XXIX. (1.177) “For in thee shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.” And this oracle applies to the wise man in respect of himself, and also in respect of Others.{43}{the text is very corrupt here. I have followed Mangey’s reading and translation.} For if the mind which is in me is purified by perfect virtue, and if the tribes of that earthly part which is about me are purified at the same time, which tribes have fallen to the lot of the external senses, and of the greatest channel of all, namely the body; and if any one, either in his house, or in his city, or in his country, or in his nation, becomes a lover of wisdom, it is inevitable that that house, and that city, and that country, and that nation, must attain to a better life. (1.178) For, as those spices which are set on fire fill all persons near them with their fragrance, so in the same manner do all those persons who are neighbours of and contiguous to the wise men catch some of the exhalations which reach to a distance from him, and so become improved in their characters.

XXX. (1.179) And it is the greatest of all advantages to a soul engaged in labours and contests, to have for its fellow traveller, God, who penetrates everywhere. “For behold,” says God, “I am with Thee.”{44}{#ge 28:15.} Of what then can we be in need while we have for our wealth Thee, who art the only true and real riches, who keepest us in the road which leads to virtue in all its different divisions? For it is not one portion only of the rational life which conducts to justice and to all other virtue, but the parts are infinite in number, from which those who desire to arrive at virtue can set out.

XXXI. (1.180) Very admirably therefore is it said in the scripture: “I will lead thee back to this land.” For it was fitting that the reason should remain with itself, and should not depart to the outward sense. And if it has departed, then the next best thing is for it to return back again. (1.181) And perhaps also a doctrine bearing on the immortality of the soul is figuratively intimated by this expression. For the soul, having left the region of heaven, as was mentioned a little while before, came to the body as a foreign country. Therefore the father who begot it promises that he will not permit it to be for ever held in bondage, but that he will have compassion on it, and will unloose its chains, and will conduct it in safety and freedom as far as the metropolis, and will not cease to assist it till the promises which he has made in words are confirmed by the truth of actions. For it is by all means the peculiar attribute of God to foretell what is to happen. (1.182) And why do we say this? for his words do not differ from his actions; therefore the soul which is devoted to the practice of virtue, being set in motion, and roused up to the investigations relating to the living God, at first suspected that the living God existed in place; but after a short space it became perplexed by the difficulty of the question, and began to change its opinion. (1.183) “For,” says the scripture, “Jacob awoke and said, Surely the Lord is in this place, and I knew it not;” and it would have been better, I should have said; not to know it, than to fancy that God existed in any place, he whom himself contains all things in a circle.