XXXII. (163) These things are an exhibition of a soul destitute of prudence, and which meets with no impediment to its indulging in sin; for whoever is not utterly incurable would rather pray that all the purposes of his mind might fail, so that if he had formed a resolution to steal, or to commit adultery, or to murder a man, he might succeed or to commit sacrilege, or to perpetrate any similar crime, he might not succeed, but might find innumerable obstacles. For such hindrance would get rid of the greatest of all diseases, injustice; but any one who is free from all fear is sure to admit this malady. (164) Why, then, my friends, do you any longer praise or admire the fortune of tyrants, owing to which they succeed with ease in everything which they undertake, and which a frenzied and unrestrained mind prompts them to do? And yet one ought rather to lament over them, since inability and powerlessness to succeed in their objects is advantageous to the wicked, just as abundant opportunity and power is the most beneficial thing for the good. (165) But one of the crowd of foolish men, perceiving to what an abundant superfluity of misery indulgence in sinning leads, said, speaking with perfect freedom, “My wickedness is too great for me to be Forgiven.”{51}{#ge 4:13.} It is, therefore, very melancholy indeed for the soul, which is by its own nature unmanageable, to be left without any restraint; while it is scarcely possible for any one to hold it in with reins, and by that means, in conjunction with the infliction of stripes, to reduce it to reason. (166) On which account an oracle of the all-merciful God has been given, full of gentleness, which shadows forth good hopes to those who love instruction, in these terms: “I will never leave thee, nor forsake Thee.”{52}{#jos 1:5.} For when the chains of the soul, by which it has been used to be held in bondage, are loosened, then the greatest of all calamities follows, namely, the being deserted by God, who has fastened chains which can never be broken round the universe, namely, his own powers, with which he binds everything, willing that it shall never more be released. (167) Accordingly, he says, in another passage, that “all things which are bound with a chain are Pure;”{53}{#nu 19:15.} since unbinding is the cause of the destruction of that which is impure. Beware, then, lest when you see a man accomplishing without difficulty all the objects which he endeavors to effect, you admire him as a prosperous man; take care rather to pity him as a very unfortunate one, because he passes his whole life in a perfect destitution of virtue and a great abundance of vice.

XXXIII. (168) And it is worth while to consider in no superficial manner what the meaning of that expression which is put by Moses into the mouth of God: “Come, let us go down and confuse their language There.”{54}{#ge 11:7.} For here God is represented as if he were speaking to some beings who were his coadjutors. And the very same idea may be excited by what is said in the account of the creation of the world, (169) for there, too, Moses records that “the Lord God said, Come, let us now make man in our image; man in our Similitude.{55}{#ge 1:26.} The expression, “Let us make,” implying a number of creators. And, in another place, we are told that God said, “Behold, the man, Adam, has become as one of us, in respect of his knowing good and Evil;”{56}{#ge 3:22.} for the expression, “as one of us,” is not applicable to one person, but to many. (170) In the first place, then, we must say this, that there is no existing being equal in honor to God, but there is one only ruler and governor and king, to whom alone it is granted to govern and to arrange the universe. For the verse–