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By Abraham Kuyper

Excerpt from Calvinism: Six Lectures added within the Theological Seminary at Princeton

A traveler from the outdated ecu Continent, disembarking at the shore of this New global, feels because the Psalmist says, that "his ideas crowd upon him like a multitude". in comparison with the eddying waters of your new circulation of existence, the previous circulation during which he was once relocating turns out nearly frostbound and boring; and the following, on American flooring, for the 1st time, he realizes how such a lot of divine potencies, that have been hidden away within the bosom of mankind from our very production, yet which our outdated international was once incapable of constructing, at the moment are starting to reveal their inward splendour, therefore promising a nonetheless richer shop of surprises for the Future.

You wouldn't, notwithstanding, inquire from me to put out of your mind the prevalence which, in lots of respects, the previous global should declare, on your eyes, in addition to in mine. previous Europe continues to be even now the bearer of an extended heritage, and hence stands ahead of us as a tree rooted extra deeply, hiding among its leaves a few more experienced end result of life.

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On the other hand, whatever is lower is considered as godless, and therefore gives rise to the systems of caste in India and in Egypt, and to slavery everywhere else, thereby placing one man under a base subjection to his fellowman. Under Islamism, which dreams of its paradise of houries, sensuality usurps public authority, and the woman is the slave of man, even as the kafir is the slave of the Moslim. Romanism, taking root in Christian soil, overcomes the absolute character of distinction, and renders it relative, in order to interpret every relation of man to man hierarchically.

Even when in some cases, as in the Netherlands, the nobility for a moment took a heroic stand for the oppressed, their activity ended in nothing, and the people alone, by undaunted energy, broke the barrier, and among these it was the “common folk”, to whose heroic initiative William the Silent, as he himself acknowledges, owed the success of his undertaking. Hence, as a central phenomenon in the development of humanity, Calvinism is not only entitled to an honorable position by the side of Paganistic, Islamistic and Romanistic forms, since like these it represents a peculiar principle dominating the whole of life, but it also meets every required condition for the advancement of human development to a higher stage.

This unity of life-conception, however, is never to be found in a vague conception of Protestantism winding itself as it does in all kind of tortuosities, but you do find it in that mighty historic process, which as Calvinism dug a channel of its own for the powerful stream of its life. By this unity of conception alone as given in Calvinism, you in America and we in Europe might he enabled once more to take our stand, by the side of Romanism, in opposition to modern Pantheism. Without this unity of starting point and life-system we must lose the power to maintain our independent position, and our strength for resistance must ebb away.

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