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7But we speak God’s wisdom, secret and hidden, which God decreed before the ages for our glory.

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7. The wisdom of God in a mystery He assigns the reason why the doctrine of the gospel is not held in high esteem by the princes of this world — because it is involved in mysteries, and is consequently hidden For the gospel so far transcends the perspicacity of human intellect, that to whatever height those who are accounted men of superior intellect may raise their view, they never can reach its elevated height, while in the meantime they despise its meanness, as if it were prostrate at their feet. The consequence is, that the more proudly they contemn it, they are the farther from acquaintance with it — nay more, they are removed to so great a distance as to be prevented from even seeing it.

Which God hath ordained. Paul having said that the gospel was a hidden thing, there was a danger lest believers should, on hearing this, be appalled by the difficulty, and retire in despair. Accordingly he meets this danger, and declares that it had notwithstanding been appointed to us, that we might enjoy it. Lest any one, I say, should reckon that he has nothing to do with the hidden wisdom, or should imagine it to be unlawful to direct his eyes towards it, as not being within the reach of human capacity, he teaches that it has been communicated to us in accordance with the eternal counsel of God. At the same time he has something still farther in view, for by an implied comparison he extols that grace which has been opened up by Christ’s advent, and distinguishes us above our fathers, who lived under the law. On this point I have spoken more at large in the end of the last chapter of the Romans. First of all then he argues from what God had ordained, for if God has appointed nothing in vain, it follows, that we will be no losers by listening to the gospel which he has appointed for us, for he accommodates himself to our capacity in addressing us. In accordance with this Isaiah (Isaiah 45:19) says —

“I have not spoken in a lurking place, or in a dark corner. 114114     “In allusion, it is generally thought, to the deep and dark caverns from which the heathen oracles gave forth their responses. Such was the cave (antrum) of the Cumean Sibyl, described by Virgil, AEn. 6:42-44, and also the cavern in the temple of Apollo at Delphi, described by Strabo (lib. 9.) “φασι δ ᾿ ειναι το μαντειον αντρον κοιλον μετα βαθους, ου μαλα ευροστομον;” — “They say that the oracle is a hollow cavern of considerable depth, but not at all wide in the opening.” — Ed
I have not in vain said to the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me.”

Secondly, with the view of rendering the gospel attractive, and alluring us to a desire of acquaintance with it, he draws an argument still farther from the design that God had in view in giving it to us — “for our glory.” In this expression, too, he seems to draw a comparison between us and the fathers, our heavenly Father not having vouchsafed to them that honor which he reserved for the advent of his Son. 115115     Locke, in accordance with Calvin’s view, understands Paul as if he had said: “Why do you make divisions, by glorying, as you do, in your distinct teachers? The glory that God has ordained us (Christian teachers and professors) to, is to be expounders, preachers, and believers of those revealed truths and purposes of God, which, though contained in the sacred Scriptures of the Old Testament, were not understood in former ages.” — Ed.