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TEXT. 16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to

be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man ; 17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith ; that ye, being rooted

and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and

length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye

might be filled with all the fulness of God.

PARAPHRASE. both in heaven and earth have their denomination, viz. Jesus Christ, that is already in heaven, and believers that are still

on earth, have all God for their Father, are all the sons of 16 God. That he would grant you, according to the great glory

he designed to you, Gentiles, who should receive the Gospel

under the Messiah ", to be strengthened with might by his 17 Spirit in the inward man w; That Christ may dwell in your

hearts by faith ; that you, being settled and established in the 18 sense of the love of God to you in Jesus Christ, May be

able, together with all Christians, to comprehend the length, and breadth, and height, and depth, of this mystery of God's

purpose, of calling and taking in the Gentiles to be his people, 19 in the kingdom of his Son! And to understand the exceed

ing love of God, in bringing us to the knowledge of Christ :

NOTES. convert Gentiles of Ephesus that now they believe in Christ, they are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God ; here he goes on, and tells them they are of the family and lineage of God, being jointly with Jesus Christ, who is already in heaven, the sons of God. What could be of greater force to continue them stedfast in the doctrine he had preached to them, and which he makes it his whole business here to con. firm them in, viz. that they need not be circumcised and submit to the law of Moses, they being already, by faith in Christ, the sons of God, and of the same lineage and family with Christ himself, who was already, by that title, possessed

of his inheritance and glory? 16 " See this sense of this passage as giren, Col. i. 27, and not much different, chap.

i. 17, &c.

w What “the inward man” signifies, see Rom. vii. 22. 2 Cor. iv. 16. 18 This mystery being the subject St. Paul is here upon, and which lie endearours

to magnify to them, and establish in their minds, the height and breadth, &c. which he mentions in these words, being not applied to any thing else, cannot,

in good sense, be understood of any thing else. 19 3 υπερβάλλουσαν, exceeding," seems to be here a comparative term, joined to

the love of God in communicating the knowledge of Christ, and declaring it superior to some other thing: if you desire to know what he himself tells you, ou the same occasion, Phil. iii. 8, viz. to circumcision, and the other ritual institutious of the law, which the Jews looked on as the marks of the highest degree of God's love to them, whereby they were sanctified and separated to him from

TEXT. 20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all

that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all

ages, world without end. Amen.

PARAPHRASE.

that you may be filled with that knowledge, and all other gifts, with God's plenty, or to that degree of fulness, which

is suitable to his purpose of munificence and bounty towards 20 you”. Now to him that worketh in us, by a power“, whereby

he is able to do exceedingly beyond all that we can ask or 21 think, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus,

throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

NOTES. the rest of the world, and secured of his favour. To which, if any one will add what St. Paul says on the same subject, Col. ii. 2, &c. (for his business is the very same in these three epistles) he will not want light to guide him in the sense of this place here. ? Eis way to whýpwpice Tol #, “ to all the fulness of God;" the fulness of God is such fulness as God is wont to bestow, i. e. wherein there is nothing wanting to any one, but every one is filled to the utmost of his capacity. This I take to be the meaning of εις το πλήρωμα του Θεού, and then σαν πλήρωμα may be understood to show, that it is not a fulness of one thing, and an emptiness of another; but it is a fulness of all those gifts which any one shall need, and may be useful

to him, or the church. 20 . What power that is, see chap. i. 19, 20.

SECTION VI.

CHAPTER IV. 1-16.

CONTENTS.

St. Paul having concluded the special part of his epistle with the foregoing chapter, he comes in this, as his manner is, to practical exhortations. He begins with unity, love, and concord, which he presses upon them, upon a consideration that he makes use of in more of his epistles than one, i. e. their being all members of one and the same body, whereof Christ is the head.

TEXT. 1 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you, that ye walk

worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 2 With all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one

another in love ; 3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope

of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in

you all.

7 But unto every one of us is given grace, according to the measure

of the gift of Christ. 8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity

captive, and gave gifts unto men. 9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first

into the lower parts of the earth ? 10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all

heavens, that he might fill all things.) 11 And he gave some, apostles ; and some, prophets; and some, evan.

gelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

PARAPHRASE. 1 1, therefore, who am in bonds upon account of the Gospel,

beseech you to walk worthy of the calling wherewith ye 2 are called, With lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, 3 bearing with one another in love; Taking care to preserve 4 the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace ; Considering

yourselves as being one body, enlivened and acted by one 5 Spirit, as also was your calling, in one hope: There is one 6 Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of you all,

who is above all, in the midst amongst you all, and in every 7 one of you. And to every one of us is made a free donation,

according to that proportion of gifts which Christ has allotted 8 to every one. Wherefore the Psalmist saith, “ . When he

ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave 9 gifts unto men.” (Now that he ascended, what is it but

that he descended first into the lower parts of the earth ? 10 He that descended is the same also that ascended above all

heavens, that there, receiving the fulness of power, he might 11 be able to fill all his members b.) And therefore he alone,

NOTES. 8 * Psal. Ixviii, 18. 9, 10 St. Paul's argumentation in these two verses is skilfully adapted to the main

design of bis epistle. The convert Gentiles were attacked by the upconverted Jews, who were declared enemies to the thoughts of a Messiah that died; St. Paul, to enervate that objection of theirs, proves, by the passage out of the

TEXT. 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for

the edifying of the body of Christ : 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of

the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature

of the fulness of Christ : 14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and car

ried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and

cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive ; 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things,

which is the head, even Christ : 16 From whom the whole body, fitly joined together, and compacted

by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual work

PARAPHRASE.

framing the constitution of his new government by his own power, and according to such a model and such rules as he

thought best, making some apostles, others evangelists, and 12 others pastors and teachers; Putting thus together, in a fit

order and frame, the several members of his new collected people, that each, in its proper place and function, might

contribute to the whole, and help to build up the body of 13 Christ: Till all cementing together, in one faith and know

ledge of the Son of God, to the full state of a grown man,

according to the measure of that stature which is to make up 14 the fulness of Christ : That we should be no longer children,

tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doc

trine, by men versed in the sleights of cheating, and their 15 cunning artifices laid in train to deceive: But being steady in

true and unfeigned love, should grow up into a firm union in 16 all things with Christ, who is the head : From whom the

whole body, fitly framed together, and compacted by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper force and function of each particular part, makes an increase of the

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NOTE. Psalms, ver. 8, that he must die and be buried. Besides the unbelieving Jews, several of them that were converted to the Gospel, or at least professed to be so, attacked the Gentile converts on another side, persuading them that they could not be admitted to be the people of God into the kingdom of the Messiah, nor receive any advantage by him, unless they were circumcised, and put themselves wholly under the Jewish constitution. He had said a great deal in the three first chapters to free them from this perplexity, but yet takes occasion here to offer them a new argument, by telling them that Christ, the same Jesus that died, and was laid in his grave, was exalted to the right hand of God, above all the heavens, in the highest state of dignity and power, that he himself being filled with the fulness of God, believers, who were all his members, night receive immediately from him, their head, a fulness of gifts and graces, upon uo other terms but barely as they were his members.

VOL. VIII.

F F

TEXT. ing in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body, unto the edifying of itself in love.

PARAPHRASE. whole body, building itself up in love, or a mutual concern of the parts

NOTE. 16 e The sum of all that St. Paul says in this figurative discourse is, that Christians,

all as members of one body, whereof Christ is the head, should, each in his proper place, according to the gifts bestowed upon him, labour with concern anda good-will for the good and increase of the whole, till it be grown up to that fulness which is to complete it, in Christ Jesus. This is, in short, the sense of the exhortation contained in this section, which carries a strong insinuation with it, especially if we take in the rest of the admonitions to the end of the epistle, that the Mosaical observances were no part of the business, or character, of a Christian ; but were wholly to be neglected and declined by the subjects of Christ's kingdom.

SECTION VII.

CHAPTER IV. 17-24.

CONTENTS. In this section the apostle exhorts them wholly to forsake their former conversation, which they had passed their lives in whilst they were Gentiles, and to take up that which became them, and was proper to them, now they were Christians. Here we may see the heathen and Christian state and conversation described, and set in opposition one to the other.

TEXT.

17 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth

walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,

PARAPHRASE.

17 This I say, therefore, and testify to you from the Lord, that

ye henceforth walk not as the unconverted Gentiles walk, in

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