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times was called Italy. Nevertheless, there is reason to doubt of this. When he requests the 'prayers of the Hebrews, that "he might be restored to them the sooner," he intimates, that he was not yet set at liberty.' Accordingly, they place this epistle in the year 62.
There is not any great difference in any of these opinions concerning the time, or place of this epistle all supposing, that it was written by the apostle, either at Rome, or in Italy, near the end of his imprisonment at Rome, or soon after it was over, before he removed to any other country.
I cannot perceive, why it may not be allowed to have been written at Rome. St. Paul's first epistle to the Corinthians was written at Ephesus. Nevertheless he says, ch. xvi. 19. "The churches of Asia salute you." So now he might send salutations from the Christians of Italy, not excluding, but including those at Rome, together with the rest throughout that country.
The argument of Lenfant and Beausobre, that Paul was not yet set at liberty, because he requested the prayers of the " Hebrews, that he might be restored to them the sooner," appears not to me of any weight. Though Paul was no longer a prisoner, he might request the prayers of those to whom he was writing, that he might have a prosperous journey to them, whom he was desirous to visit, and that all impediments of his intended journey might be removed. And many such there might be, though he was no longer under confinement. Paul was not a prisoner when he wrote the epistle to the Romans. Yet he was very fervent in his prayers to God, that he might have a prosperous journey, and come to them, ch. i. 10,
For determining the time of this epistle, it may be observed, that when the apostle wrote the epistles to the Philippians, the Colossians, and Philemon, he had hopes of deliverance. At the writing of all those epistles, Timothy was present with him. But now he was absent, as plainly appears from ch. xiii. 23. This leads us to think that this epistle was written after them. And it is not unlikely, that the apostle had now obtained that liberty, which he expected when they were written.
Moreover in the epistle to the Philippians he speaks of sending Timothy to them, ch. ii. 19-23. "But I trust in the Lord Jesus, to send Timothy shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state." Timothy therefore, if sent, was to come back to the apostle. "Him therefore I hope to send presently, so soon as I shall see how it will go with me." It is probable that Timothy did go to the Philippians soon after writing the abovementioned epistles, the apostle having gained good assurance of being quite released from his confinement. And this epistle to the Hebrews was written during the time of that absence. For it is said, Heb. xiii. 23. "Know ye that our brother Timothy is set at liberty. With whom, if he come shortly, I will see you.Know ye that our brother Timothy is set at liberty:" or has been sent abroad." The word is capable of that meaning. And it is a better and more likely meaning, because it suits the coherence. And I suppose that Timothy did soon come to the apostle, and that they both sailed to Judea, and after that went to Ephesus; where Timothy was left to reside with his peculiar charge.
Thus this epistle was written at Rome, or in Italy, soon after that Paul had been released' from his confinement at Rome, in the beginning of the year 63.
And I suppose it to be the last written of all St. Paul's epistles, which have come down to us, or that we have any knowledge of.
Who was the bearer of it, is not known. At the end of the epistle, in some manuscripts, is a subscription to this purpose: that it was carried from Italy by Timothy.' But that subscription is esteemed of no authority by all learned men in general, Beza in particular. I put below part of what he says. It is inconsistent with what is said of Timothy, ch. xiii. 23.. Timothy was to accompany the writer: the epistle was sent before.
That the Epistle inscribed to the Ephesians was written to them.
THE epistle to the Ephesians is one of the acknowledged epistles of St. Paul. There never was any doubt among Christians, who was the writer. But there has been, especially of late, a dispute concerning the persons to whom it was sent: some thinking that the common inscription is false, and that this is either a general epistle, or that it was sent to the Laodiceans. Of this opinion is Mill in his Prolegomena to the New Testament, who has had many followers. Some of whom must be here mentioned by me. Mr. James Pierce, who likewise speaks of Mr. Whiston as of the same opinion. The author of a Latin letter, or dissertation in the third volume of Mr. La Roche's Literary Journal, published in the year 1731. That letter is anonymous. But the writer is Artémonius, otherwise Samuel Crellius, author of Initium Evangelii S. Joannis Apostoli restitutum. This I was assured of by Mr. La Roche, the editor. W. Wall in his Critical Notes upon the New Testament. Dr. Benson. The author of a letter at the end of the second volume of Dr. Benson's History of the first planting the Christian Religion. Which learned author has also since published a postscript to that letter, which is at the end of the third volume of the same work of Dr. Benson. The unknown author of an edition of the New Testament, in Greek and English, in two volumes octavo, published at London in 1729. Campegius Vitringa, the son, professor of divinity in the university of Franequer, wrote a dissertation on the same side of the question; and not having therein finished his design, his successor, Mr. Venema, added another dissertation, both together making more than one hundred and thirty pages in quarto. Lastly, Mr. J. J. Wetstein in his notes upon the beginning of this epistle. Who also has put a mark under the text, shewing Laodicea to be, in his opinion, the right reading, instead of Ephesus. I here mention no more. But perhaps some others may be taken notice of hereafter.
The common reading however has been defended by several. I mention two authors of great note. One is Le Clerc, & in his Ecclesiastical History, whose words I have placed below. He had seen Mill's argument, and slighted it. He thought that few would be moved by it.
a Quidni igitur scripta fuerit ad Laodicenses? Proleg. num. 74. vid. ib. num. 71-79. et num. 237.
See an advertisement at the end of his paraphrase upon the Ep. to the Philippians, p. 114, &c.
See La Roche's Literary Journal for April, May, and June, 1731. vol. III. p. 165-183. Et Conf. Artemonii Initium Evangel. S. Joan. restitutum. p. 212. edit. Londini. 1726. d See Dr. Benson's History of the first planting the Christian Religion, Vol. II. p. 270–276. first. ed. p. 290–297.
• Dissertat. de genuino titulo epistolæ D. Pauli, quæ vulgo inscribitur ad Ephesios. Ap. Campeg. Vitring. Fil. Diss. Sacr. Franequeræ. 1731. p. 247-379.
f Vid. J. C. Wolf. Curæ in N. T. tom. IV. p. 1-13. I may be allowed likewise to take notice of a Commentary upon the epistle to the Ephesians, published in the Dutch language, by Peter Dinant, a learned minister at Rotterdam, in the year 1721. Of which an honourable account is given in the Bibliotheca Bremensis, where we are assured: Ampla operi præmisit Prolegomena, in quibus primo loco Apostolum Paulum vere epistolæ ad Ephesios scriptorem esse demonstrat. -Agit deinde de Epheso, ejusque, cum Apostolus hanc epistolam conscriberet, statu: de Dianæ cultu. futat Grotium, qui Marcionem secutus non ad Ephesios, sed Laodicenses, scriptam hanc epistolam credidit. Sententia quoque Usserii, qui non ad solos Ephesios, sed plures ecclesias
destinatam, adeoque pro encyclicâ habendam putat, examinatur, ac rejicitur. Bibliotheca. Hist. Phil. Theolog, Classis quintæ Fasc. tertius. p. 533, 534. Bremæ 1721.
8 Postea scripsit epistolam ad Ephesios, quam viri quidam docti [Joan. Millius, in Prolegom. ad N. T. cujus conjectura paucis, credo, probabitur:] suspicantur ad Laodicenos datam, sed sine ullo sat firmo argumento. Volunt quidem in hac epistolâ quædam esse, quæ Ephesiis non conveniunt, ut cum cap. i. 15. Paulus se audisse fidem et caritatem' Ephesiorum ait, quas ipse per se nôrat, non ex auditu. Sed nihil vetat, quin Romæ audiverit, Ephesios constanter eas virtutes coluisse, ex quo ipse eos viderat, eoque in hisce verbis respexerit. Similiter, et quæ habet cap. iii. 2. Si tamen audîstis dispensationem gratiæ Dei, quæ data est mihi in vobis,' in Ephesios optime quadrant, si ita intelligantur, ut si, Græce, ε ye non sit dubitantis, sed adfirmantis, et significet quandoquidem,' ut cap. iv. 21, et alibi. Ejusdem cap. iii. 4. ait Paulus posse eos, ad quos scribit, legentes intelligere prudentiam ejus in mysterio Christi,' quam non tam lectione eorum, quæ in hac epistolâ antecesserunt, quam ex præsentis sermonibus intellexerant Ephesii. Sed nihil nas cogit eo confugere. Nam reverâ poterat hoc intelligi, vel ex iis quæ superioribus capitibus leguntur. Alia argumenta, leviora multo, et omnium Christianorum consensui opposita, non adtingam. Quare an ad Ephesios scripta sit hæc epistola, nihil est cur dubitemus. Cleric. H. E. Ann. 62. num. viii.
However, he briefly considers, and answers the principal objections, taken from Eph. i. 15. iii. 2 and 4. As for any other arguments, he says, they are of too little moment to be opposed to the general consent of Christian writers. So that, says he, there is no reason, 'why we should doubt, whether this epistle was written to the Ephesians.
The other writer is Whitby, in his preface to this epistle. A part of which I cheerfully transcribe here. That this epistle to the Ephesians was indeed written by St. Paul, and 'directed to them, and not to any other church, we cannot doubt, if we believe either the epistle, or Paul himself. For, first, it begins thus, "Paul an apostle of Jesus Christ to the saints which are at Ephesus." And in this reading all the versions, and all the manuscripts agree. Secondly, in the close of the epistle he speaks thus to them, "That you may know my affairs, and how I do, Tychicus, a beloved brother, and faithful minister in the Lord,
shall make known unto you all things; whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose.'
Ch. vi. 21, 22. And in the second epistle to Timothy, he says, "Tychicus have I sent to Ephesus." 2 Tim. iv. 12. Moreover, thirdly, all antiquity agrees, that this epistle was written by Paul to the Ephesians.' And what follows.
Those arguments appear to me a sufficient defence of the present reading. Nevertheless the other opinion, contrary to Le Clerc's expectation, has of late much prevailed: as appears from the number of the patrons of it above named. And as the arguments of those two learned men, whose writings are well known, have not been judged satisfactory; there can be little reason to expect, that any thing said by me should be of much weight. And, indeed, it has sometimes happened, that certain opinions have had a run, and it has been in vain to oppose them though afterwards they have fallen of themselves, being unsupported by any good
However, as a fair occasion offers, I shall enlarge upon the arguments just mentioned, in favour of the present reading in our Bibles. After which I will particularly consider the objections brought against it.
1. The present reading at the beginning of this epistle, "to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus," is the reading of all Greek manuscripts, and of all ancient versions, the Latin, Syriac, Persic, Arabic, Ethiopic, and all others. It is altogether inconceivable, how there should have been such a general concurrence in this reading, if it had not been the original inscription of the epistle.
2. It may be argued from the epistle itself, that it was written to the Ephesians.
Says the apostle here, ch. ii. 19-22; "Now therefore ye are fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God. And are built upon the foundation of the apostles, and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone. In whom all the building fitly framed together, groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord. In whom you also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit." It has been observed that St. Paul frequently accommodates his style to the persons to whom he is writing. In the first epistle to Timothy, sent to him at Ephesus, he useth architect style. So particularly, ch. ii. 15. In like manner here the apostle may be well supposed to allude to the magnificent temple of Diana, on account of which the people of Ephesus much valued themselves, as appears from Acts xix. 27, 28, 34, 35.
I might, perhaps, refer likewise to ch. iii. 18, but forbear, it being an obscure text. And that the epistle was sent, not to strangers, but to Christians, with whom the apostle was well acquainted, I suppose to be certain from internal characters. But the shewing that is deferred till by and by.
3. That this epistle was sent to the church at Ephesus, we are assured by the testimony of all catholic Christians in all past ages.
This we can now say with confidence, having examined the principal Christian writers from the first ages to the beginning of the twelfth century. In all which space of time there appears not one who had any doubt about it.
The testimony of some of these is especially remarkable, on account of their early age, or their learning, or some other considerations.
One of them, remarkable for his early age, is Ignatius, who was bishop of Antioch in the latter part of the first, and the beginning of the second century, and suffered martyrdom at Rome in the year 107, or, as some think, in 116. In a letter of his to the Ephesians, written
* See Dr. Benson upon 1 Tim. iii. 15.
at Smyrna, as he was going from Antioch to Rome, he says, Ye are the companions in the mysteries of the gospel of Paul, the sanctified, the martyr, [or highly commended] deservedly most happy, at whose feet may I be found, when I shall have attained unto God, who through' out all his epistle makes mention of you in Christ Jesus.'
He plainly means the epistle of Paul to the Ephesians, in which the apostle commends those Christians, and never blames them.
So I wrote in the first edition in 1734, when I collected the passages of Ignatius, bearing testimony to the books of the New Testament. Afterwards, in 1735, was published the letter above-mentioned at the end of the first edition of Dr. Benson's History of the first planting the Christian religion. Which occasioned my adding a note upon that quotation from Ignatius, at p. 154-156, of the second edition of the first volume of this work in 1748.
· The learned writer of that letter, instead of μνημονεύει υμων would read μνημονεύω υμων: meaning that Ignatius himself mentioned the Ephesians in every epistle. In answer to which
I said, that conjecture appears to be without foundation: forasmuch as in all the editions of Ignatius's epistles the verb is in the third person: not only in the Greek of the smaller epistles, which I translate, but also in the old Latin version of the same small epistles. Qui in omni ⚫ epistola memoriam facit vestri in Jesu Christo. So likewise in the Greek interpolated epistles, and in the Latin version of the same. There is therefore no various reading. And a new ⚫ one ought not to be admitted, unless the sense should require it. Which it does not appear to do here. For Ignatius is extolling the Ephesians. And one part of their glory is, that the apostle throughout his epistle to them had treated them in an honourable manner.'
So I wrote in the note just referred to. And though that learned writer has been since pleased to publish a postscript to his letter, he has not produced any manuscript, or version of this epistle of Ignatius, where the verb is found in the first person.
However, in order to support his proposed reading he excepts to our interpreting the word μovε, of an honourable mention. In answer to which I did in the same note produce proof of the word's being used sometimes for an honourable, or affectionate mention or remembrance. And the noun vμocvvcv, is evidently thrice used in the New Testament for an honourable memorial, Matt. xxvi. 13; Mark xiv. 9; Acts x. 4. Of these examples I have been reminded by a learned friend.
That learned author excepts likewise to our interpretation of εν παση επιςολή, σ throughout all his epistle," and would translate, "who make mention of you in every epistle:" that is, as he understands it, Ignatius tells the Ephesians, to whom he is writing, that he made mention of them in every one of his epistles. In answer to which I said in the above-mentioned note, that Pearson had well defended the interpretation, for which we contend. And I alleged a part of the note of Cotelerius upon this passage of Ignatius. But by some means Valesius is printed there, instead of Cotelerius. I now transcribe that note of Cotelerius at length. Frustra sunt, et Andabatarum more digladiantur viri literati, non videntes, ev tacy ε750λ esse in tota epistola, ad Ephesios nimirum scripta, quâ illos laudat valde, ac semper commendat, ut fuit ab Hieronymo observatum. And I shall place here two instances of the use of the word as, which appear to me altogether similar, and therefore to the purpose. One is taken from the fifth chapter of Ignatius's epistle to the Ephesians, where he says, If the prayer of one or two be of such force, how much more that of the bishop, and the whole church.' xai maons euxànoras. The other is in St. Paul's epistle to the Ephesians, ch. ii. 21; " In whom all the building," or the whole building, "fitly framed together, groweth unto an holy temple to God." Ev y muca οικοδομη κ. λ.
Indeed, Ignatius has mentioned the Ephesians in every one of his epistles, except that to Polycarp. But it is very unlikely, that this should be his meaning here. He is extolling the Ephesians, as companions of Paul in the mysteries of the gospel, and the like. To say to them presently afterwards, and in the same period, that "he made mention of them in every one of his epistles," would have an appearance of much vanity: with which, I think, Ignatius was never charged. And at the same time it would be very flat and insipid. Moreover, it is observable, that this is not one of the last epistles, which Ignatius wrote. But, according to the order in which they are mentioned by Eusebius, it is the very first of his seven epistles.
a Παυλ8 συμμύσαι το άγιασμενε, τ8 μεμαρτυρημένε, αξιο- Vid. Euseb. H. E. 1. 3. cap. 36, and this Work, Vol. i. Manapise- · ὡς εν παση επισολη μνημονεύει ὑμῶν εν Χμίζω p. 314. Ing. Ignat. ep. ad Eph. cap. xii.
There is therefore no reason, why we should hesitate to admit the sense, in which this place has been generally understood by learned men.
We also find this sense in some ancient writers. Jerom observes, that when the apostle wrote to the Corinthians, he had occasion to blame them for fornication, for strifes and contentions but there is no fault found by him in the Ephesians. To the like purpose Primasius in the preface to his Commentary upon St. Paul's epistles, and of his argument of the epistle to the Ephesians in particular.
So that either those ancient writers understood Ignatius, as we do, or else they were led by the epistle itself to form the same idea of it that we suppose him to have had.
What Ignatius means by the apostle's mentioning, or being mindful of the Ephesians throughout all his epistle to them, is happily explained by bishop Pearson; whose words I shall transcribe below, as his work is not in every body's hands. Indeed this is a proper character of this epistle, as may be easily perceived. Nor did any of the ancients for that reason hesitate to allow, that it was sent to the church at Ephesus.
I hope, that I have now justified the present reading, and common interpretation of this passage of Ignatius.
The learned writer, with whom I have been arguing, concludes his postscript in this manner. Should what has been offered not prove satisfactory, the difficulty will still remain, how to reconcile the present reading in Ignatius, with Dr. Mill's reasons against St. Paul's 'epistle being written to the Ephesians.- The most plausible solution of which seems to be that in Mr. Locke. And what there follows to the end.
I think we should cheerfully accept of Mr. Locke's, or any other reasonable solution of the difficulty, if there be any. This, so far as I am able to judge, is better than to attempt the alteration of a passage in an ancient author, without the authority of any manuscript when there is nothing in the coherence, that necessarily requires it. And much better, than to alter a text of the New Testament, contrary to the authority of all manuscripts, and the concurring testimony of all ancient Christian writers.
Beside that passage, there are in Ignatius's epistle to the Ephesians, many allusions and references to St. Paul's epistle to the Ephesians. Which shews, that he believed that epistle to have been written to the church at Ephesus. Those allusions (though not all of them) were taken notice of by us long ago. And Dr. Jortin having observed, that' Ignatius in his twelfth chapter takes notice of St. Paul's epistle to the Ephesians, and his martyrdom, adds, • And as he was writing to the same church, he often alludes to the apostle's letter to them.'
But there is one word in the twelfth chapter of Ignatius's epistle to the Ephesians, of which I have not yet taken sufficient notice. I mean the word supponi. συμμύσαι. "Ye are," says he, "the companions of Paul in the mysteries of the gospel: " or, "ye are partakers of the mysteries of the gospel with Paul." This is said out of a regard to St. Paul's epistle to the Ephesians. And it fully shews, that Ignatius thought that epistle to have been sent to the church, to which himself was then writing. For that is their distinguishing character: at least it is a character, which is more especially the character of the Christians, to whom that letter is written.
I formerly gave an account of Palladius, author of a Dialogue of the Life of Chrysostom,
a Corinthii, in quibus audiebatur fornicatio, qualis nec inter gentes, lacte pascuntur, quia necdum poterant solidum cibum capere. Ephesii autem, in quibus nullum crimen arguitur, ab ipso Domino cœlesti vescuntur pane, et sacramentum quod a seculis absconditum fuerat agnoscunt. Ep. ad Marcell. T. II. p. 628. ed. Martian animadvertat magnam inter Corinthios et Ephesios esse distantiam. Illis quasi parvulis atque lactentibus scribitur: in quibus erant dissensiones, et schismata, et audiebatur fornicatio, qualis ne inter gentes quidem.-Ephesii vero, apud quos fecit triennium, et omnia eis Christi aperuit sacramenta, aliter erudiuntur, &c. In ep. ad Eph. cap. v. T. IV. P. i. p. 389, 390.
Ephesii sane nullâ reprehensione, sed multâ sunt laude digni, quia fidem apostolicam servaverunt. Primas. Præf. ad Comm. in S. Pauli Ep. ap. Bib. P. P. T. X. p. 144. H.
C Ephesii sunt Asiani. Hi, accepto verbo, veritatis perstiterunt in fide. Hos conlaudat Apostolus, scribens eis Româ e carcere. Argum. ep. ad Eph. ib. p. 217. A.
dquae scripsit S. Ignatius, S. Paulum in totâ epistolâ 'memoriam eorum facere in Jesu Christo.' Hæc a martyre non otiose aut frigide, sed vere, imo signanter et vigilanter dicta sunt. Tota enim epistola, ad Ephesios scripta, ipsos Ephesios, eorumque honorem et curam maxime spectat, et summe honorificam eorum memoriam ad posteros transmittit. In aliis epistolis Apostolus eos, ad quos scribit, sæpe acriter objurgataut parce laudat. Hic omnibus modis perpetuo se Ephesiis applicat, illosque tamquam egregios Christianos tractat, evangelio salutis firmiter credentes, et Spiritu promissionis obsignatos, coucives sanctorum, et domesticos Dei. Pro iis sæpe ardenter orat, ipsos hortatur, obtestatur, laudat, utrumque sexum sedulo instruit, suum erga eos singularem affectum ubique prodit. Pearson. Vind. Ignat. Part. 2. cap. x. sub init.
See Vol. i. p. 319, 320.
remarks upon Ecclesiastical This Vol. p. 4.