XXXI. (115) Now these energies are especially the food of the soul, which is competent to give suck, as the lawgiver says, “Honey out of the rock, and oil out of the solid Rock,”{37}{deuteronomy 23:13.} meaning by the solid rock which cannot be cut through, the wisdom of God, which is the nurse and foster-mother and educator of those who desire incorruptible food; (116) for it, as the mother of those things which exist in the world, immediately supplies food to those beings which are brought forth by her; but they are not all thought worthy of divine food, but only such are honoured with that as do not show any degeneracy from their parent; for there are many which a scarcity of virtue, which is more terrible than a scarcity of meat and drink, has destroyed; (117) but the fountain of divine wisdom is borne along, at one time in a more gentle and moderate stream, and at another with greater rapidity and a more exceeding violence and impetuosity. When, therefore, it descends gently it sweetens after the manner of honey, but when it comes on swiftly the whole material enters like oil into the light of the soul. (118) This rock, Moses, in another place, using a synonymous expression, calls manna the most ancient word of God, by which appellation is understood, something of the most general possible nature, from which two cakes are made, one of honey and the other of oil, that is to say, two different systems of life, exceedingly difficult to distinguish from one another, both worthy of attention, at the very beginning instilling the sweetness of these contemplations which exist in the sciences, and again emitting the most brilliant light to those who take hold of the things which are the objects of their desire, not fastidiously, but firmly, and scarcely by means of unremitting and incessant perseverance. These then, as I have said before, are they who ascend up upon the strength of the earth.