Two eulogies published upon the death of Dr. J. Gresham Machen. One by a close friend, Dr. Clarence E. Macartney; the other by “S. M. R.”, who was perhaps the editor of The Presbyterian, in the mid-1930’s. (further research would be required to confirm this theory).
DR. MACARTNEY’S COMMENT ON THE DEATH OF DR. MACHEN
[as published in The Presbyterian, 7 January 1937.]
When I heard of the passing of Dr. Machen, the words of King David over Abner came to mind: “Know ye not that there is a prince and a great man fallen this day in Israel?”
Dr. Machen was my classmate at Princeton and a firm friend through all the years that have passed since then. I am glad in this public way to testify to my affection for him, my admiration for his superb intellect, his pre-eminent scholarship, his magnificent courage, and his clear discernment of the spread of apostasy in the Christian Church.
He was the greatest theologian and defender of the Christian faith that the Church of our day has produced. More than any other man of our generation, Dr. Machen tore the mask from the face of unbelief which parades under the name of Modernism in the Christian Church.
He was not only a great scholar and thinker, but a man of remarkable power as an organizer. He leaves behind him three noble institutions which are his chief monument–Westminster Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, the Independent Board for Presbyterian Foreign Missions, and the Presbyterian Church of America.
To those who did not know him, Dr. Machen may have seemed austere and censorious. But those who had the privilege of his friendship knew him as a man of the widest culture and a delightful companion.
We shall see him no more in the flesh. His eloquent voice will not be heard again in the pulpits of the land. Yet, “he being dead, yet speaketh.” Like Paul, he kept the faith delivered unto the saints, and like Paul’s noble companion, Barnabas, “He was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost.”
Clarence Edward Macartney.
Dr. J. Gresham Machen
The speedy death after a brief battle with lobar pneumonia which closed the earthly career of Dr. Machen at the age of fifty-five, came to us as a great shock. Dr. Machen was a vigorous personality, a great scholar, yet a very humble and warm-hearted Christian. He endeared himself to his students, among whom the writer is happy to have been numbered at Princeton Seminary. He was the master of all the foremost writings of the destructive critics who did so much to undermine Christian faith, and he taught the riches of the Word with understanding as well as personal belief. He saw the poverty of the general position which was so popular a few years ago, but which has now left its votaries discomfited and bereft in the time of great need. He was a man of Reformation proportions. The Lord’s hand may now appear more plainly with the servant called home, either perpetating [sic] the denomination he started with greater power, or directing these noble men back to our own Church. Certainly we would welcome their return, as we will continue to respect them in their own endeavors.
S. M. R.