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CHAP. VI.

THE EPISTLE TO THE EPHESIANS.

No. I.

a

THI

HIS epistle, and the epistle to the

Colossians, appear to have been transmitted to their respective churches by the same messenger : “ But that ye also may 66 know my affairs, and how I do, Tychicus,

beloved brother and faithful minister in “ the Lord, Ihall make known to you all “ things; whom I have sent unto you for “ the same purpose, that ye might know “our affairs, and that he might comfort

your hearts” (Eph. chap. vi. ver. 21, 22). This text, if it do not expressly declare, clearly I think intimates, that the letter was sent by Tychicus. The words made use of in the epistle to the Colossians are very similar to these, and afford the same implication that Tychicus, in conjunction with Onesimus, was the bearer of the letter

to

to that church:“All my state shall Tychicus " declare unto you, who is a beloved bro" ther, and a faithful minister, and fellow “ fervant in the Lord, whom I have sent “ unto you for the same purpose, that he

might know your estate, and comfort your “ hearts ; with Onefimus, a faithful and “ beloved brother, who is one of you: they “ shall make known unto you all things “ which are done here" (Colof. chap. iv. ver. 7-9). Both epistles represent the writer as under imprisonment for the gospel ; and both treat of the fame general subject. The epiftle therefore to the Ephesians, and the epistle to the Colossians, import to be two letters written by the same person, at, or nearly at, the same time, and upon the same subject, and to have been sent by the same messenger. Now, every thing in the sentiments, order, and diction of the two writings corresponds with what might be expected from this circumstance of identity or cognation in their original. The leading doctrine of both epistles is the union of Jews and Gentiles under the Christian dispensation ; and that doctrine in both is established by P

the

one new

the same arguments, or, more properly speak-
ing, illustrated by the same similitudes * :
“ one head," " one body," "
man,"

""one temple," are in both epistles the figures, under which the fociety of believers in Christ, and their common relation to him as such, is represented to The ancient, and, as had been thought, the indeliblo distinction between Jew and Gentile, in both cpistles, is declared to be “now abolished by his cross." Beside this confent in the

ge

92

* St. Paul, I am apt to believe, has been sometimes accused of inconclusive reasoning, by our mistaking that for reasoning which was only intended for illustration He is not to be read as a man, whose own persuasion of the truth of what he taught always or solely depended upon the views under which he represents it in his writings. Taking for granted the certainty of his doctrine, as resting upon the revelation that had been imparted to him, he exhibits it frequently to the conception of his readers under images and allegories, in which if an analogy may be perceived, or even sometimes a poetic resemblance be found, it is all perhaps that is required.

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neral tenor of the two epistles, and in the run also and warmth of thought with which they are composed, we may naturally expect, in letters produced under the circumstances, in which these appear to have been written, a closer' resemblance of style and diction, than between other letters of the same

per, son, but of distant dates, or between letters adapted to different occafions. In particular we may look for many of the fame expressions, and sometimes for whole sentences being alike; since such expressions and sentences would be repeated in the second letter (whichever that was) as yet fresh in the author's mind from the writing of the first. This repetition occurs in the following examples * ; Ephes. ch. i. ver. 7.

66 In whom we “ have redemption through his blood, the ” forgiveness of sins +."

* When verbal comparisons are relied upon, it becomes necessary to state the original ; but that the English reader may be interrupted as little as may be, I shall in general do this in the note.

† Ephes, ch, i. ver. 7. Ev w sousy Thu amorulenovo dia 18 αιμαίος αυτε, την αφεσιν των παραπλωματων.

P 2

Colof.

Colof. ch. i. ver. 14.

c6 In whom we “ have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of fins *.”

Beside the sameness of the words, it is farther remarkable that the sentence is, in both places, preceded by the same introductory idea. In the Epistle to the Ephes fians it is the beloved" (myanmuevw); in that to the Colossians it is 66 his dear Son" (υιε της αγαπης αυτε), « in whom we have

redemption.” The sentence appears to have deen suggested to the mind of the writer by the idea which had accompanied it before.

Ephes. ch. i. ver. 10. “ All things both 56 which are in heaven and which are in 66 earth, even in him up.

Colof. ch. i. ver. 20. “ All things by “ him, whether they be things in earth,

or things in heaven 1.” • Col. ch. i. ver. 14. Ev q exopen the aròlugewoon sugo τ8 αιματος αυτ8, την αφισιν των αμαρτιων.-However it muft be observed, that in this latter text many copies have not να τα αιματος ωστε.

of Ephef.ch. i. ver. 10. TR TI EV TOLS BRAVOSs xal &T6 TUS yns, EY AUTW.

# Colof. ch. i, ver, 20. TOS. SU TOLS Bgarorso

Δι αυτη ειτε τα επι της γης είτε

1

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