Imagens das páginas

ings; the last refuge of an impotent and the truth of the gospel, and prevent their

baflted cause. But St. Paul, to testify his being shaken with those troubles, which "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 pasaages in bis former epistle, their own heads, he was absolutely guilt relating to the destruction of the Jews, had less and innocent, and would benceforth been misunderstood, as if the day of the address himself 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 Lurd'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 the 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 ; aud on bis arrival at Ephesus, planus, who with their families were bap he preached a while 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-1 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 travers. Redeemer appeared to him in a vision, and

ed the countries of Galatia and Phrygia, told him, that notwithstanding the bad sue.

confirming the new converted christians, till cess he had bitherto met with, there was a

be came to Ephesus. large harvest to be gathered in that place; that he should not be afraid of his 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 bin self would protect and pre of Epbesus and Corinth, by means of one serye him.

A polles, 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 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 them 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 Thessalonianis, to supply his absence. In this epistle he While Apollos was thus employed, St. again endeavours to confirm their minds in 1 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 .exCoriyth, and Titus. The first thing he did traordinary nature; for he not only healed after bis 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 him, 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.”

1. About this time the apostle wrote bis This answer surprised the apostle, who

Epistle to the Galatians ; for he 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 in 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 sereral impostors had found admit

ance into the church, who knew no better received Jobn’s baptism ; upon which the

method of undermining the doctrine be had apostle informed them, that though John's

planted there, than by vilifying his person, baptism commanded nothing but repent. ance, yet it tacitly implied the wbole doc

slighting bim as an apostle only at second

band, not to be compared with Peter, trine of Christ and the Holy Ghost. When they heard this they were baptized accord

James, and John, who had familiarly con

versed with Christ in the days of his flesh, ing to the form prescribed by Christ himself,

and been immediately deputed by him. In that is, in the name of the Father, of the

this Epistle, therefore, he reproves them Son, and of the Holy Ghost; and after the

with some necessary severity, for their being apostle bad prayed and laid his hands over them, they received the gifts of tougues,

80.soon led out of the right way, wherein

he had placed them; and so easily suffering and other miraculous powers.

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 ness 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 bad instead of success, he met with nothing but tainted and jufected 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 Ephesus, an Tyrannus, a place where scholars used to accident happened which was attended with be instructed. In this manner he continu. great trouble and danger. In this city was the ed to preach the gospel two whole years; celebrated temple of Diana, a structure o by which means the Jews and proselytes maguificent for beauty, riches, and magnihad an opportunity of hearing the glad tude, that it was reckoned one of the seven tidings of salvation : and because miracles wonders of the world. But what increased are the clearest evidence of a divisie com | its fame and reputation, was an image of mission, the Almighty was pleased to tes- | Diana kept there, wbich the idolatrous

are the challvation : an earing the

priests persuaded the people was made by | danger to which his brethren were exposJupiter himself, and dropped down from ed, was very desirous of venturing after. heaven; for which reason it was. hreld 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 kuch 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 hinself 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 th:ir gainful em. gether; and therefore some saiu one thing ployment, called all the artists together, and some another. In this distraction Alex and 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 their temple and goddess into contempt, which, doubtless, he would have laid tbe by persuading the people, as he did, that 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 bours 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 por great difficulty obtained silence, le calme the temple were in any danger: · whereas, I 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 him. But interest | devotion paid by the Ephesiais to the great and superstition combining in the minds cf 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 publish 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 conspanions, 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 the 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."


0,"bring their as


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 schisms and parof Paul was so very remarkable, that lie 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 who 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 Zay with beasts at Ephesus ;" alluding either to nos, 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 had left there for propagating though their intention was not executed, or the gospel. In this epistle he 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.

osuusmuurrrrrrrrr. 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 fase. endeavoured 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 Apollos : as if the principal part of religion SOON 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 same sect.

now spent almost three years at Ephesus,

and founded there a very considerable It is a very weak and slender claim, church, of which he had ordained Timothy when a man holds bis 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 bis voyishly 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, 1 ricum, now ealled Sclavonia. During this peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost,

journey, he niet with many troubles and daue

gers, without were fightings and within By these means schism and factions fears ; 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.

4 N

account of the good effect his epistle bad 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 had 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 haci 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

chus, 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 bis 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 bis giving orders to dea builder, he either laid a foundation, or raised conesses, and instructing servants; warning | the superstructure. He was instant, in sea. him 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 tlius 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, it possible, Christian liberty, the use of indifferent to be at Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost

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