Wednesday, March 3, 2010

For Christ's Sake - Abraham Kuyper

"....the nature of my task bars me from the quiet retreat of scholarly research and drives me onto the treacherous terrain of public life where nettles and thorns wound at every step. We neither can nor would disguise it: we have not been driven to this work like Maecenases out of love for detached learning. Rather, the urge to this risky, not to say presumptuous, endeavor comes from the deep sense of duty that what we are doing must be done - for Christ's sake, for the name of the Lord.

Would we have undertaken this task if a higher standard could have induced us to acquiesce in the status quo? To put it mildly, our undertaking bears a protest against the present environment and suggests that something better is possible. Yet the appearance of presumption follows it like a shadow and causes some embarrassment, some diffidence. This might cause offense, this might hurt. Therefore I hasten to assure you that - given the scholarly power, the influence, and the money that oppose us - the assuredness of our words reflects no lofty imagination but a quiet humility. We would have preferred to stay in the rear; it would have been much more comfortable to see others take the lead. But since this was not to be, since we had to act, we came to the fore, hardly indifferent to human favor or aversion but drawing our line of conduct exclusively from what is demanded by the honor of our God."

Abraham Kuyper - Amsterdam 1880

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