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Hodge, Charles

(born December 27, 1797 – died June 19, 1878)
Charles HodgeCharles Hodge was an important Presbyterian theologian and principal of Princeton Theological Seminary between 1851 and 1878. He was a leading exponent of the Princeton theology, an orthodox Calvinist theological tradition in America during the 19th century. He argued strongly for the authority of the Bible as the Word of God. Many of his ideas were adopted in the 20th century by Fundamentalists and Evangelicals.

Speaking of his forebears in America, Charles Hodge wrote in his journal, "I wish...that those who come after me should know that their ancestors and kindred were Presbyterians and patriots."

Of his childhood he wrote, To our mother, my brother and myself, under God, owe absolutely everything...Our mother was a Christian. She took us regularly to church, and carefully drilled us in the Westminster Catechism, which we recited on stated occasions to Dr. Ashbel Green, our pastor.

There has never been anything remarkable in my religious experience, unless it be that it began very early. I think that in my childhood I came nearer to conforming to the apostle's injunction: 'Pray without ceasing', than in any other period of my life. As far back as I can remember, I had the habit of thanking God for everything I received, and asking him for everything I wanted. If I lost a book, or any of my play things, I prayed that I might find it.  I prayed walking along the streets, in school and out of school, whether playing or studying. I did not do this in obedience to any prescribed rule. It seemed natural. I thought of God as an everywhere-present Being, full of kindness and love, who would not  be offended if children talked to him. I knew he cared for sparrows. I was as cheerful and happy as the birds and acted as they did. There was little more in my prayers and praises than in the worship rendered by the fowls of the air. This mild form of natural religion did not amount to much. It, however, saved me from profanity.

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Charles Hodge

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