About slowness of counsel.

Slow counsel is profitless, and change of purpose in extremities is mischievous.

About heretical teachers, etc.

From the same book.

A teacher of a good and virtuous disposition, even if he sees his pupils at first stiff-necked by nature, does not despair of producing in them a change for the better; but, like a good physician, he does not apply a remedy at once at the first moment of the disease attacking the patient, but he gives nature time that it may recede a little, so that he may first make ready the path to safety, and then apply healthful and salutary remedies. And in the same manner does the virtuous man apply the arguments and doctrines of philosophy.

If, when a pupil is first introduced to you, and first comes to learn of you, you hasten to eradicate all his ignorance at once, and attempt to introduce every kind of knowledge in a lump, you will produce the contrary effect to that which you desire, for it will not be likely that such an eradication, having taken place all in a moment, will continue effectual, nor that the pupil will be able at once to contain such an abundant influx and overflow of instruction; but being exceedingly perplexed and troubled, he will resist both these operations, that of eradicating one thing and that of introducing another; but the system of taking away his ignorance with gentleness and moderation, and of, in the same manner, gently instilling wisdom into the mind, will be the causes of admitted advantage.

About people who meditate and design mischief.

The words of Philo, from his treatise on Things Improperly Named.

The ordinary production or wickedness enslaves the mind, even if it has not as yet produced any perfect fruit; for it is, as the proverb says, washing a brick, or taking up water in a net, to try and eradicate wickedness out of the soul of man. For “behold,” says Moses, “with what designs the minds of all men are Impressed.”{5}{#ge 8:21.} And he speaks truly, for he does not say, what designs are attached to and adapted to it, but that which has been considered with care and deliberation is also explained with accuracy, and this too not slowly and with difficulty, but from man’s earliest youth, or as one may almost say, from his very cradle, as if it were a part of him, kept in continual exercise.