XXV. (122) But all these men are the offspring of that wickedness which is always dying but which never dies, the name of which is Cain. Is not Cain represented as having begotten a son whom he called Enoch, {35}{#ge 4:17.} and as building a city to which he gave the same name, and as after a fashion building up created and mortal things to the destruction of those things which have received a more divine formation? (123) For the name Enoch, being interpreted, means “thy grace.” But every impious man supposes that what he thinks and understands is owing to the bounty of his intellect towards him; that what he sees is the gift of his eyes to him, what he hears of his ears, what he smells of his nostrils, and so that each of his outward senses bestows on him those perceptions which are in accordance with them. Again, that it is the organs of the voice which endow him with the capacity of speaking, and that there is actually no such thing as a God at all, or at all events that he is not the primary cause of things. (124) Because of these views he assigns to himself the first fruits of the fruits which he extracts from the earth by his husbandry, being contented afterwards to offer to God some of the fruit, and that too though he has a sound example at hand; for his brother offers a sacrifice of the offspring of the flock, offering the firstborn, and not those which are of secondary value; confessing that the eldest causes of all existing things are suited to the eldest and first cause. (125) But the impious man thinks exactly the contrary, namely, that the mind is endowed with absolute power to do whatever it desires, and that the outward senses have absolute power as to all that they feel, for that both the mind and the outward senses decide in an irreproachable and unerring manner, the one on bodies, and the other on everything. (126) Now what can be more open to blame, or more capable of conviction by truth, than such ideas as these? Has not the mind been repeatedly convicted of innumerable acts of folly? And have not all the outward senses been convicted of bearing false witness, and that too not by irrational judges who, it is natural to suppose, may be deceived, but before the tribunal of nature herself, which it is impossible to corrupt or to pervert? (127) And indeed as the criteria both of our mind and of our outward senses are liable to error respecting even ourselves, it follows of necessity that we must make the corresponding confession that God sheds upon the mind the power of intellect, and on the outward senses the faculty of apprehension, and that these benefits are conferred upon us not by our own members but by him to whom also we owe our existence.

XXVI. (128) The children who have received from their father the inheritance of self-love are eager to go on increasing up to heaven, until justice, which loves virtue and hates iniquity, coming destroys their cities which they have built up by the side of their miserable souls, and the tower the name which is displayed in the book which is entitled the Book of Judgment. (129) And the name is, as the Hebrews say, Phanuel, which translated into our language means, “turning away from God.” For any strong building which is erected by means of plausible arguments is not built for the sake of any other object except that of averting and alienating the mind from the honour due to God, than which object what can be more iniquitous? (130) But for the destruction of this strong fortification a ravager and an enemy of iniquity is prepared who is always full of hostility towards it; whom the Hebrews call Gideon: which name being interpreted means, “a retreat for robbers.” “For,” says Moses, “Gideon swore to the men of Phanuel, saying, On the day when I return victorious in peace, I will overthrow this Tower.”{36}{#jud 8:9.} (131) A very beautiful and most becoming boast for the soul which hates wickedness and is sharpened against the impious, namely, that it is resolved to overthrow every reasoning which by its persuasions seeks to turn the mind away from holiness, and this indeed is the natural result. For when the mind turns round, then that which turns away from it, and rejects it is again dissolved, (132) and this is the opportunity for destroying it which (a most wonderful thing) he calls not war but peace. For, owing to the stability and firmness of the mind which piety is accustomed to produce, every reasoning which impiety has formed is overturned. (133) Many also have erected the outward senses after the fashion of a tower, raising them to such a height as to be able to reach the very borders of heaven. But the term heaven is here used symbolically to signify our mind, according to which the best and most divine natures revolve. But they who dare such deeds prefer the outward senses to the intellect, and desire by means of the outward senses forcibly to destroy all the objects of intellect, compelling those things which are, at present masters to descend into the rank of servants, and raising those things which are by nature slaves to the rank of masters.