Homilies of Chrysostom
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:
"Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus,  and the faithful in Christ Jesus. Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ."
Observe, he applies the word "through" to the Father. But what then? Shall we say that He is inferior? Surely not.
"To the saints," saith he, "which are at Ephesus, and the faithful in Christ Jesus."
Observe that he calls saints, men with wives, and children, and domestics. For that these are they whom he calls by this name is plain from the end of the Epistle, as, when he says, "Wives, be in subjection unto your own husbands." (Ephesians 5:22.) And again, "Children, obey your parents:" (Ephesians 6:1.) and, "Servants, be obedient to your masters." (Ephesians 6:5.) Think how great is the indolence that possesses us now, how rare is any thing like virtue now and how great the abundance of virtuous men must have been then, when even secular men could be called "saints and faithful." "Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ." "Grace" is his word; and he calls God, "Father," since this name is a sure token of that gift of grace. And how so? Hear what he saith elsewhere; "Because ye are sons, God sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, Abba, Father." (Galatians 4:6.)
"And from the Lord Jesus Christ."
Because for us men Christ was born, and appeared in the flesh.
Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
Ver. 3. "Blessed  be the God," he saith, "and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ."
Observe; The God of Him that was Incarnate  . And though thou wilt not, The Father of God the Word.
Ver. 3. "Who hath blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ."
He is here alluding to the blessings of the Jews  ; for that was blessing also, but it was not spiritual blessing. For how did it run? "The Lord bless thee, He will bless the fruit of thy body;" (Deuteronomy 7:13.) and "He will bless thy going out and thy coming in." (Deuteronomy 28:4.) But here it is not thus, but how? "With every spiritual blessing." And what lackest thou yet? Thou art made immortal, thou art made free, thou art made a son, thou art made righteous, thou art made a brother, thou art made a fellow-heir, thou reignest with Christ, thou art glorified with Christ; all things are freely given thee. "How," saith he, "shall He not also with Him freely give us all things?" (Romans 8:32.) Thy First-fruits is adored by Angels, by the Cherubim, by the Seraphim! What lackest thou yet? "With every spiritual blessing." There is nothing carnal here. Accordingly He excluded all those former blessings, when He said, "In the world ye have tribulation," (John 16:33.) to lead us on to these. For as they who possessed carnal things were unable to hear of spiritual things, so they who aim at spiritual things cannot attain to them unless they first stand aloof from carnal things.
What again is "spiritual blessing in the heavenly places?" It is not upon earth, he means, as was the case with the Jews. "Ye shall eat the good of the land." (Isaiah 1:19.) "Unto a land flowing with milk and honey." (Exodus 3:8.) "The Lord shall bless thy land." (Deuteronomy 7:13.) Here we have nothing of this sort, but what have we? "If a man love Me, he will keep My word, and I and My Father will come unto him, and make our abode with him." (John 14:23.) "Every one therefore which heareth these words of Mine, and doeth them, shall be likened unto a wise man which built his house upon the rock, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house, and it fell not, for it was founded upon the rock." (Matthew 7:24, 25.) And what is that rock but those heavenly things which are above the reach of every change? "Every one therefore who," saith Christ, "shall confess Me before men, him will I also confess before My Father which is in Heaven: But whosoever shall deny Me, him will I also deny." (Matthew 10:32, 33.) Again, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." (Matthew 5:8.) And again, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven." (Matthew 5:3.) And again, "Blessed are ye which are persecuted for righteousness sake, for great is your reward in Heaven." (Matthew 5:11, 12.) Observe, how every where He speaketh of Heaven, no where of earth, or of the things on the earth.  And again, "Our citizenship is in Heaven, from whence also we wait for a Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ." (Philip. iii. 20.) And again, "Not setting your mind on the things that are on the earth, but on the things which are above." (Colossians 3:3.)
That is to say, this blessing was not by the hand of Moses, but by Christ Jesus: so that we surpass them not only in the quality of the blessings, but in the Mediator also. As moreover he saith in the Epistle to the Hebrews; "And Moses indeed was faithful in all his house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were afterward to be spoken; but Christ as a Son over His house, whose house are we." (Hebrews 3:5-6.)
Ver. 4. "Even as," he proceeds, "He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blemish before Him in love."
His meaning is somewhat of this sort. Through whom He hath blessed us, through Him He hath also chosen us. And He, then, it is that shall bestow upon us all those rewards hereafter. He is the very Judge that shall say, "Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." (Matthew 25:34.) And again, "I will that where I am they will also be with Me." (John 17:24.) And this is a point which he is anxious to prove in almost all his Epistles, that ours is no novel system, but that it had thus been figured from the very first, that it is not the result of any change of purpose, but had been in fact a divine dispensation and fore-ordained. And this is a mark of great solicitude for us.
What is meant by, "He chose us in Him?" By means of the faith which is in Him, Christ, he means, happily ordered this for us before we were born; nay more, before the foundation of the world. And beautiful is that word "foundation," as though he were pointing to the world as cast down from some vast height. Yea, vast indeed and ineffable is the height of God, so far removed not in place but in incommunicableness of nature; so wide the distance between creation and Creator! A word which heretics may be ashamed to hear. 
But wherefore hath He chosen us? "That we should be holy and without a blemish before Him." That you may not then, when you hear that "He hath chosen us," imagine that faith alone is sufficient, he proceeds to add life and conduct. To this end, saith he, hath He chosen us, and on this condition, "that we should be holy and without blemish." And so formerly he chose the Jews. On what terms? "This nation, saith he, hath He chosen from the rest of the nations." (Deuteronomy 14:2.) Now if men in their choices choose what is best, much more doth God. And indeed the fact of their being chosen is at once a token of the loving kindness of God, and of their moral goodness.  For by all means would he have chosen those who were approved. He hath Himself rendered us holy, but then we must continue holy. A holy man is he who is a partaker of faith; a blameless man is he who leads an irreproachable life. It is not however simply holiness and irreproachableness that He requires, but that we should appear such "before Him." For there are holy and blameless characters, who yet are esteemed as such only by men, those who are like whited sepulchres, and like such as wear sheep's clothing. It is not such, however, He requires, but such as the Prophet speaks of; "And according to the cleanness of my hands." (Psalm 18:24.) What cleanness? That which is so "in His eyesight." He requires that holiness on which the eye of God may look.
Having thus spoken of the good works of these, he again recurs to His grace. "In love," saith he, "having predestinated us." Because this comes not of any pains, nor of any good works of ours, but of love; and yet not of love alone, but of our virtue also. For if indeed of love alone, it would follow that all must be saved; whereas again were it the result of our virtue alone, then were His coming needless, and the whole dispensation. But it is the result neither of His love alone, nor yet of our virtue, but of both. "He chose us," saith the Apostle; and He that chooseth, knoweth what it is that He chooseth. "In love," he adds, "having foreordained us;" for virtue would never have saved any one, had there not been love. For tell me, what would Paul have profited, how would he have exhibited what he has exhibited, if God had not both called him from the beginning, and, in that He loved him, drawn him to Himself? But besides, His vouchsafing us so great privileges, was the effect of His love, not of our virtue. Because our being rendered virtuous, and believing, and coming nigh unto Him, even this again was the work of Him that called us Himself, and yet, notwithstanding, it is ours also. But that on our coming nigh unto Him, He should vouchsafe us so high privileges, as to bring us at once from a state of enmity, to the adoption of children, this is indeed the work of a really transcendent love.
According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
Ver. 4, 5. "In love,"  saith he, "having foreordained us unto adoption as sons through Jesus Christ unto Himself."
Do you observe how that nothing is done without Christ? Nothing without the Father? The one hath predestinated, the other hath brought us near. And these words he adds by way of heightening the things which have been done, in the same way as he says also elsewhere, "And not only so, but we also rejoice in God, through our Lord Jesus Christ." (Romans 5:11.) For great indeed are the blessings bestowed, yet are they made far greater in being bestowed through Christ; because He sent not any servant, though it was to servants He sent, but the Only-begotten Son Himself.
Ver. 5. "According to the good pleasure," he continues, "of His will."
That is to say, because He earnestly willed it. This is, as one might say, His earnest desire.  For the word "good pleasure" every where means the precedent will, for there is also another will. As for example, the first will is that sinners should not perish; the second will is, that, if men become wicked, they shall perish. For surely it is not by necessity that He punishes them, but because He wills it. You may see something of the sort even in the words of Paul, where he says, "I would that all men were even as I myself." (1 Corinthians 7:7.) And again, "I desire that the younger widows marry, bear children." (1 Timothy 5:14.) By "good pleasure" then he means the first will, the earnest will, the will accompanied with earnest desire, as in case of us, for I shall not refuse to employ even a somewhat familiar expression, in order to speak with clearness to the simpler sort; for thus we ourselves, to express the intentness of the will, speak of acting according to our resolve. What he means to say then is this, God earnestly aims at, earnestly desires, our salvation. Wherefore then is it that He so loveth us, whence hath He such affection? It is of His goodness alone. For grace itself is the fruit of goodness. And for this cause, he saith, hath He predestinated us to the adoption of children; this being His will, and the object of His earnest wish, that the glory of His grace may be displayed. "According to the good pleasure of His will," he proceeds,
Ver. 6. "To the praise of the glory of His grace,  which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved."
That the glory of His grace may be displayed, he saith, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. Now then if for this He hath shown grace to us, to the praise of the glory of His grace, and that He may display His grace, let us abide therein. "To the praise of His glory." What is this? that who should praise Him? that who should glorify Him? that we, that Angels, that Archangels, yea, or the whole creation? And what were that? Nothing. The Divine nature knoweth no want. And wherefore then would He have us praise and glorify Him? It is that our love towards Him may be kindled more fervently within us. He desireth nothing we can render; not our service, not our praise, nor any thing else, nothing but our salvation; this is His object in every thing He does. And he who praises and marvels at the grace displayed towards himself will thus be more devoted and more earnest.
"Which He freely bestowed on us," he saith. He does not say, "Which He hath graciously given us," (echarisato) but, "wherein He hath shown grace to us." (echaritosen) That is to say, He hath not only released us from our sins, but hath also made us meet objects  of His love. It is as though one were to take a leper, wasted by distemper, and disease, by age, and poverty, and famine, and were to turn him all at once into a graceful youth, surpassing all mankind in beauty, shedding a bright lustre from his cheeks, and eclipsing the sun-beams with the glances of his eyes; and then were to set him in the very flower of his age, and after that array him in purple and a diadem and all the attire of royalty. It is thus that God hath arrayed and adorned this soul of ours, and clothed it with beauty, and rendered it an object of His delight and love. Such a soul Angels desire to look into, yea, Archangels, and all the holy ones. Such grace hath He shed over us, so dear hath He rendered us to Himself. "The King," saith the Psalmist, "shall greatly desire thy beauty." (Psalm 45:11.) Think what injurious words we uttered heretofore, and look, what gracious words we utter now. Wealth has no longer charms for us, nor the things that are here below, but only heavenly things, the things that are in the heavens. When a child has outward beauty, and has besides a pervading grace in all its sayings, do we not call it a beautiful child? Such as this are the faithful. Look, what words the initiated utter! What can be more beautiful than that mouth that breathes those wondrous words, and with a pure heart and pure lips, and beaming with cheerful confidence, partaketh of such a mystical table? What more beautiful than the words, with which we renounce the service of the Devil, and enlist in the service of Christ? than both that confession which is before the Baptismal laver,  and that which is after it? Let us reflect as many of us as have defiled our Baptism, and weep that we may be able again to repair it.
Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
Ver. 6. "In the Beloved,"  he saith, "in whom we have  our redemption through His Blood." 
And how is this? Not only is there this marvel, that He hath given His Son, but yet further that He hath given Him in such a way, as that the Beloved One Himself should be slain!
Yea, and more transcendent still! He hath given the Beloved for them that were hated. See, how high a price he sets upon us. If, when we hated Him and were enemies, He gave the Beloved, what will He not do now, when we are reconciled by Him through grace?
Ver. 7. "The forgiveness," saith he, "of our trespasses."
Again he descends from high to low: first speaking of adoption, and sanctification, and blamelessness, and then of the Passion, and in this not lowering his discourse and bringing it down from greater things to lesser, no rather, he was heightening it, and raising it from the lesser to the greater. For nothing is so great as that the blood of this Son should be shed for us. Greater this than both the adoption, and all the other gifts of grace, that He spared not even the Son. For great indeed is the forgiveness of sins, yet this is the far greater thing, that it should be done by the Lord's blood. For that this is far greater than all, look how here again he exclaims,
Ver. 7, 8. "According to the riches of His grace, which He made to abound toward us."
The abovementioned gifts are riches, yet is this far more so. "Which," saith he, "He made to abound toward us." They are both "riches" and "they have abounded," that is to say, were poured forth in ineffable measure. It is not possible to represent in words what blessings we have in fact experienced. For riches indeed they are, abounding riches, and He hath given in abundance riches not of man but of God, so that on all hands it is impossible that they should be expressed. And to show us how He gave it to such abundance, he adds,
Ver. 8, 9. "In all wisdom and prudence,  having made known unto us the mystery of His will."
That is to say, Making us wise and prudent, in that which is true wisdom, and that which is true prudence. Strange! what friendship! For He telleth us His secrets; the mysteries, saith he, of His will, as if one should say, He hath made known to us the things that are in His heart. For here is indeed the mystery which is full of all wisdom and prudence. For what will you mention equal to this wisdom! Those that were worth nothing, it hath discovered a way of raising them to wealth and abundance. What can equal this wise contrivance? He that was an enemy, he that was hated, he is in a moment lifted up on high. And not this only,--but, yet more, that it should be done at this particular time, this again was the work of wisdom; and that it should be done by means of the Cross. It were matter of long discourse here to point out, how all this was the work of wisdom, and how He had made us wise. And therefore he repeats again the words,
"According to His good pleasure  which He purposed in Him." 
That is to say, this He desired, this He travailed for, as one might say, that He might be able to reveal to us the mystery. What mystery? That He would have man seated up on high. And this hath come to pass.
Ver. 10. "Unto a dispensation of the fulness of the times to sum up all things in Christ, the things in the heavens and the things upon the earth, even in Him."
Heavenly things, he means to say, had been severed from earthly. They had no longer one Head. So far indeed as the system of the creation went, there was over all One God, but so far as management of one household went, this, amid the wide spread of Gentile error, was not the case, but they had been severed from His obedience.
"Unto a dispensation," saith he, "of the fulness of the times."
The fulness of the times, he calls it. Observe with what nicety he speaks. And whereas he points out the origination, the purpose, the will, the first intention, as proceeding from the Father, and the fulfillment and execution as effected by the agency of the Son, yet no where does he apply to him the term minister. 
"He chose us," saith he, "in Him, having foreordained us unto adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself;" and, "to the praise of the glory of His grace, in whom we have redemption through His blood,--which He purposed in Him, unto a dispensation of the fulness of the times, to sum up all things in Christ;" and no where hath he called Him minister. If however the word "in" and the word "by" implies a mere minister, look what the matter comes to. Just in the very beginning of the Epistle, he used the expression "through the will of the Father." The Father, he means, willed, the Son wrought. But neither does it follow, that because the Father willed, the Son is excluded from the willing; nor because the Son wrought, that the Father is deprived of the working. But to the Father and the Son, all things are common. "For all Mine are Thine," saith He, "and Thine are Mine." (John 17:10.)
The fullness of the times,  however, was His coming. After, then, He had done everything, by the ministry both of Angels, and of Prophets, and of the Law, and nothing came of it, and it was well nigh come to this, that man had been made in vain, brought into the world in vain, nay, rather to his ruin; when all were absolutely perishing, more fearfully than in the deluge, He devised this dispensation, that is by grace; that it might not be in vain, might not be to no purpose that man was created. This he calls "the fulness of the times," and "wisdom." And why so? Because at that time when they were on the very point of perishing, then they were rescued.
That "He might sum up" he saith.
What is the meaning of this word, "sum up?" It is "to knit together." Let us, however, endeavor to get near the exact import. With ourselves then, in common conversation, the word means the summing into a brief compass things spoken at length, the concise account of matters described in detail. And it has this meaning. For Christ hath gathered up in Himself the dispensations carried on through a lengthened period, that is to say, He hath cut them short. For "by finishing His word and cutting it short in righteousness," (Romans 9:28.) He both comprehended former dispensations, and added others beside. This is the meaning of "summing up."
It has also another signification; and of what nature is this? He hath set over all one and the same Head, i. e., Christ according to the flesh, alike over Angels and men. That is to say, He hath given to Angels and men one and the same government; to the one the Incarnate, to the other God the Word.  Just as one might say of a house which has some part decayed and the other sound, He hath rebuilt the house, that is to say, He has made it stronger, and laid a firmer foundation. So also here He hath brought all under one and the same Head.  For thus will an union be effected, thus will a close bond be effected, if one and all can be brought under one and the same Head, and thus have some constraining bond of union from above. Honored then as we are with so great a blessing, so high a privilege, so great loving-kindness, let us not shame our Benefactor, let us not render in vain so great grace. Let us exemplify the life of Angels, the virtue of Angels, the conversation of Angels, yea, I entreat and conjure you, that all these things turn not to our judgment, nor to our condemnation, but to our enjoyment of those good things, which may God grant we may all attain, in Christ Jesus, our Lord, with whom to the Father, together with the Holy Ghost, be glory, strength, &c. &c.
 [At Ephesus, Chrysostom's text has these words (en 'Epheso) and he betrays no knowledge of any copies which omitted them. But they are omitted by Aleph* B. by some mss., consulted by Basil, and apparently by Origen's text, for he interprets tois ousin (those who are) absolutely, as he would not have done had he read en 'Epheso. The Revisers insert the words but with a marginal note. Westcott and Hort bracket them. See their discussion of the point in Appendix (vol. II. of Greek Text), p. 123. For a full discussion see Meyer's Introduction to Ephesians, Sec. 1, where he earnestly defends "the right of these words to a place in the text."--G.A.]
 [Meyer holds that the genitive tou kuriou, etc. does not limit Theos, but only pater: "Blessed be God who at same time is Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." So also Ellicott.--G.A.]
 ["A contrast to the earthly benefits promised to the Jews in the Old Testament is foreign to the context."--Meyer.--G.A.]
 ["Such a specification of the sphere' and thence of the spiritual character' of the action would seem superfluous after the definite words preceding. In four other passages in this Epistle the expression, in the heavenlies,' seems local' (i. 20; ii. 6; iii. 10; vi. 12.). So the expression here must be referred as a local' predication to eulogi& 139; pneumaeke defining the region' whence the blessings of the Spirit come. Cf. Hebrews 6:4."--Ellicott.--G.A.]
 [And an argument which can hardly be considered valid, based, as it is, on the literal and etymological meaning of a word in a passage where it is plainly used metaphorically and not literally.--The word is katabole.--G.A.]
 [Tekmerion kai tes auton aretes, a proposition which will strike a Protestant reader of any denomination with surprise, to say the least. Schaff says, "Chrysostom laid great stress on free will and the co-operation of the human will with divine grace in the work of conversion. Cassian, the founder of Semi-Pelagianism, was his pupil and appealed to his authority. We may say that in tendency and spirit he was a Catholic Semi-Pelagian or Synergist before Semi-Pelagianism was brought into a system." Prolegomena p. 20. Chrysostom's exposition of this passage is inaccurate, inconsistent, illogical and untenable. If He chose us in order that we should be holy how can holiness, or "moral goodness," as Chrysostom says, be an antecedent condition of His choosing us? See note on ch. ii. 10.--G.A.]
 [These words, en agape, are in the Revised Version and in the text of Westcott and Hort joined with what precedes, hagious kai amomous. So also Alford. Meyer and Ellicott, however, are in accord with Chrysostom and probably right in joining en agape with proorisas, following.--G.A.]
 [The good pleasure of His will means, "God's free self-determination, independent of all human desert, as regulative of the proorizein."--Meyer.--G.A.]
 ["As love was the motive for the divine predestination, so is the glorifying of the divine love, here designated grace,' its divinely conceived ultimate aim."--Meyer.--G.A.]
 ["The word does not here mean to make love worthy,' as Chrys., referring to inherent righteousness, but to grant grace,' just as ver. 7 sets forth simply the work of pardoning grace.'"--Meyer.--G.A.]
 Different usages were observed as regards the Baptismal Confession. In all cases there was one before Baptism. In some places it was made three times; and in some it was written after it was spoken. vid. Bingham Antique, xi. 7. &c.
 ["The designation of Christ by hoegapemenos makes us feel the greatness of the divine grace."--Meyer.--G.A.]
 ["More precise elucidation of what has been said, on the basis of experience (echomen). Meyer.--G.A.]
 ["Through His Blood' is a more precise definition of the preceding en ha in whom.'"--Meyer. "We have redemption not in His work without His Person but in His Person which with His work is a living unity."--Olshausen in Lange.--G.A.]
 ["In all wisdom and prudence' is not to be joined, as Chrysostom does, with having made known' (gnorisas), because it would thus denote the attribute of God operative in the gnorizein, which on account of the pase, every,' is not admissible. Paul in making known the mystery had to set forth not the display of grace in itself but as revealed.' Hence some definition to the clause, which he made to abound toward us,' is necessary and this is the in all wisdom and prudence.'"--Meyer.--G.A.]
 ["According to His good pleasure' belongs to gnorisas, stating that God has accomplished the making known in pursuance of His free self-determination, cf. ver. 5."--Meyer.--G.A.]
 ["Which He purposed in Him,' in itself redundant, serves for the attaching of that which follows."--Meyer. G.A.]
 E.G. of the Angels by way of contrast, "Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister," eis diakonian. Hebr. i. 14. However S. Iren?us says, "Ministral ei ad omnia sua progenies et figuratio sua, id est Filius et Spiritus Sanctus." H?r. iv. 17. And St. Justin Martyr applies to our Lord the word huperetein. Tryph. 61, as scripture does the word Angel or Messenger. The distinction is obvious; our Lord may be named the Minister or Instrument of the Father in the sense in which our reason may be called the instrument of our mind, as being one with it and in it. In this sense St. Hilary calls the Son obedientem dictis Dei Deum. de Trin. v. vid. Petav. De Trin. ii. 7. ?. 7.
 [Which he purposed in him' (i. e. Christ' according to Rev. Ver. and W. and H.; but God' according to Meyer and Ellicott, who have hauto) "with a design to the dispensation of the fullness of the times, i. e., the dispensation to be established at the setting in of the fulness of the times. Galatians 4:4; Mark 1:15."--Meyer.--G.A.]
 ["A distinction at variance with Scripture."--Meyer.--G.A.]
 ["This illustration has been again employed by Harless whose view of this passage is that the apostle speaks thus: The Lord and Creator of the whole body of which heaven and earth are members, has in the restoration of one member restored the whole body; and in this consists the greatest significance of the reconciliation that it is not merely a restoration of the life of earth but a bringing back of the harmony of the universe. This concedes to the ta epi tois ouranois merely an indirect participation in the anakephalaiosis and the de facto operation of the Messianic oikonomia on the heavenly world is set aside,--which appears the less admissible inasmuch as the ta epi tois ouranois has the precedence (in position)."--Meyer. "Heaven and earth have become places of sin (vi. 12;) indeed heaven was the first theatre of sin when a part of the angels fell into sin and away from God (1 Timothy 3:6; 1 John 3:8; James 2:19; 2 Peter 2:4;) thence it came to earth (2 Corinthians 11:3; 1 Corinthians 10:20, 21.) Thus the state originally appointed by God and the development He wished to be without disturbance, ceased (Romans 8:18-24,) so that a renewing of the heavens and the earth was taken into view (2 Peter 3:13.) The center of this renewal is Christ and His redeeming work. Here we may certainly apply what Bengel so aptly remarks on Romans 8:19. that pro suo quodque genus captu, every kind according to its capacity,' participates in this Anacephalaiosis, the evil (angels) as conquered and rejected opponents, the good angels as participating friends, the redeemed as accepted children, the rest of creation as subordinate companions."--Braune in Lange. Similarly Eadie: "Not only has harmony been restored to the universe and the rupture occasioned by sin repaired, but beings still in rebellion are placed under Christ's control, as well as the unconscious elements and spheres of nature. This summation is seen in the form of government: Jesus is universal regent."--G.A.]
In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;
Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:
That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:
In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
"In whom also we were made a heritage, having been foreordained according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of his will."
Paul earnestly endeavors on all occasions to display the unspeakable loving-kindness of God towards us, to the utmost of his power. For that it is impossible to do so adequately, hear his own words. "O! the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God; how unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past tracing out." (Romans 11:33.) Still, notwithstanding, so far as it is possible, he does display it. What then is this which he is saying; "In whom also we were made a heritage, being predestinated?" Above he used the word, "He chose us;" here he saith, "we were made a heritage." But inasmuch as a lot is a matter of chance, not of deliberate choice, nor of virtue, (for it is closely allied to ignorance and accident, and oftentimes passing over the virtuous, brings forward the worthless into notice,) observe how he corrects this very point: "having been foreordained," saith he, "according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things." That is to say, not merely have we been made a heritage, as, again, we have not merely been chosen, (for it is God who chooses,) and so neither have we merely been allotted, (for it is God who allots,)  but it is "according to a purpose." This is what he says also in the Epistle to the Romans, (Romans 8:28-30.) "To them that are called according to His purpose;" and "whom He called, them He also justified, and whom He justified, them he also glorified." Having first used the expression, "to them that are called according to a purpose," and at the same time wishing to declare their privilege compared with the rest of mankind, he speaks also of inheritance by lot, yet so as not to divest them of free will. That point then, which more properly belongs to happy fortune, is the very point he insists upon. For this inheritance by lot depends not on virtue, but, as one might say, on fortuitous circumstances. It is as though he had said, lots were cast, and He hath chosen us;  but the whole is of deliberate choice. Men predestinated, that is to say, having chosen them to Himself, He hath separated. He saw us, as it were, chosen by lot before we were born. For marvellous is the foreknowledge of God, and acquainted with all things before their beginning.
But mark now how on all occasions he takes pains to point out, that it is not the result of any change of purpose, but that these matters had been thus modeled from the very first, so that we are in no wise inferior to the Jews in this respect; and how, in consequence, he does every thing with this view. How then is it that Christ Himself saith, "I was not sent, but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel?" (Matthew 15:24.) And said again to his disciples, "Go not into any way of the Gentiles, and enter not into any city of the Samaritans." (Matthew 10:5.) And Paul again himself says, "It was necessary that the word of God should first be spoken to you. Seeing ye thrust it from you and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles." (Acts 13:46.) These expressions, I say, are used with this design, that no one may suppose that this work came to pass incidentally only. "According to the purpose," he says, "of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His will." That is to say, He had no after workings; having modeled all things from the very first, thus he leads forward all things "according to the counsel of His will." So that it was not merely because the Jews did not listen that He called the Gentiles, nor was it of mere necessity, nor was it on any inducement arising from them.
That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
Ver. 12, 13. "To the end that we should be unto the praise of His glory, we who had before hoped  in Christ. In whom ye also having heard the word of the truth, the Gospel of your salvation."
That is to say, through whom. Observe how he on all occasions speaks of Christ, as the Author of all things, and in no case gives Him the title of a subordinate agent, or a minister. And so again, elsewhere, in his Epistle to the Hebrews, he says, "that God, having of old time spoken unto the Fathers in the prophets, hath at the end of these days spoken unto us in His Son," (Hebrews 1:1.) that is "through" His Son.
"The word of truth," he says, no longer that of the type, nor of the image.
"The Gospel of your salvation." And well does he call it the Gospel of salvation, intimating in the one word a contrast to the law, in the other, a contrast with punishment to come. For what is the message, but the Gospel of salvation, which forbears to destroy those that are worthy of destruction.
In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
Ver. 14. "In whom having also believed, ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, which is an earnest of our inheritance."
Here again, the word "sealed," is an indication of especial forecast. He does not speak of our being predestinated only, nor of our being allotted, but further, of our being sealed. For just as though one were to make those who should fall to his lot manifest, so also did God separate them for believing, and sealed them for the allotment of the things to come.
You see how, in process of time, He makes them objects of wonder. So long as they were in His foreknowledge, they were manifest to no one, but when they were sealed, they became manifest, though not in the same way as we are; for they will be manifest except a few. The Israelites also were sealed, but that was by circumcision, like the brutes and reasonless creatures. We too are sealed, but it is as sons, "with the Spirit."
But what is meant by, "with the Spirit of promise?" Doubtless it means that we have received that Spirit according to promise. For there are two promises, the one by the prophets, the other from the Son.
By the Prophets.--Hearken to the words of Joel; "I will pour out My spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions," (Joel 2:28.) And hearken again to the words of Christ; "But ye shall receive power, when the Holy Ghost is come upon you, and ye shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." (Acts 1:8.) And truly, the Apostle means, He ought, as God, to have been believed; however, he does not ground his affirmation upon this, but examines it like a case where man is concerned, speaking much as he does in the Epistle to the Hebrews; (Hebrews 6:18.) where he says, "That by two immutable things in which it was impossible for God to lie, we may have a strong encouragement." Thus here also he makes the things already bestowed a sure token of the promise of those which are yet to come. For this reason he further calls it an "earnest," (Cf. also 2 Corinthians 1:22.) for an earnest is a part of the whole. He hath purchased what we are most concerned in, our salvation; and hath given us an earnest in the mean while. Why then did He not give the whole at once? Because neither have we, on our part, done the whole of our work. We have believed. This is a beginning; and He too on His part hath given an earnest. When we show our faith by our works, then He will add the rest. Nay, more, He hath given yet another pledge, His own blood, and hath promised another still. In the same way as in case of war between nation and nation they give hostages: just so hath God also given His Son as a pledge of peace and solemn treaties, and, further, the Holy Spirit also which is from Him. For they, that are indeed partakers of the Spirit, know that He is the earnest of our inheritance. Such an one was Paul, who already had here a foretaste of the blessings there. And this is why he was so eager, and yearned to be released from things below, and groaned within himself. He transferred his whole mind thither, and saw every thing with different eyes. Thou hast no part in the reality, and therefore failest to understand the description. Were we all partakers of the Spirit, as we ought to be partakers, then should we behold Heaven, and the order of things that is there.
It is an earnest, however, of what? of
Ver. 14. "The redemption of God's own possession."
For our absolute redemption takes place then.  For now we have our life in the world, we are liable to many human accidents, and are living amongst ungodly men. But our absolute redemption will be then, when there shall be no sins, no human sufferings, when we shall not be indiscriminately mixed with all kinds of people.
At present, however, there is but an earnest, because at present we are far distant from these blessings. Yet is our citizenship not upon earth; even now we are out of the pale of the things that are here below. Yes, we are sojourners even now.
Ver. 14. "Unto the praise of His glory."
This he adds in immediate connection. And why? Because it would serve to give those who heard it full assurance. Were it for our sake only, he means to say, that God did this, there might be some room for misgiving. But if it be for His own sake, and in order to display His goodness, he assigns, as a sort of witness, a reason why these things never possibly could be otherwise. We find the same language everywhere applied to the case of the Israelites. "Do Thou this for us for Thy Name's sake;" (Psalm 109:21.) and again, God Himself said, "I do it for Mine own sake;" (Isaiah 48:11.) and so Moses, "Do it, if for nothing else, yet for the glory of Thy Name." This gives those who hear it full assurance; it relieves them to be told, that whatever He promises, for His own goodness' sake He will most surely perform.
Moral. Let not the hearing, however, make us too much at our ease; for although He doth it for His own sake, yet notwithstanding He requires a duty on our part. If He says, "Them that honor Me I will honor, and they that despise Me shall be lightly esteemed," (1 Samuel 2:30.) let us reflect that there is that which He requires of us also. True, it is the praise of His glory to save those that are enemies, but those who, after being made friends, continue His friends. So that if they were to return back to their former state of enmity, all were vain and to no purpose. There is not another Baptism, nor is there a second reconciliation again, but "a certain fearful expectation of judgment which shall devour the adversaries." (Hebrews 10:27.) If we intend at the same time to be always at enmity with Him and yet to claim forgiveness at His hand, we shall never cease to be at enmity, and to be wanton, to grow in depravity, and to be blind to the Sun of Righteousness which has risen. Dost thou not see the ray that shall open thine eyes? render them then good and sound and quicksighted. He hath showed thee the true light; if thou shunnest it, and runnest back again into the darkness, what shall be thy excuse? What sort of allowance shall be made for thee? None from that moment. For this is a mark of unspeakable enmity. When indeed thou knewest not God, then if thou wert at enmity with Him, thou hadst, be it how it might, some excuse. But when thou hast tasted the goodness and the honey, if thou again abandonest them, and turnest to thine own vomit, what else art thou doing but bringing forward evidence of excessive hatred and contempt? Nay,' thou wilt say, but I am constrained to it by nature. I love Christ indeed, but I am constrained by nature.' If thou art under the power and force of constraint, thou wilt have allowance made; but if thou yield from indolence, not for a moment.
Now then, come, let us examine this very question, whether sins are the effect of force and constraint, or of indolence and great carelessness. The law says, "Thou shalt not kill." What sort of force, what sort of violence, is there here? Violence indeed must one use to force himself to kill, for who amongst us would as a matter of choice plunge his sword into the throat of his neighbor, and stain his hand with blood? Not one. Thou seest then that, on the contrary, sin is more properly matter of violence and constraint. For God hath implanted in our nature a charm, which binds us to love one another. "Every beast (it saith) loveth his like, and every man loveth his neighbor." (Ecclus. xiii. 15.) Seest thou that we have from our nature seeds which tend to virtue; whereas those of vice are contrary to nature? and if these latter predominate, this is but an evidence of our exceeding indolence.
Again, what is adultery? What sort of necessity is there to bring us to this? Doubtless, it will be said, the tyranny of lust. But why, tell me, should this be? What, is it not in every one's power to have his own wife, and thus to put a stop to this tyranny? True, he will say, but a sort of passion for my neighbor's wife seizes hold on me. Here the question is no longer one of necessity. Passion is no matter of necessity, no one loves of necessity, but of deliberate choice and free will. Indulgence of nature, indeed, is perhaps matter of necessity, but to love one woman rather than another is no matter of necessity. Nor is the point with you natural desire, but vanity, and wantonness, and unbounded licentiousness. For which is according to reason, that a man should have an espoused wife, and her the mother of his children, or one not acknowledged? Know ye not that it is intimacy that breeds attachment. This, therefore, is not the fault of nature. Blame not natural desire. Natural desire was bestowed with a view to marriage; it was given with a view to the procreation of children, not with a view to adultery and corruption. The laws, too, know how to make allowance for those sins which are of necessity,--or rather nothing is sin when it arises from necessity but all sin rises from wantonness. God hath not so framed man's nature as that he should have any necessity to sin, since were this the case, there would be no such thing as punishment. We ourselves exact no account of things done of necessity and by constraint, much less would God, so full of mercy and loving-kindness.
Again, what is stealing? is it matter of necessity? Yes, a man will say, because poverty causes this. Poverty, however, rather compels us to work, not to steal. Poverty, therefore, has in fact the contrary effect. Theft is the effect of idleness; whereas poverty produces usually not idleness, but a love of labor. So that this sin is the effect of indolence, as you may learn from hence. Which, I ask, is the more difficult, the more distasteful, to wander about at night without sleep, to break open houses, and walk about in the dark, and to have one's life in one's hand, and to be always prepared for murder, and to be shivering and dead with fear; or to be attending to one's daily task, in full enjoyment of safety and security? This last is the easier task; and it is because this is easier, that the majority practise it rather than the other. Thou seest then that it is virtue which is according to nature, and vice which is against nature, in the same way as disease and health are.
What, again, are falsehood and perjury? What necessity can they possibly imply? None whatever, nor any compulsion; it is a matter to which we proceed voluntarily. We are distrusted, it will be said. True, distrusted we are, because we choose it. For we might, if we would, be trusted more upon our character, than upon our oath. Why, tell me, is it that we do not trust some, no, not on their oath, whilst we deem others trustworthy even independently of oaths.  Seest thou that there is no need of oaths in any case? When such an one speaks,' we say, I believe him, even without any oath, but thee, no, not with thy oaths.' Thus then an oath is unnecessary; and is in fact an evidence rather of distrust than of confidence. For where a man is over ready to take his oath, he does not leave us to entertain any great idea of his scrupulousness. So that the man who is most constant in his use of oaths, has on no occasion any necessity for using one, and he who never uses one on any occasion, has in himself the full benefit of its use. Some one says there is a necessity for an oath, to produce confidence; but we see that they are the more readily trusted who abstain from taking oaths.
But again, if one is a man of violence, is this a matter of necessity? Yes, he will say, because his passion carries him away, and burns within him, and does not let the soul be at rest. Man, to act with violence is not the effect of anger, but of littleness of mind. Were it the effect of anger, all men, whenever they were angry, would never cease committing acts of violence. We have anger given us, not that we may commit acts of violence on our neighbors, but that we may correct those that are in sin, that we may bestir ourselves, that we may not be sluggish. Anger is implanted in us as a sort of sting, to make us gnash with our teeth against the devil, to make us vehement against him, not to set us in array against each other. We have arms, not to make us at war amongst ourselves, but that we may employ our whole armor against the enemy. Art thou prone to anger? Be so against thine own sins: chastise thy soul, scourge thy conscience, be a severe judge, and merciless in thy sentence against thine own sins. This is the way to turn anger to account. It was for this that God implanted it within us.
But again, is plunder a matter of necessity? No, in no wise. Tell me, what manner of necessity is there to be grasping: what manner of compulsion? Poverty, a man will say, causes it, and the fear of being without common necessaries. Now this is the very reason why you ought not to be grasping. Wealth so gotten has no security in it. You are doing the very same thing as a man would do, who, if he were asked why he laid the foundation of his house in the sand, should say, he did it because of the frost and rain. Whereas this would be the very reason why he should not lay it in the sand. They are the very foundations which the rain, and blasts, and wind, most quickly overturn. So that if thou wouldest be wealthy, never be rapacious; if thou wouldest transmit wealth to thy children, get righteous wealth, at least, if any there be that is such. Because this abides, and remains firm, whereas that which is not such, quickly wastes and perishes. Tell me, hast thou a mind to be rich, and dost thou take the goods of others? Surely this is not wealth: wealth consists in possessing what is thine own. He that is in possession of the goods of others, never can be a wealthy man; since at that rate even your very silk venders, who receive their goods as a consignment from others, would be the wealthiest and the richest of men. Though for the time, indeed, it is theirs, still we do not call them wealthy. And why forsooth? Because they are in possession of what belongs to others. For though the piece itself happens to be theirs, still the money it is worth is not theirs. Nay, and even if the money is in their hands, still this is not wealth. Now, if consignments thus given render not men more wealthy because we so soon resign them, how can those which arise from rapine render them wealthy? However, if at any rate thou desirest to be wealthy, (for the matter is not one of necessity,) what greater good is it that thou wouldest fain enjoy? Is it a longer life? Yet, surely men of this character quickly become short-lived. Oftentimes they pay as the penalty of plunder and rapaciousness, an untimely death; and not only suffer as a penalty the loss of the enjoyment of their gains, but go out of life having gained but little, and hell to boot. Oftentimes too they die of diseases, which are the fruits of self-indulgence, and of toil, and of anxiety. Fain would I understand why it is that wealth is so eagerly pursued by mankind. Why surely for this reason hath God set a limit and a boundary to our nature, that we may have no need to go on seeking wealth beyond it. For instance He hath commanded us, to clothe the body in one, or perhaps in two garments; and there is no need of any more to cover us. Where is the good of ten thousand changes of raiment, and those moth-eaten? The stomach has its appointed bound, and any thing given beyond this, will of necessity destroy the whole man. Where then is the use of your herds, and flocks, and cutting up of flesh? We require but one roof to shelter us. Where then is the use of your vast ground-plots, and costly buildings? Dost thou strip the poor, that vultures and jackdaws may have where to dwell? And what a hell do not these things deserve? Many are frequently raising edifices that glisten with pillars and costly marbles, in places which they never so much as saw. What scheme is there indeed that they have not adopted? Yet neither themselves reap the benefit, nor any one else. The desolateness does not allow them to get away thither; and yet not even thus do they desist. You see that these things are not done for profit's-sake, but in all these cases folly, and absurdity, and vainglory, is the motive. And this, I beseech you to avoid, that we may be enabled to avoid also every other evil, and may obtain those good things which are promised to them that love Him, in our Lord Jesus Christ, with whom to the Father, together with the Holy Ghost, be glory, strength, honor forever. Amen.
 [Meyer against the Rev. Version and many scholars makes the meaning here to be: "In whom we were allotted the inheritance." He shows that as pisteuein may take as subject when in passive voice the dative of the active construction, so also may kleroun which takes in the active a dative.--See also verse 14, kleronomia.--G.A.]
 "Why calls he the grace of God by the name of lot? because in a lot there is no choice, but the will of God; for when it is said, a man does, he does not,' merits are regarded; and then there is a choice, not a lot. But when God found no merits of ours, He saved us by the lot of His will, because He willed, not because we were worthy. This is a lot," &c. August. in Psalm 30.Enar. iii. 13.
 [Meyer's reference of hemas***tous proelpikotas to Jewish Christians seems precarious. It seems better to make the hemas refer to Christians in general, the pro in proelpikotas refer to the time before the second Advent and the kai humeis to the readers. So De Wette and Theophylact.--G.A.]
 ["The final consummation of the redemption effected by the lutron of Christ (v. 7.) at the Parousia (Luke 21:28.) when suffering, sin and death are wholly done away and in the glorifying of the body there sets in the doxa of the children of God."--Meyer.--G.A.]
 Vid. also Hom. ad Pop. Antioch. vii. fin. However, in Act Apost. Hom. x. fin. he considers oaths allowable in order to convince the weak. St. Augustin says the same, de Serm. Dom. i. 51. thus accounting for St. Paul's expressions, Romans 1:9.; 1 Corinthians 15:31; 2 Corinthians 2:31; Galatians 1:20.
Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,
"For this cause I also, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus, which is among you, and which ye show toward all the saints, cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him: having the eyes of your heart enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of His calling, what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe, according to that working of the strength of His might, which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead."
Never was anything equal to the yearnings of the Apostle, never anything like the sympathy and the affectionateness of the blessed Paul, who made his every prayer in behalf of whole cities and peoples, and writes the same to all,  "I thank my God for you, making mention of you in my prayers." Think how many he had in his mind, whom it were a labor so much as to remember; how many he made mention of in his prayers, giving thanks to God for them all as though he himself had received the greatest blessing.
"Wherefore," he says, i. e., because of what is to come,  because of the good things that are laid up in store for them who rightly believe and live. And it is meet then to give thanks to God both for all the things which mankind have received at His hands, both heretofore and hereafter; and meet to give Him thanks also for the faith of them that believe.
"Having heard," saith he, "of the faith in the Lord Jesus which is among you, and which ye show  toward all the saints."
He on all occasions knits together and combines faith and love, a glorious pair; nor does he mention the saints of that country only, but all.
"I cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers."
What is thy prayer, and what thy entreaty? It is
"That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you a spirit of wisdom and revelation."  Two things he requires them to understand, as it is their duty to understand them; to what blessings they are called, and how they have been released from their former state. He says, however, himself, that these points are three. How then are they three? In order that we may understand touching the things to come; for from the good things laid up for us, we shall know His ineffable and surpassing riches, and from understanding who we were, and how we believed, we shall know His power and sovereignty, in turning again to Himself those who had been so long time estranged from Him, "For the weakness of God is stronger than men." (1 Corinthians 1:25.) Inasmuch as it is by the self-same power by which He raised Christ from the dead, that He hath also drawn us to Himself. Nor is that power limited to the resurrection, but far exceeds it.
Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;
That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,
Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
Ver. 21, 22. "And made Him to sit at His right hand, in the Heavenly places, far above all rule and authority, and power and dominion, and every name that is named: and He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him to be Head over all things to the Church, which is His body, the fulness of Him that filleth all in all."
Vast indeed are the mysteries and secrets of which He hath made us partakers. And these it is not possible for us to understand otherwise than by being partakers of the Holy Ghost, and by receiving abundant grace. And it is for this reason that Paul prays. "The Father of glory," that is, He that hath given us vast blessings, for he constantly addresses Him according to the subject he is upon, as, for instance, when he says, "The Father of mercies and God of all comfort." (2 Corinthians 1:3.) And, again, the Prophet says, "The Lord is my strength and my might." (Psalm 18:1.)
"The Father of glory."
He has no name by which he may represent these things, and on all occasions calls them "glory," which is in fact, with us, the name and appellation of every kind of magnificence. Mark, he says, the Father of glory; (cf. Acts 7:2.) but of Christ the God.  What then? Is the Son inferior to the glory? No, there is no one, not even a maniac, would say so.
"May give unto you,"
That is, may raise and wing your understanding, for it is not possible otherwise to understand these things. "For the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him." (1 Corinthians 2:14.) So then, there is need of spiritual "wisdom," that we may perceive things spiritual, that we may see things hidden. That Spirit "revealeth" all things. He is going to set forth the mysteries of God. Now the knowledge of the mysteries of God, the Spirit alone comprehends, who also searcheth the deep things of Him. It is not said, "that Angel, or Archangel, or any other created power, may give," that is, confer upon you a spiritual gift. And if this be of revelation, then is the discovery of arguments consequently vain. For he that hath learned God, and knoweth God, shall no longer dispute concerning any thing. He will not say, This is impossible, and That is possible, and How did the other thing come to pass? If we learn God, as we ought to know Him; if we learn God from Him from whom we ought to learn Him, that is from the Spirit Himself; then shall we no longer dispute concerning any thing. And hence it is that he says,
"Having the eyes of your heart enlightened in the knowledge of Him." 
He that hath learned what God is, will have no misgiving about His promises, and disbelief about what hath been already brought to pass. He prays, then, that there may be given them "a spirit of wisdom and revelation." Yet still he also establishes it, as far as he can himself, by arguments, and from "already" existing facts. For, whereas he was about to mention some things which had already come to pass, and others which had not as yet happened; he makes those which have been brought to pass, a pledge of those which have not: in some such way, I mean, as this,
"That ye may know," saith he, "what is the hope of His calling."
It is as yet, he means, hidden, but not so to the faithful.
"And," again, "what is the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints." 
This too is as yet hidden.
But what is clear? that through His power we have believed that He hath raised Christ. For to persuade souls, is a thing far more miraculous than to raise a dead body. I will endeavor to make this clear. Hearken then. Christ said to the dead, "Lazarus, come forth," (John 11:43.) and straightway he obeyed. Peter said, "Tabitha, arise," (Acts 9:40.) and she did not refuse. He Himself shall speak the word at the last day, and all shall rise, and that so quickly, that "they which are yet alive, shall in no wise precede them that are fallen asleep," (1 Thess. iv. 15.) and all shall come to pass, all run together "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye." (1 Corinthians 15:52.) But in the matter of believing, it is not thus, but how is it? Hearken then to Him again, how He saith, "How often would I have gathered thy children together, and ye would not." (Matthew 23:37.) You perceive that this last is the more difficult. Accordingly, it is upon this that he builds up the whole argument; because by human calculations it is far more difficult to influence the choice, than to work upon nature. And the reason is this, it is because He would thus have us become good of our own will. Thus with good reason does he say, 
"The exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe."
Yes, when Prophets had availed nothing, nor Angels, nor Archangels, when the whole creation, both visible and invisible, had failed, (the visible lying before us, and without any power to guide us, and much also which is invisible,) then He ordered His own coming, to show us that it was a matter which required Divine power.
"The riches of the glory,"
That is, the unutterable glory; for what language shall be adequate to express that glory of which the saints shall then be partakers? None. But verily there is need of grace in order that the understanding may perceive it, and admit even so much as at least one little ray. Some things indeed they knew even before; now he was desirous that they should learn more, and know it more clearly. Seest thou how great things He hath wrought? He hath raised up Christ. Is this a small thing? But look again. He hath set Him at His right hand. And shall any language then be able to represent this? Him that is of the earth, more mute than the fishes, and made the sport of devils, He hath in a moment raised up on high. Truly this is indeed the "exceeding greatness of His power." And behold, whither He hath raised Him.
"In the heavenly places;"
He hath made Him far above all created nature, far above all rule and authority.
"Far above all rule," he saith.
Need then indeed is there of the Spirit, of an understanding wise in the knowledge of Him. Need then is there indeed of revelation. Reflect, how vast is the distance between the nature of man and of God. Yet from this vile estate hath He exalted Him to that high dignity. Nor does He mount by degrees, first one step, then another, then a third. Amazing! He does not simply say, "above," but, "far above;" for God is above those powers which are above. And thither then hath He raised Him, Him that is one of us, brought Him from the lowest point to the supremest sovereignty, to that beyond which there is no other honor. Above "all" principality, he says, not, i. e., over one and not over another, but over all,
"Rule and authority and power, and dominion, and every name that is named."
Whatever there be in Heaven, He has become above all. And this is said of Him that was raised from the dead which is worthy of our admiration; for of God the Word, it cannot possibly be, because what insects are in comparison of man, this the whole creation is in comparison of God. If all mankind are to be counted as spittle and were counted as the turn of a balance, consider the invisible powers as insects. But of Him that was one of us, this is great and surprising indeed. For He raised Him up from the very lowest parts of the earth. If all the nations are as a drop, how small a portion then of that drop is a single man! Yet Him hath He made higher than all things, "not only in this world, but also in that which is to come." Therefore powers there are whose names are to us unintelligible, and unknown.
"And He put all things in subjection under His feet."
Not simply so set Him above them as to be honored above them, nor by way of comparison with them, but so that He should sit over them as His slaves. Amazing! Awful indeed are these things; every created power hath been made the slave of man by reason of God the Word dwelling in Him.  For it is possible for a man to be above others, without having others in subjection, but only as preferred before them. But here it is not so. No, "He put all things in subjection under His feet." And not simply put them in subjection, but in the most abject subjection, that below which there can be none. Therefore he adds, "under His feet."
"And gave Him to be Head over all things to the Church."
Amazing again, whither hath He raised the Church? as though he were lifting it up by some engine, he hath raised it up to a vast height, and set it on yonder throne; for where the Head is, there is the body also. There is no interval to separate between the Head and the body; for were there a separation, then were it no longer a body, then were it no longer a head. "Over all things," he says. What is meant by "over all things?" He hath suffered neither Angel nor Archangel nor any other being to be above Him. But not only in this way hath He honored us, in exalting that which is of ourselves, but also in that He hath prepared the whole race in common to follow Him, to cling to Him, to accompany His train.
"Which is His body."
In order then that when you hear of the Head you may not conceive the notion of supremacy only, but also of consolidation, and that you may behold Him not as supreme Ruler only, but as Head of a body.
"The fulness of Him that filleth all in all" he says.
As though this were not sufficient to show the close connection and relationship, what does he add? "The fullness of Christ is the Church." And rightly, for the complement of the head is the body, and the complement of the body is the head. Mark what great arrangement Paul observes, how he spares not a single word, that he may represent the glory of God. "The, complement," he says, i. e., the head is, as it were, filled up by the body, because the body is composed and made up of all its several parts, and he introduces Him as having need of each single one and not only of all in common and together; for unless we be many, and one be the hand, and another the foot, and another some other member, the whole body is not filled up. It is by all then that His body is filled up. Then is the head filled up, then is the body rendered perfect, when we are all knit together and united. Perceivest thou then the "riches of the glory of His inheritance? the exceeding greatness of His power towards them that believe? the hope of your calling?"
Moral. Let us reverence our Head, let us reflect of what a Head we are the body,--a Head, to whom all things are put in subjection. According to this representation we ought to be better, yea, than the very angels, and greater than the Archangels, in that we have been honored above them all. God "took not hold of Angels," as he says in writing to the Hebrews, "but He took hold of the seed of Abraham." (Hebrews 2:16.) He took hold of neither principality nor power, nor dominion, nor any other authority, but He took up our nature, and made it to sit on His right hand. And why do I say, hath made it sit? He hath made it His garment,  and not only so, but hath put all things in subjection under His feet. How many sorts of death supposest thou? How many souls? ten thousand? yea, and ten thousand times told, but nothing equal to it wilt thou mention. Two things He hath done, the greatest things. He hath both Himself descended to the lowest depth of humiliation, and hath raised up man to the height of exaltation. He saved him by His blood. He spoke of the former first, how that He so greatly humbled Himself. He speaks now of what is stronger than that--a great thing, the crown of all. Surely, even had we been counted worthy of nothing, it were enough. Or, had we been counted worthy even of this honor, it were enough, without the slaying of the Son. But where there are the two, what power of language must it not transcend and surpass? The very resurrection is not great, when I reflect on these things. It is of Him that he says, "The God of our Lord Jesus Christ," not of God the Word.
Let us feel awed at the closeness of our relation, let us dread lest any one should be cut off from this body, lest any one should fall from it, lest any one should appear unworthy of it. If any one were to place a diadem about our head, a crown of gold, should we not do every thing that we might seem worthy of the lifeless jewels? But now it is not a diadem that is about our head, but, what is far greater, Christ is made our very Head, and yet we pay no regard to it. Yet Angels reverence that Head, and Archangels, and all those powers above. And shall we, which are His body, be awed neither on the one account nor the other? And what then shall be our hope of salvation? Conceive to yourself the royal throne, conceive the excess of the honor. This, at least if we chose, might more avail to startle us, yea, even than hell itself. For, even though hell were not, that we having been honored with such an honor, should be found base and unworthy of it, what punishment, what vengeance must not this carry with it? Think near whom thy Head is seated, (this single consideration is amply sufficient for any purpose whatever,) on whose right hand He is placed, far above all principality, and power, and might. Yet is the body of this Head trampled on by the very devils. Nay, God forbid it should be thus; for were it thus, such a body could be His body no longer. Thy own head the more respectable of thy servants reverence, and dost thou subject thy body to be the sport of them that insult it? How sore punishment then shalt thou not deserve? If a man should bind the feet of the emperor with bonds and fetters, will he not be liable to the extremity of punishment? Dost thou expose the whole body to fierce monsters, and not shudder?
However, since our discourse is concerning the Lord's body, come, and let us turn our thoughts to it, even that which was crucified, which was nailed, which is sacrificed.  If thou art the body of Christ, bear the Cross, for He bore it: bear spitting, bear buffetings, bear nails. Such was that Body; that Body "did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth." (1 Pet. ii. 22.) His hands did every thing for the benefit of them that needed, His mouth uttered not a word of those things which are not convenient. He heard them say, "Thou hast a devil," and He answered nothing.
Further, our discourse is concerning this Body, and as many of us as partake of that Body and taste of that Blood, are partaking of that which is in no wise different from that Body, nor separate. Consider that we taste of that Body that sitteth above, that is adored by Angels, that is next to the Power that is incorruptible. Alas! how many ways to salvation are open to us! He hath made us His own body, He hath imparted to us His own body, and yet not one of these things turns us away from what is evil. Oh the darkness, the depth of the abyss, the apathy! "Set your mind," saith he, "on the things that are above, where Christ is, seated on the right hand of God." (Colossians 3:1.) And after all this, some set their affections upon money, or licentiousness, others are carried captive by their passions!
Do ye not see, that even in our own body, when any part is superfluous and useless, it is cut off, is cut away? It is of no use that it has belonged to the body, when it is mutilated, when it is mortified, when it is decayed, when it is detrimental to the rest. Let us not then be too confident, because we have been once made members of this body. If this body of ours, though but a natural body, nevertheless suffers amputation, what dreadful evil shall it not undergo, if the moral principle should fail? When the body partakes not of this natural food, when the pores are stopped up, then it mortifies; when the ducts are closed, then it is palsied. So is it with us also, when we stop our ears, our soul becomes palsied; when we partake not of the spiritual food, when, instead of corrupt bodily humors, evil dispositions impair us, all these things engender disease, dangerous disease, disease that wastes. And then there will be need of that fire, there will be need of that cutting asunder. For Christ cannot endure that we should enter into the bride-chamber with such a body as this. If He led away, and cast out the man that was clothed in filthy garments, what will He not do unto the man who attaches filth to the body; how will He not dispose of him?
I observe many partaking of Christ's Body lightly and just as it happens, and rather from custom and form, than consideration and understanding. When, saith a man, the holy season of Lent sets in, whatever a man may be, he partakes of the mysteries, or, when the day of the Lord's Epiphany  comes. And yet it is not the Epiphany, nor is it Lent, that makes a fit time for approaching, but it is sincerity and purity of soul. With this, approach at all times; without it, never. "For as often," (1 Corinthians 11:26.) saith he, "as ye do this, ye proclaim the Lord's death," i. e., "ye make a remembrance of the salvation that has been wrought for you, and of the benefits which I have bestowed." Consider those who partook of the sacrifices under the old Covenant, how great abstinence did they practise? How did they not conduct themselves? What did they not perform? They were always purifying themselves. And dost thou, when thou drawest nigh to a sacrifice, at which the very Angels tremble, dost thou measure the matter by the revolutions of seasons? and how shalt thou present thyself before the judgment-seat of Christ, thou who presumest upon His body with polluted hands and lips? Thou wouldest not presume to kiss a king with an unclean mouth, and the King of heaven dost thou kiss with an unclean soul? It is an outrage. Tell me, wouldest thou choose to come to the Sacrifice with unwashen hands? No, I suppose, not. But thou wouldest rather choose not to come at all, than come with soiled hands. And then, thus scrupulous as thou art in this little matter, dost thou come with soiled soul, and thus dare to touch it? And yet the hands hold it but for a time, whereas into the soul it is dissolved entirely. What, do ye not see the holy vessels so thoroughly cleansed all over, so resplendent? Our souls ought to be purer than they, more holy, more brilliant. And why so? Because those vessels are made so for our sakes. They partake not of Him that is in them, they perceive Him not. But we do;--yes, verily. Now then, thou wouldest not choose to make use of a soiled vessel, and dost thou approach with a soiled soul? Observe the vast inconsistency of the thing. At the other times ye come not, no, not though often ye are clean; but at Easter, however flagrant an act ye may have committed, ye come. Oh! the force of custom and of prejudice! In vain is the daily Sacrifice,  in vain do we stand before the Altar; there is no one to partake. These things I am saying, not to induce you to partake any how, but that ye should render yourselves worthy to partake. Art thou not worthy of the Sacrifice, nor of the participation? If so, then neither art thou of the prayer. Thou hearest the herald,  standing, and saying, "As many as are in penitence, all pray."  As many as do not partake, are in penitence. If thou art one of those that are in penitence, thou oughtest not to partake; for he that partakes not, is one of those that are in penitence. Why then does he say, "Depart, ye that are not qualified to pray," whilst thou hast the effrontery to stand still? But no, thou art not of that number, thou art of the number of those who are qualified to partake, and yet art indifferent about it, and regardest the matter as nothing.
Look, I:entreat: a royal table is set before you, Angels minister at that table, the King Himself is there, and dost thou stand gaping?  Are thy garments defiled, and yet dost thou make no account of it?--or are they clean? Then fall down and partake. Every day He cometh in to see the guests, and converseth with them all. Yes, at this moment is he speaking to your conscience; "Friends, how stand ye here, not having on a wedding garment?" He said not, Why didst thou sit down? no, before he sat down, He declared him to be unworthy, so much as to come in. He saith not, "Why didst thou sit down to meat," but, "Why camest thou in?" And these are the words that He is at this very moment addressing to one and all of us that stand here with such shameless effrontery. For every one, that partaketh not of the mysteries, is standing here in shameless effrontery. It is for this reason, that they which are in sins are first of all put forth; for just as when a master is present at his table, it is not right that those servants who have offended him should be present, but they are sent out of the way: just so also here when the sacrifice is brought forth, and Christ, the Lord's sheep, is sacrificed; when thou hearest the words, "Let us pray together," when thou beholdest the curtains drawn up,  then imagine that the Heavens are let down from above, and that the Angels are descending!
As then it is not meet that any one of the uninitiated be present, so neither is it that one of them that are initiated, and yet at the same time defiled. Tell me, suppose any one were invited to a feast, and were to wash his hands, and sit down, and be all ready at the table, and after all refuse to partake; is he not insulting the man who invited him? were it not better for such an one never to have come at all? Now it is just in the same way that thou hast come here. Thou hast sung the Hymn  with the rest: thou hast declared thyself to be of the number of them that are Worthy, by not departing with them that are unworthy. Why stay, and yet not partake of the table? I am unworthy, thou wilt say. Then art thou also unworthy of that communion thou hast had in prayers. For it is not by means of the offerings only, but also by means of those canticles that the Spirit descendeth all around. Do we not see our own servants, first scouring the table with a sponge, and cleaning the house, and then setting out the entertainment? This is what is done by the prayers, by the cry of the herald. We scour the Church, as it were, with a sponge, that all things may be set out in a pure church, that there may be "neither spot nor wrinkle." (Ephesians 5:27.) Unworthy, indeed, both our eyes of these sights, and unworthy are our ears! "And if even a beast," it is said, "touch the mountain, it shall be stoned." (Exodus 19:13.) Thus then they were not worthy so much as to set foot on it, and yet afterwards they both came near, and beheld where God had stood. And thou mayest, afterwards, come near, and behold: when, however, He is present, depart. Thou art no more allowed to be here than the Catechumen is. For it is not at all the same thing never to have reached the mysteries, and when thou hast reached them, to stumble at them and despise them, and to make thyself unworthy of this thing. One might enter upon more points, and those more awful still; not however to burden your understanding, these will suffice. They who are not brought to their right senses with these, certainly will not be with more.
That I may not then be the means of increasing your condemnation, I entreat you, not to forbear coming, but to render yourselves worthy both of being present, and of approaching. Tell me, were any king to give command and to say, "If any man does this, let him partake of my table;" say, would ye not do all ye could to be admitted? He hath invited us to heaven, to the table of the great and wonderful King, and do we shrink and hesitate, instead of hastening and running to it? And what then is our hope of salvation? We cannot lay the blame on our weakness; we cannot on our nature. It is indolence and nothing else that renders us unworthy.
So far have I spoken of myself. But may He that pricketh the heart, He that giveth the Spirit of compunction, pierce your hearts, and plant the seeds in the depth of them, that so through His fear ye may conceive, and bring forth the spirit of salvation, and come near with boldness. For, "thy children," it is said, "are like olive plants round about thy table." (Psalm 128:3.) O, then, let there be nothing old, nothing wild, nothing harsh. For of such sort are the young plants that are fit for fruit, for the beautiful fruit, fruit I mean of the olive-tree. And thriving they are, so as all to be round about the table, and come together here, not in vain or by chance, but with fear and reverence. For thus shall ye behold with boldness even Christ Himself in heaven, and shall be counted worthy of that heavenly kingdom, which may God grant we may all attain, in Jesus Christ, our Lord with whom to the Father, together with the Holy Spirit, be glory, might, honor, now and ever, and for ages of ages. Amen.
 ["On the contrary this wherefore,' dia touto, refers to what precedes ver. 13, 14, because this is the case that ye too are in Christ and have been sealed with the Spirit.' So Theophylact."--Meyer.--G.A.]
 [The word love,' agapen, which gets into the Auth. Ver. from some inferior mss., is omitted by Aleph. A. B. W. and H. Rev. Vers. cf. Colossians 1:4.--G.A.]
 [Chrysostom's hasty and superficial treatment of this great passage would seem to justify the language of Dr. Newman in his preface to the Oxford translation of these homilies on Ephesians. There are "imperfections in their composition which in the opinion of some critics argued the absence of that comparative leisure which he enjoyed at Antioch." Schaff also says: "His life in Constantinople was too much disturbed to leave him quiet leisure for preparation." This, however, in referring to his Homilies on Acts. Prolegomena p. 19.--G.A.
 ["The words, in the knowledge of Him,' enepi gnhosei autou, are not to be joined with the words having your heart enlightened,' as Chrysostom here, which entirely destroys the paralellism and symmetry of the sentence, but with the words, may give you a spirit of wisdom, etc., (in the knowledge of Him)."--Meyer and Ellicott.--G.A.]
 ["That ye may know what a great and glorious hope is given to the man whom God has called to the Kingdom of the Messiah; and that ye may know what is the object of that hope, namely, the riches of the glory of the inheritance which He gives; and that ye may know that by which this hope is to be realized, namely, the infinite power of God as shown in the resurrection and exaltation of Jesus Christ."--Meyer.--G.A.]
 Dia ton enoikounta Theon Logon. The inhabitation' of the Word in our flesh, was a favorite form of speech with the Nestorians, who thereby insinuated that the Word dwelt in a' man, or denied Christ's unity of person. Yet the phrase is strictly orthodox, as being derived from John 1:14, and is especially maintained by Cyril, the antagonist of Nestorius, in order to denote that God was in human nature,' vid. Cyril in Schol. 25. Theodor. Eran. ii. Ephr?m. Antioch. apud Phot. 229.
 Imation. Thus Cyril Alex. speaks of Christ as clothed about' with our nature. In Success. 2 p. Vid. also Epiph. Ancor. ?. 95. Augustine in Psalm 130.. 10. This, as well as other theological terms, was abused by heretical disputants; as if it implied either that the manhood of Christ might be put off from His divine nature, or that it was a mere accidental and unsubstantial medium of manifesting it.
 This was the great festival of the Greek Church, being in remembrance of our Lord's Baptism, and, as it would appear, of His birth inclusively. The festival of Christmas, which had been in use in the West from an earlier date, was introduced at Antioch A.D. 376, with much opposition. Chrysostom, A.D. 387, urges its due celebration in his Hom. de Beato Philogon, and Serm. in Diem Natal. J. C.
 [On Chrysostom's view of the eucharistic sacrifice, see Prolegomena, p. 21, note.--G.A.]
 i. e. the Deacon, Athanasios prostaxas diakono keruxai euchen k. t. l. Socr. Hist. ii. 11. id qu. anaginoskein, Athan. de fug 24.
 Vid. Bingh. Antiqu. xiii. 2. and xiv. 5. [The text here seems to be corrupt, Field's text is, "as many as are in penitence, all pray," (deethete pantes) which is evidently inconsistent with the context. The text should probably be, "As many as are in penitence, depart; as many as are not in penitence, pray all." So Field suggests in a note saying, Locus corruptus videtur, sic fortasse redintegrandus: hosoi en metanoi& 139; apelthete, hosoime en metanoia deethete pantes.--G.A.]
 Vid. Bingh. Antiqu. xv. 2.
 amphithura, curtains before the choir or altar, vid. Chrysost. in Matt. Hom. 84. fin. where, however, it has not the ecclesiastical sense, Epiphan. Epist. 51. 9. apud Hieron, ed. Vallars. where the curtain had a figure of Christ or some Saint, (to which Epiphanius objects) vid. also Evagr. Hist. vi. 21.
 The Angelic Hymn, Holy, Holy, Holy, vid. Chrysost. in 2 Cor. om. 18. Cyril. Hieros. Myst. v. 6.
And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.