LET every one who intends to read this article get his atlas and find the map of Greece. You will notice that about midway north and south, the country is cut nearly in two by the waters of the Agean and Ionian seas. The lower part is thus made a peninsula, which is joined to the mainland by a narrow isthmus, ten miles long, and from four to seven in width. On this neck of land was situated the celebrated city of Corinth, with its two seaports,—Cenchrea, some eight miles distant on the eastern coast, and Lechzeum, on the western coast, about a mile and a half away.

The situation of Corinth was one of the finest in all Greece. From its location we readily see that all the land traffic to and from the lower, peninsula, must necessarily have passed through Corinth. This, with the advantages of its two seaports, made it a very important commercial city.

The town was built on a high tableland just at the foot of Acrocorinthus, a mountain, which towered on the south, and overlooked the city spread along its northern base. This mountain rises 2,000 feet above the sea, and the ascent is so circuitous as to make the distance four miles. On the top was situated the citadel of the town, which is said to have been the strongest fortress in Greece. The sides of the mountain are so steep and precipitous that a few soldiers could hold the castle against a whole army.

The prospect from this height is said to be one of the finest in the world. Corinth was five miles in circumference, and where not sufficiently defended by nature, was fortified by a wall.

In the year 268 B. C., this city, then in the pride of its glory, was taken by the Goths, and the town and the citadel on Acrocorinthus were burned. The numerous statues with which, the sides of the mountain were studded, were melted by the fierce heat, and afterward formed the celebrated Corinthian brass. The town lay thus in ruins for one hundred years, when Julius Caesar had it built afresh, and peopled it with a Roman Colony. It soon became as rich and populous as ever; and as is almost always the case with people and empires, with plenty came pride, luxury, and corruption, until Corinth had the reputation of being the most dissolute city in Greece.

It had temples to Venus and Neptune, and other heathen deities. Some of these buildings were very magnificent. In the picture on this page is shown the splendid temple of Venus, adorned with armed statues of the goddess. It is surrounded by a row of massive pillars, and looks considerably like the Parthenon, or temple of Minerva, on the Acropolis at Athens. The magnificent open courts shown in the forefront of the picture are probably theaters for some of the numerous feats, wrestling matches, and contests, of which the Grecians were SO fond. The view here given is said to be a good representation of ancient Corinth as seen from Mount Acrocorinthus.

To the left of the temple may be seen the stadium, a place prepared for the national games and races, for- which Greece was so famous. These stadiums were common in nearly all Grecian cities, but that at Corinth was quite a famous one. An open space was laid out, generally from 600 to 700 feet long and one-third as wide, and rounded at one end. Around this was built a wall, but no roof covered it. On each side of the enclosure ran an ascent, or kind of terrace, covered with seats and benches, upon which were seated those who came to witness the games and races that were carried on in the center. At one end was the starting point; at the other, the goal. Opposite the goal, on one side, were the seats of the judges; and on the other, an altar for priestesses, the only women allowed to be present. The stadium was named from stadium, a Roman measure of 607 feet, which was originally the prescribed distance round every racecourse. Crowds attended these contests, among whom were the most distinguished men of the nation.

The city was still in the days of its prosperity, in A. D. 52, when the apostle Paul made the visit to Corinth recorded in Acts 18. Here he tarried for a year and a half, preaching to both Jews and Greeks the gospel of Jesus Christ, laboring with his hands, meanwhile, to support himself. He refound friends in Aquila and Priscilla, at whose house he made his home, and with whom he worked at the humble occupation of tent making. His preaching must have been somewhat successful; for we read that "many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed and were baptized." And at one time, when Paul was almost discouraged because of the treatment he had received from the Jews there, the Lord appeared to him in a night vision, and told him not to be afraid, but to speak boldly, and hold not his peace; "for," said the Lord, "I have much people in this city."

While at Corinth, Paul wrote the epistles to the Thessalonians, and during another visit there, the epistles to the Galatians and Romans. He seems to have felt a very tender and fatherly regard for these Corinthians. In the years 59 and 60 A. D., he wrote two letters, or epistles, to the church at Corinth, in which he once and again refers to his stay with them. It is interesting to notice how many figures of speech the apostle obtains from the habits and customs of these people with whom he was so long associated, and especially from the public games and contests which formed so important a feature in the social life of Corinth and other Grecian cities.

So in Hebrews 12:1 the Christian warrior is compared to one who takes part in the public foot races. The throng of spectators is the "so great a cloud of witnesses." As the athlete lays aside his clothes, and everything that would impede his swiftness, so must the Christian "lay aside every weight," and "run with patience the race that is set before" him. And in Philippians 3:13, Paul "presses toward the mark [the goal] for the prize [the victor's wreath] of the ‘high' calling of God in Christ Jesus." These are but a few of the beautiful figures, which will appear in Paul's writing, to those who care to trace them out.

The former glory of Corinth has passed away. There remains among the ancient ruins a poor little village called Gortho; but few signs of thrift or enterprise are to be seen. Only the Mount Acrocorinthus rises just as grandly as when it looked on the proud city at its feet, and still abundant on the shore are the small green pine-trees, which gave the fading wreath to the victors in the games. Those perishing crowns have passed away with the men who wore them; but the "incorruptible crown" of which Paul wrote unto the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 9:25),—that "crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge" will, give at the great day, is still laid up for all those who shall come off conquerors in "the race that is set before us."





E. B. G.







THE Athenian philosophers, and the strangers who met with them at the Areopagus, had a great love for the strange and marvelous, insomuch that they were said to spend all their leisure in telling or hearing some new thing. It was this curiosity that led them to invite Paul to speak to them. The courageous apostle gladly embraced this opportunity, 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. God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; neither is worshiped with men's hands, as though he needed anything! seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; and hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; that they should seek the Lord, if happily they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: for in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.

Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device.

And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent: because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead."

When Paul spoke of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked, but others said, "We will hear thee again of this matter." Then Paul went out from among them. His discourse, however, was not wholly fruitless; for some listened with candor, and believed his preaching. Among this number was Dionysius, the Areopagite, and a certain woman named Damaris.

On leaving Athens, Paul went to Corinth, where he found a certain Jew named Aquila, a man of Pontus by race, who, with his wife Priscilla, had lately come from Italy. These people had been driven hither by the command of the emperor Claudius, who had ordered all Jews to depart from Rome. These people were tent-makers; and because Paul was of the same trade, he remained with them, and joined in their occupation. Every Sabbath-day he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade both Jews and Greeks to turn fully to the Lord.

When Silas and Timotheus had come from Macedonia, and joined Paul, he was so deeply moved in spirit that he testified to the Jews boldly that Jesus was the Christ. But they, unwilling to receive his doctrine, opposed themselves and blasphemed. Then Paul shook his raiment, and said unto them, "Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean; from henceforth I will go to the Gentiles."

Paul now became the guest of one Justus, a good man whose house was near the synagogue. Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, also believed on the Lord, with all his house. Many more of the Corinthians who heard him believed, and were baptized. At this time, Paul was encouraged by a vision, in which the Lord said to him, "Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace; for I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee, for I have much people in this city." So Paul continued in that place six months, teaching the word of God among them. At one time when Gallio was proconsul of Achia, the Jews rose up against Paul, and brought him before the judgment seat, saying, "This man persuadeth men to worship God contrary to the law."

But as Paul was about to speak, Gallio refused to hear the case, saying that if it were a matter of wrong or wicked lewdness, it would be reasonable for him to bear with them; but since it was a question of mere words and names and of their law, he would have nothing to do with it. So he drove them away; but some of the Greeks were so filled with contempt for the conduct of the Jews, that they took Sosthenes, the chief ruler of the synagogue, and beat him before the judgment seat; while Gallio, being indifferent to the matter, allowed them to proceed.