XII. (57) So that the race of mankind also is twofold, the one being the race of those who live by the divine Spirit and reason; the other of those who exist according to blood and the pleasure of the flesh. This species is formed of the earth, but that other is an accurate copy of the divine image; (58) and that description of us which is but fashioned clay, and which is kneaded up with blood, has need, in no slight degree, of assistance from God; on which account it is said, this Damascus of Eleazar.{24}{#ge 15:2.} But the name Eleazar, being interpreted, means, “God is my helper.” Since the mass of the body, which is filled with blood, being of itself easily dissolved and dead, has its existence through, and is kept alive by, the providence of God, who holds his arm and shield of defence over it, while our race cannot, by any resources of its own, exist in a state of firmness and safety for a single day. (59) Do you not see that the second of the sons of Moses has also the same name as this man? For, “the name of the second,” says the scripture, “was Eleazar.”{25}{#ex 18:4.} And he adds the reason: “for the Lord has been my helper, and has delivered me out of the hand of Pharaoh.” (60) But those who are still companions of that life which owes its existence to blood, and which is appreciable by the outward senses, are attacked by that disposition which is such a formidable disperser of piety, by name Pharaoh; from whose sovereignty, full as it is of lawlessness and cruelty, it is impossible to escape, unless Eleazar be born in the soul, and unless one puts one’s hope of succour in the only Saviour. (61) And it is with particular beauty that he speaks of Damascus with reference, not to his father, but to his mother; in order to show that the soul depending on blood, by means of which the brute animals live, is akin properly to the female race; the race of his mother, and has no share in the male race. But this is not the case with virtue, that is with Sarah; (62) for she has none but a male offspring, being borne only of God who is the father of all things, being that authority which has no mother. “For truly,” says the scripture, “she is my sister by my father’s side, but not by my mother’S.”{26}{#ge 20:12.}

XIII. (63) We have now explained what it was necessary for you to be apprised of as a preliminary. For the first part of the argument had a sort of enigmatical obscurity. But we must examine with more accurate particularity what the man who is fond of learning seeks. Perhaps then it is something of this sort: to know whether any one who is desirous of that life which is dependent on blood and who claims an interest in the objects of the outward sense, can become an inheritor of incorporeal and divine things? (64) for of such only he who is inspired from above is thought worthy, having received a portion of heavenly and divine inheritance, being in fact the most pure mind, disregarding not merely the body but also the other fragment of the soul, which being devoid of reason is mixed up with blood, kindling the fervid passions and excited appetites. (65) Accordingly, it pushes its inquiries in this manner: since you have not given to me a seed which is capable of becoming its own instructor, namely, that seed which is able to be comprehended by the intellect, “Shall the slave born in my house be my heir?” the offspring of that life which is dependent upon blood. (66) Then God, making haste, anticipated the speaker, sending, as one may say, instruction on in advance of speech. “For immediately,” says the scripture, “the voice of God came to him, saying, He shall not be thy Heir;”{27}{#ge 15:3.} nor any one else of those who come to an exhibition of the outward senses. For the incorporeal natures are the inheritors of those things which can only be appreciated by the intellect. (67) And it has been especially observed here, that the scripture does not say he spoke to him or conversed with him, but the expression is, “The voice of God came to him;” as if God uttering a loud and unceasing sound, in order that the voice being thus distributed into every soul, might leave no part destitute of proper instruction, but that all parts might every where be filled, with healthy learning.