30 August 2009

Life is Short

Archibald Alexander was the first president of Princeton Seminary in the 1800s. His student Charles Hodge held his teacher in such great respect that he named his own son Archibald Alexander Hodge--you might of heard of A. A. Hodge, a Princeton theologian in his own right. Alexander's most well-known work is Thoughts on Religious Experience, in which he says things like this:

[S]o short is the time of man's continuance upon earth, and so infinite the joys or miseries of the future world, that to make much of these little differences would be like estimating the weight of a feather, when engaged in weighing mountains. Who thinks it a matter of any concern, whether the circumstances of persons who lived a thousand years ago were affluent or destitute, except, so far as these external enjoyments and privations contributed to their moral improvement, or the contrary? If we could be duly impressed with the truths which respect our eternal condition, we should consider our afflictions here as scarcely worthy of being named.

--Thoughts on Religious Experience (Philadelphia: Presbyterian Board of Publication, 1844), 218

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