Interested in Protestant Scholasticism? Systematic Theology I
When the Apostle had admonished the Ephesians, Ephesians 5:8, that, with the manner of their remarkable conversion considered, which they had undergone with respect to their spiritual state, through which these, who previously were pure darkness, were made light in the Lord, they should walk worthily as children of light: and when he had added that other precept, verse 11, by which he not only wills that the faithful Ephesians stay far from communion with the works of darkness, which are without any good fruit; but also earnestly commands that they reprove works of this sort, even those that are intent upon perpetrating them, convict them of a most indecent manner of living, and recall them to better fruit; after other things with which he had confirmed these admonitions, he urges the same with an argument taken from authority, verse 14, διὸ λέγει, Ἔγειραι ὁ καθεύδων καὶ ἀνάστα ἐκ τῶν νεκρῶν, καὶ ἐπιφαύσει σοι ὁ Χριστός, wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. Various things are able to be asked concerning this text, in the abundant explaining of which Interpreters appear to have been engage in their very office: however, I believe that a gleaning remains here for me after the harvest for the purpose of exercise. So that I might express my mind distinctly, I call attention to a few heads, which it is agreeable now to pass over briefly. It is asked, namely, 1. Who then is introduced as speaking, when the Apostle writes, διὸ λέγει, wherefore he says? 2. From what source are the words that occur in this sentence borrowed? 3. Whether by the terms ὁ καθεύδων, one that sleeps, and νεκρῶν, the dead, are set forth to us two different sorts of men? 4. Whether to the regenerate and faithful alone this speech is here directed, or to the unregenerate, who in condition after the fall yet lie insensible in the natural sleep of spiritual death in errors and sins? 5. In what way the dead might be able to be made spiritually mindful, that they might wake up and arise? 6. What is the meaning of the promise subjoined to the admonition, and Christ shall dawn upon thee? And whether supernatural grace is only going to follow upon the right use of natural gifts? 7. Finally, how does the Apostle, in citing this prophecy, reach the goal that he intends?