Thanks to God, and the prayers and labors of many, including Reformation Heritage Books and the Dutch Reformation Translation Society, the Petrus Van Mastricht Translation Project, previously announced on this blog back in 2009, has borne its first fruit. The first volume (of a projected set of seven) is now available for purchase at RHB. This much-anticipated publication is occasion for great joy because it not only introduces English-speaking readers to the first full translation of Van Mastricht's Prolegomena, but the additional prefatory material is well worth its inclusion in this volume.
Among the prefatory material we find an editor's preface by Joel Beeke, the translator's preface by Todd Rester, a revised and expanded biographical sketch of the author by Adriaan C. Neele (previously included in the 2005 The Art of Living to God: A Study of Method and Piety in Theoretico-Practica Theologia of Petrus Van Mastricht (1630-1706), and Henricus Pontanus' funeral oration for Van Mastricht. Also included is Van Mastricht's brief treatise The Best Method for Preaching, previously published in English in 2013. (Neele also published in 2009 Petrus Van Mastricht 1630-1706: Reformed Orthodoxy: Method and Piety; in 2002, a portion of Van Mastricht's Theoretico-Practica Theologia was translated into English and published under the title A Treatise on Regeneration in 2002).
Neele's earlier study of Van Mastricht's magnum opus remains a valuable resource even as English-speaking readers now begin to have more aoccess to Van Mastricht's own words. The first chapter serves as a commentary to the volume just published by RHB.
Much has already been said about Van Mastricht's Prolegomena by others on social media. This writer commends both Neele's study of Van Mastricht and the newly-translated volume by Mastricht himself. Truly, as Jonathan Edwards and Cotton Mather have indicated, this is a theological work that needs to be the companion of our studies.
For my own part, this writer has a special appreciation for a brief portion of the Prolegomena on mediation (see pp. 195-198). Van Mastricht understood the Biblical imperative to ruminate or chew the cud upon the Word of God, a much-neglected ordinance for Christians in our day.
Don't miss out on these contributions to the church (both Van Mastricht and Neele's study), and continue to pray for the success of the labors of those continuing to work on the remainder of the great work of Van Mastricht's life (a new Dutch translation is happening as well). It was a blessing to the church in the 17th century, and this translation will undoubtedly be a blessing to the 21st century church as well.