Happy Birthday to A.A. Hodge!

In the village of Princeton, New Jersey, a child was born on July 18, 1823 to parents Charles and Sarah Hodge by the name of Archibald Alexander Hodge. This child would grow up to become a missionary in India, a pastor who ministered in three states, a professor at two seminaries, and a vice-president of the National Reform Association. He authored many books and articles, and his "table talk" is recorded for us by a student of his as well. 

A.A. Hodge wrote a full-length biography of his father, Charles, but no such full-length story of his life has been written for him. Nevertheless, the biographical sketches we have of him from the hands of Charles Adamson Salmond, Francis Landey Patton and William Miller Paxton (see James M. Garretson, Pastor-Teachers of Old Princeton) speak to his greatness in deed and thought. Paxton wrote "that six things constituted the man: He was a Christian, a philosopher, a theologian, an orator, a poet, and a child." Such was the genius of the man, such was his child-like faith and prayers, such was his poetic skill with words, such was his Christ-centered existence. "The centre of all his religious experience was Christ. He worshipped Christ, he believed in Jesus Christ the Son of the living God. He loved Christ, he served Christ, the fixed purpose of his life was to glorify Christ, and all his hope for the future was to be with Christ and to be like him. Christ was 'formed in him the hope of glory.'" 

Among his valuable writings, we have Outlines in Theology, developed during his pastorate at Fredericksburg, Virginia; a commentary on the Westminster Confession of Faith, inspired by a class taught by ruling elder E.P. Durant; a commentary on the first half of the Westminster Shorter Catechism, completed by J. Aspinwall Hodge; Popular Lectures on Evangelical Themes, later republished under the title Evangelical Theology: Lectures on Doctrine, with an introduction by C.A. Salmond and including the biographical sketch of F.L. Patton; a biography of his father, along with a study of his father's Systematic Theology; a precious tract on the Lord's Day (take note of his remarks on the Lord's Day in his "table talk" too); and so much more. 

Recently, this writer had occasion to stand at the grave of A.A. Hodge at the Princeton Cemetery. He wrote and spoke often about death and heaven and eternal life. Though he is gone, he lives, by the work and power of his Redeemer, and we thus remember a great man today.