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author of the Confessional known any thing of the true history i of the case of Vorstius, he might with his accustomed subtlety have made it exceedingly subservient to the cause which he advocated, and for the triumph of which he would have found in Vorstius a more valuable auxiliary than any of those whom he has quoted, however wrongfully, as his staunch co-adjutors. I conclude this long article with a quotation from Bayle, which, as proceeding from a writer whose prepossessions were decidedly Calvinistic, is entitled to some attention.*
alition of the Protestants and Papists,” nor did he write or publish a word on that sub. ject till twenty-nine years afterwards, when Abbot himself had been eight years in his grave !-Other equally glaring misrepresentations concerning the same illus. trious man, of whose principles of civil and ecclesiastical liberty he had a very confused knowledge, I have exposed in the work to which there is in this page a previous allusion.
. “ I am of opinion, that had not Vorstius been very strongly solicited by the chiefs of the Arminians, he would never have embarked on so stormy a sea. He was beloved and honoured in Steinfurt; he enjoyed the utmost tranquillity, and was in the highest reputation in that city; and he doubtless foresaw, that, in the state in which the controversies of Arminius and Gomarus were at that time, he should meet with great opposition in Holland. He was tempted, if I mistake not, by the glory he should gain by supporting a party which was weakened by the death of Arminius. To this were added motives drawn from conscience : They represented to him, that he would be one day accountable for the ill use he might make of his talents, in case too great a fondness for ease should cause him to neglect such a happy opportunity of establishing the truth in a country in which it had already taken root. However this may be, his evil star separated him from the Count of Bentheim, to convey him to Holland, where, amidst unnumbered rocks and shelves, he at last met with a fatal shipwreck. Had Vorstius continued quiet in Steinfurt, the errors be had inserted in his treatise De Deo would not have brought him into much trouble, and he might easily have recovered from that false step which he had taken. But the question being, whether or not he should teach at Leyden, that is, whether a rising party should oblige the other to truckle, nothing was forgiven him ; this treatise De Deo became a worse book than the Koran.
“ Vorstius did great injury to the Arminian party. The prevailing so far as to procure his appointment to the Professorship at Leyden, as the successor of Arminius, (though he never entered on the duties of his profession, ] was considered a masterstroke; and yet nothing could have been more advantageous to the adversaries of the Remonstrants. By his new manner of dogmatizing on the attributes of God, he furnished them with so many handles, and it was so easy to raise the suspicions of the people against him, that it was no difficult matter to make him become odious. After this, it was very easy for a sect of people, who were not deficient in zeal, tongues, or pens, to cause all the hatred to fall on the new Professor, which had been excited against the Arminian party. Nothing more was requisite, than to represent how urgent the friends of Arminius were to invite Vorstius to Leyden. In this manner the Provi. dence of God every day takes a pleasure in confounding human prudence. That for which we labour most industriously as the most solid foundation of our hopes, is generally that which effects our ruin. It must be observed, that when the friends of Arminius fixed their choice on the Steinfurt Professor, they imagined him to be quite uninfected with the Socinian heresy : But was it easy for them to convince prejudiced people of this, or to prevent such persons from urging the contrary? If the doctrine of Predestination, with its consequences, be strongly asserted by the Protestants, it is because the disputes in it have given rise to two factions, and to a schism which is still in existence. The Church of England, which considercd itself as a separate body, and
detached from that in which this schism was formed, was not fired with the ardent zeal which this dispute had excited in the minds of the Contra-remonstrants : Thus it tended, by insensible degrees, towards hypotheses of a milder nature, and very different from Calvinism."-BAYLE's Dictionary.
Q.—Page 33. The younger Brandt gives the subjoined account of the further proceedings of the Curators :- Arminius, who was not ignorant of these machinations against him, attempted to direct his attention to one point-to find out a way, by which he might defend himself against the charges of his adversaries, and might destroy their force : And since he began to discover, that he had been infamously traduced before Oldenbarnevelt, it appeared to him to be the most advisable course—to defend the innocency of his reputation in the presence of that eminent man,—and to give notice of his intention, prior to his appearance at the Hague, to the honourable the Burgomasters, to Helmichius, and others, who had branded his name with infamy. But he was prevented from executing this purpose, and undertaking the proposed journey, through an infirm state of health, produced by a violent catarrh, which had been communicated by the frost, and which had affected the brain and the contiguous parts of his head. When communicating this information to his friend Uitenbogaert, on the 3rd of March, 1603, he disclosed the state of his mind and his wishes in the following words: “I wish the favour could be obtained of the right honourable Barnevelt, to command the deputies of the churches to proceed against me personally in his presence. Such a course indeed I request and desire much more ardently, than that which they suppose to be the object of my desires, that is to say, the Theological Professorship. But I am fully persuaded within myself, (and so undoubtedly it ought to be,) that those good men will not gain credence among persons of discretion and prudence ; especially, when they find, that he who is the object of attack offers himself to a legitimate defence, and is an elder (Presbyter] against whom [according to the scriptures] it is not lawful to receive an accusation except before two or three witnesses. I am of opinion, therefore, that this excursion is not very necessary at this time, when a great part of the deputies have already departed, to whom Helmichius might appeal if I commenced a discussion with him. In the meantime, I retain the proper right of making a lawful experiment with him, and even with the rest of his associates : But your advice, and that of others, will determine me in the course which I shall pursue. Yet if you account it necessary that I should disclose my mind on certain questions, you may transcribe them, and I will return the plainest and most sincere answers. For I am unwilling to commit or to omit any thing, merely because it may serve to promote or to hinder my call. I have resolved indeed to commit myself ? entirely to the will of God, that I may possess a good conscience, what issue soever the affair may have. In the meantime, I wish you to be in good spirits, and to abate your anguish: For I know the urgent need there is of requiring this favour from you. The Lord God will himself provide, and will grant such success, as he knows will prove most conducive to his own glory, to the edification of his church, and to the salvation of myself and family. On Him I cast my every care: He will bring forth my righteousness as the light, and my judgment as the noon-day.”
The honourable the Curators of the University, still promising to themselves better things respecting Arminius than were reported, thought nothing ought to be unattempted, by which they might obtain him who was the object of their wishes. Having consulted the most illustrious Prince Maurice, and communicated to him their deliberations, they added an earnest intreaty, that some one, in the name of his highness, might be associated with them for the purpose of promoting this business among the people of Amsterdam. The Prince kindly acceded to their request; and, on the 13th of March, 1603, he called Uitenbogaert to him, and besought him in the most affable manner not to refuse to undertake this province, which was in a great measure ecclesiastical. He also pledged his faith to furnish him with letters of credence: Uitenbogaert procured his credentials on the 1st of April, and immediately commenced his journey to Amsterdam, in company with the most noble J. Dousa, and N. Zeystius the Syndic of Leyden. They were shortly afterwards joined by the honourable Neostaduis, and N. Kromhoutius, the chief Senator of the High Court, whom the Curators had called in to their aid, and whose influence with the Senate of Amsterdam was very great.
But in order to prepare an easier way to themselves for executing the commission with which they had been entrusted, they thought it expedient to enter into previous conferences with some of the Magistrates and Ministers of the Church. On the 5th of April, therefore, having obtained a public audience with the Magistrates, they explained at large the reasons of the journey which they had taken,-Kromhoutius being the advocate of the Curators, and Uitenbogaert acting in behalf of the Prince of Orange. Their intreaties for gaining Arminius were
fortified by various arguments: But, on the other hand, the Magistrates extolled the merits of their pastor, and declared that his services were useful and necessary for the refutation of the opinions of different parties on sacred subjects, and that they could on no account dispense with the ministry of such a preacher.* These, and other arguments of the saine kind, were ingeniously and with a greater force turned in their own favour by the Curators ; till at length the Magistrates came to a resolution, “ That they would deliberate further about this business ;" and they granted leave to discuss this matter in a meeting of the ecclesiastics.
A meeting of the pastors was therefore convened on the 8th of April, before whom the delegates of the University produced the same arguments for their advice, which they had employed before the Magistrates: For the sake of promoting this business, they likewise held out hopes, and gave their word of honour, that, if the presiding members of the Church of Amsterdam resolved to substitute another celebrated Pastor in the place of Arminius who was to have letters dimissory, or even if they determined to renew the call which they had previously given to Baselius, the very eloquent minister of Bergen-op-zoom, from whom they had received a refusal,-in that case, the illustrious the States and his Highness the Prince would employ all their influence to effect the object of their wishes.
The Presbytery, having heard all these inducements and having taken some time for deliberation, thought proper on the 11th of April, to intimate to the Magistrates, by a deputation from their own body, “ that Arminius was, above all others, bound and engaged to their church ; and that they should prefer his being retained in her service.” But since the Magistrates thought, that this opinion of the ecclesiastical assembly was expressed in terms that were in some measure doubtful and too general, t and since they requested their fuller advice and resolation about this affair, the Presbytery determined, that they would treat with Arminius himself, by the same deputation. These ecclesiastical deputies, therefore, accosted him in all the alluring softness and courtesy of which they were possessed, and ardently intreated him “ to suffer himself to be induced to keep his promise with this church, and to devote his powers to her service.” To these intreaties Arminius replied, “ that he was formerly less inclined to take upon himself the professorial office; but that, in the present state of affairs, he felt more powerfully impelled to embrace it and to petition for his dismissal; that there appeared to him evident reasons why he could no longer render any essential service to the Church of Amsterdam, if his dismissal were refused; that if it were pro bable, a consideration of the expence formerly incurred in the prosecution of his studies would militate against his obtaining ka his dismissal, he should much prefer refunding the whole of it, rather than make his call to the Professorship void; and that he was prepared to hold a conference with Gomarus in the presence of the Synod and of the Church.” . . When the result of this interview was communicated to the is Magistrates, they evinced no small solicitude about the matter, and entertained a fear lest, from too anxious a consideration of is the refusal of his dismission, Arminius should contract a severe is disorder, and thus be rendered useless both to the Church and the University, and lest many unpleasant rumours should thence arise: They demanded therefore, with still greater earnestness, an ulterior deliberation from the ecclesiastical senate. But there reverend members of that body began to invent delays, and tota disagree on some points with each other,—some of them accus- en ing Arminius of teaching depraved doctrine, while others to defended him. After the delegates of the University were acquainted with these circumstances, they requested another in audience, and, on the 13th of April, after the evening sermon, this they presented themselves before the reverend assembly. They tried every method to induce the Presbytery to grant Arminius a dismissal, and pressed to have a full answer from them. Why
• Uiten bogaert's Diary.
+ Ibid. From the Acts of the Presbytcry of Amsterdam, quoted by Triglandius, in his History, p. 206.
They also declared, by Uitenbogaert as their organ,* " that since they perceived the tergiversation and subterfuges of this in Meeting rested principally upon the erroneous suspicions which some persons entertained of Arminius, the delegates of the site University would instantly desist from urging his call to the Professor's Chair, provided the Ecclesiastical Senate would in open terms accuse him of unsound doctrine; that the University was committed to their care, and its welfare was far dearer to them, than any wish that they could indulge for a connection with a teacher of impure dogmas ; that if scruples still remained in the breast of any one, they would faithfully engage that Arminius should not be initiated into this office in the Univer- it sity, until he had given abundant satisfaction to Gomarus, his future colleague." .
inefended himich these circums April, aft