THE RELIGION OF THE ATHENIANS
"All things which I behold bear witness to your carefulness in religion (δεισιδαιμονεστέƍους). For as I passed through your city, and beheld the objects of your worship, I found amongst them an altar with this inscription -- 'TO THE UNKNOWN GOD.' Whom therefore ye worship. . . . ." -- ST. PAUL.
THROUGH one of those remarkable counter-strokes of Divine Providence by which the evil designs of men are overruled, and made to subserve the purposes of God, the Apostle Paul was brought to Athens. He walked beneath its stately porticoes, he entered its solemn temples, he stood before its glorious statuary, he viewed its beautiful altars -- all devoted to pagan worship. And "his spirit was stirred within him;" he was moved with indignation "when he saw the city full of images of the gods."1 At the very entrance of the city he met the evidence of this peculiar tendency of the Athenians to multiply the objects of their devotion; for here at the gateway stands an image of Neptune, seated on horseback, and brandishing the trident. Passing through the gate, his attention would be immediately arrested by the sculptured forms of Minerva, Jupiter, Apollo, Mercury, and the Muses, standing near a sanctuary of Bacchus. A long street is now before him, with temples, statues, and altars crowded on either hand. Walking to the end of this street, and turning to the right, he entered the Agora, a public square surrounded with porticoes and temples, which were adorned with statuary and paintings in honor of the gods of Grecian mythology. Amid the plane-trees planted by the hand of Cimon are the statues of the deified heroes of Athens, Hercules and Theseus, and the whole series of the Eponymi, together with the memorials of the older divinities;____________________