The Theology Of The Intellect And That Of The Feelings -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 007:27 (Jul 1850)
Article: The Theology Of The Intellect And That Of The Feelings
Author: Anonymous


The Theology Of The Intellect And That Of The
Feelings

A Discourse delivered before the Convention of the Congregational Ministers of Massachusetts, in Brattle Street Meeting-house, Boston, May 30,1850, by Edwards A. Park, Professor in Andover Theological Seminary1

The strength of Israel will not lie nor repent: for he is not a
man that he should repent.—1 sam. 15:29.

And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth,
and it grieved him at his heart. —Gen. 6:6.

I have heard of a father who endeavored to teach his children a system of astronomy in precise philosophical language, and although he uttered nothing but the truth, they learned from him nothing but

falsehood. I have also heard of a mother who, with a woman’s tact, so exhibited the general features of astronomical science that although her statements were technically erroneous, they still made upon her children a better impression, and one more nearly right than would have been made by a more accurate style. For the same reason many a punctilious divine, preaching the exact truth in its scientific method, has actually imparted to the understanding of his hearers either no idea at all or a wrong one; while many a pulpit orator, using words which tire the patience of a scholastic theologian, and which in their literal import are false, has yet lodged in the hearts of his people the main substance of truth. John Foster says, that whenever a man prays aright he forgets the philosophy of prayer; and in more guarded phrase we may say, that when men are deeply affected by any theme, they are apt to disturb some of its logical proportions, and when preachers aim to rouse the sympathies of a populace, they often give a brighter coloring or a bolder prominence to some lineaments of a doctrine than can be given to them in a well compacted science.

There are two forms of theology, of which the two passages in my text are selected as individual specimens, the one declaring that God never repents, the other that he does repent. For want of a better name these two forms may be termed, the theology of the intellect, and the theology of feeling. Sometimes, indeed, both the mind and the heart are suited by the same modes of thought, but often they require dissimilar methods, and the object of the present discourse is/ to state some of the differences between the theology of the intellect and that of feeling, and also some of the influences which they exert upon each other.

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