Thursday, September 21, 2006

Marcus Dods - Victorian Emergent? I.

Marcus Dods was born on April 11th 1834 in Belford, Northumberland, to the Rev. Marcus Dods, pastor of the Church of Scotland congregation there.He had two brothers and four sisters. Marcus Dods senior was a conservative Reformed evangelical who had written in defence of the doctrine of the Westminster Confession, which he believed with all his heart. He was grieved that there were men in the Church of Scotland's ministry who did not believe the Confession, but who signed it simply to obtain pastorates or other posts. He was a friend of the leading Church of Scotland devangelicals, Thomas Chalmers, Andrew Thompson, and others. He was held in high esteem by the local Church of England ministers as well. His love for the Bible was deep , for he had been led by the Holy Spirit on a long and difficult pilgrimage from the darkness of rationalism into the glorious light and liberty of the sons of God.
Probably Marcus Dods senior would have joined the Free Church of Scotland at the Disruption of 1843, but we shall never know that for certain, since he died in 1838, leaving his widow with seven children. Since they had lived in the manse belonging to the church they were effectively served notice to leave their home.
Although Mrs. Dods was a native of Northumberland by birth, she was Scots by marriage, and she moved to Edinburgh, where she took boarders - mostly schoolboys - to support her family. We can never know how much Marcus Dods lost by the death of his father, but the loss was considerable.
Mrs. Dods worked hard to support her children, and to give them the education which their father would have desired for them. Marcus was sent to the Edinburgh Academy, which he left in 1848 to be apprenticed to the National Bank of Scotland in Edinburgh. But he was not suited to the office of a bank manager, and after two years at the bank he left with the intention of studying for the ministry of the Free Church of Scotland, to which the family had adhered at the Disruption in 1843.

Next time, God willing, we shall see how Dods fared at the unversity.



Blogger Michael A G Haykin said...

Dear brother

I need to communicate with you by e-mail. Can you e-mail me at asap? I am about to send to a publisher a book of extracts from the writings of Alexander Whyte and I need your help.

Many thanks.
Michael Haykin

5:19 a.m.  

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