New England Theology -- By: Edwards A. Park
BSac 9:33 (Jan 1852) p. 170
New England Theology
When Napoleon had made his majestic march to the Kremlin, and while he was retreating on a peasant’s sled in a storm, he uttered the maxim that “there is but one step between the sublime and the ridiculous.” We have been reminded of this incident by the late incursion of Dr. Hodge into our northern country, and his later precipitate egress. He advanced with the brave announcement that, “a man behind the walls of Gibraltar or of Ehrenbreitstein, can not, if he would, tremble at the sight of a single knight, however gallant or well-appointed;”1 but he has now hurried back with the excuse, “There is another feature of Professor Park’s mode of conducting this discussion, which is very little to our taste.”2 He sailed up along our rock-bound coast and cried aloud, “A man at sea with a stout ship under him, has a sense of security in no measure founded Upon himself.”3 After doubling and redoubling his course, and doubling it over again, he has sped homeward with the apology, “When we ran out of the harbor in our yacht, to see what ‘long, low, black schooner’ was making such a smoke in the offing, we had no expectation to be called upon to double Cape Horn.”4 We had said, in a plain way, that the same truths may be expressed in diversified forms, all reconcilable with each other. Our assailant rushed forward, with a seeming readiness to meet any foeman, anywhere, and proposed some of his own theories which he defied us to reconcile with our doctrines. We proved to him that his theories were not true, and that he himself did not believe them in his better moods. He now exclaims, “Where is this matter to end? — This is a great deal more than we bargained for.”5 And there is something rather ominous in the excuses which our antagonist has left behind him, for his very unexpected departure. After having publicly accused
BSac 9:33 (Jan 1852) p. 171
us of Rationalism, Schleiermacherism, Infidelity, profaneness, and, worse than all, “Pelagianism,” he has retired because the discussion has assumed a “personal character!”6 After having introduced various doctrines, to which we had not even alluded, and having attempted to prove some of his theories, he listens to certain New England objections, and then retreats with the words, “We regard it, therefore, as a matter of great importance, that such...
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