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EXPLANATORY AND PRACTICAL,
Bivie .7. EPISTLES OF PAUL. Gruglih1854,
329 & 331 PEARL STREET,
FRANKLIN SQUAR E.
Entered, according 10 Aer of Congress, in tho year 1845, by
ALBERI BARNES, in the office of the clerk of the District Court of the Eastern District
0 3-11-36 gen
$1. The Situation of Ephesus, and the Character of its People.
This epistle purports to have been written to the “Saints in Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus," though, as we shall see, the fact of its having been directed to the church at Ephesus has been called in question. Assuming now that it was sent to Ephesus, it is of importance to have a general view of the situation of that city, of the character of its people, and of the time and manner in which the gospel was introduced there, in order to a correct understanding of the epistle. Ephesus was a celebrated city of Ionia in Asia Minor, and was about 40 miles south of Smyrna, and near the mouth of the river Cayster. The river, though inferior in beauty to the Meander which flows south of it, waters a fertile vale of the ancient Ionia. Ionia was the most beautiful and fertile part of Asia Minor; was settled almost wholly by Greek colonies; and embosomed Pergamos, Smyrna, Ephesus, and Miletus. See Travels of Anacharsis, i. 91. 208; vi. 192. 97, 98. The climate of Ionia is represented as remarkably mild, and the air as pure and sweet, and this region became early celebrated for every thing that constitutes softness and effeminacy in life. Its people were distinguished for amiableness and refinement of manners, and also for luxury, for music and dancing, and for the seductive arts that lead to vicious indulgence. Numerous festivals occupied them at home, or attracted them to neighbouring cities, where the men appeared in magnificent habits, and the women in all the elegance of female ornament, and with all the desire of pleasure.-Anachar.
Ephesus was not, like Smyrna, distinguished for commercial advantages. The consequence has been that, not having such advantage, it has fallen into total ruin, while Smyrna has retained some degree of its ancient importance. It was in a rich region of country, and seems to have risen into importance mainly because it became the favourite resort of foreigners in the worship of Diana, and owed its celebrity to its temple more than to any thing else. This city was once, however, the most splendid city in Asia Minor. Stephens, the geographer, gives it the title of Epiphanes. late, or “Most Illustrious;" Pliny styles it “ The Ornament of Asia." In Roman times it was the metropolis of Asia, and unquestionably rose to a degree of splendour that was surpassed by few, if any, oriental cities.
That for which the city was most celebrated was the Temple of Diana. This temple was 425 feet in length, and 220 in breadth. It was encompassed by 127 pillars, each 60 feet in height, which were presented by as many kings. Some of those pillars, it is said, are yet to be seen in the mosque of St. Sophia at Constantinople, having been removed there when the church of St. Sophia was erected. These, however, were the pillars that constituted a part of the temple after it had been burned and was