IX. (43) And Moses speaks very cautiously, inasmuch as he defines not the present time but the future in the promise which he records, when he says, “Not that which I do show you, but that which I will show You;”{24}{#ge 15:5.} as a testimony to the faith with which the soul believed in God, showing its gratitude not by what had been already done, but by its expectation of the future; (44) for being kept in a state of suspense and eagerness by good hope, and thinking that even what was not present would beyond all question be present immediately, on account of its most certain faith in him who had promised, it found a reward, the perfect good; for in another passage it is said that Abraham believed in God. And in the same way, God, when showing Moses all the land, says that, “I have show it to thy eyes, but thou shalt not enter Therein.”{25}{#de 34:4.} (45) Do not then fancy that this is spoken of the death of the all-wise Moses, as some inconsiderate persons believe; for it is a piece of folly to think that slaves should have the country of virtue assigned to them in preference to the friends of God. (46) But first of all, God wishes to make it understood by you that there is one place for infants and another for full-grown men, the one being called practice and the other wisdom; and secondly, that the most beautiful of all the things in nature are rather such as can be seen as can be acquired; for how can it be possible to acquire possession of those things which are endowed in the same degree with the diviner attributes? But it is not impossible to see them, though it may not be given to all men to do so, for this may be permitted only to the purest and most acute-sighted race, to whom the father of the universe, when he displays his own works, is giving the greatest of all gifts. (47) For what life can be better than that which is devoted to speculation, or what can be more closely connected with rational existence; for which reason it is that though the voices of mortal beings are judged of by the faculty of hearing, nevertheless the scriptures present to us the words of God, to be actually visible to us like light; for in them it is said that, “All people saw the voice of God; {26}{#ex 20:18.} they do not say, “heard it,” since what took place was not a beating of the air by means of the organs of the mouth and tongue, but a most exceedingly brilliant ray of virtue, not different in any respect from the source of reason, which also in another passage is spoken of in the following manner, “Ye have seen that I spake unto you from out of Heaven,”{27}{#ex 20:22.} not “Ye have heard,” for the same reason. (48) But there are passages where he distinguishes between what is heard and what is seen, and between the sense of seeing and that of hearing, as where he says, “Ye have heard the sound of the words, but ye saw no similitude, only ye heard a Voice;”{28}{#de 4:12.} speaking here with excessive precision; for the discourse which was divided into nouns and verbs, and in short into all the different parts of speech, he has very appropriately spoken of as something to be heard; for in fact that is examined by the sense of hearing; but that which has nothing to do with either with nouns or verbs, but is the voice of God, and seen by the eye of the soul, he very properly represents as visible; (49) and having previously reminded them, “Ye saw no similitude,” he proceeds to say, ” Only ye heard a voice, which ye all saw;” for this must be what is understood as implied in those words. So that the words of God have for their tribunal and judge the sense of sight, which is situated in the soul; but those which are subdivided into nouns, and verbs, and other parts of speech, have for their judge the sense of hearing. (50) But as the writer being new in all kinds of knowledge, has also introduced this novelty both in his accounts of domestic and of foreign matters, saying that the voice is a thing to be judged of by the sight, which in point of fact is almost the only thing in us which is not an object of sight, with the single exception of the mind; for the things which are the objects of the rest of the outward senses are, every one of them, visible to the sight, such as colours, tastes, smells, things that are hot or cold, things that are smooth or rough, things that are soft or hard, inasmuch as it is a body, if indeed it is a body at all, nor inasmuch as they are substantial bodies. (51) And what is meant by this I will explain more distinctly: a flavour is appreciable by the sight, not inasmuch as it is flavour, but so far it is a mere substance, for in so far as it is flavour the sense of taste will judge of it; again a smell, in so far as it is a smell, will be decided upon by the nostrils, but inasmuch as it is a bodily substance, it will also be judged of by the eyes: and the other objects of sense will be tested in this manner; but voice is not appreciable by the sense of sight, neither inasmuch as it can be heard; but there are these two things in us which are wholly invisible–mind and speech; (52) but the sound that proceeds from us does not the least resemble the divine organ of voice; for one organ of voice is mingled with the air, and flies to a kindred region with itself, namely to the ears; but the divine organ consists of unmixed and unalloyed speech, which outstrips the sense of hearing by reason of its fineness, and which is discerned by a pure soul, by means of its acuteness in the faculty of sight.