Winter  2002
Volume 6 Number 2

"A Witness to Truth"
Martin Luther King Jr.'s Eulogy
 for PTS Alum James J. Reeb

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I say, in conclusion, the greatest tribute that we can pay to James Reeb this afternoon is to continue the work he so nobly started but could not finish because his life-like the Schubert "Unfinished Symphony"-was cut off at an early age. We have the challenge and charge to continue. We must work right here in Alabama, and all over the United States, till men everywhere will respect the dignity and worth of human personalities. We must work with all our hearts to establish a society where men will be-that "out of one blood God made all men to dwell upon the face of the earth." Plaque at the entrance to the Mackay Campus CenterWe must work with determination for that great day. "Justice will roll down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream." We must work right here, where "every valley shall be exalted, every mountain and hill shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places straight. The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together." We must work to make the Declaration of Independence real in our everyday lives.

If we will do this, we will be able-right here in Alabama, right here in the deep South, right here in the United States-to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. We will be able to speed up the day when all of God's children-as expressed so beautifully in this marvelous ecumenical service-all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands in unity and brotherhood to bring about the bright day of the brotherhood of man under the guidance of the fatherhood of God.

So we thank God for the life of James Reeb. We thank God for his goodness. We thank God that he was willing to lay down his life in order to redeem the soul of our nation. So I say-so Horatio said as he stood over the dead body of Hamlet-"Good night sweet prince: may the flight of angels take thee to thy eternal rest."

License granted by Intellectual Properties Management, Atlanta, Georgia, as exclusive licensor of the King Estate.

Given in Love
by William O. Harris

At this tragic time it is helpful to remember the many Princeton Seminary graduates who have given their lives for the love of Jesus in fulfillment of his command to love one another. There are several plaques on the porch of the Mackay Campus Center that remind us of Princetonians who have laid down their lives in the service of the kingdom of Christ. One of these plaques contains the names of six missionary alumni and their wives: Walter Lowrie (Class of 1840) and his wife were thrown into the China Sea in 1847; John Freeman (Class of 1838) and Robert McMullin (Class of 1853) and their wives were shot in 1857 during a mutiny in India; Isidor Loewenthal (Class of 1854), a convert from Judaism, was killed in India in 1864; William E. McChesney (Class of 1869) was killed by pirates in China in 1872; and John R. Peale (Class of 1905) was killed with his wife in China during the Boxer Rebellion. Another plaque remembers Elijah Lovejoy (Class of 1834), who was killed in 1837 by a mob in Illinois for preaching and publishing a newspaper advocating the abolition of slavery. A third plaque honors James Reeb (Class of 1953), who was beaten to death in 1965 while marching with Martin Luther King Jr. for civil rights in Selma, Alabama. A plaque, currently being restored, recalls William Shedd (Class of 1892), who died of disease in 1918 in Persia while leading a company of Armenian Christians escaping persecution He was hastily buried under rocks while his wife prayed the Lord's Prayer as the group continued its flight. 

Countless others, including more than 300 Korean Presbyterian pastors in the 1950s, have suffered violent deaths and gained the Victor's Crown because of a faith taught them by Princetonians. "They being dead yet speak." Hebrews 11:4

William O. Harris is Princeton Seminary's librarian for archives and special collections.

Copyright 2001 Princeton Theological Seminary
[email protected] | last updated 12/20/01

In This Issue


Renewing a Right Spirit

For Such a Time As This: PTS Campus Community Responds to September 11

Windows on a Shattered World

"A Witness to the Truth": Martin Luther King Jr.'s Eulogy for PTS Alum James J. Reeb


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