In February the library hosted a dinner and presentation to celebrate the publication of a new book about President John A. Mackay, written by John Metzger, son of the late Princeton Seminary professor of New Testament Bruce M. Metzger. The book, The Hand and the Road: The Life and Times of John A. Mackay, is a 560-page biography of the author’s grandfather, who was one of the outstanding churchmen of the twentieth century.
Mackay was president of the Seminary from 1936 to 1959. The book traces his childhood in Scotland, his studies in Aberdeen and at Princeton Seminary, from which he graduated in 1915, his service as a missionary in Latin America and as a member of the Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church, and his ecumenical work as one of the founders of the World Council of Churches, as well as his presidency. Mackay earned national attention with his famous 1953 “Letter to Presbyterians,” in which he exposed and challenged the threat to civil liberties posed by the McCarthyism of the early Cold War period.
Last fall Dr. Ernest Campbell, a Princeton Seminary alumnus (Class of 1948) and from 1968 to 1976 pastor of the Riverside Church in New York City, donated to the library a complete set of his sermons preached at Riverside Church. The collection contains 250 pamphlets.
Campbell was one of the most noted preachers of his generation; his sermons were frequently heard on radio and television. He taught homiletics at both Princeton Seminary and Union Seminary in New York and gave Princeton Seminary’s Stone Lectures in 1975 on the topic “Preaching Today.” He was known for his commitment to both the personal and the social dimensions of the gospel, and was an active participant in the Civil Rights movement and one of the first clergymen to speak out against the Vietnam War.