When St. Paul went from Athens to Corinth, he entered on a scene very different from that which he had left. It is not merely that his residence was transferred from a free Greek city to a Roman colony; as would have been the case had he been moving from Thessalonica to Philippi. His present journey took him from a quiet provincial town to the busy metropolis of a province, and from the seclusion of an ancient university to the seat of government and trade. [^1] Once there had been a time, in the flourishing age of the Greek republics, when Athens had been politically greater than Corinth; but now that the little territories of the Levantine cities were fused into the larger political divisions of the empire, Athens had only the memory of its pre eminence, while Corinth held the keys of commerce and swarmed with a crowded population. Both cities had recently experienced severe vicissitudes, but a spell was on the fortunes of the former, and its character remained more entirely Greek than that of any other place, while the latter rose from its ruins, a new and splendid city, on the Isthmus between its two seas, where a multitude of Greeks and Jews gradually united themselves with the military colonists sent by Julius Caesar from Italy, [^2] and were kept in order by the presence of a Roman proconsul.
The connection of Corinth with the life of St. Paul and the early progress of Christianity, is so close and eventful, that no student of Holy Writ ought to be satisfied without obtaining as correct and clear an idea as possible of its social condition, and its relation to other parts of the Empire. This subject will be considered in the succeeding chapter. At present another topic demands our chief attention. We are now arrived at that point in the life of St. Paul when his first Epistles were written. This fact is ascertained, not by any direct statements either in the Acts or the Epistles themselves, but by circumstantial evidence derived from a comparison of these documents with one another.
Such a comparison enables us to perceive that the Apostle’s mind, on his arrival at Corinth, was still turning with affection and anxiety towards his converts at Thessalonica. In the midst of all his labors at the Isthmus, his thoughts were continually with those whom he had left in Macedonia; and though the narrative tells us only of his tent making and preaching in the metropolis of Achaia, we discover, on a closer inquiry, that the Letters to the Thessalonians were written at this particular crisis.
It would be interesting, in the case of any man whose biography has been thought worth preserving, to find that letters full of love and wisdom had been written at a time when no traces would have been discoverable, except in the letters themselves, of the thoughts which had been occupying the writer’s mind. Such unexpected association of the actions done in one place with affection retained towards another, always seems to add to our personal knowledge of the man whose history we may be studying, and to our interest in the pursuits which were the occupation of his life. This is peculiarly true in the case of the first Christian correspondence, which has been preserved to the Church. Such has ever been the influence of letter writing, its power in bringing those who are distant near to one another, and reconciling those who are in danger of being estranged; such especially has been the influence of Christian letters in developing the growth of faith and love, and binding together the dislocated members of the body of Our Lord, and in making each generation in succession the teacher of the next, that we have good reason to take these Epistles to the Thessalonians as the one chief subject of the present chapter. The earliest occurrences which took place at Corinth must first be mentioned: but for this a few pages will suffice.
The reasons which determined St. Paul to come to Corinth (over and above the discouragement he seems to have met with in Athens) were, probably, twofold. In the first place, it was a large mercantile city, in immediate connection with Rome and the West of the Mediterranean, with Thessalonica and Ephesus in the Aegean, and with Antioch and Alexandria in the East. The Gospel once established in Corinth, would rapidly spread everywhere. And, again, from the very nature of the city, the Jews established there were numerous. Communities of scattered Israelites were found in various parts of the province of Achaia, in Athens, as we have recently seen, in Argos, as we learn from Philo, in Boeotia and Euboea. But their chief settlement must necessarily have been in that city, which not only gave opportunities of trade by land along the Isthmus between the Morea and the Continent, but received in its two harbors the ships of the Eastern and Western seas. A religion which was first to be planted in the synagogue, and was thence intended to scatter its seeds over all parts of the earth, could nowhere find a more favorable soil than among the Hebrew families at Corinth.
At this particular time there was a greater number of Jews in the city than usual; for they had lately been banished from Rome by command of the Emperor Claudius. [^3] The history of this edict is involved in some obscurity. But there are abundant passages in the cotemporary Heathen writers which show the suspicion and dislike with which the Jews were regarded. Notwithstanding the general toleration, they were violently persecuted by three successive Emperors [^4] and there is good reason for identifying the edict mentioned by St. Luke with that alluded to by Suetonius, who says that Claudius drove the Jews from Rome because they were incessantly raising tumults at the instigation of a certain Chrestus.·
Much has been written concerning this sentence of the biographer of the Caesars. Some have held that there was really a Jew called Chrestus, who had excited political disturbances, others that the name is used by mistake for Christus, and that the disturbances had arisen from the Jewish expectations concerning the Messiah, or Christ. It seems to us that the last opinion is partially true; but that we must trace this movement not merely to the vague Messianic idea entertained by the Jews, but to the events which followed the actual appearance of the Christ.
We have seen how the first progress of Christianity had been the occasion of tumult among the Jewish communities in the provinces [^5] ; and there is no reason why the same might not have happened in the capital itself. [^6] Nor need we be surprised at the inaccurate form in which the name occurs, when we remember how loosely more careful writers than Suetonius express themselves concerning the affairs of the Jews. Chrestus was a common name; Christus was not: and we have a distinct statement by Tertullian and Lactantius [^7] that in their day the former was often used for the latter.
Among the Jews who had been banished from Rome by Claudius and had settled for a time at Corinth, were two natives of Pontus, whose names were Aquila and Priscilla. [^8] We have seen before (Chapter 8) that Pontus denoted a province of Asia Minor on the shores of the Euxine, and we have noticed some political facts which tended to bring this province into relations with Judea. Though, indeed, it is hardly necessary to allude to this: for there were Jewish colonies over every part of Asia Minor, and we are expressly told that Jews from Pontus heard St. Peter’s first sermon (Acts 2:9) and read his first Epistle. [^9] Aquila and Priscilla were, perhaps, of that number. Their names have a Roman form; [^10] and we may conjecture that they were brought into some connection with a Roman family, similar to that which we have supposed to have existed in the case of St. Paul himself. We find they were on the present occasion forced to leave Rome; and we notice that they are afterwards addressed (Rom. 16:3) as residing there again; so that it is reasonable to suppose that the metropolis was their stated residence. Yet we observe that they frequently traveled; and we trace them on the Asiatic coast on two distinct occasions, separated by a wide interval of time. First, before their return to Italy (Acts 18:18, 26 ; 1 Cor. 16:19), and again, shortly before the martyrdom of St. Paul (2 Tim. 4:19), we find them at Ephesus. From the manner in which they are referred to as having Christian meetings in their houses, both at Ephesus and Rome, we should be inclined to conclude that they were possessed of some considerable wealth. The trade at which they labored, or which at least they superintended, was the manufacture of tents, [^11] the demand for which must have been continual in that age of traveling, while the cilicium, or hair cloth, of which they were made, could easily be procured at every large town in the Levant.
A question has been raised as to whether Aquila and Priscilla were already Christians, when they met with St. Paul. Though it is certainly possible that they may have been converted at Rome, we think, on the whole, that this was probably not the case. They are simply classed with the other Jews who were expelled by Claudius ; and we are told that the reason why St. Paul came and attached himself to them (Acts 18:2) was not because they had a common religion, but because they had a common trade. There is no doubt, however, that the connection soon resulted in their conversion to Christianity. [^12] The trade which St. Paul’s father had taught him in his youth was thus the means of procuring him invaluable associates in the noblest work in which man was ever engaged. No higher example can be found of the possibility of combining diligent labor in the common things of life with the utmost spirituality of mind. Those who might have visited Aquila at Corinth in the working hours, would have found St. Paul quietly occupied with the same task as his fellow laborers. Though he knew the Gospel to be a matter of life and death to the soul, he gave himself to an ordinary trade with as much zeal as though he had no other occupation. It is the duty of every man to maintain an honorable independence; and this, he felt, was peculiarly incumbent on him, for the sake of the Gospel he came to proclaim.
He knew the obloquy to which he was likely to be exposed, and he prudently prepared for it. The highest motives instigated his diligence in the commonest manual toil. And this toil. was no hindrance to that communion with God, which was his greatest joy, and the source of all his peace. While he” labored, working with his own hands,” among the Corinthians, as he afterwards reminded them, in his heart he was praying continually, with thanksgiving, on behalf of the Thessalonians, as he says to them himself (1 Thess. 1:2; 2:13; 2 Thess. 1:11) in the letters which he dictated in the intervals of his labor.
This was the first scene of St. Paul’s life at Corinth. For the second scene we must turn to the synagogue. The Sabbath was a day of rest. On that day the Jews laid aside their tent making and their other trades, and, amid the derision of their Gentile neighbors, assembled in the house of prayer to worship the God of their ancestors. There St. Paul spoke to them of the” mercy promised to their forefathers,” and of the” oath sworn to Abraham,” being” performed.” There his countrymen listened with incredulity or conviction; and the tent maker of Tarsus” reasoned” with them and” endeavored to persuade both the Jews and the Gentiles who were present, to believe in Jesus Christ as the promised Messiah and the Savior of the World.
While these two employments were proceeding, the daily labor in the workshop, and the weekly discussions in the synagogue, Timothy and Silas returned from Macedonia. [^13] The effect produced by their arrival seems to have been an instantaneous increase of the zeal and energy with which St. Paul resisted the opposition, which was even now beginning to hem in the progress of the truth. [^14]
The remarkable word which is used to describe the” pleasure” which he experienced at this moment in the course of his teaching at Corinth, is the same which is employed of our Lord Himself in a. solemn passage of the Gospels, (Luke 12:50) when He says,” I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished.” He who felt our human difficulties has given us human help to aid us in what He requires us to do. When St. Paul’s companions rejoined him, he was reinforced with new earnestness and vigor in combating the difficulties which met him. He acknowledges himself that he was at Corinth” in weakness, and in fear and much trembling (1 Cor. 2:3) but” God, who comforteth those that are cast down, comforted him by the arrival “ (2 Cor. 7:6) of his friends. It was only one among many instances we shall be called to notice, in which, at a time of weakness,” he saw the brethren and took courage.” (Acts 28:15)
But this was not the only result of the arrival of St. Paul’s companions. Timothy had been sent, while St. Paul was still at Athens, to revisit and establish the Church of Thessalonica. The news he brought on his return to St. Paul caused the latter to write to these beloved converts; and, as we have already observed, the letter which he sent them is the first of his Epistles which has been preserved to us. It seems to have been occasioned partly by his wish to express his earnest affection for the Thessalonian Christians, and to encourage them under their persecutions; but it was also called for by some errors into which they had fallen. Many of the new converts were uneasy about the state of their relatives or friends, who had died since their conversion. They feared that these departed Christians would lose the happiness of witnessing their Lord’s second coming, which they expected soon to behold. In this expectation others had given themselves up to a religious excitement, under the influence of which they persuaded themselves that they need not continue to work at the business of their callings, but might claim support from the richer members of the Church. Others, again, had yielded to the same temptations which afterwards influenced the Corinthian Church, and despised the gift of prophesying (1 Thess. 5:20) in comparison with those other gifts which afforded more opportunity for display. These reasons, and others which will appear in the letter itself, led St. Paul to write to the Thessalonians.
For the Conybeare and Howson translation of 1 and 2 Thessalonians, refer to Conybeare, W. J. and Howson, J. S., The Life and Epistles of St. Paul, Chapter 11.
The strong expressions used in Thessalonians concerning the malevolence of the Jews, lead us to suppose that the Apostle was thinking not only of their past opposition at Thessalonica, but of the difficulties with which they were beginning to surround him at Corinth. At the very time of his writing, that same people who had” killed the Lord Jesus and their own prophets,” and had already driven Paul” from city to city,” were showing themselves” a people displeasing to God, and enemies to all mankind,” by endeavoring to hinder him from speaking to the Gentiles for their salvation (1 Thess. 2:15, 16). Such expressions would naturally be used in a letter written under the circumstances described in the Acts (18:6), when the Jews were assuming the attitude of an organized and systematic resistance, and assailing the Apostle in the language of blasphemy, (cf. Matt. 12:24 31) like those who had accused our Savior of casting out devils by Beelzebub.
Now, therefore, the Apostle left the Jews, and turned to the Gentiles. He withdrew from his own people with one of those symbolical actions, which, in the East, have all the expressiveness of language, and which, having received the sanction of our Lord Himself (Mark 6:2), are equivalent to the denunciation of woe. He shook the dust off his garments, (Acts 18:6) and proclaimed himself innocent of the blood of those who refused to listen to the voice which offered them salvation. A proselyte, whose name was Justus, [^15] opened his door to the rejected Apostle; and that house became thenceforward the place of public teaching.
While he continued doubtless to lodge with Aquila and Priscilla (for the Lord had said (Luke 10:6,7) that His Apostle should abide in the house where the “Son of peace” was), he met his flock in the house of Justus. Some place convenient for general meeting was evidently necessary for the continuance of St. Paul’s work in the cities where he resided. So long as possible, it was the synagogue. When he was exiled from the .Jewish place of worship, or unable from other causes to attend it, it was such a place as providential circumstances might suggest. At Rome it was his own hired lodging (Acts 28:30) ; at Ephesus it was the School of Tyrannus (Acts 19:9).
Here at Corinth it was a house” contiguous to the synagogue,” offered on the emergency for the Apostle’s use by one who had listened and believed. It may readily be supposed that no convenient place could be found in the manufactory of Aquila and Priscilla. There, too, in the society of Jews lately exiled from Rome, he could hardly have looked for a congregation of Gentiles; whereas Justus. being a proselyte, was exactly in a position to receive under his roof indiscriminately, both Hebrews and Greeks.
Special mention is made of the fact, that the house of Justus was” contiguous to the synagogue.” We are not necessarily to infer from this that St. Paul had any deliberate motive for choosing that locality. Though it might be that he would show the Jews, as in a visible symbol, that” by their sin salvation had come to the Gentiles, to provoke them to jealousy,” (Rom. 11:11) while at the same time he remained as near to them as possible, to assure them of his readiness to return at the moment of their repentance. Whatever we may surmise concerning the motive of this choice, certain consequences must have followed from the contiguity of the house and the synagogue, and some incident resulting from it may have suggested the mention of the fact. The Jewish and Christian congregations would often meet face to face in the street ; and all the success of the Gospel would become more palpable and conspicuous. And even if we leave out of view such considerations as these, there is a certain interest attaching to any phrase which tends to localize the scene of Apostolic labors. When we think of events that we have witnessed, we always reproduce in the mind, however dimly, some image of the place where the events have occurred. This condition of human thought is common to us and to the Apostles. The house of John’s mother at Jerusalem (Acts 12.), the proseucha by the water side at Philippi (Acts 16.), were associated with many recollections in the minds of the earliest Christians. And when St. Paul thought, even many years afterwards, of what occurred on his first visit to Corinth, the images before the” inward eye” would be not merely the general aspect of the houses and temples of Corinth, with the great citadel overtowering them, but the synagogue and the house of Justus, the incidents which happened in their neighborhood, and the gestures and faces of those who encountered each other in the street.
If an interest is attached to the places, a still deeper interest is attached to the persons, referred to in the history of the planting of the Church. In the case of Corinth, the names both of individuals and families are mentioned in abundance. The family of Stephanas is the first that occurs to us; for they seem to have been the earliest Corinthian converts. St. Paul himself speaks of that household, in the first Epistle to the Corinthians (16:15), as” the first fruits of Achaia. Another Christian of Corinth, well worthy of the recollection of the Church of after ages, was Caius (1 Cor. 1:14), with whom St. Paul found a home on his next visit (Rom. 16:23), as he found one now with Aquila and Priscilla. We may conjecture, with reason, that his present host and hostess had now given their formal adherence to St. Paul, and that they left the synagogue with him. After the open schism had taken place, we find the Church rapidly increasing. Many of the Corinthians began to believe, when they heard, and came to receive baptism. (Acts 18:8.) We derive some information from St. Paul’s own writings concerning the character of those who became believers. Not many of the philosophers, not many of the noble and powerful (1 Cor. 1:26) but many of those who had been profligate and degraded (1 Cor. 6:11) were called. The ignorant of this world were chosen to confound the wise; and the weak to confound the strong. From St. Paul’s language we infer that the Gentile converts were more numerous than the Jewish. Yet one signal victory of the Gospel over Judaism must be mentioned here, the conversion of Crispus (Acts 18:8), who, from his position as” ruler of the synagogue,” may be presumed to have been a man of learning and high character, and , who now, with all his family, joined himself to the new community. His conversion was felt to be so important, that the Apostle deviated from his usual practice (1 Cor. 1:14 16), and baptized him, as well as Caius and the household of Stephanas, with his own hand.
Such an event as the baptism of Crispus must have had a great effect in exasperating the Jews against St. Paul. Their opposition grew with his success. As we approach the time when the second letter to the Thessalonians was written, we find the difficulties of his position increasing. In the first Epistle the writer’s mind is almost entirely occupied with the thought of what might be happening at Thessalonica: in the second, the remembrance of his own pressing trial seems to mingle more conspicuously with the exhortations and warnings addressed to those who are absent. He particularly asks for the prayers of the Thessalonians, that he may be delivered from the perverse and wicked men around him, who were destitute of faith (see notes on 2 Thess. 3:2). It is evident that he was in a condition of fear and anxiety. This is further manifest from the words which were heard by him in a vision vouchsafed at this critical period (Acts 18?9,10). We have already had occasion to observe, that such timely visitations were granted to the Apostle, when he was most in need of supernatural aid. In the present instance, the Lord, who spoke to him in the night, gave him an assurance of His presence, [^16] and a promise of safety, along with a prophecy of good success at Corinth, and a command to speak boldly without fear, and not to keep silence. From this we may infer that his faith in Christ’s presence was failing, that fear was beginning to produce hesitation, and that the work of extending the Gospel was in danger of being arrested. [^17] The servant of God received conscious strength in the moment of trial and conflict; and the divine words were fulfilled in the formation of a large and flourishing church at Corinth, and in a safe and continued residence in that city, through the space of a year and six months.
Not many months of this period had elapsed when St. Paul found it necessary to write again to the Thessalonians. The excitement which he had endeavored to allay by his first Epistle was not arrested, and the fanatical portion of the church had availed themselves of the impression produced by St. Paul’s personal teaching to increase it. It will be remembered that a subject on which he had especially dwelt while he was at Thessalonica, [^18] and to which he had also alluded in his first Epistle (1 Thess. 5:1 11), was the second advent of Our Lord. We know that our Savior Himself had warned His disciples that” of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but the Father only;” and we find these words remarkably fulfilled by the fact that the early Church, and even the Apostles themselves, expected their Lord to come again in that very generation. St. Paul himself shared in that expectation, but being under the guidance of the Spirit of Truth, he did not deduce there from any erroneous practical conclusions. Some of his disciples, on the other hand, inferred that, if indeed the present world were so soon to come to an end, it was useless to pursue their common earthly employments any longer. They forsook their work, and gave themselves up to dreamy expectations of the future; so that the whole framework of society in the Thessalonian Church was in danger of dissolution. Those who encouraged this delusion, supported it by imaginary revelations of the Spirit (2 Thess. 2:2): and they even had recourse to forgery, and circulated a letter purporting to be written by St. Paul, in confirmation of their views. To check this evil, St. Paul wrote his second Epistle. In this he endeavors to remove their present erroneous expectations of Christ’s immediate coming, by reminding them of certain signs which must precede the second advent. He had already told them of these signs when he was with them; and this explains the extreme obscurity of his description of them in the present Epistle; for he was not giving new information, but alluding to facts which he had already explained to them at an earlier period. It would have been well if this had been remembered by all those who have extracted such numerous and discordant prophecies and anathemas from certain passages in the following Epistle.
PAUL, and Silvanus, and Timothy, TO THE CHURCH OF THE THESSALONIANS, in God our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.
I am bound to give thanks to God continually on your behalf, brethren, as is fitting, because of the abundant increase of your faith, and the overflowing love wherewith you are filled, and every one of you, towards each other. So that I myself boast of you among the churches of God, for your steadfastness and faith, in all the persecutions and afflictions which you are bearing. And these things are a token that the righteous judgment of God will count you worthy of His kingdom, for which you are even now suffering. For doubtless God’s righteousness cannot but render back trouble to those who trouble you, and give to you, who now are troubled, rest with me, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with the angels of His might, in flames of fire, taking vengeance on those who know not God, and will not hearken to the Glad tidings of our Lord Jesus Christ. And from [^20] the presence of the Lord, and from the brightness of His glorious majesty, they shall receive their righteous doom, even an everlasting destruction; in that day, when He shall come to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all believers; [and you are of that number], for you believed my testimony. To this end I pray continually on your behalf, that our God may count you worthy of the calling wherewith He has called you, and mightily perfect within you all the content of goodness [^21] and the work of faith. That the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and that you may be glorified [^22] in Him, according to the grace of our God, and of our Lord Jesus Christ.
But concerning the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together to meet Him, I beseech you, brethren, not rashly to be shaken from your soberness of mind, nor to be agitated either by spirit [^23], or by rumor, or by letter attributed to me, saying that the day of the Lord is come. Let no one deceive you, by any means; for before that day, the falling away must first have come, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposes himself and exalts himself against all that is called God, and against all worship; even to seat himself in the temple of God, and openly declare himself a God. Do you not remember that when I was still with you, I often told you this? And now you know the hindrance why he is not yet revealed, in his own season. For the mystery of lawlessness [^24] is already working, only he, who now hinders, will hinder till he be taken out of the way; and then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the breath of His mouth, [^25] and shall destroy with the brightness of His appearing. But the appearing of that lawless one shall be in the strength of Satan’s working, with all the might and signs and wonders of falsehood, and all the delusions of unrighteousness, for those who are in the way of perdition; because they received not the love of the truth, whereby they might be saved. For this cause, God will send upon them an inward working of delusion, making them believe in lies, that all should be condemned who have not believed the truth, but have taken pleasure in unrighteousness.
But for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, I am bound to thank God continually, because He chose you from the first unto salvation, in sanctification of the Spirit, and belief of the truth. And to this He called you through my Glad tidings, that you might obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, brethren, be steadfast, and hold fast the teaching which has been delivered to you, whether by my words or by my letters. And may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us, and has given us in His grace a consolation that is eternal, and a hope that cannot fail, comfort your hearts, and establish you in all goodness both of word and deed.
Finally, brethren, pray for me, that the word of the Lord Jesus may hold its onward course, and that its glory may be shown forth towards others as towards you; and that I may be delivered from the perverse and wicked; for not all men have faith. But the Lord is faithful, and He will keep you steadfast, and guard you from evil. And I rely upon you in the Lord, that you are following and will follow my precepts. And may the Lord guide your hearts to the love of God, and to the steadfastness of Christ.
I charge you, brethren, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to withdraw yourselves from every brother who walks disorderly, and not according to the rules which I delivered. For you know yourselves the way to follow my example; you know that my life among you was not disorderly, nor was I fed by any man’s bounty, but earned my bread by my own labor, toiling night and day, that I might not be burdensome to any of you, And this I did, not because I am without the right [of being maintained by those to whom I minister], but that I might make myself a pattern for you to imitate. For when I was with you I often gave you this rule:” If any man will not work, neither let him eat.” Whereas I hear that some among you are walking disorderly, neglecting their own work, and meddling with that of others. Such, therefore, I charge and exhort, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to work in quietness, and eat their own bread. But you, brethren, notwithstanding, be not weary of doing good. If any man be disobedient to my written word, mark that man, and cease from intercourse with him, that he may be brought to shame. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother. And may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace in all ways and at all seasons. The Lord be with you all.
The salutation of me Paul with my own hand, which is my token in every letter. Thus I write.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
Such was the second of the two letters which St. Paul wrote to Thessalonica during his residence at Corinth. Such was the Christian correspondence now established, in addition to the political and commercial correspondence existing before, between the two capitals of Achaia and Macedonia. Along with the official documents which passed between the governors of the contiguous provinces [^26], and the communications between the merchants of the Northern and Western Aegean, letters were now sent, which related to the establishment of a” kingdom not of this world,” and to” riches” beyond the discovery of human enterprise.
The influence of great cities has always been important on the wider movements of human life. We see St. Paul diligently using this influence, during a protracted residence at Corinth, for the spreading and strengthening of the Gospel in Achaia and beyond. As regards the province of Achaia, we have no reason to suppose that he confined his activity to its metropolis. The expression used by St. Luke (Acts 18:11) need only denote that it was his headquarters, or general place of residence. Communication was easy and frequent, by land or by water, with other parts of the province. Two short days” journey to the south were the Jews of Argos, who might be to those of Corinth what the Jews of Berea had been to those of Thessalonica. About the same distance to the east was the city of Athens, which had been imperfectly evangelized, and could be visited without danger. Within a walk of a few hours, along a road busy with traffic, was the sea port of Cenchrea, known to us as the residence of a Christian community. (Rom 16:1) These were the” Churches of God” (2 Thess. 1:4), among whom the Apostle boasted of the patience and the faith of the Thessalonians, the homes of” the saints in all Achaia” (2 Cor. 1:1), saluted at a later period, with the Church of Corinth, in a letter written from Macedonia. These Churches had alternately the blessings of the presence and the letters, the oral and the written teaching of St. Paul. The former of these blessings is now no longer granted to us ; but those long and wearisome journeys, which withdrew the teacher so often from his anxious converts, have resulted in our possession of inspired Epistles, in all their freshness and integrity, and with all their lessons of wisdom and love.