Page 789. A. The mercies of God give us not only what is necessary, but also all such things as conduce to a more excessive and liberal enjoyment of life.

FRAGMENTS FROM A MONKISH MANUSCRIPT

About man: to show that God when he made him endowed him with free will.

It is said to you, O noble man, who live in obedience to the divine precepts, endeavour with all thy might not only to preserve the gifts which you have received unimpaired and unalloyed, but also think them worthy of all imaginable honour and regard, as being endowed with free will and independent power, so that he who has committed them to your charge may have no reason to find fault with you for having neglected to take proper care of them; and the Creator of the world has entrusted to your care to employ them according to your own deliberative purpose, a soul, and speech, and the outward senses. Therefore, those men who receive these gifts in a proper spirit, and who preserve them for him who has bestowed them on them, have kept their intellect carefully in such a way that it shall never think of anything else than of God and his virtues; and their speech in such a manner that with unwearied mouth it shall honour the Father of the universe with praises and hymns; and their outward senses in such a way that after they have represented to themselves the whole of the world which is perceptible to those senses, namely, the heaven and the earth, and the natures which are between those two, they may relate what they have been in a pure and guileless manner to the soul.