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First published in 1700, The Christian’s Reasonable Service (De Redelijke Godsdienst) ran through twenty Dutch editions in the eighteenth century alone! The title is derived from Romans 12:1, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” It expresses what God requires from man, and particularly from the Christian, that he serve Him in Spirit and in truth—intelligently, rationally, and in harmony with and response to God’s revelation of Himself, His Word.
With a decidedly Puritan flavor and representing Reformed experiential religion at its best, Wilhelmus à Brakel systematically moves through the major doctrines of the Bible in hopes of seeing the minds of God’s people renewed for the purpose of promoting godliness. Throughout his work, but particularly in the practical application of each doctrine, à Brakel strives unceasingly to exalt the name of Jesus as the name that the Father has given above every other name—there being no other name given under heaven among men whereby we must be saved (Acts 4:12).
Table of Contents:
Ecclesiology: The Doctrine of the Church
24. The Church
25. The Duty to Join and Remain with the Church
26. The Communion of Believers with Christ and with Each Other
27. The Government of the Church, and Particularly the Commissioning of Ministers
28. The Offices of Minister, Elder, and Deacon
29. Ecclesiastical Authority and the Use of the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven
Soteriology: The Doctrine of Salvation
30. The External and Internal Call
33. Distinguishing Marks of Saving Faith
35. The Adoption of Children
36. Spiritual Peace
37. Spiritual Joy
38. The Sealing of the Believer by the Holy Spirit and by Means of the Sacraments
39. Holy Baptism
40. The Lord’s Supper
41. The Practice of the Lord’s Supper Consisting in Preparation, Celebration and Reflection
42. The Life of Faith in Reference to the Promises
43. A Warning Exhortation Against Pietists, Quietists, and All Who in a Similar Manner Have Deviated to a Natural and Spiritless Religion Under the Guise of Spirituality