Letter from a 10 year old

In the halcyon days of blogging I used to write for Ref21 and so occasionally I’ll put some of those blogs on here….

I found this letter in David Calhoun’s magisterial 2 volume biography of Princeton Seminary. It’s the kind of book to turn to when you’re slightly miserable. 

Calhoun writes..

‘The children were Dr Hodge’s pride and joy. ”His study had two doors,” wrote A.A Hodge , ”one opening towards the Seminary for the convenience of the students, and a second one opening inwards into the main hall of the home” – for the children. His son continued, ”He prayed for us at family prayers, and singly, and taught us to pray at his knees with such soul-felt tenderness, that however bad we were our hearts all melted to his touch”. At worship in the morning in the home they repeated the Apostles’ Creed and then a personal consecration to Father, Son and Holy Spirit, written by Charles Hodge for his family. Secure in their parents’ love and prayers, and encouraged by the piety and enthusiasm of the seminary community, the younger Hodges early committed themselves to Christ and his service. Ten year old Archibald and his sister Mary Elizabeth gave a letter on June 23, 1833 to Princeton seminary graduate James R Eckard who was soon to sail for Ceylon (Sri Lanka). Addressed to the ”heathen”, it read: 

“Dear Heathen: The Lord Jesus Christ hath promised that the time shall come when all the ends of the earth will be His kingdom. And God is not a man that He should lie, nor the son of man that He should repent. And if this was a promise made by a Being who cannot lie, why do you not help it to come sooner by reading the Bible, and attending to the words of your teachers, and loving God, and, renouncing your idols, take Christianity into your temples? And soon there will be not a Nation, no, not a space of ground as are as a footstep, that will want a missionary. My sister and myself have, by small self denials, procured two dollars which are enclosed in this letter to buy tracts and Bibles to teach you. Archibald Alexander Hodge and Mary Eliz. Hodge, Friends of the Heathen.” (page 193)

Originally published on Reformation 21 in 2013

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