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one true God was the Creator of heaven and earth, and was not like unto images of gold or silver, or stone. “The true God," he said, “now commandeth all men everywhere to repent. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent; because He hath appointed a day in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom He hath ordained; whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised Him from the dead. And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked," but others believed and joined themselves to the apostle.
From Athens Paul came to Corinth, where he dwelt with Aquila, a Jewish tentmaker, who with his wife Priscilla entertained the apostle kindly. And Paul wrought at their trade, but he reasoned in the synagogue, and persuaded both Jews and Greeks. Here Silas and Timothy came to him from Macedonia, and after their arrival Paul became more earnest than ever. But when he testified that Jesus was the Christ, the Jews opposed themselves and blasphemed. Then “he shook his raiment, and said unto them, 'Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean: from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles.'”
So Paul left the house of Aquila, the Jew, and took up
his abode with a Christian named Justus. And now many joined themselves to him. Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized. Aquila and Priscilla also became disciples. “Then spake the Lord
to Paul in the night by a vision, ‘Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace : for I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city.' And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.”
While Paul was at Corinth the Jews brought him before Gallio, the Roman governor. Gallio would hear none of their complaints, but drove them from his judgment-seat.
Gallio was not a believer, He cared for none of these things. But God overruled Gallio's indifference to his purposes, and the apostles were for this reason able to remain at Corinth for a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.
In his passage home, Paul visited Ephesus, and there entered into the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews. “When they desired him to tarry longer time with them, he consented not; but bade them farewell, saying, 'I must by all means keep this feast that cometh in Jerusalem : but I will return again unto you, if God will.' And he sailed from Ephesus.” Paul landed at Cesarea and went up to Jerusalem, to keep the feast, and thence came back to Antioch.
Thus ended St. Paul's second missionary journey, which occupied about two years and a half. In the course of it he had travelled through Syria, Cilicia, Lycaonia, Phrygia, Galatia and Mysia, Asia Minor, Macedonia, and Greece.
He had been scourged, imprisoned, assaulted, and driven out. He had been in perils by land and sea, “troubled on every side, yet not distressed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed ; always bearing in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in his body.” 2 Cor. iv. 8–10.
Acts xv. 36-41; xvi. xvii. xviii. 1.-22.
THE THIRD MISSIONARY JOURNEY OF
In the autumn of the year in which the apostle returned to Antioch, he again set forth upon a missionary tour.
This time he went over all the country of Galatia and Phrygia in order, passing probably through Cappadocia (in which country there were .Christians when St. Peter wrote his epistle [1 Pet. i. 1 ']), and came to Ephesus.
Here he pursued the same course which he had adopted elsewhere. He first taught in the synagogue, endeavouring to convince the Jews. And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God. But when the Jews would not listen, and spake evil of the Christians before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus. “And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and
Greeks. And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: so that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them.”
But certain of the Jews who pretended to cast out devils, ventured to make use of the name of Jesus, saying, “We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.” On one occasion when this was done, “the evil spirit answered and said, .Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?' And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus ; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds. Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed. After these things were ended, Paul purposed in the spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying, After I have been there, I must also see Rome.'”
After Paul had been at Ephesus more than two years, a great stir was raised by one Demetrius, who made silver shrines for the heathen goddess Diana. For seeing that so many at Ephesus had become Christians, Demetrius feared that his trade would suffer. So he called together the workmen of like occupation, “and said, “Sirs, ye know that by this craft we
have our wealth. Moreover ye see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul hath persuaded and turned away much people, saying that they be no gods, which are made with hands : so that not only this our craft is in danger to be set at nought; but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised, and her magnificence should be destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worshippeth. And when they heard these sayings, they were full of wrath, and cried out, saying, 'Great is Diana of the Ephesians. And the whole city was filled with confusion : and having caught Gaius and Aristarchus, men of Macedonia, Paul's companions in travel, they rushed with one accord into the theatre. And when Paul would have entered in unto the people, the disciples suffered him not. And certain of the chief of Asia, which were his friends, sent unto him, desiring him that he would not adventure himself into the theatre, Some therefore cried one thing, and some another : for the assembly was confused; and the more part knew not wherefore they were come together. And they drew Alexander out of the multitude, the Jews putting him forward. And Alexander beckoned with the hand, and would have made his defence unto the people. But when they knew that he was a Jew, all with one voice about the space of two hours cried out, 'Great is Diana of the Ephesians.'
The town-clerk* having with difficulty pacified the multitude and dismissed the assembly, Paul departed
* The town-clerk was an officer, who had in charge public documents and registers, and whose business it was to read any papers or letters before the assembly.