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Palmer, a disciple of Thornwell, writes a thorough if sycophantic biography of his spiritual hero. This remains an important book for any historian of the Antebellum South and the Church for its use of Thornwell's letters. In its pages we also find a sympathetic history and character sketch of one of the most significant American Calvinists of the 19th Century (who is stilled revered by many today.) The question of how a technically able theologian and passionate churchman could embrace the institution of slavery is a salutary warning for us today.