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to oppose it, because those testimonies of scripture stood for it (or were extant for it) to which he was not as yet able to answer; he should therefore only propose those topics, which in this article had excited scruple and hesitation in him.* When Gomarus had answered to these topics, he confirmed this doctrine from the word of God by many evident testimonies.
These things having been fully discussed, the collocutors were asked, whether there remained more articles, concerning which they differed from each other. Gomarus answered, that there were more; the articles for instance concerning original sin, the providence of God, the authority of the sacred scriptures, the assurance of salvation, the perfection of man in this life, and some others ; concerning which, whether they should treat also in this place, he left to the prudence of the Illustrious the States; especially as they must a second time be discussed by them in the Synod. But when the state of Arminius' health did not seem such as could endure a longer conference, it pleased the Illustrious the States, that it should be broken off; after that they had promised, to the petition of Gomarus and the rest of the pastors who had joined themselves to him, that this entire cause should be more fully examined and decided on in a provincial Synod, to be called together as soon as might be; and had enjoined the collocutors, that each of them should exhibit to them his opinion, with the arguments and refutations of the contrary opinion, contained in a writing, within the space of fourteen days; in order that these writings might be preserved by them, even to the provincial Synod. Gomarus within the prescribed time transmitted his writings, which were afterwards published in Dutch, (Belgice.)
As the difficulties of the church were rather increased than taken away by this conference, the deputies of the churches submissively again petitioned the Illustrious the States, that the provincial Synod, so often before, and in the conference itself, promised, should be called, and also
* It is remarkable, that Arminius himself in this his last public conference, and just before his death, should express himself so undecided on this grand point of decided and unqualified opposition to modern Arminians; and should make the concession, that he was not yet able to answer the scriptures, which seemed to favor the doctrine of the final perseverance in all true believers. It is worthy the serious consideration of his disciples. He died October 19, in this same year.
at the earliest time. Answer was returned to them, though there were certain persons who strove against it, that the convocation of it would then be appointed, when the pastors of the Alcmerian Class had obeyed the mandate of the Illustrious the States, admitting to their assembly Adolphus Venator, and the pastors attached to him. But, lest that affair should delay the provincial Synod, the deputies of the churches going to Alcmar, treated with the pastors of that class concerning this admission, and so far prevailed on them, that they were ready to admit the pastors attached to Venator, on honorable conditions, (or equitable, honestis ;) but they laid before the deputies so many and weighty reasons why they could not admit Venator himself, that they themselves judged, that in this respect, they ought not to be urged. When this had been reported to the Illustrious the States, not even yet could the calling of a Synod be obtained. For indeed the pastors attached to Arminius effected this, that it should be again enjoined to the Class of Alcmar, unreservedly to admit these pastors without any condition; which when they could not do, the calling (of the Synod) was again hindered. *
Arminius in the mean while excused himself to the Illustrious States by letters; that by reason of bodily weakness he was not able to prepare the writing enjoined him; which weakness so increased upon him by degrees, that a short time after he departed this life. [Oct. 19, 1609.] Thus these contests and dissensions exercised the University and the churches of Batavia while Arminius was living ; but when he was taken away from among the living, though every good man hoped, that a great part of these evils would be taken away and buried along with him, seeing that he had
*"These measures confirmed, instead of removing the apprehensions of the Calvinists; from day to day they were still more firmly persuaded that the Arminians aimed at nothing less, than the ruin of all religion; and hence they censured their magistrates with great warmth and free dom, for interposing their authority to promote peace and union with such adversaries. And those, who are well informed and impartial, must candidly acknowledge, that the Arminians were far from being sufficiently cautious in avoiding connexions with persons of loose principles; and by frequenting the company of those whose sentiments were entirely different from the received doctrines of the reformed church, they furnished their enemies with a pretext for suspecting their own principles, and representing their theological system in the worst colors." (Mosheim, vol
, v. p. 445.) It seems evident that they patronized men not only of loose principles, but of licentious character. The word Calvinists is not used in the historical preface of the Synod of Dorta
been the leader and author of all these contentions ; yet, as many pastors, every where in the churches of Holland, had consented to his opinion, and would not cease from propagating it, the deputies of the churches thought, that nevertheless the convocation of a provincial Synod should be urged; to whom it was again answered, that the Illustrious the States would then consider about calling some ecclesiastical convention, when the Class of Alcmar had obeyed their mandates.
In the mean time the pastors attached to Arminius, when they saw the affair brought into such a situation, that, the calling of a Synod having been hindered, little seemed to be feared by them from ecclesiastical judgments and censures ; as if with loosened reins of boldness and impudence, they began to inveigh and rage furiously, both in public and private, against the orthodox doctrine of the reformed churches, concerning election, the perseverance of the saints, the assurance of salvation, and other articles, with the most bitter and contumelious revilings, with the greatest offence of the pious, and the congratulation of adversaries, and disturbance of the churches ; and to render the doctrine of the churches by all means suspected by the people, and to embitter the minds, especially of the nobles (magnatum) against it, and the faithful teachers of the same. Neither was it sufficient for them, by private whisperings, and public and official sermons (tribunitiis) to excite the minds, as well of the common people as of the rulers; but by public writings also, which in great number, and not with less scandal, were daily every where dispersed among the people, they so defamed (proscindebant, cut up) the doctrine of the reformed churches, that the sworn adversaries of the same had scarcely been able to do it with greater virulence and evil speaking. And, that they might the better conciliate to themselves the favor of the magistrates, and render their minds more and more bitter against the rest of the pastors, by Utenbogardus, at first in a speech made in the convention of the Illustrious the States, and then publicly in writing, they endeavored to persuade the magistrates, that the rest of the pastors diminished and undermined the authority of the magistrate, and affected and arrogated to themselves a power collateral, or equal to their power.
Wherefore the deputies of the churches judged, that the Illustrious the States should be again approached, and intreated, that they would deign at length to apply a legal
remedy to these evils, which seemed now to have come to the height, by calling together a provincial Synod. And when the Illustrious the States seemed easily about to consent, because of the extreme necessity of the matter, the pastors attached to the opinions of Arminius suggested to them a new counsel, by which they thought that this calling (of a Synod) might either be entirely hindered, or be so instituted, that their cause might be in safety; namely, if the persons, from among whom the Synod was to be called, should not
be delegated by the churches, (as was equitable, and had € been hitherto the custom,) but be called forth by the States
themselves ; for they would easily afterwards obtain that those only should be selected, who either were attached to their cause, or too little averse from it. This innovation, though
they had already persuaded some of the chief persons of the e country, the more prudent could not approve ; who judged
that this convocation (of a Synod) should be instituted after the accustomed manner. They affected, nevertheless, that, while a disputation was excited among the Illustrious the States, concerning the manner of calling the Synod, that the convocation itself, (which in the first place these pastors regarded,) not only of the provincial Synod, but of the
annual Synods, and those which before were ordinarily held, = should by this means be entirely hindered. For, as often as
they who wished, that these evils should be taken away from the churches by this lawful remedy, made mention concerning the convocation of any Synod ; so often they who favored Arminius and his cause, renewed the contentions concerning the manner of calling it. Wherefore the pastors
also, who were attached to the opinions of the same, (Armis nius,) when they discerned that matters were now brought to
that situation, that the fear of all ecclesiastical judgment and censure seemed to be taken away, being rendered more daring, their own churches not having been consulted, or aware of it, and without the authority of the supreme magistrate, they privately met together in a great number; and there, having entered into confederacy or conspiracy, by the subscription of names, they formed a body, as they called it, separate from the body of the rest of their fellow pastors, and instituted a manifest schism in the reformed churches.
At this time they exhibited a suppliant writing, (libellum,) or, j as they called it, the Remonstrance, to the Illustrious the
States of Holland and West Friesland; from which they
were afterwards called Remonstrants. In this they placed 5
before them the doctrine of the reformed churches, concerning the divine predestination, and the perseverance of the saints, unfaithfully, (mala fide,) and not without open and atrocious slanders,* that by this means they might render it odious to the Illustrious orders; at the same time they added that declaration of their own opinion concerning the same articles, which they under the ambiguous coverings of words concealed, that so it might appear to the more unskilful not much distant from the truth. And moreover they petitioned from the Illustrious the States, to be received under their patronage and protection, against all the censures of the churches.
This matter vehemently affected all the Belgic churches with amazement and grief, (perculit,) as they saw that these controversies had now burst forth into an open schism; and they used every endeavor that they might be able to procure a copy of this remonstrance, by which means an answer might be returned to the calumnies of these persons. But, by the favor of him who was used to keep these things, they (the Remonstrants) easily obtained, that not one copy could come into the hands of the rest of the pastors. Another thing was added to this calamity of the churches, which above measure increased their anxiety and their difficulties. For when a successor was sought to J. Arminius in the professorship of theology, the deputies of the churches strenuously requested and adjured the most Ample the Directors of the University of Leyden, in the public name of the churches, that they would substitute in that place a man clear from all suspicion of heterodoxy; in order that by this means the controversies in the University of Leyden might gradually cease, and their peace be restored to the churches ; at the same time they commended certain eminent theologians, as well foreign as Belgic, to the directors; but without success, (irrito successu.) For the Remonstrants, who seem to have pre-occupied the minds of certain persons, effected by their commendations, that Conradus Vorstius, a professor of Steinfurt, a man for many years justly suspected by the reformed churches of Socinianism, should be called to the professorship of theology in the place of Arminius, and for that cause that Utenbogardus should be sent away to Steinfurt; which thing when the deputies of the churches had understood, they thought it to
* It seems a sort of right by prescription to Anti Calvinists, to misrepresent and bear false witness against the Calvinistic doctrines, and those who hold them ; I would that no Calvinist had ever imitated them
in this respect.