Biblical Essays

The Churches of Macedonia

O T PAUL'S first visit to Macedonia was the dawn of a new ^ era in the development of the Christian Church. The incidents, which ushered it in, spoke significantly to himself and his fellow-labourers; and, in St Luke's record, they stand out in bold relief. The entrance into Macedonia and the visit to Rome are the two most important stages in the Apostle's missionary life, as they are also the two most emphatic passages in the historian's narrative—the one the opening campaign of the Gospel in the West, the other its crowning triumph. It is no surprise therefore that St Paul years afterwards should speak of his labours in Macedonia, as 'the beginning of the Gospel',' though his missionary course was now half run. The faith of Christ had, as it were, made a fresh start.

This portion of St Luke's narrative' is emphasized not by any artifice of the writer, but by the progress of the incidents themselves which all converge to one point.

1 Phil. iv. 15 iv &pxT) Tov eiay- Sttj\dov...i\Bbvrtt Si... be correct, the

y(\lov. complexion of the incident will be

2 Acts xvi. 6-10 AtfXWrrCT Si ri/v slightly, but not materially, altered.

$pvyi<tv Kox roXornrijj' \upav, Ku\v- But, though the preponderance of

Wires inri Too iylov rvtinaros XoX^aai authority is considerably in its favour,

Tor \iyov iv Tj 'Aria, fl%r« Koto Tijv it is open to suspicion as an attempt

MwJox eirelpafov els Ttiv Bi0wlar ropev- to simplify the grammar of a sentence

Bijrai Kol oik etairev airrois To nrtifia rendered awkward by the accumula

'itjo-oo . iropeX06ctes Si T^c Mvalar Kari- tion of participles.
Priaav els TpydSa K.tx If the reading

St Paul having passed through the country of Phrygia and Galatia is driven forward under the divine guidance and in spite of his own impulses towards the shores of the Hellespont. Attempting to diverge on either side, he is checked and kept in the direct path. He first looks wistfully towards the country lying on his left, wishing to preach the Gospel in the populous district of Proconsular Asia. 'The Holy Spirit forbids him' to do so. He next turns his steps towards Bithynia situated on his right, doubtless with the same purpose. This attempt is as futile as the former. 'The Spirit of Jesus' will not permit it. Thus hemmed in on either side, he has no choice but to go forward, and so he arrives on the coast of the Mga&m. Here at length the meaning of those strange hindrances, which had thwarted his energetic purpose, becomes apparent. God's providence has destined him for a nobler mission-field. While at Troas gazing on the sight of the opposite shores of Europe, he receives an intimation which decides him. He sees a vision in the night. A man of Macedonia stands before him and entreats him: 'Come over and help us.' He considers this as an indication of the will of God, and in obedience thereto he crosses the narrow sea which separates Asia from Europe.

In this way St Luke forces upon our notice the importance of this visit to Macedonia. When he comes to narrate the visit itself, he does so with a greater minuteness of detail than is usually found in his narrative. The incidents of St Paul's preaching at Philippi especially, the first European town which hears the truths of the Gospel from the lips of the Apostle, are dwelt upon with singular fulness. Of these incidents the historian was himself an eyewitness. He had but lately joined St Paul's company for the first time, and the scenes, in which he now moved, would naturally dwell in his memory with all the force of fresh and unwonted experiences. But beyond this personal reason we can scarcely doubt that the fulness of detail in this part of his narrative is due also to the conviction in his mind that this visit heralded a new and important era in the history of the Christian Church.

It was not only that the Apostle had surmounted the seabarrier which separates two tracts of country bearing different names, and conventionally regarded as distinct continents1. The real significance of his journey lay in this, that it brought him in contact with new interests, new associations and ideas, or at least into closer contact with them than hitherto. He now occupied the ground which from its geographical position was the natural high road between the East and the West, and was mixing with that people whose mission it had been to fuse the whole civilised world, to bring the arts and intelligence of Greece and the political capacities of Rome into alliance with the nobler spiritual instincts and sublimer theological conceptions of Asia—above all, with the one specially revealed religion of Palestine—and thus to pioneer the way for the Gospel. The great Macedonian conqueror had appreciated the task which its natural position imposed upon his country. He can have been no mere selfish tyrant or vain profligate, who when advised by the wisest philosopher of the day to treat the Greeks as free subjects, the Orientals as slaves, repudiated the narrow counsels of his teacher, declaring that he had been 'sent by God to unite, pacify, and reconcile the whole world'.' This generous sentiment of Alexander was an anticipation, however feeble, of the work of that great Reconciler, who broke down the partition walls between castes and nations3, and may well recal the loftier utterance of St Paul, who proclaimed that there was now 'neither Greek nor Jew, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free,' but all were 'one in Christ4.' And when again we read of the taunts levelled at the Macedonian king by narrower-minded Greeks, because he strove to conciliate the Oriental peoples whom he had vanquished, by conforming to their dress and habits as matters of indifference1, we seem to trace the shadow of that large-hearted policy of the Apostle of the Gentiles, who in a like spirit, but with a nobler aim, braved the fierce hatred of his countrymen, consenting to be reviled as a subverter of the laws and institutions of his fathers, and, himself a Jew, became as a Greek to the Greeks that he might win them to Christ*.

Alexander had not entertained this grand purpose in vain. Though he died young, he had accomplished a vast task, the importance of which to the future history of the world it is scarcely possible to overrate. If he had not realised his project, he had prepared the way for its realisation in a far higher sense than he himself could have imagined. He had diffused the literature and life, the habits and institutions, of Europe through the East. He had made the language of Greece a common instrument of communication throughout the civilised world. Now, at length, the completion of his great design, though very different, no doubt, from that which he himself had contemplated, was drawing near. And as his country had borne the chief part in preparing the way for this universal pacification of the world, so now in turn she was herself to receive the earliest and most striking earnest of its fulfilment. The tide, which had once flowed eastward through Macedonia bearing with it the civilisation of the West, was now rolled back through the same channel, laden with a nobler treasure, by which Asia more than discharged her debt of obligation to Europe.

Each successive station at which he halted might have reminded the Apostle of the great services rendered by Macedonia as the pioneer of the Gospel.

1 See Plutarch 1. c. p. 329 C and ut fi4v 0iXdao0os rois A&uupipois XP"'

p. 330 A 'ek Tov MaKeSoviKOv xal fient K.t.\.

IIepautoO rpoirov pxiuyiUniv riri aroXiJc s 1 Cor. ix. 19 aq, Gal. ii. 14 sq.

t<popit KaBdrep 'EparoaBiinis laropijKev'

1 Acts xvi. 11, t66xi$portaanev. The aion (Acts xx. 6). See Conybeare and

distance which on this occasion seems Howson Life and Epistlet of St Paul

to have been accomplished in two p. 219 (ed. 1870). days' voyage, took five on a later occa

The very names of the places bore testimony to the part she had played in history. The seaport whence he embarked on leaving the Asiatic shore was surnamed, after the great conqueror of the East, Alexandria Troas. In Philippi, the first European city which he visited, was perpetuated the memory of the monarch, who, by organizing the armies of Macedonia and establishing the supremacy of his country over Greece, prepared the way for the vast projects of Oriental conquest carried out by his greater son. The name of the next town in which he planted the standard of the cross spoke of a later stage in the progress of events. It recalled the partition of Alexander's empire, having been founded by one of his successors Cassander, in honour of his wife Thessalonica, the half-sister of the conqueror himself. Whether St Paul, while visiting these scenes, recalled the past glories of Macedonia, whether he traced in this marvellous page of her history the hand of God moulding the selfish counsels of men to His own great purpose, it is vain to speculate; but we may at least be assured that he did in a measure forecast the future, and that he felt, when he entered Macedonia, that the Gospel was on the eve of some new and striking development. The divine voice, which had first driven him coastward and then beckoned him across the seas, was a significant token. The rapid and prosperous voyage to the European shores seemed the presage of a comiDg triumph1. The strange scenes, the new and varied types of character which he encountered there, the contact with purer forms of Western civilisation, the more direct influence of Greek and Roman institutions—all these fresh experiences crowding upon him spoke to him of more brilliant victories yet to be achieved, of wider and fairer provinces to be annexed to his Master's kingdom. All the incidents of this epoch seem to assume vaster proportions, to be cast on a grander scale. A success unparalleled in his previous career both in extent and durability crowns his preaching in the first European city. A marvellous deliverance, a more signal interposition in his behalf than any elsewhere recorded, assures him of the protecting hand of God. The first visit to Macedonia stands out in the Apostle's history as an eventful epoch in a career singularly crowded with incidents and fertile in results.

I propose to call attention to a few points bearing on the history and character of the Macedonian Churches collectively. They are so closely linked together in the circumstances of their foundation, and present so many features in common, that it is especially instructive to consider them together.

1. The three stations in Macedonia, which St Paul selected for his missionary labours, are Philippi, Thessalonica and Beroea. A glance at any good map of this country will show at once the reasons which may have influenced this choice. The whole region of Macedonia Proper exclusive of the Chalcidic peninsula is divided by its natural barriers into three portions corresponding respectively to the water-courses of the Strymon, the Axius and the Haliacmon. Philippi stands on a tributary of the Strymon; Thessalonica, though planted on the banks of another less considerable river, occupies the most important position in the valley of the Axius; while Beroea, lying more inland, represents the third district watered by the Haliacmon near to which it is situated. In the first Roman partition of Macedonia—now long abandoned—these three towns had belonged to distinct provinces called respectively Prima, Secunda, and Tertia. Thus standing sufficiently wide apart from each other and commanding three separate districts, they recommended themselves to the Apostle by their geographical position, as good missionary centres.

2. But he was guided also by another consideration. It was necessary that there should be a sufficient Jewish population in those towns which were marked out as the mother Churches of their respective districts. Around the few believers of the house of Israel, as a nucleus, the Gentile majority of the Church must gather. All three places satisfied this condition. At Philippi indeed there was no synagogue, but every Sabbath-day the faithful Jews met together for prayer by the riverside1. Their numbers appear to have been scanty, yet there was a sufficient body of them to render it necessary for the Apostle to warn his converts against 'the concision8, ' though in the admonition he may have been thinking more of Rome than of Philippi3. At Thessalonica, at all events, a synagogue existed*, and the Jews play a prominent part in the narrative of the Acts5. This city appears to have been a favourite resort for Jews in the middle ages, and a recent writer, who gives the whole population as seventy thousand, sets down the Jewish element at fifty thousand soulse. At Beroea also was a synagogue7, and the conduct of the Jews there is highly commended by the historian of the Acts8.

1 Acts xvi. 13, 16. The use of the word ir/mrevxh here does not necessarily imply a building.

5 Phil. iii. 2 /SX^n-rre T^v Kararo

3 [See Philippians, p. 52.]

4 Acts xvii. 1, 6trov rp avvayuyri rtSv 'lovSaluv. Textual criticism requires the suppression of the article before the word ovvaybr/1i.

5 See esp. Acts xvii. 5 sq., 13 sq.

5 W. G. 0. in Macmillan'* Magazine for Feb. 1863 (vn. p. 313). This is the highest estimate I have seen, and I suspect some mistake in the numbers. Other estimates are given by Conybeare and Howson, p. 250.

7 Acts xvii. 10 sq.

8 If we are tempted to ask why St Paul chose Philippi and Beroea rather than Amphipolis or Pella for the scene of his preaching, the true answer may be somewhat of this kind. Philippi was the first town which he reached. He would naturally be anxious to

commence his missionary work at once. An opportunity offered, and he availed himself of it. Though there was no regular synagogue here, there was, as we have seen, a nucleus of Jews, and in this respect Amphipolis would offer no greater facilities, for there certainly was no synagogue there. Besides, even if Philippi was not the chief town of the district, it was a place of great importance, and would command the Eastern districts better than Amphipolis.

Beroea was probably chosen in preference to Pella on account of the synagogue there. It is improbable that there should have been synagogues at both places. Besides this, Pella was on the deoline; see Dion Chrysost. Or. xxxiii. (p. 460e<z.Emper.), vvv el ris RUpxoito n^XXar, o6&i atipxtov 6^erai Ttoxtus o66ev Mx& foO Tto\vv K4pa/iov elvtzi avvrerpifif>Uvov 4v rip riiry.

It seems a mistake to suppose that St Paul went to Beroea as an out-ofthe-way town, a sort of hiding place, as Alford seems to imply. Cicero says of Piso, escaping from Thessalonica, where he was pestered with complaints, that he 1 took refuge' in Beroea, 'in oppidum devium Beroeam profugisti' (in PUon. c. 36). Piso's course would naturally have been along the Egnatian road, and therefore to him it was 'devium.' But Beroea was a most important city (see Lucian Asin. § 34 ipxiluda eli T6\w rfis MaxtioWos Bipout v fieyakri>i ml ird\vAiidpurov), and would have been very ill-chosen as a lurking place, since there was a Jewish synagogue there, which doubtless kept up constant communication with that of Thessalonica, as the result seems to show. It also lay near the road that he must ultimately take for Achaia.

It is not probable that St Paul on any subsequent occasion preached in other Macedonian towns. In Komans xv. 19 it is true he speaks of having preached 'as far as Ulyricum,' but if his visit to Beroea may not be con

sidered to justify the expression, the Gospel may well have been spread southward through the labours of his companions Silas, Timotheus and Luke between his first and second visits to Macedonia. In the scanty fragments of his Apology which survive, Melito, addressing M. Antoninus, appeals to the fact that his father wrote letters to the people of Larissa, Thessalonica and Athens forbidding them to molest the Christians (i Si rarrfp aov...rms ro\eat rtpl Tov nrjSiv veurepl^ew repl Tjftvr iyptnpev' iv oU ited rpos Aapur~ tralovs xai rpfo Beaaa\ortKtis Kttl 'A01Jvalovs Kal rpos ran-at "KMijrat Melito in Eus. H.E. iv. 26,10, see Kouth It. S. i. p. 112). The establishment of Christianity at Larissa is an interesting fact; see below, p. 267.

1 See the curious illustration which Josephus gives (Ant. xii. 3, 1).

3 See Winer's article on the Jewish Dispersion in his Bibl. Realutorterbuch, n. p. 727 sq. (1847).

Alexander himself had shown great favour to the Jews, and his successors in the Macedonian dynasties abroad seem to have inherited his policy in this respect. The Syrian kings admitted them to equal privileges with the Macedonians and Greeks1. And the liberality of the Alexandrian princes8 in this respect is witnessed by the LXX. translation of the Scriptures, by the building of the Temple at Leontopolis and by the large Jewish population at Alexandria. There were occasional exceptions indeed to this wise liberality, but on the whole it seems to have remained the traditional policy of the successors of Alexander. Both in Egypt and Syria the Romans left the Jews in possession of the privileges which they enjoyed. We may well suppose, though we have no direct evidence, that the like spirit prevailed at home, and that the Jews were at least protected, if they were not encouraged, by the rulers of Macedonia. At all events, we may gather from the New Testament history that at the time of the Christian era they had settled there in considerable numbers, and that the synagogue organisation was established in full force. The historical connexion of Macedonia with Syria and Palestine was of some centuries standing, and the Syrian cities of Edessa and Berrhoea, which had far outstripped their older namesakes, not to mention the Palestinian town of Pella, testify to the intimate relationship between the countries.

3. St Paul's communications with the Macedonian Churches were very close and frequent. This was partly due to their position on the high road between Asia on the one hand and Greece and Rome on the other, partly to other causes. These communications are of various kinds. Firstly, there are personal visits made by the Apostle. During his second missionary journey in the year 52 he founds the Macedonian Churches1. Five years or so later, on his third missionary journey he visits them twice, as he goes and again as he returns3. Another interval of five years elapses, and again he seems to have paid them another visit, immediately after his return from captivity, in fulfilment of his declared intention3. Lastly, once, probably more than once, we find him there again at the very close of his life4. Secondly, we read of constant communications made with the Macedonians through his disciples. When he departs after his first visit, he leaves Silas and Timotheus behind5, and possibly after joining him at Athens they were despatched thither again*. But these are not the only companions delegated to watch over the infant Churches of Macedonia. It would appear that St Luke also remained at Philippi for a period of five or six years'. On his third missionary journey again the Apostle sends Timotheus and Erastus into Macedonia8. During the imprisonment at Rome, this intercourse is of the most intimate character.

1 Acts xvi. 9-xvii. 15. 7 This is inferred from the fact that

3 Acts xix. 21, xx. 1, 3. the first person in the narrative is

3 Phil. ii. 24. dropped after Acts xvi. 17 and resumed * 1 Tim. i. 3; cf. 2 Tim. iv. 13, 20. at ch. xx. 5.

5 Acts xvii. 14, 15, xviii. 5. 8 Acts xix. 22.

8 1 Thess. iii. 1, 2, 6.

The narrative of the Epistle to the Philippians implies four journeys between Philippi and the place of St Paul's captivity, before the writing of the letter1, and mention is made of the Apostle's intention of despatching Timotheus thither shortly8. And to this constant association, sustained, as far as we can trace it, throughout St Paul's life, must be added the frequent interchange of messages consequent upon the contributions made by the Macedonian Churches both towards the relief of the brethren in Judaea8, and towards the Apostle's personal maintenance4. Thirdly, we find several Macedonian Christians in more or less constant attendance upon St Paul. These men are representative, and are taken from the three Churches of Macedonia. Thessalonica sends Aristarchus8, a Jewish convert, to endanger his life with the Apostle at Ephesus and to share the captivity at Rome. Another Thessalonian, Secundus9, is mentioned with Aristarchus as accompanying the Apostle during his voyage to the Capital. On the same occasion Beroea is represented by Sopater ' the son of Pyrrhus7,' the patronymic being added perhaps to distinguish him from the Sosipater who sends his salutation to the. Church of Rome8. From Philippi comes Epaphroditus, whose sickness at Rome aroused such a tender interest in the Church of which he formed a member".

1 [Aristarchus however may have parted from the Apostle at Myra. See Philippians p. 37.]

a Phil. ii. 19.

* 2 Cor. viii. 1 sq., ix. 2 sq.

1 Phil. iv. 15 sq.; 2 Cor. xi. 9.

8 Acts xix. 29, xx. 4, xxvii. 2; Col. iv. 10; Philemon 24. His nationality appears from Col. iv. 11 where he is coupled with Mark and Jesus oalled Justus, as being 'of the circumcision.' He was a constant companion of St Paul who calls him o awaix/tdX&rris fiov (Col. iv. 10). The name occurs in the Bollandiat Acta Sanctorum for Aug. 4.

• Acts xx. 4. Of Secundus we only

Another Macedonian, Gaius, is mentioned as St Paul's companion in the tumult at Ephesus10, unless indeed (as is possible, though hardly probable) he is to be identified with Epaphroditus1. Lastly, there is some reason for the supposition that Demas", whose desertion of the Apostle in his second imprisonment contrasts so painfully with his faithful companionship at an earlier period, hailed from Thessalonica8.

But the most permanent result of St Paul's intercourse with the Macedonian Churches is embodied in the three letters which have come down to us addressed by the Apostle to his converts there. His two earliest Epistles—the two Epistles to the Thessalonians—were written to one Macedonian Church, a later Epistle—the Epistle to the Philippians—to another. Nor are we to suppose that these three extant letters exhaust the Apostle's literary activity in the case of congregations in which he took so special and so affectionate an interest. Even admitting that there is not sufficient evidence to warrant us in postulating a lost letter to the Philippians4, yet his language in the Second Epistle to the Thessalonians becomes meaningless unless it presupposes more than one previous communication with the Church of Thessalonica8.

The outward condition of the Macedonian Churches stands fully revealed in the Pauline Epistles which survive to us. They were baptized with the baptism of suffering, and this suffering was the result both of poverty and of persecution8.

1 The two names are borne together deserted St Paul he went to Thessalo

in an inscription of Thessalonica nica (2 Tim. iv. 10), probably home.

(Boeckh C.I.G. no. 1987 Taty KXuJiv The name Demetrius, of which Demas

"&Ta<ppottlrtf [KJXuSia 4>ixtjm<1tmor rtf is a contract form, occurs twioe among

[iri]rpuri Ta lanjita). Origen in Rom. ivi. the list of politarchs of that city (Boeckh

23 states a tradition that the Gaius no. 1967).

there mentioned was a bishop of Thes- * To complete the list of Mace

salonica. The Qaiua however in ques- donian Christians we must add Jason

tion was a Corinthian. Theremayhow- (Acts xvii. 6 sq.).

ever have been some confusion with the 4 [On the question of lost letters of

Gaius of Acts xix. 29. [On Epaphro- St Paul see Philippians p. 138 sq.]

ditus see Philippians pp. 61, 62.] '2 Thess. iii. 17 5 ioriv <nuieTov iv

* On the name Demas see the refer- rian irurro\yi cf. also 2 Thess. ii. I9.

enccs in Meyer on Col. iv. 14, Lobeck • 2 Cor. viii. 2 iv iroXXj Sokifitj

Pathol. 505; cf. Boeckh C. I. G. in. no. d\l<l/tui...i] Kara fidffovs irruxda of the

3817 ( Atjuos Kox I'di'oj). Demas is men- Macedonian Churches. And yet there

tioned next to Aristarchus the Thes- must have been sufficient wealth both

salonian in Philemon 24, and when he at Philippi and at Thessalonica. Were the gold and silver mines at Philippi [see Philippians p. 47] still worked?

There is no warning against the temptations of wealth, no enforcement of the duties of the rich, in the Epistles to the Thessalonians or Philippians1. The former especially are addressed as those who have to work for their living3. On the other hand, the allusions to persecution undergone are prominent in all three Epistles3. And side by side with the external dangers which beset these infant communities we can discern the presence of a more subtle peril to which they were exposed from the tendencies of their national character. The old Macedonian spirit of independence showed itself in a factious self-assertion, a contempt for authority, to which the Apostle is constrained to draw attention with a significant and emphatic iteration4.

1 The case is different in Polycarp's Epistle to the Philippians. Probably Christianity had by that time extended to the wealthier classes; see esp. §§ 4,

5, 6.

3 1 Thess. iv. 11; 2 Thess. iii. 712.

3 Thessalonica (1 Thess. i. 6, ii. 14, iii. 2, 3, 4; 2 Thess. i. 4-7); Philippi (Phil. i. 28-30).

* Cf. 1 Thess. v. 12-14; 2 Thess. iii .

6, 7, 11, 14.

5 The Macedonians were to Greece what the Piedmontese are to Italy, the rode highlanders speaking a mongrel dialect, regarded with a proud but impotent scorn by the pure bred Greeks, but in the highest moral qualities far their superiors, with a more genuine love of freedom and a stubborn perseverance. They were the one people which made the power of Greece felt throughout the world. On the Macedonian spirit of independence see especially Flatte Gesch. Mac. i. 45. Flatte's summary of the Macedonian character

is very striking and accurate. They appear to have had that peculiarly English virtue of not knowing when they were beaten. An excellent illustration of this sturdy perseverance and indomitable buoyancy of character which the Apostle commends (1 Thess. i.6) is the passage of Mommsen (Htitory of Rome Bk. in. ch. 8, Vol. ii. p. 229 Dickson's transL 1868). 'In steadfast resistance to the public enemy under whatever name, in unshaken fidelity towards their native country and thenhereditary government, and in persevering courage amidst the severest trials, no nation in ancient history bears so close a resemblance to the Roman people as the Macedonians; and the almost miraculous regeneration of the state after the Gallic invasion redounds to the imperishable honour of its leaders and of the people whom they led.'

A curious parallel to St Paul's language occurs in Dion Chrysost. Or. XXa. 'AXffdvSpos [rods Maxefiovat] els 'Aatav ^e^a-ytik afia fiev r\ovaiurdrouy aravruv avdpwtruv aribei^ev a^aa

But the better side also of the Macedonian character5 made itself felt in the converts gained for Christianity from that region. The Macedonian Churches are honorably distinguished above all others by their fidelity to the Gospel and their affectionate regard for St Paul himself. While the Church of Corinth disgraced herself by gross moral delinquencies, while the Galatians bartered the liberty of the Gospel for a narrow formalism, while the believers of Ephesus drifted into the wildest speculative errors, no such stain attaches to the brethren of Philippi and Thessalonica. It is to the Macedonian congregations that the Apostle ever turns for solace in the midst of his severest trials and sufferings. Time seems not to have chilled these feelings of mutual affection. The Epistle to the Philippians was written about ten years after the Thessalonian letters. It is the more surprising therefore that they should resemble each other so strongly in tone. In both alike St Paul drops his official title at the outset, not wishing to assert his Apostolic authority where he could appeal to the higher motive of love. In both he opens his letter with a heartfelt thanksgiving expressed in terms of highest commendation. In both Epistles he speaks of his converts as his 'crown and joy1': in both he appeals freely to his personal example: and in both he adopts throughout the same tone of confidence and affection. In this interval of ten years we meet with one notice of the Macedonian Churches. It is conceived in terms of unmeasured praise. The Macedonians had been called upon to contribute to the wants of their poorer brethren in Judaea, who were suffering from famine. They had responded nobly to the call. Deep-sunk in poverty and sorely tried by persecution, they came forward with eager joy and poured out the riches of their liberality, straining their means to the utmost in order to relieve the sufferers.

Si revtxpordtovs, Kal ifxa fiir lirxypovi and the beginning of the second cen

O41a Si dadfreis, <pvydSat rt Kal fiaai- tury A.D.

Wat Tovs airnin, comp. 2 Cor. vi. 10. 1 1 Thess. ii. 19; PhiL iv. 1.
Dion flourished at the close of the first

'They exceeded our expectations,' says the Apostle; 'they gave themselves to the Lord, and to us by the will of God1.' We may imagine that the people still retained something of those simpler habits and that sturdier character, which triumphed over Greeks and Orientals in the days of Philip and Alexander, and thus in the early warfare of the Christian Church the Macedonian phalanx offered a successful resistance to the assaults of an enemy, before which the lax and enervated ranks of Asia and Achaia had yielded ignominiously.

1 2 Cor. viii. 1-5.

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