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good fidelity, what was the rise and progress of these controversies; and on what occasion, and for what causes, the Illustrious and the most mighty the States General convened this most celebrated Synod, at a very great expense ;* especially, when many things are related by the Remonstrants, in writings exhibited, and here inserted, which less accord with the truth of the things transacted.
In the Reformed churches of Federated Belgium, how great an agreement had, in the preceding age, flourished, on all the heads
of orthodox doctrine, among the pastors and doctors of the Belgic churches; and moreover how great order and decorum (ευλαξια and ευσχημοςυνη) had always been preserved in the government of the same, is too well known to the Christian world, for it to be needful to set it forth in many words. This peace and harmony of the Belgic churches, lovely (in itself,) and most pleasing to God and all pious men, certain persons had attempted to disturb, with unbridled violence, but not with great success; (persons) who having deserted popery, but not being yet fully purified from its leaven, had passed over into our churches, and had been admitted into the ministry in the same, during that first scarcity of ministers : (namely) Caspius Coolhasius, of Leyda, Herman Herbertius, of Dordrecht, and Gouda, and Cornelius Wiggerus, of Horn. For in the same places, in which they had got some persons too little favoring the reformed religion, on whose patronage they relied; this their wicked audacity was maturely repressed, as well by the authority of the supreme magistracy, as by the prudence of the pastors, and the just censures of the church; that of Coolhasius, in the national Synod at Middleburg; that of Herbertius, in the Synods of North Holland ; and that of Wiggerus, in the Synods of North Holland.
Afterwards James Arminius, pastor of the most celebrated church at Amsterdam, attempted the same thing, with great boldness and enterprize ; a man indeed of a more vigorous
* “ After long and tedious debates, which were frequently attended with popular tumults and civil broils, this intricate controversy was by the counsels and authority of Maurice, prince of Orange, referred to the decision of the church, assembled in a general Synod at Dordrecht, in the year 1618.” (Mosheim.)—"It was not by the authority of prince Maurice, but by that of the States General, that the national Synod was assembled at Dordrecht. The States were not indeed unanimous; three of the seven provinces protested against the holding of this Synod, viz. Holland, Utrecht, and Overyssel.” (Maclaine.) Mosheim's Hist. vol. v. p. 367.
genius, (excitatioris,) but whom nothing pleased except that which commended itself by some shew of novelty; so that he seemed to disdain most things received in the Reformed churches, even on that very account, that they had been received. He first paved the way for himself to this thing, by publicly and privately extenuating, and vehemently attacking (sugillando) the reputation and authority of the most illustrious doctors of the reformed church, Calvin, Zanchius, Beza, Martyr, and others; that by the ruin of their name, might raise a step to glory for himself. Afterwards he began openly to propose and disseminate various heterodox opinions, nearly related to the errors of the ancient Pelagians, especially in an explanation of the epistle to the Romans : but by the vigilance and authority of the venerable presbytery of that church, his attempts were speedily opposed, lest he should be able to cause those disturbances in the church, which he seemed to project (moliri.) Yet he did not cease among
his own friends, as well as among the pastors of other churches, John Utenbogardus, Adrian, Borrius, and others, whose friendship the same common studies had conciliated, to propamate his opinions, by whatever means he could; and to challenge Francis Junius, the most celebrated professor of sacred theology at Leyden, to a conference concerning the
But when in the second year of this age, (Aug. 28, 1602,) that most renowned man D. Junius had been snatched away from the University of Leyden, with the greatest sorrow of the Belgic churches, Utenbogardus, who then favored the opinion of Arminius, with great earnestness commended him to the most noble and ample the Curators of the University of Leyden, that he indeed might be appointed in the place of D. Junius in the professorship of sacred theology in that University. When the deputies of the churches understood this, fearing lest the vocation of a man so very much suspected of heterodoxy, might sometime give cause of contentions and schisms in the churches ; they intreated the most noble lords the Curators, that they would not expose the churches to those perils, but rather would think of appointing another proper person, who was free from this suspicion. And they also admonished Utenbogardus to desist from this recommen
* “The lustre and authority of the college of Geneva began gradu, ally to decline, from the time that the United Provinces, being formed into a free and independent republic, Universities were founded ac Leyden, Franeher, and Utrecht," Mosheim, vol. V, p. 365.
dation; who, despising these admonitions, did not desist from urging his (Arminius') vocation, until at length he had attained the same.
His vocation having been thus appointed, the presbytery of Amsterdam refused to consent to his dismission ; especially for this reason, because the more prudent thought that a disposition so greatly luxuriant, and prone to innovation, would be statedly employed, with more evident danger in an university, at which youth consecrated to the ministry of the churches are educated, and where greater liberty of teaching uses to be taken, than in any particular church in which it may be restrained within bounds, by the vigilance and authority of the presbytery. His dismission was notwithstanding obtained, by the frequent petitions of the lords the Curators, of Utenbogardus, and even of Arminius himself; yet upon this condition, that a conference having been first held with Dr. Francis Gomarus, concerning the principal heads of doctrine, he should remove from himself all suspicion of heterodoxy, by an explicit (rotunda) declaration of his opinion; when he had first promised, with a solemn attestation, that he would never disseminate his opinions, if perhaps he had any singular ones.* This conference was held before the lords the Curators, the deputies of the Synod also being present; in which, when he (Arminius) professed, that he unreservedly (diserte) condemned the principal dogmas of the Pelagians concerning natural grace; the powers of free will, original sin, the perfection of man in this life, predestination, and the others; that he approved all things, which Augustine and the other fathers had written against the Pelagians; and moreover, that he judged the Pelagian errors had been rightly refuted and condemned by the fathers; and at the same time promised, that he would teach nothing which differed from the received doctrine of the churches, he was admitted to the professorship of theology.t
May 6, 7. 1602.] In the beginning of this, he endeavored by every means to avert from himself every suspicion of
* How far he fulfilled this solemn promise and attestation, not only the following history, but even the histories of his most decided advocates, fully show. In fact, he fulfilled it in the very same manner, that the subscriptions and most solemn engagements of numbers in our church at their ordination are fulfilled.
| The received doctrine of the churches was contained in the Belgic Confession and Catechism. Let the reader carefully attend to this, and bear it in mind while he peruses the subsequent narrative.
heterodoxy; so that he defended by his support and patronage in public disputations, [October 28.] the doctrine of the reformed churches, concerning the satisfaction of Christ, justifying faith, justification by faith, the perseverance of those who truly believe, the certitude of salvation, the imperfection of man in this life, and the other heads of doctrine, which he afterwards contradicted, and which at this day are opposed by his disciples. (This he did) contrary to his own opinion, as John Arnoldi Corvinus, in a certain Dutch writing ingenuously confesses.
But when he had been now engaged in this employment as professor, a year or two, it was detected, that he publicly and privately attacked (sugillare) most of the dogmas received in the reformed churches, called them into doubt, and rendered them suspected to his scholars : and that he enervated the principal arguments, by which they used to be maintained from the word of God, by the same exceptions, which the Jesuits, the Socinians, and other enemies of the reformed church were accustomed to employ :* that he gave some of his own manuscript tracts privately to his scholars to be transcribed, in which he had comprised his own opinion: that he recommended in an especial manner to his scholars, the writings of Castalio, Cornhertius, Suerezius, and of men like them: and that he spake contemptuously of Calvin, Beza, Martyr, Zanchius, Ursinus, and of other eminent doctors of of the reformed churches.† He moreover openly professed, that he had very many considerations or animadversions against the received doctrine, which he would lay open in his own time. Some pastors, who were intimately acquainted with him, gloried that they possessed an entirely new theology. His scholars, having returned home from the University, or having been removed to other universities, petulantly (proterve) insulted the reformed churches, by disputing, contradicting, and reviling their doctrine.
When the churches of Holland considered these and other things, being justly solicitous, lest the purity of the reformed
* The reformed church included, not only the church of Geneva, but the churches in Switzerland, France, Holland, England and Scotland, and others. The doctrines opposed were then not those of Calvin or of Geneva in particular, but common to all these churches.
This is the only way, in which Calvin is ever mentioned in the whole of this history, as along with others, an eminent doctor of the reformed churches; for it was not then supposed, that there was any essential difference between the doctrine of the church at Geneva, and that of the other reformed churches.
doctrine having been weakened, (or corrupted, labefactata,) and the youth which was educated in this seminary, for the hope of the churches, imbued with depraved opinions, this matter should at length burst forth to the great mischief and disturbance of the churches; they judged that an inquiry should be thoroughly made into the whole transaction, by their own deputies, to whom the common care of the churches used be committed; so that in the next Synods it might be maturely looked to, that the church might not suffer any detriment. Concerning this cause the deputies of the churches, as well of South, as of North Holland, go to Arminius, and state to him, the rumors which were every where circulated concerning him and his doctrine, and how great solicitude possessed all the churches; and, in a friendly manner, they request him, that if perhaps he found a want of any thing in the received doctrine, he would sincerely (sincere, ingenuously) open it to his brethren; in order, either that satisfaction might be given by him a friendly conference, or the whole affair might be carried before a lawful Synod. To these (persons) he answered, That he himself had never given just cause for these rumors; neither did it appear prudent in him to institute any conference with the same persons, as deputies, who would make the report concerning the matter unto the Synod; but if they would lay aside this character, (personam,) he would not decline to confer with them, as with private pastors, concerning his doctrine ; on this condition, that if perhaps they should too little agree among themselves, they would report nothing of this to the Synod. As the deputies judged this to be unjust, and as the solicitude could not be taken away from the churches by a conference of this kind, they departed from him without accomplishing their purpose (re infecta.) Nor did they yet the less understand, from the other professors of sacred theology, that various questions were eagerly agitated among the students of theology concerning predestination, free will, the perseverance of the saints, and other heads of doctrine, such as before the coming of Arminius had not been agitated among them.
July 26, 1605.] He was also admonished by the church of Leyden, of which he was a member, by the most ample and most celebrated men, Phædo Brouchovius, the consul of the city of Leyden, and Paulus Merula, professor of history, (historiarum, histories, ancient and modern,) elders of the same church, that he would hold a friendly conference with his colleagues, before the presbytery of the church of Leyden,