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1. There is a Caius who was with St. Paul in Ephefus, during the riot of Demetrius, and who is called A man of Macedonia, and Paul's companion in travel, Acts xix. 29.-2. A Caius is mentioned, Acts xx. 4. called Gaius of Derbe, which was a city of Lycaonia or Ifauria. Probably he was a perfon different from the Macedonian Caius, though like him he was Paul's affiftant in preaching the gofpel. Caius of Derbe accompanied Paul to Jerufalem with the collection for the faints. Probably, therefore, he was chofen by the churches of Lycaonia, their meffenger for that effect.-3. Paul, writing from Corinth to the church of Rome, speaks of a Caius with whom he lodged, Rom. xvi. 23. who was a very benevolent perfon, and in opulent circumstances. For the apoftle called him his hoft, and the hoft of the whole church of Corinth. Wherefore as the Caius, to whom John wrote his 3d epiftle, was in like manner a very benevolent perfon, and in good circumstances, Bede, and after him Lightfoot, conjectured that he was the Caius, who in Paul's epistle to the Romans fent his falutation to the church at Rome,
-4. The same apostle mentions his having baptized one of the name of Caius at Corinth, 1 Cor. i. 14. Probably he was the person whom in his epiftle to the Romans, which was written from Corinth, Paul calls his hoft, and the host of the church.5. There was a Caius to whom John wrote this third epiftle. Him Eftius and Heuman thought a different person from all thofe above mentioned, because the apoftle by numbering him among his children, ver. 4. hath infinuated that he was his convert, which they suppose he could not fay of any of the Caius's mentioned above.
In the ancient hiftory of the church, we meet with three perfons of the name of Caius. One of them a bishop of Ephefus, another of Theffalonica, and a third of Pergamos; all about this time. Whiston and Mill have faid, that the bishop of Pergamos was the Caius to whom John wrote his third epiftle. But as Lardner obferves, they faid this on the teftimony of the pretended apoftolical conftitutions, which in the prefent affair are of no authority at all. Befides, from the epiftle itself it is evident, that Caius, to whom it was written, was at that time a person in a private station,
Lardner's account of Caius is, that "he was an eminent "Christian, who lived in fome city of Afia not far from Ephe"fus, where St. John chiefly refided after his leaving Judea. "For ver. 14. The apostle speaks of fhortly coming to him: "which he could not well have done if Caius lived at Co
rinth, or any other remote place." Canon, vol. iii. p. 293. Caius being neither a bishop nor a deacon, but a private member of fome church, of which the apoftle took the infpection, his hofpitality to the brethren, and to the ftrangers who came to him, is a proof that he poffeffed fome fubftance, and that he was of a very benevolent difpofition.-Grotius thought Caius a good Chriftian, who lived in one of the churches or cities mentioned in the Revelation. However, as John hath not fuggefted any circumftance, by which we can diftinguish his Caius from others of the fame name, it is impoffible to fay with any certainty who he was, or where he lived.
SECT. III. Of the Apoftie's Defign in writing his Third Epiftle, and of the Perfons who are mentioned in it by Name.
It doth not feem to have been John's defign in writing to Caius, either to guard him against the attempts of the heretical teachers who were gone abroad, or to condemn the errors which they were at great pains to propagate: But only, in the first place, to praise Caius for having fhewed kindness to fome brethren and ftrangers, who, in journeying among the Gentiles, had come to the place where Caius refided; and to encourage him to shew them the like kindness, when they should come to him again in the course of their fecond journey.—In the next place, he wrote this letter for the purpose of rebuking and restraining one Diotrephes, who had arrogantly affumed to himself the chief direction of the affairs of the church, of which Caius was a member: and, who had refused to affift the brethren and strangers above mentioned; and even had hindered thofe, from receiving and entertaining them, who were defirous to do it.In the third place, the apostle wrote this letter to commend an excellent perfon named Demetrius, who, in difpofition and beL 4 haviour,
haviour, being the reverfe of Diotrephes, the apoftle, propofed him as a pattern, whom Caius and the reft were to imitate.
Commentators are not agreed in their accounts of the brethren and the firangers, to whom Caius fhewed kindness, as they paffed through his city.-Grotius and Lampe thought these stran. gers were believing Jews, who had been driven out of Palestine by their unbelieving brethren, or, who had been forced away by the calamities brought on that country during the Jewish war; and had come into Afia, in hopes of obtaining affiftance from the Christians in that province; or perhaps of obtaining a fettlement among them.- Grotius fuppofes Diotrephes would not receive these ftrangers, nor even the brethren, that is, the Christians who were of his acquaintance, because they joined the rites of the law with the golpel. This, likewife, was the opinion of Le Clerc and Beaufobre. Wherefore, according to thefe authors, Diotrephes was a Gentile convert, and zealous for the freedom of the Gentiles from the yoke of the law. But Mofheim rejects their opinion, as having no foundation in antiquity. Others think these strangers were Gentile converts, whom Diotrephes, a Jew zealous of the law, would not receive, because they did not observe the rites of Mofes. That opinion Benson adopted, founding it on this circumstance, that Diotrephes did not receive John; that is, did not acknowledge. his authority as an apostle. For he thinks, none but the Judaizing teachers denied the authority of the apostles.
The brethren, who were hofpitably entertained by Caius, were fome believers who had gone from Ephesus to the church where Caius abode. For they are faid to have praised his liberality, in the presence of the church over which John prefided. Probably they belonged to that church as members.-Further, fince the apoftle defired Caius to help these brethren and strangers for ward on their journey, it implieth that they had gone forth, or were going forth, on a fecond journey among the Gentiles, in which they propofed to vifit Caius again.-Eftius conjectures, that John fent this letter to Caius by them.
The account given ver. 7. of the purpofe for which the brethren and ftrangers went forth to the Gentiles, inclines me to think they were preachers: For his name's fake they went
fo th. Bede however informs us, that anciently two interpretations were given of thefe words. The first was, For his name's fake they went forth to preach the gospel. The fecond, For the faith and profeffion of the holy name of Chrift, they were expelled from their native country. Heuman adopts the latter interpretation, and often calls thefe ftrangers, exiles; and faith they were Gentiles. But, as the brethren are diftinguifhed from the frangers, and as it is faid that they bare witnefs to Caius's love before the church, it is reasonable to think these brethren were members of the church over which St. John prefided.-And with respect to be frangers, without determining in this place, whether they were exiles from their own country or not, I fuppofe, that having come to the place where the brethren, of whom the apostle speaks, dwelled, they joined them in their journey, which I think was undertaken for the fake of preaching Chrift to the Gentiles. If I am right in this conjecture, the ftrangers as well as the brethren, were preachers, as above observed. For, if they were only persons in want, it was no commendation of them that they went forth taking nothing of the Gentiles: because standing in need of alms, it was their duty, not only to receive, but even to ask alms for the fupport of their life, from the unbelieving Gentiles; efpecially as, in many places, there may have been no Chriftians, to whom they could apply for relief. Whereas if they were preachers, they were greatly to be praised, when, in imitation of the apostle Paul, they fupported themfelves by their own labour, and took nothing from their Gentile converts on the score of maintenance, left it might have marred the success of their preaching. In fhort, if these brethren and ftrangers had not been preachers, the apoftle could not with propriety have faid, ver. 8. We therefore ought to receive fuch, that we may be joint labourers in the truth. For the terms labourers, and joint-labourers, are always, in the apoftolical writings, applied to preachers of the gospel, or to those who in fome way or other affifted the preachers of the gospel. Thefe things Lardner did not attend to, when he faid, "I fee nothing ❝ that should lead us to think preachers are spoken of, but only "perfons in want."
Commentators are no lefs divided concerning the character and office of Diotrephes. - Erafmus in his paraphrase saith, Diotrephes was the author of a new fect. This likewife was Bede's opinion. But, as other learned men have well argued, if Diotrephes had been a corrupter of the Chriftian doctrine, the apostle, without doubt, would have cautioned Caius, and all the members of his church, to have avoided him, as he defired the elect lady to avoid the falfe teachers, of whom he wrote in his letter to her. But this, as Lamy obferveth, he did not do. He only reproved the pride of Diotrephes, his contempt of the apostle's authority, but especially his ordering the members of his church, not to fhew kindness to the brethren and the ftrangers who applied to them for relief.
It is the opinion of many, that Diotrephes was a bishop in the church where he refided, and of which Caius was a member. In fupport of their opinion they obferve, First, that he is faid to have hindered thofe, from receiving the brethren and the ftrangers, who were willing to shew them kindness; and to have caft them out of the church, who, contrary to his orders, continued to entertain them.- Next, they take notice that the apoftle faid to Caius, ver. 9. I would have written to the church; but Diotrephes, who loveth to rule them, doth not receive us. The
apofiles wrote moft of their letters to the churches, that is, to the whole body of Chriftians living in a particular place, and sent them to the bishops and elders of these churches, to be by them read in the public affemblies, for the inftruction of their people. But, as Diotrephes did not acknowledge John's authority, he had reafon to fear that, if he had written to the church, and had sent his letter to Diotrephes to be read by him publicly to the brethren, he would have fuppreffed it by virtue of his epifcopal authority. Or, if it had been read to the church without his confent, he would have rendered it ineffectual by means of his adherents,
Heuman thought that Diotrephes was a deacon; and that having the charge of the church's stock, he had it in his power to refufe relief to the brethren and the ftrangers who applied to him; and that by fo doing he caft them out of the church,