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beginning to involve his country in contention and discord.
III. After the death of Arminius, the combat seemed to be carried on, during some years, between the The progress of contending parties, with equal success; so that Arminianism. it was not easy to foresee which side would gain the ascendant. The demands of the Arminians were moderate ; they required no more than a bare toleration for their religious sentiments ;d and some of the first men in the republic, such as Oldenbarneveldt, Grotius, Hoogerbeets, and several others, looked upon these demands as reasonable and just. It was the opinion of these great men, that as the points in debate had not been determined by the Belgic Confession of Faith, every individual had an unquestionable right to judge for himsel; and that more especially in a free state, which had drown off the yoke of spiritual despotism and civil tyrenny. In consequence of this persuasion, they used the utmost efforts to accommodate matters, and left no peethods unemployed to "engage the Calvinists to treat with Christian moderation and forbearance their dissentirg brethren. These efforts were at first attended with sone prospect of success. Maurice, prince of Orange, and the princess dowager his mother, countenanced thesó pacific measures, though the former became afterwará one of the warmest adversaries of the Arminians. Hence a conference was held, in the year 1611, at the Hague, between the contending parties; another at Delft, in the year 1613; and hence also that pacific edct issued out in 1614, by the states of Holland, to exhort them to charity and mutual forbearance; not to menton a number of expedients applied in vain to pre
The history of this controversy, and of the public discords and tumults it occasioned, j more circumstantially related by Brandt, in the second and third volumes, of his History of the Reformation, than by any other writer. This excellent history is written in Dutch ; but there is an abridgment of it in French, in three volumes, 8vo. which has been translated into English. Add to this, Uytenbogard's Ecclesiastical History, written also in Dutch. Limborchi Historia vitæ Episcopii. The Epistolæ Clarorum Virorum, published by Limborch. Those who desire a more concise view of this contest will find it in Limborch's Relatio Historica de origine et progressu Controversiarum in Federato Belgio de Prædestinatione et capitibus annexis,' which is subjoined to the latter editions of his Theologia Christiana, or Body of Divinity. It is true, all these are Arininians, and, as impartiality requires our hearing both sides, the reader may consult Trigland's Ecclesiastical History, composed likewise in Dutch, and a prodigious number of polemical writings published against the Arminians.
D o This toleration was offered them in the conference held at the Hague, in the year 1611, provided they would renounce the errors of Socinianism. See Trigland, ivc. cit. See also Heary Brandt's Collatio scripto habita llagæcomitum, printed ab 26 riczee, in 1715. VOL. IV.
vent the schism that threatened the church. But 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 freedom, 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 that 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 presenting their theological system in the worst colours. Iy. It is worthy of observation, that this unhappy con
troversy, which assumed another form, and was ticles of Ar- rendered more colaprehensive by new subjects of
" contention, after the synod of Dort, was at this time confined to the doctrines relating to predestination and grace. The sentiments of tle Arminians concerning these intricate points, were comprerended in five articles. They held,
“1. That God, from all eternity, determined to bestow salvation on those whom he foresaw woula persevere unto the end in their faith in Christ Jesus ; and la inflict everlasting punishments on those who should contnue in their unbelief, and resist, unto the end, his divine sucours.
62. That Jesus Christ, by his death and sufferings, made an atonement for the sins of all mankind in general, and of every individual in particular; that, however, none but those who believe in him can be partakers of their divine benefit.
The five ar
e The writers who have givea accounts of these transactions are well known; we shall only mention the first and second volumes of the Histoire de Louis XIII. by Le Vassor, who treats largely and accurately of these religious commotions, and of the civil transactions that were connected with them.
f The conduct of the states of Holland, who employed not only the language of persuasion, but also the voice of authority, in order to calm these commotions, and restore peace in the church, was defended, with his usual learning and eloquence, by Grotius, in two treatises. The one, which contains the general principles on which this defence is founded, is entitled De jure summarum potestatum circa sacra ; the other, in which these principles are peculiarly applied in justifying the conduct of the states, was pub
lished in the year 1613, under the following title ; Ordinum Hollandiæ ac Westfrisia . Pietas a multorum calumniis vindiceta.
“3. That true faith cannot proceed from the exercise of our natural faculties and powers, nor from the force and operation of free will; since man, in consequence of his natural corruption, is incapable either of thinking or doing any good thing; and that therefore it is necessary to his conversion and salvation, that he be regenerated and renewed by the operation of the Holy Ghost, which is the gift of God, through Jesus Christ.
“4. That this divine grace, or energy of the Holy Ghost, which heals the disorder of a corrupt nature, begins, advances, and brings to perfection every thing that can be called good in man; and that, consequently, all good works, without exception, are to be attributed to God alone, and to the operation of his grace; that nevertheless this grace does not force the man to act against his inclination, but may be resisted and rendered ineffectual by the perverse will of the impenitent sinner.
“5. That they who are united to.. Christ by faith are thereby furnished with abundant strength, and with succours sufficient to enable them to triumph over the seduction of Satan, and the allurements of sin and temptation; but that the question, Whether such may fall from their faith, and forfeit finally this state of grace, has not been yet resolved with sufficient perspicuity; and must therefore be yet more carefully examined by an attentive study of what the Holy Scriptures have declared in relation to this important point."
It is to be observed, that this last article was afterward changed by the Arminians, who, in process of time, declared their sentiments with less caution, and positively affirmed, that The saints might fall from a state of grace.
If we are to judge of men's sentiments by their words and declarations, the tenets of the Arminians, at the period of time now under consideration, bear a manifest resemblance of the Lutheran system. But the Calvinists did not judge in this manner; on the contrary, they explained the words and declarations of the Arminians according to the notions they had formed of their hidden sentiments; and, instead of judging of their opinions by their expressions,
tours sufurnished who ar
g The history of the five articles, and more particularly of their reception and progress in England, has been written by Dr. Heylin, whose book was translated into Dutch by the learned and eloquent Brandt, and published at Rotterdam in the year 1697.
they judged of their expressions by their opinions. They maintained, that the Arminians designed, under these spe. cious and artful declarations, to insinuate the poison of Socinianism and Pelagianism into unwary and uninstructed minds. The secret thoughts of men are only known to Him, who is the searcher of hearts; and it is his privilege alone to pronounce judgment upon those intentions and designs that are concealed from public view. But if we were allowed to interpret the five articles now mentioned in a sense conformable to what the leading doctors among the Arminians have taught in later times concerning these points, it would be difficult to show, that the suspicions of the Calvinists were entirely groundless. For it is certain, whatever the Arminians may allege to the contrary, that the sentiments of their most eminent theological writers, after the synod of Dort, concerning divine grace, and the other doctrines that are connected with it, approached much nearer to the opinions of the Pelagians and Semipelagians, than to those of the Lutheran church.
v. The mild and favourable treatment the Arminians rePrince Mau- ceived from the magistrates of Holland, and from
several persons of merit and distinction, encou
raged them to hope that their affairs would take a prosperous turn, or at least that their cause was not desperate, when an unexpected and sudden storm arose against them, and blasted their expectations. This change was owing to causes entirely foreign to religion; and its origin must be sought for in those connexions, which can scarcely be admitted as possible by the philosopher, but are perpetually presented to the view of the historian. A secret misunderstanding had for some time subsisted between the stadtholder Maurice, prince of Orange, and some of the principal magistrates and ministers of the new republic, such as Oldenbarneveldt, Grotius, and Hoogerbeets; and this misunderstanding had at length broke out into open enmity and discord. The views of this great prince are differently represented by different historians. Some al
rice declares against the Arminians.
F l This is a curious remark. It would seem as if the Lutherans were not Semipes lagians; as if they considered man as absolutely passive in the work of bis conversion and sanctification ; but such an opinion surely has never been the general doctrine of the Lutheran church, however rigorously Luther may have expressed himself on that head in some unguarded moments ; more especially it may be affirmed, that in later times the Lutherans are, to a man, Semipelagians; and let it got be thought, that this is imputed to them as a reproach.
lege, that he had formed the design of getting himself declared count of Holland, a dignity which William I. the glorious founder of Belgic liberty, is also said to have had in view. Others affirm, that he only aspired after a greater degree of authority and influence than seemed consistent with the liberties of the republic; it is at least certain, that some of the principal persons in the government suspected him of aiming at supreme dominion. The leading men above mentioned opposed these designs; and these leading men were the patrons of the Arminians. The Arminians adhered to these their patrons and defenders, without whose aid they could have no prospect of security or protection. Their adversaries the Gomarists, on the contrary, seconded the views, and espoused the interests of the prince, and inflamed his resentment, which had been already more or less kindled by various suggestions, to the disadvantage of the Arminians, and of those who protected them. Thus, after mutual suspicions and discontents, the flame broke out with violence; and Maurice resolved the downfal of those who ruled the republic, without showing a proper regard to his counsels; and also of the Arminians, who espoused their cause. The leading men, that sat at the helm of government, were cast into prison. Oldenbarneveldt, a man of gravity and wisdom, whose hairs were grown gray in the service of his country, lost his life on a public scaffold; while Grotius and Hoogerbeets were condemned to a perpetual prison, under what pre
i That Maurice aimed at the dignity of Count of Holland, we learn from Aubery's "Memoires pour servir a l'Histoire de Hollande et des autres Provinces Unies,' sect. ii. p. 216, ed. Paris. If we are to believe Aubery, informed by his father, who was, at ihat time, fambassador of France at the Hague, Oldenbarneveldt disapproved of this design, prevented its execution, and lost his life by his bold opposition to the views of the prince. This account is looked upon as erroneous by Le Vassor, who takes much pains to refute it, and indeed with success, in his Histoire de Louis XIII. tom. ii. p. ii. p. 123. Le Clerc, in his Biblioth. Choisie, tom. ii. p. 134, and in his History of the United Provinces, endeavours to confirm what is related by Aubery ; and also affirms that the project, formed by Maurice, had been formed before by his father. The determination of this debated point is not necessary to our present purpose. It is sufficient to observe, what is acknowledged on all sides, that Oldenbarneveldt and his associates suspected prince Maurice of a design to encroach upon the liberties of the republic, and to arrogate to himself the supreme dominion. Hence the zeal of Barneveldt to weaken his influence and to set bounds to his authority; hence the indignation and resentment of Maurice; and hence the downfal of the Arminian sect, which enjoyed the patronage, and adhered to the interests, of Oldenbarneveldt and Grotius.
k The truth of this general account of these unhappy divisions will undoubtedly be acknowledged by all parties, particularly at this period of time, when these tumults and commotions have subsided, and the spirit of party is less blind, partial, and violent. And the candid and ingenuous Calvinists who acknowledge this, will not thereby do the smallest prejudice to their cause. For should they even grant, what I neither pretend to affirm nor deny, that their ancestors, carried away by the impetuous spirit of