The difference between wisdom and knowledge, according to A.A. Hodge

(If the author links in this post are broken, please visit our Free PDF Library and click on the author’s page directly.)

In his Outlines of Theology, Archibald Alexander Hodge asks the question:

36. How does wisdom differ from knowledge, and wherein does the wisdom of God consist?

His answer to the first part of the question is of great benefit to those for whom it might appear that wisdom and knowledge are but synonyms.

Knowledge is a simple act of the understanding, apprehending that a thing is, and comprehending its nature and relations, or how it is.

Wisdom presupposes knowledge, and is the practical use which the understanding, determined by the will, makes of the material of knowledge.

It may be recalled that the great-great-grandfather of A.A. Hodge, on his mother’s side, was the remarkable founding father Benjamin Franklin, a man filled with great knowledge, but — despite the bits of wisdom to be gleaned from Poor Richard’s Almanack — sorely lacking in Biblical wisdom. Hodge, on the other hand, understood that the Christ of the Scriptures is the source of true wisdom. Another quote attributed to A.A. Hodge is this: “He is wise who knows the sources of knowledge — who knows who has written, and where it is to be found.” May the Lord grant to us not only sound knowledge, but the practical application of it — that is, wisdom — which we may employ in all things to the glory of God!

A.A. Hodge on the essence, duration and change of the Sabbath

(If the author links in this post are broken, please visit our Free PDF Library and click on the author’s page directly.)

Charles A, Salmond, “the Scottish Princetonian,” recorded the “Table Talks” of Dr. Archibald Alexander Hodge in Princetoniana (1888). Some of his thoughts on the Christian Sabbath from these Table Talks are extracted below for meditation on this Lord’s Day. For a longer read by Hodge on this subject, be sure to read The Day Changed and the Sabbath Preserved (highlighted previously here and available to read here).

The Essence of the Sabbath.

That a regular portion of time, appointed by God, to be observed by all men, should be set apart for rest and the worship of God, — this is the essence of the Sabbath; that one-seventh of time should be so set apart is, relatively to this, the accident. It is, however, the case that one-seventh of time has been positively set apart by God for a Sabbath, and a particular one-seventh of time. The choice has not been left to us.

Duration and Extent of the Sabbath Law.

"Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy," is as much a moral law as "Thou shalt not steal" — the law founded on the relations of property. Its duration and extent are determined by the character of the institution and the abiding reason for it; and also by Scripture, in the New Testament portion of which its permanence is incidentally recognised, though there is no specific re-establishment of it, any more than of infant church membership.

The Lord's Day and the Sabbath the same.

Our "Lord's Day" and the Jewish "Sabbath" are not different in essence. Both are days of rest and festival, not of gloom. The essence of the Sabbath could not be changed without changing the nature of man. But the accidents of it may be changed by competent authority, and were actually changed by the college of Apostles, for a sufficient reason.

The Change of Day.

The stream of Sabbath observance on the seventh day of the week came right down to the time of the Apostles; it took a bend at that point; and it has come right on ever after. Only they could have altered it; the authority of no other would have wrought such an universal change in the Christian world. The adequate reason for the change was, the celebration of the Resurrection of Christ and the new creation it secured. The competent authority was that of the Apostles, and no other. (The trouble with the hierarchical bishops now is, that they are all Apostles, though they have not seen the Lord — not a soul of them!)

What is Grace? A concise answer by A.A. Hodge & B.B. Warfield

Johnson’s Universal Cyclopedia contains an article on “Calvinism” originally written jointly by A.A. Hodge and B.B. Warfield, and later revised by Warfield, which also appears in Warfield’s Selected Shorter Writings, Vol. 2. In this article the concept of grace is defined simply and concisely.

Grace is free sovereign favor to the ill-deserving. It is the motive of redemption in the mind of God. It is exercised in the sacrifice of his Son, in the free justification of the believing sinner on the ground of that Son’s vicarious obedience and sufferings, and in the total change wrought in that sinner’s moral character and actions by the energy of the Holy Ghost. While the word grace applies equally to the objective change in relations and the subjective change of character, it is used in this connection to designate the energy of the Holy Ghost whereby the moral nature of the human soul is renewed, and the soul, thus renewed, is enabled to act in compliance with the will of God.

The word grace has been at the heart of many theological controversies, but here the concept is laid before us clearly, and, thus simply defined, is worthy of our thankful meditation.

There is Another King, One Jesus: A.A. Hodge

After observing the events in Washington, D.C. this week, the words of warning from the 19th century Presbyterian theologian A.A. Hodge come vividly to mind:

In the name of your own interests I plead with you; in the name of your treasure-houses and barns, of your rich farms and cities, of your accumulations in the past and your hopes in the future, — I charge you, you never will be secure if you do not faithfully maintain all the crown-rights of Jesus the King of men. In the name of your children and their inheritance of the precious Christian civilization you in turn have received from your sires; in the name of the Christian Church, — I charge you that its sacred franchise, religious liberty, cannot be retained by men who in civil matters deny their allegiance to the King. In the name of your own soul and its salvation; in the name of the adorable Victim of that bloody and agonizing sacrifice whence you draw all your hopes of salvation; by Gethsemane and Calvary, — I charge you, citizens of the United States, afloat on your wide wild sea of politics, There is Another King, One Jesus: The Safety Of The State Can Be Secured Only In The Way Of Humble And Whole-souled Loyalty To His Person and of Obedience His Law. (Popular Lectures on Theological Themes, p. 287)

On the Atonement

For those who study the doctrine of the atonement, and particularly its extent, Log College Press has some valuable resources for you. 

In 1817, James Renwick Willson wrote A Historical Sketch of Opinions on the Atonement, which includes his own translation of Francis Turretin's Institutes on that subject (this was several decades before - at Charles Hodge's direction - George Musgrave Giger of Princeton translated the whole of Turretin's Institutes, an 8,000+ page handwritten manuscript). A posthumously-published edition of Willson's work came out in 1859.

A.A. Hodge wrote an important treatise on the atonement in 1867. His father, Charles, wrote On the Nature of the Atonement (1832) and a January 1845 article in the The Biblical Repertory and Princeton Review, republished in 1846 under the title The Orthodox Doctrine Regarding the Extent of the Atonement Vindicated. This latter work was edited and prefaced by several leading Scottish Presbyterian divines, including Thomas M'Crie, William Cunningham, Robert Candlish and William Symington, who had, in 1834, published his own major work titled On the Atonement and Intercession of Jesus Christ. William Hetherington, another noted Scottish divine, in 1846, endorsed the work in the Free Church Magazine

In 1803, William Gibson wrote A Dialogue Concerning the Doctrine of the Atonement, Between a Calvinist and a Hopkinsian. Jacob Jones Janeway's Letters on the Atonement were published in 1827.

These and other works on the atonement can be found here. Check out this page,these writers and these works to better understand this important doctrine. 

Cane of Orthodoxy

Missionaries from Princeton were actively working in Hawaii in the early 19th century. A chief of the Sandwich Islands (as Hawaii was then known) sent a gift to Princeton, a cane or walking-stick carved from whalebone, by way of one of those missionaries in the 1820's with instructions to "present it to your chief," that is, Dr. Archibald Alexander. 

It was a treasured memento, which Alexander, on his death bed, bequeathed to Dr. Charles Hodge, who recorded the event afterwards thus: "He then, with a smile, handed me a white bone walking-stick, carved and presented to him by one of the chiefs of the Sandwich islands, and said, 'You must leave this to your successor in office, that it may be handed down as a kind of symbol of orthodoxy'" (J.W. Alexander, Life of Archibald Alexander, pp. 605-606).

The cane was passed "metaphorically" to A.A. Hodge by Charles and the Princeton trustees in 1878 when A.A. Hodge was appointed as his father's successor. It was again "symbolically" passed on to B.B. Warfield upon the death of A.A. Hodge in 1886 (Paul C. Gutjahr, Charles Hodge: Guardian of American Orthodoxy, pp. 378-380).

Today the cane resides in the Special Collections Department of the Princeton Theological Seminary library as a "kind of symbol of orthodoxy."