XX. (69) On which account the son of Gaided is called Mehel, the name which, being interpreted, means, “from the life of God.” For since the flock is devoid of reason, and God is the fountain of reason, it follows of necessity, that a man who lives in an irrational manner is separated from the life of God; for to live according to God is defined by Moses to consist in loving him; for Moses says to the children of Israel, “Your life is to love the living God.”{24}{#de 30:20.} (70) And he gives as an example of the opposite lot the goat, on which the lot falls to be the scape-goat, for he says, “He shall place it living before the Lord, that he may offer prayers over it, and send it out into the Wilderness,”{25}{#le 16:10.} giving these directions with great exactness. (71) For as no one in his senses would greatly extol old men for abstaining from pleasure, because old age, which is a long and incurable disease, has relaxed and enfeebled the nerves of their appetites; but one would praise young men, because, while their appetites are influenced by the vigour of youth, nevertheless they, being well supplied with instruments to check them, namely, with reasons derived from good instruction, have allayed the great conflagration and boiling over of the passions: so, in the case of these men, whom no disease is accustomed to detach from any evil way of life, less praise is due to them, because they are fortunate without any express intention of their own, according to the good fortune of their nature: but those whom such a disease does rise up against and attack, receive greater praise; if they, making a fair stand, are willing and prove able to destroy it; (72) for to be able, by a vigorous exertion, to destroy the baits of attractive pleasure, properly receives that praise which belongs to good actions, done with a deliberate purpose.

Since, therefore, […]{26}{there is something lost from the text here, and Mangey professes himself unable to supply it without the assistance of some MS. which may be hereafter discovered.} but diseases and infirmities which have been sent against us flourish; let us endeavour to overturn and destroy them. For to offer prayers over them has nearly such an effect as this: it is confessing that, though we have them in our soul living and flourishing, we nevertheless do not yield, but make a stand against them all, and resist them vigorously, until we have entirely sent away the scape-goat and made atonement.

XXI. (73) What, then, follows a man who lives not in accordance with the will of God but the death of the soul? And this is named Methuselah, the interpretation of which name is, “the sending out of death,” on which account he is the son of Mehel, who has quilted his own life, to which death is sent, that is to say the death of the soul, which is nothing else than a conversion of it by irrational passion. (74) This passion, therefore, when it has conceived, brings forth incurable diseases and infirmities with great pains, by which it is thrown down and convulsed, and humbled and tortured. For each of the diseases oppresses it, bringing upon it an unspeakable burden, such that no one is able even to raise his head beneath it. And this is named Lamech; the interpretation of which name is, “humiliation;” so that Lamech is properly represented as the son of Methuselah, being the passion of the death of the soul, humble, yielding, an infirmity which is the offspring of irrational desire.