X. (33) It is very appropriately said that the meeting took place on the bank of the river; but the banks are also called the lips, and the lips are the boundaries of the mouth, and are a sort of fence to the tongue, through which the stream of discourse is borne, when it begins to be uttered; (34) but those who hate virtue and who love learning, use speech as their ally for the exposition of doctrines which are disapproved; and again, on the other hand, virtuous men employ it for the refutation of such doctrines, and for establishing the irresistible strength of the better and true wisdom. (35) When then, after having had recourse to every expedient of contentious doctrines, men are destroyed, being overwhelmed by the opposing violence of contrary arguments, then the wise man will very justly and suitably establish a most sacred chorus, and melodiously sing a triumphal song; (36) “For,” says Moses, “Israel saw the Egyptians,” not dead in any other place, but “on the bank (cheilos) of the River;”{6}{#ex 14:30.} meaning here by death, not the separation of the soul from the body, but the impetuous onset of unholy doctrines and assertions, which men utter by the mouth, and tongue, and the other organs of speech. (37) But the death of speech is silence, not that silence which well-bred people cultivate, making it a symbol of modesty–for this silence is itself a faculty and a sister of that one which is developed in speech, arranging what is to be said with reference to time–but that silence which the sick and the weary against their will endure, on account of the strength of their antagonists, because they cannot find any handle to answer them; (38) for whatever they touch slips away from them, and whatever thing they seek to take their stand on does not remain, so that they of necessity fall before they stand, like that hydrostatic machine called the helix; for in the middle of that engine there are some steps, which the husbandman when he desires to water his fields mounts up upon, but is rolled round of necessity; and in order to avoid falling he is continually catching at the nearest firm thing that he can lay his hands on, which he takes hold of and so supports his whole body; for instead of his hands he uses his feet, and instead of his feet he uses his hands; for he stands on his hands, by means of which, actions are usually done, and he acts with his feet on which it is natural to stand.

XI. (39) But many, who are not able vigorously to refute the plausible inventions of the sophists, because they have not very much practised discussion by reason of their continued application to action, having taken refuge in the alliance of the only wise Being, and have besought him to become their defender. As one of the friends of Moses, when praying, says in his hymns, “Let the treacherous lips become Mute;”{7}{#ps 30:19.} and how can they become mute if they are not curbed by the only being who has speech itself as his subject? (40) We must therefore flee, without ever turning back, from all associations entered into for the purposes of sin; but the alliance made with the companions of wisdom and knowledge must be confirmed. (41) In reference to which I admire those who say, “We are all one man’s sons, we are men of Peace,”{8}{#ge 42:11.} because of their well-adapted agreement; since how, I should say, could you, O excellent men, avoid being grieved at war, and delighted in peace, being the sons of one and the same father, and he not mortal but immortal, the man of God, who being the reason of the everlasting God, is of necessity himself also immortal? (42) For they who make out many beginnings of the origin of the soul, being devoted to the evil which is called polytheism, and turning each individual of them, to the honour of different beings, having caused great confusion and dissension both at home and abroad, from the beginning of their birth to the end of their life, filling life with irreconcilable quarrels; (43) but they who rejoice in one kind alone, and who honour one as their father, namely right reason, admiring the wellarranged and all-musical harmony of the virtues, live a tranquil and peaceful life, not an inactive and ignoble one, as some persons think, but one of great manliness, and sharpened, and vigorous against those who endeavour to break the confederacy which they have formed, and who are always studying to bring about a violation of the oaths which have been taken; for it has come to pass that the men of peace have become men of war, sitting down to attack and to oppose them who seek to overturn the firmness of the soul.