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30 lers. And when Paul hearing of this, would have gone in to 31 address the people, the disciples would not permit him. And

some likewise who were the principal officers of Asia, as they had

a friendship for him, sent to him, and desired that he would not 32 venture himself into the theatre. Some therefore were crying

one thing, and some another ; for the assembly was confused,

and the greater part did not know for what they were come to33 gether. And they thrust forward one Alexander from amongst

the multitude, that he might speak to the people, the Jews also urging him on, fearing lest they should suffer among the followers

of Paul. And Alexander beckoning with his hand, would have 34 made a defence to the people. But when they knew that he was

a Jew, and an enemy to their worship, they would not suffer him to

speak ; but one voice arose from them all, crying out for about the 35 space of two hours, Great is Diana of the Ephesians !-But the

chancellor (or recorder of the city) having pacified the people, said, Ye men of Ephesus, what man is there that doth not know,

that the city of the Ephesians is devoted to the great goddess 36 Diana, and to the image that fell down from Jupiter? Since then

these things are incontestable, it is necessary for you to be quiet, 37 and to do nothing in a precipitate manner : for you have brought

these men hither, who are neither robbers of temples, nor blas38 phemers of your goddess. If therefore Demetrius and the arti

ficers that are with him, have a charge of any private injury against any one, the civil courts are held, in which they may have

justice done them; and there are the proconsuls who are the proper 39 judges ; let them implead one another. But if you are inquiring

any thing concerning other matters, it shall be determined in a 40 lawful assembly, which this is not. And indeed we are in danger

of being called in question for the insurrection which hath hap

pened this day, as there is no cause by which we can account for 41 this tumultuous concourse. And when he had said these things

he dismissed the assembly.

و

REFLECTIONS. May God grant that the zeal of the heathens, in the worship of their imaginary deities, may not rise up in judgment against us, for the neglect of the living Jehovah ! They rent the skies with acclamations of the greatness of their goddess, and spared no cost to adorn her temple, or to purchase the models of it. May a sense of the greatness of our God, who dwelleth not in temples made with hands, fill our minds continually, and make us ready to spend and be sfient in his service! In too many instances indeed religion has degenerated into craft, and been made a pretence of promoting men's secular interest. Would to God that all artifices of this kind were to be found amongst Heathens ! But the spirit of these votaries to Diana has too often invaded the Christian church, and perhaps raised not a few tumults against them who have been its best friends.-We see how mad and furious is the rage of an incensed populace: Let us bless God that we are not exposed to it, and be thankful to that kind providence which preserved the precious life of the apostle, when after the manner of men he fought with beasts at Ephesus.

The prudence of this chancellor is worthy of esteem, who found out a way to quiet this uproar : Happy had it been for him, if the good sense he shewed upon this occasion had led him to see the vanity of that idle tradition, which taught them that an image fell down from their imaginary Jupiter, or that those could be gods who were made with hands. But the god of this world hath in all ages blinded the minds of multitudes, and they have acted like ideots in religion, when in other instances their sagacity hath commanded a deserved and universal admiration. The prevalence of idolatry through so many polished and learned, as well as savage and ignorant nations, both ancient and modern, is a sad demonstration of this. Let us pray, that they may consider and shere themselves men, and deliver their own souls under a sensibility that they have a lie in their right hand. For this the labours of Paul were employed ; and the progress of that gospel he preached appears matter of great joy, when the effects of it are considered in this view.. May it, like the morning light, -spread from one end of the heavens to the other; while the admired vanities of the Heathen are degraded, and cast (as the sacred oracles assure us they shall be) to the moles and the bats.

SECTION XLV:

Paul goes to Achaia ; and returning through Macedonia, comes to Troas ;

where he raised to life Eutychus, killed by a fall. Ch. XX. 1–16.

N

1

OW after the tumult at Ephesus was ceased, Paul calling

the disciples to him, and embracing them, departed to go 2 into Macedonia. And going through those parts, and having ex®

horted them that had believed with much discourse, he came into 3 Greece. And when he had continued there three months, as he

understood that an ambush was laid for him, by the Jews, when

he was about to embark for Syria, he thought it advisable to return 4 by Macedonia. And Sopater the Berean accompanied him as far

as what is called the proper Asia ; and of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus ; and likewise Gaius of Derbe, and Timothy,

who was now come to him from Ephesus and of the Asiatics (na5 tives of proconsular Asia) Tychicus and Trophimus. These two 6 last going before, staid for us at Troas. And we set sail from

Philippi, after the days of unleavened bread, and came to them at 7 Troas in five days, where we continued seven days. And on the

first day of the week, when the disciples met together to break bread in remembrance of the death of Christ, Paul being about to

depart on the morrow, preached to them, and continued his dis & course until midnight. And there were many lamps in the upper

room in which they were assembled [which greatly increased the 9 heat*]. And a certain young man, whose name was Eutychus,

* This seems to be the reason why the lamps were mentioned, in connecwon with the window being open. ED.

sitting in an open window, fell into a profound sleep; and as Paul continued his discourse a long time, he was so overpowered with

sleep, that he fell down from the third story, and was taken up 10 dead. And Paul went down and fell upon him, and taking him in

his arms, said, Do not make any disturbance, for his life is in 11 him (God having by him restored it). And going up again, and

having broken bread, and eaten, he conversed a considerable time 12 longer, even till break of day, and so departed.

And they brought the youth alive into the room, and were not a little com13 forted.-Paul was now ready to depart : but we who were to ar

company him went before into the ship, and sailed to Assos, where

we were to take up Paul ; for so he had appointed, choosing him. 14 self to go on foot. And as soon as he joined us at Assos, we took 15 him up, and came to Mitylene. And sailing from thence, we

came the next day over-against Chios ; and the day following we

touched at the island of Samos ; and having staid a while at Tro16 gyllium, we came the day after to Miletus. For Paul had deter

mined to sail by Ephesus, that he night not spend any time in Asia ; for he earnestly endeavoured, if it were possible for him, to be at Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost.

REFLECTIONS. With what pleasure would Paul, and the Christians of Macedonia and Achaia, enjoy these happy interviews with each other! A blessed carnest no doubt it was, of that superior pleasure with which they shall meet in the day of the Lord, when (as he had testified to some of them) they shall appear as his joy and his crown.

We may assure ourselves, that his converse with his friends at Troas was peculiarly delightful ; and may reasonably hope, that though one of the auditory was overcome by the infirmity of nature ; and cast into a deep sleep during so long a discourse as Paul made, yet that many others were all wakeful, and gave a joyful attention. Nor can the apostle be censured for imprudence, in protracting the divine exercise, in such an extraordinary circumstance, beyond the limits which would commonly be convenient.-Eutychus was unhappily overtaken, and he had like to have paid dear for it : His death would, no doubt, have been peculiarly grievous to his pious friends, not only as sudden and accidental, but as the sad effect of having slept under the word of God, under the preaching of an apostle. Yet, even in that view of it, how much more inexcusable had he been, had it been in the broad light of the day, in a congregation where the service would hardly have filled up two hours ? where yet we sometimes see Christian worshippers (if they may be called worshippers) slumbering and sleeping ; a sight, I believe never to be seen in a Mahometan mosque, and seldom in a Pagan temple. Had those near Eutychus, that had observed his slumber, out of a foolish complaisance forborn to awake him, they would have brought perhaps greater guilt upon their own souls than he upon his; and when his eyes and ears had been sealed in death, might perhaps have reflected upon themselves with a painful severity, as having been accessary to his ruin. But the mercy

of the Lord joined with and added efficacy to the compassion of Paul, his servant ; in consequence of which the life of this youth was restored, and he was delivered well to his friends : Whereas, many that have allowed themselves to trifle under sermons, and set ihemselves to sleep, or who, as it were, have been dreaming awake, have perished for ever with the neglected sound of the gospel in their ears, have slept the sleep of eternal death, and are fallen to rise no more.

We see Paul solicitous to be present at Jerusalem at Pentecost, declining a visit io his Ephesian friends, amongst whom he had lately made so long an abode; thereby, no doubt, denying himself a most pleasing entertainment, out of regard to the views of superior usefulness: Thus must we learn to act; and if we would be of any importance in life, and pass our final account honourably and comfortably, nust project schemes of usefulness, and resolutely adhere to them, though it obliges us to abstract or restrain ourselves from the converse of many in whose company we might find some of the most agreeable entertainments we are to expect on our way to heaven. Happy shall we be, if, at length meeting them at the end of our journey, we enjoy an everlasting pleasure in that converse, which fidelity to our common master has now obliged us to interrupt.

SECTION XLVI.

Paul's discourse to the elders of the Ephesian church, on taking leave of them

at Miletus. Ch. xx. 17, &c.

BE

17 UT though Paul was in haste to go to Jerusalem, he sent r to

Ephesus from Miletus, and called thither the elders of the 18 church. And when they were come to him, he said to them,

You know how I have been conversant among you all the time, 19 from the first day in which I entered into Asia ; serving the Lord

with all humility, and with many tears and trials, which befell me 20 by the ambushes of the Jews: and how I have suppressed nothing

that was advantageous, not neglecting to preach to you, and to 21 teach you publicly, and from house to house; testifying and urg

ing both to the Jews and Greeks, repentance towards God, and 22 faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. And now, behold, I am going

bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall 23 befall me in it; excepting that the Holy Spirit testifieth in every 24 city, saying, that bonds and aflictions await me. But I make no

account of any of these things, nor do I esteem my life precious to myself, so that I may but joyfully finish my course, and the

ministry which I have received of the Lord Jesus, even to testify 25 the gospel of the free grace of God. And now, behold, I know

that ye all, among whom I have conversed, preaching the king26 dom of God, shall not see my face any more. Wherefore I tes

tify to you this day, that if any perish I am clear from the blood of 27 all men. For I have not declined to declare to you all the counsel 28 of God. Therefore take heed to yourselves, and to the whole

flock, over which the Holy Spirit hath constituted you bishops, to VOL. I.

Iii

feed the church of God, which he hath redeemed with his own 29 blood. For I know this, that after my departure grievous wolves 30 will enter in among you, having no mercy on the flock. Yea,

from among your own selves men shall arise, speaking perverse 31 things, to draw away disciples after them. Watch therefore with

all diligence, remembering that for the space of three years i

ceased not to warn every one by night and by day with tears. $2 And now, brethren, I recommend you to God, and to the word of

his grace, even to him that is able to edify you, and to give you an 33 inheritance among all that are sanctified. I have coveted no man's 34 silver, or gold, or raiment. Yea, you yourselves know that these

hands have ministered to my necessities, and to those that were 55 with me. I have shewed you all things, by my example, as well as

by my doctrine, how that thus labouring you ought to assist the iii

firm, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that he him36 self said, “ It is much happier to give, than to receive.” And

having said these things, he kneeled down and prayed with them 37 all. And there was great lamentation among all present : and fall38 ing upon Paul's neck, they embraced him with many tears ; espe

cially grieving for that word which he spake, that they should see his face no more. And they conducted him to the ship.

RÉFLECTIONS: Though these elders of Ephesus were to see the face of the apostle ho more, which was indeed just matter of lamentation, yet we would hope this excellent discourse of his continued in their minds, and was as a nail fastened in a sure place. May all Christians, and especially all ministers, that read it, retain a lively remembrance of it. May we learn of this great apostle, to serve the Lord with humility and at: fection. May those who are called to preside in assemblies, and to take the charge of souls, withhold frora their people nothing that is profitable for them; and, not contenting themselves with public ina structions, may they also teach from house to house; shewing the same temper in private converse, which they express while ministering in the assemblies; and testifying, as matter of universal and perpetual importance, repentance toward God, and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ : And, O that the divine blessing may attend these remonstrances, that many may every where repent and believe ! - May all ministers learn the exalted sentiments and language of this truly Christian hero; and each of them be able to say, under the greatestdifficulties and discouragements, in the view of bonds and afflictions, and even of martyrdom itself, None of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto me, so that I may finish my course with joy, and may fulfil the ministry which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.-Such resolutions may they form when they enter on their office, and may they act upon them in discharging every part of it: taking heed to themselves, and to the respective flocks over which the Holy Ghost hath made them overseers. Accordingly may they take the oversight thercof, not by constraint but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; coveting no man's

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