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THE UPROAR IN EPHESUS.pdf

THE UPROAR IN EPHESUS.pdf

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY REV. WILLIAM ARNOT



After these things were ended, Paul purposed in the spirit, when hi
had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying,
After I have been there, I must also see Rome. So he sent into Macedonia
two of them that ministered unto him, Timotheus and Erastus; but he
himself stayed in Asia for a season. And the same time there arose no
small stir about that way ," etc. ACTS xix. 21-41.
BY REV. WILLIAM ARNOT



After these things were ended, Paul purposed in the spirit, when hi
had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying,
After I have been there, I must also see Rome. So he sent into Macedonia
two of them that ministered unto him, Timotheus and Erastus; but he
himself stayed in Asia for a season. And the same time there arose no
small stir about that way ," etc. ACTS xix. 21-41.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Nov 03, 2013
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THE UPROAR IN EPHESUS.BY REV. WILLIAM ARNOTAfter these things were ended, Paul purposed in the spirit, when hihad passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying,After I have been there, I must also see Rome. So he sent intoMacedoniatwo of them that ministered unto him, Timotheus and Erastus; but hehimself stayed in Asia for a season. And the same time there arose nosmall stir about that way ," etc. ACTS xix. 21-41.THE sphere of the Christian Church is rapidly enlarging; and the ideas of the great missionary are enlarging along with it. Ephesus is now a station in themiddle of his field. He proposes to make a journeyeastward to Jerusalem, and afterwards to visit Rome." I must also see Rome: " yes, Paul, this is a necessityin the plan of Providence; but thou knowest not yetin what capacity thou shalt travel to the capital. Whatthou knowest not now, thou shalt know hereafter. Suf ficient unto the day is the evil thereof. If we couldsee as far before us, as by memory we can see behind,our courage would fail, and we should faint by theway. He who leads us, sees his own way: it is betterfor us to be led blindfold.At this time a great commotion occurred in Ephesus, which the historian has minutely related. Therearose no small stir about the way, that is, about thegospel which Paul had preached. The emeute did notspring directly from the fanaticism of the idolaters; ithad a baser origin. Certain artificers of the city hadbeen accustomed to carry on a profitable trade in themanufacture of small models in silver, both of the temple and the image of the goddess. These men perceived that the general acceptance of Paul s doctrinewould inevitably drain the sources of their trade. To
 
save their own profits, therefore, they endeavored tocrush or banish the foreign preachers by a populartumult.The temple of Diana at Ephesus held a high placeamong heathen shrines. It had a romantic history,The Uproar in Ephesus. 369It was built on artificial foundations in a marsh belowthe city, as a security against earthquakes. The sumptuous edifice was destroyed by fire in 356 B. C. A fanatic named Hesostratus confessed that he set it onfire in order to make his own name immortal. It wasdestroyed the same night in which Alexander theGreat was born. It was restored in still greater splendor; the dimensions of the new temple were 425 feetby 220. It had 127 columns, 60 feet in height. Thissecond edifice was standing in all its glory at the dateof Paul s visit.It was consecrated to Diana, one of the twelvegreater deities of the Greeks. She was worshipped asa huntress, and also as the moon. The month of Maywas sacred to her, and was called Diana s month. Itis abundantly obvious that a great portion of RomishMariolatry was borrowed in a dark age from the worship of Diana. The appellation Queen of Heaven, andthe designation of May as Mary s month, are evidentlyold pagan rites, repainted and regilded for modern use.A mob of interested artificers, instigated and headedby Demetrius the silversmith, attempted to suppressby violence the liberty of the gospel in Ephesus. Theoration of this demagogue is in outline preserved. Itis an interesting antique. Its arguments are skilfullyconstructed. They are well fitted to gain the objectwhich the speaker had in view. Not relying on one
 
ground, he cunningly groups two or three reasons together in order to enlist a greater number on his side.The craftsmen are reminded that the prevalence of thegospel means loss of employment, and starvation forthemselves and their families: the zealous idolaters aretold that the temple of the great goddess will be despised: and the patriotic citizens are warned that withthe decadence of the temple, the supremacy whichEphesus enjoyed among the neighboring provinceswill certainly disappear. The prosperity of the citydepended on the popularity of the Diana-worship.The religious capital of Asia will dwindle into insignificance if Paul s doctrine prevail.This inflammatory address was successful. Themeeting was stirred into rage. Indications Appearin the narrative that the preachers were gaining ad-The Church in the House.herents among the cultivated classes. The town-clerk and some of the Asiarchs were, if not positively believers in Paul s doctrine, at least favorable to freediscussion.After the speech of Demetrius, the multitude rushedtumultuously into the theatre. Ancient theatres wereentirely different in structure from the edifices knownby the same name in modern times and more northerly latitudes. They were immense structures shapedlike the hull of a ship, without roof, having a levelspace of oval shape at the bottom for the performers,and seats in tiers for the spectators.Paul s impulse was to go into the theatre, and speak in his own defence. His friends, however, by a friendly

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