Abraham Kuyper.

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B.B. Warfield, DD

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^OCT 24 1966














J. S. Gushing & Co. - Berwick & Smith
Norwood Mass. U.S.A.

The translation of this Theological Encyclopedia was
undertaken by appointment of the author, with whose co-
operation also the proof-sheets have been read. In the
original, this work consists of three volumes, the contents of
which are stated in Dr. Warfield's "Introductory Note."
The volume here presented contains the first fifty-three
pages of Vol. I. of the original, and Vol. II. entire. The
full definition of " Principium Theologiae " being given on
page 341, the word " principium " as a technical term has
been retained in its Latin form throughout. Grateful thanks
are due to Professor B. B. Warfield, D.D., LL.D., for valu-
able assistance given. And it may also be stated here, that
profound regard for the author, and firm faith in the
standards of Calvinism which he so masterfully defends in
the Netherlands, are the motives that have inspired to the
end this effort of the


Princeton, N.J., June 20, 1898.



The original work, a part of which only is here given in
English, consists of three volumes. These together form a
systematic whole. The first volume contains an introduc-
tion to Theological Encyclopedia, included in pages 1-55 of
this translation. This is followed by a history of Theologi-
cal Encyclopedia of about five hundred pages. No such
history had ever been written before. Brief, summary re-
views are given in some encyclopedias, but no history of
this department as such can be found. And yet the need of
it is imperative for the sake of a broad study of the position
which Theological Encyclopedia at present occupies in the
domain of science. Moreover, the writer was impelled to
undertake this task because the general history of Theology
has for the most part been interpreted in a sense which does
not agree with what he deems should be understood by
Theology. In writing so extensive a history of Theologi-
cal Encyclopedia he had a twofold purpose in view : on
the one hand of conveying a fuller knowledge of Encyclo-
pedia of Theology than had thus far been furnished, and
on the other hand of giving a review of the entire history
of Theology from his view-point. Upon this introductory
volume follows Volume II., which is here given entire in
the English translation. And then follows the third vol-
ume, almost equally large, in which the separate theological
departments find their logical division and interpretation
according to the author's principles. In this third volume
the principles previously developed are brought to their
logical sequence, showing that only in the full acceptance
of the proper principle can a pure and correct development
be discovered for all these departments of Theology.


The author does not hesitate to say frankly that in the
writing of this work he occupies the Calvinistic view-j)oint,
though this is not to be taken in an exclusively dogmatical
sense. There are primordial principles which are funda-
mental to Calvinism, and these only he defends. He is no
Calvinist by birth. Having received his training in a con-
servative-supernaturalistic spirit, he broke with faith in
every form when a student at Leyden, and then cast himself
into the arms of the barest radicalism. At a later period,
perceiving the poverty of this radicalism, and shivering with
the chilling atmosphere which it created in his heart, he
felt attracted first to the Determinism of Professor Scholten,
and then to the warmth of the Vermittelungs-theologie, as
presented by Martensen and his followers. But if this
warmed his heart, it provided no rest for his thought. In
this Vermittelungs-theologie there is no stability of starting-
point, no unity of principle, and no harmonious life-interpre-
tation on which a world-view, based on coherent principles,
can be erected. In this state of mind and of heart he came
in contact with those descendants of the ancient Calvinists,
who in the Netherlands still honor the traditions of the
fathers ; and it astonished him to find among these simple
people a stability of thought, a unity of comprehensive in-
sight, in fact a world-view based on principles which needed
but a scientific treatment and interpretation to give them a
place of equal significance over against the dominant views
of the age. To put forth an effort in this direction has
from that moment on been his determined purpose, and
toward this end he has devoted a series of studies in The-
ology, in Politics, and in ^Esthetics, part of which have
already been published, and part of which are embodied in
the acts of the Second Chamber of the States-General. To
all this, however, there was still wanting that unity which
alone can give a concentric exposition of the nature of theol-
ogy, and to supply this want he set himself the task of writ-
ing this extensive Theological Encyclopedia. Thus only
was he able to reach the heart of the question.

That the treatment of the principium of Theology, i.e. of


the Holy Scripture, is given so much space could not be
avoided. In all this controversy the Holy Scripture is the
question at stake, and the encyclopedia that places itself un-
conditionally upon the Scriptures as its basis cannot find a
plan until the all-embracing question of the Scriptures has
been fundamentally solved.

It is only natural that certain portions of this book should
bear a severely Dutch stamp. Being an enemy to abstrac-
tions, and a lover of the concreteness of representation, the
author could not do anything else than write from the envi-
ronment in which he lives. In one point only does this
require an explanation. In this book he speaks of Methodism
in a way which would have been impossible either in England
or in America, where Methodism has achieved a Church for-
mation of its own. For this reason he begs leave to state that
he views Methodism as a necessary reaction, born from Cal-
vinism itself, against the influences which so often threaten
to petrify the life of the Church. As such, Methodism had
in his opinion a high calling which it is bound to obey, and
a real spiritual significance. And it becomes subject to seri-
ous criticism only when, and in so far as, from being a reac-
tion, it undertakes to be itself an action ; and when, not
satisfied with imparting a new impulse to the sleeping
Church, it seeks to exalt itself in the Church's stead. This,
he thinks, it is not able to do, and hence falls into serious

In closing this brief preface he begs to offer his sincere
thanks to the Rev. J. Hendrik de Vries, who with rare
accuracy of style and language has finished the difficult and
laborious task of this translation.


Amsterdam, June 1, 1898.


It gives me the greatest pleasure to respond to the request
of my friend, the Rev. J. Hendrik de Vries, — to whom a
debt of gratitude is due from us all for putting into English
a vsection of this valuable treatise, — that I should in a few
words introduce its author to his American audience. It is
not often that an opportunity falls to one to make known a
thinker of Dr. Kuyper's quality to a new circle of readers ;
and I count it a high honor to have been given this privi-
lege. For many years now Dr. Kuyf»er has exercised a very
remarkable influence in his own country. As leader and
organizer of the Anti-revolutionary party, and chief editor
of its organ, De Standaard^ a newspaper which, we are told
by good authority, occupies not only " a place of honor, but
the place of honor among Dutch dailies " ; ^ as founder, de-
fender, and developer of the Free University of Amsterdam,
through which the people of the Netherlands are receiving
an object lesson of the possibility and quality of higher edu-
cation conducted on Christian and Reformed foundations, free
from interference from the State ; as consistent advocate in
the Church of freedom of conscience, confessional rights, and
the principles of that Reformed religion to which the Dutch
people owe all that has made them great, and strenuous pro-
moter of the great end of bringing all who love those princi-
ples together into one powerful communion, free to confess
and live the religion of their hearts ; as a religious teacher
whose instructions in his weekly journal. Be Heraut^ are the

^ Jhr. Mr. A. F. de Savornin Lohman in De Nederlander of April 1, 1807
(as extracted in the Gedenkboek, published in commemoration of the com-
pletion of the first twenty-five years of service by Dr. Kuyper as chief-editor
of De Standaard, Amsterdam, 1897, p. 89).


food of hundreds of Imngiy souls, whose prelections in the
Free University are building up a race of theologians imbued
with the historical no less than the sj^stematic spirit, and to
whose writings men of all parties look for light and inspira-
tion ; in fine, as a force in Church and State in whose arm
those who share his fundamental principles trust with a
well-founded hope of victory, Dr. Kuyper is probably to-day
the most considerable figure in both political and ecclesiasti-
cal Holland. As long as thirteen years ago Dr. Johannes
Gloel, looking in upon the Church life of Holland from
without, thought it not too much to say that Dr. Kuyper's
was the best known name in the land ; ^ and though in the
interval friends have been lost, yet doubtless also friends
have been made, and assuredly the sharp conflicts which
have marked these years have not lessened the conspicuous-
ness of the central figure in them all. It is certainly high
time that we should make the acquaintance of such a man in
America. The present volume will, naturally, reveal him to
us on one side only of his multiform activity. It is a fragment
of his scientific theological work which it gives us ; indeed,
to speak literally, it is only a fragment of one of his theo-
logical works, though possibly thus far his most considerable
contribution to theological science. But the reader will not
fail to perceive, even in this fragment, evidence of those
qualities which have made its author the leader of men
which he is, — the depth of his insight, the breadth of his
outlook, the thoroughness of his method, the comprehensive-
ness of his survey, the intensity of his conviction, the elo-
quence of his language, the directness of his style, the pith
and wealth of his illustrations, the force, completeness, win-
ningness of his presentation.

For anything like a complete estimate of Dr. Kuyper's
powers and performance there would be needed a tolerably
thorough acquaintance with the whole political and religious
life of Holland during the last third of the nineteenth cen-
tury. It would even be something of a task to undertake a
study of his mind and work in his literary product, which
1 Hollands kirchliches Leben, "Wtirtemberg, 1885.


has grown to a very considerable voluminousness, and touches
upon nearly the whole circle of civil and ecclesiastical inter-
ests of the present-day Netherlands. All that exists is a
rather superficial and not very correct sketch of his life and
opinions from the pen of Jhr. Mr, Witsius H. de Savornin
Lohman.^ It was written, unhappily, nearly ten years ago,
and Dr. Kuyper has not ceased to live and move in the
meanwhile ; and its greater part is devoted, naturally, to
an account of Dr. Ku3^per's political program as leader
of the Anti-revolutionar}^ party. It may be sup]3lemented,
however, from the theological side from the sympathetic
and very informing account to be found in Dr. Hermann
Bavinck's paper on Recent Dogmatic Thought i?i the Nether-
lands^ which appeared a few years ago in the pages of The
Presbyterian and Reformed Review.^ With this there may
profitably be compared, by those who like to hear both
sides of a question, the series of papers on The Netherland-
ish Reformed Church of the Present by Professor H. G.
Klein of Utrecht, which are buried in the columns of a
Reformed journal which used to be published in Austria,^
while Dr. Kuyper himself has lifted the veil from many
of his earlier experiences in a delightful booklet which
he appropriately calls Confidences.'^ With these references
I may exonerate myself from attempting more here than to
suggest the outlines of his work on the theological side.

Dr. Kuyper was born in 1837, and received his scholastic
training at Ley den, as a student of literature and theology.
He obtained his theological doctorate in 1863, with a treatise
on the idea of the Church in Calvin and a Lasco. During
his university career, when he sat at the feet of Scholten (at

1 It was published as one of the issues of the series entitled Mannen van
Beteekenis in Onze Dagen, edited by Dr. E. J. Pijzel, and published at
Haarlem by H. D. Tjeenk Williuk. It is a pamphlet of 72 pages, and
appeared in 1889.

2 Issue of April, 1892, Vol. III. pp. 209 sq.

3 Evangelisch lieformirte Blaetter mis Oesterreich (Kuttelberg, Oesterr.
Schlesien, 1891 ; Vol. I. pp. 9 seq.).

* Confidentie : Schrijven aan den weled. Heer J. H. van der Linden, door
Dr. A. Kuyper (Amsterdam : Hoveker en Zoon, 1873). Additional sources
of information are given by both Dr. Bavinck and Dr. Klein.


that time in his more conservative period) and Kuenen, he
liad little clearness of religious insight and felt little drawing
to theological study, and gave himself, therefore, rather to the
cultivation of literature under the guidance of Professor de
Vries. At its close a great change came over him, mediated
partly by some striking experiences of providential guidance
in connection with the preparation of a prize-paper which
he had undertaken, partly by the continued and absorbing
study of Calvin and a Lasco to which the preparation of that
paper led him, and partly by the powerful impression made
upon him by Miss Yonge's romance, The Heir of RedcUffe,
read in this state of mind. The good work thus begun was
completed under the influence of the example and conversa-
tion of the pious Reformed people of his first pastoral charge,
at the little village of Beesd, where he ministered the Word
from 1863 to 1867. Thus prepared for his work, he entered
upon it at once con amove, when he was called in the latter
year to the Church at Utrecht. From that moment, at
Utrecht and Amsterdam, in the pulpit and professor's
chair, in the Chamber of Deputies, and the editorial page
of his journals, he has unceasingly waged battle for the
freedom of the Church of God to found itself on the Word
alone, and to live and teach in accordance with its own free

In his new enthusiasm of faith he went to Utrecht in the
highest hope, looking upon that city, in which dwelt and
taught the Coryphseuses of the orthodoxy of the day, as '' a
Zion of God," and expecting to find in them leaders whom
he would need but to follow to the reestablishment of the
Church and of the religious life of the land on the one firm
foundation of the Word of God. He soon discovered that
there were limits, in reliance upon the Reformed principles,
and even in trust in God's Word, beyond which the Apolo-
getical School of Utrecht was not prepared to go. " I had
thought to find them," he says,i "learned brethren, for whom
the Holy Scriptures, just as they lie, were the authority of
their lives, — who with the Word for a weapon were defend-

^ Gedenkboek, etc., as above, p. 68.


ing the stronghold of the Netherlandish Jerusalem with un-
daunted valor ; men who did not merely stand on the wall
and ward off assaults, but rushed forth from the gates and
drove off the foe. But what did I find ? Everywhere a cry
of distressed hearts. Everybody shut up in the hold, with
no thought of anything beyond a weak defence, watching for
the shots to fall, and only when they came giving some poor
reply, while bulwark after bulwark of the faith was yielded
to the enemy." Such an attitude was intolerable to one of
Dr. Kuyjier's ardent and aggressive spirit. Nor did he find
more comfort in the Ethical School, although he was by no
means insensible to the attractions of its " Mediating The-
ology."^ The w^eakness and wastefulness of both apology
and mediation as a means of establishing and advancing
Christianity he felt, moreover, most profoundly; and, plant-
ing himself once for all squarely on the infallible Word and
the Reformed Confessions, he consecrated all his great and
varied powers to purifying the camp and compacting the
forces of positive truth. The effect of the assumption of
this bold, aggressive position was, naturally, to offend and
alienate the adherents of the more " moderate " schools.
The followers of Van Oosterzee and Doedes, of de la Saus-
saye and Gunning, — men who, according to their lights,
had wrought each a good work in the defence and propaga-
tion of the principles of the Gospel, — were necessarily left
behind, where they did not even throw themselves into tlie
camp of the enemy. But the result has vindicated not only
its righteousness, but its wisdom. Not merely as over
against the forces of more or less open unbelief, but also of
those timid souls who would fain pitch their tents in neutral
territory, Dr. Kuyper has raised the banner of unadulterated

1 In the Preface to the first volume of his Encyclopapdie Dr. Kuj-per says :
"Brought up under the teaching of Scholten and Kuenen, iu an entii-ely
different circle of theological ideas, and later not less strongly influenced by
the ' Mediating Theology,' the author found rest neither for his heart nor
for his mind until his eyes were opened to the depth, the earnestness, and
the beauty of the Reformed Confession, which has come to us out of those
spiritually rich days when Calvinism was still a world-power, not only in the
theological, but also in the social and political, realm."


Christianity, and the people of God have flocked to its lead-
ing. He cannot, indeed, be credited with the creation of
the Reformed party in the Cliurch, any more than of the
Anti-revolutionary party in the State. As the year 1840,
when Groen van Prinsterer was elected to the Lower Cham-
ber of the States General, may be accounted the formal birth-
day of the latter, so the year 1842, when the Address of
Groen and his six companions was laid before the Synod of
the Netherlandish Reformed Church, praying for the main-
tenance of the rights of the Reformed Confession against
the Groningen teaching, may be thought of as the formal
birthday of the former. But as it is he who has organized
and compacted the Anti-revolutionary party and led it to its
present position of power, so it is he to whom is due above
all others the present strength of the Reformed tendency in
the religious life and thought of Holland, and to whom are
turned in hope to-day the eyes of all who truly love the
Word of God and the principles of the Reformed religion, —
that "sterling silver," "fine gold," "pure nard," of Chris-
tianity, as he himself phrases it.

In the prosecution of his self-chosen task of recovering
for the Word of God and the princijDles of the Reformed
religion their rightful place in the civil and religious life of
the Netherlands, Dr. Kuyper has made the most vigorous
and versatile use of every means of reaching the minds and
hearts of the people. He edits the daily political paper,
De Standaard, which he has made a veritable power in the
land. He edits the weekly religious paper, I>e Heraut^ and
discusses in its columns in the most thorough way all live
topics of theology and religion. He is serving the State as
a member of the Lower Chamber of the States General. He
is serving the Church as Professor of Dogmatics in the theo-
logical faculty of the Free University at Amsterdam. It is a
matter of course that he has made the freest use also of occa-
sional discussion and scientific presentation. Political jDam-
phlets, devotional treatises, studies on ecclesiastical topics
and theological themes, from his pen, have poured from the
press in an almost unbroken stream. It is a somewhat


remarkable literary product for a busy man to have pro-
duced when looked at from the point of view of mere
quantity ; when its quality is considered, whether from the
point of view of richness of style, fulness of details, wide-
ness of view, or force of presentation, it is simply a marvel.
There have been published in our day few discussions of
civil and social questions more wide-minded and thoughtful,
few devotional writings more penetrating and uplifting, few
theological treatises more profound and stimulating. Among
the more valuable of his theological writings should certainly
be enumerated the numerous addresses which have been
given permanence in print, especially the Rectoral addresses
delivered at the Free University at Amsterdam, several of
which attain the dimension of short treatises, and are fur-
nished with an apparatus of notes, while retaining the grace
of Dr. Kuyper's spoken style. Such, for example, are those
on Present Bay Biblical Criticism, delivered in 1881, Cal-
vinism and Art, delivered in 1888, and the tendency of Pan-
theiziiig thought towards the Obliteration of the Boundary
Lines, and the confounding of things that differ, delivered
in 1892. Among his more considerable works in scientific
theology there fall to be mentioned especially, his edition
of the Opuscala Theologica of Francis Junius, published in
1882, his copious commentary, in four volumes, on the Hei-
delberg Catechism, which bears the title of E Voto Bor-
draceno, published 1892-95, his somewhat popular treatise
on The Work of the Holy Spirit, in three volumes, pub-
lished in 1888-89, and, doubtless we may say above all, his
Encyclopaedie der Heilige Grodgeleerdheid in three volumes,
published in 1894, of which the present volume presents a
part in English.

This important work differs from other encyclopedias of
theology in several particulars. It is marked by the strict-
ness of its scientific conception of its sphere and the skill
with which its proper province is discriminated and occu-
pied. It is marked not less by the comprehensiveness of its
grasp upon its material, and the thoroughness with which it
is worked out in its details. It is especially marked by the


attractiveness of the style in wliicli it is written, which is
never dull, and often rises into real eloquence. It is marked
above all, however, by the frankness with which it is based
on the principles of the Reformed theology. — with whicli
it takes its starting-point "from what Calvin called the
semen religionis, or the sensus divinitatis in ipsis medullis et
viseeribus hominis infixus,'" so as to grant at once that it must
seem as foolishness to him who chooses a different point of
departure ; and with which also it builds up its structure on
the assumption of the truth of the Reformed presuppositions,
and allows at once that it separates itself by so much from
the point of view of all other systems. With so substantial
a portion of the work before the reader, however, as this
volume supplies, it cannot be necessary to speak here of its
method or quality. It is only needful that the reader should
remember that he has before him, here, only a portion of the
whole work. In its completeness it fills three volumes of
about the size of this one. The first of these is introductory,
and treats of the name, idea, and conception of Encyclope-
dia, and then, more specifically, of the idea, divisions, and
(most copiously) the history of Theological Encyclopedia.
The second volume — the one here translated — is the gen-
eral part, and discusses, as will be seen from its table of
contents, all those questions which concern the place of
theology among the sciences, and the nature of theology as
a science with a "principium" of its own. This volume
is notable for the extended and thorough discussion it ac-
cords to the " Principium Theologiae," — involving, to be

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