XXXIV. (1.193) When, however, he comes into an assembly of friends, he does not begin to speak before he has first accosted each individual among them, and addressed him by name, so that they prick up their ears, and are quiet and attentive, listening to the oracles thus delivered, so as never to forget them or let them escape their memory: since in another passage of scripture we read, “Be silent and Listen.”{48}{#de 27:9.} (1.194) In this manner, too, Moses is called up to the bush. For, the scripture says, “When he saw that he was turning aside to see, God called him out of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses: and he said, What is it, Lord?”{49}{#ex 3:4.} And Abraham also, on the occasion of offering up his beloved and only son as a burnt-offering, when he was beginning to sacrifice him, and when he had given proof of his piety, was forbidden to destroy the self-taught race, Isaac by name, from among men; (1.195) for at the beginning of his account of this transaction, Moses says that “God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham, Abraham; and he said, Behold, here am I. And he said unto him, Take now thy beloved son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and offer him up.” And when he had brought the victim to the altar, then the angel of the Lord called him out of heaven, saying, “Abraham, Abraham,” and he answered, “Behold, here am I. And he said, Lay not thy hand upon the child, and do nothing to Him.”{50}{#ge 22:1.} (1.196) Also the practiser of virtue is also called one of this company dear to God, being deservedly accounted worthy of the same honour; for, says the scripture, “The angel of God said to me in my sleep, Jacob: and I answered, and said, What is It?”{51}{#ge 31:10.} (1.197) But after he has been called he exerts his attention, endeavouring to arrive at an accurate knowledge of the symbols which are displayed to him; and these symbols are the connection and generation of reasonings, as flocks and herds. For, says the scripture, “Jacob, looking up with his eyes, saw the goats and rams leaping upon the shegoats and upon the sheep.” (1.198) Now the hegoat is the leader of the flock of goats, and the ram is the leader of the flock of sheep, and these two animals are symbols of perfect reasonings, one of which purifies and cleanses the soul of sins, and the other nourishes it and renders it full of good actions. Such then are the leaders of the flocks in us, namely, reasons; and the flocks themselves, resembling the sheep and goats whose names they bear, rush forwards and hasten with zeal and earnestness towards justice. (1.199) Therefore, looking up with the eye of his mind, which up to that time had been closed, he saw the perfect and thoroughly sharpened reasons analogically resembling the goats and rams, prepared for the diminution of offences and the increase of good actions. And he beheld how they leap upon the sheep and the goats, that is on those souls which are still young and tender, and in the vigour of youth, and beautiful in the flower of their age; not pursuing irrational pleasure, but indulging in the invisible sowing of the doctrines of prudence. (1.200) For this is a marriage which is blessed in its children; not uniting bodies, but adapting perfect virtues to well-disposed souls. Therefore do all ye right reasons of wisdom leap up, form connections, sow seed, and pass by no soul which you see rich and fertile, and welldisposed, and virgin; but inviting it to association and connection with you, render it perfect and pregnant; for so you will become the parents of all kinds of good things, of a male offspring, white, variegated, ring-straked, and speckled.