Charles Hodge

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The Last of An Amazing Family

Has there every been an equal to one family name serving the same educational institution in the history of American Christianity? We would be hard pressed to find a similar example to the Hodge family at Princeton Theological Seminary.

First, there was Charles Hodge, serving the Lord as a professor from 1820–1878. There is fifty-eight years of continuous service, preparing ministers for the gospel ministry. His “Systematic Theology” has stood the test of time as being the greatest exposition of Reformed theology in America.

Charles Hodge had eight children, including two sons who also taught at Princeton Seminary. Caspar Wistar Hodge taught from 1860 to 1891, while Archibald Alexander Hodge taught from 1877–1886. Both carried on the line of the family name, but more importantly, carried on the same committed to the infallible Word of God as summarized up in the Westminster Standards.

The grandson of Charles Hodge, and son of Caspar Wistar Hodge, was Caspar Wistar Hodge, Jr. He was born this day, September 22, 1870, in Princeton, New Jersey. Studies at Princeton College, the Seminary, and oversees school at the Universities of Heidelberg and Berlin, this grandson of Charles Hodge taught on the collegiate level at Princeton and Lafayette. It was noted that he had a deep Christian spirit and a breadth of learning and scholarship in those assignments.

It was no wonder that he was asked then by the Board of Directors to take over the Chair of Systematic Theology to which his immediate family had made so much a blessing to students down the ages. His inauguration to that post took place on October 11, 1921. It seemed fitting that the grandson of Archibald Alexander, Maitland Alexander, who was the president of the Board of Directors of Princeton, be the one who gave the charge.

This second decade of the twentieth century was a challenging one, in that, at the end of the decade, Princeton Seminary would suffer the loss of both J. Gresham Machen and Robert Dick Wilson. The former would grieve over the fact that Caspar Hodge would stay on at the faculty of Princeton, after the board was reorganized to allow two signers of the infamous Auburn Affirmation to sit on it. Yet, while Caspar Hodge did stay on, his heart was at Westminster Seminary, in that time and time again, he would send financial contributions to the new seminary. Further, he spoke of the fact that he would openly defend the name of Dr. Machen in conversations, sometimes with heated exchanges. He would go to be the Lord in 1937, having spend thirty-six years at Princeton Seminary, and the last of the famous Hodge family to be associated with this school.

Words to live by:
Doctrinally, this last of the Hodge line at Princeton Seminary was in complete agreement with every other Hodge family of professors, that is, adherence to the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, as well as adopting the Reformed faith of the Westminster Standards. It is to be both a prayer request as well as a praise item that the message of the gospel goes on through generations. Let us commit ourselves to the family and its spiritual growth in the things of the Lord.

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Charles Hodge enters into eternity

Hodge’s death came on this day, June 19, in 1878. Then early in July of that same year on the pages of The Christian Observer, this brief note appeared under the title, “Calvinism and Piety,” :

The Christian Union, which has no friendship for Calvinism, closes its article on the death of Dr. Hodge, as follows:

Dr. Hodge, who was the foremost of the old Calvinists in this country, was, in character, one of the sweetest, gentlest and most lovable of men. His face was itself a benediction. We doubt whether he had any other than a theological enemy in the world. Curiously too, the peculiar tenets of his theology were reserved for the class-room and for philosophical writings. In the pulpit he preached a simple and unsectarian gospel; his favorite texts were such as “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved;” and his sermons were such as the most successful missionaries delight to preach in foreign lands. In Princeton he is regarded as without peer in the conduct of the prayer meeting. His piety was as deep and as genuine as his learning was varied and profound. The system of theology of which he was the ablest American representative seems to us, in some points, foreign to the teaching of the New Testament, but the life and personality of the man were luminous with the spirit of an indwelling Christ.

Words to Live By: May we all—those of us who name the name of Christ and who also claim that same biblical faith commonly called Calvinism—so find our maturity in Christ as to live in a similar way, luminous with the spirit of the indwelling Christ, pointing all men and women to the only Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

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Excerpted from The Christian Observer 51.14 (3 April 1872): 4.3.

The Semi Centenary of Dr. Hodge.

hodgeCharles_grayThe completion of the fiftieth year of the professorship of Rev. Charles Hodge, D.D., will be celebrated in Princeton, N.J. on Wednesday, the 24th of April. All friends and former students of Princeton Theological Seminary, and the public generally are invited to be present. The exercises will begin at 11 A.M., with an address by the Rev. Joseph T. Dwyer, D.D., of Brooklyn, N.Y. This will be followed by a meeting of the alumni and the organization of an alumni association after which will be an alumni dinner. In the evening a public reception will be given at the house of Dr. Hodge, and the seminary buildings will be illuminated.

The following resolution in relation to this subject was adopted at a meeting of the alumni of the seminary last June:

Resolved, That the proposed celebration of the semi-centennial of Dr. Hodge meets our hearty concurrence, and we cordially unite with the Directors in inviting the friends and former students of the seminary to meet for this purpose in Princeton, on Wednesday, April 24, 1872; and that this invitation be very particularly extended to all our brethren in different Christian denominations, and in every section of our country, as well as in foreign lands, who have received their education where in whole or in part. And we express the earnest hope that the hallowed memories of the past, personal attachments, and local and literary associations with this cherished spot, may be permitted to overcome the long and wide separation of time and place,e and ecclesiastical organization, so that we may all upon this glad occasion gather around the instructor whom we all love and revere, a band of brethren, cemented in Christian love, renewing and pledging a mutual confidence and affection which nothing in the past shall be suffered to dim or to obliterate, and nothing in the future shall be permitted to disturb.

Words to Live By:
What made Charles Hodge great? Why is he so well remembered by Presbyterian historians and others? Certainly he was not without his flaws. But what made him great? Was it native intelligence? Was he simply smarter than most others? Or was it his steadfast adherence to the orthodox tenets of the Reformed faith? Clearly that was in his favor. But in the end, it is the Lord who gifts, empowers and uses men and women as He sovereignly moves history ahead according to His great plan. Time and again the Lord raises up the right people at the right time and in the right place to accomplish His will. Our place is to be faithful, doing the will of God as discovered in His Word. If we are to be greatly used in the Lord’s kingdom, He will bring that to pass in His time. We praise God for how He used Hodge, but the glory for all that Hodge accomplished belongs to the Lord and not to Hodge.

 

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STUDIES IN THE WESTMINSTER SHORTER CATECHISM
by Rev. Leonard T. Van Horn

Q. 11. — What are God’s works of providence?

A. — God’s works of providence are, his most holy, wise, and powerful preserving and governing all his creatures, and all their actions.

Scripture References: Ps. 145:17; Ps. 104:24; Heb. 1:3; Ps. 103:19; Matt. 10:29, 30.

Questions:

1.
What is the meaning of the word “providence?”

The meaning of the word providence is that of care, the ability to foresee what is coming and to make provision for it.

2. What are the parts of God’s providence?

The parts of God’s providence are: 1. His preservation of things (Ps. 36:6). 2. His government of things (Ps. 67:4).

3. How does creation and providence differ?

Dr. Charles Hodge states, “Creation, preservation, and government are in fact different, and to identify them leads not only to confusion but to error. Creation and preservation differ – first, as the former is the calling into existence of what did not exist, and the latter is continuing, or causing to continue, what already has a being; and secondly, in creation there is and can be no cooperation, but in preservation there is a concursus (harmonious cooperation) of the first, with second causes. In the Bible, therefore, the two things are never confounded. God created all things, and by Him all things consist.” (Systematic Theology, Vol. 1, Pg. 578)

4. To what does God’s providence extend?

a. All His creatures, especially His children.
b. The actions of His creatures.

5. Does His providence extend to all the actions of His creatures?

Yes, it extends to all actions. To hold otherwise would be to say that the creatures would be independent in their actions and then God would not be the first cause of all things.

6. If providence includes all actions of men, does this mean the sinful actions as well as the good actions?

Yes, even the sinful actions of men are controlled by God’s providence but this does not make Him responsible for their actions. God permits men to sin (Acts 14:16). God limits and restrains men in their sins (Ps. 76:10). God directs and disposes men’s sins to good ends. beyond their own intentions (Isa. 10:5,6,7)

7. What is the purpose of God’s providence?

The purpose of God’s providence is the manifesting of God’s own glory.

THE PROVIDENCE OF GOD AND THE WORD
In Article 13 of the Belgic Confession, its section on Divine Providence, there appears the following words, ” … to learn only those things which He has revealed to us in His Word, without transgressing these limits.”

There has always been a danger in the church of Jesus Christ to become confused as to the doctrine of providence. Some believers in Christ, recognizing that God is Sovereign and convinced of His preserving and governing powers, take it to mean that they should wait on the providence of God to discover their duty. They forget that the providence of God shows us the path of God and does not point out our path. They forget that our rule of faith and practice is the Word of God, not His purpose fulfilled in a providence. Goodwin stated it this way: “We are not to go in businesses merely by providences, for we shall find that oftentimes providences do lay fair occasions for sinning. When Jonah was to go to Tarshlsh, he had the fairest providences that could be; he found a ship all ready; ay, but he went against the word of God. Never be ruled by providences, they may be temptations and probations; be ruled by The Word of God alone.”

Indeed we are “to learn only those things which He has revealed to us in His Word.” We are not to get involved in the non-Christian conceptions of chance. It should be quite significant to the Christian that even Hitler mouthed the word “providence” many times. We recognize though with Berkouwer that “no one can believe in the Providence of God without knowing the way to God through Jesus Christ.” But we are to further recognize that the ways in which we walk will be ways that must be consistent with The Word of God. We must not wait on providence to lead us but recognize that God’s revelation has come to us through His Word.

The Providence of God affords us great comfort. It tells us that God directs us. It tells us that He watches over us. It tells us that He restrains us. But all these things are done within the limits of The Word of God and are not the ruling factors in our lives but the great thought behind our actions, actions taken according to His Word – i.e. that God is always in control of His world.

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hodgeCasparJrDr. Caspar Wistar Hodge, who had served as the Charles Hodge Professor of Systematic Theology in the Princeton Theological Seminary since 1921, died on Friday morning, February 26, 1937, in the Princeton Hospital, of pneumonia. He had been ill for about one week, and died at the age of sixty-six years.

Dr. Hodge was a member of a family closely connected with the Princeton Theological Seminary for more than 100 years. His father, Dr. Caspar Wistar Hodge and his grandfather, Dr. Charles Hodge, as well as his great-uncle, Dr. Archibald Alexander Hodge, had all been members, like himself, of the seminary faculty.

Dr. Hodge was born at Princeton on September 22, 1870. He graduated from Princeton University in 1892, and after further studies received from that school the degree of Ph.D. in 1894. After a year of study abroad at the Universities of Heidelberg and Berlin, he returned to Princeton in 1895, taking the post of instructor in Philosophy in the College. Dr. Hodge remained in that position for two years, going then to Lafayette College as associate professor of Ethics for one year. Thereafter he entered Princeton Seminary to study for the ministry.

Upon graduation from the Seminary in 1901, he was ordained a minister and remained at the Seminary as an instructor in Systematic Theology. After six years he was made assistant professor of Dogmatic Theology, and eight years later professor in the same department, from which he was transferred in 1921 to the Charles Hodge professorship.

Dr. Hodge was well known as a writer on Biblical and theological studies, as a contributor to religious periodicals in America and in Scotland, and as an editor and contributor for several published books.

In 1897, Dr. Hodge married Miss Sarah Henry, of Princeton. He was survived by one daughter, Mrs. Carl H. Ernlund, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, and a sister, Miss Madeline Hodge. Funeral services were held in the Miller Chapel of the Seminary at Princeton on Monday morning, March 1, 1937.

For Further Study:
The Significance of the Reformed Faith Today,” by C. W. Hodge, Jr., is a brilliant analysis of what is termed the new theology, in contrast with the old theology.
[This PDF is a close reproduction of a typescript found among the Papers of Dr. Robert Dick Wilson. The typescript is undated, but Dr. Hodge’s opening comments, particularly his reference to the recent death of Dr. B.B. Warfield, dates the paper to 1921 when Dr. Hodge was installed as Charles Hodge Professor of Systematic Theology.

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So very long ago, when Dr. Charles Hodge was still a rather young man, he brought his inaugural lecture on the campus of Princeton Theological Seminary, on this day, November 7, in 1828. We will not reproduce the whole of his lecture here, but only his concluding remarks. To read the entire lecture, click the embedded link in the title. [emphasis has been added in the text below.]


INTRODUCTORY LECTURE. DELIVERED IN THE THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY, PRINCETON, N.J. NOV. 7, 1828.

BY CHARLES HODGE.

. . .

Now, brethren, if these things be so, if a man’s religious opinions are the result and expression of his religious feelings, if heterodoxy be the consequence rather than the cause of the loss of piety, then “keep your heads with all diligence, for out of them are the issues of life.” Remember that it is only in God’s light that you can see light. That holiness is essential to correct knowledge of divine things, and the great security from error. And as you see, that when men lose the life of religion, they can believe the most monstrous doctrines, and glory in them; and that when the clergy once fall into such errors, generations perish before the slow course of reviving piety brings back the truth; “what manner of men ought you to be in all holy conversation and godliness.” Not only then for your own sake, but for the sake of your children, and your children’s children, forsake not your God; who is our God, because he was the God of our fathers. The fate of future ages, rests with every present generation.

Again, beware of any course of life or study, which has a tendency to harden your hearts, and deaden the delicate sensibility of the soul to moral truth and beauty. There are two ways in which this may be done, a course of sin, and indulgence in metaphysical speculations on divine things. The reason, why such speculations produce this effect, is, that the views of truth thus taken are not of its moral nature, and of course produce no moral feeling, but the reverse. Let a man, when contemplating the grandeur of alpine scenery, begin to examine the structure of the mountains, and study their geological character; what becomes of his emotions of sublimity? Thus also religious truth, viewed, in the general, produces devotion; metaphysically analyzed it destroys it. Where is our reverence and awe of God, while prying into his essence or scrutinizing His attributes? Where are our feelings of penitence, when dis­puting on the origin of evil? Our sense of responsibility when discussing free-will and dependence?  That it may be neces­sary to attend to these subjects, and get as far as possible definite ideas respecting them, no one will deny; but when our habitual views of truth, are of this nature, there is an end of all feeling on the subject. There is another remark, which may here be made. When a man prefers examining the geological structure of a mountainous region, to the contemplation of its grandeur; he only prefers the acquisition of knowledge to the enjoyment of an elevating emotion; but as the objects of his examination are external, and have no connexion with the emotions of his mind, his insensibility is no obstacle to his progress. But with regard to moral subjects the case is far different; the feelings destroyed by metaphysical investigation, are the very objects to be investigated, for their moral quality is their essence. If this be weakened or destroyed, there is nothing left; and a man in this state is no more qualified to speak on these subjects, than the deaf to discourse on music. This is the reason that metaphysicians so often advance doctrines, which the whole world know to be false, because they contradict the strongest moral feelings of the soul. Will the mass of pious people ever be brought to believe, that God is the author of sin?; that man is not free, and consequently not accountable?; that sin is not a moral evil, but mere imperfect development?; or the still more horrible opinion, that God himself, is merely the blind instinctive principle, which animates and constitutes the universe, of which neither moral nor intellec­tual qualities can be predicated? Yet metaphysicians teach all these doctrines. Look around you, brethren, and see if these things be not so. As far as my observation extends, it is the uniform tendency of such speculations to deaden the moral sensibility of the soul. Beware then of unhal­lowed speculations on sacred subjects. Bring all your doc­trines to the test of God’s word and of holiness. Go with your new opinions to the aged children of God, who have spent years in close communion with the Father of lights. Propose to them your novel doctrines, should they shock their feelings, depend upon it, they are false and dangerous. The approbation of an experienced Christian of any purely religious opinion is worth more, than that of any merely learned theologian upon earth.

Finally, lean not to your own understanding. If there be any declaration of the Bible, confirmed by the history of the church, and especially by the recent history of European churches, it is that “he that leaneth to his own understanding is a fool.” When men forsake the word of God, and profess to be wise above that which is written, they inevitably and universally lose themselves in vain speculations. Look at the state of things, when every man is following the light of his own reason. Each boasts that he alone has the truth, and yet each is often a miracle of folly to every man but himself. True, such men are often men of great intellect; but can mere intellect perceive moral truth? Can man by wisdom find out God ? Can he find out the Almighty unto perfection? No man knoweth the Father but the Son and he to whom the Son shall reveal him. Submit yourselves, therefore, to the teaching of him, in whom “are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge,” It is only when thus taught, that you will be able to teach others also.

One word more-—keep as you would your hold on heaven your reverence for Jesus Christ. Reverence for the Re­deemer of sinners, is the very last feeling which deserts a falling Christian, or a sinking church. When all other evi­dence, and all other arguments for the Bible had lost their force, this solitary feeling has held up the soul from sinking into infidelity and thence into perdition. When this is lost, all is lost. The soul that is insensible to the glory of the Son of God, is “as a tree twice dead and plucked up by the roots.”

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Charles Hodge enters into eternity

hodgeCharles_grayEarly in July of 1878, on the pages of The Christian Observer,this brief note appeared under the title, “Calvinism and Piety,” :

The Christian Union, which has no friendship for Calvinism, closes its article on the death of Dr. Hodge, as follows:

“Dr. Hodge, who was the foremost of the old Calvinists in this country, was, in character, one of the sweetest, gentlest and most lovable of men. His face was itself a benediction. We doubt whether he had any other than a theological enemy in the world. Curiously too, the peculiar tenets of his theology were reserved for the class-room and for philosophical writings. In the pulpit he preached a simple and unsectarian gospel; his favorite texts were such as “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved;” and his sermons were such as the most successful missionaries delight to preach in foreign lands. In Princeton he is regarded as without peer in the conduct of the prayer meeting. His piety was as deep and as genuine as his learning was varied and profound. The system of theology of which he was the ablest American representative seems to us, in some points, foreign to the teaching of the New Testament, but the life and personality of the man were luminous with the spirit of an indwelling Christ.”

Words to Live By: May we all—those of us who name the name of Christ and who also claim that same biblical faith commonly called Calvinism—so find our maturity in Christ as to live in a similar way, luminous with the spirit of the indwelling Christ, pointing all men and women to the only Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

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In Following the Lord, He Followed His Brothers

Rev. Francis Blanchard Hodge [1838-1905]Francis Blanchard Hodge was the seventh child of Dr. Charles Hodge and his wife Sarah, and was born on October 24, 1838, the year after the schism of the Old and New School Presbyterians and a year before his father published the first volume of hisConstitutional History of the Presbyterian Church in America. Frank, as he was called by family members, was named in memory of a favorite nephew of Dr. Hodge’s mother—Francis Blanchard, the son of Samuel Blanchard, of Wenham, Massachusetts. Among life’s tragedies, Francis suffered the death of his mother Sarah when he was just eleven years old. His father remarried when Francis was fourteen.

As might be expected, Francis was educated at Princeton, graduating at the college, and later at the theological seminary. His studies were hindered, however, by an inflammation of the eyes, the result of an accident. Not deterred, much of his learning was acquired by oral instruction, and in spite of the setback, he advanced rapidly. Francis had a fine voice and style of presentation, and was accorded the honor of being Junior Orator, and in turn appointed to deliver the Whig Hall anniversary Oration. Upon his graduation from Seminary, he first married, taking Mary, daughter of Professor Stephen Alexander, of Nassau Hall, as his bride in June of 1863. Then he answered a call to serve as the pastor of a congregation in Oxford, Pennsylvania, a position previously occupied by his brother Wistar Hodge. Francis was ordained and installed in this pulpit on January 5, 1864, and his father brought the charge to his newly ordained son. A copy of this charge is preserved among the papers of Dr. Charles Hodge [cf. Box 21, file 32, in the Department of Special Collections at the Princeton Theological Seminary.

Of this first pastorate, his uncle wrote, “Here his intelligence, great amiability and devotion to his parishioners, united with considerable eloquence of voice and manner, obtained for him much popularity and influence. His congregation was augmented in size, and, although chiefly composed of farmers, they were induced to pull down their old building, and to erect a handsome brick structure as a substitute.”

Meanwhile, Archibald Alexander Hodge, eldest of the Hodge children, had married and sought an appointment to India as a missionary. After about three years on that field, his wife’s health was failing and her physician said it was impossible for her to remain in India. Returning to the States, Alexander and his family moved back to the home of Dr. Charles Hodge. Archibald soon accepted a call to a small church in Cecil county, Maryland, near the Pennsylvania border, but here his support was meager and he had to teach to augment his income. Some time later a second call took him to Fredericksburg, Virginia, where he became the pastor of a more prosperous church, serving that church from 1855-1861.

When the Civil War broke out, A.A. Hodge surrendered the Fredericksburg pulpit and managed to take his family and travel through West Virginia and Maryland into Pennsylvania, and finally to the home of Charles Hodge in New Jersey. Without much delay, he soon received an appointment to pastor the Presbyterian Church in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., and afterwards, when a vacancy occurred in the Western Theological Seminary at Allegheny, by the resignation of the Rev. William S. Plumer, Alexander was made professor of theology in that institution. He remained in that post until 1877, when he was called to Princeton, to serve as his father’s associate.

When A.A. Hodge left the church at Wilkes-Barre, Pa., the church next called the Rev. Samuel Dod, who served the church for four years, leaving late in 1868. Upon his departure, the church now turned to the Rev. Francis Blanchard Hodge with “a call so urgent, and pressed with so much importunity, that, after much hesitation, and with many regrets, he left his friends at Oxford, and settled at Wilkes-Barre.”

There in Wilkes-Barre he found new and admiring friends who were devoted to his ministry, his preaching, and his support. And there he remained as faithful pastor for the next thirty-five years, one of the longest pastorates in the history of that church. Under his leadership, the congregation grew significantly. Two-thirds of the annual church budget was allocated to benevolences. And a new modern building was constructed in the late 1880′s, and dedicated in 1894, free of any debt. Perhaps as an indication of how much he was devoted to the work of being a pastor, it does not appear that he authored any works for publication.

The Rev. Francis Blanchard Hodge, D.D. died in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania on May 13, 1905. Representing the Presbytery, Dr. McLeod, Dr. Brooks, and Dr. Logan followed the remains to Princeton, accompanied by a large delegation from the Wilkes-Barre Church. The pall-bearers were members of his Church who were also students at Princeton. With services conducted by Dr. Francis Landey Patton, president of the Seminary, the mortal remains of Rev. Francis B. Hodge were laid to rest in the Princeton Cemetery.

Words to Live By:
I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father.” (2 John 4, KJV)

What a joy, what a great blessing it is to see our children walking in the faith, growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. We have a commandment to walk in the truth of the Gospel. Let us so live, and serve as an example to our children, trusting the Lord for their salvation.

Sources:

Image: Stoddard, Dwight J., Prominent Men: Scranton and Vicinity, Wilkes-Barre and Vicinity,… Scranton, PA: The Tribune Publishing Co., 1906, p. 202.

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Dr. Caspar Wistar Hodge, Jr., who was the Charles Hodge Professor of Systematic Theology in Princeton Theological Seminary from 1921 until his death, died on the Friday morning of February 26, 1937, in the Princeton Hospital, of pneumonia. He had been ill for about one week, and died at the age of sixty-six years.

Dr. Hodge was a member of a family closely connected with the Princeton Theological Seminary for more than 100 years. His father, Dr. Caspar Wistar Hodge and his grandfather, Dr. Charles Hodge, as well as his great-uncle, Dr. Archibald Alexander Hodge, had all been members, like himself, of the seminary faculty.

Dr. Hodge was born at Princeton on September 22, 1870. He graduated from Princeton University in 1892, and after further studies received from that school the degree of Ph.D. in 1894. After a year of study abroad at the Universities of Heidelberg and Berlin, he returned to Princeton in 1895, taking the post of instructor in Philosophy in the College. Dr. Hodge remained in that position for two years, going then to Lafayette College as associate professor of Ethics for one year. Thereafter he entered Princeton Seminary to study for the ministry.

Upon graduation from the Seminary in 1901, he was ordained a minister and remained at the Seminary as an instructor in Systematic Theology. After six years he was made assistant professor of Dogmatic Theology, and eight years later professor in the same department, from which he was transferred in 1921 to the Charles Hodge professorship.

Dr. Hodge was well known as a writer on Biblical and theological studies, as a contributor to religious periodicals in America and in Scotland, and as an editor and contributor for several published books.

In 1897, Dr. Hodge married Miss Sarah Henry, of Princeton. He was survived by one daughter, Mrs. Carl H. Ernlund, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, and a sister, Miss Madeline Hodge. Funeral services were held in the Miller Chapel of the Seminary at Princeton on Monday morning, March 1, 1937.

For Further Study:
The Significance of the Reformed Faith Today,” by C. W. Hodge, Jr., is a brilliant analysis of what is termed the new theology, in contrast with the old theology.
[This PDF is a close reproduction of a typescript found among the Papers of Dr. Robert Dick Wilson. The typescript is undated, but Dr. Hodge’s opening comments, particularly his reference to the recent death of Dr. B.B. Warfield, dates the paper to 1921 when Dr. Hodge was installed as Charles Hodge Professor of Systematic Theology.

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A Son of Presbyterians and Patriots —

Charles HodgeSurprisingly, there is some dispute as to exactly on what date in December Charles Hodge was born.  Several sources, one of them a Presbyterian one, states that he was born on December 28, 1797. On the other hand, Dr. David Calhoun, author of the celebrated book on Princeton Seminary, states that he was born on December 27, 1797. That is the date we will use for this historical devotional.

There is no doubt that his ancestors were, as our title puts it, “Presbyterians and Patriots.” His grandfather, Andrew Hodge, had, like so many others, emigrated from Ireland in the decade of 1730′s, settling in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. When the Great Awakening occurred all over the colonies, the Presbyterian church which he attended, resisted that spiritual work, so the grandfather withdrew from First Presbyterian and helped to organize Second Presbyterian Church in the same city. The new congregation called the Rev. Gilbert Tennent, who was the chief proponent of the New Side Presbyterians.

Charles’s father, Hugh Hodge, a graduate of the College of New Jersey, became a successful surgeon in the city.  He married Mary Blanchard of Boston in 1790, who was of French Huguenot stock. Thus, Calvinism was alive and well in his parents.  Unhappily, life expectancy was not high in those early years of our country, and with the incursion of yellow fever in the city, it was even lower. Three of their children succumbed to the disease, along with their father, after Charles was born in 1797. That left the mother with two infants with very little income to rear them.

Mary Hodge, however, made their upbringing her whole life work.  Taking boarders in her home for financial income, she continued to rear her two sons, including Charles, in the things of the Lord.  Primary among them was the learning of the Shorter Catechism of the Westminster Standards. Their pastor, now Ashbel Green, complemented this home training by teaching out of that historic catechism to the children of the church.

In 1812, after other training, the whole family moved to Princeton, New Jersey.  It would be a town which Charles Hodge would forever be identified with in his life and ministry.

Words to live by:  This writer cannot stress enough the valued practice of both home and church cooperating together in the memorization of the Westminster Shorter Catechism. It will produce a solid foundation for Christian faith and life in the heart of the young man or woman who learns it, and then applies it to all of life. This writer had that privilege, and has enabled me to stand the challenges of time with it. If your church does not have such a practice, ask the Elders in your church to institute it. It will make a tremendous difference in the life of your congregation, and in the lives of your church families.

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