XXIV. (116) For they say, “Let us make for ourselves a name.” O, the excessive and profligate impudence of such a saying! What say ye? When ye ought to seek to bury your iniquities under night and profound darkness, and to assume as a veil for them, shame, if not genuine, at all events pretending shame, whether for the sake of gaining favour in the eyes of the moderate and virtuous, or for that of avoiding punishment for admitted wickedness; do ye, nevertheless, proceed to such a pitch of audacity, as all but to come forth and display yourselves in the light and in the most brilliant beams of the sun, and to fear neither the threats of better men, nor the implacable justice of God, which impends over such ungodly and desperate men? But ye think fit even to send around in every direction reports, to carry intelligence of your domestic iniquities, in order that no one may be uninformed of or unacquainted with your deeds of daring wickedness, wretched and infamous men that ye are. (117) What name, therefore, do ye wish to assume? Is it the one which is most suitable to your actions? But is there not one name only which is suited to them? It may, perhaps, be one in genus; but there are ten thousand such names in species, which you will hear from others, even if ye keep silence yourselves. The names adapted to your conduct are, rashness united with shamelessness, insolence combined with violence, violence in union with homicide, corruption in combination with adultery, undefined appetite accompanied by unmeasured indulgence in pleasures, folly joined with impudence, injustice united to crafty wickedness, theft combined with rapine, perjury united with lying, impiety combined with utter lawlessness. Such, and similar to these, are the names of such actions. (118) And it is well for them to boast over and pride themselves, upon seeking for reputation from actions which it would be more seemly to hide and to be ashamed of. And, indeed, some persons do pride themselves on these things, thinking that in consequence of them they do derive a certain irresistible degree of power among men from this idea being entertained respecting them; but they will not escape the divine vengeance for their enormous audacity, and very soon they will have occasion not only to anticipate at a distance, but even to see immediately impending their own death. For they say, “Before we are dispersed, let us have a care for our name and our glory.” (119) Should I not then say to them, Ye know that ye will be dispersed? Why, then, do ye commit iniquity? But perhaps he is here placing before us the manner of foolish men who, even when the very greatest punishments are not obscurely impending over them, but are often visibly threatening them, nevertheless do not hesitate to commit iniquity. And the punishments, however they may seem to be concealed, are in reality most notorious, which are inflicted by God. (120) For all the most wicked of men adopt ideas that they can never escape the knowledge of the deity when doing wrong, and that they shall never be able to ward off altogether the day of retribution. (121) Since otherwise, how do they know that they will be dispersed? And yet they say, “Before we are dispersed.” But their conscience, which is within, convicts them, and pricks them vehemently, when devoting themselves to ungodliness, so as to draw them against their will to a confession that all the circumstances affecting men are overlooked by a superior nature, and that justice is watching above, as an incorruptible chastiser, hating the unjust actions of the impious, and the reasonings and speeches which undertake their defence.