XXXVII. (135) This lesson the most holy Moses appears to teach; for such is the object of the statement that Aaron the Levite is coming forward to meet his brother Moses, and that when he sees him he rejoices in himself; and the statement that he rejoices in himself shows also, besides the doctrine which has already been mentioned, another more connected with politics, since the lawgiver is here exhibiting that genuine joy which is most especially akin to the human race; (136) for to speak strictly, the feeling of joy does not belong to abundance of money, or of possessions, or to brilliancy of renown, nor, in short, to any one of those external circumstances which are lifeless and unstable, and which contain the seeds of their decay in themselves: nor yet does it belong to personal strength and vigour, and to the other advantages of the body, which are common to even the most worthless men, and which have often brought inevitable destruction on those who possessed them. (137) Since then it is only in the virtues of the soul that genuine and unadulterated joy is found, and since every wise man rejoices, he rejoices in himself, and not in his surrounding circumstances; for the things that are in himself are the virtues of the mind on which it is worthy for a man to provide himself; but the circumstances which surround him are either a good condition of body or an abundance of external wealth, which are not proper objects for a man to pride himself on.

XXXVIII. (138) Having shown, therefore, as far as we could by the most unmistakeable testimony of Moses that, to rejoice is the peculiar property of the wise man, we will now also show that to hope also belongs to him alone; and here again we shall have no need of any other witness than Moses; for he tells us that the name of the son of Seth was Enos: and Enos, being interpreted, means hope. “He hoped first,” says Moses, “to call upon the name of the Lord his God.”{43}{genesis 4:26.} Speaking wisely: for to a man inspired with the principles of truth what can be more akin and appropriate than a hope and expectation of the acquisition of good things from the one bounteous God? This, if one must speak the plain truth, is, properly speaking, the only real birth of men, as those who do not hope in God have no share in rational nature. (139) On which account Moses, after he had previously mentioned with respect to Enos that “he hoped to call upon the name of the Lord his God,” adds in express words, “This is the book of the generation of Men;”{44}{#ge 5:1.} speaking with perfect correctness: for it is written in the book of God that man is the only creature with a good hope. So that arguing by contraries, he who has no good hope is not a man. The definition, therefore, of our concrete being is that it is a living rational mortal being; but the definition of man, according to Moses, is a disposition of the soul hoping in the truly living God. (140) Let good men, then, by all means having received joy and hope for their blessed inheritance, either possess or expect good things: but let bad men, of whom Cain is a companion, living in fear and pain, reap a harvest of a most bitter portion, namely, either the presence or the expectation of evils, groaning over the miseries which are actually oppressing them, and trembling and shuddering at the expected fearful dangers.