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A letter from Hendrik de Cock

A letter from Hendrik de Cock

From 1834: Hendrik de Cock's Return to the True Church, by Marvin Kamps, Appendix C, pages 295-308. What follows is from a series of letters from Dutch minister and reformer Hendrik de Cock (1801–1842) to Petrus Hofstede de Groot (1802-1886), former friend at the University in Groningen and Cock's predecessor in the church of Ulrum. The book 1834 also contains some of de Groot's letters and responses. Please, refer to the book to learn more about the context of de Cock's letter.

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H. de Cock’s second letter to P. de Groot

Esteemed friend,

Since the last time I was in the city [Groningen] and spoke to you, I am once again obliged after my visit to put down on paper and express to you my thoughts concerning your latest letter and our most recent discussion, although according to your last letter you did not want to pursue the matter further.[7] May the Lord of lords so control my pen that if possible we may be united in the truth.

De Groot, it so pleases me that the Lord has preserved you from complete blindness and hardening, so that you were not embittered by my letter, as you mentioned, and you are satisfied with the straightforwardness of my explanation. However, I am also saddened, profoundly troubled, and indignant that you are so blind. This blindness is evidenced in your willingness to acknowledge that I am in agreement with the very learned and godly heroes of faith, Augustine and Calvin, who like sparkling stars of the greatest magnitude excel all others. Yet you assert that human cleverness has led me so extremely far astray from the divine wisdom in the gospel that you could commend me and my family and your former congregation only to divine grace. Is this judgment upon me and my poor congregation a judgment upon Augustine and Calvin as well?

Truly your judgment is nothing else than to condemn the workings of God’s Spirit in these heroes of faith, and to attribute the divine wisdom shining brightly in all their writings to human cleverness and subtleties. I ask, how far does this go, and how close does this come to defrauding the Lord? Whosoever speaks a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him; but whosoever speaks against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, nor in the world to come. Oh, consider this once and request light and discernment from the Father of lights for that purpose.

[7] De Cock addresses more issues with De Groot in this second letter than were addressed in De Groot’s second letter. Before De Cock wrote this second letter, he had visited De Groot in his home and discussed other issues with him. The issues were unfinished business in De Cock’s mind. He had to respond to some of De Groot’s oral assertions.—Trans.

 Read the entire letter

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1834: Hendrik de Cock's Return to the True Church

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