The Church and Its Polity (Classic Reprint)by Charles Hodge
In 1835 my father began to write a series of annual articles, in review of the action of each successive General Assembly, in which he furnished a brief narrative of the proceedings, and discussed the doctrinal and ecclesiastical principles involved. He contributed each of the articles of this series which appeared in the
Excerpt from The Church and Its Polity
In 1835 my father began to write a series of annual articles, in review of the action of each successive General Assembly, in which he furnished a brief narrative of the proceedings, and discussed the doctrinal and ecclesiastical principles involved. He contributed each of the articles of this series which appeared in the Princeton Review from 1835 to 1868, with the exception probably of that of 1841. They, therefore, contain an exposition of his views of the fundamental principles underlying the constitution of the Church and its administration, and of the practical application of these principles to the various historical conditions experienced by the American Presbyterian Church during that long period.
In 1845 he began to lecture to his classes in the Seminary on the topics embraced under the general head of Ecclesiology, and eventually lectured over the whole ground embraced in this department. At that time it was apparently his purpose to prepare for publication an exhaustive treatise on the subject, defending Presbyterian Church order in view of the present attitude of its Prelatic and Independent opponents. His manuscripts disclose the fact that these lectures were more than once rewritten, and articles substantially identical with several of them were published in the Princeton Review in successive years from 1846 to 1857. After the publication of his Systematic Theology, he often expressed the desire that he might be permitted to complete that work by the addition of a fourth volume embracing the department of Ecclesiology; but he was prevented by the infirmities incident to his advanced age.
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