XIX. (1.115) We have discussed this subject at this length with no other object except that of teaching that the mind, which is inclined to practice virtue, having irregular motions towards prolificness and sterility, and as one may say, being in a manner always ascending and descending, when it becomes prolific and is elevated to a height is illuminated with the archetypal and incorporeal beams of the rational spring of the all-perfecting sun; but when it descends and becomes unproductive, then it is again illuminated by those images of those beams, the immortal words which it is customary to call angels. (1.116) On which account we now read in the scripture, “He met the place; for the sun was Set.”{30}{#ge 28:11.} For when those beams of God desert the soul by means of which the clearest comprehensions of affairs are engendered in it, then arises that second and weaker light of words, and the light of things is no longer seen, just as is the case in this lower world. For the moon, which occupies the second rank next to the sun, when that body has set, pours forth a somewhat weaker light than his upon the earth; (1.117) and to meet a place or a word is a most sufficient gift for those who cannot discern that God is superior to every place or word; because they have not a soul wholly destitute of light, but because, since that most unmixed and brilliant light has set, they have been favoured with one which is alloyed. “For the children of Israel had light in all their Dwellings,”{31}{#ex 10:23.} says the sacred historian in the book of Exodus, so that night and darkness were continually banished from them, though it is in night and darkness that those men live who have lost the eyes of the soul rather than those of the body, having no experience of the beams of virtue. (1.118) But some persons–supposing that what is meant here by the figurative expression of the sun is the external sense and the mind, which are looked upon as the things which have the power of judging; and that which is meant by place is the divine word–understand the allegory in this manner: the practiser of virtue met with the divine word, after the mortal and human light had set; (1.119) for as long as the mind thinks that it attains to a firm comprehension of the objects of the intellect, and the outward sense conceives that it has a similar understanding of its appropriate objects, and that it dwells amid sublime objects, the divine word stands aloof at a distance; but when each of these comes to confess its own weakness, and sets in a manner while availing itself of concealment, then immediately the right reason of a soul well-practised in virtue comes in a welcome manner to their assistance, when they have begun to despair of their own strength, and await the aid which is invisibly coming to them from without.