IV. (27) But it is not right to be ignorant of this thing either, that the statement, “I am thy God,”{19}{#ge 17:1.} is made by a certain figurative misuse of language rather than with strict propriety; for the living God, inasmuch as he is living, does not consist in relation to anything; for he himself is full of himself, and he is sufficient for himself, and he existed before the creation of the world, and equally after the creation of the universe; (28) for he is immovable and unchangeable, having no need of any other thing or being whatever, so that all things belong to him, but, properly speaking, he does not belong to anything. And of the powers which he has extended towards creation for the advantage of the world which is thus put together, some are spoken of, as it were, in relation to these things; as for instance his kingly and his beneficent power; for he is the king of something, and the benefactor of something there being inevitably something which is ruled over and which receives the benefits. (29) Akin to these powers is the creative power which is called God: for by means of this power the Father, who begot and created all things, did also disperse and arrange them; so that the expression, “I am thy God,” is equivalent to, “I am thy maker and creator;” (30) and it is the greatest of all possible gifts to have him for one’s maker, who has also been the maker of the whole world. The soul, indeed, of the wicked man he did not make, for wickedness is hateful to God; and the soul, which is between good and bad, he made not by himself alone, according to the most sacred historian Moses, since that, like wax, was about to receive the different impressions of good and evil. (31) On which account it is said in the scriptures, “Let us make man in our own image,” that if it receives a bad impression it may appear to be the work of others, but if it receives a good impression it may then appear to be the work of him who is the Creator only of what is beautiful and good. By all means, therefore, that must be a good man to whom he says, “I am thy God,” as he has had him alone for his creator without the cooperation of any other being. (32) Moreover he brings up with this that doctrine which is established in many other passages, showing that God is the creator only of those men who are virtuous and wise; and the whole of this company has voluntarily deprived itself of the abundant possession of external things, and has neglected those things which are dear to his flesh. (33) For the athletes of vigorous health and high spirit have erected their servile bodies as a sort of fortification against the soul, but those men who have been devoted to the pursuit of instruction, and who are pale, and weak, and emaciated, having overloaded the vigour of the body with the power of the soul, and if one must tell the plain truth, being entirely dissolved into one species of soul, have through the energy of their minds become quite disentangled from the body. (34) Therefore that which is earthly is very naturally destroyed and overwhelmed when the entire mind resolves in every particular to make itself acceptable to God. But the race of these persons is rare and scarcely to be found, and one may almost say is unable to exist; and the following oracle, which is given with respect to Enoch, proves this: “Enoch pleased God, and he was not Found;”{20}{#ge 5:24.} (35) for by what kind of contemplation could a man attain to this good thing? What seas must he cross over? What islands, or what continents, must he visit? Must he dwell among Greeks or among the barbarians? (36) Are there not even to the present day some of those persons who have attained to perfection in philosophy, who say that there is no such thing as wisdom in the world, since there is also no such thing as a wise man? for that from the very beginning of the creation of mankind up to the present moment, there has never been any one who could be considered entirely blameless, for that it is impossible for a man who is bound up in a mortal body to be entirely and altogether happy. (37) Now whether these things are said correctly we will consider at the proper time: but at present let us stick to the subject before us, and follow the scripture, and say that there is such a thing as wisdom existing, and that he who loves wisdom is wise. But though the wise man has thus an actual existence he has escaped the notice of us who are wicked: for what is good will not unite with what is bad. (38) On this account it is that “the disposition which pleased God was not found;” as if in truth it has a real existence, but was concealed and had fled away to avoid any meeting in the same place with us, since it is said to have been translated; the meaning of which expression is that it emigrated and departed from its sojourn in this mortal life, to an abode in immortal life.