22. Those things which are objects of use are not all, however, to
be loved, but those only which are either united with us in a common
relation to God, such as a man or an angel, or are so related to us
as to need the goodness of God through our instrumentality, such as
the body. For assuredly the martyrs did not love the wickedness of
their persecutors, although they used it to attain the favor of God.
As, then, there are four kinds of things that are to be loved,
first, that which is above us; second, ourselves; third, that which
is on a level with us; fourth, that which is beneath us, no precepts
need be given about the second and fourth of these. For, however far
a man may fall away from the truth, he still continues to love
himself, and to love his own body. The soul which flies away from the
unchangeable Light, the Ruler of all things, does so that it may
rule over itself and over its own body; and so it cannot but love both
itself and its own body.
23. Morever, it thinks it has attained something very great if it
is able to lord it over its companions, that is, other men. For it
is inherent in the sinful soul to desire above all things, and to claim
as due to itself, that which is properly due to God only. Now such
love of itself is more correctly called hate. For it is not just that
it should desire what is beneath it to be obedient to it while itself
will not obey its own superior; and most justly has it been said,
"He who loveth iniquity hateth his own soul." And accordingly the
soul becomes weak, and endures much suffering about the mortal body.
For, of course, it must love the body, and be grieved at its
corruption; and the immortality and incorruptibility of the body spring
out of the health of the soul. Now the health of the soul is to cling
steadfastly to the better part, that is, to the unchangeable God.
But when it aspires to lord it even over those who are by nature its
equals, that is, its fellow-men, this is a reach of arrogance