Monday, June 15, 2020

Standing where Paul once stood

The full moon was riding high in the cloudless heavens, now. We sauntered carelessly and unthinkingly to the edge of the lofty battlements of the citadel, and looked down—a vision! And such a vision! Athens by moonlight! The prophet that thought the splendors of the New Jerusalem were revealed to him, surely saw this instead! …

To the right was Mars Hill, where the Areopagus sat in ancient times and where St. Paul defined his position, and below was the market-place where he “disputed daily” with the gossip-loving Athenians.

We climbed the stone steps St. Paul ascended, and stood in the square-cut place he stood in, and tried to recollect the Bible account of the matter—but for certain reasons, I could not recall the words. I have found them since:

“Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given up to idolatry. Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout persons, and in the market daily with them that met with him. …

“And they took him and brought him unto Areopagus, saying, May we know what this new doctrine whereof thou speakest is? …

“Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars hill, and said, ‘Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious; For as I passed by and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription: To THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom, therefore, ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.’—Acts, ch. xvii.”
Source: The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain

Him I declare to you as well.

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