Dr. Kuyper's work on the Holy Spirit first appeared in the Heraut in weekly installments, after which it was published in book form, Amsterdam, 1888.
This explains the object of the author in writing the book, viz., the instruction of the people of the Netherlands. Written in the ordinary language of the people, it meets the need of both laity and clergy.
However, depth of thought was not sacrificed to simplicity of speech. On the contrary, the latter was only the instrument to make the former lucid and transparent.
The Heraut is a religious weekly of which Dr. Kuyper has been the editor-in-chief for more than twenty years. It is published on Friday and forms the Sunday reading of a large constituency. Through its columns Dr. Kuyper has taught again the people of the Netherlands, in city and country, the principles of the Reformed faith, and how to give these principles a new development in accordance with the modern conscience of our time.
Dr. Kuyper is not an apologist, but an earnest and conscientious reconstructionist. He has made the people acquainted with the symbols of the Reformed faith, and by expounding the Scriptures to them, he has maintained and defended the positions of those symbols. His success in this respect appears conspicuously in the reformation of the Reformed Churches in 1886 and in the subsequent development of marvelous energy and activity in Church and State, which are products of revived and reconstructed Calvinism. Without the patient toil and labor of this quarter of a century, that reformation would have been impossible.
In his religious and political reformations, Dr. Kuyper proceeded from the personal conviction that the salvation of Church and State could be found only in a return to the deserted foundations of the national Reformed theology; but not to reconstruct it in its worn-out form. |His fresh, brave spirit is entirely free from all conservatism| (Dr. W. Geesink). He is a man of his time, as well as for his time. The new superstructure, which he has been rearing upon the carefully reuncovered foundations of the Reformed theology, he seeks to adapt to all the needs, demands, and distresses of the present. In how far he has succeeded time only can tell.
Since 1871 he has published in the columns of the Heraut and afterward in book form the following: |Out of the Word,| Bible studies, four volumes; |The Incarnate Word,| |The Work of the Holy Spirit,| three volumes, and |E Voto Dordraceno,| an explanation of the Heidelberg Catechism, four volumes. This last work is a rich treasury of sound and thorough theology, dogmatic and practical. He has published several other treatises which have not yet appeared in book form. Among these we notice especially |On Common Grace,| which, still in process of publication, is full of most excellent reading. The number of his works amounts already to over one hundred and fifty, a partial list of which is to be found following this introduction.
The following works have been translated into English: |Encyclopædia of Sacred Theology| (Charles Scribner's Sons, 1898); |Calvinism and Art|; |Calvinism and Our Constitutional Liberties|; |Pantheism and Destruction of the Boundaries|; |The Stone Lectures.|
For the better understanding of the work, the translator begs to offer the following explanations:
|Ethical Irenical,| or simply |Ethical,| is the name of a movement in the Netherlands that seeks to mediate between modern Rationalism and the orthodox confession of the old Reformed Church. It seeks to restore peace and tranquillity not by a return to the original church order, nor by the maintenance of the old Confession and the removal of deviating ministers through trial and deposition (Judicial Treatment), but by making efforts to find a common ground for both parties. It proceeds from the idea that that which is diseased in the Church can and will return to health: partly by letting the disease alone to run its course (Doorzieken) -- forgetting that corruption in the Church is not a disease, but a sin (Dr. W. Geesink); partly by a liberal diffusion of Bible knowledge among the people (Medical Treatment).
Dr. Chantepie de la Saussaye, a disciple of Schleiermacher, was the spiritual father of this Ethical theology. Born in 1818, Dr. De la Saussaye entered the University of Leyden in 1836. Dissatisfied with the rational supernaturalism of a former generation, unable to adapt himself to the vagueness and ambiguousness of the so-called Groningen school, or to find a basis for the development of his theological science in the treasures of the Calvinistic theology, he felt himself strongly attracted to the school of Schelling, and through him he came under the influence of Pantheism. During the years of his pastorate in Leeuwarden (1842-48) and in Leyden to 1872, he modified and developed the ideas of Schleiermacher in an independent way. The Ethical theology was the result. Its basic thought may be comprehended as follows:
|Transcendent above nature, God is also immanent in nature. This immanence is not merely physical, but also, on the ground of this, ethical. This ethical immanence manifests itself in the religious moral life, which is the real and true life of man. It originates in the heathen world, and through Israel ascends to Christ, in whom it attains completion. Among the heathen it manifests itself especially in the conscience with its two elements of fear and hope; among Israel in Law and Prophecy; and in Christ in His perfect union with God and humanity. For this reason He is the Word par excellence, the Central Man, in whom all that is human is realized. However, while until Christ it proceeded from circumference to center, after Christ it proceeds in ever-widening circles from center to circumference. Life flows from Christ into the Church which, having temporarily become an institution for the education of the nations, became through the Reformation and the French Revolution what it should be, a confessing Church. Its power lies no more in ecclesiastical organization, neither in authoritative creed and confession, but in moral activity and influence. The divine Word in the conscience begins to work and to govern; Christianity is being transferred into the moral domain.
|However; the perfect ethical immanence of God is not attained in this dispensation; being always possible, it may be realized in the succeeding eons.|
It is not surprising that this theology, obliterating with its pantheistic current the boundary-lines between the Creator and the creature, should have come in hostile contact with the Reformed theology, which most zealously guards these boundary lines. In fact, instead of uniting the two existing parties on one common ground, the Ethical movement added a third, which in the subsequent conflict was much more bitter, arbitrary, and tyrannical than the moderns and which has already abandoned the Holy Scriptures in the manner of Wellhausen and Kuenen.
In 1872 Dr. Chantepie de la Saussaye was appointed professor of theology in the University of Groningen, succeeding Hofstede de Groot. He filled this position but thirteen months. He fell asleep February 13, 1874.
His most excellent disciple is the highly gifted Dr. J. H. Gunning, till 1899 professor of theology at the University of Leyden.
The name of Dr. Kohlbrugge is frequently found in the following pages. Born a Lutheran, a graduate of the seminary of Amsterdam, a candidate for the Lutheran ministry, Dr. Kohlbrugge became acquainted with the Reformed theology through the study of its earlier exponents. Known and feared as an ardent admirer of the doctrine of predestination, the authorities first of the Lutheran then of the State Church refused him admission to the ministry. He left Holland for Germany, where for the same reason he was debarred from the pulpits of the German Reformed churches. At last he was called to the pulpit of a Free Reformed church at Elberfeld, established by himself.
He was a profound theologian, a prolific writer, and one zealous for the honor of his Master. His numerous writings -- half Lutheran, half Reformed -- were spread over Holland, the Rhenish provinces, the cantons of Switzerland, and even among some Reformed churches of Bohemia.
Some of his disciples fell into Antinomianism, and occupy pulpits in the State Church at the present time. They are called Neo-Kohlbruggians. Professor Böhl, of Vienna, is the learned representative of the Old Kohlbruggians. Both the old and the new school are strongly opposed to Calvinism.
The translation of |The Work of the Holy Spirit| was undertaken by appointment of the author, to whom the proof sheets of almost all the first volume were submitted for correction. Being |overwhelmed| with work and being fully satisfied with the translation so far as he had seen it, the author decided not to delay the work for the reading of the remaining volumes, but to leave that to the discretion of the translator. A question of the omission of matter referring to local conditions and to current theological discussions was also left to the translator's judgment.
Grateful thanks are due to Rev. Thomas Chalmers Straus, A. M., of Peekskill, N. Y., for valuable assistance in preparing this work for the press.
Peekskill, N. Y., January 27, 1900
The following is a partial list of the works of Dr. Kuyper:
|J. Calvini et J. a Lasco: De Ecclesia Sententiarum inter se Compositio Acad. Diss.| 1862.
|Joannis a Lasco: Opera tum Edita quam Inedita.| Two vols., 1866.
|Wat moeten wy doen, het stemrecht aan ons zelven houden of den Kerkeraad machtigen?| (What Are We to Do: Retain the Right of Voting, or Authorize the Consistory?) 1867.
|De Menschwording Gods Het Levensbeginsel der Kerk.| Intreêrede to Utrecht. (The Incarnation of God the Vital Principle of the Church. Inaugural discourse at Utrecht.) 1867.
|Het Graf.| Leerrede aan den avond van Goede-Vrydag. (The Tomb. Sermon on Good Friday night.) 1869.
|Zestal Leerredenen.| (Six Sermons.) 1869.
|De Kerkelyke Goederen.| (Church Property.) 1869.
|Vrymaking der Kerk.| (The Emancipation of the Church.) 1869.
|Het Beroep op het Volksgeweten.| (An Appeal to the National Conscience. ) 1869.
|Eenvormigheid de Vloek van het Moderne Leven.| (Uniformity the Curse of Modern Life.) 1869.
|De Schrift het Woord Gods.| (Scripture the Word of God.) 1870.
|Kerkeraadsprotocollen der Hollandsche Gemeente te London.| 1569-1571. (The Consistorial Minutes of the Dutch Church in London.) 1870.
|De Hollandsche Gemeente te London,| 1570-1571. (The Dutch Church in London.) 1870.
|Conservatisme en Orthodoxie. Valsche en Ware Behoudzucht.| (Conservatism and Orthodoxy, the True and the False Instinct of Self-Preservation.) 1870.
|Geworteld en Gegrond, de Kerk als Organisme en Institute.| (Rooted and Grounded, the Church as Organism and Institute.) Inaugural at Amsterdam.1870.
|De Leer der Onsterfelykheid en de Staats School.| (The Doctrine of Immortality and the State School.) 1870.
|Een Perel in de Verkeerde Schelp.| (A Pearl in the Wrong Shell.) 1871.
|Het Modernisme een Fata Morgana op Christelyk Gebied| (Modernism a Fata Morgana in the Christian Domain.) 1871.
|De Zending Naar de Schrift.| (Missions According to Scripture.) 1871.
|Tweede Zestal Leerredenen.| (Another Six Sermons.) 1851.
|O God Wees My Zondaar Genadig!| Leerrede op den Laatsten Dag van Het Jaar; 1870. (O God be Merciful to Me a Sinner! Sermon on Old Year's night, 1870. ) 1871.
|De Bartholomeusnacht.| (The Bartholomew Night.) 1872.
|De Sneeuw van den Libanon.| (The Snow of Lebanon.) 1872.
|Bekeert u Want het Koningryk Gods is Naby.| (Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven Is at Hand). Sermon on the last day of the year 1871.1872.
|Het Vergryp der Zeventien Ouderlingen.| (The Mistake of the Seventeen Elders. Memoir of the Consistory of Amsterdam.) 1872.
|Uit het Woord.| (Out of the Word.) Devotional Bible studies.1873.
|Het Calvinisme, Oorsprong en Waarborg onzer Constitutioneele Vryheden.| (Calvinism, the Origin and Surety of Our Constitutional Liberties.) 1874.
|Uit het Woord.| (Out of the Word.) Second volume, 1875.
|De Schoolquestie.| (The School Question.) Six brochures, 1875.
|Liberalisten en Joden.| (Liberalists and Jews.) 1879.
|Uit het Woord.| (Out of the Word.) Third volume, 1879.
|Ons Program.| (Our Program.) 1879.
|De Leidsche Professoren en de Executeurs der Dordtsche Nalatenschap|. (The Leyden Professors and the Executors of the Inheritance of Dordt.) 1879.
|Revisie der Revisielegende:| (Revision of the Revision Legend.) 1879.
|De Synode der Nederlandsche Revormde Kerk uit Haar Eigen Vermaanbrief Geoordeeld.| (The Synod of the Reformed Church in the Netherlands Judged by Its Own Epistle of Exhortation.) 1879.
|Antirevolutionair ook in uw Gezin.| (Anti-Revolutionary Even in the Family.) 1880.
|Bede om een Dubbel Corrigendum.| (Prayer for a Double Corrigendum.) 1880.
|Strikt Genomen.| (Taken Strictly. The Right to Found a University, Tested by Public Law and History.) 1880.
|Souvereiniteit in Eigen Kring.| (Sovereignty in Our Own Circle.) 1880.
|Honig uit den Rottsteen.| (Honey Out of the Rock.) 1880.
|De Hedendaagsche Schrifteritiek in Hare Bedenkelyke Strekking voor de Gemeente des Levenden Gods.| (Modern Criticism and Its Dangerous Influence upon the Church of the Living God.) Discourse.1882.
|D. Franscisci Junii: Opuscula Theologica.| 1882.
|Alexander Comrie.| Translated from The Catholic Presbyterian Review.1882.
|Ex Ungue Leonem.| Dr. Doedes's Method of Interpretation Tested on One Point.1882.
|Welke zyn de Vooruitzchten voor de Studenten der vrye Universiteit?| (What Are the Prospects for the Students of the Free University?) 1882.
|Tractaat van de Reformatie der Kerken.| (Tractate of the Reformation of the Churches.) 1883.
|Honig uit den Rottsteen.| (Honey Out of the Rock.) Second volume, 1883.
|Uit het Woord.| (Out of the Word.) Second series, first volume: That Grace Is Particular.1884.
|Yzer en Leem.| (Iron and Clay.) Discourses.1885.
|Uit het Woord.| (Out of the Word.) Second volume: The Doctrine of the Covenants.1885.
|Uit het Woord.| Third volume: The Practise of Godliness.1886.
|Het Dreigend Conflict.| (The Conflict Threatening.) 1886.
|Het Conflict Gekomen.| (The Conflict Come.) Three vols., 1886.
|Dr. Kuyper voor de Synode.| (Dr. Kuyper Before the Synod.) 1886.
|Laatste Woord tot de Conscientie van de Leden der Synode.| (Last Word to the Conscience of the Members of Synod.) On behalf of the persecuted members of the Consistory of Amsterdam.1886.
|Afwerping van het Juk der Synodale Hierarchie. |(The Throwing Off of the Yoke of the Synodical Hierarchy.) 1886.
|Alzoo zal het onder u niet zyn.| (It Shall Not be So Among You.) 1886.
|Eene ziel die zich Nederbuigt.| (A Prostrate Soul.) Opening address of the Reformed Church Congress at Amsterdam.1887.
|De Verborgen Dingen zyn voor den Heere Onzen God.| (The Secret Things Belong to the Lord Our God.) 1887.
|Sion Door Recht Verlost.| (Zion Saved through Judgment.) 1887.
|De Vleeschwording des Woords.| (The Incarnation of the Word.) 1887.
|Dagen van Goede Boodschap.| (Days of Glad Tidings.) 1887.
|Tweederlei Vaderland.| (Two Fatherlands.) 1887.
|Het Calvinisme en de Kunst.| (Calvinism and Art.) 1888.
|Dr. Gisberti Voetii Selectarum Disputationum Fasciculus.| In the Bibliotheca Reformata.1888.
|Het Work des Heiligen Geestes.| (The Work of the Holy Spirit.) Three vols., 1889.
|Homer voor den Sabbath.| (Homer for the Sabbath.) Meditations on the Sabbath.1889.
|Niet de Vryheidsboom Maar het Kruis.| (Not the Tree of Liberty, but the Cross.) Opening address at the tenth annual meeting of the Deputies.1889.
|Eer is Teêr.| (Honor Is Tender.) 1889.
|Handenarbeid.| (Manual Labor.) 1889.
|Scolastica.| (The Secret of True Study.) 1889.
|Tractaat van den Sabbath.| (Tractate on the Sabbath.) A historical dogmatic study.1890.
|Separatie en Doleantie.| (|Secession and Doleantie.| |Doleantie| from doleo, to suffer pain, to mourn -- is in Holland the historic name adopted by a body of Christians to designate the fact that they are either being persecuted by the State Church or have been expelled from its communion on account of their adherence to the orthodox confession.) 1890.
|Zion's Roem en Sterkte.| (Zion's Strength and Glory.) 1890.
|De Twaalf Patriarchen.| (The Twelve Patriarchs.) A study of Bible characters.1890.
|Eenige Kameradviezen.| (Chamber Advices.) Of the years 1874, 1875, 1890.
|Is er Aan de Publieke Universiteit ten onzent Plaats voor eene Faculteit der Theologie?| (Is there Room in Our Public Universities for a Theological Faculty?) 1890.
|Calvinism and Confessional Revision.| In The Presbyterian and Reformed Review, July, 1891.
|Voor een Distel een Mirt.| (Instead of a Brier, a Myrtle-Tree.) 1891.
|Maranatha.| Opening address at the meeting of Deputies.1891.
|Gedrachtslyn by de Stembus.| (Line of Conduct at the Polls.) 1891.
|Het Sociale Vraagstuk en de Christelyke Religie.| (The Social Question and the Christian Religion.) Opening address at the Social Congress.1891.
|De Verflauwing der Grenzen.| (The Destruction of the Boundaries.) Address at the transfer of the Rectorate of the Free University.1892.
|In de Schaduwe des Doods.| (In the Shadows of Death.) Meditations for the sick-chamber and death-bed.1893.
|Encyclopædie der Heilige Godgeleerdheid.| (Encyclopedia of Sacred Theology.) Three vols., 1894.
|E Voto Dordraceno.| Explanation of the Heidelberg Catechism. Four vols., 1894-95.
Levinus W. C. Keuchenius, LL.D. Biography.1896.
|De Christus en de Sociale Nooden, en de Democratische Klippen.| (Christ and the Social Needs and Democratic Dangers.) 1895.
|Uitgave van de Statenvertaling van den Bybel.| (Edition of the Authorized Version of the Bible.) 1895.
|De Zegen des Heeren over Onze Kerken.| (The Blessing of the Lord upon Our Churches.) 1896.
|Vrouwen uit de Heilige Schrift.| (Women of the Bible.) 1897.
|Le Parti Antirevolutionaire.| (The Anti-Revolutionary Party.) In Les Pay-Pas. Presented by the Dutch Society of Journalists to the foreign journalists at the inauguration of the Queen.1898.
|By de Gratie Gods.| (By the Grace of God.) Address.1898.
|Calvinism.| Six lectures delivered at Princeton, N. J., October, 1898. |Calvinism in History,| |Calvinism and Religion,| |Calvinism and Politics,| |Calvinism and Science,| |Calvinism and Art,| |Calvinism and the Future.| Published in Dutch, January, 1899.
|Als gy in uw Huis Zit.| (When Thou Sittest in Thine House.) Meditations for the Family. July, 1899.
|Evolutie.| (Evolution.) Oration at the transfer of the rectorate of the Free University, October 20, 1899.