XXI. (1.127) Hitherto I have been uttering the praises of the man devoted to labour and to virtue, as it occurred to me naturally; but now we must examine what is symbolically signified under the expressions made use of. Now it is well that we should know, that the divine place and the sacred region are full of incorporeal intelligences; and these intelligences are immortal souls. (1.128) Taking then one of these intelligences, and selecting one of them according as it appears to be the most excellent, this lover of virtue, of whom we are speaking, applies it to our own mind, to it as to the head of a united body; for, indeed, the mind is in a manner the head of the soul; and he does this, using the pretext indeed as if he were going to sleep, but, in reality, as being about to rest upon the word of God, and to place the whole of his life as the lightest possible burden upon it; (1.129) and it listens to him gladly, and receives the labourer in the paths of virtue at first, as if he were going to become a disciple; then when he has shown his approbation of the dexterity of his nature, he gives him his hand, like a gymnastic trainer, and invites him to the gymnasia, and standing firmly, compels him to wrestle with him, until he has rendered his strength so great as to be irresistible, changing his ears by the divine influences into eyes, and calling this newly-modelled disposition Israel, that is, the man who Sees.{33}{the marginal note in our Bible translates Israel, “a prince of God.”} (1.130) Then also he crowns him with the garland of victory. But this garland has a singular and foreign, and, perhaps, not altogether a wellomened name, for it is called by the president of the games torpor, for it is said, that the breadth became Torpid{34}{#ge 32:25; where, however, the expression of the Bible is “the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint.”} of all the rewards and of the proclamations of the heralds, and of all those most wonderful prizes for pre-eminent excellence which are had in honour; (1.131) for the soul which has received a share of irresistible power, and which has been made perfect in the contests of virtue, and which has arrived at the very furthest limit of what is honourable, will never be unduly elated or puffed up by arrogance, nor stand upon tiptoes, and boast as if it were well to make vast strides with bare feet; but the breadth which was extended wide by opinion, will become torpid and contracted, and then will voluntarily succumb and yield to tameness, so as being classed in an inferior order to that of the incorporeal natures, it may carry off the victory while appearing to be defeated; (1.132) for it is accounted a most honourable thing to yield the palm to those who are superior to one’s self, voluntarily rather than through compulsion; for it is incredible how greatly the second prize in this contest is superior in real dignity and importance to the first prize in the others.