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4. But all these things will be more clearly and distinctly noticed when we have proceeded further. For we shall show that Christ did not teach the nations impiety, but delivered ignorant and wretched men from those who most wickedly wronged them.34133413    Lit. “the ignorance of wretched men from the worst robbers,” i.e., the false prophets and teachers, who made a prey of the ignorant and credulous. John viii. 46. We do not believe, you say, that what He says is true. What, then? Have you no doubt as to the things which34143414    Lit., “Are the things clear with you which,” etc. you say are not true, while, as they are only at hand, and not yet disclosed34153415    So the ms., followed by both Roman edd., Hildebrand and Oehler, reading passa, which Cujacius (referring it to patior, as the editors seem to have done generally) would explain as meaning “past,” while in all other editions cassa, “vain,” is read. they can by no means be disproved? But He, too, does not prove what He promises. It is so; for, as I said, there can be no proof of things still in the future. Since, then, the nature of the future is such that it cannot be grasped and comprehended by any anticipation,34163416    Lit., “the touching of no anticipation.” is it not more rational,34173417    Lit., “purer reasoning.” of two things uncertain and hanging in doubtful suspense, rather to believe that which carries with it some hopes, than that which brings none at all? For in the one case there is no danger, if that which is said to be at hand should prove vain and groundless; in the other there is the greatest loss, even34183418    Lit., “that is.” This clause Meursius rejects as a gloss. the loss of salvation, if, when the time has come, it be shown that there was nothing false in what was declared.34193419    i.e., If you believe Christ’s promises, your belief makes you lose nothing should it prove groundless; but if you disbelieve them, then the consequences to you will be terrible if they are sure. This would seem too clear to need remark, were it not for the confusion of Orelli in particular as to the meaning of the passage.


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