I explain this theory in the following manner. The evils that befall man are of three kinds :
(1) The first kind of evil is that which is caused to man by thecircumstance that he is subject to genesis and destruction, or thathe possesses a body. It is on account of the body that some personshappen to have great deformities or paralysis of some of theorgans. This evil may be part of the natural constitution of thesepersons, or may have developed subsequently in consequence ofchanges in the elements, e.g., through bad air, or thunderstorms orlandslips. We have already shown that, in accordance with thedivine wisdom, genesis can only take place through destruction,and without the destruction of the individual members of thespecies the species themselves would not exist permanently. Thusthe true kindness, and beneficence, and goodness of God is clear.He who thinks that he can have flesh and bones without beingsubject to any external influence, or any of the accidents of matter,unconsciously wishes to reconcile two opposites, viz., to be at thesame time subject and not subject to change. If man were neversubject to change there could be no generation: there would be onesingle being, but no individuals forming a species. Galen, in thethird section of his book, The Use of the Limbs, says correctly thatit would be in vain to expect to see living beings formed of theblood of menstruous women and the semen virile, who will notdie, will never feel pain, or will move perpetually, or will shinelike the sun. This dictum of Galen is part of the following moregeneral proposition :-- Whatever is formed of any matter receivesthe most perfect form possible in that species of matter: in eachindividual case the defects are in accordance with the defects ofthat individual matter. The best and most perfect being that can beformed of the blood and the semen is the species of man, for as faras man's nature is known, he is living, reasonable, and mortal. It istherefore impossible that man should be free from this species ofevil. You will, nevertheless, find that the evils of the above kindwhich befall man are very few and rare: for you find countries thathave not been flooded or burned for thousands of years: there arethousands of men in perfect health, deformed individuals are astrange and exceptional occurrence, or say few in number if youobject to the term exceptional,-- they are not one-hundredth, noteven one-thousandth part of those that are perfectly normal.
(2) The second class of evils comprises such evils as people causeto each other, when, e.g., some of them use their strength againstothers. These evils are more numerous than those of the first kind:their causes are numerous and known; they likewise originate inourselves, though the sufferer himself cannot avert them. This kindof evil is nevertheless not widespread in any country of the wholeworld. It is of rare occurrence that a man plans to kill hisneighbour or to rob him of his property by night. Many personsare, however, afflicted with this kind of evil in great wars: butthese are not frequent, if the whole inhabited part of the earth istaken into consideration.
(3) The third class of evils comprises those which every one causesto himself by his own action. This is the largest class, and is farmore numerous than the second class. It is especially of these evilsthat all men complain,only few men are found that do not sinagainst themselves by this kind of evil. Those that are afflictedwith it are therefore justly blamed in the words of the prophet,"This hath been by your means" (Mal. i. 9): the same is expressedin the following passage," He that doeth it destroyeth his ownsoul" (Prov. vi. 32). In reference to this kind of evil, Solomonsays," The foolishness of man perverteth his way" (ibid. xix. 3).In the following passage he explains also that this kind of evil isman's own work," Lo, this only have I found, that God hath mademan upright, but they have thought out many inventions" (Eccles.vii. 29), and these inventions bring the evils upon him. The samesubject is referred to in job (v. 6)," For affliction cometh not forthof the dust, neither doth trouble spring out of the ground." Thesewords are immediately followed by the explanation that manhimself is the author of this class of evils," But man is born untotrouble." This class of evils originates in man's vices, such asexcessive desire for eating, drinking, and love; indulgence in thesethings in undue measure, or in improper manner, or partaking ofbad food. This course brings diseases and afflictions upon bodyand soul alike. The sufferings of the body in consequence of theseevils are well known; those of the soul are twofold :-First, suchevils of the soul as are the necessary consequence of changes inthe body, in so far as the soul is a force residing in the body; it hastherefore been said that the properties of the soul depend on thecondition of the body. Secondly, the soul, when accustomed tosuperfluous things, acquires a strong habit of desiring things whichare neither necessary for the preservation of the individual nor forthat of the species. This desire is without a limit, whilst thingswhich are necessary are few in number and restricted withincertain limits; but what is superfluous is without end-- e.g., youdesire to have your vessels of silver, but golden vessels are stillbetter : others have even vessels of sapphire, or perhaps they canbe made of emerald or rubies, or any other substance that could besuggested, Those who are ignorant and perverse in their thoughtare constantly in trouble and pain, because they cannot get asmuch of superfluous things as a certain other person possesses.They as a rule expose themselves to great dangers, e.g., byseavoyage, or service of kings, and all this for the purpose ofobtaining that which is superfluous and not necessary. When theythus meet with the consequences of the course which they adopt,they complain of the decrees and judgments of God; they begin toblame the time, and wonder at the want of justice in its changes;that it has not enabled them to acquire great riches, with whichthey could buy large quantities of wine for the purpose of makingthemselves drunk, and numerous concubines adorned with variouskind of ornaments of gold, embroidery, and jewels, for the purposeof driving themselves to voluptuousness beyond their capacities, asif the whole Universe existed exclusively for the purpose of givingpleasure to these low people. The error of the ignorant goes so faras to say that God's power is insufficient, because He has given tothis Universe the properties which they imagine cause these greatevils, and which do not help all evil-disposed persons to obtain theevil which they seek, and to bring their evil souls to the aim oftheir desires, though these, as we have shown, are really withoutlimit. The virtuous and wise, however, see and comprehend thewisdom of God displayed in the Universe. Thus David says," Allthe paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto such as keep Hiscovenant and His testimonies" (Ps. xxv. 10). For those whoobserve the nature of the Universe and the commandments of theLaw, and know their purpose, see dearly God's mercy and truth ineverything; they seek, therefore, that which the Creator intended tobe the aim of man, viz., comprehension. Forced by the claims ofthe body, they seek also that which is necessary for thepreservation of the body," bread to eat and garment to clothe," andthis is very little; but they seek nothing superfluous: with veryslight exertion man can obtain it, so long as he is contented withthat which is indispensable. All the difficulties and troubles wemeet in this respect are due to the desire for superfluous things:when we seek unnecessary things, we have difficulty even infinding that which is indispensable. For the more we desire to havethat which is superfluous, the more we meet with difficulties; ourstrength and possessions are spent in unnecessary things, and arewanting when required for that which is necessary. Observe howNature proves the correctness of this assertion. The morenecessary a thing is for living beings, the more easily it is foundand the cheaper it is: the less necessary it is, the rarer and dearer itis. E.g., air, water, and food are indispensable to man : air is mostnecessary, for if man is without air a short time he dies; whilst hecan be without water a day or two. Air is also undoubtedly foundmore easily and cheaper [than water]. Water is more necessarythan food; for some people can be four or five days without food,provided they have water; water also exists in every country inlarger quantities than food, and is also cheaper. The sameproportion can be noticed in the different kinds of food; that whichis more necessary in a certain place exists there in larger quantitiesand is cheaper than that which is less necessary. No intelligentperson, I think, considers musk, amber, rubies, and emerald asvery necessary for man except as medicines: and they, as well asother like substances, can be replaced for this purpose by herbsand minerals. This shows the kindness of God to His creatures,even to us weak beings. His righteousness and justice as regards allanimals are well known; for in the transient world there is amongthe various kinds of animals no individual being distinguishedfrom the rest of the same species by a peculiar property or anadditional limb. On the contrary, all physical, psychical, and vitalforces and organs that are possessed by one individual are foundalso in the other individuals. If any one is somehow different it isby accident, in consequence of some exception, and not by anatural property; it is also a rare occurrence. There is no differencebetween individuals of a species in the due course of Nature; thedifference originates in the various dispositions of theirsubstances. This is the necessary consequence of the nature of thesubstance of that species: the nature of the species is not morefavourable to one individual than to the other. It is no wrong orinjustice that one has many bags of finest myrrh and garmentsembroidered with gold, while another has not those things, whichare not necessary for our maintenance; he who has them has notthereby obtained control over anything that could be an essentialaddition to his nature, but has only obtained something illusory ordeceptive. The other, who does not possess that which is notwanted for his maintenance, does not miss anythingindispensable:" He that gathered much had nothing over, and hethat gathered little had no lack: they gathered every man accordingto his eating" (Exod. xvi. 18). This is the rule at all times and inall places; no notice should be taken of exceptional cases, as wehave explained.