XLIX. (170) Therefore the mind having generated the foundation of good […]{71}{there is again an hiatus in the text here. Mangey conjectures diagoµgeµs, “way of life,” to be the word which has fallen out.} and the primary principle of virtue, namely Seth, or irrigation, boasts with an honourable and holy boast; for she says, “God has raised up to me another seed, instead of Abel whom Cain Slew,”{72}{genesis 4:25.} for it has been said with great exactness and neatness, that no single divine seed ever falls to the ground, but that they all rise up from the things of earth, and leave them, and are borne upwards to heaven; (171) but the seeds which are sown by mortals, whether for the generation of animals or of plants, do not all come to perfection; but we must be content if more are not wasted than those which remain above; and God sows nothing in our souls which is incomplete; but his seed is all so seasonable and so perfect that every one of them is at once borne forward to produce abundance of its appropriate fruit.

L. (172) But when Moses says here that Seth sprung up as another or different seed, he does not say from which it was different; was it different from Abel who was treacherously slain, or from Cain who slew him? But may we not say perhaps that the original seed from which each of these sprung was different? That from which Cain sprung, inasmuch as it was hostile; for a thirst for virtue is the most hostile thing possible to that deserter, wickedness; that from which Abel sprung, as friendly and kindred; for that which is beginning to exist is a different thing from, but not a contrary thing to, that which is perfected; and so that which pertains to creation is different from that which pertains to the uncreate. (173) On this account Abel, after having quitted the mortal body, departed to the better nature, and took up his abode with that. But Seth, as being the seed of human virtue, will never quit the race of mankind. But first of all he will receive his growth up to the number ten, that perfect number, according to which the just Noah exists; and then he will receive a second and a better growth from his son Shem, ending in a second ten, from which the faithful Abraham is named. And he will also have a third growth, and one more perfect than the number ten, extending from him to Moses, that man who is wise in all things, for he is the seventh from Abraham, not revolving, like an initiated worshipper, in the circle which is exterior to holy things, but like a hierophant, making his abode in the inmost shrines.

LI. (174) And consider the advances towards improvement made by the soul of the man who is eager for, and insatiable in, his craving after good things; and the illimitable riches of God, who gives the end of some things to be the beginnings of others; for the end of the knowledge which is according to Seth is the beginning of the just Noah; and his perfection again is the beginning of the education of Abraham; and the most perfect wisdom of Abraham is the first instruction of Moses; (175) and the two daughters of Lot, the man who was subdued and overthrown by the weakness of the soul, namely, intention and agreement, desire to become pregnant by the mind, that is to say, by their father, acting in opposition to him who said, “God has raised up for me …”{73}{#ge 19:32.} For that which the living God did for him, this they affirm that the mind is able to do for them, introducing the doctrine of an intoxicated and frenzied soul. It is indeed the act of sober reason, both to confess that God is the Creator and the Father of the universe; and the conduct of one utterly fallen in intoxication and drunkenness, to fancy that he himself is the bringer about of each of human affairs. (176) Evil opinions therefore will not come into association with their father, before a great quantity of the unmixed wine of folly has been found upon him, and destroyed any sense that may have previously been in him; for it is written, “They made their father drink wine.” So that if they do not give him drink, they will never receive legitimate seed from him while he is sober; but when he has been soaked in wine, and has become utterly intoxicated and senseless, then they will become pregnant, and have a culpable labour and offspring, which will be truly accursed.