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the insurrection which draggeď Paul before Gallio is only episodical,) and that immediately after this he sailed into Syria, with Priscilla and Aquila, and came to Ephesus, where he left them; but not till after he had himself entered into the Synagogue and reasoned with the Jews. Here we are made acquainted with the fact that the Apostle Paul himself had been preaching at Ephesus, some time before the events that are recorded in ch. xix. had taken place. How long this was I will not presume to decide positively: but thence he sailed to Cesarea (on his way to Jerusalem), after which he went down to Antioch, where he spent some time, and afterwards went over all the country of Galatia and Phrygia in order, strengthening the disciples. With these facts staring Michaelis in the face, it is difficult to imagine what could have led him to express himself as he has done in the foregoing quotation, when he says, that “the account given Acts xix. “ of Paul's stay and conduct at Ephesus, mani“ festly implies that no Apostle had already “founded and governed a church there; and “ that when St. Paul left the place the Ephe“sians had no bishop.” It is impossible to account for this inaccurate statement, but by ascribing it to mere inadvertence and haste. Paul's visit to Ephesus, spoken of in Acts xix, was in fact his second visit to that city. When this Apostle quitted Ephesus, after his first visit, he had left Aquila and Priscilla there; who of course did not remain idle, as we see by the care they took to instruct Apollos. But even had we not been informed that an Apostle had been at Ephesus,—and that Apostle Paul himself, before the visit mentioned in xix. 1,—the inference of Michaelis would be inadmissible; the presence of an Apostle not being necessary to the founding of a Church of Christ: for wherever men are congregated in his name, should there be only two or three of them, there is he in the midst of them (Mat. xviii. 20). When Paul came to Ephesus (Acts xix), instead of meeting no Christian converts he found disciples there (v. 1), and congregated together too-that is, they were a Christian church. The male members then amounted to twelve (v.7): and they were a “ flourishing Christian community" also, if we may judge from their being thought worthy to receive the miraculous gifts conferred .by the Holy Spirit; of which visible manifestation of the divine power they had not even heard till Paul now visited them. When arrived at Ephesus this second time, he continued his visits to the Synagogue for three months, reasoning with the Jews concerning the reign of God; after which he separated the disciples—that is, organised them as a complete church- and continued at
Ephesus two years longer, disputing daily in the school of Tyrannus; so THAT ALL THEY THAT DWELT IN ASIA HEARD THE WORD OF THE LORD. Paul himself, then, was the founder of the churches in Asia, as he was of a great number of other Gentile churches, and this too chiefly in the reign of Claudius. Michaelis's statement--and others have stated the same thing that in his first epistle to Timothy, “he gave orders to him “ to regulate the church at Ephesus, and to ordain
bishops," is not warranted by any thing in that Epistle. Such an order is indeed stated respecting Titus, when left in Crete (Tit. i. 5); but the reason for Timothy being desired to abide, on some occasion, at Ephesus, is expressly stated to have been, that he might charge them to maintain the doctrine delivered to them by Paul (1 Tim. i. 3), in opposition to the fooleries of the Judaizing teachers; who began to trouble the churches almost as soon as they were established. The instructions given to Timothy (and by means of the Epistle addressed to bim, to all Christian churches, in all ages), respecting the character that ought to be found in persons appointed to be bishops, offers no evidence that this was written with an eye to his appointing them for the first time at Ephesus. Timothy was in fact an Evangelist, and was often sent by Paul to assist in arranging matters in different
churches, as may be seen in the Acts and in the Epistles; and it was necessary that he should know how to conduct himself among God's family, the church of the living God (1 Tim. iii. 15), in what he was to teach them, respecting the characters that were to be appointed office-bearers in the churches, as well as in every thing respecting the common faith. I mean not to contend that Paul established a church at Ephesus on the first occasion on which he visited that city (Acts xviii. 19); or that the disciples whom he found there, on his second visit, (xix. 1), were in perfect church order; for I think the contrary is fairly inferable from the history: but I am decidedly of opinion that the notice taken of his
separating the disciples” (v. 9), is a plain intimation, that they were then put into an organised state, as a church of Christ. This event took place two years before the riot of the shrinemakers; which happened just at the time that he had purposed to pass through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem (v. 21). It would be of importance if the precise date could be ascertained; but as this is not indispensably necessary to the present inquiry, I shall only briefly notice, that chronologers have, in my opinion, generally allowed too great an interval between the period of Paul's departure from Athens (ch. xviii. 1), and his departure from Ephesus to go in
to Macedonia (ch. xx. 1). The time that his journey from Athens to Corinth would occupy,could not be long. His whole stay at Corinth was eighteen months (xxviii. 11). The "good while,” of v. 18, has been by some considered not merely as subsequent to his appearance before Gallio, as was really the case, but as subsequent to the “ year and six months” of v. 11, which is certainly not the fact. The “insurrection," though mentioned after the length of his stay of “a year and six months,” happened “ a good
a while” before the expiration of that term, which was the whole duration of his stay there : it is particularly noticed in the history, seemingly for the purpose of accounting for the quiet in which the Apostle was allowed to remain so long in that city. The unbelieving Jews here, as in other places, endeavoured to harass him with law proceedings, and carried him before Gallio; who finding that his accusers could lay no moral turpitude or breach of public law to his charge, did not even call on Paul for his defence, but sent them out of court with a reprimand. He would not allow “a question of words and names” to be construed into a civil offence and a breach of the laws. In this, though it is common with many, in their ill-judged declamations, to cry out against profane Gallios," he acted the part of an upright magistrate.