31. But let this pass, for what follows is of more importance. I thank God that he has relieved me from a very serious burden of suspicion. Perhaps I seemed to some people to be acting contentiously and calumniously when I insinuated that, according to a figure of rhetoric, when he spoke of another he meant himself. But to prevent all further doubt from resting in the minds of his hearers, he has himself declared that it is so. Like a truly good teacher, who would not wish any ambiguity about his sayings to remain in the minds of his pupils, he has been so good as to shew quite clearly who that other was of whom he had spoken before. He therefore says, “But, as it stands, the addition of the preposition before leads us to explain it according to the ideas which we argued in a former place to be necessary.” You see, he means that it is we, and not some other, no one knows who, as you may have thought, who in the former place argued thus, when we were expounding the words “Who hath blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.” It was to meet the case of the less intelligent persons, who might think that what was there said was spoken by some one else, to prevent any error on the point remaining in the minds of those whom he had begged to read these books so that they might see what his opinion of Origen was, that he now acknowledges this opinion as his own, and, no longer speaking of another, says what we have quoted before; namely, that, as God had before blessed us with all spiritual blessing in Christ in the heavenly places, and had chosen us before the foundation of the world; so also we are said to have trusted in Christ at that former time in which we were elected and predestinated and blessed in heaven. He himself therefore, as it seems to me, has by his own testimony, absolved me from all suspicion of speaking a calumny when I say that that other is no other than himself.
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