For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,
Verses 1-13. - DIGRESSION ON THE ADMISSION OF THE GENTILES TO THE KINGDOM OF GOD. Verse 1. - For this cause. The reference is not merely to the last statement or illustration, but to the whole view of the purpose of God toward the Gentiles unfolded in Ephesians it. The apodosis does not come in till ver. 14, at the beginning of which this conjunctive clause is repeated. I Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles. He introduces himself in order to make known the feelings which were roused in his soul towards them by the consideration of the privileges just enlarged on - especially to acquaint them with the prayers he offered for them (see vers. 14-19), and apparently with the indirect object of getting them to offer similar prayers for themselves. To justify this introduction of himself, he delicately introduces the fact of his being a prisoner on their behalf. What had brought him to Rome, what had made him appeal to Caesar, was his preaching the gospel to the Gentiles; indeed, the immediate occasion of his arrest at Jerusalem was the suspicion that he had taken Trophimus, an Ephesian, one of themselves, into the temple (Acts 21:29). By this allusion to the condition into which his regard for them had brought him, be conciliates sympathetic consideration of what is to follow.
If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:
Verse 2. - If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God. Here begins the digression. The words, "if ye have heard," etc., do not denote an uncertainty, but are a delicate reminder. Doubtless they had heard of the matter when he was at Ephesus, and, as he remarks in ver. 3, he had already written briefly on it. Grace is here used in a more restricted sense than in Ephesians 1:2 - in the sense of Divine favor, honor, privilege - the same as in ver. 8, "To me... is this favor given." Which is given me to you-ward. The grace or favor meant is that whereby Paul was constituted the apostle of the Gentiles. Deeply though he felt his being sent away from preaching to his countrymen (Acts 22:18), he took kindly to the new sphere allotted to him, and magnified his office (Romans 11:13).
How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,
Verse 3. - How that, by revelation, was made known unto me the mystery. The mystery, as is explained afterwards (ver. 6), was not the gospel itself, but its destination to the Gentiles as much as to the Jews; although, as appears afterwards, this fullness of blessing is really the great glory of the gospel. Mystery, that which is known only to the initiated, does not denote here a thing obscure in its own nature, but only something that had been concealed from view. It was only the initiated that now knew that God designed the gospel for Gentile and Jew alike. Paul had been initiated "by revelation" - not by his own reflecting power, not by his study of Scripture, not by communication from ether men, but by a special communication from God (Galatians 1:12). As I wrote before in few words. Where? In another Epistle? No; but in the earlier part of this Epistle (see Ephesians 1:9; Ephesians 2:18, etc.). If it be said the allusions in these places to the topic in question are rather vague and general, the apostle virtually admits it - he wrote of it "in few words;" but, as it is a great and glorious truth, he returns to it to amplify it and place it in a brighter light.
Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)
Verse 4. - In accordance with which, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ. Προσ ο}, with reference to which, i.e. to what I wrote afore: to make that more intelligible I write on the subject more fully now, so that you shall see that your instructor is thoroughly informed in this matter of the mystery in Christ - this once concealed but now revealed purpose of his grace.
Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;
Verse 5. - Which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations. Though not a new purpose, the knowledge of it is new. Abraham, David, and the prophets, however much they knew of Christ and the fullness of blessing in him for all the families of the earth, did not know the full extent of God's grace to the Gentiles - did not know that the middle wall was to be wholly broken down, and all inequality removed. This might seem to throw some doubt on the reality of this doctrine; but it was on purpose that God kept it secret, and those by whom he has now revealed it are worthy of all regard. As it has now been revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit. It is not revealed to Paul only, although he has got the privilege of announcing it to the Gentiles, but to the whole body of "holy apostles and prophets." The designation, "holy apostles," is rare; it is used here to magnify the office, to show that those whom the Head of the Church had set apart for himself were fit instruments to receive so important a revelation. "Prophets" here are undoubtedly New Testament prophets (see Ephesians 2:20), the contrast being with "sons of men in other generations." Reference may be made to the experience and decree of the Council of Jerusalem, guided by the Holy Spirit (see Acts 15:28).
That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:
Verse 6. - That the Gentiles are fellow-heirs - heirs with the Jews of the same inheritance (see Ephesians 1:11) - and fellow-members of the body (this figure is repeated and applied in Ephesians 4:4, 16, 25), and fellow-partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel - the promise to Abraham, "In thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." They do not get this blessing indirectly through the Jews, or by becoming Jews, but directly, as Gentiles; and they become fellow-heirs, fellow-members, and fellow-partakers "in Christ Jesus," enjoying all privileges in him, in a state of union and fellowship with him. To this state they are invited and admitted through the gospel; by receiving the glad tidings they enter on these blessings (comp. Romans 10:15, 18). This statement of religious equality between Jews and Gentiles is strong, clear, complete; the more remarkable that Paul himself had bad so strong Jewish prejudices; only one of dearest insight and highest courage could proclaim the truth so emphatically; it is little wonder if many believing Jews, less enlightened and less courageous, shrank from his statements as too strong.
Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.
Verse 7. - Of which I became a minister; did not gradually grow up to the office, but became, at a given time and place, a minister, a διάκονος, a servant. According to the gift of the grace of God. The office of serving Christ was a gift, most undeserved on Paul's part, who had been a persecutor and injurious, but flowing from the free grace of God, his sovereign, unmerited mercy. Which was given me according to the working of his power. This denotes the manner of the gift; the gift itself, apostleship to the Gentiles, would have been little had it not been accompanied with Divine power. Spiritual office without spiritual power is miserable; but in Paul's case there was the power as well as the office; not merely the power of working miracles, as some have held, but besides this, the power of spiritual insight into the meaning of Scripture - power of exposition, power of demonstration, power of persuasion (comp. 1 Thessalonians 1:5; Acts 14:1; 1 Corinthians 4:7, etc.). Paul gratefully acknowledged that all the power of his ministry was God's, not his own (1 Corinthians 3:6, 7).
Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;
Verse 8. - Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints; not only of apostles and prophets, but even of all believers - a profound expression of humility, founded not only on his persecuting career, but on his consciousness of sin, of inborn rebellion against God's Law, of fountains of unlawful desire in his flesh (Romans 7:18; 1 Timothy 1:13-15), making him feel himself to be, in heart and essence, the chief of sinners. The sense of sin is not usually in proportion to the acts of outward transgression, but to the insight into the springs of evil in one's heart, and the true nature of sin as direct antagonism to the holy God. Was this grace given. The third time in this chapter that he speaks of his office as a fruit of grace, showing that, notwithstanding his being a prisoner on account of it, and all the perils it involved (2 Corinthians 11:24-27), he was overwhelmed with God's unmerited goodness in conferring it on him. It was substantially the post of a foreign missionary, with hardly one human comfort! To preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; εὐγγελίσασθαι, to evangelize, to proclaim good tidings. The force of the εὐ is not given in "preach," but the idea is amply conveyed by the words that follow. The balance of authority for τοῖς ἔθνεσι, "to the Gentiles," and ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσι, "among the Gentiles," is about equal; the meaning really the same. Ἔθνος, heathen, was almost an offensive name; yet with that name the apostle associates the highest blessings of God. The unsearchable riches of Christ; two attractive words, riches and unsearchable, conveying the idea of the things that are most precious being infinitely abundant. Usually precious things are rare; their very rarity increases their price; but here that which is most precious is also boundless - riches of compassion and love, of merit, of sanctifying, comforting, and transforming power, all without limit, and capable of satisfying every want, craving, and yearning of the heart, now and evermore. The thought of his having such riches to offer to all made him regard his office as most glorious, raised him far above the point of view from which the world would despise it, and filled him with adoring gratitude to God for having conferred it on him.
And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
Verse 9. - And to make all men see what is the dispensation of the mystery. Another branch of his office, and another fruit of God's grace in conferring it. He was not only to benefit man, but also to vindicate God. For "fellowship of the mystery" (A.V.), the R.V. has "dispensation of the mystery," founded on the preference of the reading οἰκονομια, for which there is a great preponderance of authority over κοινωνία. It was the apostle's function to show how this mystery had been dispensed - concealed for a long time and at last revealed. Which from the beginning of the ages hath been hid in God. The counsel itself was πρὸ τῶν αἰώνων, before the foundation of the world; the concealment of it ἀπό τῶν αἰώνων, from the beginning of the ages, when there were intelligent beings capable of understanding it - whether angels or men. Whatever the angels may have known of the Divine plans, this feature of them was not known till revealed to the New Testament Church. Who created all things. The reason for adding this particular designation of God is not obvious; probably it is to indicate the relation of the matter in hand to the mightiest works of God. This is no trifling matter; it connects itself with God's grandest operations; it has supremely glorious bearings. It might be supposed to have relations only to one race and to one period of time; but it has relations to "all things;" it is an integral element in God's plan. The words, by Jesus Christ (A.V.), are not found in a great preponderance of textual authorities.
To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,
Verse 10. - To the intent - indicative of the purpose of the remarkable arrangement or dispensation according to which the eternal Divine purpose, which had been concealed from the beginning of the ages, was now made known - that there might b e made known to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places; that a lesson might be given to the unfallen angels. Their interest in the scheme of man's redemption is often referred to (1 Peter 1:12). Even the highest powers of heaven have yet much to learn respecting God. The dispensation of God's grace to man is one of their lesson-books. Dr. Chalmers shows ('Astronomical Discourses') how this meets the objection that so dread a sacrifice as the life of God's Son could not have been made for one poor planet; in its indirect bearings we do not know what other orders of beings have derived most vital lessons from this manifestation of the attributes of God. However men may scorn the salvation of Christ and all that belongs to it, the highest intelligences regard it with profound interest. By the Church the manifold wisdom of God. Through the Church, now constituted, according' to the revealed mystery, of Jew and Gentile, all redeemed by Christ's blood and renewed by his Spirit, there is exhibited to the angels the manifold wisdom of God. The precise line of thought is this: God from eternity, had a purpose to put Jew and Gentile on precisely the same footing, but concealed it for many ages, until he revealed it in the apostolic age, when he appointed Paul his minister to announce it. The purpose of this whole arrangement was to enlighten the principalities and powers of heaven in the manifold wisdom of God. How in his manifold wisdom? In this way. During these preparatory ages, when God's gracious dealings were with the Jews only, all kinds of false religions were developing among the heathen, and their diversified influence and effects were becoming apparent in many ways - the divergent tendencies of men, especially in religious matters, were being developed; but in the new turn given to things by the breaking down of the middle wall in Christ, the manifold wisdom of God was shown in transforming many of these most diverse elements, unifying them, building them up into a great spiritual body, into a holy, most beautiful, most symmetrical temple. When all things seem to be flying asunder into the most diverse and antagonistic elements, God gives a new turn, as it were, to providence, and lo! a glorious symmetrical and harmonious structure begins to rise.
According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:
Verse 11. - According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord. The apostle is ever anxious that we should connect these operations, of God with the profundity, deliberation, and awfulness of an eternal decree, and that we should thus contrast them in our minds with many even of the most important works of man which are often determined, on his part, by a passing event or other trivial cause. The verb in this clause is ἐποίησε, which he made, and it has been debated whether it denotes the original formation of the purpose, or the execution of it under Christ. With A.V. and R.V., we prefer the former. The object of the apostle is to indicate that the purpose existed from eternity; but, besides, the meaning of "fulfilled" or "executed" can hardly be sustained by ἐποίησε. The closing formula, "in Christ Jesus," is perfectly applicable to the eternal formation of the purpose; it is the constantly returning indication of the element in which the whole scheme of grace had its beginning, its progress, and its end.
In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.
Verse 12. - In whom we have our boldness and access. Παῥῤησία literally means "boldness" or "freedom of speech," but is used here in a more ample sense for want of restraint, ease of feeling, comfortable self-possession, in our access to God. Contrast with Adam hiding himself among the trees of the garden, and the lost calling on the mountains to fall on them, and the rocks to cover them. The "we" in this verse includes both Jews and Gentiles. The "access," or introduction (see Ephesians 2:18), is like that of the high priest into the holy of holies - we have boldness to enter into the holiest of all (Hebrews 10:19). In confidence through the faith of him. The confidence of being welcomed and accepted when we go into God's presence springs from our faith in him. We believe in him as the Propitiation, as our Peace, as the Reconciler, and we go before God with confidence. The clause, "through faith in him," influences the whole verse. And, as before, we have at the beginning of the verse, "in whom" - an express-ion denoting generally our union with Christ, and at the end, "through the faith of him" - a specification of the instrument by which flint union is formed and by which it operates.
Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.
Verse 13. - Wherefore I beg that ye faint not at my tribulations for you. A very delicate and touching request, that they would not be too much distressed by what he was suffering for them (comp. Epaphroditus, Philippians 2:26). Paul knew that the sympathy was so strong that what was suffered by him was endured sympathetically by them. Two expressions denote that the sufferings were great: "My tribulations for you" - a word expressing intense and protracted suffering; "that ye faint not," or that ye do not lose heart, as if the power of evil had got the upper hand. Which is your glory. That is, the character or capacity of the apostle of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, in which I suffer tribulation, is one of such exalted dignity as to reflect glory on you. Take that view of my sufferings; I suffer because I hold so glorious an office, and the glory of that office is reflected on you.
For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Verses 14-21. - PRAYER FOR THEIR SPIRITUAL ENRICHMENT. Verse 14. - For this cause. The digression being ended, the apostle takes up the thread broken at ver. 1. We must seek the "cause" in Ephesians 2. Seeing that the Gentiles have now equal privileges with the Jews; seeing that by faith in Christ Gentile Christians have been brought as near to God, and have as good a right to the good things of the covenant; - I take the steps now to be specified for enabling them actually to possess these good things. On the one hand, the apostle saw the believing Ephesians still comparatively poor and needy; on the other hand, he saw all spiritual stores provided for them: the question was how to get the one into contact with the other. For this cause, he says, I bow my knees unto the Father. An emphatic way of denoting prayer; but not incidental, occasional prayer, inspired by some passing feeling; the attitude "bow my knees" denotes deliberate prayer (comp. Daniel 6:10), making a business of it, approaching God with reverence and holy fear, with all the solemnities suitable to the occasion of making a specific and important request. In the A.V. it is "unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." The R.V., some of the oldest manuscripts, and most recent commentators omit the latter words, which are supposed to have been taken from Ephesians 1:3. On internal grounds, the omission of the wends seems to yield the best sense, for in Ephesians 2:18 our having access to "the Father" is spoken of, and when the apostle proceeded to show how he availed himself of that privilege, he is not likely to have used more than that expression. Further, there is such a close connection between πατέρα and πατριὰ in ver. 15, that they are not likely to have been far separated as the apostle used them.
Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
Verse 15. - From whom the whole family in heaven and on earth is named. So A.V., but R.V. has "every family," holding, doubtless, that the want of the article - πᾶσα πατριὰ not πᾶσαἡπατριὰ - requires this sense. But as in Matthew 2:3; Luke 4:13; Acts 2.36; 7:22, and Ephesians 2:21; so here, πᾶσα without the article may denote the totality of the thing; πᾶσα πατριὰ corresponding to πᾶσα οἰκοδομὴ. And this seems more in accord with the scope of the passage, for here the apostle is not distributing into groups, but gathering into one. But what is the precise import of the statement, and for what reason is it introduced? The apostle recognizes all saints, whether in heaven or on earth, as forming one family, and as the whole family derives its name from God, so God may ha expected and appealed to to make full and corresponding provision for the wants of its various sections. The implied appeal is not to the fact that the family is God's family, but to the fact, less important in itself but really including the other, that it is named after him. Among men, one would be held emphatically bound to take an interest in those who are not only his relations but bear his very name. Now, that part of the family which is housed in heaven is gloriously provided for; the apostle proceeds to intercede for the portion still on earth. As the whole family is named after the same Father, is conspicuous before the eyes of all as God's, so it may well be expected that the more needy, feeble, exposed, and tempted part of the family will be treated in every way worthy of its Father.
"Let saints on earth unite to sing
With those to glory gone;
For all the servants of our King,
In earth and heaven, are one.
"One family we dwell in him,
One Church above, beneath;
Though now divided by the stream,
The narrow stream, of death."
That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
Verse 16. - That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory. The standard or measure of the Divine giving is brought into view. "Riches of his glory" is a more emphatic expression than "glorious riches," though substantially the same in meaning. God's standard of giving is liberal, bountiful, overflowing. An image of the riches of his glory is seen in the starry heavens, which proclaim at once the vast riches and surpassing glory of God. Or in the beautiful appearance of an autumn sunset, where the whole sky is flecked with clouds brightened into a sea of glory. In prayer, it is both useful for ourselves and glorifying to God to recognize his bountifulness - to remember that he gives us a King (2 Samuel 24:23). To be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man. The inner man is the seat of influence, but with us it is the scat of spiritual feebleness. Most men may contrive to order their outward conduct suitably; but who has control of the inner man? Faith, trust, humility, love, patience, and the like graces which belong to the inner man, are what we are weakest in, and what we have least power to make strong. In this very region it is sought that the Ephesians might be strengthened with might by the Spirit. The gift of the Spirit is available for this very purpose for all that ask him.
That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
Verse 17. - That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith. Reversing the usual order, the prayer begins (ver. 16) by asking the blessing of the Third Person of the Godhead; now we have a cluster of petitions connected with the Second Person. The first of these is for the indwelling of Christ in their hearts, as opposed to mere occasional visits or influences from Christ; the instrument by which this blessing is attained being their faith. Christ exercising a constant power within them, both in the active and passive movements of the heart, giving the sense of pardon and acceptance, molding the will, sweetening the emotions, enlightening and confirming the conscience, purifying the whole springs and principles of action. This to be secured by their faith, opening the door, receiving Christ in all his fullness, resting and living on him, believing his promises, and longing for his appearing the second time. In order that ye, having been rooted and grounded in love. Two images are combined to make the idea emphatic - that of a tree and that of a building; denoting what is both the starting-point and the support of the Christian's life, viz. love. In what sense? The love of Christ is specified afterwards (ver. 19), but this may be as a pre-eminent branch of that manifold love which bears on the Christian life - the love of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; the love of the brethren to one another; and the reciprocal love evoked from the believer by the reception of this love. Evidently it is implied that the Christian life can begin and flourish only in such an atmosphere of love; as warm sunshine is needed to start and advance the life of a plant, so love is needed to start and carry on the life of the soul. Experience of Divine love is a great quickening and propelling power. "One glance of God, a touch of his love, will free and enlarge the heart, so that it can deny all and part with all and make an entire renunciation of all to follow him" (Archbishop Leighton).
May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
Verse 18. - May be made strong to comprehend with all the saints. The subject to be comprehended is not only beyond man's natural capacity, but beyond the ordinary force of his spiritual capacity. The thing to be grasped needs a special strength of heart and soul; the heart needs to be enlarged, the mental "hands of the arms" need to be made strong (Genesis 49:24). But the attainment is not impossible - it is the experience of "all the saints;" all God's children are enabled to grasp something of this (comp. 2 Corinthians 4:3-6). What is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height. No genitive being given, it has been a difficult point to settle to what these dimensions must be held to be applicable. Some think that the love of Christ in the following clause must be meant; but surely when that is made the subject of a separate part of the prayer, and is not in the genitive but the objective case, governed by a verb of its own, this explanation is not to be enter-rained. Others, with more reason, think that the idea of a temple was in the mind of the writer, as it certainly was in Ephesians 2:21, 22, and that it is the dimensions of the temple he had here in his eye, the prayer being that the Ephesians might comprehend the vastness and glory of that spiritual temple which is constituted by all believers, and in which God dwells by the Spirit. Even this, however, would not divest the construction of abruptness, and it would fit in but poorly with the context, in which the tenor o f the apostle's prayer is that a profusion of Divine blessing might be enjoyed by the Ephesians. If a genitive must be supplied, may we not conceive the apostle to have had in his view the entire provision God has made in Christ for the good of his people, so that the dimensions would be those of the gospel storehouse, the vast reservoir out of which the Church is filled? "Breadth" might denote the manifoldness of that provision; "length," its eternal duration; its "depth" might be represented by the profundity of Christ's humiliation; and its "height" by the loftiness of the condition to which his people are to be raised. To comprehend this, to understand its existence and its richness, is to get our faith enlarged, our expectations expanded; it is through this comprehension that "all the saints" have got their wants supplied, and their souls filled as with marrow and fatness.
And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
Verse 19. - And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge. The love here is evidently the love of Christ to us, and this may well be specified as a special matter of prayer. Knowledge of Christ's love, in the sense of an inward personal experience of it - its freeness, its tenderness, its depth, its patience - is the great dynamic of the gospel. This love is transmuted into spiritual force. As the breeze fills the sails and bears forward the ship, so the love of Christ fills the soul and moves it in the direction of God's will. But in its fullness it passeth knowledge; it is infinite, not to be grasped by mortal man, and therefore always presenting new fields to be explored, new depths to be fathomed. That ye may be filled with all the fullness of God; that is, that ye may be filled with spiritual grace and blessing to an extent corresponding to all the fullness of God. Though the finite cannot compare with the infinite, there may be a correspondence between them according to the capacity of each. There is a fullness of gracious attainment in every advanced believer that corresponds to all the fullness of God; every part of his nature is supplied from the Divine fountain, and, so far as a creature can, he presents the image of the Divine fullness. In the human nature of Christ this correspondence was perfect: "In him dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;" in the soul of the believer there may be a progressive movement towards this fullness. No higher view can be conceived of the dignity of man's nature, and the glorious privileges conferred on him by the gospel, than that he is susceptible of such conformity to God. Who can conceive that man should have attained to such a capacity by a mere process of evolution? "So God made man in his own image;" and in Christ man is "renewed in righteousness and holiness after the image of him who created him."
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,
Verses 20, 21. - DOXOLOGY. The study and exposition of the amazing riches of the grace of God gives birth to an outburst of praise toward the Divine Source of all this mercy, past, present, and to come. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we can ask or think. In thinking of God it is as if we thought of space - however far our conceptions may travel, there is still infinity beyond. Paul had asked much in this prayer, and thoughts can always travel beyond words, yet the excess of God's power beyond both was infinite. This excess is denoted by a double term of abundance (ποιῆσαι ὑπὲρ πάντα and ὑπερεκπερισσοῦ), as if the apostle wished to fill our minds with the idea of absolute infinity of gracious power in God. According to the power that worketh in us, which is none other than the power "which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead" (Ephesians 1:20). The power that is actually at work in us has only to be exerted a little more to accomplish wonders of sanctification, and confer on us immense spiritual strength. Unto him be the glory in the Church in Christ Jesus, world without end. Amen. To God the whole credit of the scheme of grace and the work of grace as carried out in his people is due ("Not of works, lest any man should boast"); therefore let the Church acknowledge this, and cordially and openly ascribe to God his due. Let this feeling be universally encouraged and cherished in the Church, and let it find in the Church services suitable occasions of breaking forth in song and prayer. Again the apostle's favorite formula comes in" in Christ Jesus," to denote that this act of adoration is to be done in immediate connection with the work and person of Christ; for it is he who has brought about the whole condition of things from which the act of adoration springs. And this ascription of praise is not transitory; this view of the Divine character and actings will never become obsolete or be superseded by other views; it will claim their cordial ascriptions forever - literally, to all the generations of the age of the ages.
Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.