According as he has chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
Every true Christian, then, as a member of Christ's body, is thus an elect and predestinated person, and as such has been, along with Christ Himself — the Head of that body — an object of thought to the Almighty Lord of Life during the eternity bygone. But now what an awful dignity is thus seen at once to gather around the existence of a predestinated soul, around one whose appearance and character are both the subject and result of the never commenced meditations and resolves of the Omniscient and Eternal Mind. We look, if at all given to such reflections, with a feeling of profound interest upon a stone, which has been agitated far ages on the sunken floor of the ocean, and which is at length cast up by the sounding sea, rounded by the attrition of the sea bottom, and by the currents of unnumbered centuries — an agate or carnelian, that was being rolled and polished by the billows before the old empires of antiquity were founded, or before the deluge, or before the creation of man. We gaze awestruck upon these everlasting hills, whose summits were standing above the universal waters before some of the other continents were made, and whose stratified contents, rich with the fossils of successive worlds, and the deep-lying beds of molten and crystallized porphyry and granite below them, indicate an era of upheaval that is lost in the mists and twilights of remotest eld. But what are such feelings of awe and wonder at such immeasurable antiquity, compared with those which fill the soul when we look upon a Person older than all geological chronology, older than the stars, whose "goings forth have been from everlasting." On Christ, whose countenance, whose aspect, "marred more than any man's," whose history, instinct with miracles, whose words, full of grace and truth, were the manifestations of a Divine purpose as ancient in the darkness, that all the works of the visible universe — rock systems and the deepest foundations of the mountains, and constellations that have already shone through cycles which would defy even archangelic arithmetic to measure, are comparatively of yesterday. "Before Abraham was, I am." Before the universe was, I was in the bosom of the Infinite. And all good men were chosen in Him. The names of all who believe in God were written "before the foundation of the world," in the Lamb's Book of Life. They have from eternity been there recorded by Divine love as members of Christ — of His Body, of His flesh, and of His bones. Every Christian has thus been, in ideal vision, a subject of blissful Divine thought from before all worlds.
Parallel VersesKJV: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: