Edwards Amasa Park -- By: Jeremiah Eames Rankin

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 060:238 (Apr 1903)
Article: Edwards Amasa Park
Author: Jeremiah Eames Rankin


Edwards Amasa Park

Pres. Jeremiah Eames Rankin

The men that have the largest dimensions after they are dead, are earth’s great educators. They still teach in what they taught,—transmitting themselves through memory, through heredity, through printed books. They sow not the seed that shall be, but bare grain. This is especially true, if their pupils also, shall have become teachers and preachers. Thomas Arnold of Rugby, Samuel Harvey Taylor of Phillips Academy, impressed themselves upon lads fitting for college, who were to go to Oxford, Harvard, Yale. This was excellent work; a great opportunity. But, academy days and college days over, the choicest young men of the period,—morally, perhaps intellectually,—stood at the doors, we will say, of Andover Theological Seminary. It was a great period, and great teachers were there to greet them. Among others were: —

William G. T. Shedd, whose life was a series of literary and educational triumphs; who passed from the chair of Rhetoric, to that of Ecclesiastical History, to that of Didactic Theology, and was facile and redundant in them all; who in his youth edited the works of Coleridge the great poet-metaphysician, and in middle life and in his old age published a Church History and a solid system of

Theology; everywhere fresh and vigorous and inspiring in thought, adequate and sufficient for any emergency; and at last yearning in faith’s sweetness for the other life, that he might be satisfied as he awoke in his Master’s likeness.

Austin Phelps, the great experimental preacher, who always fed men with the bread which comes down from Heaven, the bread that is for kings and priests alike, the showbread of the Kingdom; who, almost universally, addressed himself to Christians, fellow-pilgrims heavenward; who taught his pupils how to make discourses, at once logical, rich, instructive, and powerful; and was himself so eminent a standard of Christian living, of walking with God, that his treatise on prayer, “The Still Hour,” may be taken as largely drawn from his own experience.

But thirdly, and first among official equals, Edwards Amasa Park, princely in his native endowments, imperial in personality and activities enthroned; a leader in theological thought, the expounder and interpreter of Jonathan Edwards the Great, as really as Daniel Webster was of the United States Constitution; with the Edwards logical and metaphysical gifts, and with rhetorical gifts, such that, if Jonathan Edwards had possessed them, his written style would have been as fascinating and commanding as was his philosophic thought.

There were, also, at this period, four other men at Andover...

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