The Hodge Children and Missions

The Hodge Children and Missions

Written by R. A. Miller |
Saturday, November 19, 2022

In one short paragraph, we see a great portrayal of Christ’s kingship. The Hodges’ main idea points to Christ’s rule over all the world. Since God cannot lie (quoting Numbers 23:19) and the reign of Jesus is promised, the children reason that the people should not be working against Christ. Instead, they should work to establish the Lord’s Kingdom in India by throwing out their idols and loving the true God. This depth of theological understanding is not only remarkable for a child to have but also foreshadows the theological prowess that the Princeton theologian would later exhibit.

If you know anything about A.A. Hodge, it’s probably that he was a Princeton theologian like his father, Charles Hodge. Being the son of such a notable Christian scholar, A.A. had a sharp yet Christ-centered mind, even at a young age. When he was just a boy, he wrote a touching letter with his sister addressing people of the great mission field of India. The letter was titled “Friends of the Heathen,” and was featured in the July 1887 edition of The Homiletic Review. The article is as follows:

The following is a most touching reminiscence of the late Dr. Hodge and his sister, when they were children: “A letter, yellow with age, lies on the table. It bears date June 23, 1833, and was sent to India in the care of Rev. Dr. James R. Eckard, then a missionary in that far-away land. It was written by a boy ten years old. That boy became a missionary himself—was a pastor in this country—and was esteemed the most eminent theologian of his day. Recently he heard the summons to a higher service; and “was not, for God took him.” Subjoined is the child’s note—suggestive of the impressions which youthful minds are capable of receiving:

“DEAR HEATHEN: The Lord Jesus Christ hath promised that the time shall come when all the ends of the earth shall be His Kingdom. And God is not a man that He should lie, nor the son of man that He should repent. And if this was promised by a Being who cannot lie, why do you not help it to come sooner, by reading the Bible, and attending to the words of your teachers; and loving God, and, renouncing your idols, take Christianity into your temples? 

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