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κονηθείσα υφ' ημών, εγγεγραμμένη ου μέλανι, αλλά πνεύματι Θεού ζώντος: ουκ εν πλαξί λιθίναις, αλλ' εν πλαξί καρδίας σαρκίναις.

Again, 2 Cor. iii. 12, &c. at the word vail : “Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech : and not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished. But their minds were blinded; for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the Old Testament, which vail is done away in Christ; but even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart: nevertheless, when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away (now the Lord is that Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty). But we all, with open face, beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. Therefore, seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not."

Who sees not that this whole allegory of the vail arises entirely out of the occurrence of the word, in telling us that “ Moses put a vail over his face," and that it drew the apostle away from the proper subject of his discourse, the dignity of the office in which he was engaged: which subject he fetches up again almost in the words with which he had left it; “ therefore, seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not ?” The sentence which he had before been going on with, and in which he had been interrupted by the vail, was, “ seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech."

In the epistle to the Ephesians, the reader will remark two instances in which the same habit of composition obtains; he will recognize the same pen. One he will find, (chap. iv. 8—11) at the word ascended : “ Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended

up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things). And he gave some, apostles," &c.

The other appears (chap. v. 12—15), at the word light : “For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret: but all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light; (for whatsoever doth make manifest is light; wherefore he saith, Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light :) see then that ye walk circumspectly."

No. IV. Although it does not appear to have ever been disputed that the epistle before us was written by St. Paul, yet it is well known that a doubt has long been entertained concerning the persons to whom it was addressed. The question is founded partly in some ambiguity in the external evidence. Marcion, a heretic of the second century, as quoted by Tertullian, a father in the beginning of the third, calls it the epistle to the Laodiceans. From what we know of Marcion, his judgment is little to be relied upon; nor is it perfectly clear that Marcion was rightly understood by Tertullian. If, however, Marcion, be brought to prove that some copies in his time gave ev Laodixéią in the superscription, his testimony, if it be


truly interpreted, is not diminished by his heresy ; for, as Grotius observes,cur in ea re mentiretur nihil erat causæ.The name év Edéow, in the first verse, upon which word singly depends the proof that the epistle was written to the Ephesians, is not read in all the manuscripts now extant. I admit, however, that the external evidence preponderates with a manifest excess on the side of the received reading. The objection therefore principally arises from the contents of the epistle itself, which, in many respects, militate with the supposition that it was written to the church of Ephesus. According to the history, St. Paul had passed two whole years at Ephesus (Acts xix. 10). And in this point, viz., of St. Paul having preached for a considerable length of time at Ephesus, the history is confirmed by the two epistles to the Corinthians, and by the two epistles to Timothy: “I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost," 1 Cor. xvi. 8. “We would not have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia," 2 Cor. i. 8; “As I besought thee to abide still at

. Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, 1 Tim. i. 3. And in how many things he ministered to me at Ephesus thou knowest well,” 2 Tim. i. 18. I adduce these testimonies, because, had it been a competition of credit between the history and the epistle, I should have thought myself bound to have preferred the epistle. Now, every epistle which St. Paul wrote to churches, which he himself had founded, or which he had visited, abounds with references, and appeals to what had passed during the time that he was present amongst them; whereas there is not a text in the epistle to the Ephesians, from which we can collect that he had ever been at Ephesus at all. The two

epistles to the Corinthians, the epistle to the Galatians, the epistle to the Philippians, and the two epistles to the Thessalonians, are of this class; and they are full of allusions to the apostle's history, his reception, and his conduct, whilst amongst them; the total want of which, in the epistle before us, is very difficult to account for, if it was in truth written to the church of Ephesus, in which city he had resided for so long a time. This is the first and strongest objection. But farther, the epistle to the Colossians was addressed to a church, in which St. Paul had never been. This we infer from the first verse of the second chapter: "For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh.” There could be no propriety in thus joining the Colossians and Laodiceans with those who had not seen his face in the flesh,” if they did not also belong to the same description.* Now, his address to the Colossians, whom he had not visited, is precisely the same as his address to the Christians, to whom he wrote in the epistle, which we are now considering: “We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints," Col. i. 3. Thus he speaks in the epistle before us, as follows: “Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, cease not to give thanks for you in my prayers ” (i. 15). The terms of this address are


* Dr Lardner contends against the validity of this conclusion

; but, I think, without success. LARDNER, vol. xiv. p. 473, edit. 1757.

observable. The words "having heard of your faith and love,” are the very words, we see, which he uses towards strangers; and it is not probable that he should employ the same in accosting a church in which he had long exercised his ministry, and whose “faith and love ” he must have personally known.* The epistle to the Romans was written before St. Paul had been at Rome; and his address to them runs in the same strain with that just now quoted : “I thank my God, through Jesus Christ, for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world,” Rom. i. 8. Let us now see what was the form in which our apostle was accustomed to introduce his epistles, when he wrote to those with whom he was already acquainted. To the Corinthians it was this: “I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ,” 1 Cor. i. 4. To the Philippians : "I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,” Phil. i. 3. To the Thessalo

, nians: “We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love,” 1 Thess. i. 3. To Timothy, “I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of


* Mr. Locke endeavours to avoid this difficulty by explaining their faith, of which St. Paul had heard,” to mean the stedfastness of their persuasion that they were called into the kingdom of God, without subjection to the Mosaic institution. But this interpretation seems to me extremely hard; for, in the manner in which faith is here joined with love, in the expression, “your faith and love,” it could not be meant to denote any particular tenet which distinguished one set of Christians from others; forasmuch as the expression describes the general virtues of the Christian profession. Vide LOCKE in loc.

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