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The Jews being numerous in Corinth, and having'asynagogue, Paul, according to his custom,' had immediate recourse to it, and there, 'for some time, he reasoned every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and Jewish proselytes, testifying in the boldest manner that Jesus wass the Messiah." But when they opposed and reviled his doctrine, he shook his raiment, to indicate that he had done with them, adding, “ Your blood

be upon your

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the tiles;" on saying which he departed from the synagogue and went into the house of Justus, which lay contiguous to it. Crispus, however, the chief ruler of the synagogue, received Paul's testimony, as also did his household, and " many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed, and were baptized."*

0:26 " 31.38 yeri N2423 It is not improbable that the apostle, "experiencing so much opposition as he at first did from the Jews in this city, was about to take a speedy departure from 'it; but if such was his purpose," he was prevented from carrying it into effect, by a vision which he had during the night, The Lord Jesus appeared to him, 'tó ánimate and encouă fage him to persevere in preaching the gospel at Corinth, "Be not afraid,” were his gracious words, but speak, and hold not thy peace, for I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt'thee, for I have much people in this city. Thús encouraged, he continued thère a year and six months, teaching the word of God, who gave testimony to the word of his grace, and made the labours of his servants instrumental in gathering' a numerous church, enriched with a plentitude of spirituał_gifes. While here, he also wrote his first epistle to the Thessalonians, which is generally thought to have been the first written of all his fourteen epistles. By some,

By some, however, it is thought he had previously written' his vepistle to the

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Acts xvin.

SECT. IV.] Paul persecuted at Corinth, churches of Galatia, and that he did it at Antioch, before he left that city to take his present journey into Greece.

During these eighteen months that Paul is said to have passed at Corinth, it seems probable that he made an excursion from that city into the region of Achaia, or the Pelopponesus, where were many synagogues of the Jews, and from whence he returned again to Corinth (g. Ep. ch. xi. ver. 10.); and if we consider that his second epistle is addressed to the saints which are in all Achaia, it plainly shews that he had made many converts at other places in tbat quarter besides the city of Corinth. Accordingly ķis-return to it is spoken of as a second coming to Corinth, for he tells them, 2 Cor, xii. 14. and chap. xi. 1. that he was then coming to them the third time, though in the Acts of the Apostles there is no mention of bis having been at Corinth more than once before he wrote his second epistle to that church. • The great success which crowned the apostle's ministry at this time, seems to have exasperated his enemies to the highest, pitch. They formed a conspiracy to apprehend him, in which they succeeded, and dragged him before the judgment seat of the deputy of Achaia, complaining bitterly that he persuaded men to worship God contrary to the law of Moses. Gallio was the present proconsul, and had just entered upon his new dignity. This man was the elder brother of the famous Seneca, the Stoic philosopher and tutor to Nero, and it is conjectured he obtained the office through the interest of his brother Seneca. The latter has described Gallio,* as a man of the most mild, and amiable disposition, of great suavity of manners, and benign to men in general. Dion Cassius also commends him as a man of great wit and good sense, t As his conduct regards the case of Paul, he has been: severely censured by many. Christian writers, but

* Senecæ Præfat. ad Natural. Quest. lib. 4. + Lib, 10. p688, &c;

probably without due consideration. He rather seems 10 have been aware of the futility of the charge which these Jews alledged against the apostle, and like a wise magistrate, who considered matters of opinion quite beyond his province, so long as they did not disturb the peace of society, he told the Jews that if they had any accusation to prefer against Paul for a breach of the civil law, he was ready to listen to them, but if it was merely a question of words and names and matters regarding their law, they must settle it among themselves, for he would be no judge in affairs of that nature ; which having said, he drave them from his judgment seat.; .found of..

. After this the apostle prolonged his stay some time at Corinth, from whence it would seem that the rulers were not unfriendly towards him ; butafterwards taking bis leave of the brethren, he sailed from the port of Cenchrea, accompanied by Aquila and Priscilla ; and the vessel touching at Ephesus, Paul left them there ; for, having come under a vow while at Cenchrea, it was necessary he should offer the appointed sacrifices at Jerusalem, at the ensuing feast of the passover, which was then just at hand. He therefore bade them farewell; yet perceiving that Ephesus stood much in need of the light of the glorious gospel, he promised to return to them, when the Lord should permit; and quitting that city, he landed at Cæsa. rea, from whence he went up to Jerusalem and saluted the church, performed his , vow, and returned to Antioch. After spending some time there with his cold friends, he went over all the country of Galatia and Phrygia in order, strengthening the disciples; and passing through the upo per coasts, he at length returned to vises

EPHesus, which was at that time the metropolis of the province of Asia, and an exceedingly populous city. It was situated upon the river Layster, and famous, among other things, for an immense ter ple dedicated to the wor.

SECT. Iv.]

. The church at Ephesus.

ship of the goddess Diana. This amazing edifice was four hundred and twenty-five feet long, and two hundred and twenty broad, supported by an hundred and twenty-seven stately pillars, each of them sixty feet high, the work of a king, who erected them as a token of his piety and magnificence. The entire structure was two hundred and twenty years in building, and reared at the common charge of all Asia propria, and so admirable was it, that it ranked as one of the seven wonders of the world. It had been twice destroyed by fire previous to its present enlarged and improved state; the first time on the very day that Socrates was poisoned, and the second on the night in which Alexander the Great was born, when it was designedly set on fire by Erastratus, who being condemned to die for it, confessed that he had destroyed so exquisite a structure, solely " that he might be remembered in future áges."

” The common council of Asia, however, not only put him to death, but passed a decree that " his name should never be mentioned more. The fame of Erastratus, nevertheless, survived their decree; for though silence may have been imposed upon that generation, his conduct has been recorded by almost every historian who has written of those times. It was, however, again rebuißt, upon a plan of the celebrated architect: Denocrates, and most magnificently adorned by the Ephesians. When Paul visited the city, this, temple was in all its glory. Here a prodigious concourse of people always resorted; some to Worship the i goddess Diana, others to learn the arts of sorcery and magic, which were taught and practised with such reputation at Ephesus, that the magical words or sentences used in sorcery were taken from the name of the city, being called Ephesian letters. Many came to prosecute law suits, or to solicit offices from the Roman govemor of the province, zwho resided here; to all which may be added, that multitudes resorted to it for

the purposes of commerce, or were continually passing through it in their way to and from Europe.

But that which more especially renders Ephesus interesting to the Ecclesiastical historian is, that Satan had there erected his very throne of idolatry, superstition, and magic, and reigned over the minds of his deluded subjects with uncontrolled sway. The apostle on his way to Jerusalem, had caught a transient glimpse of the state of things in that city, and having discharged his vow, he returned as expeditiously as was consistent with his purpose in visiting the countries that lay in his way, now to invade this empire of darkness, and storm the strong holds of the prince of the power of the air.* Thus Ephesus became his residence during a space of three years. :

On his arrival, accompanied by Gaius and Aristarchus, two of the brethren out of Macedonia, called his companions in travel, and by Timothy, and Erastus the chamberlain or treasurer of the city of Corinth, and probably by Titus also, Paul found here twelve men who had been the disciples of John the Baptist, and, as some understand, baptized by him. These men appear to have believed the preaching of John, as it respected the immediate appearance of the Messiah and the setting up of his kingdom, but they seem not to have been acquainted with Christ or his apostles, nor to have known that the Messiah had' actually appeared, that he had been crucified, and was risen again. They, therefore, knew nothing of the pouring out of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples, in his miraculous operations, which was now communicated to them by the apostle, in consequence of which they spake with divers tongues and prophesied. After this the apostle went into the synagogue of the Jews which he found there, and for three months reasoped with them, and persuaded them concerning the things of the king

• Eph. ii. 2, 3.

† Acts xix. 29.

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