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3. But if our gospel is hid It might have been an easy thing to pour calumny upon what he had said as to the clearness of his preaching, because he had many adversaries. That calumny he repels with stern authority, for he threatens all who do not acknowledge the power of his gospel, and warns them that this is a token of reprobation and ruin. “Should any one affirm that he does not perceive that manifestation of Christ of which I boast, he clearly shows himself, by this very token, to be a reprobate, 433433 “Il ne pourra mieux monstrer signe de sa reprobation, que par la;” — “He could not give a clearer evidence of his reprobation than this.” for my sincerity in the work of instructing 434434 “La syncerite et droiture que ie tien a enseigner;” — “The sincerity and uprightness that I maintain in teaching.” is clearly and distinctly perceived by all that have eyes. Those, therefore, from whom it is hid, must be blind, and destitute of all rational understanding.” The sum is this — that the blindness of unbelievers detracts nothing from the clearness of his gospel; for the sun is not less resplendent, that the blind do not perceive his light. 435435 See Calvin on Corinthians, vol.1, p. 116. — Ed
But some one will say that this applies equally to the law, for in itself it is a lamp 436436 “Vne lanterne ardente;” — “A lantern burning.” to guide our feet, (Psalm 119:105,) enlightens the eyes, (Psalm 19:8,) etc., and is hid only from those that perish. I answer that, when Christ is included in the law, the sun shines forth through the midst of the clouds, so that men have light enough for their use; but when Christ is disjoined from it, there is nothing left but darkness, or a false appearance of light, that dazzles men’s eyes instead of assisting them. It is, however, a token of great confidence, that he ventures to regard as reprobates all that reject his doctrine. It is befitting, however, that all that would be looked upon as ministers of God’s word should be endued with the like confidence, that with a fearless confidence they may unhesitatingly summon all the adversaries of their doctrine to the judgment-seat of God, that they may bring thence a sure condemnation.