Ephesus, too, was visited by the Holy Spirit. This was one of the most famous cities of Asia Minor. By historians, it has been called the ornament of Asia—the greatest and most frequented emporium of the continent. Here stood one of the seven wonders of the world—the idolatrous temple of Diana. Paul paid two visits to this city: the first, a very short one. After some months, he returned, and continued for three years, and had great success. Many things opposed the influence of truth. Iniquity was deeply rooted: their established religion was a source of revenue; and countenanced them in unhallowed courses. But the Spirit of grace prevailed. The result was, “that many that believed, came, and confessed, and showed their deeds. Many of them, also, which used curious arts, brought their books together, and burned them before all men. And they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver;” or, according to our currency, nearly twenty-eight thousand dollars. Thus multitudes made a public renunciation of idolatry, and a public profession of their faith in Christ. “So mightily grew the word of God, and prevailed.”
The last city that we shall mention, as blessed with a revival, is Corinth, the capital of Achaia. Here stood the temple of Venus; for the support of whose costly and debasing services, a thousand human victims were continually kept!—The multitude in this city were given to a species of crime, most deadening to the conscience, and damning to the soul. Yet all this did not discourage the intrepid apostle. For, about the year of our Lord fifty-two, he came to Corinth, and “reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath day, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.” The persecuting spirit of the Jews was marshalled against him. Yet he was successful, for God was with him. “Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed and were baptized. Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace, for I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee; for I have much people in this city.” And so great was the work, and so important the station, that “he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.” Here a large church was gathered, to which he addressed two epistles.