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III. If the increase and establishment of Christ's kingdom be a benefit, this may be expected. 1. From cordial co-operation of the members of such societies; 2. From their united prayers; 3. From the emanation resulting from the good example of others.
IV. This is the way to obtain spiritual blessings: “If any two of you shall agree touching any thing that ye shall ask,” &c.
V. Such societies give us some view of the happiness of heaven: there felicity is not insulated nor single, the plural is ever used: “They sung a new song; they cried O Lord, how long," &c.
VI. If circumspection in our walk be a benefit, this may be expected: for although the habits of holiness in a believer, result from a principle within; yet we must have but small acquaintance with the frame of the human mind, not to know that the bonds of such societies have strong effects to excite' and cherish watchfulness, &c.
VII. Benefits will likewise accrue to the minister who attends such religious associations. How can he speak a word in season to the weary, of whose case he is ignorant! or warn those who are in danger, with whose snares he is unacquainted! &c. And in the growth of the members of such societies in
every good word and work, he will, with unfeigned pleasure, discover the blessing of God on his labors. In short, the benefits to be expected are numerous, and of the first magnitude. We have the command of God, and the example of the saints, to justify our assembling together; and let us ever remember, “That a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”
QUERY ON EPHESIANS iii. 18.
Mr. Editor, I PRESUME it will be admitted that all metaphorical allusions in language has, or had at the origin of the formation of each respective metaphor, a representative object to which those allusive terms refer.
Inquiry has been made, what may be supposed to be the most probable metaphoric representative object or image, which the apostle Paul had in view, and referred to, by those four mathematical terms of extension; viz. breadth, length, depth, and height; taking due consideration of the ineffable glorious subject (the love of God) for which it was employed to illustrate? Ephes. iii. 18.
ILLUSTRATION OF EPHES. ii. 18, 19.
Mr. Editor, It is likely that some of your learned correspondents may favor you with a more satisfactory answer to the query of C. S. than is in my power; but if that should not be the case,have the goodness to submit to the querist and to your readers, a conjecture that the passage is astronomical, and refers to latitude, north and south; to longitude, east and west; to the zenith, or highest point over our heads in the heavens; and to the nadir, or the lowest point opposite to the former, beneath our feet. I have never been satisfied with the usual rcfer. ence of these four dimensions to bodies in general,
which, It is well knownı, have but three; length, breadth, and thickness; but, if we conceive of a person standing on the earth, which in comparison to the heavens around it, becomes but a point, perhaps we may find the follow. ing to be the import of this wonderful text: “That ye may comprehend what is the breadth, as the heaven around
you is broad on either hand; what is the length, as the heaven around you is long, behind and before; what is the height, as the heaven above the globe is high; what is the depth, as the heaven below the globe is deep. Also, that ye may know that still more remotely extending love of Christ; extending, I say, beyond the heavens, and those stars to which we refer longitude and latitude: yea, your powers may be invigorated even further than this; that ye may be filled in all the fulness of deity! Now unto him (God) who is able to do exceed. ing abundantly above all that we ask or think, even to the production of such a wonderful capacity and enjoy. ment in us, according to that power which (he) worketh in us; to him, I say, be glory in the church, by Christ Jesus, in all generations, ages of ages, Amen!'
I am mistaken if the connexion be not perfectly agreeable to this view of the subject; the transition to the power of God accomplishing this otherwise impossible extension, is natural; and the close is not only natural, but admirable.
By way of support to this interpretation, I would quote from Scripture Illustrated, on Job xxjii. 8, 9..
“I go forward, but he is not there,
This is a clear allusion to the cardinal points of the heavens, and is taken from a man at sunrise looking towards that glorious object; q. d. 'I go forward, to the east; or backward, to the west; on the left hand, to the north; on the right hand, to the south. These remarks are drawn from nature: and they seem to be instances of the primitive manner of describing occurrences, situations, &c. by reference to the human body, &c. This primitive manner afterwards became a customary mode of reference and signification.
FURTHER REMARKS ON EPHES. üi. 18.
Mr. Editor, In a former number of your work, I submitted a query on the mathematical terms in Ephes. iii. 18. Your correspondent, Amicus Decoris, has attempted an “illustration,” and conjectures that the passage is “astronomical,” referring to “atitude, longitude, zenith, and nadir.” But the latter part of his remarks, professedly added “by way of support” to the former, causes a confusion of ideas, as both quotation and comment on the four cardinal points have unhappily produced but truo dimensions, instead of four; and is therefore incongruous with the former part of bis interpretation. It appears also incomparably below the apostle's ideas of the representative object of the glorious theme on which he delighted to dwell. His views were extended very far beyond any scheme of astronomy, and every system of philosophy which the sagacity of the human intellect has devised. Fraught with “the unsearchable riches" committed to his trust, the apostle was anxiously concerned that the Ephesians might 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 inquiry has been, to what object these mathematical terms of extension allude. Being four, they cannot appertain to a parallelopiped or cube, (the figure of the holy city, described in Rev. xxi. 16.) or to any geometrical body, with which we are familiar; as in them there are only three lineal dimensions, viz. length, breadth, and height,* by which the cubature, or comprehensibility, is ascertained. The question then recurs, to what object can these fourfold terms of extension refer? Or, what may we reasonably suppose was the metaphoric representative image, which the apostle had in view?
Admitting what has been already premised in the question, that all ancient popular metaphoric allusions in language had, as recent ones have, at the formation of each respective metaphor, a certain representative object, to which the allusive terms inequivocally refer; and taking every consideration into the inquiry, it is presumed there is sufficient authority to conclude, that
* It appears when Dr. Watts transposed this 18th verse into metre, that he supposed these four terms alluded to the mensuration of some limited geometrical body; having omitted the term depth as redundant. B. i. hymn 135. Otherwise he might with propriety have red. dered that line,
"The height, and depth, and breadth, and length,” agreeably to the original; and, consequently, as it ought to be used.