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which are written in the law and the prophets, in the Gospels and in the Epistles.
But it pleased God to call Paul to a truer knowledge of himself and of God's will. And that very Jesus whom he persecuted, appeared to him from heaven on his way to Damascus, and touched his heart so that he repented and believed. Then from that day all the things which were gain to him he counted loss for Christ; he no longer placed his hope in his obedience to the law, which, though blameless according to the common language of men, could not endure the judgment of the most holy God. From this time forth his hope was fixed on Christ, because Christ had died and had risen again ; he knew that God had forgiven him; and faith, which worketh by love, made him give up his whole life to the service of God, and of Christ who had died for him.
After his conversion he did not live with the Apostles at Jerusalem, but passed his time at Damascus, at his native city, Tarsus, and afterwards at Antioch. Antioch was a great city in Syria, lying to the north of the Holy Land. living at Antioch as a prophet or preacher in the church there, when the Holy Ghost said, “Separate me Barnabas and Paul for the work whereunto I have called them.” So Barnabas and Paul went forth on their first journey, to make known the name of Christ to the Gentiles. They went
over to the island of Cyprus, then passed through several parts of Asia Minor, and after having converted many and founded churches in every place where they had taught, they returned again to Antioch. This is called St. Paul's first journey; and
you will find the particulars of it in the thirteenth and fourteenth chapters of the Acts.
After some time, Paul proposed to Barnabas that they should pay a second visit to the churches which they had founded; but, as Barnabas wished to take with them a relation of his own of whom Paul did not approve, they parted, and Paul set out with another companion, Silas or Silvanus, the same whose name is joined with his own in the beginning of the two epistles to the Thessalonians. Paul and Silas began their journey through Asia Minor; and at Lystra, the place where on his former journey he and Barnabas had been worshipped as gods, they found Timotheus, at that time a very young man, whose grandmother, Lois, and his mother, Eunice, were Jewesses, and had so taught him from a child to know the Holy Scriptures; that is, the only part of them which was then written, the Old Testament. It appears that his mother and he were already Christians, and now Paul wished him to be his companion on his journeys. So Paul and Silvanus and Timotheus now went on their way together.
They had gone through great part of Asia Minor,
and intended to travel over the rest of it; but the Holy Spirit had other purposes for them. They were in Troas, that part of Asia Minor which is nearest to Europe; and Paul had a vision in the night, and saw a man of Macedonia, the part of Europe nearest to where he then was, standing before him, and praying him, saying, “Come over into Macedonia and help us.” So Paul, understanding from this that it was Christ's will that he should cross over into Europe, took ship and landed on the coast of Macedonia. This was the first introduction of the Gospel into Europe; and it is a point in the Christian history which to all Europeans is of the greatest interest. The first European church which Paul and his companions founded was that of Philippi, and here it seems they were first joined by St. Luke, who wrote the Acts of the Apostles; for in his account of what passed at Philippi he first uses the terms “we” and “us,” showing that the writer was one of the persons of whom he is speaking. You may observe this in the sixteenth chapter of the Acts: and it seems further that Luke remained at Philippi for some time afterwards, for the terms “we” and “us” do not again occur till the twentieth chapter, when Paul, passing again through Philippi
way to Asia, took Luke with him; and after that he remained with him during several years.
From Philippi Paul and Silvanus and Timo
theus went on to Thessalonica, and to Athens, and to Corinth. Paul staid eighteen months at Corinthy and it was during his stay there that he wrote his two epistles to the Thessalonians, the earliest in date of all his epistles. He speaks to them of their recent conversion, when he had been so lately in their city, and of the persecution which both be and they had had to endure for Christ's sake.
From Corinth, Paul went back to Asia Minor; and after having gone up to Jerusalem and to Antioch, he returned to the western coast again, and staid for more than two years at Ephesus. Here there happened that remarkable tumult excited by Demetrius the silversmith, whose trade of making images was hurt by the spread of Christianity. During this long stay at Ephesus, Paul wrote his two epistles to the Corinthians.
Again Paul crossed over into Europe, and passed three months more in Greece. From Corinth at this time he wrote his epistle to the Romans, which is remarkable for its containing a more complete and general view of Christianity than any other of his epistles, because he had never yet visited Rome, and had no particular or personal matters on which to write to them. In that epistle he mentions. his intention of going up immediately to Jerusalem with a collection of money made by the Greek Christians for the poor Christians at Jerusalem; after which he tells them that
he hoped to visit them at Rome, and pass on into Spain, to preach the Gospel there. When he had done his work in Spain, he purposed to return to Rome, and pass some time with the church there; and so fully did he think that his labours in Asia were ended, and that the rest of his life would be passed in the west of Europe, that on his way to Jerusalem, when he stopped at Miletus and there gave his farewell address to the elders of the church of Ephesus, he told them that they all, among whom he had gone preaching the kingdom of God, should see his face no more.
But it pleased God to order it otherwise. He was seized by the Jews at Jerusalem on a charge of having brought Greeks into the Temple, and being an enemy to the law and customs of his nation; and, as he had inherited from his father the privileges of a Roman citizen, he chose to avail himself of them, and to claim to be tried, not by the Jews, but by the Roman government. But the Roman governors in Judæa at that time cared little for justice; and, after Paul had been kept a prisoner for two years, he appealed to the judgment of the Emperor himself, and was therefore sent to Rome. On his voyage he was shipwrecked on the island of Melita or Malta; but he reached Rome at last in safety; and as he still could not obtain a hearing, he was kept a prisoner at Rome for two years at least, and probably for more.