XXIV. (1.153) There is also in this dream another sort of similitude or comparison apparent, which must not be passed over in silence; the affairs of mankind are naturally compared to a ladder, on account of their irregular motion and progress: (1.154) for as some one or other has said; “One day has cast one man down from on high and destroyed him, and another it has raised up, nothing that belongs to our human race being formed by nature so as to remain long in the same condition, but all such things changing with all kinds of alteration. (1.155) Do not men become rulers from having been private individuals, and private individuals from having been rulers, poor from having been rich, and very rich from having been very poor; glorious from being despised, and most illustrious from having been infamous?” […] A very beautiful way of life: for it is very possible that the being whose habitation is the whole world, may dwell with you also, and take care of your house, so that it may be completely protected and free from injury for ever; (1.156) and there is such a way as this in which human affairs move upwards and downwards, meeting with an unstable and variable fortune, the anomalous character of which, unerring time proves by evidence which is not indistinct but manifest and legible.

XXV. (1.157) But the dream also represented the archangel, namely the Lord himself, firmly planted on the ladder; for we must imagine that the living God stands above all things, like the charioteer of a chariot, or the pilot of a ship; that is, above bodies, and above souls, and above all creatures, and above the earth, and above the air, and above the heaven, and above all the powers of the outward senses, and above the invisible natures, in short, above all things whether visible or invisible; for having made the whole to depend upon himself, he governs it and all the vastness of nature. (1.158) But let no one who hears that he was firmly planted thus suppose that any thing at all assists God, so as to enable him to stand firmly, but let him rather consider this fact that what is here indicated is equivalent to the assertion that the firmest position, and the bulwark, and the strength, and the steadiness of everything is the immoveable God, who stamps the character of immobility on whatever he pleases; for, in consequence of his supporting and consolidating things, those which he does combine remain firm and indestructible. (1.159) Therefore he who stands upon the ladder of heaven says to him who is beholding the dream, “I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac; be not Afraid.”{38}{#ge 28:13.} This oracle and this vision were also the firmest support of the soul devoted to the practice of virtue, inasmuch as it taught it that the Lord and God of the universe is both these things also to his own race, being entitled both the Lord and God of all men, and of his grandfathers and ancestors, and being called by both names in order that the whole world and the man devoted to virtue might have the same inheritance; since it is also said, “The Lord himself is his Inheritance.”{39}{deuteronomy 10:9.}