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Saturday, August 2, 2014

John Williamson Nevin 1803-1886

John Williamson Nevin (February 20, 1803 – June 6, 1886), was an American theologian and educationalist. He was born in the Cumberland Valley, near Shippensburg, Franklin County, Pennsylvania. He was the father of noted sculptor and poet Blanche Nevin.

  He was a nephew of Hugh Williamson of North Carolina, and was of Scottish blood and Presbyterian training. He graduated at Union College in 1821; studied theology at Princeton Theological Seminary in 1823-1828, being in 1826-1828 in charge of the classes of Charles Hodge; was licensed to preach by the Carlisle Presbytery in 1828; and in 1830-1840 was professor of Biblical literature in the newly founded Western Theological Seminary (now Pittsburgh Theological Seminary) of Allegheny, Pennsylvania.
  But under the influence of Neander he was gradually breaking away from "Puritanic Presbyterianism," and in 1840, having resigned his chair in Allegheny, he was appointed professor of theology in the (German Reformed) Theological Seminary at Mercersburg, Pa., and thus passed from the Presbyterian Church into the German Reformed. He soon became prominent; first by his contributions to its organ the Messenger; then byThe Anxious Bench—A Tract for the Times (1843), attacking the vicious excesses of revivalistic methods; and by his defence of the inauguration address, The Principle of Protestantism, delivered by his colleague Philip Schaff, which aroused a storm of protest by its suggestion that Pauline Protestantism was not the last word in the development of the church but that a Johannine Christianity was to be its out-growth, and by its recognition of Petrine Romanism as a stage in ecclesiastical development. To Dr. Schaff's 122 theses of The Principle of Protestantism Nevin added his own theory of the mystical union between Christ and believers, and both Schaff and Nevin were accused of a "Romanizing tendency."
  Nevin characterized his critics as pseudo-Protestants, urged (with Dr. Charles Hodge, and against the Presbyterian General Assembly) the validity of Roman Catholic baptism, and defended the doctrine of the "spiritual real presence" of Christ in the Lord's Supper, notably in The Mystical Presence: a Vindication of the Reformed or Calvinistic Doctrine of the Holy Eucharist (1846); to this the reply from the point of view of rationalistic puritanism was made by Charles Hodge in the Princeton Review of 1848.
  In 1849 the Mercersburg Review was founded as the organ of Nevin and the "Mercersburg Theology"; and to it he contributed from 1849 to 1883. In 1851 he resigned from the Mercersburg Seminary in order that its running expenses might be lightened; and from 1841 to 1853 he was president of Marshall College at Mercersburg. With Dr. Schaff and others he was on the committee which prepared the liturgy of the German Reformed Church, which appeared in provisional form in 1857 and as An Order of Worship in 1866. In 1861-1866 he was instructor of history at Franklin and Marshall College (in which Marshall College had been merged), of which he was president in 1866-1876. He died in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, on June 6, 1886.

The Life and Work of John Williamson Nevin - 1889 - Appel, Theodore, 1823-1907  Containing Nevin's more important articles.
The Anxious Bench - 1844 - Nevin, John Williamson. 1803-1886 (Second Edition. Revised and Enlarged. Notes: No table-of-contents pages found. Some text could not be captured due to narrow margins and tight binding.)
The Anxious Bench - 1843 - Nevin, John Williamson.  1803-1886  [This book is written against the entire system of what were technically denominated in our author's day, "New Measures", represented by the Anxious Bench.]
  The Mystical Presence. A Vindication of the Reformed or Calvinistic Doctrine of the Holy Eucharist by   Charles Hodge (The Biblical Repertory and Princeton Review (1848))
Doctrine of the Reformed Church on the Lord's Supper - The Mercersburg Review - September, 1850 - Nevin, John Williamson  (Nevin's response to Hodge)
History and Genius of the Heidelberg Catechism - 1847 - Nevin, John Williamson

A Summary of Biblical Antiquities; for the Use of Schools, Bible-Classes and Families - 1849 - Nevin, John Williamson. 1803-1886
"List of principal writers": p. 439-443

A Summary of Biblical Antiquities : Compiled for the Use of Sunday-School Teachers, and for the Benefit of Families (Volume v.2) - 1829 - Nevin, John Williamson. 1803-1886. cn
"Vol. 1. embracing notices of natural history, with domestic and political antiquities." - t.p

Vindication of the Revised Liturgy, Historical and Theological - 1867 - Nevin, John Williamson. 1803-1886

Christian Hymnology - 1856 - Nevin, John Williamson. 1803-1886
From the Mercersburg Quarterly Review for October 1856

Mercersburg Primary Sources - Contains contributions by John Nevin.
Mercersburg Review (1849-1852)
Mercersburg Quarterly Review (1853-1856)
Mercersburg Review (1857-1878)
Reformed Quarterly Review (1879-1896)
Reformed Church Review (1897-1926)


B. S. Schneck, D.D., ''Mercersburg Theology Inconsistent with Protestant and Reformed Doctrine (Philadelphia, 1874) J. B. Lippincott & Co. A contemporaneous critique of Nevin's theology written by the editor of The Reformed Church Magazine.

The Principle of Protestantism as Related to the Present State of the Church - 1845 - Philip Schaff (Translated from the German, with an Introduction, by John W. Nevin, D.D.)

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