XL. (1.231) And a proof of this may be found in the oracular answer given by God to the person who asked what name he had, “I am that I Am,”{54}{#ex 3:14.} that the questioner might know the existence of those things which it was not possible for man to conceive not being connected with God. (1.232) Accordingly, to the incorporeal souls which are occupied in his service, it is natural for him to appear as he is, conversing with them as a friend with his friends; but to those souls which are still in the body he must appear in the resemblance of the angels, though without changing his nature (for he is unchangeable), but merely implanting in those who behold him an idea of his having another form, so that they fancy that it is his image, not an imitation of him, but the very archetypal appearance itself. (1.233) There is then an old story much celebrated, that the Divinity, assuming the resemblance of men of different countries, goes round the different cities of men, searching out the deeds of iniquity and lawlessness; and perhaps, though the fable is not true, it is a suitable and profitable one. (1.234) But the scripture, which at all times advances its conceptions with respect to the Deity, in a more reverential and holy tone, and which likewise desires to instruct the life of the foolish, has spoken of God under the likeness of a man, though not of any particular man; (1.235) attributing to him, with this view, the possession of a face, and hands, and feet, and of a mouth and voice, and also anger and passion, and moreover, defensive weapons, and goings in and goings out, and motions upwards and downwards, and in every direction, not indeed using all these expressions with strict truth, but having regard to the advantage of those who are to learn from it; (1.236) for the writers knew that some men are very dull in their natures, so as to be utterly unable to form any conception whatever of God apart from a body, whom it will be impossible to admonish if they were to speak in any other style than the existing one, of representing God as coming and departing like a man; and as descending and ascending, and as using his voice, and as being angry with sinners, and being implacable in his anger; and speaking too of his darts and swords, and whatever other instruments are suitable to be employed against the wicked, as being all previously ready. (1.237) For we must be content if such men can be brought to a proper state, by the fear which is suspended over them by such descriptions; and one many almost say that these are the only two paths taken, in the whole history of the law; one leading to plain truth, owing to which we have such assertions as, “God is not as a Man;”{55}{#nu 23:19.} the other, that which has regard to the opinions of foolish men, in reference to whom it is said, “The Lord God shall instruct you, like as if a man instructs his Son.”{56}{#de 1:31.}