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of civil commotions arose, which drove him over to England, where he, and his wife whom he had married at Sencerre in France, procured a livelihood by teaching school, and in the mean time he pursued his theological studies. The Protestants of Lisle, in virtue of their right, then called Trelcatius to the service of their church: He departed, therefore, from England, with his wife and four children, and went to Antwerp, where he passed his examination in Divinity; and, being declared competent for the exercise of the ministry, he was sent to Lisle. But the difficulties of the times would not allow him to remain long there ; wherefore, by consent of the people, he went to Brussels, and served the Walloon Church in that city six years, till 1585, when the city was surrendered to the Spaniards. Retiring to Antwerp, he was detained eight months by the siege of that city. Receiving afterwards a call to the exercise of the ministry from several churches, he would not himself make choice of any, but referred it entirely to his brethren, lawfully assembled in a Synod: For he knew what a fruitful source of scandal and prejudice it was for ministers, by their private intrigues, to render themselves suspected of levity or self-interest. The Synod appointed him to serve the Walloon church at Leyden, where he remained nearly seventeen years. In the second year of his ministry in that city, his great learning procured him the Professorship of Divinity in the University. His diligence, zeal, piety, and other virtues, exerted in both functions, are highly extolled in a funeral oration delivered over his corpse by Francis Junius, his colleague. He left a family of ten children ; of whom, his son Luke Trelcatius became his successor in office.”
N.–Page 32. Bertius speaks with great respect of Gomarus, in this passage as well as in some others. What little effect such conciliatory expressions produced on the illiberal mind of Gomarus, will be best understood by the following passage from Brandt's History of the Reformation :
" It was now (1610) likewise found, that the peace of the Church in Holland became daily more and more disturbed. Gomarus, believing that the anonymous Exhortation to Peace addressed to Donteklok proceeded from Uitenbogaert, though written in reality by John Arnold Corvinus, whetted his pen against him. But he previously acquainted Oldenbarnevelt with his intentions, and said, that he could not remain silent without inflicting an injury on the TRUTH. The Grand Pensionary replied, “That TRUTH (ught, undoubtedly, to be asserted above
- all things; but that PEACE should stand next to it in value.' The States of Holland, when they heard of his purpose, earnestly exhorted him, on account of the public tranquillity, to refrain from writing. Notwithstanding, Gomarus published his Answer under the title of A Warning; and endeavoured to prove in it, that the author of The Exhortation sought to make alterations in religion: To this he added his own interpretation of those articles which were debated between him and Arminius at their last conference, his reflections on the funeral oration of Bertius, and on the Memorial presented to the States respecting the doctrine and conduct of Arminius. In that production he spared neither the dead nor the living: In consequence of which, Bertius wrote an address to Gomarus, in defence of the deceased, and published it in 1610. Gomarus answered it by A Trial, published, as the title says, in honour to the Truth, as a touchstone of the persons who meditate changes in Religion, and for the edification of the Church. Corvinus, as it was thought, composed A View of this “Trial,' in which he professed to clear those faithful ministers from the calumny and reproach of attempting any alterations in religion, and explained to the people those points which were then so zealously patronized : He also wrote 4 Reply to the "Warning' of Gomarus, in which he largely maintained, that the author of the Exhortation had no thoughts of innovating in religious matters.
6 The publication of Gomarus's Memorial or Remonstrance against Arminius, incited his widow and her brothers to print the Declaration which the deceased Professor had delivered in the Assembly of the States, in October, 1608; and they prefixed to it a strenuous Preface against Gomarus, in which he was plainly told, - that he suffered himself to be too far transported, by his 'rage and other violent passions, against his deceased colleague; 'that his Remonstrance did not contain the least grain of charity,
but abounded with misconstructions, forced meanings, strictures, and satire; for he represented Arminius as a mere cheat and • impostor, devoid of all conscience or fear of God. Neverthe• Jess,' say they, ' he was esteemed, by all that knew him, as a * treasure of learning and a mirror of virtues, an enemy to insin* cerity, and an example of plain, open, and true-hearted Dutch · honesty. With regard to the charge, which Gomarus had made against him, of being dubious, circumspect and cautious in his manner, both in proposing and maintaining his opinions, that proceeded, they thought, from no other motive, except
from that of a tender upright conscience, inclining him not to * assert any thing positively, which he was not sure of proving or
• verifying, * and from a just apprehension of being attacked by • those who, he was aware, lay in wait every moment for an op
portunity of exposing him; that the complaint, which he was
forced to make to the States, was not done with the design to • shan the light, to avoid the right way, and to pass by Consistories • and Synods, as Gomarus falsely alleged; but that, on the con• trary, it was done to come into the light and to expose the errors
of Gomarus, and to bring the whole matter before a lawful * Synod, in which the civil government, as well as other people,
might have eyes, ears, and a mouth.' The Preface concludes with these expressions: “It is to be wished, that people would • employ themselves in other matters, than in writings of this • kind : For it is always more commendable to excuse, than to
accuse. But since the accuser has been heard fully and at • large, the accused ought likewise to be heard at last in his own • defence.'
“ As the Universities, or their Professors, were looked upon as the causes of the ecclesiastical dissensions; so, on the other hand, the Curators of that of Leyden seemed very solicitous to promote mutual toleration and peace in their Academy. Francis Gomarus had, with some discontent, left that place during the year preceding, (1611,) and had gone to Middleburg in Zealand, where he was called to the ministry, and to
• Several instances of this hesitancy will occur in the narrative. The following is a very good description of it in the words of Arminius, from a letter addressed to Drusius, April 6, 1608, about a year prior to his death :-“ Proceed, therefore, to deserve well for your theological studies. This endeavour, though it may seem to be expended over a small matter, will procure for you, yet more and more, the commendations and favour of those who are not ashamed to learn those things of which they are ignorant, and which they are unable to learn by themselves : I profess myself to be one of this number. But you have two qualities, above all others, which I cannot but extol : The First is, that you openly declare, that you are still in doubt, and suspend your judgment, where, after the arguments have been produced, you are afraid of giving a full assent. The Second is, that you do not refuse at this period of life to change your opinions, even after you have been for many years so well versed in these matters. I love these two properties in you so much the more, because they approach the more nearly to my own intentions. For there is not such a vast difference between those subjects which engage your attention and those which engage mine, as not to allow me in some instances to hesitate and suspend my decision, since all religious doctrines are not equally necessary. For this conduct of mine I am calumniated by many persons, who carry the knowledge of all things inclosed within the casket of their own breast, from which whenever they are interrogated on any subject, they suppose that they utter forth nothing less than oracles which must be received with open ears and hearts. Neither am I ashamed to have occasionally forsaken some sentiments which had been instilled by my masters, since it appears to me that I can prove by the most forcible arguments, that such a change has been made for the better : This I am prepared to demonstrate, as soon as it is possible to do it to good effect without any tumult."
instruct the youth of that town in the Hebrew language, as well as in Divinity. The Remonstrants tell us, that he, perceiving the flames of the fire which he had kindled, to blaze above the tops of the houses, was apprehensive of being consumed ; and that he therefore fled from it as fast as he could ; and besides, that not long afterwards he went to France, where, being made Professor in the University of Saumur, he quarreled with the famous Du Plessis, the great pillar of the Reformation in that kingdom.
“ But the Contra-remonstrants say, that, having experienced much trouble from Arminius, he feared that Vorstius, who was then expected to be made his colleague at Leyden, would give him as much; and that, being quite weary of these vexations, he had reason enough to resign his office, into which the Curators installed John Polyander, minister of the Walloon Church at Dort, and a promoter of the Contra-remonstrant opinions, but who was considered more moderate and peaceable than others, which rendered his learning the more valuable. To this succeeded the call, to the Divinity Professorship in the same University, of Simon Episcopius, minister of Bleiswick, who was every where known to be a Remonstrant, and had assisted in the defence of their opinions at the Hague Conference. The Curators thought, that the circumstances and necessity of the University required this addition, there having previously been only one Professor of Theology. This introduction of Episcopius and Polyander together tended, as the Curators alleged, to secure the liberty of prophesying, or expounding the Holy Scriptures, in the University ; and, in time, by their example and by the practice of mutual toleration in the Schools, to induce the young students to promote peace in the church, when they should be called to the exercise of the ministry.”
Beside the notices of Gomarus which the reader will find in pp. 74, 465, 479, &c., I subjoin the following brief account of him. He was born at Bruges, Jan. 30, 1563: So that he was three years younger than Arminius. The parents of Gomarus, having embraced the Reformed Religion, retired into the Palatinate in 1578, to profess it without disturbance; and they sent their son to prosecute his studies at Neustadt, to which place the Calvinistic Professors of Heidelberg had been compelled to retire, as the Elector Lewis would tolerate none except the Lutherans. At the close of the year 1582, Gomarus came over to England ; and heard the Divinity Lectures of Doctor John Rainolds at Oxford, and at Cambridge those of Dr. William Whitaker. In June, 1584, he took the degree of Bachelor of Divinity. The Elector Palatine died in 1583, and was succeeded by his brother Casimir, who favoured the Calvinists and restored the professors of that persuasion to their former offices in the University of Heidelberg: In consequence of this happy change, Gomarus spent the years 1585—6 in that city. In 1587 he received a call from the Flemish church at Frankfort; he accepted the invitation, and exercised the ministerial functions in that city till 1593, when the church was dispersed by persecution. In 1594 he was invited to the Divinity Professorship in the University of Leyden: He accepted the office ; but, prior to his entrance on it, he visited Heidelberg, where a Doctor's degree was conferred on him. He had resided in Leyden ten years, when Arminius became his colleague: His conduct, subsequent to the election of that great man, forms a part of this Memoir. In 1611 he retired from Leyden to Middleburg; and in 1614 became Professor of Divinity in the University of Saumur. After remaining there four years, he accepted a call to Groningen, in which University he was principal Professor of Divinity and of the Hebrew Language when he was summoned, in 1618, to celebrate a signal triumph at the Synod of Dort over the manes of his former opponent, and over his pious and accomplished successors. He lived at Groningen twenty-two years after the conclusion of that Synod in which he had acted so furious and ignoble a part; and the public neglect which he experienced in that retirement, must have been exceedingly galling to his feelings, if he' retained that choleric and hasty temper which had distinguished him in early life. But there are strong reasons to believe, that when he was thus partially deserted, the benefits of self-reflection were as conspicuous in the amelioration of his disposition, as the advantages of a cooler and more mature judgment were apparent in his amended creed,* which contained greater and more extensive corrections
• “Gomarus, therefore, according to my judgment, acted wisely, when, having perceived that his sentiments on the object of Reprobation were pressed with this ab. surdity, that they made God the Author of Adam's sin, he took refuge in Conditimal Foreknowledge, by which, according to the infinite light of his knowledge, God foreknew certain future things, not absolutely, but under a certain condition,' as he expresses himself in his latter Theses on Predestination, which were inserted in his Works. By this means he very conveniently avoided the blow: For since Conditional Knowledge is antecedent to God's decree, Gomarus did not consider it necessary, as some other [Calvinists] do, to suspend the foresight of Adam's fall on any decree, which imposed on him the necessity of sinning.–Walæus followed his example in his Common Places, who is also happily conveyed past that rock.–Of Calvin's disciples, I know only these two who own (the existence of] such knowledge in God; although it might prove very useful to them, in extricating them out of various difficulties in which they remain implicated. But since it scems to suppose freedom of will in man, against which they feel the greatest abhorrence, this is the true cause why they have thought proper to have it entirely exploded.” COURCELLES De Jure Dei in Crcaturas.