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period, in the midst of which the elements of the Synod of Dort gradually grew towards their final development. The famous Remonstrance,' which gained to the Arminians the title of Remonstrants, was presented in 1610 to the States General of Holland and West Friesland; "petitioning the Illustrious the States to be received under their patronage and protection against the censures of the churches," Their cause was pleaded by Barnevelt, Uitenbogardt, and Hugo Groot,more usually known under the justly cele: brated name of Grotius: and their doctrines were expounded by Epis copius; who effectually cleared himself of the charge of Socinianism, against the accusations of Festus Hommius, and was finally chosen to succeed Arminius in the chair of Leyden, after Vorstius had been with much trouble and care rejected. Vorstius, it would seem, was not accepted by any party, though calling himself an Arminian; and, in the plenitude of Royal dictation, was confuted and condemned by King James himself. Of Grotius we find a more interesting account; which, from his great eminence, de serves to be here extracted from his own letters, as quoted by Mr. Nichols. In a letter to Thuanus, dated June 5, 1615, Grotius writes:

"I have entered on a controversial

species of writing, not by the direction of my own disposition which is not in the least inclined to strife, but I have been impelled by a force of a superior description, by the advice of prudent men, and by an intense desire to assist my country and the church; the church indeed more than my country. For, to declare the truth to you, most illustrious Thuanus, (and in fact what man is there, who is more worthy to hear the truth than your self?) from the period when I began to think with deeper attention about religious matters, I found, that the complaints had been exceedingly just of those who requested to obtain some amendment [to the existing system,] not only in the explanation of doctrines, but likewise in rites and government; but that, as is usual on such occasions, some offence had been committed through an excess of contradiction. Thus while they [the early Reformers] abandoned the dangerous faith

in merits, they insensibly contracted sentiments contemptuous of good works; through a disgust at superstition, all forms of public service [liturgies] were blasted with wonderful frigidity; and from a fear of tyranny, which had been intolerable, they had proceeded to the very confines opinion, that the good men who are [in of anarchy. Wherefore I was always of nostra parte] of our party, the Protestants, ought to ought to employ their utmost exertions to bring back again by degrees to a golden mean whatever might have erred from a right course [had been exorbitant]. This consideration, I perceive, was fixed deeply on the mind of Melanchthon. But no objection produced, Iwill not say against our churches, but against the most celebrated divines of our churches, is more scandalous than this

that by urging too strongly certain rigid dogmas, which savour more of the Portico of Zeno than of the Porch of Solomon, they ascribe to God the causes of sin, and by their unedifying discourse subvert all regard for godliness. This also was perceived by the same Melanchthon; but, at the warning of Erasmus, being called off and drawn away from those rocks against which Luther had been impetuously driven, he afterwards corrected his course. When certain pastors among us followed in the footsteps of Melanchthon, but, being op pressed by the impetuosity of their colleagues, found their 'sole refuge in the kindness of the magistrates, I united myself to those who thought it a matter past all endurance, that a thing most pernicious in its nature at the very commencement [of the Reformation] should pass for a precedent, and that it should be openly declared concerning such as pursued moderate counsels, They cannot be tolerated in our churches. When some violent divines in our vicinity fiercely opposed themselves to this pious design, and connected with it such matters as obviously did not belong to it, solely to excite hatred against the magistrates while adopting pacific measures; it was deemed proper to shew one of these pragmatical doctors, who far surpassed the rest in violence, and ed the aid of a foreign power, how those who in a most wicked manner had implorturbulent clamours had no foundation either in law or in equity. I was chosen to execute this task, not because there performed it with more correctness, but were not several persons who could have the office which I then sustained. Neither because that province seemed to belong to ritating wasps; but relying on the conwas I ignorant of the consequences of irsciousness of an honourable purpose, I ventured to offer myself to calumny, from which those persons will never escape who attempt to oppose mature and strong vices." Arminius, pp. 314, 315. '.

Here is at least something like the force of what he conscientiously

thought to be truth, operating on a great and independent mind, as before we have seen it on the mind of Arminius. To Episcopius, as an Arminian, was joined in the theological chair, Polyander a Calvinist, to secure "freedom of discussion," and at all events discussion, in the university of Leyden; Gomarus having retreated from that post to the waiting place of a retired pastoral charge; though his subsequent vigor at Dort proved that nothing of feebleness, and little of aversion to controversy, had weighed in producing his secession at so critical a


In truth, the authentic records of this famous assembly shew that private intrigue and personal invective were now taking place of fair and candid discussion, and legitimate argument. The five points * on which alone it is quite plain the Arminians pleaded for toleration, were lost in a host of general insinuations and open charges against character; of which the labour of the Historical Preface to lower the character (justly or not) of Adolphus Venator is a pregnant instance. Toleration, on these points, it is equally clear, the Calvinists never intended to grant and their object was, to associate with heresy in doctrine and immorality in life any doubt, such as the Arminians professed, respecting those points. They were ultimately not content even with this. Their subsequent proceedings drew the terms of communion still more close; and, as if at once to nullify their own boast

These five points, pleaded at the Hague in 1611, in one of the many fruitless conferences held at this period, are not distinctly stated, that we find, except as quoted by Mr. Scott in the Preface from Mosheim. The 1st, was respecting conditional election: 2d, on general redemption: 3d, on regeneration and all good coming from God only: 4th, but so coming that it may be resisted, and does not force obedience: 5th, is a reserved point respecting the final perseverance of the saints. These are in substance the five

points of the quinquarticular controversy. Hist. Preface, p. 49; Mosheim; p. 444.



ed zeal for the Confession and Catechism, which ought to have been made the legitimate standard of reference, they added at the Synod of Dort those voluminous comments of their own which drew from the truly honest mind of Mr. Scott, at that stage of the business, the strongest possible charge of inexpediency." They aimed," he says, at too much," and "at far too much," in thus attempting, enforce their fallible opinions on others." But surely such a proceeding was not only inexpedient: was it not also an unjustifiable departure from their own previous forms of subscription? The proceedings of the Arminians, during this same period, were, generally speaking, on principle, self-defensive. Without doubt they occasionally degenerated into measures of offence: but then it is to be considered that they were exposed to every insult from high and low, for opinions which, whether they were right or wrong in themselves, we believe they conscientiously held; and which also they always affirmed to be consistent with the formularies they had subscribed. Curious instances occur of this, which might, if necessary, be matched against all the grievances of Festus Hommius, the reputed author of the Historical Preface; a weak man and strong partisan. But where faults are committed on both sides, as they almost always are in such vehement disputes and contentions, recrimination can serve no useful purpose; whilst we may expect that every attempt of the weaker party to vindicate its rights, will always, by the stronger and victorious side, of course be construed into contumacy and rebellion.

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In this temper, and in this state of affairs, met the well-known Synod of Dort, in November 1618. Upon which Synod, though volumes might be written in illustration of its constitution, its conduct, and its decisions, yet it will only comport with our plan to make a few cursory observations.

These we must pre

face with the remark, that whatever judgment may be formed of its doctrinal decisions, as containing one of the ablest expositions extant of Calvinism, and of the opposing principles of every description, yet there can be but one opinion, on a fair review of the whole, with respect both to its constitution and its conduct as an ecclesiastical tribunal. Here the appeal was made, by those who suffered by its decisions, to posterity; and posterity have decided on the subject, with a voice too clear to be controverted or reversed. The complaint of Mr. Scott, in his preface to the Preface, that "unauthenticated histories of the Remonstrants concerning the Synod of Dort, have almost exclusively been noticed and credited by posterity, especially in this country, to the neglect of authentic records " (p. 2), is conclusive to the fact of that decision; more especially when illustrated by his own note, that the alleged "authentic record," was the ONLY account permitted, during the tyranny that ensued, to be printed and vended in Latin, Dutch, or French, in the federated provinces. Still, notwithstanding this jealous monopoly of information, this authoritative suppression of all contradictory statements, the truth, or rather the facts, prevailed; facts, which, after the period when the "authentic" Historical Preface could alone be circulated, remained to be told, respecting the nature and management of that Synod itself; and which incontestibly prove that the dominant party had every thing in their own hands; and that it was, both in its principle and in its conduct, altogether an unconstitutional and inquisitorial tribunal. Unfairness marked its constitution, and insult its whole procedure: a violation of safe conduct was amongst its later movements, and an unfeeling proscription and banishment were its eventual acts. Four days after its larger sessions were terminated,

See Nichols, p. 437.

in May 1619, the advocate Olden Barnevelt was beheaded by order of the government; and the President of the Synod, Bogerman, Laudlike, offered public thanksgiving to "God for having delivered his church from those men who had troubled her." (Nichols, p. 499.)

It was on the same occasion that Grotius, the most learned man of the age, and Hogerbeets were consigned to imprisonment for life. Under the inevitable anticipation, from the commencement, of these severities, the Remonstrants felt themselves in the most distressing dilemma. The observation which Mr. Scott makes on this occasion, though intended as a friendly exculpation of the ruling party, remarkably shews the oppressive partiality with which their opponents were treated. "The conduct of the Remonstrants on this

occasion," he observes, "evidently resembled that of an accused person who, instead of demanding a fair trial, objects to the authority of the court, challenges the jurymen, and endeavours to find out flaws in the indictment, and adopts every evasion to escape the trial which can be suggested by his solicitor or counsel," Hist. Pref. p. 88.→→→ A fair trial! This alarming party represented as threatening destruc tion to the state, but doubtless having. a full right to equality with other members of the Synod, as being equally with them churchmen, pastors, pro fessors, and in common appealing to it for a determination of the conformity of other doctrines with the formularies they had in common. subscribed, this alarming party dwindled to thirteen persons, and these not the most learned of the body, for they were of the selection of their adversaries; cited to appear, as accused persons, as heretics prejudged! Episcopius himself, the personally at least respectable, and profoundedly learned successor of Arminius, expressly summoned as a professor, but, when claiming his seat, ignominously thrust down to the bar of the tribunal! We could

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The result was a tanquam, General Council..

proceed much farther in this instance of unfair and inquisitorial prejudication; but we forbear.This then was the party, who in the presence of ten times their number, with the terrific Bogerman at their head, and the newly awakened Gomarus at his right hand, would have fain "evaded the trial," and appealed against the jurymen." With how much greater reason, however, they might have evaded the trial, than it is true they did so, will be seen by the following extracts, which we can excuse Mr. Nichols, here at least, for mixing up with his characteristic, and too often indefensible, severity of remark.

"The letters of the States General, inviting the Protestant divines of foreign countries to the National Synod, were issued on the 25th of June, 1618; and the members were summoned to meet together in the city of Dort, on the 1st of November, in the same year. The letters of invitation, addressed to the divines of the United Provinces, were dated 20th of September. The Synod of Dort was opened on the 13th of November. The Remonstrants had wished either to have their Five Points brought before a Provincial Synod, to prepare matters for a National one; or to have them brought at once before a General Council of Protestants, for decision. But the Calvinists would listen to neither of these equitable proposals. If a Provincial Synod were held, especially in that province which most needed such a remedy, they knew, from trial, how difficult it would be to combat the strong and popular arguments of the Arminians, when both parties were placed nearly on an equality in one assembly. And if a General Council of

Protestants were convened, they were certain, that the principles of Arminius would be recognized as integral parts of Scripture verity, and consequently entitled not only to toleration, (which was all that the poor Arminians had desired,) but to the especial patronage of the civil authorities. This result was anticipated, from the immense preponderance which the Lutheran divines, from all the small States in Germany, and other parts of the north of Europe, would have had in such a council. The supreme contempt in which the Calvinists held the Lutherans may be seen, passim, in the Acts of the Synod of Dort, and in the narratives of cotemporary ecclesiastical historians. It was exceeded only by the rancorous hostility which they evinced towards the Arminians, and which arose from the more imminent danger to be apprehended from the proximity and the increase of the latter." Árminius,p. 40. CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 310.

"To many of the neighbouring king. doms invitations were certainly sent but only to have the company of those choice it was the ardent wish of the Calvinists, spirits of other countries that would readily coalesce with themselves in devising measures to crush Arminianism. To obtain the presence of a few thus enlightened and they aimed: and by this manoeuvre they unanimous, was the great object at which endeavoured to impart to their National Synod the dignified and imposing appearhowever, they would have been defeated, ance of a General Council. In this object, had not King James of England entered into their views, and given that party his overpowering assistance." Arminius,p.411.

It was a portion of this overpowering assistance which Dr. Hall was commissioned to bring with his fellow-commissioners, personally, not ecclesiastically, from King James. And in a very spirited manner, the good old bishop, in 1651, clears himself from the imputation of having taken an oath to condemn the Arminians unheard, and at all events: whilst the instructions really given on that occasion, (and which, it is said, with too much simplicity Hall let out prematurely in his Latin harangue before the Synod,) are detailed; requiring the said commissioners to resist "all innovation of doctrine;" to confirm "the same things which had been said these twenty or thirty years past in the Belgic churches," (so much for their lengths of prescription and establishment,) and all" in conformity with the Confession and Catechism,' the very subjects to pass professedly under consideration in the synod! But to proceed

"A few days before the arrival of these thirteen persons, that were cited as hereties or criminals, and had to combat an assembly of divines and others above ten times the number of themselves, the president Bogerman, after all his deep-laid schemes, had certain misgivings of mind concerning the result. On the 2d of December, according to Mr. Hales, he came privately to my lord bishop, and under benedicite told him, that it was thought the Remonstrants would become suitors to the secular deputies, for some greater respect in the synod, than it is likely otherwise they should have; and that for this they would use the English as mediators. Then, that they would call in question

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the right of his presidentship, as being made only by the provincials, without any respect had unto the foreigners. To this my lord bishop replied, that for the first, since they were members of the synod, they would not do any thing clancularly, without the consent and privity of the whole company. To the second he answered, that hitherto they [the English] had acknowledged him for their preses, and so they would continue to do, notwithstanding any objection might be fancied; so that of them he might secure himself.'

"On the 6th of December, these valiant defenders of the truth arrived, and requested, by a deputation, to be allowed a few days to unpack their books, arrange their papers, &c. But they were commanded immediately to appear in a body before the synod, and to prefer their own request. They were introduced by their brethren of Utrecht, and ordered to sit down at a long table placed in the middle of the hall. Episcopius then, with the permission of the president, addressed an apostolic greeting to the synod, and, having repeated the request previously made, he said, that the cited Remonstrants appeared there to defend their good and righteous cause before that venerable assembly, by reasons and arguments drawn from the word of God,-or else to be confuted and better informed from the same word. In reference to the favour which they had asked, they left it to the discretion of the commissioners of the States General, being ready on their parts, immediately and without delay, to engage in a conference, if that should be required.' Then were they desired to withdraw into a chamber prepared for them adjoining the hall of the synod. After some time spent in deliberation, they were recalled, and informed by the president, that they would be expected at the synod next morning at nine o'clock. He added, according to Hales, that they came not to conference, neither did the synod profess themselves an adverse party against them. Conferences had been heretofore held to no purpose. They ought to have heeded the words of the letters by which they were cited. They were called, not to conference, but to propose their opinions with their reasons, and leave it to the synod to judge of them.' Episcopius replied, that it was not necessary so nicely to criticise the word Conference, and that they had come there with no other view than to treat about the doctrines which were controverted, according to the summons which they had received.

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"This haughty reception furnished just reasons to the Remonstrants afterwards to complain, that they had met with very unkind treatment at their first attendance in the synod; many of the members would scarcely manifest common courtesy when they were introduced; the first greeting

which they received was a reprimand for their late arrival; it was easy to gather, from the very looks of several of the members, their ill-will and partiality; the expressions addressed to many of them, were frequently as cutting as razors. When their adversaries were sure of having a majority of votes, and had the secular arm on their side, they refused to terminate the controversy in any other manner than by a synodical decision; they cut off all hopes of inquiring after truth and detecting error by means of friendly debates and by a patient hearing of both parties; they compelled the Remonstrants to appear in an assembly in which their most violent enemies were the most numerous and powerful;-without treating them as equals, allowing them to sit with themselves, or admitting them (though such a small number), to an equal liberty of speaking;-but using them as criminals cited before the higher powers, by not allowing them to speak but when commanded, nor to answer but when asked, and then no further than they chose to permit, and by causing them to withdraw when they pleased to order and not to return till called. And all this treatment after such a sudden and general revolution of affairs, both in Church and State, attended with such an increased hatred and contempt against them, as were sufficient to intimidate the stoutest hearts even in defending the best of causes, and entirely to incapacitate them from performing that necessary duty without the extraordinary aids of Divine grace and the powerful assistance of God's Holy Spirit.' Arminius, pp. 424, 425.

"The next day, Dec. 7th, the Remonstrants were called in, when, after Episcopius had desired and obtained leave to speak, he uttered an oration, the delivery of which occupied nearly two hours, and which, on account of the noble senti ments contained in it, deserves to be recorded in letters of gold. The gracefulness, force, and energy with which it was spoken, made such an impression on the auditory as drew tears from several of them, and even from some of the States' deputies. This effect gave mighty umbrage to the choleric Bogerman, who, as president, according to Mr. Hales's account, signified unto Episcopius, that, because there were in his speech many things considerable, he was therefore to deliver the copy of it. Episcopius replied, that he had none handsomely written; if the synod would have patience, he would cause a fair transcript to be drawn for them.' But this excuse would not serve; fair or foul, deliver it up he must, and so he did. The deputies for the politics signified, that since there were many things in it, which did as well concern the seculars, as ecclesiastics, they were to give it up subscribed with all their hands; which forthwith was done. Then did

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