IX. But we may justly, in order to prevent any one else from falling into the same error, eradicate the erroneous notions which have been formed on the subject, arguing the matter on the principle of natural philosophy, and proving that these things which are here said are worthy of all attention. (63) God does not bestow on men mutes and vowels, or, in short, nouns and verbs; since when he created plants and animals, he summoned them before man as their governor, that he might give each of them their appropriate names by a reference to the knowledge which he had of all things; for, says the scripture, “Whatever Adam called any thing, that was the name Thereof.”{30}{genesis 2:19.} (64) Therefore since God did not think fit to take upon himself even the active imposition of the names, but entrusted the task to a wise man, the author of the whole race of mankind, it is reasonable to suppose that he himself gave and arranged the different parts, and syllables, and letters of nouns, disposing not only the vowels, but even the mutes, and that he did this too to make a show of liberality and exceeding beneficence? It is impossible to say so. (65) But such things as these are the characteristic marks of different powers; small marks of great powers, marks perceptible by the outward senses of powers which are indistinct; and the powers themselves are discerned in most excellent doctrines, in true and pure conceptions, in the improvement of souls. And it is easy to see a proof of this if we make a beginning with the man who is here spoken of as having his name changed; (66) for the name Abram, being interpreted, means “sublime father,” but Abraham means the “elect father of sound;” and how these names differ from one another we shall know more clearly if we first of all read what is exhibited under each of them. (67) Now using allegorical language, we call that man sublime who raises himself from the earth to a height, and who devotes himself to the inspection of high things; and we also call him a haunter of high regions, and a meteorologist, inquiring what is the magnitude of the sun, what are his motions, how he influences the seasons of the year, advancing as he does and retreating back again, with revolutions of equal speed, and investigating as he does the subjects of the radiance of the moon, of its shape, of its waning, of its increase, and of the motion of the other stars, whether fixed or wandering; (68) for the inquiry into these matters belongs not to an ill-conditioned or barren soul, but to one which is eminently endowed by nature, and which is able to produce an entire and perfect offspring; on which account the scripture calls the meteorologist, “father,” inasmuch as he is not unproductive of wisdom.