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the third chapter of the first epis- we read only of a church at Ephesus. tle to Timothy, fairly imply, that Acts xx. 17-28. 1 Tim. iii. 15. v. he had left the church at Ephesus, 16. Rev. ii. 1. The singular is often according to his usual practice, used for the universal church; in all without officers; for he gives this other instances it denotes, in the evangelist, not a new commission New Testament, one congregation The already had power to ordain), or assembly. Where more are inbut instructions as to the choice of tended the plural is adopted. After bishops and deacons. These had the days of the apostles, when one been complied with before he land- church became in some instances too ed at Miletus. Acts xx. 17. This numerous to worship in one place, record of the existence of elders at they became several congregations Ephesus, compared with the direc- under the name of one church; but tions given to Timothy (ch. iii.) not we know no proof that this improonly renders it probable, that Timo

priety had taken place in their thy had ordained them, but fortifies the presumption, that the first epis- He appears to have been himself tle to Timothy was written in Ma- ordained to his high office by (de) cedonia, before this visit to Jerusa- the hands of the apostle; and as this lem, and consequently before his was done in the

presence

of some first imprisonment.

presbytery, we suppose at Lystra, The language of the first epistle they also united in the imposition (ch. i. 3.) " I besought thee to abide of hands, and thus his ordination still at Ephesus, when I went into was with (retc) the laying on of the Macedonia,” did not form a

perma

hands of the presbytery. nent connexion between Timothy Evangelists were not personally and Ephesus. The very greatest instructed and commissioned by extent of the instructions given in Christ, nor had they the extraordithis letter, was to continue only till nary gifts in equal extent; nor, exPaul should come to him (îws és mo- cept in writing, the unerring assistHoes). 1 Tim. iv. 13. iii. 14. But it

ance, or inspiration of the apostles. is certain, that Timothy did not But evangelists had greater advanremain at Ephesus, even till Paul tages than the first bishops, the paspassed on his way to Jerusalem. tors of churches, because they were

Timothy is nowhere called a bi- the companions of the apostles, in shop in the scriptures, he is exhort- their travels. ed to do the work of an evangelist, The second epistle to Timothy (2 Tim.iv.5,) and every duty assign- will prove itself written by Paul, ed him by the apostle was compre- when a prisoner at Rome; and at hended in his original commission. least establishes the absence of the The office was like those of apostle evangelist from his spiritual father, and prophet, extraordinary, and un- at the time it was written. But he connected with a particular church. was at Rome in the time of the first Ephes. iv. 11. But in whatsoever imprisonment, as has been proved church he preached, he could as by his having joined with Paul in evangelist ordain pastors, or bishops, the letters to the Colossians, Philipor there was no propriety in the cau- pians and Philemon. Demas and tion, lay hands suddenly on no man.” This office was superior to

+ See Acts ix. 31. xv. 41. xvi. 4, 16. 1 that of “pastors even teachers.”*

Cor. vii. 17. xi. 16. xiv. 33, 34. xvi. 1, 19. The writer in the Christian Ob- 2 Cor. viii. 1, 18, 19, 23, 24. xi. 8, 28. xii. server speaks of congregations, but 13. Gal. i. 2, 22. 1 Thess. ii. 14. 2

Thess. i. 4. Rev. i. 20, &c. The singular

is intended of one congregation in 1 Cor. * Τους ποιμένες και διδασκάλους, , xi. 18, 22. xiv. 4, 5, 12, 19, 23, 28, 33, 34. Ephes. iv. 11. denote the same officers. 3 John 6, &c.

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Mark were also there in the first more probable that Timothy was, at imprisonment, but were absent when the time the epistle was sent to him, this letter was written.

at Troas, or in the neighbourhood of It has been supposed to have been that place. The salutations will not written before the epistles to the establish the destination of the episColossians, Philippians and Phile- tle. Onesiphorus resided in Asia, mon, which were during the first but the particular place of his abode imprisonment. But in 2 L'im. iv. 20, is not shown. He helped Paul both Paul tells him, Erastus abode at at Ephesus, and Rome. Also AquiCorinth, and this needed not to have la, who had resided at Rome, at been told to Timothy, if Paul meant Corinth, at Ephesus, and again at that Erastus abode at Corinth, when Rome, was a native of Pontus, on he went to Jerusalem, and so to the margin of the Euxine. Rome, for Timothy was then with If Timothy was not at Ephesus, him, and must have known the cir- when the second letter was written cumstance, had it been so. In like to him, there is no evidence of his manner he says, (ibid.) “Trophimus being in that city, after Paul's first have I left at Miletus, sick;" but imprisonment. But if he had been Trophimus was not left at Miletus, at that time at Ephesus, he must

voyage to Jerusalem, for he have then left it, the letter calling was the occasion of the jealousies of him to Rome; and the sacred rethe Jews. Acts xxi. 29.

cords speak not of his return to that These two facts, compared with city. this, which appears in the epistle, If Paul constituted Timothy bithat it was written by Paul a pri- shop of Ephesus, it is an affirmative soner at Rome, afford sufficient cer- and ought to be proved. But Paul tainty, that there was a second im- tells the presbyters of Ephesus, at prisonment, and that this letter was Miletus, that the Holy Ghost had then written.

made them bishops (επισκοπους) of But it by no means follows, that that church. Those general terms Timothy was at Ephesus when the suppose the powers which were nesecond epistle was written. This cessary to ordaining others, as Tiought not to be assumed, but shown. mothy well knew, for a similar presIf Timothy was then at Ephesus, bytery had laid their hands on his why should he have been told, “I head at his ordination. This cirhave sent Tychicus to Ephesus? cumstance will not prove, that a 2 Tim. iv. 12. He must have ar- presbytery could have ordained an rived at that place before the letter, evangelist, if an apostle had not and the fact have been known. And been present; because evangelists Tychicus needed no introduction to were extraordinary officers of a Timothy. Had Timothy been at higher grade; but it must prove, Ephesus, Paul would not have sent that a presbytery have some auhim one hundred and fifty miles to thority to ordain. They were the Troas, and three hundred out of his highest fixed officers in a church, course*, for a cloak. It appears and the power of ordination was ne

cessary to their succession. They

could not have been appointed co* The nearest and most frequented route was by Corinth to Rome. Aquila and

adjutors to Timothy in the ordinaPriscilla came from Rome to Corinth, and

tion of themselves. And if they from thence to Ephesus. Apollos went

were ordained before he was left at from Ephesus to Corinth, and back again Ephesus, it ought to be shown. If to Ephesus. Paul came once from Corinth to Ephesus, and would have repeat

there were no officers in that church, ed that voyage, but his enemies laid in

the direction to Timothy, who was wait for him, and he was obliged to pass

an evangelist, to ordain pastors in circuitously by Macedonia and

Troas. Ephesus, was to do no more than his

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duty; which, when accomplished in

On Christ's speaking in Parables. any church, gave such bishops or elders a power to continue the suc

(Concluded from page 61.) cession. "If the presbyters, that is,

We refer to a special and very

The scene the bishops of particular churches, interesting occasion. had not the power of ordination,

was lake Gennesareth. Thousands, there has been no succession in the from the neighbouring cities, stood church of Christ, since the deaths on the shore ; while Christ, sitting of the apostles and evangelists, for

in a boat, preached to them “the their offices expired with them, and mysteries of the kingdom of heathere were no bishops of a higher ven.” He dispensed these mysteorder. The office of Timothy was ries with profusion; but there was given him prior to his visiting Ephe- something not a little surprising in sus. The duty assigned him there

his manner. He veiled his instruca was to do the work of an evangelist. tions in the obscurity of parables ; His appointment to Ephesus was

and dismissed his auditory without temporary, being limited at the far

a word of explanation.

explanation. How they thest, to the time when Paul should were affected we are not informed; come to him; but an earlier period

but his disciples appear to have of its termination was evidently left

been amazed. They themselves to his discretion, which he exercised had not understood their Master; by coming to Paul into Macedonia. and if unintelligible to them, how Thus there was a disruption of the much more so to the multitude ? connexion, if any had been fixed; Being afterwards with him in pribut none such was intended; the vate, they ventured to ask him his epistle was neither a commission reason for adopting on this occasion nor an ordination, but a mere letter so obscure a method of discourse. of instruction, directing him in the Christ's reply to this request of discharge of his high and important

his disciples, is the subject of these office of evangelist.

remarks. That Timothy returned to Ephe

This reply consists of two parts.

In the first, which has been consisus, at any subsequent time, cannot be shown by the scriptures, unless

dered, he justifies his conduct by the second epistle was sent to him

adverting to the sovereign will of there; but this wants proof; and

the Supreme; which having ordainmany circumstances make against disciples, but not of the multitude,

ed the

spiritual illumination of the it, some of which have been shown.

Christ, who as well knew the unre. If the second letter, was, never- vealed purposes 'as the promulged theless, directed to him there, which

precepts of God, and always aimed has been too generally assumed, it

at fulfilling both, used a method of must have called him away to Rome, instruction well adapted to accomand the evangelist was no more plish. He had spoken in parables, bound to return to Ephesus, than to « because,” said he to the disciples, any other region.

unto

you it is given to know the But if we even suppose

that he mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, returned to Ephesus from Rome, of but to them it is not given.” Mat. which there is not one syllable of xiii. 11. proof in the scriptures; and if we Part II. In the second part, to add also the still further concession,

which we now proceed, he shows the that Timothy died at Ephesus, it

propriety of this mode of instrucwill not establish that he ever exer

tion on this occasion, on different cised, or had any other office, than

ground. The moral state or reprothat of an evangelist.

bate disposition of his hearers, conJ. P. Wilson. curred with the

purpose

of God re

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specting them, in determining the they are benefited no more, than if
Searcher of hearts, to utter nothing they had been destitute of the fa-
on this occasion without a parable. culties of seeing and hearing; not-
“ Therefore” added he, “speak I withstanding all their excellent op-
to them in parables ; because they portunities for spiritual improve-
seeing see not, and hearing they ment, they are no wiser nor better
hear not, neither do they under- than at first.
stand. And in them is fulfilled the It is important to recollect, that
prophecy of Esaias, which saith, our Lord was now in the vicinity of
By hearing ye shall hear, and shall Capernaum, which lay on the bor-
not understand ; and seeing ye shall bers of lake Gennesareth; that in
see, and shall not perceive : For this city he had principally resided
this people's heart is waxed gross ; during his public ministry; that
and their ears are dull of hearing; here and in the surrounding region,
and their eyes they have closed ; he had performed most of his mira-
lest at any time they should see cles, and communicated most of his
with their eyes, and hear with their heavenly instructions, and that the
ears, and should understand with multitude of whom we speak, were
their heart, and should be convert- inhabitants of this highly-favoured
ed, and I should heal them.” Mat. district.
xiii. 13—15. Such was the moral Recollecting this, we shall regard
state of this multitude ; and being the auditory of Christ as one of no
such, it was on two accounts expe- ordinary description. In one im-
dient that Christ should speak to portant respect, there was no peo-
them in parables. In the first place, ple like them in all the earth. None
they would not have endured a had seen what they had seen, nor
plainer method of instruction : heard what they had heard. Such
(Mark iv. 33.) “And with many evidences of power and wisdom,
such parables spake he the word unto such instances of kindness and con-
them, as they were able to hear it.descension, had never been vouch-
In the second place, while this me- safed to mortals before. Honoured
thod left their violent prejudices by personal co-residence with the
undisturbed, its obscurity was adapt- divine Messiah, witnesses of the
ed to secure the infliction of a very most brilliant miracles ever wrought
suitable punishment on them, for among men, attendants on the mi-
entertaining these guilty disposi- nistrations of him in whom are hid
tions: (Luke viii. 10.) “ To others all the treasures of wisdom and
in parables ; THAT seeing they might knowledge, what ought not their at-
not see, and hearing they might not tainments to have been? Yet seeing
understand.” See also Mark iv. 12. they had seen not, and hearing they

Let us first briefly review the had heard not. While Omnipotence testimony of Christ concerning the performed its wonders in their premoral state of the multitude ; and sence, while Eternal Wisdom spake then inquire, why it was expedient, in their hearing, they gazed—they that Christ should address such listened and then remained as bepersons in parables.

fore-blind to the glory of Christ, I. Let us consider the testimony insensible to the excellence of truth, of Christ concerning the moral immersed in spiritual darkness, and state, or character of this people. in bondage to the god of this world. Thus he describes them, “ they see- From this representation their ing see not, and hearing they hear character seems sufficiently hateful; not, neither do they understand.” but Christ throws over it a darker Many mighty works have been done shade, when he applies to them the before their eyes, and many glorious passage from Isaiah, which has been truths proclaimed in their ears; but recited. It is that prophecy (quoted

1

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from Is. vi. 9, 10. with verbal varia- Let me add another observation tions) which God commanded the respecting this people. They had, prophet to proclaim to the Jews, before this time, fallen under the perhaps on his first investiture with vindictive sentence of the Saviour. the sacred office. " Go and tell this They were, we have said, inhabipeople” said Jehovah to his servant, tants of those places in which Christ “ Hear ye indeed, but understand had performed the most of his mighnot, and see ye indeed, but perceive ty works; of Capernaum and the not :” Words not imperative but neighbouring cities; among which predictive ; declaring a certainty, the principal were, Chorazin and not prescribing a duty; telling how

Bethsaida. But in what tremenit would be, not how it ought to be

dous terms does Christ speak conwith them, in regard to the conse- cerning these places, in the eleventh quences of the means of knowledge chapter of the gospel by Matthew ? and salvation afforded them by the

“ Woe unto thee Chorazin! woe undistinguishing mercy of God. to thee Bethsaida! for if the mighty The prophet was further directed works which were done in you,

had to “make,” in his predictions,

been done in Tyre and Sidon, they “ the heart of this people fat; and

would have repented long ago in make their ears heavy, and shut

sackcloth and ashes: but I

say

unto their eyes ; lest they should see you

it shall be more tolerable for with their eyes, and hear with Tyre and Sidon, at the day of judgtheir ears, and understand with ment, than for you. And thou Catheir heart, and convert and be pernaum, which art exalted unto healed.”

heaven, shall be brought down to What is here prophetically affirm- hell: for if the mighty works which ed as certain, with respect to the had been done in thee, had been Jewish people in general, is de- done in Sodom, it would have reclared by him who put the words

mained until this day; but I say into the prophet's mouth, to have unto you it shall be more tolerable received fulfilment in the multitude for the land of Sodom, in the day of to whom he had just been preaching. judgment than for thee.” We may Their's was the very condition de- hence derive some impression rescribed in the prophecy, and to specting the moral condition of this them the Holy Spirit had direct people. and special reference when the Let us inquire, words were first uttered. Not only II. Why it was expedient that had they derived no benefit from the Christ should address such persons most excellent opportunities both of in parables. seeing and hearing; but through 1. They would not have endured their own perverseness, these oppor- a plainer method of speaking. Of tunities had proved the means of this we are informed by the evan. sealing them up in spiritual stupi-gelist Mark, who observes (iv. 33.) dity, and of fixing on their souls the that Christ“spake the word to them brand of reprobation. Their hearts with parables as they were able to had waxed

gross ;

their ears were hear it;" well knowing, as Doddridge dull of hearing, and their eyes had remarks, that so many enemies were they closed. Moral renovation they then hovering round him, that had seem to have contemplated as a ca- he declared the mysteries of the lamity; and to have been afraid, kingdom in plainer terms, he would lest at any time, they should see have been in continual danger, and with their eyes, and hear with their without a series of repeated miraears, and understand with their cles, have been cut off by their maheart, and should be converted and lice. healed by Christ.

There is abundant reason to think, Vol. I.

P

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