XXVI. (145) This then is the meaning of the words, “out of her.” We must now consider the third point, namely, what that is which is called her son. In the first place, then, there is this worthy of our admiration, that God does not say that he will give her many children, but that he will give her one only. And why is this? Because it is the nature of what is good to be investigated, not so much with respect to its number or magnitude, as with respect to its power; (146) for musical precepts, to take them for an instance, or rules of grammar, or of geometry, or of justice, or of wisdom, or of manly courage, or of temperance, are very numerous indeed; but the science itself of music, or grammar, or geometry, and still more the virtue of justice, or temperance, or wisdom, or manly courage, is only one thing, the loftiest perfection, in no respect differing from the archetypal model, after which all those numerous and countless precepts were formed. (147) And this is why he only says that he will give her one son. And now he called it a son, not speaking carelessly or inconsiderately, but for the sake of showing that it is not a foreign, or a supposititious, nor an adopted, nor an illegitimate child, but a legitimate child, a proper citizen, inasmuch as a foreign child cannot be the offspring of a truly citizen soul, for the Greek word teknon (son), is derived from tokos (bringing forth), by way of showing the kindred by which children are, by nature, united to their parents.

XXVII. (148) And, says God, “I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of Nations;”{52}{genesis 17:16.} because, not only is generic virtue divided into its proximate species, and into individuals subordinate to the species, as if into nations; but also because, as there are nations of living animals, so in a manner are there nations of things, to which virtue is a very great advantage; (149) for all things which are devoid and destitute of wisdom are mischievous, just as all places upon which the sun does not shine are of necessity dark; for it is by virtue that a farmer is able to pay better attention to his crops, and by virtue that a charioteer drives his chariot in the horse-races so as to avoid falling; and by virtue too, that a pilot and a steersman guides his vessel in its voyage. (150) Virtue again has caused houses, and cities, and countries to be inhabited in a better manner, making men competent to manage houses and cities, and fit to associate with one another. Virtue has also introduced most excellent laws, and has sown the seeds of peace everywhere; since, from the contrary habit, things of a contrary character do naturally arise–war, lawlessness, bad constitutions, confusion, unnecessary voyages, overthrows, that which, in science, is the most grievous of all diseases, namely, cunning, from which, instead of art, all kinds of evil artifice has flowed. Very necessarily, therefore, will virtue be divided among all nations, which are large and collected systems of living beings and things taken together, for the advantage of those who receive her.