But, say they, it is written, “All who were before the Lord’s advent are thieves and robbers.” All, then, who are in the Word (for it is these that were previous to the incarnation of the Word) are understood generally. But the prophets, being sent and inspired by the Lord, were not thieves, but servants. The Scripture accordingly says, “Wisdom sent her servants, inviting with loud proclamation to a goblet of wine.”
But philosophy, it is said, was not sent by the Lord, but came stolen, or given by a thief. It was then some power or angel that had learned something of the truth, but abode not in it, that inspired and taught these things, not without the Lord’s knowledge, who knew before the constitution of each essence the issues of futurity, but without His prohibition.
Clement of Alexandria
The Stormata, or Miscellanies