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should prosper in his hands. This engagement he, in the fulness of time, executed, by assuming our flesh and bearing our sins on the cross. The salvation which his death has purchased for believers is an everlasting salvation. As his thoughts of love were from eternity, so the effects of his love will last to eternity. The depth of Christ's love passes knowledge. In his unbounded compassion to our race, he laid aside his divine form-his heavenly glory-made himself of no reputation-took on him the fashion of a man-the form of a servant and humbled himself to death, even the death of the cross. Can we conceive what he suf fered for our sakes, when his soul was filled with sorrow, his frame convulsed with pain, his sweat like drops of blood, his limbs distended on the tree, his hands and feet pierced with nails, and his side with a spear, and his voice raised to heaven in this strong and bitter cry, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" O the depth of that love which brought the Son of God from heaven to such a depth of humiliation and distress! Again: The height of Christ's love passes knowledge. Being exalted to the highest heavens, he employs himself in works of love and grace. He intercedes for them who come to God in his name-he dispenses the heavenly gifts which he has received for men-he watches over his church, and sheds down his gracious influence for her preservation and increase.

His love passes knowledge, as the benefits which it has procured exceed all human estimation. The Apostle preached "the unsearchable riches of Christ." Who can conceive the value of that pardon, the worth of that salvation, and the glory of that inheritance, which he has purchased for the saints? Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." This " peace of God passeth all understanding.”—" Eye hath not seen, nor car heard, neither have entered into the hearts of men the things which God hath prepared for them that love him."

2. Though the love of Christ passeth knowledge, yet there is a sense in which it is known to the saints. They have a thankful and admiring knowledge of that love, which moved so glorious a person to humble himself so low, and to do and suffer so much for creatures so worthless-so guilty. When they consider the heavens, the work of his fingers, the moon and stars which he has ordained, they say with David, "What is man that thou art mindful of him, or the son of man that thou visitest him?"

They have an experimental knowledge of his love. They not only view it as a subject of pleasing contemplation, but feel the power of it on their hearts. By the love of Christ they have been made partakers of the renewing influences of the Spirit, wrought to the temper of the gospel, and interested in its blessings. The Apostle says, "We were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another: But after the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost, which he has shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ, that, being justified by his grace, we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life."

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Believers have an influential knowledge of Christ's love. The Apostle says, "The love of Christ constraineth us, because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead; and that he died for all, that they, which live, should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him that died and rose again."

The saints have an assimilating knowledge of their Saviour's love. Though they cannot comprehend the dimensions of his love, yet they are, in a measure, possessed of the same kind of love. They are, as he was, meek,

gentle, patient and ready to forgive. They have learnt of him, to love their enemies, to pray for those who despitefully use them, to bless them that curse, to bear revilings without returning them, to condescend to men of low estate, to pity the distressed, and do good as there is occasion. This is Christ's command to his disciples, "Love one another, as I have loved


The Apostle's prayer for the Ephesians was, that "they might be strengthened to comprehend the love of Christ."

This is an inexhaustible subject. The riches of it are unsearchable. We may dwell upon it with fresh entertainment and increasing pleasure while we live : Yea, eternity will not wear out the theme. This is the song of the saints in heaven. " Unto him who loved us, and washed us from our sins in his blood, be glory and dominion for ever and ever."

Let us labor for a greater experimental knowledge of his love. If we are in a state of sin, let us seek from him that grace which is necessary to renew us in knowledge after his holy character. If we are in doubt concerning our interest in his love, let us not rest, till he is formed in us. If we find that he dwells in our hearts by faith, let us grow up in all things into him, and aspire to the measure of his divine fulness. This leads us to observe,

V. The Apostle prays, that the Ephesians "might be filled with all the fulness of God." His meaning is, that they might have such a supply of divine influence, as would cause them to abound in knowledge, faith, love, and all virtues and good works. He prays, in like manner, for the Colossians, "that they might be filled with the knowledge of God's will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, and might walk. worthy of the Lord to all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, increasing in the knowledge of God-and that their hearts might be comforted, being knit to

gether in love, and to all riches of the full assurance of understanding." And for the Philippians, "that God, who had begun a good work in them, would perform it to the day of Christ; and that they might abound more and more in love and in knowledge, being filled with the fruits of righteousness."

From these petitions we see, that, "by the fulness of God," the Apostle intends such a rich supply of the grace of God, that they might be able to persevere in the faith and practice of religion, to increase and abound more and more in the virtues and works of the gospel, and to obtain a more full assurance of their title to heavenly glory.

We learn then that Christians are not to content themselves with their present attainments, but to aspire after greater eminence in their holy character, and nearer approaches to heavenly perfection. In imitatation of Paul's example, they must "forget the things which are behind, and reach forward to the things which are before, pressing toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” They must never indulge an imagination, that they have acquired as much holiness, or done as much service as is needful; but, deeply humbled under a sense of their great imperfections and remaining corruptions, the poorness of their services, and their defects in duty, they must daily renew their application to God's mercy for the pardon of their sins, and to his grace for their assistance in the religious life. Their desires must not stop short of that which the Apostle asked for his converts, that they may be strengthened by the spirit in the inner man-may have Christ dwelling in their hearts-may be rooted and grounded in love-may know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge, and may be filled with all the fullness of God.


God able to do for us far more than we ask or think.

EPHESIANS iii. 20, 21.

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be glory in the church by Jesus Christ, throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

IN the six preceding verses the Apostle informs the Ephesians, what blessings are requested for them. He bowed his knees in prayer unto the Father of Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that he would grant them to be strengthened with might,by his Spirit in the inner man-that Christ might dwell in their hearts by faith-that they might be rooted and grounded in love-that they might be able to comprehend with all saints, the vast dimensions of Christ's love to them-and that they might be filled with all needful supplies of the grace of God. While he meditates on the breadth and length, the depth and height of the love of Christ, and on those full supplies of grace, which flow to saints from the divine fountain, he breaks forth into the devout doxology, which I have now read. In this, he first acknowledges the infinite power of God to do for us far beyond our petiVOL. III.

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