1 For I wish you knew how great my concern is for you, and for those of Laodicea, and for such as have never seen me in person: 2 that their hearts might be comforted, and that being firmly united in love, they might possess the highest and fullest persuasion of the truth of this doctrine, by entring into this mystery, even of God the father, and of Christ, 3 in whom are reserv'd all the treasures of wd om and knowledge.
4 I mention this, lest any one should deceive you by specious pretences. 5 for tho' I am absent in person, yet I am present with you in my mind, and am glad to perceive the regularily of your affairs, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ.
6 continue therefore to follow the doctrine of our Lord Jesus Christ, as you have receiv'd it: 7 being firmly attach'd to, and founded upon him: establishing yourselves in the faith you have been taught, and being thankful for the improvement you make therein.
8 beware lest any one seduce you by the vain illusions of philosophy, founded upon human traditions, and meer shadows, and not upon Christ: 9 for in him all divine plenitude does substantially reside. 10 and ye are filled by him, who is the chief of all principality and power: 11 by whom also ye have obtain'd the true spiritual circumcision, not effected by men, when you were by a christian circumcision divested of all your carnal affections, 12 which were buried (as Christ was) in your baptism, by virtue of which you rise (as he did) to a new life, through a belief of that divine power, which raised him from the dead. 13 Even you, who were in a dying sinful state, and were uncircumcised Gentiles, has God raised to life, as he did Christ, having pardoned all your sins: 14 and cancell'd the obligation of the ceremonial law, which was disadvantageous to us, removing that which divided us, and nailing it to the cross. 15 and having divested principalitys and powers, he made them an example of obedience, and caus'd them to triumph in Christ.
16 Let no man therefore condemn you for meats or drinks, or in respect of feasts, or new moons, or sabbaths: 17 for these were only the shadows of future things, prefiguring Christ, who is the substance. 18 Let no man condemn you, from an affectation of humility, in worshipping of Angels, boldly prying into matters which he knows nothing of, being vainly puft up with his Jewish conceits: 19 not adhering to the head, from which all the parts of the body derive its nutrition, and being firmly united together by its joints and ligaments, receives a divine increase.
20 If then you are dead with Christ, in respect of those shadows of the Jewish state; why do ye, as if you were still in that state, submit to those ordinances? 21 "don't eat this, don't taste that, nor touch it:" 22 which yet were all made to be consumed for our use, notwithstanding the injunctions and doctrines of men: 23 by which indeed they make a pretence to wisdom, by a worship of their own devising, by an air of humility, and self-denial, and a disregard to the gratifications of sense.