XVII. (63) Let us then, with reference to our gratitude to and honouring of the omnipotent God, be active and ready, deprecating all sluggishness and delay; for those who are passing over from obedience to the passions to the contemplation of virtue, are enjoined to keep the passover with their loins girded up, being ready to do service, and binding up the burden of the flesh, or, as it is expressed, their shoes, “standing upright, and firmly on their feet, and having in their hands a Staff,”{31}{#ex 12:11.} that is to say education, with the object of succeeding without any failure in all the affairs of life; and lastly, “to eat the passover in haste.” For, by the passover, is signified the crossing over of the created and perishable being to God:–and very appropriately; for there is no single good thing which does not belong to God, and which is not divine. (64) Seek it therefore, quickly, O my soul! as did that practiser of contemplation, Jacob, who, when his father asked him, “How found you this so quickly, I my Son?”{32}{#ge 27:20.} answered, with a doctrine concealed underneath his words, “The Lord God brought it before me.” For he, being well skilled in many matters, knew that whatever creation bestows on the soul is confirmed by long time, as those men know who give to their pupils arts, and lessons in arts: for their case is not like that of men who pour water into a vessel, they are not in a moment able to fill their minds with the lessons which have been brought before them. But when the fountain of wisdom, that is to say, God, gives knowledge of the sciences to the race of mankind, he gives it to them without any limitation of time. But they, as being disciples of the only wise Being, and being competent by nature, quickly accomplish the discovery of the things which they seek to understand.