The Meditations of Gerrit Vos

From the Hudsonville Protestant Reformed Church Men’s Society, I have received a request to bring the reprinting of a book of meditations by Gerrit Vos to the attention of the readers of the Standard Bearer. This, I gladly do. Promoting the writings of Gerrit Vos is for me a debt of love. During the three years of my seminary training, he taught me Dutch—the pure Dutch, no, the purest Dutch, as spoken in Sassenheim—and many other things concerning the pastoral ministry besides.

The book contains 45 meditations on the Psalms that Vos originally wrote for the SB. The title is O Taste & See: Meditations from the Psalms. It is a reprint of the book that was first published as a paperback in 1983. The reprint is graced with attractive hard covers. The front cover displays the old Hudsonville Protestant Reformed church building and the genial countenance of Gerrit Vos.

In addition to the devotional expositions of many of the Psalms, the book contains a biographical sketch of Vos by his daughter. How characteristic of him that he wrote out his will on the back of a church bulletin and that the will began, “When I fall asleep in Jesus.”

To preach the Psalms well is not the strong gift of every minister. Doing so requires the sanctified soul of a poet. It calls for the man who feels deeply into all the spiritual moods of the Psalms and who then can express these moods with lyrical voice. Such was the soul of Gerrit Vos. Such a man was the long-time pastor of Hudson—ville.

The devotionals that make up this book are instructive, moving, and comforting. They are simple, so that every Christian can understand. They are profound, uncovering the depths of God’s revelation of Himself to the soul of His child by the Spirit of Christ.

They are also God-glorifying. God had to have His glory in all the preaching and writing of Gerrit Vos. I saw Rev. Vos’ zeal for the glory of God on an occasion that I have not forgotten. As a seminarian, I had spoken a word of edification of a Sunday evening to the congregation of Hudsonville. Rev. Vos was present. Afterwards, he sought me out. He said nothing about the sermon, which, looking back, I recognize as his unfailing kindness. But his face was aglow with delight that in the congregational prayer I had praised “our adorable God.”

In the meditation on Psalm 32:1, 2, Vos writes:

God has set a certain mark for every man to shoot at, and has provided man with numerous arrows. From within and from without, the Lord has qualified man for this shooting gallery. From the very heavens and the earth come a thousand voices telling him to shoot and how to shoot. The bulls-eye of this mark is the glory of God, the enhancing of His majesty and power, the singing of His praises forever. Man is called always to honor the Godhead (p. 93).

There is also this characteristic of Vos’ writing, that he shines the light of the Word of God on everyday, earthly life, from the digestion of food and church-janitors to tornadoes. As a sample of the book, and for its own worth, we reprint elsewhere in this issue the meditation that was occasioned by a tornado that devastated Hudsonville and much more of Western Michigan in April, 1956.

The cost of the book is $12.95.

Since the book is reprinted and sold by the Reformed Book Outlet, I take this opportunity to recommend this bookstore. It is a work of the Hudsonville PRC. A truly friendly and helpful staff volunteer their labor in the service of the Lord and His truth. The bookstore carries all of the publications of the Reformed Free Publishing Association, as well as many other sound books. Many of the books reviewed in the SB are available at the Reformed Book Outlet. If the Reformed Book Outlet does not have a particular volume, the staff will make a heroic effort to obtain it. In addition, the bookstore has a supply of both musical and sermon tapes, religious greeting cards, and other items.

Readers of the SB in the vicinity should stop in and visit the bookstore. Readers at some distance can order by mail or by telephone.

The address of the Reformed Book Outlet is 3505 Kelly St., Hudsonville, MI 49426. The telephone number is (616) 669-6730.

Whether by personal visit, by letter, or by telephone, pick up O Taste & See by Gerrit Vos.

— DJE