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.