A revised and updated version of
Abraham Kuyper: An Annotated Bibliography 1857-2010 by Tjitze Kuipers (2011)

You can buy a printed edition of this book on the site of the publisher.


In: Open brief aan een vriend naar aanleiding van het “vijftal opmerkingen” over de dusgenaamde “gezangen-quaestie,” voorkomende in het weekblad “De Heraut” van zondag 8 Februari 1885; door L. Schouten Hzn., predikant bij de Nederduitsche Gereformeerde Gemeente te Utrecht.
Utrecht, Kemink & Zoon 1885, pp. 11–12.
Published: February 1885.
2nd and 3rd printing: February 1885 and March 1885.

A brief, untitled commentary reprinted from De Heraut, no. 372, February 8, 1885. The editor of De Heraut repeatedly received questions about whether or not it was appropriate to sing hymns during worship. Kuyper judged, however, that a suitable opportunity had not yet arisen to deal with this question theologically, historically, and from the perspective of church polity. Furthermore, he thought that the question could not easily be debated without sowing greater division. In this comment, therefore, he deals with the question in five points without making additional arguments, hoping to bring a provisional end to the matter: (1) The polity of the church makes the use of hymns illegal; (2) the custom of singing hymns has an Arminian origin; (3) the resistance of the Afgescheidenen [Secessionists] of 1834 to the singing of hymns seems to have been a matter of duty; (4) it is the best and most customary use of Christian freedom not to sing hymns; and (5) the practice is too inconsequential to dampen spirits or to divide the church now that the singing of hymns is no longer being forced upon the church.

The Rev. L. Schouten Hzn. (1828–1905), whom Kuyper called “the great advocate of hymns in the Netherlands,” protested against these theses with an open letter, which was reprinted two times in a single month. He subsequently published yet another public challenge to Kuyper concerning the same question at the end of March, titled Hebben de gezangen regt van bestaan in onze Kerk? (Utrecht: Kemink & Zoon, 1885).