how the Gauls would gather about any merchant or traveller
who came in their way, detaining him even against his will and
eagerly pressing him for news". A late Greek rhetorician com-
mends the Galatians as more keen and quicker of apprehension
than the genuine Greeks, adding that the moment they catch
sight of a philosopher, they cling to the skirts of his cloak, as
the steel does to the magnet”. It is chiefly however on the more
forbidding features of their character that contemporary writers
dwell. Fickleness is the term used to express their tempera-
ment”. This instability of character was the great difficulty
against which Caesar had to contend in his dealings with the
Gaul". He complains that they all with scarcely an exception
are impelled by the desire of change". Nor did they show
more constancy in the discharge of their religious, than of
their social obligations. The hearty zeal with which they em-
braced the Apostle's teaching followed by their rapid apostasy
is only an instance out of many of the reckless facility with
which they adopted and discarded one religious system after
another. To St Paul, who had had much bitter experience of
hollow professions and fickle purposes, this extraordinary levity
was yet a matter of unfeigned surprise.
‘that ye are changing so quickly".' He looked upon it as some
strange fascination. ‘Ye senseless Gauls, who did bewitch you'?"
The language in which Roman writers speak of the martial
courage of the Gauls, impetuous at the first onset but rapidly
melting in the heat of the fray”, well describes the short-lived

[ocr errors]

* Caesar Bell. Gall. iv. 5. * Themistius Or. xxiii. p. 299 A (referred to by Wetstein on Gal. i. 6) ol 38 divöpes tore &rt déets kal dyxivot kal souadéa repot rôv dyav'EANovovo kal 7p13aviou wapaq avévros éxxpéuavrai et). 60s & rep ris Atôov goñpta. * Bell. Gall. ii. 1 "Mobilitate et levitate animi"; comp. Tac. Germ. 29. * Bell. Gall. iv. 5 “Infirmitatem Gallorum veritus quod sunt in consiliis capiendis mobiles et novis plerumque rebus student, nihil his committendum

existimavit.” Comp. Motley United Netherlands III. p. 326, “As has already been depicted in these pages, the Celtic element had been more apt to receive than consistent to retain the generous impression which had once been stamped on all the Netherlands.”

* Ib. iii. Io 'Quum intelligeret om

... nes fere Gallos novis rebus studere.”

* Gal. i. 6.

7 Gal. iii. 1 0 divömrot Taxdral, rls topias €84akavev ;

* Livy x. 28 ‘Gallorum quidem etiam

Their fickleness.

prowess of these converts in the warfare of the Christian Church, 2. Equally important, in its relation to St Paul's epistle, is the type of religious worship which seems to have pervaded the Celtic nations. The Gauls are described as a superstitious people given over to ritual observances'. Nor is it perhaps a mere accident that the only Asiatic Gaul of whom history affords more than a passing glimpse, Deiotarus the client of Cicero, in his extravagant devotion to augury fully bears out the character ascribed to the parent race”. The colours in which contemporary writers have painted the religion of the primitive Gauls are dark and terrible enough. A gross superstition, appealing to the senses and the passions rather than to the heart and mind, enforcing rites of unexampled cruelty and demanding a slavish obedience to priestly authority, such is the picture with which we are familiar. It is unnecessary here to enquire how far the religious philosophy of the Druids involved a more spiritual creed”. The Druids were an exclusive caste with an esoteric doctrine, and it is with the popular worship that we are concerned. The point to be observed is that an outward material passionate religion had grown up among the Gauls, as their own creation, answering to some peculiar features of their character. Settled among the Phrygians they with their wonted facility adopted the religion of the subject people. The worship of Cybele with its wild ceremonial and hideous mutilations would naturally be attractive to the Gaulish mind. Its external rites were similar enough in their general character to those of the primitive Celtic religion to commend it to a people who had found satisfaction in the latter. And though we may suppose that the mystic element in the Phrygian worship, which appealed so powerfully to the Graeco-Asiatic, awoke no corresponding echo in the Gaul, still there was enough in the outward ritual with its passionate orgies to allure them. Then the Gospel was offered to them and the energy of the Apostle's preaching took and infect. their hearts by storm. But the old leaven still remained. The * pure and spiritual teaching of Christianity soon ceased to * satisfy them. Their religious temperament, fostered by long habit, prompted them to seek a system more external and ritualistic’. ‘Having begun in the Spirit, they would be made perfect in the flesh”. Such is the language of the Apostle rebuking this unnatural violation of the law of progress. At a later period in the history of the Church we find the Galatians still hankering after new forms of Christianity in the same spirit of ceaseless innovation, still looking for some “other gospel' which might better satisfy their cravings after a more passionate worship.

2. Their religious tendencies

passionate and ritualistic,

shown in
their hea-
then wor-

corpora intolerantissima laboris atque
aestus fluere; primaque eorum praelia
plusquam virorum, postrema minus
quam feminarum esse.’ Comp. Florus
ii. 4. To the same effect Caesar B. G.
iii. 19, and Polyb. ii. 35.
1 Caesar's words are, “Natio est om-
nis Gallorum admodum dedita religio-

nibus,” Bell. Gall. vi. 16; comp. Diod.
Sic. v. 27.
* Cicero de Div. i. 15, ii. 36, 37.
* The nobler aspect of the Druidical
system has been exaggerated. See the
remarks of M. de Pressensé, Trois Pre-
miers Siècles, ame série, 1. p. 52.

* Compare the language of a modern from the earliest ages had always been historian describing the western race so keenly alive to the more sensuous in a much later age; Motley Dutch and splendid manifestations of the deRepublic III. p. 26 “The stronger in- votional principle.’ fusion of the Celtic element, which * Gal. iii. 3.

[merged small][ocr errors]

What is meant by Galatia?

Considerations in favour of the Roman province.



N what sense do the sacred writers use the word Galatia 7 Has it an ethnographical or a political meaning 7 In other words, does it signify the comparatively small district occupied by the Gauls, Galatia properly so called, or the much larger territory included in the Roman province of the name This question must be answered before attempting to give an account of the Galatian Churches. Important consequences flow from the assumption that the term covers the wider area'. In that case it will comprise not only the towns of Derbe and Lystra”, but also, it would seem, Iconium and the Pisidian Antioch; and we shall then have in the narrative of St Luke” a full and detailed account of the founding of the Galatian Churches. Moreover the favourite disciple and most constant companion of the Apostle, Timotheus, was on this showing a Galatian"; and through him St Paul's communications with these Churches would be more or less close to the end of his life. It must be confessed too, that this view has much to recommend it at first sight. The Apostle's account of his hearty and enthusiastic welcome by the Galatians, as an angel of God", will have its counterpart in the impulsive warmth of the barbarians at Lystra, who would have sacrificed to him, imagining that ‘the Gods had come down in the like

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

ness of men’.” His references to “the temptations in the flesh,’ and ‘the marks of the Lord Jesus' branded on his body”, are then illustrated, or thought to be illustrated, by the persecutions and sufferings that “came unto him at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra*.’ The progress of Judaizing tendencies among the Galatians is then accounted for by the presence of a large Jewish element such as the history describes in these Churches of Lycaonia and Pisidia". Without stopping however to sift these supposed coinci- objections

dences, or insisting on the chronological and historical difficul- o ties which this view creates, there are many reasons which make it probable that the Galatia of St Paul and St Luke is not the Roman province of that name, but the land of the Gauls”. By writers speaking familiarly of the scenes in which they had themselves taken part, the term would naturally be used in its popular rather than in its formal and official sense. It would scarcely be more strange to speak of Pesth and Presburg, of Venice and Verona, as ‘the Austrian cities,' than to entitle the Christian brotherhoods of Derbe and Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, “the Churches of Galatia.' Again, analogy is strongly in favour of the popular use of the term". Mysia, Phrygia, Pisidia, are all “geographical expressions’ destitute of any political significance; and as they occur in the same parts of the narrative with Galatia", it seems fair to infer that the latter is similarly used. The direct transition for instance, which we find from Galatia to Phrygia, is only explicable if the two are kindred terms, both alike being used in a popular way. Moreover, St Luke distinctly calls Lystra and Derbe ‘cities of

visited the district.
* The case of ‘Asia' however is an

* Acts xiv. 11.
* Gal. iv. 14, vi. 17.

* 2 Tim. iii. 11.

* Acts xiii. 14, 43, 45, xiv. 1, xvi. 3.

* On the other hand in 1 Peter i. 1, where the enumeration seems to proceed by provinces, Galatia is probably used in its political sense. This is not unnatural in one who was writing from a distance, and perhaps had never

exception. The foundation of this pro-
vince dating very far back, its official
name had to a great extent superseded
the local designations of the districts
which it comprised. Hence Asia in the
New Testament is always Proconsular
7 Acts xiv. 24, xvi. 6–8, xviii. 23.

« 前へ次へ »