IX. (41) For labour appears to me to have nearly the same properties as food. As therefore this latter makes life to depend upon itself, having combined all the actions and all the passions in living, so also has labour caused all good things to depend upon itself. For as those persons who are desirous to live must not neglect food, so too they who are anxious to attain to good things must pay due attention to labour, for what food is to life that labour is to virtue. Do not you then ever slight that, though it is but a single thing, that by its means you may enjoy the collective blessings of all good things. (42) For thus, though you may be younger by birth you shall be called the elder, and you shall be thought worthy of the pre-eminence in honour. But if, having gone through a constant course of improvement you shall at last arrive at the end, then not only shall the Father give thee the preeminence, but he shall also bestow on thee all the inheritance of the Father, as he did to Jacob, who overthrew all the foundations and seats of passion, and who confessed what he suffered, saying that “God has pitied me, and all things belong to Me,”{15}{#ge 33:11.} uttering a doctrine full of instruction, for he makes everything to anchor in the mercy of God.