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glorious; so will their's be: he is in his body heavenly; their's will also be heavenly. His humanity will shine brighter than ten thousand suns; they will, in their heavenly bodies, shine as the sun, in the kingdom of their Father.
Thus the second man, the Lord from heaven, will raise up the bodies of his saints to so glorious and spiritual a condition, as will be their everlasting perfection.
I conclude with the words of holy Romaine, 'To be where Jesus is, to see him face to face, to be like him in body and soul, and to enjoy him with every faculty of both, is the fullest blessedness of eternity. For him to dwell in his people, is the heaven of heavens.' May the Lord shine upon the subject, and bless it to all your souls, and make it truly profitable unto you. Amen.
The Unsearchable Riches Of Christ, The Subject Of Paul's Preaching To The GenTiles.
Ephesians iii. 8.
*' 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."
THE writer and speaker before us had learned the knowledge of the Holy One from Christ himself, and was caught up into paradise, where he saw the Lamb of God upon his throne, and heard the surrounding hosts of elect angels and saints sing a new song to the honour of his name, saying, "Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood: worthy is the Lamb that was slain." When he was permitted to descend and dwell again on earth, he proved that he had caught fire at the altar above; for he "determined to know nothing save Jesus Christ, and him crucified."
When he wrote this epistle, he was a prisoner for Christ at Rome; but though bound with a chain, the word of God was not bound. His prison was a palace, being sanctified by the presence of Christ Jesus, who so enlarged Paul's heart, that from thence he watered the churches with several letters, full of the perfume and fragrancy of the beloved Immanuel. This before us, is a most noble one, full of the deep things of God, and the sublime mysteries of grace, so that none of his writings exceed it. He was most enlarged heavenward, when most straitened in body, as is very commonly the case with real saints, who, when they are most afflicted, oftentimes flourish most in their souls: hence some say that this epistle smells of the prison.
In the first chapter, we are informed concerning the eternal acts of the will of God ; respecting his love and choice of the elect, in the person of Christ, God-man, before all worlds; of his blessing them in Christ, with all spiritual blessings; of his predestinating them unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ; of his accepting them in the person of the beloved, to the praise of the glory of his grace. After which he treats of their redemption by Christ, from the state of sin and misery into which they were brought by the fall of Adam, and how they were brought to the knowledge of Christ, and their interest in him; it was by hearing the gospel, which he calls the gospel of salvation, which giving a full and clear account of him, and his finished work, they, through the light and teaching of the Holy Ghost, were led to believe on the Lord Jesus for salvation; and having believed, they were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, which was the earnest of their right and title to the inheritance, and that he would remain in them, until they were perfectly redeemed from all the frailties of mortality, and raised in their bodies from the grave of death, when he would continue to dwell in their souls and bodies to all eternity. He then prays the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, to bestow the Holy Ghost, as the Spirit of wisdom and revelation on them, that they might be led into a further knowledge of these mysterious acts of grace, and of what had been done and passed on their head, the Lord Jesus Christ, that they might centre and rest simply and wholly on him.
In the second chapter, he sets before them the state of sin and corruption they were in by birth, declaring that they were " by nature children of wrath, even as others."' He sets an emphasis on their translation out of this tremendous state, saying, " But God who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ: by grace are ye saved." In the chapter from whence I have selected my text, he tells the Ephesians, that he had set his knowledge of Christ before them, in the first chapter of this most divine epistle; and that in their reading it, they might understand his knowledge of the mystery of Christ.
It is recorded, concerning that truly great and valuable man, the late Doctor Coneyer, of St. Paul's, Deptford, that on reading the words which I have chosen for my text, (in the chapter which came in course for the second lesson, on a Lord's-day afternoon, in the established church, at Helmesly, in Yorkshire, where he then ministered) he was greatly struck: he thought with himself, 'What is there in my preaching, but every body must understand. There is nothing mysterious in it; whereas the apostle is here speaking of what is hidden and unsearchable.' This led him, through the light and teaching of the Holy Ghost, to a real and supernatural knowledge of the Lord Jesus, and he began from henceforward to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ to his people. This most excellent person, on the last Lord's-day of his ministry at Deptford, in Kent, having read, in the service of the church, the twentieth chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, in which Paul's farewel sermon to the elders of the Ephesian church is registered, he preached on these words, " All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth."