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PAUL S ARRIVAL AT ATHENS.pdf

PAUL S ARRIVAL AT ATHENS.pdf

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Published by glennpease
BY REV. WILLIAM ARNOT



" And then immediately the brethren sent awav Paul to go as it were
to the sea: but Silas and Timotheus abode there still. And they that
conducted Paul brought him unto Athens: and receiving a commandment
unto Silas and Timotheus for to come to him with all speed, they de-
farted. Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was
stirred in him, wheti he saw the city wholly given to idolatry." ACTS
xvn. 14-16.
BY REV. WILLIAM ARNOT



" And then immediately the brethren sent awav Paul to go as it were
to the sea: but Silas and Timotheus abode there still. And they that
conducted Paul brought him unto Athens: and receiving a commandment
unto Silas and Timotheus for to come to him with all speed, they de-
farted. Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was
stirred in him, wheti he saw the city wholly given to idolatry." ACTS
xvn. 14-16.

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Published by: glennpease on Nov 03, 2013
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PAUL S ARRIVAL AT ATHENS.BY REV. WILLIAM ARNOT" And then immediately the brethren sent awav Paul to go as it wereto the sea: but Silas and Timotheus abode there still. And they thatconducted Paul brought him unto Athens: and receiving acommandmentunto Silas and Timotheus for to come to him with all speed, they de-farted. Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit wasstirred in him, wheti he saw the city wholly given to idolatry." ACTSxvn. 14-16.BEREA seems a very paradise for these missionarymen. There was eager attention to the gospel; therewere many conversions, and as yet there was no signof any persecution springing up. But the persecutionthat did not spring on the spot was imported from adistance. "When the Jews of Thessalonica had knowledge that the word of God was preached of Paul at Berea,they came thither also and stirred up the people." Theplace was soon made too hot for Paul. As being manifestly the chief, he was more obnoxious than his twoyounger associates; for when it was found necessaryto hurry him off from the place to preserve his life,Timothy and Silas ventured to remain behind to carryon the. work which had been so hopefully begun.The brethren sent away Paul, to go as it were, tothe sea. It has been generally thought that stratagemwas employed here; that they started in the directionof the sea-coast, to lead the persecutors on a falsePaul s Arrival at Athens. 321scent, and afterwards took the road to Athens. But
 
it is more probable that the transaction was simpler.As there is no mention of any place on the way between Berea and Athens, there is some ground toinfer that the journey was not made by land; thatthey embarked at Dium, near the base of Olympus,and landed at the Piraeus. In the circumstances it isprobable that the route and the destination were notdetermined until they were far on the way. Whenthey left Berea there was no time to consider theircourse. The thing that pressed was to get Paul awayfrom a place of danger; out of Berea with all hastefor the missionary s life, and when we are a safe distance we shall consider where we shall go next.Paul seems on this occasion to have been passivein the hands of his friends. They who lived in thecountry knew best both the danger that threatenedand the means of escape. They will manage thewhole business. The journey to Athens was no planof his. " They that conducted him brought him toAthens." Arrived at this celebrated city, Paul seemsto have taken the measure of it at the first glance.Before his conductors had left him to return to theirhome, he had made up his mind and determined theplan of the campaign. In view of Athens, Berea diminished in importance as a mission-field. He hadleft Timothy and Silas there; but as soon as he sawAthens, he sent a message back with the returningescort, requesting his associates to join him withoutdelay.Those two laborers were digging a well on thespot where he left them digging a well, and gettingwater the water of life, to refresh a parched neighborhood; but he hesitates not to call them away fromtheir work; for the well that they were digging wasin the lowly plain, and though they obtained sweetwater there, that water could not flow far for thebenefit of others. Here, however, and now, Paul haddiscovered a spot on an exceeding high mountain,
 
where a well might be hopefully pierced, and if theyshould obtain water there, it would, in virtue of theheight of its site, flow far and wide over the nations.Accordingly this master-workman recalls his hands322 T/ie Church in the House.from the successful but less important mission in Be-rea, that they might strike home for the Lord in thevery heart and head of the civilized world.The plan was that Paul should wait at Athens tillhis associates arrived, and that then they should beginthe work in company. It is not easy for a solitarymissionary to begin alone in the high places of theearth to bear a testimony for God. Poor Jonah wasso overwhelmed by the prospect of standing unsupported in Nineveh to denounce God s judgments againstthe people s sin, that he rebelled and ran away that hemight escape the hard and scathing ordeal. As Jonahat Nineveh, crying out, Yet forty days, and Ninevehshall be destroyed as Jonah at Nineveh was Paul atAthens, proclaiming Jesus and the resurrection. It istoo much for one man alone to dare and do. He willwait in silence the arrival of his friends, and then,shoulder to shoulder, three stronger than one, theywill stand, and stand up for the Lord, and stand fastagainst the adversary. Bid them come both and comequickly, said the eager, impetuous apostle to his escort,as they turned to retrace their steps toward Berea;"and receiving a commandment unto Silas and Timo-theus, for to come to him with all speed, they departed."Away went the escort out of his sight, and Paul began his part of the programme that is, to wait. Hewill wait at Athens till Timothy and Silas should arrive.But ah ! this is not a man of the waiting kind. He hadundertaken more than he could perform. The spirit

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