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nate to the Father. But as this subordination may be understood and explained in a variety of ways, it is evident that the term Arian, as it is used in modern language, is susceptible of different significations; and that, of consequence, the persons to whom it is applied cannot be all considered in the same point of light with the ancient Arians, nor supposed to agree perfectly with each other in their religious tenets.
CONCERNING SOME SECTS OF INFERIOR NOTE.
' I. It will not be amiss to take notice here of a few sects
of inferior consequence and note, which we egiants could not mention with propriety in the history gers of the larger and more extensive communities that we have been passing in review, and which nevertheless we cannot omit, for several reasons. While the disa putes and tumults that the Arminian system produced in Holland, in the year 1619, were at the greatest height, then arose that religious society, whose members hold at Rhinsberg, in the neighbourhood of Leyden, a solemn assembly every half year, and are generally known under the denomination of Collegiants. This community was founded by three brothers, whose name was Vander Kodde, who passed their days in the obscurity of a rural life, but are said to have been men of eminent piety, well acquainted with sacred literature, and great enemies to religious controversy. They had for their associate Anthony Cornelius, a man also of a mean condition, and who had no qualities that could give any degree of weight or credit to their cause. The descendants and followers of these men acquired the name of Collegiants from this particular circumstance, that they call their religious asseniblies colleges. All are admitted to the communion of this sect who acknowledge the divinity of the Holy Scriptures, and endeavour to live suitably to their precepts and doctrines, whatever their peculiar sentiments may be concerning the nature of the Deity, and the truths of Christianity. Their numbers are
s See above, note t.
very considerable in the provinces of Holland, Utrecht, Friesland, and Westfriesland. They meet twice every week, namely, on Sundays and Wednesdays, for the purpose of divine worship; and after singing a psalm or hymn, and addressing themselves to the Deity by prayer, they explain a certain portion of the New Testament. The female members of the community are not allowed to speak in public; but all others, without any exception founded on rank, condition, or incapacity, have a right to communicate the result of their meditations to the assembly, and to submit their sentiments to the judgment of the brethren. All likewise have an unquestionable right to examine and oppose what any of the brethren has advanced, provided their opposition be attended with a spirit of Christian charity, and moderation. There is a printed list of the passages of Scripture, that are to be examined and illustrated at each of their religious meetings ; so that any one who is ambitious of appearing among the speakers, may study the subject beforehand, and thus come fully prepared to descant upon it in public. The brethren, as has been already observed, have a general assembly twice a year at Rhinsberg, where they have ample and convenient houses for the education of orphans and the reception of strangers; and there they remain together during the space of four days, which are employed in hearing discourses that tend to edification, and exhortations that are principally designed to inculcate brotherly love and sanctity of manners. The sacrament of the Lord's supper is also administered during this assembly; and those adult persons, that desire to be baptized, receive the sacrament of baptism, according to the ancient and primitive manner of celebrating that institution, even by immersion. Those of the brethren that reside in the province of Friesland, have at present an annual meeting at Lewarden, where they administer the sacraments, as the considerable distance at which they live from Rhinsberg renders it inconvenient for them to repair thither twice a year. We shall conclude our account of the Collegiants by observing, that their community, is of a most ample and extensive kind; that it comprehends persons of all ranks, orders, and sects, who profess themselves Christians, though their sentiments concerning the person and doctrine of the divine founder of Christianity be extremely different; that
it is kept together, and its union maintained, not by the authority of rulers and doctors, the force of ecclesiastical laws, the restraining power of creeds and confessions, or the influence of certain positive rites and institutions, but merely by a zeal for the advancement of practical religion, and a desire of drawing instruction from the study of the Holy Scriptures.
II. - In such a community, or rather amidst such a multitude as this, in which opinion is free, and every one is permitted to judge for himself in religious matters, dissensions and controversies can scarcely have place. However, a debate, attended with some warmth, arose, in the year 1672, between John and Paul Bredenburg, merchants of Rotterdam, on the one side, and Abraham Lemmerman and Francis Cuiper, merchants of Amsterdam, on the other. John Bredenburg had erected a particular society, or college, in which he gave a course of lectures upon the religion of nature and reason; but this undertaking was highly disapproved of by Lemmerman and Cuiper, who were for excluding reason altogether from religious in-quiries and pursuits. During the heat of this controversy, Bredenburg discovered a manifest propensity toward the sentiments of Spinoza; nay, he even defended them publicly, and yet, at the same time, professed a firm attachment to the Christian religion. Other debates of less con. sequence arose in this community, and the effect of those dissensions was a division of the Collegiants into two parties, which held their assemblies separately at Rhinsberg. This division happened in the year 1686, but it was healed about the commencement of the present century, by the death of those who had principally occasioned it; and then the Collegiants returned to their former union and concord.? · II. The sect of the Labbadists were so called from their founder John Labbadie, a native of France, a man The Labbas of no mean genius, and remarkable for a natural and disis. masculine eloquence. This man was born in the Romish communion, entered into the order of the Jesuits, and, being dismissed by them," became a member of the reformed church, and performed, with reputation, the ministerial functions in France, Switzerland, and Holland. He at length erected a new community, which resided successively at Middleburg in Zealand and at Amsterdam. In the year 1670 it was transplanted to Hervorden, a town in Westphalia, at the particular desire of the princess Elizabeth, daughter of the elector palatine, and abbess of Hervorden. It was nevertheless driven from thence, notwith
y See the 'Dissertation sur les usages de ceux qu'on appelle en Hollande Colligiens et Rhinobourgeois,' in the Ceremonies Religieuses des tous les Peuples du Monde,' tom. iv. p. 323. As also a Dutch book, containing an account of the collegiants, and published by themselves, under the following title: 'De Oerspronck, Natuur, Handelwyz en Oogmerk der zo genaamde Rynburgsche Vergadering,' at Amsterdam, in 4to. in the year 1736.
z The names of John Bredenburg and Francis Cuiper are well known among the followers and adversaries of Spinoza ; but the character and profession of these two disputants are less generally known. Bredenburg, or as he is otherwise called, Breitenburg, was a collegiant, and a merchant of Rotterdam, who propagated in a public manner the doctrine of Spinoza, and pretended to demonstrate mathemati. cally its conformity to the dictates of reason. The same man not only professed Christianity, but moreover explained, recommended, and maintained the Christian religion in the meetings of the collegiants, and asserted, on all occasions, its divine criginal. To reconcile these striking contradictions, he declared, on the one hand, that reason and Christianity were in direct opposition to each other; but maintained, on the other, that we were obliged to believe, even against the evidence of the strongest mathematical demonstrations, the religious doctrines comprehended in the Holy Scriptures ; this indeed was adding absurdity to absurdity. He affirmed that truth was twofold, theological and philosophical; and that those propositions, which were false in theology, were true in philosophy. There is a brief but accurate account, of the character and sentiments of Bredenburgh, in the learned work of the Jew, Isaac Orobio, entitled “Certamen Philosophicum propugnatæ veritatis, divinæ et naturalis adversus Jo. Bredenburgii principia, ex quibus, quod religio rationi repugnat, domonstrare nititur.' This work, which contains Bredenburg's pretended demonstrations of the philosophy of Spinoza, was first published in Bro. at
Amsterdam, in the year 1703, and afterward in 12mo. at Brussels, in 1731. Francis Cuiper, who was the antagonist of Bredenburg, acquired a considerable reputation by his Arcana Atheismi detecta, i. e. · The Secrets of Atheism detected. He was a bookseller at Amsterdam; and it was he that published, among other things, the Bibliotheca Fratrum Polonorum seu Unitariorum. Those who have a tolerable acquaintance with the literary history of this century, know that Cuiper, on account of the very book which he wrote against Bredenburg, was suspected of Spinozism, though he was a collegiant, and a zealous defender of the Christian faith, as also of the perfect conformity that there is between right reason and true religion. Op Dr. Mosheim said a little before, in the text, that Lemmerman and Cuiper were for excluding reason altogether from religion ; how then can be consistently say here of the latter, that he was a defender of the conformity that there is between reason and religion ?
a Beside the authors who have been already mentioned, those who understand the German language may consult the curious work of Simon Frederic Rues, entitled Nachrichten vom Zustande der Mennoniten, p. 267.
I b From this expression of our author, some may be led to imagine, that Labladie was expelled by the Jesuits from their society; and many have, in effect, entertained this notion. But this is a palpable mistake; and whoever will be at the pains of consulting the letter of the abbe Goujet to father Niceron, published in the Men moires des Hommes illustres, tom. XX. p. 142, 143, will find that Labba lie had long soli. cited his discharge from that society, and, after many refusals, obtained it at length in an honourable manner, by a public act signed at Bourdeaux, by one of the provincials, the 17th of April, 1639. For a full account of this restless, turbulent, and visionary man, who, by his plans of reformation, conducted by a zeal destitute of prudence, produced much tumult and disorder, both in the Romish and reformed churches, see his Life, composed with learning, impartiality, and judgment, by the Rev. Mr. Chauffepied, in his supplement to Mr. Bayle, entitled Nouveau Dictionaire Historique et Critique.
Pc This illustrious princess seems to have had as prevailing a taste for fanaticism, as her grandfather king James I. of England had for scholastic theology. Sin carried
standing the protection of this illustrious princess; and, in the year 1672, settled at Altena, where its founder died two years after his arrival. After the death of Labbadie, his followers removed their wandering community to Wiewert, in the district of North Holland, where it found a peaceful retreat, and soon fell into oblivion; so that few, if any traces of it, are now to be found.
Among the persons that became members of this sect, there were some whose learning and abilities gave it a certain degree of credit and reputation, particularly Anna Maria Schurman, of Utrecht, whose extensive erudition rendered her so famous, in the republic of letters, during the last century. The members of this community, if we are to judge of them by their own account of things, did not differ from the reformed church so much in their tenets and doctrines, as in their manners and rules of discipline;d
on a correspondence with Penn, the famous Quaker, and other members of that extravagant sect. She is nevertheless celebrated by certain writers, on account of her application to the study of philosophy and poetry. That a poetical fancy may have rendered her susceptible of fanatical impressions, is not impossible ; but how these impressions could be reconciled with a philosophical spirit, is more difficult to imagine.
B d Labbadie always declared, that he embraced the doctrines of the reformed church. Nevertheless, when he was called to perform the ministerial functions to a French church at Middleburg in Zealand, he refused to subscribe their confession of faith. Beside, if we examine his writings, we shall find that he entertained very odd and singular opinions on various subjects. He maintained, among other things, “ That God might, and did, on certain occasions, deceive men ; that the Holy Scripture was not sufficient to lead men to salvation, without certain particular illuminations and revelations from the Holy Ghost; that in reading the Scriptures, we ought to give less attention to the literal sense of the words than to the inward suggestions of the spirit, and that the efficacy of the word depended upon him that preached it; that the faithful ought to have all things in common; that there is no subordination or distinction of rank in the true church of Christ ; that Christ was to reign a thousand years upon earth; that the contemplative life is a state of grace and union with God, and the very height of perfection ; that the Christian, whose mind is contented and calm, sees all things in God, enjoys the Deity, and is perfectly indifferent about every thing that passes in the world, and that the Cbristian arrives at that happy state by the exercises of a perfect self-denial, by mortifying the flesh and all sensual affections, and by mental prayer.” Beside these, be had formed singular ideas of the Old and New Testament, considered as covenants, as also concerning the sabbath and the true nature of a Christian church.
It is remarkable enough, that almost ali the sectaries of an enthusiastical turn, were desirous of entering into communion with Labbadie. The Brownists offered bim their church at Middleburg, when he was suspended by the French synod from his pastoral functions. The Quakers sent their two leading members, Robert Barclay and George Keith to Amsterdain, while be resided there, to examine his doctrine ; and, after several conferences with him, these two commissioners offered to receive him into their communion, which he refused, probably from a principle of ambition, and the desire of remaining head of a sect. Nay, it is said, that the famous William Penn made a second attempt to gain over the Labbadists; and that lie went for that purpose to Weiwert, where they resided after the death of their founder, but without success. We do not pretend to answer for the certainty of these facts; but shall only observe, that they are related by Mollerus in his Cimbria Literata on the authority of a MS. Journal, of which several extracts have been given by Joach. Fred. Feller, in his Trimest. ix. Monumentoruım ineditorun, sect. il. A. 1717, p. 498-500.