C. H. Little to Dr. R. F. Weidner, January 18, 1908

Carroll Herman Little, Correspondent
R. F. Weidner
, Recipient
Media Type
Item Type
Handwritten letter from Carroll Herman Little to Dr. R. F. Weidner, president of the Chicago Theological Lutheran Seminary on January 18, 1907. Little describes his reading and studies, and his life as pastor of the New Germany parish in Nova Scotia.
Carroll Herman Little (1872-1958) was a Lutheran pastor, and a professor and administrator at the Evangelical Lutheran Seminary of Canada (later Waterloo Lutheran Seminary; now Martin Luther University College) in Waterloo, Ontario.

Little was born in Hickory, North Carolina in 1872. He was the eldest of ten children born to Rev. Marcus Lafayette Little (1848-1891) and Candace Mary Almetta Herman (1848-1947). Marcus L. Little, a Lutheran pastor and educator, was killed in a train accident in Newton, North Carolina on February 16, 1891.

C. H. Little received his early education and work experience in North Carolina, graduating from Gaston College in 1889. From 1888-1891 Little worked as editor of a newspaper founded by his father in Dallas, North Carolina. He also taught in North Carolina schools. After his father’s death, Little entered Roanoke College in Virginia, graduating with a BA (Classics) in 1893. From 1897-1898 he was enrolled in post-graduate studies in the Classics Department at John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.

In 1901 Little graduated from Mount Airy Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Following in his father’s footsteps, C. H. Little was ordained by the Ministerium of Pennsylvania on June 3, 1901. After ordination he accepted a call to the Nova Scotia Synod, serving as pastor in the New Germany parish from 1901-1909, and the Mahone Bay parish from 1909-1911. From 1911-1914 he was housefather of Bethany Orphans’ Home in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia. During this time he also served the Nova Scotia Synod as secretary (1904-1909), president (1911-1914) and editor of the Nova Scotia Lutheran (1907-1911). In 1914 Little was recognized with an honorary Doctor of Divinity from Lenoir Rhyne College in Hickory, North Carolina. Little left Nova Scotia in 1914 when he accepted a call to the St. Lawrence Parish in Morrisburg, Ontario.

In 1917 C. H. Little accepted a teaching position at the Evangelical Lutheran Seminary of Canada (now Waterloo Lutheran Seminary) in Waterloo, Ontario. He remained at the Seminary for the rest of his career, retiring in 1947. In addition to his responsibilities as professor, Little also held various administrative roles including acting President, 1918-1920, 1929-1931, and 1942-44; Bursar, 1918-1933; and Dean, 1920-1927. Little continued to pursue his own education through correspondence studies with the Chicago Lutheran Seminary, receiving the degrees of BD and STM in 1924, and an STD in 1928.

Publications authored by C. H. Little include New Testament handbook (1941); Lutheran confessional theology : a presentation of the doctrines of the Augsburg Confession and the Formula of concord (1943); and Explanation of the book of Revelation (1950). He was a long time contributor to the Canada Lutheran, and held editorial positions for the publication.

Little married Edith Blanche “Bonnie” DeLong (1888-1974) on September 9, 1908 in Nova Scotia. They had ten children: Carolus DeLong, Herman Luther, Marion, Arthur Bernard, Robert Paul, Margaret Eileen, Ruth, Catharine, Florence Josephine, and John Frederick.

Carroll Herman Little died in Waterloo, Ontario on March 31, 1958.

-- Letter transcribed by Michael Skelton in 2012.
Date of Original
Jan.18, 1908
Width: 22 cm
Height: 28 cm
Local identifier
Eastern Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada fonds
Language of Item
Geographic Coverage
  • Nova Scotia, Canada
    Latitude: 44.55015 Longitude: -64.71547
Copyright Statement
Public domain: Copyright has expired according to Canadian law. No restrictions on use.
Recommended Citation
Correspondence from Carroll Herman Little to R. F. Weidner, 18 January 1908, S100, File 5.1.7, Eastern Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada fonds, Wilfrid Laurier University Archives & Special Collections, Wilfrid Laurier University
Reproduction Notes
TextS100 Disc1
Wilfrid Laurier University Library
Agency street/mail address:

75 University Avenue West, Waterloo, ON Canada N2L 3C5

Full Text

New Germany, N.S.,

Jan’y 18, 1908.

Dear Doctor Weidner:

Your kind letter of recent date was received and read with interest and pleasure. Since we have undertaken the publication of a Church paper, of which I was made Editor, my time for reading and study has been materially diminished. In consequence I have not been able to accomplish much since I wrote you last. Still I have read a couple books. One of these was an old book by Bishop White of Pa., 1816, on the Calvinistic-Arurinian controversies. It was a long winded argument against Calvinism. I read one volume as patiently as I could and found some good things in it, but I was so disgusted with its general superficiality and the Pelagianism that I haven’t had the courage to tackle the second volume or to read his other book on the Anglican Catechism and doctrines which I have. The profound epistle to the Romans he reduces to a mere controversy as to whether the Gentiles should be admitted into the membership and privileges of the visible Church without submitting to circumcision and other Jewish rites or not. According to him, there is no such thing as election or predestination as pertaining to individuals, but only an election or predestination of nations or communities, and that not to salvation but only to certain privileges and opportunities, wherein the individual among the elected group must work out his own salvation. The best part of the book was the chapter on the universality of redemption, though even here some exceptions as to the proof brought forward might be taken. I have also ready one volume and am reading the second of Phillip Brooke’ Sermons. He is quite broad-church in some respects and is not a stickler for purity of doctrine, but his sermons are clear in thought and very devotional in spirit showing the heart of a man glowing with love to God and fellow man. As a Lutheran I was struck with the almost entire absence of Scriptural

(Page 2)

quotations in his sermons. After the text is stated there is rarely another portion of Scripture to be found in the entire sermon and the word does not seem to be given the prominence that should be assigned to it as a means of grace. But for all that his sermons are helpful and inspiring.

As to the subject of Millennialism, it would not be becoming in me to argue it with you. Personally I was taught to believe long before I ever saw the Seminary in Phila that Chiliasm in every shape and form was condemned by Art. XVII of the Augsburg Confession, and this was one of the “Four Points” adopted many years ago by the Tennessee Synod by which it was distinguished from the rather loose Lutheranism of the Synods surrounding it. The action was known as “The Summit Rule” from its having occurred at the Convention of Synod held in Summit. SC. I just mention this to show you that my views on the subject were not changed or in any way modified by the teaching at Mt. Airy. I have read arguments on both sides of the subject – on the millennial side, however mostly by non-Lutheran authors. But I read Seiss’s “Last Times”, which I have no doubt you will agree is speculative and extravagant. Whatever my views may be, I always endeavour to read with a mind open to the conviction of the truth, and I would be glad to read your Biblical Theology and Commentary on Revelation or anything else that comes from your pen and hope to have the pleasure of doing so as soon as I am able to get some of these books. I don’t pin my faith to any of the dogmaticians, old or new, being fully aware that they are neither popes nor infallible apostles, but if I had to choose between Gerhardt or Cheurnitz and almost any of the modern German Theologians of the Conservative school, I do not hesitate to day that I would follow the former. I have almost finished the books worth reading in m library, outside of Commentaries, but am not in a position just now to invest to any considerable extent in new books. I wish I had some little books like MacClean on the Creeds, to carry around with me. That was one of the finest and most helpful little books I have read. With kindest regards to you and best wishes in every way, I am

Sincerely yours, [signed] C.H. Little.

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C. H. Little to Dr. R. F. Weidner, January 18, 1908

Handwritten letter from Carroll Herman Little to Dr. R. F. Weidner, president of the Chicago Theological Lutheran Seminary on January 18, 1907. Little describes his reading and studies, and his life as pastor of the New Germany parish in Nova Scotia.