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power which he wrought in CHRIST, when he raised him from the dead and set him at his own right hand IN THE HEAVENEÝ (i. e. in the attributes of sovereignty], far above all principality and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but in that to come; and put all [these] under his feet, and gave him to be head over all, to the church which is his body (ch. 1. 15-23).
The description of the sovereignty and dominion ascribed to CHRIST, in this passage, appears to be drawn from such passages as the following in the Revelation:-"To him who...... "hath made us kings and priests...... to him be "glory and dominion for ever and ever,” Rev. i. 6.
"Thou art worthy to receive glory, and honor, 68 yea POWER: for thou hast created all things,' ch. iv. 11.-" Worthy is THE LAMB.... to re"ceive POWER; even riches and wisdom, and "strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing, and every creature which is in heaven, and on the
earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the
sea, even all that are in them," ch. v. 12, 13. And it is also deserving of notice that the term "the heavenly" (Ephes. i. 20. ii. 6.), is used by the Apostle in the Apocalyptic sense, for all the attributes of Sovereignty, and therefore requires no such supplement to be added as the word
"places," exhibited in the common version, which tends to obscure the text.
In Ch. v. 3-6. of this Epistle, the Apostle thus addresses the Ephesians: "But fornication, "and all uncleanness, and covetousness, let them not "even be named among you, as becometh saints: nor "filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not becoming; but rather giving of thanks. "For this ye know, that no fornicator, nor unclean
person, nor COVETOUS MAN, who is AN IDOLATER, "hath any INHERITANCE in the kingdom of THE "MESSIAH and GOD." These verses are neither more nor less than an accommodated transcript of Rev. xxi, 8. "He that overcometh shall INHERIT ALL THINGS....... but the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, "and fornicators, and sorcerers and idolaters, and “all liars, shall have their portion in the lake which "burneth with fire and brimstone." It deserves to be particularly noticed here; that Paul, in the passage before us, gives a comment on the word "idolater," employing "covetous man" as an equivalent term; meeting, as it were, the evasion by which some of those, not chargeable, perhaps, with the other crimes enumerated in the passage which he had in his eye, might have otherwise soothed themselves into a belief that the implied censure had no relation to them.
Had he not, in this way, directed the term to their conscience, they might have said—“We "are neither fornicators nor idolaters :"-Are you COVETOUS MEN? If so you are excluded, as IDOLATERS, from the inheritance in the kingdom of CHRIST.-"Let no man deceive you (he adds) "with vain words: for because of these things cometh "opy THE WRATH of GOD upon the children of "disobedience,"-substituting "wrath" for destruction in the lake of fire; or, rather, having in his eye nμépa Tns berns the day of wrath (Rev. vi. 17), when this destruction will come upon the wicked.--He tells them that they knew already the things of which he was treating—that is, they had in their hands some record, to the effect which he states, namely one which did not merely denounce punishment to such characters, but which directly excluded them from the inheritance secured for the righteous. It is this association of ideas and his commentary on the word "idolaters" that determines the particular source of the Apostle's admonition in this passage.
From this Epistle we learn also the same fact that is so plainly stated in the first Epistle to Timothy. The Ephesians had not only failed in Christian love, the only crime for which this church was censured in the Apocalypse [see the remarks on the character of this church in the preceding dissertation] but they were now suf
fering among them false teachers, as is directly stated in the first Epistle to Timothy. It would appear they had been led into this by the respect they paid to those calling themselves teachers (of some description or other); relaxing in that vigilance and circumspection which led them, at a prior period, when the Apocalyptic epistle was sent to them, to examine the pretensions of all who came in that character, even if they assumed the title of Apostles. Paul reminds them of the end for which the head of the Church had sent forth Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, in order to prepare the (other) saints for the work of the ministry, that the body of CHRIST (viz. the church) might be built up; and all attain to the unity of the faith-even of the knowlege of THE SON OF GOD, to a perfect manthe measure of the stature of the fulness of CHRIST, Ephes. iv. 11-13.-In the 14th verse we learn the cause of this address-" That we may no lon'ger be children tossed about with every wind of doc"trine by the sleight of men,-cunning craftiness "whereby they lie in wait to deceive:"—plainly intimating that had they, as at first, tried the pretensions of these crafty deceivers, comparing their doctrine with that delivered by the Apostles, they would, as then, have found them liars (Rev. ii. 2). When the Apocalypse was written we are informed, by one who could not be mis
taken, that this church, instead of permitting among them teachers of false doctrine, could not bear them who were evil :—and the inevitable inference is, that, the Ephesians not being chargeable with this when the Apocalypse was written, Paul's Epistle to them must have been penned subsequently.
It is believed by many that Paul's first Epistle to Timothy, who, according to tradition, was one of the Elders at Ephesus, was written before this Epistle to the Ephesians. That Epistle, as has been shown, was written after the Apocalypse; a circumstance which tends to confirm the accuracy of the allusions which have been pointed out. In fact the Epistle to Timothy may be considered as one to the church in which he was a bishop; and the obvious inference from all that has been stated is, that Paul was urged, by the Apocalyptic address to this church, respecting her failure in love, and what he had learnt of the farther defection of some of her members from the way of truth, to leave Timothy at Ephesus, for the purpose of restoring her to her former purity.