16. Be not foolish, O my soul, and deaden not the ear of thine
heart with the tumult of thy fully. Hearken thou also. The word
itself invokes thee to return; and there is the place of rest
imperturbable, where love is not abandoned if itself abandoneth not.
Behold, these things pass away, that others may succeed them, and so
this lower universe be made complete in all its parts. But do I
depart anywhere, saith the word of God? There fix thy habitation.
There commit whatsoever thou hast thence, O my soul; at all events
now thou art tired out with deceits. Commit to truth whatsoever thou
hast from the truth, and nothing shall thou lose; and thy decay shall
flourish again, and all thy diseases be healed, and thy perishable
parts shall be reformed and renovated, and drawn together to thee; nor
shall they put thee down where themselves descend, but they shall abide
with thee, and continue for ever before God, who abideth and
continueth for ever?
17. Why, then, be perverse and follow thy flesh? Rather let it
be converted and follow thee. Whatever by her thou feelest, is but in
part; and the whole, of which these are portions, thou art ignorant
of, and yet they delight thee. But had the sense of thy flesh been
capable of comprehending the whole, and not itself also, for thy
punishment, been justly limited to a portion of the whole, thou
wouldest that whatsoever existeth at the present time should pass away,
that so the whole might please thee more. For what we speak, also by
the same sense of the flesh thou hearest; and yet wouldest not thou
that the syllables should stay, but fly away, that others may come,
and the whole be heard. Thus it is always, when any single thing is
composed of many, all of which exist not together, all together would
delight more than they do simply could all be perceived at once. But
far better than these is He who made all; and He is our God, and
He passeth not away, for there is nothing to succeed Him. If bodies
please thee, praise God for them, and turn back thy love upon their
Creator, lest in those things which please thee thou displease.