Ephesus is the metropolis of Asia. It was dedicated to Diana,
whom especially they worshiped there as their great goddess. Indeed so
great was the superstition of her worshipers, that when her temple was
burnt, they would not so much as divulge the name of the man who burnt
The blessed John the Evangelist spent the chief part of his time there:
he was there when he was banished, and there he died. It was there too
that Paul left Timothy, as he says in writing to him, "As I exhorted thee
to tarry at Ephesus. (1 Tim. 1:3)
Most of the philosophers also, those more particularly who flourished
in Asia, were there; and even Pythagoras himself is said to have come from
thence; perhaps because Samos, whence he really came, is an island of Ionia.
It was the resort also of the disciples of Parmenides, and Zeno, and Democritus,
and you may see a number of philosophers there even to the present day.
These facts I mention, not merely as such, but with a view of showing
that Paul would needs take great pains and trouble in writing to these
Ephesians. He is said indeed to have entrusted them, as being persons already
well-instructed, with his profoundest conceptions; and the Epistle itself
is full of sublime thoughts and doctrines.
He wrote the Epistle from Rome, and, as he himself informs us, in bonds.
"Pray for me, that utterance may be given unto me, in opening my mouth
to make known with boldness the mystery of the Gospel, for which I am an
ambassador in chains." (Eph. 6:19) It abounds with sentiments of overwhelming
loftiness and grandeur. Thoughts which he scarcely so much as utters any
where else, he here plainly declares I as when he says, "To the intent
that now unto the principalities and the powers in the heavenly places
might be made known through the Church the manifold wisdom of God." (Eph.
3:10) And again; "He raised us up with him, and made us to sit with him
in heavenly places. (Eph. 2:6) And again; "Which in other generations was
not made known unto the sons of men, as it hath now been revealed unto
His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit, that the Gentiles are fellow-heirs,
and fellow-partakers of the promise in Christ." (Eph. 3:5)