VIII. (57) Therefore admiring this same disposition when thus taking to flight, and submitting to a voluntary fall by reason of the confession which it had made respecting the living God, namely, that he stands in truth and is one only, while all other things beneath him are subject to all kinds of motions and alterations, he speaks to it, and allows it to enter into conversation with him, saying, “And I, behold my covenant is with Thee.”{28}{#ge 17:4.} (58) And this expression conceals beneath its figurative words such a meaning as this: There are very many kinds of covenants, which distribute graces and gifts to those who are worthy to receive them; but the highest kind of covenant of all is I myself: for God, having displayed himself as far as it was possible for that being to be displayed who cannot be shown by the words which he has used, adds further, “And I too, behold my covenant;” the beginning and fountain of all graces is I myself. (59) For on some persons God is in the habit of bestowing his graces by the intervention of others; as, for instance, through the medium of earth, water, air, the sun, the moon, heaven, and other incorporeal powers. But he bestows them on others through himself alone, exhibiting himself as the inheritance of those who receive him, whom from that he thinks worthy of another appellation: (60) for it is said in the scripture, “Thy name shall not be called Abram, but Abraham shall thy name be.” Some, then, of those persons who are fond of disputes, and who are always eager to affix a stain upon what is irreproachable, on things as well as bodies, and who wage an implacable war against sacred things, while they calumniate everything which does not appear to preserve strict decorum in speech, being the symbols of nature which is always fond of being concealed, perverting it all so as to give it a worse appearance after a very accurate investigation, do especially find fault with the changes of names. (61) And it is only lately that I heard an ungodly and impious man mocking and ridiculing these things, who ventured to say, “Surely they are great and exceeding gifts which Moses says that the Ruler of the universe offers, who, by the addition of one element, the one letter alpha, a superfluous element; {29}{the text here is very corrupt. Mangey adopts the emendations of Markland, and I have followed his translation.} and then again adding another element, the letter rho, appears to have bestowed upon men a most marvellous and great benefit; for he has called the wife of Abram Sarrah instead of Sarah, doubling the Rho,” and connecting a number of similar arguments without drawing breath, and joking and mocking, he went through many instances. (62) But at no distant period he suffered a suitable punishment for his insane, wickedness; for on a very slight and ordinary provocation he hanged himself, in order that so polluted and impure a person might not die by a pure and unpolluted death.