Part VI.

In meditating on the eternal and unchangeable purposes of God, as unfolded to our view in the chapter now before us, four things seem mainly to strike our mind as worthy of our most attentive consideration—

1. The ultimate end that is to crown the whole—which is the praise of the glory of God's grace.

2. The intermediate cause that moved and prompted the heart of God—which was the riches of his love and favor.

3. The directing counsel that planned and still guides all his purposes from first to last to their full and final accomplishment—which is his infinite wisdom.

4. The effectual execution of his purposes—which is by his omnipotent power.

These four things move together in united harmony, and work together in mutual co-operation, so that every blessing which grace could give, every way of manifesting love and favor which wisdom could devise, every act by which the purposes of grace could be effectually accomplished, all move forward in the most blessed and harmonious concord towards the grand crowning consummation of the whole, when there will be heard rising up from innumerable myriads one universal anthem of praise; when "everything which has breath will praise the Lord;" when "every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, will be heard saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto him who sits upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever." (Rev. 5:13.)

The fourth point to which we thus draw attention, that is, the effectual EXECUTION of the purposes of God's grace by his omnipotent power, we briefly noticed in our last paper in our exposition of verse 11. We then took occasion to remark that the words, "Who works all things after the counsel of his own will," though they included God's universal power, yet here had reference to the execution of the purposes of his grace. By these words, therefore, the Apostle brings before our eyes God's omnipotent power as carrying into effectual performance the counsel of his own will towards the objects of his distinguishing favor. An especial blessing is couched in this. Next to a believing view of the purposes of God's grace, and a sweet persuasion of our interest in them—nothing is more strengthening and encouraging than a realizing apprehension of the power of God to carry them into full execution.

Feeling, as we do, our own miserable helplessness, sinking under the pressure of our daily weakness, mourning over continual failures, and grieving on account of perpetual backslidings, encompassed by foes, and distressed by fears, how strengthening it is to our faith, thus tried to the utmost, to believe that he who has purposed—has power to perform. This persuasion of the almighty power of God was the support and strength of Abraham's faith, which bore him up in the face of seeming impossibilities, and whereby he gave glory to God. (Rom. 4:18-21.) When, then, as walking in the steps of the faith of Abraham, we can look up believingly to the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ—as we behold sovereign grace in his heart—and infinite wisdom in his mind—so we see almighty strength in his arm—and thus become sweetly persuaded that all which his loving heart feels, his infinite wisdom directs, and his omnipotent power can execute.

But observe how the Apostle brings all this rich display of the grace, the wisdom, and the power of God to bear on personal experience—"That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ." (Eph. 1:12.) From not knowing or not attending to the original Greek, and, we may add—not properly considering the analogy of faith, and the consistent harmony of the dispensation of grace, some commentators on the passage, and, we rather think, good old Dr. Hawker among them, have sadly misinterpreted the meaning of the Apostle's words, "Who first trusted in Christ." Observing that the words stand in immediate juxtaposition, and therefore seemingly in close connection with the previous word, "his," and not knowing or not remembering that in the Greek they are in the plural number, and what is called the accusative case, which necessarily defines the persons of whom the Apostle speaks, the commentators to whom we have alluded, and many preachers, doubtless, following in their track, have referred the words, "who first trusted in Christ," to God himself, as if it were he, not we, who first trusted in Christ; and they have explained it as if God beforehand trusted in Christ, that he would perform his covenant engagements; and therefore, before he came into the world, gave him credit, so to speak, for the whole of his finished work, as believing he would repay all that was thus previously lent him.

Now all this may seem very pretty and very plausible, and when put forward by a popular or favorite preacher with great confidence, as most of those fanciful interpretations are, such an interpretation may fall on the ears of many of the hearers as one of those wonderfully deep explanations which scarcely anyone but their minister is favored to see and give. But such an interpretation the original scatters to the winds; for, by all the laws of language, it fixes the persons who "first trusted in Christ" as grammatically connected with the preceding "we." But in this, as in almost every other case of a strained or fanciful interpretation, a man need not know Greek to detect its falsehood; for to our mind there is something very repulsive in the interpretation itself. Christ as the Father's servant, Christ as man, trusted in God. He trusted him in life, and he trusted him in death, for into his hands he committed his expiring spirit; and so evident was his trust in God that his bitter enemies taunted him with it; and its apparent fruitlessness. (Psalm 22:8; Matt. 27:43.) But we never read that God trusted in Christ in any way analogous to the manner in which a creditor trusts beforehand a debtor, in full expectation of payment at a time specified. The Father sent the Son; (John 10:36;) he upheld him; (Isa. 42:1;) he delighted in, and was well pleased with him; (Matt. 3:17;) he glorified him; (John 17:1;) but to say that he trusted in him, and that before his incarnation, is a vain and foolish idea, and inconsistent with the harmony of the economy of grace, which always maintains the due relationship of the Father and the Son, and never attributes to the Sender that which especially belongs to the Sent.

But there is another reason why so foolish an interpretation cannot stand, and which needs no knowledge of Greek to see and understand. If you look at the marginal reading, which is often more literal and nearer the original than the text, you will find the words, "or hoped." In fact the Greek word means "hoped" rather than "trusted;" and the whole verse should be thus translated—"that we should be to the praise of his glory—we who first hoped in Christ."

But what is the meaning of the expression, "we who first hoped in Christ?" It means that those of whom the Apostle speaks, he himself included, were among the first fruits of the outpouring of the Spirit after the ascension and glorification of Christ. Looking forward therefore to those who should be hereafter called by God's distinguishing grace, Paul viewed himself and the saints of his day with a kind of holy triumph as the first trophies of Christ's victory over sin, death, and hell. These first fruits would seem to be in an especial manner dedicated to the praise of the glory of God's grace. As the first fruits under the law were offered at the feast of the Passover before the Lord, being a sheaf of corn cut from the field as a pledge and earnest of the whole harvest, so was it with these first believers. This first rich display of the purposes of God's grace filled the Apostle's heart with holy joy. That he himself—a bloodthirsty persecutor, who had made havoc of the Church—that the blind idolaters at Ephesus, once dead in trespasses and sins—should have been chosen to be the first to hope in Christ, and thus be the foremost to place a crown of glory on the Redeemer's head—this made him rejoice with holy admiration. He felt the blessedness of a personal religion, of an experimental and enjoyed interest in an eternal inheritance; and that he and those to whom he wrote did not merely look on as spectators of the triumphs of redeeming blood, or were, like thousands, unconcerned hearers of the gospel which proclaimed salvation by grace—but, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who works all things after the counsel of his own will, had obtained an inheritance in Christ. And what was their evidence of this personal interest, and that they were Isaacs, not Ishmaels; Jacobs, not Esaus; Davids, not Sauls? It was that they were the "first who hoped in Christ."'

Observe how a hope in Christ, that is, of course, a good hope through grace—manifests our personal interest in Christ, and proves that in him we have obtained an inheritance. How this, as realized and felt, enables the soul to praise the Lord for his distinguishing grace; and as whoever offers praise glorifies God, those who hope in Christ are "to the praise of the glory of his grace." This tribute of praise, the first who were called by grace were the first to bring. And as the first fruits under the Levitical dispensation were a pledge of the future harvest, so was it with these first believers. Their call by grace and the work of the Spirit on their hearts were a pledge of a whole harvest to be reaped and garnered. Thus Epenetus and Stephanas are spoken of as being "the first fruits of Achaia," (Rom. 16:5; 1 Cor. 16:15) meaning that they were among the very first called in that part of Greece of which Corinth was the capital. (2 Cor. 1:1.)

These Ephesians were, therefore, among the earliest trophies of the death, resurrection, and ascension of Christ, as being among the first who as quickened from a death in sin had been raised up to a hope in Christ. Having been blessed with all spiritual blessings in Christ, having been chosen in him before the foundation of the world, and accepted in the Beloved, they had been made alive to God by regenerating grace, and had thus proved in their own consciences that they had obtained an inheritance in Christ, and this not for any goodness of their own, but because they had been predestinated to it according to the purpose of him who works all things after the counsel of his own will.

If the interpreters to whom we have already alluded had duly considered these points they would not have so thoroughly mistaken the meaning of the words "who first trusted in Christ." Even had they paid attention to the marginal reading, "hoped," they must have shrunk from such an interpretation, for they could not have asserted that God "first hoped in Christ." To ascribe faith and hope to God is ten thousand times worse than the error which Mr. Huntington so severely lashes of Onesimus, who ascribed faith and hope to the saints in heaven. But enough of this fanciful interpretation, which like most of its class, is but a cloak for error.

Following his divine theme, the Apostle goes on to show how the Ephesian saints were farther led on in the divine life so as to know their personal interest in these heavenly blessings—"In whom you also trusted, after that you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, in whom also after that you believed, you were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise." (Eph. 1:13.) It will be observed that the word "trusted" is in italics, showing, that it is not in the original, but was supplied by our translators to complete, as they considered, the sense. But, in our judgment, they were altogether wrong in supplying the ellipsis, as the omission of a word is termed, by the expression "trusted." If they had supplied the ellipsis at all, which was not necessary, they should have put "believed;" for the words "after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation" come in as if in a kind of parenthesis, and the whole verse should have been rendered thus—"In whom you also, having heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation," (here the Apostle goes back to where he began) "in whom also having believed, you were sealed," etc. There is no reference to their having first trusted in Christ, as would appear from the translation, but the Apostle passes on to another point—their faith in Christ from their hope in Christ, and to what followed as a testimony to the truth and reality of their faith. It is therefore as if he said—"All we to whom the gospel first came with power; all we who as first fruits of Christ's victory have had grace given to us before all the rest of the crop who are to be gathered in after us; all we were predestinated to the praise of the glory of God's grace. But among the first fruits are you also, you saints at Ephesus, you who have heard the word of truth, the gospel of our salvation, and have believed in him of whom that gospel testifies. God has abounded in it towards you in all wisdom and prudence; it came to you not in word only, but in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance. And what was the consequence? You believed in him of whom the gospel testified. And what followed upon believing? "You were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise." The Apostle thus joins together three things as following each other in gracious succession—1. Hearing; 2. Believing; 3. Sealing.

Hearing the word of truth, the gospel of their salvation, was the first. For three years had they heard the gospel from the mouth of Paul. A mighty work was wrought through him at Ephesus, for the word of God mightily grew there and prevailed. (Acts 19:20.) "Faith," we read, "comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." So was it with these Ephesian saints. They heard, they believed. Paul preached to them Christ and him crucified. The Holy Spirit gave them ears to hear and hearts to feel. By his mighty and efficacious operation faith in the Son of God was raised up in their souls, and they received him, as of God made unto them wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.

And what followed? Sealing. "They were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise;" that is, that Holy Spirit whom the Lord had promised to send; (John 16:7;) and this Holy Spirit, for the word "which" refers, not to the sealing, but to the Sealer, was a pledge of their inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession.

Several things claim our consideration here, and mainly these four—
1. The Sealer.
2. The sealing.
3. The pledge of the inheritance.
4. The redemption of the purchased possession.

1. The Sealer—This is the Holy Spirit. He it is who puts his attesting seal upon two things—two mighty and efficacious works—1. The finished work of the Son of God, whereby he put away sin by the sacrifice of himself; and 2, upon his own gracious work on the heart of those who believe. Having first effectually convinced us of sin, this blessed Teacher and Holy Comforter next opens our eyes to see, and our hearts to believe in the glorious Person of the Son of God, and to rest upon and hope in his blood and righteousness. He then afterwards, in various ways and at different seasons, seals upon our heart and conscience the reality and blessedness of what he has thus taught us. In doing this he takes of the things of Christ and shows them unto us—glorifies Christ by revealing him in us—makes him dear, near, and precious—and thus seals upon our heart who and what he is in himself as the Son of God, and what he is to us by faith. He thus confirms and strengthens our faith in him—encourages and reanimates our hope—and draws forth our love. What we have seen in Christ, heard of Christ, and received from Christ he sets home upon the heart with an attesting power, so that we find and feel we have not followed cunningly devised fables in believing what the Scriptures declare of Jesus but that he is all, and more than all, we have tasted and experienced him to be.

2. And now the sealing—This is in an especial manner the blessed Spirit's attestation to his own work—the inward witness of the Spirit whereby he bears his peculiar testimony to his own previous teachings and operations.

But sealing implies several things. 1. It is subsequent to believing—"In whom after you believed, you were sealed." In legal documents the writing always precedes the sealing. That is the last act, and follows even the signing, putting an attesting stamp on the whole document, from the first word to the last signature. So in grace. The Spirit begins the work. He writes the first lines of divine truth on the soul; he makes the first impression on the heart of stone, which under his operation becomes a heart of flesh; he writes every truth that he thus makes known on the fleshy tables of the heart. He thus gives faith and hope, and then he comes with his special inward witness, and seals the truth and reality of his own work, so as not only to make it plain and clear—but to ratify and confirm it beyond all doubt and fear, questioning or dispute, either by our self or others.

The work of God on the soul sometimes seems to lie as if dead and dormant—little prayer goes up, little answer comes down. Then doubts and fears arise whether the work is genuine, and much bondage and darkness sensibly gather over the mind like a dark and gloomy cloud, which much obscures the handwriting of the divine finger. Now the blessed Spirit revives his work by some application of the word with power, some softening and melting of the hard heart by his divine influence—some communication of a spirit of prayer—some discovery of the gracious Lord—some strengthening of faith, reviving of hope, and drawing forth of love. He thus puts the seal on his own work, and stamps it as genuine.

Under the sweetness and blessedness of this attesting seal many a poor child of God can look back to this and that testimony, this and that Ebenezer, this and that hill Mizar, this and that deliverance, blessing, manifestation, answer to prayer, special season under the word or on his knees, which were almost lost and buried in unbelief and confusion. But especially when he bears witness with their spirit that they are the children of God and shedding abroad the love of God in their heart becomes in them the Spirit of adoption, whereby they cry Abba Father—is his sealing manifest and complete.

2. But seal sometimes means proof—"He who has received his testimony has set to his seal that God is true." (John 3:33.) There it means that he who has by faith received the testimony which God has given of Christ has such an internal proof and testimony that he is the Son of God, that he can set his personal attestation to the truth and reality of his Sonship, and that the words which he spoke are true. So the Corinthians are declared by the Apostle (1 Cor. 9:2) to be "the seal," that is, the attesting mark or proof of "his apostleship." The Holy Spirit having called, qualified, commissioned, and sent him to preach the gospel, every saint quickened and called under his ministry was a seal or an open manifest proof to the Apostle, to himself, and to all others that Paul's apostleship was of God.

3. It therefore means especially an approving testimony. Sealing is a general term to signify a special attestation; but when we read of our blessed Lord, "him has God the Father sealed," (John 6:27,) it means the approving seal which the Father set on the Person, work, miracles, and testimony of his dear Son, and whereby he especially commends him to our faith and acceptance.

But we need not further dwell on the sealing of the Spirit, as our object is rather to explain the general meaning and connection of the chapter before us than preach a series of sermons on it, or say upon it all that might be experimentally and profitably said. We pass on, therefore, to show how the Holy Spirit of promise is "an earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession." An 'earnest' is a part of the sum agreed on, paid in advance, as a binding pledge of the payment of the whole amount at the stipulated season. Thus in hiring a servant, a small sum is paid as an earnest to make the agreement valid and binding on both parties. In purchasing a house or an estate, a certain sum called the deposit money is paid as a pledge of the payment of the whole price at the fixed time.

In this sense the blessed Spirit is himself the earnest of our inheritance, for the word "which" grammatically refers to him. His gifts and graces, his teachings, influences, and operations, his quickenings, revivings, renewings, his anointings and indwellings, and especially his sealings are so many pledges of the truth and reality of the inheritance, and of its being ours. And observe that the earnest is not only a pledge of the receipt of the whole sum, but is in itself of the same kind and nature. The first fruits, under the Law, were not only a pledge of the whole harvest, but were, as wheat or barley, of the same actual kind as the whole crop. The money paid at hiring, or the deposit at a purchase of land, are in the same coin as the rest of the sum, or they would not be part payment. So the earnest of the inheritance and the inheritance itself are of the same kind and nature. Both are Christ; first Christ in grace, then Christ in glory; Christ revealed here, Christ seen face to face hereafter; Christ in his visits, his presence, his love, his power on earth; Christ, the same blessed Christ, in all the fullness of his presence and love in heaven.

Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people. Holy are its inhabitants, holy its employments, holy its enjoyments. The Holy Spirit, therefore, in his sealing, sanctifying operations, and the communication of a holy, spiritual, and divine nature (2 Pet. 1:4) is the earnest of his holy and heavenly inheritance, making us, as the Apostle says (Col. 1:12) "fit for the inheritance of the saints in light." This is a very important consideration, for it plainly shows that unless we know something of the teaching, the work, and witness of the Holy Spirit here, and are made partakers of a new, holy, spiritual, and heavenly nature, we have no pledge of our interest in the inheritance of the saints in bliss. A carnal, unsanctified, unholy, unrenewed heart is utterly incapable of understanding, entering into, longing after, and loving an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that passes not away. But every holy desire, heavenly affection, gracious longing, spiritual enjoyment, and believing, hoping, loving, looking unto and cleaving to the Lord of life and glory by the power of the Holy Spirit, are all so many pledges of an interest in the glorious inheritance of the saints in light. The love, the joy, the peace, the calm tranquillity, and holy acquiescence in the will of God; the ravishing views of the glory of Christ which change the soul into the same image, from glory to glory; the delight felt in him, and the whole surrender of the heart and affections to the blessed Lord as the chief of ten thousand, and the altogether lovely one—are all so many pledges of the inheritance above, as, being heaven begun below.

But what is the meaning of "the redemption of the purchased possession," until which the spirit is the earnest of our inheritance? Two things here demand our consideration—1. What is meant by the expression "purchased possession." 2. What we are to understand by the "redemption" of this purchased possession.

1. First, then, what is the meaning of the expression "purchased possession?" In the original it is but one word, and signifies literally acquisition, or obtaining and gaining possession of an object. It is used in this sense 1 Thess. 5:9, where it is rendered in our translation "to obtain." "For God has not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Thess. 5:9.) Thence it is used to signify "salvation," as Heb. 10:39, where our version renders the word "the saving of the soul." But our translators have well and wisely rendered the word in the passage now before us "the purchased possession;" the substantive borrowing the idea of purchase from the verb, from which it is derived, possessing that meaning, as in Acts 20:28, where it is rightly translated "purchased."

By this purchased possession, then, we are to understand the Church, which the Lord purchased with his own blood. She is his possession, his acquisition, his inheritance, and, as bought with a price, (1 Cor. 6:20,) his purchased possession. Peter, therefore, writing to the elect strangers, says—"But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; (1 Pet. 2:9;) where the word "peculiar" is the same as is used here, and may be translated, as in the margin, "a purchased people." We do not hold with purchased blessings, because we believe that God blessed the Church with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, as the pure gift of his grace. All will admit that the love of God shed abroad in the heart is the best and greatest of spiritual blessings; and yet who that knows the truth will venture to say that this love was bought by the blood of Christ; when it was this very eternal love of God which moved him to send his only-begotten Son? (John 3:16; 1 John 4:9, 10.)

But though we do not hold with purchased blessings, we fully believe in a purchased people; and we also believe that no blessing comes to that purchased people except through the cross of Christ, that being, as it were, the consecrated channel through which every favor comes, and by which alone reconciliation was effected. We do not, therefore, at all quarrel or find fault with such expressions as "blood-bought pardon," for though not strictly bought in a way of purchase, yet pardon of sin was so wrung out of Christ's sorrows and sufferings that in a sense it may be said to have been bought by them. The Church of Christ, then, viewed in its entirety, as the body of which he is the glorious Head, the wife of whom he is the Husband, the inheritance of which he is the Lord and heir, (Mark 12:7,) is the purchased possession of which the Apostle here speaks.

2. But as connected with this point, now comes the question, What is the meaning of the expression the "redemption" of this purchased possession? What is this redemption, and why is it spoken of as still future? Redemption, in Scripture, taken in its widest sense, means deliverance, and chiefly and primarily by the payment of a ransom. Thus a captive might be delivered from captivity by a relation or friend paying the ransom set upon him by his captor. The Lord said, therefore, of Cyrus that he would "let go his captives, not for price or reward," which was the usual way of their liberation, but gratuitously, which he did when he let them return from the Babylonish captivity, without exacting from them any ransom, tax, or tribute. (Isa. 45:13.) Similarly a free-born Israelite, who, through poverty, had sold himself as a slave to a stranger, might be redeemed by one of his brethren, or, if able, might redeem himself. (Lev. 25:47-52.) Here, again, a ransom price, calculated according to the number of years to the Jubilee, was needful for redemption. A third case is that of a field or parcel of land like Elimelech's, which had become mortgaged, but might be redeemed by the goel, or next kinsman in blood,* (Ruth 4:3) paying off the mortgage.

* The reason why the next kinsman refused to redeem the parcel of land was because he must have married the widow, and the son, by that marriage, would not have been considered his, but Elimelech's. He would, therefore, have lost his independent standing by merging, as it were, into a second Elimelech, and would thus have marred or lost his own inheritance as the head of a distinct faintly employed to deliver the servant, or recover possession of the land if either were unjustly detained.

All these cases which we need not further dwell upon are instances of redemption by price—by the payment of a ransom. And this is the primary meaning of the word "redeem." But there is also a redemption by power, as in the passage, "Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he has redeemed from the hand of the enemy." (Psalm 107:2.) In this sense God is frequently said to have "redeemed his people from the house of bondage," where the word means deliverance without any express idea of a price being laid down, or a ransom paid. (Deut. 7:8; 13:5; 15:15.) But it will be observed, that redemption by price makes a way for redemption by power; and that the one so precedes and implies the other, that there could and would have been no redemption by power had there not first been a redemption by price. Law and justice would cry aloud against taking away by force, one who had voluntarily sold himself to be a servant unless his value were paid, or against re-entering on a mortgaged piece of land without paying off the mortgage. But when the price had been fully and duly paid, and that to the satisfaction of the owner of the servant, or of the mortgagee, then power might be lawfully employed to deliver the servant, or recover possession of the land if either were unjustly detained.

These remarks may throw light on the expression "until the redemption of the purchased possession." The Church has been redeemed by price, but is not as yet fully redeemed by power. Christ has bought with his precious blood both the souls and bodies of his people, but he has not yet redeemed them openly. This redemption is still future, and will not be accomplished until the glorious resurrection morn, when the bodies of the dead saints will be raised, and the bodies of the living saints changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. This, therefore, is "the redemption of the purchased possession;" and this being future we have to wait for it, as the Apostle speaks, "But if we hope for what we see not, then do we with patience wait for it." (Rom. 8:25.)

Our body is not yet redeemed from its native corruption. But, in the resurrection morn, when the dead will be raised incorruptible, then the redemption of the body will be complete. Then the inheritance will be fully entered into. The risen and glorified saints will inherit Christ, and Christ will inherit them; and his purchased possession will be forever delivered from every foe and every fear, from every sin and every sorrow, from every corruption of body or soul, and be crowned with an exceeding and eternal weight of glory. Unto this day of redemption the Holy Spirit seals all the living family of God, (Eph. 4:30,) not only by assuring them of their interest in the inheritance, and himself being the earnest of it, but as thereby securing to them the most certain possession of it.

Here, then, we see the distinct work of each person in the blessed Trinity. The Father chooses the Church in Christ, and blesses her with all spiritual blessings in Him. The Son accepts her as his Bride and inheritance, and, when fallen, redeems her by his precious blood. The Holy Spirit quickens the souls thus chosen, blessed and redeemed, makes them fit for the inheritance, and seals them for the present enjoyment of it in grace, and the future enjoyment of it in glory. And to what does all this redound, but "to the praise of God's glory?"—praise to the Father, praise to the Son, and praise to the Holy Spirit; praise to the Father who loved the Church and chose her; praise to the Son who loved the Church and gave himself for her; and praise to the Holy Spirit who loved the Church, and seals her unto that glorious day when the purposes of God's grace will be all fulfilled, and the Church reign with her covenant Head in glory forever and ever!