XLI. (233) But what makes an impression on me in no ordinary degree is the law which is enacted with respect to those who put off their sins and seem to be repentant. For this law commands that the first victim which such persons offer shall be a female sheep without spot. But, if it proceeds, “his hand is not strong enough to bring a sheep, then for the trespass which he has committed he shall bring two turtle doves or two young pigeons, one for his trespass and one for a burnt offering; (234) and if his hand cannot find a pair of turtle doves or two young pigeons, then he shall bring as his gift the tenth part of an ephah of fine flour for a sin offering; he shall not pour oil upon it, nor shall he place any frankincense thereon, because it is a sin offering; and he shall bring it to the priest, and the priest having taken it from him shall take a full handful of it, and place it as a memorial on the Altar.”{83}{#le 5:5.} (235) God therefore here is propitiated by three different kinds of repentance, by the aforesaid beasts, or by the birds, or by the while flour, according, in short, to the ability of him who is being purified and who repents. For small offences do not require great purifications, nor are small purifications fit for great crimes; but they should be equal, and similar, and in due proportion. (236) It is worth while, therefore, to examine what is meant by this purification which may be accomplished in three ways. Now it may almost be said that both offences and good actions are perceived to exist in three things; in intention, or in words, or in actions. On which account Moses, teaching in his hortatory admonitions that the attainment of good is not impossible nor even very difficult, says, (237) “It is not necessary to soar up to heaven, nor to go to the borders of the earth and sea, for the attainment of it, but it is near, yea, and very Near.”{84}{#de 30:10.} And then in a subsequent passage he shows it all but to the naked eye as one may say, where he says, “Every action is in thy mouth, or in thy heart, or in thy Hands:”{85}{#de 30:14.} meaning under this symbolical expression, in thy words, or in they designs, or in thy actions. For he means that human happiness consists in wise design, and good language, and righteous actions, just as the unhappiness arises from the contrary course. (238) For both well-doing and wrong-doing exist in the same regions, in the heart, or in the mouth, or in the hand; for some persons decide in the most righteous, and sagacious manner, some speak most excellently, some do only what ought to be done: again, of the three sources of error the most unimportant is to design to do what ought not to be done, the most grievous is to do what is iniquitous, the middle evil is to speak improperly. (239) But it often happens that even what is least important is the most difficult to be removed; for it is very hard to bring an agitated state of the soul to tranquillity; and one may more easily check the impetuosity of a torrent than the perversion of the soul which is hurrying in a wrong direction, without restraint. For innumerable notions coming one upon the other like the waves of a stormy sea, bearing everything along with them, and throwing everything into confusion, overturn the whole soul with irresistible violence. (240) Therefore the most excellent, and most perfect kind of purification is this, not to admit into one’s mind any improper notions, but to regulate it in peace and obedience to law, the ruler of which principles is justice. The next kind is, not to offend in one’s language either by speaking falsely, or by swearing falsely, or by deceiving, or by practicing sophistry, or by laying false informations; or, in short, by letting loose one’s mouth and tongue to the injury of any one, as it is better to put a bridle and an insuperable chain on those members.