Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Marcus Dods - Victorian Emergent? VI.

1863 was an important year in the life of Marcus Dods. Firstly, it was in that year that he met Alexander Whyte, then a student in Edinburgh. Of him Dods wrote on 14th May , “Whyte is a very high Calvinist and a lover of the Puritans, and would talk doctrine for a year on end.” The likeness is perfect. Whyte urged the unhappy probationer (whose status was fast becoming that of the ‘stickit [failed] minister’, to set up a “barracks for students”, a sort of private hall of residence.
Rainy tried to encourage the young Marcus Dods, apparently sensing all was not well.
It wasn’t. Writing to Marcia on 13th March he confided that he had been reading ‘Colenso’, probably the work on the Pentateuch by the notorious liberal Bishop of Natal. Commenting on the book Dods wrote: “I think our views of inspiration will be greatly altered in future years. Indeed mine are very different from those I recieved from Gaussen twelve years ago.” Colenso had helped to convince Dods that the Pentateuch had in fact been written centuries after Moses and was in fact a poorly-assembled hodge-podge of disparate writings scarcely worthy of the name of literature (this is our opinion of the ‘assured results of the higher criticism’).
Another post came to his notice in 1863. William Hetherington, Professor at the Free Church College, Glasgow, had been unwell for some time, and the Assembly decided it would be best to appoint a man to be his colleague and eventual successor. Dods’ name was mentioned in connection with the post, most probably by Rainy. Dods was a well-read man, but in the end his lack of experience told against him, and the post went to another.
In September he refused an invitation to preach at Renfield Free Church, Glasgow, since there were three other vacancies for which he was already a candidate. Renfield extended a call to Rev. John Kennedy of Dingwall, but that gentleman resolutely remained ‘of Dingwall’, so the church remained vacant for a little longer.

Next time, God willing, we shall see Dods rushing, all unsuspecting, towards Renfield.

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Blogger Cindy said...

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog! I see we have several sidebar links in common. I will make it a regular stop!

11:19 am  

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