The Presbyterians Of The South, 1607-1861 -- By: Morton H. Smith

Journal: Westminster Theological Journal
Volume: WTJ 27:2 (May 1965)
Article: The Presbyterians Of The South, 1607-1861
Author: Morton H. Smith

The Presbyterians Of The South, 1607-1861

Morton H. Smith

(continued from the previous issue)

{Editor’s note: Footnotes in the original printed edition were numbered 11–39, but in this electronic edition are numbered 1–29 respectively.}

Others to be affected by the revival in Virginia were Moses Hoge, John Holt Rice, George Addison Baxter and Drury Lacy, all of whom helped to shape the theology of Virginia Presbyterianism. Moses Hoge was the President of Hampden-Sydney and the first officially appointed teacher of theology of the Synod of Virginia. John Holt Rice was to become the founder of Union Theological Seminary, and George Addison Baxter to succeed him there as Professor of Theology. Through these men the following generations received their training in the same sort of Presbyterianism that Alexander bad carried to Princeton from Virginia. The affinity of Union and Princeton can be seen in a letter written by Rice to Alexander concerning his own hopes for his newly formed seminary:

“If, however, a Seminary can be established in the South, many will frequent it, who will not go to the North …. But my plan is, if we can succeed here, to take Princeton as our model, to hold constant correspondence with that great and most valuable institution, to get the most promising of our young men to finish off at Princeton; and, in a word, as far as possible, make this a sort of branch of that, so as to have your spirit diffused through us, and do all that can be done to bind the different parts of the Church together.”1

That such a close relationship continued to exist is a matter of historic record. It may be seen in a number of ways. For one thing, both of these institutions were associated with the Old School branch of the Church in 1837 and following. Robert L. Dabney of Union Seminary received a call to Princeton in 1860. Again in 1915 Union Seminary sought to obtain the services of J. Gresham Machen for New Testament. As recently as 1930–1940 Union Seminary had a Systematic Theology Professor, James Porter Smith, who taught the

same theology as that set forth at Princeton. The testimony of Smith’s brother-in-law, the Rev. Gaston Boyle, is to this effect: “I am positive that he believed and taught the system of theology taught by Hodge and Dabney, including their beliefs concerning election, predestination and the inspiration of the Scriptures”.2

The Hampden-Sydney revival was to have far-reaching effects on the frontier, for through it James McGready was influenced to enter into...

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