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their several Places of abode; and yet when
they came to Miletus from Ephesus (which
were not far disstant, ( />).he discourses to them of his Affairs from Vt ,8, the time of his coming mit a Asia; after what manner he had been with them at all Seasons, v. 20. and had kept back, nothing profitable for them ; but had skewed them, and taught them public kh■> and from house to house. Which being spoken to the Elders of the Church, do imply a particular care he had there of fitting Persons for the Pastoral Charge , besides , his Testifying both to the Jew\ and to the Greeks Repentance towards God, and Faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. And, to these Elders, he not onely commits the Church of Ephesus, but all the Flock, over which the Holy Ghost had made them overseers, i. e. all that had been converted in Asia, through his means, during
(pjlfby Miletus th.it Place be meant, which ii now called Figena,or Scala Nova, as some imagine, that lies but 10 Miles from Eyhesus to the South west; but that rather seems to be the Phygela of the Ancients. The Modern Geographers, who malts it to be Melasso, are certainly mistaleen,nit onely because of the too great distance'from Ephesus , M because its Situation doth net agree with that of Miletus; for it appears by Livy and Solinus, that the Meander ran into the Sea, between Miletus and Priene; and but 10 Stadia from Miletus , faith Pliny i but MelajTo // a great distance from it. 'Our latest Travellers- tbin\ it Palacsha; but Dr. Spon confesses that to be some Miles from the Sea; and therefore it seems yet to lie undiscovered in its Rums, as U well observed by Sir G. Wheler. Ferrarius placeth Ephesus at 30 Miles distance, between Smyrna and Miletus. Span faith, It it a day and a halfs journey from Ephesus to PaIatschia. Arrian describes Kiletus as not far from Ephesus, and very near the Sea.
ring his abode there, '(q) Irenaus understands^91^j?,A St. Paul, as though he summon d them-from the Neighbour Cities as well as Ephesus 5 but St. Paul v. 16. .was in so great h^ste, that he would not so much as go to Ephejiis, nor fend any whi- I?ther but to that City 5 and yet diose to whom ihe committed the wiwle- Flock then in 'Asia, came fxomXEphesas to^Miletus ; wiiich makes 'it probable,' that there' St. Paul had raised a Nursery for the Churches thereabout, as (r) j>}aeau ,Csemensobserves ths Apostles, were wont to 54 'doe in Eruitfull Soils 5 with a prospect of such Chirches as were to be formed. To* p&O&lw te&iw. Now where these were not yet setled, such - Persons remained under the Apostles immediate Care and Instruction, who by their Doctrine and Example, were still preparing them for so great a Work. And Clemens takes notice that the Apostles were wont to pitch upon their Firjt-Fruits, or most early Converts 5 and of these at Ephesus we meet with Twelve Persons, upon whom Saint Paul, at his first coming, laid bis hands, and Aft. 1?. the Holy Ghost ca??ie upon , them, and they spake with Tongues, and Prophesied. And so were qualified, in an extraordinary manner, to be Teachers of others ; and might be in the number of these Elders, whom St. Paul charges to take heed to themselves, and to all
When St Paul sent for these Elders to Miletus-, Timothy was wuh him: For, we find him amongst those who waited for
^2 ^" ^his return at (/) Troas, upon his coming back from Macedonia through Greece. >. and therefore his leaving Timothy at Ephesus, was,
Aft. 20. i. g,/^ £e went into Macedonia^ being forced away by the Uproar that was raised against him there. And in his return through Greece, where he abode three Months, he fends this Epistle to Timothy, then at Ephesus, and taking Care of the Churches thereabout: As he
Tk. i. $. afterwards left Titus in Crete, to set in order the things that were wanting, and to ordain Elders in every City^ as he had appointed him. To this purpose he directs this Canonical Epiftle to Timothy, wherein he gives him very particular Directions about the due Exercise of that Apostolical Office, which he was entrusted with the management of j And especially about these things,
C i) The great regard he ought to have to the Doctrine that was jtaught by those, who were to instruct others; that thou migh
nTim.4.3. fejj charge fomej ffoj teacfj 7J0 other Doctrine*
( 2.) The
( 2.) The due Performance of the Publick Offices of Divine Worship ; thai Supplications, Prayers, Intercessions and giving of thanks «Tim. 2.1. be made for allMen ; for Kings and forall that are1' in Authority, &c. And this order Timothy was to fee observed in the Churches under his Care.
( 3.) The proper Qualifications of the Bijhops and Deacons of the Church, as the pro- cb. 3. per Officers of it under Timothy; who was to take care of fit Men, to succeed those who were then in being, or to provide more.
(4.) The manner of proceeding in Church Censures against Elders and Widows, and open ct. $. 1. 0fenders: Against an Elder receive not an Ac- totbe2l,b' cufation, but before two or three Witnesses. Them that fin rebuke before all, that others also may fear. Which plainly (hews, that there was a Right of Judging and Censuring Offenders in Timothy, by virtue of his Office.
(5.) The Caution to be used, in admitting Persons to these holy Functions, the Qualifications whereof he had laid down before: And for this he gives a general charge, to doe nothing in these matters by Partia- * »«• lity; and then mentions the Consideration and Circumspection necessary in the laying on of Hands 5 La) hands suddenly on no man.
Some have thought these words relate to the Reconciliation of Penitents, and not to the Ordination of the Bishops and Deacons before mentioned; because it immediately follows, neither be partaker of other mens fins 3 but I fee no Cause to recede from .the Sense generally received, for these Reasons,
(i.) Because St. Paul had not mentioned laying on of hands in relation to Penitents; but he had done it in this Epistle, with respect to Ordination ; and that in Timothys own Case ; wherein St. Paul as the principal Person did in an Authoritative manner, lay on his hards, as himself expresses it, in the so
2Tim. 1.5. cond Epistle -, and the Presbyters assisted in laying on their hands, to manifest their concurrence and Approbation: but the laying on
1 Tim. 4.14. of hands is no where in these Epistles, applied to the other Sense; nor in any other place of Scripture.
( 2.) If these words do not relate to Ordination, St. Paul would have given Timothy no particular direction, about that which was one main part of his Office. As it is expressed concerning Titus, That he was appointed to ordain Elders in every City: And no doubt Timothy had the fame Commission^ which is no where intimated but in these