XLIII. (2.283) There were, therefore, three persons who uttered atrocious words which were to reach even to heaven; these men devoted themselves to studies against nature, or rather against their own souls, saying that this universe was the only thing which was perceptible to the outward senses, and visible, having never been created, and being never destined to be destroyed but being uncreated and imperishable, not requiring any superintendence, or care, or regulation, or management. (2.284) Afterwards piling up fresh attempts one upon another, they built up a doctrine which was not approved, and raised it to a height like a tower; for it is said, “And the whole earth spoke one Language,”{125}{#ge 11:1.} an inharmonious agreement of all the portions of the soul, for the purpose of overthrowing that which is the most comprehensive of all existing principles, namely, authority. (2.285) Therefore, a great and irresistable hand overthrew them when they were hoping to mount up even to heaven by their devices, for the purpose of destroying the everlasting kingdom; and it also dashed down the doctrine which they had built up; and the place is called confusion: (2.286) a very appropriate name for such an audacious and wicked attempt; for what can be more productive of confusion than anarchy? Are not houses which have no manager full of offences and disturbances? (2.287) And are not cities which are left unprovided with a king destroyed by the domination of the mob, the opposite evil to kingly power, and at the same time the greatest of all evils? And have not countries, and nations, and regions of the earth, the governments of which have been put down, lost all their ancient and great prosperity? (2.288) And why need I speak of matters of human history? For even the other species of animals, flocks of birds, and herds of terrestrial beasts, and shoals of aquatic creatures, never exist without some leader of their company; but they always desire and always pay attention to their own leader, as being the sole cause of the advantages they receive; at whose absence they are scattered and destroyed. (2.289) Do we suppose then, that in the case of earthly creatures, which are the most insignificant portion of the universe, authority is the cause of good things and anarchy the cause of evils, but that the world itself is not filled with extreme happiness by reason of the administration of God its king? (2.290) Therefore they have suffered punishment corresponding to their iniquities: for having polluted the sacred doctrine, they saw themselves polluted in like manner, all authority being taken away from among them; and being thrown themselves into confusion, but not having really caused any. But as long as they were left unpunished, being puffed up by insane pride, they sought to overthrow the authority of the universe by unholy speeches; and they set themselves up as rulers and kings, attributing the irresistible power of God to creatures which are perpetually coming to an end and being destroyed.