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Gentile, and have despised his instructions. This, and not any opinion that circumcision was necessary to salvation, determined the apostle to propose, and Timothy to receive, the rite by which the Jews, from the earliest times, had been distinguished from the rest of mankind. Afterwards, the eldership at Lystra, the more strongly to impress Timothy with a sense of the importance of the function he had undertaken, solemnly set him apart to the office of an evangelist, by the laying on of their hands, 1 Tim. iv, 14. and by prayer. This was followed by the laying on of the apostle's hands, for the purpose of communicating to Timothy the gifts of the Holy Ghost, 2 Tim. i. 6.

Timothy, thus prepared to be the apostle's fellow-labourer in the gospel, accompanied him and Silas when they visited the churches of Phrygia, and delivered to them the decrees of the apostles and elders at Jerusalem, freeing the Gentiles from the law of Moses as a term of salvation. Having gone through these countries, they at length came to Troas, where Luke joined them, as appears from the phraseology of his history, Acts xvi. 10, 11, &C.-In Troas, as was mentioned, Pref. to 1 Thess. sect. 1. a vision appeared to Paul, directing them to go into Macedonia. Loosing therefore, from Troas, they all passed over to Neapolis, and from thence went to Philippi, where they converted many, and planted a Christian Church. From Philippi they went to Thessalonica, leaving Luke at Philippi; as appears from his changing the phraseology of his history at ver. 40. We may therefore suppose, that, at their departing, they committed the converted at Philippi to Luke's care.-In Thessalonica, they were opposed by the unbelieving Jews, and obliged to flee to Berea, whither the Jews from Thessalonica follow"ed them. To elude their rage, Paul, who was most obnoxious to them, departed from Beræa by night to go to Athens, leaving Silas and Timothy in Beræa. At Athens Timothy came to the apostle, and gave him such an account of the afflicted state of the Thessalonian brethren, as induced him to send Timothy back to comfort them. See Pref. to 1 Thess. sect. 1.--After that, Paul preached at Athens; but with so little success, that he judged it proper to leave Athens, and go forward to Corinth, where Silas and Timothy came to him, and assisted in converting the Corinthians. And when he left Corinth, they accompanied him, first to Ephesus, then to Jerusalem, and after that to Antioch in Syria.--Having spent some time in Antioch, Paul set out with Timothy on his third apostolical journey, in which,

after visiting all the churches of Galatia and Phrygia, in the order in which they had been planted, they came to Ephesus the second time, and there abode long. In short, from the time Timothy first joined the apostle as his assistant, he never left him, except when sent by him on some special errand. And by his affection, fidelity, and zeal, he so recommended himself to all the disciples, and acquired such authority among them, that Paul inserted his name in the inscription of several of the letters which he wrote to the churches, to shew that their doctrine was one and the same. His esteem and affection for Ti. mothy, the apostle expressed still more conspicuously, by writing to him those excellent letters in the canon, which bear his name; and which have been of the greatest use to the ministers of the gospel, ever since their publication, by directing them to discharge all the duties of their function, in a proper manner.

SECTION II.

Of the time when the first Epistle to Timothy was written. In the third verse of the first chapter of this epistle, the apostle saith, As I entreated thee to abide in Ephesus, when going into Macedonia, so do ; that thou mayest charge some not to teach differently. From this it is plain,l. That Timothy was in Ephesus when the apostle wrote his first letter to him.-2. That he had been left there by the apostle, who at parting with him, entreated him to abide in Ephesus.-3. That this happened when Paul was going from Ephesus into Macedonia.–And 4. That he entreated Timothy to abide in Ephesus for the purpose of charging some teachers in that church, not to teach differently from the apostles.

In the history of the acts of the apostles, there is no mention of Paul's going from Ephesus into Macedonia, but once; namely, after the riot of Demetrius, Acts xx. 1. For which reason, Theodoret among the ancients, and among the moderns, Estius, Baronius, Capellus, Grotius, Lightfoot, Salmasius, Hammond, Witsius, Lardner, Benson, and others, have given it as their opinion, that the apostle speaks of that journey in his first epistle to Timothy. - Yet, if I am not mistaken, the following circumstances will shew their opinion to be ill founded.

1. When the apostle went from Ephesus into Macedonia, as related Acts xx. 1. Timothy was not in Ephesus, having gone from that city into Macedonia with Erastus, by the apostle's

direction, Acts xix. 22. And, in the first epistle to the Corinthians, which was written after Timothy’s-departure from Ephesus, we are informed that he was to go from Macedonia to Corinth, 1 Cor. iv. 7. I have sent to you Timothy.-1 Cor. xvi. 10. If Timothy be come, take care that he be among you without fear. Ver. 11. Send him forward in peace, that he may come to me : for I expect him with the brethren. But before Timothy returned from Corinth, the apostle left Ephesus, and went into Macedonia, where the brethren above mentioned met him, 2 Cor. ii. 12, 13. having Timothy in their company; as is plain from his joining the apostle in his second epistle to the Corinthians, which all agree was written from Macedonia, immediately after the brethren from Corinth gave the apostle an account of the success of his first letter. Wherefore, since Timothy was not in Ephesus when the apostle lest that city after the riot, it could not be the occasion, on which the apostle said to him, As I entreated thee to abide in Ephesus, when going into Macedonia, so do: But the journey into Macedonia, of which he speaks, must have been some other journey not mentioned in the Acts.—To remove this difficulty, we are told, that Timothy returned from Corinth to the apostle, before his departure from Ephesus, and that he was left there after the riot: But that something happened, which occasioned him to follow the apostle into Macedonia: That there he joined him in writing his second epistle to the Corinthians; and having finished his business in Macedonia, he returned to Ephesus, and abode ; agreeably to the apostle's request. But as these suppositions are not warranted by the history of the Acts, Timothy's joining the apostle in his second epistle to the Corinthians, may still be urged as a proof, that he came with the brethren directly from Corinth to Macedonia.Farther, that Timothy did not go from Macedonia to Ephesus, after joining the apostle in his second epistle to the Corinthians, but returned with him to Corinth to receive the collections, I think is plain, from Acts xx. 4. where he is mentioned as one of those who accompanied Paul from Corinth to Jerusalem, with the collections.

2. When the apostle wrote his first epistle to Timothy, he hoped to come to him soon, chap. iii. 14. But, from the history of the Acts, it is certain, that in no letter written to Timothy after the riot, till his first confinement in Rome, could the apostle say, that he hoped to come to him soon. He could not say so,

in

any letter written from Troas, the first place he stopped at after

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 hiin 80on, 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 Peptecost, that when he came to Miletus, instead of going to Ephesus, he sent for the elders of that church to come to him, 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 conclusion 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 departing, shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after 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 % Tim. ü. 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. 1-5.—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 confinement in Rome. And from that circumstance they infer, that he did not write his first epistle to Timothy till some time in

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