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Coke's Commentary on the Holy Bible Coke's Commentary
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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Ephesians 3". Coke's Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://studylight.org/
commentaries/ eng/ tcc/ ephesians-3.html. 1801-1803.
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Ephesians 3". Coke's Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://studylight.org/
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The hidden mystery, that the Gentiles should be saved, was made known to St. Paul by revelation: and to him was that grace given, that he should preach it: he desireth them not to faint for his tribulation, and prayeth that they may perceive the great love of Christ toward them.
Anno Domini 62.
THE Apostle having formerly shewed, that the faithful among the Gentiles, though uncircumcised, have redemption through Christ's blood, chap. Eph 1:7 and, as the sons of God, are heirs of heaven, chap. Eph 1:11 and made into one church with the Jews, so as to grow together into an holy temple for the Lord to officiate in, ch. Eph 2:21 he, in this chapter, informed the Ephesians that his doctrine concerning the Gentiles was so offensive to the Jews, that it had occasioned his imprisonment, first at Caesarea, and then at Rome, Ephesians 3:1.—But he assured them, and all in the province of Asia, who were not acquainted with his apostolic commission, Ephesians 3:2.—That by revelation God had made that doctrine known to him, as he had before told them in few words, chap. Ephesians 1:8-9. And to recommend it to the Ephesians, and the other brethren in Asia, he termed it The mystery, Ephesians 3:3.—and The mystery of Christ, Ephesians 3:4.—and observed, that in other generations, it was not made known to the sons of men, as it isnow made known to his holy apostles and prophets, by the Spirit, Ephesians 3:5.—The short account of which mystery is this, that the faithful among the Gentiles are joint-heirs with the faithful among the Jews, and a joint-body, and joint-partakers of God's promise concerning Christ, that is, of all the blessings promised to the spiritual seed of Abraham through Christ, Ephesians 3:6.—which therefore he terms the unsearchable riches of Christ, Ephesians 3:8.—These riches the apostle was appointed, not to conceal, but to preach, that all men might know what a grand, and honourable, and advantageous society, the fellowship of the mystery of God and of Christ is, which is now established by the building of the Christian church, Ephesians 3:9.—Nay, he assured the Ephesiansthattheangelichoststhemselveshaveacquired a more comprehensive idea than formerly of the multiform wisdom of God, through the fellowship of the mystery, or church, Ephesians 3:10.—as it is now constituted, according to the arrangement, which, from the beginning, God had made of the dispensations of religion, to prepare the world for the coming of Christ Jesus, Ephesians 3:11.—Next, as one of the chief privileges which all the members of the fellowship of the mystery of Christ enjoy in the present constitution of the church, the apostle mentioned liberty of praying to God through the mediation of Christ, and access to his presence at all times, with assurance of being heard, Ephesians 3:12.
But, as the apostle was now in bonds for maintaining the before-mentioned doctrine concerning the Gentiles, he intreated the Ephesians not to be discouraged on account of his sufferings for them, which were their glory, Ephesians 3:13.—and told them, that his prayer to God was, that Christ, the head of the fellowship of the mystery, might dwell in the hearts of the Ephesians through faith; and that, as constituent parts of the temple of God, being rooted and founded in the love of Christ, they might be able to comprehend with all the saints the different dimensions of that great fabric, the church, which is the temple of God, composed of believers of all nations, Ephesians 3:14-18.—and, as constituent parts of the temple of God, be themselves filled with all the fulness of God, Ephesians 3:19.—To conclude, the honourableness of the fellowship of the mystery, and the inestimable worth of the unsearchable riches of Christ, which belong to the members of that fellowship, together with the grandeur of the spiritual temple, of whichtheyaretheconstituentparts,making a strong impression on the apostle's mind, he ended his account of these subjects with a sublime doxology to God, the original founder of that noble fellowship, who, by the power with which he now worketh in the members thereof, hath shewn himself able and willing, through Christ, to bestow blessings on them in the life to come, if faithful unto death, blessings exceeding abundantly beyond all that they can ask or conceive. For which reason, the apostle devoutlyprayed, that glory might be ascribed to him in the church, for Christ Jesus the head of the church, and the dispenser of all the blessings belonging to the Christian fellowship; and that during all the successions of eternal ages, Ephesians 3:20-21.
Ephesians 3:1. For this cause, &c.— This chapter throws back a great light on those which precede, and more clearly opens the design of this epistle: for St. Paul here in plain words tells the Ephesians that he was by particular favour and appointment ordained a preacher of the doctrine which was a mystery till now, being hid from former ages; namely, that the Gentiles should be co-heirs with the believing Jews, and, making one body or people with them, should be equally partakers of the promises under the Messiah. Whereupon he exhorts them not to be dismayed, or to depart in the least from the belief or profession of this truth, upon his being persecuted and in bonds on that account; for his suffering for it, who was the preacher and propagator of it, was so far from being a just discouragement to them from standing firmly in the belief of it, that it ought to be to them a glory, and a confirmation of this eminent truth of the gospel which he peculiarly taught: and thereupon he tells them he makes it his prayer to God that they may be strengthened herein, and be able to comprehend the extent of the love of God in Christ; not confined to the Jewish nation and constitution, as the Jews imagined, but far surpassing the thoughts of those, who, presuming on their own knowledge, would confine it to such only aswere members of the Jewish church, and observers of their ceremonies.
Ephesians 3:2. If ye have heard— Since, or forasmuch as ye have heard.
Ephesians 3:3. The mystery (as I wrote afore, &c.— Though St. Peter was by a vision from God sent to Cornelius, a Gentile, Acts 10:0 yet we do not find that this purpose of God's calling the Gentiles to be his people equally with the Jews, without any regard to circumcision or the Mosaical rites, was revealed to him, or any other of the apostles, as a doctrine which they were to preach and publish in the world; neither indeed was it needful that it should be any part of their commission to mix that in their message to the Jews, which would make them stop their ears, and refuse to hearken to the other parts of the gospel which they were more concerned to know and be instructed in. It may be asked, "To what purpose is that contained in the parenthesis in this and the following verse concerning himself?"—And indeed, without having an eye on the design of this epistle, it is difficult to give an account of it; but that being carried in view, there is nothing plainer nor more pertinent and persuasive: for what could be of more force to make them stand firm in the doctrine he had taught them, of their being exempt from circumcision and the observances of the law? If you have heard,—and I assure you in my epistle that this mystery of the gospel was revealed in a particular manner to me from heaven,—the very reading of this is enough to satisfyyou that Iam well instructed in that truth, and that you may safely depend upon what I have taught you concerning this point, notwithstanding I am in prison for it; which is a thing wherein you ought to glory, since I suffer for a truth wherein you are so nearly concerned. See ch. Ephesians 6:19-20.
Ephesians 3:4. Whereby when ye read,— By attending to which. It has been observed, that what follows is the highest encomium made by the Apostle on any of his own writings; and thence it has been concluded, that this is the richest and noblest of all the epistles; which it is thought was peculiarly intended to be so, to reward the generous zeal of the Ephesians in burning their curious books, by a book of divine knowledge infinitely more valuable than any or all of them. See Acts 19:19.
Ephesians 3:5. Which in other ages was not made known.— The following verse so plainly determines this passage to the calling of the Gentiles, that there can be no controversy as to the general sense of it. It was, indeed, known long before that the Gentiles were to be added to the church; but it was not known that they should be heirs of the same inheritance, and partakers of the peculiar promise of the Spirit. The Jews rather thought of their being slaves to them; and least of all did they imagine, that the middle wall of their ceremonies should be broken down, and the Gentiles admitted to the full privileges of God's people without circumcision and obedience to the Mosaic law; which the Christian converts among them heard of at first with great amazement. See Acts 10:45; Acts 11:18.
Ephesians 3:6. Partakers of his promise,— Namely, of the Spirit. Comp. Galatians 3:14. The phrase, Δια του ευαγγελιου, rendered by the gospel, signifies in the time of the gospel.
Ephesians 3:7. Whereof I was made a minister, &c.— Though St. Paul does not, in express words, deny others to be made ministers of this doctrine, (for it neither suited his modesty, nor the respect he had for the other apostles, to do so;) yet his expression here will be found strongly to imply it, especially if we read attentively the two following verses: for this was a necessary instruction to one who was sent to convert the Gentiles, though such as were sent to their brethren the Jews were not appointed to promulgate it. This one Apostle of the Gentiles, by the success of his preaching to the Gentiles the attestation of miracles and the gift of the Holy Ghost, joined to what St. Peter had done by special direction in the case of Cornelius, would be enough, in due season, to convince the other apostles of this truth, as we may see it did, Acts 15:0 and Galatians 2:6-9. And of what consequence, and how much St. Paul thought the preaching of this doctrine his peculiar business, may be seen by what he says, ch. Ephesians 6:19-20. It is upon the account of his preaching this doctrine, and displaying to the world this concealed truth, which he calls every where a hidden mystery, that he gives to what he had preached the distinguishing title of my gospel; (Romans 16:25.) in which he is concerned that God should establish them. The insisting so much on this,—that it was the special favour and commission of God, to him in particular, to preach this doctrine of God's purpose of calling the Gentiles to the word,—was not out of vanity or boasting, but was of great use to his present purpose; as carrying with it a strong reason why the Ephesians should rather believe him to whom, as their apostle, it was made manifest, and committed to be preached, than the Jews, from whom it had been concealed, and kept as a mystery; and was in itself inscrutible by men, though of the best natural parts and endowments. See Galatians 2:8. 1 Corinthians 15:9-10.
Ephesians 3:8. Who am less than the least— The Apostle here makes a new word, which, as grammarians would speak, is the comparative degree of the superlative,— ελαχιστοτερω, which no translation can fully equal, or very happily express. No doubt he refers to what he had been formerly, when he persecuted the church of God. The unsearchable riches of Christ, means that abundant treasure of mercy, grace, and favour, laid up in Jesus Christ, not only for the Jews, but for the whole heathen world, even for all of them who would believe; which was beyond the reach of human sagacity to discover, and could be known only by revelation.
Ephesians 3:9. Which—hath been hid in God,— It is evident that here is an allusion to the burying of a treasure in some secret place; (comp. Mat 13:44 where the same word is used;) as there may also be in the word ανεξιχνιαστον, unsearchable, Eph 3:8 which properly signifies, what cannot be traced out; and it is certain, that, though something is now known concerning this glorious mystery, yet there is an incomparablygreater part, concerning which we only know in the general that it is a rich treasure, without particularly knowing either what or how much it is. Mr. Locke, in an elaborate note, pleads, as Diodati has done before him, that the latter clause of this verse refers not to the creation of the world, but to the renovation of it; (see ch. Ephesians 2:10.) and so may be considered as an intimation, that the Father always intended that the Son should have the honour of forming all things anew; and therefore concealed the mystery till after Christ was come. But the words, if taken in the most extensive sense, contain both a certain and a pertinent truth.
Ephesians 3:10. The principalities, &c.— The prophesies of the Old Testament gave strong intimations, at least, of the intended calling of the Gentiles into the church; and the angels seem expressly to refer to it in what they said to the shepherds, and in their anthem at the nativity of Christ. Luke 2:10; Luke 2:14. We suppose, therefore, that the Apostle here would lead the thoughts of his readers to the series of divine dispensations, as gradually opening this great discovery, and not merely to what he preached concerning it; though, doubtless, that greatly illustrated the scheme.
Ephesians 3:11. According to the eternal purpose— Mr. Locke would render the Greek, According to that pre-disposition of the ages, or several dispensations which he made in Christ Jesus: which, by the pre-ordination of God's purpose, were all regulated and constituted in him: and Dr. Whitby, taking it in the same sense, explains it of Christ's being promised in the first age to Adam, typified in the second to the Jews, and in the last age preached to all the world.
Ephesians 3:12. In whom we have boldness, &c.— "Through whom we have freedom of speech in our approaches to the throne of grace, and have access with confidence of being heard, as being assured of audience and acceptance, through faith in him."
Ephesians 3:14. Unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,— In the foregoing chapter, Ephesians 3:19. St. Paul tells the Ephesians, 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, or lineage of God, being, jointly with Jesus Christ, the sons of God. Nothing could be of greater force to continue them steadfast in the doctrine which he had preached to them, and in which he makes it his principal business here to confirm them; namely, that they needed not be circumcised, and submit to the law of Moses, as they were already, by faith in Christ, the sons of God, and of the same family with Christ himself
Ephesians 3:15. Of whom the whole family— As Christ is the last person mentioned before the words, of whom, it seems reasonable to interpret this clause as referring to him; though others rather choose to understand it of the Father, who isthe principal subject of the foregoing sentence. The word heaven may be here taken in a great latitude, for all the regions of happinessof the invisible world. The Jewish writers call heaven, the upper, and earth, the lower family of God.
Ephesians 3:16. The riches of his glory,— His glorious riches: the glorious abundance of graces which he has to bestow.
Ephesians 3:18. The breadth, and length, and depth, and height;— It has often been observed, that this text is extremely emphatical. —Bodies are well known to have only three dimensions, length and breadth, and thickness; but the Apostle divides this last into its depth downwards, and its height upwards, measuring from the middle point; and so makes use of it to express the depth of misery, from which the love of God delivers us; as well as the height of glory, to which it exalts the faithful.
Ephesians 3:19. And to know the love of Christ,— There seems to be no reason why we should confine the interpretation of this text merely to the love of Christ in calling the Gentiles. Well may we recollect, on this occasion, all that love which Christ has displayed in redeeming his faithful saints, out of every nation and kingdom under heaven, Gentiles as well as Jews, from final misery, and exalting them to eternal glory: and this is so remarkable and admirable, that the most extensive explication of this text must certainly be the most proper. Nor can the phrase of its surpassing knowledge, merely signify its exceeding the Jewish dispensation, which is seldom, if ever, called knowledge; but its exceeding our most elevated conceptions. By knowing is meant, our experiencing, or knowing experimentally; and to know what passeth knowledge, is a figure called catachresis, which greatly enhances the beauty of the expression. It has been observed, that there is in this verse an allusion to the temple; expressing the Apostle's wish that the foundation might be so extensively and deeply laid, that a superstructure may be raised, extending itself to such a magnificent length and breadth, and height, as to be fitted to receive and lodge the sacred guest, that he might dwell, as it were, uncrowded in their hearts; and in this view the train of thought appears truly noble. The phrase, fulness of God, means, "such fulness as God is wont to bestow;" that is to say, wherein there is nothing wanting to any one, but every one is filled to the utmost of his capacity;—a fulness of all those gifts and graces which any one shall need, and which may be useful to him or the church.
Ephesians 3:21. Throughout all ages, &c.— The original contains one of St. Paul's self-invented, and most expressive phrases, which we may defy any version fully to express;—through all the successions of an endless eternity, may come something near it; but even this, emphatical as it may seem, falls very short of the sublimity and spirit of the original.
Inferences.—St. Paul's understanding in the mystery of Christ, is just matter of perpetual joy to the whole Christian world, who have thence derived so much of their knowledge and of their hope. Let us congratulate ourselves and each other on the propagation of so glorious a system of divine truth, which had so long been concealed from ages and generations. The apostles and prophets were raised up by God to receive and reveal it, and we are entered on the blessed fruits of their labours. Let us learn from them to set a due value on our participation in that inheritance, on our union to that body, to which by the gospel we are called.
May it particularly teach us that humility which was so conspicuous, so amiable, so admirable in St. Paul. This excellent man, who stood in the foremost rank of Christians, of ministers, of apostles, yet labours for words to express the sense he had of his own meanness and unworthiness, and commits a kind of solecism in language, that he might lay himself as low as possible; using the most diminutive term that could be, to describe himself as one who, in his own esteem, was less than the least of all saints! And shall we then exalt ourselves, and be proud of the trifling distinctions which raise our obscure heads a little above some of our brethren?
Let those in particular who have the honour of being called to the sacred office of the ministry, consider how reasonable it is, that, instead of being puffed up with it, they should rather be humbled, when they reflect how unworthy of it the best of men are, and in how defective a manner the most faithful discharge it; while yet the grace is given them to preach the riches of Christ, his unsearchable riches. Let these be made the grand subject of their preaching; and let all the course of it be directed, in a proper manner, to the illustration of that subject. Let the well-chosen phrase which the Apostle uses here, teach them and all Christians to search more and more into this unfathomable abyss; as still sure to discover new wonders in the variety and fulness of its inexhaustible contents, beyond what they have known before, and to find new treasures in tracing again those already known.
This glorious theme is worthy of the contemplation of angels; and we are elsewhere told, that these celestial spirits desire to look into it (1 Peter 1:12.) and to learn new displays of the divine attributes from the church. Let not our hearts then be cold to these sacred truths which are our own salvation, while they rejoice in them (principally, perhaps,) on the general principles of piety and benevolence.
Let our eyes then be frequently directed to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our knees be frequently bowed before him, invoking him, under that amiable and delightful character, as the great Father of that one family, which in infinite mercy he is forming to himself—a family, consisting, not only of those who have been originally the inhabitants of heaven, who were born in his house, and have never offended him, but of many who have been, and many who are inhabitants of earth, once the children of the curse, and the heirs of death and destruction.
Let us all remember, it is now the family of Christ, our great elder Brother; who, though the Lord of heaven, disdains not to own that humble relation, while the angels are adoring him, as standing at the head of the society, and esteem it their honour to be related to him. Let us be more affected with the grace extended to us, and consider our relation to him as a bond of union among ourselves. While we are of this family, let not the different garbs that we wear, or the different apartments in which we are lodged, alienate our affections from each other; but let us often be thinking of that blessed day, when the whole family of saints and angels now above, and faithful believers now upon earth, shall meet in heaven; and let us, in the mean time, endeavour to behave as worthy members of this glorious society, and have its common interests at heart.
And from that eminently faithful and honourable branch of the family, the blessed Apostle, let us learn what to wish for ourselves and our brethren—even that God, according to the riches of his grace, would strengthen us with might by his spirit in the inner man; that we may attain great degrees of vigour and confirmation in religion, by the vital and powerful operations of the Holy Spirit of God upon our hearts; that we may be strong to discharge every duty, to resist temptations, to conquer our enemies, to assist our brethren, and to glorify our Father and our Saviour. Let us earnestly desire, that Christ may not only now and then visit our hearts, but, by the habitual and lively exercises of faith, may even dwell in them; that we may thus be continually conversant with him, as our most honoured and beloved guest; and that love may take deep root in our hearts, and be solidly grounded there. Let us earnestly pray that, under Divine illuminations, we may be enabled to form more exalted and suitable conceptions than we have ever yet attained, of the breadth, and length, and depth and height, of this unfathomable, this inconceivable love of Christ, which surpasses the perfect knowledge even of saints in glory. And O that, by these contemplations, we may find ourselves daily filled with all the fulness of God, so that our hearts may even overflow with the abundant communication of his gifts and grace!
What shall we say in return for the knowledge that he has already given us, for the love which he has already wrought in our hearts, if we are so happy as to know the grace of God in truth? What! but that, believing his power to outdo all it has already wrought for us, yea, to do for us exceeding abundantly above all we can ask or think, we will still confide in him, and call upon him; and will humbly endeavour to bear our part with the whole church, in ascribing to our Redeemer, our Sanctifier, and our Father, glory throughout all ages, and even world without end. Amen.
REFLECTIONS.—1st, The Apostle gives his beloved Ephesians an account of his sufferings for the truths which he had asserted. For this cause, because I declare the privileges to which the Gentiles, in common with the Jews, are admitted through the gospel, I Paul am the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles; and those are honourable bonds which, in his service, are laid upon us, if, or since, ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God, which is given me to you-ward, as especially commissioned and sent to preach the gospel to the Gentiles: and how that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery of his gospel, as a common salvation for men of all nations, (as I wrote afore, in this Epistle, in few words, whereby when ye read ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ, and how fully and clearly he has acquainted me with his gracious designs,) which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, the Gentile world being left in almost utter ignorance; and those to whom the light of truth was revealed in types and prophesies, seeing but through a glass darkly, compared with the present clear dispensation, of the gospel, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit, since the ascension of Jesus into the heavens; that the Gentiles should be fellow-heirs with his believing Israel, and of the same body, incorporated in one church, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel, sharing in all the privileges of the gospel dispensation equally with the Jews. Whereof I was made a minister, by a divine call and ordination, not of men, nor by man, but immediately from Jesus Christ himself, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me, appointing me to this office, and qualifying me for the discharge of it, by the effectual working of his power, enabling me for my work, and crowning it with success. Unto me who am less than the least of all saints, so exceedingly lowly does the great Apostle speak of himself, and wants words sufficiently abasing to express the sense that he entertained of his own unworthiness of so high an honour; even to me, vile as I am, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; those treasures of grace and glory which reside in him for his faithful saints, which can never be fathomed, never be exhausted; a store that mocks computation, and in which we know neither where to begin nor where to end the wonderful account; and to make all men see, as far as my ministry should reach, what is the fellowship of the mystery, and how blessed is that communion of saints into which, by the gospel, they are admitted, even Gentiles as well as Jews, which from the beginning of the world had been hid in God, a secret lodged in his own Divine mind, who created all things by Jesus Christ, without whose co-efficient agency was not any thing made that was made. And the revelation of this mystery, which was so long concealed, is made known, to the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places, might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, that fresh matter might thus be afforded to the angelic host for their contemplation, wonder, and praise; according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord, who was ordained to be the great agent in redemption, as he had been in creation: in whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him—faith, of which he is both the great author and object, whereby we can now approach the throne of grace with humble confidence, regarding God as our father and friend, and admitted into the most endeared fellowship with him. Wherefore, considering these inestimable blessings and privileges, I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, or be disheartened or desponding at these sufferings, which are your glory, and should minister to you continual matter of rejoicing in the honour thus conferred on me, and in the confirmation given thereby to the gospel which you have received. Note; (1.) None can make gospel ministers but God only: they who run unsent, must return unblest. (2.) The grace of God should be the grand subject of our ministrations; for to preach this are we sent. (3.) If we know the power of the gospel, we shall not be ashamed of that cross, which, for the sake of it, we shall be called to bear. (4.) The greatest Christians have the most lowly thoughts of themselves. (5.) None can truly preach the unsearchable riches of Christ to others, who have not first experienced something of them in their own souls. (6.) They who by faith in a Redeemer behold a reconciled God, will delight to approach him, and to maintain constant communion with him.
2nd, The Apostle informed us what was the subject of his preaching, and he failed not to water the seed sown with his fervent and importunate prayers. For this cause, that you may not faint, and that the gospel may be made effectual to you, I bow my knees unto the
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our Father in him, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, both angels and men, saints on earth, and saints in heaven, who, through their adored Saviour, have obtained a more excellent title, as children of God, than that in which the carnal Jews boasted, as children of Abraham. Now the Apostle prays for them,
1. That he would grant you according to the riches of his glory, out of the abundance of his grace, and for his great name's sake, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man, to oppose all your spiritual foes, to resist every temptation, to bear up under all persecution, to discharge every duty and service for God's glory, and the good of immortal souls; and steadily and perseveringly to hold on your heavenly course, till your warfare shall end, and your victory be complete. Note; Spiritual blessings are the best of blessings, and most earnestly to be sought.
2. That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith, making your souls the place of his abode; blessing you with a sense of his nearness and special presence; and enabling you, by faith, to draw out of his fulness; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, fully persuaded of God's love in Christ towards you, experiencing the richer manifestations of it in your hearts, and cleaving to him with fixed attachment, as the tree that hath struck its roots deep into the earth, may be able to comprehend with all saints, to whom in bonds of fervent love you are united, what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge. Its infinite fulness none, not even angels, can comprehend; but larger and more extensive views of this love than we have yet attained to, we cannot but desire—to behold its vast extent, as reaching to all nations and sinners of every degree; its duration towards the faithful saints of God, even to all eternity; the depths of wretchedness in which we lay, and of sufferings to which, for our sakes, the Son of God incarnate submitted; and the transcendent heights of glory to which he himself is now exalted, and to which he has engaged to bring his faithful people, that they may reign with him for ever and ever.
3. That ye may be filled with all the fulness of God; completely made partakers of a divine nature, and, to the utmost capacity of your souls, may be enriched with all that light, grace, peace, joy, and holiness, which God, as your covenant God, has promised to his dearest and most faithful children in this world; and may you come to the eternal enjoyment of him in a better, to dwell in God, and God in you, for ever.
4. He concludes with a doxology. 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, who counts nothing too great or too good to bestow on his saints, and hath already given us the most encouraging experience of his power and grace; unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end; eternal blessings, praise, and adoration, be rendered unto him for this astonishing redemption; and let every member of the church, in heaven or on earth, with holy rapture and joy, cry, Amen!