievous mistress, vain opinion, whom God who makes free has torn down, since she was very proud, from her citadel on high, and has utterly destroyed. (58) What then ought a man to do who has been thought worthy of such great and such exceeding blessings, all united in his case? What ought he to do, except requite his benefactor with words, and hymns, and songs of praise? This is as it seems what is obscurely intimated to him in the words, “Blessed is the Lord God of Shem;”{15}{#ge 9:26.} since it becomes him who has received the inheritance of God to bless and praise him, since this is the only requital that it is in his power to offer, and since he is utterly unable by any means whatever to do anything further.