Dods, Marcus (DNB00)

DODS, MARCUS, D.D. (1786–1838), theological writer, was born near Gifford in East Lothian in 1786, and educated at Edinburgh. In 1810 he was ordained presbyterian minister at Belford in Northumberland, and in that charge he remained till his death in 1838. He was a man of deep theological scholarship, and at the same time of irrepressible wit. As a leading contributor to the 'Edinburgh Christian Instructor,' under the editorship of the distinguished Dr. Andrew Thomson, it fell to him to write a critique on the views of Edward Irving on the incarnation of our Lord (January 1830). Irving wrote a very characteristic letter to Dods, frankly stating that he had not read his paper, but that he understood it was severe, and inviting him to correspond with him on the subject. Mrs. Oliphant, not having read the critique any more than Irving, writes as if Dods had been a malleus hereticorum, and mistakes the character of the man. Dods published his views at length in a work entitled 'On the Incarnation of the Eternal Word,' the second edition of which appeared after his death with a strongly recommendatory notice by Dr. Chalmers. A monument to Dods erected at Belford bears an inscription written by the late Professor Maclagan, D.D., which has been greatly admired both for truthful delineation and artistic power: 'A man of noble powers, nobly used, in whom memory and judgment, vigour and gentleness, gravity and wit, each singly excellent, were all happily combined, and devoted with equal promptitude and perseverance to the labours of christian godliness and the deeds of human kindness. The delight of his household, the father of his flock, the helper of the poor, he captivated his friends by his rich converse, and edified the church by his learned and eloquent pen. The earthly preferment which be deserved but did not covet, the earth neglected to bestow; but living to advance and defend, he died in full hope to inherit, the everlasting kingdom of Christ Jesus, our Lord.'

[Christian Instructor, 1838; Oliphant's Life of Irving; information from family.]

W. G. B.