III. (10) And again in his great song he calls the whole people, when it is smitten with a desire of innovation by the name suited to foolish and infant age, entitling them “children.” “For,” says he, “the Lord is just and holy; have they not sinned against him, blameworthy children that they are? O crooked and perverse generation, is this the requital that ye offer to the Lord? is the people so foolish and not Wise?”{3}{#de 32:5.} (11) Therefore, he here distinctly calls those men children who deserve blame and have guilt in their souls, and who through folly and senselessness commit many errors in their actions which are not according to uprightness of life; not having regard to the bodily age of the children, but to the irrational and really childish condition of their minds. (12) Thus indeed, Rachel also, that is beauty of body, is represented as younger than Leah, who is beauty of soul. For the beauty of the body is mortal, but that of the soul is immortal; and all the things which are accounted honourable when judged of with reference to the outward senses, are all taken together inferior to the one single thing, the beauty of the soul. And it is in accordance with this principle that Joseph is always spoken of as young and as “the Youngest.”{4}{#ge 49:22.} For when he manages the flock “with his illegitimate Brethren,”{5}{genesis 39:1.} he is called young; and when his father prays for him, he says, “My youngest son whom I have prayed for, return to me.” (13) This is the champion of all the power of the body and the unflattering companion of the abundant supply of external things, who has not yet found out any perfect good more valuable and honourable than that of the elder soul; for if he had found it, he would have departed and abandoned the whole of Egypt without ever turning back. But now he chiefly prides himself on his nourishing it and supporting it as a nurse; and when he who sees beholds the warlike and authoritative part of it overwhelmed in the sea and destroyed, he sings a hymn to God. (14) It is therefore a juvenile disposition, which is not yet able to tend the sheep with the legitimate genuine virtues, that is to say, to govern and superintend the irrational nature existing in accordance with the soul, but which still with its illegitimate brethren, honours the things which appear good, in preference to joining his legitimate brothers and to those things which really are good. (15) But he is spoken of as “youngest,” even although he keeps on increasing and improving for the better, in comparison with the perfect man, who thinks nothing honourable but what is good. On which account he says in an encouraging manner, by way of exhortation, “Return to me,” a phrase equivalent to, “Desire the elder opinion.” Do not be in everything aiming at innovation, do now love virtue for herself alone; do not, like a foolish child dazzled by the splendour of the events of fortune, allow yourself to be filled entirely by deceit and erroneous opinions.