The Instructions Of Commodianus by Commodianus
XXXIV.--Moreover, to Ignorant Gentiles.
The unsubdued neck refuses to bear the yoke of labour. Then it delights to be satisfied with herbs in the rich plains. And still unwillingly is subdued the useful mare, and it is made to be less fierce when it is first brought into subjection. O people, O man, thou brother, do not be a brutal flock. Pluck thyself forth at length, and thyself withdraw thyself. Assuredly thou art not cattle, thou art not a beast, but thou art born a man. Do thou thyself wisely subdue thyself, and enter under arms. Thou who followest idols art nothing but the vanity of the age. Your trifling hearts destroy you when almost set free. There gold, garments, silver is brought to the elbows; there war is made; there love is sung of instead of psalms. Dost thou think it to be life, when thou playest or lookest forward to such things as these? Thou choosest, O ignorant one, things that are extinct; thou seekest golden things. Thence thou shalt not escape the plague, although thyself art divine. Thou seekest not that grace which God sent to be read of in the earth, but thus as a beast thou wanderest. The golden age before spoken of shall come to thee if thou believest, and again thou shalt begin to live always an immortal life. That also is permitted to know what thou wast before. Give thyself as a subject to God, who governs all things.