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A SERMON, &c.
EPHESIANS, iii. 18, 19.
"That ye may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge."
THE apostle Paul is so profound a scholar, that I cannot pretend to follow him; every time I read him he sets me, as it were, a task impossible. I therefore am obliged to make up a sermon of bits and scraps. In the beginning of this chapter the apostle treats largely of the dispensation of the grace of God towards him. 2dly. He speaks also of a mystery hidden in God from the world, which was, that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs with the Jews of the promise of life, ver. 6. 3dly. That he was made a minister of this grace to the Gentiles, ver. 7. 4thly. He expresses with all humility his unworthiness of this grace; and yet to him was this grace given, that he should preach
among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, ver. 8. 5thly. He informs us, That even now is made known to the principalities and powers that reside in the heavenly places by the church the-manifold wisdom of God, ver. 10. And the whole of this sprung from the eternal purpose of God, which he purposed in Christ Jesus, ver. 11; in whom, that is in Christ, we have a holy boldness, and free access to God: and that with confidence of being accepted by the faith of him, in whom all the promises of God are yea and amen, to the glory of God the Father, ver. 12. The apostle desires that the Ephesians might not faint at the tribulation which he endured; signifying that God did not set the sufferings of his servants before them with a view to discourage but to embolden them, and strengthen their faith; therefore they ought rather to glory in than be dismayed at them, ver. 13. The apostle begins praying in the middle of this epistle, and addresses the Father of Christ, of whom all the elect angels, and all the elect of the human race, called the family of heaven and earth, are named, ver. 15. The blessing that the apostle craves of God is, that the Ephesians might be strengthened by his Spirit's might in the inner man. By the inner man he means the whole work of grace which is in every
renewed soul, and is called the new, or the inner man, as corruption and pollution are called the old man. It is as though the apostle had said, the grace and Spirit of God, which hath humbled and inclined