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for I am with thee; preach the gospel confidently in this place ; for though some oppose thee, yet thou shalt not be personally injured; for I have much people in this city, to whom I design to make my word effectual." Upon this Paul continued at Corinth eighteen months, preaching the gospel to them of Corinth and all Achaia, and further instructing and confirming them that received it.
During Paul's stay at Corinth, Gallio being proconsul of Achaia, the Jews made a general insurrection against Paul, and brought him before the proconsul, demanding justice against him, complaining, that he had persuaded the people to worship God contrary to the law of the Jews. Paul being about to make his defence, Gallio spake thus to the Jews,“ Were the case before me matter of injustice or scandal, I should readily take cognizance of it; but since the question betwixt you is only a verbal controversy, whether Jesus ought to be acknow ledged as Messiah ; whether christians by that name ought to distinguish themselves from the incredulous Jews, and .concerning your law ; of these things I am no competent judge, nor does it belong to my cognizance, the senate of Rome having as yet made no law against the christians, and therefore I shall not meddle with it.” Some of the .natives of Corinth seeing the proconsul throw the in. dictment against Paul out of court, touk Sosthenes one of the rulers of the Jewish consistory, that appeared forward in this complaint against him, and beat him in open court: the proconsul did not concern himself to interpose at all in the affair, being perhaps not unwilling that so troublesome a plaintiff as Sosthenes should feel the consequence of his own bigotry and ill-nature,
After this Paul staid some time at Corinth; and when he went from thence, took with him Priscilla and Aquila, having made a vow* for a time not to shave his head.
* Vow. This vow was probably the vow of the Nazarites among the Jews, Num. vi. 5, which was not always for life, but sometimes for a determinate rinie, but when that time was past, one part of the vow was, to be shaved, v. 18, and to offer up the hair (called the bair of separation) to put it in the fire. But be
And when he came to Ephesus he left them there, telling them he must be at Jerusalein before the passover ; but afterwards, if God permitted, he would return to them. Then going by sea from Ephesus, he landed at Cæsarea, and thence went up to Jerusalem, and visited the congregation of christians there; and having done so, and kept the feast there, he went from thence to Antioch, where having spent some time, he took his leave, and travelled through Galatia and Phrygia, confirming the churches and instructing all the new converts.
Some time after Paul had left Aquila and Priscilla at Ephesus, a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, came thither. He possessed great natural eloquence, and had much skill in the writings of the Old Testament, and was well in instructed in the gospel, but not perfectly in all things relating to it; yet being very fervent in spirit, and earnestly desirous to be useful, he began to preach among them out of the prophets; as yet, however, he had but an imperfect notion of the truth, being only acquainted with the baptism of John, insisting upon the doctrine of repentance and faith in the expected Messiah. Aquila and Priscilla perceiving that he discovered an excellent spirit, were desirous of promoting his further improvement in knowledge and usefulness; accordingly they took him to their own house, and there explained to him the doctrines of the gospel more completely. "And when Apollos was disposed to go into Achaia, the christians at Ephesus wrote to those of the church of Corinthi and all Achaia, commendatory letters. And when he came thither he was very useful among them, instructing and confirming those, who by the preaching of the gospel, had been converted to the faith, and convinced the Jews out of the scriptures, that Jesus was the Messiah.
cause this vow is here made at Cenchrea, and not at Jerusalem, (where the accomplishment of the vow was to be performed, see Numb. vi. 13,) it is most probable that this shaving here, was not on the accomplishing his yow, but upon some intervening illegal pollution, in which case he was bound to offer for a cleansing, and on the seventh day to shave his head, and so begin the days again, ib. c. vi. v. 11, 12. This probably might be done in any city, where a man happened to be so polluted; but the completion of the vow, when the days of his se. paration were fulfilled, was to be at Jerusalem.
Whilst Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took his way through the upper part of the country, to Ephesus, and finding there some christian professors publishing the gospel, he asked them whether they had received the extraordinary gifts of the Holy Ghost since they believed ? They told him, they had not so much as heard any thing of it. Upon which he said, “ How can that be, since the christian baptism is in the name of the Holy Ghost ?” To which they answered, “ That John's baptism was all they had received.” Then Paul knowing that by John's baptism they had implicitly acknowledged Christ under the title of « Him that should come after him,” he explicitly taught them the whole doctrine of Christ and the Holy Ghost; and when they heard this they believed, and were received into the church as christian Proselytes in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. After which, Paul laid his hands upon them, and they received the Holy Ghost, by whose power they immediately spake with new tongues, and preached to the great edification of the church. After this Paul went and preached the gospel in the synagogues that were at Ephesus to the Jews, for the space of three months, labouring to convince them; but instead of being convinced, they not only rejected the gospel, but spoke reproachfully of it in public before the people; whereupon he left them, and took those that were converted by themselves, and instructed them daily in a place where scholars * were taught privately, and which belonged to one Tyrannus. This he did for the space of two years; in which time all
Scholars. There were two kinds of schools among the Jews, wherein the law was taught, private or public. Private, wherein any doctor entertained scho. lars, and such was this of Tyrannus here, under the title of “ Houses of Learning," as one kind of their holy places; their schools as well as their synagogues being accounted so. Their public schools were those where their consistories sat to resolve doubts an the law.
the inhabitants of the proconsular Asia, both Jews and Greeks, had the gospel preached to them. And to add tbe
greater efficacy and success to the doctrine he preached, God wrought many extraordinary and uncommon miracles by the hands of Paul, insomuch, that, besides his curing those who were brought to him, handkerchiefs or aprons were carried from his body to those that were sick at a distance; and presently on their touching them, the diseases they were afflicted with were removed, and the evil spirits themselves came out of them that were possessed, which soon raised the reputation of the apostle to a very high degree, and added the divine attestation to what he taught the Ephesians.
Some of the vagabond Jews, who were professed exorcists, observing this, attempted to cast out devils by using the name of Jesus; among whom were the seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, one of the chief of the families of the priests, who conjuring the evil Spirit in the name of Jesus, were thus answered from the possessed, “ Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but you come not with any authority from Jesus, who hath given it to Paul.” And the man who was possessed fell furiously upon them, tearing off their clothes and wounding them, so that they fled from him. This being soon ruinoured among the Jews and natives of Ephesus, a great awe and fear prevailed among the people, and the name of the Lord Jesus was exceedingly magnified. Many also who believed, came to Paul, confessing their former course of life, to know what they should do: and many that had studied and practised magical arts, brought forth their books and burnt them publickly, though they were of great value. Of so great authority was the word of God, as it was preached by Paul among the Ephesians and those of Asia.
After this Paul determined, as he went through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, and from thence to Rome ; and sending into Macedonia, Timothy and Erastus, two of his assistants, himself stayed some time in Asia. About the same time there happened a great commotion; for one Demetrius, a silversmith, who ma
nufactured little shrines* of silver, with the image of Diana in them, had many of the same profession that wrought under bim, who were all maintained by that employment. All these therefore, whose livelihood was concerned in it, he called together, and thus harrangued them, “ Sirs, ye know, that by this employment we maintain ourselves, which by this Paul's preaching, not only here in Ephesus, but throughout all Asia, is in great danger of being ruined; for he hath already prevailed upon many people to forsake our manner of worship, affirming, that they are not true gods which are made with hands, and still persists in so doing; whereby not only are we likely to lose our business, but the worship of the great goddess Diana, and the magnificence of her temple will be despised.”
The people upon hearing this, were filled with rage, apprehending both their trade and their religion to be in danger, they therefore ran about the city and cried out with great violence, “Great is Diana of the Ephesians !!” And the city was filled with confusion ; during which they seized Gaius and Aristarchus, two of Paul's companions, and hurried them away to the theatre, where their favourite games were celebrated to the honour of that deity; and when Paul heard of the distress and danger of his friends, and would have gone to the theatre to address the people, the disciples who were with him would not permit him to expose his valuable person ; besides, some of the prefects of the games, perceiving the ungovernable rage
of the populace, kindly sent him a caution not to stir
The tumult rather increasing than diminishing, some of the officers brought out Alexander, a Jewish
* Sbrines. In the idolatry of the heathens they used to carry the images of their gods in procession from one city to another. This they did in a chariot consecrated for that purpose. But besides this greater, there was a less frame wherein it was placed, by the Romans called Ferculum, not much unlike that which the Greeks called Naos, a little chapel, representing the form of a temple, with an image in it, which being set upon the altar, or other solemn place, and the leaves of the door opened, the image appeared sitting or standing in state, and so was represented to the spectators. Similar follies in the worship of saints and angels distinguishes the adherents to the church of Rome.