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Personal Testimony of A.A. Hodge

In Archibald Alexander Hodge, Princeton Theological Seminary on 18/01/2013 at 16:56

Browsing through an old periodical, I came across the following testimony by Archibald Alexander Hodge, son of Charles Hodge. I’m not sure if this testimony found its way into some other publication by A.A. Hodge, or otherwise where it came from. Perhaps some alert reader can let us know.

PERSONAL REASONS FOR BELIEVING CHRISTIANITY TO BE A REVELATION.

HodgeAABy Prof. A. A. Hodge, D.D., Theological Seminary, Princeton, N. J.

To the question, “Why do I personally believe Christianity to be a Revelation?” I would say:

1.     I recognize the obvious fact that my rational and moral intuitions, and the information they afford, are as valid as my sense perceptions and the discoveries they make of the material world. Personality, freedom, moral responsibility—the eternal, ultimate, universal, and supreme obligation of the Right, are to me the first and most sure of realities.

2.     The light of my own personality, will, intelligence, and conscience, cast upon external nature, and upon the human society which surrounds me, reveals God. He is manifested in the exercise of my own consciousness, and in the phenomena of external nature, as the invisible spirits of our fellow-men are visible in their persons and actions; and I spontaneously recognize Him as certainly as I recognize them. Intelligence, choice, and, therefore, personality, are everywhere visible in the successions of external nature; and the presence of a presiding moral personality is witnessed to by the sense of responsibility and of guilt never absent from my own consciousness. To the extent to which science renders nature intelligible is the latter proved to be the product of an ever-present and acting intelligence. This God is discerned to be immanent in the external and internal world, as distributed through space and time, just as clearly as the phenomena themselves through the medium of which He is manifested. At the same time, He is just as clearly and as certainly discerned as a moral and providential Governor objective to ourselves, transcending all phenomena, and speaking to us, and acting upon us from without.

3.      As thus revealed, it is evident that this God has created me in His own image. Instincts, also, which cannot be denied, testify that He is my Father. As a child of God, unassuagable instinct cries for union with Him. As a subject of His moral government, I know myself to be justly exposed to His wrath because of sin, and that I must have a Mediator to make my peace, else I die. His treatment of the race historically, and of me personally, affords strong presumption that He will sometime reveal Himself to me, and redeem me from the ruin effected by my sin.

4.     I was born in a Christian family, and in a Christian Church. Parents and friends lived before me from the beginning lives which, in strong contrast with the character of the surrounding community, were unmistakably supernatural. Through the subsequent years, I have seen innumerable individuals of many nationalities whose lives and deaths, in spite of all inconsistencies, possessed the same supernatural character. All these referred the mystery of their lives to the facts of an Incarnation of God eighteen hundred years ago, and to the subsequent indwelling of a Divine Person in their hearts. The history of this stupendous event, and the promise of this indwelling, I found recorded in a Book, itself giving, whenever and wherever believingly received, equal evidence of supernatural origin and power.

5.     The Bible and the Church thus present me with Christ. I find His person, life, words, death, and resurrection, and the consequence thereof, to be, when accepted as intended by the evangelists, the key which gives unity to all history, or, on the contrary, when not so understood, an infinite anomaly, neither to be reasoned away, nor explained. The very God immanent in nature und in conscience is revealed in this Christ with a satisfying completeness, solving all problems, and satisfying all needs—expiating human  guilt, sanctifying human life, reconciling the Moral Governor to His sinful subject, and uniting the Heavenly Father to His child.

6.     This objective revelation of Christ in the Bible and in the Church, once accepted as genuine many years ago, has ever since been developed and strengthened in my consciousness, by a religious experience, which, however imperfect, has proved continuous, progressive, and practically real, to this day—a power in my life as well as a light in my sky.

7.     This confidence grows more entirely satisfying through every renewed examination I am able to make of the historical monuments by which the fundamental facts of Christianity are certified. The authenticity of the records, the definite certainty of the facts, the miracles wrought, and the prophecies fulfilled, are among the best established events in history. If these be denied, there will be nothing left of which we can be sure. The supernatural birth, life, death, and resurrection of the God-man, and the miraculous growth of the early Church are all to me certainties, implicated in all rational views of the past or present state of mankind.

8.     This is corroborated by all I have learned, as for years the pupil of Joseph Henry, of the genuine results and tendencies of modern science. Instead of stumbling at special and transient collisions, I have seen it to be true, as in all other healthy, open-eyed vision, that the worlds of matter and spirit, and the revolutions of Scripture and science gloriously supplement and interpret each other. As the body is organized to the uses of the spirit, and the shrine to its resident divinity, so science is evermore unveiling the Temple which none other than the Triune God of Christianity can fill with His presence and crown with His glory.

9.     The conviction of the truth of Christianity is greatly confirmed by the violent contrasts afforded by all other religions, by the miserable failures the best of them achieve; in their historical records; in their representations of God, of nature, and of man; in their provisions for the needs of the human reason, conscience, or affection; in the relation of their cosmogonies to the results of modern science; and in their influence upon human character and life, individual and collective.

10.     Finally, my satisfaction with Christianity is consummated by the sorry plight presented by all the various parties who deny its truth, or rebel from its authority. Uncertain, inconsistent, inharmonious, instable, unfruitful, they take refuge in negations, and nowhere dare confront Christianity with positive, coherent counterpositions of creed, of evidence, or of practical results.—Ex.

[excerpted from The Pulpit Treasury, vol. 3, no. 8 (October 1885): 371-373.]

Three New Books on Princeton Seminary, Part 3

In Archibald Alexander Hodge, Benjamin B. Warfield, Charles Hodge, Francis Landey Patton, J. Gresham Machen, Princeton Theological Seminary, Samuel Miller on 03/05/2012 at 11:22

The last of these three new books published in commemoration of the 200h anniversary of the founding of the Princeton Theological Seminary is also edited by Dr. James M. Garretson. It is titled Past0r-Teachers of old Princeton. That title by itself might be a little misleading, but the subtitle spells out more clearly the book’s content : Memorial Addresses for the Faculty of Princeton Theological Seminary, 1812-1921. Obviously that 1921 date takes the content up through the death of Dr. Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield, and even the title evokes Machen’s comment on the death of Warfield, that “old Princeton had died.”
Where some the content found in the first two volumes might be found elsewhere, these funeral addresses and obituaries provide rich biographical reading that hasn’t been readily available until now. On a more minor note, Pastor-Teachers of old Princeton appears to have gone to the printer first, before the other two volumes, judging from dates found in the prefaces. That would then explain why this volume lacks the birth and death dates as a feature in the table of contents. The addition of those dates is a nice feature which must have been a subsequent improvement.  I’ve added those dates for your reference, below.

Contents :
Preface
“Mark the Perfect Man,” by Charles Hodge [an obituary upon the death of a Princeton student, age 22].
Introduction, by Dr. James M. Garretson
ARCHIBALD ALEXANDER [1771-1851]
• “A Sermon on the Death of Dr. Archibald Alexander,” by the Rev. John Hall.
• “Archibald Alexander, D.D.,” Address by William M. Paxton.
• “The Life of Archibald Alexander,” A Review by Charles Hodge.
SAMUEL MILLER [1769-1850]
• “Funeral Sermon Occasioned by the Death of the Rev. Dr. Samuel Miller,” by Rev. Dr. Archibald Alexander.
• “A Discourse Commemorative of the Life of the Late Rev. Samuel Miller, D.D. of Princeton, N.J.,” by the Rev. H.A. Boardman.
• “Brief Biographical Notice of Dr. Miller.”
• “A Discourse Commemorative of the Rev. Samuel Miller, D.D., Late Professor in the Theological Seminary at Princeton,” by William B. Sprague.
• “The Life of Samuel Miller; A Review.”
JAMES WADDELL ALEXANDER [1804-1859]
• “He Preached Christ,” A Sermon by the Rev. Charles Hodge.
• “Remember These Things” A Sermon by the Rev. John Hall.
• “James Waddell Alexander” An Address by Theodore L. Cuyler.
JOSEPH ADDISON ALEXANDER [1809-1860]
• “Obsequies of Dr. J. Addison Alexander” by the Rev. John Hall.
• “Joseph Addison Alexander, D.D.” Address by William C. Cattell.
• “The Life of Joseph Addison Alexander, D.D.,” A Review.
CHARLES HODGE [1797-1878]
• “Address” by William M. Paxton.
• “A Tribute” by Charles A. Aiken.
• “Memorial Discourse” by Henry A. Boardman.
• “Minute Adopted by the Board of Directors.”
• “A Discourse Commemorative of the Late Dr. Charles Hodge” by Lyman A. Atwater.
• “The Life of Charles Hodge,” A Review by Francis L. Patton.
HENRY AUGUSTUS BOARDMAN [1808-1880]
• “Funeral Address” by A. A. Hodge.
• “Commemorative Sermon” by John De Witt.
ARCHIBALD ALEXANDER HODGE [1823-1886]
• “Address Delivered at the Funeral of Archibald Alexander Hodge” by William M. Paxton.
• “A Discourse in Memory of Archibald Alexander Hodge” by Francis L. Patton.
ALEXANDER TAGGART M’GILL [1807-1889]
• “Address at the Funeral of Rev. Alexander Taggart M’Gill” by W. Henry Green.
JAMES CLEMENT MOFFAT [1811-1890]
• “In Memoriam”
• “A Memorial Address” by W. Henry Green.
• “Memorial Tablet to Dr. James C. Moffat, D.D.” by John De Witt.
CASPAR WISTAR HODGE [1830-1891]
• “A Memorial Address” by Francis L. Patton.
WILLIAM HENRY GREEN [1825-1900]
• “The Life and Work of William Henry Green: A Commemorative Address” by John D. Davies.
WILLIAM MILLER PAXTON [1824-1904]
• “Discourse at the Funeral Service of William M. Paxton” by John De Witt.
• “A Memorial Discourse” by Benjamin B. Warfield.
BENJAMIN BRECKINRIDGE WARFIELD [1851-1921]
• “Obituary,” Princeton Theological Review, April 1921.
• “A Memorial Address” by Francis L. Patton.
Index, pp. 553-565.

Three New Books on Princeton Seminary, Part 2

In Archibald Alexander Hodge, Benjamin B. Warfield, Charles Hodge, J. Gresham Machen, Princeton Theological Seminary on 03/05/2012 at 11:14

Volume 2 of the 2 volume set, Princeton and the Christian Ministry, selected and edited by Dr. James M. Garretson. Published by the Banner of Truth Trust, 2012, in commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the Princeton Theological Seminary. The set is subtitled, A Collection of Addresses, Essays, and Articles by Faculty and Friends of Princeton Theological Seminary.

Contents :
ASHBEL GREEN [1762-1848]
• “Address to the Students.”
• “Christ Crucified the Characteristic of Apostolic Preaching.”
GARDINER SPRING [1785-1873]
• “An Address to the Students.”
J. W. ALEXANDER [1804-1859]
• “The Lord Jesus Christ the Example of the Minister.”
• “Considerations on Foreign Missions Addressed to Candidates for the Holy Ministry.”
• “The History of Catechising.
WILLIAM S. PLUMER [1802-1880]
• “The Scripture Doctrine of a Call to the Work of the Gospel Ministry.”
CHARLES HODGE [1797-1878]
• “The Character Traits of the Gospel Minister.”
• “On the Necessity of a Knowledge of the Original Languages of the Scriptures.”
• “Review of Sprague’s Lectures to Young People.”
• “The Nature of the Atonement.”
• “The Teaching Office of the Church.”
• “Are There Too Many Ministers?”
• “What Is Presbyterianism?”
• “Preaching the Gospel to the Poor.”
• “A Discourse Delivered at the Re-opening of the Chapel.”
• “Faith in Christ the Source of Life.”
• “Christianity without Christ.”
NICHOLAS MURRAY [1802-1889]
• “The Ministry We Need.”
ALEXANDER T. M’GILL [1807-1889]
• “Practical Theology.”
WILLIAM M. PAXTON [1824-1904]
• “The Ministry for this Age.”
• “The Church, the Preacher, the Pastor—the Instruments of God’s Salvation.”
• “The Call to the Ministry.”
A. A. HODGE [1823-1886]
• “Dogmatic Christianity, the Essential Ground of Practical Christianity.”
B. B. WARFIELD [1851-1921]
• “Our Seminary Curriculum.”
• “The Purpose of the Seminary.”
• “The Religious Life of Theological Students.”
• “Spiritual Culture in the Theological Seminary.”
• “The Significance of the Westminster Standards as a Creed.”
• “The Idea of Systematic Theology Considered as a Science.”
• “The Indispensableness of Systematic Theology to the Preacher.”
• “The Christ that Paul Preached.”
• “Authority, Intellect, Heart.”
• “What is Calvinism?”
J. GRESHAM MACHEN [18881-1937]
• “Christianity and Culture.”
• “Liberalism or Christianity.”
GEERHARDUS VOS [1862-1949]
• “The More Excellent Ministry.”
MAITLAND ALEXANDER [1867-1940]
• “The Charge.”
CASPAR WISTAR HODGE, JR. [1870-1937]
• “The Significance of the Reformed Theology Today.”

Three New Books on Princeton Seminary

In Archibald Alexander Hodge, Princeton Theological Seminary, Samuel Miller on 02/05/2012 at 19:53

This being the 200th anniversary of the founding of the Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, New Jersey, the Banner of Truth Trust has just published three new books in commemoration of the occasion.

Thanks to a very kind donor in Pennsylvania, we are able to add these new titles to the research library at the PCA Historical Center. As we are only today accessioning the books, I haven’t had time to look them over, so won’t offer a review at this time. But I can provide a look at the table of contents for each book. Dr. James M. Garretson serves as compiler and editor of all three of these books, providing introductions and biographical sketches as well. The first two volumes form a set addressing the subject of Princeton and the Work of the Christian Ministry. The third volume, Pastor-Teachers of old Princeton, is a gathering of “memorial addresses for the faculty of Princeton Theological Seminary, 1812-1921.

Princeton and the Work of the Christian Ministry.
Contents of Volume 1

Foreword by Dr. David B. Calhoun
Preface and Introduction by Dr. James M. Garretson
I. REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS PAST
• “A Golden Jubilee: A Discourse Addressed to the Alumni of the Seminary,” by William Buell Sprague.
• “A Brief History of Princeton Theological Seminary,” by Samuel Miller.
II. INAUGURAL ADDRESSES AT THE OPENING OF THE SEMINARY
• “The Duty of the Church: The Sermon Delivered at the Inauguration of Rev. Archibald Alexander as Professor of Didactic and Polemic Theology,” by Samuel Miller.
• “An Inaugural Discourse,” by Archibald Alexander.
• “A Charge to the Professor and Students of Divinity,” by Philip Milledoler.
III. ARCHIBALD ALEXANDER [1771-1851]
• “Preface to the Memoirs of Thomas Halyburton.”
• “On the Nature of Vital Piety: Introductory Essay to Advice to a Young Christian.”
• “Evidences of a New Heart.”
• “The Cure of Souls: Introduction to Pastoral Reminiscences.”
• “Pastoral Fidelity and Diligence: Review of Gildas Salvianus; or, The Reformed Pastor.”
• The Character of the Genuine Theologian.”
• “On the Importance of Aiming at Eminent Piety.”
• “Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth.”
• “The Pastoral Office.”
• “Thoughts on the Education of Pious and Indigent Candidates for the Ministry.”
• “A Missionary Sermon.”
• “Christ in the Midst: Address at the Dedication of a New Church Building.”
• “Lectures on the Shorter Catechism: A Review.”
• “The Duty of Catechetical Instruction.”
• “Suggestions in Vindication of Sunday Schools.”
• “The Use and Abuse of Books.”
IV. SAMUEL MILLER [1769-1850]
• “The Force of Truth: Recommendatory Letter for The Force of Truth: An Authentic Narrative.”
• “The Life of M’Cheyne: An Introductory Letter to The Memoir and Remains of R.M. M’Cheyne.”
• “The Difficulties and Temptations which Amend the Preaching of the Gospel in Great Cities.”
• “A Sermon on the Work of Evangelists and Missionaries.”
• “A Sermon on the Public Worship of God.”
• “Christian Weapons Not Carnal But Spiritual.”
• “The Importance of the Gospel Ministry.”
• “The Importance of Mature Preparatory Study for the Ministry.”
• “Holding Fast the Faithful Word.”
• “A Plea for an Enlarged Ministry.”
• “Christ The Model of Gospel Ministers.”
• “The Sacred Office Magnified.”
• “Ecclesiastical Polity.”
• “The Duty, Benefits, and Proper Method of Religious Fasting.”
• “Revivals of Religion.” (Parts 1 & 2)
• “Christian Education.”

To keep our posts short, I’ll post the contents of the other two volumes in separate entries tomorrow. These look like great compilations of some very valuable material. Some of these sermons and addresses may be available in digital format on the Internet and elsewhere, but much of the content is otherwise unavailable. Besides, who doesn’t prefer the convenience and ready access of a good book?

A Very Insightful Comment from A.A. Hodge (1877)

In Archibald Alexander Hodge on 30/06/2009 at 23:05

“From the Reformation, for two hundred years, these principles stood in antagonism to absolutism of hierarchy in the Church, and of personal government in the State.  In modern times the conditions are materially changed, and a triangular contest has been inaugurated between Presbyterian principles of human equality subject to divine sovereignty, and of liberty under the supremacy of the written Word, at the apex, and the ancient foe of absolutism and the modern foe of license at the opposite angles. . .”

“. . .But the pre-eminent characteristic of modern times is the tendency in various degrees among all peoples of European descent to carry the reaction against authority inaugurated at the Reformation to the destructive extreme of license.  The insurrection of reason against traditional superstitions and the usurped authority of the hierarchy, has been succeeded by the illegitimate insurrection of reason against all supernatural revelation and spiritual illumination.  Rebellion against absolutism in civil government has been perverted by anarchical and anti-social principles, and been succeeded by the assertion of independence [from] the authority of God.”

[excerpted from “Adaptation of Presbyterianism to the Wants and Tendencies of the Day,” by A.A. Hodge, in Report of the Proceedings of the First General Presbyterian Council, Convened at Edinburgh, July 1877.  Edinburgh: Thomas and Archibald Constable, 1877.  Page 58.]