34. The chief thing to be inquired into, therefore, in regard to any
expression that we are trying to understand is, whether it is literal or
figurative. For when it is ascertained to be figurative, it is easy, by an
application of the laws of things which we discussed in the first book, to
turn it in every way until we arrive at a true interpretation, especially when
we bring to our aid experience strengthened by the exercise of piety. Now we
find out whether an expression is literal or figurative by attending to the
considerations indicated above.