XVI. (52) But as he who injures a good man is proved to be doing injury to himself, so also does he who thinks his betters worthy of privileges, in word indeed claim advantage for them, but in fact he is procuring it for himself. And nature here bears testimony in support of my argument, and so do all the laws which have been established in consistency with her; for there is a positive and express and intelligible command laid down in these words: “Honour thy father and thy mother, that it may be well with Thee;”{21}{#ge 27:45.} not well with those who receive the honour, says the Scripture, but with thee; for if we look upon the intellect as the father of this concrete animal, and if we honour the outward senses as its mother, we ourselves shall be well treated by them. (53) But the proper honour to be paid to the mind is first to be honoured on account of what us useful, and not on account of what is pleasant; but all things proceeding from virtue are useful. And the honour proper to be paid to the outward sense is when we do not allow ourselves to be carried away by its impetuosity towards the external objects of the outward senses, but compel it to be curved by the mind, which knows how to govern and guide the irrational powers in us. (54) If, therefore, each of these things, the outward sense and the mind, receive the honour which I have been describing, then it follows of necessity that I, who use them both, must derive advantage from them. But if, carrying your language away a long distance from the mind and from the outward sense, you think your father, that is to say, the world which produced you, and your mother, wisdom, by means of which the universe was completed, worthy of honour, you yourself shall be well treated; for neither does God, who is full of everything, nor sublime and perfect knowledge, want anything. So that he who is inclined to pay proper attention to them, benefits not those who receive his attentions and who are in no need of anything, but himself most exceedingly. (55) For skill in horsemanship and in judging of dogs, being in reality a ministering to horses and dogs, supplies those animals with the useful things of which each species is in need; and if it were not so to supply them it would seem to neglect them. But it is not proper to call piety, which consists in ministering to God, a virtue which is conversant about supplying the things which will be of use to the Deity; for the Deity is not benefited by any one, inasmuch as he is not in need of anything, nor is it in the power of any one to benefit a being who is in every particular superior to himself. But, on the contrary, God himself is continually and unceasingly benefiting all things. (56) So, when we say that piety is a ministering to God, we say that it is in some such a service as slaves discharge to their masters, who are taught to do without hesitation that which is commanded them; but, again, there will be a difference, because the masters are in need of service, but God has no such want. So that, in the case of the masters, the servants do supply that which will be of use to them, but to God they supply nothing beyond a mind imbued with a spirit of willing obedience; for they will not find anything which they can improve, since all things belonging to masters are, from the very beginning, most excellent; but they will benefit themselves very greatly by determining to become friends to God.