The Bight Interpretation Of The Sacred Scriptures — The Helps And The Hindrances -- By: C. E. Stowe

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 010:37 (Jan 1853)
Article: The Bight Interpretation Of The Sacred Scriptures — The Helps And The Hindrances
Author: C. E. Stowe

The Bight Interpretation Of The Sacred Scriptures — The Helps And The Hindrances

C. E. Stowe

The intellectual activity of the last fifty years has scarcely been equalled, never surpassed, in any other half century of the world’s history. It has busied itself in every department of human thought; theology and sacred science have been as much the subject of it as chemistry and astronomy, and it ought not to have been, it could not have been otherwise. The Andover Theological Seminary, the earliest of its kind in existence, was projected at the commencement of this period; and was specially designed by Providence to accomplish a specific work indispensably necessary just at this stage of the world’s progress, a mission which it has successfully fulfilled and is still fulfilling.

Notwithstanding the great practical advantages, in many important respects, of pursuing the study of theology with a settled pastor, it is absolutely certain that the great missionary enterprises of the age, and the intellectual excitement and culture necessary to meet the multiform and active infidelity of the period, never could have been provided for without the ample resources, the extended associations, the large combinations, the friendly collisions, the permanent relationships of well endowed and numerously attended theological schools. Such an institution was a necessity of the age, and was so proved by the numerous imitations to which this first example of the kind so speedily gave origin.

The science of theology was zealously pursued and well understood in New England at that time; but the science of Biblical interpretation had been little attended to for several generations; there was almost nothing of it to be found; but few ministers were in the habit of reading even the Greek Testament, and as to the Hebrew, without which the New Testament Greek cannot be understood, probably not one minister in a hundred could read readily a single verse of the Old Testament in the original. In the science of Biblical interpretation, and in the sphere of missionary activity, this institution found its appropriate providential pioneer-work. The men who first occupied

the posts of instruction, were singularly adapted to both these branches of spiritual labor; they were the men for the time and for the work. He who for nearly forty years was the incumbent of the professorship of Sacred Literature here, was emphatically the man for his business. Unquenchable zeal, untiring industry, unwavering self-reliance, unflinching boldness, transparent honesty and a determined will carried him through all the difficulties which beset his way and gave-him as secure and permanent a triumph as ever a frail mortal enjoyed. So far as the...

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