(Augustine, Christian Doctrine. part 5)

close succession, that Jacob, who was born last, was found to have laid
hold with his hand upon the heel of his brother, who preceded him. Now,
assuredly, the day and hour of the birth of these two could not be marked
in any way that would not give both the same constellation. But what a

difference there was between the characters, the actions, the labours,
and the fortunes of these two, the Scriptures bear witness, which are now
so widely spread as to be in the mouth of all nations.
  34. Nor is it to the point to say that the very smallest and briefest
moment of time that separates the birth of twins, produces great effects
in nature, and in the extremely rapid motion of the heavenly bodies. For,
although I may grant that it does produce the greatest effects, yet the
astrologer cannot discover this in the constellations, and it is by
looking into these that he professes to read the fates. If, then, he does
not discover the difference when he examines the constellations, which
must, of course, be the same whether he is consulted about Jacob or his
brother, what does it profit him that there is a difference in the
heavens, which he rashly and carelessly brings into disrepute, when there
is no difference in his chart, which he looks into anxiously but in vain?
And so these notions also, which have their origin in certain signs of
things being arbitrarily fixed upon by the presumption of men, are to be
referred to the same class as if they were leagues and covenants with

Chap. 23.--Why we repudiate arts of divination

  35. For in this way it comes to pass that men who lust after evil
things are, by a secret judgment of God, delivered over to be mocked and
deceived, as the just reward of their evil desires. For they are deluded
and imposed on by the false angels, to whom the lowest part of the world
has been put in subjection by the law of God's providence, and in
accordance with His most admirable arrangement of things. And the result
of these delusions and deceptions is, that through these superstitious
and baneful modes of divination, many things in the past and future are
made known, and turn out just as they are foretold; and in the case of
those who practice superstitious observances, many things turn out
agreeably to their observances, and ensnared by these successes, they
become more eagerly inquisitive, and involve themselves further and
further in a labyrinth of most pernicious error. And to our advantage,
the Word of God is not silent about this species of fornication of the
soul; and it does not warn the soul against following such practices on
the ground that those who profess them speak lies, but it says, "Even if
what they tell you should come to pass, hearken not unto them." For
though the ghost of the dead Samuel foretold the truth to King Saul, that
does not make such sacrilegious observances as those by which his ghost
was brought up the less detestable; and though the ventriloquist woman in
the Acts of the Apostles bore true testimony to the apostles of the Lord,
the Apostle Paul did not spare the evil spirit on that account, but
rebuked and cast it out, and so made the woman clean.
  36. All arts of this sort, therefore, are either nullities, or are part
of a guilty superstition, springing out of a baleful fellowship between
men and devils, and are to be utterly repudiated and avoided by the
Christian as the covenants of a false and treacherous friendship. Not as

if the idol were anything," says the apostle; "but because the things
which they sacrifice they sacrifice to devils and not to God; and I would
not that ye should have fellowship with devils." Now what the apostle has
said about idols and the sacrifices offered in their honour, that we
ought to feel in regard to all fancied signs which lead either to the
worship of idols, or to worshipping creation or its parts instead of God,
or which are connected with attention to medicinal charms and other
observances; for these are not appointed by God as the public means of
promoting love towards God and our neighbour, but they waste the hearts
of wretched men in private and selfish strivings after temporal things.
Accordingly, in regard to all these branches of knowledge, we must fear
and shun the fellowship of demons, who, with the Devil their prince,
strive only to shut and bar the door against our return. As, then, from
the stars which God created and ordained, men have drawn lying omens of
their own fancy, so also from things that are born, or in any other way
come into existence under the government of God's providence, if there
chance only to be something unusual in the occurrence,--as when a mule
brings forth young, or an object is struck by lightning,--men have
frequently drawn omens by conjectures of their own, and have committed
them to writing, as if they had drawn them by rule.

Chap. 24.--The intercourse and agreement with demons which superstitious
observances maintain

  37. And all these omens are of force just so far as has been arranged
with the devils by that previous understanding in the mind which is, as
it were, the common language, but they are all full of hurtful curiosity,
torturing anxiety, and deadly slavery. For it was not because they had
meaning that they were attended to, but it was by attending to and
marking them that they came to have meaning. And so they are made
different for different people, according to their several notions and
prejudices. For those spirits which are bent upon deceiving, take care to
provide for each person the same sort of omens as they see his own
conjectures and preconceptions have already entangled him in. For, to
take an illustration, the same figure of the letter X, which is made in
the shape of a cross, means one thing among the Greeks and another among
the Latins, not by nature, but by agreement and prearrangement as to its
signification; and so, any one who knows both languages uses this letter
in a different sense when writing to a Greek from that in which he uses
it when writing to a Latin. And the same sound, beta, which is the name
of a letter among the Greeks, is the name of a vegetable among the
Latins; and when I say, lege, these two syllables mean one thing to a
Greek and another to a Latin. Now, just as all these signs affect the
mind according to the arrangements of the community in which each man
lives, and affect different men's minds differently, because these

arrangements are different; and as, further, men did not agree upon them
as signs because they were already significant, but on the contrary they
are now significant because men have agreed upon them; in the same way
also, those signs by which the ruinous intercourse with devils is
maintained have meaning just in proportion to each man's observations.
And this appears quite plainly in the rites of the augurs; for they, both
before they observe the omens and after they have completed their
observations, take pains not to see the flight or hear the cries of
birds, because these omens are of no significance apart from the previous
arrangement in the mind of the observer.

Chap. 25.--In human institutions which are not superstitious, there are
some things superfluous and some convenient and necessary

  38. But when all these have been cut away and rooted out of the mind of
the Christian, we must then look at human institutions which are not
superstitious, that is, such as are not set up in association with
devils, but by men in association with one another. For all arrangements
that are in force among men, because they have agreed among themselves
that they should be in force, are human institutions; and of these, some
are matters of superfluity and luxury, some of convenience and necessity.
For if those signs which the actors make in dancing were of force by
nature, and not by the arrangement and agreement of men, the public crier
would not in former times have announced to the people of Carthage, while
the pantomime was dancing, what it was he meant to express,--a thing
still remembered by many old men from whom we have frequently heard it.
And we may well believe this, because even now, if any one who is
unaccustomed to such follies goes into the theatre, unless some one tells
him what these movements mean, he will give his whole attention to them
in vain. Yet all men aim at a certain degree of likeness in their choice
of signs, that the signs may as far as possible be like the things they
signify. But because one thing may resemble another in many ways, such
signs are not always of the same significance among men, except when they
have mutually agreed upon them.
  39. But in regard to pictures and statues, and other works of this
kind, which are intended as representations of things, nobody makes a
mistake, especially if they are executed by skilled artists, but every
one, as soon as he sees the likenesses recognizes the things they are
likenesses of. And this whole class are to be reckoned among the
superfluous devices of men, unless when it is a matter of importance to
inquire in regard to any of them, for what reason, where, when, and by
whose authority it was made. Finally, the thousands of fables and
fictions, in whose lies men take delight, are human devices, and nothing
is to be considered more peculiarly man's own and derived from himself
than, anything that is false and lying. Among the convenient and

necessary arrangements of men with men are to be reckoned whatever
differences they choose to make in bodily dress and ornament for the
purpose of distinguishing sex or rank; and the countless varieties of
signs without which human intercourse either could not be carried on at
all, or would be carried on at great inconvenience; and the arrangements
as to weights and measures, and the stamping and weighing of coins, which
are peculiar to each state and people,and other things of the same kind.
Now these, if they were not devices of men, would not be different in
different nations, and could not be changed among particular nations at
the discretion of their respective sovereigns.
  40. This whole class of human arrangements, which are of convenience
for the necessary intercourse of life, the Christian is not by any means
to neglect, but on the contrary should pay a sufficient degree of
attention to them, and keep them in memory.

Chap. 26.--What human contrivances we are to adopt, and what we are to

  For certain institutions of men are in a sort of way representations
and likenesses of natural objects. And of these, such as have relation to
fellowship with devils must, as has been said, be utterly rejected and
held in detestation; those, on the other hand, which relate to the mutual
intercourse of men, are, so far as they are not matters of luxury and
superfluity, to be adopted, especially the forms of the letters which are
necessary for reading, and the various languages as far as is required--a
matter I have spoken of above. To this class also belong shorthand
characters, those who are acquainted with which are called shorthand
writers. All these are useful, and there is nothing unlawful in learning
them, nor do they involve us in superstition, or enervate us by luxury,
if they only occupy our minds so far as not to stand in the way of more
important objects to which they ought to be subservient.

Chap. 27.--Some departments of knowledge, not of mere human invention,
aid us in interpreting Scripture

  41. But, coming to the next point, we are not to reckon among human
institutions those things which men have handed down to us, not as
arrangements of their own, but as the resell of investigation into the
occurrences of the past, and into the arrangements of God's providence.
And of these, some pertain to the bodily senses, some to the intellect.
Those which are reached by the bodily senses we either believe on
testimony, or perceive when they are pointed out to us, or infer from

Chap. 28.--To what extent history is an aid

  42. Anything, then, that we learn from history about the chronology of
past times assists us very much in understanding the Scriptures, even if
it be learnt without the pale of the Church as a matter of childish
instruction. For we frequently seek information about a variety of
matters by use of the Olympiads, and the names of the consuls; and
ignorance of the consulship in which our Lord was born, and that in which
He suffered, has led some into the error of supposing that He was
forty-six years of age when He suffered, that being the number of years
He was told by the Jews the temple (which He took as a symbol of His
body) was in building. Now we know on the authority of the evangelist
that He was about thirty years of age when He was baptized; but the
number of years He lived afterwards, although by putting His actions
together we can make it out, yet that no shadow of doubt might arise from
another source, can be ascertained more clearly and more certainly from a
comparison of profane history with the gospel. It will still be evident,
however, that it was not without a purpose it was said that the temple
was forty and six years in building; so that, as this cannot be referred
to our Lord's age, it may be referred to the more secret formation of the
body which, for our sakes, the only begotten Son of God, by whom all
things were made, condescended to put on.
  43. As to the utility of history, moreover, passing over the Greeks,
what a great question our own Ambrose has set at rest! For, when the
readers and admirers of Plato dared calumniously to assert that our Lord
Jesus Christ learnt all those sayings of His, which they are compelled to
admire and praise, from the books of Plato--because (they urged) it
cannot be denied that Plato lived long before the coming of our
Lord!--did not the illustrious bishop, when by his investigations into
profane history he had discovered that Plato made a journey into Egypt at
the time when Jeremiah the prophet was there, show that it is much more
likely that Plato was through Jeremiah's means initiated into our
literature, so as to be able to teach and write those views of his which
are so justly praised? For not even Pythagoras himself, from whose
successors these men assert Plato learnt theology, lived at a date prior
to the books of that Hebrew race, among whom the worship of one God
sprang up, and of whom as concerning the flesh our Lord came. And thus,
when we reflect upon the dates, it becomes much more probable that those
philosophers learnt whatever they said that was good and true from our
literature, than that the Lord Jesus Christ learnt from the writings of
Plato,--a thing which it is the height of folly to believe.
  44. And even when in the course of an historical narrative former
institutions of men are described, the history itself is not to be

reckoned among human institutions; because things that are past and gone
and cannot be undone are to be reckoned as belonging to the course of
time, of which God is the author and governor. For it is one thing to
tell what has been done, another to show what ought to be done. History
narrates what has been done, faithfully and with advantage; but the books
of the haruspices, and all writings of the same kind, aim at teaching
what ought to be done or observed, using the boldness of an adviser, not
the fidelity of a narrator.

Chap. 29.--To what extent natural science is an exegetical aid

  45. There is also a species of narrative resembling description, in
which not a past but an existing state of things is made known to those
who are ignorant of it. To this species belongs all that has been written
about the situation of places, and the nature of animals, trees, herbs,
stones, and other bodies. And of this species I have treated above, and
have shown that this kind of knowledge is serviceable in solving the
difficulties of Scripture, not that these objects are to be used
conformably to certain signs as nostrums or the instruments of
superstition; for that kind of knowledge I have already set aside as
distinct from the lawful and free kind now spoken of. For it is one thing
to say: If you bruise down this herb and drink it, it will remove the
pain from your stomach; and another to say: If you hang this herb round
your neck, it will remove the pain from your stomach. In the former case
the wholesome mixture is approved of, in the latter the superstitious
charm is condemned; although indeed, where incantations and invocations
and marks are not used, it is frequently doubtful whether the thing that
is tied or fixed in any way to the body to cure it, acts by a natural
virtue, in which case it may be freely used; or acts by a sort of charm,
in which case it becomes the Christian to avoid it the more carefully,
the more efficacious it may seem to be. But when the reason why a thing
is of virtue does not appear, the intention with which it is used is of
great importance, at least in healing or in tempering bodies, whether in
medicine or in agriculture.
  46. The knowledge of the stars, again, is not a matter of narration,
but of description. Very few of these, however, are mentioned in
Scripture. And as the course of the moon, which is regularly employed in
reference to celebrating the anniversary of our Lord's passion, is known
to most people; so the rising and setting and other movements of the rest
of the heavenly bodies are thoroughly known to very few. And this
knowledge, although in itself it involves no superstition, renders very
little, indeed almost no assistance, in the interpretation of Holy
Scripture, and by engaging the attention unprofitably is a hindrance
rather; and as it is closely related to the very pernicious error of the
diviners of the fates, it is more convenient and becoming to neglect it.

it involves, moreover, in addition to a description of the present state
of things, something like a narrative of the past also; because one may
go back from the present position and motion of the stars, and trace by
rule their past movements. It involves also regular anticipations of the
future, not in the way of forebodings and omens, but by way of sure
calculation; not with the design of drawing any information from them as
to our own acts and fates, in the absurd fashion of the genethliaci, but
only as to the motions of the heavenly bodies themselves. For, as the man
who computes the moon's age can tell, when he has found out her age
today, what her age was any number of years ago, or what will be her age
any number of years hence, in just the same way men who are skilled in
such computations are accustomed to answer like questions about every one
of the heavenly bodies. And I have stated what my views are about all
this knowledge, so far as regards its utility.

Chap. 30.--What the mechanical arts contribute to exegetics

  47. Further, as to the remaining arts, whether those by which something
is made which, when the effort of the workman is over, remains as a
result of his work, as, for example, a house, a bench, a dish, and other
things of that kind; or those which, so to speak, assist God in His
operations, as medicine, and agriculture, and navigation: or those whose
sole result is an action, as dancing, and racing, and wrestling;--in all
these arts experience teaches us to infer the future from the past. For
no man who is skilled in any of these arts moves his limbs in any
operation without connecting the memory of the past with the expectation
of the future. Now of these arts a very superficial and cursory knowledge
is to be acquired, not with a view to practicing them (unless some duty
compel us, a matter on which I do not touch at present), but with a view
to forming a judgement about them, that we may not be wholly ignorant of
what Scripture means to convey when it employs figures of speech derived
from these arts.

Chap. 3i.--Use of dialectics. Of fallacies

  48. There remain those branches of knowledge which pertain not to the
bodily senses, but to the intellect, among which the science of reasoning
and that of number are the chief. The science of reasoning is of very
great service in searching into and unravelling all sorts of questions
that come up in Scripture, only in the use of it we must guard against
the love of wrangling, and the childish vanity of entrapping an
adversary. For there are many of what are called sophisms, inferences in
reasoning that are false, and yet so close an imitation of the true, as
to deceive not only dull people, but clever men too, when they are not on
their guard. For example, one man lays before another with whom he is
talking, the proposition, "What I am, you are not." The other assents,
for the proposition is in part true, the one man being cunning and the

other simple. Then the first speaker adds: "I am a man;" and when the
other has given his assent to this also, the first draws his conclusion:
"Then you are not a man." Now at this sort of ensnaring arguments,
Scripture, as I judge, expresses detestation in that place where it is
said, "There is one that showeth wisdom in words, and is hated;"
although, indeed, a style of speech which is not intended to entrap, but
only aims at verbal ornamentation more than is consistent with
seriousness of purpose, is also called sophistical.
  49. There are also valid processes of reasoning which lead to false
conclusions, by following out to its logical consequences the error of
the man with whom one is arguing; and these conclusions are sometimes
drawn by a good and learned man, with the object of making the person
from whose error these consequences result, feel ashamed of them, and of
thus leading him to give up his error, when he finds that if he wishes to
retain his old opinion, he must of necessity also hold other opinions
which he condemns. For example, the apostle did not draw true conclusions
when he said, "Then is Christ not risen," and again, "Then is our
preaching vain, and your faith is also vain;" and further on drew other
inferences which are all utterly false; for Christ has risen, the
preaching of those who declared this fact was not in vain, nor was their
faith in vain who had believed it. But all these false inferences
followed legitimately from the opinion of those who said that there is no
resurrection of the dead. These inferences, then, being repudiated as
false, it follows that since they would be true if the dead rise not,
there will be a resurrection of the dead. As, then, valid conclusions may
be drawn not only from true but from false propositions, the laws of
valid reasoning may easily be learnt in the schools, outside the pale of
the Church. But the truth of propositions must be inquired into in the
sacred books of the Church.

Chap. 32.--Valid logical sequence is not devised but only observed by man

  50. And yet the validity of logical sequences is not a thing devised by
men, but is observed and noted by them that they may be able to learn and
teach it; for it exists eternally in the reason of things, and has its
origin with God. For as the man who narrates the order of events does not
himself create that order; and as he who describes the situations of
places, or the natures of animals, or roots, or minerals, does not
describe arrangements of man; and as he who points out the stars and
their movements does not point out anything that he himself or any other
man has ordained;--in the same way, he who says, "When the consequent is
false, the antecedent must also be false," says what is most true; but he
does not himself make it so, he only points out that it is so. And it is
upon this rule that the reasoning I have quoted from the Apostle Paul
proceeds. For the antecedent is, "There is no resurrection of the dead,"

the position taken up by those whose error the apostle wished to
overthrow. Next, from this antecedent, the assertion, viz., that there is
no resurrection of the dead, the necessary consequence is, "Then Christ
is not risen." But this consequence is false, for Christ has risen;
therefore the antecedent is also false. But the antecedent is, that there
is no resurrection of the dead. We conclude, therefore, that there is a
resurrection of the dead. Now all this is briefly expressed thus: If
there is no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen; but
Christ is risen, therefore there is a resurrection of the dead. This
rule, then, that when the consequent is removed, the antecedent must also
be removed, is not made by man, but only pointed out by him. And this
rule has reference to the validity of the reasoning, not to the truth of
the statements.

Chap. 33.--False inferences may be drawn from valid seasonings, and vice

  51. In this passage, however, where the argument is about the
resurrection, both the law of the inference is valid, and the conclusion
arrived at is true. But in the case of false conclusions, too, there is a
validity of inference in some such way as the following. Let us suppose
some man to have admitted: If a snail is an animal, it has a voice. This
being admitted, then, when it has been proved that the snail has no
voice, it follows (since when the consequent is proved false, the
antecedent is also false) that the snail is not an animal. Now this
conclusion is false, but it is a true and valid inference from the false
admission. Thus, the truth of a statement stands on its own merits; the
validity of an inference depends on the statement or the admission of the
man with whom one is arguing. And thus, as I said above, a false
inference may be drawn by a valid process of reasoning, in order that he
whose error we wish to correct may be sorry that he has admitted the
antecedent, when he sees that its logical consequences are utterly
untenable. And hence it is easy to understand that as the inferences may
be valid where the opinions are false, so the inferences may be unsound
where the opinions are true. For example, suppose that a man propounds
the statement, "If this man is just, he is good," and we admit its truth.
Then he adds, "But he is not just;" and when we admit this too, he draws
the conclusion, "Therefore he is not good." Now although every one of
these statements may be true, still the principle of the inference is
unsound. For it is not true that, as when the consequent is proved false
the antecedent is also false, so when the antecedent is proved false the
consequent is false. For the statement is true, "If he is an orator, he
is a man." But if we add, "He is not an orator," the consequence does not
follow, "He is not a man."

Chap. 34.--It is one thing to know the laws of inference, another to know
the truth of opinions

  52. Therefore it is one thing to know the laws of inference, and
another to know the truth of opinions. In the former case we learn what
is consequent, what is inconsequent, and what is incompatible. An example
of a consequent is, "If he is an orator, he is a man;" of an
inconsequent, "If he is a man, he is an orator;" of an incompatible, "If
he is a man, he is a quadruped." In these instances we judge of the
connection. In regard to the truth of opinions, however, we must consider
propositions as they stand by themselves, and not in their connection
with one another; but when propositions that we are not sure about are
joined by a valid inference to propositions that are true and certain,
they themselves, too, necessarily become certain. Now some, when they
have ascertained the validity of the inference, plume themselves as if
this involved also the truth of the propositions. Many, again, who hold
the true opinions have an unfounded contempt for themselves, because they
are ignorant of the laws of inference; whereas the man who knows that
there is a resurrection of the dead is assuredly better than the man who
only knows that it follows that if there is no resurrection of the dead,
then is Christ not risen.

Chap. 35.--The science of definition is not false, though it may be
applied to falsities

  53. Again, the science of definition, of division, and of partition,
although it is frequently applied to falsities, is not itself false, nor
framed by man's device, but is evolved from the reason of things. For
although poets have applied it to their fictions, and false philosophers,
or even heretics--that is, false Christians--to their erroneous
doctrines, that is no reason why it should be false, for example, that
neither in definition, nor in division, nor in partition, is anything to
be included that does not pertain to the matter in hand, nor anything to
be omitted that does. This is true, even though the things to be defined
or divided are not true. For even falsehood itself is defined when we say
that falsehood is the declaration of a state of things which is not as we
declare it to be; and this definition is true, although falsehood itself
cannot be true. We can also divide it, saying that there are two kinds of
falsehood, one in regard to things that cannot be true at all, the other
in regard to things that are not, though it is possible they might be,
true. For example, the man who says that seven and three are eleven, says
what cannot be true under any circumstances; but he who says that it
rained on the kalends of January, although perhaps the fact is not so,
says what possibly might have been. The definition and division,
therefore, of what is false may be perfectly true, although what is false
cannot, of course, itself be true.

Chap. 36.--The rules of eloquence are true, though sometimes used to
persuade men of what is false

  54. There are also certain rules for a more copious kind of argument,
which is called eloquence, and these rules are not the less true that
they can be used for persuading men of what is false; but as they can be
used to enforce the truth as well, it is not the faculty itself that is
to be blamed, but the perversity of those who put it to a bad use. Nor is
it owing to an arrangement among men that the expression of affection
conciliates the hearer, or that a narrative, when it is short and clear,
is effective, and that variety arrests men's attention without wearying
them. And it is the same with other directions of the same kind, which,
whether the cause in which they are used be true or false, are themselves
true just in so far as they are effective in producing knowledge or
belief, or in moving men's minds to desire and aversion. And men rather
found out that these things are so, than arranged that they should be so.

Chap. 37.--Use of rhetoric and dialectic

  55. This art, however, when it is learnt, is not to be used so much for
ascertaining the meaning as for setting forth the meaning when it is
ascertained. But the art previously spoken of, which deals with
inferences, and definitions, and divisions, is of the greatest assistance
in the discovery of the meaning, provided only that men do not fall into
the error of supposing that when they have learnt these things they have
learnt the true secret of a happy life. Still, it sometimes happens that
men find less difficulty in attaining the object for the sake of which
these sciences are learnt, than in going through the very intricate and
thorny discipline of such rules. It is just as if a man wishing to give
rules for walking should warn you not to lift the hinder foot before you
set down the front one, and then should describe minutely the way you
ought to move the hinges of the joints and knees. For what he says is
true, and one cannot walk in any other way; but men find it easier to
walk by executing these movements than to attend to them while they are
going through them, or to understand when they are told about them.
Those, on the other hand, who cannot walk, care still less about such
directions, as they cannot prove them by making trial of them. And in the
same way a clever man often sees that an inference is unsound more
quickly than he apprehends the rules for it. A dull man, on the other
hand, does not see the unsoundness, but much less does he grasp the
rules. And in regard to all these laws, we derive more pleasure from them
as exhibitions of truth, than assistance in arguing or forming opinions,
except perhaps that they put the intellect in better training. We must
take care, however, that they do not at the same time make it more

inclined to mischief or vanity,--that is to say, that they do not give
those who have learnt them an inclination to lead people astray by
plausible speech and catching questions, or make them think that they
have attained some great thing that gives them an advantage over the good
and innocent.

Chap. 38.--The science of numbers not created, but only discovered, by

  56. Coming now to the science of number, it is clear to the dullest
apprehension that this was not created by man, but was discovered by
investigation. For, though Virgil could at his own pleasure make the
first syllable of Italia long, while the ancients pronounced it short, it
is not in any man's power to determine at his pleasure that three times
three are not nine, or do not make a square, or are not the triple of
three, nor one and a half times the number six, or that it is not true
that they are not the double of any number because odd numbers have no
half. Whether, then, numbers are considered in themselves, or as applied
to the laws of figures, or of sounds, or of other motions, they have
fixed laws which were not made by man, but which the acuteness of
ingenious men brought to light.
  57. The man. however. who puts so high a value on these things as to be
inclined to boast himself one of the learned, and who does not rather
inquire after the source from which those things which he perceives to be
true derive their truth, and from which those others which he perceives
to be unchangeable also derive their truth and unchangeableness, and who,
mounting up from bodily appearances to the mind of man, and finding that

(continued in part 6...)

file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-e/epl-01/agdoc-05.txt