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18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:

19 Who, being past feeling, have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.

20 But ye have not so learned Christ;

21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:


18 the vanity of their minds, Having their understandings darkened, being alienated from that rule and course of life which they own and observe who are the professed subjects and servants of the true God, through the ignorance that is in 19 them, because of the blindness of their hearts; Who, being

past feeling, have given themselves over to lasciviousness, to the committing of all uncleanness, even beyond the bounds 20 of natural desires. But you, that have been instructed in the 21 religion of Christ, have learned other things; If you have

been scholars of his school, and have been taught the truth,


17 This "vanity of mind," if we look into Rom. i. 21, &c. we shall find to be the apostatizing of the Gentiles from the true God to idolatry; and, in consequence of that, to all that profligate way of living which followed thereupon, and is there described by St. Paul.

18 This "alienation" was from owning subjection to the true God, and the observance of those laws which he had given to those of mankind that continued and professed to be his people; see chap. ii. 12.


19Пovežíα, "covetousness," in the common acceptation of the word, is the letting loose our desires to that which, by the law of justice, we have no right to. But St. Paul, in some of his epistles, uses it for intemperate and exorbitant desires of carnal pleasures, not confined within the bounds of nature. He that will compare with this verse here chap. v. 3. Col. iii. 5. 1 Thess. iv. 6. 1 Cor. v. 10, 11, and well consider the context, will find reason to take it here in the sense I have given of it, or else it will be very hard to understand these texts of Scripture. In the same sense the learned Dr. Hammond understands wλeovegia, Rom. i. 29, which, though perhaps the Greek idiom will scarce justify, yet the apostle's style will, who often uses Greek terms in the full latitude of the Hebrew words, which they are usually put for in translating, though, in the Greek use of them, they have nothing at all of that signification, particularly the Hebrew word yea, which signifies covetousness, the Septuagint translate auds, Ezek. xxxiii. 31, in which sense the apostle uses via here. In these and the two preceding verses we have a description of the state of the Gentiles without, and their wretched and sinful state, whilst unconverted to the Christian faith, and strangers from the kingdom of God; to which may be added what is said these sinners of the Gentiles, chap. ii. 11-13. Col. i. 21. 1 Thess. iv. 5. Col. iii. 5-7. Rom. i. 30, 31.


22 That ye put off, concerning the former conversation, the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;

23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;

24 And that ye put on the new man, which, after God, is created in righteousness and true holiness.


22 as it is in the Gospel of Jesus Christ: That you change your former conversation, abandoning those deceitful lusts where23 with you were entirely corrupted: And that, being renewed in 24 the spirit of the mind, You become new mend, framed and fashioned according to the will of God, in righteousness and true holiness.


24 What the waλaíos, arpwсs, "the old man," that is to be put off, is, and the xands äveρwπos, "the new man," that is to be put on, is, may be seen in the opposite characters of good and bad men, in the following part of this, and in several other of St. Paul's epistles.


CHAPTER IV. 25-V. 2.


AFTER the general exhortation, in the close of the foregoing section, to the Ephesians, to renounce the old course of life they led when they were heathens, and to become perfectly new men, conformed to the holy rules of the Gospel, St. Paul descends to particulars, and here in this section presses several particulars of those great social virtues, justice and charity, &c.


25 Wherefore, putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour for we are members one of another.


26 Be ye angry, and sin not let not the sun go down upon your wrath : 27 Neither give place to the devil.

28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.

29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister

unto the hearers.


30 And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed

unto the day of redemption.

31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:

32 And be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. V. 1 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;


25 Wherefore, putting away lying, let every man speak truth to 26 his neighbour; for we are members one of another. If you

meet with provocations that move you to anger, take care that you indulge it not so far as to make it sinful: defer not its cure till sleep calm the mind, but endeavour to recover 27 yourself forthwith, and bring yourself into temper; Lest you

give an opportunity to the devil to produce some mischief 28 by your disorder. Let him that hath stole steal no more, but

rather let him labour in some honest calling, that he may have 29 even wherewithal to relieve others, that need it. Let not any filthy language, or a misbecoming word, come out of your mouths, but let your discourse be pertinent on the occasion, and tending to edification, and such as may have a be30 coming gracefulness in the ears of the hearers. And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed to the 31 day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger,


and clamour and evil-speaking, be put away from you, with 32 all malice. And be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God, for Christ's sake, hath forV. 1 given you. Therefore, as becomes children, that are beloved


30 "Sealed," i. e. have God's mark set upon you, that you are his servants, a security to you that you should be admitted into his kingdom, as such, at the day of redemption, i. e. at the resurrection, when you shall be put in the actual possession of a place in his kingdom among those who are his, whereof the Spirit is now an earnest; see note chap. i. 14.


2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God, for a sweet-smelling



and cherished by God, propose him as an example to your2 selves, to be imitated; And let love conduct and influence your whole conversation, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us, an offering and an acceptable sacrifice to God.


2 "Of a sweet-smelling savour," was, in Scripture-phrase, such a sacrifice as God accepted, and was pleased with; see Gen. viii. 21.


CHAPTER V. 3-20.


THE next sort of sins he dehorts them from are those of intemperance, especially those of uncleanness, which were so familiar, and so unrestrained among the heathens.


3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not once be named amongst you, as becometh saints:


3 But fornication and all uncleanness, or exorbitant desires in venereal matters a, let it not be once named amongst you, as


3 a The word in the Greek is wλoveğiz, which properly signifies covetousness, or an intemperate, ungoverned love of riches: but the chaste style of the Scripture makes use of it, to express the letting loose of the desires to irregular, venereal pleasures, beyond what was fit and right. This one can hardly avoid being convinced of, if one considers how it stands joined with these sorts of sins, in those many places which Dr. Hammond mentions, in his note on Rom. i. 29, and ch. iv. 19, of this epistle, and ver. 5, of this ch. v. compared with


this here, they are enough to satisfy one, what #λsovežía, “ covetousness," means here; but, if that should fail, these words, "let it not be once named amongst you, as becometh saints," which are subjoined to covetousness, put it past doubt; for what indecency, or misbecomingness is it, among Christians, to name covetousness? λoveğía therefore must signify the title of sins that are not fit to be named amongst Christians, so that πᾶσα ἀκαθαρσία ἢ πλεονεξία seem not here to be used definitively, for several sorts of sins, but as two names of the same thing, explaining one another; and so this verse will give us a true notion of the word wopvela, in the New Testament, the want whereof, and taking it to mean fornication, in our English acceptation of that word, as standing for one distinct species of uncleanness, in the natural mixture of an unmarried couple, seems to me to have perplexed the meaning of several texts of Scripture; whereas, taken in that large sense in which άxabapola and wλeovegla seem here to expound it, the obscurity, which follows from the usual notion of fornication applied to it, will be removed. Some men have been forward to conclude from the apostle's letter to the convert Gentiles of Antioch, Acts xv. 28, wherein they find fornication joined with two or three other actions, that simple fornication, as they call it, was not much distant, if at all, from an indifferent action, whereby, I think, they very much confounded the meaning of the text. The Jews, that were converted to the Gospel, could by no means admit that those of the Gentiles, who retained any of their ancient idolatry, though they professed faith in Christ, could by any means be received by them into the communion of the Gospel, as the people of God, under the Messiah; and so far they were in the right, to make sure of it that they had fully renounced idolatry: the generality insisted on it, that they should be circumcised, and so, by submitting to the observances of the law, give the same proof that proselytes were wont to do, that they were perfectly clear from all remains of idolatry. This the apostles thought more than was necessary; but eating of things sacrificed to idols, and blood, whether let out of the animal or contained in it, being strangled; and fornication, in the large sense of the word, as it is put for all sorts of uncleanness; being the presumed marks of idolatry to the Jews, they forbid the convert Gentiles, thereby to avoid the offence of the Jews, and prevent a separation between the professors of the Gospel upon this account. This, therefore, was not given to the convert Gentiles, by the apostles of circumcision, as a standing rule of morality required by the Gospel; if that had been the design, it must have contained a great many other particulars; what laws of morality they were under, as subjects of Jesus Christ, they doubted not but St. Paul, their apostle, taught and inculcated to them: all that they instructed them in here was necessary for them to do, so as to be admitted into oue wship and communion with the converts of the Jewish nation, who would certainly avoid them if they found that they made no scruple of those things, but practised any of them. That fornication, or all sorts of uncleanness, were the consequence and concomitants of idolatry, we see, Rom. i. 29, and, it is known, were favoured by the heathen worship: and therefore the practice of those sins is every where set down, as the characteristical, heathen mark of the idolatrous Gentiles, from which abominations the Jews, both by their law, profession, and general practice, were strangers; and this was one of those things wherein chiefly God severed his people from the idolatrous nations, as may be seen, Lev. xviii. 20, &c. And hence I think that whožía, used for licentious intemperance in unlawful and unnatural lusts, is in the New Testament called idolatry, and ɛové×lns, an idolater; see 1 Cor. v. 11. Col. iii. 5. Eph. v. 5, as being the sure and undoubted mark of an heathen idolater.

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