XIX. (2.133) Such men then are classed by us as the very teachers of vain opinion. Let us now in turn look at their followers by themselves. These men are always laying plots against the practisers of virtue, and when they see them labouring to make their own life pure with guileless truth, and to exhibit it, as one may say, to the light of the moon, or of the sun, as able to stand inspection, they endeavor by deceit, or even by open violence, to hinder them, trying to drive them into the sunless country of impious men, which is occupied by deep night, and endless darkness, and ten thousand tribes of images, and appearances, and dreams, and then, having thrust them down thither, they compel them to fall down and worship them as masters. (2.134) For we look upon the practiser of virtue as the sun, since the one gives light to our bodies, and the other to the things which belong to the soul: and the education which such a man uses we look upon as the moon, for the use of each is most pure and most useful in the night; and the brethren are those virtuous reasonings which are the offspring of instruction, and of a soul devoted to the practice of virtue, all of which make straight the right path of life, and which they, therefore, by all kinds of wary and cunning wrestlings, seek to overcome, and to trip up, and overthrow, and break the neck of, because they have determined neither to think nor to say anything sound themselves. (2.135) For this reason his father rebukes this intractable youth (I do not mean Jacob, but right reason, which is older even than he), saying, (2.136) “What is this dream which thou hast dreamt?” but thou hast not seen any dream at all; hast thou fancied that things which are free by nature are to be of necessity slaves to human things, and that things which are rulers are to become subjects? and, what is more paradoxical still, subject, not to anything else but to the very things which they govern? and to be the slaves of no other things except those very things which are their own slaves? unless indeed a change of all the established things to their direct contraries is to take place, by the power of God, who is able to effect all things, and to move what is immovable, and to fix what is in a constant state of agitation. (2.137) Since on what principle can you be angry with or reproach a man who sees a vision in his sleep? For he will say, I did not see it intentionally, why do you bring accusations against me, for errors which I have not committed from any deliberate purpose? I have related to you what fell upon me and made an impression on my mind suddenly, and without my desiring it. (2.138) But the present question is not about dreams, but about things which resemble dreams; which, to those whose minds are not highly purified appear great, and beautiful, and desirable things; while they are, in reality, trifling, and obscure, and deserving of ridicule, in the eyes of honest judges of the truth.