1And what wonder? if the lusts of the soul, after participation with what is beautiful, are frustrated,
2on this ground, therefore, the temperate Joseph is praised in that by reasoning, he subdued, on reflection, the indulgence of sense.
3For, although young, and ripe for sexual intercourse, he abrogated by reasoning the stimulus of his passions.
4And it is not merely the stimulus of sensual indulgence, but that of every desire, that reasoning is able to master.
5For instance, the law says, Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor anything that belongs to thy neighbor.
6Now, then, since it is the law which has forbidden us to desire, I shall much the more easily persuade you, that reasoning is able to govern our lusts, just as it does the affections which are impediments to justice.
7Since in what way is a solitary eater, and a glutton, and a drunkard reclaimed, unless it be clear that reasoning is lord of the passions?
8A man, therefore, who regulates his course by the law, even if he be a lover of money, straightaway puts force upon his own disposition; lending to the needy without interest, and canceling the debt of the incoming Sabbath.
9And should a man be parsimonious, he is ruled by the law acting through reasoning; so that he does not glean his harvest crops, nor vintage: and in reference to other points we may perceive that it is reasoning that conquers his passions.
10For the law conquers even affection toward parents, not surrendering virtue on their account.
11And it prevails over marriage love, condemning it when transgressing law.
12And it lords it over the love of parents toward their children, for they punish them for vice; and it domineers over the intimacy of friends, reproving them when wicked.
13And think it not a strange assertion that reasoning can in behalf of the law conquer even enmity.
14It alloweth not to cut down the cultivated herbage of an enemy, but preserveth it from the destroyers, and collecteth their fallen ruins.
15And reasoning appears to be master of the more violent passions, as love of empire and empty boasting, and arrogance, and loud boasting, and slander.
16For the temperate understanding repels all these malignant passions, as it does wrath: for it masters even this.
17Thus Moses, when angered against Dathan and Abiram, did nothing to them in wrath, but regulated his anger by reasoning.
18For the temperate mind is able, as I said, to be superior to the passions, and to transfer some, and destroy others.
19For why, else, does our most wise father Jacob blame Simeon and Levi for having irrationally slain the whole race of the Shechemites, saying, Cursed be their anger.
20For if reasoning did not possess the power of subduing angry affections, he would not have spoken thus.
21For at the time when God created man, He implanted within him his passions and moral nature.
22And at that time He enthroned above all the holy leader mind, through the medium of the senses.
23And He gave a law to this mind, by living according to which it will maintain a temperate, and just, and good, and manly reign.
24How, then, a man may say, if reasoning be master of the passions, has it no control over forgetfulness and ignorance?