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as different denominations; and though
produced them. "The blood of the martyrs was the seed of the church." "" THE CHURCH UNDER THE CROSS. Holland, like many other countries, had gradually become prepared for the doctrines of the Reformation. Long before the days of Luther and Calvin, John de Wesel, sometimes called the abbot Rupert, and John Wessel, other-slightest theological or personal disawise known as Gansevoort, had contest-greement. ed the claims of the Roman hierarchy. The writings of the latter were republished by Luther, in order to show that the doctrines of the Reformation were not new. Erasmus and Agricola, distinguished scholars and forerunners of the Reformation, were also natives of the Netherlands.
Philip II., who is one of the most unpleasant characters in modern history. He was gloomy and proud, bigoted and revengeful. Educated exclusively by Spanish priests he had none of his father's liking for the Netherlands. They had already become a great commercial rival of Spain, and it is not unlikely that even on this account he would have been glad to see them humbled.
In 1555 Charles V. voluntarily abdicated, and retired to the convent of Yuste to spend his declining years. It has been customary to represent him as a penitent, weary of the world and desirous of atoning for his sins by the During the earlier years of the Re- mortification of the flesh; but the reformation, the Protestant Church of cent discovery of documents has renderHolland was known as "the churched it certain that his life in the convent under the cross." There was no for- by no means resembled that of an anmal confession of faith, and all forms chorite. On his abdication the Netherof doctrinal opinion were represented.lands came under the rule of his son, The great body of Protestants was, however, from the beginning attached to the Reformed faith. Gradually the churches were organized according to the principles of Calvin and De Lasky, and in this way received an indelible character. The doctrines of election and predestination were consequently more prominent in the theological systems of the Dutch divines than in those of the Palatinate. In the great Arminian controversy of the succeeding When Philip assumed the governcentury these doctrines were still more ment of the Netherlands, it was with distinctly intoned, and for a while it the double purpose of eradicating Proseemed as though the Divine Sov-testantism and of taking away the civil ereignty was to be the exclusive object of study. The German churches were less affected by these controversies, and, it has been said, did not thrive well in the theological atmosphere of Holland," but it would be a mistake to suppose that there ever was a lack of fraternal feeling between the various Reformed Churches of the continent. The Belgic confession, adopted in 1568, was intended for the Netherlands, and there was no occasion for its adoption by the churches of Germany, but the Heidelberg catechism became the common standard of faith. So far as we know, it has never occurred to any one in Europe to regard the Dutch and German Reformed Churches
rights of the Dutch people. Far from
At first Philip confided the government of the Low Countries to his sister Margaret of Parma, but as her disposition proved too mild for his purpose, she was afterwards superseded by the infamous Ferdinand of Toledo, Duke of Alva. This man appears to have been
the subsequent revolt, they contended bravely for civil liberty; but they finally submitted, and remained a dependency of Spain until a comparatively recent period.
destitute of the ordinary feelings of remained prevailingly Roman Catholic. humanity, and was for this reason a The people had, however, no sympathy suitable instrument for the sanguinary with the tyranny of the Spaniards, and purposes of the king. He introduced some of the leading noblemen joined in the Inquisition, and death was decreed a petition for religious liberty. Alva against all who had been in any way took his revenge by treacherously arconnected with the Protestants, all who resting and executing Counts Egmont had heard a sermon, sung a psalm, or and Horn. This exasperated the Cathfurnished lodging to an heretical preach-olic provinces, and for a while, during It was his boast that during seven years he had given eighteen thousand Protestants into the hands of the executioner. One hundred thousand houses stood empty whose inmates had fled to other countries. The Reformed Church On the occasion of the presentation was, however, actually strengthened by of the famous petition, the count of these persecutions. Religious services Barlaimont whispered in the ear of the were held at obscure places in the open regent, that the petitioners were "nothing country, and though thousands attended but a crowd of beggars." This title, these meetings it was but rarely that first given in derision, they applied to the authorities were informed in time to themselves, and the confederacy was prevent them. In 1568, the year of subsequently known as "Les Gueux," or most violent persecution, the ministers" The Beggars." In Germany the and elders, at the peril of their lives, name was corrupted into "Guesen" or secretly crossed the boundary of "Goesen," and it is said that in Juliers Germany and held an important synod the term is still contemptuously used by in the city of Wesel. When the In- the Roman Catholics. quisition burned its victims the people regarded them as martyrs. At the stake the suff rers began to sing, and the multitude, outside of the circle of Spanish guards, joined with them, until the whole city rang with the inspiring strains of the second psalm:
"Hoe rasen so die Heydenen te hoop,
The earliest naval forces of the Dutch republic were known as the "beggars of the seas," and these beg gars succeeded in sweeping the rich fleets of Spain so utterly from the seas, that Spanish commercial supremacy was destroyed forever. The first open hostilities occurred in 1572, when William Van de Mark, with a fleet of twenty-four vessels, took possession of It might seem as though the persecu- the harbor and town of Brill. The tors ought to have become convinced of word "brill" in Dutch, as in German, the futility of their undertaking, but Phil--ignifies "spectacles," and this gave ip and the Duke of Alva showed no signs rise to the jeu de mot: of weariness. Philip said he would "rather be a king without subjects than a ruler over heretics." Alva was entirely unmoved by the suffering around him. When his only son died the cardinal of Trent attempted to comfort him; but he replied: "If my boy had been the only person that ever died it might be worth while to speak words of consolation; but death is such a common accident that no sensible man will allow himself to be troubled by it."
(6 THE LEAGUE OF THE BEGGARS." The southern part of the Netherlands-now constituting the kingdom of Belgium-had from the beginning
"De eerste dach van April
Verloor Duc d'Alva zynen Brill." THE REVOLT OF THE NETHERLANDS. In a brief sketch like the present it is impossible to enter into particulars concerning this gigantic struggle. We will be glad if we can succeed in directing some of our younger readers to the fascinating works of Prescott and Motley.
The conflict continued, with varying intensity, from 1568 to 1609, and witnessed scenes of heroism and self-sacrifice which are probably unequalled in the history of the world. During the earlier portion of the revolt the leading spirit and commander of the Dutch
armies was William, Prince of Orange. your majesty, but only that our He was born at Dillenburg in Germany, sciences may be preserved free before in 1533, and as he was the eldest son of the Lord our God, that we may be perthe duke of Nassau-Dillenburg, is mitted to hear His holy word, and walk often called William of Nassau. His in His commandments, so that we may principality of Orange was a small dis- be able to give an account of our souls trict which had originally belonged to to the Supreme Judge at the last day." Burgundy, but was not yet swallowed Many incidents of the war with up by France though almost entirely Spain were exceedingly romantic. Dursurrounded by French territory. His ing the winter of 1572, the Dutch fleet private estates in the Netherlands, how-was frozen up in the harbor of Amsterever, were worth far more than his little principality. He is called "the silent," not from his taciturnity, for he was pleasant and talkative, but because he showed extraordinary wisdom in keeping his own counsel.
At the beginning of the revolt William was a Catholic, but he had joined in the petition of the nobles, and would have been executed if he had not been wise enough to keep out of the way of the Duke of Alva. His conversion to Protestantism occurred several years later, and was, we think, thoroughly sincere. He hesitated long before accepting the leadership of the revolted provinces, but subsequently manifested the most extraordinary courage and endurance. After he became Stadtholder f Holland he called on England, France, and Germany, for assistance in the coming struggle, but these countries afforded little aid except in the way of money. Indeed, the attempt to resist the immense power of Spain appeared utterly hopeless, and the Hollanders at first did not expect to free their country from the yoke. In a petition addressed to the king they said: "Since they (the duke and his creatures) take pleasure in our death, and think it their interest to be our murderers, we will much rather die an honorable death for the liberties and welfare of our dear country than submit to be trampled under foot by insolent foreigners who have always hated or envied us. By so doing we shall at least transmit to our posterity this fame and reputation, that their ancestors scorned to be slaves to a Spanish Inquisition, and therefore made no scruple of redeeming a scandalous life by an honorable death. We contend for nothing less than freedom of conscience, our wives and children, our lives and fortunes. We do not desire to be discharged from our allegiance to
dam. The Spanish army undertook to march across the ice to attack it, but the Dutch soldiers put on skates, and hovered around the enemy "like flocks of birds," until they succeeded in repulsing them. At the siege of Haar. lem several hundred high-born ladies enrolled themselves as soldiers and fought like men. The town was, however, finally taken and nearly three thousand citizens put to death.
The siege of Leyden is regarded as one of the most wonderful events of the century. The garrison was small, but the citizens joined in the defence with the utmost valor and constancy. The people suffered dreadfully from famine, but when at last some of them, maddened with hunger, came to the burgomaster, Peter Vanderwerf, and demanded that he should give them food or treat for the surrender of the city, he replied: "I have made an oath which by the help of God I will keep, that I will never yield to the Spaniard. Bread, as you well know, I have none; but if my death can serve you, slay me, cut my body into morsels and divide it among you."
William of Orange was at Delft with his fleet, but could not approach without breaking the dykes that kept out the sea, and thus laying the whole country under water. The young grain was in the field, but the states submitted to the sacrifice, and the dyses were cut. Anxiously the starving citiziens of Leyden watched the rising of the flood that was to bear them deliverance. A fleet of two hundred vessels set sail from Delft, but twice the waters were driven back by an east wind, and the ships lay helplessly stranded. Finally a northwestern gale set in and the waters of the German ocean came pouring in over the ruined dykes. The Dutch and Spanish fleets had a singular midnight
conflict amid the boughs of orchards and the chimneys of submerged houses. William was, however, finally successful in reaching Leyden, and sailed up the channel distributing loaves of bread to the famished people who crowded along the banks. As soon as the pangs of hunger were relieved the whole population crowded to the principal church to return thanks for their great deliverance. The prince of Orange desirous of establishing some permanent memorial of this great event offered the people of Leyden either the establishment of an annual fair, which would bring them commerce from al parts of Holland, or the foundation of a Reformed University. The people chose the latter, and the Prince was so well pleased with their decision that he not only founded the university but also granted them the
conflict was principally derived from its political element.
The political independence of Holland was not acknowledged by Spain until 1648. Long before that time the conflict was practically ended, and Holland had become the foremost naval power in Europe. The conflict which had been waged against such fearful odds had been decided in favor of civil and rel gious liberty. The blood of the martyrs had not been shed in vain, and Holland became a refuge for the distressed and persecuted of all nations. The Mennonites who were in other countries persecuted with fire and sword, were tolerated in the Netherlands, and there became a wealthy and influential body. The "Pilgrim Fathers," who in America showed themselves so intolerant to the Baptists and Quakers, never had reason to complain In July, 1584, William of Orange of their treatment during the twelve was assassinated by an emissary of the years they had spent in Amsterdam. king of Spain. It was a sad day for " Only once," says Dr. Demarest, was the Reformed people of Holland when Holland derelict to her own principles, their leader was thus stricken down in though under palliating circumstances, the midst of his glory. His son Mau- when she banished the Arminian rice was but seventeen years of age, but preachers. That exceptional case has the people would have no other leader. attracted particular notice from the Their confidence was not misplaced, for very fact that there was a constitutional he soon proved himself a brilliant com- guaranty of the rights of conscience.” mander, who successively defeated a number of the most celebrated generals of the age.
During the government of Maurice there was a truce of twelve years, during which time internal dissensions broke out between the Gomarists and Arminians, whose theological differences were made the basis of political parties, which contended with the utmost bitterness. Maurice aspired to become the hereditary sovereign of Holland, as he was already its virtual dictator. In these ambitious designs he was opposed by Barneveldt, the most distinguished of the Dutch statesmen, who was the leader of the Arminians, or Remonstrants.
Barneveldt was condemned and executed, and the conflict, which had become religious and political, continued to increase in intensity until it finally culminated in the great synod of Dordrecht. The theological questions at issue were real and important, but the fierce and unrelenting character of the
When the persecuted exiles of the Palatinate fled to Holland, they were received as brethren of a common faith, and all classes united in relieving their necessities. Even after they had emigrated to America they were followed by the generosity and fostering care of the Dutch churches, and many of our oldest congregations were in great measure founded and established by their beneficence. We should never forget the debt of gratitude which we to the Reformed Church of Holland.
SOME TERSE PROVERBS.-Pray to
God, but continue to row to the shore. - Russian.
Silence is the ornament of the ignorant.-Sanscrit.
There are two good men : one dead, and the other unborn.-Chinese.
One pound of learning requires ten pounds of common sense to apply it Persian.
NAACH BRYANT'S "RIVULET." BY H. L. FISCHER.
Du schönes Bächli aus 'm Wald !
Zum Beischpiel, in meïm zwölfte Jahr,
Dis Johre mache dich net alt;
Du schpielscht mit jedem Körnche Sand,
Du ännersht net, süsz Bächli, du,
Der g'schpielt hot uf deim grüne Rand.
Die Welt! die Welt! sie trägt ne'mehr
Wan wenig Johr' ferflosse sin',
'S mägt sei, des wär des letschtse Maal,
Un ich muss schloofe newe dir,
CONDUCT IN CHURCH.
BY THE EDITOR.
It was a beautiful Sunday morning in early Autumn. At that season, when nature lays aside her most brilliant robes and puts on garments of sober russet, the mind appears to be most easily drawn to reflection and the heart to worship. Then the church-bells appear to be saying more distinctly than ever," Come to prayer! Come to prayer!"
On the particular day to which we refer, the congregation appeared to be in a peculiarly devout and tender frame of mind. Aged fathers and mothers were there who would probably not venture to come to church during the inclement season, and might never again enjoy the privilege of worshipping with God's people. It was to be a day