Dabney Translated: January 3, 1898

Have you read the lectures given by Robert Lewis Dabney (1820-1898) in October 1897 on the penal satisfaction of the atonement of Christ? These lectures, given at Davidson College, North Carolina and Columbia (South Carolina) Seminary, while Dabney was frail and blind, comprise the last written work of his life, published posthumously as Christ Our Penal Substitute (1898). 

Read an account of these lectures and the reception given to them, and of Dabney's final days, in Thomas Cary Johnson (1859-1936)'s Life and Letters of Robert Lewis Dabney (1903), pp. 520 ff.

Dabney's writings, of course, are in English, but to speak of his translation is to recall that on January 3, 1898, he left this world for a better, heavenly country. His final lectures remind us of a precious truth - that we need the vicarious substitution of One who was perfect, righteous and holy, who alone could pay the penalty for our sins, and that because we are sinners, there is no hope for us apart from this precious gospel truth! 

The Discussions of Robert Lewis Dabney

Robert Lewis Dabney (1820-1898)'s essays and papers on various topics were collected and edited in four volumes during his lifetime by Rev. C.R. Vaughan. In 1999, a fifth volume of his papers, which includes a 115-page previously unpublished poem by Dabney entitled "Christology of the Angels," was edited by J.H. Varner and published by Sprinkle Publications. All five volumes, which are a treasury of insights theological and otherwise, are now available to read online at Log College Press. 

1) Theological and Evangelical (1890)

2) Evangelical (1891)

3) Philosophical (1892)

4) Secular (1897)

5) Miscellaneous (1999) 

Have you heard of these 19th century Presbyterian systematic theologies?

Most pastors and seminary students are aware of Charles Hodge's three volume Systematic TheologyIt is one of the most recognized works of the 19th century, and can be purchased here. But this set certainly was not the only systematic theology published by Presbyterians in the 19th century. Sometimes remembered are William Greenough Thayer Shedd's Dogmatic Theology (you can purchase the modern edition of this book here) and Robert Lewis Dabney's Systematic Theology (you can purchase the Banner of Truth reprint of this volume here). Very few people know that Robert Jefferson Breckinridge published a two volume systematic theology, entitled The Knowledge of God Objective Considered and The Knowledge of God Subjectively Considered

Older systematic theologies weren't asking all the same questions we ask today, of course - but that's a big reason why they are so helpful to use. They ask questions we don't even know we need to be asking. So the next time you're wrestling with a theological question, dip into one of these volumes and see what riches you might find.