p. 341 Chapter VI.—Gods Power of Changing Himself.
When Peter heard this, he thought for a little, and said: “I do not think that any one can converse about evil without doing the will of the evil one. Therefore knowing this, I do not know what I shall do, whether I shall be silent or speak. For if I be silent, I should incur the laughter of the multitude, because, professing to proclaim the truth, I am ignorant of the explanation of vice. But if I should state my opinion, I am afraid lest it be not at all pleasing to God that we should seek after evil, for only seeking after good is pleasing to Him. However, in my reply to the statements of Sophonias, I shall make my ideas more plain. I then agree with him in thinking that we ought not to attribute to God all the qualities of men. For instance, men not having bodies that are convertible are not converted; but they have a nature that admits of alteration by the lapse of time through the seasons of the year. But this is not the case with God; for through His inborn 1495 Spirit He becomes, by a power which cannot be described, whatever body He likes. And one can the more easily believe this, as the air, which has received such a nature from Him, is converted into dew by the incorporeal mind permeating it, and being thickened becomes water, and water being compacted becomes stone and earth, and stones through collision light up fire. According to such 1496 a change and conversion, air becomes first water, and ends in being fire through conversions, and the moist is converted into its natural opposite. Why? Did not God convert the rod of Moses into an animal, making it a serpent, 1497 which He reconverted into a rod? And by means of this very converted rod he converted the water of the Nile 1498 into blood, which again he reconverted into water. Yea, even man, who is dust, He changed by the inbreathing of His breath 1499 into flesh, and changed him back again into dust. 1500 And was not Moses, 1501 who himself was flesh, converted into the grandest light, so that the sons of Israel could not look him in the face? Much more, then, is God completely able to convert Himself into whatsoever He wishes.
We have changed τοιοῦτον into τοιαύτην.341:1497
Exod. 4:3, 4.341:1498
Exod. 7:19, 20.341:1499
Gen. ii. 7.341:1500
Eccles. iii. 20.341:1501
Ex. xxxiv. 29.