20. Who hath gathered the embittered together into one society?
For they have all the same end, that of temporal and earthly
happiness, on account of which they do all things, although they may
fluctuate with an innumerable variety of cares. Who, O Lord,
unless Thou, saidst, Let the waters be gathered together into one
place, and let the dry land appear, which "thirsteth after Thee"?
For the sea also is Thine,and Thou hast made it, and Thy hands
prepared the dry land. For neither is the bitterness of men's wills,
but the gathering together of waters called sea; for Thou even curbest
the wicked desires of men's souls, and fixest their bounds, how far
they may be permitted to advance, and that their waves may be broken
against each other; and thus dost Thou make it a sea, by the order of
Thy dominion over all things.
21. But as for the souls that thirst after Thee, and that appear
before Thee (being by other bounds divided from the society of the
sea), them Thou waterest by a secret and sweet spring, that the
earth may bring forth her fruit, and,
Thou, O Lord God, so commanding, our soul may bud forth works of
mercy according to their kind, loving our neighbour in the relief
of his bodily necessities, having seed in itself according to its
likeness, when from our infirmity we compassionate even to the
relieving of the needy; helping them in a like manner as we would that
help should be brought unto us if we were in a like need; not only in
the things that are easy, as in "herb yielding seed," but also in
the protection of our assistance, in our very strength, like the tree
yielding fruit; that is, a good turn in delivering him who suffers an
injury from the hand of the powerful, and in furnishing him with the
shelter of protection by the mighty strength of just judgment.