472 History of Wake Forest College
views, but to great stores of learning added much common-sense,
lowly piety, exquisite taste, and a healthy outlook on life. It has been
said that perhaps no man in America wrote better English.6 One who
heard him preach while he was a teacher in South Carolina and
afterwards, Dr. William Royall, often declared that no public speaker
was more choice in his language in the pulpit. The following
characterization of his preaching is from one who knew him well,
Elder W. H. Jordan:
Dr. Hooper's excellence as a preacher was in the earnest, highly evangelical and
practical character of his ministry. It contained that happy combination of sound
doctrine, with its enforcement, as productive of a holy practice, which is so fully
exemplified in the ministry of Christ and his apostles. He was not what is called a
popular preacher. Though an elegant writer, he was not a fluent speaker; and after
he became a Baptist his preaching was extemporaneous. But though his elocution
was somewhat slow and embarrassed, frequently when his mind became heated and
ignited with his subject he would break into strains of extraordinary beauty and
His preaching was remarkably calculated to cultivate both the mind and the heart;
to promote, in other words, an intelligent piety. He was a devout believer in the
doctrine of salvation as flowing from the unmerited and sovereign grace of God;
while he believed with equal steadfastness that this grace teaches its subjects "to
deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to live soberly, righteously, and godly in
this present world."
It is uniform testimony of all who knew him that though no one was
more decided in his religious principles yet he was charitable towards
others and entirely free from bigotry. "The love of good men and of a
spiritual religion were the passions of his soul."
As teacher in the University of North Carolina he had been greatly
loved and respected.7 He was regarded in like manner by the students
of Wake Forest College, and his gentleness and humility as well as his
sincerity and native dignity, won their admiration, and stimulated
them to high endeavor. The following from David R. Wallace, who
proved to be one of the ablest men
6 T. H. Pritchard in Cathcart's Baptist EncyclopΦdia, p. 512.
7 See the resolution of the University students on the occasion of Dr. Hooper's
leaving the institution. Raleigh Register.
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