XLI. (1.238) Why then do we any longer wonder, if God at times assumes the likeness of the angels, as he sometimes assumes even that of men, for the sake of assisting those who address their entreaties to him? so that when he says, “I am the God who was seen by thee in the place of God;”{57}{#ge 31:13.} we must understand this, that he on that occasion took the place of an angel, as far as appearance went, without changing his own real nature, for the advantage of him who was not, as yet, able to bear the sight of the true God; (1.239) for as those who are not able to look upon the sun itself, look upon the reflected rays of the sun as the sun itself, and upon the halo around the moon as if it were the moon itself; so also do those who are unable to bear the sight of God, look upon his image, his angel word, as himself. (1.240) Do you not see that encyclical instruction, that is, Hagar, says to the angel, “Art thou God who seest Me?”{58}{#ge 16:13.} for she was not capable of beholding the most ancient cause, inasmuch as she was by birth a native of Egypt. But now the mind begins to be improved, so as to be able to contemplate the governor of all the powers; (1.241) on which account he says himself, “I am the Lord God,”{59}{#ge 31:13.} I whose image you formerly beheld instead of me, and whose pillar you set up, engraving on it a most sacred inscription; and the inscription indicated that I stood alone, and that I established the nature of all things, bringing disorder and irregularity into order and regularity, and supporting the universe firmly, so that it might rest on a firm and solid foundation, my own ministering word.