THE REV. THOMAS CONNELLAN, - The Gospel Magazine

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THE REV. THOMAS CONNELLAN, - The Gospel Magazine

The Gospel Magazine.

571

THE EPISTLE TO THE EPHESIANS.

By THE LATE DR. HAWKER.

WE have in the Epistle to the Ephesians a portion of the inspired

writings, in which God the Holy Ghost, by His penman the Apostle,

has brought the Church into an acquaintance with the deep things

of God. Every chapter,more or less, brings with it such sublime

discoveries as none but God the Holy Spirit could have indited, and

none but His blessed teaching can give the ability to apprehend.

Every child of God, under the Lord's instruction, cannot but be constrained,

as he passes through the several chapters, to remark these

things, and to be "convinced that the- mind of the Apostle must have

been carried" out in a most eminent manner, in spiritual enjoyment,

at the time God the Holy Ghost put the pen into his hand, and such

a fulness of grace into his heart, when he caused him to write his Epistle

to the church at Ephesus. The reader, for the better apprehension

of the distinguishing mercy manifested by the IJord's people among

the Ephesians, should connect with this Epistle the history in the

formation of the church at Ephesus, -as related in the Acts of the

Apostles. The establishment of the Gospel among a people like the

Ephesians is among the world's wonders. Here was erected the

magnificent building dedicated to the dunghill idol, Diana. The

city itself, like another Athens, appears to have been wholly given

to idolatry. It was a place of much pomp, luxury, and pride in human

learning; if we may judge by the destruction of the books of curious

arts which were destroyed when some were converted to the faith

in Jesus. (See Acts xix. throughout). But here also Christ had a

people; and hence, according to Covenant promises, the Holy

Ghost gathers out His redeemed to show forth Jehovah's praise.

Jerem. xxxii. 37, 38; Ezek. xxxiv. 12, &c., and xxxvi. 24, &c. Hence

Paul was sent to Ephesus to raise a church; and hence, for the confirmation

of the church in the faith, he was afterwards directed to

send this Epistle.

But we must not stop here. It was not for the church at Ephesus

only that this most" precious portion of the Divine Word was sent,

but for the church of God in all ages. Thousands and tens of thousands

who never have seen, or will see, Ephesus, have found cause to bless

God the Holy Ghost for Paul's ministry and writings to that people.

Yea, ages yet unborn will find motives of praise for the same. Concerning

the date of this Epistle, writers are divided. Some place

it so late as the year 59, corresponding to the 5th year of Nero. I

do not think it necessary in this place to give an account, however

briefly, of the great and essential doctrine of which this Epistle treats.

These will meet us in their proper place. The chief features of God

the Father's eternal love in the choice of the Church in Christ, and to

unspotted holiness in Him, the full, free, and complete redemption

by Christ, in the time-state of the Church, and the regenerating grace

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