And they that conducted Paul brought him to Athens: and receiving a commandment to Silas and Timotheus for to come to him with all speed…
I. THE PLACE WHICH THE APOSTLE VISITED. Athens.
II. THE FEELINGS OF WHICH HE WAS THE SUBJECT. Not of admiration at the masterpieces of art by which he was surrounded, but of —
1. Holy indignation. He saw how God was dishonoured; how He was robbed of the homage which was His due.
2. Christian compassion. He felt deeply at the contemplation of such moral debasement — a city wholly given to idolatry.
3. Zeal. It is well to feel; but what need have we to guard against a mere fruitless sentimentality.
III. THE CHARACTERS WITH WHOM HE CAME IN CONTACT. —
1. Jews. With them he disputed daily.
2. Certain philosophers.
IV. THE ADDRESS HE DELIVERED. His text was the inscriptions he witnessed on one of the altars: "To the Unknown God." He at once proceeded with his subject, saying, "Whom, therefore, ye ignorantly worship, Him declare I unto you." He is declared —
1. In reference to His nature. In what he says on this subject, we are reminded —
(1) Of the apostle's boldness. It is said that the laws of the city denounced death upon those who should introduce a foreign deity.
(2) His decision. The philosophers in speaking of God had nothing but mere guesses and peradventures; but in no hesitating tone does Paul speak.
(3) His skill. This was unlike his discourses to the Jews, where he mainly appealed to the Old Testament.
2. In reference to the Divine dispensations.
(1) The past dispensation of forbearance.
(2) The present dispensation of grace.
(3) The coming dispensation of judgment.
V. THE EFFECTS PRODUCED BY HIS LABOURS. They were threefold.
1. Ridicule. "Some mocked."
2. Procrastination. "We will hear thee again of this matter."
3. Faith. "Howbeit certain men clave unto him, and believed."
Parallel VersesKJV: 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 departed.