Spiritual Darkness: The Christian’s Reasonable Service – Wilhelmus à Brakel
“Behold, I go forward, but He is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive Him: on the left hand, where He doth work, but I cannot behold Him: He hideth Himself on the right hand, that I cannot see Him” (Job 23:8-9).
“He hath led me, and brought me into darkness, but not into light” (Lam 3:2).
“Give glory to the Lord your God, before He cause darkness” (Jer 13:16).
“Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of His servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God” (Isa 50:10).
The Nadere Reformatie
Translated into English as Dutch Second Reformation or Dutch Further Reformation, refers to an era in church history during the Dutch Republic from ca. 1600-1750. The representatives of the period endeavored to work out the principles of the Protestant Reformation in family life, church, and society balancing and valuing both orthodoxy and piety. As such the Nadere Reformatie resembles other expressions of the Post-reformation Reformed era including English Puritanism and German Pietism.
Wilhelmus à Brakel (1635-1711) was a major representative of the Nadere Reformatie, and a contemporary of Gisbertus Voetius and Herman Witsius. À Brakel’s pastorate in Rotterdam from 1683-1711 was marked by the monumental publication of a four-volume work entitled the Redelijke Godsdienst (The Christian’s Reasonable Service) which was a systematic theology written for the members of the congregation. The work is permeated with practical and experiential application of expounded doctrines, thereby establishing the vital relationship between objective truth and the subjective experience of that truth.