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ings; the last refage of an impotent and the truth of the gospel, and prevent their bafilled cause.
But St. Paul, to testify his being shaken with those troubles, whicla "resentment, shook his garments, and told the wicked and unbelieving Jews would be them, that since they were determined to continually raising against them. And bepull down the vengeance of heaven upon cause some passages in bis former epistle, their own heads, he was absolutely guilt- relating to the destruction of the Jews, liad less and innocent, and would henceforth been misunderstood, as if the day of the address bimself to the Gentiles.
Lord was near at hand, he rectifies these
mistakes, and shews the signs that must preAccordingly he left them, and repaired cede our Lord's coming to judgment. to the house of Justus, a religious proselyte, where, by his preaching and miracles, he St. Paul, on his leaving the church at converted great numbers to ibe faith; Corinth, took ship at Cenchrea, the port of among whom were Crispus, the chief ruler Corinthi, for Syria, taking with bim Aquila of the synagogue, and Garus, and Ste- / and Priscilla ; and on bis arrival at Epbesus, phanus, who with their families were bap- he preached awhile in the synagogue of the tized, and admitted members of the chris-Jews, promising to return to them, after tian church.
keeping the passover at Jerusalem. Ac
cordingly he again took ship, and landed at But lest the ungrateful, yea cruel beha- Cæsarea, and from thence travelled to Jeruviour of unbelievers, should discourage this salem, where he kept the feast, visited the able minister from prosecuting the glorious church, and then repaired to Autioch. work of the conversion of sinners, our dear
Here he stayed some time, and then traversRedeemer appeared to him in a vision, and
ed the countries of Galatia and Phrygia, told him, that notwithstanding the bad suc. confirming the new converted christians, till cess he had bitberto met with, there was a be came to Ephesus. large harvest to be gathered in that place ; that he should not be afraid of bis enemies, During the time he spent in this large but preach the gospel boldly and securely, -circuit, providence took care of the churches for that he biniself would protect and pre- of Epbesus and Corinth, by nieans of one serve him.
A pollos, an eloquent Jew of Alexandria,
and well-acquainted with the law and writAbout this time he seemed to have wrote ings of the prophets. This man coming to his first epistle to the Thessalonians, Silas Ephesus, though he was only instructed in and Timothy being lately returned from
from the rudiments of christianity, and John's thence, and delivered the message for which baptism, yet he taught with great courage, he had sent them thither. The principal and a most powerful zeal. After being design of this epistle is to confirm them in fully instructed in the faith by Aquila and the belief of the christian religion, and ex- Priscilla, he passed over into Acaia, being cite then to persevere in it, notwithstand. furnished with recommendatory letters by ing all the nalice of their enemies, and the the churches of Ephesus and Corinth. He persecutions they must expect to suffer, was of the greatest service in Acaia, in waterand to instruct them in the duties of a reli- ing what Paul had planted, confirming the gious life.
disciples, and powerfully convincing the
Jews, that Jesus was the true Messiah, proDuring the apostle's stay at Corinth, he nised in the scriptures, wrote his second epistle to the Thessalonians, to supply his absence. In this epistle be While Apollos was thus employed, St. again endeavours to confirm their minds in Paul returned to Ephesus, where he fixed
his abode for three years, bringing with him tify the doctrine wbich St. Paul delivered Gaius of Derbe. Aristarchus a native of
by amazing and miraculous operations, Thessalonica, Timotheus and Erastus of
many of which were of a peculiar and exCoriuth, and Titus. The first thing he did traordinary nature; for he not only bealed after his arrival was to examine certain dis those that came to him, but if napkins or ciples, Whether they had received the handkerchiefs were only touched by bim, Holy Ghost since they believed ? To which and applied to the sick, their diseases imthey answered, “ That the doctrine they mediately vanished, and the evil spirits had received promised nothing of that na departed out of them that were possessed ture, nor bad they ever heard that such an by them. extraordinary spirit had of late been bestowed upon the church.”
About this time the apostle wrote bis This answer surprised the apostle, who
Epistle to the Galatians ; for be had heard asked them, in what name they had been
that, since his departure, corrupt opinions baptized ? Since, in the christian form, the
had crept iu among them, with regard to name of the Holy Ghost was always ex
the necessity of observing the legal rites: pressed. They replied, that they had only
and that several impostors had found admitreceived John's baptism ; upon which the
ance into the church, who knew no better apostle informed them, that though John's
method of undermining the doctrine be had baptism commanded nothing but repent
planted there, than by vilifying his person, ance, yet it tacitly implied the wbole doc
slighting bim as an apostle only at second trine of Christ and the Holy Ghost. When
band, not to be compared with Peter, they heard this they were baptized accord
James, and John, who had familiarly coning to the form prescribed by Christ himself,
versed with Christ in the days of his flesh, that is, in the name of the Father, of the
and been immediately deputed by him. In Son, and of the Holy Ghost; and after the
this Epistle, therefore, he reproves them apostle bad prayed and laid his hands over
with some necessary severity, for their being them, they received the gifts of tongues,
80.soon led out of the right way, wherein and other miraculous powers.
he had placed them; and so easily suffering
themselves to be imposed upon by the crafty After this,, he entered into the Jewish artifices of seducers. . He vindicates the synagogues, where, for the first three
honour of bis apostleship, and the immemonths, he contended and disputed with diate receiving his commission from Christ, the Jews, endeavouring with great earnest wherein he shews that he was not inferior mess and resolution to convince them of the
to the very best of the apostles. He largely truth of the christian religion. But when, refutes those judaical opinions that had instead of success, he met with nothing but tainted and infected them; and in the abstinacy and infidelity, he left the syna conclusion, instructs them in the rules and gogue, and taking those with him whom he
duties of a holy life. had converted, instructed them and others who resorted to him, in the school of one During St. Paul's stay at Epliesus, an Tyrannus, a place where scholars used to
accident happened which was attended with be instructed. In this manner be continu . great trouble and danger. In this city was the ed to preach the gospel two whole years; celebrated temple of Diana, a structure so by which means the Jews and preselytes maguificent for beauty, riches, and magni • had an opportunity of hearing the glad tyde, that it was reckoned one of the seven tidingt of salvation : and because miracles wonders of the world. But what increased are the clearest evidence of a divine com its fame and reputation, was an image of mission, the Almighty was pleased to tes Diana kept there, which the idolatrous
their temple und goddess into
, he would have laid the
priests persuaded the people was made by danger to which bis brethren were exposJupiter himself, and dropped down from ed, was very desirous of venturing after. heaven; for which reason it was held in them, in order to speak in their behalf; but great veneration, not only at Ephesus, but he was at last dissuaded from it, not only throughout all Asia. So that people procured by the christians, but also by the Gentile silver shrines or figures of this temple of governors of the theatrical games, who were such a size as to carry in their pockets, his friends, and who assured bim that he either for curiosity, or to stir up their devo would only endanger himself without rescution. This proved the source of a great ing his friends. deal of business to the silversmiths of Ephesus; of whom one Demetrius was the chief. The noise and confusion of the multitude This man plainly perceiving that christianity was now prodigious, most of them not knowtended to the subversion of idolatry, and, ing the reason for which they were come toconsequently to the ruin of thoir gainful em. gether; and therefore some said one thing ployment, called all the artists together, and some another. In this distraction Alexand pathetically represented to them, how ander, a Jewish convert, was singled out by inevitably they must be reduced to a state the multitude, and by the instigation of the of poverty, if they suffered Paul to bring Jews, was going to make his defence, in people
whole blame upon Paul; but the multitude they were no gods which were made with perceiving bim to be a Jew, and therefore hands
suspecting he was one of Paul's associ
ates, raised another outcry for near two, This speech of Demetrius fired them with hours together, wherein nothing could be a zeal which they could no longer contain ; heard, but Great is Diana of the Ephesians! so that they cried out with one voice, Great This confusion brought the town-clerk, is Diana of the Ephesians! They should who kept the register of the games, into indeed have considered that if their goddess the theatre, to suppress, if possible, so was able to defend herself against the doc uncommon a tumult. And having, 'with trines preached by Paul, neither she vor great difficulty obtained silence, he calmthe temple were in any danger: - whereas, ly and discreetly told them, (That the if Paul was able to destroy their gods, it was world was suficiently acquainted with the in vain for them to resist bim. But interest devotion paid by the Ephesians to the great and superstition combining in the minds of a goddess Diana, and the image wbich fell bigotted multitude, admitted of no reason. down from Jupiter; and therefore it was They were all fired with zeal for their god- absolutely needless for them to publisha it at dess, and determined, if they could find that time. That if Demetrius and his fraPaul, to expose him to the beasts in the ternity had any thing to alledge against theatre, for it was customary in those days, Paul and his conipanions, the courts were at the celebration of their public games and open, and they might bring their accusation festivals, 'to expose slaves to the ravage of/ against them. Or, if they were questiwild beasts, for ibe diversion of the specta- oned, with regard to the breach of any of tors. The whole city was filled with the their laws, the cause ought to be heard in tumult; and thecrowd missing Paul, laid hold a regular assembly. That they would on Gaius and Aristarchus, two Macedonians do well to consider this, and be quiet; of Paul's company, and hurried them into having already rendered themselves obthe theatre, with a design to throw them noxious to the displeasure of the magisto the wild beasts. Paul, who was at pre trates, if they should think proper to call sent in a place of security, bearing of the them to an account for that day's tumult.»
This discourse had the desired effect ; of them such as tended to undermine the the multitude were convinced that they had fundamental articles of Christianity,' were acted very improperly, and, therefore, re planted, and had taken root. To cure paired to their respective habitations; and these dissentions, St. Paul wrote his first Gaius, Aristarchus, and Alexander, were epistle to the Corinthians, wherein he smartreleased without any hurt. But the escape ly reproves them for their schisis and parof Paul was so very remarkable, that he ties, conjures them to peace and unity, mentions it as a miraculous deliverance : corrects those gross corruptions that had We had, says he, the sentence of death in been introduced among them, and -partiourselves, that we should not trust in our cularly resolves those many cases and controselves, but in God roko raised the dead, versies, wherein they had requested his adtoho delivered us from so great a death. vice and counsel. Soon after, Apollos deAnd in another place he tells us, “ he fought termining to go to Crete, together with Zawith beasts at Ephesus ;" alluding either to noy, St. Paul sent by them his epistle to the design of the enraged multitude of throw Titus, whom he had made bishop of that ing him to the wild beasts in the theatre, island, and bad left there for propagating though their intention was not executed, or the gospel. In this epistle be instructs him to the manners of the people, who suffici- fully in the execution of his office, both with ently deserved the character of being savage regard to bimself and others. and brutal in the highest degree.
care About this time Paul was informed of some disturbances in the church at Corinth,
CHAP. V. hatched and fomented by a company of false teachers, crept in among them, who Transactions of St. Paul during the farendeavoured to draw them into parties and ther Progress of his Ministry, to the factions, by persuading one company to be Time of his Arraignment before Felix. for Peter, another for Paul, and a third for A pollos : as if the principal part of religion MOON after the tumult at Ephesus, Paul consisted in being of this or that deliomi called the Christians together, and took nation, or in a warm active zeal to depre his leave of them with the utmost tender exciate and oppose whoever was not of the pressions of love and affection. He had sa me sect.
now spent almost three years at Ephesus,
ar:d founded there a very considerable It is a very weak and slender claim, church, of which he had ordained Timothy when a man holds his religion by no better the first bishop. He first travelled about two title than his having joined himself to such hundred miles northward, to Troas, before or such a sector congregation, and is remark. he took ship, expecting to meet Titus there. ably zealous to promote it, to be child. But missing him, he proceeded on liis voy. ishly and passionately clamorous for some age to Macedonia, person's particular mode of administration, or some particular opinion ; as if religion On his arrival there he preached the gos. rather consisted in disputes, or in separating pel in several places, even as far as Illyfrom our brethren ; than in righteousness, | ricum, now called Sclavonia. During this peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost,
journey, he niet with many troubles and dau.
gers, without were fightings and within By these means schism and factions Sears ; but God who comforteth those that broke into the Corinthian church : whereby are cast down, revived his spirits by the many wild and extravagant opinions, some arrival of Titus, who gave him a pleasing No. 21,
account of the good effect his epistle had things, and the like. And, which is the chief produced at Corinth. This worthy bishop intention of all religion, instructs them, came thither with large contributions from and presses them to perform the duties of a the church at Corinth : and from the exam- holy and pious life, such as the Christian ple of those liberal Christians, St. Paul stir- doctrine naturally recommends. red up the Macedonians to imitate their charity, intending to assist the poor Christians St. Paul being now determined to return at Jerusalem.
into Syria, in order to convey the contribu
tions to the brethren at Jerusalem, set out During the stay of Titus in Macedonia, on his journey ; but being informed that Paul wrote his second epistle to the Corin- the Jews bad formed a design of killing thians, and sent it to them by Titus and and robbing him by the way, he returned Luke. In this epistle he endeavours to back into Macedonia, and came to Philippi, rectify what his former Epistle had not ef- from thence he went to Troas, where he fected, to vindicate his apostleship from stayed seven days. Here he preached to that contempt and scorn, and himself from them on the Lord's day, and continued his those slanders and aspersions, which the discourse till midnight, being himself to deseducers, who found themselves lashed by part in the morning. The length of bis dishis former letter, had cast upon him, toge- course, and time of the night, caused some ther with several other particular cases re. of bis audience to be overtaken with sleep, lative to the church.
and among them a young man named Euty
cbus, who fell from the third story, and was About this time also he wrote his first
taken up dead; but the apostle, by his prayepistle to Timothy, whom he had left at
ers to the throne of grace, presently restorEphesus ; wherein he gives him directions ed him to life and health. how to conduct himself in the discharge of that great office and authority in the church How indefatigable was the industry of this committed to his care: and instructs him in great apostle! How closely did be tread in the particular qualifications of those heshould the steps of his great Masier, whowent about make choice of as bishops and ministers in doing good. He preached, and wrought the church. He likewise gives him instruc- miracles, wherever he came. As a mastertions with regard to his giving orders to dea- builder, he either laid a foundation, or raised conesses, and instructing servants; warning the superstructure. He was instant, in seabim at the same time against that pestilent son and out of season, and spared no pains. generation of heretics and seducers that to assist the souls of men.. would arise in the church.
The night being thius spent in holy exerDuring his stay in Greece, he went to eises, St. Paul took his leave of the brethren, Corinth, where he wrote his famous epistle in the morning travelling on foot to Assos, to the Romans, which he sent by Phæbe, a a sea port town, wbither he had before sent deaconess of the church of Cenclirea, near his companions by sea. From thence they Corinth Ais principal intention in this sailed to Mytilene, a city in the isle of Lesepistle is fully to state and determine the bos. The next day they sailed from thence, great controversy between the Jews and and came over against Chios, and the day Gentiles, with regard to the obligations of following landed at Trogyllium ; a promonthe rites and ceremonies of the Jewish tory of Ionia, near Samos. The next day they law, and those principal and material points came to Miletus, not putting in at Ephesus, of doctrine depending upon it, namely, because the apostle was resolved, if possible, Christian liberty, the use of indifferent to be at Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost.