Hodge, Charles, Dd, Lld
Hodge, Charles, D.D., LL.D.
an eminent Presbyterian divine, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, December 27, 1797, his father, Dr. Hugh Hodge, being an eminent physician of that city. Charles was fitted for college first at Somerville Academy, N.J., and at the age of fourteen entered Princeton, one year in advance, graduating with the highest honors in 1815. After another year of classical study, he entered the Theological Seminary at Princeton, and graduated in 1819. He was licensed by the Presbytery of Philadelphia, October 21, 1819, and during the following winter preached at the Falls of Schuylkill, the Philadelphia Arsenal, and Woodbury, N.J. Being received as a licentiate from the Presbytery of Philadelphia by that of New Brunswick, July 5, 1820 he was appointed the same year to supply the: churches of Georgetown and Lambertville for a number of Sabbaths during the following winter, and the next year "for Georgetown, as stated supply for one half his time during the ensuing six months;" also to supply Lambertville and Trenton First Church during parts of the years from 1820 to 1823. In May 1820, he became assistant instructor in the original languages of Scripture in the seminary, which position he held until 1822, and was then elected by the General Assembly to the professorship of Oriental and Biblical literature. At this time he founded the Biblical Repertory, to which was added the title of Princeton Review, in 1829. In 1825 he went to Europe, and spent three years in the universities of Paris, Halle, and Berlin, returning in 1829. Dr. Hodge, after this, devoted all his hours not required in seminary duties to the conduct of his magazine, which was already beginning to take rank among American periodicals, and also to studies and researches for A Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans, which was published in 1835. This work was abridged in 1836, and then rewritten and enlarged in 1866. In 1840 he published A Constitutional History of the Presbyterian Church in the United States, in two volumes. In the same year he was transferred from the chair which he had filled for eighteen years, to that of exegetic and didactic theology, to which was united that of polemic theology, in 1851, when the incumbent, Dr. Alexander, died. In April 1872, his friends and pupils commemorated his semi-centennial as professor in Princeton, Seminary. Dr. Hodge was chosen moderator of the General Assembly-Old School in 1846. He died in Princeton, N.J., June 19, 1878. His works, published in addition to the above, were, Questions to the Epistle to the Romans (1842, 18mo): — The May of Life (18mo, published by the American Sunday-school Union; republished by the London Religious Tract Society, 1842): — What is Presbyterianism? (1856): — Commentary on Ephesians (N.Y. 1856, 8vo): — Commentary on First Corinthians (1857): — Commentary on Second Corinthians (1859): — Reviews and Essays Selected from the Princeton Review (ibid. 1857, 8vo): — Selections from the Biblical Repertory and Princeton Review (ibid. 8vo): — What is Darwinism? (1874). During this time he was busily engaged in collecting materials for his Systematic Theology, and also in conducting the Review. It is said he contributed one fifth of all the articles published in that periodical. In 1872 the Review was united with the Presbyterian Quarterly and American Theological Review. The Systematic Theology, in three volumes, large octavo, is the work of his life, and by this his power is best demonstrated, and will be transmitted to posterity. It is published in Scotland and Germany, and in all the world where Christian theology is a subject of study this work is held in the highest esteem, as the best exhibition of that system of Calvinistic doctrine known as Princeton theology. As a writer on theological, ethical, and ecclesiastical subjects, Dr. Hodge was easily at the head of all his contemporaries, and the distinguishing grace of his writings was their exquisite clearness. No one was at a loss to know what he believed and. what he intended to teach, and the authority on which he relied. His theology was Biblical. In the profoundest discussions, a text of Holy Scripture is a rock on which his structure of argument. rests. Therefore the rationalism of modern schools, infusing itself into his own. Church and the literature of the day, was to him a shame as well as a sin, and he resented and resisted it with tremendous energy and effect; his blows were those of a giant. No man has been more persistently abused than Dr. Hodge. He has been represented as the incarnation of bigotry. Those who could not answer his arguments or detect a flaw in his logic had to fall back on the. only weapon left in their artillery. No man was farther removed from intolerance, bigotry, and persecution, as all who knew him while living, and now revere and venerate him dead, know. See Necrol. Report of Princeton Theol. Sem. 1879, page 9; Memorial Discourses, by Drs. Paxton and Boardman; Life, by Dr. A.A. Hodge (1880).