The True Theologian

In 1675, the Dutch Reformed theologian Herman Witsius gave an inaugural address to divinity students at the university in Franeker, the Netherlands. This oration has endured as a monument to experimental piety. It was completely translated for the first time into English in 1877 by Free Church of Scotland minister John Donaldson, and this edition was republished by Ligon Duncan in 1994 under the title On the Character of a True Theologian. It has been commended by men such as William Cunningham in the 19th century and Joel Beeke in the 20th century for its combined spiritual profundity and intellectual acuity. An abridged translation was previously published by Archibald Alexander in The Biblical Repertory and Theological Review, April 1832, with the title The Character of the Genuine Theologian. Alexander's translation is now available to read at Log College Press. 

As Beeke wrote of this valuable work: "Witsius' inaugural, On the Character of a True Theologian, is a masterpiece which exemplifies his own dictum: 'He alone is a true theologian who adds the practical to the theoretical part of religion.' Like all of Witsius' writings, this address marries profound intellect with spiritual passion. All Christians, but especially theological students and ministers, would do well to peruse it prayerfully and repeatedly." Alexander commends further its "elevated thought and ardent piety." It has great value for church officers, laymen, and indeed all who seek to serve Christ in every capacity.