1. BAD minds, if they have once broken out into the eagerness of opposition, whether what they hear from those that withstand them be right or wrong, assail it with contradictory replies; for whereas the speaker is unwelcome from being in opposition, not even what is right is welcome when he utters it. But, on the other hand, the hearts of the good, whose dislike rises not at the speaker but at the offence, in such sort pass sentence on what is amiss, as to adopt still any right things that are said. For they sit the most even umpires in deciding the sense of their opponents’ words, and they so reject what is put forth amiss, that notwithstanding they set the seal upon what they recognise to be delivered in truth. For among a wilderness of thorns the ear [spica] is generally to be found growing up from seed good for fruit. Therefore it must be managed with care by the hand of the tiller, that, whilst the thorn [spina] is removed, the ear be cherished, so that he, who is eager to root up what pricks, may have sense to preserve what gives nourishment. Hence in that Bildad the Shuhite had said well in enquiry, Doth God pervert judgment, or doth the Almighty pervert justice? in that he had delivered true and forcible sentiments against hypocrites, blessed Job, seeing that they were delivered against the wicked in general, admirably treads under foot the prosecution of his own defence.