XXI. (76) On which account if you bring a sacrifice of the first fruits, you must divide it as the sacred scripture teaches, first of all offering those fruits which are green, then those which are toasted, then those which are cut up, and after all the others those which are ground. Those which are green, on this account, because he teaches those who are lovers of the old, and obsolete, and fabulous times, and who do not comprehend the rapid power of God, illimitable by time, warning them to adopt new, and flourishing, and vigorous thoughts, in order that they may not embrace false opinions from being nourished among the old fabulous systems which a long lapse of ages has handed down to the deceiving of mortals; but that, receiving new and fresh good things in all abundance from God, who never grows old, but who is always young and vigorous, they may be taught to think nothing old that is with him, and nothing passed away or obsolete, but to look upon everything as created and existing without any limitation as to time.

XXII. (77) On which account he says in another place, “Thou shalt rise up from before a hoary head, and thou shalt honour the face of an Elder.”{37}{#le 19:32.} As if the difference were very great. For what is hoary is that time which energizes not at all, from which one ought to rise up, and depart, and flee, avoiding that idea which deceives tens of thousands, that time has a natural capacity of doing something. But by an elder is meant one who is worthy of honour, and respect, and of preeminence, and examination of whom is committed to Moses, the friend of God. “For those whom thou knowest,” says God to Moses, “they are the Elders.”{38}{#nu 11:16.} As he was a man who admitted no innovations of any kind, but was by custom attached to his elders, and to those who were worthy of the highest honours. (78) It is advantageous, therefore, if not with reference to the acquisition of perfect virtue, still at all events with reference to political considerations, both to be nourished in ancient and primeval opinions, and also to be acquainted with the ancient records of glorious actions, which historians and the whole race of poets have delivered to their contemporaries and to subsequent ages, to be preserved in their recollection. But when the sudden light of self-taught wisdom has shone upon those who had no foreknowledge or expectation of it, and opening the previously closed eyes of the soul, makes men spectators of knowledge instead of being merely hearers of it, implanting in the mind the swiftest of the outward senses, sight, instead of hearing, which is slower; it is then in vain to exercise the ears with speeches.