Professor Park As Teacher And Preacher -- By: Joseph Cook

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 058:230 (Apr 1901)
Article: Professor Park As Teacher And Preacher
Author: Joseph Cook


Professor Park As Teacher And Preacher

The Tone Of Awe And Self-Effacement In Professor Park’s Discourses.

Joseph Cook

Doctor Storrs and Professor Park were buried at the same hour. Since Adams and Jefferson left us together on July 4, 1826, our nation has suffered no more important binary bereavement.

The tone of awe and self-effacement which pervades Professor Park’s noblest discourses reveals to history the Holy of holies of his personality, faith, and life. Every spiritually effective career contains a Holy of holies. It is rarely revealed to others except darkly and unconsciously. It is not to be discussed too openly in a man’s lifetime, nor mentioned without a sacred reverence even after its possessor has been laid at rest, until the heavens are no more. We must remember that in divine things and in the highest life of the spirit there is a command to shut the closet door. He whose soul would look into the eyes of God needs to know that no other eyes are looking on. But

when a prophet has come down from the Mount and his face shines unconsciously to himself, and his voice has a tone caught only at the summits of religious and intellectual experience, we may well endeavor to measure those heights, and ask the origin of that light and that tone. This cannot be done in the pagan mood of eulogy, which worships the creature more than the Creator, but only in that of devout thanksgiving. Men are measured by their heroes, and also by the recognition of them as divine gifts to civilization.

Professor Park was two years an Evangelistic preacher in his early manhood; a year a professor of Mental and Moral Philosophy; then ten years a professor of Sacred Rhetoric; then thirty-four years professor of Systematic Theology. Meanwhile, he had been forty years editor of a learned and powerful religious Quarterly. He was an author of biographies of unmatched excellence. In all he was more than fifty years accustomed to deliver commemorative, doctrinal, and profoundly religious discourses on memorable occasions. “A sermon by him,” says the church historian, Philip Schaff, “was an event.” Great discourses in the pulpit often have little power to quicken men to a genuinely religious life, but Professor Park’s sermons to students led to profound spiritual awakenings. Professor G. Frederick Wright says, of a series of Professor Park’s Discourses which he heard at Andover: “The effect was electrifying. They arrested the attention of the careless youth, and a deep and pervading revival of religion followed comparable to those attending the preaching of Finney.” Dr. Storrs, in the discourse prepared by him for a memorial of Professor Park, regards him as wholl...

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