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institutes a new comparison between the subjects (Chap. i. ver 19.,) when, speaking in reference to the Jews, he says" to us." Compare Chap. ii. verse 1. where, with a view to the Gentiles, he uses the phrase “to you." If we now collate Chap. ii. ver. 11, 12, 13, &c. we shall find the different subjects, hitherto represented by these different pronouns; expressly named “the uncircumcision” (Gentiles;) and the circumcision" (Jews.)
It is another circumstance which evidences the truth of this position, that, secondly, the predicate restricts the former part of the chapter to the Jews: thus they are called (ver. 12.) “ those who first trusted in Christ.” The objection which lies against “ predestinate” (T poopiSeov) on the ground of its being a general word, and indicative of a priority of time, and not of a priority of subjects, cannot militate against “to trust first" (POENTIS,) because this latter word must include both; since the trusting here mentioned is inevitably to be referred to man, and not to God; as indeed the text itself refers it.
Again, it is said, in the ninth and following verses, that the mystery of the divine will was revealed to them, in order that it might be dispensed (ers OikovoMicev) in the fulness of time; and that all things (Gentiles as well as Jews) might be reduced under one head, even Christ. There had been therefore those, to whom a revelation was made previously to the ge
Weral dispensation, &c.; but, in the thirteenth and subsequent verses, the apostle asserts, that the same benefits which God had before conferred on the Jews, were now become common to the Gentiles; priority of time being excepted.
His words are “ In whom ye (Gentiles) 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 (the Jews') inheritance;" that spiritual inheritance mentioned in the preceding verses: " Wherefore “ I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, " and love unto all the saints, &c.'
It is the same subject (the Gentiles) which our apostle pursues to verse 3. of chapter ii.; and this we shall easily discern, if we neglect the divisions into chapters, and consider the whole structure of the text, harmonizing together in all its parts.-" That you may
know 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 in that which is to come: 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.)
And you “who were dead in trespasses and sins, wherein, in “ times past, ye walked, &c.
No sooner, however, does the apostle descend to the original state of the Gentiles, than he institutes a comparison between it, and the primeval state of the Jews: lest the latter people should take occasion to assert some new prerogative. He now therefore proves by the testimony of the consciences of each, that Jews, as well as Gentiles, were, before Christ, under sin (an argument which he had discussed under a different form, Rom. Chap. iii.) and that both were saved and brought to newness of life, by grace alone. Hence, in the second and following verses, he declares the whole matter in direct terms.
These verses, united with those subsequent, as far as Chap. iii. comprehend the Principal Conclusion of the whole epistle, which fully developes its Scope. The Conclusion is-“Though the Gentiles were not “ originally possessed of the covenants of promise, or any foundation of hope, yet, in Christ, they, toge
ther with the Jews, were made partakers of every “benefit; he having removed all things which opposed “ their uniting with the Jews into one body, and hav« ing, on the other hand, joined things the most op"posite (Jews and Gentiles,) by abolishing the law.
Hence, the Gentiles were not now, (as the Jewish “ false apostles asserted,) strangers and aliens; but
“ being reconciled to God by the blood of Christ,
they were become fellow-citizens with the saints, " and of the household of God.”
These things are so obvious, that no doubts can remain with respect to the observations we made on the diversity of the subjects. The Conelusion expressed above, is afterwards delivered by the apostle in a fine similitude; a similitude sometimes adopted by Christ himself, as well as the apostles and prophets. He compares the Church to a building, and considers Christ as the corner-stone; with which the Jews first, but the Gentiles no less afterwards,
up gether as an habitation. Finally, as is the custom with our apostle, he includes in this similitude, or allegory, the subject-matter of the prayers which he offered up to God for the Gentiles (Chap. iii. ver. 1. and 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, of which ver. 17, 18. are best explained by the similitude,) and then closes the whole with a doxology.
Our connecting ver. 1. of chap. iii. with ver. 14. a circumstance by no means singular, and was not done without grounds; being, as we shall show, conformable to the intention of the apostle. If we examine the first verse, we see that he names the Subject:“For this cause, I, Paul, the prisoner of Jesus 66 Christ for
Gentiles." He then forms the Predicate, and repeats the same words:--"For this cause « (I say,) I bow my knees," On this account, we
insulate all the words that intervene between ver. 9. and ver. 14; or, if such a mode be preferred, we may consider them as a description of the Subject.
The extent of the parenthesis in question, is no just argument against the truth of our position. A diffuse style is the genius of Paul's writing, and arose from his abundant and ardent love. Often, when we might be led to think he had forgotten himself, he suddenly returns to his subject, and pursues the thread of his discourse. The Fathers were acquainted with this peculiarity in his style; and it is requisite that we should observe it, because it frequently happens, that we cannot else enter into the meaning of the apostle.
Instances of equally copious parentheses occur in various parts of the writings of St. Paul. The first
epistle to Timothy furnishes us with one from verse 18. of ehap. i. to verse 17. inelusive. There, taking
occasion from the false teachers, Paul speaks of the true and proper use of the Law, according to the Gospel committed to himn; and having given vent to the feelings of his heart, he returns ver 18. to the scope he had in view in the third verse, where he intimates, by using the comparative particle as (xelles) that the completion of the sense was to be expected in the subsequent verses. The whole of the discourse connects thus:-"As I besought thee to charge some that they “teach no other doctrine, but seek after godly edify
ing; and that the end of the commandment was love,