תמונות בעמוד

The Gialpoists and postu. lians.

a public professor supported, at present, by the sect at Amsterdam, for the instruction of their youth in the various branches of philosophy and sacred erudition.

VII. One of these Waterlandian sects was divided, in the year 1664, into two factions, of which the one were called Galenists,and the other Apostoolians, from their respective leaders. The founder of the former was Galen Abraham Haan, a doctor of physic, and pastor of a Mennonite congregation at Amsterdam, who has received the applause even of his enemies, on account of his uncommon penetration and eloquence. This eminent anabaptist, in imitation of the Arminians, considered the Christian religion as a system that laid much less stress upon faith than upon practice ; and he was for receiving into the communion of the Mennonites all those who acknowledged the divine origin of the books of the Old and New Testament, and led holy and virtuous lives. Such, in his judgment, were true Christians, and had an undoubted right to all the rights and privileges that belong to that character. These comprehensive terms of communion were peculiarly favourable to his own theological sentiments, since his notions concerning Christ's divinity, and the salvation of mankind by his death and merits, were very different from those of the Mennonites, and coincided a good deal with the Socinian system.

Several persons opposed the sentiments of this latitudinarian, and more especially Samuel Apostool, an eminent pastor among the Mennonites'at Amsterdam, who not only defended, with the utmost zeal, the doctrine generally received among the Mennonites, in relation to the divinity of Christ and the fruits of his death, but also maintained that ancient hypothesis of a visible and glorious church of Christ upon earth, that was peculiar to this sect." Thus a controversy was kindled, which produced the division now mentioned; a division which the zealous efforts of seve. ral of the wisest and most respectable members of this community have bitherto proved insufficient to heal. The Galenists are not less disposed than the Arminians to admit, as members of their community, all those who call

k For a more particular account of these two Mennonites, see Schyn's Deductio plenior Histor. Mennonit. cap. xv. p. 318, and xviii. p. 237.

themselves Christians; and they are the only sect of the anabaptists who reject the denomination of Mennonites. The Apostoolians, on the contrary, admit to their communion those only who profess to believe all the points of doctrine which are contained in their public confession of faith.




1. About the commencement of this century, the sect of

the Socinians seemed to be well established, and The fourishing their affairs were even in a flourishing situation.

In Transylvania and Lucko they enjoyed the liberty of holding, without molestation, their religious assemblies, and professing publicly their theological opinions. The advantages that attended their situation in Poland were still more considerable ; for they had at Racow a public seminary of learning, which was furnished with professors eminently distinguished by their erudition and genius, together with a press for the publication of their writings ; they had also a considerable number of congregations in that district, and were supported by the patronage of several persons of the highest distinction. Elated with this scene of prosperity, they began to form more extensive views, and aimed at enlarging the borders of their community, and procuring it patrons and protectors in other countries. There are in being authentic records, from which it appears, that they sent emissaries with this view, about the commencement of this century, into Holland, England, Germany, and Prussia, who endeavoured to make proselytes to Socinianism in these countries, among men of learning and men in power. For it is remarkable that the Socinians, in propagating their religious principles, have always followed a quite different method from that which has been observed by other sects. It has been the general practice of sectaries and innovators to

I Casp. Commelini Descriptio Urbis Amstelodami, tom. i. p. 500. Stoupa’s Religion des IJollandois, p. 20. Benthem's Hollandischer Schvlund Kirchen Staat, p. i. ch. xix. p. 830.

endeavour to render themselves popular, and to begin by gaining the multitude to their side; but the disciples of Socinus, who are perpetually exalting the dignity, prerogatives, and authority of reason, have this peculiarity in their manner of proceeding, that they are at very little pains to court the favour of the people, or to make prose, lytes to their cause among those who are not distinguished from the multitude by their rank or their abilities. It is only among the learned and the great that they seek for disciples and patrons with a zealous assiduity.

Ir. The effect of the missions now mentioned, though they were conducted and executed by persons The progress of whom the greatest part were eminent, both on or Socinas account of their rank and abilities, was neverthe- isn at Altorr. less far from answering the views and expectations of the community. In most places their success was doubtful, at best but inconsiderable; in some however they were favourably received, and seemed to employ their labours to purpose They had nowhere a more flattering prospect of success than in the academy of Altorf, where their sentiments and their cause were promoted with dexterity by Ernest Sohner, an acute and learned peripatetican, who was professor of physic and natural philosophy. This subtile philosopher, who had joined the Socinians during his residence in Holland, instilled their principles into the minds of his scholars with much greater facility, by his having acquired the highest reputation both for learning and piety. The death indeed of this eminent man, which happened in the year 1612, deprived the rising society of its chief ornament and support; nor could the remaining friends of Socinianism carry on the cause of their community with such art and dexterity, as to escape the vigilant and severe eye of the other professors. Their secret designs were accordingly brought to light, in the year 1616; and the contagion of Socinianism, which was gathering strength from day to day; and growing imperceptibly into a reigning system, was all of a sudden dissipated and extinguished by the vigilant severity of the magistrates of Nuremberg. The foreign students, who had been infected with these doctrines, saved themselves by flight; while the natives, who were chargeable with the same reproach, accepted of the remedies that were presented to them by the




taries in Poland.

healing hand of orthodoxy, and returned quietly to their former theological system.”

111. The establishment of the Socinians in Poland, though The decline or it seemed to rest upon solid foundations, was neverSocinianism theless of a short duration." Its chief supports ings of love were withdrawn in the year 1638, by a public

decree of the diet. It happened in this year that some of the students of Racow vented, in an irregular and tumultuous manner, their religious resentment against a Crucifix, at which they threw stones, till they beat it down out of its place. This act of violence excited such a high degree of indignation in the Roman catholics, that they vowed revenge, and fulfilled this vow in the severest manner; for it was through their importunate solicitations that the terrible law was enacted at Warsaw, þy which it was resolved, that the academy of Racow should be demolished, its professors banished with ignominy, the printing house of the Socinians destroyed, and their churches shut. All this was executed without the smallest alleviation or the least delay, notwithstanding the efforts made by the powerful patrons of the Socinians to ward off the blow." But a catastrophe, still more terrible, awaited them; and the persecution now mentioned was the forerunner of that dreadful revolution, which, about twenty years afterward; brought on the entire ruin of this community in Poland; for by a public and solemn act of the diet held at Warsaw, in the year 1658, all the Socinians were banished for ever from the territory of that republic, and capital punishment was denounced against all those who should either profess their opinions, or harbour their persons. The unhappy exiles were, at first, allowed the space of three years to settle their affairs, and to dispose of their possessions ; but this term was afterward abridged by the cruelty of their enemies, and reduced to two years. In the year 1661, the terrible edict was renewed; and all the Socinians that

m The learned Gustavns George Zeltner, formerly professor of divinity in the academy of Altorf, composed an ample and learned account of this theological revolution, ilrawn principally from manuscript records, which was published at Leipsic, in the year 1729, in two volumes, in 4to. by Gebauer, under the following title ; Historia Crypto Socinianisni, Atorfine quondam Academiæ infesti, arcana.

n We have a circumstantial account of the flourishing state of the Racovian academy, while it was under the direction of the learned Martin Ruarus, in the Cimbria Literata of Mollerus, tom. i. p. 572, where we learn that Ruarus was a native of Holstein, who became a proseiyte to the Socinian system.

o Epistola de Wissowatii vita in Sandii Biblioth. Antilrinitar. p. 233. Gust. Georg. Zeltneri Uislorin Crypto Socinianismi Altorfini, vol. i. p.


yet remained in Poland, were barbarously driven out of that country, some with the loss of their goods, others with the loss of their lives, as neither sickness, nor any domestic consideration, could suspend the execution of that rigorous sentence.

iv. A part of these exiles, who sought for a refuge among their brethren in Transylvania, sunk under the burden.of their calamities, and perished amidst the 'Sociulan the hardships to which they were exposed. A exiles. considerable number of these unhappy emigrants were dispersed through the adjacent provinces of Silesia, Brandenburg, and Prussia ; and their posterity still subsist in those countries. Several of the more eminent members of the sect, in consequence of the protection granted them by the duke of Breig, resided for some time at Crossen, in Silesia. Others went in search of a convenient settlement for themselves and their brethren, into Holland, England, Holstein, and Denmark. Of all the Socinian exiles, none discovered such zeal and industry for the interests and establishment of the sect as Stanislaus Lubieniecius, a Polish knight, distinguished by his learning, and singularly esteemed by persons of the highest rank, and even by several sovereign princes, on account of his eloquence, politeness, and prudence. This illustrious patron of Socinianism succeeded so far in his designs, as to gain the favour of Frederic III. king of Denmark;.Christian Albert, duke of Holstein ; and Charles Lewis, elector palatine; and thus had alınost obtained a secure retreat and settlement for the Socinians, about the year 1662, at Altena, Frederickstadt, and Manheim; but his measures were disconcerted, and all his hopes entirely frustrated by the opposition and remonstrances of the clergy established in these countries; he was opposed in Denmark by Suaningius, bishop of Zealand, in Holstein by Reinboth, and in the palatinate by John Lewis Fabricius,' Several other attempts were made, in different countries, in favour of

p Stanislai Lubieniecii Historia Reformat. Polonicæ, lib. iii. c. xvii. xviii. p. 279. Equilis Poloni Vindiciæ pro Unitariorum in Polonia Religionis libertate apud Sandium, in Biblioth. Antilrinitar. p. 267.

q Lubieniecii Historia Reformal. Polon. cap. xviii. p. 285, where there is a letter written by the Socinians of Crossen.

See Sandii, Bibliotheca Antitrinitar. p. 165. Historia Vilæ Lubieniecii, prefixed to his Historia Reformationis Polonicæ, p. 7,8. Molleri Introductio in Histor. "Chersones. Cimbrite, p. ii. p. 105, and his Cimbria Literata, tom. ii. p. 487. Jo. Henr. Heideggeri Vila Joh. Lud. Fabricii, subjoined to the works of the latter, p. 39.

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