An Easter reflection
Religion & Liberty Online

An Easter reflection

Having completed his discussion of the covenant of redemption, Herman Witsius writes the following at the conclusion of Book II of his De oeconomia foderum Dei cum hominibus:

What penetration of men or angels was capable of devising things so mysterious, so sublime, and so far surpassing the capacity of all created beings? How adorable do the wisdom and justice, the holiness, the truth, the goodness, and the philanthropy of God, display themselves in contriving, giving, and perfecting this means of our salvation? How calmly does conscience, overwhelmed with the burden of its sins, acquiesce in such a Surety, and in such a suretiship; when here at length, apprised of a method of reconciliation, both worthy of God, and safe for man? Who on contemplating these things in the light of the Spirit, would not break out into the praises of the most holy, the most righteous, the most true, the most gracious, and the most high God? O! the depth of the wisdom and knowledge of God! O the height of mysteries, which angels desire to look into! Glory to the Father, who raised up, accepted, and gave us such a Surety! Glory to the Son, who clothing himself in human flesh, so willingly, so patiently, and so constantly performed such an engagement for us. Glory to the Holy Ghost, the revealer, the witness, and the earnest of so great happiness for us. All hail! O Christ Jesus, true and eternal God, and true and holy man, all in one, who retains the properties of both natures in the unity of thy person. Thee we acknowledge, thee we worship, to thee we betake ourselves, at thy feet we fall down, from thy hand alone we look for salvation. Thou art the only Saviour; we desire to be they peculiar property, we are so by thy grace, and shall remain such for ever. Let the whole world of thine elect, with us, know, acknowledge, and adore thee, and thus at length be saved by thee. This is the sum of our faith, and hope, and this is the top of all our wishes. Amen.

Amen, indeed. Something like this in the middle of a scholarly treatise might be surprising to some, but it does show how piety and learning were closely integrated in the work of this Dutch Reformed theologian.

Jordan J. Ballor

Jordan J. Ballor (Dr. theol., University of Zurich; Ph.D., Calvin Theological Seminary) is director of research at the Center for Religion, Culture & Democracy, an initiative of the First Liberty Institute. He has previously held research positions at the Acton Institute and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and has authored multiple books, including a forthcoming introduction to the public theology of Abraham Kuyper. Working with Lexham Press, he served as a general editor for the 12 volume Abraham Kuyper Collected Works in Public Theology series, and his research can be found in publications including Journal of Markets & Morality, Journal of Religion, Scottish Journal of Theology, Reformation & Renaissance Review, Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Faith & Economics, and Calvin Theological Journal. He is also associate director of the Junius Institute for Digital Reformation Research at Calvin Theological Seminary and the Henry Institute for the Study of Christianity & Politics at Calvin University.