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leaving Ephesus. For at that time he was going into Macedonia and Achaia, to receive the collections from the churches in these provinces. Neither could he say so, after writing his second to the Corinthians from Macedonia. For in that epistle, he told the Corinthians, he was coming to them with the Macedonian brethren, who were commissioned to attend him in his voyage to Jerusalem with the collections, 2 Cor. ix. 4. and that he meant to sail directly from Corinth to Judea, 2 Cor. i. 16.--As little could he write to Timothy, that he hoped to come to him soun, when he altered his resolution on occasion of the lying in wait of the Jews, and returned into Macedonia, Acts xx. 3. For he was then in such haste to be in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost, that when he came to Miletus, instead of going to Ephesus, he sent for the elders of that church to come to hin, Acts xx. 16, 17.-_When he arrived in Judea, he could not write, that he hoped to come to Ephesus soon. For he was imprisoned a few days after he went up to Jerusalem. And having continued two years in prison at Cæsarea, he was sent bound to Rome, where likewise being confined, he could not, till towards the conclu. sion of that confinement, write to Timothy, that he hoped to come to him soon. And even then, he did not write his first epistle to Timothy. For Timothy was with him at the conclusion of his confinement, Philip. ii. 19.-23.

3. From the first epistle, we learn, that the following were the errors Timothy was left in Ephesus to oppose : Fables invented by the Jewish doctors to recommend the observance of the law of Moses, as necessary to salvation : Uncertain genealogies, by which individuals endeavoured to trace their descent from Abraham, in the persuasion that they would be saved, merely because they had Abraham to their father : Intricate questions and strifes about some words in the law: Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, who reckoned that which produced most gain, to be the best kind of godliness: and oppositions of knowledge falsely so named.-But these errors had not taken place in the Ephesian church before the apostle's departure; for in his charge to the Ephesian elders at Miletus, he foretold, that the false teachers were to enter among them after his departing, Acts xx. 29. I know that after my depurring, shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the frock. 30. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse thirigs, to draw away disciples afier them. The same thing appears from the two epistles which the apostle wrote to the Corinthians; the one from Ephesus before the riot of Demetrius, the other from Macedonia after that event; and from the epistle which he wrote to the Ephesians themselves from Rome, during his confinement there. For in none of these letters, is there any notice taken of the above mentioned errors, as subsisting among the Ephesians at the time they were written; which cannot be accounted for, on supposition that they were prevalent in Ephesus, when the apostle went into Macedonia after the riot. I am therefore of opinion, that the first to Timothy, in which the apostle desired him to abide in Ephesus, for the purpose of opposing the Judaizers and their errors, could not be written, either from Troas, or from Macedonia, after the riot, as those, who contend for the early date of that epistle, suppose: But it must have been written some time after the apostle's release from his confinement in Rome, when, no doubt, he visited the church at Ephesus, and found the Judaizing teachers there busily employed in spreading their pernicious errors.

4. In the first epistle to Timothy, the same sort of persons, doctrines, and practices, are reprobated, which are condemned in the second. Compare 1 Tim. iv. 1-6. with 2 Tim. iii. 1-5. and i Tim. vi. 20. with 2 Tim. ii. 14. and i Tim. vi. 4. with 2 Tim. ii. 16.-The same commands, instructions, and encouragements are given to Timothy in the first epistle, as in the second. Compare 1 Tim. vi. 13, 14.-with 2 Tim. iv. I-5.-The same remedies for the corruptions which had taken place among the Ephesians, are prescribed in the first epistle, as in the second. Compare 1 Tim. iv. 14. with 2 Tim. i. 6,7.-And as in the second epistle, so in the first, every thing is addressed to Timothy, as superintendant both of the teachers and of the laity in the church at Ephesus: All which I think imply, that the state of things among the Ephesians was the same when the two epistles were written. Consequently, that the first epistle was written only a few months before the second : and not long before the apostle's death.

These arguments appeared so convincing to Pearson, Le Clerc, L'Enfant, Cave, Fabritius, Mill, Whitby, and others, that they were unanimously of opinion Timothy was left by the apostle in Ephesus, as he went into Macedonia, not after the riot of Demetrius, but after he was released from his first con. finement in Rome. And from that circumstance they infer, that he did not write his first epistle to Timothy till some time in the end of the year 64, or in the beginning of 65.—I think it was written from Nicopolis. See Pref. to Titus, sect. 1.

To the late date of this first epistle, there are three plausible objections which must not be overlooked.

Object. 1. It is thought, that if the first epistle to Timothy was written after the apostle's release, he could not, with any propriety, have said to Timothy, chap. iv. 12. Lei no man despise thy youth.—But it is replied, That Servius Tullius, in classing the Roman people, as Aulus Gellius relates, lib. X. c. 28. divided their age into three periods. Childhood, he limited to the age of seventeen : Youth, from that to forty-six : and old age, from forty-six to the end of life. Now, supposing Timothy to have been 18 years old, A. D. 50, when he became Paul's assistant, he would be no more than 32. A. D. 64. two years after the apostle's release, when it is supposed this epistle was written. Wherefore, being then in the period of life, which, by the Greeks as well as the Romans, was considered as youth, the apostle, with propriety, might say to him, Let no man despise thy youth.

Object. 2. When the apostle touched at Miletus, in his voyage to Jerusalem, with the collections, the church at Ephesus had a number of elders, that is, of bishops and deacons, who came to him at Miletus, Acts xx. 17. It is therefore asked, What occasion was there, in an epistle written after the apostle's release, to give Timothy directions concerning the ordination of bishops and deacons, in a church where there were so many elders al. ready? The answer is, The elders who came to the apostle at Miletus, in the year 58, may have been too few for the church at Ephesus, in her increased state, in the year 65. Besides false teachers had then entered, to oppose whom, more bishops and deacons might be needed, than were necessary in the year 58. Not to mention, that some of the first elders having died, others were wanted to supply their places.

Object. 3. Because the apostle wrote to Timothy, that he hoped to come to him soun, 1 Tim. iii. 14. it is argued, that the letter, in which this is said, must have been written before the apostle said to the Ephesian elders, Acts xx. 25. I know that all ye, among whom I have gone fireaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more. But if, by this, the first epistle to Timothy is proved to have been written before the apostle's interview with the elders at Miletus, his epistles to the Philippians, to the Hebrews, and to Philemon, in which he promised to visit them, must likewise have been written before the interview : in regard his declaration respected the Philippians, the Hebrews, and Philemon, as well as the Ephesians : For they certainly were persons, among whom the apostle had gone preaching the kingdom of God. Yet no commentator ever thought the epistles above mentioned, were written to them before the apostle's interview with the Ephesian elders. On the contrary, it is universally acknowledged, that these epistles were written four years after the interview ; namely, during the apostle's first imprisonment at Rome. Wherefore, when he told the Ephesian elders, that they and his other converts, among whom he had gone preaching the kingdom of God, should see his face no more, as it was no point either of faith or practice, which he spake, he may well be supposed to have declared nothing but his own opinion resulting from his fears. He had lately escaped the rage of the Jews, who laid wait for him in Cenchrea to kill him, Acts xx. 3. This, with their fury, on former occasions, filled him with such anxiety, that in writing to the Romans from Corinth, he requested them to strive together with him in their prayers, that he might be delivered from the unbelieving in Judea, Rom. xv. 30, 31.-Farther, that in his speech to the Ephesian elders, the apostle only declared his own persuasion, dictated by his fears, and not any suggestion of the Spirit, I think plain from what he had said immediately before ; ver. 22. Behold I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things which shall befal me there ; 23. Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying, that bonds and afflictions abide me. Wherefore, although his fears were happily disappointed, and he actually visited the Ephesians after his release, his character as an inspired apostle, is not hurt in the least ; if in saying, he knew ihey should see his face no morr, he declared, as I have said, his own persuasion only, and no dictate of the Holy Ghost.

SECTION III.

Of the Occasion of writing the first Epistle to Timothy. After Paul was released from his bonds in Rome, and Timothy had returned to him from Philippi, whither he had sent him, Phil. ii. 19. it is reasonable to suppose, that they went together into Judea to visit the Hebrews, according to the aposale's promise, Heb. xiji. 23. taking Crete in their way. And having exhorted and comforted the brethren in Judea, who were greatly distressed by the tumults which brought on the war with the Romans, they departed to visit the Colossian and Ephesian

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VOL. IV.

churches ; the latter of which merited the apostle's particular attention, on account of the pains he had been at in planting it, as well as on account of the number and quality of its members. See these things more fully narrated, Pref. to Titus, sect. 1.

On his arrival at Ephesus, finding the false teachers busy in spreading their errors, he no doubt rebuked them sharply, and charged them to teach the true doctrine of the gospel. And because the neighbouring churches of Asia, by reason of their frequent intercourse with the Ephesian brethren, might be either greatly profited, or greatly hurt, according as truth or error prevailed in Ephesus, the apostle, when going from that city into Macedonia, judged it necessary, that Timothy should remain there, for the purpose of restraining the false teachers, by publicly confuting their errors, and condemning their evil practices.

But Timothy being young, and the trust committed to him being .weighty, the apostle, after his departure, wrote to him this excellent letter from Philippi, or rather from Nicopolis, Titus iii. 12. to direct him in the discharge of his duty; and, at the same time, to establish his authority with the Ephesians.Agreeably to this design, the commission given to Timothy, at parting, to oppose the false teachers, is mentioned, and the particular errors he was to condemn, together with the truths he was to inculcate, are specified in chap. i.-For the same purpose, in chap. ii. the apostle prescribed the manner in which the public worship of God was to be performed in the church at Ephesus.And, because it was necessary that Timothy should be assisted by a sufficient number of well-qualified fellow-labourers in the ministry, the apostle, in chap. iii. explained the qualifications of the persons he was to ordain as bishops and deacons. In chap. iv. he foretold the heresies which were to prevail in the church in after times, and the mischiefs which they would occasion, that the faithful might be sensible these things did not happen by accident, but were permitted of God, and would be directed to an happy issue.--In chap. v. he instructed Timothy in the right method of admonishing the old and the young of both sexes. And mentioned the age and character of such widows, as were to be employed by the church in teaching the younger women the principles of religion.-Lastly, in chap. vi. he described the duties which Timothy was to inculcate on slaves ; condemned strifes about words, and perverse disputings ; spake strongly against the inordinate love of money; and required him to charge the rich to be rich in faith and good works.

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