12.1.07

Fantastic Shedd!

I'm in the process of completing some papers on Shedd, hence the resurgence of Shed on Shedd posts. I may yet post (in chunks) these papers, although, they are not so hot. However I continue to read Shedd articles, and stuff, and I continue to be amazed.

Check out the quote below, taken from a discourse/sermon that Shedd gave at the Brick Church, New York, November 1862 (I think he was the pastor). The subject, of course, is the civil war. Shedd at this point argued that the war was justified in terms of defending the Union - abolition and emancipation of slaves should be gradual, and was not the purpose of the war. Later (1865/6 I think), the Presbyterian church in the North claimed the war had been about slavery after all.

Never mind that. Here is an illustration of Shedd's fantastic grasp of history:

'...we should render profound thanks to Almighty God, on this day, because the American Government is not waging an unjust war for foreign conquest, but a righteous war against domestic treason and rebellion. ... This is not a war for foreign conquest. It is a war against treason within the realm; as clearly so as those wars by which Great Britain has prevented Scotland and Ireland from becoming independent sovereignties, whenever factions and rebellions have been organized to accomplish this end.'

Taken from, The Union and the War -
W.G.T. Shedd, Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy: A Miscellany. (New York : Charles Scribner, 1893), 278.

Yikes! Oh dear! What is he on about?

Surely this is yet another historical illustration of the maxim that theologians and preachers should stick to theology and preaching, if, indeed, that is possible. I suspect that is the lesson of history. Theology and preaching can never be kept isolated from (national) politics, and bizarre readings of history.

But, oh dear, Shedd was a professor of history! I've got no idea what wars he is referring to at all, certainly not in the case of Scotland.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous CG said...

So he was a professor of history, literature AND theology?

9:46 pm  
Anonymous Michael Gaydosh said...

I thought you would like to know that we at Solid Ground Christian Books are about to send Shedd's ORTHODOXY AND HETERODOXY to the printer. It is a very difficult book to find, and one that is well worth printing. Thanks for your enthusiatic support of this great man.

1:00 pm  

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