Ephesians 2

CHAPTER II.

The character of the Ephesians previously to their conversion

to Christianity, 1-3.

By what virtue they were changed, and for what purpose, 4-7.

They were saved by faith, 8, 9.

And created unto good works, 10.

The apostle enters into the particulars of their former

miserable state, 11, 12.

And those of their present happy state, 13.

Christ has broken down the middle wall of partition between the

Jews and Gentiles, and proclaims reconciliation to both, 14-17.

The glorious privileges of genuine believers, 18-22.

NOTES ON CHAP. II.

Verse 1. And you hath he quickened] This chapter should not

have been separated from the preceding, with which it is most

intimately connected. As Christ fills the whole body of Christian

believers with his fulness, (Eph 1:23,) so had he dealt with the

converted Ephesians, who before were dead in trespasses, and dead

in sins. DEATH is often used by all writers, and in all nations,

to express a state of extreme misery. The Ephesians, by

trespassing and sinning, had brought themselves into a state of

deplorable wretchedness, as had all the heathen nations; and

having thus sinned against God, they were condemned by him, and

might be considered as dead in law-incapable of performing any

legal act, and always liable to the punishment of death, which

they had deserved, and which was ready to be inflicted upon them.

Trespasses, παραπτωμασι, may signify the slightest deviation

from the line and rule of moral equity, as well as any flagrant

offence; for these are equally transgressions, as long as the

sacred line that separates between vice and virtue is passed over.

Sins, αμαρτιαις, may probably mean here habitual transgression;

sinning knowingly and daringly.

Verse 2. Wherein in time past ye walked] There is much force

in these expressions; the Ephesians had not sinned casually, or

now and then, but continually; it was their continual employment;

they walked in trespasses and sins: and this was not a solitary

case, all the nations of the earth acted in the same way; it was

the course of this world, κατατοναιωνατουκοσμουτουτου,

according to the life, mode of living, or successive ages of this

world. The word αιων, the literal meaning of which is constant

duration, is often applied to things which have a complete course,

as the Jewish dispensation, a particular government, and the term

of human life; so, here, the whole of life is a tissue of sin,

from the cradle to the grave; every human soul, unsaved by Jesus

Christ, continues to transgress. And the nominally Christian

world is in the same state to the present day. Age after age

passes on in this way and the living lay it not to heart!

The prince of the power of the air] As the former clause may

have particular respect to the Jewish people, who are frequently

denominated olam hazzeh, this world, this latter clause

may especially refer to the Gentiles, who were most manifestly

under the power of the devil, as almost every object of their

worship was a demon, to whom the worst of passions and practices

were attributed, and whose conduct his votaries took care to copy.

Satan is termed prince of the power of the air, because the air

is supposed to be a region in which malicious spirits dwell, all

of whom are under the direction and influence of Satan, their

chief.

The spirit that now worketh] τουνυνενεργουντος The operations

of the prince of the aerial powers are not confined to that

region; he has another sphere of action, viz. the wicked heart of

man, and in this he works with energy. He seldom inspires

indifference to religion; the subjects in whom he works are either

determinate opposers of true religion, or they are systematic and

energetic transgressors of God's laws.

Children of disobedience] Perhaps a Hebraism for disobedient

children; but, taken as it stands here, it is a strong expression,

in which disobedience, ηαπειθεια, appears to be personified, and

wicked men exhibited as her children; the prince of the power of

the air being their father, while disobedience is their mother.

Thus they are emphatically, what our Lord calls them, Mt 13:38,

children of the wicked one; for they show themselves to be of

their father the devil, because they will do his works,

Joh 8:44.

Some think that by children of disobedience the apostle means

particularly the disobedient, unbelieving, refractory, and

persecuting Jews; but I rather think he speaks this generally, and

refers to the Jews in the following verse.

Verse 3. Among whom also we all had our conversation] We JEWS,

as well as you Gentiles, have lived in transgressions and sins;

ανεστραφημεν, this was the course of our life; we lived in sin,

walked in sin, it was woven through our whole constitution, it

tinged every temper, polluted every faculty, and perverted every

transaction of life. The lusts-the evil, irregular, and corrupt

affections of the heart, showed themselves in the perversion of

the mind as well as in our general conduct. The mind was darkened

by the lusts of the flesh, and both conjoined to produce acts of

unrighteousness. It was not the will of God that was done by us,

but the will of the flesh and of the mind.

And were by nature the children of wrath] For the import of the

phrase, by nature, φυσει, See Clarke on Ga 2:15, and

See Clarke on Ro 2:14. To what is said on those passages, I may add,

from Dr. Macknight:-"Nature often signifies one's birth and

education, Ga 2:15:

We, who are Jews BY NATURE. Also, men's natural reason and

conscience,

Ro 2:14:

The Gentiles who have not the law, do BY NATURE the things

contained in the law, &c. Also, the general sense and practice

of mankind,

1Co 11:14:

Doth not even NATURE itself teach you, that if a man have long

hair, &c. Also, the original constitution of any thing, Ga 4:8:

Who are not gods BY NATURE, Also, a disposition formed by custom

and habit; thus Demetrius Phalereus said of the Lacedemonians:

φυσειεβραχυλογουνλακωνες. The Lacedemonians had naturally a

concise mode of speaking. Hence our word laconic; a short speech,

or much sense conveyed in a few words." The words in the text

have often been quoted to prove the doctrine of original sin, but,

though that doctrine be an awful truth, it is not, in my opinion,

intended here; it is rather found in the preceding words, the

lusts of the flesh, and the desires of the flesh and of the mind.

The apostle appears to speak of sinful habits; and as we say HABIT

is a second nature, and as these persons acted from their

originally corrupt nature-from the lusts of the flesh and of the

mind, they thus became, by their vicious habits, or second nature,

children of wrath-persons exposed to perdition, because of the

impurity of their hearts and the wickedness of their lives. Here

we see that the fallen, apostate nature produces the fruits of

unrighteousness. The bad tree produces bad fruit.

Children of wrath is the same as son of perdition, son of death,

&c.; i.e. persons exposed to God's displeasure, because of their

sins.

Verse 4. But God, who is rich in mercy] As they were corrupt

in their nature, and sinful in their practice, they could possess

no merit, nor have any claim upon God; and it required much mercy

to remove so much misery, and to pardon such transgressions.

His great love] God's infinite love is the groundwork of our

salvation; in reference to us that love assumes the form of mercy,

and that mercy provides the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. And

therefore the apostle adds, Eph 2:5:

By grace ye are saved-it is by God's free mercy in Christ that ye

are brought into this state of salvation. See Clarke on Eph 2:8.

Verse 5. Even when we were dead in sins] Dead in our souls;

dead towards God; dead in law; and exposed to death eternal,

Hath quickened us together with Christ] God has given us as

complete a resurrection from the death of sin to a life of

righteousness, as the body of Christ has had from the grave. And

as this quickening, or making alive, was most gratuitous on God's

part, the apostle, with great propriety, says; By grace ye are

saved.

Verse 6. And hath raised us up together in Christ] Or rather,

by Christ; his resurrection being the proof that he had made the

full atonement, and that we might be justified by his blood.

Believing, therefore, the record which God gave of his Son, we

received this atonement, and were raised from a death of sin to a

life of righteousness; and now we sit in heavenly places-we have a

right to the kingdom of God, anticipate this glory, and are

indescribably happy in the possession of this salvation, and in

our fellowship with Christ Jesus.

Verse 7. That in the ages to come] God has produced us an

example, and one which shall be on record through all generations,

that he quickens dead souls; that he forgives the sins of the most

sinful, when they repent and believe in Christ Jesus. So that

what God has done for the sinners at Ephesus will serve as an

encouragement to all ages of the world; and on this evidence every

preacher of the Gospel may boldly proclaim that Christ saves unto

the uttermost all that come unto God through him. And thus the

exceeding riches of his grace will appear in the provision he has

made for the salvation of both Jews and Gentiles.

This observation of the apostle is of great use and importance;

because we are authorized to state, in all the successive ages of

the world, that he who saved the sinners at Ephesus is ever ready

to save all who, like them, repent of their sins, and believe in

Christ Jesus.

Verse 8. For by grace are ye saved, through faith] As ye are

now brought into a state of salvation, your sins being all blotted

out, and you made partakers of the Holy Spirit; and, having a hope

full of immortality, you must not attribute this to any works or

merit of yours; for when this Gospel reached you, you were all

found dead in trespasses and dead in sins; therefore it was God's

free mercy to you, manifested through Christ, in whom ye were

commanded to believe; and, having believed by the power of the

Holy Spirit, ye received, and were sealed by, the Holy Spirit of

promise; so that this salvation is in no sense of yourselves, but

is the free gift of God; and not of any kind of works; so that no

man can boast as having wrought out his own salvation, or even

contributed any thing towards it. By grace are ye saved, through

faith in Christ. This is a true doctrine, and continues to be

essential to the salvation of man to the end of the world.

But whether are we to understand, faith or salvation as being

the gift of God? This question is answered by the Greek text: τη

γαρχαριτιεστεσεσωσμενοιδιατηςπιστεως. καιτουτοουκεξ

υμων. θεουτοδωρονουκεξεργων. ιναμητιςκαυχησηται. "By

this grace ye are saved through faith; and THIS (τουτο, this

salvation) not of you; it is the gift of God, not of works: so

that no one can boast." "The relative τουτο, this, which is in

the neuter gender, cannot stand for πιστις, faith, which is the

feminine; but it has the whole sentence that goes before for its

antecedent." But it may be asked: Is not faith the gift of God?

Yes, as to the grace by which it is produced; but the grace or

power to believe, and the act of believing, are two different

things. Without the grace or power to believe no man ever did or

can believe; but with that power the act of faith is a man's own.

God never believes for any man, no more than he repents for him:

the penitent, through this grace enabling him, believes for

himself: nor does he believe necessarily, or impulsively when he

has that power; the power to believe may be present long before it

is exercised, else, why the solemn warnings with which we meet

every where in the word of God, and threatenings against those who

do not believe? Is not this a proof that such persons have the

power but do not use it? They believe not, and therefore are

not established. This, therefore, is the true state of the case:

God gives the power, man uses the power thus given, and brings

glory to God: without the power no man can believe; with it, any

man may.

Verse 10. For we are his workmanship] So far is this salvation

from being our own work, or granted for our own works' sake, that

we are ourselves not only the creatures of God, but our new

creation was produced by his power; for we are created in Christ

Jesus unto good works. He has saved us that we may show forth the

virtues of Him who called us from darkness into his marvellous

light. For though we are not saved for our good works, yet we are

saved that we may perform good works, to the glory of God and the

benefit of man.

Which God hath before ordained] οιςπροητοιμασες. For which

God before prepared us, that we might walk in them. For being

saved from sin we are made partakers of the Spirit of holiness;

and it is natural to that Spirit to lead to the practice of

holiness; and he who is not holy in his life is not saved by the

grace of Christ. The before ordaining, or rather preparing, must

refer to the time when God began the new creation in their hearts;

for from the first inspiration of God upon the soul it begins to

love holiness; and obedience to the will of God is the very

element in which a holy or regenerated soul lives.

Verse 11. Wherefore remember] That ye may ever see and feel

your obligations to live a pure and holy life, and be unfeignedly

thankful to God for your salvation, remember that ye were once

heathens in the flesh-without the pure doctrine, and under the

influence of your corrupt nature; such as by the Jew's (who

gloried, in consequence of their circumcision, to be in covenant

with God) were called uncircumcision; i.e. persons out of the

Divine covenant, and having no right or title to any blessing of

God.

Verse 12. That at that time ye were without Christ] Not only

were not Christians, but had no knowledge of the Christ or

Messiah, and no title to the blessings which were to proceed from

him.

Aliens from the commonwealth of Israel] Ye were by your birth,

idolatry, &c., alienated from the commonwealth of Israel-from the

civil and religious privileges of the Jewish people.

Strangers from the covenants of promise] Having no part in the

promise of the covenant made with Abraham, whether considered as

relating to his natural or spiritual seed; and no part in that of

the covenant made at Horeb with the Israelites, when a holy law

was given them, and God condescended to dwell among them, and to

lead them to the promised land.

Having no hope] Either of the pardon of sin or of the

resurrection of the body, nor indeed of the immortality of the

soul. Of all these things the Gentiles had no rational or

well-grounded hope.

Without God in the world] They had gods many, and lords many;

but in no Gentile nation was the true God known: nor indeed had

they any correct notion of the Divine nature. Their idols were by

nature no gods-they could neither do evil nor good, and therefore

they were properly without God, having no true object of worship,

and no source of comfort. He who has neither God nor Christ is in

a most deplorable state; he has neither a God to worship, nor a

Christ to justify him. And this is the state of every man who is

living without the grace and Spirit of Christ. All such, whatever

they may profess, are no better than practical atheists.

Verse 13. Ye who sometimes were far off] To be far off, and to

be near, are sayings much in use among the Jews; and among them,

to be near signifies, 1. To be in the approbation or favour of

God; and to be far off signifies to be under his displeasure. So

a wicked Jew might be said to be far off from God when he was

exposed to his displeasure; and a holy man, or a genuine penitent,

might be said to be nigh to God, because such persons are in his

favour. 2. Every person who offered a sacrifice to God was

considered as having access to him by the blood of that sacrifice:

hence the priests, whose office it was to offer sacrifices, were

considered as being nigh to God; and all who brought gifts to the

altar were considered as approaching the Almighty. 3. Being far

off, signified the state of the Gentiles as contradistinguished

from the Jews, who were nigh. And these expressions were used in

reference to the tabernacle, God's dwelling-place among the

Israelites, and the sacrifices there offered. All those who had

access to this tabernacle, or were nigh to it or encamped about

it, were said to be nigh to God; those who had no access to it

were said to be far off. Hence the latter phrase is used to

distinguish the Gentiles from the Jewish people; and this appears

to be the meaning of the prophet, Isa 57:19:

I create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to him that is far

off, and to him that is near, saith the Lord; i.e. I give cause

of praise and rejoicing to the Gentile as well as to the Jew.

And to this scripture, and to this thing, the apostle seems here

to allude. You Gentiles, who were unacquainted with God, and were

even without God in the world, are brought to an acquaintance with

him; and are now, through Christ Jesus, brought into the favour

and fellowship of God. And as the Jews of old approached God by

the blood of their sacrifices, so you approach him by the blood

of Christ.

Verse 14. For he is our peace] Jesus Christ has died for both

Jews and Gentiles, and has become a peace-offering, shalom,

to reconcile both to God and to each other.

Who hath made both one] Formed one Church out of the believers

of both people.

The middle wall of partition] By abolishing the law of Jewish

ordinances, he has removed that which kept the two parties, not

only in a state of separation, but also at variance.

This expression, the middle wall, can refer only to that most

marked distinction which the Jewish laws and customs made between

them and all other nations whatsoever.

Some think it refers to their ancient manner of living among the

Gentiles, as they always endeavoured to live in some place by

themselves, and to have a river or a wall between them and their

heathen neighbours. Indeed, wherever they went, their own rites,

ordinances, and customs were a sufficient separation between them

and others; and as Jesus Christ abolished those customs, admitting

all into his Church, both Jews and Gentiles, by repentance and

faith, he may be said to have broken down the middle wall of

partition. When, at the death of Christ, the veil of the temple

was rent from the top to the bottom, it was an emblem that the way

to the holiest was laid open, and that the people at large, both

Jews and Gentiles, were to have access to the holiest by the blood

of Jesus.

Some think there is an allusion here to the wall called chel,

which separated the court of Israel from the court of the

Gentiles; but this was not broken down till the temple itself was

destroyed: and to this transaction the apostle cannot be supposed

to allude, as it did not take place till long after the writing of

this epistle.

Verse 15. Having abolished in his flesh] By his incarnation

and death he not only made an atonement for sin, but he appointed

the doctrine of reconciliation to God, and of love to each other,

to be preached in all nations; and thus glory was brought to God

in the highest, and on earth, peace and good will were diffused

among men.

The enmity of which the apostle speaks was reciprocal among the

Jews and Gentiles. The former detested the Gentiles, and

could hardly allow them the denomination of men; the latter had

the Jews in the most sovereign contempt, because of the

peculiarity of their religious rites and ceremonies, which were

different from those of all the other nations of the earth.

The law of commandments] Contained in, or rather concerning,

ordinances; which law was made merely for the purpose of keeping

the Jews a distinct people, and pointing out the Son of God till

he should come. When, therefore, the end of its institution was

answered, it was no longer necessary; and Christ by his death

abolished it.

To make in himself] To make one Church out of both people,

which should be considered the body of which Jesus Christ is the

head. Thus he makes one new man-one new Church; and thus he makes

and establishes peace. I think the apostle still alludes to the

peace-offering, shalom, among the Jews. They have a saying,

Sephra, fol. 121: Whosoever offers a peace-offering sacrifice,

brings peace to the world. Such a peace-offering was the death of

Christ, and by it peace is restored to the earth.

Verse 16. That he might reconcile both-in one body] That the

Jews and Gentiles, believing on the Lord Jesus, might lay aside

all their causes of contention, and become one spiritual body, or

society of men, influenced by the Spirit, and acting according to

the precepts of the Gospel.

Having slain the enmity thereby] Having, by his death upon the

cross, made reconciliation between God and man, and by his Spirit

in their hearts removed the enmity of their fallen, sinful nature.

Dr. Macknight thinks that abolishing the enmity is spoken of the

removal of the hatred which the Jews and Gentiles mutually bore to

each other, because of the difference of their respective

religious worship; and that slaying the enmity refers to the

removal of evil lusts and affections from the heart of man, by

the power of Divine grace. This is nearly the sense given above.

Verse 17. And came and preached peace] Proclaimed the

readiness of God to forgive and save both Jews and Gentiles.

See Clarke on Eph 2:13.

Verse 18. For through him] Christ Jesus, we both-Jews and

Gentiles, have access by one Spirit-through the influence of the

Holy Ghost, unto the Father-God Almighty. This text is a plain

proof of the holy Trinity. Jews and Gentiles are to be presented

unto God the FATHER; the SPIRIT of God works in their hearts, and

prepares them for this presentation; and JESUS CHRIST himself

introduces them. No soul can have access to God but by Jesus

Christ, and he introduces none but such as receive his Holy

Spirit. All who receive that Spirit are equally dear to him; and,

whatever their names be among men, they are known in heaven as

children of God, and heirs of eternal glory.

Verse 19. Ye are no more strangers] In this chapter the Church

of God is compared to a city, which, has a variety of privileges,

rights, &c., founded on regular charters and grants. The

Gentiles, having believed in Christ, are all incorporated with the

believing Jews in this holy city. Formerly, when any of them came

to Jerusalem, being ξενοι, strangers, they had no kind of rights

whatever; nor could they, as mere heathens, settle among them.

Again, if any of them, convinced of the errors of the Gentiles,

acknowledged the God of Israel, but did not receive circumcision,

he might dwell in the land, but he had no right to the blessings

of the covenant; such might be called παροικοι, sojourners-persons

who have no property in the land, and may only rent a house for

the time being.

Fellow citizens with the saints] Called to the enjoyment of

equal privileges with the Jews themselves, who, by profession,

were a holy people; who were bound to be holy, and therefore are

often called saints, or holy persons, when both their hearts and

conduct were far from being right in the sight of God. But the

saints spoken of here are the converted or Christianized Jews.

Of the household of God] The house of God is the temple; the

temple was a type of the Christian Church; this is now become

God's house; all genuine believers are considered as being

οικειοι, domestics, of this house, the children and servants

of God Almighty, having all equal rights, privileges, and

advantages; as all, through one Spirit, by the sacred head of the

family, had equal access to God, and each might receive as much

grace and as much glory as his soul could possibly contain.

Verse 20. And are built upon the foundation] Following the

same metaphor, comparing the Church of Christ to a city, and to

the temple, the believing Ephesians are represented as parts of

that building; the living stones out of which it is principally

formed, 1Pe 2:4, 5,

having for foundation-the ground plan, specification, and

principle on which it was builded, the doctrine taught by the

prophets in the Old Testament, and the apostles in the New.

Jesus Christ being that corner stone, or ακρογωνιαιος, the chief

angle or foundation corner stone, the connecting medium by which

both Jews and Gentiles were united in the same building.

Elsewhere Jesus Christ is termed the foundation stone. Behold I

lay in Zion a foundation stone, a tried stone, a precious corner

stone, Isa 28:16;

but the meaning is the same in all the places where these terms,

foundation and corner stone, occur; for in laying the foundation

of a building, a large stone is generally placed at one of the

angles or corners, which serves to form a part of the two walls

which meet in that angle. When, therefore, the apostle says that

Jesus Christ is the chief corner stone, it means such a foundation

stone as that above mentioned.

Verse 21. In whom] By which foundation corner stone, Christ

Jesus, all the building, composed of converted Jews and Gentiles,

fitly framed together, συναρμολογουμενη, properly jointed and

connected together, groweth unto a holy temple-is continually

increasing, as new converts from Judaism or heathenism flock into

it. It is not a finished building, but will continue to increase,

and be more and more perfect, till the day of judgment.

Verse 22. In whom ye also are builded] The apostle now applies

the metaphor to the purpose for which he produced it, retaining

however some of the figurative expressions. As the stones in a

temple are all properly placed so as to form a complete house, and

be a habitation for the Deity that is worshipped there, so ye are

all, both believing Jews and Gentiles, prepared by the doctrine of

the prophets and apostles, under the influence of the Spirit of

Christ, to become a habitation of God, a Church in which God shall

be worthily worshipped, and in which he can continually dwell.

1. MANY suppose that the apostle in the preceding chapter

alludes to the splendour of the temple of Diana at Ephesus, which

was reputed one of the wonders of the world. But to me this

opinion does not seem sufficiently founded. I believe he has the

Jewish temple continually in view; for that temple, above all in

the universe, could alone be said to be a habitation of God. Both

in the tabernacle and temple God dwelt between the cherubim; there

was the symbol of his presence, and there was the worship

performed which himself had prescribed. After the model of this

was the spiritual temple, the Christian Church, constructed; and

God was to dwell in the one, as he had dwelt in the other. This

simile, drawn from the temple at Jerusalem, was alone worthy of

the apostle's design; to have alluded to the temple of Diana would

have disgraced his subject. And as many at Ephesus were Jews, and

well acquainted with the temple at Jerusalem, they would both feel

and venerate the apostle's simile, and be led to look for the

indwelling of God; that which distinguished the Jewish temple from

all others on the face of the earth.

2. The Church of God is very properly said to be a most noble

and wonderful work, and truly worthy of GOD himself.

There is nothing, says one, so august as this Church, seeing it

is the temple of GOD.

Nothing so worthy of reverence, seeing God dwells in it.

Nothing so ancient, since the patriarchs and prophets laboured in

building it.

Nothing so solid, since Jesus Christ is the foundation of it.

Nothing more closely united and indivisible, since he is the

corner stone.

Nothing so lofty, since it reaches as high as heaven, and to the

bosom of God himself.

Nothing so regular and well proportioned, since the Holy Spirit

is the architect.

Nothing more beautiful, or adorned with greater variety, since it

consists of Jews and Gentiles, of every age, country, sex,

and condition: the mightiest potentates, the most renowned

lawgivers, the most profound philosophers, the most eminent

scholars, besides all those of whom the world was not worthy,

have formed a part of this building.

Nothing more spacious, since it is spread over the whole earth,

and takes in all who have washed their robes, and made them

white in the blood of the Lamb.

Nothing so inviolable, since it is consecrated to Jehovah.

Nothing so Divine, since it is a living building, animated and

inhabited by the Holy Ghost.

Nothing so beneficent, seeing it gives shelter to the poor, the

wretched, and distressed, of every nation, and kindred, and

tongue.

It is the place in which God does his marvellous works; the

theatre of his justice, mercy, goodness, and truth; where he is to

be sought, where he is to be found, and in which alone he is to he

retained.

As we have one only GOD, and one only Saviour and Mediator

between God and man, and one only inspiring Spirit; so there is

but one Church, in which this ineffable Jehovah performs his work

of salvation. That Church, however scattered and divided

throughout the world, is but one building, founded on the Old and

New Testaments; having but one sacrifice, the Lord Jesus, the Lamb

of God that takes away the sin of the world.

3. Of this glorious Church every Christian soul is an epitome;

for as God dwells in the Church at large, so he dwells in every

believer in particular: each is a habitation of God through the

Spirit. In vain are all pretensions among sects and parties to

the privileges of the Church of Christ, if they have not the

doctrine and life of Christ. Traditions and legends are not

apostolic doctrines, and showy ceremonies are not the life of God

in the soul of man.

4. Religion has no need of human ornaments or trappings; it

shines by its own light, and is refulgent with its own glory.

Where it is not in life and power, men have endeavoured to produce

a specious image, dressed and ornamented with their own hands.

Into this God never breathed, therefore it can do no good to man,

and only imposes on the ignorant and credulous by a vain show of

lifeless pomp and splendour. This phantom, called true religion

and the Church by its votaries, is in heaven denominated vain

superstition; the speechless symbol of departed piety.

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